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Gil Stroud, longtime Georges Enterprises executive, dies at 70

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W. Gilbert Stroud Jr., chief financial officer of Georges Media Group and longtime Georges Enterprises executive, died Sunday. He was 70.

Stroud earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. He began his career as a certified public accountant in 1968 with Arthur Andersen & Co., where he worked with major corporate accounts in southeast Louisiana, including many oil and gas companies. Later, he worked as vice president of finance and operations for William B. Reilly & Co. and Standard Coffee Company.

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In 1991, Stroud joined Imperial Trading Co., where he played a key role in a number of acquisitions that brought the company from $150 million in annual revenue to over $1 billion.

Stroud was instrumental, as the key financial officer for Georges Enterprises, in making investments in various industries. Most notably, he put together the business acquisition for Dathel and John Georges to buy The Advocate in 2013. Stroud was an outspoken fan of daily newspapers and a key supporter of the Georges family launch into the business.

“Our companies would not be what they are today without Gil Stroud’s contributions and having his hand in every complicated business deal over the last 25 years,” said John Georges. “Our business family will miss him tremendously.”

Within the Georges companies, Stroud stayed behind the scenes, helping younger managers.

“Gil’s true legacy is the people and talent he groomed, promoted and supported in his career. He encouraged continued education and was graceful in his management style that exemplified great character and credibility,” said Wayne M. Baquet Jr., who is president of Imperial Trading and of Georges Media Group.

Stroud was an avid sports fan, known especially for his love of baseball, fostered by listening to the St. Louis Cardinals on the radio in his hometown of Natchitoches.

Survivors include his wife of almost 50 years, Tina Stroud; a son, William G. Stroud III; a daughter and son-in-law, Susan and David Sewell; and two granddaughters, Abigail and Isabella.

Funeral services will be Thursday at Lake Lawn Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., when a Mass will be conducted. Burial will immediately follow at All Saints Mausoleum in Lake Lawn. In lieu of flowers, his family has requested donations be made to St. Patrick’s Church in New Orleans, Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in New Orleans, or the St. Joseph’s Benedictine Abbey in St. Benedictine, La.