Excelerant is so proud to share that our Managing Partner, Phyllis Arceneaux, has been acknowledged as one of the 2019 Most Interesting People.
Original article published 1/21/2019, Shanna P. Dickens, Acadiana Lifestyle:
Bringing Joy To Business
The term often used to describe Phyllis Arceneaux is “serial entrepreneur.” Growing up, if Arceneaux wanted to be involved in something, and she wanted to be involved in everything, from Girl Scouts to sports, it was her responsibility to fund it. That coupled with the task of helping care for her seven siblings created in Arceneaux a can-do spirit and unwavering work ethic.
At the age of 21, Arceneaux decided she would open her own travel agency. She joined the Association of Resource Travel Agents with whom she lobbied with for two years in Washington DC. During this time, her group successfully moved the airline industry out of the department of justice and into the department of transportation.
“My father, who was a really talented welder, worked in the oilfield and had become unemployed,” Arceneaux explains. “It took some work, but I finally convinced my father that we should open a business together. We set up shop in his back yard and opened a welding business – Kidder Incorporated.”
“When I was a little girl, my dad worked all of the time, and when he got home he wasn’t in the best mood,” Arceneaux expresses. “It always seemed like most adults hated their jobs and didn’t have much joy in their lives. So, I wanted to go into work places and bring joy there so that when people went home, there was peace.”
Arceneaux admits that her work through Excelerant gives her career fulfillment in ways she never imagined, but it didn’t end the serial entrepreneurship. When Arceneax and her husband were building their home, they were also building a 4 acre pond on the property, “I’m a Pieces,” she quickly justifies. This project left them with mountains of clay and topsoil. As luck, depending on how you define lucky, would have it, the couple soon ran into someone who had more horse manure than they knew what to do with. Thus was born Oak Heart Farms, LLC and organic composting facility that makes the wildly popular “Poohyie” fertilizer.
Evident in nearly every area of her life, Arceneaux’s passion is truly bringing peace to people’s lives and repairing and maintaining relationships. She believes that because relationships change, they don’t have to be broken. Perfect example: her first husband is the godfather to her daughter from her current marriage. The same group of five women at Excelerant has been happily working together for 15 years. She says that her mission in life is to continue to have a strong and close relationship with all seven of her siblings. So far, she’s seen nothing but success.
“You have to get people to be observers of themselves, so they can start to like themselves and then to love themselves. When you’re good with who you are, the product you put out with other people will be good. We have to realize we’re whole and lovable people and our own negative thinking can blind us to that and hurt our relationships.”