May 2, 2022, 15:01 PM by Jennifer McCommons



Lafayette, LA – The Lafayette International Center Foundation, which serves as the Lafayette International Center’s advisory board, is pleased to announce the 22nd International Achievement Award (IAA) was bestowed upon the Louisiana Rice Industry during a ceremony at the International Center in downtown Lafayette on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

The International Achievement Award, established in 1998, honors an outstanding individual, company, or organization that has significantly enhanced the international reputation of Lafayette and Acadiana through international commerce, tourism, art, music, or goodwill ambassadorship.

Sam Wright, President and CEO of the Wright Group and the fourth generation of his family in the rice business, accepted the award. Lafayette International Center Director Dave Domingue said to the crowd of city-parish officials, rice industry representatives, past award honorees, and members and past members of the Foundation, “Louisiana is America's third-largest rice producing state, with most of our rice production taking place in and around Acadiana. Rice production and processing are estimated to generate about $380 million in revenue each year and account for thousands of jobs. It is no surprise that rice represents a vital part of Louisiana’s –and Acadiana’s—economy, and a major export.”

Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) Chief Administrative Officer Cydra Wingerter recognized the International Center as the international trade arm of LCG, bringing more than $107 million into the local economy. “The Lafayette International Center works to increase global knowledge, international trade and talent opportunities, and to promote our culture and heritage. The center and the Lafayette Consolidated Government are deeply committed to a robust Lafayette economy and to strengthening Lafayette’s ties to the rest of the world,” she said.

Past award recipients are: the Division of Global Engagement of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louis J. Michot, Jr., Robert John Angers, Jr., Zachary Richard, J. S. “Si” Brown III, Warren Perrin, Enrique Herrera, Matt Stuller, Dailey J. Berard, C & C Technologies, Inc., Margaret McMillan; Festival International de Louisiane; Frank’s Casing Crew and Frank’s International; LAGCOE, Gary P. Lagrange and Eugene J. Schreiber, Oil Center Research International, Acadiana Bed and Breakfast hoteliers of Acadiana, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, Dud Lastrapes, Phil Lank, Robert Dafford, CODOFIL, and Warren Bares.

Photos of Thursday’s event are available at, credit Lafayette International Center. For more information, please call Christophe Pilut at Lafayette International Center at 337-291-5474 or email