The Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South) named Brown Eagle Contractors, Inc. Supplier of the Year in the Southern United States during the 2019 Women’s Enterprise Summit on September 26.
The woman-owned, Baton Rouge-based business serves as a one-stop solution for the post-manufacturing needs of chemical companies, providing services such as logistics labor, project management and material handling. Industry giants like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, Conoco Phillips and Entergy nominated and selected Brown Eagle as the award recipient.
“This is a tremendous recognition for the hardworking Brown Eagle team members and our chemical industry clients who have supported us for more than 50 years,” Owner and CEO Lela Mae Wilkes said.
Wilkes joined the Brown Eagle team in 1977 as the company’s controller. Just five years later, she was promoted to vice president and then to president in 1987. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Wilkes grew the company to more than 500 employees working on concurrent projects across the Gulf South in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Kentucky.
“I am deeply honored to help illustrate the powerful contributions that women-led businesses make in the regional economy and thankful for the advocacy of the WBEC South,” Wilkes said.
Wilkes acquired Brown Eagle from the founders’ heirs in 2014 after serving as president of the company for more than 25 years. Despite increased consolidation in the industry over the past two decades, Brown Eagle remains independently owned and operated.
About WBEC South The WBEC South is a regional partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest certifier of women-owned businesses (WBEs) in the U.S. and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. WBEC South strives to advance and enhance business opportunities between corporations and women-owned businesses through a reputable certification program, education and professional growth opportunities.