PJ's Coffee Owner Named Speaker

Scott Ballard, Member of the LSU System Board of Supervisors and President and CEO of PJ's Coffee in New Orleans, will be the commencement speaker when Louisiana State University Eunice holds fall graduation ceremonies at 3 p.m. Friday, December 19, in the gymnasium of the Health and Physical Education Building. Ballard and his brothers acquired PJ's Coffee in 2008 and have since lead the company to nearly a 200 percent growth in four years. The company now includes 63 locations and has partnerships with well-known companies such as Royal Sonesta, Waldorf Astoria, Winn Dixie, and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

Before acquiring PJ's Coffee, Ballard and his brothers developed the restaurant and franchise model for what is now WOW Cafe and Wingery. Ballard remains active with WOW, serving as Principal in the company with his brothers.

He graduated from the St. Tammy Chamber Leadership program and has a leadership role in Hope House and its Mad Hatter Tea Program. Ballard also serves on the executive board of St. Paul's High School Alumni Association.

He was named by Gambit Magazine as one of the 40 under 40 most influential Businessmen of the year in 2003, and recently City Business 2010 selected him and his brother as Culinary Connoisseur Business owners of the year.

Ballard graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Political Economics. He is married to Kristi, and they have three children.

Some 100 students are candidates for graduation. Included are students who completed degree requirements during the summer as well as the fall semester graduates.

LSU Eunice offers associate degrees in liberal arts, science, business information technology, criminal justice, education, fire science, general studies, management, nursing, radiologic technology, and respiratory care.

-----December 16, 2014

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