2022 Baton Rouge Business Report Annual Report

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Moving forward and working together to invest in the future of the capital city.



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Publisher: Julio Melara

EDITORIAL Editorial Director: Penny Font Executive Editor: JR Ball Managing Editor: Allan Schilling Online News Editor: Deanna B. Narveson Staff Writers: Julia-Claire Evans, David Jacobs Digital Content Editor: Dillon Lowe

STUDIO E Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content Strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia Strategy Manager: Tim Coles Account Executive: Judith LaDousa



Sales Director: Kelly Lewis Senior Account Executives: Marielle Land-Howard, Mary Katherine Bernard Account Executives: Gabi Bivins Porter, Angie Laporte, Meredith LaBorde Advertising Coordinators: Devyn MacDonald, Brittany Nieto

MARKETING Marketing & Events Assistant: Taylor Falgout Events: Abby Hamilton


ADMINISTRATION Business Manager: Tiffany Durocher Business Associate: Kirsten Milano Receptionist: Cathy Varnado Brown

PRODUCTION / DESIGN ANNUAL REPORT highlights many of the capital city’s successful businesses, and shares stories about their history, culture, and upcoming plans. In this special section, they discuss the challenges of the past two years and the remarkable way the Baton Rouge community has come together to uplift, encourage and support each other as we move toward growth, opportunity and a brighter future.

FROM THE SPONSORS...........................................9

Focus Foods .............................................................45 Louisiana Public Facilities Authority..................... 46

LEGACIES OF SUCCESS MacLaff Inc............................................................... 10 Holmes Building Materials...................................... 12 Spectrum Employee Services................................. 14 RES Contractors....................................................... 16 Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Service............. 18 Gulf Coast Office Products.................................... 20 SERVPRO...................................................................22 Global Data Systems............................................... 24 Garcia Roofing..........................................................26 Visit Baton Rouge.....................................................28 EBR Parish Library ...................................................32 Pinnacle Exterior Construction ............................ 34 Port of Greater Baton Rouge................................. 36 Guarantee Restoration Services........................... 38 Genesis 360 ............................................................. 41 First South Farm Credit.......................................... 42 BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo.........................................43 Postlethwaite & Netterville................................... 44

The Hospice of Baton Rouge ..................................47 DEMCO..................................................................... 49 Reliance Onescape................................................. 50 Octagon Media......................................................... 51 Mini Miracles 24-Hour Child Care......................... 52 Landry’s Landscape.................................................53 Career Competitor.................................................. 54 Transformyx..............................................................55 Ambassador Mortgage........................................... 56 The Luster Group......................................................57

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Audience Development Director and Digital Manager: James Hume Audience Development Coordinator: Ivana Oubre Audience Development Associate: Jordan Kozar A publication of Melara Enterprises, LLC Chairman: Julio Melara Executive Assistant: Brooke Motto Vice President: Penny Font Chief Operating Officer: Guy Barone Chairman Emeritus: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. Circulation/Reprints 225-928-1700 email: circulation@businessreport.com Subscriptions/Customer Service 225-421-8181 email: subscriptions@businessreport.com Volume 40 - Number 10

The Bridge Center for Hope................................... 58 Nexus Louisiana........................................................59 Fully Promoted Baton Rouge ................................ 60 Aptim Maintenance, LLC......................................... 61 Capital Area Transit System....................................62 Fireside Antiques.....................................................63 City Group Hospitality............................................ 64 Olivier Group .......................................................... 65 VGraham.................................................................. 66

(Information in these profiles was provided by the advertisers.)


Production Manager: Jo Glenny Art Director: Hoa Vu Senior Graphic Designer: Melinda Gonzalez, Graphic Designer: Emily Witt

©Copyright 2022 by Melara Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved by LBI. The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report (USPS 721-890 ISSN 0747-4652) is published monthly by Louisiana Business Inc. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Hwy., Ste. 300, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Telephone (225) 928-1700. Periodicals postage is paid at Baton Rouge, La. Subscription rate is $59.00 for 12 issues, with 3 additional issues published annually in April, May and December. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, 9029 Jefferson Hwy. Ste. 300, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited material—manuscripts or photographs, with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. No information expressed here constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities.

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[ ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF PROFILES ] Ambassador Mortgage..................................................... 56

Louisiana Public Facilities Authority............................... 46

Aptim Maintenance, LLC....................................................61

MacLaff Inc......................................................................... 10

Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Service....................... 18

Mini Miracles 24-Hour Child Care.................................... 52

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo...................................................43

Nexus Louisiana..................................................................59

Capital Area Transit System..............................................62

Octagon Media....................................................................51

Career Competitor............................................................ 54

Olivier Group..................................................................... 65

City Group Hospitality...................................................... 64

Pinnacle Exterior Construction....................................... 34

DEMCO............................................................................... 49

Port of Greater Baton Rouge........................................... 36

EBR Parish Library.............................................................32

Postlethwaite & Netterville............................................. 44

Fireside Antiques...............................................................63

Reliance Onescape........................................................... 50

First South Farm Credit.....................................................42

RES Contractors................................................................. 16

Focus Foods........................................................................45

SERVPRO............................................................................. 22

Fully Promoted Baton Rouge........................................... 60

Spectrum Employee Services........................................... 14

Garcia Roofing....................................................................26

The Bridge Center for Hope............................................. 58

Genesis 360.........................................................................41

The Hospice of Baton Rouge............................................. 47

Global Data Systems..........................................................24

The Luster Group................................................................ 57

Guarantee Restoration Services..................................... 38


Gulf Coast Office Products.............................................. 20

Visit Baton Rouge...............................................................28

Holmes Building Materials.................................................12

VGraham............................................................................ 66

Landry’s Landscape........................................................... 53


ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com




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[ FROM THE SPONSORS ] Working together as a community COMING OUT OF THE BACK END of the pandemic has been quite an experience. I have never appreciated normalcy more than now. Being able to attend sporting events, eat in restaurants, and stand closer than six feet away from others has been nice. Most businesses are still dealing with supply chain issues, but we have tried to be patient and do the best we can while still trying to provide quality products and services. In business and at home, we have become accustomed to a new way of doing things, being flexible and compassionate considering what everyone is going through. We will continue to work together as a community to move forward and be innovative in our business processes. The next year should be exciting.



You search – we find! THE EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH LIBRARY is committed to strengthening business, promoting workforce development and supporting entrepreneurship. We continue to increase services for the business community. Our resources deliver up-to-date training and new tech initiatives so local businesses’ employment and research needs are met at a level that helps them compete globally. Our 14 locations provide programs and resources for all ages that add to the quality of life for business professionals and their families. Our SMALL BUSINESS SERVICE includes free programs, resources and tools to help your business grow, and offers free consultations with Business Librarians. They can guide you in the use of robust tools such as Data Axle Reference Solutions, Mergent Intellect, and Gale Business: Plan Builder, a step-by-step online planning tool for starting, managing and optimizing your business or nonprofit. They can also design a curated collection of Continuing Ed courses for you and your staff. Contact them at smallbusiness@ebrpl.com. As we expand our workforce development and emerging technology offerings, the Library also diligently strives to assist in the forward momentum of Baton Rouge’s development. We will continue responding to your needs, working toward growth and development. Check us out at www.ebrpl.com.


Library Director East Baton Rouge Parish Library

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Focusing on customer ‘ease of use’ as company expands BR market WHEN BROTHERS E.J. and Chris Krampe took over at MacLaff Inc. in 2015, there were some 21 restaurants they managed as McDonald’s only sibling partnership. That literally changed overnight in 2018 when they acquired half of the Baton Rouge market and doubled in size by adding dozens of new restaurants and hundreds of employees. Nevertheless, it was merely the next step in MacLaff’s quest to bring its own unique brand of customer service to south Louisiana. Through it all, the brothers have relied upon their father’s example, stressing a positive attitude, open communication and honesty in all aspects of life. Ed Krampe founded the company 50 years ago with a single restaurant on the north side of Lafayette. E.J., current president and CEO, fondly remembers those early days. “Our first

location only had a front counter and about 20 seats,” he says. “And the only items on the menu were hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Big Macs, French fries, drinks and shakes.”

Of course, the McDonald’s menu has expanded considerably over the years to include an abundance of other selections such as chicken and fish, and eventually a breakfast menu. But

the most significant recent changes have been aimed at improving a customer’s “ease of use.” “Our channels of distribution really began to improve when we added the double drive-through,” Krampe says. “Inside the restaurant, a customer can now order either at the counter or kiosk, or use the McDonald’s app … or if they want to stay at home, their meal can be delivered.” Many of the restaurants now have table service. Whether a meal is ordered at the kiosk or the counter, it is brought out to your table. Additionally, many of the newer restaurants will have a third drivethrough window for customers with large orders. “And our double-lane drive-through lanes will go all the way to the street where possible,” Krampe adds. “The pandemic taught us that

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Edward “EJ” Krampe, President/CEO; Christopher Krampe, Chief People Officer; Ken Kastner, Chief Operating Officer; Jason Guidry, Director of Operations; Niven Brown, Director of Operations; Travis Foreman, Director of Operations; Troy Romero, Vice President, Marketing, Development & Food Safety ADDRESS: 106 Oak Way Lane, Lafayette, LA 70506 | 7800 Office Park Boulevard, Suite 200, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 PHONE: 337.981.4800 Lafayette | 225.800.4901 Baton Rouge 10

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From the CEO

In 2018, the company doubled in size practically overnight when it acquired half of the Baton Rouge market, adding dozens of new restaurants and hundreds of employees. we really needed that, and we expect that it will increase our effectiveness.” BEST FIRST EMPLOYER Employee longevity has been critical to MacLaff’s success over the last 50 years. COO Ken Kastner has been with the company 30 years (50+ years with McDonald’s) and even played an instrumental role in the Baton Rouge acquisition. “Ken is one of the best operational guys in all of McDonald’s,” Krampe says. MacLaff genuinely cares for its employees, and it shows. When workers were afraid to come to work

during the pandemic, the company worked hard to create a safe space. They also raised the starting wage to $10 an hour, with some restaurants as high as $12. When hired, every new employee goes to a centralized orientation center in LaPlace, Baton Rouge or Lafayette to learn about the importance of customer hospitality, cleanliness, and service. There’s also a new Virtual Reality training module that explains both hospitality and safety measures during the pandemic. Tenure is encouraged and rewarded at MacLaff. The company intention-

ally promotes from within and offers management training programs at the corporate and local level. In fact, some 70 percent of its current area supervisors started out as crew members. MacLaff also offers the “Archways to Opportunity Tuition Assistance,” which provides employees with a path to a higher education. In 2021, the company awarded about $350,000 through the program. “We want to be America’s best first employer and we take that very seriously,” Krampe says. “It’s very important to us.”

As I reflect upon our 50th anniversary, I feel humble appreciation for our successes, the challenges that have made us stronger, and the people that have come into our lives as time has progressed. My father began this work in 1972, opening his first McDonald’s restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana. We have now grown that business to 45 restaurants, employing and providing growth opportunities for over 2,200 people. It goes without saying that businesses will encounter challenges and the last few years have given all of us more than our share. But as any committed organization will, we made critical decisions at critical times. We kept our focus on the people that drive the business, and we made it through the most difficult times of the pandemic, several hurricanes, and the challenges of attracting and retaining talented people. We often say that we are in the people business—we just happen to sell hamburgers. Never has that been more important to keep top of mind. The one thing we can all be certain of is that change will continue. Eating patterns, economic pressures, competition, corporate directives, and business strategies will continue to shift. Remaining fluid and being able to adapt will continue to be critical. However, there are some things that will not change. We won’t change our commitment to our guests, working hard to ensure that their next visit is their best visit. We won’t change our commitment to our employees, pushing them to develop and grow toward a brighter future. We won’t change our commitment to education and emphasizing its importance to our employees and the communities where we have a presence. While being in business for 50 years is certainly a great achievement, I am more excited about what the future holds for our business, our team and the state of Louisiana and its families.


HIGHLIGHTS The beginning

Ed Krampe opened his first McDonald’s on Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette on August 16, 1972.


In April 2018, MacLaff expanded its footprint into Baton Rouge with the purchase of 26 restaurants.

Continued growth

MacLaff’s newest restaurant will be located at the corner of Burbank and Lee Drive.

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Rooted deeply in a history of dependability HOLMES BUILDING MATERIALS is still going strong. At 65 years of age, the materials supplier has built a solid foundation upon four generations of family tradition and customer service, and it’s that commitment to relationship building that helps it endure an often tumultuous market. They’ve come a long way since the early days. The father-son duo of Phillip and Mike Holmes founded the business in 1957 for the purpose of demolishing old buildings and salvaging whatever they could find. Nothing was off limits, whether it be old beams, bricks, windows or doors. Mike’s son John joined the company out of high school and began transforming the business from a brick and salvage yard to one that sold products for the industrial, commercial and residential markets. Today, about 60 percent of the company’s business is residential, 20 percent commercial and 20 percent industrial.

VALUABLE LESSONS Matthew Holmes, John’s son and current president, fondly remembers his first experience working for the company. “I was in the 6th grade and really wanted a $60 Fossil watch,” Holmes says. “That was a lot of money

to me, so my dad said I could work for it. I swept floors and cleaned out different areas of the store until I earned enough money.” That pattern was repeated every time the young Holmes needed money, and taught him a valuable lesson along the way …

“the harder I worked, the more money I could make,” he says. Matthew continued to work through high school and college, and after graduating from LSU in construction management and getting married, he moved to Shreveport where his wife attended medical school. While there, he fortuitously landed a job with a residential homebuilder. “I knew building materials, but I’d never been on the other side of the counter,” he says. “That experience taught me how to interact with people, how construction works, and about the struggles that some superintendents and builders go through on a daily basis.” Since returning in 2011, Matthew has been fully engaged in the business, first working in outside sales, then moving into a management role right before the 2016 flood. Under the current leadership of John and Matthew, Holmes Building Materials has expanded its reach and

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: John Holmes, Owner; Matthew Holmes, Owner ADDRESS: 7835 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge LA 70815; 1102 Florida Blvd. SE, Denham Springs, LA 70726 PHONE: 225.926.2031; 225.664.4126 • WEBSITE: buildwithholmes.com 12

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I knew building materials, but I’d never been on the other side of the counter. That experience taught me how to interact wth people, how construction works, and about the struggles some builders go through on a daily basis.

MATTHEW HOLMES, OWNER services to include two full-line hardware stores, a specialized contractor division, a fleet numbering 25 strong and a staff that is trained, committed and ready to help with all of a customer’s building needs. For years, the company was located on Greenwell Springs Road, then five years ago moved into the old Ed Price Building Materials facility at Airline Highway and Choctaw Drive. Together with their second location on Florida Boulevard in Denham Springs, they serve a 60-mile radius in the greater Baton Rouge area. DIFFERENT FROM THE REST Building materials can be purchased from dozens of locations in the Baton Rouge area, but the big differentiator at Holmes Building is

its people. Put simply, the team at Holmes is good at solving problems. “If we don’t sell it, we’ll recommend someone else who does,” Matthew says. “If it’s some specialized wood, for example, we’ll source it and order it … because that’s what we do.” Holmes Building Materials also prides itself on the longevity of its workforce. In key positions, there just isn’t much turnover. “We have people who have been with us for 20 or 30 years,” Matthew adds. “We’re looking for people who have not just the knowledge, but also the right attitude and demeanor.” They’re also committed to building relationships through an unwavering dedication to trust and transparency. “We want to be consistent and communicate about pricing, charges and other future events, because if our

builders are successful, we are successful,” he says. Looking ahead, Matthew is most excited about Holmes Building Materials’ further expansion into the windows and doors markets. They continue to pre-hang their own doors and have hired experts to facilitate the process. “Between windows and doors, and other building improvements and equipment purchases, that should elevate us to a new level and increase sales down the road.” It could also increase their service area. “While it’s hard to sell lumber in the New Orleans market for instance, it’s different for windows and doors,” Matthew says. “I can see us expanding into various other markets, while continuing to ship everything out of a central location in Baton Rouge.”

From the Owner In these times of turbulence, we are happy to help serve our community in a multitude of different ways—from providing building materials to donating to local charities, and everything in between. It is because of this community that we have been able to thrive for 65 years. Please come meet with our experienced staff on your next building project and see what has made us your trusted source for construction materials for all these years.



Holmes Brick and Salvage is formed by Phillip and Mike Holmes.


John Holmes joins the company after graduating from LSU.


The company buys Smith Building Materials in Denham Springs. Father-son duo John and Matthew are the current owners.

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An integrated, technology-based approach to HR management FOR MORE THAN two decades, Spectrum Employee Services has provided critical human resource management services to businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. Trying to navigate a complex and continuously changing web of payroll, benefits, time and labor management, and human resources tasks can present challenges to any organization and distract from its core operations, costing time and money. With an integrated, technology-based approach to human resources management, Spectrum, an administrative services organization, provides comprehensive solutions that streamline existing human resources processes. This means Spectrum’s clients can focus on what they do best, while Spectrum focuses on workforce management. Founded in 1999, the Baton Rougebased company recently experienced a majority transition of ownership, with Chadwick Cole, Spectrum’s longtime vice president and director


of business development, buying the company outright from his business partner, founder John Davis. In an industry that recently has experienced a flurry of national companies acquiring smaller firms, Spectrum stands out for keeping the company’s ownership in Baton Rouge.

“We made a conscious decision to keep Spectrum’s ownership local to continue the business’ legacy and keep jobs in Baton Rouge,” Cole says. “Businesses that start in the local community, then get sold to a larger entity lose some of their economic connection to the community of local,

small businesses. If you sell to a large, national firm, there’s no guarantee the jobs stay local.” A differentiator in Spectrum’s service is the company’s partnership with Kronos, a multibillion-dollar workforce management software company that provides services for clients in more than 100 countries. Kronos’ web-based technology delivers an unmatched combination of complexity, while maintaining a familiar and inviting user interface. As such, Spectrum offers an ideal combination of technology supported by a large, global entity and locally based, knowledgeable customer service. “Our value proposition to clients is that we are a firm that has a large national software product, but it’s delivered through a small-company medium,” Cole says. “We have the technology to compete with the big, billion-dollar companies, but we also are from the local community. That

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Chadwick Cole, Owner • ADDRESS: 4520 Jamestown Ave., Suite 4, Baton Rouge 70808 PHONE: 225.755.8822 • WEBSITE: https://spectrumemployeeservices.com 14

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Our value to clients is that we specialize in a large national software product, but it’s delivered through a small company providing personalized service. CHADWICK COLE, PRESIDENT & OWNER

means we know where Convent or Metairie is or what local services are affected because a hurricane just came through.” Spectrum works with a wide range of clients, the majority of whom are based in Louisiana, although the company has clients in most states. A growing demand for Spectrum’s services has translated to double-digit growth for the company over the last three years, including the pandemic. Indeed, as workplace needs continue to evolve in scope and complexity, Spectrum’s ability to deliver customized solutions becomes more essential. “Whether it’s payroll or soft-side

human resources, government regulations are only getting more complicated,” Cole says. For example, the more a business hires remote workers, the more complicated that becomes for payroll tax, which further complicates employee management. “The luxury of having a broader network of candidates can bring administrative nightmares posthire,” Cole says. “We think about the implications from a taxation standpoint and are only that much more valuable in helping to mediate that complexity.” With the ability to keep ahead of regulations from a technology stand-

From the President

point, combined with the knowledge and relationships of being a local, small business, Spectrum can support clients and their needs as regulation grows, thus enabling them to grow with it. “We have been providing a great service in partnership with our clients for over 20 years, and I am confident that Chad and the Spectrum team will continue to do the same and have a great future ahead of them,” Davis says. Indeed, with the leadership transition to a new generation, Cole notes: “We’ve been around 22 years and we’re going to be around another 20.”

We are so thankful for John (DJ) Davis and his vision for Spectrum. To this day, his steadfast vision, core values, and faith are the fabric that keeps Spectrum moving forward. We can’t thank him enough for his leadership and earnest desire to keep Spectrum locally owned and operated. If our past is any indication of our future, then we are in for big things. We are positioned well due to our amazing team— past, present and future. Everyone who has been part of our organization has had a hand in making us what we are today and we could not be more thankful. Their ability to adapt and change over the course of time has allowed us to be a stable partner for our customers. Finally, to our customers: we thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be part of your journey. Please know our passion to serve you and your employees has never been stronger. We look forward to providing better workplace experiences for many years to come.



The company is founded by John Davis in 1999.

Spectrum signs on as Kronos partner in 2014. Chadwick Cole becomes sole owner in 2021. AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022









A culture of transparency and resilience JOEL LANDRY KNOWS how to spot a weed. He worked for decades as a farmer before investing in the Plattenville-based RES Contractors back in 2012. He knows how to live lean, too. During the freeze of 1989–his first year in farming–he lost 90 percent of his crop. At the end of the year, he owed about $100,000 and was staring at a stack of bills. “All of my vendors were calling,” Landry says. “It taught me a lot about the importance of communication and relationship building. I had to assure them that if they stayed with me, they wouldn’t regret it. And I’m still doing business with them today.” Because of these and other experiences, Landry’s transition into industrial construction wasn’t as difficult as one might think. That’s because there are some unmistakable parallels between farming and industrial work. “You pass by some farms and many of them look weed-free from the highway. But in farming, as well as industrial work, what we do in the front we do in the back. There’s no façade.”

“You accomplish that by having complete transparency,” he adds. “It’s the same in the industrial sector. We must be transparent in everything we do or we lose our client’s trust.” Landry’s investment in RES Contractors marked the next big iteration for the company. Founded 20 years ago as Reeves Electrical Services, the contractor got its start perform-

ing mostly electrical work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they began to evolve into more of a general contractor’s role for the Corps, and subsequently changed their name to RES Contractors to reflect the change. “The Corps loved us because we did most of our own work,” says D.J. Torres, current COO at RES. Torres

joined the company as a project manager in 2006 after graduating from LSU. “When Katrina hit, they called us because they knew we would get the job done.” Then, in 2012, RES took the next decisive step by entering the industrial market and opening its first full-service fabrication facility. Today, the contractor performs mostly capital projects and maintenance in the industrial space. RES has picked up some new skillsets along the way and transitioned to the point where “we self-perform nearly everything now,” Torres says. Their workforce has grown in tandem. It’s all about the culture RES Contractors places a lot of emphasis on its corporate culture and has built a team that shares the same mindset of honesty, transparency and perseverance. At the end of the day, you can’t just talk the talk, you need to walk the walk, says Fred Henderson, current president. He originally came on board

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Joel Landry, CEO; Fred Henderson, President; DJ Torres, COO; Alisha Templet, CFO; Paul Amedee, Vice President of HSE ADDRESS: 256 Ideal St., Plattenville, LA 70393; Fabrication shop: 284D Hwy. 1007, Napoleonville, LA 70390 • PHONE: 985.252.3400 • WEBSITE: res-usa.com 16

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I talked to a client and asked them what they liked about the company. Without hesitation, they said, ‘These guys are able to collaborate with the client to overcome unforeseen obstacles. They find a way to get it done. FRED HENDERSON, PRESIDENT

as a consultant with 30 years of experience in the industrial sector and was impressed by how the RES team conducted itself in the field. “I talked to a client and asked them what they liked about the company,” Henderson says. “Without hesitation, they said, ‘These guys are able to collaborate with the client to overcome unforeseen obstacles. They find a way to get it done.” RES also strives to develop longterm relationships. For one client, they’re currently working about $28 million in projects across six sites. That’s a testament to relationships and dependability, Torres says. “We try to pair our people with the dynamics of a particular site,” he adds. “We want to make sure they’re the right person for that site.” Quality control and safety are equally important. RES is its own

worst critic and constantly collects and reviews data for reliability and improvement. “It’s a part of everything we do, from civil work to piping to steel,” says Wendell Breaux, corporate quality control manager. “We follow stringent quality control processes and utilize an in-house data analytics software to ensure we meet and exceed industry standards. We build test packages for everything we work on, and do a lot of in-process examination.” They maintain a full-time designated QC manager in the fabrication shop and a number of QC supervisors in the field. The company is continuously examining different QC parameters for welding and other control measures. RES holds numerous credentials, including The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) “U” Stamp, “S” Stamp and “R” Stamp

certifications. They are nationally recognized as an ABC Accredited Quality Contractor and have achieved Platinum Level in ABC’s STEP Safety Management System. Looking ahead, RES is most excited about its recent move into modularization. They’re currently working on their largest design-build modularization project for an existing client within their 50,000-square-foot fabrication facilities. Involvement in industrial advocacy is equally important. Landry has recently become more involved with the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance, and currently serves on the organization’s board of directors. RES now serves over 100 clients in the industrial and petrochemical industry and looks forward to continued growth over the next 20 years.

From the CEO This year marks a significant milestone for RES as we proudly celebrate our 20th anniversary. As times have changed, so have we. One of the top challenges as a leader is maintaining a clear vision while constantly adapting and realigning to market conditions. Staying complacent is not an option in an industry that is always on the brink of new and innovative solutions. Fortunately, I am surrounded by an incredible team who share my vision and work day in and day out to make it a reality. Our team members are the backbone of our company, and it’s my job to motivate and inspire them to reach their full potential. I look forward to the next 20 years and the lessons that can only be inherited from timely growth and perseverance.


HIGHLIGHTS In the beginning RES was founded in 2002 in the heart of south Louisiana’s industrial corridor.

Fabrication facility

RES has a 50,000 square foot full-service custom fabrication and welding facility with the ability to deliver each customer’s individual needs.

20 years

Now in its 20th year, RES serves more than 100 clients and continues to grow.

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40 years of lifesaving care FROM RESPONDING TO 911 calls to ensuring emergency response is available at large public events, the East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Service (Baton Rouge EMS) has been caring for the parish for 40 years. In 1981, the wife of prominent Baton Rouge attorney Drew McKinnis wanted to help people like her husband in need of lifesaving care. When Dennis McCain (then a City of Baton Rouge Councilman) began fundraising, he was met with overwhelming support from community residents and organizations like area banks, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and Exxon. In 1982, the team formed the capital area’s original ambulance company and the first municipal third service emergency medical service system in Louisiana. Baton Rouge EMS has evolved into a growing, award-winning resource that not only saves lives, but also eases minds, offering programs like the EMS Explorer Post. High school-age participants learn lifesaving skills, gain expo-

sure to the medical field, complete an Emergency Medical Responder course and CPR certification, and work alongside paramedics in the field while responding to 911 calls and working public events like parades, concerts, and games.

Baton Rouge EMS also provides the community with a streamlined registry for AEDs, medical coverage for large public events including games, parades, and concerts, safety talks at local schools, public education at health fairs, CPR and other training

classes, and EMS ride-times with contracted schools and universities. “Most people equate us solely with 911 and ambulances, but we’re so much more than just a transport company,” said Public Information Officer Brad Harris. “Our highly trained medics facilitate treatment with patients’ doctors at their homes, and in many cases prevent patients from having to go to the hospital at all.” Through the last four decades of rapid medical and technological change, Baton Rouge EMS has led the nation in pre-hospital care while operating on the original tax millage the department was founded on in 1982. With a population exceeding 440,000 and a coverage area of 456 square miles, the average homeowner pays about $37 per year in taxes to receive ever-increasing EMS services with an average 10-minute response time. Even with already high success rates with patients who have had

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Michael Denicola, Interim EMS Administrator; Jon Brazzel, Chief of Operations; Stacy Hannon, Communications Chief ADDRESS: 3801 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70807 • PHONE: 225.389.5155 • WEBSITE: brla.gov 18

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medical issues ranging from severe trauma to cardiac arrest, Baton Rouge EMS continuously looks for ways to better care for patients. Along with regularly field-testing and securing the most advanced equipment including video laryngoscopes, automated CPR devices, and mechanical ventilators, Baton Rouge EMS is gearing up to provide in-depth training to allow EMTs to accelerate to more advanced caregiving levels. In addition to a strong platform within the organization, Baton Rouge EMS has seen many team members evolve from their system and go on to become doctors, surgeons, lawyers, and accountants. Baton Rouge EMS is the only municipal EMS department in Louisiana accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, and is a repeat gold level recipient of the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline Award. In addition, Baton Rouge EMS was selected among nationwide applicants by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to participate in the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) payment model, allowing the ambulance


From the Administrator Since August 1982, the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Emergency Medical Services has served the citizens and visitors of this parish with the highest quality of pre-hospital care available and is considered a high-performance EMS System. The system is here to serve the public during their time of need whether it a medical emergency, flood, hurricane, or other catastrophic event.

care team to offer patients additional and sometimes more appropriate services at the right time and place. Baton Rouge EMS has begun implementing logistical plans to decrease response time, including adding units, increasing staffing, staggering units during peak times, enhancing technology and procedures to increase patient survivability, and continuing to enforce progressive guidelines that allow

for better treatment in the field and decrease the need for hospital transport and lessening the strain on emergency rooms. “Those of us doing this work every day have seen the growth gradually, as it’s happened,” said Michael Denicola, EMS Director. “The progress we’ve made since 1982 is pretty amazing, especially considering all of our plans to continue and enhance this care. In many ways, we’ve only just begun.”

The Medics at EBR-EMS are highly skilled and extensively trained in all aspects of pre-hospital care. The technology available to them include defibrillators, advanced airway adjuncts, ventilators, CPR devices, Intravenous (IV) therapy along with the latest pharmacological medications, which gives EBR-EMS the ability to deliver cutting edge care to their patients. Our Emergency Communications Officers (ECO) answered over 70,450 calls in 2021. Their training consists of Emergency Medical Dispatch, National Registered EMT and Paramedics. When someone calls 911, they get a medically trained professional who immediately answers their call. EBR-EMS is a Legacy which I am very proud to be a part of. These are the best people the citizens can have in front of them during a crisis.

MICHAEL DENICOLA Interim EMS Administrator


The first Baton Rouge EMS ambulance was funded with overwhelming community support in 1982.

Original 911

Since Baton Rouge’s original 911 center opened, systems have evolved to allow residents to text to 911, and trained paramedics give advice while residents are on the line. Advanced GPS technology helps them determine residents’ addresses.

Original Medics

Over the years, many team members have advanced in the organization, and have used their experiences to become doctors, surgeons, lawyers, and accountants.

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A catalyst for others’ success TO COMBAT THE disruption of today’s marketplace, businesses find solutions at Gulf Coast Office Products, a 45-yearold company with locations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, the Northshore and Lafayette. GCOP goes the distance to help customers keep operations flowing, even in the most challenging times. The largest regional independent distributor of office machines in Louisiana, GCOP has built a reputation for being the area’s most reliable name in office products. “What companies are facing now is particularly challenging,” says Trey Beall, president. “We see it as our job to do everything we can to not just keep things moving, but to find ways to improve their efficiencies.” Supply chain and labor issues continue to plague employers, even as they put the coronavirus pandemic and a succession of recent regional hurricanes in their rear view mirror. In addition, many companies must

develop hybrid telework strategies since it’s now considered normal for teams to include remote employees. Those factors have placed an even higher priority on office products and

technology solutions, Beall says. Over the last two years, GCOP has stepped up with programs and equipment that have helped companies streamline and improve their operations.

For example, shortly after the coronavirus pandemic caused massive workplace disruptions in spring 2020, GCOP offered flexible financial options for office equipment upgrades. Customers could swap office equipment they’d planned to upgrade in the future, while also preserving needed cash. Many businesses took advantage of the opportunities, and were ready with new equipment when operations stabilized that fall, Beall says. Even as supply chain issues have thrown new hurdles at companies, GCOP has taken steps to ensure equipment delays are eased with the multitude of loaners GCOP keeps on hand in its large Baton Rouge warehouse, as well as in new rented space it secured to stockpile equipment. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure our customers have what they need,” Beall says. GCOP has also become a go-to

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Trey Beall, President • ADDRESS: 10424 Plaza Americana Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70816 PHONE: 225.756.2644 • WEBSITE: gcopnet.com 20

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What companies are facing now is particularly challenging. We see it as our job to do everything we can to not just keep things moving, but to find ways to improve their efficiencies.


provider for the technology companies need for their new telework infrastructure. “We recognized that companies needed to put people in the office, without actually putting them in the office,” Beall says. “We doubled down on the continuing education of our suite of products, and we showed customers the value of tools like interactive white boards.” Resembling 65-inch iPads, interactive white boards allow remote teams to share documents, construction plans, architectural drawings, photographs, contracts and more. The New Orleans Saints used an interactive white board for the NFL draft, Beall says, and real estate brokers have

used them for tours of homes for offsite buyers. Interactive white boards enable businesses to deploy remote teams as telework becomes a permanent part of the reimagined American workplace, Beall says. Giving back to the community has always been a top priority for GCOP. The company has an impressive history of stepping up to support nonprofit organizations and charitable events. It’s also been the longtime official sponsor of LSU and University of Louisiana Lafayette athletics, and the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Recently, Beall introduced a new charitable program with ESPN Radio Baton Rouge host Matt Moscona.

Early in the Tigers basketball season, Moscona raffled off GCOP’s courtside seats to listeners, and GCOP donated the money raised to the Food Bank of Greater Baton Rouge, the ARC of Baton Rouge and St. Lillian Academy. The program will continue this spring with raffles for second row tickets to LSU baseball games at Alex Box Stadium. As south Louisiana companies continue to navigate traffic, labor challenges and supply chain issues, GCOP will aim to stay one step ahead, ensuring customers have the equipment they need to keep the wheels moving. “It’s all about finding ways to serve our customers,” Beall says. “That’s the foundation of our business.”

From The President We are celebrating 45 years in Louisiana and could not be prouder. Our tenure and success is directly related to the effort of our employees and the commitment they make every day as well as our loyal customers. Although the last couple of years have been trying due to the pandemic, we were able come out on the other side of it in good shape and healthy. Our manufacturer continues to provide innovative technologies for us to bring to the marketplace to help companies keep pace with increasing demands they have to meet. We will continue to invest in the communities we support and in our staff so that we will grow and prosper in the future.

TREY BEALL President

HIGHLIGHTS The Beginning The company was founded in 1977 in New Orleans by Bob Walsh and Bill Kenny.

Longtime Employees

Trey Beall, left, and VP of Operations Michael Lacour, who has been with the company for 40 years.

Founded on Service

Trey Beall, seated, with supply manager Tenoki Scott and VP Steve Gammon. The GCOP team is always finding new ways to serve customers.

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Company gains foothold as a top franchise NO MATTER WHAT’S come their way over the last 25 years, SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge has stood unflinchingly by their Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish area customers – whether it be hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, freezes, fire or water damage. Darren Burychka, owner and president of the franchise, says the company’s commitment to customer service makes it stand out. The local franchise is in the top 50 of nearly 1,000 SERVPRO offices in the country, and they’re not finished growing. Burychka wants to expand into other geographic markets and he’s even added reconstruction services to his portfolio. SERVPRO is a Christian-owned business, so values and family are integral to the corporate culture. They begin every day with a meeting to discuss works in progress, which is concluded with prayer. “During these meetings, we continually stress the importance of communication to our employees,


and encourage our management staff to tackle customer concerns as they arise … we place a lot of importance on that,” Burychka says. SERVPRO’s knowledge and experience are big pluses. They hire the best,

and are dedicated to ensuring that their employees are fully equipped and trained to assist homeowners and business owners when disaster strikes. There is no job too big or too small in the commercial, residential and indus-

trial markets. Company personnel are trained in fire, water, mold, duct cleaning, post-construction cleaning … and they even have a division dedicated to reconstruction. They work with nearly all-insurance carriers on both a local and national level, and can work together with an insurance company to ensure that a claim runs smoothly. They are also equipped with largescale resources, including two 53-foot trailers loaded and ready to mobilize in less than 24 hours. Burychka has been with SERVPRO since 1997. He began working there in college after his parents purchased the franchise, and he eventually came on board full time after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southeastern Louisiana University. The industry was much different in the early years as they were faced with many unforeseen challenges; however through perseverance

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Darren Burychka, President; Nicole Brister, Office Manager; Philip Lemmler, Operations Manager; Tim Credeur, Commercial Business Manager ADDRESS: 11923 Cloverland Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70809 • PHONE: 225.753.3434 • WEBSITE: servproeastbatonrougela.com 22

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When Burychka purchased the franchise in 2019, the company’s growth kicked ino high gear and gross revenues exploded. Much of the work came on the heels of storms and hurricanes and SERVPRO’s commitment to providing superior customer service. and determination, they were blessed with double-volume recognition in their third and fourth years of operation when revenues exceeded $1 million for the first time. They would go on to produce between $2 million and $3 million annually for the next several years. It’s when Burychka purchased the franchise in 2019 that the company’s growth took off. Gross revenues exploded, accruing $9.5 million in 2020, then nearly $15 million in 2021. Much of the work came on the heels of storms and hurricanes and SERVPRO’s commitment to providing superior customer services wherever and whenever their services were needed. The local franchise is part of SERVPRO’s Large-Loss Response Team, so being dispatched all

across the country in the wake of the storms is part of that commitment. SERVPRO’s success is also grounded in a solid business model and a willingness to take calculated risks. “Once I acquired the company, it was my commitment to reinvest in equipment, resources and top-level experienced personnel that resulted in significant growth in commercial and storm work,” he adds. “Our team of knowledgeable and passionate leaders has translated into a top-level group of managers who earn the trust and confidence of our clients from the moment we meet.” Burychka’s degree in accounting has given him an eye for finance. He’s good with numbers, which enables him to manage finances to produce larger jobs.

Burychka is always looking to expand his business by purchasing additional property and territory. SERVPRO is even planning to build a new facility. Burychka gives a lot of the credit to SERVPRO’s corporate office. “Our corporate office has done a fantastic job of establishing preferred status with many of the national insurance carriers, which provides the franchises with more opportunities,” he says. “And our corporate support system is second to none providing us with ample training resources.” Burychka is also grateful to his parents, Jim and Erett Burychka, who helped to lay a foundation that he could build upon, and to all the employees along the way who have contributed to the overall success of the company.


From the Owner Thanks to all our customers throughout south Louisiana over the last 25 years, but more specifically the last two years, during which time our state has seen some of the worst widespread damage in its history. Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta, and Ida affected all of our lives in some way and wreaked a degree of havoc that most of our country’s coastlines go generations without having to endure. Thank you for trusting SERVPRO to come in and do our small part to help restore your lives, homes, and property. For most of 2020 and 2021, many of our employees were away from their homes for several months, working relentlessly to help restore what was left following the storm which, in many cases, was very little. We take special pride in helping to rebuild our state following such tragedies, and we are thankful for the opportunity given to us by our residential and commercial clients. It is during this time that it becomes even more important to help return our hospitals, schools, universities, and municipal buildings to a sense of normalcy. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our cities and our state over the last 25 years. We are often called to assist clients and customers during their most difficult times, and it is a privilege that we don’t take lightly. Thank you again and we look forward to being able to assist in those unfortunate moments, for another 25 years and more.



SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge opened in 1997 as the third SERVPRO franchise in Louisiana.


In 2018, SERVPRO began doing reconstruction and saw revenues nearly triple.


In August 2022, SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge will celebrate 25 years in business.

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Top-of-game performance in an ever-changing landscape GLOBAL DATA SYSTEMS was there from the beginning. Chuck Vincent founded the company in his garage in 1987, building PCs during the early days of personal computers for friends and family. He was a pilot for Eastern Airlines, so when the airline shut down he opened a full-time computer shop. “It was a small retail storefront, and he operated it for many years, building PCs before eventually venturing into peer-to-peer networking, client servers, window servers and the networking side of things,” says Chris Vincent, Chuck’s son and current president. There were many more iterations to come, and the company ultimately became one of Cisco Systems’ first partners in the Gulf South. “And as Cisco grew, we grew,” Vincent says. The company eventually supported offices in multiple states, but then sold them in 2005 to re-position itself as a network provider. “From there, we continued to grow the company into what has become our managed ser-

vices business and managed security services business,” he says. Today, GDS is a full-service managed IT company with the deep engineering expertise and technology tools to support midsize and large enterprises. From offices in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and Lockport, they specialize

in solutions for oil and gas, marine transportation, industrial construction, government, and healthcare, providing clients with the most up-to-date and innovative approaches to overcoming industry pains. They also help organizations boost their bottom line and streamline oper-

ations through the strategic application of world-class IT solutions. But it’s their passion for making IT simple that empowers clients to reach their potential. Now at 35 years old, GDS has the proven ability to develop solutions that precisely meet business objectives. Global Data Systems’ managed SD-WAN, cloud communications and security solutions give customers a seamless connectivity and collaboration while protecting against today’s cyber threats. They also provide strategic services, ongoing management and 24/7/365 support to ensure performance and reliability. As of late, they’ve sharpened their focus on security solutions. Cybersecurity is becoming big business—last year, an estimated $72 billion was paid in ransom in the U.S. As such, GDS is constantly evolving its Security Operations Center in tandem to cover all of the aspects of managed security services. “We’ve got a world-

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Chris Vincent, President; Bob Miller, Chief Operations Officer; Robert Guidry, Chief Technology Officer; C.J. LeJeune, Vice President of Operations ADDRESS: 310 Laser Lane, Lafayette, LA 70507 • PHONE: 888.435.7986 • WEBSITE: www.getgds.com 24

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From the President

Chris Vincent with the original computer that started Global Data Systems

class Security Operations Center with a world-class team, and that’s probably going to be one of our biggest growth areas in the next two to three years,” says Bob Miller, Chief Operating Officer at GDS. The cybersecurity market can be overwhelming, but the folks at GDS can boil it down to what really matters. “We’re a practical group and we offer common sense approaches, and identify what you need to think about to secure your organization,” Miller says. Chief Technology Officer Robert Guidry says GDS recognizes that IT is not a customer’s core competency and is ready to assist. “Our customers look to us as the experts to provide them with that service,” he says. FAMILY-ORIENTED It’s rare for an IT service company to be in business for 35 years. Vincent credits a strong family-oriented culture that stresses interpersonal relationships. Some employees, in fact, have been with the company more than 20 years, with an average tenure of about

10 years. “We’ve fostered a culture that supports our people,” Vincent says. “That’s also led to more inclusion and diversity. In fact, half of our executive team is now women.” By its nature, GDS constantly looks to the future. The company is even expanding its internship program to include both college students and adult professionals wanting to transition into the industry. “We take anyone that fits our culture and we train them,” Miller says. “Along the way, we’ve found people who have aptitudes at different things that we needed internally, and we’ve groomed them into those positions.” Global Data Systems also continuously stresses to its employees the need to stay on top of new technologies. After all, it’s critical for an IT service company to keep an eye on the future. “Due to the nature of our business, we’re constantly looking at what the next 6, 12 or 18 months will look like,” Miller says. “We’re always seeking to identify those systems or services that we’ll need to create value for our customers.”

As we enter our 35th year in business, I have been privileged to see Global Data Systems evolve and grow. Consumption models have shifted, technologies have evolved, customer bases have matured, and economies have ebbed and flowed, pandemics have changed lives, and, as President, I am most proud of how our people have always taken any challenge head on. Lately, there is press on cybersecurity and how it continues to devastate the world around us. The pandemic opened a door for cybercriminals as business accelerated digital adoption and people’s new normal resided online. Cybercriminals capitalized on this transition and targeted everything from critical health infrastructure to small and medium-sized businesses. We live in an age where cybersecurity is a top operational priority now and in the years to come. As the pandemic has changed the way businesses communicate, it is securing that connection that gives MSPs like ourselves the desire to protect them. Trends like ransomware attacks, attacks on cloud service and remote work risks have influenced us to invest in how we deliver security. We are consistently evolving and growing and that led us to create our world-class Security Operations Center. We continue to innovate the next generation of managed connectivity and security services solutions to help our customers navigate their IT challenges and to feel secure in their ability to use technology as a strategic advantage for their company. GDS stands firm in our commitment to serve the people in our company, our customers, and our community, while doing our part to simplify IT and enabling businesses to grow. We never make excuses; we own every outcome. We are committed to constant improvement and growth within our organization. With the passion and innovative spirit that defines our people, anything is possible. It is that commitment to our core values that has enabled our company to grow and succeed for the past 35 years. We are not yet done growing and investing. In 2022 we are expanding our managed security services, doubling down on automation and expanding our internship programs. We are proud to be a part of the growth engine for Louisiana’s economy of the future.


HIGHLIGHTS Humble beginnings

Chuck Vincent founded GDS in 1987 in his garage.

24/7/365 support GDS provides clients around the clock help desk service and support in its state-ofthe-art facilities.

35 years

Now in its 35th year, GDS serves more than 175 clients and continues to grow.

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2 (Front row from left) Accounting Director Jann Lamy, Founder Gabriel Garcia, Chairman of the Board of Directors Fred Garcia, Executive Assistant Sue Hill; (back row from left) Subcontractor Charlie Garcia, President Craig Carroll, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Goldberg, Chief Operating Officer Andrew Morris, and Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Woolley.



Focusing on the customer experience WITH HIS TRUCK as his office and a pager for communication, Gabriel Garcia began what would become the largest residential roofing company in Louisiana. The year was 1992 and, soon after, Hurricane Andrew would devastate the Baton Rouge area. Garcia worked tirelessly to tarp and repair much of the heavily damaged area while earning the confidence and trust of homeowners and builders alike. Joined by his brother Fred Garcia, a recent LSU graduate, the brothers’ reputation for honesty, integrity, and quality workmanship helped Garcia Roofing grow with both new and return customers. As the years went on, the brothers founded many additional companies, including Roofing Solutions in 2004 (a commercial roofing company later sold to an employee) and Louisiana Roofing Supply in 2005 (a roofing material

Chief Operating Officer Andrew Goldberg.

supplier later sold to Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc.). The original Garcia Roofing now includes more than 150 employees. Garcia Roofing focuses on the customer experience by taking a hands-on approach from start to finish. “Our

company’s core values are essential to our success,” says CEO Andrew Goldberg, “and these include integrity and trust, customer service, quality craftsmanship, great teamwork, collaboration, attitude and safety.” Garcia Roofing has long been asso-

ciated with quality, but a period of self-analysis some five years ago took the company to a whole new level. “We simply decided it was time to grow,” says Jonathan Woolley, Garcia’s chief financial officer. “We realized we were capable of more,” he adds. “We’ve been here for 30 years, so people know us locally, but we began to be more aggressive in getting our name out there.” The company grew its sales force, hired more estimators, established training programs, and opened additional offices in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lafayette. The Garcia Workforce division also developed its own outdoor/indoor training and testing facility at its corporate office, so each employee’s work could be evaluated and inspected for quality. Garcia University was also established to provide leadership

CONNECT WITH US ADDRESS: 18219 Swamp Road, Prairieville, LA 70769 • PHONE: 225.756.3100 • WEBSITE: GarciaDidMyRoof.com 26

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Founder Gabriel Garcia and Chairman of the Board of Directors Fred Garcia.

training to the management team and potential future managers. Last year alone, there were over 80 employees who participated in the program. “Every employee goes through a specific course for their position,” says Craig Carroll, president. “I don’t know of any other roofing company that offers that level of training.” It is all because the Garcia team holds itself to a higher standard. Former customers will tell you—Garcia strives to provide a better experience by making the process easier from start to finish. There are few other roofing companies that offer such a multi-faceted level of support. It all begins before the initial site visit with informative emails about the person who will be coming to the client’s home, along with a video explaining the entire roofing process. “Our corporate office has an insurance department to manage their insurance paperwork,” says Jann Lamy, accounting director. “Once their project begins, they’ll have access to a project

manager specifically dedicated to them who can address any questions or concerns.” As a trusted Baton Rouge roofing expert, Garcia Roofing ensures that every job is done on time, on budget and with the best quality, whether it is a simple roof repair or a full roof replacement. They offer many types of roofing systems: asphalt shingles, standing seam metal, slate, Spanish tile, and cedar shake, to name a few. Whatever a customer’s needs or style choices might be, Garcia Roofing has the experience, dedication, and commitment to customer service to get it done right. Even with their growth over the years, Garcia made sure the quality that made his company a household name was not compromised. In addition to the previously mentioned training facility, they are also designated as a platinum contractor by Owens Corning, one of the largest shingle manufacturers in the country. This means added benefits for the customer. Being a platinum contractor allows Garcia

to offer an extended 25-year labor warranty versus the industry standard two-year labor warranty should the customer choose the platinum option. Looking ahead, Garcia Roofing will continue to expand its reach across the south. “We will be expanding both within the state and along the Gulf Coast,” Carroll says. “People along the Gulf Coast all have to endure hurricanes and we want to provide services to those in need.” The company will also respond to changing customer preferences, such as a growing desire for metal roofs. “Five years ago, we might have done three metal roofs a month; now it’s 20 or 30,” he adds. No matter how much they grow, Garcia Roofing will never lose sight of its commitment to its customers, both past and present. “One thing we tell our customers is that we’ve had the same phone number for 30 years—if you need something, just call that number and we will take care of you,” Carroll says.

From the President I am beyond proud and grateful to be a part of Garcia Roofing’s 30-year anniversary. In an industry historically lacking stability and dependability, Garcia Roofing has been the steady and stable workhorse that our region has been able to count on. We have served thousands of wonderful customers over our 30 years and want to thank each of them for making us who we are today. I believe a company is only as good as its employees and we have an incredible group of people. From our very talented and bright executive team to our amazing up-and-coming younger generation of roofing professionals, Garcia Roofing is in good hands for years to come. Coming to work every day to a family-owned business that truly has a family atmosphere and puts GOD first in everything they do is something none of us take for granted. We are all looking forward to what the next 30 years has in store!



Garcia Roofing was founded in 1992 by Gabriel Garcia and has grown to be the largest residential roofing contractor in the state.


For three consecutive years, Garcia has earned a ranking on the LSU100 list of fastest growing LSU graduate-led companies.


In February 2019, the company expanded to the New Orleans community and opened an office to service the region.

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The Visit Baton Rouge Staff


Promoting the best of BR to visitors and locals alike PAUL ARRIGO IS PROUD of what Visit Baton Rouge has accomplished in its 50 years of existence: drawing attention to tourism offerings, pitching the city as a destination for events like conventions, and helping bring big-name acts like Garth Brooks to town. But the organization’s president and CEO believes some of Baton Rouge’s best promoters are not travel industry professionals like himself, but Baton Rougeans themselves. And as Visit Baton Rouge looks to the future, Arrigo wants to empower locals to do even more. “Locals are very important to us,” Arrigo says. “I think it’s important that a resident of Baton Rouge recognizes the significance of the hospitality industry in the area, takes pride in the area as a destination, and recognizes that their influence on visitors

is important—that they can influence people to visit Baton Rouge, and even more so, to have a better experience while they’re in our area.” Traveling and tourism have evolved over the years, and Visit Baton Rouge has changed too. The organization, which launched in 1972, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year in several ways that reflect current trends and priorities … like instilling pride in locals. An example is the celebratory “capital cocktail” that Visit Baton Rouge developed in partnership with the Bourbon Society of Baton Rouge. It’s being served this year at participating restaurants and bars citywide with a custom Red Stick souvenir stirrer. And then there’s the newly painted mural which depicts local landmarks and a 50th anniversary logo on the

Visit Baton Rouge Board of Directors: (From left) Norman Chenevert, Scott Michelet, Claude Reynaud, Mary Stein, Mickey Freiberg, Gary Patureau and Gary Jupiter. Not pictured are Kimberly Ginn, Adrienne Moore and Rowdy Gaudet.

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Paul Arrigo, President and CEO ADDRESS: 359 Third St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 • PHONE: 225.383.1825 • WEBSITE: www.visitbatonrouge.com 28

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Visit Baton Rouge State Capitol Welcome Center Staff: (From left) Mary Sceroler, Jacqueline Jack, Pam Bounds and Lulu Lieux. Not pictured is Bobbie Ned.

side of Visit Baton Rouge’s downtown headquarters. “There’s not a day that I don’t pass by and see someone taking a photo in front of the mural,” Arrigo says. Some are out-of-towners, but many of the people he sees posing for pictures are from Baton Rouge—and when they post their snapshots online, they help promote the city. Visit Baton Rouge has supported Mardi Gras parades, festivals and the Live After 5 concert series held on Fridays in the fall and spring—events that get locals out of their homes for a good time and give visitors a chance to experience Baton Rouge culture. Another emerging priority is getting more involved in product development. In the industry, that means not just promoting existing attractions, events and activities, but helping create new ones and developing the partnerships needed to do so. Those efforts, Arrigo says, have yielded special events like the Marucci World Series, Bayou Country Superfest and Garth Brooks’ Stadium Tour, which will bring the country music star to Tiger Stadium in April. Following another industry trend, Visit Baton Rouge is devoting more resources to technology and research. “It’s a very high-tech industry right now as far as tracking what visitors do, where they go, where they come from,” Arrigo says. Multiple sources of data help determine useful information like peak days and times for visitation. The organization is also becom-

Visit Baton Rouge Infeaux on the Geaux Welcome Staff: (From left) Ed Williams, Denise Moran and Ernest LeBlanc.

From the President and CEO

Visit Baton Rouge Airport Welcome Center Staff: (From left) Marie Coniglio, John Hubbs and Mary Beth Manriquez.

ing more involved in identifying and addressing challenges facing tourism and hospitality. “Workforce is an issue not only in Baton Rouge, but industry-wide,” Arrigo says. “We as a Destination Marketing Organization need to work with other agencies because while our business is good, the service and the workforce is lacking for a variety of reasons.” Developing and maintaining a strong workforce that provides high-quality service is critical to ensuring visitors have a good experience when they come to Baton Rouge, he adds. That in turn has a big economic impact. Meetings and conventions alone brought in more than $27 million in 2021 despite obstacles brought on by

the coronavirus pandemic. Visit Baton Rouge is up for reaccreditation by Destinations International later this year, and it is slated to launch a new website featuring a more robust calendar of events. As he looks forward to the future, Arrigo, who plans to retire in September, expects technology and product development to continue to grow as priority areas for Visit Baton Rouge and the industry. “I’ve been in the business almost 50 years and I’ve been with Visit Baton Rouge over 20 years,” Arrigo says. “I’ve had a great staff over the many years that I’ve been involved, and I think that the organization will continue and prosper, as will the industry in Baton Rouge.”

Louisiana is known for its unique and deep-rooted culture and here in the capital city, we offer a visit that is better experienced than explained. From events such as the Baton Rouge Blues Festival to the quirky and pink Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade and college football, you can’t go wrong. Our food will also do more than feed your soul. Eat your way through Baton Rouge and enjoy dishes that reflect the many cultures that are part of us—Spanish, French and African to name a few. Needless to say, you’ll be looking to return soon. We can’t wait to welcome you and show you what we love best about Baton Rouge, or as we like to call it, the Red Stick! Visit our website (www.visitbatonrouge.com) and engage with us on social media for more inspiration.

PAUL J. ARRIGO President and CEO

HIGHLIGHTS Enjoy your stay

The early days

Visit Baton Rouge was launched in 1972.

The organization promotes the capital city as a tourist destination.


A special “capital cocktail” was developed in partnership with the Bourbon Society of Baton Rouge.

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If I were not aware of the trends affecting Louisiana business I would be out of touch with my policyholders and their workers. BRBR helps me think beyond today and see tomorrow what will matter to our community, from our agent partners to Louisiana business and workers


I read the Business Report to stay abreast of the current business activity and atmosphere in our city and state. The Business report is one of the best business periodicals in the country and has earned numerous awards over the years. We are fortunate to have this publication in Baton Rouge.

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Helping local businesses pivot, grow and compete globally WITH A MANTRA of “you search, we find,” the East Baton Rouge Parish Library provides the resources local businesses and the community need to succeed. From well-established businesses to startups and from long-tenured employees to those starting a new career, the library offers tailor-made resources that support workforce and community development across the city. Just some of the online tools and resources available, free through the library, include Gale Business: Plan Builder, which helps with starting, managing and optimizing a business or nonprofit organization, and Udemy, with more than 12,000 online courses. The library also recently added Entrepreneurial Mindset Training, which features online training and coaching from successful entrepreneurs across the world. “We’re constantly looking for new resources to help our local business community, including entrepreneurs and employees,” says Assistant Director Mary Stein. From the vast digital library, library staff can tailor training, workforce development, certifications and

learning programs to any business’ or individual’s specific needs. This saves time and money, as such programs can be expensive for a small business or independent worker to access on their own, but “are free with your library card,” Stein says. During an initial consultation with the library’s experts, business owners and individuals discuss their interests, goals and stage of development. Then

library staff can identify and demonstrate relevant courses and other resources customized to the business or worker. “The type and skill level of courses the library offers is so broad that it covers somebody just starting out with a computer, wanting to learn Excel or improve their public speaking, to highlevel strategic planning,” says Reference Services Coordinator Andrew Tadman.

“There are courses for everyone and our expert researchers can connect you with all the great business resources we provide for free.” For example, a business can plan continuing education courses for the year through LinkedIn Learning, which they can access through the library. The library also can generate demographic information or sales leads, provide marketing and forecasting information, and connect people with community partners, such as the Small Business Administration and technology and other incubators, to help them start or grow their business. Tadman says library staff often hear, “I didn’t know the library did that.” Yet, once people realize what the library can offer, “it can change their mindset. In the past, they wouldn’t have thought to look to the library, but now they ask, “Does the library have this?” Indeed, use of the library and its resources has increased over the past year. Visits are up 33.5 percent. About half of the library’s 323,600 cardholders have used their library card in the past 12 months. The number of questions to the library’s reference

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Spencer Watts, Director; Kristen Edson, Deputy Library Director; Patricia Husband, Assistant Library Director; Mary Stein, Assistant Library Director ADDRESS: 7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge LA 70806 • PHONE: 225.231.3750 • WEBSITE: ebrpl.com 32

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


From the Director

team has increased 11.7 percent. Use of the library’s computers, Wi-Fi and programming also are up. Another library service experiencing growing demand is the Career Center, as more people make career changes or quit their jobs to pursue other opportunities. The Career Center offers one-on-one coaching, career guidance, and a successful YouTube channel, where more than 139,000 people accessed the staff’s videos and seminars last year. “The library supports career development, including providing courses that can give you skills to get new jobs,” Tadman says.

Stein notes that providing these business-, workforce- and career-development resources digitally gives businesses and individuals the flexibility not just in what they access, but when they access it. “At your own convenience and on your own terms, you can sample local information, local hiring trends and job fair information,” she says. “This is yet another way the library supports our local business community.” All 14 library branches have collaborative meeting rooms and several branches have digital labs and maker spaces, which also have experienced increased use. For example, with a

32-channel deck and soundproof room, the River Center Branch Library’s recording studio is in demand by everyone from kids to CEOs for making podcasts. Unlike many cities across the country, Baton Rouge’s libraries have remained open, with staff available seven days a week, thus continuing to provide a critical resource for fostering innovation and economic development. “All of our resources can be customized, catered and curated to your needs,” Stein says. “We’re always trying to reinforce what the library can do for you.”

Your nationally acclaimed East Baton Rouge Parish Library provides robust services for the business community, delivering up-to-date training and tech initiatives so that employment and research needs are met at a level that helps businesses expand and compete globally. Remote access to research tools and training platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Gale Courses and Udemy in the Digital Library are especially well-used. Our award-winning Main Library and 13 branches provide programs and resources for all ages to enhance the quality of life for business professionals and their families. Our Small Business Service includes free programs, resources and tools to help businesses grow. Contact business librarians at smallbusiness@ebrpl.com. And check us out at ebrpl.com or ebrpl.com/DigitalLibrary.


Library Director East Baton Rouge Parish Library

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Quality and beauty that stand the test of time HIGH-QUALITY WORK PERFORMED in a timely manner at an affordable price. This is what Pinnacle Exterior Construction wants customers to associate with its work, whether that be a commercial fence, community pool or residential bulkhead. Of course, the pandemic presented some challenges related to equipment and material shortages, but Pinnacle has worked hard to put measures in place. The company came out of 2021 with a focus on bringing value to customers and is committed to that goal. Owner Shane Dantin says he began looking into ways in which Pinnacle could stay ahead of market changes by strategically planning for future work. Along with their construction operations, Pinnacle turned part of its yard into something of a material supply business, giving them access to almost everything their clients could possibly need. “Because of our volume, our purchasing power and our ability to store materials, we can buy in bulk, which saves us money on materials, and we are able to pass on those savings to our customers,” says Christian Bernard, Pinnacle’s general manager. One area that has really taken off

for the company in the past year is the pool division, which includes both new pools and renovations. While some pool projects are completely custom, Pinnacle has found a niche in the spec pool business. If a customer wants to go the spec route, whether for affordability or because they just want a simpler pool, the design team will help them select a layout from existing

templates. These are then tweaked to provide unique attributes to match the overall look the customer wants. This method has allowed Pinnacle to pass on value, while still offering customers the same high-end finishes of a custom-designed pool. “We have standardized our building process to save time and money and avoid mistakes,” says Michael Connelly, general

manager of pools. “Our goal is to build a spec pool in six to eight weeks or less.” The company accomplishes this by using its own equipment, its own manpower and experience that the team has acquired along the way. This approach translates to lower prices and a more seamless construction experience for the customer. Offering an affordable, high-quality pool product with a quicker turnaround has resulted in Pinnacle becoming more competitive throughout the years, and it has quickly become one of the fastest growing pool builders in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas in 2021. “We set our own standard, and we stand behind our work,” adds Connelly. “Our pools are built to last.” When it comes to quality on all of their projects—whether it’s a pool, an outdoor kitchen or just a small residential fence—Pinnacle works to always have an on-site manager throughout the process, verifying the work is of the highest quality and exceeds the customer’s expectations. Dantin says his company is here to stay. “We’ve found ways to overcome almost any problem,” he says, “and we work hard for our customers. Our products stand the test of time.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Shane Dantin, Owner • ADDRESS: 13825 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70817 • PHONE: 225.757.6138 • WEBSITE: pecbuilt.com 34

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


We’ve found ways to overcome almost any problem and we work hard for our customers. Our products stand the test of time.


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A custom-made, barge-mounted pedestal crane headed for the Louis Dreyfus Commodities grain dock at the Port will help solve problems associated with loading and unloading during high water stages on the Mississippi River. The additional capacity and through-put to the grain elevator will benefit farmers in the port region.


Expansion through partnerships THE PORT OF Greater Baton Rouge today is all about growth and expansion. From innovative billion-dollar projects to new fabrication to solve tenant challenges and partnerships that help increase access to the Mississippi River to create new jobs, the Port is positioned for the future. In 2020, the Port’s jurisdiction expanded to include Pointe Coupee Parish. As a result, the Port acquired the Port of Pointe Coupee in Lettsworth and the “old ferry landing” on the west side of the Mississippi River close to New Roads. The three paddlewheel riverboats of American Queen Voyages are now making regular stops at the landing, taking passengers on excursions around the parish and even across the river to St. Francisville and West Feliciana Parish. American Cruise Lines and Viking River Cruises have also come on board with planned cruise dates booked for 2022. The Port assisted in attracting these companies to the area by committing to upgrading and improving the old ferry landing to passenger traffic and the coach buses that transport visitors to places of interest in nearby towns and the surrounding areas. Local business owners are experiencing a muchneeded boost in customer visits with

Between river cruise visits, the Pointe Coupee ferry landing is busy with cargo movements. Barges of crushed stone were recently unloaded at the landing and trucked to the nearby site of a future solar farm, known as Ventress Solar.

each vessel landing, reports indicate. “With a resurgence in the demand for river cruises, this has been an exciting partnership for us,” says Port Executive Director Jay Hardman. “Private sector entities are already looking to put in some improvements, such as a levee top pavilion where cruise passengers can wait for the buses and vessel mooring devices.” Hardman says that plans to improve the landing also include landscaping, potable water and more. Between river cruise visits, the landing will also be used for cargo

movements. Recently, barges of crushed stone were unloaded there and then trucked to a site in Point Coupee Parish that will be a future solar farm. Known as Ventress Solar, the 345-megawatt facility covers 2,732 acres near New Roads and will supply renewable energy to McDonald’s and eBay, according to Lightsource bp, a subsidiary of energy giant BP. The firm expects the project to create 400 construction jobs over roughly two years and provide $30 million in increased tax revenues to Pointe Coupee as the facility is built. It also

estimates the clean electrical energy generated will curb about 450,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually—or the equivalent of 99,000 fuel-burning cars. As part of the Pointe Coupee inclusion into its jurisdiction, the Port also gained an industrial park that includes a cotton gin, liquid fertilizer distributor and marine transportation company Terral River Service. “This is different from the deepwater side of the Mississippi for us and will bring growth and job creation there,” adds Hardman. Back in Baton Rouge, problems are being solved for existing tenants like Louis Dreyfus Commodities. An approximate $18 million bargemounted pedestal crane is making its way to the Port from Germany to allow Dreyfus the ability to load and unload grain when the Mississippi River’s water level presents problems. The crane is electrically powered and can moved 25 cubic yards of grain with each scoop of its clam-shell bucket. “It’s a simple concept that has the capability of unloading barges directly into the grain elevator or taking the place of it in times of high water,” explains Hardman. “It’s an opportunity

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Jay Hardman, Executive Director • ADDRESS: 2425 Ernest Wilson Dr., Port Allen, LA 70767 • PHONE: 225.342.1660 • WEBSITE: portgbr.com/ 36

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


Passengers from the American Queen are bused to points of interest in New Roads, St. Francisville, and the surrounding areas during their visits. Viking River Cruises and American Cruise Lines are also currently booking trips to Pointe Coupee in 2022 and will utilize the upgraded landing.

Renewable energy coming to the Port Grön Fuels has selected and will be using proven and bankable technologies from renowned global technology providers to manufacture sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel (RD). The planned facility is also designed to produce other renewable materials as well as green hydrogen. Located at the Port under a long-term lease, the base plant will produce over 60,000 barrels per day of climate positive fuels. To date, the project has received its minor source air permit, selected proven technologies, completed its engineering and design, and is finalizing commercial agreements.

A favorite stop in New Roads for river cruise passengers is participating in a praline candy cooking demonstration presented by Maxine Olinde, retired LSU Ag Center Home Economist (left). Hosting the demonstration are Kristy Broussard (center) and Jeanette Vosburg (right) of The Pointe Mercantile.

to get around those problems and create additional capacity and through-put for the grain elevator, possibly handling some commodities that wouldn’t typically be handled there.” The concept of expanding facilities at the Port to enable port partners to increase capacities and create more economic opportunities is the reason behind the Port’s current plans for the rehabilitation/expansion of its northernmost deepwater berth on the Mississippi. As ships get bigger and safety features change, the need for more dock space is only increasing. The port’s existing deep draft berths are becoming congested—a “good problem to have” says Hardman—but additional infrastructure is needed to service the growing demand for liquid bulk commodities. The funding for this project is in place and the permitting work is being completed, so Hardman is anticipating bidding the project this year. “This will give the Port four deep-draft ship berths, and that berth will be critical for us in the future as bigger ships with deeper draft call,” says Hardman. “Liquid bulk type of facilities, with pipelines going through, like Genesis, BWC Terminals and Centerpoint, are all interested in possibly tying into it. This will allow more room for additional liquid bulk movements

at the Port for future growth and will also accommodate our existing tenant base.” On the container handling side, the Port is requesting more funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) and other funding sources for larger, more efficient and permanently affixed container handling equipment. MARAD previously funded the fabrication of two customized container handling pieces of equipment to increase efficiencies at the Port’s container handling facility off the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. There is still strong demand for containers for export, and additional funding will continue to grow that business, with possible facility expansion on the east bank of the river. Coming in the future is perhaps the biggest and most significant project in the history of the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. Grön Fuels, a Fidelis company, announced on Earth Day 2021 a $9.2 billion carbon negative renewable fuel complex at the Port. This facility is designed to be the world’s largest sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel production facility compared to current and announced renewable fuels projects. Construction is planned to commence in 2022 and achieve commercial operations in 2025.

The Grön project incorporates carbon capture and sequestration by capturing onsite carbon dioxide and utilizing nearby world-scale, high-quality carbon sinks to sequester the carbon dioxide. This in conjunction with its on-site 200-megawatt renewable carbon negative electric power plant will produce carbon negative SAF and RD. The entire system at the Port is the flagship Fidelis “Climate GigaSystem™” and is expected to mitigate over one gigaton of carbon dioxide from facilities located at the Port over the production facility’s lifetime. “We have observed significant work, progress and development investment by the Fidelis companies, including receiving the minor source air permit for Grön Fuels, the successful consummation of the operating agreement between Capio Sequestration and the state of Louisiana for two, large-scale carbon sinks to permanently sequester carbon dioxide from the production process,” says Hardman. “We have also observed significant engagement by Fidelis and its subsidiary companies with local engineers, contractors, subcontractors and fabricators, as well as the community, to move this project forward and commence construction this year. We’ll continue working with the Fidelis leadership, companies and local partners to make the Fidelis flagship Climate GigaSystem™ at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge a reality.”

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With a focus on humility and understanding, Guarantee Restoration has your back DISASTERS NEVER SLEEP, and neither does Guarantee Restoration Services. The company is on a mission to ensure the continuity of the clients they serve, no matter the emergency—fire, water, mold, hazardous substances, or winds, among others. Operating out of five strategically located facilities in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans, Biloxi and Jackson, the company’s nationally recognized and industry-certified disaster recovery team has the experience and confidence to quickly assess property-related damages and mobilize the equipment and manpower needed to get you up and running. Guarantee Restoration also specializes in reconstruction of commercial buildings, schools and homes from water, fire, wind, tree and vehicle impact damage. Its project managers can plan every job from start to finish before it ever begins. By no means is this company a newcomer. CEO Shawn Folks’ Alabamanative parents began the business as a carpet cleaning franchise almost 48 years ago. At the time, they lived in a one-bedroom apartment on College Drive in Baton Rouge. “They had the equipment to vacuum water, so they’d get calls all of the time for water-related issues in the area when a pipe

broke,” Folks says. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the company gradually focused more on fire and water damage and less on carpet cleaning. Folks was indoctrinated into the business at an early age. One of his most vivid memories is running buckets of water out of the old Montgomery Wards department store at Bon Marche Mall after a pipe burst following a hard freeze. “I was 11 at the time, and it was Christmas break, so I was running water out there all day long.” Folks continued to work with the

company through high school and college. He took over as a project manager after graduating from LSU with a degree in business. Not long after his parents retired, he became CEO in 2013. GROWING AND IMPROVING OUT OF NECESSITY Mother Nature has played a major role in Guarantee Restoration’s transformation over the years. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the company began evolving from a small “mom and pop” to a medium-size res-

toration company. After the hurricane, they expanded into the New Orleans market to meet the needs there. But it was the Great Flood of 2016 that kicked their growth into hyperdrive. “We had the opportunity to work in 26 schools in Livingston Parish,” Folks says. “That took us to an entirely new level. We completed all of the schools and had them reopened in just 21 days.” Just a few months before this weather event, the GRS team had undergone training for handling large loss projects. “Fortunately, we had already established relationships with companies in other areas, so we were able to bring them in as subcontractors to help,” he says. “It was a successful project by any measure.” Their growth continued in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura in 2020 as they worked to restore some 42 schools in the Lake Charles area. Then, following Hurricane Ida in 2021, the company landed emergency contracts for an unprecedented 150 schools across Jefferson, Orleans, and Livingston parishes. All of the schools were reopened in 30 days. Guarantee Restoration can handle virtually anything that comes its way, whether it is a school system or large commercial or governmental project.

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Shawn Folks, CEO; Bill Boeneke, CFO; Zack Klein, Director of Marketing and Business Development; Marcie Richardson, Director of Human Resources ADDRESS: 16248 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge 70810 • PHONE: 225.753.8682 • WEBSITE: guaranteerestoration.com 38

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


From the CEO As the CEO of Guarantee Restoration Services, leadership is at the forefront of my role each day. One of my favorite quotes is, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things; he is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

And while there are other companies that do what they do, none can match their size, scope, and heart. In just five years, the company has grown from 50 to 175 employees. There’s been physical growth as well. At Guarantee Restoration’s corporate office on Perkins Road, the business opened a new 30,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in June 2021. Here, they house more than 200 storage containers and bring in building contents, including furniture, for cleaning and deodorizing. They also recently purchased and remodeled the old Rudolph’s Christmas Store and other nearby buildings that back up to their property. “In August, the old Rudolph’s was

converted into a conference center, where we can perform trainings and host events,” Folks says. It’s also available to other organizations in the area, such as the local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Management, Kids Hope and the International Facilities Managers Association. There’s also a new advanced training facility on-site, where they actually perform flooding simulations for training and certification purposes. Most of the training is performed in-house, while outsourced trainers assist with specific certifications. “Our company has a huge focus on training and our team members’ advancement tracks,” he adds. “We feel strongly that if we

grow our people personally and professionally, it will help us ultimately continue to grow as a company.” Looking ahead to the future, Folks expects to open another three to five branches in the next 10 years, primarily along the Gulf Coast. He feels that Guarantee Restoration’s pattern of sustained growth is a testament to the company’s corporate culture. “We bring people in that we believe will be a good fit with our culture, then train them in the skill sets that they need,” Folks says. “We look for people who are humble and have humility. After all, we’re helping people when they’re at their weakest, so it’s imperative that we are there to help, support and take care of them.”

In 2021, those words especially resonated with me as Guarantee was faced with adversity through losses of leadership. I had to pivot and find leaders both within and outside our company. Today, our organization has emerged stronger than ever. This starts with our core values and mission being at the forefront of our minds, which is reflected in the services we provide. Guarantee Restoration is a family-oriented company. I am proud of the team we have built and invested in for a bright future ahead.


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[ GENESIS 360 ] Revolutionizing the customer experience GENESIS 360 IS rapidly becoming the first thing that springs to the minds of local business owners. Founded by Opelousas native Craig Stevens, Genesis 360 provides a single contact for all the construction, ground maintenance, building maintenance, and IT-related services any business needs. “This company is becoming the Amazon of maintenance, construction and IT,” Stevens says. “Businesses need to look no further than Genesis 360.” Built on a foundation of reliable, responsive service, the company enables businesses to focus on their core services, while Genesis 360 handles the rest. Rather than using valuable time and resources dealing with multiple vendors, businesses can rely on Genesis 360 to singlehandedly manage and provide all services. “From a management perspective, a business tells us what their pain stake is, and we take it from there, so they’re not having to call the lawn guy, the roofer and the IT person,” Stevens says. “We want a business to instinctively think, ‘I know who to call—Genesis can take care of all that for me.’”

With commercial and federal contracts, Genesis 360 works across the U.S. with offices in Baton Rouge, Houston, Galveston and, recently, Virginia and Maryland. But Stevens wants to build the company in his home state, where he returned after a 25-year military career.

“We’re a household name for many businesses and federal agencies outside of Louisiana, but I want to do more work in my own back yard,” he says. Since its establishment in 2011, Genesis 360 has experienced phenomenal growth. In 2020, the com-

pany doubled its previous year’s revenue and, in 2021, it grew another 30 percent. Illustrating a growing presence in Louisiana, Genesis 360 was recognized as “company of the year” with fewer than 100 employees at the 2022 Baton Rouge Business Awards. Stevens has plans to grow Genesis 360 to a multibillion-dollar company within 10 years by continuing to revolutionize the construction, maintenance and IT industry, just as Amazon did with e-commerce. Stevens also is focused on how the company can have an impact on customers, employees and societal issues such as childhood hunger, human trafficking and reducing the divorce rate, which ultimately will reduce crime. “We’re consistently thinking about how we revolutionize the customer’s experience and how we make sure our employees feel they’re part of a culture they can be proud of,” he says. “At the same time, we want to make a difference in the world and leave the world a better place. Addressing these problems starts in my own back yard, but has an impact on the world.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Craig Stevens, Founder and President • ADDRESS: 804 Main St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 PHONE: 225.304.6657 • WEBSITE: https://genesis360llc.com/ • ..... ...... AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ FIRST SOUTH FARM CREDIT ] Ben McDonald: Property purchase was smooth, easy, thanks to the experts BEN MCDONALD JOKES that there are only two seasons for him—baseball season and hunting season. Consequently, owning a piece of property where he could pass on his love of the outdoors to his family was especially important to him. When he needed guidance during the purchase, the former LSU and Major League Baseball pitcher (he was the first overall pick in the 1989 MLB draft and played for the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers) turned to First South Farm Credit. The financial institution has a track record that goes back decades with helping people who want to purchase hunting property and other rural land for recreational purposes. McDonald, who grew up in Denham Springs, says he developed a love for the outdoors at an early age while squirrel hunting with his father and grandfather. “I can remember it like it was yesterday,” he says. “In the early morning, right at sunrise, the woods start to come to life with birds chirping and other animals moving around. I would sneak out as much as I could.” Over the years, he joined hunting leases with friends, but he always dreamed of having his “own little piece

of the pie,” he says. Today, McDonald owns 180 acres in Mississippi, which serve not only as a hunting spot but also a family retreat. When he purchased the land, “it was a raw piece of property with two roads

and two food plots,” McDonald says. The process of designing the property the way he wanted appealed to him. Over the years, he has developed the land to include approximately 200 miles of roads and 21 food plots. He

enjoys bow hunting, spending time with his wife and two children, and even celebrating “Country Christmas” there. During the purchasing process, McDonald says he was able to reach out to the team at First South Farm Credit for advice. “They made the process really easy,” he says. “They became a group I could bounce some ideas off of and get great advice. It was helpful to me to have a sounding board. You’ll always make mistakes; that’s life. But I felt like my mistakes were cut down, and that was big to me.” Ben Sanders, vice president of business development for First South Farm Credit, says that when buying a piece of rural property, it’s important to work with a lender who understands the specific risks, rewards and opportunities of this kind of investment. The bank’s expertise is in financing rural land, including hunting property, large timber tracts and even smaller rural lots to build homes. Part of the national Farm Credit System, First South Farm Credit has 50 locations across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: John Barnard, CEO; Tim Losavio, Louisiana Division President ADDRESS: Three Paragon Centre, Suite 100, 574 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland, MS 39157 • PHONE: 225.658.0596 • WEBSITE: firstsouthfarmcredit.com 42

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


(Above) Jim Fleshman was recently named Director of BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo. (Below) Construction is underway on several new exhibits.

[ BREC’S BATON ROUGE ZOO ] Excitement builds around new exhibits, experiences—and a new director BUILDINGS THAT WILL eventually house new and improved exhibits for giraffes, pygmy hippos, jaguars, bears and birds are all under construction at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo. Initial work for a revamped entry plaza is underway, and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, including moving utility lines to accommodate the new additions. “It’s sort of like building a puzzle,” says Jim Fleshman, who was recently named Director. “You try to find all the outside pieces, and then you work toward the center before you can see the big picture. That’s sort of where we are right now—we’re putting together the borders.” It will still be a while before visitors can see hippos swimming underwater in their new exhibit or feed giraffes from a state-ofthe-art platform. Fleshman anticipates those and other projects will be wrapped up by fall 2023, depending on weather conditions. But, he says, excitement is building at the zoo—among himself and

his colleagues as well as visitors— as the new structures begin to go up. They’re happy to see modern amenities and other improvements coming to the facility, which was founded in 1970. Additional educational pro-

grams are also being planned, as well as new private rental offerings. Fleshman is optimistic that the changes will help the zoo reclaim accreditation through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “We want to

reach that gold standard,” he says, as it signifies a commitment to best practices for operations and animal care. The revitalization work has been propelled by public input, and it’s important to reward Baton Rougeans with a zoo they can be proud of, Fleshman says. “BREC and the zoo heard what the community wanted, and we’re trying to do that. We’re going to have a lot more for the public to see, participate in and learn from. We’re going to provide unique and exceptional experiences for them and build pride and local support in what we’re doing.” Support of the zoo has a global impact, too, Fleshman says. The zoo educates visitors about many types of animals and habitats from around the world and why they are important to conserve and preserve. And the zoo is increasingly becoming involved in research efforts, such as in Southeast Asia, where it is a partner on a project involving threatened species of hornbill birds, among others.

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Jim Fleshman, Director ADDRESS: 3601 Thomas Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70807 • PHONE: 225.775.3877 • WEBSITE: brzoo.org AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ POSTLETHWAITE & NETTERVILLE ] Solving modern problems with modern solutions HAVING SERVED THE Baton Rouge market for more than 70 years, Postlethwaite & Netterville has adapted over the decades to meet everchanging client needs. P&N’s role as a CPA firm has always been a trusted advisor to clients, but in the early days that meant taxes, general accounting and assurance. Today, P&N offers accounting and assurance, consulting, tax and technology, and cybersecurity. “Our foundation as a CPA firm provides a framework of quality and integrity, and our expansion into consulting and technology services allows us be innovative in meeting the needs of our client base, which continues to expand,” says CEO and Managing Director Dan Gardiner. P&N relies on its more than 500 employees in nine locations to help clients navigate pathways for success. “Our team includes some of the most talented professionals across many different disciplines,” says Gardiner. “We believe we offer clients a level of experience and depth of industry knowledge that is unmatched in the region.” In fact, P&N was recently recognized by Inside Public Accounting in two key areas: strategy and growth. The

firm was selected as one of the “Best of the Best” firms in the country out of 520 participating firms. This award is selected exclusively on the firm’s performance in specific key areas of management, growth and strategic vision. Additionally, P&N is one of the fastest-growing firms in the country,

illustrating the firm’s continued commitment to delivering high-quality, innovative services. While P&N is headquartered in Baton Rouge, with hundreds of employees in the capital city and decisions made locally, its team members reside in 15 states and its services

don’t stop at the state line. “We are rapidly expanding into new markets and services,” says Gardiner. “Several of our practice areas, including governmental consulting, disaster and emergency management, assurance, cybersecurity and claims and settlement administration, are nationally recognized practice areas with clients from coast to coast.” P&N has not only grown the types of services and the markets in which it operates, but it has also changed the way services are provided. By heavily investing in technology, training and advanced tools, P&N provides data-driven insights and analysis to help clients move forward quickly. The firm regularly assists with compliance and regulatory issues, mitigating risks and financial and operational strategy. “We thrive in highly complex situations that need a level of service that is multi-layered and full-scope,” adds Gardiner. “Our clients recognize that we’re a strong firm with a sophisticated approach in the local market. We help solve modern problems with modern solutions.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Dan Gardiner, CEO & Managing Director ADDRESS: 8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 1001, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 • PHONE: 225.922.4600 • WEBSITE: pncpa.com 44

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


[ FOCUS FOODS ] Company expanding its meal production and delivery system FOCUS FOODS IS on a mission to get the word out. The Baton Rougebased company is a leading provider of USDA meal solutions for K-12 schools and elder care, as well as emergency/relief meal solutions, but many Louisianians don’t know they exist. They offer an undeniably beneficial and much needed service. Since 2019, Focus Foods has provided more than 19 million meals to those in disaster situations through multiple storms, and now feeds 30,000 K-12 schoolchildren across seven parish school districts each week through the USDA’s Child & Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP). All states and school systems have access to the 100 percent reimbursable program, and Focus Foods’ unmatched production and logistics system delivers the meals directly to the child’s home via its own delivery fleet, eight owned pickup sites, and another 50+ sites through partnerships with local independent grocers across 11 parishes. “CACFP augments the National School Lunch

Program (NSLP),” says Ned Fasullo, the company’s chief marketing officer. “We’re on the other side of that coin, providing meal boxes with supper, snacks, milk and juice once students are dismissed from school.” Before the pandemic, the program

required that the meals be provided at the school. But that has all changed. “Under Congressional waivers, meals can now be accessed away from school at facilities such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, our own pickup sites, and can even be delivered to a child’s

home,” Fasullo says. “We operate our own delivery fleet in seven parishes delivering a seven-day meal box to the child’s door. We do 98 percent of the work, and all a school system has to do is file for the reimbursement.” This will be the biggest year yet for Focus Foods. In 2022, the company plans to move from its existing facilities at Celtic Studios to a larger facility in Baton Rouge. This will enable them to package raw food products for a wider range of meal solutions and expand services to the healthcare sector (including home health, home-bound hospice, nursing homes and assisted living facilities) and engage in more commercial co-packing opportunities. There will also be more options available to charter and private schools for outsourcing their meal preparation and meal services. “Right now, we can do about 15,000 to 20,000 meal boxes a day,” Fasullo says. “With the new facility, we’ll be able to quadruple that.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Jeff Landry, CEO; Brian Tomecek, COO; Neal Ashby, Chief Special Projects Officer; Robert Owens, Chief Innovation Officer; Ned Fasullo, Chief Marketing Officer ADDRESS: 4212 American Way, Baton Rouge, LA 70816 • PHONE: 225.936.4750 • WEBSITE: focusfoods.us/ AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



(From left) LPFA Board of Trustees Dannye Malone, Casey Guidry, Craig Cheramie, Ron Bordelon, David Groner. Not pictured are Guy Campbell III and Michael Darnell.

[ LOUISIANA PUBLIC FACILITIES AUTHORITY (LPFA) ] A long history of supporting education in Louisiana EDUCATION SITS AT the foundation of improving economic and community development. Ensuring that students and educators have access to high-quality, up-to-date facilities is central to improving education opportunities across Louisiana. The Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA), a conduit issuer of tax-exempt and taxable bonds, has played an integral role in supporting education efforts since it was founded in 1974. LPFA’s determined commitment to education featured prominently in 2021. LPFA issued more than $498.3 million in bonds—78 percent of these issues, totaling $430 million, related to education and supported economic development. Projects included several charter schools, University Medical School and Loyola University. Many of LPFA’s past bond issuances have focused on higher education projects, but 2021 saw increased emphasis on K-12. “The LPFA has a long history of supporting education in Louisiana,” says Martin Walke, CEcD, LPFA’s vice president of economic and program

(Front row from left) LPFA Staff Stacye Bradford, Jim Parks, Tricia Dubroc; (back row from left) Emily S. Spears, Rachel Simmons, Geralyn King, Joni Leggio, Amy Tuminello. Not pictured are Kentra Davis and Martin Walke.

development. “While that history has primarily focused on higher education in the past, we are excited about the opportunities to help elementary and middle school students in the future.” LPFA also continues to support college-bound students through its education division, the Louisiana Education Loan Authority (Lela). Lela provides students and their families

with valuable college planning and financial counseling. This includes free, one-on-one college planning and financial counseling sessions, lowcost supplemental loans for college expenses, and assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), which highschool students must submit before graduating. In 2021, Lela assisted more

than 40,000 students. More than 400,000 students have received assistance since Lela’s creation in 1984. By providing the means for qualifying projects and entities to receive tax-exempt financing and achieve interest cost-savings, the LPFA supports economic and community development across the state, issuing bonds totaling $28.3 billion over its 47-year history. As a self-supporting Authority that operates solely on self-generated revenues, the LPFA has never requested nor received any funds from the state of Louisiana for its operations. The LPFA’s operating expenses are covered through revenue generated by fees on bonds it has issued. Through its determined support of education, the LPFA continues to make an indelible impact on Louisiana students, their families and, ultimately, the state’s community and economic viability. Indeed, Walke notes, “At LPFA, we are trying to provide the best environment for learning for Louisiana’s youth to prepare them for the jobs of the future.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Guy Campbell III, Chairman; James W. Parks II, President and CEO ADDRESS: 2237 S. Acadian Thruway, #650, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 • PHONE: 225.923.0020 or 800.228.4755 • WEBSITE: lpfa.com or lela.org 46

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


[ THE HOSPICE OF BATON ROUGE ] Providing excellent care through compassion FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS, The Hospice of Baton Rouge has been helping families through one of the most difficult times of their lives. What began solely as offering services to assist people toward the end of life has been driven by a compassion so strong that it’s carrying over to other community efforts. The Hospice of Baton Rouge provides a wide array of services, with case managers, social workers, chaplains and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) assigned to each family receiving traditional hospice care. Under the leadership of CEO Catherine Schendel and COO Jeff Williams, the organization’s holistic approach to support takes their services far beyond medical care; it extends to offering the best quality of life possible. Some days, staff may be found painting patients’ fingernails or worshiping with them. While care is primarily geared toward patients’ medical needs, the Hospice of Baton Rouge prioritizes building relationships and spending quality time with patients and their families. Social workers on a patient’s care team are as essential as those assigned to help with physical needs;

determining where the patient will be most comfortable and walking families through insurance issues can provide a semblance of peace for those who are having to come to grips with what losing a loved one may look like. Williams, who was a chaplain when he began working at The Hospice of

Baton Rouge, understands the importance of offering spiritual support, too. “I’m not sure people realize that chaplains do a lot of listening—for both patients and their families,” he says. “A huge part of all of our jobs here is helping people understand that the range of emotions they’re experi-

encing is okay.” Both Williams and Schendel believe that to truly show that compassion externally, a company must do the same with its own team. “We all became acutely aware of the importance of work-life balance during Covid, and we’re trying to preserve that as we move forward,” said Schendel. “Our employees do amazing, hard work every day, so it’s even more important that we preserve and protect their quality of life as well as our patients’.” From conceptualizing a community-based palliative care program to working with families during and after a grieving process to offering specialized grief camps for children, the Hospice of Baton Rouge is determined to continue expanding services so that every person is able to face the toughest times of their lives with quality care and compassion. “Our goal is to make people feel valued and comfortable,” said Schendel. “We are constantly reminding ourselves that compassion is not doing things that will make us feel better about ourselves; it’s providing the best for those around us.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Catherine Schendel, CEO; Jeff Williams, COO; Gary McConnell, Board President ADDRESS: 3600 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806 • PHONE: 225.767.4673 • WEBSITE: hospicebr.org AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022




Video & broadcast production

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webcast planning + management

Digital marketing

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public relations + press releases

Application & web development

content strategy

Learn more at StudioE.us or contact Judith LaDousa at judith@studioe.us


[ DEMCO ] Good news for co-op members, the economy and the environment AFTER MONTHS OF negotiations, DEMCO has successfully inked a new 10-year wholesale power contract that will go into effect in 2024 if approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission. That’s good news for the cooperative’s 113,000 members, says CEO Randy Pierce, as it will bring more reliability and greater price stability, along with a more diverse power portfolio. A separate 25-year contract tied directly to Amite Solar (a NextEra division) will provide about 15 percent of the total power supply load. The other 85 percent will come via a traditional wholesale contract with NextEra of Juno Beach, Fla. NextEra is a Fortune 200 company and one of the largest suppliers of wholesale electricity to public power entities in the U.S. The company has 15,000 employees and provides power to millions of customers in the U.S. and Canada, including 70 electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. So just why did DEMCO decide to enter into a new power supply contract with NextEra? Numerous

reasons—chiefly, the current wholesale power contract allows rates to fluctuate monthly based upon fuel costs that DEMCO cannot control. The new contract will allow DEMCO to lock in annual rates well before

the beginning of each year to prevent month-to-month fluctuations. “Between 65 and 70 percent of a DEMCO member’s bill goes to pay for wholesale power,” says Pierce. “Lowering and stabilizing that part

of our cost leads to lower electricity bills for our members.” In an economic impact study, Dr. James Richardson, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, projected economic outcomes of lower electricity prices would result in DEMCO members saving $160 million over 10 years. Spending less on electricity, DEMCO members will likely spend these savings in other areas of the economy; almost $270 million in increased economic transactions, $90 million in additional personal earnings and over $12 million in state and local tax receipts. The economic impact would also create about 3,000 new jobs. In other words, DEMCO members will feel immediate and substantial benefits. Pierce is excited about the potential of the new agreement. “The contract that we put together gives us more options to adjust to conditions as they happen,” he adds. “It will provide our members with reliable, stable and competitively priced electric service for many years to come.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Randy Pierce, CEO and General Manager; Daniel Berthelot, Board President ADDRESS: 16262 Wax Road, Greenwell Springs, LA 70739 • PHONE: 1.844.MyDEMCO (1.844.693.3626) • WEBSITE: DEMCO.org

AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ RELIANCE ONESCAPE ] The grass is greener … WITH CLIENTS ACROSS Greater Baton Rouge, Reliance OneScape is a full-service landscape design and maintenance company with a hands-on commitment to quality. The Port Allen company has grown significantly over the last four years, but remains true to its humble roots. “We want to work as hard as we can to deliver a quality product,” owner Cody Bordelon says. “We set ourselves apart from our competition by paying attention to every detail and listening to our customers.” Reliance OneScape recently opened a new headquarters in Port Allen that includes the company’s administrative offices, storage for mulch and large plants, and a maintenance and fueling area for its John Deere lineup of equipment. Consolidating operations in one location has increased the company’s efficiencies, allowing crews to leave in the morning with everything they need to reliably serve customers throughout the day. Bordelon is passionate about his company. As a young man, the New Roads native grew up mowing yards, creating a thriving side business in

high school that grew to nearly 70 accounts by the time he graduated. At that point in his life, Bordelon put the business aside to study instrumentation in college, opting for a career in manufacturing. But it wasn’t long before Bordelon started cutting grass again on the

side. This time, though, he also began designing landscapes and helping a growing list of clients create wow-factor yards. “That’s the first impression people have when they pull up to your home or business,” Bordelon says. “It’s a way to really add value to your property.”

His accounts grew quickly, and while it was still a side business, Bordelon hired a couple employees. The venture continued to grow, and in 2018, Bordelon took the plunge. He quit his full-time job to focus on the business, also acquiring Reliance OneScape to help grow his commercial accounts. “I took a leap, but I knew it would pay off,” he says. The year was particularly eventful. In 2018, Bordelon and his wife, Kati, also adopted twin baby boys. Now with 22 employees, Reliance OneScape serves commercial and residential customers across greater Baton Rouge. The firm provides landscape design, lighting plans, fountains, lawn and bed maintenance contracts and many other services. This year, Bordelon is also opening a retail nursery in Erwinville, an ancillary business that will broaden what he can offer to his clients. “We’ll be able to provide our customers even more choices,” Bordelon says. “And we’ll be able to continue to serve them with the highest level of efficiency.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Cody Bordelon, Owner ADDRESS: P.O. Box 87361, Baton Rouge, LA 70817 • PHONE: 225.937.9334 • WEBSITE: relianceonescape.com 50

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


[ OCTAGON MEDIA ] Exceeding client expectations MARANDA WHITE and her team at Octagon Media believe in delivering remarkable results to each and every one of their clients. In 2012, White launched Octagon Media as a media-buying firm, later expanding to a full-service agency offering services such as event management, public relations, digital marketing, graphic design, radio and television advertising. With 23 years of experience under her belt having worked for local and national advertising agencies—including McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Peter Mayer Advertising—founder and CEO White’s mission is to provide service to accounts of all sizes with the commitment of successfully achieving positive results. Her advertising business continues to evolve by exceeding client expectations, generating efficient and effective marketing campaigns. However, there is a lot that comes with marketing outside of making cold calls and sending emails. “It’s not that simple,” White says. “There is a

process and there’s a lot of analytics to consider.” “Clients come to me with a goal or objective,” she adds. “They’re trying to increase sales or get their message heard or build brand awareness. I love

helping people. What I enjoy most is the strategy part of it all—determining the target audience, understanding the way media is consumed and placing ads with various media outlets.” She and her staff of 10 have more

than 100 years of combined experience in the industry. Their niche of having access to in-house media-buying software sets them apart from other local agencies. When developing a campaign, Octagon Media staffers refer to an acronym, SAM, which stands for strategy, advertising and marketing. Before conceptualizing a campaign, research comes first. Data is compiled and used to guide decisions in building a strategy and creating a plan of execution. Then that plan is implemented. Upon completion, post analysis provides the overall result, and clients walk away thoroughly impressed. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, we have overachieved what our clients anticipated, and that is our goal,” White says. “As a business owner, our clients are great at running their businesses. But our agency wants to be able to assist them by taking the advertising and marketing off their plate so they can focus on what they do best.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Maranda White, Owner/CEO ADDRESS: 4626 Sherwood Common Blvd., Suite 202, Baton Rouge, LA 70816 • PHONE: 225.663.6878 • WEBSITE: octagonmedia8.com AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ MINI MIRACLES 24-HOUR CHILD CARE ] Round-the-clock child care comes to Baton Rouge CAPTIVATED BY THE colors and shapes before them, a group of 3-year-olds at Mini Miracles 24-Hour Child Care in Baton Rouge sit around an electric green table, engaging in constructive play and positive social interactions with friends. Their vibrantly decorated classroom is filled with lots of stimulating toys, educational activities and several stations for learning and playing. Mini Miracles 24-Hour Child Care offers a safe, stimulating place for the children of Baton Rouge working parents to learn and grow. But what differentiates it from other facilities is that it is open around the clock, providing an important—and rare—service to parents who work nontraditional hours, or who need extra time to take care of life’s demands. “24-hour child care is a progressive idea that you don’t see every day,” says founder and owner Sareena Stevenson, an entrepreneur and software engineer who moved to Baton Rouge from the San Francisco Bay Area. “I’d always wanted to open a child care business, but I wanted it to be different. This is an important concept that reimagines how we think of child care. It brings innovation to greater Baton Rouge.” Many working parents of young

children find themselves in need of after-hours support, Stevenson says, especially those holding down jobs in fields like health care, security and the petrochemical industry. Finding afterhours child care is especially challenging for single parents, as well as two-parent households holding down multiple jobs. But shift workers aren’t the only parents who need after-hours care, Stevenson says. “Many of my parents work traditional, 9-to-5 hours, but they need

extra time in the evening to do things like work late, stop at the grocery store or run an errand,” she says. “Just having the option to be able to pick up your child after 5:30 pm makes life so much easier. Time is our greatest commodity.” Mini Miracles 24-Hour Child Care serves families with children ages six weeks to 6 years. Parents can follow their children’s daily activities on Brightwheel, a child care software management app that allows moms and dads to celebrate milestones,

monitor daily routines and share in their children’s learning. “We teach young children a wide variety of age-appropriate activities that stimulate their brains and help them develop,” Stevenson says. “Literacy activities, sensory games, fine and gross motor skills and dramatic play are just part of a broad curriculum.” The facility also offers a pre-kindergarten tract that helps prepare children to enter elementary school ready to learn. A longtime entrepreneur, Stevenson is also in the process of opening a construction company, the Stevenson Building Group, that will build houses for women, by women, she says. The new venture is set to launch this summer. A high priority for the small business owner is to bring her Mini Miracles 24-Hour Child Care concept to scale. Stevenson hopes to franchise the model both within and outside of Baton Rouge. “This is an excellent opportunity to push innovation in the field of child care,” she says. “Communities that have a robust system of 24-hour child care facilities will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Sareena Stevenson, Founder and Owner ADDRESS: 5224 N. Flannery Road, Baton Rouge 70814 • PHONE: 225.444.5762 • WEBSITE: https://www.mmccbr.com/ 52

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


[ LANDRY’S LANDSCAPE ] Quality, consistency, dependability THREE DECADES AFTER starting as a small business in Baton Rouge, Landry’s Landscape has put itself on the national map with its brand of top-notch service. A full-service landscaping company, Landry’s works with commercial and residential clients in several states. And while it is bigger and busier than ever, the company has kept the same priorities through the years. “The quality, the consistency and the dependability of Landry’s in the last 30 years has helped us get where we are today,” says CEO Lane Plaisance. Landry’s Landscape provides design, installation and maintenance services. Plaisance started the company in 1992 with a few pieces of equipment, hard work and dedication. Early on, he made an unwavering commitment to quality that would eventually lead to new, out-of-state opportunities. When a large local client moved its offices to Texas, Landry’s was asked to follow, and “we have grown alongside them,” Plaisance says. Today, Landry’s has offices in Baton Rouge and in fast-growing suburban areas of Texas—one in Lewisville, a

suburb of Dallas, and the other in Cypress, which is on the outskirts of Houston. Both opened within the past 10 years, and Plaisance is now eyeing expansion in other locations outside Louisiana.

One thing that’s unique about Landry’s is being able to manage multiple sites, contractors and aspects of landscaping. That means clients don’t have to deal with more than one contractor; Landry’s takes care of every-

thing, all on one contract. Landry’s is constantly building its nationwide network of subcontractors, which has allowed it to succeed as a one-stop shop for clients’ landscaping needs whether they’re in Louisiana, Texas or one of the many other states where Landry’s has projects. “It’s a big selling point and it has separated us from other companies that are not able to do that,” Plaisance says. Building and maintaining good relationships is another top priority, says COO Scott Miller. The company has many longtime employees and has kept some of the same clients for more than 20 years. With the company poised for further growth, Miller and Plaisance are focused on maintaining Landry’s brand of quality and spreading it far and wide. But both point out that Landry’s wouldn’t be successful without its Baton Rouge clients, who have supported the company from the start. “We’ve branched out,” Plaisance says, “but at the end of the day, this is home for us.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Lane Plaisance, CEO; Scott Miller, COO ADDRESS: 8943 Buzbee Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70809 • PHONE: 225.752.9177 • WEBSITE: landryslandscape.com AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ CAREER COMPETITOR ] Coaching clients to optimize performance CAREER COMPETITOR, a full-service coaching company founded by Steve Mellor, helps guide and support individuals and organizations through the critical, yet challenging process of optimizing performance and realizing higher levels of potential. Through a combination of life and career coaching, Career Competitor works with individuals who feel they have more to offer and attain in their career, yet have not figured out how to realize opportunities for continued growth. Career Competitor also provides culture consulting for organizations or teams, helping to optimize long-term performance through cultural growth and change. This involves bridging a gap between leaders’ expectations of the organization’s performance, and the intentions and purpose of the employees responsible for delivering results. “With both individuals and organizations, there can be a disconnect between where their skills and potential can be best utilized versus how they currently are utilizing their skill set and investing in their career,” says

Mellor. “You can be in a great place, but you may not be working with the greatest purpose possible or using the skills you already have to the best of your ability.” Mellor brings more than 15 years of coaching experience to Career Competitor, including serving as LSU’s associate head swimming coach.

Mellor led athletes to Olympic gold, All-American honors and SEC medals by helping them realize they had more to give when they thought they had exhausted their potential. In 2018, Mellor started the Career Competitor podcast featuring his interviews with former athletes who have applied the skills and attributes

that made them a sporting success to a different career. These conversations with a wide network of professionals emphasized Mellor’s skills in performance coaching and led him to establish his company providing a full range of coaching services. “I talk with my clients about their soft skills and characteristics that have led to success in other parts of their life and how they can use those to find, rediscover or optimize their performance and success today,” he says. Career Competitor is not about competing with others, but “making a career of that competitive discovery within us,” Mellor says. “It’s about self-discovery. Is there a part of you that is hungry to learn more about yourself? If so, you’re competitively driven to evolve and develop,” he says. “Whether I’m working with someone one on one or working with an organization, my job as a performance coach is to identify where your greatest abilities lie and bring them to the surface so you can use them to optimize your potential growth.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Steve Mellor, Founder • PHONE: 225.573.2262 • WEBSITE: careercompetitor.com 54

ANNUAL REPORT 2022 | AnnualReportBR.com


[ TRANSFORMYX ] Delivering innovative technology solutions WITH OVER 35 YEARS of business in the Louisiana IT market, Transformyx is no stranger to adaptation and growth. The technology needs (and capabilities) of today’s world continue to evolve and as a result, new solutions and products emerge. As a leading technology solutions provider in the Gulf South region, Transformyx leverages partnerships with select vendors and distributors to provide its clients with best-in-class solutions for networking, collaboration, cloud and cybersecurity needs. With careful and strategic consideration, Transformyx approaches manufacturer partnerships that best align with its capabilities and practice areas, as well as its mission statement. “Every year hundreds of new technology vendors and manufacturers enter the marketplace, and each with their own claimed niche,” says Ivana Rhodes, partner relations manager. “Cisco offers a robust portfolio of products and services across nearly all IT specializations, and the integrity of their technology is unmatched.” In 2021, Transformyx was named a

Gold Provider partner by Cisco, the world’s largest leading IT manufacturer. Gold Provider partners have uniquely certified individuals across advanced specializations, including enterprise networking, advanced security, collaboration and data center—all of which encompass offerings avail-

able from the Transformyx team. This partnership achievement comes to Transformyx only one year after being recognized as a Master Cloud & Managed Services Certified Partner of Cisco. In addition, Transformyx was selected as a winner in the 2021 Cisco FY21 Gulf States Partner Awards and

named Security Partner of the Year. “We truly value our partnership with Transformyx due to their commitment to building and delivering innovative solutions that meet our joint customers’ business and technology needs,” says Victoria Blaylock, partner account manager for Cisco. “We know we can always rely on Transformyx to provide excellent customer service and technical expertise to clients across education, government, health care and financial services industries.” Transformyx intends to continue investing and growing its partnership with Cisco to perpetuate the value of its services and to extend its capabilities as client needs evolve. “Our obligation to our clients is to provide them with quality technology solutions that optimize their business outcomes,” says Paul Buteaux, chief revenue officer. “Being recognized as one of the very best Cisco partners in our region sends a clear message to our clients that we have the sales and technical skills necessary to deliver these solutions at the highest levels.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Paul Buteaux, Chief Revenue Officer; Charles Rougeau, Chief Technology Officer ADDRESS: 6867 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • PHONE: 225.761.0088 • WEBSITE: transformyx.com AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ AMBASSADOR MORTGAGE ] At the heart of the real estate industry FOR MORE THAN a decade, Ambassador Mortgage has been helping all types of clients, including single mothers and those with less than perfect credit get into homes even if they previously had difficulty getting approved for a mortgage loan. Owner and founder Darlene Reese can relate to many of her clients’ struggles. She says she faced some of the same hardships over the years, including becoming a teenage mother. Reese also suffered the loss of two of her four children in a car accident in 2002. She entered the mortgage business in 2004 after taking a continuing education class to make extra money to support her family. “Ambassador Mortgage was birthed out of great pain,” Reese says. “I was the person who received food stamps, who was not likely to succeed, who worked jobs at fast food restaurants. I had to close the door many times crying, trying to figure out who I was going to pay next. I am that girl.”

Today, at 59 years old and happily married for 25 years, Reese and Ambassador have found tremendous success. “I found that I love it,” Reese said of her work. “I’m helping people get into homes when everyone else tells them no. I wanted to fight for

those people. My husband, Milton Reese, has been a great supporter. He’s been my number one fan for over 25 years.” With its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Ambassador Mortgage has grown to become a multi-million-dol-

lar firm, working with more than 15 investors across the country. The business has offices in six states including Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Reese says she feels it’s important to tell the whole story of what she went through to get to the success she is experiencing now. While her company does not offer credit repair services, she educates clients during an in-person meeting about their credit, including what caused any problems and how the client can resolve any issues. While the process is not always a quick one, Reese says Ambassador Mortgage has been able to help approximately 90 percent of her clients get into homes over the years. “We have the passion. We have the patience,” she says. Reese describes mortgage brokers and lenders as the heart of the real estate industry – without them, no loans would close, she says. “That’s what Ambassador is, the heart,” Reese says.

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Darlene Reese, Owner and Founder ADDRESS: 4021 WE Heck Court, Building D, Unit D1, Baton Rouge, LA 70816 • PHONE: 225.341-3551 • WEBSITE: ambassadormtgllc.com 56

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[ THE LUSTER GROUP ] Taking a hands-on, detailed approach to every project THE LUSTER GROUP is an emerging company making a big impact in the construction field in Baton Rouge. With a portfolio that includes big-name clients such as LSU, Southern University and the BREC parks system, the company has earned a reputation for taking a hands-on, detailed approach to projects. Founded in 2013 by Floyd Luster, the company performs general construction as well as disaster management, program management and design services. Luster launched the company after a decade of practicing architecture and working in program management. Many current projects involve site, concrete and infrastructure work. Luster grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where his mother, an educator, emphasized the importance of learning. After graduating from Southern University’s architecture program in 2001, he considered starting his own architecture firm. “My dad was in business his whole life,” he says. “It was in my blood to be an entrepreneur.” But starting a new business in the architecture field can be challenging,

especially as a minority, Luster says. Many firms that start locally end up moving to big cities like Dallas and Atlanta where there are more opportunities for work, he says. Luster eventually was drawn to construction, where he saw plenty of entrepreneurial potential and a way

to put his architecture skills to use. “I have a successful construction company because I’ve been on the other side—the design side. I know there’s no perfect set of plans,” he says, adding that adapting to problems as they arise is critical. “Architecture and construction are

very unique,” he says. “One thing I like about the field is there’s never a dull moment. When you’re practicing architecture, you’re always solving problems. It’s a different problem that we face each day, whether it’s working with different clients or working out design issues—and it’s the same thing with construction.” He’s proud to have worked with BREC on several efforts, including a cart barn at the Webb Park golf course and more recently, project management for the Baton Rouge Zoo and the Greenwood Park revitalization initiative. “We’re excited about that one,” Luster says. “It’s a very unique and challenging project.” Being a young, emerging company brings advantages that have helped The Luster Group succeed. “I have five employees. We’re small. We’re hands-on with each project,” Luster says. “I visit each site two or three times a week. On a management level, we’re on site daily. That’s what sets us apart—we pay attention to the details.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Floyd Luster, Founder and Partner in Charge; Gregory Daniels, Construction Foreman; Cliff Bailey, Project Manager; David Crocram, Project Manager ADDRESS: 3255 Choctaw Dr., Suite D, Baton Rouge, LA 70805 • PHONE: 225.636.2414 • WEBSITE: thelustergroup.com AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ THE BRIDGE CENTER FOR HOPE ] An alternative for those in mental health crisis THE BRIDGE CENTER FOR HOPE is a community asset providing essential mental health and substance use crisis stabilization services for East Baton Rouge Parish residents. In response to an increase in people suffering from mental illness, substance use challenges or both, parish residents in 2018 overwhelmingly passed a property tax to fund the first crisis stabilization center in Louisiana. The Bridge Center opened its 26,000-square-foot facility in February 2021, providing an alternative to the parish prison or local emergency rooms for individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Bridge Center has a “no wrong door policy,” adopted by RI International, the facility’s service provider, that allows people to access the facility no matter what they are going through or what time of day it is. From February to December 2021, the center treated 2,286 individuals; 1,253 came to the center on their own, while first responders escorted 888 individuals. Average length of time per first-responder dropoff is 3.74 min-



utes, a dramatic difference from the time to admit someone to an emergency room or the parish prison, which is not adequately equipped to treat people with mental health issues. “The center’s immediate goal is to mitigate the crisis,” says Executive Director Charlotte Claiborne. “We

engage that person to de-escalate the crisis, then we figure out what’s going on because every stage of a crisis is different.” Everyone is assessed in the center’s 23-hour observation unit, where they are monitored. Those who are not stabilized and discharged are transferred

to either the short-term psychiatric unit or the medical detoxification unit, each of which has 16 beds and specialist staff, such as a psychiatrist, addictionologist, nurse practitioners and peer support specialists. Average length of stay is 3 to 5 days. The center’s mission to be a continuum of care then refers discharged individuals to other providers in the community as needed. Everyone leaves with two scheduled appointments—one for behavioral health and one for physical health. The Bridge Center accepts all forms of insurance, but also covers treatment costs for East Baton Rouge Parish residents who are uninsured or underinsured and 18 years or older. Because the center does not turn anyone away, out-of-parish resident costs are covered by RI International. “Mental health crises can happen to anybody, which is why there are no barriers to accessing services at the Bridge Center,” Claiborne says. “Our goal is to provide much-needed services that had become non-existent within our community.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Charlotte Claiborne, Executive Director ADDRESS: 728 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 • PHONE: 225.308.1032 • WEBSITE: brbridge.org 58

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(From left) Genevieve Silverman, Na’Tisha Nelson Natt and Stephen Loy.

[ NEXUS LOUISIANA ] Coaching, capital and connection for technology-based companies NEXUS LOUISIANA, whose mission is to provide coaching, capital and connection for technology-based companies, is celebrating 30 years of work in the state by reflecting on the successes of the Tech Park, PitchBR, BREW and other projects. The Louisiana State Legislature created Nexus Louisiana in the early 1990s to promote the development of high-tech industry and research. In the past three years, it has rebranded from the Research Park Corporation to Nexus Louisiana to better reflect its mission of offering a hub—or nexus— to local tech founders. Nexus Louisiana’s home base of operations is the Louisiana Technology Park facility, which opened in Baton Rouge in 2001. It has served approximately 130 member companies over the years and provides a home to 20-30 members at any one time, says Genevieve Silverman, president and CEO. The effect has been the creation of nearly 3,200 jobs and $104.7 million in total capital raised. “It’s been our privilege to serve the technology community in Louisiana for the last 30 years, and we are excited to maintain that momentum for the next 30 years,” Silverman says. “Nexus

(From left) Speed Bancroft and Sanjay Maharjan of Speedy Eats Automated Kitchen.

Louisiana is constantly revising existing programs and adding new ones to bring nothing but the best to the table.” Nexus Louisiana’s successes include Innovation Catalyst, a nonprofit venture development company launched in 2012 investing seed capital to growing businesses in the state. The BizTech Challenge, created in 2016, allows HBCU students to validate their business idea, build a real business and win up to $10,000. PitchBR, a quarterly pitch series also created in 2016, provides a supportive environment for

emerging companies to get feedback on their pitches before engaging the investment community. Nexus Louisiana took over the operation of BREW or Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week in 2017. The highlight is the high-stakes pitch competition, where the winning start-up is awarded $100,000 from Innovation Catalyst and the Red Stick Angel Network. In 2018, Nexus Louisiana launched a partnership with Apprenti, a company that helps organizations access tech talent and address digital skills short-

ages. Nexus serves as the Baton Rouge region partner for the program. “It’s a win-win because employers can use the program to source candidates who have been trained in a highly specific technology role,” Silverman says. Just recently, Nexus Louisiana and LSU partnered to create the Ignition accelerator. This initiative helps entrepreneurs across the state discover if their ideas could become the next big thing. Silverman says she and her staff are looking forward to being able to help more companies through the Ignition program and being able to strengthen the technology ecosystem in the Baton Rouge region. “We offer a hub for local tech founders—a nexus for the Louisiana tech community,” Silverman says. “Our ongoing coaching, training and development programs have fostered an entire generation of new technology businesses. We’ve had the privilege of increasing access to capital and funding opportunities for local entrepreneurs regardless of their personal backgrounds or circumstances. The connections we’ve formed over the years have only grown stronger, catapulting many of our local founders to the national stage.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Genevieve Silverman, President & CEO; Stephen Loy, Executive Director of Nexus Louisiana Tech Park; Na’Tisha Natt, Director of Community Engagement ADDRESS: 7117 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806 • PHONE: 225.218.0001 • WEBSITE: nexusla.org AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ FULLY PROMOTED BATON ROUGE ] Tailoring promotional products to the client FULLY PROMOTED BATON ROUGE works with businesses and organizations across Greater Baton Rouge to create targeted promotional products that increase their recognition and interaction with existing and potential customers. From T-shirts and hats to pizza cutters and toothpaste squeezers, Fully Promoted Baton Rouge has more than 1 million products available for an organization to customize with its logo or brand. As a locally owned business, Fully Promoted Baton Rouge provides personalized customer service with local expertise and quick response times. Such customer service sets the company apart from Internet-based promotional companies. “We listen to our customers’ needs and talk with them about what they’re trying to accomplish and who they’re giving the items to,” says owner Denzil Cole. “Then we’ll tailor their marketing and promotional product choices toward what’s best for their clientele.” Promotional products are an inexpensive, yet effective way to promote a business. Indeed, 85 percent of peo-

ple who receive a promotional product go on to do business with that organization. And consumers have a more positive impression of promotional products than Internet advertising. As such, Fully Promoted works with customers to find the right promotional products for their needs. “You don’t want to give something

that people throw in the trash or in a drawer at home,” Cole says. “You want something that they’re going to see on a daily basis or fairly regularly, and that they’re going to use.” Popular items include magnetic can holders, insulated cups and tumblers, water bottles, pens, stickers, foam fingers, hats and T-shirts. As Cole notes,

“I can put a brand on just about anything.” As a franchised business, Fully Promoted Baton Rouge has a support network and good relationships with vendors, many of whom offer pricing deals. Cole started Fully Promoted Baton Rouge after a 30-year career as a petroleum engineer. The company has enabled him to connect with the diverse mix of businesses and organizations across the Capital region. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know a lot of different people in the community, from small-business owners to CEOs,” he says. Most Baton Rouge businesses and organizations can benefit from Fully Promoted Baton Rouge’s services. “Everyone is a potential customer. When you walk around anywhere, you’ll see people with something branded, like shirts, hats or cups,” Cole says. “We ask our customers, ‘are you promoting your business enough? Are you fully promoted?’ We want to be their promotional partner and help them promote their business.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Denzil Cole, Owner • ADDRESS: 2644 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Suite 103, Baton Rouge, LA 70816 PHONE: 225.831.9600 • WEBSITE: https://fullypromoted.com/locations/baton-rouge-la 60

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[ APTIM ] Upcoming move to Water Campus is important milestone APTIM, which focuses on making the natural and built environment more resilient to the effects of climate change for communities now and for future generations, is heading in an exciting direction with a move to The Water Campus in downtown Baton Rouge this fall. The Water Campus serves as the country’s first major center dedicated to the study of coastal restoration and sustainability. APTIM will be right at home as a leader in designing and delivering solutions that make Baton Rouge and the world more resilient. With more than 4,000 employees and 55 offices and project locations worldwide, APTIM delivers six award-winning consultancy services: critical infrastructure, technical and data solutions, environmental, program management, resilience, and sustainability and energy solutions. Whether it’s safeguarding and maintaining infrastructure, helping communities recover from natural disasters, enabling our armed forces and first responders, reducing carbon and energy use, making cities more resilient against the threats of changing climate, or restoring ecological systems, APTIM goes to work each day knowing they make an impact on the world. “Our priority at APTIM is to find space where we can bring everyone together,” says Mark Fallon, APTIM

chairman and CEO. “With its modern, efficient, environmentally friendly and human-centered design, APTIM’s new headquarters will be much more aligned with our people-first culture and our roadmap for growth. We are excited to find a space that enables us to collaborate and do extraordinary work for our clients, while also being an attractive destination for our current and prospective employees.” Fallon says APTIM, like all organizations, is looking at its footprint across the United States. The company’s goal is to be a flexible employer and give employees the option to work from

home or from the new location to collaborate with other teammates. “We will always remember that each of us is a human being who deserves the ability to balance our lives inside and outside of work,” Fallon says. “Working at APTIM means never having to say sorry for being a parent, a partner or a person. We promote decency, equity, hard work, fun, and being there for each other always.” The way APTIM behaves as a company and as a community is inseparable from the way they serve their clients. Two things make APTIM unique: its mission and its people.

Following the deadly and destructive Category 4 Hurricane Ida landfall in late August 2021, APTIM’s first priority was its Louisiana employees. APTIM sprang into action with efforts to provide an additional week of paid time off, food, water, fuel, and critical supplies to employees living in the area. Also, APTIM’s Disaster Response and Recovery team, in partnership with the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and a range of Louisiana companies, has provided shelter to more than 14,100 survivors of Ida. The program aims to secure appropriate and immediate shelter for survivors and assist them with the transition to FEMA’s Direct Housing Program as applicable. APTIM’s sheltering program has now become the model for other disaster recovery programs. The company paves the way to provide emergency temporary sheltering in this first-ofits-kind program. APTIM commits to meeting the demands of today while building a better world for tomorrow. The move to the Water Campus is an important milestone for APTIM’s people, its corporate citizenship in its home city of Baton Rouge, and for its strategy to lead the world in coastal resilience. APTIM is excited for this next phase of the journey.

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Mark Fallon, Chairman and CEO; Alan Weakley, President, Resiliency and Infrastructure Solutions; Heather Royston, President, Environmental and Energy Solutions ADDRESS: 4171 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809; The Water Campus (Fall 2022), 1200 Brickyard Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 • PHONE: 833.862.7846 • WEBSITE: aptim.com AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ CAPITAL AREA TRANSIT SYSTEM ] Collaborating to keep Baton Rouge moving FOR OVER THREE DECADES, the Capital Area Transit System (CATS) has worked to improve quality of life for residents living and working in the capital region. Today, with connections to 225,000 jobs located within a half mile of a transit route throughout, CATS’ role as a community partner is more integral than ever as Baton Rouge’s current systems and infrastructure continue to develop. “Just last fall, the citizens of Baton Rouge and Baker voted to renew the millage that serves as CATS’ primary funding source, and we are so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to continue providing services to residents who rely on transit,” said Bill Deville, CATS CEO. “We made promises to our community for the next 10 years, and we look forward to upholding these promises through continuous improvement, exciting new projects and advancements, and ongoing partnerships that allow us to have a direct economic and community impact.” CATS’ partner organizations not only support the transit system, but also offer critical thought leadership on how to shape the future of the city. From the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber to the East Baton Rouge school system, to area healthcare facilities and other business leaders, collaborating with community partners allows CATS to find and address solutions to the area’s transportation challenges. “It was a huge win for CATS to help

attract the Amazon facility to the greater Baton Rouge area by offering transit services for their new workers,” said Dwana Williams, CATS Chief Operating Officer. “And we’re equally excited to work with BRAF on planning for the needs of travelers who will use the commuter rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans—a project expected in the next year or two.” With a recently adopted strategic plan and capital improvement investment plan, CATS has drafted a roadmap for how to grow and improve the transit system, in coordination with city-wide improvement and development projects, to support the transportation needs of Baton Rouge residents and travelers over the next decade.

“As Baton Rouge continues to progress and evolve, including a population explosion and the revitalization of downtown, so does CATS alongside it,” said Deville. “We know CATS can offer alternative and efficient ways to travel across the city, so CATS is constantly looking for areas of improvement or adaptability. For example, we’re now looking at major roadwork on the I-10/I-12 split, which we know will affect an already congested route for many commuters.” In the immediate future, CATS plans to expand transportation services to connect passengers at drop-off points for easier commutes and the opportunity for extended reach through ride-share

commuter services and microtransit. CATS’ microtransit pilot service kicks off this summer in the city of Baker and north Baton Rouge. “During the peak of the pandemic, we were all reminded of how important transit services are for the healthcare, hotel and restaurant sectors, and of the vital role CATS plays as a community partner,” said Cheri Soileau, CATS Director of Planning, Scheduling, and Program Development. “More recently, with skyrocketing gas prices, road work, and driving fatigue, CATS gives residents a safe and affordable alternative to driving.” As CATS continues to work with partners at the local, state, and national level, the agency is ambitious about new capital projects and development opportunities in the capital area that will carry Baton Rouge into the future. CATS is proud to be a community partner, providing essential services and driving economic growth for the region. “As we identify ways to expand and improve our system, we will be asking the community to tell us what you want, how you want it, and when you want it,” said Theo Richards, CATS Director of Business Development. “What you’re seeing now is just the beginning. Our primary goal is to identify transportation obstacles and work around them so our city will continue to thrive.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Bill Deville, Chief Executive Officer; Dwana Williams, Chief Operating Officer; John Cutrone, Comptroller ADDRESS: 2250 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 • PHONE: 225.389.8920 • WEBSITE: brcats.com 62

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[ FIRESIDE ANTIQUES ] Four decades of restoration and beauty FIRESIDE ANTIQUES IS celebrating 40 years of experience in the antique trade with the collective knowledge of three generations of ownership. Mother/ daughter duo Cheri McDaniel and Susan Roland started the business and for the past 12 years, Laura Roland, Susan’s daughter, has managed the shop. When McDaniel and Roland first opened the shop in 1982, Polaroid photography was a groundbreaking way to help customers who primarily lived in Louisiana and Texas. In the four decades since, technology has allowed Fireside Antiques’ initial 1,500-squarefoot showroom to evolve into 18,000 square feet and has broadened their market to a worldwide customer base. Through it all, the team has continued to incorporate antiques into the modern world. “We ship 70% of our business out of state,” said Laura Roland. “Our website and other market platforms feature categorized, detailed images of our current inventory and are updated daily as our antiques make their way through our workshop.” When selecting items for Fireside Antiques, the Rolands look for antiques

that push the boundaries beyond traditional style. “We love to see original paint finishes, mirror glass that sparkles, honest woodworking repairs, and love to celebrate wood tones with depth that can only be acquired over time,” Laura explains. The Rolands also enjoy seeking out and restoring well-loved pieces of furniture back to their original beauty. Cleaning each piece, tightening loose

joints, polishing wood with French paste wax on the exterior, orange oiling the interiors, reworking locks, making sure all drawers are working smoothly, servicing clocks, and rewiring and cleaning lighting are just a few steps of the antique restoration process. “After hand-selecting each piece from our buying trips to Europe, a lot of work goes into preparing each antique to be ready for immediate use,” said

Laura. “No two antiques are alike, and their processes differ, too. Every piece goes through our workshop and receives its own custom restoration.” The Rolands have seen styles and trends shift within the market every 10 years or so. In the last decade in particular, customers have been more willing to reach beyond comfort zones. “Tastes have changed from preferring ‘matching suites’ to collecting pieces from a variety of styles, periods and regions,” says Susan. “The exciting thing about our business is that we are always changing to meet the needs of our clients.” The team at Fireside Antiques maintains their love for restoring antiques with the combined respect for preserving centuries-old craftsmanship as well as the fun of helping both their loyal, generations-long customers and new clients alike. “To be able to save pieces of history for the next generation is priceless,” said Susan. “So many stone types, wood species, and furniture techniques are not available in today’s world. To be able to see into a world that existed only in the past is magical.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Laura Roland and Susan Roland, Owners ADDRESS: 14007 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • PHONE: 225.752.9565 • WEBSITE: firesideantiques.com AnnualReportBR.com | ANNUAL REPORT 2022



[ CITY GROUP HOSPITALITY ] Continued growth even during uncertain times THE OWNERS OF City Group Hospitality took a unique approach during the pandemic, successfully opening several new restaurants while navigating the labor and supply chain issues that have troubled businesses over the past two years. While City Group managing partner Stephen Hightower admits it was a gamble to undergo such extreme growth during uncertain times, it has paid off. “Our story is different than a lot of other businesses during the pandemic,” Hightower says. “It was a risk, but food is such an important part of our Louisiana culture, and we believed the world would eventually come back to normal.” The restaurant group’s offerings include four City Pork locations— Jefferson Highway, Government Street, LSU’s campus and the newest at Highland @ Perkins. There are also Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine, Rouj Creole, Proverbial Wine Bar, City Slice Pints + Pizza, and 3 Little Pigs Café (inside the LSU Vet School), as well as a large catering division. Spoke & Hub, the latest City Group Hospitality concept, opened in March. During the pandemic’s early stages,

co-owner Patrick Valluzzo says the restaurant group looked for opportunities to pick up jobs wherever they became available, so feeding essential workers and schools became key to survival. “It became a platform to keep people on staff,” he says. When some of the pandemic restrictions were eased, the restaurant group

was able to bring staff back into its restaurants more quickly. In August of 2020, City Group Hospitality owners decided to purchase Beausoleil. They kept the name and many of the beloved menu items, but also added the City Group Hospitality spin on things with a fresh new look and more of a focus on sea-

food. “It was a great restaurant with a great reputation. We just created a new identity to move it forward,” Hightower says. Spoke & Hub, the newest restaurant in the group, is a modern style diner with a cycling theme. While there were supply chain challenges, as well as staffing issues due to the latest COVID19 variant, the restaurant is now open in its Government Street location. Along with continued growth, Valluzzo says a top goal as owner is to continue to develop the restaurant group’s workforce because people are the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to being successful. He also says it’s important to improve on efficiency—maintaining the balance of producing food that makes people excited, along with delivering on value and hospitality. “We had a long-term vision of what we were trying to accomplish, which was a multi-unit restaurant group,” Valluzzo says. “It took a leap of faith during the pandemic, but the belief in our incredible talented workforce led our drive.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: David Dispenza, Director of Operations; Jeff Conaway, Corporate Culture Officer; Kelly McDevitt, Director of Marketing; Scott Gautreau, Area Director; Jerome Newchurch, Area Director; Loni Trabeaux, Area Director ADDRESS: 7077 S. Choctaw Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808 • PHONE: 225.691.9291 • WEBSITE: citygrouphospitality.com 64

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[ OLIVIER GROUP ] A holistic, team-based approach to financial planning IT’S ALL ABOUT teamwork at Olivier Group. As a client, you don’t work with just one advisor, but get the experience of an entire staff. Olivier Group was founded 20 years ago and has transformed itself over the years into a proactive, holistic financial advisory firm. In an increasingly complex world, a knowledgeable advisor who can see “the big picture” is more important than ever. The company currently manages $360 million in client assets. “As innovative wealth planners, we use a team approach to helping clients pursue their financial goals,” says Chad Olivier, CEO and Certified Financial Planner. “Everyone on the team has the goal of serving that client. With many firms, you’re working with one advisor and maybe an assistant. With us, the entire team works for you.” They’ve also joined forces with Carson Partners, a registered investment advisor in Omaha, Nebraska, through which they can access estate tax attorneys, CPAs and portfolio

strategists. That comes with enormous benefits, as Olivier Group can tap into their expertise whenever, and however it’s needed. The passion of Olivier Group’s financial advisors is to help people from all walks of life find their own vision of true wealth. That means helping them

define what true wealth looks like, putting a plan in place to pursue that vision, then helping them maintain it once it’s achieved. “It’s total asset management,” Olivier says. “It’s not a strategy where you just sit and let it go. It’s consistent, active management. We develop strategies that go along

with your financial plan.” They also perform “advanced tax planning”using Holistaplan tax software. “We look at a client’s tax returns and from there we do advanced planning,” Olivier says. “We’re very forward-thinking on the tax side of things. We handle everything, including talking to a client’s CPA, tax attorney, etc.” The Olivier Group specializes in family business planning and retirement planning. Olivier holds a certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute and has also written two books—What Medical School Did Not Teach You about Financial Planning and The Resourceful Dentist: A Guide to Financial Planning. He is also the host of Money Talks which can be seen on the news segment every Thursday night on Fox44 and Friday mornings on NBC33. “We handle everything with a dollar sign, including retirement, investments, taxes, estate, and insurance planning … everything,” he adds.

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVES: Chad Olivier, CFP, CEO and Founder; Austin Delery, CFP, Wealth Advisor, Partner; Chris Adams, Wealth Advisor, Partner ADDRESS: 4609 Bluebonnet Blvd., Suite A, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 • PHONE: 225.757.9484; 888-465-2112 • WEBSITE: oliviergroup.com If you have any questions about this article, please visit us at www.oliviergroup.com or 4609 Bluebonnet Blvd., Ste. A, Baton Rouge, LA, 70809 or call 225.757.9484. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through CWM, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Carson Partners, a division of CWM, LLC, is a nationwide partnership of advisors. For a comprehensive review of your personal financial situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. CWM,LLC, CWM, LLC, any other named entity or any of their representatives may not give legal or tax advice.

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[ VGRAHAM ] A trusted partner in forecasting and CFO outsourcing MARKING A DECADE in business, Baton Rouge-based VGraham is a boutique financial management firm that provides outsourced CFO and controllership services to small and large companies representing a range of sectors. Founded by CPA Vanessa Graham, the firm has seen growth every year since its launch, earning a spot in LSU’s Top 100 companies for the last five years. Graham’s team of financial services experts bring experience from both the accounting world and the sectors the firm supports, including health care, advanced manufacturing, industrial construction, retail and professional services, and other areas. VGraham brings deep bench strength to every project, creating tailored solutions for clients as they plan for the future. The firm provides business intelligence, strategy, financial statements and other work products that help managers make informed decisions. Many of VGraham’s clients would call the firm a CFO’s best friend, particularly as the CFO role has evolved from straightforward financial steward

to strategist involved in key decision making. Graham says she and her team provide CFOs a host of deep-dive information that gives them an edge, including data analytics and forecasting. “CFOs continue to be the reporters of financial information, but now more than ever they must be operation-

ally focused,” Graham says. “As their role has changed, we’ve evolved our services to provide the right kind of support to help them move their companies forward.” VGraham’s 12-member staff works together to bring the right mix of expertise to each project. Clients range

from small companies to large corporations. Some have large finance departments looking for skilled experts to help improve internal systems and processes. Others have lean teams, and want to outsource financial services. Whatever the need, VGraham is there to “look under the hood,” and help clients get into the best possible financial position to meet both short- and long-term goals. Community oriented, Graham and her team take their role as a homegrown company seriously, serving on boards and supporting local charitable causes. Graham serves on the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center board and volunteers as a mentor with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, where she helps young people who dream of starting their own business. Graham also volunteers with the Louisiana Tech Park, working with young business owners eager to grow new business ideas. “My staff and I spend a lot of time investing in Baton Rouge,” she says. “This is our home and we want to see it flourish.”

CONNECT WITH US TOP EXECUTIVE: Vanessa Graham, Founder and CEO • ADDRESS: 8032 Summa Avenue • PHONE: 225.636.8144 • WEBSITE: vgraham.com 66

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from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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