Doleac Electric Receives 2020 Small Business Leadership Award

June 26, 2020


Doleac Electric Company received the 2020 Small Business Leadership Award June 24 during a luncheon co-hosted by William Carey University and the Area Development Partnership. A Hattiesburg tradition for decades, this year’s luncheon was presented as a Zoom meeting due to social distancing concerns.

As they accepted the year’s highest award, brothers Larry Doleac and Donnie Doleac gave all the credit to their employees.

“We’ve been very fortunate over the years to have great people. We’ve got employees who have been with us for over 40 years. If it weren’t for those kinds of people, we wouldn’t be getting this award. It’s a great honor for us, and I think our dad would be very proud also,” Larry Doleac said.

Donnie Doleac agreed: “We appreciate this award. It’s an honor for us, as well as our company, and all the people who have worked to get us where we are today. We consider every one of our employees family and we thank them very much.”

WCU President Dr. Tommy King said Doleac Electric has been part of the Hattiesburg business community for more than 70 years.

“The company was founded by Mr. Malcolm Doleac in 1947 and, for most of his lifetime, it was a residential electrical contractor,” King said.

“After his death in 1972, Larry and Donnie took over the leadership of the company. In the 1980s, they transitioned into commercial electrical contracting work. The company has had remarkable growth, with revenues of more than $40 million now. These are the kind of leaders who make our city what it is today and we’re so proud of them.”

Servant leaders

Chad Newell, president of the Area Development Partnership, offered his congratulations.

“We are so pleased to be a partner with William Carey University in honoring small businesses. Donnie and Larry Doleac have grown their business into a thriving commercial, industrial, and military-related electrical contractor headquartered here in Hattiesburg,” Newell said.

“They have also given back to the community in so many ways, including Donnie’s service on the ADP Executive Committee and Larry’s advocacy for youth baseball. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and the ADP is so glad to be part of honoring distinguished companies like Doleac Electric.”

The Small Business Leadership Award was established to recognize the contributions small businesses make to the economic, social and cultural life of the community and the particular achievements of one individual or family.

Recipients are chosen jointly by the Area Development Partnership and William Carey University. They must own or manage a small business, participate at the highest level in community service, and reflect Judeo-Christian values.

Academic scholarships

The Small Business Leadership Luncheon is also an opportunity to raise funds for scholarships to support WCU business students – and three award scholarships were awarded during this year’s event.

“These students have been selected based on their moral character, their determination in completing tasks and a work ethic that will lead to success in business,” said Dr. Cheryl Dale, dean of the WCU School of Business.

Dale presented scholarships to Kaitlyn Gory of Hattiesburg and Anthony Bullock of Brooklyn.

Dean Pace of the WCU Office for Advancement presented the Richard “Pepper” Jones Endowed Scholarship to Alexandria Nowell of Richton. A Hattiesburg native, “Pepper” Jones was a strong advocate for education and facilitated closer working relationships between local universities and the business community.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon was State Rep. Kent McCarty of Hattiesburg, who represents District 101. He discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississippi.