Emile Barras made chairman of the board

ST. MARTINVILLE – Emile J. Barras has been elected chairman of the board of St. Martin Bancshares, Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiary, St. Martin Bank and Trust Company.

Barras has served on the board of directors for 30 years, having been first elected in 1978.

He has been engaged in the heavy equipment and farming business since 1962, serving as an executive officer in numerous companies including Emile Barras, Inc., Barras & Durand, Inc., B & D Materials, LLC, and Clearwater Crawfish, Inc.

Paul A. Durand, president and CEO of St. Martin Bank and Trust Company, cited the enormous contributions made by Barras to the success of the bank through the years. Durand said Barras is well regarded and highly respected not only in the St. Martin Parish business community but throughout the Acadiana area.

In a related matter, the board elevated Larry J. Comeaux to chairman emeritus. Comeaux started his banking career with St. Martin Bank and Trust Company in October 1951, and during a 51 year tenure held the positions of cashier, trust officer, executive vice president, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board.

Comeaux holds banking degrees from the American Institute of Banking at the University of Louisiana – Lafayette, the Graduate School of Banking of the South at L.S.U. and the Harvard Business School.

He retired as CEO of St. Martin Bank and Trust Company in December 2002 and has since continued as a member of the board of directors.

Comeaux’s accomplishments and contributions to the success of St. Martin Bank and Trust Company are numerous, Durand said. Most notable, according to Durand, are his efforts to expand the bank’s trade area into the Lafayette market, the conversion of the bank from a “C” corporation to Sub-Chapter “S” status, and the mentoring of most of the current members of the bank’s management team.

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