Edge of the Lake Magazine December 2022 | January 2023

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It’s hard to believe that this marks our seventh year, where did the time go? It’s been quite a ride through a pandemic and changing times. We are excited to publish our 31st issue of EDGE of the Lake with Northshore Media Group’s third annual Forty Under 40. Back in August we asked for nominations, and we received a record number of entries. It gets harder every year, but we are excited to introduce you to the Class of 2022.

The awards would not be possible without the help of Joel Treadwell who schedules and arranges 40 photoshoots. This year we used the St. Tammany Children’s Museum for our backdrop. The museum went above and beyond in hosting us, welcoming everyone and providing drinks and cookies for all our awardees. The photo sessions took place over a few days and culminated with Gavin Jobe’s shoot after he returned from his relief work in Florida, where he was feeding workers reconstructing the infrastructure after Hurricane Ian. Thank you Gavin for all your good works and Joel for being such a consummate professional through the whole process, you are a pleasure to work with.

In this issue we meet a couple of our winners and learn more about them and their work. We also travel up to Folsom to see what is happening in their thriving village and bring you a story from Southeastern.

The EDGE team wishes our readers a happy and healthy new year, enjoy the issue!


PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell EDITOR Damien Thorn ART DIRECTOR Erich Belk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal BEAUTY EDITOR Caitlin Picou CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Liv Butera Nick Gagliano Betsy O’ Leary Rachel Studley Liz Smith STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Margaret Crosby Joel Treadwell Riyun Heig KEY ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE Eloise Cottrell SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Rebecca Blossman-Ferran ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Erin Bolton Debi Menasco Stephanie Miller The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by EDGE Publishing. @ 2022 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
Cover Photos Photo by Joel Treadwell


St. Tammany Health System is empowering women like never before. Throughout our system, fellowship-trained specialists and subspecialists work with the highest level of technology available to provide more accurate diagnostics, less invasive care, and faster recoveries for everything from general surgery to specialty care. Together with our partner Ochsner Health, we’re giving women on the Northshore many ways to live stronger and better.


The holiday season brings tremendous joy to St. Tammany Parish. While we are spending quality time with our loved ones, we have a great opportunity to reflect on our growth from the previous year and aspire for the coming year.

St. Tammany Parish remains the leading community to live, work and grow in Louisiana. Your dedication and passion keep me inspired to ensure a better tomorrow for us all.

Assessing our needs for today and in the future continues to be a core value for me as your Parish President. For the first time in our Parish’s history, my administration is examining our needs on a parish-wide scale. Through thorough analyzation of our existing infrastructure, developments, drainage and wetlands, we will make informed decisions to benefit us all. Traffic and floodwaters don’t limit themselves to district lines – neither should our planning. I will continue to fight for studied, logical resolutions to issues that have perpetuated for years due to segmented district solutions to parish-wide problems.

In October, my administration launched the Comprehensive Drainage Plan, the first parish-wide drainage plan that examines stormwater runoff. All citizens are encouraged to participate in the ongoing public comment period at STPGov.org. We will continue to prioritize your needs and your opinions.

We are also analyzing current building practices and will fight to make changes to align our rules with your ideals and values. My administration will continue to focus on fixing ailments that have troubled St. Tammany Parish, while implementing initiatives that will be a foundation for the future of our beloved Parish.

I warmly wish you much prosperity, joy and peace through this holiday season. May God continue to richly bless you.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Serving as your Parish President continues to be one of my most humbling honors.

As we close out 2022 and begin a new year, I want to thank you, the citizens of St. Tammany Parish, for your ongoing support and for the trust you have placed in me and my administration to keep you safe.

We stay committed to building a strong partnership with the community in order to preserve the wonderful quality of life we are so fortunate to have in our great parish while continuing to be good stewards of your tax dollars.

This past year we restructured our patrol districts to better serve our growing and changing community. We added a fourth district on the western end of the parish, and we moved our 4th District Office to a more accessible and centralized location. These changes not only improved response time but also created a more visible presence in the community to deter crime.

Our efforts to improve the efficiency of agency operations are ongoing, and many exciting things are on the horizon for the Sheriff’s Office in 2023. We have purchased land off Brewster Road behind Target in Covington and will break ground this coming year on our new permanent 3rd District Office.

The success of our great agency is only achievable because of the remarkable team of people who work diligently to serve and protect our citizens. Our employees are our greatest asset. This year I rewarded the hard work and commitment of our employees with some much needed pay raises.

In July, with the start of the new fiscal year, I provided a minimum 3.5 percent pay increase for all employees, and in September, I was able to restructure the pay scale, providing an additional $5,000 pay increase for all employees.

With inflation being so high, and the cost of living continuing to go up, these increases are absolutely necessary for us to retain the very best law enforcement officers.

When I first took office in 2016, we adopted four core values – Professionalism, Integrity, Accountability and Public Trust. As we move into a new year, we will continue to base everything we do and every decision we make on those four values.

I wish everyone a safe and happy new year!

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Randy Smith St. Tammany Sheriff
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SPOTLIGHT ON Local Attorney and Author Jesse L. Wimberly III

Irecently caught up with local attorney and author Jesse Wimberly, III at his new office on the lakefront in Mandeville for a sit-down discussion about the six books he has written in the last few years.

Q: I guess the first question most people ask is how do you find the time to wear so many hats? You are a full-time trial attorney, active in the community, a husband, father, and grandfather, and you have written six books.

A: You would be surprised what you can do with some quiet time early in the morning. Actually, I think the key to a productive life is to be fully present in the moment. If you are working, playing or creating, be fully into what you are doing at the time. The rest of the world will wait. In our day and age so many of us multitask, including me, thinking we are accomplishing many tasks at the same time. In fact, we are puttering around at many tasks and not doing any of them to our full ability. I have tried to fully focus on specific aspects of my life to the exclusion of extraneous distractions and it seems to have paid off for me.

Q: What made you decide to write the three volumes of ghost stories and the three legal suspense novels?

A: I enjoy reading and admire authors and always thought I had a novel in me. When I hit a certain age it became clear to me that if I was going to write, now was the time. I began with one ghost story which I did for my wife for Halloween, and the rest of them just kept coming. The legal novels were created in the same way. I carried around an opening sentence for years, and when I finally sat down and put it to paper, the rest of the stories evolved.

Q: Will there be more stories or novels?

Q: I understand you have also written three children’s books.

A: Yes, that’s true. They all feature my grandchildren and our pets. Two of them are Christmas stories where the children and pets save Christmas, and the third book is where they save Halloween. I have a fourth one in the works which features completely new characters and also has a Christmas theme.

A: A month ago I would have said no, but recently I had ideas for three new ghost stories, so who knows? If I dream up seven more I’m pretty sure I’ll write them down. The same goes for the legal novels. If a good plotline comes to mind, I’ll probably go with it. The characters are like old friends to me now, and when I write I feel like I’m bringing them back to life, and that gives me great pleasure.

Q: What inspired the ghost stories you have written?

A: The ghost stories are almost all based on true historical events that occurred in Louisiana and especially New Orleans. The Axeman Cometh was based on the true story of the Axeman murders in New Orleans in the early 1900s. The Church of the Sacrifice was based on the serial killer Clementine Barnabet who killed 35 people in rural Louisiana. Likewise, the rest of the stories all have their basis in historical fact. I just embellish and try to bring the characters to life.

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You can purchase Wimberly’s books through Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. EDGEatorial
Jesse and Alysha Wimberly

The legal novels center around Jeb Stuart Johnston, a young attorney practicing in the fictitious parish of St. Anselm which is a thinly disguised St. Tammany Parish. Much of the plot and courtroom drama was drawn from cases I either handled or observed. Poor Jeb is stuck somewhere between 1860 and today and has a tough time reconciling the two. He’s a great student of the human condition and his observations on the past and present are very relevant to today.

Q: What are the themes of your legal novels?

A: I wanted to tackle the big themes in life. Body of Deceit is about desire and betrayal, Waterproof deals with racism and anarchy, and A Prayer for the Penitent explores false religion, abuse of power and exploitation. All of these topics are integral parts of the human experience dealt with from the Greeks to today, and it was my hope that by confronting these universal truths in contemporary novels I could show the timelessness of the human condition, and that life, essentially, confronts us with

the same challenges regardless of the century we happen to live in. I am often reminded of the French saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The longer I live the more I agree with that bit of wisdom. I am descended from Civil War soldiers, and we have letters in the family that chronicle the death of my ancestor who bore the exact same name as I do. It’s sobering to read a letter from the commander of a Confederate battle unit advising grieving parents that their son has died, especially when that soldier shares your name. It is simply a matter of timing as to when we are born and when we die. If l had been born in the 1840s that letter would probably have been directed to my parents, but as luck would have it, I was not. It’s amazing and also frightening to know we are all part of a cosmic roll of the dice. That’s one reason we should keep our lives in perspective and understand the world may change, but universal human experience does not.

Mr. Wimberly’s books can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

L. Wimberly

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?

Hearing loss doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process over the years, so it isn’t noticeable at first. But at some point, things will start to change. A few common signs of hearing loss include finding conversations hard to follow, turning the TV’s volume up louder than usual, and asking people to repeat themselves.

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.

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.

EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 013 MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR PERSONAL INSURANCE • MARINE INSURANCE • COMMERCIAL INSURANCE L - R : Hynson Lanaux, Robert W Lanaux, Merrick Lanaux NORTH AMERICAN INSURANCE AGENCY of Louisiana, LLC 2255 North Highway 190 | Covington | 985.871.5480 | naiala.com
Slidell | Hammond | Mandeville Call 985-273-5795 Visit www.slenthearing.com
Download Our Free Guide “The Early Symptoms of a Hearing Loss to Look Out For”
Visit slenthearing.com/free-guide *Source: Findings of EuroTrak 2015 (ET 2015) and MarkeTrak 9 (MT9) worldwide studies about hearing loss and hearing aids. Dr. JJ Martinez, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA Doctor of Audiology, Board Certified Audiologist
Dr. JJ Martinez

Northshore Media Group’s

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 2022 Northshore Forty under 40!



As a teen, Alexandra Coogan was inspired by a quote from Tia Torres, founder of New Orleans based rescue, Villalobos, “My mission is to rescue. My hope is that one day I won’t have to.” Alexandra began following her passion for helping animals by becoming a foster parent while in school at Mandeville High and continuing to do so while in college at Louisiana State University. After receiving her Bachelor of Marketing, she made her way back home to begin her professional career. Now, as Director of Operations for Northshore Humane Society, Alex spends her days leading several staff members in caring for and finding homes for homeless animals in her community. Like many other non-profits with limited staffing, directors like Alexandra wear several hats. You can also see and hear her on all NHS media appearances such as Fox 8 morning news and radio shows like Lake 94.7 and the Highway 104.7. One of her favorite parts of her job is visiting schools and different youth groups, educating them on our shelter and responsible pet care. Alexandra Coogan is making a difference in her community four paws at a time!

Alfonso Flores was born in Miami, FL, but spent his early years living in Honduras. He eventually chose to venture out and has lived in multiple areas in the U.S. Alfonso has mainly worked in the service industry, which is where he found his passion for tasting good wine and cuisine, but more importantly sharing this experience with anyone and everyone: friends, family and strangers. Part of his character is truly caring about others and learning what excites them, then he does everything in his power to assist in their enjoyment. This drive of helping other people spreads outside of just his work. When he is not at Jacmel Inn making people happy, he is enjoying his time with family and friends. No matter who he surrounds himself with, Alfonso naturally leaves a trace of infectious positivity and gratitude for life.

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Alisha Lacour, MD

Associate Regional Medical Director Ochsner HealthSt. Tammany West

Dr. Alisha Lacour Seremet grew up in Covington, and is a proud graduate of St. Scholastica Academy. Dr. Lacour earned her medical degree at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, where she also completed her residency in Internal Medicine. She started her career as a Hospital Medicine Physician with Ochsner Health in 2014 and has served as the Vice Chair of Hospital Medicine and then the Vice President of Medical Affairs (VPMA) and Ambulatory Medical Director (AMD) at Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner. As the VPMA & AMD at Ochsner Kenner, Dr. Lacour had direct oversight of all of the physicians in the hospital and clinic, and was faced with leading this brave team through a pandemic and Hurricane Issac. She describes her time in this role as her most challenging and fulfilling work. Alisha was excited to rejoin the Covington community this year to start her role as the Associate Regional Medical Director of Ochsner St. Tammany West. In addition to her leadership role, Dr. Lacour continues to see patients at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. She also serves on the Ochsner Health Board of Directors, and will be graduating from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a Masters of Medical Management in May. In 2022, Alisha chaired the New Orleans March of Dimes Signature Chef Fundrasier and modeled at Fleur de Bra to raise money for women battling breast cancer. Alisha has been married to her wonderful husband Joe Seremet for eleven years and they have two beautiful children, Nora (7) and Jack (4).


It’s all about vision for Doctor Amy Puerto. Whether it’s equipping her patients to see better, strategizing alongside the nonprofit boards she serves, or mapping a vision for her own future, Dr. Amy embodies the motto, “Carpe Diem!” Dr. Amy Puerto has a strong foundation in primary eye care and compassionately recognizes how systemic health and mental health affect a person’s visual and ocular needs. She proudly serves as the developer and supervisor for Louisiana Family Eyecare’s surgery-focused optometric residency program. Dr. Amy is among a small percentage of optometrists performing these procedures routinely, especially as a female eye doctor, and sees it her duty to advance this surgical skillset among her peers. For this, Dr. Amy was named the 2022 Louisiana Young Optometrist of the Year. Dr. Amy Puerto serves as President of the Junior League of Greater Covington, President-elect of the Optometry Association of Louisiana, Industry Relations Committee for the American Optometric Association, and Girls on the Run South Louisiana Young Professionals Board. Dr. Amy has a passion for civic engagement and supporting her Northshore community by mentoring and empowering the next generation of leaders.

Amy Puerto, O.D., FAAO

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Louisiana Family Eyecare President of Covington Junior League

Proud to recognize the incredible leaders at Ochsner Health.

Ochsner Health is proud to recognize Alisha Lacour, MD for being named to the Northshore’s 40 Under 40 list in 2022. This designation reflects her devotion to the community and continued dedication to excellence. Today, and every day, we are grateful for her unwavering spirit and commitment to our patients and community.

Dr. Alisha Lacour Seremet is the Associate Regional Medical Director of Ochsner St. Tammany West and continues to see patients at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. She grew up in Covington and is a proud graduate of St. Scholastica Academy. Dr. Lacour earned her medical degree at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, where she also completed her residency in Internal Medicine. She started her career as a Hospital Medicine Physician with Ochsner Health in 2014 and has served as the Vice Chair of Hospital Medicine and then the Vice President of Medical Affairs (VPMA) and Ambulatory Medical Director (AMD) at Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner before returning home to the Northshore.

I am so happy to be back in Covington. It feels like coming home. There is no substitute for being close to family and old friends. I find it very meaningful to impact my home community and provide care for the people who live here.

Anne Pablovich, a Mandeville resident, has served the St. Tammany community in some capacity for the entirety of her professional career. She spent nearly 12 years in service at St. Tammany Parish Government which culminated under President Pat Brister’s leadership. Since 2020, Mrs. Pablovich has served as St. Tammany Health System’s Community Health Coordinator. She leads teams that work to improve health outcomes in our community. Her first major achievement in this effort was the acquisition of a 40 foot mobile coach tilted the “Be Well Bus,” which provides mammography and other vital screenings directly to the community. She was also instrumental in the creation of “Healthier Northshore.” The Healthier Northshore initiative is dedicated to bringing people, organizations and resources together to amplify healthier living throughout St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. It is comprised of leading health systems, government officials and community leaders across St. Tammany and Washington Parishes and serves as a network for healthcarerelated education and resources in the region, promoting early detection and prevention to improve the health of our residents. Her greatest joy in life is family; she’s the proud wife of Eddie and mother to Brooks and Hannah, with another on the way.

Ben Martino is an Emergency Manager specializing in disaster recovery programs for public entities and private non-profit organizations following major natural disasters and emergencies. A life-long resident of St. Tammany Parish, he resides in Covington with his high school sweetheart Amanda and their two children, Benjamin and Evelyn. He is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University. A leader in our community, Ben serves on the executive board of directors for Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and is the Chapter President for The Northshore. He is a member, volunteer and supporter of Keep Covington Beautiful, on the Citizens Advisory Group for the Natalbany and Yellow Water River, as well as an aquatic volunteer instructor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Ben’s Northshore company, Pelican Assets Consulting (PAC), has worked directly with local agencies and jurisdictions following Hurricane Ida and the COVID19 pandemic assuring their speedy recovery. To date, his firm has recovered more than $1million in funding back to our area from FEMA. Ben enjoys the outdoors, kayaking, fishing, attending festivals with the family and spending time on the golf course.

Owner, Pelican Assets Consulting,

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Associated Terminals of Louisiana Bourbon Collective

Blake Hebert, originally of Destrehan, 2007 Graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, has resided in Tangipahoa Parish since 2002. Blake started his career in Maritime Transportation in 2008 and currently holds the position of General Manager of General Cargo with Associated Terminals. In 2018, he started the Louisiana Bourbon Collective as a platform to connect Louisiana’s bourbon and whiskey enthusiasts with others of similar interests within and around the state. The idea was focused on fellowship, shared learning and networking with reputable retailers to promote all things whiskey. Since that time, LBC has grown into a community of enthusiast who not only support their local communities and retailors, but also non-profit charitable organizations with inception, participation and promotion of fundraising efforts. During the onset of Covid 19, LBC partnered with members of the hospitality industry to assist with raising funds to assist employees affected by the shutdowns. Building upon that success, LBC has since directly supported multiple local charities with efforts totaling over $350,000.00 to date.


Bradley Leonhard is a nine-year veteran of St. Tammany Health System, serving the past four as director of Emergency Services at the health system’s flagship St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington. In that capacity, he oversees 120 employees, including those working in the hospital’s Emergency Department, which is a Level 3 trauma center and accredited Chest Pain Center and Stroke Center. A native of Harahan, Bradley received an associate degree in nursing from Charity School of Nursing in New Orleans, followed by a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a master’s degree in healthcare administration with a focus in leadership from Capella University. As a leader within St. Tammany Health System, he has been recognized with the St. Tammany Ambassadors Award and the Northshore District Nurses Association Nursing Excellence Award. Bradley has presented at many national nursing and healthcare conferences on process improvement within emergency departments and ED navigation. In 2021, he was named a recipient of the Vizient Brilliance Award for his commitment to quality patient care, patient safety and performance improvement. Bradley lives in Madisonville with his wife and two children. When away from work, he loves to spend time with his family.

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Bradley Leonhard, MHA, RN
Director of Emergency Services St Tammany Health Systems

A lifelong resident of Tangipahoa Parish, dedication and hard work have always been a driving force. Brandi learned at a young age, by watching her family members successfully run their multiple businesses, that it takes endurance and grit. While attending Louisiana State University, she assisted her husband Danny in opening and managing his flooring business and also overseeing the building of their rental properties. After graduation, she immediately began working in public accounting. In 2017, Brandi opened her own business, BRS Tax and Bookkeeping. She is proud to say that her business has flourished and her clientele has grown exponentially. She enjoys helping her clients establish their businesses as well as manage their personal affairs. Brandi has been honored as Best Accountant in Tangipahoa Parish in 2017, 2018 and 2022. She currently serves as Treasurer for the Tangipahoa Chamber and will serve as Chairperson for 2024. Brandi also serves on the Holy Ghost Catholic School Board. She has two amazing children, Addie Rose and Jett. In her spare time, she enjoys riding with the Mardi Gras Krewe of Cleopatra and assisting her husband coach their daughter’s soccer team.

When Cade was presented the opportunity to be a Land Specialist for Whitetail Properties Real Estate, he certainly didn’t have to think twice. Growing up in South Louisiana, Cade’s love for the outdoors came naturally. To be in the outdoors selling this area’s best recreational land was truly a dream come true. Cade has garnered many awards and accolades, including his latest as being recognized by the Realtors Land Institute as one of the nation’s top real estate brokers. The Realtors Land Institute is the industry’s leading land real estate organization, representing over 1,300 land professionals across the country. Cade also was awarded the Accredited Land Consultant designation, which are land professionals who are the most accomplished, most experienced, highest-performing land experts. Becoming an ALC requires successful completion of a rigorous education program, a proven track record of transaction performance, and a commitment to professional growth. Outside the world of real estate, Cade enjoys hunting and spending time with his family at their camp in MS. He stays busy with coaching and cheering at his kids’ sporting events and attending their music recitals. November is his favorite time of the year as he gears up for the upcoming hunting season and his annual bow hunting trip to Kansas. On Sunday mornings you can find him and his family serving and worshiping alongside the members of Eagle Heights Community Church.

Cade Taylor

Land Specialist Whitetail Properties

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Chelsea received her juris doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2011. She clerked for the Honorable K.K. Norman in the old Algiers courthouse for six months prior to opening her own practice, which ultimately landed her in downtown Covington in 2013. Her primary areas of practice are personal injury, successions and estate planning, business and contract law. Her office also handles an array of criminal matters and traffic tickets. Chelsea does not charge for legal consultations as she feels everyone has the right to speak to an attorney and obtain some form of guidance. Chelsea currently serves as the Publicity Chair for the Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival, on the board of the Northshore Business Exchange, and is a member of the Louisiana Association for Justice and St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers’ Association. As a native of Buras, Louisiana, Chelsea’s love for hunting and fishing came naturally at an early age. She also has a passion for good food, traveling, playing golf, and physical training doing mat pilates, ELDOA and kick boxing. Above all, Chelsea’s family is her world.

As Hope House’s Prevention Coordinator and Fiscal Manager, Christy directs the child abuse prevention programs and oversees the fiscal operations. Hope House is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse in our community. She is trained to facilitate multiple child abuse and trafficking prevention trainings, including Stewards of Children and Not a Number. Christy holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Louisiana State University and a Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. In 2016, LSU recognized Christy as a Rucks Fellow, the highest academic achievement awarded to the top ten senior management students. Prior to working at Hope House, she served as Regional Development Director at the American Heart Association and Development Specialist at the National MS Society. Born and raised on the Northshore, Christy lives in Mandeville with her husband and two dogs and enjoys riding her bike on the Tammany Trace and baking sourdough breads.

Children’s Advocacy Center Hope House

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Attorney at Law

Daniel Munn is a local Real Estate Agent who lives and works on the North Shore with his wife and son. He was born in New Orleans and relocated to Mandeville after Hurricane Katrina. He studied International Marketing at The University of Vienna & graduated from LSU where he met his wife Taylor, who is a local artist. They have a 2 year old son named Camden and they currently reside in Pine Creek Subdivision where Daniel serves as the President of the HOA. Traveling is a shared love for the Munn Family, they have been to all 50 states & over 40 countries. Daniel loves to give back to the community. This year he was chosen as one of the local celebrity leaders for the Men Who Cook event which raised thousands of dollars for Children’s Advocacy Center - Hope House. During the pandemic he created the Pay It Forward North Shore social media campaign and was able to help many struggling businesses in our local area. He also finds ways to give back by serving on multiple boards and volunteering for many charities. Daniel likes to participate in local community theatre projects and is also very active at their local church (Church of the King) where they have attended for over 10 years.“God, Family, and Business is my motto” says Daniel. “Always put God and family first, when you do that, the business will follow.” As one of the top agents on the North Shore, and one of the top 200 in the local region, this saying definitely rings true for Daniel and for the Munn Family.

David moved to St. Tammany Parish in 2016 with his wife Danielle. He quickly established his roots as a community leader, serving on multiple boards including the Our Lady of the Lake Men’s Club, Leadership St. Tammany Alumni Foundation, and he currently chairs the Festival of the Lake in Old Mandeville. Influenced by his father’s passion for construction, David knew early on that he wanted to make an impact on his community by bettering its infrastructure. This vision led him to LSU where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering. He joined Digital Engineering upon graduating, and quickly rose to become a firm leader, and ultimately an owner and Principal in Charge. David leads the firm’s Northshore operations, which enables him to fulfill his love for solving challenging engineering problems, in addition to his passion for teaching, mentoring, and empowering leaders. David enjoys spending his free time with his family as he and his wonderful wife Danielle follow around their four children: Avery, Mason, Camille, and Zachary in their multiple extracurricular activities.

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EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 023 2219 Carey St. Slidell CONGRATULATIONS CHEF JEREMY REILLY for his selection to Northshore Media Group’s Forty under 40 Go to restaurantcote.com for on/off site catering, menus, & reservations Tuesday - Trivia Night Wednesday - Wine & Wing Night Thursday - Steak Night 985.288.5440 restaurantcote.com READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2021 READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2022

Born and raised in St. Tammany Parish, Elesia Savannah loved being involved with flag team and band at Covington High School. Her voice was confident as the Chair of the PR committee and she quickly became the “unofficial organizer” among her friends and family. She is near completion for her BA in Business and Administration Management from Southeastern Louisiana University. Her career path began in the medical industry achieving the certification of Clinical Medical Assistant. While gratifying, Elesia changed paths after the birth of her baby girl, Eleia, and found her home at the Northshore Home Builders Association. An independent young mom with a strong faith, she says saving lives is a skill she can use at any job! Her close- knit family instilled an impeccable work ethic which serves her well. Elesia is respectful, poised and eager to assist HBA members. Her managerial and public relations skills are evident daily in providing step by step instructions on how to take advantage of NHBA savings programs, processing invoices and scheduling office maintenance. She is essential to membership retention, and acts as the liaison to the newly formed Young Professional committee, Northshore NEXT. Elesia is honored to be included in the 2022 Northshore Forty Under 40!

For the past seven years, Emily has had the privilege to be a part of the amazing team at St. Tammany Hospital Foundation, the fundraising arm of St. Tammany Health System. One of the primary functions of the foundation is to oversee the disbursement of donor dollars back to the hospital departments, programs and initiatives they will support. Helping the generous people in our community achieve their philanthropic goals of improving the health and wellbeing of their families, friends and neighbors is the most rewarding part of my job. In 2020, Emily was recognized by a committee of her peers as a St. Tammany Health System Ambassador. In 2021, as chairman of the Colleague Benevolent Fund Committee, she implemented efforts to assistant 50 colleagues who experienced loss and damages due to Hurricane Ida. Above all, the greatest achievement in her life is being a wife and mother to her three kids. When she’s away from work, Emily enjoys making memories with her family, tending her many animals and volunteering at her church. She is also proud to assist her husband with his local non-profit, Casey Cares Community Charities.

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Elesia Savannah Office Manager Northshore Homebuilders Association
Emily Foundation Coordinator St. Tammany Hospital Foundation

Gavin Jobe has wanted to be a chef since he was five years old. When he jumped head first into the restaurant business at the age of twenty he was hooked. Forgoing culinary school in order to get more well rounded hands on experience, he worked as a server, cook, bartender, wine sommelier, and general manager in various restaurants and bars before opening Meribo in 2016. As much as he loved this industry, it was quite apparent that it was built on a broken and unsustainable model. With most people in hospitality being overworked, underpaid, unappreciated, and hurting –including himself – he knew something needed to radically change. Having been a part of the status quo for so long, Gavin knew that change had to start in his own life first. His hope now is for he and Meribo to be part of the solution. “I want Meribo to be a place that enriches the lives of the people who work here, our community, and our guests. People are hurting, and if Meribo can be a place where they feel loved and valued, then I consider that success.” Gavin and Meribo now offer access to free mental health services to all employees, and they work with organizations like NAMI to impact the community as well. Gavin often says going to therapy is the best thing he’s done for himself, both as an individual and for his business. He believes by showing other restaurateurs that a business that deeply cares for their employees and community can actually be more profitable, he can push the industry he loves so much into a healthier and more sustainable chapter.

Gerrin Narcisse is a life-long resident of Lacombe, LA, where he currently lives with his wife, Naomi Narcisse, his two children Gabriel (8 years old) and Natalie (3 years old) and their dog, Darla. Inspired by his late mother, Gerrin lives by a simple mission: “To make someone else’s day better, every day.” This mission drives his passion to serve not only the Lacombe community, but the entire Northshore region. He takes this mission with him to work as Assistant Principal at Bayou Lacombe Middle School. There he empowers students and staff, builds relationships, maintains a positive culture and sets high expectations. He works diligently to make sure every student and staff member knows they are valued and they have the potential to succeed. Gerrin, also serves as the Executive Director of the Bayou Lacombe Cardinals Minor League Football Organization. The players are former high school or collegiate athletes and are given opportunities, support and resources to be successful in life after football. In addition, Gerrin co-founded Small Businesses of Lacombe, organizes many community volunteer events, organizes monthly cemetery clean ups and serves on a multitude of non-profit boards in the Northshore area. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Gerrin was instrumental in coordinating relief efforts for Lacombe. As a result of this dedication, Gerrin was selected to receive the inaugural St. Tammany Parish School Board’s President’s Award. Gerrin plans to continue using his ability to connect with people and grow networks to benefit others.

Gerrin Narcisse

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Assistant Principal Bayou Lacombe Middle School Executive Director Bayou Cardinals
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 026 LAKE • 69170 HWY 190. SUITE 1 • COVINGTON, LA 70433 • PHONE 985 733 4670 Palmettos on the Bayou CONGRATULATES EXECUTIVE CHEF ROSS DOVER on being selected Forty under 40! Come enjoy Chef Ross's amazing dishes, great live music, and our spectacular waterfront setting! palmettosrestaurant.com 1901 Bayou Lane, Slidell Thursday Steak Night, 5 – 9pm Brunch Friday and Saturday, 11am – 3pm Dinner Friday and Saturday, 5pm – 10pm Brunch Sunday, 10am – 3pm Dinner Sunday, 3pm – 8pm For reservations please call 985.643.0050 Christy Atkinson Child Abuse Prevention Coordinator & Director of Finance Congratulations! Congratulations! NORTHSHORE FORTY UNDER 40 We are so proud of you! Thank you for all you do to make our Hope House special! PROOF SHEET our ad that will run in the Febr uar y / Mar c h is s ue of E DGE of the Lake magaz ine. This ad will run hanges by ( 7 1 1 2 0 2 2 ) a t 5 : 0 0 P M . P lease m ake any c hanges or appr ove via email. Stranco Solid Waste Mgmt Co LLC’s management and administration employees would like to say, CONGRATULATIONS! William Strain Jr, for a job well done. Your hard work and perseverance is admirable and your enthusiastic attitude is inspiring. We look forward to watching you continue to grow and succeed in business.

Howard was raised in an Army family with roots in Evansville, Indiana. He lived in Germany, California and Illinois before his family made the move to settle in New Orleans. Howard fell in love with the culture, art and music and felt like this is where he belongs. After marrying his wife, Amber, the two moved to her hometown of Covington. Soon after, they opened Black Flower Apparel, a t-shirt and gift boutique in Downtown Covington. Howard has a background in fashion design and retail management so opening his own store was a dream come true. Howard is an active member of the Covington Business Association and was just appointed as Sargent at Arms of the board. He is a proud father of seven year old Howard IV and enjoys frequenting the wonderful events put on in Downtown Covington with his family.

Howard Harper III


Black Flower Apparel


Jacob is a native of Ponchatoula, LA, and a graduate of Ponchatoula High School. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2015, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and received his Master of Business Administration from Southeastern in 2016. Following graduation, he began his career in Hammond, LA with James Lambert Riggs & Associates, CPA’s, where today he is an equity owner and serves as Tax Director. In his role as Tax Director, Jacob assists clients by providing sound business and tax advice to clients all over the Northshore. Jacob also serves as Vice President and Emerging CPA Council Representative for the Northshore Chapter of the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants where their main goal is to give back to the community and promote the profession. Jacob now resides in Hammond, LA with his wife Shelby and their daughter Sadie. He enjoys hunting, fishing, sports and spending time with family and friends.

Jacob Steib

Tax Director, James Lambert Riggs & Associates, Inc.

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Jeremy Reilly is the chef and owner of Restauarant Coté and the Maple Room in the heart of Olde Towne Slidell. Jeremy is proud to call himself one of the pioneers of Olde Towne as it known today. When he first opened his business in 2013, Jeremy and a few other local business owners wanted to revamp and make Olde Towne a family friendly destination. Kids of all ages are invited to the “bar side,” Maple Room or for a more intimate atmosphere, try the “restaurant side” Restaurant Coté. Surviving hurricanes, pandemics and all the day to day hardships of the industry, Jeremy has put his blood, sweat and hard work into making this local hangout and relaxed dining experience. “Love all, trust few, do wrong to none” is Jeremy’s motto. He takes pride in his work and invites all to become family.



As a founder and Chief Operating Officer of In-Telecom at the age of 25, Jimmy has turned his vision of developing innovative communication strategies into a thriving enterprise. With his founding partner Shawn Torres, Chief Executive Officer, this dynamic team has yet to meet a challenge they were unwilling to conquer together. Over the past 13 years, In-Telecom has evolved from a telecommunication consulting business into a team of technology experts excelling across a variety of service lines including fiber internet. Today, In-Telecom employs over 60 full-time staff members across 3 locations and holds recognition from Inc. 5000 as one of the top fastest growing companies in America for the last 3 years. As the COO, Jimmy strives to operate a well-oiled machine in helping clients solve their technology issues. In this ever-changing technology world, it’s imperative to have a technology partner who understands the business. The team at In-Telecom are able to identify and develop the unique solutions to the challenges every one of their clients face. On the personal side, he enjoys spending a lot of time outdoors, spending time getting physically fit, and jumping at the opportunity of pushing himself to achieve personal goals whether it’s the physical fitness side or the professional side. Jimmy is a father of 2 outgoing, active boys, married to his college sweetheart and enjoys building business relationships and supporting local charities.

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John Burford became involved with the sport of powerlifting as a sophomore at Slidell High and never imagined that he’d be coaching just 10 years later. Burford was part of Frank Jabbia’s two-time state championship and national championship team, lifted for the US National team in Taiwan in 2002, then continued lifting at LSU. In 2009, he started his coaching career at Covington High. In 2014, he led the Lions to their first state championship and the first of five team national championships. In addition to the team accolades, he has coached numerous individual state and national champions. His years of success in Louisiana garnered national attention. In 2012, Burford became an assistant coach for the US National Powerlifting team, traveling to countries in eastern Europe, Central America and South Africa. Burford was named head coach of this team in 2022. He spent nearly two weeks in Istanbul, Turkey coaching 48 high school and collegiate lifters from across the United States. Since 2012, 21 of his lifters from Covington High have competed internationally.

John Burford

Covington High School

Powerlifting Coach Assistant Coach US National Powerlifting Team

Deputy First Class Jordan Moss is a lifelong resident of St. Tammany Parish, who graduated from Mandeville High School in 2002, before attending Southeastern Louisiana University. He is married to his beautiful wife Jamie and is the father of a gorgeous two-year-old girl. He began his law enforcement career with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in March 2014. The last five years, he has been a member of the STPSO Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). CIT is a specialized unit that focuses on mental health crisis de-escalation and jail diversion by while directing individuals to the most appropriate place. He has taken on a leadership role, becoming a nationally certified CIT Instructor, CIT Coordinator and Mental Health First Aid instructor, teaching more than 125 law enforcement officers and other community members over the last several years. He has dedicated countless hours to NAMI St. Tammany and was presented the 2021 CIT Officer of the Year Award. He was also awarded with the STPSO Medal of Valor in 2019 for actions beyond the call of duty.

Jordan Moss

Deputy First Class, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office

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Justin was born and raised in Independence, LA and earned two degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University. Upon graduating, he began his career as a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones. He married his beautiful wife, Taylor, in 2021. Taylor is a Physical Therapist, and they reside in Covington. Justin is a proud member of Crewe of 5, an advisor to Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, and an active participant in the Hammond FitFam community. He is also a member of Business Network International. In his spare time, he loves to spend time with his wife and family. He’s also quite the bookworm. For the time being, all his reading time is dedicated to his preparation to become a certified financial planner. Justin wants to continue learning and investing in his education so he can serve his clients better. His favorite part of his job is helping families discover what they are most passionate about, and then helping them align their financial situation to live out their dreams.

A proud St. Paul’s High School alum, Justin went on to graduate from LSU’s School of Architecture in 2009. After working for highly respectable firms around Louisiana, Justin returned to his Northshore roots and started Greenleaf Architects in 2015 at just 28 years old. Seven years later, Greenleaf Architects, the largest firm in St. Tammany Parish, is a regional recognized award-winning firm that has designed numerous types of projects all across the Gulf Coast. Justin is always looking for new opportunities and ideas to keep the company ahead of the competition and embraces the industry’s advancing technologies. As a leader, Justin believes strongly in the power of great culture and focuses on the professional development of his staff, constantly challenging his team to be better than they were the day before. The Northshore has been extremely supportive of both Justin and Greenleaf Architects, so it is only right for Justin to do his part and give back. This, and growing up in the community, have helped to ignite a new passion for Justin – staying involved in the local community on all scales of involvement, including taking part in local fundraisers, sitting on several boards to help with local non-profits, as well as participating in various community-oriented projects. Justin resides in Mandeville with his wife Kaitlyn and their two children, Madison (8) and Jackson (6).

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Justin Greenleaf
Owner, Principal Architect Greenleaf Architects

Kati Morse LeBreton

Interim Director of Alumni Relations at Southeastern Louisiana University

Kati Morse LeBreton is a life-long resident of Tangipahoa Parish. She is a proud two-time graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University (2013, 2015), where she was a softball student-athlete and President of the NCAA SAAC. She is a graduate of Leadership Tangipahoa (2022), a member of SLU’s GOLD Council and serves on the Tangipahoa Chamber’s Education Committee. As the Assistant Director of Development at the Southeastern Foundation, Kati works diligently to better the higher education experience for SLU students and faculty. Through strategic stewardship and creative programming, she uses her infectious #LionPride everyday to inspire others. Recently Kati was named Interim Director of Alumni Relations. In 2021, she launched her passion project, The Redhead Method: Social Media Education. By combining her expertise in the digital space with her unique flair for storytelling, Kati has developed a comprehensive, hands-on curriculum that helps all ages positively navigate the ever-changing social media landscape. Kati is an avid reader, average Cross-Fitter, and a podcast enthusiast. She lives in Downtown Hammond with her husband Michael, where they enjoy living within walking distance of some of the area’s best margaritas and queso dip.

Keith is Economic & Business Development Professional with experience in government relations, project management, business attraction, community development and marketing. A proud alumnus of Louisiana State University, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He is currently a project manager for St. Tammany Corporation, the lead economic development organization for St. Tammany Parish. He also serves on the First Planning District Workforce Development Board and is chairman of the Board of Directors for Plaquemines Primary Care. Keith has dedicated his life to service of his community and enjoys volunteering his time with a variety of organizations. He and his family reside in Covington and are members of Community Church.

Special Associate for Economic Development

St. Tammany Corporation

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Kyle D. Talley, CPhT, manages Floyd’s Family Pharmacy in Ponchatoula and Floyd’s Family Pharmacy in Bedico. Kyle is also a Certified Pharmacy Technician who works tirelessly to improve business operations day in and day out. He is an active and participating member of the Louisiana Independent Pharmacy Association, the National Community Pharmacy Association, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and many other local and national groups. Kyle is also currently studying at LSU of Alexandria to obtain his Bachelor of Business Administration. On the rare occasion that he has a day off, Kyle enjoys spending time with his son, Travis, and going to LSU Football games with his brothers and dad.

Manager of Floyd’s Family Pharmacy #1 (Ponchatoula) & Floyd’s Family Pharmacy #2 (Bedico).

Leighanne grew up in Mandeville where she graduated from Mandeville High and LSU before deciding to spread her wings beyond her home state of Louisiana. It was leaving this great state that made her appreciate it even more. During her time away, she worked as an event planner for a major insurance company, as an account manager for a large retail operation and finally as a project manager for the State of Mississippi. She always had a strong desire to find an opportunity in the non-profit sector, but little did she know that the experience and knowledge she would garner from these prior positions would prepare her as well as they did when she finally landed. When she and her husband moved back to Mandeville, a door opened for her with Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West, where she currently serves as the Development Director managing fundraising, donor relations, events, marketing and community outreach. Leighanne has played pivotal roles from reaching fundraising goals through the midst of COVID to coordinating the ever-growing Hammers & Heels Fashion Show. During her 8 years at Habitat STW, she has been a proud partner in helping over 50 Habitat STW families achieve homeownership and looks forward to many more! Leighanne is a rising professional who is in constant pursuit of building our future economy and improving the quality of life on the Northshore. She does this not only through her position with Habitat STW, but also through other capacities, such as serving on various community organization committees. She is currently serving as the VP of Communications for Junior League of Greater Covington and as an Alumni Foundation Board Member for Leadership St. Tammany, from which she is a proud graduate. When she’s not out and about in the community, Leighanne and her husband of nine years, Matt, can be found hustling between numerous extracurricular activities for their 4 and 6-year-old children.

Leighann Weeks

Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West

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Margaret Crosby is an award-winning photographer from Mandeville, Louisiana. She has traveled the world creating art with a single intention in mind: to allow the healing properties of nature shine through her work. She seeks to convey the small yet profound moments that are constantly occurring in our enviornment. Although she travels to experience the full spectrum of the natural world, Louisiana landscapes will always be an endless well of inspiration for her. You can find her taking her camera underwater to find new perspectives on the landscapes we know so well. Her work has been featured in many local exhibits and as far flung as Glasgow, Scotland. Her ultimate goal with her art is to help others find peace and stillness in an ever changing world. Much of her art hangs in hospitals and public spaces around the country, where she believes the work is serving its purpose.

Mattilyn has a longstanding passion for helping vulnerable children, youth and families flourish. It’s a passion she has pursued as a volunteer in community service, a student of public policy and teaching, a Teach For America corps member and classroom educator, and now, as Director of Early Childhood Systems in the Office of Governor John Bel Edwards. In her role with the Governor’s office, Mattilyn focuses on a very specific challenge: improving the social, health and education systems in Louisiana that shape the critical first five years of a child’s life. During the 2022 legislative session, she helped facilitate historic investments in young children and their families, helping to develop an executive budget that was largely accepted by the Legislature and invested over $100 million in early childhood programs. Mattilyn travels across the state visiting with early childhood providers and stakeholders to garner a genuine understanding of their communities and their needs. She then shares this perspective with state agencies, legislators and child advocates and works with them to develop policy that helps improve the lives of Louisiana’s young children and their families.

Mattilyn Karst Batson

Director of Early Childhood Systems

Office of Governor John Bell Edwards

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Margaret Crosby

Registered Dietitian

Meredith has been serving as Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Registered Dietitian for the past two years. As an oncology dietitian she aims to educate and counsel those throughout their cancer journey and into survivorship to ensure optimal health. Meredith enjoys providing food demos for patients, educating patients in the community at free screening events, and participating in interdisciplinary meetings and volunteering around the Northshore. Meredith most recently co-hosted The Louisiana Oncology Dietitian’s conference in Baton Rouge that gathered over 40 oncology dietitians around the state for a day of learning, networking and collaborating. She has also decided to further her education by working towards her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health. This hybrid program focuses on Integrative and Functional Nutrition to help fill the gaps of her more traditional schooling. This doctorate program will foster new and innovative ideas for the cancer center including her thesis to build an intensive and collaborative Breast Cancer Survivorship Program which includes realms of physical activity, supplementation and nutrition education. Meredith is so thankful for the opportunity to be nominated and chosen for Northshore Media Group’s Forty Under 40 2022. She is also thankful for everyone who has supported her along the way!


Morgan is a Hammond native who does her part to keep the community thriving. Morgan is married to Grady Seale and together they have two daughters, Halle (7) and Kennedy (5). Morgan has worked for Lamar Advertising Northshore for 12 years and is part owner of Covey Rise Farms and Covey Rise Kitchen (their new salsa company). Morgan attended both Holy Ghost Catholic School and St. Thomas Aquinas in Hammond. She received her bachelors in Marketing from LSU then returned to Hammond to earn her MBA at Southeastern. She recently graduated the Leadership Tangipahoa program in June 2022. She is currently serving her final year on the Tangipahoa Chamber Board of Directors and recently started serving on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center. Morgan enjoys volunteering at her childrens’ school, playing tennis, spending time on the water with family and friends, and planning and going on vacations.

Morgan Seale

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Ross Dover is a Louisiana native, born and raised in Houma, a town known for its Cajun cuisine. Ross uncovered his passion for cooking by the time he was in high school, working at local restaurants, where he learned the ins and outs of restaurant life. Ross attended Nicholls State University where he studied Culinary Arts at the John Folse Culinary Institute. There, he learned the true meaning of hospitality, and although he knew his heart was in the kitchen, he also studied front-of-house and business operations to gain a complete understanding of the industry. During his time at Nicholls, he completed two externships at James Beard Award winning Restaurant August. Ross continued to work at Restaurant August throughout his college career until graduation in 2014, where he began working as Sous Chef at the upscale eatery, Johnny Sánchez. There, Ross trained under the tutelage of Executive Chef Aarón Sánchez and gained invaluable experience traveling with him to numerous culinary events. In 2016, Ross returned to August to serve as the Executive Sous Chef. Ross took over as Executive Chef in 2018 and led the kitchen until his departure in December 2021. Ross is a local, residing in Pearl River, LA. As of January 2022, he began as Executive Chef at Palmetto’s on the Bayou, a place that serves the community in which he loves.

Executive Chef Palmetto’s on the Bayou

As a proud graduate of Hammond High School, Ryan went on to earn a football scholarship and serve as captain and center for the Statesmen at Delta State University. Ryan graduated with a Bachelors in International Business and Masters in Health and Physical Education and Recreation. He began his career as an educator and coach. Ryan serves as the executive director of the Hammond Area Recreation District. For the past 8 years he has operated Chappapeela Sports Park and more recently CP Mitchell Memorial Park in Hammond. In 2018, Ryan, with his beloved father, began Tanzania Adventure Tours, a vacation and safari company in Tanzania, Africa. Inspired by his work in the country, Ryan started a nonprofit foundation, Enrich Tanzania. Their goal is to provide education and recreational sports to children. In honor of his late father, Kimble Lee Academy is scheduled to open in 2025 to provide free education to the children of Tanzania. Ryan’s passion is spending time with his wife Celine and son Reid, volunteering with children and working in the community, and continuing to explore the world.

Ryan Barker

Owner / Adventure Specialist Tanzania Adventure Tours

Executive Director, Hammond Area recreation Dirstict

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While he is originally from the Westbank of New Orleans, Samuel has called the Northshore home for over 12 years. Throughout his career, he has led companies in the Audio/Visual and Hospitality industries, lending his bright personality and eagerness to serve others on his journey to the final destination: Real Estate. Samuel set out on a mission: Real Estate, Real People. At the heart of his mission, his goal is simple— He wants to be someone honest and truthful that you can trust without even having to consider it. Your friend first, your agent second. Jumping into his real estate career was a risk, and one that has paid off greatly due to the family and community he is now grateful to be a part of.

Stephanie has been a resident of St. Tammany Parish her entire life. Stephanie graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University, earning her bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 2014. Working through college, Stephanie gained extensive experience in hospitality, healthcare, and the industrial & IT recruiting industry. In 2016, Stephanie approached her family’s business, Success By Design Learning Center, with a business plan to grow the company beyond its original glory. Her mother, Cherry Smith, had run the business since 1998 and it was time to help build her mother’s legacy by teaching students that they are designed for success. As Director of Operations, Stephanie worked diligently to build a legacy that will last. The mother and daughter duo won the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce “All in the Family” award in 2019. Stephanie spends time in the community as part of the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, attending events and leadership meetings when possible. Stephanie was awarded St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year in 2019. Stephanie resides in Lacombe with her fake plants and her room-size closet, enjoying the pleasant sounds of birds chirping outside with no kids or pets to contend with. Stephanie enjoys learning new things, watching movies, riding her bike, and participating in community theatre.

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Tanmay Mathur

Tanmay Mathur is a healthcare professional and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Covington Behavioral Health, the largest mental health and psychiatric hospital on the Northshore. During his 4-year tenure, the hospital has almost doubled its bed size, expanded services for substance abuse treatment, added service lines for adolescents suffering from mental health issues as well as for veterans and active military suffering from PTSD, and began partnerships with the New Orleans VA Medical Center and the 22nd Judicial District Court in St. Tammany Parish. Previously, Mathur served on executive teams for hospitals in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago. Mathur also worked on the Corporate Strategy teams at two Fortune 500 healthcare companies, Humana and WellCare. Mathur serves on the Board of Directors of the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and the non-profit Greatest Gift, Inc., which is dedicated to the awareness and education of organ donation. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, as well as a proud member of the Krewe of Tucks. Mathur earned his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Tulane University, master’s degree in pharmacology from Tulane University School of Medicine, as well as an MBA with concentrations in strategy and healthcare from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.


William is a St Tammany native. In 1997 William was born to a hard-working family. William continues that family tradition today. William graduated from St. Paul’s High School in 2015 and wenton tograduatefrom theUniversity of Louisiana in Lafayette with a B.S.B.A degree in Business Management with a minor in Finance. William returned to St. Tammany in 2020 and began work for Stranco Solid Waste Management as a sales and transportation manager. Through his family’s business, he was not given a position of leadership without earning it. William has had to learn from the ground up how to lead his team to success. Even though William started working during the pandemic which was a challenging period for many companies, Williams education, mindfulness, skill and perseverance helped Stranco Solid Waste, an essential business, remain on top during this time. In William’s time at Stranco Solid Waste, William has led his team to a 35% growth in sales and a 20% reduction in expenses. Because of this, William has become an essential and integral part of Strano Waste’s growth and profitability. Stranco Solid Waste has been in business since 1998 and will soon be having its 25th Anniversary. With Williams leadership, customer service skills, management training and other abilities, Stranco Solid Waste hopes to see a long and profitable future.

Sales and Transportation Manager

Stranco Solid Waste Management Co. LLC

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The close of one year and start of a new year marks a period of celebration and reflection.

Our #TeamTangipahoa family is proud of the many successes we’ve experienced in 2022, and we’re excited by the promise 2023 presents.

We’ve overcome so many challenges in the last two years. By mid-2022, we had already collected more than 3 million cubic yards of debris from Hurricane Ida. While many of us still have work to do, the recovery effort is going strong in Tangipahoa, and we are grateful to be returning to our traditional way of life.

Speaking of recovery, our fair and festival season returned with gusto this year. Nearly every event has been the “biggest and best” yet. It’s been wonderful to be together again, and we are looking forward to even bigger celebrations in 2023!

Speaking of the new year, we continue to make progress on three big initiatives. We expect to break ground on our broadband project in 2023. Our goal is to put fiber infrastructure in the ground so that it will be easier for Internet Service Providers to tie in and connect homes and businesses. This will also allow for greater access to high-speed internet for our residents.

We are also making moves on our mental health initiative. Our goal is to partner with our health care providers across a five parish area to provide more access to mental health services. We have had several great meetings on this subject in 2022, and based on public input, we will continue to push this project in the new year.

Of course, we have so many good things coming in 2023. Tangipahoa is going to be the place to be in the new year!

On behalf of our entire team, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and successful 2023! May it be our best year yet!

Many of you know that Christmas is my favorite time of the year, a time for friends and families to gather and celebrate all the blessings in their lives. The City of Slidell has many wonderful things to celebrate, and I would like to personally invite you and your family to join us for these holiday events in Olde Towne Slidell.

Vince Vance and the Valiants will be kicking off the holiday season with the Bayou Jam Christmas Spectacular concert on Friday, Dec. 2, starting at 6 p.m. in Heritage Park. This familyfriendly concert will include all your favorite Christmas songs, including Vince’s perennial hit, All I Want For Christmas Is You! Admission is free.

Christmas Under the Stars, the city’s annual holiday celebration in Griffith Park, features lights and decorations, Big Santa, and the life-size Christmas Cottages designed by artist Lori Anselmo. You don’t want to miss the new Nightmare Before Christmas-inspired cottage! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting Dec. 2-3 and 9-10 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity for kids to tell Santa what’s on their wish list and for parents to commemorate the moment with a photo! Admission is free.

The third annual Olde Towne Community Christmas Golf Cart Parade rolls on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. throughout Olde Towne Slidell. Join members of our community who will be decorating their golf carts and throwing Christmas candy, beads and other holiday goodies.

My wife, Peggy, and I will be hosting our annual Ugly Sweater Gala on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Slidell Auditorium. Proceeds support Peggy’s Playground, with the mission of providing playground equipment for children with special needs in city parks so that all children can play together. More details are coming soon so stay tuned!

And last but certainly not least, come enjoy some great music at the Holiday Concert with the Northshore Community Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Slidell Auditorium. Admission is free.

For more information about these events, please visit MySlidell.com or call the Dept. of Cultural & Public Affairs at (985) 646-4375.

I encourage everyone to Shop Slidell and support our local businesses this holiday season.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

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Greg Cromer City of Slidell Mayor
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 039 Unique gifts, jewelry, home decor, baby, bath, wedding, outdoor gifts, Coffee Shop, and Event Space. Covington 985.900.2227 226 E Lockwood St. Seasons Greetings © 0 22 ando Jew elr All rig ts ed More than a gift 17468366 AVAILABLE AT RUBY - YOUR NORTHSHORE PANDORA LOCATION! 100 North Cate Street, Hammond, LA 985.345.4745 © 2 0 22 P ando r a Jew elr y L L C All rig h ts r eser v ed M ore t han a gi ft 17468366 AVAILABLE AT RUBY - YOUR NORTHSHORE PANDORA LOCATION! 100 North Cate Street, Hammond, LA 985.345.4745 AVAILABLE AT RUBY YOUR NORTHSHORE PANDORA LOCATION! 100 North Cate Street, Hammond, LA 985.345.4745

Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 040 985.206.5125 5150 HWY 22 Suite A5 Mandeville A Wellness Boutique for P eople P ets Local & Savannah Bee Honey | Melissa & Doug Toys | Spa Body Care Bath Products | Wellness Supplements 25% Off Honeycomb month of December Cutting Edge Theater TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE cuttingedgetheater.com PHONE 985.649.3727 TEXTING 985.285.6666 767 ROBERT BLVD. SLIDELL DECEMBER 1-11 Thursday, Friday and Saturday @ 7pm Saturday and Sunday @ 2pm The Musical
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 041 SANTA PARADE ROUTE Live music, face painting, MES Bell Chorus, lighting of the oaks & don’t forget your cameras for pictures with SANTA! TRAILHEAED HOLIDAY MARKETS Saturday, Dec 10 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Saturday, Dec. 17 9:00 am - 3:00 p.m. Winter on the Water Street & Boat Parades Saturday, December 3, 2022 Santa Street Parade - 4:00 p.m. Lighted Boat Parade - 5:15 p.m. FREE MOVIE NIGHT Friday, December 16 Fun at the Gazebo cityofmandeville.com EXPERIENCEMANDEVILLE.ORG (985) 624-3147
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 042 Gift Guide HOLIDAY 1Holiball The Inflatable Ornament® Franco’s Lifestyle Boutique 100 Bon Temps Roule Mandeville 985.792.0200 2 Governor Pool House Lanterns Available in 3 sizes, Antique Copper or Stainless Steel Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights 68467 Hwy 59, Suite 4 Mandeville 985.249.6040

Royal Jelly Body Butter Queen Bee Honey Emporium 5150 LA 22 Suite A5 Mandeville 985.206.5125

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Ornaments Once In Awhile 226 E Lockwood St. Covington 985.900.2227
Holiday Gift Basket Back Home Desserts 1141 N. Leed Rd. Covington 985.867.8383
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 044 753’ Play pod w Cover Once Upon A Child 4240 LA-22 #7 Mandeville 985.809.3244 8RED LIGHT COUNTOURPOD MASSAGE beon 2885 U.S. Hwy 190 Unit C Mandeville 985.800.2366 6SNOWFLAKE AND CELESTIAL CHARM SET Ruby 100 North Cate St. Hammond 985.345.4745

TORY BURCH PURSE Style Encore 4244 LA-22 Suite 3, Mandeville 985.674.7776

ART GLASS AIR PLANT HANGER Outdoor Living Center 1331 N Hwy 190 #600 Covington 985.893.8008

Great gift idea! Art glass air plant hanger. Multiple sizes and colors. Outdoor Living Center 893-8008


ART ON WOOD FRAME SOUTHERN AVENUE 70488 HWY 21 Suite 400 Covington 985.871.1466

Pandora Christmas Mouse
Reindeer Charm Set Carter’s Jewelers 230B Frontage Rd. Picayune, Ms 601.749.2009 9
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 046 601. 749.2009 cartersdiamondjewelers.com PICAYUNE, MS 70488 HWY 21 • COVINGTON • 985.871.1466 • WWW.SHOPSOUTHERNAVENUE.COM SOUTHE RN A VEN UE “ Locally made ornaments, jewelry, gifts, and décor! “
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 047 Azalea Square 4244 Hwy 22, Mandeville 985-674-7776 Azalea Square 4240 Hwy. 22, Mandeville 985-792-7512

Throw me something, Mister!! January and February bring Mardi Gras to Louisiana and Covington has more than its fair share.

The St. Johns Fools of Misrule (which derive their name from Covington’s historic downtown St. John district – founded in 1813) kick-off the season on January 7, 2023. Their bawdy and festive procession begins at the Columbia Street Taproom and marches an entire block to the Covington Trailhead, at which time the Lord Fool is selected. The crawl continues for another six blocks with “refreshment” stops at the Southern Hotel, the Boston Pub, Wharton’s Green Room, Cilantro’s and Columbia Street Rock n’ Blues.

The Mystic Krewe of Olympia rolls through downtown and outlying residential neighborhoods on Saturday evening, February 11th. Tens of thousands of parade-watchers descend upon the city to enjoy this traditional New Orleans style parade with the queen, her court, the mystic king Zeus, over 300 masked riders and the best high school marching bands around.

Fat Tuesday begins with the 64th year of the Covington Lions Club parade, immediately followed by the 72nd year of the Mystic Krewe of Covington, followed by the 6th year of the Northshore’s newest addition: Carnival in Covington. The latter, supported by the City of Covington and local businesses, rolls with 15 New Orleans style floats and over 400 participants. After the parades, the party moves to the Trailhead for food, music and dancing. Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Mardi Gras is just one more reason Covington is one of the coolest cities in the Northern Hemisphere. Neither Vienna nor Paris have a carnival celebration like Covington ; ).

I hope you enjoyed fall as much as we did in the City of Mandeville!

Traffic is one of the largest quality of life indicators in Mandeville. Traffic improvement projects are a huge priority of my administration. So many of our roads in Mandeville are under the jurisdiction of other government entities. Therefore, coordination, collaboration, and relationships are essential. As such, I have committed to hosting an annual Mandeville Traffic Summit meeting each year to gather all government officials and entities involved and both inform and answer residents’ questions. This year’s Mandeville Traffic Summit took place on Wednesday, November 16 at the Mandeville Paul Spitzfaden Community Center. Some of the projects discussed were City of Mandeville projects, while others were projects of other entities that might affect Mandeville residents.

I would like to announce a new Public Works work order system. This is something our IT Department along with Public Works has been working on for some time and is a priority of mine. I believe this new option will help immensely and I would encourage you to try it out the next time you have an issue involving public works. To access it, please visit the website and scroll down to “How Can We Help?”. There is a big green button for public works work orders that you can click on to get started.

The business community in Mandeville continues to thrive. I have attended several ribboncuttings in the last few weeks and have more on the calendar for the coming weeks. The new TARGET store in Mandeville has opened and we are looking forward to other businesses (large, medium, and small) that are set to open in the coming weeks and months.

Please enjoy the great weather and all that Mandeville has to offer. I am honored to serve as the Mayor of Mandeville, a city with so much to be thankful for!

I remain very truly yours.

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Mark Clay Madden City of Mandeville Mayor
EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 049 50 TOWN CENTER PARKWAY | SLIDELL | 985.639.9891 US AFTER THE GAME! COME HANG OUT WITH EDGE OF THE LAKE • 69170 HWY 190. SUITE 1 • COVINGTON, LA 70433 • PHONE January 19th 7:00 PM Fuhrmann auditorium Tickets can be purchased at bontempstix.com PRESENTED BY COVLA.COM 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 Open Sunday December 4th, 11th & 18th Noon to 4 Christmas Eve 9 to 2 Gift Cards Available Gas Logs Fireplace Accessories Wood & Gas Fire Pits BBQ Grills Grill Accessories Built-In Components Unique Coolers Garden Accessories Decorative Door Mats Wind Spinners Acrylic Tableware Wall Art Accessories & Hardwood Charcoal Patio Furniture Umbrellas Sunbrella® Pillows Banner Flags Wind Chimes Bird Houses & Feeders

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Athletic Training Program Expands Degree to Masters

The Southeastern community announced the expansion of their athletic training program. It now includes a Master of Science degree. A recent interview with Dr. Ryan Green, department head of Kinesiology and Health Studies, and his two colleagues, Dr. Charity Bryan, program director for the athletic training program, and Dr. Kirsten Cunha, the clinical education coordinator for the newly expanded athletic training program, discussed the department’s expansion.

Green stated that the master’s program has been in the pipeline since 2015. Then, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), the national accrediting body for athletic training, began the process of transitioning all undergrad athletic training programs to master’s degree programs.

This was done to align athletic trainers (ATs) with other allied health professionals like physical and occupational therapists. Having the same level of education and training as other qualified

health care professionals allows athletic trainers to integrate further into their career fields.

According to Bryan, there once were approximately 10 athletic trainer programs in Louisiana. Of that total, only three transitioned to the master’s program: Southeastern, LSU and University of Louisiana in Lafayette.

Back in the 90s, under the direction of Dr. Ronnie Harper, Southeastern became the first university in Louisiana to host an accredited undergraduate AT program. Green noted that two other long-term athletic trainers at the university were Doc Goodwin and Grady Morgan, both of whom remain great mentors to the athletic training community. It made perfect sense to keep the momentum going by transitioning to a master’s program.

Cunha was quick to point out that ATs do far more than tend to football players’ injuries. Her own background in performing arts medicine made her the perfect candidate for her position. She states that ATs are injury prevention specialists,

but not just for collegiate or professional athletes. ATs work in various settings alongside other allied health care professionals.

Students can find jobs working across a wide spectrum of settings – the performing arts, industrial environments, military settings, warehouses, physician’s offices, and orthopedic clinics. One of SELU’s AT students worked at the Saint’s training camp this summer.

Green added that ATs pair with and work in lockstep providing care for active individuals from preschool through their golden years. Anyone who remains physically active and seeks to avoid or treat injuries can benefit from ATs in therapeutic settings offering wellness promotion, injury evaluation and patient treatment and rehabilitation.

The first group of student cohorts began their programs this summer. They’ll continue during the fall and spring semesters. Then, Green encourages them to intern with facilities that complement their programs. After completing two additional fall and spring semesters, they’ll graduate with a master’s in athletic training. That prepares them to pass the national certification test and become credentialed as licensed athletic trainers in Louisiana.

As news of the program spreads throughout the local community, the program will expand organically. Students interested in allied health care professions can contact the university for more information about this innovative new program.

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EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 052 WE KNOW YOU’RE BUSY RELY ON OUR DEPENDABLE CLEANING SERVICE Regular, scheduled cleaning services on flexible schedules Residential and Commercial Now offering the entire Northshore, Hammond and Denham Springs JENNA MEEKS (985) 276-0039 allsaintscleaning.com PROOF SHEET our ad that will run in the Febr uar y / Mar c h is s ue of E DGE of the Lake magaz ine. This ad will run hanges by ( 7 1 1 2 0 2 2 ) a t 5 : 0 0 P M . P lease m ake any c hanges or appr ove via email. Reservations Strongly Recommended 985.796.4466 82010 Highway 25 Folsom, LA 70437 Roux 25 is a farm-totable gastropub featuring craft cocktails and creative dishes using local ingredients. Open for dine in and take out Wednesday-Saturday 2-5 Happy hour craft cocktails and small plates 5-9 Dinner service A ttac hed is a proof of y our ad that will run in the Febr uar y / Mar c h is s ue of E DGE of the Lake as is unles s we rec eiv e c hanges by ( 7 1 1 2 0 2 2 ) a t 5 : 0 0 P M . P lease m ake any c hanges or appr Wednesday - Friday 10am - 5pm Saturday 9am - 2pm Fresh Baked, Homemade Desserts with Quality Ingredients

Elizabeth was blindsided when at only 35 years old, she discovered a lump and found out it was breast cancer. She began treatment immediately, before moving to Madisonville. That’s when she opted to transfer to St. Tammany Cancer Center – A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center, which not only lowered her mileage to and from treatments, but also her stress levels. Upon completion of her chemotherapy treatments, Elizabeth underwent physical therapy through Ochsner’s integrative oncology services, to regain strength and range of motion in her upper body. We’re helping Elizabeth get stronger every day, so that she can experience the joys of life and motherhood. Whatever your reasons are for doing the things you do, we’ve only got one. YOU.


Elizabeth T.
Elizabeth’s spirit is stronger than cancer.


In 2018, Hammond resident Ryan Barker began Tanzania Adventure Tours in Africa with his father, Kimble Barker, and Said Kambelenje, a friend from Ola City, Tanzania. Their goal was to shed light on the beautiful country of Tanzania and its culture. Ryan’s father Kimble passed away in 2019. Today Ryan runs the company with his partner Said Kambelenje.

Ryan said his interest in Africa came from his father’s interest in Africa. Ryan grew up watching nature channels such as National Geographic with his dad. When Ryan graduated from Delta State University, his father offered him the opportunity to take a trip outside of the country. This traveling adventure resulted in Ryan’s professional future.

Said Kambelenje was Ryan’s tour guide the first time he went to Tanzania with his father in July 2006. They initially met just after Ryan’s flight landed at Mount Kilimanjaro International Airport. The safari proved to be a life changing experience for Ryan that shaped his goal to recruit as many people as possible to experience Tanzania, Africa.

After Ryan returned home from that trip, he kept up with Said Kembelenje through social media messaging. Ryan also sent Kambelenje a package once a year with books, presents for his children, and of course, Tony Chachere seasoning. Six years ago, Ryan flew Kambelenje to the United States for his very first visit. Kambelenje spent eight days in Louisiana learning about local favorite activities, such as Zydeco, and he even attended an LSU baseball game.

On one of Kambelenje’s last nights in the United States with Ryan, they decided they wanted to start a safari company in Tanzania together. They stayed awake until 4 a.m. the next morning making plans to start their business.

Ryan says that he didn’t sleep for the next year because of the nine-hour time difference. Kambelenje would call him some mornings before he started work, and they would talk for hours. While Ryan worked on getting funding, Kambelenje searched Tanzania for vehicles to use for their tours. Ryan’s dad was a major part of the business. Ryan came up with a business plan and presented it to his father, and with no hesitation, his father wanted to be a part of the plan.

Ryan and his father visited Tanzania in January 2017 to get the business started. They brought photographer Kyle Clements along with them to collect photos and footage for marketing. They used this trip as an opportunity to contract with other companies, work with government officials and figure out lodging accommodations they wanted to offer their clients. During this trip, they also made a down payment on the garage that they would need for their vehicles.

People booked tours with them before they even launched their website. Their first group was a family from Hammond.

Tanzania Adventure Tours has been officially open for four years. Groups have booked tours with them anywhere from three months to two years in advance. While signing up on the website, customers fill out a questionnaire that allows them to browse historical sites, famous national parks, explore cultural experiences, visit tropical beaches of Zanzibar and much more. Each itinerary is customized to accommodate their clients’ dreams and interests. For lodging, tourists have the option to stay in bungalows, luxury tented camps or a structured lodge, all with different amenities and accommodation levels from moderate

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to Hi Luxury.

The company also provides tourists with a checklist containing descriptions of some of the animals they could potentially see while visiting and all of the helpful resources to guide them through the booking and packing processes.

Kembelenje and his crew host the tour and sometimes Kembelenje even brings tourists back to his home to serve them an authentic Tanzanian lunch. In his free time, he trains other drivers and records footage for the website. During tours, guests have the opportunity to observe such events as elephants crossing a creek, giraffes eating out of trees and even lions stalking gazelles on the Serengeti Plain.

Ryan also said there is an opportunity to extend this adventure. There are several different routes to Tanzania: through Amsterdam, London, Istanbul, Kenya and Dubai.

“That’s the beauty of it. That’s one thing I’d love to convey and will convey in my marketing is to make it two trips. When we travel this January, we are going to do a layover for 24 hours in Amsterdam and take the time to explore. Making it two trips in one!”

On their first trip in 2006, they spent multiple hours in a Toyota Land Cruiser. Ryan said, “You could basically live in ours. We had a refrigerator, power strip, eight seats, and a convertible top that stands up so you can observe wildlife.”

Ryan said tourists can get out in some of the areas. “There are protected areas for picnics or stretching. Sometimes you’re in areas you can get out depending on where you’re located.”

On the 22 day long trip, tourists can visit places like the Serengeti and Olduvai Gorge, Ngorngoro Crater. Ryan said that at the end of each day everyone gathers around the campfire prior to dinner for a Sun Downer. Some of the best times are at the dinner table and discussing what they experienced that day.

Ryan said, “The next day comes, and you’re thinking there’s just no way today can be better than yesterday. There’s just no way. And then it always is. Always. East Africa touches your soul.”

Tanzania Adventure Tours has a nonprofit called Enrich Tanzania. The mission of Enrich Tanzania is to enrich the lives of the people in Tanzania through education and recreation, one child at a time. It is with great pride that Ryan recently announced that ground has been broken for the first school to be built in the area, Kimble Lee Academy, which is dedicated to the memory of Ryan’s now-deceased father, Kimble.

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EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 060 985.892.4663 | WWW.HOODCHEVY.COM BIGGER. BETTER. BOLDER. 2023 TAHOE
HolidayPresentedEvents by www.oldmandevillebiz.com O L S OLD MANDEVILLE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION PRESENTS: OLDMANDEVILLEBIZ COM Lynnette Boudet 120+ Artists & Vendors, Live Music, Food, Children's Village, Train Rides, Santa & More! OLDMANDEVILLEBIZ COM Lynnette Boudet WINTER ON THE WATER 4PM on the Lakefront Santa's Street Parade, Lighting of the Oaks, Live Music & More! sion Old Mandeville Business Association Holiday Events PRESENTED BY SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2022 • 10AM-4PM HISTORIC OLD MANDEVILLE 75 Artists & Vendors • Live Music • Food Children's Village • Train Rides • Santa & More! Saturday, December 10 • 4PM on the Lakefront Santa’s Street Parade • Lighting of the Oaks Live Music & More! on Girod Street Winter on the Water OLD MANDEVILLE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION PRESENTS THE 10TH ANNUAL HISTORIC OLD MANDEVILLE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 • 5PM-9PM Sips of the Season Stroll ALCOHOLIC & NON-ALCOHOLIC SIPS AT 35+ LOCATIONS $30 PER MUG Available to Purchase October 8th (cash or check only) Pre-Purchase Mugs at the Following Locations: The Book & The Bean: 235 Girod St. Cameo Boutique: 302 Girod St. Das Schulerhaus Gift Gallery & Christmas Boutique: 611 Girod St. Marsh and Bayou Outfitters: 2600 Florida St. Tallulah's Vintage Market: 149 Girod St. (Rainout date: Saturday, December 3, 6-9PM)
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a Drive Folsom, LA

Between persistent lines of traffic and a bustling social calendar, life on the Northshore can get pretty hectic. Needing a brief escape, I took a day trip to the village of Folsom. I knew the place from horseback riding and several school field trips to Global Wildlife, but I never could have expected the gems that were hiding past the road more traveled.

Located a little more than 12 miles north of Covington, the village is nestled in the St. Tammany countryside amidst polo farms and plant nurseries.

I easily found The Giddy Up in the center of town, and I figured that a coffee shop would be the perfect place to start the day.

Stepping through the front door, I instantly felt like I had been transported to a mountain lodge in Wyoming. Walls made of heavy wood, metal light fixtures, leather couches and cow-skin rugs anchor the equestrian vibe. Glass French doors in the back of the shop reveal a spacious porch with a large fire pit and lawn chairs.

Despite the speedy-sounding name, the patrons are not in a hurry to ride away from The Giddy Up. Instead, the place appears to be the town hall, the newspaper office and the neighborhood haunt, all at the same time.

It’s not just the ambience that makes the place charming, but also the little things. The lending library beneath the counter, at least on this particular day, offers the curious reader a diverse mixture ranging from horror novels to Betty White’s autobiography.

Owner Ashley Penton simply wanted to transform a house on LA25 into a small cafe, but that dream quickly evolved to reflect her family’s love for the arts. The baby grand piano and the guitar on the wall suggest the open mic nights, which occur on some Fridays.

With help from her dad Frank Richerand, Ashley added a music venue and event center behind the back porch. Rather than hearing horses whinny in The Paddock, visitors are treated to a live concert on the first Friday of every spring month – March through June – and every fall month – September through December.

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30.6302° N, 90.1873° W

Once The Giddy Up became the gathering place for Folsom residents, it started to revitalize the entire village. People come together at the cafe, including the various community groups who regularly meet there.

On the first Friday of every month, a healthy crowd files in the doors for the community breakfast. Coffee, donuts and muffins are on the menu, along with a discussion of the important topics around Saint Tammany Parish.

Every Thursday afternoon, local vendors also gather from all over the parish to sell their goods at the weekly farmers’ market. Shoppers can expect to find prepared foods, local art, fresh homemade produce and handmade crafts on display.

Community outreach also remains close to the Richerands’ hearts. The coffee shop sponsors New Heights Therapeutic Riding Center, which has invited adults and children to experience “healing through the power of the horse” since 1998.

Situated on a sprawling eight-acre horse farm, New Heights is the region’s only fully accessible therapeutic riding facility. The center offers therapeutic riding services and hippotherapy to adults and children with cognitive, physical and emotional challenges.

After lunch, I had the chance to tour the three Airbnb rentals on the property. Each unit carries over the coffee shop’s rustic decor, while providing all of the necessary modern conveniences. Lovingly designed and decorated by Frank, Ashley, sister Micha and mom CloLynn. Each cottage has a different equine theme: English, Native American Western and Cowboy Western. The furniture was sourced by the family from all over the Northshore and New Orleans.

Of particular interest was the English Cottage, a 2-bedroom and 2-bath unit featuring wooden accents made from trees which the Richerands lost during Hurricane Ida in 2021. The wood was


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folsom, la

roughcut at Jenkins Sawmill and installed into the cottages. The whole project was overseen by Frank. The attention to detail is amazing with beautiful unique works of art scatted around the cottages.

Upon exiting the cottage, I noticed an intriguing little shack across the street. Per my guide, it served as the village library for forty years.

Before 1943, books only came to Folsom with a weekly visit from the bookmobile. That’s when town leaders approached schoolteacher Ella “Aunt Decie” Pittman and asked to use her husband’s storage and mechanics shed in the backyard of their home.

James Pittman gladly obliged, and he began working to make the place into a library. His wife naturally assumed the position as the librarian.

Four years later, the small library opened on a Friday afternoon. The weekly stroll to pick out a book from Aunt Decie became a ritual for local children.

Boys and girls would line up outside the door, then find their new favorite book and stop to read on the nearby benches.

In 1987, the Library System elected to build a larger structure for the village of Folsom. With that, the building fell into disrepair.

However, historian Jon Laiche soon got the idea to convert Aunt Decie’s library into a museum. Along with a group of community members who had their own history with the library, the group renovated the dilapidated walls and vegetation-covered rooftop.

Once the building looked like it did in its glory days, Laiche filled the shelves with books that would have been popular in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Collectible books and his own personal donations completed the store.

For the final destination on my trip, I popped into Far Horizons Art Gallery. Perusing the paintings, pottery, blown glass, and sculptures made by local Folsom artists, including Craig McMillin, Bill Binnings, Bernard Mattox and Demi Fancois. I was amazed at the talent that it must have required to make the pieces.

Ashley informed me about the art exhibitions on the first Friday of every month when the weather is not too cold or too hot. The spring season runs from March until June, and the fall season runs from September until December.

Heading out of town, I passed a hot new restaurant called Roux 25. The farm-to-table eatery serves creative dishes using local ingredients, as well as a selection of craft cocktails. The small plates and dinner specials change based on the availability of fresh meat and produce.

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The owner, Christina Favret plans to add a brunch menu soon. Reservations are highly recommended.

If you still have energy after such a whirlwind of activities, you might want to participate in a match or sign up for lessons at one of the many polo fields around Folsom. Should you just desire to watch, that’s okay, too.

The Giddy Up is open Monday through Sunday from 7 am to 5 pm, with extended hours until 9 pm on the first Friday of every month.

Far Horizons Art Gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm, with art shows on the first Friday of every month from 6 pm until 9 pm.

Roux 25 is open Wednesday through Saturday from 2-9 pm. 2-5pm for Happy Hour and 5-9pm for dinner.

EDGE December 2022 | January 2023 067 90.1873° W
30.6302° N,
GIDDY UP GROUNDS 82292, 82304, & 82286 HWY 25 Folsom, LA giddyupfolsom.com 985.260.5060 13243 BROADWAY STREET FOLSOM, LA 70437 FOLSOM’S NEWEST AIR BNB ENGLISH COTTAGE www.airbnb.com/ rooms/6911874 40337256467 WESTERN A www.airbnb.com/ rooms/6913401 37684268755 WESTERN B www.airbnb.com/ rooms/6912686 19906693656
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 2022 Cultural Sponsors: Renaissance • $5,000 Sponsors: Baroque • $2,500 Sponsor: Silver Slipper Casino Neoclassical • $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Lori’s Art Depot Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency Impressionism • $500 Sponsors: P. David Carollo, Attorney-at-Law • CiCi’s Pizza • Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer State Representative Mary DuBuisson, District 90 • Roberta’s Cleaners • Slidell Historic Antique Association Christmas Under the Stars N o v. 1 4 , 2 0 2 2 J a n . 3 , 2 0 2 3 • 6 9 p m • G r i f f i t h P a r k i n O l d e To w n e Visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Gazebo on Dec. 2 3 & 9 10, 6:00 8:30 pm Holiday Lights & Decorations • Santa’s Magical Mailbox • Big Santa • Slidell’s Nativity Life-size Christmas Cottages featuring the NEW Nightmare Before Christmas Cottage! ( 9 8 5 ) 6 4 6 4 3 7 5 • M y S l i d e l l . c o m • “ C i t y o f S l i d e l l ” o n F a c e b o o k 3 r d A n n u a l O l d e To w n e C o m m u n i t y C h r i s t m a s P a r a d e Sunday, Dec. 4 • 5 pm • Olde Towne Slidell • Free Admission Come join us in Olde Towne Slidell as festively decorated golf carts parade through the streets. Free to participate. If you would like to be a part of this parade, please call (985) 646-4375 for more information. Holiday Concert with the Northshore Community Orchestra Saturday, Dec. 17 • 7 pm • Free Admission Slidell Municipal Auditorium • 2056 Second St. Plus + Publications Friday, Dec. 2 • 6 pm • Heritage Park • Free Admission Vince Vance and the Valiants will perfrom a free Christmas concert in Heritage Park. The King of Christmas will perfrom all your favorite holiday songs, including his hit perennial song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” B a y o u J a m C h r i s t m a s S p e c t a c u l a r w i t h V i n c e Va n c e a n d t h e Va l i a n t s A n d d o n ’ t m i s s t h e s e o t h e r h o l i d a y e v e n t s i n O l d e To w n e S l i d e l l ! Slidell’s Bayou Christmas Heritage Park • Event: Dec. 15-18, 22-23 • 6 9 pm Light displays: Nov. 14 - Jan. 3 • Free Admission Features pictures with Santa, rides, concessions and more!



Any time I’m asked to interview an artist, I like to start my research by simply spending a little time sitting quietly with their work. I’m not a trained expert or critic by any stretch of the imagination, so there’s no hardcore analysis involved. It’s all about visceral impressions and hoping that a little something about the artist and their perspective is revealed.

In the past, this has resulted in sensory experiences like hearing carnival drums, smelling pluff mud and feeling pretty much every emotion in the book. But something different happened as I tried to connect with the work of fine art photographer, Margaret Crosby.

Most of her collections capture different natural elements and settings, from serene swamps to ferocious oceans to ethereal flora and fauna. Some are presented in their seemingly natural states, some are slightly enhanced and others are altered to create an otherworldly effect. Though they seem vastly different, there’s clearly a common thread. But it’s something intangible, like some sort of a spiritual or philosophical concept lurking just beneath the surface. I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to speak with Margaret for some clarity.

When I caught up with her, Margaret was doing one of the things she loves most: surfing in California. “I definitely came into the world adventurous,” she explained. “I got to travel to different countries from a young age, and this helps me to be a little less attached. It’s given me a broader perspective, so I focus less on sweating the small stuff.”

Born and raised in Mandeville, 34-year-old Margaret comes from a big family, populated mostly with real estate developers. She describes them as being a healthy balance of practical and creative-minded people, perhaps paving the way for her to eventually pursue artistic endeavors.The keyword being “eventually,” as it took a little time for her to discover her true passion.

“In college, I studied psychology, but I hung out with artists so much that people assumed I went to art school,” she told me. “I never took any art classes and I wound up working in marketing at an ad agency in New Orleans, but I kept getting pulled back to the creative side. I just needed to find a medium.”

That medium presented itself a few years ago, when she started documenting her travels and adventures with a camera. Positive feedback and encouragement from others finally gave her the nudge to embrace photography as a career. And like so many artists, her creative perspective was largely shaped by struggle and hardship.

“I started delving into nature when I found myself in a bad place. Travel and looking at the world with a camera allowed me to see beauty and a path to healing. I moved to California and studied yoga, philosophy, herbalism and yogic theory. I learned to heal the soul through the visual sense, instead of traditional medicine.”

Spiritual healing was definitely a piece of the esoteric puzzle I was trying to decipher. But, there’s a much more tangible common thread in Margaret’s work that I missed, at first: water.

In my defense, the aquatic element is obvious in many of her collections, but less so in others. Flower Essence is a passion project representing her penchant for the practice of herbal healing of the psyche. It features an array of vibrant, surreal blossoms, only a few of which are clearly floating in water. Sunken Revelry, which captures ghostly string and brass instruments illuminated by Bourbon-Street-esque neon lights, pays homage to New Orleans’ “unique approach of celebrating their way into a healing state.” It came as a surprise to discover that, in fact, all of the images in both of these collections were shot underwater! The effects are utterly fantastical, but there’s more to it than mere aesthetics.

“Water is a metaphor for the Divine Feminine. Feminine attributes are compassion, love, being held and emotion, while masculine energies are rougher. Earth, fire, intensity, judgment. Water has an understated power. I’m at home in the water, at peace. I think the world is shifting, and we are due for a shift into a more compassionate tone. My art is the most I can do to help that happen.”

Margaret has moved around a bit and is an ardent traveler, but Louisiana is still home, and it shows in much of her work. Her Brackish and Glory of Decay collections celebrate her roots. Brackish delves into the comingling of land, sea and fresh water that we, on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, know so well. According to Margaret, it represents not only our unique ecosystem, but also “the space where inner and outer landscapes meet…a place where the line between human and nature dissolves into a symbiotic relationship.”

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I hadn’t seen the Glory of Decay collection before we spoke, so when Margaret described how she waded out into the swamps to photograph what lurks beneath the surface, I audibly gasped and stopped her right there. You… what?!

Tell me you’re from Louisiana without telling me you’re from Louisiana, right?

She laughed when I described the nightmarish scene that my non-native brain conjured up, full of venomous serpents and toothy monsters.

“It definitely gives you more of a sense of awareness for your surroundings when you’re in the swamp,” she admitted. “But, I’m very picky about what time of the year I go out there.”

None of that made it sound a single bit less harrowing to me, but when I finally saw the images she captured, I was enchanted. Instead of the murky, menacing hellcapes I imagined, they were stunning and strangely beautiful. Like a trip to another planet where spiky alien textures are softened by cosmic light and shadows.

But, what does Margaret see?

“It’s about transformation and an acceptance that we’re all in a constant state of decay. It’s like watching the leaves change, knowing that spring will come back, if we just hang on. I see the process of decay as beautiful. A connection to nature’s cycles.”

Ah, the other piece of the puzzle: perspective. Famous French writer Marcel Proust once said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Through her work, Margaret endeavors to serve as new eyes, or more aptly, a new lens, to help people recognize nature’s healing properties and life lessons. The goal? “To learn to live a more aligned life with ourselves, each other and the world around us.”

What’s up next for the philosophical artist and intrepid traveler? She’s actually staying put for a while.

“Adventures take me to those places where healing can occur. But it doesn’t have to be exotic. You can connect in your own backyard. It’s all about the mindset. I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the Louisiana landscape for a while.”

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St. Tammany NOW

St.Tammany NOW is a curated collection of the latest economic development information and business and industry insight in our community provided by St. Tammany Corporation, the economic development organization for St. Tammany Parish. St. Tammany NOW highlights who and what makes the St. Tammany business community thrive and illustrates the opportunities to diversify and fortify our economy.

In this issue, we share insights on a policy issue that may currently be impacting your and your neighbors’ flood insurance affordability, and access to homeownership in general. This is an important issue that homeowners and business owners in Louisiana and on the Northshore need to be informed about in the coming months and years. Flooding is a serious threat to homes, businesses, and critical institutions across the nation, but the risk of flooding and resulting destruction is especially high for coastal communities like ours in Southeastern Louisiana.

The central ideas of this article are simple: flood insurance is a necessity, especially in vulnerable areas on the coasts and near water; it is about to get much more expensive for the majority of policyholders nationwide; and strategies for affordability, sustainability, and equity must be at the forefront of this policy discussion.

What is CSFI?

In 2013, Greater New Orleans, Inc., the regional economic development organization for the ten parishes that make up the New Orleans metro area, including St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington Parishes, formed the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI). CSFI has since grown into a national coalition of local governments, home builders, realtors, federal and state legislators, and bankers for a total of approximately 900 contacts and 250 organizations across 35 states.

Why does CSFI exist?

CSFI, led by GNO, Inc., works to ensure that flood insurance offered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is both affordable and sustainable. The coalition advocates for reforms that will enhance mitigation, improve how we assess and communicate risk, preserve affordability, and increase program participation.

In fact, CSFI was a driving force behind the passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) compromise legislation that was cosponsored by more than 235 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the overwhelming support of both caucuses, and passed the Senate with the support of 72 Senators. Since the passage of HFIAA in 2013, the coalition has focused on advocating for a stronger policy framework for NFIP that advances risk assessment, affordability, mitigation, and program participation. CSFI is actively assembled around the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 and enactment of a long-term NFIP reauthorization.

What is NFIP?

NFIP is the National Flood Insurance Program, created by Congress in 1968 and since administered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). The program is intended to reduce federal disaster recovery outlays by sharing flood losses with property owners through national government flood insurance and by limiting future flood losses through floodplain management. The program is currently $20.5 billion in debt. As of April 1, 2022, the program’s most significant change ever in pricing methodology—„own as Risk Rating 2.0—was fully implemented. This methodology increases rates for 77% of policyholders nationwide.

Why should Louisiana, St. Tammany, and Northshore residents and homeowners be concerned or follow this issue closely?

Over 41,000 policies in St. Tammany are experiencing increases under Risk Rating 2.0—the third highest number of all Louisiana parishes phased in over multiple years for existing policyholders. Flood insurance costs may impact the ability to buy, sell, build, or finance a home. The average increase in Louisiana statewide will be 122%, from $766 to $1,700, phased in over multiple years. While beyond the norm, there are examples of flood insurance policies CSFI has seen in St. Tammany that are projected to increase from $572 to $8,092, a 1,315% increase. What do policy and advocacy have to do with economic development?

Through public policy advocacy, GNO, Inc. and its partners in economic development, such as St. Tammany Corporation, work to improve the regional business environment. Public policy advocacy, in enacted legislation, can lead to a favorable, competitive, and reliable business climate in Greater New Orleans and drive long-term job growth and wealth creation for its residents.

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What’s is next for CSFI?

In late September of this year, CSFI released a whitepaper, An Evaluation of Risk Rating 2.0 on NFIP Affordability. Key findings in the whitepaper show that increasing premiums and fees leads fewer homeowners and business owners to keep their flood insurance policies, widening the insurance gap and creating a greater exposure to risk. The paper also makes recommendations for addressing the issue through congressional legislation and administrative action. Read the whitepaper and executive summary at www.csfi.info.

NFIP authorization expires on December 16, 2022. The coalition will continue to engage stakeholders, the media, and Members of Congress around our policy priorities, including establishing an affordability program, lowering annual increases allowed by law, and cancelling NFIP’s debt to reduce costs passed onto policyholders. The coalition will also continue to synthesize and share information through biweekly coalition calls.

How can I learn more and get involved?

Join CSFI as a member! You can visit www.csfi.info or follow @csfiusa on Facebook and Twitter to learn more, read CSFI’s white paper, and join the coalition. Members span the country and represent various industries. CSFI recommends that readers who are currently NFIP policyholders renew their flood insurance policies so that they remain on glidepaths to full risk rates. FEMA suggests that raising your home, elevating machinery and equipment above the first floor, and installing flood vents can lower your flood insurance rates, but the specific reduction rate is still unclear.

St. Tammany Corporation continues to be a resource hub for businesses and consistently shares timely, relevant information related to our economic landscape and upcoming business resource programming on our online platforms. Stay connected with St. Tammany Corporation on Facebook at @StTammanyCorporation, Twitter at @ StTammanyCorp, our website at StTammanyCorp.org, and our data and research platform at StTammanyStats.com.

This article is a collaboration between St. Tammany Corporation and GNO, Inc. Special thanks to Peter Waggonner of GNO, Inc. for providing information and fact checking. Elizabeth Lee is the lead staff contributor for St. Tammany Corporation. Images courtesy of CSFI and GNO, Inc.

Chris Masingill Chief Executive Officer St. Tammany Corporation

My turn: by Frank Richerand


In every issue, EDGE of the Lake invites a local chef or restaurateur to visit another eatery on the Northshore.

Frank Richerand co-owns the Giddy Up coffeehouse in Folsom with his daughter, Ashley Penton, as well as Bee Sweet snowballs and ice cream stand, The Stables Airbnb, The Paddock music venue and Far Horizons art gallery. He also recently served as a celebrity chef in Hope House’s 2022 Men Who Cook fundraising event.

Papillon in Mandeville is far from where I hover up in Folsom, so I was unaware of it before my wife, my family and I had dinner there recently. But it’s certainly on my radar now! It’s in Old Mandeville, right by the Trailhead, which I love, and Papillon himself greeted us. I asked him if he „ew about the old Steve McQueen movie of the same name, and he „ew all about it. He was very personable and gracious throughout the evening.

We were there for about two hours, and we enjoyed the intimate, well put together setting. It’s definitely fine dining and the menu offered a nice selection of French and Sicilian cuisine. It was diverse enough to make it interesting without being overwhelming.

I started with their unique, tasty house salad, which included apples, oranges, raisins, almonds and a blend of cheeses, tossed with their house vinaigrette. The bartender mixed up a special martini for my wife and delivered it to the table, and my son and daughter enjoyed the house cabernet. I chose beef bourguignon for my entree and was glad I did. It was excellent and a nice portion. The beef was braised to perfection and the wine sauce had a rich, classic flavor. Everyone enjoyed their entrees, and Papillon delivered some of their homemade gelato afterwards, which was also delicious.

I’m not well-versed in culinary terms, but we enjoyed the evening very much. The food was excellent and it was a seamless experience. I would be honest if we didn’t enjoy it, but we certainly did, and will definitely go back and recommend it to others for an anniversary or holiday party, or just a nice evening out. Papillon’s

papillonsla.com 985.624.2597
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Children’s Advocacy Center Hope House’s Men Who Cook was held on an unseasonably warm evening. Restaurant’s teamed with local celebrities to compete in this friendly completion. AugustLanePhotography

St. Tammany Hospital Foundation hosted their annual Fundraiser THE GALA with a Charlie and the Chocolate theme.

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