February 12, 2021
Crest Industries is deeply rooted in innovation – we question the status quo, look for a better way of doing things and strive for continuous improvement. Crest’s founder, Tucker Robison, built Crest Industries on the entrepreneurial spirit and the idea that good ideas can come from anywhere. With these values in mind, Crest Industries is excited to announce that we are expanding our family of businesses and launching a completely new company in a platform all its own, Avant Organics.
Avant Organics will combine advanced biology and chemistry research to help its customers create sustainable products. The company will serve multiple industries and manufacture a variety of renewable goods such as flavors to be used in foods and medicine, as well as fragrances, and other components used in our everyday life.
Founded in 1958, Crest Industries is the operating company for a family of world-class project-oriented businesses specialized in electric power delivery, industrial services, distribution, and natural resources. With manufacturing facilities located across the country, the company continues to grow and now is in the process of expanding its existing footprint at the Central Louisiana Regional Port (CLRP). In 2015, to keep up with customer demand, Crest Industries’ company, DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, moved its factory to the CLRP – where they are putting Louisiana on the map for revolutionizing the electric power delivery industry and how substations are made. Now, DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations’ President, Brad Fontenot, will also lead the Avant Organics Team to redefine industrial organic chemistry - and he hopes to do it just across the street from DIS-TRAN’s substation factory, in what used to be the Cool Planet facility.
“Brad has a strong background in specialty chemical engineering. He saw this unique opportunity, trusted our team with his vision, and now we are moving forward and breaking new ground together,” says Kenny Robison, CEO and Owner of Crest Industries. “We empower our people to be innovators and find solutions that have a lasting impact on the industries and people we serve. By giving our team members the right tools and resources, they will lead Crest into the future. And that’s exactly how Avant was created.”
Avant Organics plans to collaborate with Louisiana’s universities and its rich agricultural industries to drive further research and develop emerging world-class separation technologies. Because of this strong devotion to innovation, Avant Organics will be an agent of change within its industries and advance traditional organic industrial chemistry in manufacturing using biology.
“The company’s name, Avant, embodies the culture and mindset of our team – to push the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo,” explains Brad Fontenot, President of both DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations and Avant Organics. “Our team brings the manufacturing know-how, engineering expertise and core values that help the entire Crest Family of Companies to succeed and adapts them to meet the challenges of this industry using an Avant approach.”
Fontenot says he is excited about this venture and the opportunity to strengthen Crest Industries partnership with the Central Louisiana Regional Port. The Port’s available space is ideal for Avant Organic’s business to business manufacturing model as it has the advantage of multimodal transportation. The Port also offers the additional benefit of scalability giving Avant plenty of room to grow.
“There is so much opportunity, right here in central Louisiana,” says Fontenot and he is not just talking about the facility. “It’s the people too,” he says. “I truly believe we can form a team that will turn this industry upside down and drive amazing results.”
Various state and local officials spoke about their excitement and the opportunity Avant Organics brings to the area. Hear their remarks along with statements from LED and Crest Industries in the video below. The presentation begins at time mark 16:45.
While many Louisiana jobs focus on oil and gas, Avant Organics will create good paying technology jobs so that Louisiana students with S.T.E.M. degrees do not have to leave the state upon graduation to find employment. Avant Organics expects to begin production by late summer or early fall. You can search for available positions within Crest Industries and submit your resume in consideration for future jobs at www.crestoperations.com/careers.