Tulane University names celebrity chef, real estate developer as ‘Entrepreneurs of the Year’

April 15, 2015

Keith Brannon
Phone: 504-862-8789


Restaurateur and chef John Besh (left) and commercial real estate developer James Maurin will be honored as outstanding entrepreneurs of the year.

The A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University will honor celebrity chef John Besh and commercial real estate developer James Maurin as outstanding entrepreneurs of the year at the annual Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Award Gala on Thursday.

Maurin, who earned his MBA from Tulane in 1972, will be named Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year, an award for individuals combining a history of entrepreneurial success with service to the community. Besh will be named Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year, an award highlighting those who find solutions for social problems and community needs using entrepreneurial principles.

“Jimmy Maurin has devoted his career to developing commercial real estate properties that anchor communities, promote further development and spread economic prosperity,” said Ira Solomon, Freeman School dean. “John Besh, through his philanthropic foundation, is working to help provide the region’s farmers and culinary professionals with the training and business support they need to become sustainable. I am delighted to be able to recognize these two outstanding business people with our 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.”

Maurin is co-founder and retired chairman and CEO of Stirling Properties, one of the Gulf South’s leading commercial real estate companies. Founded in 1975, the company’s business areas include brokerage services, development and redevelopment, acquisitions and investments, and property and asset management over a wide array of property types.

Besh is an award-winning chef and restaurant entrepreneur. His nonprofit organization, the John Besh Foundation, works to protect and preserve the culinary heritage and foodways of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area. In 2011, the foundation established the Chefs Move! scholarship program to send a minority recipient to the International Culinary Center in New York City. The scholar pledges to return to New Orleans and work in the restaurant industry.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000