Business Report October 2021

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TRASHING REPUBLIC    BLURRED LINES WHEN WORKING FROM HOME    CONSTRUCTION CONCERNS

OCTOBER 2021 • BUSINESSREPORT.COM

2021

BEST PLACES toWORK in Baton Rouge

BUILDING BLOCKS OF SUCCESS: The Pangburn Group Inc. is this year’s winner in the medium-sized company category. $3.50

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Once a Tiger, always a Tiger: Celebrating 40 Years in Baton Rouge

F

or 40 years, The Dunham School has had a singular mission: to educate the mind and the heart for Christ. By design, everything the school does—whether in the classroom, on the playing field, or on the stage—is grounded in the desire to see students succeed academically as they mature in faith and character. Through three locations, four name changes, seven heads of school, countless prayers, and, above all, God’s incredible provision, the faith of the school’s founders has become a reality. Today, The Dunham School is recognized not only as a leader in Christian education, but also as one of the most innovative and technologically advanced schools in the country. At Dunham, learning goes beyond the classroom. In addition to an academic program that includes STEM, robotics, and coding, as well as fine arts and competitive athletic programs, students benefit from a wide array of community service, leadership, enrichment, and travel opportunities designed to help students broaden their horizons, find shared interests, express their school pride, and grow in faith. To learn more about The Dunham School, visit dunhamschool.org or call 225.767.7097 to schedule a tour.

Today, as we reflect on how far we have come from the small school that first opened in 1981 at The Chapel on the Campus, we are reminded that God’s vision has always been bigger than our dreams. Thanks to the efforts of our administration, board, faculty and staff, the stewardship of our generous donors, nearly 2,000 alumni and the steadfast prayers of many, The Dunham School has become the leading Christian college preparatory school in Baton Rouge, serving approximately 787 students from twoyears-old through 12th grade.

— Steve Eagleton, Head of School

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1979

Five Baton Rouge families joined together in prayer, committed to forming a college preparatory school grounded in Christian faith and principles. As the Koch, Love, Michaelson, Tabb, and Snoddy families began the complex task of integrating faith and learning, they established three pillars of purpose—academics, arts, and athletics—all resting upon a foundational faith in Jesus Christ. Their dreams formed the vision behind The Dunham School’s mission to educate minds and hearts for Christ.

1981

The Chapel School officially opened at The Chapel on the Campus Church on the LSU campus with an enrollment of 89 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. In that same year, Trafton Academy opened its high school on Roy Emerson Drive, the current site of The Dunham School.

1982

The Chapel School moved to a new location, and, by 1985, the school had outgrown that campus.

1988

The name of the school officially changed to The Chapel Trafton School.

1996

The school was renamed The Dunham School in honor of longtime supporter Mrs. Katharine O. Dunham.

1999

Harkness learning, a lively student-centered, discussion-based teaching method is implemented.

2005

Dunham is named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

2007

The McKay Academic Center for Excellence opens.

2009

A 1-to-1 technology program in partnership with Apple, Inc.

2011

Dunham receives its first Apple Distinguished School Award.

2018

Cited as one of the most innovative schools in the country, Dunham is selected to participate in national research projects by Gallup, Inc., and Apple.

2019

The school receives its seventh consecutive Apple Distinguished School Award.

2020

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dunham quickly and seamlessly transitions to distance learning in March before fully reopening for face-to-face learning at the start of the 2020-2021 school year in August with 760 students in grades PK3-12th grade.

2021

The school launches the Dunham Early Childhood Center for two-year-olds; enrollment increases to 787 students.

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CONTENTS

2021

BEST PLACES toWORK in Baton Rouge

Publisher: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr.

EDITORIAL

Editorial director: Penny Font Executive editor: JR Ball Editor: Stephanie Riegel Assistant editor: Allan Schilling Online news editor: Deanna B. Narveson Staff writer: Julia-Claire Evans, David Jacobs Digital content editor: Mark Clements Contributing writers: Sam Barnes, Tom Cook, Maggie Heyn Richardson Contributing photographers: Brian Baiamonte, Marie Constantin, Don Kadair, Tim Mueller, Collin Richie

ADVERTISING

Sales director: Kerrie Richmond Senior account executives: Marielle Land-Howard, Kelly Lewis Account executives: Mary Katherine Bernard, Gabi Bivins, Mandi Bryant Advertising coordinator: Brittany Nieto

CORPORATE MEDIA

Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia Strategy Manager: Tim Coles Account executives: Judith LaDousa Client Experience Coordinator: Studio E: Nicole Prunty

CUSTOM PUBLISHING

Sales director: Erin Palmintier-Pou

MARKETING

Chief marketing officer: Elizabeth McCollister Hebert Marketing & events assistant: Taylor Falgout Events: Abby Hamilton Community liaison: Jeanne McCollister McNeil

COVER STORY - PAGE 23

ADMINISTRATION

PUBLISHER’S VIEW 6 Shame and blame on history of St. George

STARTUP 8 Big Story: Predicting a COVID recovery 9 Data Bank: Numbers tell the story 11 3 Things to Know: Kennon Breaux 13 Entrepreneur: Maria Bhacca 15 Design: Envoc 17 Tom Cook: Industrial purchase in West Baton Rouge 18 Bottom Line: Economic indicators 21 Business Lunch: JED’s Local

NEWS 74 A trashy affair Republic Services has been in the crosshairs of Metro Council members and their constituents for missed collections, but are the complaints legitimate?

78 Balancing act It’s proving tough to set boundaries and get away from the job when working from home. 80 The source of the problem The recovery from Hurricane Ida is exacerbating challenges for residential builders but creating opportunities for the commercial market. 82 Border patrol Technology is making it possible for the public to participate in the redistricting process. 84 Brewing desire Louisiana brewers believe craftfriendly regulations could help them make the good times roll.

THE LIST 38 Best Places to Work: Small companies 48 Best Places to Work: Medium companies 57 Best Places to Work: Large companies 62 Best Places to Work: Overall winners 89 Private high schools

VIEWPOINT 91 Big Picture: Who’s regulating the regulators? 92 Random Thoughts: Flooding is plainly a way of life

FOCUS: INDUSTRY

YOUR BUSINESS

86 Here comes the sun While solar energy projects are ramping up in Louisiana, attracting panel manufacturers is what will create large-scale jobs.

95 Company News 98 Moving Up 101 Flashback: 2012 102 Passion: Emelie Alton | Service

CONNECT WITH US:

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Assistant business manager: Tiffany Durocher Business associate: Kirsten Milano Office coordinator: Tara Lane Receptionist: Cathy Varnado Brown

PRODUCTION/DESIGN

Production manager: Jo Glenny Art director: Hoa Vu Graphic designers: Melinda Gonzalez, Emily Witt

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

Audience development director and digital manager: James Hume Audience development coordinator: Ivana Oubre Audience development associate: Jordan Kozar A publication of Louisiana Business Inc. Chairman: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. Executive assistant: Tara Broussard President & CEO: Julio A. Melara Executive assistant: Brooke Motto Circulation/Reprints 225-928-1700 email: circulation@businessreport.com Subscriptions/Customer Service 225-421-8181 email: subscriptions@businessreport.com Volume 40 - Number 2 ©Copyright 2021 by Louisiana Business Incorporated. 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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BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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A 20% efficiency gain in container operations at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge is just one positive outcome of the Port’s new, deep-reach container stacker known as The Big Red Beast. With a telescopic boom for stacking 4 containers high, shorter loading and unloading times have helped meet the increasing demand for container shipping services between Baton Rouge and New Orleans for area customers in the petrochemical industry sector, said Port Executive Director Jay Hardman.

Financed almost 100% by a Maritime Administration grant, the one-of-a-kind Beast was designed and manufactured specifically for the Port by Taylor Machine Works of Louisville, MS. The addition of the custom-made stacker is another component of the Port’s recent expansion of its successful container operations including a container storage yard totaling 4 acres. Up to 2,000 containers ready to Geaux! For more information, contact Greg Johnson at (225) 342-1660. 2425 Ernest Wilson Drive • P.O. Box 380 • Port Allen, LA 70767-0380 PH: (225) 342.1660 • FAX: (225) 342.1666 • www.portgbr.com

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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PUBLISHER’S VIEW

Shame and blame on history of St. George

ROLFE MCCOLLISTER JR. EVERY TIME I see another story about the mayor’s lawsuit against St. George or the Metro Council voting on another annexation request, I want to scream. All this craziness could have so easily been avoided. The current division and anger all traces back to the failure of our legislative delegation—including then-state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome—who refused to let the people of East Baton Rouge Parish and the citizens of Louisiana vote on simply establishing an independent school district for their children. Twice the bill was rejected, each time with legislators like Broome saying if a region wants an independent school district, then first form an incorporated city. The voters of St. George did just that and now Broome is fighting them in court, claiming city-parish government can’t afford the resulting financial hit. These legislators forced the hands of parents, believing they could never get a petition done or pass it. More concerned with protecting the union-backed jobs in a failing public school system, the politicians underestimated the commitment of these parents to take care of their children. These legislators were wrong in opposing the independent district in the first place. Baker and Zachary fought lawsuits to get independent school districts. Central did as well. Yes, they are cities, but not every school district in Texas is tied specifically to a city (there are more than 1,000 districts across Texas) and, most importantly, forming an incorporated city is not a requirement in Louisiana. 6

It’s simply a political obstacle imposed by these politicians at the request of our school board and the teacher unions who care more about money and jobs than the best interest of children. It never was about education. It was always about money and power—and it still is. But we should also ask, how many of the Baton Rouge elite or so-called community leaders who now oppose St. George (or are requesting annexation) lobbied for passing the bill for an independent school district? Are they having regrets? Regardless, now it’s our community paying the price. We’re a parish struggling to navigate the drama, anger, division, and the expense of lawsuits for the foreseeable future. All because of the absence of good leadership and judgment by many of our legislators at the time. They put special interests over community interest and voted wrong twice. They are to blame and it’s the children who are suffering. Shame on them. I hope we all learned something from this debacle of avoiding one issue only to face a bigger one. (This reminds me of our current flooding issues, which resulted from failing to deal with a problem long ago in multi-parishes. Now we face bigger and more expensive issues.) Next time, let’s stand up Baton Rouge, and do the right thing in the first place. BIDEN IS MELTING DOWN So much for the “hero” of the Democratic Party and “savior of the American dream.” What I see in Washington, D.C., looks more like a nightmare. I still can’t believe former Sen. Joe Biden is the best the Democrats could come up with to challenge and beat President Donald Trump (who had his own meltdown moments). The question about Biden wasn’t so much whether he could defeat Trump, but was he strong enough and fit enough to effectively lead and serve? For a majority of Americans right now the answer is “no.” Recent polls from both Pew and Gallup show Biden’s favorable

rating dropping to 43%, down from 55% in July. Vice President Kamala Harris also has favorability numbers below 50%. Both are melting down. That much was evident from the disastrous exit from Afghanistan— losing soldiers and leaving Americans—and it’s equally clear with the recent disaster of Haitians arriving by the thousands at our southern border. (One man, who left Haiti and moved to Chile for three years, said, “Biden told us to come.”) The fourth-wave spike in COVID-19—after he earlier claimed victory over the pandemic—and the resulting mandates have not helped either. Then, of course, there’s his trouble with Congress on his agenda. He seems to be failing fast. The honeymoon is clearly over for ol’ Joe and even his own party is divided. I haven’t even mentioned his own cognitive condition, often evident when he speaks and likely why they limit his public events and press conferences. I predict he won’t make a full term. An especially scary proposition given the failure that has been Harris. Democrats must be worried. We should be, too. The only folks who won’t acknowledge the meltdown of the Biden and Harris administration is the mainstream media and CNN, which worked to help get them elected. It is embarrassing and contributes to the public’s distrust of the media in general. (The media’s poll numbers also continue to remain low.) Biden in his inaugural address promised better days, a stronger global reputation and a united America. Ha! How do you think he is doing?

location at LSU to 600—and 100 more coming next year. Baton Rouge is proud of Graves and Raising Cane’s for their values, culture and winning crew as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. To celebrate they are giving back $25 million to nonprofits in their many communities. What a role model.

CONGRATULATIONS • There are 60 best places to work in Baton Rouge recognized in this issue. Kudos to each of them. Company culture is key in the battle for talent and this is certainly a feather in their cap. Well done. • Happy anniversary to Raising Cane’s. It was founded by CEO Todd Graves, right here in Baton Rouge, 25 years ago. From one

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS Who are the stars in our business community in the Capital Region? Nominations are now open for the 2022 Baton Rouge Business Awards & Hall of Fame. Information on the award categories and criteria, as well as the nomination forms, can be found online at businessreport. com/events. Deadline for entries is Nov. 5.

RESTORING HOPE POST-IDA There is much devastation in south Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. It will be a long road to recovery for many smaller communities hit hard. Our heart goes out to them all. There are many elected officials, government agencies and nonprofits that launch into action after such a disaster. But always among the first to start providing meals and distributing supplies, as well as offering hope and encouragement, are the churches and houses of worship. But I have learned that many of these churches were impacted, too, as were the lives of their leaders and staffs. Who will help them? A charitable fund has been established at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to raise funds for supporting churches and houses of worship that were damaged by Hurricane Ida. I got involved with friends in initiating this effort because the churches—totaling 150 and rising—need help, too, and will be here for the long term in these communities. The local church has always been the source of physical, emotional and spiritual support for Louisiana families. They need support now. Donors can contribute to the fund at www.restorehopelouisiana. org. Restore Hope Louisiana contributions are tax deductible.

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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ISTOCK

STARTUP

TH E B IG STORY

Predicting a COVID recovery 1 BIG THING: Economist Loren Scott predicts the Capital Region will add about 16,600 jobs next year and 5,300 jobs the year after. WHY IT MATTERS: If Scott is right, Greater Baton Rouge employment would grow 4.2% in 2022 and 1.3% in 2023, regaining the COVID-19 recession’s losses and setting a regional record with 415,300 jobs. HIGHLIGHTS: Scott says the new $200 million, 3.5 million-squarefoot Amazon fulfillment center being built at the old Cortana Mall site on Florida Boulevard is “by far” the biggest recent economic development news for the region. Employment at the center is expected to be between 1,000 and 3,600 jobs based on the amount of parking being built, which is a wide range, but even the low end 8

would be a huge boost to the area’s economy, he says. • Industry: There are about $6 billion in capital investments underway in this region and another $7.9 billion that have been announced. These projects have fueled industrial construction demand for such large Baton Rougearea players as Turner Industries, ISC, Performance Contractors, Cajun Contractors and MMR, among others. • Infrastructure: The federal government plans to spend billions in the coming years on flood mitigation, including $343 million on the Comite River Diversion Canal. The first phase of an effort to widen Interstate 10, a $716 million section that runs from Washington Street to Essen, is scheduled to begin in late 2022. The state has designated $529.6 million in road lettings for this

region over 2022-23. • Gaming: Hollywood Casino’s new owners have broken ground on a $60 million project to move the facility inland and are planning to add about 200 employees once the move is completed. CAVEATS: Predicting the future is hard, and Scott admits his projections are based in part on “gut calls and our overall knowledge of each area of the state.” • The forecast assumes the COVID-19 “monster” is under control. Gov. John Bel Edwards was concerned enough about the pandemic in late September to extend the statewide mask mandate four additional weeks. • Though Scott questions the accuracy of the data, Louisiana has only added back an estimated 49% of the jobs lost during the recession. That’s in large part

because Lake Charles, which was devastated by last year’s hurricanes and continues to await significant federal aid, may be the only metropolitan statistical area of its size in the country that actually has fewer people employed now than in April 2020. • Changes to tax rates, federal regulations and commodity prices all could affect the nation’s—and Louisiana’s—recovery. BOTTOM LINE: Scott expects the Capital Region to add back virtually all the jobs it lost last year by next year, beating the rest of the state to that threshold. The region would be second-fastest growing MSA in the state and the third-fastest in percentage terms, with New Orleans and Lake Charles ranked higher primarily because they are recovering at a much slower pace this year.

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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Issue Date: September2021 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329 DATA BANK

Numbers tell the story

Louisiana Office Solutions Co.

Louisiana Office So

$42 MILLION

Cost of Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED’s proposed expansion of its north Baton Rouge facility

200+ Backlog of murder cases in East Baton Rouge Parish waiting to go to trial

48%

Survey respondents who say East Baton Rouge Parish is going in the wrong direction, up 6% from 2020

LOUISIANA LOUISIANA

Louisiana Office Solutions Co Office Supply Co.

>$15.22 | $17.75 National median hourly earnings of women compared to men (2020)

PHTOOS BY ISTOCK

HOW RESILIENT IS THE BATON ROUGE COMMUNITY? 44% L OUISIANA 32%

LOUISIANA LOUISIANA

Louisiana Office Solutions Co.

Community resilience estimates measure the capacity of individuals to absorb, endure, and recover from the health, social and economic impacts of a disaster such as a hurricane or pandemic.

Office Furniture C

Percentage of East Baton Rouge Parish residents with no risk factors

Percentage with 1-2 risk factors

Office Supply Co. 23%

Office Furniture Co.

Janitorial & Facility Supply C

Percentage with 3 or more risk factors

Sources: Daily Report, District Attorney Hillar Moore, Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s annual CityStats, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR LO UISIANA LOUISIANA LOUISIANA Supply Co. Office Furniture Co. Janitorial & Facility Supply Co. BUSINESSOffice AWARDS & HALL OF FAME Business Report is now accepting entries or nominations for its 2022 Business Awards & Hall of Fame. We’re looking for successful entrepreneurs, executives and companies to recognize, as well as longtime business professionals in the Capital Region for the Hall of Fame. The awards pay tribute to individuals and companies, recognizing their many accomplishments. Categories include Businessperson of the Year, Young Businessperson of the Year, and two Company of the Year awards (one for those with 100 or more employees, and another for those with fewer than 100 employees). The Hall of Fame recognizes a lifetime of achievement. The 2022 honorees will be profiled in Business Report and recognized at a special event in March. All entries and nominations must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5. No exceptions to the deadline will be made. Previous recognition for the Business Awards does not prohibit someone from being recognized again.

The Only Locally-Owned Complete Office Products Company in Baton Rouge!

7643 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70806 225-927-1110 • LOSCO.com • Mon.-Fri. 8-5

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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Strong. Stable. Always On.

David Thompson Market President 225-928-8209

Tracy Rutledge Commercial Banker 225-928-8290

Henry Schexnayder Commercial Banker 225-928-8263

Laura Marshall Commercial Banker 225-928-8203

Jordan Hultberg Commercial Banker 225-928-8202

Brian Wilkinson Commercial Banker 225-928-8237

Edwin Lagarde Treasury Management 225-928-8252

To reach your long-term goals, you need a bank you can count on. Our Baton Rouge team is experienced, committed and here to make it all happen—today and tomorrow.

redriverbank.net • 225-923-0232 Alexandria • Baton Rouge • Lake Charles • Northshore • Shreveport

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STARTUP

EXECUTIVE BRIEFING

3 THINGS TO KNOW:

KENNON BREAUX Chief financial officer, Kean Miller

1

A graduate of LSU, Kennon Breaux started her career in New Orleans. Along with traveling throughout the Gulf South for work, Breaux also spent six weeks in Brussels working on general accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, conversions. “What stuck with me was being flexible to appreciating different cultures and values while doing business. We had to balance the U.S. rigor for deadlines and reporting with the laid-back culture of Brussels.”

2

Breaux and her husband, Dr. Gerald Breaux, both Franklin natives, were drawn to settling down in Baton Rouge because of their experience with the community as undergraduate students. “We could have easily moved to Texas. We started thinking about family and community and placing roots.” Her three sons are active soccer players, with the oldest having recently graduated Catholic High. “Between Catholic soccer, club soccer and any pickup soccer games in between, that’s where you’ll find me on the weekends.”

3

DON KADAIR

Breaux became CFO of Kean Miller in April 2019. “What excited me about the position was the culture and the respect they have with their current partners. It resonated with me to treat everyone with courtesy and respect.” As for future goals, she says she wants to work toward keeping the organization relevant in a changing market as well as being flexible and available to clients’ needs.

Mexican food “I loved the stuffed poblano peppers and, of course, chips and salsa.”

Sheltie sheepdogs “They are loyal and smart and are beautiful dogs. Mainly easy to train and very loyal.”

Vodka “My go-to drink right now is Tito’s and soda, lemon, lime and an orange peel. I like the crispness of Tito’s. It’s a clean taste to me.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ISTOCK

ISTOCK

ISTOCK

ISTOCK

FAVORITE THINGS:

Prayer time “I enjoy moments of prayers, whether it’s five minutes with my rosary or listening to a reading on my app.”

Watching sports “I’m a sports fanatic. Grew up watching LSU and the Saints with my dad.”

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPONSORED CONTENT

between the pages

SPONSORED BY:

ELITE ACCESS: UPSKILL YOUR TEAM WITH TOP BUSINESS COURSES

H

ighly capable professionals are motivated by growth, not just by dollar signs. Though compensation is a factor, most professionals stay with organizations that invest in their growth. They want to know that the company cares about their long-term professional development. Investing in training also cultivates loyalty, which helps retain sought-after professionals in a competitive job market. By offering regular training opportunities, your organization demonstrates to current and prospective employees that you have a forward-thinking organizational culture and management style. They will think of you as a great employer and see your company as a caring environment willing to invest in its employees. The importance of employee training to an organization should never be underestimated. Every member of a team brings a unique set of skills and life experiences to their job. A continuous training program should, and will, ensure that your employees are always up to date with the latest technological developments—not just the skills to do their job well now, but also what it will take to do their job well tomorrow. 12

An employee training and development program can align your staff’s competencies so that your entire team can share a common set of knowledge and skills. Such a program fills any gaps or deficiencies, causing the workload to be more evenly spread among your workers. Implementing an effective and ongoing training program can get expensive, but the East Baton Rouge Parish Library gives your team the training it needs for free. The Library can help establish the right courses for your team with help from Andrew Tadman and his knowledgeable business librarians. Tadman shares the courses that have proven most useful to Baton Rouge businesses: 1. LinkedIn Learning: Choose from thousands of online courses to learn indemand skills from real-world industry experts. Get started with your library card at linkedin.com/learning-login/go/ebrpl. 2. Gale Courses: Gale Courses offers a wide range of highly interactive, instructor-led courses that you can complete entirely online. As a library cardholder in good standing, you can utilize these courses at no cost. Courses run for six weeks and

new sessions begin every month. Get started at education.gale.com/l-pebr/. 3. Gale Presents Udemy: Learn and improve skills across business, tech, design, and more. Includes 6,000+ on-demand video courses in multiple languages. 4. Resources for nonprofits: The library also offers a variety of free tools to help start and manage a nonprofit. This service is free with a library card. Visit ebrpl. libguides.com/nonprofits to learn more. Businesses thrive with a comprehensive employee training and development plan that’s innovative, relevant and adapted for new market conditions and challenges. Get in touch and arrange a consultation with a business librarian to get started. To access the online resources, visit ebrpl.libguides.com/ smallbusiness. Tadman’s staff can meet with you to customize a curriculum to meet your unique needs. To set up a consultation or ask a question email us at smallbusiness@ebrpl.com or call 225-231-3750.

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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STARTUP

ENTREPRENEUR

Maria Bhacca

Owner, AeroWest International

WHAT THEY DO:

Deodorizing products and scent marketing

ADDRESS:

2158 Beaumont Drive, Baton Rouge

NEXT GOALS:

Expand scent marketing

PLANTING ROOTS Raised in Italy, Maria Bhacca moved to Baton Rouge in 1972 while working on a doctorate degree. While here, she met her husband and decided not to return to Europe. “It was a shock from Italy to move here, but then I realized the atmosphere and culture in Louisiana was much closer to my Italian one than I could have found in any other place in the U.S.” She started a family, and in 1984, she launched a travel agency that operated in Baton Rouge for nearly 30 years until shuttering in 2008. In 2010, she went into business with her husband as they took over West Sanitation, a West Coastbased odor control company. “I thought at our age, this is ridiculous, but it was exciting. Who says you have to retire at 65? If you have the energy, why not?”

GROWTH

“As a business owner, I like to challenge people. I want them to train and grow, in business and mentally. To me that’s the most important part, that we all grow together.”

Initially, the couple traveled frequently between Louisiana, the California corporate offices and the manufacturing facilities in Chicago, but the long trips got old and the couple grew to prefer the business practices in Louisiana. “In 2012, we decided to move all the operations to Louisiana, to Baton Rouge. When you first start a company, you do it the way you want to. But when you get the company from somewhere else, you have to find the best way to improve it.” Shortly after moving to Baton Rouge, the company rebranded to West Industries to represent its expanding product lines. In 2018, the company became AeroWest International, revamping its franchise model.

BRANCHING OUT Like many others, the company has pivoted since the pandemic. Bhacca estimates that one-quarter of the company’s business was put on hold in 2020 as manufacturing slowed and hospitals began servicing themselves. Business with hotel clients also dropped as travel slowed. To make up the difference, Bhacca says the company expanded its scent marketing line out of the bathroom and into lobbies, as well as began manufacturing hand sanitizers, soaps and other essential products. ”In the future, I would really like to get more into different fragrances and utilize them more for business. I want to expand scent marketing everywhere.” —By Holly Duchmann • Photography by Brian Baiamonte

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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(225) 922-5443

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BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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STARTUP

REAL ESTATE

DESIGN

ENVOC

1800 City Farm Drive. Building 1B, Baton Rouge PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM MUELLER

Owner: Envoc Architect: Holly & Smith Architects Contractor: Dantin Bruce Construction Cost: $800,000 (Interior buildout) Completed: December 2020 Use: Headquarters FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION: “We designed their previous office to be high-tech, but moving into City Farm, for this design we tried to bring in different wooden elements to merge the modern farmhouse feel of the development with the high-tech of what Envoc does. We purposely brought in different types of wood for that rustic farmhouse element but used it in modern ways. We also took inspiration from their website—separated into think, work and play tabs—to design zones in the office.” —Mary Mowad Guiteau, director of interior design, Holly & Smith Architects

1. Envoc’s 3,400-square-foot headquarters in the City Farm office complex features a cypress wood ceiling in the entryway with a gray-stained O in the shape of the company’s signature letter. The floors throughout the office feature the software development company’s branding colors of gray, purple, blue and green. 2. The conference room is open to the lounge area, left, and the exterior wall on the right is coated in writeable paint, creating a writeable surface for collaboration. 3. Blending the company’s high-tech image with the office park’s modern farmhouse style, the break room features a playful geometric wall covering with farmhouse light fixtures suspended over a rustic wood table. 4. The office space includes a lounge area where impromptu Scrabble games can take place. Above the lounge area is a wood slat ceiling crafted of local cypress wood. Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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SO LD OU T LOUISIANA PRESENTS:

BUILDING THE FUTURE TOGETHER! ONE DAY, TWO EVENTS • OCTOBER 5, 2021 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL • BATON ROUGE, LA

BEST PLACES TO WORK AWARDS

TOP 100 LUNCHEON

Doors open at 7:00 AM Starts at 8:00 AM (ticket required)

Doors open at 11:15 AM Starts at 11:45 AM (ticket required) KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

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sponsored by:

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The accurate and irreverent Dr. Scott will unveil his economic forecast for 2022 and 2023 for Louisiana and the Capital Region.

Purchase your tickets today at businessreport.com/events SPONSORED BY:

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BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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STARTUP

REAL ESTATE

Industrial purchase in West Baton Rouge

TOM COOK BOULANGER PROPERTIES LLC has purchased a 118-acre site off La. 415 in Port Allen. The 118-acre site was zoned C-1.4 industrial commercial and was unimproved at the time of sale. The sale closed Sept. 15 for $2.05 million, or about $17,375 per acre. About 50 acres of the site was determined to be jurisdictional wetlands, indicating a price outside of the wetlands of about $30,150 per acre. Larry Dietz, CCIM with Saurage Rotenberg

Commercial Real Estate, brokered the transaction. “This was an excellent site with frontage on both Lobdell Highway (La. 415) and Court Street. It has excellent potential for a variety of commercial and industrial uses.” Dietz says. The new owner intends to hold the property as a longterm investment.

to sell it. Cade Bogan and Andy Batson with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate offered it for sale and Creative Crafts, a wholesaler of ceramic supplies, purchased it Sept. 21 for $360,000. The sale comes to about $41 per square foot. Creative Crafts will relocate from its existing location at 455 Roselawn Ave.

CREATIVE CRAFTS RELOCATING If you’re old-school Baton Rouge you will remember the building at 9340 Florida Blvd. as Naylor’s Hardware. Naylor’s sold the building to Broadmoor Presbyterian Church a few years ago and the church renovated it into 10 offices. Some of the building was left unfinished and was used for storage. The building has 8,800 square feet of enclosed heated and cooled area and another 2,800 square feet of covered porches. When Broadmoor Presbyterian had no more need for it, it decided

PIERCE HOUSE HAS NEW OWNERS The historic Pierce House, located at 427 Mayflower near the Central Business District, has a new owner as of Sept. 17. Gregory and Paulette Hamilton acquired the property for $422,000, or about $147 per square foot. The Hamiltons were represented by Glenda K. Daughety at RE/MAX First, while the sellers were represented by George Bonvillain with Elifin Realty. Like so many downtown residences, this one had been converted to a law office. The 120-year-old converted

residence has 2,872 square feet and is situated on a .26-acre lot. The property also includes the original carriage house. What I find really interesting about this purchase is that the new owners are going to convert it back into residential use. “This is a true gem, a fabulous property. Initially, along with contractors, they thought they would rent it as a duplex,” Daugherty says. “However, their love of the home has grown. They have begun to see the property as a renovated home for their residence.” Residential services like grocery stores and restaurants have made people take a second look at living downtown. This is not the first conversion from office to residence we have seen near the CBD and I doubt it will be the last. Tom Cook of Cook, Moore, Davenport and Associates has been an independent real estate appraiser for more than 20 years.

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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ECONOMY

The bottom line

East Baton Rouge Parish unemployment rate in July 2021

13.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 9.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.8 4.6 4.4 4.2 4.0 3.8 3.6 3.4 3.2 3.0 2.8 2.6

UNEMPLOYMENT TRACKER

RIG TRACKER

A S O N D J F M A M J J 2020 2021

Tax dollars (millions)

18 17 16 15 14 SALES TAX 13 TRACKER 12 • Please by e-mailinorEast fax with your approval or minor revisions. Sales taxrespond collections Baton 11 are received within 24 hours • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions Rouge Parish for June 2021 A deadlines. S O N D J F M A M J from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will applyJ forJ tight 2020fees. 2021 • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production

$17.9 MILLION

$260,000

Median home sale price for East Baton Rouge Parish for August 2021

270 265 260 255 250 245 240 235 230 225 220 215 210 205 200

Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #2

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REAL ESTATE TRACKER

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Total revenue earned by Baton Rouge’s three 21 riverboat casinos 20 in August 2021 23

Collective revenue (millions)

6.3%

Unemployment percentage

The latest indicators giving insight on how well Baton Rouge’s economy is performing. BY HOLLY DUCHMANN

Sales price (thousands)

STARTUP

Rigs operating inland and offshore Louisiana (as of Sept. 17)

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SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, East Baton Rouge Parish Finance Department, Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

HURRICANE DAMAGE? LET US HELP! PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS!

WE SERVE SOUTH LOUISIANA 225.450.5507 | cypressroofingla.com

WE ARE A LOCAL COMPANY & EXPERTS IN HANDLING INSURANCE CLAIMS. 18

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #4 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

“I know how crucial timing and speed is—in football, and in business. When you need a bank, you want one that you can count on for rapid, accurate, and personalized service. That’s why I’ve done business with the people at Louisiana National Bank for almost 20 years. They have always provided quick and personal service for me, my businesses, and many of my family members.”

Bert Jones (center), LSU Tiger All-American, NFL great and owner of Mid-States Wood Preservers, with Brian H. Woodard (right), President and CEO, and Russell A. Woodard (left), Chairman of Board of Louisiana National Bank

6919 Corporate Blvd Baton Rouge LA 70809 Phone: 225-214-8482 www.LN.bank

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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“By bringing both cancer care and research under one roof, we’re able to provide our patients with convenient access to a robust set of treatment options that can be personalized to their individual needs.” Michael J Castine, III, MD Hematology Oncology Clinic

Cancer patients expect innovative treatment options. Community oncology delivers that. Care is: Personalized. We take the time to get to know each patient. Treatment plans are tailored with support to meet patient needs. Beyond chemo. We care for the whole patient. Our nurses assist patients with managing symptoms, nutritional guidance and social work support.

BATON ROUGE 8585 Picardy Avenue, Suite 110 Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Convenient. Our clinics are in convenient locations, with in-house laboratory, pathology, infusion and pharmacy services all under one roof.

HAMMOND 42078 Veterans Hwy., Suite E-1 Hammond, LA 70403

Affordable. We provide care at lower costs ensuring best possible outcomes while reducing financial burdens. We’ve helped our patients with over $8 million in patient assistance.

ZACHARY 1673 E Mount Pleasant Road, Suite F 102 Zachary, LA 70791

Innovative. As a strategic research site for Sarah Cannon Research Institute, we’re expanding opportunities for patients to participate in cutting-edge cancer research.

225-767-0822

Hematology Oncology Clinic – the best choice for cancer care.

A DIVISION OF AMERICAN ONCOLOGY PARTNERS, P.A.

Michael J. Castine, III, MD

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Pavani Ellipeddi, MD

Lauren Juneja, MD

Sanjay Juneja, MD

Christopher Miles McCanless, MD

Gerald Patrick Miletello, MD

HOCBR.com

9/30/21 11:28 AM


STARTUP

TASTE

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JED’S LOCAL

BY MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON • PHOTOGRAPHY BY COLLIN RICHIE

THE MENU AT JED’s Local is awash in classic New Orleans po’boys, including fried catfish and shrimp and 12-hour roast beef with debris-spiked gravy, all served on Leidenheimer French bread trucked in regularly from the Crescent City. But chef/owner Russell Davis has also carved out fresh territory with specialty po’boys made with local ingredients and curated toppings at his full-service Mid City eatery. The Buffalo fried shrimp po’boy is one of those. Davis starts with cornmeal-dusted, deep-fried Gulf shrimp, draped in housemade Buffalo sauce made with Crystal hot sauce and butter. They’re arranged on the split loaf with a requisite dressing of lettuce and tomato, but are further set off by crumbled blue cheese and Davis’ own buttermilk ranch. “Blue cheese provides a great complement to the barbecue sauce-coated shrimp and the housemade ranch helps to balance out the flavors,” Davis says. “It’s substantial, but light at the same time.” Elsewhere on the menu, the same gravy rendered from the kitchen’s 12-hour roast beef is blanketed over crisp-tender, crinkle-cut fries on the french fries and gravy po’boy, an old-school tradition in some parts of south Louisiana. Davis also serves a shrimp banh mi with pickled carrots, jalapeno, cucumbers and spiced mayo, a pressed meatball po’boy with marinara and melted provolone and a cochon de lait po’boy with barbecue sauced-topped pulled pork, onion rings, Creole mustard, lettuce and pickles. A popular starter is the fried pickles, enough for a group, which are generously dusted in the chef’s signature aromatic, fiery spice blend. Po’boys are available in 8- or 12-inch sizes. While a bona fide po’boy shop, the restaurant also serves three large salads, fried seafood platters and red beans and rice with fried chicken or catfish.

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Address: 672 Jefferson Highway

Among the more popular specialty po’boys is the Buffalo fried shrimp, with cornmeal-dusted, deep-fried Gulf Shrimp draped in housemade Buffalo sauce. A must-get starter is the fried pickles, featuring the chef’s signature fiery spice blend. JED’s Local, located in a strip center on Jefferson Highway, near Government Street, has all the feel of a classic neighborhood, full-service lunch spot.

Phone: 225-349-8333 Web: www.jedslocal.com Cuisine: Classic and upmarket po’boys, salads, seafood platters Chef/Owner: Russell Davis Scene: Casual, full-service neighborhood po’boy shop and bar Pricing: $-$$

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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A LEADER IN ELECTRICAL & INSTRUMENTATION

MMR TREATS OUR EMPLOYEES LIKE FAMILY - BECAUSE THEY ARE. IT’S NOT EQUIPMENT, BUILDINGS OR DOLLARS THAT HAVE LED TO OUR SUCCESS. IT’S THE COMPASSION, INGENUITY AND DRIVE TO SUCCEED INSTILLED IN OUR PEOPLE.

JOIN OUR T E A M INTERNSHIPS

FIELD PERSONNEL

DISTRICT OFFICE

CORPORATE OFFICE

MMRGRP.COM | (225) 756-5090 22

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

2021

BEST PLACES toWORK in Baton Rouge

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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HB21-BestofBR-8.875x10.875.pdf

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GRATEFUL TO BE HONORED AGAIN

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Thank you to our customers and our team members.

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At Home Bank, we believe relationships are key to building strong communities. That’s why our bankers take the time to get to know your current needs and future dreams.

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Those relationships with customers are what our employees say give them the greatest satisfaction at work. We want to say thank you to our customers and to our team in Baton Rouge for being recognized with this honor.

Good for business. Good for life.

40 convenient locations across Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi

225-300-8333 | Home24Bank.com Corporate | Bluebonnet | Sherwood | Long Farm Village 24

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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YO U R COUNSEL 168 ATTORNEYS. 8 OFFICES. 2 STATES. 1 CULTURE.

Kean Miller is committed to providing a positive and supportive culture for our attorneys and staff. And it’s why we were named one of the Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge for the eighth year in a row. Find out how to join our award-winning team at keanmiller.com/careers

LOUISIANA BATON ROUGE NEW ORLEANS SHREVEPORT LAFAYETTE LAKE CHARLES TEXAS HOUSTON THE WOODLANDS L I N DA P E R E Z C L A R K , M A N AG I N G PA R T N E R

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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Issue Date: September2021 Ad2 proof #5 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Where are you finding CASH RETURNS these days? Current Market Investments

Current Yields

COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

BEST of the BEST The 50 companies on this year’s Best Places to Work list demonstrate what it means to care about employees, serving as a model for other businesses.

CDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .<1% 10-Year Treasury Bonds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-2% Diversified REITs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-5%

Targeted Returns . . . . . 7-11%

$200 million in properties Closed & Managed COURTESY FUSION ARCHITECTS

$30M currently under contract

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO INVEST WITH US IN THESE PROPERTIES! = Properties Acquired = Pending Acquisitions

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Targeted Acquisitions: • Investment properties across the Gulf South • Stabilized, lower-risk investment profiles • Retail, Industrial, Medical Tenants • Long-term leases; high credit tenants

Donnie Jarreau donnie@gojre.com

Targeted Investment Profile: • Targeted annual returns 7% to 11% • Minimum investments $25,000-$50,000 • Targeted hold times - 5-10 years • Monthly cash distributions

Trey Williams trey@gojre.com

16173 Perkins Rd • gojre.com/PE • 225-295-4582 Past performance is not an indication or guarantee of future returns.

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THERE ARE PLENTY of good companies to work for in the Capital Region: companies that provide a decent paycheck and basic benefits. And there are also a lot of great companies to work for: companies that go a step further with additional fringe benefits, company events and flexible work schedules. But it takes a lot more than good salaries, solid benefits packages and the occasional casual Friday to be one of the Capital Region’s Best Places to Work— especially when navigating a pandemic. Companies on the eighth annual list go above and beyond to put their employees first. That’s because they know that if their employees are happy and engaged on the job, then they’ll take ownership of their work and protect the brand—and bottom line. Important qualities in a job market that’s becoming tighter, with employees more willing to change jobs. If you’re lucky enough to be an employee of one of the Best Places to Work, you work hard and you play hard—and this year you’re dealing with a pandemic. So while in previous years it may have been filled with tickets to sporting events, company crawfish boils and holiday parties, today it’s about keeping connected and engaged with remote-working employees. But, hey, this is Louisiana so crawfish boils are still a thing. To compile this year’s list, Business Report once again partnered with the Greater Baton Rouge Society of Human Resource Management to discover what makes a great workplace in our community, as well as provide participating employers insight into what their employees think. In a change, this year participating organizations were

divided into three categories with the addition of a medium-sized companies list. Independent national firm Best Companies Group surveyed companies that chose to participate. For-profit companies and nonprofits as well as publicly and privately held companies are all eligible to participate, so long as they have a facility in Baton Rouge and a minimum of 15 full- or part-time employees working in the nine-parish Capital Region. Contract employees are not included in employee counts or surveys. To ensure credibility, organizations with fewer than 25 employees are required to have an 80% or better response rate on the employee survey. The first portion of the assessment involves a questionnaire about company policies, practices, demographics and benefits. The second portion involves a randomly selected group of each company’s employees, who respond— anonymously—to 78 statements on a five-point agreement scale as well as a handful of open-ended questions and demographic inquiries. Best Companies Group analyzes and ranks participating firms on eight core focus areas: leadership and planning; corporate culture and communications; role satisfaction; work environment; employees’ relationships with supervisors; training, development and resources; pay and benefits; and overall employee engagement. If you want your company to be considered for inclusion on next year’s listing of the Best Places to Work, go to bestplacestoworkbr.com and sign up for notifications about the 2022 survey.

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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Issue Date: October 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Nick Pentas General Manager/Co-Owner

8 TIME Best of the

Best Award

WINNER

On our 11th year of sponsoring Best Places to Work we are especially looking forward to seeing everyone in person. Hope you join us at the event on October 5th!

AMG® GLE 53 Coupe $76,500* MSRP

10949 Airline Highway • Baton Rouge (225) 424-2277 • www.mbobr.com Base MSRP excludes transportation and handling charges, destinations charges, taxes, title, registration, preparation and documentary fees, tags, labor and installment charges, insurance, and optional equipment, products, packages and accessories. Options, model availability and actual dealer price may vary. See dealer for details, costs and terms.

Facebook.com/MBBatonRouge

Twitter.com/MBOBR

YouTube.com/MBofBatonRouge

Instagram.com/mb_BatonRouge

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

DO THE RIGHT THING C O M PA

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WALTERS, PAPILLION, THOMAS, CULLENS LLC 12345 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge • lawbr.net PRODUCTS AND SERVICES: The attorneys of Walters, Papillon, Thomas, Cullens LLC have been litigating cases in Baton Rouge for more than 40 years. Over the years, the firm has collected more than $500 million for its clients, handling cases involving business litigation, personal injury, medical malpractice, work injuries and wrongful death.

TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 20

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: Profit sharing, cellphone allowance, unlimited days off, mentoring, firm covers full health premium for dependents if employees have been with the firm for five years.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Pumpkin-decorating contest, flexible work schedule, gumbo cook-off, interdepartmental competitions, pets allowed in office.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Additional cleanings scheduled for office, masks and sanitizers available, equipment upgrades to make remote work available for every employee.

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lot has happened since 2009 when Baton Rouge attorneys and colleagues Edward Walters, Darrel Papillion, Abboud Thomas and J. Cullens broke from their employer with the goal of forming a boutique law firm with a family-like environment. Nose to the grindstone since, Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens LLC has grown to include 11 attorneys and 14 staff members focusing on commercial litigation, personal injury, and professional malpractice among other areas. The firm boasts more than $500 million in settlements for clients, about 75% of whom are in Greater Baton Rouge. But over the firm’s 12-year tenure, neither the volume of cases, nor the pursuit of profits has defined its culture, says founding partner Abboud Thomas. “It’s interesting,” Thomas says. “I think we are less motivated by money and more motivated by doing the right thing and doing the best we can. If you do that, other things will follow.” Growth has been steady, but the firm’s manageable size has fostered a tight-knit, team atmosphere that Thomas likens to everyone being in the same boat, rowing together. Cases are often high stakes and demanding, but the office vibe is supportive, encouraging and flexible. “Our theory is that you treat people who work with you fairly, that includes economically, and in terms of workplace culture,” Thomas says. Employees have what they need to get the job done. There’s no micromanaging or corporate red tape to slow down the purchase of a new piece of equipment,

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Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens LLC has found success by fostering a family atmosphere and being motivated by standards not involving money. BY MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

an ergonomic chair or a professional development opportunity. Similarly, there’s no need to worry about taking time off to tend to personal needs or family obligations. “It’s about what can we do to make your job easier and better, and make your work life happy,” Thomas says. Benefits include full coverage of an employee’s health insurance as well as the availability of family plans, a portion of which is paid by the employer. The firm offers a profit-sharing plan and a 401(k), both of which the company matches. It pays for attorneys to travel to conferences in desirable

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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locations to earn continuing legal education credits, and it offers wellness benefits, including onsite flu shots and reimbursements to health clubs, fitness classes or for personal trainers. In fact, some team members take a break during the day to attend Pilates classes together near the office. While food figures large throughout south Louisiana, here it also signals collegiality. The firm has organized a gumbo cook-off among employees and recently sent out for cookies when a new bakery opened. Employees also routinely bring baked goods and dishes from

home to share at work. Each employee selects a cake of their choice for birthdays. If anyone is dealing with a death, illness or a natural disaster, others chip in with a meal or volunteer their labor, says attorney Hayden Moore, who coordinates many of the firm’s philanthropic and social activities. Bright, contemporary artwork hangs on the walls of the conference room, and a shop cat—yes, a real cat—meanders from office to office, exploring, napping and welcoming strokes from clients. Named “Cort Marshall,” the rescued kitty spends the day at the

office, and is taken home at night by three rotating employees, Moore says. Community involvement is also a big part of the firm’s brand. Many attorneys serve on local boards. The firm is a sponsor of the Hillar C. Moore Jr. Mary Bird Perkins Charity Golf Classic, and it fields a team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Lawyers and staff members take part in spontaneous acts of generosity, including assembling gift bags for Baton Rouge Soldier Outreach and shopping and wrapping Christmas presents for low-income children. The

firm has also sponsored drives for Iris Domestic Violence Center and the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center. Along with creating a positive, even light-hearted, workplace culture, something else colors the firm’s ethos, Thomas says. It’s the drive to never cut corners, and to do things correctly at all times, even when no one is looking. “The hardest thing to do when you practice law is to do the right thing in every situation,” Thomas says. “We’re going to do the right thing. That’s been our sort of goal.” Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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OUTSTANDING

commitment to powering

LOCAL BUSINESSES We understand that businesses are adjusting to a fast-paced operational and consumer reality – from online ordering to cloud-based business applications. That’s why we are committed to providing our partners with best-in-class solutions, along with in-house support. With decades of experience, a customer-focused service philosophy, and a local team of experts, we are ready to serve.

The super charged solution to keep your business connected.

(225) 621-0101

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2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

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2nd WYMAR FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Founded in the late ‘50s, this credit union serves only BASF Geismar employees, offering banking services to workers and their immediate family members. With more than 4,000 members, the credit union—staffed by 17 employees—manages more than $100 million in assets.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: • Four-day workweek • Jambalaya and chili cook-offs • Outdoor track

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: • Health insurance price reduction for participation in wellness plan • Birthday incentive—$50 cash and two-hour lunch break • Anniversary incentives

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE:

Issue Date: October 2021 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

• Telecommuting available for quarantining staff and family members with school-age kids • Casual attire for staff • Business texting and webchat software utilized • Brought lunch for staff during lockdown

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Face your future with confidence. Learn more, visit ajg.com

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

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3rd BATON ROUGE YOUTH COALITION Founded in 2009, Baton Rouge Youth Coalition offers comprehensive college readiness services to high-achieving, underserved high school students.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: • Field day and field trips • Monthly themed happy hours • Flexible hours

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: • Backup child care or elder care • Cash stipend for professional development • Informal dress code

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: • Remote work available • Services shifted to online platform • Vaccinations encouraged • Increased sanitation and protective protocols

Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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The feeling is mutual. Thank you to our wonderful team for voting us one of the Best Places to Work. We’re proud to hear that our team likes coming to work as much as we like seeing them. And we’re grateful they voted us one of the Best Places to work. With 117 years of service behind us, we’re committed to looking ahead and making every day a great day—for our community and for our team.

Banking the way you want. Member FDIC

BANKOFZACHARY.COM | (225) 654-2701

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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4th JCW A CREATIVE AGENCY JCW is a full-service creative agency armed with a team of strategists who craft holistic brands for clients. Founded in 2005, services provided include video production, web development, photography, graphic design, marketing and branding.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Snacks • Monthly socials • Dogs allowed in office

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: Leadership training and development • Work-from-home flexibility • Team retreats

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE:

Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Masks and hand sanitizer available • Periodic disinfecting of office • Remote work available • Created a remote work procedure to minimize workplace outbreaks

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

OUR TEAM MAKES THE DIFFERENCE! CONSECUTIVE

YEARS!

Contact us if you’d like to consider joining our Best Place to Work!

Congratulations to all of our employees for making Sigma Consulting Group one of the best places to work in Baton Rouge.

ENGINEERING & SURVEYING “where quality and innovation design our future”

Providing Engineering, Surveying and Project Delivery services to governmental, industrial, and private sector clients along the Gulf Coast since 1987.

CIVIL | TRANSPORTATION | STRUCTURAL | PROGRAM MANAGEMENT | COASTAL | ENVIRONMENTAL | SURVEYING 10305 Airline Highway • Baton Rouge, LA 70816 • 225-298-0800 • www.sigmacg.com 34

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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A WINNING TEAM IN BATON ROUGE AND BEYOND People who work in insurance are often asked how they got their start in the industry. Most will say they “fell into it,” but at BXS Insurance, many proudly say they “lucked into it.” Their careers are one of change, growth and opportunity. BXS Insurance teammates build each other’s successes and take pride in serving their communities in 29 offices across eight states. Our dedication to service extends beyond providing the highest standard in insurance brokerage services. With a focus on local philanthropy, we are passionate about identifying and meeting needs directly impacting the diverse communities where we live. Want to join us? Visit

www.bxsi.com/careers.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WORK SEVEN YEARS IN A ROW

© 2021 BXS Insurance. All rights reserved. BXS Insurance is a wholly owned subsidiary of BancorpSouth Bank Insurance products are • Not a deposit • Not FDIC insured • Not insured by any federal government agency • Not guaranteed by the bank • May go down in value. BXS Insurance is an insurance agent and not an insurance carrier. Always review your policy for coverage terms and conditions.

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2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

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5th GLO RESOURCES Established in summer 2019, GLO Resources is a personnel placement company. Along with helping companies with staffing needs, GLO also offers third-party administration services.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Annual trips • Nerf gun wars • “Chill out” lounges

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: Gym access across the street from office • Safety bonus • “Dundee” awards

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: • Initially practiced recommended safety protocols and later collectively decided to return “back to normal.”

Do Good. People Notice. Amedisys is a company that cares – and we’re so proud that this is getting noticed. Visit www.amedisys.com/do-good to learn why our people love working for Amedisys.

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BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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FNBB fosters a unique family atmosphere and special bond among its employees that make us want to take care of each other and our customers the same way that we do with our own families at home.

Thank you to our employees who make FNBB, Inc. the family atmosphere it is today!

800.421.6182

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bankers-bank.com

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

Best Places to Work

Ronnie L. Stephens CEO

wymarfcu.com Financial services

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Baton Rouge Youth Coalition 460 N. 11th St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Lucas Spielfogel Executive director

thebryc.org Nonprofit

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JCW A Creative Agency 1284 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, LA 70806

John Williams CEO

thinkjcw.com Advertising/PR/marketing

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GLO Resources LLC 509 St. Louis St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Jerith Naquin CEO

gloresources.com Staffing

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365 Labs 1 Smart Way, Suite 200 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Mohit "Mo" Vij President and CEO

365labs.com Technology

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RHH Architects 200 Government St., Suite 100 Baton Rouge, LA 70802

C.G. Remson, S. Herpin, T. Haley Remson, J. Hargrave, C. Gernon Principals

rhharchitects.com Architecture

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catapultcreativemedia.com 16 Adversiting/PR/marketing

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Catapult Creative Media Inc. 8231 Summa Ave., Suite A Baton Rouge, LA 70809 Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church 44450 Highway 429 St. Amant, LA 70774

David Maples Co-founder and CEO Joshua Johnson Pastor

olohr.com Religious nonprofit

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Nicklos Speyrer President

emergentmethod.com Consulting

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SUSTAINABLE

Wymar Federal Credit Union 37269 Highway 30, P.O. Box 457 Geismar, LA 70734

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HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP

401(K) RETIREMENT PLAN

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Walters Papillion Thomas Cullens LLC 12345 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, LA 70810

WEBSITE INDUSTRY

WELLNESS PROGRAMS

PROFIT SHARINGS

lawbr.net Legal

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TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS

NO. OF PAID HOLIDAYS

David Abboud Thomas, J. Cullens, Darrel J. Papillion Members

COMPANY ADDRESS

NEW HIRE REFERRALS

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Companies with 15-49 U.S. employees

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Interest-free loans for first-time home buyers; living in other cities; profit sharing

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Quarterly bonuses; feature Friday presentation about an ongoing project; jobsite visits as a firm to see recently completed projects

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Free virtual headsets; flexible workweek; virtual hangouts after hours

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Fusion Architects APC 3488 Brentwood Drive, Suite 101 Baton Rouge, LA 70809

David Ruiz, Matt Daigrepont, Brad Guerin, Jason Jones Principals

fusionapc.com Architecture

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Capital Area United Way 700 Laurel St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

George Bell President and CEO

cauw.org Health and human servicesa

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Suna Adam President

gsrcorp.com Consulting

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Miles B. Williams President

sigmacg.com Engineering

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Kenny Nguyen CEO

threesixtyeight.com Advertising/PR/marketing

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Duane L. Mizell President/CEO

stuartandcompany.com Construction

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Jimmy Uhl President

louisiana.swagelok.com Distribution

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John Moran Managing member

morancc.com Construction

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Tommy Jason LeJeune Managing partner

fw-cpa.com Accounting

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ThreeSixtyEight 212 S. 14th St., Suite B Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Stuart & Company General Contractors LLC 6126 Crestmount Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70809 Swagelok Louisiana 9243 Interline Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809 Moran Construction Consultants LLC 601 Saint Charles St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Faulk & Winkler 6811 Jefferson Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70806

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Attend Mass every workday; spend one hour per week in adoration; asked to pray and fast for each other by name, rotating names on a weekly basis Nonprofit donation matches made by the company; mandated and paid mental health days as well as a health/wellness stipend; team MLK day of service Krewe of Comogo team and guests ride in the largest float of the parade each year, 40 people; annual fishing trips; individual birthdays are celebrated with their favorite cake Organized staff volunteer days in Lake Charles for disaster response; participated in “wear your pajamas to work day;” free dialogue on race participation to engage in conversations on race and diversity

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Basketball goal; annual field allowance; volunteer efforts

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Profit sharing

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Surprise & delight budget that includes ice cream parties or blowouts and beard trims to Halloween parties; monthly lunch-n-learns; nomeeting-Wednesdays

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Annual trips and outings; we choose to hang out with each other in our "free" time; we financially, emotionally and whole-heartedly support each other

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Dogs in the office; birthday celebrations; workfrom-home option

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Emergent Method 200 Laurel St., Suite 200 Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Gulf South Research Corporation 8081 Innovation Park Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70820 Sigma Consulting Group Inc. 10305 Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Homemade baked goods for the office multiple times a week; pumpkin-decorating competition and gumbo cook-off; skits at annual Christmas party On-site flu and COVID vaccines; CEO-led book clubs; personality assessments to better know our co-workers and our "working geniuses;” no Saturday or Sunday hours Overflowing candy jar, cabinets stocked with healthy snacks, crushed-ice maker and espresso machine; bring pets to the office; professional development stipend

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Yeti cups, graphic shirts, hats for employees; onboarding process makes new hires feel special; a fair and generous bonus program. Access to free audible book per month; monthly health incentive competitions; get involved with organizations to help those less fortunate Ice cream socials, casual jean Fridays, office closes at 3 p.m. on Fridays; college tailgate day, happy hour, Mardi Gras breakfast; assorted holiday parties Researched by Best Companies Group

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James T. Thompson CEO

sitechla.com Construction

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Gatorworks 10988 N. Harrells Ferry Road, Suite 12 Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Brian Rodriguez President

gatorworks.net Advertising/PR/ marketing

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McMains Children's Developmental Center 1805 College Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Anne Hindrichs Executive director

mcmainscdc.org Health and human services nonprofit

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cparch.com Architecture

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ascensioncu.org Banking

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Commerce Title & Abstract Company 2051 Silverside Drive, Suite 160 Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Calvert Stone, Dominique "Niki" Beeson Attorney and owners

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SITECH Louisiana 3895 O'Neal Lane Baton Rouge, LA 70816

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commercetitle.com Real estate

H. Lloyd Cockerham President and CEO

PTO FOR VOLUNTEERING

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Ascension Credit Union 2430 S. Burnside Ave., P.O. Box 248 Gonzales, LA 70707

DIVERSITY PROGRAMS

n

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levelhomeslifestyle.com 45 Construction

HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP

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Todd Waguespack, John M. Engquist, Ryan Engquist Owners

WELLNESS PROGRAMS

MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS

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Level Homes 402 N. Fourth St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

PROFIT SHARINGS

n

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NEW HIRE REFERRALS

n

WEBSITE INDUSTRY

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

NO. OF PAID HOLIDAYS

9

COMPANY ADDRESS

NO. OF U.S. EMPLOYEES

401(K) RETIREMENT PLAN

Companies with 15-49 U.S. employees

n

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Home discount; health savings account

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Pet-friendly offices; comprehensive wellness program provides mental, physical and financial education; monthly yoga in the park and $300 annual wellness reimbursement Flexibility to balance between personal and professional life; employee and sales competition with monthly financial incentives, as well as vacation package for the overall winners Creatively designed office; employee giftmatching to a nonprofit organization of their choosing; one paid workday to volunteer at an organization of their choosing

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Being part of something bigger than yourself

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D.M. Songy, R.D.

Issue Date: October 2021 #1Ragland, Coleman, M.R. Coleman Partners Architects LLC Ad proof

26 respond Gilbert, W. Lee, 3377 North Blvd.or fax with your approval or minorG.revisions. • Please by e-mail J. Saffiotti BatonASRouge, LA 70806 • AD WILL RUN IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours Principals 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.

WORKPLACE CULTURE

Lending officer incentives for loan production; many contests with prizes or days off; employees receive cash birthday gift and a cake

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Best Places to Work

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Variety of projects in diverse locations with dynamic scope; work with an economic and cultural array of clients; work is challenging Researched by Best Companies Group

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Congratulations! Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

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THE PANGBURN GROUP INC. 301 Major Parkway, New Roads pangburngroup.com PRODUCTS AND SERVICES: Based in New Roads, The Pangburn Group offers comprehensive record-keeping solutions for nonqualified benefit plans and employee-owned life insurance. With nearly 60 employees in the Capital Region, as well as additional satellite offices in Monroe and Miami, Pangburn services businesses and nonprofits across the nation.

TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 57

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: Flexible hours, mentoring, bonus program for referring new employees, HSA and PPO health benefits, 15 PTO days.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Annual seafood boil, annual seafood party, shout-out board, Indian holiday celebration, scavenger hunts.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Telecommuting staff, masks and hand sanitizer available, flexible return-to-work policies, meetings moved to virtual format.

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here’s a lot going on inside the stately, red brick office building on Major Parkway in New Roads, the base of operations for a homegrown company called The Pangburn Group. Launched in 1996, by Brian Pangburn and his late father, Wayne Pangburn, the business provides record-keeping services for nonqualified benefit plans and employer-owned life insurance using company-designed proprietary software. The business, with its team of 57 employees, serves about 2,000 clients around the country, including corporations, financial institutions and banks. Brian Pangburn, who holds a doctorate in computer science from LSU, had been working with his father in the early ‘90s on designing and selling software to employers for better record keeping of their retirement plans. “The feedback was that the software is great, but what we’d like to do is just outsource the service to you completely,” Pangburn recalls. The Pangburns decided to change course, opting to no longer sell the software but to provide record-keeping services to corporations and financial services institutions. Providing a niche service in a field with few national peers, The Pangburn Group has grown significantly, expanding from its original location in the basement of the Smith-LBA Insurance Company in New Roads to a second space it quickly outgrew, despite several additions throughout the 2000s. By 2011, it was time for a new solution. The company purchased nearly 8 acres on Major Parkway in New Roads and designed and built a new office building that opened in 2013. The first two floors and

COLLIN RICHIE

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The Pangburn Group Inc. fosters a culture that’s about wanting to make employees stay, rather than simply work. BY MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

part of a third are occupied by The Pangburn Group, leaving plenty of room to grow under roof, or if needed an additional building on-site. The investment gives employees a state-of-theart space with plenty of room to work, concentrate and connect with other team members. Memorabilia from the U.S. space program is organized throughout the lobby, creating a museum exhibit feel that signals this local tech company’s pioneering spirit, even if its delivery is quiet and understated. Dayto-day operations see employees crunching numbers and sweating details to help keep their clients in compliance. But while they spend a lot of time poring over records, they also enjoy a workplace culture that fosters a sense

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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of community. Chief Operating Officer Trisha Morrison says the company’s congenial vibe is fed by its hiring process. New employees must have the right aptitude, and they must be able to get things done without direct supervision. “We have a rigorous process,” Morrison says. “And we hire good, really nice people, who are really good employees.” Morrison adds that it has been a management priority to create a culture that makes people want to stay, and that’s about more than just work. The company’s high-achieving employees are encouraged to speak up if they conceive of a better way to get things done, says operations coordinator Monica Spustek.

“Pretty much if we as employees can dream it, they can build it,” Spustek says. “Especially if it’s going to improve the organization’s workflow, or the client experience.” Spustek says the management team has a reputation for being hands-on. CEO Pangburn, she jokes, has doubled as a plumber before, while COO Morrison keeps the company’s snack cabinets filled during the busy fall season. “You’ve got a senior management team that’s completely transparent. Completely approachable,” she says. “You got some really smart people, but they’re in the trenches with us. There’s nothing that we do, that they don’t do as well. They’re just so genuine.”

Compensation and benefits include health insurance, supplemental insurance, disability insurance, a 401(k) plan, annual bonuses and generous time off. Wellness benefits include flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines for employees and family members. The company has also sponsored a Biggest Loser-style weight loss competition to encourage healthy behaviors. Formal and informal employee gatherings foster a sense of team. An on-site outdoor kitchen and recreational space makes it possible for the group to gather outside for employee socials. There’s also a basketball court, and a large green where groups play kickball. Employees get together for other social events including afternoons at False River or

shooting pool in neighborhood watering holes. The Pangburn Group gives back annually with donations to regional charities. Past recipients include Pointe Coupee school STEM programs, community events and athletic programs, the Pointe Coupee Early Childhood Coalition, the Pointe Coupee Parish Council on Aging, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The company also sponsors a computer science scholarship at LSU. “We consider ourselves a family. And although we’re almost 60 people, it doesn’t feel that way,” Morrison says. “I mean it feels the same way it did when I started here 18 years ago. We just try to treat everybody with kindness.” Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #5 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

OUR TEAM

makes the difference The people of Taylor Porter always make the difference – today and for more than a century. We are pleased to be recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for 8 consecutive years, and celebrate our on-going growth in Louisiana with the introduction of the newest members of our team.

WELCOME TO THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF TAYLOR PORTER

Shannon A. Shelton, Special Counsel

Taylor Dunne, Associate

Robert W. Barton, Managing Partner ǀ Baton Rouge ǀ Lake Charles www.taylorporter.com 42

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

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HANNIS T BOURGEOIS LLP Founded in 1925, Hannis T Bourgeois is a public accounting and consulting firm serving the Capital Region and New Orleans area. The firm works with high-net-worth individuals, as well as privately owned and SEC-registered companies.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Study materials for CPA exam • Community-involvement events Halloween costume contest

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: CPA exam reimbursement • Flexible work schedule Premium pay for overtime work

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Client meetings moved to phone or web conferencing Online client portal available • Work-from-home policy Masks and sanitizer available

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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FIRST NATIONAL BANKERS BANKSHARES INC. First National Bankers Bankshares Inc. services the management and financial needs of community financial institutions across the nation. Based in Baton Rouge, the financial services corporation has additional offices across the South.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Monthly fun days • Tailgates • Blue jeans Fridays

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: • Up to $250 per year to subsidize wellness-related activities • Birthday and floating holidays • Employee discount on technology purchases through company

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: • Modified telecommuting procedures • Air filtration and plasma air ionizer purification installed • Rewrote workplace safety policy • Online learning management system for remote workers

Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

THANK YOU TO OUR EMPLOYEES, DONORS, PARTNERS & VOLUNTEERS

Capital Area United Way

Congratulations to all our team members for helping

Moran Construction Consultants earn the designations of

and

2021 HONOREE for the past two consecutive years, each! www.morancc.com (225) 256-0019 601 St. Charles Street Baton Rouge, 70802 44

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CMA TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS Baton Rouge-based CMA Technology Solutions is an IT consulting firm specializing in managed IT services, information security, data center solutions and contract management. Over the course of nearly four decades, the organization has grown to more than 70 employees.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Annual Halloween costume contest • Food trucks for celebrations Charity donation matching program

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: Monthly “That’s CMAgic Award,” with special parking spot, recognition and $100 gift card • Monthly work anniversary celebration with treats • Crawfish boil

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Flexible remote work available • Increased office cleanings Virtual meetings • Restrictions enacted on number of people occupying a common space at the office

Issue Date: October 2021 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SHOW YOUR EMPLOYEES HOW MUCH YOU CARE Comfort and a healthier environment are both critical components of reducing team absenteeism and turnover. Just as importantly, comfort and health play a huge role in productivity.

HVAC

AIR BALANCE

ENERGY MANAGEMENT

BUILDING AUTOMATION

Baton Rouge: 7070 Exchequer Drive | 225.925.5236 New Orleans: 5751 River Road, Suite 210 | 504.265.0017

www.callcmc.com Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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THE LDS GROUP For nearly 45 years, the LDS Group has offered insurance products through several wholly owned subsidiaries. Initially founded to offer mechanical breakdown insurance, The LDS Group has expanded to also offer property residual value insurance and credit life insurance.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Standing desks • Annual Employee Appreciation Day for staff and families • Casual Fridays

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: ISTOCK

• Retirees have part-time and consulting opportunities • Team Member of the Month Award with $200 cash prize • Cash bonuses during record-breaking months

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Remote work available • Increased cleaning and sanitizing of office • Canceled Christmas party and divided party budget among staff • Moved meetings to Zoom

Dream without boundaries

Knowing you’ve got the strength of the cross, the protection of the shield and thousands of top doctors to lift you when you need it. The Right Card. The Right Care.

01MK7615 09/01

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BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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Issue Date: BPTW 2021 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING TEAM!

we are so proud!

ENGINEERING | PIPELINE SERVICES | DISASTER RECOVERY STAFFING | EPC SERVICES | OWNER’S REPRESENTATIVE

1.866.255.6825 | information@hga-llc.com

www.hga-llc.com Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

CAREER DEVELOP. PROGRAMS

PTO FOR VOLUNTEERING

DIVERSITY PROGRAMS

HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP

WELLNESS PROGRAMS

MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS

401(K) RETIREMENT PLAN

PROFIT SHARINGS

WEBSITE INDUSTRY

NEW HIRE REFERRALS

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

NO. OF PAID HOLIDAYS

COMPANY ADDRESS WEBSITE

NO. OF U.S. EMPLOYEES

Companies with 50-249 U.S. employees

1

The Pangburn Group Inc. 301 Major Parkway New Roads, LA 70760

Brian E. Pangburn CEO

pangburngroup.com Financial services

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Hannis T Bourgeois LLP 2322 Tremont Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Jay A. Montalbano Managing partner

htb.cpa Accounting

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First National Bankers Bankshares Inc. 7813 Office Park Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Joseph F. Quinlan President and CEO

bankers-bank.com Banking

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CMA Technology Solutions 8180 YMCA Plaza Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Chad LeMaire President and CEO

cmaontheweb.com Technology

70

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The LDS Group 9016 Bluebonnet Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70810

J. Keith Decell President and CEO

theldsgroup.com Insurance

58

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Taylor Porter 450 Laurel St., Suite 800 Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Bob Barton Managing partner

taylorporter.com Legal

112 10

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MAPP 344 Third St. Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Michael A. Polito President and CEO

mappbuilt.com Construction

156

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AccuTemp Services 2027 N. Harco Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Joshua Davis President

accutempbr.com Construction

72

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Guaranty Corporation 929 Government St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Flynn A. Foster President

guarantymedia.com Broadcasting

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Bank of Zachary 4743 Main St. Zachary, LA 70791

Mark Marionneaux President and CEO

bankofzachary.com Banking

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Transformyx LLC 6867 Bluebonnet Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70810

James DuBos CEO

transformyx.com Technology

81

9

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Community Management 140 Aspen Square, Suite H Denham Springs, LA 70726

Jeff Harman CEO

cmgt.org Real estate

60

9

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Guarantee Restoration Services 11811 Dunlay Lane Baton Rouge, LA 70809

guaranteerestoration.com 145 Restoration

6

n n n

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Peoples Bank 805 Hospital Road New Roads, LA 70760

15

Sparkhound 11207 Proverbs Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Shawn Usher CEO

sparkhound.com Technology

142

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Baton Rouge Physical Therapy - Lake Rehabilitation Centers 5222 Brittany Drive, Suite A Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Seth Kaplan CEO

brptlake.com Health care provider

61

6

Shawn Folks Owner and CEO

Stephen P. David President and CEO

thefriendlybank.com Banking

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Indian holiday celebrations, such as Holi and n Diwali; community outreach events; employees social committee that generates ideas for celebrations and community activities Firm events for employees and family members n throughout the year; premium time for overnight work; reimbursement for CPA exam expenses Computer purchase program with interest-free loans via payroll deduction; birthday holiday and n floating holiday; additional paid holiday immediately before or after a company scheduled holiday Community service during work hours; CMA Cares n matching donation program; employees cook meals for the company in the parking lot during work hours Ongoing training opportunities; employee-friendly n 401(k) match program; company provides a “well-above average” benefits contribution for its employees Masters tournament-style putting contest on firm's putting green; town hall meetings to n address staff issues and concerns, including weekly virtual meetings during COVID-19 work from home Women in construction week; charity golf n tournament has raised over $80,000 for OLOL Children's Hospital; charity foundation with employee input n Apprenticeship program; virtual reality programs; prize wheel with PTO and cash

Popcorn Fridays; shout-out board to express n appreciation; drawings for great gifts at annual employee meeting

Great benefits

n

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n

Work remotely from home when needed; flexible n work hours when needed; employee incentives for charitable works

n

Women of GRS; book club; advanced trainings

n n n

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WORKPLACE CULTURE

Company president is constant cheerleader there n to support employees, build them up and recognize them for hard work and dedication

n n n

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SUSTAINABLE GREEN PRACTICES

Best Places to Work

n n

Bonus program is one of the best in the industry; n employee appreciation; crawfish boil and Christmas party annually Attract and hire new graduates; student loan refinancing through SOFI; employee appreciation n week with ""wrapping Wednesdays,” where employees' gifts are professionally wrapped for their families n 1:1 health coaching; student loan payback assistance; chef program Researched by Best Companies Group

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Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #5 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Proud to be Recognized as a “Best Place to Work” The LDS Group has been committed to partnering with Louisiana dealerships to provide the best products, training, and local customer service since 1977.

FOR DEALERS, BY DEALERS 9016 BLUEBONNET BLVD | BATON ROUGE | 225-769-9923 | THELDSGROUP.COM

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

A SENSE of COMMUNITY C O M PA

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GMFS MORTGAGE 7389 Florida Blvd. Suite 200A, Baton Rouge • gmfsmortgage.com PRODUCTS AND SERVICES: Founded in 1999, GMFS Mortgage has funded loans for more than 130,000 customers across the Southeast. The Baton Rouge-based residential mortgage lender now has 13 offices across the Southeast.

TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 332

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: Wellness program with fitness club benefit, anniversary gifts, internal staff recognition program, telecommuting and remote work available.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: Annual crawfish boil, family dinner night, annual “Reindeer Games” Christmas party with catered lunch and cash prizes, raising money for community causes, work-from-home flexibility.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Remote work and flexible return-to-workplace plan, daily lunches provided for employees at office during shutdown, telehealth counseling available, financial and wellness assistance available.

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he coronavirus pandemic lurched companies everywhere into unforeseen operational changes—but for GMFS Mortgage, the period of upheaval has been a chance to shine. From generous contributions to the community, to embracing a telework infrastructure, to onboarding more than 100 new employees to support an explosion in business, the 22-year-old residential mortgage lender has navigated COVID-19’s choppy waters with grace, thanks to a strong workplace culture. Prior to the pandemic, a small percentage of GMFS employees worked remotely, but that changed when the entire workforce shifted to off-site operations. More than a year later, it turns out a majority of employees like working from home, says President and CEO Tee Brown, a fact he and his management team discovered through employee surveys. “The feedback was ‘it’s so much easier,’” Brown says. Employees reported taking advantage of the time they’d normally be sitting in traffic to get a jump-start on the day, freeing up time later to tend to personal issues. Productivity has been at an all-time high, Brown says, as teams have worked to meet an influx of new business brought on by lower interest rates. “We basically doubled the amount of business that we did from ’19 in 2020, and we added about 50% to our overall staff,” Brown says. Today, only about 40 employees of the company’s 340 have returned to the office. That means maintaining a sense of community among a remote staff has become more

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GMFS Mortgage has created a winning formula by embracing change, listening to employees and giving back to the Baton Rouge community. BY MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

important than ever, Brown says. The company hosts semiannual social gatherings to bring employees together and ensure new hires meet their colleagues face to face. The pandemic has also given GMFS a chance to express its commitment to the Baton Rouge community in new ways, Brown says. The company helped raise more than $125,000 for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank in an initiative it engineered with the Guaranty Foundation called Banking for BR. And knowing that restaurants were suffering during the pandemic, GMFS sought opportunities to support local eateries by buying large volumes of catered meals for

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different groups. The company paid City Pork Catering, for example, to put on a Lenten spread for 8,400 homeless individuals in partnership with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. GMFS also teamed with Monjunis Italian Cafe to feed a local nursing home and the Baton Rouge Police Department. And for about a year and a half, the company treated its own employees to complimentary takeout dinners from a rotating list of Baton Rouge-area restaurants. “We try to maintain a culture here that is very family oriented,” Brown says. “I would say we are a company that cares for the well-being of our employees.”

Indeed, the company’s commitment to wellness has included on-site flu shots and screenings for skin and oral cancers with help from Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. It’s been time well spent. During one screening, about a dozen employees discovered potential skin cancer areas that required a follow-up appointment with a physician, and one employee discovered a spot that would have required significant intervention had it not been detected early. In addition, employees who undergo an annual physical receive a cash incentive in their paychecks. Corporate philanthropy is extensive, and is focused on

improving communities where GMFS residential mortgage customers live, largely in south Louisiana. The company focuses on five pillars: assisting the disadvantaged; community children’s well-being; community education and the arts; community homeownership and standard of living; and community health and well-being. But it’s not just cash donations. GMFS finds ways to engage employees in service opportunities, including homebuilding and supplies drives. For example, following Hurricane Laura’s devastating march through southwest Louisiana last August, the company teamed with Christ Community Church

Denham Springs to deliver scores of cases of water and recovery supplies to Lake Charles. GMFS employees have also participated in Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge projects, a local charity that provides home improvement projects to those in need. The company’s support of cancer care is shown annually in a donation to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center with every loan GMFS closes. “We notify the customer after we’ve closed the loan,” Brown says. “Last year, we gave $40,000 to Mary Bird Perkins as a result of the loan closings. We feel like being part of this community, it’s our obligation to do the things that make it better.” Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

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GALLAGHER A worldwide organization, Gallagher opened its Baton Rouge office in 1980 offering brokerage and consulting for human capital and property risk management.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: • Annual potluck party and crawfish boil • Flex days—half day off every other week • FUN committee tasked to promote fun in office

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS:

DON KADAIR

• Employee stock ownership program • Leadership training • Anniversary gifts

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE:

Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

• Remote work available • Sanitation stations set up in office • Meetings held virtually • Return-to-workplace plan established

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

OUR FAMILY OF COMPANIES ARE HONORED TO BE RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF OUR CITY’S

BEST PLACES TO WORK

For 95 years, we have strived to be one of the best places to work for our team. We are blessed to be considered as such and with those blessings come a belief that it is both a privilege and a responsibility to give back to our community. From media to digital marketing to tacos and more, our vision is to enrich lives and serve others.

EAGLE 98.1 TALK 107.3

100.7 THE TIGER

GATORWORKS

GOV’T TACO

104.5 ESPN BATON ROUGE JAY D HOSPITALITY GROUP

929 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802

52

guarantymedia.com

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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Issue Date: October 2021 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

#ComeBeAwesome APPLY TODAY TO BECOME PART OF ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WORK

6867 BLUEBONNET BLVD. | BATON ROUGE, LA | (225) 761-0088 | TRANSFORMYX.COM

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2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

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THE LEMOINE COMPANY The Lemoine Company operates as a commercial contractor, yielding more than 45 years of experience across the South. Since its inception, the company has expanded to launch complementary businesses in the disaster recovery sector.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: • New professional happy hour networking for new employees • Holiday potlucks • Employees First Fund—employeeand company-matched grants for workers dealing with unexpected hardships

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: • Annual health assessment and flu shots offered • Employer-sponsored elder care assistance • 3% company match on 401(k) after one hour of employment

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: • Prescreening for virus symptoms Issue Date: OCTOBER 21 Adbefore proofentering #2 workplace • Employees work remotely necessary while child care and • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your as approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval final revisions are received 24 hours school facilities areorclosed • Face maskswithin available 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

t h a n k yo u t o o u r as c e ns i o n c r e d i t u n i o n t e a m for making us a 2021 Best Place to Work!

a scension P arish ’ s only c ommunity F inancial i nstitution dedicated to serving a scension P arish r esidents ! 2430 S. BURNSIDE AVE. | GONZALES, LA 70737 WWW.ASCENSIONCU.ORG | (225) 621-2800

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PHELPS DUNBAR Headquartered in downtown Baton Rouge, Phelps Dunbar is a regional law firm specializing in areas of law serving business and corporate organizations. With offices in several Southern states, the law firm’s team has grown to more than 600.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: • Office running club • Free Weight Watchers and discounted cellphone plans • Book club

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: • Profit sharing • Anniversary gifts • Flexible work schedule

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: • Work-from-home flexibility • Sanitation stations • On-site vaccinations for employees • Health assessment required before entering workplace

B&G Foods is honored to be named an LSU One hundred and LSU Roaring Ten

Huge thanks to the entire B&G Foods team proudly serving the Baton Rouge area and Tiger Nation.

GEAUX TIGAHS!!!

B&G Food Enterprises, LLC Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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5th GRESHAM SMITH Gresham Smith provides creative solutions in architecture, engineering and design. The firm focuses on projects in the aviation, building engineering, corporate and urban design, health care and industrial sectors.

WHAT EMPLOYEES LOVE: • Team building activities and celebrations • Build U—a formalized framework to support personal growth and professional development • Tickets to local events

STANDOUT BONUSES OR BENEFITS: • Employer-sponsored elder care assistance • Professional licensure support • Gym membership reimbursements

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: • Remote work and flexible schedules • Launched a dedicated COVID-19 intranet with information and resources for employees • Established a coronavirus committee • Launched a mental health and emotional wellness campaign

Our culture of care starts from within. AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana is proud to be selected as one of the “best places to work” for six years in a row.

2016 | 2017 | 2018 2019 | 2020 | 2021 56

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CAREER DEVELOP. PROGRAMS

HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP

WELLNESS PROGRAMS

PTO FOR VOLUNTEERING

DIVERSITY PROGRAMS

MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS

7

401(K) RETIREMENT PLAN

332

PROFIT SHARING

WEBSITE INDUSTRY

NEW HIRE REFERRALS

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

NO. OF PAID HOLIDAYS

COMPANY ADDRESS

NO. OF U.S. EMPLOYEES

Companies with 250 or more U.S. employees

SUSTAINABLE GREEN PRACTICES

Best Places to Work WORKPLACE CULTURE

Skin and oral cancer screenings on-site; remote emotional n n n n n n n n and financial support through pandemic with telephone counseling, investment resources, on-demand fitness, nutrition and mindfulness classes Young professional organization promotes networking, n n n n n n professional and personal growth for millennial workforce; future leaders group with specific training, career development Employees first fund to assist during times of unforeseen n n n n n n n disaster or events (hurricanes, COVID-related expenses); race participants reimbursement; health assessments/ checkups, including flu shots

1

GMFS Mortgage 7389 Florida Blvd., Suite 200-A Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Tee Brown President

gmfsmortgage.com Residential mortgages

2

Gallagher 235 Highlandia Drive, Suite 100 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Amanda Hamilton Area president

ajg.com Risk management

3

The Lemoine Company 15555 Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70817

Leonard K. Lemoine President

lemoinecompany.com Construction

395

9

4

Phelps Dunbar 400 Convention St., Suite 1100 Baton Rouge, LA 70802

P. Ragan Richard Managing partner

phelps.com Legal

605

Watchers free of charge; Baton Rouge running club; 11 n n n n n n n n n n Weight discounted cellphone plans through AT&T

5

Gresham Smith 10000 Perkins Rowe, Suite 280 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Bert Moore State leader for transportation

greshamsmith.com Engineering

902

8

6

IEM 8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 400 Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Brad Tiffee, Amy Stewart, Michelle Croney Directors

iem.com Consulting

552

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Louisiana Women's Healthcare 500 Rue de la Vie, Suite 100 Baton Rouge, LA 70817

Kim Sangari CEO

lwha.com Health care provider

272

10

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MMR Group Inc. 15961 Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70817

James "Pepper" Rutland President and CEO

mmrgrp.com Construction

701

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Hunt Guillot & Associates LLC (HGA) 9357 Interline Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Jack Hunt Vice president

hga-llc.com Consulting

372

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10

Home Bank 3524 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Chris Harrell Senior VP and market president

home24bank.com Banking

445

11

11

Kean Miller LLP 400 Convention St., Suite 700, P.O. Box 3513 Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Linda Perez Clark Managing partner

12

AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana 10000 Perkins Rowe, Suite 400 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Kyle Viator Market president

13

Benny's Car Wash 9611 B Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70815

14

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n n n n n n Career ladder and owner opportunity; gym membership reimbursements; tickets at work

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n n King cakes at Mardi Gras and samosas at Divali; company crawfish boil; "holiday fun week" in December New hires receive a $150 gift card to purchase work scrubs n n or other attire; welcome kit includes branded items for personal use (tote bag, insulated mugs, water bottles, umbrellas, mouse pads)

n n n n n Ring the bell Fridays; annual formal Christmas party; annual fishing rodeo

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HR department handles insurance issues on behalf of n n employees; sick leave donation program; trees planted at our headquarters in memory of deceased employees A “welcome to the Home Bank family little one” onesie for n new family members; employee contests and prizes to encourage engagement; jean days!

COVID-safety measures used for individually wrapped food food trucks; annual Thanksgiving luncheon; COVID-19 13 n n n n n n n n n n and vaccine clinic, on-site vaccine offered to employees and family members Naturally slim behavioral counseling program for metabolic amerihealthcaritasla.com 7,120 10 n n n n n n n n n syndrome reversal, weight management and diabetes Health care insurance prevention; customized maternity support; coaching throughout parenthood journey keanmiller.com Legal

321

Justin Alford Owner

bennyscarwash.com Services

293

BXS Insurance 4041 Essen Lane, Suite 400 Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Markham McKnight President and CEO

bxsi.com Insurance

680

10 n

15

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana 5525 Reitz Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809

I. Steven Udvarhelyi President and CEO

bcbsla.com Health care insurance

2,285

10

16

b1BANK 500 Laurel St. Baton Rouge, LA 70801-1811

David R. "Jude" Melville President and CEO

b1bank.com Banking

643

11

17

Amedisys Inc. 3854 American Way, Suite A Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Scott Ginn Executive VP

amedisys.com Health care provider

15,318

6

18

REV Broadband 913 S. Burnside Ave. Gonzales, LA 70737

Joshua Descant CEO

eatel.com Wired telecommunications

395

6

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Weekly paychecks and free car washes; team-building and n n engagement fund; events such as annual employee appreciation and family fun day crawfish boil

BXSI-University provides comprehensive understanding of n n n n n n n organization, resources, and competitive strategies; career development program; share stories featuring colleagues that lead and inspire Wellness program with health coaches, dietitians, classes, n n n n n n n n challenges, support groups, weight and chronic disease management, mental health counseling; employee assistance program n n n n

n

n

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Training opportunities to grow/improve skills; encourages feedback/opportunity to improve current processes or systems; striving for continual improvement

n n n

Crawfish boil; all team members feel a sense of belonging; n n n n employees 1st fund provides up to $2,500 of financial assistance to employees experiencing severe financial need

n

Free/discounted company-provided services; employee n n n n assistance fund for employees experiencing financial hardships; wellness challenges

n

Researched by Best Companies Group

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

FOR YOUR

BENEFIT

A sampling of perks found at Best Places to Work companies. COMPILED BY JULIA-CLAIRE EVANS

NERF GUN WARS

COURTESY THR

EESIXTYEIG HT

—GLO Resources LLC

FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM

—Sigma Consulting Group Inc

Monthly Fun Days in which a nationally recognized day such as National Potato Chip Day or National Pizza Day is celebrated each month. —First National Bankers Bankshares Inc

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Masters-style putting contest on firm’s putting green on eighth-floor River Terrace in the downtown Chase North Tower.

Find Your Place at Associated Grocers.

—Taylor Porter

We Are

#AGBRProud MONTHLY MASSAGES —Moran Construction Consultants LLC

Numerous company and department activities and events aimed at showing appreciation for its employees. Activities can range from escape rooms to TopGolf outings to steak dinners, in addition to Christmas parties. —AccuTemp Services

Join Our Team!

For employment opportunities, visit AGBR.com! “Dedicated to the Support and Success of the Independent Retail Grocer.” Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

A WORKPLACE

PRIORITY

Employee mental health is a big issue facing businesses, especially amid the pandemic. So how should employers approach it? BY JULIA-CLAIRE EVANS

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mployee mental health has taken on added significance in the workplace in recent years with increased demand for benefits and flexibility. And events like a pandemic or even a hurricane serve only to put more strain on a staff, compelling employers to come up with new ways to ease stress and anxiety. There are certain diagnoses you can begin to see in times like these, says Dr. Deirdre Barfield, vice president of care management at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. Anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders commonly flare up during a stressful period like the pandemic. Some employees became ill or had family members who became ill and died from COVID-19, says Sandy Michelet, human resources director at Sparkhound, an information technology company in Baton Rouge. All of that takes a certain toll. Health care professionals and crisis workers have been working endless hours during the pandemic and the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, and many do not have the time to assess their own health, says Melissa Silva, executive director at the Mental Health Association of Greater Baton Rouge. Mental health issues can affect an employee’s productivity and comfort level at work, but addressing problems can sometimes be difficult. One large barrier is stigma. “When we think about mental health in the workplace,” says Craig Broome, president of Highflyer HR, “the biggest thing to overcome are the many preconceived expectations from businesses, leaders and organizations. Employers need to treat mental health as important as physical health and create an

PRESSING PROBLEM: A growing number of employees are dealing with a variety of mental health issues, which, if ignored, can impact productivity and ultimately cause people to leave their jobs.

environment where employees can openly share their mental health as well as physical health issues.” It starts with a visible commitment from leadership to help end the stigma associated with mental health, Broome says. “Saying ‘suck it up, come to work,’ doesn’t help,” he says. “That’s uneducated and untrained people, leaders and managers talking. But it’s something I see.” Business leaders need to have a broader perspective, Barfield says. “Who wants to be sick?” she says. “Does anyone wake up and say, ‘gosh, I’d really like to spend all of next week in the hospital?’ or ‘I don’t want to take care of myself anymore?’ No one wants this.” Many employers got creative

when it came to combatting mental health issues brought on by the pandemic. When COVID-19 first hit, Michelet says, she and her team weren’t sure how long it was going to last, so they started some workplace activities and have stuck with them. One is a biweekly, company-wide call led by the CEO or president, which she says provides a bit of comfort for employees. “What we found with all of these changes is that we needed to establish ways for people to connect and collaborate and not allow remote working to get in the way of relationships,” she says. “As a consulting company, relationships are what we are.” The company also offers an employee assistance program though its benefits provider. The program provides a counselor for

employees to call and talk with for a certain number of sessions. At the Mental Health Association, Silva says, mental health days were implemented years ago. It is separate from any annual leave, sick time or paid time off. The association’s staff takes care of those most vulnerable in the community, she says, and if they are not healthy, they cannot take care of others. Working from home and allowing flexibility in the office is helpful, Silva says, but she acknowledges that it doesn’t work for every business. The association’s staff was able to work from home for a period of time and make telehealth calls and wellness checks on clients. Mental health may be a larger issue within the workplace now, Broome says, because undiagnosed disorders or underlying

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

conditions have been brought to the surface as the result of pandemic-induced stress. Encouraging employees to feel open in sharing their struggles can help in navigating the issues, Broome says. The first part of that is educating leaders on how to view mental health while understanding the prevailing conditions within the workplace. A landscaping crew with a high probability of heat exhaustion is going to train and educate its employees about that risk, Broome says, and take physical preventive steps. The same should be true for, say, a stressful law firm. That law firm could provide mental health assistance to cope with stress. If you have a stressful work environment, focus on that, Broome says. “I think it’s about understanding what the work environment is as a business owner,” he says. “If I work in a place that is high stress, then I know the outcome is a stressed employee.” Another helpful step, Broome says, is designing benefit plans to respond to identified needs. Providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana are seeing businesses place more of an emphasis on mental health, Barfield says, and more are asking about

plans, suggestions and resources. Blue Cross covers services such as those offered by New Directions, a behavioral health company, which covers inpatient and outpatient care and connects members to mental health resources. Blue Cross also offers telehealth mental health services. Employers also must ensure that the company culture is aligned with promoting the health and safety of its employees, Broome says. Employees could benefit from periodic check-ins, he says, and employers should help them understand their benefit plans and how to properly use them. Michelet believes mental health will only grow as a workplace issue, though it may not be presented as “mental health” because of the stigma. She says the focus will be more on individuals. New and potential employees now are asking more questions about company culture and how office teams interact, she says. They want to know what the company stands for. “Companies are having to reassess the way they’re recruiting and making sure they’re focusing on employees,” she says. “You’re hiring a human being, not just a resource you can put in a slot.”

The Best Place only happens

WITH THE BEST PEOPLE!

www.htbcpa.com

grow. Compete. THRIVE.

Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad proof Hannis T. Bourgois, CPAs#2 & Business Advisors

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. Baton Rouge New Orleans Denham • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are receivedSprings within 24 hours225.928.4770 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.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

QUALITY OFFICE

FURNITURE

IDEAL FOR YOUR

DON KADAIR

EMPLOYEE’S NEEDS!

“Companies are having to reassess the way they’re recruiting and making sure they’re focusing on employees. You’re hiring a human being, not just a resource you can put in a slot.” SANDY MICHELET, human resources director, Sparkhound

Office Furniture World has a great selection of office furniture to meet your employees needs.

Locally Owned & Operated for Over 30 Years! 12944 Coursey Blvd ○ 225.751.4024 ○ ofwbr.com Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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COVER STORY

2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

2 3 4 5 6

Walters Papillion Thomas Cullens LLC 12345 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, LA 70810 Wymar Federal Credit Union 37269 Highway 30, P.O. Box 457 Geismar, LA 70734 Baton Rouge Youth Coalition 460 N. 11th St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 JCW A Creative Agency 1284 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, LA 70806 GLO Resources LLC 509 St. Louis St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 365 Labs 1 Smart Way, Suite 200 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

7

The Pangburn Group Inc. 301 Major Parkway New Roads, LA 70760

8

RHH Architects 200 Government St., Suite 100 Baton Rouge, LA 70802

17

10

n n n n n n

Lucas Spielfogel Executive director

thebryc.org Nonprofit

19

25

n

John Williams CEO

thinkjcw.com Advertising/PR/marketing

18

11

n n

Jerith Naquin CEO

gloresources.com Staffing

15

15 n

n n n n

Mohit "Mo" Vij President and CEO

365labs.com Technology

16

15 n n n

n n n n n Interest-free loans for first-time home buyers; living in other cities; profit sharing

Brian E. Pangburn CEO

pangburngroup.com Financial services

57

9

n n

Indian holiday celebrations, such as Holi and Diwali; n n community outreach events; employees social committee that generates ideas for celebrations and community activities

C.G. Remson, S. Herpin, T. Haley Remson, J. Hargrave, C. Gernon Principals

rhharchitects.com Architecture

15

9

n

Quarterly bonuses; feature Friday presentation about an n n ongoing project; jobsite visits as a firm to see recently completed projects

Jay A. Montalbano Managing partner

htb.cpa Accounting

129

9

16

10 n

olohr.com Religious nonprofit

15

12

First National Bankers Bankshares Inc. 7813 Office Park Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Joseph F. Quinlan President and CEO

bankers-bank.com Banking

154

13

Emergent Method 200 Laurel St., Suite 200 Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Nicklos Speyrer President

emergentmethod.com Consulting

36

14

Fusion Architects APC 3488 Brentwood Drive, Suite 101 Baton Rouge, LA 70809

David Ruiz, Matt Daigrepont, Brad Guerin, Jason Jones Principals

fusionapc.com Architecture

Chad LeMaire President and CEO

15 16

CMA Technology Solutions 8180 YMCA Plaza Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70810 The LDS Group 9016 Bluebonnet Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70810

CAREER DEVELOP. PROGRAMS

wymarfcu.com Financial services

Joshua Johnson Pastor

11

HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP

Ronnie L. Stephens CEO

n

n

n

On-site flu and COVID vaccines; CEO-led book clubs; n n personality assessments to better know our co-workers and our "working geniuses;” no Saturday or Sunday hours Overflowing candy jar, cabinets stocked with healthy n n snacks, crushed-ice maker and espresso machine; bring pets to the office; professional development stipend n n Dogs in the office; birthday celebrations; work-from-home option

n

n

WORKPLACE CULTURE

Homemade baked goods for the office multiple times a n n n n n n week; pumpkin-decorating competition and gumbo cookoff; skits at annual Christmas party

n n

n

WELLNESS PROGRAMS

n n

David Maples catapultcreativemedia.com Co-founder and CEO Adversiting/PR/marketing

10

PTO FOR VOLUNTEERING

9

DIVERSITY PROGRAMS

20

Hannis T Bourgeois LLP 2322 Tremont Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70809 Catapult Creative Media Inc. 8231 Summa Ave., Suite A Baton Rouge, LA 70809 Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church 44450 Highway 429 St. Amant, LA 70774

9

MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS

lawbr.net Legal

WEBSITE INDUSTRY

PROFIT SHARING

David Abboud Thomas, J. Cullens, Darrel J. Papillion Members

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

NEW HIRE REFERRALS

NO. OF PAID HOLIDAYS

1

NO. OF U.S. EMPLOYEES

COMPANY ADDRESS

401(K) RETIREMENT PLAN

Overall winners

SUSTAINABLE GREEN PRACTICES

Best Places to Work

Annual trips and outings; we choose to hang out with each other in our "free" time; we financially, emotionally and whole-heartedly support each other

Firm events for employees and family members throughout n n n n n n the year; premium time for overnight work; reimbursement for CPA exam expenses

n n

n

n n Free virtual headsets; flexible workweek; virtual hangouts after hours

Attend Mass every workday; spend one hour per week in adoration; asked to pray and fast for each other by name, rotating names on a weekly basis Computer purchase program with interest-free loans via payroll deduction; birthday holiday and floating holiday; n n n n n n n n n 11 additional paid holiday immediately before or after a company scheduled holiday Nonprofit donation matches made by the company; n n n n n n n mandated and paid mental health days as well as a health/ 10 n wellness stipend; team MLK day of service 17

n

17

15 n

n n

cmaontheweb.com Technology

70

9

n

J. Keith Decell President and CEO

theldsgroup.com Insurance

58

9

n n

332

7

n n n n n

17

GMFS Mortgage 7389 Florida Blvd., Suite 200-A Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Tee Brown President

gmfsmortgage.com Residential mortgages

18

Gallagher 235 Highlandia Drive, Suite 100 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Amanda Hamilton Area president

ajg.com Risk management

19

The Lemoine Company 15555 Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70817

Leonard K. Lemoine President

lemoinecompany.com Construction

395

9

20

Capital Area United Way 700 Laurel St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

George Bell President and CEO

cauw.org Health and human servicesa

17

12

34,000 11 n

n

n n n

n

n n n

n n

n

Krewe of Comogo team and guests ride in the largest float n n of the parade each year, 40 people; annual fishing trips; individual birthdays are celebrated with their favorite cake

n

n n

n

n n

Community service during work hours; CMA Cares n n n matching donation program; employees cook meals for the company in the parking lot during work hours Ongoing training opportunities; employee-friendly 401(k) n n match program; company provides a “well-above average” benefits contribution for its employees Skin and oral cancer screenings on-site; remote emotional n n n and financial support through pandemic with telephone counseling, investment resources, on-demand fitness, nutrition and mindfulness classes Young professional organization promotes networking, n n n professional and personal growth for millennial workforce; future leaders group with specific training, career development Employees first fund to assist during times of unforeseen n n n disaster or events (hurricanes, COVID-related expenses); race participants reimbursement; health assessments/ checkups, including flu shots Organized staff volunteer days in Lake Charles for disaster n response; participated in “wear your pajamas to work day;” free dialogue on race participation to engage in conversations on race and diversity Researched by Best Companies Group

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CAREER DEVELOP. PROGRAMS

HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP

WELLNESS PROGRAMS

PTO FOR VOLUNTEERING

11

DIVERSITY PROGRAMS

47

MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS

gsrcorp.com Consulting

401(K) RETIREMENT PLAN

Suna Adam President

PROFIT SHARING

WEBSITE INDUSTRY

NEW HIRE REFERRALS

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

NO. OF PAID HOLIDAYS

COMPANY ADDRESS

NO. OF U.S. EMPLOYEES

Overall winners

SUSTAINABLE GREEN PRACTICES

Best Places to Work WORKPLACE CULTURE

21

Gulf South Research Corporation 8081 Innovation Park Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70820

22

Phelps Dunbar 400 Convention St., Suite 1100 Baton Rouge, LA 70802

P. Ragan Richard Managing partner

phelps.com Legal

605

Watchers free of charge; Baton Rouge running club; 11 n n n n n n n n n n Weight discounted cellphone plans through AT&T

23

Sigma Consulting Group Inc. 10305 Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Miles B. Williams President

sigmacg.com Engineering

32

9

n n n

24

Taylor Porter 450 Laurel St., Suite 800 Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Bob Barton Managing partner

taylorporter.com Legal

112

10

n n

25

ThreeSixtyEight 212 S. 14th St., Suite B Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Kenny Nguyen CEO

threesixtyeight.com Advertising/PR/ marketing

22

12

26

Gresham Smith 10000 Perkins Rowe, Suite 280 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

greshamsmith.com Engineering

902

8

27

IEM 8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 400 Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Bert Moore State leader for transportation Brad Tiffee, Amy Stewart, Michelle Croney Directors

iem.com Consulting

552

10 n

28

Louisiana Women's Healthcare 500 Rue de la Vie, Suite 100 Baton Rouge, LA 70817

Kim Sangari CEO

lwha.com Health care provider

272

10

n n n n n n

29

MMR Group Inc. 15961 Airline Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70817

James "Pepper" Rutland President and CEO

mmrgrp.com Construction

701

7

n n

30

Hunt Guillot & Associates LLC (HGA) 9357 Interline Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Jack Hunt Vice president

hga-llc.com Consulting

372

9

31

Stuart & Company General Contractors LLC 6126 Crestmount Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Duane L. Mizell President/CEO

stuartandcompany.com Construction

35

32

Swagelok Louisiana 9243 Interline Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Jimmy Uhl President

louisiana.swagelok.com Distribution

33

Home Bank 3524 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Chris Harrell Senior VP and market president

34

Moran Construction Consultants LLC 601 Saint Charles St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

35

n n Basketball goal; annual field allowance; volunteer efforts

n n

n

n n n

n n n n n

n n n

n

n

Masters tournament-style putting contest on firm's putting n green; town hall meetings to address staff issues and concerns, including weekly virtual meetings during COVID-19 work from home Surprise & delight budget that includes ice cream parties or n n blowouts and beard trims to Halloween parties; monthly lunch-n-learns; no-meeting-Wednesdays

n n n n n n Career ladder and owner opportunity; gym membership reimbursements; tickets at work n

n

n n King cakes at Mardi Gras and samosas at Divali; company crawfish boil; "holiday fun week" in December New hires receive a $150 gift card to purchase work scrubs n n or other attire; welcome kit includes branded items for personal use (tote bag, insulated mugs, water bottles, umbrellas, mouse pads)

n n n n n Ring the bell Fridays; annual formal Christmas party; annual fishing rodeo

n n

n n

9

n

n

49

10 n

n

n n

home24bank.com Banking

445

11

n

n

John Moran Managing member

morancc.com Construction

20

7

n n

MAPP 344 Third St. Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Michael A. Polito President and CEO

mappbuilt.com Construction

156

36

Kean Miller LLP 400 Convention St., Suite 700, P.O. Box 3513 Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Linda Perez Clark Managing partner

keanmiller.com Legal

321

37

AccuTemp Services 2027 N. Harco Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Joshua Davis President

accutempbr.com Construction

38

Faulk & Winkler 6811 Jefferson Highway Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Tommy Jason LeJeune Managing partner

fw-cpa.com Accounting

39

AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana 10000 Perkins Rowe, Suite 400 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Kyle Viator Market president

amerihealthcaritasla.com 7,120 Health care insurance

10 n

40

Level Homes 402 N. Fourth St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Todd Waguespack, John M. Engquist, Ryan Engquist Owners

levelhomeslifestyle.com Construction

9

HR department handles insurance issues on behalf of n n employees; sick leave donation program; trees planted at our headquarters in memory of deceased employees n Benefit package

n

Yeti cups, graphic shirts, hats for employees; onboarding process makes new hires feel special; a fair and generous bonus program. A “welcome to the Home Bank family little one” onesie for n new family members; employee contests and prizes to encourage engagement; jean days! Access to free audible book per month; monthly health incentive competitions; get involved with organizations to help those less fortunate

n n

Women in construction week; charity golf tournament has n n raised over $80,000 for OLOL Children's Hospital; charity foundation with employee input COVID-safety measures used for individually wrapped food food trucks; annual Thanksgiving luncheon; COVID-19 13 n n n n n n n n n n and vaccine clinic, on-site vaccine offered to employees and family members 8

n

n n

72

10 n

n n

44

9

n n

n n

n n

n

45

n n Profit sharing

n

n n

n n n n Apprenticeship program; virtual reality programs; prize wheel with PTO and cash

Ice cream socials, casual jean Fridays, office closes at 3 n n p.m. on Fridays; college tailgate day, happy hour, Mardi Gras breakfast; assorted holiday parties Naturally slim behavioral counseling program for metabolic n n n n n n n n syndrome reversal, weight management and diabetes prevention; customized maternity support; coaching throughout parenthood journey n

Home discount; health savings account Researched by Best Companies Group

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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2021 BEST PLACES TO WORK

Best Places to Work Best Places to Work

41 42 42 43 43 44 44 45 45 46 46 47 47 48 48 49 49 50 50 51 51 52 52 53 53 54 54 55 55 56 56 57 57 58 58 59 59 60 60

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I. Steven Udvarhelyi bcbsla.com President and CEO Health care insurance I. Steven Udvarhelyi bcbsla.com President and CEO Health care insurance David R. "Jude" b1bank.com Melville Banking David R. and "Jude" President CEO b1bank.com Melville Banking President and CEO James DuBos transformyx.com CEO Technology James DuBos transformyx.com CEO Technology Scott Ginn amedisys.com Executive VP Health care provider Scott Ginn amedisys.com Executive VP Health care provider gatorworks.net Brian Rodriguez Advertising/PR/ President gatorworks.net marketing Brian Rodriguez Advertising/PR/ President marketing Jeff Harman cmgt.org CEO Real estate Jeff Harman cmgt.org CEO Real estate eatel.com Joshua Descant Wired CEO eatel.com telecommunications Joshua Descant Wired CEO telecommunications Shawn Folks guaranteerestoration.com Owner and CEO Restoration Shawn Folks guaranteerestoration.com Owner and CEO Restoration mcmainscdc.org Anne Hindrichs Health and human Executive director mcmainscdc.org services nonprofit Anne Hindrichs Health and human Executive director services nonprofit Stephen P. David thefriendlybank.com President and CEO Banking Stephen P. David thefriendlybank.com President and CEO Banking Shawn Usher sparkhound.com CEO Technology Shawn Usher sparkhound.com CEO Technology D.M. Songy, R.D. Coleman, M.R. cparch.com D.M. Songy, R.D. Ragland, G. Gilbert, Architecture M.R. W.Coleman, Lee, J. Saffiotti cparch.com Ragland, G. Gilbert, Principals Architecture W. Lee, J. Saffiotti Principals Seth Kaplan brptlake.com CEO Health care provider Seth Kaplan brptlake.com CEO Health care provider

CAREERCAREER DEVELOP. DEVELOP. PROGRAMS PROGRAMS

HEALTHHEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP CLUB MEMBERSHIP

PTO FORPTOVOLUNTEERING FOR VOLUNTEERING

13

n n

26

13

n n

293

6

n n n n n

n

n n

293

6

n n n n n

n

n n

95

10 n

n n n n n n

n

95

10 n

n n n n n n

n

49

11

n n

n n n

49

11

n n

n n n

56

12 n n n

n n

n n

56

12 n n n

n n

n n

680

10 n

n n n n n

n n

680

10 n

n n n n n

n n

28

11 n

n

n

28

11 n

n

n

WELLNESS WELLNESS PROGRAMS PROGRAMS

sitechla.com Construction sitechla.com Construction

26

DIVERSITY DIVERSITY PROGRAMS PROGRAMS

James T. Thompson CEO James T. Thompson CEO

MATCHING MATCHING CONTRIBUTIONS CONTRIBUTIONS

ascensioncu.org Banking ascensioncu.org Banking bennyscarwash.com Services bennyscarwash.com Services guarantymedia.com Broadcasting guarantymedia.com Broadcasting commercetitle.com Real estate commercetitle.com Real estate bankofzachary.com Banking bankofzachary.com Banking bxsi.com Insurance bxsi.com Insurance

PROFITPROFIT SHARINGSHARING

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

H. Lloyd Cockerham President and CEO H. Lloyd Cockerham President and CEO Justin Alford Owner Justin Alford Owner Flynn A. Foster President Flynn A. Foster President Calvert Stone, Dominique "Niki" Calvert Stone, Beeson Dominique Attorney and "Niki" owners Beeson Attorney and owners Mark Marionneaux President and CEO Mark Marionneaux President and CEO Markham McKnight President and CEO Markham McKnight President and CEO

NEW HIRE NEWREFERRALS HIRE REFERRALS

41

Ascension Credit Union 2430 S. Burnside Ave., P.O. Box 248 Ascension Gonzales, LACredit 70707 Union 2430 S. Burnside Ave., P.O. Box 248 Benny's Wash Gonzales,Car LA 70707 9611 B Airline Highway Benny's Car Wash Baton Rouge, LA 70815 9611 B Airline Highway Guaranty Corporation Baton Rouge, LA 70815 929 Government St. Guaranty Corporation Baton Rouge, LA 70802 929 Government St. Baton Rouge,Title LA 70802 Commerce & Abstract Company 2051 Silverside Drive, Suite 160 Commerce & Abstract Company Baton Rouge,Title LA 70808 2051 Silverside Drive, Suite 160 Baton of Rouge, LA 70808 Bank Zachary 4743 Main St. Bank of LA Zachary Zachary, 70791 4743 Main St. Zachary, LA 70791 BXS Insurance 4041 Essen Lane, Suite 400 BXS BatonInsurance Rouge, LA 70809 4041 Essen Lane, Suite 400 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 SITECH Louisiana 3895 O'Neal Lane SITECH Louisiana Baton Rouge, LA 70816 3895 O'Neal Lane Baton Rouge, LA 70816 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana 5525 Reitz Ave. Blue Blue Shield of Louisiana BatonCross Rouge,and LA 70809 5525 Reitz Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809 b1BANK 500 Laurel St. b1BANK Baton Rouge, LA 70801-1811 500 Laurel St. Transformyx LLC70801-1811 Baton Rouge, LA 6867 Bluebonnet Blvd. Transformyx LLC70810 Baton Rouge, LA 6867 Bluebonnet Blvd. Amedisys Inc.LA 70810 Baton Rouge, 3854 American Way, Suite A Amedisys Inc.LA 70816 Baton Rouge, 3854 American Way, Suite A Gatorworks Baton Rouge, LA 70816 10988 N. Harrells Ferry Road, Suite 12 Gatorworks Baton Rouge, LA 70816 10988 N. Harrells Ferry Road, Suite 12 Community Baton Rouge,Management LA 70816 140 Aspen Square, Suite H Community Management Denham Springs, LA 70726 140 Aspen Square, Suite H REV Broadband Denham Springs, LA 70726 913 S. Burnside Ave. REV Broadband Gonzales, LA 70737 913 S. Burnside Ave. GuaranteeLARestoration Services Gonzales, 70737 11811 Dunlay Lane Guarantee Baton Rouge,Restoration LA 70809 Services 11811 Dunlay Lane McMains Children's Baton Rouge, LA 70809Developmental Center 1805 College Drive McMains Children's Baton Rouge, LA 70808Developmental Center 1805 College Drive Peoples BankLA 70808 Baton Rouge, 805 Hospital Road Peoples Bank New Roads, LA 70760 805 Hospital Road New Roads, LA 70760 Sparkhound 11207 Proverbs Ave. Sparkhound Baton Rouge, LA 70816 11207 Proverbs Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70816 Coleman Partners Architects LLC 3377 North Blvd. Coleman Partners Architects LLC Baton Rouge, LA 70806 3377 North Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70806 Baton Rouge Physical Therapy - Lake Rehabilitation Centers Baton RougeDrive, Physical - Lake 5222 Brittany SuiteTherapy A Rehabilitation Baton Rouge, LACenters 70808 5222 Brittany Drive, Suite A Baton Rouge, LA 70808

WEBSITE INDUSTRY WEBSITE INDUSTRY

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

NO. OF NO. PAIDOFHOLIDAYS PAID HOLIDAYS

COMPANY ADDRESS COMPANY ADDRESS

NO. OF NO. U.S.OF EMPLOYEES U.S. EMPLOYEES

Overall winners

401(K)401(K) RETIREMENT RETIREMENT PLAN PLAN

Overall winners

SUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE GREEN PRACTICES GREEN PRACTICES

COVER STORY

2,285 10

n n n n n n n n

2,285 10

n n n n n n n n

643

11

n n n n

n

643

11

n n n n

n

81

9

n

n n

n

81

9

n

n n

n

15,318 6

n

n n n

n n n n

15,318 6

n

n n n

n n n n

WORKPLACE CULTURE WORKPLACE CULTURE

Lending officer incentives for loan production; many contests with prizes or days off; employees receive cash Lending birthday officer gift andincentives a cake for loan production; many contests with prizes or days off; employees receive cash Weekly paychecks and free car washes; team-building and birthday gift and a cake engagement fund; events such as annual employee Weekly paychecks and free car washes; and appreciation and family fun day crawfishteam-building boil engagement fund; events such as annual employee Company president is constant appreciation and family fun daycheerleader crawfish boilthere to support employees, build them up and recognize them for hard work Company president is constant cheerleader there to support and dedication employees, build them up and recognize them for hard work and dedication Pet-friendly offices; comprehensive wellness program provides mental, physical and financial education; monthly Pet-friendly offices; wellnessreimbursement program yoga in the park andcomprehensive $300 annual wellness provides mental, physical and financial education; monthly yoga in the park and $300 annual wellness reimbursement Popcorn Fridays; shout-out board to express appreciation; drawings for great gifts at annual employee meeting Popcorn Fridays; shout-out board to express appreciation; drawings for great gifts atcomprehensive annual employee meeting of BXSI-University provides understanding organization, resources, and competitive strategies; career BXSI-University providesshare comprehensive understanding development program; stories featuring colleaguesof organization, that lead and resources, inspire and competitive strategies; career development program; share stories featuring colleagues Flexibility to balance that lead and inspire between personal and professional life; employee and sales competition with monthly financial Flexibility toasbalance professional incentives, well as between vacation personal package and for the overall life; employee winners and sales competition with monthly financial incentives, as well as vacation package for the overall Wellness program with health coaches, dietitians, classes, winners challenges, support groups, weight and chronic disease Wellness program withhealth healthcounseling; coaches, dietitians, management, mental employeeclasses, challenges, support groups, weight and chronic disease assistance program management, mental health counseling; employee Training assistanceopportunities program to grow/improve skills; encourages feedback/opportunity to improve current processes or Training opportunities to grow/improve skills; encourages systems; striving for continual improvement feedback/opportunity to improve current processes or systems; striving for continual improvement Great benefits

23

10 n

n

n n n n

23

10 n

n

n n n n

60

9

n

n

n

n n

60

9

n

n

n

n n

395

11 n

n

n

n n n n

395

11 n

n

n

n n n n

145

6

n n n

n n

Great benefits Crawfish boil; all team members feel a sense of belonging; employees 1st fund provides up to $2,500 of financial Crawfish all team members feel asevere sense financial of belonging; assistanceboil; to employees experiencing need employees 1st fund provides up to $2,500 of financial Creatively designed office;experiencing employee gift-matching to aneed assistance to employees severe financial nonprofit organization of their choosing; one paid workday Creatively office; employee to volunteerdesigned at an organization of theirgift-matching choosing to a nonprofit organization of their choosing; one paid workday Work remotely from home whenofneeded; flexible work to volunteer at an organization their choosing hours when needed; employee incentives for charitable Work remotely from home when needed; flexible work works hours when needed; employee incentives for charitable Free/discounted company-provided services; employee works assistance fund for employees experiencing financial Free/discounted company-provided services; employee hardships; wellness challenges assistance fund for employees experiencing financial hardships; wellness challenges Women of GRS; book club; advanced trainings

145

6

n n n

n n

Women of GRS; book club; advanced trainings

17

13

n

n

Being part of something bigger than yourself

17

13

n

n

56

13

n n n n

n n

56

13

n n n n

n n

142

7

n

n

n n n n

n

142

7

n

n

n n n n

n

26

7

n

n

n n

26

7

n

n

n n

Being part of something bigger than yourself Bonus program is one of the best in the industry; employee appreciation; crawfish boil and Christmas party annually Bonus program is one of the best in the industry; employee appreciation; crawfish boil and Christmas party annually Attract and hire new graduates; student loan refinancing through SOFI; employee appreciation week with ""wrapping Attract and hirewhere new graduates; refinancing Wednesdays,” employees'student gifts areloan professionally through employee wrappedSOFI; for their familiesappreciation week with ""wrapping Wednesdays,” where employees' gifts are professionally wrapped for their families Variety of projects in diverse locations with dynamic scope; work with an economic and cultural array of clients; work is Variety of projects in diverse locations with dynamic scope; challenging work with an economic and cultural array of clients; work is challenging

61

6

n n

n n

61

6

n n

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n n 1:1 health coaching; student loan payback assistance; chef program n n 1:1 health coaching; student loan payback assistance; chef program Researched by Best Companies Group Researched by Best Companies Group

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S PE CIAL ADVE RT IS ING S E CT IO N

IN GOOD COMPANY Teamwork. Cooperation. Support. Unity. These are values demonstrated by this year’s Best Places to Work winners. In this special advertising section, local businesses talk about their corporate culture, history, challenges, and plans for the future.

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

LEVEL HOMES

Thomas Kadair, construction manager at Materra, and Bonnie Plaisance, new home sales counselor at Materra

Happy employees who work well together create a better experience and product for their customers.

LEVEL HOMES’ mission has always been to develop and grow a positive team culture while building homes and communities that consistently exceed customers’ quality and lifestyle expectations. The company, which was founded in 2000, currently builds in more than 10 residential developments throughout south Louisiana, including its flagship master-planned communities of Rouzan, Materra and Americana. The team works hard to make the homebuilding experience seamless, collaborative and fun. Level Homes focuses on a full-service philosophy that includes an extensive floorplan library, financing options, insurance coverage and more. Through its Design Studio, clients customize the interior of their homes using a wide range of finishes, materials and enhancements, including flooring, lighting, cabinetry, countertops and accessories. Employees say their successes and contributions

are always acknowledged and rewarded by the company, and they work hard to demonstrate the company’s values, which include trust, integrity, consistency, honesty, responsiveness, caring, commitment, quality and accountability. “I find so much joy in the work that I do,” says Bonnie Plaisance, new home sales counselor at Materra. “I get to show off the great workmanship and beauty of our homes every day, and nothing’s better than the satisfaction I get from helping people find or build their dream home.” Thomas Kadair, construction manager at Materra feels the same. “I started working for Level Homes as an intern during my final semester at LSU,” he says. “Every day I learn something new and am always challenged to be better than I was the day before. Working here has helped me not only become a better employee, but also a better person outside of the workplace.”

402 N. 4th St. | Baton Rouge, LA 70802 | 225.228.5991 | levelhomeslifestyle.com | 66

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

ACCUTEMP

Employees are rewarded for pursuing growth in areas like leadership, physical fitness, and personal improvement.

ACCUTEMP IS the largest whole-home service provider in Louisiana, offering HVAC, electrical and plumbing services backed by a lifetime craftmanship warranty. The company was founded inside the Davis home in 2006. At 19 years old, Joshua Davis went to work for his father full-time and took over the company in 2015. AccuTemp is committed to providing customers a five-star experience from call to job completion. Now, after serving Baton Rouge for 15 years, AccuTemp is experiencing explosive growth and has more than 80 employees. A paid in-house HVAC apprenticeship program allows AccuTemp to provide prospective technicians all training necessary, and some go

from no experience to taking calls in as little as six weeks. Accutemp employees enjoy a family-like atmosphere. Programs like “Highest Degree of Me” reward employees for pursuing growth in areas like leadership, physical fitness, and personal improvement. Employees are also recognized in regular company-wide meetings and spin a giant prize wheel to win prizes like extra days off, cash, or even a car wash by a manager. AccuTemp believes that providing excellent customer service begins by serving their employees first, and the company’s commitment to service is backed by more than 1,800 five-star Google reviews.

2027 N. Harco Drive | Baton Rouge, LA 70815 | 225.926.2243 | accutempbr.com | Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT

The best ideas come from team members— connected, positive solution finders who communicate and genuinely care.

INSPIRED BY a letter from a homeowner’s association, the founders of Community Management realized the need for quality management services to help protect property values for homeowners while providing superior customer support. What began as a small dream has now expanded into three states, more than 300 associations, more than 300 rental properties and a maintenance department. Community Management is continually looking for ways to leverage technology to provide the best experience to residents. One of the company’s core beliefs is that the way it communicates with residents greatly affects the quality of service it provides.

At Community Management, department supervisors meet with team members on a regular basis and hold departmental meetings where accomplishments are highlighted and celebrated. The company also hosts departmental fun days, as well as company outings to allow team members to relax and have fun. Community Management had already switched to a nearly 100 percent remote work force before the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed operations to continue while providing flexibility and safety to team members. The result is that the remote work process is now ingrained in the company culture and Community Management will look continually to improve upon it.

140 Aspen Square, Suite H | Denham Springs, LA 70726 | 225.503.2648 | cmgt.org 68

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

SITECH LOUISIANA

SITECH Louisiana focuses on lifelong learning, communication, and continuous improvement.

SITECH LOUISIANA has always been committed to bringing top tier training, service, and support to their customers. These goals are driven by one of the company’s core values … “putting the customer’s needs ahead of our own.” Jay Thompson, SITECH Louisiana’s CEO, developed and cultivated a culture that thrives on teamwork, continuous improvement, and training. It is these principles that drive the continued growth of both the business and employees. Communication and teamwork are also major driving forces for the success of SITECH Louisiana. They are what brings individuals together to best serve customer needs. There is an open line of communication with the company’s leadership team for both customer and employee ideas and concerns. This communication fits well into a

culture rooted in continuous improvement both professionally and personally. SITECH Louisiana focuses on rewarding employees for their accomplishments with opportunities for advancement and growth. Additionally, team members are able to express gratitude or recognize others for going above and beyond with “kudos” that are also acknowledged at the monthly company meetings. The COVID-19 crisis has brought the SITECH Louisiana team together and allowed the company to see more possibilities to support customers. SITECH Louisiana adapted quickly to the changing business conditions and has stayed agile as everyone worked together to keep the customers and team safe.

3895 O’Neal Lane | Baton Rouge, LA 70816 | 225.293.6456 | sitechla.com | Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

b1BANK

Through meaningful communication, we maintain transparency and sharing of ideas.

HEADQUARTERED IN BATON ROUGE, b1BANK was founded in 2006 as a community bank offering boutique service to Louisiana businesses and entrepreneurs. After 15 years, the bank has $4.5 billion in assets and 42 Banking Centers across Louisiana and Texas, serving both business and consumer clients, and recently expanded its footprint to include a Mississippi-based subsidiary for investment portfolio management. Through meaningful communication, b1BANK maintains transparency and sharing of ideas to ensure growth for our organization with a commitment to flexibility and responsiveness. b1BANK believes in doing the right thing the right way in our daily interactions, with an emphasis on the well-being of our clients, employees,

and the communities we serve. As we continue to grow as an organization, we understand the importance of the personal growth of our team members. Employees are relationship-driven in their interactions with clients, one another, and the community and desire to succeed together. They are recognized for their hard work with opportunities for career advancement and participation in leadership development programs, and they are encouraged to expand their professional development through participating in mentoring and community outreach. Visit our website to learn more about what makes b1BANK a “Best Place to Work in Baton Rouge” for our employees and the best place to bank.

500 Laurel St. | Baton Rouge, LA 70801 | 877.614.7600 | b1bank.com | 70

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

IEM

Team IEM is comprised of experts with diverse backgrounds and training, many of whom have experienced disasters firsthand.

IN 1985, Madhu Beriwal, founder and CEO, launched IEM to revolutionize emergency management—moving from a subjective foundation to a scientific, quantitative one. With a mission to create a safe, secure and resilient world, IEM provides solutions to homeland and national security, emergency management, disaster recovery, digital services and public health. Team IEM, comprised of experts with diverse backgrounds and training, can make sense of complexity, see the bigger picture, and identify subtle linkages. IEM’s crisis management professionals work with clients to help build disaster resilient communities. Employees are driven and highperforming, and many have experienced disasters

firsthand so they fully understand the urgency in delivering equitable solutions to survivors. The company recognizes and rewards team members by investing in their careers through mentorship, training and the opportunity to grow within the company. Through IEM Learn, the company offers the resources necessary to equip employees for professional success. During COVID-19, IEM focused its efforts on innovation, science and technology through IEM’s work in AI and biological modeling. The pandemic increased coordination within sectors to bridge science and emergency management and offer jurisdictions combatting the virus critical data and resources to make informed decisions that help save lives.

8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 400 | Baton Rouge, LA 70809 | 225.952.8191 | iem.com | Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

GUARANTEE RESTORATION SERVICES

(From left) Zack Klein, Shawn Folks, Marcie Richardson and Bill Boeneke

The company has created an environment that motivates its team to perform at the highest level.

IN 1974, Ellen and Chunky Folks started a carpet cleaning company—Guarantee Restoration Services—out of their one-bedroom apartment. Guarantee eventually became a full-service general contractor specializing in water damage emergency services and fire damage cleanup. The company remains family-owned and operated, and its culture is defined by five core values: efficiency, workmanship, commitment, partnership and honesty. Through these pillars, Guarantee has been able to create and maintain the family-oriented and thriving environment its employees have come to love. Education drives both the culture and the growth at Guarantee. The company places an

emphasis on promoting from within and on giving employees opportunities to continue learning throughout their careers. This creates a desire to perform at the highest levels and continue to advance professionally. The company has an appreciation program called “Chunky Bucks,” which are redeemable for PTO, apparel and other options. The COVID-19 crisis was a hurdle, but the company was able to pivot to keep everything moving in the right direction. Guarantee was able to keep the job flow steady, and fortunately, did not have to lay off a single person throughout the pandemic.

16248 Perkins Road | Baton Rouge, LA 70810 | 225.753.8682 | guaranteerestoration.com | 72

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A VIRTUAL FORUM:

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OCTOBER 27, 2021 • 11 AM

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NEWS “I understand they have some legitimate logistical challenges. But the fact remains: They’re one of the largest contracts in the cityparish. They are not delivering on the services that have been promised to the taxpayers.”

ISTOCK

—DWIGHT HUDSON, Metro Council member

PUBLIC CONTRACTS

A trashy affair

Republic Services has been in the crosshairs of Metro Council members and their constituents for missed collections, but are the complaints legitimate? BY STEPHANIE RIEGEL IN THE WAKE of Hurricane Ida, Republic Services was called before the Metro Council to discuss problems with its performance and what it’s doing to address them. The council had originally scheduled the update from Republic for Aug. 25. But that meeting ran long, so the matter was deferred until Sept. 8—just 10 days after the hurricane roared through south Louisiana, leaving much of the Capital Region without power for days or longer. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Republic. The parish’s solid waste contractor was already under fire for missing an average 74

of more than 200 collections per week in the first six months of the year, which the company has attributed largely to the pandemic and related workforce shortage. Now, the hurricane was putting more strain on the system, littering roads with debris that made them partially impassable, and prompting residents to overload their trash cans with refrigerators full of rotting food. “People just need to know, when is their garbage going to be picked up?’” frustrated council member Denise Amoroso said at the meeting. “They just want to know when.” In the weeks since that meeting,

the immediate crisis around solid waste collection in the city-parish has abated and services have improved. But the frustrations that Amoroso articulated on behalf of her constituents predates the hurricane and, even, the pandemic. In 2019, before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, City Hall had so many complaints about Republic that the Broome administration put the company on a service improvement plan. For months, things got better. But earlier this year, the number of missed collections started to creep up again. “I understand they have some

legitimate logistical challenges,” says council member Dwight Hudson, who asked for the briefing from Republic. “But the fact remains: They’re one of the largest contracts in the city-parish. They are not delivering on the services that have been promised to the taxpayers.” Republic General Manager Sharon Mann acknowledges the company has had some challenges this year and says it always strives to do better. But she blames the pandemic for most of those problems and takes issue with even characterizing them as “problems.” “In one week’s time, we provide

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TROUBLE SPOTS Phoenix-based Republic Services is one of the four largest providers of environmental services in the U.S., with 345 collection operations in 41 states, revenues of more than $10 billion and profits of nearly $1 billion in 2020, which was virtually unchanged from 2019—not bad, given the economic challenges of the pandemic. So far, 2021 is also proving to be a good year for the company financially. “Our second-quarter results reflect even further acceleration in our business, which is a direct

MARIE CONSTANTIN

800,000 services (individual collections) in East Baton Rouge Parish,” she says. “Do we want perfection? Absolutely. Have we missed houses? Yes. But to have 200 missed services out of 800,000, you have to put that in perspective.” The debate around what is an acceptable level of service comes as communities around the country are grappling with garbage collection crises of their own. Indeed, Baton Rouge is not alone in its frustration. In some places, like New Orleans, things are much worse. But just because there are legitimate reasons for the missed collections and workforce shortages, should elected officials throw up their hands? To Hudson’s point, Republic has one of the largest contracts in the city-parish—a 10year, $30 million annual deal that amounts to 10% of the city-parish general fund budget. How much is fair to demand of a company that is constrained by factors seemingly beyond its control? Are there ways to negotiate a contract that might better serve the taxpayer? What are other cities doing to improve solid waste collection? They are questions many communities are asking at a time when Americans are generating more solid waste than at any time in history. “This has become the biggest thing we talk about,” says David Biderman, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, a national industry association. “It’s going on everywhere. It’s the hottest topic in the industry.”

CAN RUNNETH OVER: Though few would say garbage collection is operating smoothly in Baton Rouge, coming up with workable solutions has thus far proved elusive.

outcome of continued progress on our strategic priorities,” Republic President and CEO Jon Vander Ark said in the company’s most recent earnings report in July. “We grew the top line 15 percent, increased adjusted earnings and expanded the adjusted EBITDA margin.” While the company may have outperformed analysts’ expectations and done right by its shareholders, its operations were anything but smooth in Baton Rouge in the first half of the year. Between Jan. 1 and July 4, the company missed more than 5,900 garbage collections in the parish, an average of 219 per week— 15% more than in 2020. During that same period, the city-parish received nearly 13,500 calls to 311 complaining of missed

pickups—a figure that includes not only missed collections of regular garbage but of recycling, woody waste and white goods. “That sounds like a lot,” Director of Environmental Services Rick Speers told the Metro Council. “It is a lot. But we’re trying to work with them constantly to get that number down.” Baton Rouge was not the only trouble spot for Republic in 2021. In August, the company was called on the carpet by two Indiana cities, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, for missing collections there. In mid-September, Jacksonville, Florida, had to bring in another contractor to help out because Republic was missing so many recycling collections. To be fair, Republic’s

“Do we want perfection? Absolutely. Have we missed houses? Yes. But to have 200 missed services out of 800,000 (in East Baton Rouge Parish), you have to put that in perspective.” SHARON MANN, general manager, Republic Services

competitors around the country have been equally challenged. In New Orleans, locally owned Metro Services Group fell so far behind after Hurricane Ida that residents staged a garbage parade, marching to City Hall and depositing their trash bags on the steps of the building. Large municipalities that have their own in-house sanitation departments have also experienced problems, even without the complications caused by Ida. New York City, Atlanta and Baltimore all made headlines in late summer because of the mounting heaps of trash crowding their city streets. The immediate cause of the problem in all of the cities is the same: a pandemic-induced workforce shortage that has lingered longer than anyone expected coupled with the fact that people are generating more solid waste at home due to the rise of remote work, online school, and e-commerce. “We have shifted solid waste from the commercial side to the residential side, and we are generating more of it,” Biderman says. “The residential side of collections is done differently than the commercial side. I don’t want to say it’s less efficient but you feel it and notice it more when the collections fall behind.” In Baton Rouge, the amount of solid waste has increased 25% over the past two years, or, put another way, an additional 4 tons per driver per day, which is why something like Ida, with its massive power outages, made everything so much worse. “We generated 5,100 tons of garbage in five days because everyone threw out the contents of their refrigerator,” Mann says. “That’s 28 tons per driver per day, which is unheard of. In more than 30 years in this business, I’ve never heard of that much.” A CONTRACT WITHOUT TEETH? Even before Ida and COVID-19, however, the city-parish had trouble with Republic. In 2019, the company was missing an average of nearly 300 garbage collections per week and was skipping an average of 175 recyclable collections per week. At a Metro Council meeting in late May 2019, Mann attributed Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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PUBLIC CONTRACTS

the problem to the near simultaneous departure of nine drivers at a time when the nation was experiencing a national truck driver shortage. City-parish officials demanded the company do better and put it on a service improvement plan, which included a variety of performance metrics that were carefully tracked. By the end of 2020, the number of missed collections had been cut in half. But with COVID, the persistent workforce shortage, which continues to plague the trucking industry as well as other sectors, and, most recently, the hurricane, the missed collections have increased. While Republic says it is trying to do better—and Metro Council members give the company high marks for its responsiveness to their inquiries and those of their constituents—some question whether the company might feel a greater sense of urgency if the city-parish had the ability to fine the company for missed collections. In fact, the contract with Republic, which was negotiated under the Kip Holden administration, specifically prohibits the city-parish from imposing fines or penalties on the company for missed collections. Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill, who was not part of the previous administration, says he doesn’t know why the contract lacks such teeth. “Every municipality has a different contract,” he says. “Whoever wrote ours didn’t put fines in there. We have been under this contract for 10 years. It expressly says that we do not have fines.” The contract does give the city-parish the ability to impose liquidated damages in the event of breach of contract, which could include missed collections. But while the two terms might appear interchangeable, there is an important legal distinction: Breach of contract has to be proven, potentially in court, so damages cannot be imposed until there is a judgment. In other words, liquidated damages are not a simple remedy and would likely end up costing the city-parish as least as much as they would Republic. Would it make a difference in the company’s performance if the contract did allow the parish to 76

impose fines without having to jump through legal hoops? No one can say for sure. But if the experience of the city of Lafayette is any indication, it’s worth considering. In 2018, that city government fined Republic $75,000 for late and missed collections. Today, the number of complaints for missed service has decreased some 90%, according to City Council Chair Liz Hebert, who attributes the improvements not only to the financial penalties it imposed but to intense public pressure she and others put on the company’s corporate leadership.

additional collections on a weekly basis. Decreasing garbage pickups to one day per week would increase the efficiency of collections, reducing the number of stops drivers make to empty only partially filled trash cans and freeing up more personnel throughout the week. “Long term, we need to look at streamlining our services,” Hudson says. “We have to make sure we are not offering more than we can actually deliver.” It’s also important for the company and the city-parish to do a

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEWS

NEW PLAN: Mayor Sharon Weston Broome says her administration lacks the ability to fine Republic Services for missed collections, but officials are looking into solutions that could include once-a-week service.

“Getting corporate involved was key,” Hebert says. “They didn’t realize how bad things were until they came down here, after I sent them a spread sheet showing how unresponsive the local team was. Since then, they have brought in an entirely new team and things are much, much, much better.” SOLUTIONS Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s administration has indicted it may look at ways to give the city-parish more leverage in future solid waste contracts. At the same time, the city-parish may consider changing the level of service it receives, something, again, municipalities around the country are exploring. The current level of service in Baton Rouge is what Mann describes as “Cadillac service,” with twice-weekly curbside collections of regular garbage and all the

better job educating the public on how to properly dispose of their trash in order to make collections more effective and efficient. After Ida, thousands of property owners loaded their recycle bins with debris from their yards. “Eight percent of our recycle bins are contaminated,” Mann says. “People need to understand if they put woody waste in their recycle bin that messes everything up and slows us down.” Even outside of hurricanes and floods, which complicate collections, Mann says it is not uncommon for contractors and lawn care companies to leave behind their debris, rather than hauling it off as required by law. It’s a problem that could be solved with enforcement but that has to come from the city-parish, not Republic. Another option to consider in the next contract is to invest in a system of “smart” trash cans,

which are outfitted with GPS tracking devices. The data from the trackers enables the contractor to keep better tabs of which routes have been completed, which routes have been missed and whether a complaint is legitimate when someone calls 311 to report a missed pickup. “A lot of times, the complaints we get are from someone who forgot to put their garbage can at the curb the night before,” Hill says. “Then, they call the next day after the garbage truck has passed and lodge a complaint against the company and that’s not really fair.” While all those measures would help, industry experts say one of the biggest issues centers on raising the pay of sanitation workers. Drivers of Republic’s automated trucks in Baton Rouge, which are used for the regular solid waste collection but not recycling, make between $18-$26 per hour, Mann says. Trash collectors, who ride on the backs of trucks and are used to help with recycling collection, make as little as $12 per hour, which is below the national average of $14 per hour. “One of the reasons we have a worker shortage is low wages, ”Biderman says. “One of the reasons for low wages is we charge too little for the service.” Republic has made improvements in that area, Mann says, and has raised the pay of its drivers. As a result, it’s having better success attracting more workers. In August alone, the company hired 16 new truck drivers and put another four drivers it had hired earlier in the summer on the streets. Industry advocates say it’s not the only solution but a key piece of the puzzle that could spell hope for an end to the country’s garbage collection crisis. “If there is good news it is that in response to these challenges an increasing number of local governments and waste haulers are increasing salaries and offering signing bonuses,” Biderman says. “We cannot expect people to drive and haul trash and pay them $15 an hour. We are competing with Amazon so we need to make our workplace and compensation packages as attractive as possible.”

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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NEWS

WORKPLACE

Balancing act It’s proving tough to set boundaries and get away from the job when working from home. BY CHELSEA BRASTED

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FAMILY AFFAIR: For Logan Leger, founder and CEO of New Aperio, finding time to spend with his two young children can be tough when work calls well into the evening hours.

COLLIN RICHIE

WHEN JENNIFER VANCE started a new job as a book publicist and digital strategist in the summer of 2019, there was a lot to get used to in the transition. For starters, she was entering a new industry, leaving behind a tough schedule as a copy editor at The Advocate. In her new position with Books Forward, a New Orleans-based literary publicity firm, she’d have a traditional 9 to 5 in a fully remote setting. “It was very different,” Vance says, “but it’s more flexible.” It was a key aspect of what Vance was looking for in finding the new role, but she soon found that flexibility could cut both ways. “It was very hard to take a break,” Vance says. “I would work straight 9 to 5 and realize I skipped lunch or I hadn’t stood up for four hours because when you’re in an office, you have distractions. … It’s easy to fall into this lull.” Vance certainly isn’t alone. Less than 6% of the U.S. population worked primarily from home at least some of the time prior to the pandemic, which in October 2020 jumped to more than 70% of adults who reported that their work could be done from home, according to Pew Research. But boundary setting in a work-fromhome world can be incredibly tough, experts say, especially as connectivity apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams, which combined for nearly 100 million users in 2020, allow bosses and co-workers to direct message staffers at any time of the day. When work can reach you anywhere, it can feel impossible to ever be truly off the clock. “Knowing I have the ability to check my email whenever makes me feel almost responsible for when I do get an email from a client at 8 at night,” Vance says. “I checked it, I clearly saw it, I can clearly answer it, so I feel responsible for that.” It took about 18 months and the start of the pandemic before

Vance learned she was going to have to be responsible for setting her own boundaries. About six months ago, she turned off work email notifications on her phone and she got more purposeful about scheduling errands or a workout to end her workday. “You don’t want to get burnout. That’s the last thing I wanted because I really love my job, and it’s on me to make sure that doesn’t happen because I’m putting that pressure on myself,” Vance says. “I need to be the one to take it off and relax.” The lines between work and family have blurred for most workers as technological

capabilities have increased, and the pandemic has only hastened the process, according to Gino Howard, a doctoral student in LSU’s psychology department who researches the intersection of the two. “I’m constantly pinged,” says Logan Leger, founder and CEO of New Aperio, a Baton Rouge company that offers web and mobile app design and development. “It does create this stickiness where I think a lot of other cultures do it better than we do in America, where once you leave the office, you leave the office.” It’s important, Howard says, for workplaces to have clear

expectations around these sorts of tools, such as outlining whether an employee who gets a call on a work phone after hours is expected to answer it. “It’s on the organization to make sure that is clear,” Howard says. Melissa Dean, who works as a recruiter in higher education, worked remotely in 2020 and has been able to maintain a hybrid approach with her employer as the world has slowly reopened. The option is a welcome change, especially after early concerns that she might be “micromanaged” when she first began working from home. “That was the one thing I didn’t want to happen,” she says. But clear expectations and an open line of communication with her supervisor allayed those fears. “If you kept the same work ethic you had in an in-person setting, then they realized we could still do our job remotely,” Dean says, and she found she could tackle small projects at home throughout the day that saved her time on the weekends, like throwing in a load of laundry between calls. “Work still had boundaries where I wasn’t getting called at 8 at night. … Having that stress of being a working mom taken away made doing my job better.” There are generally two approaches to viewing work and family life, Howard says: You either integrate them both, or you segment them. It’s crucial to understand, however, that there’s no “ideal” situation, and what works for one person today may not be what works for the same person tomorrow. “If you’re a person who thrives from segmenting and leaving work at work and home life at home, that can be a great option … but the pandemic has drastically shifted what that looks like for everybody, whether you prefer it or not,” Howard says. For Leger, keeping a hard line between work and home is the only way to make sure he’s able to

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Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

COLLIN RICHIE

YOUR LOVED ONES DESERVE SERENITY

SPLIT DECISION: When it comes to viewing work and family life, Gino Howard, a doctoral student in LSU’s psychology department who researches the intersection of the two, says while there’s no “ideal” solution the best approach is to either completely segment the two or find a workable way to integrate them.

enjoy both. Leger has two young children at home, so the pandemic, which forced the company’s transition into a fully remote workplace, meant he had to get creative about carving out space to work. “I probably would be charitably described as a workaholic,” Leger says, and having firm, physical boundaries became imperative for him and his family. Early in the pandemic, he worked at the dining room table. “It was the only place I could sit and work and focus, but because it’s (in the middle of the house), my children were on top of me begging me to play with them.” Leger soon converted a shed in the backyard into an office, insulating it and installing a window AC unit. The small change, which offered him the ability to physically leave home and “go to work” made all the difference. “Being home has allowed me to see so much more of (my family). I see them in the morning, at lunch, several times a day when I take a break, grab water and use the bathroom,” Leger says. “I see all these moments I never would have had before.” The next challenge, Leger says, is giving himself a few minutes to transition into “dad mode” at the end of a day. Without a commute, he says, the few seconds it takes to walk across the backyard

sometimes aren’t enough to fully check out of the office. That, he says, is something he’s still trying to figure out.

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every boss can do to make working from home work better Set clear expectations. Create a work-from-home policy that outlines when staffers are expected to be online or available for calls. If you use Zoom, consider including whether you expect cameras on or off. If your team uses a messaging app, set “off hours” for notifications. Offer an option. Not everyone wants to work from home, and not everyone wants to work from an office—and those preferences may change. If your workspace allows it, create flexibility around when staffers are expected to be on-site. Use tech to your advantage. Apps have increased our connectivity, but they also offer options. Set boundaries by encouraging and using scheduling features so your messages don’t pop up late at night or on weekends. If a supervisor sends a message, it’s more likely staffers will think they’re expected to answer it, even if you have a written policy directing otherwise.

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NEWS

REAL ESTATE

The source of the problem

COLLIN RICHIE

The recovery from Hurricane Ida is exacerbating challenges for residential builders but creating opportunities for the commercial market. BY DAVID JACOBS

SUPPLY SHORTAGE: Todd Waguespack, managing partner of Level Homes, says supply shortages are resulting in longer construction timelines and project delays, adding, “Every day it’s a different battle.”

TODD WAGUESPACK, managing partner with Baton Rouge-based homebuilder Level Homes, has seen it happen before. In fact, it has only been a year. A devastating storm hits south Louisiana, and workers such as roofers and drywall installers who might otherwise be helping his company build new homes go off to chase recovery work. Last year, Hurricane Laura wrecked southwest Louisiana. This year, it was Hurricane Ida sowing destruction in the southeastern portion of the state. “It’s going to happen again, I feel,” he says. “Especially with all the supply chain problems, it’s going to be a tough market.” The construction industry, like so many others, has been struggling to hire enough workers and obtain needed supplies. Hurricane Ida may cause demand for both to spike, possibly leading 80

to project delays and higher costs. “A global pandemic coupled with natural disasters have exacerbated the supply chain and labor challenges,” says Karen Zito, president and CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge. “Acute shortages in some building materials have skyrocketed prices.” Most builders have had to raise their prices on homes frequently and pre-order materials to combat rising building material costs and shortages, and many have implemented escalation clauses in sales and construction contracts, Zito says. Lumber prices have come down a bit recently, though they remain higher than pre-pandemic levels and the dip has been offset by increases to other building materials. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index, the prices of goods used

as inputs for residential construction including and excluding energy have risen 19% and 12%, respectively, year-to-date. For comparison, consumer goods prices were up 5.3% in August compared to August 2020, according to the Consumer Price Index. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is based on a monthly survey of National Association of Home Builders members and is designed to take the pulse of the single-family housing market. The survey asks respondents to rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at the time of the survey and in the subsequent six months as well as the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes. “Higher construction costs and supply shortages along with rising home prices pushed builder confidence to its lowest reading

since July 2020,” according to the version of the index released Aug. 17. Waguespack says he has had trouble sourcing everything from garage doors to appliances. Longer wait times for supplies can lead to project delays, which can raise costs for everyone involved. “Every day it’s a different battle,” Waguespack says. “Windows have been very tough. While this doesn’t apply to Level Homes, which focuses on building new houses and developing neighborhoods, many companies in the construction industry will find business opportunities in the rebuilding effort. Workers, who may find themselves even more in demand than before, should benefit from higher wages. “We absolutely restore and rebuild our communities after any disaster,” Zito says, while urging the public to use “licensed and insured builders.” The rebuilding certainly will create opportunities for commercial builders. As this story was being written, state officials were assessing the damage to college and university buildings in southeast Louisiana. However, the damage appears to be less severe than what McNeese State experienced after Hurricane Laura, says Ken Naquin, CEO of the Louisiana Association of General Contractors. Naquin doesn’t think the storms will cause pandemic-driven price increases for materials—which he says was caused largely by a national shortage of workers— to rise any further. While people should be wary of foreign materials, referring to the issues with Chinese drywall that cropped up after Hurricane Katrina, he says federal rules meant to encourage companies to buy supplies produced in the U.S. might also be part of the problem. “The cost is what the cost is,” he says. “I don’t think the storm is going to increase the cost very

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Issue Date: March 2021 Ad proof #2

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much. I think what it will increase is the wait time on the availability of the materials.” The large general contractors will handle the big stuff like schools and office buildings. But Naquin says he’s concerned about whether the region’s smaller companies, which do such things as roof repairs, will be able to handle all the work. Usually, when one segment of the construction industry is up, another is down. But Louisiana currently seems to be experiencing a general building boom that includes major infrastructure projects, Naquin says. “We have contractors that are telling us they’re turning away work because they don’t have enough capacity,” he says, adding that some say they could use about 25% more workers. “For the first time since probably [Hurricane] Laura of last year I’m a little worried about the capacity of the industry, and the capacity of the industry’s workforce, and availability of materials,” he says. “We’re still rebuilding Lake Charles.”

“We have contractors that are telling us they’re turning away work because they don’t have enough capacity.” Ken Naquin, CEO of the Louisiana Association of General Contractors, on the labor shortage impact

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NEWS

POLITICS

Border patrol Technology is making it possible for the public to participate in the redistricting process. BY DAVID JACOBS factors, Bergeron says: • Proportionality: Whether it generally reflects the voting population’s partisan makeup. • Competitiveness: Whether the partisan distribution allows for competitive elections. • Minority rights: The extent to which a map complies with the federal Voting Rights Act, so that minorities receive the appropriate level of representation based on their share of the population. • Compactness: A measure of “how nice the shape looks,” so the district “doesn’t have all these little tentacles out there.” • Splitting: How much a map avoids splitting parish, municipal and “community of interest” boundaries. The current map of congressional districts scores 0 out of 100 for competitiveness, while the state Senate gets a 3, Bergeron says. “We understand that there are always going to be negotiations that the public doesn’t see,” he says of the redistricting process. “We’re calling for the Legislature to avoid that as much as possible.” While all five principles may sound nice individually, they can conflict with one another. For example, a compact district won’t necessarily be competitive. And while some factors, such as the number of people in a proposed district, are objective, others are subjective, such as what is or isn’t a community of interest. “It’s all tradeoffs, and we’re going to have to look at everything on a case-by-case basis,” says state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell. She says proposed maps will “have strengths and weaknesses probably, and it will be the decision of the legislative members as to which map they think is the best.” Hewitt chairs her chamber’s governmental affairs committee, which will lead the state’s redistricting process along with the corresponding House panel. HOME COOKING: PAR’s Robert Travis Scott says one of the key factors state and local officials will use in redrawing districts is protecting incumbents. 82

FREE SPEECH: While legislators at the state Capitol will have the final redistricting say, the public can now offer suggestions and hold the elected officials accountable.

ISTOCK

IN LOUISIANA, the politicians get to draw their own districts, which may leave the impression, justified or not, that naked politics dictate the results. But this time around, resources are available that make it easier for the general public to meaningfully participate and hold elected officials accountable. “We’re putting redistricting tools into the hands of ordinary citizens, so those citizens can participate in the process in ways that they’ve never been able to before,” says Evan Bergeron, general counsel for Fair Districts Louisiana, a nonpartisan group with the goal of “democratizing democracy,” he says. With U.S. census results finally in hand after months of delays, Louisiana lawmakers have launched the once-a-decade redistricting process. Legislators plan to hold a “roadshow” series of public meetings prior to a special redistricting session early next year. Fair Districts has partnered with Dave’s Redistricting App, one of many available online redistricting platforms, to help users create their own maps for everything from Congress to the Legislature right down to their local parish council or police jury. Each of those maps, and any proposed by lawmakers, will be scored on five

Rather than starting with a clean slate, lawmakers will start with the districts as they are and work from there, she says. Legislators will try to avoid putting two incumbents in the same district, Hewitt says. Some officeholders live near the border of their current district, so lawmakers will try to avoid drawing them out of their districts, she adds. The roadshow meetings will be important “listening sessions” to find out what local officials and other residents want, Hewitt says. Some might want their entire community to have a single state senator, while others would prefer having multiple allies. Members of the public can also submit maps that will be posted on the Legislature’s website if they meet the basic legal conditions, she says. And the maps that lawmakers officially propose will be

subject to public debate in committee like any other bill. “We have laid out a game plan that is very open and transparent,” she says, noting that state law does not require public hearings. “I don’t know how the public could be involved any more.” The Legislature will draw new districts for Congress and state offices. Congressional districts must have as close to equal population as possible, while at the state level, legislative districts and the Public Service Commission can deviate up to 5% from the median and survive constitutional scrutiny. The state Supreme Court is not subject to the “one man, one vote” principle and has been redistricted only once in the last 80 years. The court’s districts are wildly out of proportion in terms of population and long overdue to be redrawn, says Robert

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Travis Scott with the Public Affairs represent, respectively, would Research Council of Louisiana. have to extend even farther south. Local bodies also will redraw Lawmakers also could create their districts, and many likely will a single north Louisiana district, hire consultants to help them do which many officials in the region so. The East Baton Rouge Parish adamantly oppose. Metro Council, for example, has “Garret Graves has got to shed a public hearing on the subject some people, but where does he scheduled for Oct. 13. shed them?” asks Council for a “I think incumbency is going Better Louisiana’s Barry Erwin to be a major determinant,” Scott about the 6th District, noting that says. “It always is and will be.” pulling back from the bayou reUsing incumbency as a factor gion could be an option. isn’t necessarily a bad thing, he Black voters now comprise adds. Voters might value the inmore than one-third of the state’s cumbent’s experience and relapopulation, so on that basis alone, tionship with their community. creating a second majority-miIn some states, an independent nority district among Louisiana’s commission is in charge of redissix seats in Congress makes sense. tricting. But in Louisiana, legislaHowever, there’s no obvious place tors have balked at even creating to put it, so lawmakers instead an official advisory commismight redistribute some of sion, with some exthose Black voters pressing anger that to make currently anyone would have deep-red districts a the temerity to suglittle more purple. gest such a thing. Creating a sec“They’re not giving ond Black-majority up one inch of aucongressional disthority,” Scott says. trict has been prob“It’s their show.” lematic in the past. The last time The “mark of Zorro” Louisiana redrew its district Cleo Fields districts, former Gov. represented during Bobby Jindal initially the 1990s—a 600said he wouldn’t be mile “Z” shape very involved, before that managed to injecting himself into include parts of the process. Likewise, Baton Rouge and Gov. John Bel Shreveport—was Edwards has said he thrown out by doesn’t expect to be the U.S. Supreme very hands-on, but Court as an unconthe Democrat’s veto stitutional racial BARRY ERWIN, president and CEO, pen will loom large gerrymander. Council for a Better Louisiana in the RepublicanErwin says it dominated would be counLegislature’s terproductive discussions. for Edwards to be too involved, Scott says Edwards can “denoting that Democrats in the fine the playing field,” much Legislature, particularly members like he did with this year’s tax of the Black Caucus, will represent overhaul when he insisted any his interests. Republicans’ failure major changes needed to be to override any of Edwards’ vetoes revenue-neutral. gives the governor extra leverage, “I think he probably owes that Erwin says. to the Legislature,” Scott says. The public has a responsibility Census results showed a shift in to get involved, he says. While polpopulation away from the northitics ultimately may rule, Erwin ern part of the state and rural says politicians need to underareas toward suburban commustand that these are the people’s nities in the south and southeast. districts, not theirs. That means north Louisiana’s “These are districts that detersprawling 4th and 5th congressiomine who you can vote for,” he nal districts, which Republicans says. “What’s more sacrosanct Mike Johnson and Julia Letlow than that?”

“These are districts that determine who you can vote for. What’s more sacrosanct than that?”

TH E W H ITE PAPER

S P O N SO R ED C O N T EN T

HOW MANAGED SERVICES CAN DRIVE BOTTOM-LINE OUTCOMES

Derrick Helms

Director of Managed Services, Sparkhound MANAGED SERVICES — YOUR MANAGED IT infrastructure environment — doesn’t have to be simply a cost center. It can and should drive bottom-line outcomes while simultaneously serving your business goals. In this short guide, you’ll learn two of the most fundamental ways you can facilitate your managed IT services with the right optimization that leverages automation and cloud services, and sound execution. With both, you can increase efficiency and even significantly lower operational costs. Businesses of all sizes have found they can save 40% or more by outsourcing their IT needs to companies who already have the necessary capacity to execute. This is the foundation of a mature IT infrastructure, which is not an objective in and of itself, but a natural outcome of both optimization and the right execution of your Managed Services. OPTIMIZE IT TO DRIVE BETTER BUSINESS OUTCOMES Holistic Managed Services should never fail to serve business needs first. Such an approach should comprise: • Standardized Procedures • Economies of Scale • 24/7/365 Coverage To achieve efficacy in these components, companies need to execute in two capacities: strategically and infrastructurally.

Any provider worth their salt will be a guide to you, with the end destination being greater efficiency that is repeatable. These strategic advisory services are comprised of tactical and technological experts that put your company on the path to maximizing its IT investments. For example, a Vision Workshop aligning your organizational stakeholders to identify technology and procedural improvement opportunities and overarching business goals will produce unique IT roadmaps that are scalable and standardized. Simultaneously, your organization would undergo an IT assessment. This assessment’s deliverable is a scorecard that will shed light on your technological ability to achieve the road mapped goals. By leveraging the assessment and roadmap, your organization will have a comprehensive view of IT maturity in the near- and long-term and line of sight to executing the three components of a successful Holistic Managed Services approach. LEAN ON IT INFRASTRUCTURE EXPERTS TO EXECUTE The second pillar of Managed Services is reliable support built around your carefully crafted roadmap. Forrester recently published a study highlighting that over 60% of clients will leave IT service providers after a single poor experience – deploying a fully managed infrastructure solution brings a team of experts with domain experience to your enterprise to avoid costly partner turnover and compounding inefficiency problems. Establishing a full partnership with Managed Services experts enables your organization to access every need in one spot. It cuts wasted time in communications, lowers costs by maximizing efficiency up to 50%, and it enhances peace of mind with ironclad coverage 24 x 7 x 365. Every organization needs to evaluate its IT maturity. It enhances technological agility, improves cover on your vital systems, and can bring significant savings to your organization.

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NEWS

SMALL BUSINESS

Brewing desire MORE HOPS: Chris Peneguy, president of Pelican Craft Brands, says craft brewers struggle to succeed in Louisiana because they aren’t a big priority for the area’s dominant beer distributors.

COLLIN RICHIE

Louisiana brewers believe craft-friendly regulations could help them make the good times roll. BY DAVID JACOBS

PELICAN CRAFT BRANDS launched in 2019 with the goal of filling what company president Chris Peneguy saw as a gap in the marketplace: a distributor focused on craft beers. In the Capital Region, the dominant beer distributors are Mockler Beverage, most closely associated with Budweiser, and Crescent Crown. While large distributors can and do work with small breweries, and those business relationships certainly can succeed, some local brewers feel they aren’t a very high priority for the big wholesalers. “There were no options here for the little guys,” Peneguy says. “They just get lost in these big portfolios.” Most of the breweries the company works with have 30 or 84

fewer employees, he says. Pelican serves both Louisiana-based breweries and brewers from outside the state looking for distribution here. “We couldn’t be in business if we only served Louisiana breweries,” he says. “There’s just not enough [local] product out there.” Despite a national reputation for its local cuisine and “let the good times roll” approach to life, Louisiana is at “the bottom of the heap” in terms of the number of local breweries per capita, says Cary Koch, executive director of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild. He says a thriving craft beer sector would provide an economic boost for a state that spends a lot of time and money promoting the local food and culture.

“When people come here, they are surprised by the lack of breweries,” he says. “That’s something that we need to talk about as far as economic development and tourism.” Part of the problem, he believes, is a set of regulations “created decades ago” that don’t line up with what a 21st century brewery needs. The guild supported Republican Rep. Gregory Miller’s resolution, HR210, which passed during the last regular session and asks the House judiciary committee to “study and make recommendations for legislation on the regulation of the craft brewing industry in this state and to report its findings to the House of Representatives prior to the convening of the 2022 Regular Session.”

The pending state study dovetails with a similar effort at the federal level. In July, President Joe Biden issued a wide-ranging executive order meant to promote competition in the American economy. The order names the alcohol business specifically as needing scrutiny and directs the Treasury Department to look into potential barriers to new entrants to the marketplace. Koch says the state review could go in “a thousand different directions.” One thing other states allow that might help Louisiana breweries is letting small brewers sell directly to retailers rather than going through a wholesaler, he says. After Prohibition ended, the American beer industry was divided into three tiers:

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manufacturers, distributors and retailers. While manufacturers generally must go through a distributor to get to the consumer, many states allow exceptions for small breweries. But Louisiana brewers must sign an exclusive contract with a distributor to get their beer into a given market. In theory, self-distribution might allow small brewers to play in the minor leagues for a while, keeping all of their sales revenue until they grow enough to need a distributor. At that point, the distributor could pick up a more established brand, while the brewer would be more likely to be a priority for the wholesaler. Another area that might merit discussion is Louisiana’s rigid distinction between craft beer manufacturers and microbreweries. The state has 27 manufacturers producing beers you can find in stores and restaurants but they can only sell their own product, Koch says. Louisiana also has 21 microbreweries, which are allowed to sell wine and spirits as well as the beer they brew but can only sell on-site, operating essentially as bars and restaurants. “That’s a big line in the sand,” he says. “You’re either one or the other, and you can’t co-mingle, which is what we really want to do.” Perhaps the biggest point of contention between small brewers and large distributors has to do with the state’s franchise laws. The contracts are extremely difficult to get out of, and small breweries with far less market power than the distributors are reluctant to pick those fights.

But distributors say the system works pretty well as it is, stressing that it is in the best interest of both parties for the craft brewers to succeed. “We’ve worked with [brewers] independently if there is ever an issue,” says John Williams, executive director for the Beer Industry League of Louisiana, which primarily represents distributors. “We’ve worked with every brewery that wanted to change their business plan or make a change in their operations.” The beer league backed Republican Rep. Robert Owen’s bill, HB291, which Williams says would have allowed brewers to self-distribute. Koch, however, called the bill a “poison pill” that did not address his members’ concerns, and the legislation failed to get out of committee. Craft beer has about 18% of the shelf space in grocery stores and more than half of the barroom taps but only about 5% of the market share, Williams says, though he doesn’t object to Rep. Miller’s call to study craft beer regulations. When bars were shut down as part of the effort to control the spread of COVID-19, craft brewers, who depend on those taps more than the big brands, took a hit while other booze purveyors were doing big business. Last year, the craft brewing industry incurred an 8% volume sales loss nationally and a 22.2% loss in Louisiana, Miller’s resolution states. “It’s always a good idea to consider looking at helping businesses in the state,” Williams says.

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“When people come here, they are surprised by the lack of breweries. That’s something that we need to talk about as far as economic development and tourism.” CARY KOCH, executive director, Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild

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FOCUS

RENEWABLE POWER: Some $2 billion is being invested in 16 planned solar farm projects, but long-term economic success depends on developing a vertically integrated market, including panel manufacturing, installation, maintenance and recycling.

INDUSTRY

Here comes the sun

While solar energy projects are ramping up in Louisiana, attracting panel manufacturers is what will create large-scale jobs. BY SAM BARNES ISTOCK

SOLAR ENERGY development seems to be heating up in Louisiana, at least on paper. There are currently 16 proposed solar farm projects, according to ITEP filings with Louisiana Economic Development, mostly to be built on agricultural land. Despite an initial investment of some $2 billion, however, the planned projects would generate only a handful of permanent jobs, so local leaders are pushing for a more vertically integrated solar industry where panel manufacturing, installation, maintenance and recycling all play a role. The current solar landscape is dominated by New York-based D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, or DESRI. The developer is nearing the “commencement of operations” on two of its projects, a 218-acre solar farm near Vacherie in St. James Parish and a 492-acre farm in Washington Parish, for a combined 70 MW in output. Entergy will purchase the energy as part of a 20-year contract. Tripp Roy, lead project developer for DESRI in New Orleans, expects his company’s next project to break ground in Q3 2022, with the remaining investments in mid- to late-stage 86

development. DESRI has had significant success at “putting steel in the ground” across 25 states, but has recently spent the majority of its time in Louisiana. “We chose Louisiana for a lot of reasons … it’s a business-friendly environment, there’s a strong solar resource here, the flat topography is solar friendly and there’s an existing industrial footprint,” Roy says. “It’s all about finding sites that have willing landowners and are near, adjacent to or under transmission lines that have capacity.” Roy is responsible for navigating DESRI’s projects through the lengthy process of land acquisition, permitting and environmental studies, as well as shepherding them through the complex “interconnection queue” managed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the organization that operates and manages the power grid. The process typically takes three to five years. “The queue is literally a line of projects at various stages of approval,” Roy says. “MISO runs a series of studies to evaluate any added congestion to the grid resulting from the project and evaluate what network

upgrades are going to be needed.” TURNING SOLAR INTO JOBS There has been much debate over the value of solar investment from an employment perspective. Once the projects are built, there are only a handful of jobs needed for the maintenance and upkeep of the farms. As such, “the local manufacture of solar panels is becoming a big part of the discussion,” says Mark Zappi, director of the Energy Institute at UL Lafayette. ULL’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Center, led by director Terrence Chambers, supports one of the largest photovoltaic research fields in the country and has a strong emphasis on commercial development. At present, only one of the world’s major solar manufacturers is located in the U.S., with seven in China. “The onshoring of panel production is very much in the mix,” Zappi says. “There are companies currently looking to onshore that. While there are challenges in obtaining certain rare earth metals that we need to overcome, manufacturing is certainly a target.” Chuck Carr Brown, secretary

of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, sees the potential of job creation at every stage of the solar life cycle. “I’ve approached my counterparts at EPA and our congressional delegation about this,” Brown says. “We need to manufacture solar panels, manufacture windmill blades, and transition those folks working at the plants into those types of jobs.” The recycling of decommissioned panels could also be part of the mix. “Twenty years from now, that infrastructure is going to get old … so we need to think about the future as we build. Perhaps we could create a separate industry that recycles that material rather than disposing of it.” But while the creation of permanent jobs is certainly a metric, it’s not the only one to be considered, says Don Pearson, secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. At its core, economic development is about the importation of wealth. “In this case, that wealth is being created for the governing bodies that get the tax millage,” Pearson adds. “So the metric of measuring it by job creation is not the right

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metric. If your parish is going to arguing that it causes power enjoy $15 million in tax millage companies to raise their rates for over 30 years, it’s certainly a great non-solar customers. way to enhance the services that The agricultural industry has government provides.” its own concerns about the large Furthermore, he adds, a largetracts of farmland being leased scale solar investment could or purchased for solar arrays. indirectly lead to the creation “The farmers are leery that more or retainment of jobs. “In the of the farmland will go for the end, solar is an investment that highest bidder versus for agriculdoesn’t pollute the environment tural crops,” DEQ’s Brown says. or take away any resources,” As an alternative, he promotes Pearson says. “From our perspecdecommissioned, capped landtive, it’s an important investment fills as possible sites for solar that creates more power in a cardevelopment. bon-neutral manner. And it’s a Brown is optimistic that the great way to revitalize our rural Legislature and PSC will evenparishes.” tually come around. “There’s ULL’s Zappi says it’s some preliminary connot practical to cerns, but I think compare solar they’ll be put to to natural gas or rest with the right other fossil fuels information,” he in terms of job says. “The PSC creation. “You’re needs to underKA N talking so many stand that solar is O D apples to oranges a critical piece of there,” he adds. the puzzle. People “Every form of are getting sticker energy is going shock when they to need a labor get their electric force. When you bill.” start counting Pearson says it’s jobs per meganot likely that all watt hour, solar is of the proposed probably on the utility-scale solower end of the lar projects that spectrum, but it’s have filed with not a ‘net sum ITEP will become zero.’ You’re going reality, but the to need installers clock has started and maintenance ticking. That’s bepeople.” cause owners are CHUCK CARR BROWN, secretary, Louisiana While he given a specific Department of Environmental Quality doesn’t expect a deadline for besignificant solar ginning a project displacement of natural gas or once they file. “There are a numother fossil fuels in the near fuber of factors that will dictate the ture, “it’s going to be a very excitending cost analysis and enable ing dynamic for Louisiana.” the investment group to proceed or not proceed,” he says. “A sigPIECE OF THE PUZZLE nificant number of negotiations There are certain local obstawill need to occur involving the cles to solar development, parcost of the property, cost of the ticularly small-scale projects. In solar array installation, the de2016, the Louisiana Legislature commissioning bond, rate strucsignificantly reduced the tax tures, etc.” credits available for residential Regardless, LED is interested solar installations, and in 2019 in any investment that puts enthe Public Service Commission ergy onto the power grid in a minimized the benefits of its net carbon-neutral manner. “There’s metering policy by approving great alignment for Louisiana and changes to how utilities are rethe solar industry,” Pearson says. quired to compensate solar cus“It creates a significant, 20- to 30tomers. Utilities in the U.S. have year revenue stream for any parlong fought to end net metering, ish that goes that route.”

“We need to manufacture solar panels, manufacture windmill blades, and transition those folks working at the (industrial) plants into those types of jobs.”

BUSINESS REPORT & JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT PRESENT

Business Awards B AT O N

R O U G E

& Hall of Fame

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS BUSINESS HALL OF FAME LAUREATE BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR YOUNG BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR COMPANY OF THE YEAR 100 or more employees

COMPANY OF THE YEAR Less than 100 employees

Business Report and Junior Achievement are accepting nominations for the 2022 Baton Rouge Business Awards & Hall of Fame. For over 36 years this event has recognized the accomplishments of individuals and companies who have significant impact in our local free enterprise system. The winners will be profiled in Business Report and honored at a banquet on Thursday, March 9, 2022.

To submit nominations online visit

BusinessReport.com/events Deadline is Friday, November 5, 2021

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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Preparing Students for Lives of Purpose

PreK-3 Save the

12th Grade

Date!

Open House

Middle and Upper School | October 14 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm. Lower School | October 21 from 8:30 – 10:30 am. Episcopal School of Baton Rouge offers rigorous academics, competitive athletics, inspiring arts and an opportunity for spiritual development and service learning. Join us for an open house this fall to learn more. Open house participants will speak directly with Student Ambassadors, faculty and school administrators. Participants will also tour learning spaces, including the new Academic Commons, the QUEST Center in Foster Hall and the Episcopal Field House. Episcopal offers a variety of tuition assistance and scholarship opportunities, including the Webster Scholars Program for incoming ninth grade students. Contact our admission team for additional information or to learn about the tuition assistance and scholarship opportunities available. RSVP at episcopalbr.org/admission/open-house

For more information

Contact us!

225.755.2685 | episcopalbr.org

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BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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LISTMAKERS

Private high schools

UPCOMING LISTS:

Ranked by enrollment COMPANY ADDRESS PREV. RANK PHONE | WEBSITE

NOVEMBER Property & casualty companies Workers comp companies DECEMBER Architecture firms

2020 HIGH SCHOOL ENROLLMENT

ANNUAL TUITION

Stacia Andricain Principal

1,126

TOP LOCAL EXECUTIVE

STUDENT MIX GRADES SERVED

AFFILIATION YEAR EST. LOCALLY

$11,888

All girls 9-12

1868 Catholic

MAJOR PROGRAMS/AMENITIES

1

1

St. Joseph's Academy 3015 Broussard St., Baton Rouge 70808 225-383-7207 | sjabr.org

2

2

Catholic High School 855 Hearthstone Drive, Baton Rouge 70806 225-383-0397 | catholichigh.org

Lisa Harvey Principal

1,113

$12,335

All boys 8-12

1894 Catholic

3

3

St. Michael the Archangel High School 17521 Monitor Ave., Baton Rouge 70817 225-753-9782 | smhsbr.org

Ellen Lee Principal

625

$10,075

Coed 9-12

1984 Catholic

4

4

Parkview Baptist School 5750 Parkview Church Road, Baton Rouge 70816 225-291-2500 | parkviewbaptist.com

Don Mayes Superintendent

464

$13,250

Coed PreK-12

1981 Christian

5

5

Episcopal School of Baton Rouge 3200 Woodland Ridge Blvd., Baton Rouge 70816 225-753-3180 | episcopalbr.org

Carrie Steakley Head of school

380

$21,919

Coed PreK3-12

1965 Episcopal

6

6

The Dunham School 11111 Roy Emerson Drive, Baton Rouge 70810 225-767-7097 | dunhamschool.org

Steven A. Eagleton Head of school

260

$19,725

Coed PreK3-12

1981 Nondenominational

STEM, Harkness, leadership, advanced placement, dual-enrollment, fine arts, athletics

7

7

Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee 504 Fourth St., New Roads 70760 225-638-9313 | catholicpc.com

Jason Chauvin Principal

190

DNR

Coed PreK3-12

1904 Catholic

8

8

Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School 4000 St. Gerard Ave., Baton Rouge 70805 225-615-7479 | cristoreybr.org

Eric Engemann President

160

DNR

Coed 9-12

2016 Catholic

9

10

Ascension Catholic Diocesan Regional High School 311 St. Vincent St., Donaldsonville 70346 225-473-9227 | acbulldogs.org

Sandy Pizzolato Principal

150

$7,145

Coed PreK-12

1845 Catholic

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation, highest ACT scores among Pointe Coupee schools, 95% of graduates go on to college Part of a network of 37 schools in 24 states that combines college-preparatory classes with corporate work study for underserved and lowincome youth Advanced and honors courses, college-preparatory and dual-enrollment courses; service-based learning, the foreign exchange program, peer mediation, student retreats, March for Life, Beta

10

9

Silliman Institute 10830 Bank St., Clinton 70722 225-683-5383 | sillimaninstitute.org

Kevin Lemoine Administrator

140

$5,040

Coed PreK-12

1966 Nondenominational

Junior and senior Beta, athletic and extracurricular activities

11

11

St. John High School 24250 Regina St., Plaquemine 70764 225-687-3056 | stjohnschool.org

Cherie B. Schlatre Principal

130

$7,360

Coed PreK-12

1886 Catholic

College-preparatory, honors and business courses; dual-enrollment courses in math, English, sports medicine and psychology

12

12

Central Private School 12801 Centerra Court, Central 70714 225-261-3341 | centralprivate.org

Robert Martin Head of school

115

$6,520

Coed PreK-12

1967 Christian

College-preparatory classes, honors track, dualenrollment, advanced placement

13

13

Ascension Christian High School 14408 EA Academy Road, Gonzales 70737 225-622-2800 | aclions.org

Dustin Bagwell Campus administrator

100

$5,500

Coed 9-12

1981 Christian

Only STEM-certified school in Louisiana

14

14

False River Academy 201 Major Parkway, New Roads 70760 225-638-3783 | falseriveracademy.org

Linda D'Amico Principal

80

$5,200

Coed PreK-12

1969 Nondenominational

Dual-enrollment classes, eDynamic online elective courses, Beta

15

17

The Brighton School 12108 Parkmeadow Ave., Baton Rouge 70816 225-291-2524 | thebrightonschool.org

Kenneth Henderson Executive director

45

$13,450

Coed 1-12

1972 Nondenominational

16

16

Family Christian Academy 8919 World Ministry Ave., Baton Rouge 70810 225-768-3026 | fcacademy.net

Christopher Granier Principal

44

$7,500

Coed PreK-12

1983 Christian

17

15

Baton Rouge International School 5015 Auto Plex Drive, Baton Rouge 70809 225-293-4338 | brintl.com

Tanya Price Head of school

40

$11,290

Coed Day care-12

1999 Nondenominational

Dedicated to students with dyslexia and related learning differences; reading therapy and therapeutic instructional strategies Co-curricular programs in athletics, arts, and service organizations; dual-enrollment in math and English; state-of-the-art teleproductions class; Mac computer lab College-preparatory curriculum in a multilingual environment (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese)

18

18

Jehovah-Jireh Christian Academy 1771 N. Lobdell Ave., Baton Rouge 70806 225-932-2357 | jjcacademy.org

Navonne Johnson Principal

39

$5,800

Coed Day care-12

1983 Christian

Warrior College Prep Academy advances students into leadership roles in society

19

19

Open Door Christian Academy 7000 Gloryland Way, Denham Springs 70726 225-667-7745 | southlandsaints.com

Ben Blackburn Principal

35

DNR

Coed PreK4-12

1969 Christian

Christian training with a solid academic foundation

20

NR

Louisiana New School Academy 1900 North Blvd., Baton Rouge 70806 225-344-8900 | lanewschoolacademy.com

Gralyn Reed Principal and operations manager

14

$4,800

Coed 7-12

1996 Nonsectarian

DBA-doing business as DNR-did not respond NR-not ranked To be featured in Business Report's Listmakers, private high schools have to have at least one campus in the nine-parish Capital Region and have information available about their programs. The Business Report presumes the provided information is accurate. Information about 23 schools will be available to subscribers on our website. To be considered for next year's list, please contact Alaine Keisling at research@businessreport.com. Published October 2021.

Four-time National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph 1:1 laptop program, innovative STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) curriculum that embraces a holistic hands-on approach to learning Christian service program helps students become servant leaders who contribute 20,000 volunteer hours to the community annually Dual-enrollment/AP classes, mission trips, 26 MS/ HS sports teams, vocal/instrumental music instruction, outstanding theater productions, highly competitive robotics team AP, honors and dual-enrollment courses; signature honors thesis and lab-based ESTAAR programs; global learning journeys; award-winning robotics team

Small class sizes, family atmosphere, diverse curriculum, growing athletic program Researched by Alaine Keisling

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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BE IN THE BOOK THAT IS ON EVERY CEO’s DESK Secure your space in this indispensable business resource today.

PUBLISHES DECEMBER 2021 Contact Kerrie Richmond at 225.421.8154 • krichmond@businessreport.com

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VIEWPOINT

THE BIG PICTURE

Who’s regulating the regulators?

STEPHANIE RIEGEL AMONG THE MANY lessons of Hurricane Ida, and recent events related to it, is that government isn’t doing a very good job regulating the entities that do business in the state. Take the Louisiana Department of Health, which signed off on nursing home owner Bob Dean’s plans to evacuate nearly 850 residents of his facilities to a warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish on the eve of the storm. Yes, warehouse. Granted, Dean wheeled in cots and a couple of port-a-potties for those in his care, so it’s not as though these already vulnerable elderly had to lie on the bare floor in diapers, though some, apparently, did. But conditions in the facilities were so bad, according to one of many lawsuits since filed against Dean and LDH, that employees have been haunted in their sleep by the sights, sounds and smells of human suffering. A dozen of the residents have since died, not incidentally, which Dean said in a truly stunning media interview, was not such a bad average, given that he typically loses two to three

REFLECTIONS

THE SUFFICIENCY OF HOPE This feature is a tribute by our publisher in honor of Business Report founder, Rolfe H. McCollister Sr.

patients on a good week. While LDH regulators, to be fair, were onto the problems at the warehouse within 48 hours of the storm, eventually evacuating the residents and revoking Dean’s licenses, the bigger question is: How was this guy was in the nursing home business at all. As far back as 1998, Dean was fined by an administrative law judge for faulty evacuation procedures during Hurricane Georges that led to the deaths of two residents. (He took them to the unair conditioned Lyceum Dean building he owned on Third Street.) Subsequent investigations by New Orleans media in 2005 and WAFB-TV in 2018, revealed multiple problems and violations at numerous facilities, all of which had a one-star rating from Medicare. A one-star rating on a nursing home is like a C in graduate school. It’s effectively a failing grade that should sound all sorts of loud alarm bells. But the state didn’t do anything until it was too late. Meanwhile, over at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, regulators continued to shrug as Shell continued to “flare” at its Norco facility more than one month after the storm. Refineries flare or burn off large quantities of hydrocarbons they are processing when they lose power, as the Shell facility did during Ida. It’s a necessary evil to prevent an explosion. But is it necessary for six weeks? DEQ won’t say. More troubling, is that no one has said what toxins, specifically, are being released into the air of the small St.

Charles Parish community, much less in what quantities. The EPA is supposedly monitoring air quality, but it hasn’t released any information to residents. A report that Shell filed with DEQ in the early days after the storm was deemed incomplete, according to DEQ, so it was granted a 60-day extension, which means we won’t know anything until at least the beginning of November. In contrast, regulators have said plenty about Entergy’s handling of widespread power outages caused by Ida. There’s nothing like a massive grid failure to inspire bold, incendiary rhetoric from Louisiana Public Service Commissioners and members of the New Orleans City Council, which regulates Entergy in the Crescent City. But talk is cheap. Hardening the grid is expensive, and as the discomforts of Ida fade into the collective memory, there’s a good chance so, too, will the efforts to force real change to the way we get our power. Entergy, after all, holds a lot of sway in these parts and doesn’t want to change. It has a monopoly in New Orleans and the lion’s share of the market in Baton Rouge. Perhaps that’s why city officials here have been unable to get the company to fix the 60 or so lights along I-10 that are currently not working. It’s the responsibility of the city-parish to pay for the lights’ maintenance and repairs. But since Entergy owns the equipment, only Entergy and its subcontractors are authorized to physically make repairs, which they have not done because the

HOPE, FROM GOD’S perspective and definition, is not hoping something might happen. Rather, it is the “solid assurance” that things will happen based on His promises, which is backed up by His character. Notice the sufficiency of hope found in Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” God describes Himself as the God of hope. Hope is based in Him! Then God desires to fill you with all joy and peace. Who does not want to be filled with these two qualities? This happens in

city-parish has not said it will pay for them, which the city-parish has not done because Entergy will not come up with an estimate of how much the repairs will cost. “We’re not going to just give them a blank check,” says City Parish Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel, which is the right thing to say. But the larger question is, who wrote the contract like this in the first place? Who gave the utility so much leverage over the city-parish, and why? Perhaps, it’s the same lawyers who wrote Republic Services’ $30 million contract to do garbage collection in Baton Rouge. As detailed elsewhere in this issue (page 74), that contract, negotiated during the Kip Holden administration, does not allow the city-parish to fine the company for repeated, missed collections. It does allow City Hall to impose liquidated damages, which could be mistaken for fines. But damages only kick in when there’s been a breach of contract, and breach of contract is not easy to prove. It also opens a can of legal worms that likely end up costing more money than liquidated damages bring in. How much do campaign contributions from big businesses and wealthy individuals factor into the way contracts are negotiated and regulatory decisions are made? We already know the answer, but is it really as blatant as it seems? Or are there more complex reasons the average citizen keeps getting the short end of the stick? Is anyone looking out for our interests, and do they even care?

believing. Believing what? Believing the God of “solid assurance” will come through. When a person is filled with all joy and peace, the result is abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Person of God and is the One who fuels the joy, peace, and hope with the power He provides. When God fills us with all peace and joy, what keeps hope abounding and causes the peace and joy to overflow is the utilities-power the Holy Spirit. Beloved, live in the sufficiency of hope! —COL Jeff Mitchell, retired Army State Chaplain, present Hospice Chaplain

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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VIEWPOINT

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Flooding is plainly a way of life

HERE’S SOME HARSH truth: The Baton Rouge region will never solve its long-standing and ever-worsening drainage and flood problems. I don’t care how many billions in federal tax dollars Rep. Garret Graves and Louisiana’s congressional delegation hurl our way. Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer. Go ahead, be optimistic all you want, but far too many of us are destined to see our homes and businesses swamped by the ravages of an increasingly violent Mother Nature. No matter how many bold pontifications emanate from Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, who claims help is a mere three or four studies away. Make no mistake, everyone in the Capital Region, from parish presidents on down, is universal in declaring an ardent desire to turn the tide on climate change and mitigate the damage wreaked by storm after flooding storm. But—and this is the part that really matters—none of us want to do the things necessary to prevent us from becoming the disaster known as Waterworld. Where to begin? In Baton Rouge, way too many of us want nothing to do with the racially mixed, economically diverse high ground, preferring to sprawl to the suburban, floodprone lowlands. With the semidry land pretty much spoken for, our quest for that faux French Country house or gated mega-mansion is taking us deeper into the floodplain. Real estate developers, chasing demand and loving the higher 92

America—makes it easier and more affordable to straggle onto land nature intended to remain vacant. Who cares if some rancher in Wyoming or mechanic in Michigan must pony up to help us rebuild every few years? The heartless folks at FEMA, suggesting those who roll the dice assume more financial risk, are this month increasing rates. Wanting to slow FEMA’s roll, reelection-seeking congressional members from states that tend to flood, like ours, are working overtime to kibosh the proposal. But, hey, Louisiana is already a welfare state, so the big deal is what? At least we’re cracking down on those slackers in the food stamp program. Compounding the disaster waiting to happen whenever the next supersoaker or worse event

less than $10 a month to address the problem, but the otherwise liberal Broome says no. Her solution? Ask residents to litter less. Those tax-averse among us, who ironically tend to reside in the floodplain-saturated suburbs, argue the money already exists to keep the stormwater flowing. It’s simply being spent on other stuff. And, to a point, they’re right. The argument falls apart, however, courtesy of the greater good disaster known as independent taxing authorities. Any casual reader of this space has heard my incessant beat of this drum, so I’ll spare everyone the headache. Yet, there’s no denying the unintended consequence of these dedicated taxes. Every year, no matter what else is going on, money for libraries, parks, mass transit and the Council on Aging are higher local funding priorities than stormwater drainage and flood control. Especially in East Baton Rouge, where passing a parishwide tax is nearly as futile as LSU’s defense against a crossing route. Speaking of disasters. The trifecta of 1) this state’s overly generous homestead exemption, 2) a local tax assessor who won’t do his job and 3) our love for low-density, sprawling growth means most new residential developments— especially those in the floodplain—don’t pay for themselves. Meaning, the rest of us are helping foot the bill to provide them with police, fire and infrastructure services. Ain’t that a kick in the head? We could go on, but this is getting depressing. Besides, if we’re waiting on the Broome administration to get serious about the problem, then good luck. Nearly six years in, and this bunch still can’t get new parking meters installed around downtown. Seriously, if parking meters are an impossible dream, then what hope do we have on the hard stuff? FILE PHOTO

JR BALL

profit margins that come from building on cheaper—albeit soggier—land, elevate lots as well as build retention and detention ponds to kinda, sorta protect the floodplain homes and businesses in their developments. Their concern for how all this brick, stucco and HardiePlank impacts stormwater flow in the surrounding area? Not so much. Neighboring folks—who could not care less about the adverse water flow effects created by their home or subdivision—routinely complain about this whenever a developer seeks approval for a floodplain project. Those cries, however, pretty much always fall on deaf regulatory ears. If some do-gooder council member has the stones to suggest stiffer rules—as Rowdy Gaudet recently discovered—those are quickly crushed by the financial and political hammer of the building community. We hear you, developers. Yes, the rules are more stringent than 20 years ago. And sure, those fountained retention ponds look fabulous nestled along the narrow strips of elevated land containing your homebuilding handiwork, but who’s maintaining them so those watery pits can keep doing their job? The answer in many cases is no one. As problematic, government regulators, citing a lack of money to do anything anyway, seem not to care. A modest proposal: Developers should be financially on the hook for the first five or 10 years; after that, a mandatory HOA where floodplain residents generate the necessary dollars to maintain the ponds. Neighborhood residents routinely create taxing districts to fund bonus crime protection and beautification projects. What’s the problem with demanding essentially the same thing from those voluntarily tempting fate by living in a high flood-risk area? It gets worse. Cheap flood insurance— backed by taxpayers across

hits is 1) it rains a lot here, 2) getting the resulting stormwater from where we don’t want it to where we do is done via a parishwide maze of drainage canals, lakes, streams, and bayous and 3) we’ve got a trash problem—compounded by garbage trucks that spill as much as they haul—that’s semi-masked because the frequent rainwater carries it out of immediate sight. Unfortunately, that trash still exists, and it has a nasty habit of creating garbage dams throughout the system, blocking water flow that increases the flood risk. A group of passionate and knowledgeable citizen activists wants the mayor to implement a voluntary stormwater utility fee of

BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021 | BusinessReport.com

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YOUR BUSINESS

COMPANY NEWS

COMPANY NEWS Aucoin Wealth Management of Baton Rouge has joined the Commonwealth Financial Network, a Aucoin national firm comprising independent financial advisers. Formerly affiliated with Edward Jones, Troy Aucoin and his support staff member, Sharon DeMarte, bring with them approximately $157 million in total client assets. Baton Rouge Community College’s construction management program was granted reaccreditation by the American Council for Construction Education board of trustees for a six-year period through July 2027. Although there were many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BRCC construction management team met the requirements needed for accreditation. According to ACCE, the BRCC program is one of only 15 two-year degree programs in the country that is accredited.

Baton Rouge General has opened a high-risk breast clinic at its Mid City campus, providing specialized care to women at risk for developing breast disease and who are underinsured or uninsured. The clinic is led by Dr. Everett Bonner, surgical breast oncologist. Bonner holds a fellowship in surgical breast oncology from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the world’s oldest and

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

largest private cancer center. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Prevention on the Go program recently celebrated a milestone of 100,000 cancer screenings. This achievement, which occurred during the cancer center’s 50th anniversary year, was recognized at a recent free breast and colorectal cancer screening at LSU Mid City clinic. Prevention on the Go is a

comprehensive program that provides prevention and early detection services to detect cancer in its earliest stage when better outcomes are more likely. The Spine Hospital of Louisiana at The NeuroMedical Center announced a partnership with DPi Anesthesia. DPi was founded in 2003 and has grown to become a multifaceted corporation serving a growing client base in the health care field. DPi’s anesthesia group brings together a team of highly trained and qualified anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists. The Spine Hospital of Louisiana and DPi Anesthesia will begin its partnership effective Oct. 2. ACCREDITATION CERTIFICATION Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University recently received a national endorsement for nursing and business. Already honored as a college of distinction for its high-impact approach to education, FranU has received specialized recognition in nursing and business.

Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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YOUR BUSINESS

COMPANY NEWS

Tim Morris, card services analyst at La Capitol Federal Credit Union, earned the certified credit union executive desMorris ignation as a member of the 2021 graduating class of CUNA Management School. Morris graduated with honors and was chosen by his peers to receive the coveted Al Jordan Leadership and Service Award.

DuPré Logistics

AWARDS HONORS City Year Baton Rouge and BASF Geismar are recipients of the Diversity Star Award from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. City Year Baton Rouge received the award for the small business category, and BASF Geismar received the award for the large business category. BRAC created the Diversity Star Award with a goal of highlighting exceptional business practices in the Capital Region that leverage the value of diversity in organizations.

achievement in highway safety performance by the Texas Motor Transport Association. Dupré received first place in the intercity class based on mileage between 5 million and 10 million miles. Dupré also received the first-place honor in the local class based on mileage over 10 million miles.

Dupré Logistics recently received top honors for outstanding

Emerge will honor 10 individuals at its 2021 Baton Rouge Area

Volunteer Activist awards luncheon Nov. 12. This awards luncheon recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to the Baton Rouge community. The 2021 honorees are: Laurie Aronson, Leonard Augustus, Cheri Ausberry, Jan Breen, Preston Castille, Curtis O’Neil, Norisha Kirts Glover, Bridget Kaigler, Eric Lane and John Turner. LSU journalism professor John Maxwell Hamilton’s book, Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda, has been selected as the American Journalism Historians Association’s 2021 Book of the Year winner. The award recognizes the best book in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year. Earlier in the year, the book was awarded the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School’s Goldsmith Book Prize.

Hospice in His Care has been named a 2021 Hospice Honors recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, a leading provider of billing and coding services, CAHPS surveys and advanced analytics. Hospice Honors is a program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view. Window World of Baton Rouge was recognized by Qualified Remodeler as one of the 500 largest remodeling firms in America for 2021. This is the first year the firm, which was ranked 17th, has made this distinguished list. The firm was also recently recognized as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America for 2021 by Inc. magazine. APPOINTMENTS MEMBERSHIPS Scott Ballard has been appointed to the board of directors for Home Bancorp Inc. Ballard is founder, CEO and Ballard owner of Ballard

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Hospitality and owns Ballard Brands, a fast-casual dining leader based in Covington, with his two brothers. Currently, he serves as an executive board member of the Committee of 100 Louisiana and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. Phelps Partner Jeff Barbin has been named treasurer for the International Association of Gaming Barbin Advisors. Barbin has seven years of experience on the board and most recently served as assistant treasurer for two years. He has been an active member of the group since 2002. Clay Countryman, a partner in the Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson health care practice, has become chair of the Countryman American Bar Association’s Health Law Section for the 2021-2022 bar year. The

ABA Health Law Section is the voice of the national health law bar within the ABA. Countryman, who is based in the firm’s Baton Rouge office, has practiced for more than 25 years exclusively in health law. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Sue Kozik has been named to the board for Nexus Louisiana. Kozik came to Blue Cross from Seattlebased Group Health. She has been honored by the IT industry with many prestigious awards, including the CIO 100 Award and the HP Innovation Award. The Water Institute of the Gulf has appointed three new members to its board: Earthea Nance, Merritt Lane III and William “Bill” Merrell. Nance, associate professor in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, is a certified floodplain manager and a registered professional civil engineer with more than 15 years of experience

as an environmental engineer. She has an additional 14 years of experience in academia. Lane, who serves as president, CEO and board chairman of Canal Barge Company Inc., has been involved in inland waterway management in Louisiana and across the country for decades. Merrell is regents professor in marine sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston and is president emeritus of the Galveston campus. Edgardo Tenreiro was elected to serve a two-year term as a district trustee on the Louisiana Hospital Tenreiro Association’s board of trustees. Tenreiro, president and CEO of Baton Rouge General, was elected to represent the southeast district.

GET YOUR NEWS IN BUSINESS REPORT MOVING UP Moving Up highlights executive-level promotions and new hires in the Capital Region. Announcements should include the name and title of the professional being hired or promoted, and brief summaries of his or her responsibilities and experience. Accompanying photos should be high resolution: 300 dpi or higher. COMPANY NEWS Company News features announcements about developments at Capital Region companies: new locations, acquisitions, name or branding changes and so forth. We also spotlight professionals who receive business-related awards or honors, accreditations, certifications, appointments and memberships, as well as corporate grants and philanthropy. Accompanying photos should be high resolution: 300 dpi or higher. NEWS TIPS Business Report welcomes suggestions and ideas for news stories as well as recommendations for people of interest to feature.

GET IN TOUCH Email us: editor@businessreport.com Call us: 225-928-1700 Fax us: 225-928-5019 Issue Date: OCT 2021 Ad2 proofMail #4it to us: Executive Editor, Business • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minorReport, revisions.9029 Jefferson Hwy., Ste. 300, Batonwithin Rouge, LA 70809 • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received 24 hours 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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YOUR BUSINESS

MOVING UP

BANKING & FINANCE LeVar Anderson has been named vice president/ senior commercial relationLEVAR ANDERSON Home Bank ship manager for Home Bank, serving the Baton Rouge region. Anderson brings 16 years of banking expertise to his new role at Home Bank. Previously, he was vice president/business relationship manager at JP Morgan Chase Bank. Dean Bartels has been named senior vice president–commercial relationship manager at BancorpSouth Bank. Bartels has been in banking and finance in the Baton Rouge area for more than 30 years. Two women have been promoted at Investar Bank to financial leadership roles. Rachel Cherco has been promoted to treasurer. Cherco began her career at Investar as the chief financial officer. Over the past 15 years, she has taken on many

DEAN BARTELS BancorpSouth Bank

RACHEL CHERCO Investar Bank

CANDACE LEBLANC Investar Bank

KIMBERLY CRESPO Emprint

responsibilities and most recently was the chief accounting officer. Candace LeBlanc, who has served as the bank’s director of financial reporting for the past seven years, has been promoted to chief accounting officer, executive vice president. LeBlanc will oversee the accounting department and collaborate with the chief financial officer on various financial strategies.

HEALTH CARE Tamara Dayton has been named director/community relations for The Lodge at Lane, an assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facility currently under construction in Zachary. Dayton joined the staff of Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary after earning her master’s degree and served for nearly 25 years as social services supervisor.

COMMUNICATIONS Kimberly Crespo has been promoted to vice president corporate sales at Emprint. Crespo has been in the commercial printing business for more than 35 years and has held positions in customer service, estimating, project management and sales.

ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION Jennifer Hanson has been promoted to marketing manager at Holly & Smith Architects. The firm has also hired architect Cynthia Dubberley. Hanson got her start at Holly & Smith in 2017, and she has grown from her initial

TAMARA DAYTON The Lodge at Lane

JENNIFER HANSON Holly & Smith Architects

responsibilities of tackling proposals and managing website content to advancing the firm’s marketing planning and social media presence. Brad Holleman and Jordan Pearson have acquired ownership interest in the firm of Forte and Tablada. The transaction took place one year after the firm was acquired by Joey Coco and Chad Bacas. Holleman, senior vice president over the company’s survey and advanced measurements division, is a professional surveyor and leads a team of 40 data collection specialists. Pearson, senior vice president over the company’s north Louisiana engineering division, is a professional engineer and leads the Shreveport/Bossier market.

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CYNTHIA DUBBERLEY Holly & Smith Architects

SRINIVAS KRISHNASWAMY Plexos Group

Srinivas (Srini) Krishnaswamy has joined Plexos Group as chief operating officer. Krishnaswamy brings more than 30 years of U.S. and international large-scale civil, infrastructure and building project management experience to the company. Krishnaswamy comes to Plexos after more than two decades at AECOM, most recently as executive vice president, Americas. Scott Waguespack has been hired as senior vice president of corporate administration for Bernhard. Waguespack is responsible for the management of all human resources, marketing and communications functions within the company, as well as facilities and key administrative functions. With more than 25 years in this

SCOTT WAGUESPACK Bernhard

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field, Waguespack has served companies in the oil and gas, technology, construction and fabrication, and engineering industries. NONPROFITS Will Campbell Jr. has been named director of the new b1 FOUNDATION, a community outreach effort established by b1BANK. Campbell has more than 27 years of experience in the financial services industry and has held several positions including vice president of commercial lending and Small Business Administration lending manager, and he served as the director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University. Sandy Colvin and Seth Hatsfelt

SANDY COLVIN Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

SETH HATSFELT Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

have been appointed to leadership positions within the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Colvin was named chief development officer. She began at the Food Bank in April 2020 as vice president of development and philanthropy, major gifts. Hatsfelt was appointed to the position of chief operations officer. He joins the Food Bank after eight years of manufacturing experience, beginning as a front-line material handler in 2012. Cree Matlock has been named the district executive director for several YMCA of the Capital Area locations. Matlock has experience in government and community relations with several nonprofit organizations. Matlock comes to the YMCA from Charter Schools USA where she was responsible for

CREE MATLOCK YMCA of the Capital Area

APRIL HAWTHORNE Baton Rouge North Economic Development District

external relations, legislative strategy, and business development. PUBLIC SECTOR April Hawthorne is the new executive director of the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District. Hawthorne’s key role will be to advance the mission of BRNEDD to stimulate economic growth in north Baton Rouge. Hawthorne is a real estate agent with Keller Williams Red Stick Partners and served as a legislative assistant to East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome when she was a state senator. She has also served on the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning and Zoning Commission.

“Our 11-year streak as part of the LSU100 is directly correlated to the even longer streak of us all working together as long as we have. everything compounds for the good when a strong team stays together and grows together. along with great, loyal clients and our growing national network of advisors, this has been our formula for success.”

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Horizon is one of two companies that has made the LSU 100 growth list all 11 years. Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Listing in this publication is not a guarantee of future investment success. This recognition should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client.

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YOUR BUSINESS

FLASHBACK

THE YEAR: 2012 News that The Times-Picayune in New Orleans was shrinking its newsroom and cutting back publication sent shock waves through a state that treasures its traditions and clings fiercely to its historical institutions. Many looked to The Advocate, in Baton Rouge, wondering whether it, too, would shrink or possibly attempt to fill the gap in New Orleans. At the time, as quoted in this June 2012 cover story, Advocate publisher David Manship shrugged off the latter. But the following month, The Advocate announced it would expand coverage to New Orleans beginning that fall. The following spring, local businessman John Georges purchased The Advocate. In 2019, he would expand even further by buying The Times-Picayune. In the cover story, Business Report takes a look at the state of journalism in south Louisiana shortly after the corporate owners of New Orleans’ 175-year-old daily announced they were scaling back publication to three days a week and gutting the paper’s newsroom staff.

UPCOMING ISSUES

NOVEMBER 2021 Forty Under 40 Focus: Insurance List: Property & Casualty Companies Workers Comp Companies

“HOW MUCH MONEY Advance Publications will save by laying off so much staff and doing away with The Times-Picayune on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday—which are less attractive days to advertise than Wednesday, Friday and Sunday—is anyone’s guess. But percentagewise the savings should be substantial. ‘They’ll save a ton of money by not having to print,’ Manship predicts. ‘Paper and ink are about one-third of a newspaper’s expenditures. People account for the rest.’ … Whatever promise New Orleans might hold for The Advocate, which has certainly seen its share of financial hardships in recent years, the paper has barely a presence in the Crescent City—a paltry 100 or so readers a day.” —From the June 26, 2012, issue of Business Report

+ ALSO FROM THAT ISSUE ...

ISTOCK

LOOK WHO’S BACK: Market forces are driving jobs back to America, and Louisiana sits in a sweet spot to attract them. ACCESS DENIED: Business owners could soon be at odds with planners over a new policy to regulate traffic flow through Baton Rouge.

DECEMBER 2021 Real Estate List: Architecture Firms

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ADVERTISING IN THESE ISSUES, CONTACT Kerrie Richmond at 421-8154 | krichmond@businessreport.com Daily-Report.com | BUSINESS REPORT, October 2021

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PASSION

SERVICE

Emelie Alton

CEO AND OWNER, BYRONZ RESTAURANT FAMILY

“I believe you get what you give— the more you give in life, the more you will receive. I try to teach my sons that when you give back to the community, you may not be getting something back monetarily, but you get a good feeling and grow as a person by giving to others.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY COLLIN RICHIE

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M AKING CHANGE IS WHAT WE DO. At b1BANK, we believe in giving back. So our b1COMMUNITY Outreach Program gives employees paid time off to help area nonprofits. We are honored to be named a Best Place to Work for the third time and thankful to be a part of what makes Baton Rouge a great place to live and work.

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Articles inside

Company News

7min
pages 95-97

Big Picture: Who’s regulating the regulators?

5min
page 91

Flashback: 2012

2min
page 101

Random Thoughts Flooding is plainly a way of life

5min
pages 92-94

Moving Up

6min
pages 98-100

Brewing desire

5min
pages 84-85

Border patrol

9min
pages 82-83

Big Story Predicting a COVID recovery

2min
page 8

Design: Envoc

1min
pages 15-16

The source of the problem

4min
pages 80-81

Balancing act

7min
pages 78-79

Shame and blame on history of St. George

6min
pages 6-7

Data Bank: Numbers tell the story

2min
pages 9-10

Tom Cook: Industrial purchase in West Baton Rouge

2min
page 17
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