Edge of the Lake Magazine December 2021 | January 2022

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In this issue we announce our Forty under 40 for 2021. Again this year, we had a large number of nominations and are excited to introduce the final Forty. While reading all of our Forty Under 40’s favorite quotes, some like Eric McVicker’s, “My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am,” just made me smile, while others were deep and thoughtful. It made me think of what mine would be. I have to say it would be, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Keep Calm and Carry On was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. It is such a British mantra, and one that I try and live by. Our annual Holiday Gift Guide is in this issue. Locally owned stores contribute so much to our community and are what makes our area such a unique place to live. This year, especially, it is important to remember to shop local. Our retailers have had a tough couple of years, so they need our support As we look forward to next year, I am impressed by the resilience of our community and how we have come together during times of crisis. Northshore Media Group has been the voice through the storm and continues to be the voice of the Northshore. We wish all our readers and listeners a Happy and Healthy New Year.

PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell EDITOR Henry Potter ART DIRECTOR Erich Belk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal BEAUTY EDITOR Caitlin Picou COPY EDITOR Mary-Brent Brown CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Liv Butera Chris Massengill Liz Smith STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Eric McVicker Joel Treadwell

PUBLISHER KEY ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE Eloise Cottrell SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Rebecca Blossman-Ferran ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Erin Bolton Debi Menasco Stephanie Miller

Cover Photo Joel Treadwell Shot on location at Marianne Angeli Rodriguez Gallery

The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by EDGE Publishing. @ 2021 with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Please email comments or story ideas to edgepublisher@yahoo.com. EDGE PUBLISHING • 69170 HWY 190 SERVICE RD. SUITE 1 COVINGTON, LA 70433 • 985.867.5990


























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Congratulations to the 2021 Northshore Forty Under 40




Save The Date when we join the St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Chambers in honoring our 2020 and 2021

At the Maritime Museum in Madisonville January 13th at 5pm - 7pm

Photos Joel Treadwell

These business and professional leaders have achieved success and excellence in their field or are showing amazing potential at an early stage of their career. The future of the Northshore is bright under their vision and guidance. Congratulations to our 2021 Northshore Forty under 40!

Vanessa Schneider Senior Project Manager, Blitch Knevel Architects, LCC

A native of Lake Charles, LA, I attended Tulane University’s School of Architecture where I earned my Master’s degree. I fell in love with the culture and energy of the New Orleans region and after graduation decided to stay and start my career in my new home. I joined the Blitch Knevel Architects team in 2014 as a newly licensed architect and when the opportunity arose for me to work out of the company’s new office in Old Covington, I jumped at the chance to be on the Northshore, ready for a new adventure. I have found that architecture allows me to use my client-focused approach to create spaces that improve the quality of life and education for my community. My involvement in recent projects include the Northshore Harbor Center Expansion in Slidell, the Good Shepherd School in New Orleans, multiple projects at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, and many other healthcare, education and senior living projects throughout the region. The Northshore has allowed me to flourish professionally as well as personally, as wife to my husband, Jason, and mother of my three children, Deakon, Evelyn and Henry. Now, as a resident of Mandeville, I am able to rest easier knowing that we have settled in an area where safety, education and quality of life are important themes. Since I enjoy traveling, cooking (and of course eating) and most of all spending time with family and friends, the Northshore has been an excellent fit for our family with its delicious restaurants, entertainment venues and outdoor activities. My mother has always described me as determined. Determined to succeed. Determined to do my best. Determined to finish what I’ve started. I don’t know any other way. “Don’t tell people about your plans, just show them the results.” This phrase has resonated with me lately, as a professional, as a community member, as a wife and as a mother. You will see more of me, and I look forward to what my future holds in St. Tammany Parish.


My name is Tyler Tourelle, Vice President of Eddie Tourelle’s Northpark Automotive located in Covington, Louisiana. I was born in New Orleans and moved to the Northshore in 2000. I am a graduate of St. Paul’s school and went on to play collegiate football at Southeastern Louisiana University. After graduating from Louisiana State University in Finance, I began operating in a full-time capacity with Northpark. My responsibilities grew over the years into taking on the Vice President position for our Nissan, Hyundai, and Genesis locations. Today, Northpark has been in business for 23 years and created many long-lasting relationships with our loyal customer base. Adding to our distinction is the pride associated with being eight-time recipients of the Nissan Award of Excellence – a mark of prestige we strive to win annually. My hobbies include hunting and fishing, going to sporting events, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Tyler Tourelle Vice President of Northpark Automotive: Eddie Tourelle’s Northpark Nissan Eddie Tourelle’s Northpark Hyundai Genesis of Covington

Trey Brownfield, a life-long resident of the state of Louisiana, found his home here on the Northshore 16 years ago. He currently serves as the Keep Slidell Beautiful director for the city. He is heavily involved in his community and serves on numerous boards and non-profits. He currently sits as chairman of the Heritage Festival through the Rotary Club of Slidell. He sits as an advisory member for Olde Towne Mainstreet and One Way Love. He is a founding member of Project Lead the Way, a mentoring program in Slidell High School. He is also a founding member of Men of Steel, a men’s organization meets quarterly to raise funds for local nonprofits. Trey Brownfield was recently awarded the Pearl Williams Superior Leadership Award by the Slidell Republican Women’s Club. Keep Louisiana Beautiful also awarded him the Outstanding Affiliate Director of the Year award for 2021 for his role as the Keep Slidell Beautiful Director. He has a great love for the people of his community and is always searching for ways to serve them.

Trey Brownfield Executive Director, Keep Slidell Beautiful



With over 16 years of experience in Business Development and Marketing, I have dedicated more than a decade to healthcare. Serving as a member of the Executive Team on the Northshore for FMOLHS has been a privilege. I have the pleasure of leading physician recruitment, onboarding and all areas of business development for Our Lady of the Lake’s expansions in the region and at Angels. My calling to this healthcare ministry is a blessing. I earned my undergraduate and Executive MBA in Healthcare Administration from Southeastern Louisiana University. I serve on the 2021 College of Business Advisory Board, my son is a college freshman, and I’m a member of F.E.Lions. Hammond is my home; however, much of my professional career has been spent serving St Tammany Parish. I love traveling, my family and friends, exercising, comedy, red wine and animals. My son and husband are my greatest accomplishments. God fills my spirit with love and renews me every day so I can continue to have the energy and discernment to serve in this amazing community.

Toni Stevens Business Development Officer, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


In love with creating edible art, Sierra Dee opened Sugarlove Bakery in Slidell, Louisiana. Although the bakery was opened in 2014, Sugarlove was born in Sierra’s mother’s home kitchen. Working days as a single mother and nights as an aspiring business owner, she gives all glory to God for the ability to follow her dreams and open a bakery. Sierra is the proud inventor of king cake on a stick! This little invention has helped elbow her way into a very thick king cake market. With eyes on this new way of eating king cake, parade goers gave Sugarlove a try! Fast forward to now, Sugarlove has won many awards for the flavor and uniqueness of their king cake! Sierra is proud of her team at Sugarlove and all they have accomplished! From being named best bakery on the Northshore to being featured in magazines and books, she is amazed everyday that the dream of owning a bakery has become reality! Sierra strives to find ways for sweets to bring joy. She wants to help people through the outlet of sugary sweetness to deliver the love of God. To see more go to Sugarloveslidell.com

Sierra Dee Owner, Sugarlove Bakery



My name is Shadinea Henry, but I often go by Shy for short. The ironic aspect that surrounds my nickname Shy, would be the fact that I am completely opposite. I have been with my husband Jason Henry for thirteen years and we have been married for six years. I have two amazing gifts from God, Jace (9) and Sanaii (1). I am currently employed at Tangipahoa Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau and Gulf Coast Social Services. I enjoy working and engaging with youth and people throughout the Florida Parishes. Both of my jobs provide me with the opportunity to meet new people who are seeking to explore ways to get the most out of this journey called life. My faith has provided me with rewarding life skills and a fulfilling purpose in life. I am invested in the wellbeing of others and devoted to planting seeds into our youth. As I continue to develop professionally and upon completion of grad school, I hope to open a private practice and offer counseling services to adolescents throughout the parish.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Shy Whittington-Henry Travel Specialist, Tangipahoa Parish CVB

Seth was born and raised in Tangipahoa Parish. His roots run deep as the grandchild of Italian immigrants and the son of entrepreneurs, who exemplified a deep love of faith, family and community. He graduated from Oak Forest Academy in 2014 as SGA President. He earned a Political Science degree from Southeastern, and graduated with honors, as SGA President, and as a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Seth is enrolled in the MBA Program at SLU, with plans to graduate in 2022. He fell in love with Bethany Ogle Leto through their meeting at SLU, and they married in 2018 and welcomed their first child, Caroline Clair in 2020. Seth is the Operations Administrator for IPSC, his family’s security company, where he sits on the Board. He is on the Tangipahoa Republican Executive Committee and is a member of the Tangipahoa Chamber of Commerce. Seth loves to volunteer in ministry, travel, cook, and spend time with family. He is passionate about a life of love, and connecting to causes to bring about change.

Seth Leto Corporate Operations Manager, IPSC


“THERE ARE ONLY TWO WAYS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE. ONE IS AS THOUGH NOTHING IS A MIRACLE. THE OTHER IS AS THOUGH EVERYTHING IS A MIRACLE.” – ALBERT EINSTEIN After earning his medical degree with honors at LSU in New Orleans, Dr. Hayes completed a Neurosurgery residency at the University of Miami-Miller school of medicine. While at the University of Miami, he completed a fellowship in complex and minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Hayes then joined the Faculty at Duke University, where he practiced prior to relocating to the Northshore. He is a Board certified Neurosurgeon practicing with Ochsner Neurosurgery-Covington in partnership with St. Tammany Health system. Dr. Hayes provides emergency and trauma coverage for brain and spine care at St. Tammany Parish Hospital and runs an outpatient comprehensive spine practice, with a focus on innovative techniques and minimally invasive spine surgery. He has been instrumental in developing a Robotics and Navigation program to assure unrivaled technology is available at our facilities. Involvement in local and national Neurosurgery and Spine organizations include the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), North American Spine Society (NASS), and the Louisiana Association of Neurological Surgeons (LANS). “I’m truly grateful to live, work, and raise my children in such a scenic, spirited, and giving community.”

Seth Hayes MD FAANS, Neurosurgeon

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Living on the Northshore since 2013, I have grown to love and admire St. Tammany Parish. I have a passion for helping others and landed my dream career path with Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West. As Volunteer and Operations Supervisor at the ReStore, I am deeply involved in sales, customer service and volunteer opportunities. Working alongside dedicated individuals, meeting and watching partner families grow into their new home, and engaging with volunteers from all walks of life, are the greatest moments of my day. I am the mom of four amazing boys. My husband and I love to take vacations with our boys, attend sporting events and cheer for the kids on the sidelines! I also volunteer my time as Vice President for our neighborhood HOA. My children are by far my biggest accomplishment and I work hard to instill in them kindness, respect and a love for helping others.

Sarah Ertz Volunteer and Operations Supervisor, Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West



I have had the privilege of working for the Enmon family at Jani-King Gulf Coast for a little over 10 years. The Enmons treat people like family; we work hard and play hard. I am a firm believer that personal success comes when your team is successful. I spend my hours building my team up, celebrating their successes and teaching them to grow from their mistakes. I dedicate this honor to them for helping me succeed at a job I love! I graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor’s in accounting in 2007. I am a graduate of Leadership Tangipahoa Class of 2015. I am also a member of the Greater Baton Rouge Financial Executive Group where we meet monthly to collaborate ideas and learn from each other’s successes and failures. I enjoy traveling with my husband Matt and daughters Halle (12) and Mila (2) and hope to one day retire on a beach somewhere! My pastimes include interior design and planning my family’s next adventure!


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Melissa Stanga Vice President of Finance, Jani-King Gulf Coast

Proud to recognize the incredible employees of Ochsner Health.

Ochsner Health is proud to recognize Seth Hayes, MD for being named to the Northshore’s list of 40 Under 40. This designation reflects his devotion to the community and continued dedication to excellence. Today, and every day, we are grateful for his unwavering spirit and commitment to our patients and community. Dr. Hayes is a Northshore neurosurgeon practicing in Covington and performing all his procedures at our local, nationally recognized partner hospital, St. Tammany Health System. He specializes in comprehensive surgical spine care with a focus on minimally invasive techniques. He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and completed a neurosurgery residency and spinal surgery fellowship at the University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. Following his fellowship, Dr. Hayes joined the faculty at Duke University, where he practiced prior to joining Ochsner. Outside of work, Dr. Hayes enjoys cheering on his kids at whatever is important to them at the moment.

Having been born and raised in South Louisiana it was always my goal to practice neurosurgery near home. Being able to help those in my community is extremely rewarding. I truly feel fortunate that my family and I are part of this community.

My insurance career began in 2000 as an underwriting assistant at a workers’ compensation insurance company while I simultaneously earned my undergraduate degree from LSU. After graduating in 2005, I moved back to Slidell to manage our family business, Ace Insurance Agency, founded in 1991 by my parents. During my 16 years with Ace, we have celebrated important financial milestones and experienced tremendous growth. I hold several insurance designations such as Certified Insurance Counselor, Certified Insurance Service Representative, and Certified Personal Risk Manager. Additionally, I have served on multiple non-profit boards, been a member of several networking organizations, and focused on serving our community through charity organizations. I constantly aim to go above and beyond for Ace Insurance, our clients, and our community.

Megan Provenzano, CIC, CISR Principle Agent, Ace Insurance Agency



Marianne spent 15 years trotting the globe prior to calling Louisiana home. Her vibrant, large-scale, abstract paintings are widely collected throughout the U.S. and abroad. Having collaborated with Anthropologie, Framebridge & AllModern, Marianne’s work is also on display in numerous public installations, including the Sloan Kettering Cancer Centers in NY, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, the Southern Hotel, Magnolia Hotel NOLA, and the New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport. Marianne’s gallery is located on Columbia St. in downtown Covington, which she operates alongside her gallery director & husband, Rock. Marianne says our gallery’s mission is to evoke aesthetic & cultural appreciation, inspire creative imagination, and uplift & bring joy to our community and clientele through bold and vibrant color. Our Art Beautification Initiative is our way of giving back. The work I create is my interpretation of our complex, multi-layered human experience in both our interconnectedness to one another and to our environment. Each painting is an invitation to engage in delightful unfamiliarity and to rejoice in the beautiful imperfections that connect our journeys.”


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Marianne Angeli Rodreguez Artist/Owner, Marianne Angeli Rodreguez Gallery

With an incredibly supportive fiancé on my side, 4 beautiful daughters and 1 handsome son, I tend to carry many roles. I am very proud of my Mexican Filipino heritage. I was born in Utah but Louisiana is my heart and home. Many people have told me the things I have managed to get through in my life would break the average person, but I’m not the average person. My passion for my family and my career speak volumes. Finishing my Bachelors as a single mom years ago and getting over a mountain of doubt, I knew life would be great but never this amazing. Being the Director of Sales and Marketing at Priority Life Care’s community at Oak Park Village at Hammond has been life changing. I love our senior community, especially my veterans. I pray each day that I can continue to make a difference in this life but also pray my teachings and raising of my children reflect on how they are able to change lives.

Marci Weaver Director of Sales and Marketing, Oak Park Village at Hammond


“SERVICE IS THE PRICE WE PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF LIVING ON THIS EARTH.” – SHIRLEY CHISHOLM Lira Casborne is a nonprofit and marketing professional residing in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Tulane University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. At a young age, Lira’s family instilled in her the importance of community and intentional service, leading to a career in the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as the Manager for Miracle League Northshore, an organization that provides children of all abilities the opportunity to play on a team sport. She oversees all field and game-day operations, fundraising endeavors, and marketing. Before joining Miracle League Northshore, Lira held the position of Marketing and Development Coordinator with Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West, where she implemented marketing strategies, conducted public outreach, and aided in fundraising events. An active member of the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, she has served on the Events and Northshore Young Professional Committees. She is a proud graduate of Leadership St. Tammany, Class of 2018, and looks forward to serving on the Leadership St. Tammany Alumni Foundation as a board member in 2022. She enjoys walking her Morkie Milo, live music, watching horror movies, and overanalyzing book club discussion questions. She aims to be a team player in her community by centering her work in the parish’s continued advancement in inclusion and equity building.

Lira Casborne Manager, Miracle League Northshore

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


When I was about seven years old I made a few different drawings of a “David Emery and Son” business store front. I think I knew back then what I wanted to do – work in the family business. My parents started our company, Battery Depot, in 1993 out of their home rebuilding rechargeable battery packs. Since then we have changed our business plan several times. As with most business operations, you have to adapt, pay attention. You cannot let auto pilot take over and expect good results all the time. When I came on board, we decided to change our plan once again, and we started offering retail and wholesale batteries of all types. We are not your average retailer, where you walk in, get a battery and go on your way. Don’t get me wrong, we’re fast and efficient... But we help people by sizing up their power needs with a custom fit battery, and the results speak for themselves. We are proud to be family owned and operated. Since my father’s passing, my mother and business partner, Charlotte, along with our incredible staff, have been fortunate in our endeavors to keep our business dream alive. And I wouldn’t be telling you any of this if it weren’t for my sideline cheerleaders, my wife and 2 young kids. Thank you for your business and allowing us to keep you powered!

Lee Emery Co-owner, Battery Depot



My name is Kevin Magee. I’m a 29-year-old photographer / videographer from Bogalusa. I graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and I’m a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. I started my journey of bringing positive insight to my hometown of Bogalusa in August of 2020 when I filmed my first movie titled, “Milltown.” This film was created to show the positive sides of Bogalusa that many people don’t get the chance to see. I’m the owner of KL Photography and the Bogalusa Sports Network. I created BSN to bring exposure to Bogalusa athletics so the student athletes can have the same opportunities some of the more notable high schools in the area have. I enjoy giving back to the community, especially children because they are indeed our future and sometimes they need to understand that they are not only supported, but important as well.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Kevin Magee Photographer | Videographer

Kerry grew up in Mandeville, graduating from Fountainbleu High School. Her dad works in sales and her mom is a nurse. She attended ULL and was planning to become a pharmacist, but didn’t enjoy an internship so she left for beauty school and became a licensed Esthetician. After getting married in 2010 to husband Chris Parsons, Kerry was looking to do more with her true passion, kids. She opened Blossom Girl at age 23 in 2011, originally as a birthday party service and selling gifts for girls. The first year was an incredible learning experience and God gave her the opportunity to move to a bigger location and expand the store’s offerings to have more clothing and unique experiences like ear piercing. She now has 4 kids, aged 8 to 1, and loves nothing more than time with her family and so many customers that have become like family.

Kerry Parson Owner, Blossom Girl


“HAVE NO FEAR OF PERFECTION–YOU’LL NEVER REACH IT.” – SALVALDOR DALI I am a life-long resident of Ponchatoula, LA. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2012. I earned my Certified Public Accountant designation in 2018. I have worked in the banking industry for over 10 years. I currently work at First Guaranty Bank headquartered in Hammond, LA as Vice President / Controller. I am proud to say that First Guaranty Bank has been selected by Newsweek and Lending Tree, for the second year in a row, as the Best Small Bank in the United States. I joined First Guaranty in 2011 as an accounting intern while attending Southeastern. After graduating, I moved into the role of Accountant for several years before being promoted into the role of External Financial Reporting Manager and most recently Controller. I am excited to continue building my career as well as serving our local communities and customers. I am a proud graduate of the Louisiana Bankers Association Leadership School and an active member of the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My husband Brandon and I are proud parents to our 1-year-old son, Beau, who I consider my greatest accomplishment.

Katherine Campbell VP, Controller First Guaranty Bank

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Since 2007, I have been a part of an amazing team of individuals with Stirling Properties. I currently serve as Vice President of Finance and Capital Markets where I oversee all finance functions related to our portfolio of commercial real estate properties. I am also a founder and owner in Evolve Studios, an expanding fitness and wellness business with locations in Mandeville and Baton Rouge. Health and wellness are core functions in my daily routine. I am honored to be a part of this exclusive group of individuals making a difference in our Northshore community. This community is enriched by the many great people that are invested in its continued success. I can’t imagine raising my family in any other place. I have accomplished a lot in my career, but all accomplishments pale in comparison to my greatest accomplishments: my wife Tayler, and three kids: Estelle (7), Jude (5), and Gabriel (2).

Justin Landry, CRE Vice President of finance and capital markets, Stirling Properties



John Exnicios, III is an avid real estate investor and the CEO of a top selling Real Estate team Exnicios Group, serving the New Orleans metro area spanning the Northshore and Southshore. Originally a native of New Orleans he currently resides in Hammond, LA where he attended Southeastern Louisiana University, receiving his MBA is 2006. He started his career in real estate working in new construction sales where he achieved becoming the top salesperson for a company that quickly became the top residential builder in the state. This experience set the stage for John to have a thriving career managing his team and helping his clients achieve the American dream. His most recent venture has been to join forces as a partner with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Preferred Realtors franchise alongside some of the top realtors in the marketplace. John’s favorite things to do during his personal time are to collect art, attend music festivals, travel the world, have meaningful conversations on his front porch, and throw parties that create joyful memories for his family, friends, and clients.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

John Exnicios, III CEO & Real Estate Investor, Exnicios Group

Raised in a small town in Alabama, I graduated from the University of Mobile with a degree in Finance in 2010 and an MBA in 2011. I became a part of the Credit Union movement in 2004 as a part-time teller, while in high school. Before becoming CEO, I’ve had the privilege of working my way up, holding almost every position at the credit union. I absolutely love credit unions and the unique value we bring to our members. I accepted the position of CEO of OnPath Federal Credit Union, and my wife and I moved to Mandeville in 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. We instantly fell in love with all the Northshore had to offer and knew we were home. We are members of Church of the King, and I have developed a unique addiction to USTA tennis. Being a CEO at the age of 33 in the financial industry gets you different looks. However, understanding the meaning of hard work and finding your passion is not bound by age.

Jared Freeman CEO, OnPath Federal Credit Union



An Oklahoma native, I graduated from Oklahoma City University with a master’s in business in 2006 and served as a founding member to the OCU Presidential Leadership class. It was at OCU where I developed a passion for nonprofit management. Although I have worked, volunteered, and served on boards with various nonprofits, nothing has been as gratifying as my work with Northshore Food Bank. My hope is to make everyone as passionate about what we do as I am. I’m also incredibly grateful to work with such a great, mission-driven team of staff and volunteers. Currently I serve on Volunteer of America’s RSVP Advisory Council and have founded a Northshore volunteer coordinator group to bring nonprofits together to discuss how to improve and grow our volunteer programs. In my spare time, I’m an avid runner and love to explore new trails, parks, and cities. I brew my own beer and kombucha and make jams and jellies. If you ask the volunteers at the Food Bank, however, what I am best known for is my baking!

Ginger Kunkle Communicator Engagement Manager, Northshore Food Bank

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


My passion to learn more about the world around me began at a young age when I joined my school’s 4-H program where I was the only student enrolled in entomology. Years later, my career would take me on a journey through STEM. Upon graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University, I found myself in a dream job with Audubon Nature Institute’s Education Department teaching thousands of guests each year about animals and the environment. It was during this time that I served with the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission for the state. As the Director of Education and Programming for the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, I am given the opportunity every day to teach the families of our community fun ways to learn about our world through STEM, art, literature, and more. Recently, I was selected to serve as an Advisory Committee Member with the Northshore STEM Coalition representing Science Museums for the five Northshore parishes. My greatest passion is being the wife to Phil and mom to Piper. We spend as much time camping, hiking, and exploring outside as we can.

Gillian Rabalais Director of Education and Programming, Children’s Museum of St. Tammany



At an early age, I knew I wanted to help others and give back to my community through my career. After graduating from the University of New Orleans, I started in outside sales earning the experience needed to one day apply for a position in my chosen field of healthcare. I have worked at St. Tammany Health System for 10 years, working my way up to my current position as business development manager. I am grateful to be a part of an amazing organization, surrounded by outstanding colleagues and contribute back to the community I live in. I have been a member of the Covington Mayors Council on Healthy Lifestyles since its inception 8 years ago, serving as Chairman for 4 years. I currently serve as the Chairman of the Live Better Committee with the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Professional Women of St. Tammany. I was named a STHS Ambassador in 2018, YMCA Northshore Hero in 2019 and will graduate in the Leadership St. Tammany class of 2022. In my personal life, you can find me supporting my three beautiful girls in all their extracurricular activities and enjoying horror movies and laughing with my husband of 10 years.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Erin Strain Business Development Manager, St Tammany Health Systems

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to our very own Trey Brownfield on the honor & distinction of being nominated and selected to Northshore Forty Under 40.

Since 1988

1331 N. Hwy 190, Covington 985-893-8008 Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00-5:30 Saturday 9:00-5:00 www.outdoorlivingcenter.com


I look forward to continuing to address the legal needs of people of the Northshore as an estate planning and succession attorney. Furthermore, I’m honored to serve the citizens of Hammond and will continue to do so as long as they’ll have me.


Thank you for the privilege of being named Northshore Forty Under 40! Congratulations to the other honorees.

907 W. Thomas St. • Ste. B • Hammond | 985.888.0525 EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Eric McVicker is a resident of Mandeville, LA, a graduate of LSU, and has a diverse professional background, including political/organizational fundraising, radio, commercial real estate, photography, and legislative affairs. He works as a fundraising consultant for campaigns and non-profits around the Northshore and state. As a professional photographer, he recently turned this hobby into a deep passion for presenting the beauty of the Northshore and the unique culture of Southeast Louisiana. Eric is a graduate of Loyola University’s Institute of Politics program and formerly served on the boards of Safe Harbor and the Youth Service Bureau, and now serves on the board of the Northshore Humane Society. He is the current Chairman of NHS’ Fund Development Committee, spearheading a capital campaign for a new facility. He is also the President of two neighborhood associations in Mandeville. Eric and his wife Melanie have three cats, Winston F. Churchill, Toula, Roux, and two dogs, Annie and Lena, rescued from the Northshore Humane Society. Eric and Melanie are welcoming their first child, a girl, in 2022.

Eric McVicker Fundraising Consultant, Photographer



Born and raised in St. Tammany Parish, Elizabeth Raymond is a proud member of the local business community as the owner of the Salad Station in Slidell. She is a humanitarian, always looking for ways to benefit the Northshore community through fundraising for organizations such as Hospice House, Riley’s Bikes, and Camellia Homeless Outreach. She also donates food to First Responders and staff of St. Tammany Public Schools. With more than a decade of experience, she enjoys finding new ways to promote healthy habits within her community. Elizabeth is a member of Steel Mimosas and is dedicated to empowering female leaders through mentoring employees. Although she has many roles and titles, Elizabeth’s favorite is “Mama.” She and her husband Russell, a local Slidell fireman, share three children together. On the weekends, their family enjoys spending time in their community, staying active as members of a local gym, and exploring nature. Elizabeth hopes to continue strengthening her community through fundraising and supporting other local businesses.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Elizabeth Raymond Owner, Salad Station, Slidell

Ashley Pecquet Voted 40 under 40 Thank you so much for voting me as one of the 40 under 40. l am humbled and truly grateful for this honor. “I am just a girl living in a cheezy world.”

212 SW Railroad Ave • Hammond • Mon-Fri 10-3 | Sat 9-12 | 985.393.4004

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Elizabeth is the Research and Policy Analyst & Project Associate for Strategic Initiatives at St. Tammany Corporation, the lead economic development organization for St. Tammany. She has led the creation of The AnalyST, the organization’s suite of periodical research publications, featuring quarterly economic trends reports and the Snapshot, which shows the economic impacts of COVID-19 on St. Tammany’s economy. Her work in economic reporting, including taking complex economic concepts and reporting the data in a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand format as a service to the community, won an international award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in October 2021. Elizabeth is a member of IEDC and an active participant in the organization’s Economic Development Research Partners initiative, is a member of the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce’s Northshore Young Professionals, and is a member of the Council for Community and Economic Development Research, where she is currently pursuing professional certification as a Certified Economic Research Professional. She is an alumna of the University of Southern Mississippi’s economic development graduate program.

Elizabeth Lee Research and Policy Analyst & Project Associate for Strategic Initiatives at St. Tammany Corporation



Danielle Papania graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. Before moving to the Northshore, Danielle owned a business in New Orleans specializing in luxury, destination weddings. After starting a family, she relocated to the Northshore and began working with the Southern Hotel. In that time, Danielle has had the opportunity to raise the bar in event production on the Northshore. Danielle has been honored to serve on committees for local non-profit organizations and produce some of the Northshore’s greatest events. Her passion is to create a new experience for every event which truly resonates with guests and leaves them feeling inspired.

Danielle Papania Director of Sales and Marketing, The Southern Hotel


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

I am a lifelong Northshore resident. I grew up in Lacombe and attended Pearl River High before going to Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond where I got my Bachelor’s degree in accounting. I have been in banking since my working career started in 2005. I am a husband and a father of three kids, and I love spending time with my family as much as possible. My wife, Hannah, and I serve at our church where we have attended for over 20 years. As a commercial lender with Metairie Bank, I am so grateful to be a part of the Northshore business community through networking and Chamber events. My career has allowed me to connect to some amazing folks who are doing great things here in St. Tammany. I am honored to be recognized as one of the Forty under 40 for the Northshore

Daniel Carter Banking Officer, Commercial Lending Associate, Metairie Bank Northshore



Courtney has earned her place amongst the top producers within residential real estate on the Northshore. She has a keen eye for detail, dedication to personal service and a background in marketing. These qualities are the driving force of her business. With a degree in Art History & a deep appreciation for historic properties, the Northshore is the perfect setting for Courtney to help clients buy and sell. Building upon her creative background, she sets herself apart by looking at each listing from an artistic perspective and developing a specific marketing identity for each property. An excellent communicator, she offers her clients the utmost integrity, market knowledge, and professionalism. Whether representing first-time homebuyers or listing the most exquisite estates, Courtney delivers the highest level of expertise and service. When she’s not helping clients, Courtney enjoys spending time with her two children, strolling under the majestic oaks along Lake Pontchartrain, and engaging with the incredible people on the Northshore.

Courtney Kiel LeBlanc Realtor, Latter & Blum

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Erika Hemphill has found tremendous success and satisfaction in a competitive industry as a custom home builder. Erika also enjoys her other full-time roles as a wife and mother of two amazing children. Her work ethic and confidence were developed at an early age through her love for competitive dance combined with the example her mother provided as a successful female entrepreneur. As a native of Ponchatoula, LA, she received her business degree from SLU where she ranked among the top five business students in her class. Her accolades in the classroom led to an amazing opportunity working in the oil and gas industry. Upon the arrival of her baby girl, she turned her focus to a career that would allow flexibility to be a more available mother in addition to a successful business leader. This desire paved the way for her company, eNg Designs & Construction. Since opening in 2017, eNg has grown into a household name. Through her seat on the board of Northshore Home Builders Association, Erika is involved in critical decisions that influence the community and industry. Giving back to the community, clients, and family is the cornerstone of her success. Erika hopes to leave a legacy of home building with a personal touch, community impact, and blessing others as she has been blessed.

Erika Hemphill CEO, eNg Designs and Construction



My transition from the corporate world to non-profit has been very rewarding. I joined Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center four years ago to develop and steward philanthropic support for our Covington and Hammond centers. As the Northshore Director of Development, I enjoy fostering partnerships that help further our mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer. Donors are confident knowing all funds raised locally directly benefit our community. Our physicians, team members and patients inspire me daily. Since 2018, I increased the impact of our breast cancer awareness initiative GEAUX PINK and paired annual giving and major gift donors with meaningful support opportunities. I have the privilege of working with three volunteer advisory councils and collaborating with team members and donors to launch events like Live Well Northshore and Geaux Yoga. I am a proud LSU graduate and former Walt Disney World character performer. My husband Rick is a local pediatrician and we enjoy watching our daughters grow up as best friends. With a cat, two dogs, and a variety of saltwater fish, there is never a dull moment in our house.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Erica Kelt Northshore Director of Development, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

For e ver y stor y , e ver y memor y , e ver y moment. Here, there i s room for e ver y one.

The Souther n Hotel extends war mest cong ratulation s to Danielle Papania, Director of Sales and Marketing, for her recog nition a s a member of the Nor thshore For ty Under 40.

SOUTHERNHOTEL.COM (844) 866-1907

Cody Ludwig City of Covington Councilwoman

Like many people on this list, I wear many hats that I am proud of. In a professional capacity, I work as a client relations manager for Bienville Capital Group, a wealth management firm. In addition, I also work for locally famous photographer Heidi Bowers as her sales consultant and marketing manager. As a civil servant, I am a councilwoman for Covington’s City Council, representing District D. I am a graduate of Leadership St. Tammany and have served on several non-profit boards and committees that I am proud of. In 2016, my husband and I started, and continue to chair, the Covington Celtic Club and put on the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Civically, the thing I am most proud of, however, is my husband’s and my formation of Oxtoberfest, which is an umbrella of several beer & food-related events that benefit the Covington Unit Boys & Girls Club and have raised over $50,000 the past 5 years. A Covington native and graduate of St. Scholastica Academy, I hold a Bachelors from LSU in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. I still have a great relationship with SSA and act as an alumni ambassador as often as I can. I am married to my best friend and high school sweetheart, Nick, and together we have 2 beautiful young daughters. I’ve learned over the years that one person can make a large impact on a small community with hard work and passion. I love my town and neighborhood and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve in both a formal and informal capacity.



Carlee White Gonzales is a proud Hammond native. She became a 4th generation small business owner in 2015 by opening her solo law practice blocks from her childhood home. She specializes in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate Law. She received her B.A. degree from Loyola University New Orleans while a member of the Women’s Basketball Team and earned her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. She was named a Super Lawyer’s Rising Star from 2019-2021. In 2018, Carlee was elected as representative of District 2 on the Hammond City Council. She is active in her community as a member of the Tangipahoa Chamber, Felions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Tangipahoa Professional Women’s Organization and St. Thomas Aquinas Alumni Board. She fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a mother in 2014 when her son, Frederic, was born. She is happily married to Dr. Ryan Gonzales, another Hammond small business owner and chiropractor. They live near SLU’s campus and can frequently be found at Lion Athletic events and enjoying Hammond’s beautiful parks as a family.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Carlee White Gonzales Law Office of Carlee White Gonzales, LLC

I am proud to have called Tangipahoa Parish home since 2008. After graduating from the Mississippi University for Women in 2004, I started working on nonprofit resource development, but I have always had a love for the United Way. My grandmother started the United Way fund in my hometown in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and as soon as I had my driver’s license, she quickly put me to work promoting their efforts throughout the community. I could not have been happier when the opportunity arose to work for United Way many years later. Since joining UWSELA, my love for the community has grown even deeper. Serving as Vice President of Resource Development, I collaborate with businesses, individuals, and partners to reach vulnerable families and strengthen our communities throughout our region. When I’m not working, you can find me at Chappapeela Park watching my daughter Mattie play volleyball. I love to travel with Mattie and my husband Justin, and spending time with family and friends.

Cammie Proctor Vice President of Resource Development, United Way of Southeast Louisiana



Shortly after the birth of my daughter, I began my career in the credit union industry. To no surprise, I quickly developed a passion for the credit union movement. Helping others has always been a major component of what shapes and defines me. So, working for a cause that embodies “People Helping People,” is exactly where I wanted to be. Working in the credit union has further supported and strengthened my passion for helping others. The most rewarding part of my job is being a leader within an organization that strives to help ordinary people achieve financial freedom and success. Each and everyday, we are working frontline to bridge the gaps and bring awareness to the opportunities available. I am fortunate enough to be in an industry that allows me to show empathy and compassion for people while helping them work through some of life’s most challenging financial obstacles. In my downtime, I love spending time with my daughter, family and friends. I also have a passion for volunteering and giving back to my community.

Brooke Naquin Slidell Branch Manager, Fireman’s Federal Credit Union

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Research shows that the most important developmental years for children are between birth and age six. Bri Steilberg, owner and director at Kinder Haus Montessori in Mandeville, believes that being a guiding force to these children is the most important work she can do in the world. Her school, tucked away in Historic Lewisburg, allows children to be surrounded by the beauty of nature. Bri has a goal of working towards becoming more sustainable to help set the children up to preserve and take care of the earth. Bri attributes the success of her program entirely to the teachers and staff that do the most important work at the school: loving the children and setting the foundation for the rest of their lives to love learning. When Bri is not at work, she loves volunteering at her synagogue, Northshore Jewish Congregation, where she serves as a member of the Board of Directors and the Director of Religious School. Together with her husband Robert, they raise their three biological children: Gabrielle, Noah, and Alex. Their family loves camping, fishing, and being outdoors.

Bri Steilberg Owner and Director, Kinder Haus Montessori



l was born and raised into the cheese world. My mom started a specialty food brokerage over 35 years ago and together we have grown this business into what it is today. Everyone who knows me calls me “The Cheese Lady.” l laugh when l hear it because that is what customers used to call my mom when l was a kid. It makes me feel like she is passing her legacy down to me. l always knew l was going to be in the cheese business, mainly because l truly love what l do. It’s more than just a job. Watching this business grow and seeing smiles on my customers’ faces when picking up an order or shopping in the store, makes my cheesy heart happy. l have been married for 12 years and together we have two amazing little girls that run our everyday life. We enjoy our small town and the friends we have made in Hammond. Life gets crazy at times but l wouldn’t change any part of it, especially our movie nights sitting on the couch, hanging with the dogs and watching whatever movie the kids pick (even if we have seen it 1,000 times already).


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Ashley D. Pecquet Co-Owner, The Rind Cheese Shop and Catering

Ashleigh’s dedication to helping others from a very young age gave rise to her involvement in the nonprofit sector over the last 15 years. She consistently pushes for growth to help organizations uphold their missions and provide beneficial services to their constituents. In 2019, Ashleigh started her own digital marketing company, One Village Media, with the goal of supporting nonprofits and local businesses. She is very ambitious in all that she does to help her clients succeed and has been told on more than one occasion that she rocks the boat with innovative ideas. She believes that if her clients are thriving, her community is thriving, and that “takes a village.” Ashleigh donates her time and expertise to nonprofit organizations such as HYP Northshore, Friends of the Slidell Library, Krewe de Paws of Olde Towne, and more. She has served as a Rosie for Women Build in support of East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity for the last two years, acting as a Team Leader last year to help build homes for families in need.

Ashleigh D’Addezio Owner, One Village Media



Born and raised in Opelousas, LA, I am a graduate of Louisiana State University (B.S., Political Science) and received my M.B.A. at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. For several years, I worked as a fundraiser on various political and nonprofit campaigns across the state. In 2020, I decided to pursue fulltime non-profit work in order to utilize the skills I acquired through working campaigns to fully dedicate myself to growing and nurturing one amazing cause. The Christwood Foundation is the perfect fit, as it aids the community through excellent programming, scholarships, and grants. The opportunities for growth are limitless, and my job as the Foundation Director is to nurture that growth to its fullest potential. Christwood is a family, and I’m honored with the opportunity to help this wonderful organization continue to better the lives of those who live and work in the community! In my spare time, I enjoy reading, volunteering at our local dog rescue, traveling with my husband, Brock, and exploring the city with our two dogs, Max and Louie.

Amy Pinac-Wimberley Executive Director, Christwood Foundation

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Art That Tugs At Your Heart CUSTOM PORTRAITS


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Mike Cooper St. Tammany Parish President

Randy Smith St. Tammany Sheriff


The end of the year and the holidays serve as an exceptional time to reflect on growth and improvements over the previous twelve months and to plan for the future. This year was not easy for many in St. Tammany Parish as our community continued to battle through COVID-19 and the Delta variant; storms like Claudette and Ida; and the personal challenges we all face daily. Despite the difficulties of the year, St. Tammany Parish saw countless remarkable improvements on many fronts. We remain focused on finding ways to better our communities and improve the quality of life for our citizens. Most recently, the Crisis Receiving Center, the anchor of the Safe Haven campus and first step in recovery for those struggling with behavioral health, was opened. The CRC, a 23-bed facility with other amenities, will give families an alternative for those suffering a behavioral health crisis. Infrastructure enhancements remain a top priority for my administration, but that is not limited to building better roads. This year, we finished the I-10 Service Road project in Slidell; upgraded the East Pearl boat launch in partnership with DOTD; and continue to revamp and pave vital roads such as Brewster Road and Guste Island Road, Phase 1. I continue to work with DOTD to ensure a safe and timely completion of the I-12 expansion and the LA-59 tunnel, which will make the Tammany Trace safer. As I reflect on the past and plan for our future in St. Tammany, the holidays present the opportunity for appreciation and satisfaction to lead as your Parish President. I want to personally wish you peace, prosperity and joy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As we bring another year to a close, I want to remind everyone to be safe while celebrating the holidays. I know it has been said time and time again, but please, if you drink, don’t drive. If you drive while impaired, you could get arrested, or worse – cause a traffic crash that results in a serious injury or even a death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than a quarter of all traffic-related deaths are the direct result of alcohol impairment, and approximately 800 people per day are injured in a drunk driving crash, and 30 people are killed. Drunk driving is a problem on our nation’s roads every day, but it’s more prevalent during the holidays. The responsibility to keep our roadways safe this holiday season falls on each and every one of us – whether we are driving, riding or hosting an event. If you have holiday parties or festive gatherings on your calendar this holiday season, it is imperative to make smart choices and to plan how you’re going to get home safely once the celebration ends. If you’re hosting a gathering, make sure all your guests have a sober ride home. Don’t let someone get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. If you have a friend or family member who is about to drive impaired, take away their keys and help them make arrangements to get home safely – it will be the greatest gift you ever give them. If you are on the roadway and you see an impaired driver, call 911. The holidays should be a festive and happy time spent with loved ones! Don’t let drinking and driving put a damper on the merriment. Please don’t ruin your holiday or someone else’s by driving drunk. I wish you and yours a very happy and safe 2022!

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

BACK PROBLEMS? Tulane will restore your quality of life.

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To schedule an appointment, please call 985-951-3222

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elly Gilthorpe Burkenstock, M.D., M.B.A. is the founder of Skin Body Health- The South’s Age Gracefully Institute. As an Internal Medicine specialist, with a fellowship in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. B. is the perfect blend of a Western and Eastern Clinician. She has trained with International luminaries in the fields of Skin Rejuvenation, Natural Hormones, Hair Restoration and Weight Loss. Her passion is to empower clients to feel phenomenal and look fabulous at any age. Dr. B is excited to announce her son, Austin, current Chief resident at UMC, Jackson, MS will be joining the practice in 2022. Blaze Burkenstock forthcoming- currently in training at LSU.

Dr. Burkenstock offers Skin Rejuvenation, BROTOX, Botox, Fillers and a plethora of Laser treatments, including BBL, Radio Frequency and Microneedling. Botox smoothes lines around the entire face. As we age most of us lose fullness in the cheeks, lips, mouth and develop frown furrows these issues are easily treated with Facial fillers which relift the face almost like air fills a flattened tire. Men and women can appear to ten or more years younger with a skin rejuvenation plan.

Skin GeniusThe Answer to Youthful Skin is in Your GENES Leading edge Skin DNA testing is offered in Dr. Burkenstock’s clinic. This DNA report identifies personal strengths and weakness in the top skin gene categories: Wrinkling, Firmness, Elasticity, Pigmentation, & Inflammation. Your custom DNA skin report guides Dr. Burkenstock in choosing the proper serums, supplements and procedures for the client instead of guessing among the myriad of offerings- a Game Changer!

Member International Academy Of Cosmetic Dermatology 985.727.7676 Mandeville 504.888.2829 New Orleans skinbodyhealth.com


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Age Gracefully with Dr. B. Dare To Be Thin®- The Answer is in Your GENES! Dr. Burkenstock felt driven to explore healthier weight loss options, resulting in the creation of her Dare To Be Thin® Program. A plan without diet pills, and you eat your own food! Ever notice when two people begin a weight loss program together, one loses weight and the other fails miserably? Why? The answer is probably in their GENES! Your unique DNA sequence determines what percentage of each macronutrient (proteins, carbs, fats) you are genetically built to metabolize efficiently. It also details your predominant gene muscle type, and what specific exercise regimens help you burn optimal fat most efficiently. Lastly, it reveals your Brain Gene information relating to sugar cravings, leptin, gherlin, sleep cycles, dopamine and more. Dr. Burkenstock explains, “Your DNA report combined with your thyroid function, blood sugar, gut health, food allergies/sensitivities, hormone levels and vitamin balance form the interconnected wheel, and each component plays an important role in achieving and maintaining optimal weight for life!” Dr. Burkenstock uses your wheel of information and develops a custom nutrition, exercise and supplement plan, in order for you to achieve and maintain your optimal weight.

and lead to a proper functioning metabolism, sexual health and overall wellbeing. Optimal levels lead to improvements in strength, libido, memory, erectile dysfunction, orgasms and vitality. By testing your hormone levels, Dr. B optimizes your hormones with prescription Natural Hormones, aka Bio-Identical Hormones. Her work encompasses cutting edge DNA-derived solutions for skin, weight, mood and aging issues. Her energy and vivacious personality seem to be contagious. With her genuine compassion, she helps her clients overcome the most delicate sexual health issues. Dr. Burkenstock lives by Robert Ingersoll’s truism, “We rise by lifting others.”

Hormones and Sexual Health After the age of 40, many adult men and women feel they cannot lose weight and belly fat accumulates. When sexual changes, fatigue, hot flashes, and moodiness set in for women or men, it is time to check your hormone levels. There are many hormone cascades in your body- estrogens, testosterone, thyroid, SHBG, insulin, progesterone, etc. . It is the symphony these hormones play that create balance Austin, Chandler, Kelly and Blaze Burkenstock EDGE December 2021 | January 2022



Mark Johnson City of Covington Mayor

On November 29, 1814, General Andrew Jackson meandered his way through the streets of Wharton (present day Covington) on his way to battle the British in New Orleans. His topographical aide, Major Tatum, described the scene as a “town containing but a few ordinary buildings.” There really wasn’t much to see beyond the foot of Columbia Street. However, just three short years later, the surveyor William Darby wrote that Wharton had become the focal point for traders in the region with such staples as “cotton, beef, neat, pork, hides, dairy cheese, lumber, pitch, tar and lime.” Today most of these products are still found on Columbia Street and the surrounding blocks. The cotton is now fashioned into dresses, tops and children’s attire and sold from boutiques. The beef, neat, pork and cheese are offered from the kitchens of wonderful chefs in scrumptious restaurants. As I often say, if you wish to open a restaurant in Covington, you better be good … and they are. H.J. Smith’s Son General Merchandise still sells lumber, but the lime you get in Covington will more than likely garnish a cocktail. Whether the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, bluegrass at the feed store, Rockin’ the Rails on Thursdays in October and April or Heritage Bank’s concert series at the Landing, Covington enjoys over 100 free musical performances each year. It’s a footstomping, two-stepping good time. I invite you to come and visit us in one of the coolest cities in America. However, with one caveat: Please don’t tell your family or friends. It needs to remain our little secret ; )

Give your loved ones, or yourself, the gift of well-being for the New Year. With our wide-open fitness spaces, acres of outdoor recreation options, the tranquility of our award-winning Spa and unparalleled service, achieving your health and wellness goals safely is easy at Stone Creek. Recharge for the New Year and take a moment away from it all.

Gift Cards and Experience Packages Available

1201 O B, C, LA • 985.801.7100 • SCCAS.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

• Most dental services provided without the need for referral • Implants, Dentures, Root Canals, Crowns, Etc. • Sleep Apnea Treatment (for CPAP intolerant patients) • 26 years serving the Northshore Randall L. Foto, DDS / 645 B Lotus Dr. N, Mandeville, LA 70471 / 985.626.4447 / mandevilledentistry.com


rika Hemphill has been a woman focused on a greater calling for nearly four decades, building both homes and community relationships.

Erika, a Ponchatoula native, attended Ponchatoula High and then went on to graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University as one of the top five students in the business management department. She was hired by Offshore Technical Compliance, an oil and gas regulatory compliance company, which taught


her how to lead with excellence. This experience gave her optimal insight into the contracting world. Managing over 40+ employees, contractors, and projects, as she controlled multi-million dollar projects—and succeeded. Her legacy as a woman in a maledominated industry didn’t stop there. Adding her love for design and knack for strategic management, opening her own business was the next step in her story. Upon the arrival of her second child, she desired the flexibility to be both a supportive mother and successful businesswoman. Erika grew up watching her mother build two very successful businesses. This coupled with the support of her husband led to the decision to take a leap into entrepreneurship.

“When I left the oil and gas industry, I was scared,” she says. “I didn’t know if my dream of building houses would actually come to fruition.” Enter eNg Designs & Construction. Her mother taught her the value of quality branding. As her business grows, her team is growing too. What started out as a one-woman show has now grown to consist of her husband Garland Hemphill who serves as eNg’s Superintendent, Office Manager Jordin Perez, and Project Manager Kevin Mahl. Together, they are building homes across Southeastern Louisiana. “Everyone on my team knows that my expectations are high,” Erika says. “I set that bar high before we ever broke ground on our first house.” Now, she fills her team with people that share those same values and high expectations. Today, Erika is proud to run a robust, woman-led business in the construction industry. In less than five years, she is succeeding in leaving a special legacy in the industry and community. She does this by building strong working relationships with a wide variety of businesses in the community such as lenders, vendors, and the best subcontractors around.

“How did I ever get so lucky?” Erika says. “When I take a deep breath and look around, I cannot believe where I am. In 5 short years, I have truly exceeded everything I thought eNg would be plus more.” To continue her growth and development in the home building industry, Erika joined the Northshore Homebuilder’s Association in 2020 and was immediately nominated and accepted as Secretary of the Board. She is now the Treasurer on the Board for the NHBA. She enjoys the relationships, knowledge sharing, and industry impact gained from being an active member. At the beginning of 2021, eNg Designs and Construction completed their “Sunflower Project,” a tiny house provided to a deserving member of our community free of charge. This was made possible by Erika’s leadership combined with the generosity of the Northshore Homebuilder’s Association, and a long list of local vendors and subcontractors that also donated their products and services. Erika continues her community service by being a member of the Tangipahoa Chamber of Commerce and the Hammond Downtown Development District. eNg Designs and Construction also prides themselves in supporting local schools and youth sports programs. Erika believes that her unique styles and designs set her apart in the industry. “When people think of eNg, I don’t want them to think ‘oh, they’re just another builder,’” she says. “I want them to think about how we are involved in the community, how we give back, how beautiful our homes are, and how personal our process is.”

BU IL D WIT H EN G.C OM 985.662.5394

Nonna Randazzo’s Family


Chalmette 925 E. Judge Perez Dr. 504.684.0090

Covington 2033 N. Hwy 190 985.893.1488

Mandeville 22022 Marshall Rd. 985.898.2444


Are You Experiencing the First Signs of a Hearing Loss? We often have our teeth checked, our eyes checked and our blood-pressure tested, but when was the last time you had a hearing test?

Sound familiar? If so, then SLENT Hearing & Balance Center encourages you to visit one of our hearing centers in Hammond, Slidell or Mandeville, LA for a hearing test. We’ll test your hearing, and identify if a hearing loss is at play, and if so, provide you with some treatment options. A recent worldwide study* confirmed that eight out of ten hearing aid users reported they had a profound positive impact on their quality of life, including improved relationships at home and work and a better sense of safety and independence.

Hearing loss doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process over the years, so it isn’t LAKE • 69170 HWY 190. SUITE 1 • COVINGTON, EDGE LA 70433 OF THE • PHONE LAKE 985 • 69170 733 4670 HWY 190. SUITE 1 • COVINGTON, LA 70433 • PHO noticeable at first. But at some point, things Download Our Free Guide “The Early will start to change. A few common signs of Symptoms of a Hearing Loss to Look hearing loss include finding conversations Out For” Written by Dr. JJ Martinez hard to follow, turning the TV’s volume up louder than usual, and asking people to Visit slenthearing.com/free-guide repeat themselves. *Source: Findings of EuroTrak JJ Martinez, AuD., CCC-A, FAAA Board Certified in Audiology

You might not think too much of it at first, or, despite any frustrations it is causing you, you might decide to put treatment off for “another day.” Often friends and family are the first to notice one’s hearing loss before it becomes a real challenge for the sufferer.

Slidell | Hammond | Mandeville


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

2015 (ET 2015) and MarkeTrak 9 (MT9) worldwide studies about hearing loss and hearing aids.

Call 985-273-5795 Visit www.slenthearing.com

Green Eyed Goddess Gifts

Covington 985.900.2227 226 E Lockwood St.

Attached is a proof of your ad that will run in the February/March issue of EDGE of the Lake run as is unless we receive changes by ( 1 1 . 5 . 2 0 2 1 ) a t 5 : 0 0 P M . Please make any changes or

Unique gifts, jewelry, home decor, baby, bath, wedding, outdoor gifts, Coffee Shop, and Event Space.

SOUTHERN AVENUE 70488 HWY 21 / COVINGTON / 985.871.1466 “The ultimate SHOP LOCAL experience!” WWW.SHOPSOUTHERNAVENUE.COM EDGE December 2021 | January 2022



Gift Guide


SKIN CARE SET Burkenstock, Kelly Gilthorpe, MD 2040 N Causeway Blvd Mandeville 985.727.7676


KEY RING Key Shoppe Slidell, LA 985.641.9726 Picayune, MS 601.798.4020

3 048

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NUTCRACKER SET Once In Awhile 226 E Lockwood St. Covington 985.900.2227



ROCKING HORSE Once Upon A Child Mandeville 4240 LA-22 #7 Mandeville 985.792.7512

PURSES The Villa 1281 N Causeway Blvd #1 Mandeville 985.626.9797


GIFT CARD Walk-Ons 50 Town Center Pkwy Slidell 985.639.9891

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022



PURSE SET & HAT Style Encore 4244 LA-22 Suite 3 Mandeville 985.674.7776




985.265.4544 2306 Front St , #17 Slidell, Louisi ana 70458


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HURRICANE PARTY Charcuterie To Go Bayou Boards By Jenn Slidell 985.707.8248

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


GIFT CARD Northshore Rejuvenation 2306 Front St. Suite 17 Slidell 985.265.4544



AN ELEGANT FAUX FUR SCARF WITH A MATCHING PURSE Nonna Randazzo’s 2033 N.Hwy. 190 Suite #5 Covington 985.893.1488

HEIRLOOM BEVERAGE DISPENSER Niche Modern Home 1901 U.S. 190 Suite 3 Mandeville 985.624.4045


HOT CHOCOLATE BOMBS Sugar Love Bakery 1329 Englewood Dr. Slidell 985.2654146

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BAOBAB LUXURY CANDLE The Lifestyle Store at Franco’s 100 Bon Temps Roule Mandeville 985.792.0200

CHARCUTERIE PLATTER The Rind Cheese Shop and Catering 212 SW Railroad Ave Hammond 985.393.4004

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Colored Glasses DeCoeur 228 N Columbia St. Covington 985.809.3244

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CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS Southern Hotel 428 E Boston Street Covington 844.866.1907

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CERAMIC ROSARY DISH BY LOCAL ARTIST JOHN HODGE Southern Avenue 70488 HWY 21, Ste. 400 Covington 985.871.1466

GIFT CARD Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar 2891 Hwy 190 Mandeville 985.778.2176

BBQ ACCESSORIES Outdoor Living Center 1331 N Hwy 190 #600 Covington 985.893.8008


BBQ accessories forEDGE the griller on your list. Looftlighter $69.99, December 2021 | January 2022 Flame Boss 400 $229.00. NEW! Blazaball, for charcoal fire starters, $21.95.


BIGGER. BETTER. BOLDER. 985.892.4663

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As shown: $52,500†


W W W . H O O D C H E V Y. C O M

Azalea Square 4240 Hwy. 22, Mandeville






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YOUR COVINGTON MARDI GRAS DAY 2022 INVITATION Be part of the Northshore’s biggest Celebration by riding a float, entering your own truck, float or walking as a group! Participation is easy and a fun community event! The City of Covington invites you to help make March 1, CARNIVAL IN COVINGTON 2022, the best ever! See our Facebook page “CarnivalinCovington” or www.carnivalincovington.com for details. Please RSVP by January 14 to be part of the March 1 Celebration.

Feel free to contact via phone or email one of the Parade Officers listed below for additional details: Larry Rolling • President 985.502.8586 • llrollingjr@aol.com Jodie Burke • Treasurer 504.220.5639 • office@stirlingfarm.com

Amy Tucker • Vice President 985.867.1206 • atucker@covla.com JoAnn Rucker • Secretary 985.788.5404 • jrucker9348@yahoo.com

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022






t’s the holiday season! Amidst the Cajun and Sicilian classics that adorn our family table on Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is usually an elaborate cheese and charcuterie board. I find that it is a crowd-pleasing centerpiece that is both beautiful and delicious. Since I typically host Thanksgiving for both sides of our family and have an extensive menu to produce, I like to purchase a ready-made board from That Cheese Chick in Slidell. It gives me one less thing to worry about, and her boards always come out STUNNING and filled to the brim with locally sourced goodies.

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For Christmas, I like to put together my own board. I enjoy chatting with the cheesemonger, finding the right wine pairings, and constructing this edible painting for my loved ones. I know I am not the only one either. Cheese and charcuterie boards are long-standing traditions in many families. Charcuterie is a French term for the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other meat products such as salami, ham, sausage, galantines, pâtés, and confit. The term is derived from the French words for flesh (chair) and cooked (cuit) and was used to describe shops in 15th century France that sold cured meat. However, the practice of salting and smoking meats to preserve them dates back to ancient Rome and is rooted in the belief that no part of an animal should be wasted. Traditionally, charcuterie only refers to a display of dried meats accompanied by items such as pickles, pâtés and mustards, but today the term is commonly utilized to describe a meat and cheese board. I recently met up with the good people at Acquistapace’s Supermarket in Covington for a lesson in making an exceptional cheese and charcuterie board. The Acquistapace family has been in the grocery business for over 150 years. Starting as a “Mom and Pop” operation on the Southshore, Steve Acquistapace eventually opened Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket in 1963 and moved the store to its current location in 1985. Steve’s sons Erik and Adam now run the show, and as it was described to me, Erik knows his cheese, and Adam knows his wine.

Acquistapace’s has always sold specialty meat and cheeses as part of their business, but in the last 15 years, they started taking custom orders for already assembled boards. Erik and his team travel all over the world to discover and purchase cheeses. The Acquistapace team also receives professional development training and goes to yearly conventions to stay up-to-date on current trends. Erik and Haley Acquistapace are among only a handful of American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals in Louisiana. Erik and his lead cheesemonger, Matt Giraldi, walked me through how they make their cheese and charcuterie boards and provided some tips on recreating their magic at home. First, choose your board. Erik recommends traditional wood over slate boards. He then recommends approaching the board in quadrants. Erik and Matt place four kinds of cheese in the corners of the board. The selection should always be a blend of hard cheeses and soft. Erik recommends a soft, fresh cheese such as goat cheese, a double or triple cream, a soft bloomy cheese, and a hard classic such as gouda or cheddar. The selection for this board was a traditional cheddar cut into small rectangles, a wedge of Point Reyes Bay Blue cheese, and a wedge of Fromager Daffinois, a French double-cream soft cheese made from cow’s milk. In the fourth corner was a cranberry pecan goat cheese ball that appears on all of their boards. In the center of the board, Matt made a mound of Prima Donna Red Label cheese, a Dutch gouda style cheese, which he cut into small rectangles. My cheese instructors for the day explain that



this is to add height to the board to create visual interest. Erik explained that these selections, besides the pecan cranberry goat cheese ball, change according to the season. In the spring, they choose softer cheeses; in the winter, harder cheeses usually make their appearance on the platter. Erik and Matt advise leaving the more delicate cheeses in whole chunks and cutting some of the harder cheeses into rectangles. “It is essentially random chaos, and then harmony out of the chaos,” says Erik. Once the cheese is situated, it is time to add the meats. The Acquistapaces recommend European style packed deli such as salami, prosciutto, and calabrese. Erik and Matt fold the salamis into fourths and prop them up against each other on the board, adding more height to the display. Matt then creates stunning rosettes out of the prosciutto. The rosettes make the prosciutto easier to pick up and eat while adding even more dimension to the platter. A square of pâté de campagnes is placed on the border of the board for easy access.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

The board’s remaining spaces are filled in with two bunches of grapes, red and green. This is followed by plenty of cornichons, dried fruit candied pecans, and Marcona almonds layered between and over the meat and cheese. More random chaos turning into harmony. As Matt and Erik finish up, I ask about some taboos or common mistakes when making a board like this. “Spicy items,” replies Erik. “You want to keep things inclusive. You want everyone to be able to enjoy the board, especially children.” Matt also advised staying away from items that “bleed” such as red berries and pineapple. “We put them on our grazing tables for color, but we stick to dried fruit for our boards.” Erik also offered his expertise regarding traditional charcuterie boards and cheese plates. “Traditionally, meat and cheese are not combined on one platter. For just charcuterie, I would stick to olives and pickles and serve it with grainy mustard. For a cheese plate, especially one paired with wine, do not use grapes or other fruits. It will mess with your palate and obscure the complexity of the wines.” Speaking of wine, I asked what they would pair with this gorgeous board. Erik enlisted the help of his brother, Adam Acquistapace, who offered the following suggestions: • Fromager Daffinois – lovely with a Pinot Noir • Cranberry Pecan Goat Chevre – tastes great with Champagne or Prosecco • Point Reyes Bay Blue – Perfect with a big, bold red like Cabernet Sauvignon • Prima Donna Red Label – great with a slightly oak Chardonnay As our time together came to an end, Erik stressed this final message. “We are here for you. Our stores are one-stopshops for everything you need to feel confident in making your own board at home. We have a very educated staff to help you along the way in choosing the meat, cheese, all the way down to the accoutrements to round out your board.” In addition to their locations in Covington and Mandeville, the Acquistapace family is present in Slidell with the Slidell Wine Warehouse. It has an excellent selection of cheese, meat and accoutrements, while also being our go-to place to buy great wines at absurdly low prices. Whenever I go there (which is maybe a little too often), I’m always greeted by friendly staff ready to make pairing suggestions. Need a charcuterie board to build your display? Buy local! Check out Honey Island Woodworks, Brushfire Custom Woodworking and Design, and Southern Oaks Woodworking.

No time to make your own charcuterie and cheese board? Support local! Check out these cheese and charcuterie services on the Northshore: • Acquistapaces’s Covington Supermarket • SNACX- Covington • Acquistapace’s Mandeville • Brash Boards - Mandeville • Sip N’ Savor - Mandeville • That Cheese Chick - Slidell • Bayou Boards by Jenn - Slidell

Wrap Up t he Holidays


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Robby Miller Tangipahoa Parish President

Greg Cromer City of Slidell Mayor


One year is coming to a close as the next comes rushing in….2022 will soon be here, with all the hope and excitement that a new year brings. In south Louisiana—as in much of the world—the last two years have been tough. COVID-19 brought so many changes to our daily lives. Then Hurricane Ida hit our south Louisiana coast, bringing new obstacles to our communities. Yes, these have been challenging times, but I am encouraged that we will come out of this stronger than we ever were. Looking ahead to 2022, we have many goals in Tangipahoa Parish Government. Our most ambitious will involve broadband infrastructure and creating a connectivity grid that loops around the parish. This plan will help us reach rural customers who have not had access to high-speed internet. TPG will not serve as the internet provider; instead, we will offer companies the ability to connect their service to our network and then deliver those services directly to the customer. Once completed, it will mean better communication for every resident of Tangipahoa Parish, and with better communication, we can once again improve our great quality of life— just one of the many reasons why people continue to MOVE HERE. 2022 promises to bring great things to Tangipahoa Parish. Here’s hoping 2022 will be our best year yet! Happy New Year!

Dear Citizens, As the holiday season approaches, I am asking everyone to Shop Slidell and support your local businesses. They need your support now more than ever. I am inviting you to join the City of Slidell for these holiday events in Olde Towne Slidell: Christmas Under the Stars – This annual celebration features holiday lights and decorations, and Santa’s Magical Mailbox, the life-size Christmas Cottages and Slidell’s Nativity created by artist Lori Gomez. On display Dec. 3 - Jan. 2 in Griffith Park. Christmas on Front – this new light display sponsored by the City of Slidell, Keep Slidell Beautiful and local businesses and organizations will feature animated holiday light scenes along Front Street. On display Dec. 3 - Jan. 3. Olde Towne Community Christmas Parade – the second annual parade will be held on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. in Olde Towne Slidell. Olde Towne Slidell will be decked out in lights and decorations for the 7th annual Spirit of the Season competition, on display Dec. 3 through Jan. 2. All events offer free admission. For more information, please visit MySlidell.com or call the Dept. of Cultural & Public Affairs at (985) 646-4375. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

ad that will run in the February/March issue of EDGE of the Lake magazine. This ad will e changes by ( 1 1 . 5 . 2 0 2 1 ) a t 5 : 0 0 P M . Please make any changes or approve via email.

Slidell Art League’s 2021

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Nov. Nov. 55 - Dec. Dec. 17, 17, 2021 2021 •• Slidell Slidell Cultural Cultural Center Center at at City City Hall Hall - 44 pm Gallery Hours: - Fridays, Fridays, 12 12 pm (by (by appointment appointment only) only) Gallery Hours: Wednesdays Wednesdays (985) 646-4375 • MySlidell.com • SlidellArtLeague.org (985) This exhibit is is made made possible possible by by the the Slidell Slidell Art Art League, League, City City of of Slidell’s Slidell’s Department Department of of Cultural Cultural This exhibit & Public Affairs, Affairs, its its Commission Commission on on the the Arts Arts and and the the City City of of Slidell’s Slidell’s 2021 2021 Cultural Cultural Sponsors. Sponsors. & Public Renaissance • $5,000 Sponsors:

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o t How



ave you ever noticed that most major religions celebrate significant holidays in December? There’s a good reason for this – winter solstice. Thousands of years ago, humans figured out how to pinpoint the longest and shortest days of the year, when the Earth’s poles tilt closest to (summer) and furthest from (winter) the sun. In the weeks leading up to these annual events, the sun appears to move very little, so the Latin words for sun and to stand still were combined to form the term solstice. Winter solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. Ancient civilizations recognized this as an indicator that longer days were coming, and thought of it as the rebirth of the sun, with both spiritual and agricultural implications. Stone monuments erected in multiple locations around the world – including the most famous


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

one, Stonehenge in England – chart the astronomical event. And their pagan festivals and rituals, which were eventually absorbed and adapted by countless cultures and religions, typically involved feasting, gathering with loved ones, and lighting candles and bonfires. We can expect winter solstice to occur in our region this year on Tuesday, December 21 at 9:59 a.m., and no matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, winter solstice can simply be a time to connect to the natural world and commemorate the change in seasons. Here are some rituals you can make your own, with the intention of releasing any of last year’s troubles or negativity, and welcoming new prosperity and positivity. Watch the sun rise or set. It put the sol in solstice, so it makes sense that we should honor that celestial ball of fire as it arrives or departs, and (weather permitting) paints the sky

e t a r b e Cl

on the Northshore

with brilliant colors.While you can certainly do this from the comfort of your own backyard or any of the Northshore’s beautiful parks and natural settings, Sunset Point Fishing Pier in Mandeville has that name for a reason. It offers a glorious, unobstructed view of the expansive sky over Lake Pontchartrain. Perform or witness a fire ritual. This also presents plenty of DIY options, in the way of fire pits, fireplaces and campfires. If you really want to get into the spirit, you can write on one piece of paper the negative things you wish to release, and on another, write your hopes for the coming year. Then, toss them into the fire. Or, you can do this ritual mentally as you enjoy the granddaddy of all modern day fire rituals – the Bonfires on the Levees, or its corresponding Festival of Bonfires. The hour-and-a-half-ish drive from the Northshore to Lutcher is well worth it to witness the elaborate wooden structures perched atop the levee until they are set ablaze on Christmas Eve – some say to light the way for Santa, some say it’s a throwback to pagan rituals.

The festival, held this year from December 9-12, features food, music, fireworks and the lighting of a single bonfire each night, in anticipation of the big Christmas Eve event. Light candles or fairy lights. No fireplace, fire pit, nor time to drive to Lutcher? No problem. You can welcome the longer, brighter days to come with the lovely, ambient glow of twinkly lights and candles. String lights are absolutely everywhere these days, and while crafty, industrious folks can certainly buy DIY candle-making kits, you can also consider supporting a local business. NOLAS (New Orleans Lip and Soap) – located in Lucy’s Artisan Apothecary in downtown Covington – produces multiple locally made, natural products that are free of chemicals and cruelty, including a “See the Light, Feed the Hungry” candle. Made of a blend of soy and vegetable wax, it comes in a 14-ounce glass tumbler, and a portion of every sale goes to the Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans (which lends itself to the “spread a little joy” ritual below). Burn (or eat!) a Yule log. It’s said that the ancient Norse EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


burned Yule logs every winter solstice to celebrate the return of the sun. So, you can either incorporate that into your fire ritual by adorning a log with various winter flowers, greenery, or herbs, or… cake, anyone? The Bûche de Noël is a traditional French Christmas treat, dating back to the 19th century, symbolizing good luck in the new year to come. It’s typically a chocolate sponge cake, filled with whipped cream, rolled up to resemble a log, and covered with chocolate icing. You can make your own, or just pick one up at one of several Northshore bakeries that will offer them, including Tournesol Cafe and Bakery, Nonna Randazzo’s Bakery, both in Covington, and Mandeville Bake Shop. Enjoy a nature walk. Celebrating nature is a huge part of celebrations this time of year – hence our tradition of decorating our homes with wreaths, evergreen trees, mistletoe and holly. But, what better way to show reverence to our natural world than to get out and enjoy it? The Northshore has an embarrassment of riches in this department. We have countless parks to visit, and some of our very best nature walks are located in Northlake Nature Center in Mandeville, Joyce Wildlife Management Area in Ponchatoula Camp, and Salmen Nature Park in Slidell. You can also pedal along the many miles of the scenic Tammany Trace bike trail. Visit a sacred site. Whether it was consecrated by man or nature – or simply feels sacred to you – the idea is to amplify the magic of the solstice by finding a suitable prayer or meditation spot to let go of emotional baggage and set intentions for the coming year. We don’t have a Stonehenge within reasonable distance, but we’ve got plenty of alternatives. Some sites to consider include majestic, live-oak-adorned spots on the Mandeville lakefront or Fontainebleau State Park, St. Joseph’s Abbey in Covington, or one of the many old cemeteries in Lacombe that are blessed by priests and loved ones every year on All Saints Day. Another option is the Abita Springs Trailhead, whose Princess Abita statue and spirit stick totem pay homage to the region’s rich Chocktaw heritage and the healing waters they held sacred. Create a Yule altar. Don’t be intimidated by that term. If you have a mantle or table that you decorate with candles, seasonal decorations and other items that are special to you – well, that’s basically an altar! Red, white, green and gold are the typical colors that are used (sound familiar?), and you can also include winter foliage of your choice, plus nuts, fruit and bells, which were used to drive away evil spirits and bring harmony to sacred spaces.You can also buy or make some seasonal pot pourri with ingredients like cinnamon sticks, cloves, pine or rosemary sprigs, and cranberries or oranges. Spread a little joy. The spirit of giving is never stronger than this time of year, and the solstice is no exception. You can make some handmade gifts (like wreaths and candles) for friends and family, fill your outdoor feeders for the birds and squirrels, pray or meditate for a peaceful planet, and donate food, clothing or money to those in need. Some Northshore charities that could use your support include the Child Advocacy Center - Hope House, Families Helping Families, Northshore Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank, PRIDE of St. Tammany (Parent’s Resource Institute for Drug Education) Youth & Community Resources, Tangipahoa Voluntary Council On Aging. Also, Rouse’s usually has angel trees to collect gifts for seniors. Pssst... any of you looking for a less wholesome way to celebrate? If you’re interested in experiencing something more akin to ancient Rome’s hedonistic winter solstice celebration – their infamous Saturnalia festival – be sure to check out Covington’s annual St. John’s Fools of Misrule event, held every year on Twelfth Night. The bawdy merrymaking krewe will usher in the 2022 carnival season on January 8 from 4-10pm with their signature blend of carousing and tomfoolery. They, too, have good intentions for the new year – but they’re not quite as pure as the ones listed above!

The joy of creating something new Whether you’re a lifelong artist, a woodworker like some Christwood residents or taking up pottery and painting for the first time like many others, you’ll find everything you need right here to explore, discover and create. When your masterpiece is finished, our Atrium Gallery awaits.


5 0 T O W N C E N T E R PA R K W AY




985.639.9891 EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


Tree Integrity lesson from



There’s a tree out in the backyard That never has been broken by the wind And the reason it’s still standing It was strong enough to bend



anya Tucker is no arborist, as far as I know, but anyone on the Northshore who experienced the fury of Hurricane Ida can appreciate the metaphor from her 1988 hit song, “Strong Enough to Bend.” It’s been a few months since the storm slammed into Louisiana as a raging, almost-category-five monster, but her presence is still seen and felt in the river and bayou parishes, as well as the Northshore. Despite ongoing cleanup efforts, piles of debris, blue roof tarps and uprooted and snapped trees still litter our landscape, reminding us of the fateful night that eerily coincided with the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. After forging a path of destruction from Grand Isle to Lafouche, Ida’s surprise little last minute wobbly eastward detour spared Baton Rouge, but spelled disaster for our region. Unlike Hurricane Katrina, this storm was less about water, and more about powerful winds. The local commercial timber industry lost countless acres, while residential areas experienced widespread damage to and destruction of homes, not only directly due to wind, but due to the limbs and trees it weaponized. My household was one of the lucky ones. We had several trees smash through our fence and land in our yard, one of which balanced precariously against a corner of our roof without actually penetrating it. But we all know plenty of people who weren’t so lucky. It seemed to me, based on my amateur observations of our neighborhood and the general area, that one tree species appeared to have been the main culprit in much of this residential wreckage – the ubiquitous water oak. I was curious to know if there’s a reason for that, so I did what I do best: research. With just a click or two, I found out that not all oaks are created equal. Due to structural deficiencies, the water variety has very little in common with its sturdy, reliable cousin the live oak, which is why several sources stressed that they should never be planted close to residential or commercial structures.

Oh, great. As someone who has two of these world class weaklings alarmingly close to my home, I needed to seek some serious expert feedback. Enter William Afton. Will is the LSU Agricultural Center (or AgCenter, as it’s commonly called) county agent for St. Tammany Parish and secretary of the Southeast Louisiana Nursery Association. It’s his job to educate the community on the subject of local plants and trees, so he was the perfect person to put my newfound fear of and disdain for water oaks – and the real estate developers who planted them – into perspective. Will told me, “Water oaks are a native plant that’s been here for thousands of years. They’re plentiful and they come up everywhere.” Okay, so maybe it’s not all the developers’ fault. “And there’s no such thing as hurricane-proof trees,” he continued. “What we had happen with Hurricane Ida is not common. It was a rare storm with 120-plus mile per hour winds. We don’t often deal with those conditions. And, after a particularly rainy summer, areas that previously didn’t flood got backed up with water, resulting in water stress and root rot.” Although Will didn’t go so far as to support my assessment that they’re “ticking time bombs,” he admitted that water oaks are not the ideal tree to plant close to homes or businesses. And they’re not alone. He pointed out that other trees, like river birch and pecan trees, have similar structural issues. In fact, the LSUAg Center website (LSUAgCenter.com) has an entire page dedicated to which trees perform best and worst in extreme weather. According to an article called “Choosing Trees for Hurricane Resistance,” trees can be sorted into two categories that gauge their viability in hurricane conditions – “survivor trees” or “victim trees.” A survivor tree is described as being healthy, well-maintained, young-to-middle-aged and compact with a low center of gravity, a good root system and a well-tapered trunk. Conversely, a victim tree is fast-growing and weak-wooded with shallow roots and a high center of gravity. The page lists the top ten survivor trees as bald cypress, live oak, sabal palm, windmill palm, Mexican fan palm, black gum, cow oak, iron wood, shumard oak, and winged elm. (I’m guessing Tanya’s allegedly hurricane-resistant tree falls into this category.) “When I talk to homeowners,” Will explained. “I tell them I like to see a good, green canopy with leaves on all limbs. If some sections leaf out, and others leaf later, that means the damage affected the growth of the tree, and that sets off alarm bells. Right now, it might be hard to properly assess because of seasonal insect defoliation and hurricane damage. Spring is the best time to assess.”


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


What about trees that lost multiple limbs or were impacted by other trees? “Generally speaking, if under 25% of the tree sustained damage, it’s probably okay. But if you’ve lost 50% of the foliage, you need to get it looked at by a professional. Damaged trees need proper surgical cuts and proper pruning in order to heal properly.” LSUAg Center’s website contains tons of helpful information, including a Native Tree Growing Guide that discusses the selection and care of several Louisiana tree varieties. It provides meticulous descriptions of what, when and how to plant, plus tips on maintaining limbs and root systems, and a handy chart that describes each tree, including their individual strengths and weaknesses. I asked Will if he had any general rules of thumb when planting new trees or maintaining mature ones. If you’re planning to plant new trees, Will said, “Stay away from fast growing trees. Pay attention to the root ball, proper planting techniques and soil composition.” If you inherited large, mature trees and the roots seem to be rising up, the soil is actually getting compressed around the base, and it needs to be aerated to ease the stress. For both new plantings and existing trees, Will explained, soil composition is key. “Recreate the forest floor with leaves and plant materials. Be sure to mulch around mature trees and bring back the decomposition layer.” The bottom line is, we don’t have to go scorched earth and massacre our trees in order to keep our homes safe, but it is important to pay attention to their condition, and put some effort into their maintenance. By the way, I think Ms. Tucker also has a song about sparrows in a hurricane, but we’ll have to address wildlife storm safety another day.

Christmas Under the Stars December 3- 4 & 10- 11, 2021 • 6- 9


• G r i f f i t h Pa r k i n O l d e To w n e

Holiday Lights & Decorations • Santa’s Magical Mailbox • Parade of Trees • Slidell’s Nativity Life-size Christmas Cottages • Frozen Ice Castle • New Grinch’s Cottage And be sure not to miss these other festive holiday events in Olde Towne Slidell: 7th Annual Spirit of the Season Olde Towne Light Display and Decorations Contest

Olde Towne Slidell will be decked out with festive lights and decorations, Dec. 3, 2021, through Jan. 3, 2022.

2nd Annual Olde Towne Slidell Community Christmas Parade • Sunday, Dec. 5 • 5-6 pm

You can be a part of the second annual Olde Towne Slidlel Community Christmas Parade! Featuring decorated golf carts and homemade pushable floats, walking groups, community members in holiday costumes, and Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Holiday Concer t with the Slidell Ar t League’s 2021 Ar tists of the Year Exhibit Nor thshore Community Orchestra at the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall Sunday, Dec. 19 • 7-8 pm • Free Admission Nov. 5 - Dec. 17 • Wednesday - Friday, 12-4 pm Slidell Municipal Auditorium • 2056 Second Street By appointment only by calling (985) 646-4375

Christmas Under the Stars is brought to you by the City of Slidell’s Dept. of Cultural & Public Affairs, the Commission on the Arts and the 2021 Cultural Sponsors:

Renaissance • $5,000 Sponsors: Plus + Publications

Baroque • $2,500 Sponsors: In Memory of Ronnie Kole • Silver Slipper Casino Neoclassical • $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Home Instead Lori’s Art Depot • Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance • Purple Armadillo Again Impressionism • $500 Sponsors: P. David Carollo, Attorney-at-Law • CiCi’s Pizza Mayor Greg Cromer • State Rep. Mary DuBuisson, District 90 Dr. David Hildebrandt - Slidell Family Dentistry • Flatliners Entertainment Old School Eats Food Truck • Pizza Platoon • Roberta’s Cleaners Slidell Historic Antique Association • Tanya Witchen - Engel & Völkers Real Estate

(985) 646-4375 • MySlidell.com • “City of Slidell” on Facebook & Instagram

St. Tammany NOW


Tammany NOW is a curated collection of the latest economic development information and business and industry insight in our community directly from St. Tammany Corporation, the economic development organization for St. Tammany. St. Tammany NOW highlights what and who makes the St. Tammany business community thrive and illustrates the opportunities to diversify and fortify our economy. In this issue, we are pleased to recognize organizations in our area who jumped into action to serve their fellow community members following Hurricane Ida and highlight a few honors St. Tammany Corporation recently received. In late September, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced the launch of a new parish-wide collaborative community recognition program designed to showcase the efforts of various businesses, non-profits, and community organizations that have stepped up in tremendous ways in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and shown amazing generosity to communities in need throughout St. Tammany. St. Tammany Community STandouts is a collaborative effort presented by the Parish President’s office, St. Tammany Corporation, St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission, Northshore Business Council, Northshore Community Foundation, Northshore Home Builders Association, and TriParish Works.

This recognition program provided an opportunity for residents and community members to nominate an organization with a brief explanation of why they should be highlighted. We are thrilled to highlight the organizations that sprang into action to serve neighbors and community members in the days and weeks following Hurricane Ida. Each nominator was asked to describe the organization they nominated in one word, and these are the words used to describe these outstanding entities:


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The entities and the individuals served in a multitude of ways, leveraging their unique expertise, resources, and capabilities. Several cooked and served meals, some provided mental health services, and others distributed fuel. From providing places of respite and distributing water, to removing debris and facilitating wastewater assessments, and to caring for sick pets and safely transporting stray and abandoned animals to adoption facilities, these organizations, staff members, and individual volunteers served St. Tammany and beyond generously and tirelessly. We would like to recognize these Community STandouts and give them a STanding ovation of appreciation: Abita Café family of operations Bayou Adventure Celebration Church Chevron Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Gause Boulevard Veterinary Hospital Louisiana Coastal Relief and Recovery Mardi Paws and Scott’s Wish Northwestern Mutual Pennington’s Hardware and Screen Printing Pontchartrain Conservancy’s Water Quality Team • St. Margaret Mary Men’s Club • The Village Church • Trinity Counseling Center • • • • • • • • • • •

Chris Masingill Chief Executive Officer St. Tammany Corporation


The various partner organizations have also shared the individual honorees’ stories on their social media platforms. We encourage you to learn more about these entities and their specific disaster response service to the community. St. Tammany Corporation took home major professional honors at this year’s International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2021 Excellence in Economic Development Awards, which were announced in October at IEDC’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee. St. Tammany Corporation’s efforts in producing and marketing its research publication and digital platform, as well as this specific curated print contribution in collaboration with EDGE of the Lake magazine, were recognized for Economic Excellence in three categories.

IEDC Board Chair Tom Kucharski with Chris Masingill and Elizabeth Lee and two of their awards at the IEDC Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in October.

SILVER: StTammanyStats.com – Special Purpose Website (Population 200,000 to 500,000) | Launched in May 2020, StTammanyStats.com is St. Tammany Corporation’s innovative, and interactive platform to deliver data-driven and evidence-based information. The website continues to reinforce the importance of tracking and understanding economic trends for economic developers, public officials, business professionals, and all users who want to engage with information that determines how to make the best possible decisions for St. Tammany to thrive. This website also houses our COVID-19 digital dashboard of timely, relevant, easy-to-understand data curated from its Snapshot: Impacts of COVID-19 on St. Tammany publications – produced since the spring of 2020 – that continue to focus specifically on telling the story of St. Tammany through analysis of its economic characteristics.

BRONZE: The – Magazine and Newsletter (Population 200,000 to 500,000) | St. Tammany Corporation’s digital research publication, The AnalyST, currently includes Quarterly Economic Trends Reports. The AnalyST is a curated collection of economic indicators designed to interpret our regional and national economies and the interconnectivity with St. Tammany Parish. Through its suite of data publications, St. Tammany Corporation continues to prioritize its mission of being economic truth-tellers and providing meaningful, thoughtful analysis that EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


poration’s award-winning Stats.com, St. Tammany Cor The home page for StTammany economic development data and research publications. special purpose website for

lays the groundwork for transformational, resultsdriven economic development. Be sure to check our St. Tammany Corporation’s latest edition of The AnalyST at StTammanyStats.com. •


SILVER: St. Tammany NOW— Magazine and Newsletter (Population 200,000 to 500,000) | In May 2020, St. Tammany Corporation partnered with EDGE of the Lake magazine/Northshore Media Group to curate this featured section titled “St. Tammany NOW” in its bi-monthly magazine. St. Tammany Corporation staff write and curate the content for each issue, focusing on a specific facet of economic development. This publication provides a platform to share economic development data, initiatives, and programs in a publication that reaches a three-parish region, giving St. Tammany

EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Corporation an opportunity to engage directly with our community members through the sharing of timely, relevant information. We are incredibly grateful to EDGE of the Lake magazine/Northshore Media Group for their continued partnership. St. Tammany Corporation remains a resource hub for businesses and consistently shares timely, relevant information related to hurricane and pandemic recovery and resiliency on our online platforms. Stay connected with St. Tammany Corporation on Facebook at @StTammanyCorporation, Twitter at @StTammanyCorp, our website at StTammanyCorp.org, our data and research platform at StTammanyStats.com, and our digital comprehensive resource center at www.RESTOREStTammany.com. Ashley Llewellyn and Elizabeth Lee are the lead staff contributors to this article.

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My turn:

by Sarah Callais

For my Saturday morning trip to Abita Springs Café, I took my 5-year-old daughter, Madison. I am familiar with Abita Roasting, and I could see the similarities in the menus. But Abita Springs Café is the more adorable little spot. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor dining and we decided to sit inside. You walk in the café and it is exactly what anyone in the restaurant business wants in terms of how it makes you feel. It is that “home” feeling, like you are coming to your friend’s house to have a good meal. What got Madison’s immediate attention was that they have hot chocolate. She ordered the hot chocolate and it came in this big mug with tons of whip cream on it. I got lots of “thumbs up” as she slurped that down. And that is an important point. This place is extremely kid friendly. There were plenty of adults eating together, but lots of families and lots of kids. One of the things that I noticed when we arrived is that they give the kids Wikistix, which are pliable strips that you can make into different shapes, and Madison loved it. Definitely an idea for something different to keep the kids entertained while you are trying to eat a meal. For our meal, I ordered what was essentially a breakfast sampler, so I could get a sense of what they had to offer. It had scrambled eggs, grits, bacon, a biscuit and pancakes. Of course, I could not eat all of this, so I brought some home to my son. Everything I had was absolutely delicious! It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. Madison ordered a large portion of bacon and fresh fruit, and she helped herself to almost all of my grits. It was obvious that someone in the kitchen paid close attention to these. I didn’t have to add any salt or any butter; they were just perfect the way they were. I rounded out my meal with a few cups of coffee and, as expected considering who is behind this business, it was very good. We sat in the front at a table for two and I noticed that in addition to having all their coffee for sale, they also have a wide selection of tea as well. They were pretty busy on the morning we went, but the service was great. Our server Kasi, checked on us a couple times after we got our food and if you did need anything there were plenty of staff walking around the room who could help you out. We were in and out of the restaurant in less than 30 minutes, which I think is kind of what you want when getting breakfast. The price point for all the food we got was extremely reasonable. I would highly recommend this place to anyone. It is the perfect little downtown breakfast spot.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

ABOUT SARAH CALLAIS In every issue, EDGE of the Lake invites a local chef or restauranteur to visit another eatery on the Northshore. Sarah Callais, who grew up in Covington, and her husband, Brent, own Etouffee on River Highlands Blvd. in Covington. For the last five years, they have also owned another restaurant called Bayou Boil N Geaux in Cut Off. In early 2021, they decided to bring all of their family recipes from the bayou to the Northshore. Sarah left a corporate job for the family restaurant business, which she calls a total lifestyle change, but also admits she was surprised by how much she enjoys working with the public.

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Local attorney Josh Allison, feeds Pyre to first responders to say thank you.

Mande Milkshakers hosted their Walk a Mile in her Shoes to raise funds for Safe Harbor.

After Kinder Haus Montessori flooded, Culinary Kids created a private Montessori Camp event to serve the their students at the Culinary Kids facility.

Teams enjoyed a great day of shooting, networking and spending a beautiful day outside at the St. Tammany Chamber’s Clay Shoot.


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

Families enjoyed a day of music, art, food and fun at the Bluesberry Festival.

Saint Paul’s School Key Club members joined forces with Keep Covington Beautiful and the Osprey Initiative installing “litter getters” along 28th Street in Covington.

Sheriff Randy Smith teamed up with the Rich Mauti Foundation and St. Tammany Health System to raise money and bring awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. EDGE December 2021 | January 2022


RIBBON CUTTINGS Comprehensive Physical Therapy

Meineke Car Care Center

Sundrop Healing

Legacy Hospice


EDGE December 2021 | January 2022

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