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FAMILY BUSINESS It cannot be overstated what an important role family businesses play in the Baton Rouge economy. Studies have shown that family-owned businesses rank high in revenue and employment growth. Why? Most family businesses have a longerterm view of investment. They tend to be more stable than wings of national corporations, and they inspire more trust and commitment in their employees. Above all, our local family businesses form the roots of our community. We are proud to highlight the businesses local families have grown in this special section.

Louisiana Office Solutions Company Brown Claims Management Group Lyons Specialty Company The Salad Stations EATEL Business GOTECH Inc./Pointe-Marie Community Development Goss Advisors, LLC Dugas Pest Control W.C.K. Foundation Repair Louisiana Fish Fry Products Al Jones Architects Bridgeway Healthcare & Hospice Kleinpeter Kennedy Pool Service, LLC Louisiana Regenerative Medicine Center AMMON Staffing Capitol Partners Tiger Shredding and Recycling Martin Construction, Inc. Brian’s Furniture The Bug Man Rabenhorst Life Insurance Company Ethan Allen | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Louisiana Office Solutions Company Laurie Genius Chapple, Sidney Genius, Rodney Genius 225.927.1110 |

Founded in 1936 by the current managing owners’ uncles, Louisiana Office Supply Company’s focus was the sale of office products—from paper clips to filing cabinets and everything in between. As the decades marched on, much has changed. Now known as Louisiana Office Solutions Company, with three divisions, Office Supply (including school supplies), Furniture, and Janitorial & Facility Supply, LOSCO still provides the same great service, now with a much larger variety of merchandise.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Our No. 1 value is family first. Most of our employees have worked here for over 20 years,


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so we have all been through births, sicknesses and deaths of family members. Since we have known each other for so long, we ride the waves of joy and sorrow together. No. 2 is to treat our customers like we want to be treated ourselves. We have had some of the same customers for over 20 years as well. They have become our friends. This core value ensures that we always provide exemplary service and fair, stable prices.

HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? So many of the products we used to sell now show up on Facebook “do you remember these” posts—items such as list finders, diskettes (we love to show our college interns what the save button looks like in real life), columnar pads, lift-off tape and so on. As these items became obsolete and offices adopted more digital practices, we have adapted to stocking different office products, emphasizing our furniture department through an extensive line of items that are in-stock/available for immediate delivery as well as extensive custom-order availability. We’ve also added gift items, backpacks and school supplies, and branched out into janitorial and facility supplies. Back in 2000, we never would have thought that we would stock floor buffing pads and floor wax.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? Market changes. The early ’90s saw the advent of box stores and national contract office product dealers. As we lost business from the local offices of industrial plants that are headquartered across the country, we expanded our delivery area and replaced the sales with locally owned companies. Now, as some corporate business has shifted to internet sales, we have responded with a more userfriendly website, attention to customer service that we can provide locally, and shifted more advertising funds to keeping the website content current.

HOW MANY FAMILY MEMBERS CURRENTLY WORK IN THE BUSINESS? We just have three Geniuses, but most of our staff is related to someone. We have three sets of sisters, a mother/daughter, father/son, grandmother/grandchildren, two sets of husband/wife and numerous cousins. After working together so long, our staff is close knit like one big happy family. 

DO YOU OFFER FREE DELIVERY? Yes. We no longer deliver by bicycle, but it is still quick and free.



Brown Claims Management Group

Rodney Magee (VP/Claims Manager), Mary Katherine Brown (Business Development Director) and Stephen Brown (Owner/President) 225.924.5210 |

The business was started in 1967 by Pat S. Brown, who had a desire to transition away from the national company for which he was employed in order to go into business for himself. The company provides independent property and casualty claims adjusting and claims administration services to insurance companies and selfinsured businesses, associations and governmental entities.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? Among the biggest challenges faced by our business was the introduction of automation and technology into the insurance claims field, which is an industry that like many others had historically been a person-to-person and pen-to-paper industry that moved at the speed of regular mail and now has evolved into an email-to-email industry moving in real time. We

have strived to meet this challenge by insisting that our new team members come to us with a certain minimal level of computer skills and that our current staff improve these skills. This coincides with one of our other challenges ... namely, getting young people to consider a career in insurance claims and risk management. We have addressed this by constantly looking for new talent and promoting our industry to others wherever we go.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL MISSION? HOW HAS IT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? Our family insurance claims business is celebrating its 50th year in business in 2017, and so while our values and principles have remained basically the same, the means by which we uphold them have changed. This company was built on the countless hours that our father/grandfather, Pat Brown, put in during those early years. He was rarely at home, and when he was, he seemed to always be working in some capacity. But he also had the wisdom in later years to understand that succeeding generations in the business would need to find their own path to success, and he was patient as the second generation found ways to replace long hours with more efficient

workflows. Now into our third generation, the concept of work-life balance has become even more important to many on our team. They also want purpose to their work, and we try to remind them and ourselves that assisting in bringing some kind of resolution to situations where people have suffered a property loss or injury, or assisting a company to succeed in protecting its assets through effective claims management, is itself something of a purposeful reward.

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? As a family business, when we are all together, it seems that the conversation at some point always turns to work in one respect or another. So unfortunately the office is mentally never far away. Our claims manager and lifelong family friend, Rodney Magee, enjoys getting in his boat and going fishing offshore to relax. As for the Browns, when we really want to unplug, we do so in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where we vacation several times a year. There is nothing like waking up in the morning and looking out your window to a view of the majestic Teton mountain range to make you forget all about the craziness that may be going on back at the office. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Lyons Specialty Company

Matthew Raetzsch, Wilson Raetzsch, Hugh Raetzsch Jr., Jane Dunlap, Nicholas Raetzsch and Betsy Raetzsch 225.356.1319 |

Lyons Specialty Co. began in a small office behind the garage at the home of Hugh Raetzsch Jr.’s grandfather, William E. Davis, where the only item he kept in inventory was a 10-cent pecan roll. Over the years, the company’s inventory and operation facilities have expanded beyond that simple confectionary to provide a full range of products and services for the convenience store and food service industry. After taking the reins from his mother, Jane Dunlap, Raetzsch has strived to sustain the legacy his family put into place while building and growing the company. Lyons Specialty Co. is now a wholesale grocery distributor specializing in convenience stores and small grocery stores. Over the years, the product line and territory have continued to expand. In addition to what you normally see in a convenience store, its product mix now includes fresh and frozen food, and its service area covers not only all of Louisiana, but also Mississippi and Arkansas. 176

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HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? Working with family can be very rewarding. I had the opportunity to work closely with my grandfather up until his death at the age of 96 and still share the business successes with my mother today. Although at times the relationship between family and business can be difficult, as long as you openly communicate, respect each other, and all work hard to make the business successful, those difficulties can be worked through. In 1945, when my grandfather started his business, I doubt he could have imagined the positive impact that small business in the garage behind his house would have had on so many members of his family.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR COMPANY FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT? Very simple, yet hard to achieve. The older generation must be willing to let the business go and begin the transition and, most importantly, you need

a plan. The plan should be in place far in advance and all family members involved should understand clearly the expectations. Obtaining outside help from someone who specializes in estate planning is very important. We certainly wouldn’t be where we are today without that outside help. We transitioned from the second generation to the third at the end of 2012, and today I already have the beginning plans in place to transition to the fourth generation. For younger generations a family business is simply an opportunity. You will get out of it what you put into it.

WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON? We are constantly looking at ways we can successfully grow our business. Last month construction began on the expansion of our warehouse and office space in Port Allen. We are adding 55,000 square feet of warehouse space which includes 15,000 square feet of freezer and refrigerator space and a cold dock for shipping and receiving. We are also expanding our office space by adding a 7,000-square-foot building that includes a large training center and test kitchen.



The Salad Stations

Scott, Cindy, Ronny, Amy and Justin Henderson 985.345.7253 |

The first Salad Station was opened in June 2012 in Hammond by Cindy Henderson and her son Scott as an extension of the other family businesses, principally farming. To the Hendersons, farming is a way of life. Growing up a part of a five-generation family farm, the food industry is all they know. The Salad Station concept was developed by Cindy and Scott, who wanted to design a place where guests could come and create their own meal using the freshest ingredients available. “We wanted a clean atmosphere and to overwhelm our guests with product and service,” Scott says. Primary family businesses remain farming, retail and restaurants.

WHAT VALUES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESSES? The values that guide our daily business operations were instilled in us by our grandfather, Joe Liuzza. He taught us the meaning of sacrifice and hard work. In everything we do, both big and small, we do it with all our heart.

WHAT MAKES THE SALAD STATION UNIQUE? Excellent customer service, family + farming atmosphere, overwhelming selection of over 150 fresh ingredients, and the pay-by-the-pound concept give our guests complete control of their visit. We pride ourselves on the fun and fresh experience our guests have when visiting our stores. Our guests love the fact that they are paying for exactly what they created. Every ingredient on their plate was placed with a purpose.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER LIUZZA-HENDERSON BUSINESSES? Liuzza Produce Farm is a fifth-generation farm. Led by the hard work of Anthony Liuzza and his two sons, the farm now sits on 500 acres and holds the proud title of the largest strawberry and vegetable farm in the state of Louisiana. As an extension of the farm, Liuzza

Land and The Berry Barn were created, offering tourist attractions and venues for experiencing life at Liuzza Produce Farms. From the farm came a retail market, Berry Town Produce—a place where the community comes to buy farm-fresh products and much more. In the two produce markets in Hammond and Ponchatoula, you can find a wide variety of products, including, seafood, custom gift baskets, homemade meals to go, pottery, fudge and more. Ten years ago we opened Buddies Bar & Grill in Hammond. It is now an award-winning steakhouse that seats more than 200 guests and serves as a beautiful venue for parties and corporate events. Buddies has extended its services, now offering onsite catering.

WHAT’S ON THE FIVE-YEAR HORIZON FOR THE SALAD STATIONS? With several locations already opened since 2012, The Salad Station is expanding rapidly. We have a franchise opening soon in Denham Springs and another under construction in Slidell. We are looking forward to partnering with hard-working franchisees to open stores throughout Louisiana and beyond. Franchise opportunities are available now. Email us at | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




EATEL Business

Albert Banker Jr., Gerson Finkelstein, Anona Banker, Arthur Scanlan, John Scanlan, Albert Banker Sr. and Fred Norris Banker

The original owners helped pioneer a promising new technology. It all began with the Communications Act of 1934, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, which made commercial radio and telephone broadcasting legal for commercial consumption for the first time. This led Anona Banker to make a $1 purchase of the region’s first “loop”—four crank telephones hooked up to a wire loop through Gonzales, French Settlement, Darrow and Geismar. Today, EATEL Business is a Louisiana-based provider of data-center solutions, telecommunications and managed IT services. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? One of the largest early challenges was the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Act made it


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legal for small providers to start selling longdistance services—which before was a right reserved only for monopolistic companies. Consequently, it also opened the door for out-of-state competition. Soon, deep-pocketed competitors started moving in on EATEL territory, and the company had to compete on a national scale. Another industry challenge is in the evolution of mobile and broadband services. Increasingly, people began to move away from traditional analog landline services, a core EATEL offering at one time. Customers now wanted high-speed internet available on any device, which led to EATEL establishing a reliable and resistant fiber-optic network. Navigating the transition involved tectonic strategy shifts and major capital investment.

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? Working with family is ideal for companies that need to adapt quickly. Ideas and decisions flow faster here; a critical advantage in today’s fast-moving world of technology. Another benefit to working at a family-owned company is long-term outlook on strategy. While many other businesses are mostly driven by quarterly earnings reports, we’re looking over the horizon at how best to serve our customers 10 or 20 years from now. We started this company in 1935 and plan to continue serving customers for decades to come.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL MISSION? We are staying true to the founding family’s original mission through service to customers as well as to our community. Two core values we reinforce in our employees are integrity and passion. We always strive to do the right thing, and constantly look for opportunities to create a better experience for those we serve. Community involvement has always been a priority for EATEL, especially since we’re so deeply rooted where we work. Some of our current projects include working with the March of Dimes; administering a teacher grant program called the Imagination Press Book Grant; and airing EATEL Channel 4, a television station dedicated solely to local events.

HOW HAS THE BUSINESS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? In the data-driven digital age, we’ve got tons of information at our disposal, and we’ve integrated data tightly into our mission. For example, one of the new core tenets we’ve been promoting internally includes, “Have fun and keep score.” We want our employees to challenge themselves using analytical objectives and measurable outcomes. This leads to work that is goal-oriented, satisfying to the employee, and valuable to our customers.



GOTECH, Inc. 225.766.5358 |

Pointe-Marie Community Development 225.769.8900 |

Randall Guillaume, Rhaoul Guillaume Jr., Rhaoul Guillaume Sr.

The Guillaume family is in business together—not just for one company, but two. GOTECH Inc., a professional engineering and consulting firm, started in 1981 with help from Harold Odom, a friend of Rhaoul Guillaume Sr.’s father-in-law, Harvey Honore Sr. Pointe-Marie Community Development launched in 2012 with the Guillaume Family’s purchase of 120 acres of land on River Road. Rhaoul Guillaume Sr. shares the story of both companies.

WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY PRODUCT OR SERVICE? GOTECH, Inc.: Civil engineering services include design, surveying, program management, construction engineering and inspection services. Pointe-Marie Community Development: This development comprises residential neighborhoods, a motor coach resort, shopping, dining, entertainment, sports, lodging, work, health and wellness, learning, and good times—carefully crafted into a one-of-a-kind combination to bring out the heart in each.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? I would like to pass on to family, friends, co-workers, and employees the importance of having values of honesty, integrity, humility, fairness, and generosity in business. Also, having an outstanding work ethic in order to handle whatever situation comes your way with patience and compassion. Other heartfelt valuable lessons are treating people well, not cutting corners, getting things right the first time and doing right by family. We also know that we are only as good as the people around us, so treat every person who works with us with kindness and respect - like family. We know that when all the pieces come together right, there is nothing like it. We do not know how to do things halfway; we’re either all in or not at all.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? GOTECH, Inc.: The early years were a struggle, with two mortgages plus a business loan at a time when interest rates were absurdly high in the early ’80s. But our lender was patient, and with help from the Small Business Administration and small-business initiatives by the Army Corps of Engineers, things started to turn around. Pointe-Marie Community Development: Putting together the right team of people who bring ideas and knowledge to help us form

strong and thoughtful foundations for PointeMarie—its planning, architecture, character and sense of community—in a way that breathes life into this one-of-a-kind place. Then working closely with them to create a village that speaks to residents, guests and visitors in a way that this area has not seen or felt before.

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? We gather frequently on Sundays, holidays, birthdays and other special family events throughout the year. We enjoy being together as a family, including the in-laws, and especially with our grandkids. We often relax with an annual family trip and have been places such as Disney World, to the beach towns along 30A, along with The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, and cruises.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR COMPANY FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT? All I have ever asked for is the opportunity to prove myself and my company, and I relish providing similar opportunities to my sons. My sons honor the notion of “family business,” respecting my leadership and still admiring me as a father. My sons know their good work will reflect well on me, our family, the city and the region for generations. I want to create a solid foundation for my sons as partners intimately involved in every detail of Pointe-Marie. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Goss Advisors, LLC Devera, Jerry, Alex and Lacey Goss 225.930.4677 |

Jerry happily spent the first 25-plus years of his investment career at AG Edwards. Unfortunately for Jerry, it was purchased by a bank that sold to another large bank following the 2008 crisis. Jerry and Alex found themselves working for a company they didn’t choose to work for, and wanted to explore other options for their clients. So in 2014, they left and created their own RIA firm with securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. They provide investment services to families and businesses in the South through a network of over 30 independent financial advisors. Their firm provides investment and compliance services to these advisors, helping them spend more time servicing their clients. In 2017, GWM Advisors (AKA Goss Advisors, Inc.) was ranked by the Financial Times as a top 300 RIA by size and growth in the U.S.* *Based on assets under management (AUM), AUM growth rate, years in existence, advanced industry credentials of the firm’s advisers, online accessibility, and compliance records. Devera and Lacey are not affiliated with Goss Advisors, Inc.


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The same principle that has guided Jerry’s practice since he started in investment services in 1980: always put your clients’ needs first. If you center all you do around that, everything else seems to fall in place.

It’s a blast! We work really well together, and it’s fun sharing in successes as business partners and as a father and son. We team up and collaborate on our growth strategies and work together to help our clients with their financial needs. It’s also nice to know you have someone you trust taking care of things when you’re away from the office. We wouldn’t have it any other way. It goes without saying, we couldn’t do any of it without the emotional support we get from wife/ mom Devera and Alex’s wife Lacey.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? The 2008 financial crisis changed the investing world as we know it. After 2008, we saw most of the regional firms (like AG Edwards, where Jerry began his career) gobbled up by the surviving large banks and financial institutions. We wanted to make sure our clients had their investments with a firm that focused on investments— not banking products and other competing and often conflicting business divisions. It took a lot of research and a lot of disruption, but making the decision to leave and start our own firm was the best decision we could have made for our clients.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL MISSION? HOW HAS IT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? The original mission really hasn’t changed. Jerry started his career putting his clients’ interests first. Now we run a firm that makes the clients’ needs the center of everything it does. We believe it’s this mission that has attracted both clients and advisors to our firm.



Dugas Pest Control Laura Simpson and Jeremy Clark 888.606.9282 |

In 1956, Dr. A.L. Dugas, a professor of entomology at LSU, began a pest control company to serve the many people who always asked his advice about bugs. Doug MacPherson, himself an entomologist, bought the company in 1971 and continued the legacy of educating the community about the best practices in pest control. Dugas has been a family business since then; Doug’s daughter, Laura Simpson, joined the company in 1979 and is now owner and president, while her son Jeremy serves as general manager. The company’s service area has continued to expand and now covers south Louisiana from Lake Charles to St. Tammany Parish and New Orleans. Laura shares the company’s story.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? We have a list that we call our Points of Culture. This list embodies the values and principles we live by and expect everyone on our team to live and work by as well. We keep this list posted on the wall in our office. The first and most important of these is “integrity.” This word really says it all. If you truly have integrity the other important values all fall into place. My father worked hard to earn a great reputation in our community and it is extremely important to both Jeremy and myself to continue this important legacy. Being fair and honest to both our customers and our team members is of the utmost importance.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR COMPANY FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT? Transitioning from one generation to the next is one of the hardest things any family business has to do. We have done it successfully once and are about to do it again. It takes a tremendous amount of trust, and I believe it just takes the right relationship. With my father and myself, he was willing to let go and step aside to let me run the business. As the one now handing the business down to the

next generation, I have a tremendous amount of trust that my son will continue the legacy we have built. I believe he is capable partly because of his own intelligence and personality, and also because of the training he has received and examples he has seen from my dad, myself, our business coach Dan Zimanski and from many mentors in the industry.

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? Working in a family business, it is even more important to respect your family that you work with. You must trust them, but also, you must not be afraid to hold them accountable. The accountability is something I constantly struggle with because as a wife and mother I always want to give my son or my husband the benefit of the doubt. However, what I have learned is that the team as a whole will suffer if everyone is not doing what they are supposed to do.

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? We like to relax at home on the weekends, around the pool, often all of us together. We also enjoy traveling together to industry events several times a year all around the country. We usually try to add a few days to these trips for relaxing and/or sightseeing together. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




W.C.K. Foundation Repair

Jacob Wall, Mike Wall, Beth Wall, and Katie (Wall) Bushnell 225.664.5956 |

Mike Wall’s cousin, W. Chuck Kraleman, actually started W.C.K. in Dallas in 1983. He repaired foundations there under engineers’ supervision until 1995. He sold the Dallas business and moved to Baton Rouge, where he started the current rendition of W.C.K. By 1999, Kraleman wanted to move back to Dallas, so Mike went to work with him, receiving about two and a half years of training before buying the business in 2002. Mike has been running and building up W.C.K. since then as the sole owner. Its primary service is foundation repair for residential and small commercial buildings. Mike shares the story of W.C.K.


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WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? My main objective in life is to live as closely as possible by biblical principles—and to set a good example for my children and other young ones who I have close association with. I try to always put my whole heart into everything I do. If we do our very best to do the right thing in everything we do, we always win no matter what. I also believe that we should try to help people in our community as best we can.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? Foundation repair is probably one of the most complicated businesses in Louisiana. Most parts of the world have rock fairly close to ground level. Here there is no rock for over 3,000 feet. Changes in moisture content in the soil drastically effect the way our soil behaves. The way houses move can also be a challenge to correct and stabilize. When I bought this business there was no state license for foundation repair; I had to get a supervisor at the Louisiana State Licensing Bureau to help me get a license. Since then I have been work-

ing as closely as possible with local engineers to improve this industry in the greater Baton Rouge area. At first the engineers did not want to work with me, but over the years we have worked hard to earn the respect of the entire community. We all prove by our actions who we really are and what we stand for in life. That takes time to establish, but that dedication to excellence never changes. We always must give attention to little, seemingly unimportant details as well as to the very large and important things.

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? Our loving creator made us to share our lives with our families. Jacob was about 12 when I bought this business. I let him work with me when he wasn’t in school. Jacob and I worked very hard, side by side, for years in some very harsh conditions. Although I’ve been able to grow this business now enough to avoid the hard labor, I still am as active as possible in it. We typically hire very young workers, and our key employees set a great example in training them to be hard working and successful in life. To see my children and those who work with us embrace the qualities necessary to be successful and productive adults brings me great joy.



Louisiana Fish Fry Products Bill Pizzolato

800.356.2905 |

In 1982, Tony Pizzolato began giving customers his secret blend of corn meal and spices as a little “lagniappe” when they purchased live catfish. Soon, demand grew so great, a new business, Louisiana Fish Fry Products was born! The company now offers batters and coatings, entrées, seafood boils, and sauces from original Louisiana Cajun recipes that are easy to use, versatile and flavorful. HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL MISSION? HOW HAS IT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? Yes and no. We have remained true to our objective to provide authentic Louisiana flavors and products to everyone who wanted to enjoy them no matter where they lived. We have spent over 30 years exporting the true taste of Louisiana, gaining distribution with retailers in every market in the country. We are fortunate that

today consumers can buy our products in over 80% of the United States, while many brands we compete against remain local or regional. Meanwhile, the list of changes is very long. With the ever-increasing demands and cost of doing business with distributors and retailers nationally, we could not possibly start up in today’s environment and get to the same business results we enjoy today. The changes in the consumer packaged goods industry are many. Some are consumer driven, such as where they shop, what they consume, shifts to healthier eating, and purchasing trends migrating to online sales. Some are retailer driven, like being forced to work off of squeezed margins, the rising overall cost of operations, new label regulations and the ever-shifting buying, consolidation, and selling of retailers, both large and small.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? With success come the challenges of keeping up with growth and recognizing what is real growth versus temporary seasonal gains in business. As we rolled out nationally, we became challenged with how to keep up with growing our raw materials inventory, blending large enough batches to not hold up the production line, and designating enough ware-

house space to hold monthly inventory to fulfill 100% of orders on time, all the while juggling efficiency and cost control. Our biggest challenge came over the last two years with what we had to do to meet our commitment to be a top tier food safe manufacturing facility; we accomplished that last November by achieving BRC Certification, an internationally recognized mark of food quality and safety.   


Louisiana Fish Fry Products offers our customers a high-quality, flavorful product at a fair price. This sounds simple but it’s not. It forces everyone on our team to negotiate harder, buy smarter, and constantly look for ways to manufacture our products more efficiently.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS? That the word “family” incorporates a lot of people besides the obvious. Louisiana Fish Fry Products is blessed with a lot of loyal and talented people who take the phrase “Family Owned and Operated” VERY seriously. I consider these folks part of our extended family and a key part of our success. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Al Jones Architects

John Jones, Al Jones, Tim Landry, Ben Jones 225.925.0123 |

Al Jones got his start as an architect in 1966, working as an intern for A. Hays Town Architect until he received his architectural licenses in 1970. Three years later, with Town’s blessing—and a line of credit from Fidelity Bank—Al started his own practice. Today, Al Jones Architects designs custom homes across the Southeast and Southwest, with clients from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Antonio, Texas, with projects in Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Colorado and as far north as Virginia. Al shares the story of the firm he founded. WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY SERVICE? From an initial meeting with the client, we develop a thorough list of requirements, talk about what style seems to match their desires, and develop the site plan and a hand-colored rendering as a preliminary design. We secure for the owner and incorporate in the design reclaimed materials, old brick, old pine flooring,


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old pine beams, and products from Europe. The goal is a new modern house with the newest technology, but with a sense of history and timeless beauty. Once the plans and specification are completed we help the owner secure the contractor and sign a contract, assist with any cost adjustments, make periodic job visits and remain available throughout the construction cycle. We like to say, “We are in from first meeting until the client moves in.”

WHAT FAMILY MEMBERS ARE INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS? Two sons—John Jones and Ben Jones—and son-in-law Tim Landry.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? We love what we do. To us, it is not work. We believe in quality and strive to maintain timeless value in all we do. We want our clients to see us as a team leader, entrusted to design and achieve their dreams with function and beauty. Our desire is to design a house that makes them smile each time they drive up their driveway. We are a Christian-run business and we promote builders we know are honest and trustworthy.

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? It is amazing that we all really get along. My sons and I have always had a respect for

each other, enjoyed doing things together, even when they were teenagers. We have tried to maintain that respect and appreciation of each other in business. Sometimes that is the “lifeline” that keeps a negative situation from sinking us. For me it is having voices around me that I can completely trust and know they have the best interest for the client and the success of the project as well as success of the firm.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL MISSION? From the beginning, this has been a very personal business. We deal with client’s emotions, financial commitment, personalities, and concerns. While we can’t achieve perfection, we work hard at getting as close as we can. Our mission is to design and see our homes built with style, longevity and appeal, and owners that become friends.



We go to Destin as a family quite often. This always involves cooking, grilling, and boiling. All of us men love to cook and our happiest time is family gatherings, ten adults, and eleven grandchildren hanging out together for any occasion.



Bridgeway Healthcare & Hospice

Bob McBride, Parker McBride, Megan Smith, Greg Cotten Mackenzie McBride, Dana McBride, Bobbie Cotten, Hannah McBride 225.753.1495 | WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY SERVICE?

About 15 years ago, Dana McBride decided to make a career change from acute care. She went to work for a national hospice company that was establishing a presence in Baton Rouge. Hospice quickly became her passion. “To me, dying with dignity and comfort is just as important in the circle of life as the birth of a new born,” McBride says. “Hospice has changed my life and my outlook on life. Five years ago, she opened her own care agency: Bridgeway Healthcare & Hospice. The CEO and her partner, Bobbie Cotten, worked diligently to make it a success and two short years later, they expanded into the Lafayette region, where McBride’s husband, Bob, is the administrator. We asked McBride to share her journey.

We pride ourselves as specialists in end of life care. Therefore, our focus is to provide comfort and assist the patient and their family in making the most out of what little time remains. To do this well, it takes focus and unbridled compassion. We have a saying at Bridgeway Hospice: “You don’t get do-overs in hospice, so let’s get it right the first time.” I believe this level of excellence exemplifies who we are and the type of company we are today.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Being locally owned and operated, we are unwilling to lose touch with that family feel. Employees are an important value to the care we provide. We share each other’s victories and struggles, and pass our love for each other on to the families we service. With that being said, we hold each other accountable to advance in personal growth areas, to become people of strong character and integrity.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Bob and I both grew up in very modest households. We worked hard for all we have. In retrospect, it has contributed greatly to our

appreciation for the achievements. We always hoped to someday own a business. About 10 years into my hospice career I realized I could manage the outcome of our patient’s end of life experience by offering these services and quality care. In 2012, we emptied our investments and opened our first program. With three teenagers and college approaching, it was a very risky time for us to do this. Through a lot of prayer, sacrifice and the support from my partners, Bob and Bobbie, we made it, and here we are today with goals and aspiration to continue the growth of Bridgeway Hospice into other market areas, specifically Lake Charles and some of the more southern parishes of the state.

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? For our kids, I hope they would say it teaches them work ethic, character, and the value of cherishing every moment of your life. To always keep your life challenges in perspective, because often times it could be worse. A career in hospice care will definitely help put life’s challenges in perspective. The biggest challenge of working with family and the remainder of our leadership team was in the initial years. We all made adjustments and sacrifices, and found ways to best contribute to our endeavor. It seems now that we have all “found our lane.” | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Kleinpeter Kennedy Pool Service LLC Jeff Kleinpeter, Debbie Kleinpeter, Taylor Kleinpeter, Tommy Kennedy 225.933.7089 |

In July 2015, Tommy Kennedy and Jeff Kleinpeter repaired a pool leak for Jeff’s dad, Ben Kleinpeter, underneath his brick pool deck. Little did they know that moment would launch a successful venture. Before they finished the job, two fellow pool owners in Ben Kleinpeter’s neighborhood requested similar help. And business has been nonstop since. Kleinpeter Kennedy Pool Service provides weekly commercial and residential pool cleaning services; leak detection and repair; pool restoration; lighting and automation upgrades— including iPhone controls; heater installations; pumps and motors; robotic cleaners; automated vinyl pool leak detection and repair; and plaster and deck restoration. Pool inspections for home buyers is a fast-growing business sector. We asked Jeff to share their story.


BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017 |

WHAT FAMILY MEMBERS ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN THE COMPANY? Tommy Kennedy, Service Manager, who is engaged to Taylor Kleinpeter; Taylor Kleinpeter, who does our invoicing and pool inspections; Debbie, who handles taking care of me and often rides with me to share the joy of this opportunity. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to guide this fabulous team of family, which includes eight guys who are family to us as well.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Our values include: • Nearly instantaneous customer response time • Great customer service • We show up when we say we will show up • Outstanding knowledge of the pool industry • No contracts. We still shake hands and we keep our word. • Respectful of our clients’ property • We leave it better than we found it • We get you to “love your pool again” or no charge

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? I spent several years as the president of Kleinpeter Dairy, where I was involved in

various aspects of the business. When it was time to retire, I was in a panic, thinking, “What on earth am I going to do all day?” About that time, my dad called Tommy and me to fix a leak in his pool. I am mechanically inclined. I repaired a lot of dairy equipment myself and I like solving mechanical “puzzles.” By the time we finished my dad’s pool, we had two more requests for similar repairs from his neighbors. I looked at my soon-to-be son-in-law, Tommy, and said, “I think we’re in the pool business.”

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? We truly love working together. It’s fun, and it’s rewarding to service over 170 regular clients each week. Tommy handles the weekly clients and the service team, I guide the repair team daily, and Taylor handles all invoicing and pool inspections. We all have each other’s back, and that’s so critical to the success of any business.

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? We love to relax together on our party barge at Belle River. We try to limit shop talk, but even when it comes up, it’s all good because we discuss opportunities, which is how we look at every aspect of our business. It’s amazing to get thank you notes with checks every day. We must be doing something right!



Louisiana Regenerative Medicine Center Boyd Houston Robert

225.716.9100 |

Louisiana Regenerative Medicine Center got its start one weekend at the horse races. There, Boyd Robert, the owner of a cattle brokerage company, shared with his friend John Roques, the president of Manson Gulf, the story of a rancher in Kansas with whom he had visited at the National Cattlemen’s Association Convention. The rancher was John Farley and his story of seeking stem cell treatment for debilitating knee problems fascinated Robert, who had known of Farley’s previous struggles with his knees. Following Farley’s successful treatment, he was so impressed with his results that he opened a stem cell clinic in Manhattan, Kansas. In telling his friend about Farley’s remarkable recovery and the stem cell treatment he had received, Roques became as interested as Robert in learning about the healing properties of stem cells. The two decided to travel to Kansas to seek their answers. Robert and Roques were so impressed by the process, the conviction of the team at Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center, and the success stories of their patients, that they approached them about forming a partnership and bringing a similar clinic to Louisiana.

WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY PRODUCT OR SERVICE? We provide adipose-derived adult stem cell therapy. Stem cells are your body’s natural healing cells, so they can treat a wide range of debilitating conditions. They are most commonly used for treatment of joint pain from arthritis, but have shown great promise in treating everything from autoimmune diseases to cardiac, pulmonary and neurological diseases. LRMC is the only clinic in the state doing direct injections of stem cells into the spine for treatment of back and neck conditions.

patients an honest assessment of their potential success, as well as excellent treatment with stem cell therapy.



The business is new and the procedure is new. The main challenge is educating the public about adult stem cell therapy and presenting it as an option for pain. Naturally, people turn away from things they aren’t familiar with. That is why we are dedicated to educating individuals on the potential healing properties of adult stem cell regenerative medicine and making treatment options available to those suffering from inflammatory and degenerative conditions.

Boyd Robert and John Roques, the two friends bringing LRMC to Louisiana, grew up like brothers in Burnside. John’s daughter, Elizabeth Roques, currently manages the office, while Boyd is the managing partner.


WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? There is nothing more important than a person’s health. As health care providers, we have a responsibility to offer

It takes a successful business model based upon principles that value the people that the business is serving, because at the end of the day businesses that don’t service their community are short-lived. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




AMMON Staffing Boyd Ammon, Rick Ammon 225.293.1171 |


While attending LSU, Rick Ammon worked with his mother, Alicia Ammon, at her personnel agency, General Placement Inc. He opened his own temporary help service, TEMP Staffers, in 1984. Since then, the business has evolved into direct hire, professional recruiting and personnel staffing. The name has changed to AMMON Staffing to reflect its comprehensive personnel services. AMMON can provide 200 people at a moment’s notice or recruit the hard-to-find professional talent. Rick shares the story of the family’s namesake firm.


BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017 |

Our primary service is providing companies with human resources. We have proven systems and recruiting techniques that find the best qualified talent available to companies. We provide temporary and long-term staffing services as well as professional recruiting and direct hire for career positions.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? We value personal relationships with our clients. We want to meet their staffing needs by providing the best personnel possible. That can only be accomplished through effective communication and really getting to know our clients. One of the most important principles of our company has always been to stay on the cutting edge of technology. This allows us to operate effectively as well as efficiently.


Working with family has been very rewarding. It creates an environment where past success and new ideas can be combined to move us into the future. Knowing it is your family, you work harder to reach a consensus on issues and

try to understand all perspectives, because at the end of the day we are still father and son. Nothing is more important than that.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS? Knowing that the relationship we have with one other is the most important thing, and practicing patience with each other is key. We both have great ideas, but being able to take time and listen to each other and value those ideas enables us to successfully propel our company into the future while maintaining a healthy relationship outside of the office.

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? Despite how busy everyone seems these days, we make time go to lunch together, have dinner with friends and family, and often look around to find that we are surrounded by those we love at an impromptu barbecue or tailgate. We take the time to celebrate birthdays and holidays together.



Capitol Partners

Shannon McCormick, Cheryl McCormick, Derrell Cohoon and Jesse McCormick 225.387.6783 |

Derrell Cohoon and Cheryl McCormick have been contract lobbyists for many years. They have been married for 14 years and offer more than 60 years of combined experience. Derrell was previously with LAGC and Cheryl was with Adams and Reese LLP. They went into private practice and began doing business as Capitol Partners in 2007. They recruited Cheryl’s son, Jesse, from his work with an industrial engineering firm in Alabama to meet the needs of business growth. Jesse’s wife Shannon keeps the financial house in order and directs relationships with other financial experts. Capitol Partners provides clients with governmental affairs representation and advocacy at state executive branch agencies and the State Legislature, as well as issue management, including social media campaigns. While they work primarily at the state level, they also have federal and local connections.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Integrity, reputation and trust, first and foremost, with the legislature and with clients. Establishing knowledge of our clients’ businesses and needs, and being able to succinctly explain to legislators and statewide elected officials the impact legislative agendas have on those needs.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? The changing political atmosphere in the Capitol along with the advent of term limits and changing demographics in the state. Like many businesses, our business is about people, so we work hard to maintain our legislative relationships with changes in districts, understanding districts and how those demographics underpin voting patterns of legislators.

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? The closely held family business model works really well for us. In the political arena of the Capitol, issues move and change

quickly and decision-making has to be just as quick. We can divide up responsibilities and shift on amendments and strategies more quickly, in our opinion, than some of our peers with large corporate structures. And we all know our client needs because we’re all participating with them in developing legislative or political strategies.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Wanting to expand into different issue interests, while at the same time retaining focus in our core area of expertise.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL MISSION? HOW HAS IT CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? The only way to build a client base and maintain and grow it is to demonstrate success and knowledge of issues and the legislative process. You can sell a client temporarily but to maintain their loyalty is something that has to be built and nurtured. All we have to sell is reputation, integrity, and expertise in the entire process and we’ve stayed true to that. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Tiger Shredding and Recycling

The Goodson family: Catie, Josh, Michael, Hunter, Mia and Matthew 225.303.0125 |

One guy in one truck, running routes during the day and shredding documents at night. That’s how Tiger Shredding got its start back in 2008 as a side service for a copy machine company recycling scrap paper. These days, the family “information destruction” business services thousands of customers all over the state of Louisiana, collecting, securing, shredding and recycling paper documents, and wiping out credit cards, hard drives, VHS tapes, floppy disks and more. Josh and Catie share their story. WHAT FAMILY MEMBERS ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS? Josh is president and Catie is CFO. During the summer, Mia is our administrative assistant, and Hunter, Matt and Michael work in the warehouse.


BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017 |

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?   Our family values built our company around God, trust, honesty, understanding, and with hard work comes rewards. These values have in turn grown our business and given so many others the same opportunities we have founded our company around. 

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? Working together definitely has its challenges and has been a learning experience over the years. You learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to work together as a team to complement one another’s strengths or weaknesses. The reward of growing something together and trusting those with whom you work cannot be replaced. At the end of the day, it brings you closer together and helps you understand each other better.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS? You learn to trust each other. In business, sometimes you can’t see the forest for the

trees, but having somebody that understands what’s going on in your life and being able to trust their opinion or view of things is a blessing.

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? We still like spending time together outside of work. It takes all of the pressure off us to relax and have fun together, and allows us enjoy the hard work we put in as a family. We want the kids to learn from working at the office— that we would not be able to relax and have fun if we all do not work to earn it.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR COMPANY FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT? They aren’t quite old enough to take over the company, but we believe that working for it now will let them figure out later if that’s something they would want. It will make the transition easier since they started young learning the ways the business functions and thrives every day.



Martin Construction Inc. Willie Martin

225.752.1577 |


At the helm of Martin Construction Inc. is a father and son team. Willie and his son Ryan come from a strong background of residential builders that now spans three generations. Willie’s father was a farmer and builder who built homes during the winter months—after all the crops were harvested. Willie and his two brothers followed in their father’s footsteps as did a grandson—operating as licensed builders with a strong foundation and love for building. Willie Martin shares the story of his own company: Martin Construction Inc.

WHEN AND HOW DID THE BUSINESS GET STARTED? Martin Construction Inc. received its license in January 2001, at which time we entered the spec market.

Our primary product is residential construction, weighted heavily toward custom homes.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Martin Construction Inc. realizes that a home is the largest single investment most couples will make in their lifetime. For that reason, we have set a very high bar in providing a high-quality home for that investment. We hold a very strict standard for the subcontractors who work for us and since our founding, we have maintained the same major subcontractors. That has allowed us to build a very good relationship with those who share our passion for excellence.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? The residential construction industry faced a huge market downturn in 2007, but we had the knowledge and experience to see it coming. We discussed our strategy for

the immediate future, not knowing that it would last for eight or more years. We put a plan together to move toward the custom home market and scale back immediately on the spec market. Martin Construction Inc. made a very smart decision in that strategy change. The downturn lasted much longer than any economist projected, and out of that came a very dedicated and strong custom home builder.

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH FAMILY? I won’t say that we don’t have our disagreements on how things should be done, but in the end, we reach an agreement that it must meet or exceed the customer’s expectations.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS? Working in a family business has its challenges. It is not an 8-to-4 job, and you have to balance family and business. We have been able to do this, and that is what makes our business so great and continue to expand and grow. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Brian’s Furniture

Blake Fourroux, Brian Fourroux, Keri Fourroux, Lindsey Fourroux 225.346.0896 |

In October of 1981, Brian Fourroux decided to start a business of his own. He began in a 5,000-square-foot building, where he made sales during the day and delivered furniture in the evenings. With the help of a few furniture dealers and manufacturers, his business quickly began to grow and prosper. In 1985, he was joined by his wife, Keri. As the furniture industry began to change, Brian diversified, offering cast aluminum outdoor furnishings and Louisiana-style products, such as sugar kettles. Eventually, Brian’s Furniture offered the largest selection of cast aluminum outdoor furniture and accessories in the South. The company’s iron and fiberglass sugar kettles are shipped across the country and their in-store art gallery makes for a big-city shopping experience in the heart of historic downtown Port Allen.The next generation of Brian’s Furniture has already arrived. Son Blake, and daughter Lindsey have joined the business, bringing fresh ideas and new products to the store. We asked Brian to share his success story.


BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017 |

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Obviously, family is very important to us. Without the support of each other, we would not be as successful as we are. We know that having your own business isn’t easy, but we aren’t afraid of the challenge. We are a hardworking family—we learned that from our parents. We strive to offer our customers the best products and services that we can.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? The biggest challenge for the furniture industry has been the closing of many smaller “mom and pop” stores to larger chain stores. To prevent that from happening to us, we looked at diversifying into other products. We became aggressive with outdoor cast aluminum furniture and it saved our business during those tough years.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS? You have to make compromises. We all have opinions and ideas, but they

aren’t always right. We have to respect each other and figure out what is right for the business. We may not get our way every time, but we know that we all have the same goal in mind.

SINCE YOU WORK TOGETHER, WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? We love to get together and cook different meals as a family. We have a camp in St Francisville that we enjoy quite a bit. Most of us are sports fans, so a lot of our gatherings revolve around those events.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR COMPANY FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT? It takes respect and trust. Each generation brings something to the business. The older generation brings experience, while the younger one brings fresh ideas. Each is important to make a business successful. If they don’t respect and trust each other, the business could suffer and that in turn can be problematic.



The Bug Man Paul and Layne Salvant

225-923-BUGS |

The company may be called The Bug Man, but Paul and Layne Salvant’s business does a whole lot more. Over the years, the company Paul started with his brother has expanded to provide other unique services. Customers now rely on them for nuisance animal control, mosquito misting services, exclusion control, gutter covers to prevent harborage areas for pests, infrared camera inspections and bed bug control. Specialty pest services now cover rodents, fleas, flies, bees and wasps. Today, The Bug Man employs 30 people at three locations: Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans. We asked Paul and his daughter, Layne, to share The Bug Man story. HOW DID THE BUSINESS GET STARTED? Paul: In 1978, my brother and I opened The Bug Man after working for our father in high

school. Since my brother’s passing in 1999, my immediate family began working in the business in different positions over the years. We grew from being the only employees—knocking door to door to gain customers—to now employing 30 people with three locations in Baton Rouge, Gonzales and New Orleans.

which hurts our business. With the recent flooding in our city in August 2016, we did find a niche market treating homes that took on water for moisture control. We also treated studs for termite control since walls were open. In times like the flood, you must get creative as a company to keep the business coming in.



Paul: Two things. The first is this: “Good Work Ain’t Cheap, Cheap Work Ain’t Good.” You will find this saying on all our mailers. What we mean by this is that we are not the cheapest company in town. We never will be, but we always strive to provide the best service for your dollar. The other is education. Since we opened our doors, we have had training meetings every Wednesday morning with employees to provide continuing education. We also have guest speakers from our industry as often as possible so our technicians are up to date on products as well as rules and regulations.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? Layne: Natural disasters have been a problem over the last few years—especially in 2016. Throughout devastating hurricanes or flooding, we have customers either who are taking months to return home or don’t return at all,

Layne: Working with family is an experience not many people will ever have. I come to work every day and see both my parents and work side by side with them and I’m extremely grateful for the experience. I see them both now as entrepreneurs versus parents, and people don’t realize the hats are very different.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR COMPANY FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT? Paul: The trust to let them try and fail. Give them the opportunity to make a name for themselves in the industry because one day we will not be here. People need to know who the next generation is. A large portion of companies fail when another generation comes in, because the customers don’t know them or the next generation was never given enough training or experience to run the company. They will learn more by the amount of rope you give them and when they succeed, you succeed. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017




Rabenhorst Life Insurance Company David L. Rabenhorst, Karen Rabenhorst Kerr, Alvin P. “Phil” Rabenhorst, Jr., and G. Scott Rabenhorst 225.387.0171 |

Charles F. Rabenhorst, a cabinetmaker, discovered that he was making more caskets than furniture at the end of the Civil War. He responded to the public need by establishing the funeral home in 1866. His two sons, Alvin E. and Oscar F., became concerned during the Great Depression as funeral expenses began to exceed the average family’s ability to pay. They responded by forming the Mortuary Benefit Association, as it was first called, offering families the security of pre-planning with life insurance. Since 1932, its successor company, Rabenhorst Life Insurance Company, has meant reliable protection when needed most. The company is now observing its 85th anniversary. WHAT FAMILY MEMBERS ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS? A fourth generation, Alvin P. Rabenhorst, Jr., Karen Rabenhorst Kerr, David L. Rabenhorst and G. Scott


BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017 |

Rabenhorst—operate both businesses with a commitment to offer the highest level of service. Through the years, the businesses have been fortunate to retain many longtime and well-respected professionals as employees. At the two funeral home locations, there are 10 licensed funeral directors with many years of experience. At the insurance company, pre-need counselors and life insurance producers are available to explain life insurance options for families.

HAS YOUR BUSINESS STAYED TRUE TO THE FOUNDING FAMILY’S ORIGINAL MISSION? Since 1866, Rabenhorst Funeral Homes & Crematory has been honored with the trust of the people of the Baton Rouge area. Family-owned and operated, the primary goal is to offer value and comfort while providing dignified and meaningful funeral services to families of all faiths. Its mission is to ever expand this sincere commitment to excellence by providing the value of an experienced, highly trained, caring staff to meet the needs of an ever-changing community. Since 1932, Rabenhorst Life Insurance Company’s mission has been to provide financial protection through life insurance. For 85 years,

thousands of these policies have been used by families to help pay for a variety of final expenses. Historically, the company has provided this life insurance to persons from all walks of life. Today, this tradition of offering an affordable line of insurance products for all segments of the community continues.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? The overriding principle that has guided both businesses is a history of responding to the public need. At the insurance company, there are many options to fund prearrangements and pay for final expenses.

HOW HAS THE COMPANY CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? The biggest change occurred in 2014 with the opening of a modern onsite crematory, adjacent to the funeral home on Government Street. Licensed funeral directors and certified cremation technicians at Rabenhorst handle every step of the cremation process with diligence and compassion. It is important for families to know that their loved ones never leave the care of trusted professionals at Rabenhorst.



Ethan Allen

Todd, Ashley and Adler Grace Grand Leslie and A.C. Grand 225.926.4650 |

John Grand founded the Grand family’s first furniture store—Grand Pelican Furniture—on the corner of Lafayette and Main streets in downtown Baton Rouge in 1934. In the late 1930s, his son, John Grand Jr., joined the business until he retired in 1985. In 1965, grandson Leslie Grand came on board. Leslie and John Jr. were behind the decision to focus primarily on Ethan Allen and move the store near Cortana Mall in 1974. Todd joined the business in 2002 to follow his dream of continuing the family legacy and, as times changed, had the vision to create the state-of-theart Ethan Allen Design Center, which opened in March of 2013 in the heart of the retail district. Todd shares the Grand family’s story.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS? Our success really begins with our employees, so I aim to treat them just like they are a part of our family. In return, I can trust that they will treat our clients like family as well. We have an extraordinarily talented and dedicated team that, like me, gives their all to our company day in and day out.

WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX AS A FAMILY? All business owners can certainly appreciate the demanding schedules we keep to maintain successful businesses. It is equally as important to create a balance and find time to unwind with family. My family loves to spend time at the beach, and along with everyone else in south Louisiana there is nothing better than gathering with family and friends to enjoy some great food and watching our LSU Tigers!

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE BUSINESS HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS AND HOW DID YOU MEET IT? Remaining relevant in an ever-changing retail environment has been and will likely always be our biggest challenge. With so much

technology surrounding us each day, many people now do their “window shopping” online. Creating a memorable shopping experience with exceptional customer service is what we strive to deliver to every customer and is what will continue to set us apart in our industry. From making the initial complimentary house call, to returning to the house when final delivery is made, we are intimately involved in every step of the process.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUR COMPANY FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT? Creating a culture that communicates regularly, trusts fully and prepares vigorously are all key components to transition from one generation to the next, not only with family members involved in the business, but with all employees of the organization. Statistics show that only about 3% of family-owned businesses survive into the 4th generation and we have made it, so I take the responsibility I have been given very seriously.  Leadership succession can create anxiety within an organization and with its customers.  Managing this is critical for a smooth transition. | BUSINESS REPORT, July 18, 2017


2017 Baton Rouge Faces of Family Business  
2017 Baton Rouge Faces of Family Business  

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION: It cannot be overstated what an important role family businesses play in the Baton Rouge economy. Studies have...