Look around any corner in Natchitoches and there’s a product or piece of art from Magnolia Steel. This small business located in the Hagewood community was one of eight companies to receive a Lantern Award from the Louisiana Economic Development during a private reception June 7 at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge. Lantern Award winners demonstrate excellence in manufacturing and outstanding service to their communities through the involvement of their businesses and employees.
Founded in 1995, Magnolia Steel is a functional steel fabrication company with steady growth and expansion. Products include liquid tanks, handrails, livestock gates, specialty parts for farm equipment repair, archways, fences and furniture.
Owners Rocky and Brenda Carney are active in the community and support area churches, animal welfare groups, the Natchitoches Work Release Inmate Program and events supporting law enforcement, fire departments and more.
Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey, Chamber President and CEO Tony Davis, Northwestern State President Jim Henderson and Parish President Rick Nowlin all supported the company’s nomination for the award, stating that magnolia Steel is an important asset to the community and is a successful example of a true entrepreneurial spirit.
“The Lantern Awards are a valuable recognition of what our leading manufacturers are pursuing to advance company success and the success of the Louisiana manufacturing sector,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “In Louisiana today, manufacturing jobs are more important than ever. LED works through many partnerships all across our state to make manufacturers more competitive and to enhance the quality of their workforce. We congratulate these Louisiana companies for their accomplishments and we thank them for the contributions they are making in their communities.”
Lantern Award winners are selected by Louisiana’s eight Regional Planning and Development Districts, based on the contributions of the manufacturers to their communities, including investments in employment growth and facility expansion. Each business also must demonstrate sustainability by remaining in operation at least three years prior to the nomination.
Lantern Award winners included:
Northwest Region: Magnolia Steel of Natchitoches Inc., Natchitoches
Acadiana Region: Falcon Rice Mill/Cajun Country Rice, Crowley
Bayou Region: Conrad Industries Inc., Morgan City
Capital Region: Methanex USA LLC, Geismar
Central Region: UPS Midstream Services, Trout
Northeast Region: B. Viz Design, St. Joseph
Southeast Region: Boscoli Foods Inc., Kenner
Southwest Region: Howell Industries Inc., Sulphur
Award winners receive lanterns handcrafted and donated by Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights of New Orleans. Larger versions of these lanterns can be found around Natchitoches.