45 Years: Creativity, Innovation, Growth + Resiliency
This June AOS proudly celebrated our 45thth anniversary! A great and rare achievement, we’re thrilled to share this milestone with our team, clients and the community. From the beginning, we have committed ourselves to developing strong, lasting relationships, and as a family owned business, these connections have formed the foundation of our company. Gene Russ first started AOS in 1976 as a specialty firm that designed and installed filing and storage systems. Keeping the spirit, let’s travel back to 1976 see what was happening around the world, the country and New Orleans.
AOS Interior Environments, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Archicture and Design, Contract Furniture, Manufactured Interior Construction, Storage Solutions, Installation and Service, DIRTT, Knoll, Spacesaver, Downtown Development
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45 Years: Creativity, Innovation, Growth + Resiliency

This June AOS proudly celebrated our 45thth anniversary! A great and rare achievement, we’re thrilled to share this milestone with our team, clients and the community. From the beginning, we have committed ourselves to developing strong, lasting relationships, and as a family owned business, these connections have formed the foundation of our company. Gene Russ first started AOS in 1976 as a specialty firm that designed and installed filing and storage systems. Keeping the spirit, let’s travel back to 1976 see what was happening around the world, the country and New Orleans.

While nations around the world are preparing for the 2021 Summer Olympics, in 1976 viewers had two seasons of Olympic Games to look forward to—both the Summer and Winter Olympics occurred within a six-month time frame. First, the Winter Games were held from February 4th – 15th in Innsbruck, Austria. In 1976, ice dancing debuted as a full medal discipline, and in figure skating, nineteen-year old American Terry Kubicka performed the first  backflip during his free skate performance. This would also be the last legal one as this dangerous move was banned a few months later. The 1976 Summer Games were later held from July 17th – 31st in Montreal, Canada. Fourteen-year-old gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania was awarded the first-ever perfect score of 10.0 for her performance on the uneven bars. At the end of the competition, the United States of America earned the second most medals behind the Soviet Union with a total of 94—34 gold, 35 silver and 25 bronze.

The USA was also celebrating its bicentennial, a highly anticipated event that was much discussed in the prior years. Of course, New Orleans, had many activities planned for the occasion. Renowned for its love of partying, the city was elaborately celebrating with food and drinks. In an article published on July 4, 1976, The New York Times wrote, “This polygot town sees the 200th birthday of the United States Republic not so much as a patriotic event as an excuse to party.” Locals celebrated with events in the French Quarter, on their porches, at neighborhood bars and at their country retreats. The city also hosted a parade and three concerts. The two day celebration was then followed by an 11-day commemoration of the city’s French origins with the France‐Louisiana Festival.

The Moon Walk, a pedestrian walkway along the Mississippi River, was finished in 1976 as well. Named after Moon Landrieu, who was currently serving as the Mayor of New Orleans, the Moon Walk was a one-mile stretch built across from Jackson Square and completed for $216,000. This spearheaded further development along the river, and it was later extended to the French Market and Woldenberg Park.

Further down on Poydras Street, the Spanish Plaza was also dedicated to the city of New Orleans by the country of Spain to commemorate their historical ties. Today the  Spanish Plaza is adjacent to the outlets at the Riverwalk and the soon-to-open Four Seasons Hotel, located in the historic World Trade Center building. Originally known as Eads Plaza, the square was first intended to memorialize the engineer who improved the navigability of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Meanwhile, at AOS, Dale Castro and Gene Milloit started working for the company while Shelby Russ, Jr. graduated from O. Perry Walk High School and entered LSU in Baton Rouge. When Shelby took the helm from his father as President and CEO, he set his sights on diversifying AOS’ solutions and services to include commercial furnishings, warehousing installation and manufactured interior construction. Under his leadership, AOS has experienced largest growth to date and has named one of the fastest growing companies in the New Orleans area in terms of revenue, one of the top 50 Best Places to Work and one of the Top 50 Private Companies in New Orleans.

Of course, none of this would be accomplished without the dedication and loyalty of our hardworking team. We consider our employees to be our greatest accomplishment as a company. Each one of these uniquely talented individuals brings value to our clients through passion, creativity and collaboration to building beautiful and productive environments.

We are very lucky to have so many employees that have been with over the years and would like to recognize the following team members and their AOS anniversaries this year. Scroll to see more pictures of AOS through the decades!

1 – 5 Years

  • Rebecca Hays – 1 year
  • Aleixs Miranne – 2 years
  • Christopher Rodriguez – 2 years
  • Dwayne Smith – 2 years
  • Edgar Reyes – 2 years
  • Hannah Hinson – 2 years
  • Hillary Heidingsfelder – 2 years
  • Jacques Lemaire – 2 years
  • Juan Monjaraz – 2 years
  • Kayla Brown – 2 years
  • Michael Curren – 2 years
  • Monroe Wilson III – 2 years
  • Sadie Hocke – 2 years
  • Vincent Terrick – 2 years
  • Zac Russ – 2 years
  • Alexandra DeLee – 3 years
  • Bryant Clark – 3 years
  • Dave Terrick – 3 years
  • Jamie Langridge – 3 years
  • James Scott – 3 years
  • Jimmy Arceneaux – 3 years
  • Mark Duros – 3 years
  • Sean Chaney – 3 years
  • Trip Russ -3 years
  • Adrienne Tregre – 4 years
  • Abraham Ramirez – 4 years
  • Brian Dahms – 4 years
  • Eve Arnold – 4 years
  • Ivis Fernandez – 4 years
  • Matt Popiwchak – 4 years
  • Nick Galassi – 4 years
  • Pat Bruders – 4 years
  • Jeremy Meadows – 5 years
  • Rob Leggett – 5 years

6 – 10 Years

  • David Jaynes – 6 years
  • Jacqueline Hemphill – 6 years
  • Jay Prestenbach – 6 years
  • Ray Prestenbach – 6 years
  • Caroline Hayes – 7 years
  • Matthew Rome – 7 years
  • Rebecca Spustek – 8 years
  • Clarence Oatis – 9 years
  • Donna Tregre – 9 years
  • Josh Tokar – 9 years
  • Rebecca Cooley – 9 years
  • Caroline Russ – 10 years
  • Darrhyl Dillon – 10 years
  • Joe Cabibi – 10 years
  • Rodney Milloit – 10 years

11 – 15 Years

  • Aaron Fortenberry – 11 years
  • Bob McCarron – 11 years
  • Donald Fortenberry – 11 years
  • Robert Breaux – 12 years
  • Shane Gorrondona – 12 years
  • Sean Loman – 13 years
  • Suzanne Dumez – 13 years
  • Rochelle Oatis – 14 years
  • Rose Vinci – 14 years
  • Aimee McSpaddin – 15 years
  • Sabine Brebach – 15 years
  • Truly Smith – 15 years

16+ Years

  • Jill Musgrove – 17 years
  • JoAnn Korejo – 17 years
  • Stephanie Ricord – 18 years
  • Brandon Beyl – 19 years
  • Dave Porter – 19 years
  • Monica Eady – 19 years
  • Mitch Valley – 22 years
  • Mel Faucheux – 23 years
  • Bud Breaux – 25 years
  • Jim Harrell – 26 years
  • Angelle Verges – 27 years
  • Don White – 33 years
  • Shelby Russ, Jr. – 41 years

While reflecting on the past 45 years, we are honored to continue to serve the design communities across Louisiana and Mississippi. While the past year has brought many unprecedented challenges, we look forward to more opportunities to come together, lift one another up and make a positive impact on our communities.

Sources

The New York Times. “New Orleans Enjoying Spirits of ’76.” Published June 4, 1976. Accessed June 30, 2021.

The Times-Picayune. “300 Unique New Orleans Moments: Moon Walk Completed in 1976.” Published December 14, 2017. Accessed June 30, 2021.

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