2023 Hall of Distinction Inductees and Outstanding Young Alum Award Winner

September 06, 2023

The LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business is proud to announce the 2023 Hall of Distinction inductees—Kip Knight and Joaneane Smith. In addition, this year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient is Jacques Bourque. The college will honor Knight, Smith, and Bourque at a banquet on Thursday, November 9, at the Business Education Complex. 

Kip Knight headshot

Kip Knight 

Kip Knight is the operating partner at Thomvest Ventures, a $500 million venture capitalist fund based in the San Francisco Bay area. In addition, he serves as a board member at Netbase Quid, a leading consumer analytics company. Knight has worked in over 60 countries, starting his career at P&G in brand management and holding several senior executive roles at PepsiCo, YUM Brands, and eBay. He also served as the CMO at Taco Bell and president of H&R Block. Knight founded U. S. Marketing Communication College, dedicated to teaching communication strategy to diplomats in the State Department, and is the founder and CEO of CMO Coaches, a national coaching network for marketing executives.

Knight is the co-author of Crafting Persuasion: A Leader’s Handbook to Change Minds and Influence Behavior and the author of Learning to Leap: How Leaders Turn Risk into Opportunities. 

Knight earned a Bachelor of Science in marketing (1978) from LSU and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. He currently resides in southern California.


Joaneane Smith headshot

Joaneane Smith

Joaneane Smith is the President and CEO of Global Commerce and Services (GCS) and has more than 25 years of experience in management and consulting with information technology deployment. Under Smith’s leadership, GCS has grown into an award-winning tech company delivering impactful IT solutions and services to the Navy, Army, Air Force, USDA, DISA, NASA, and DHS. GCS has been recognized for numerous awards, including LSU100: the fastest growing tiger-led business (ranked first in 2014 and 2015), Washington Technology Fast 50 (ranked 21), Inc. 10 Fastest-Growing African American-led Companies (ranked 6), to name a few. 

In addition to leading in the boardroom, Smith lends her time and expertise to various organizations, including the E. J. Ourso College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, LSU Foundation National Board, Southern University at New Orleans College of Business & Public Administration’s Business Advisory Board, LSU Alumni Association’s A. P. Tureau, Sr., Former Black Alumni Chapter, National Association of University Women, and the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. Smith has been involved in many prestigious professional development programs including Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, Thunderbird School of Global Management/ A&M&AA, Tucks School of Business at Dartmouth College’s Growing the Minority Business to Scale Program, and the University of Charlottesville, Virginia’s Darden Minority Business Executive Program.

Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Southern University at New Orleans and an MBA (1997) from LSU. She currently resides in New Orleans, LA.


Jacques Bourque headshot

Jacques Bourque

Jacques Bourque was named Chief Financial Officer of Catalyst Bancorp, the parent company for Catalyst Bank, in February 2022, making him the youngest public bank CFO in the country. His previous roles include treasurer of Catalyst Bank, internal auditor at Home Bank, and staff accountant at Wright, DeHart, Dupuis & Hutchinson, LLC, a local public accounting firm based in Lafayette, LA. Bourque has served as an officer for the Acadiana chapter of the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA) since 2019 and was recently appointed to serve as the state chair of the LCPA’s Emerging CPA Council.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting (2015) from LSU, an MBA (2017) from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and earned his CPA in 2018. Bourque currently resides in Lafayette, LA. 

About the Hall of Distinction

Established in 1996, the E. J. Ourso College of Business Hall of Distinction recognizes individuals who make significant contributions in the areas of business, academia, or government as well as their community. The Hall of Distinction induction is not limited to LSU alumni, but nominees should have a formative connection with the college.

​​In addition to the Hall of Distinction, the college annually presents an Outstanding Young Alumni Award. This honor recognizes one E. J. Ourso College alum whose early accomplishments distinguish them as an upcoming leader in their profession. 

For more information about the Hall of Distinction award criteria and a list of past inductees, visit the Hall of Distinction honoree gallery.

For information on the 2023 Hall of Distinction Banquet, contact Leigh Ann Charles