Edge of the Lake Magazine June | July 2022

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JUNE | JULY 2022









Call Today! 985.792.0200 WWW.FRANCOSMANDEVILLE.COM


PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell

Visiting the English Tea Room is always lovely. Not only is it nostalgic, it’s a time to relax, visit with friends, enjoy a cup of tea and maybe a yummy treat. On one such visit, I was sitting outside on the porch with my husband and we struck up a conversation with a gentleman. It was none other than Grayhawk Perkins. What a wonderful storyteller, who not only shared stories but his own special blend of tea and a cigar for my husband. I knew that he was someone I wanted to feature in EDGE. I hope you enjoy the story as much as we loved getting to know him. For this issue, we also got to hang with some cool guys that para-surf out at the Lakefront, we met a couple from Folsom that turned their green thumbs into a thriving business and we took a visit to the St. Tammany Children’s Museum. We hope you like this issue and relish the summer months. If you want to catch up with what is going on around the Northshore, tune in to one of our radio stations: The Lake 94.7, Highway 104.7, Kajun107.1, Tangi 96.5 and The Boss 1400 AM/103.7 FM or listen in on our apps. If you have any story ideas or want to share pictures of events you have been to, please send them to edgepublisher@yahoo.


EDITOR Lee Woods ART DIRECTOR Erich Belk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal BEAUTY EDITOR Caitlin Picou CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Liv Butera Kiyomi Appleton Gaines Chris Massengill Christy Myers Liz Smith STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Phillip Colwart Nancy Hales KEY ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE Eloise Cottrell SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Rebecca Blossman-Ferran ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Erin Bolton Debi Menasco Stephanie Miller

Checking out the storm with one of our weather partners, Lee Southwick of WDSU.

Cover Photo Photo by Nancy Hale

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


The cardiology team at St. Tammany Health System stays in rhythm with the community we love so much. Here on our high-tech campus, many talented specialists and subspecialists devote themselves to providing the latest advancements in cardiac disease prevention and minimally invasive cardiac surgery. Together with our partner Ochsner Health, we’re making St. Tammany hearts beat stronger.























Page 36 The Children’s Museum




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Vice President, Mortgage Lending Manager NMSL# 419909

Vice President, Mortgage Lending NMSL# 419898

504.832.5618 scott@metairiebank.com

504.832.5682 chebert@metairiebank.com

Let’s Connect! Call the Metairie Bank Mortgage Team Today. www.metairiebank.com





Written by Kiyomi Appleton Gaines Photos by Phillip Colwart

When Jennifer and John met, it was magic, they say. While the match was truly meant to be, it’s not the typical love story. “The reality is, Chris Slinker is the one who put the Preferred group together,” John explains. “Later on, he approached me because they had interest in the Hammond market.” John Exnicios is Managing Partner of the Hammond Division of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred, REALTORS®. The ownership partners also include top producing Realtors® Stephanie N. McKeough, Cory Oubre and Katelyn Pfister. They are forward-thinking leaders from diverse backgrounds making them highly respected in the community and among other Realtors®. Their energy attracts clients as well as other like-minded agents seeking to join them in elevating their careers. Jennifer Rice is Managing Partner and Luxury Collection Specialist for the region.

Cory Oubre 504.715.0732

Katelyn Pfister 985.351.6463

They are enthusiastic and supportive when they speak of each other, with true admiration for the quality of work each has achieved. “Part of the pull for me,” John says, “was just knowing her and her success as being consecutively in the top three agents across the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) doing luxury [properties.]” “I don’t ever want to be the smartest person in the room,” he continues. “For my growth [professionally], that was a big pull to be aligned with someone [like Jennifer].” You’ve got to give back to the community, and John was really involved [in that]. He just stood out. And it’s been a really good partnership. John wants to grow, and that’s our goal,” she adds after a pause. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred, REALTORS® prides itself on knowledgeable local expertise to help guide clients to the best possible home and community for them. John and Jennifer are no exception.

Stephanie Mckeough 985.373.2155

John Exnicios 985.402.1322

Jennifer Rice, Managing Partner 985.892.1478

Jennifer stated, “I looked at John’s style and his brand, and I thought, he’s doing everything right. I love this guy!” I said, “You have to come to Berkshire. John has the style that I like, it’s really client-based. You’ve got to give back to the community, and John was really involved [in that]. He just stood out. And it’s been a really good partnership. John wants to grow, and that’s our goal,” she adds after a pause. “There is an authenticity to the Northshore,” Jennifer says. “It’s always going to keep its charm, and that’s what’s so attractive about it. It’s close to New Orleans, but communities here have kept their authenticity.” John agrees, “A number of the people that I grew up with have moved here. And I constantly run into people that have come up for the weekends to enjoy the farmers market, the restaurants, maybe go to Gnarly Barley Brewery, and do things that are like a mini vacation.” Their priority is client satisfaction, and they say the love story continues to the client relationship. “If you have happy clients,

success follows,” Jennifer says. “It’s just so important that you always have the client’s interest at heart. If you continue with that promise, put their needs first, you will be successful.” The Preferred network of seasoned agents has locations on both sides of the lake, as well as throughout the Gulf Coast region, which focuses on collaborative efforts and adopting new technologies to best serve their clients. “We’re embracing a different way of doing business,” John says. “We’re the perfect mix.” Those interested in connecting with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred, Realtors® on the Northshore can visit BHHSPreferredRealtorsNOLA.com. NORTHSHORE 1321 W. Causeway Approach Mandeville, LA 985.951.2324 Each office is independently owned and operated. A member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates, LLC

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JUNE 2022

A Taste of Covington.com Tuesdays through Fridays in the Month of June Vintner Dinner Line Up Online

Saturday, June 18th - 7:00pm - 9:30pm Festa del Vino Wine Tasting at the Covington Firehouse Sponsored by Parish President Mike Cooper Saturday, June 25th - 7:00pm - 9:30pm A Grand Toga Wine Tasting Sponsored by Southern Hotel Toga Attire Optional

Sunday Champagne Jazz Brunch Series Brunch Line Up Online Sponsored by Senator Patrick McMath


EDGE June | July 2022


A Team Approach to Care Our team of healthcare professionals takes a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer to create custom treatment plans for each of our newly diagnosed patients to ensure coordinated, seamless care. The care team can include surgeons, medical and/or radiation oncology and other cancer specialists. This team approach means that our patients have a whole network to lean on and each member of the team knows what the other is thinking and doing. Our team’s multidisciplinary approach to care provides numerous benefits to our patients, including: • Genetic risk assessment and counseling for patients with a cancer diagnosis or at high risk of cancer development • Oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, surgeons and allied health support meet regularly to proactively discuss patient care plans and ensure continuity of care throughout a patient’s journey • Patient-centered services including psychosocial oncology support, patient navigation process, and survivorship care • Integrative oncology lagniappe services such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and physical therapy • State-of-the-art healing environment for clinic visits and treatment in a commission on cancer accredited facility • Access to information on clinical trials and new treatments

Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Team

Dr. John Bolton

Surgical Oncology

Dr. Nathan Ranney

Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Dr. Suma Satti Hematology Oncology

Dr. Gordon Wadge

For more information go to northshorecancercare.org or call 985-249-2383. St. Tammany Cancer Center – A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center 900 Ochsner Blvd. | Covington, LA 70433

Hematology Oncology

Dr. Florence Wright Radiation Oncology


on Mandeville Lakefront



ver taken a stroll along the Mandeville Lakefront on a windy day and noticed those guys attached to kites surfing on the lake? Yeah, us too! The Northshore offers a wide variety of outdoor sports and activities. One can go biking or even horseback riding on the St. Tammany Trace; camping in Fontainebleau State Park; kayaking the swamps, bayous, and rivers; tubing on the Bogue Chitto; or, in Dimetry Cossich’s case, kiteboarding on Lake Pontchartrain. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Cossich about this extreme water hobby. Cossich, who is from Southeast Louisiana, has been living in Mandeville for a few years now. “I grew up wakeboarding and waterskiing. When I discovered kiteboarding in 2016, I was instantly hooked,” tells Cossich. Kiteboarding, or kitesurfing, is not a sport that is familiar to most of us. This is an extreme sport where the kiter uses wind power with a large power kite to be pulled on water. Sound like something you would be interested in? Dimetry Cossich can help you get started. “I only offer beginner lessons in Mandeville on a small trainer kite. This is an initial land-based lesson to gain experience flying a small kite safely. This is the foundation of the sport. If you want to progress further and learn how to ride a large kite on the water, you will need to travel to Gulfport, Mississippi. There is more space on the coast of the Mississippi Sound for learning to kiteboard safely. The Mandeville spot is for experienced riders who understand the risks involved.” Kiteboarding is not a sport to try on a whim. Cossich explained that there are significant risks involved, so he highly recommends starting with professional lessons. “You need to learn how to properly set up the gear, as well as how to launch and land the kite. You need to learn the right-of-way when kiting with other people in the area. You need to learn how to use the safety release. You also need to understand how fast things can happen if the wind picks up. With a kite, you can control your own speed and direction. You are like a sailboat, zigzagging to ride upwind. Most importantly, you have to be able to pilot the kite in order to not generate too much power when launching, landing and maneuvering on land. The majority of kiteboarding injuries occur on land.” Once you have the proper safety training, kiteboarding is an exciting pastime easily accessible here on the Northshore. Like many extreme sports, kiteboarding does not require too much equipment. Cossich details, “the equipment you will need is a kite, the board, bar and lines, and a harness. We ride pretty much year-round, and

arding you will need a wetsuit if you want to ride during the colder months. The spring and summer give us the best water temperature, and it is also the windiest time of the year here on the water.” Kiteboarding is a growing sport on the Gulf Coast. We may not have the giant waves of California and Hawaii, but there is plenty of water and wind making our area perfect for thrilling rides. I asked Cossich where else he likes to kiteboard other than the Mandeville Lakefront. “There are only a few of us kiteboarders on the Northshore; however there is a large community on the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts. Occasionally, I will travel to those areas, and I will ride with the group. My favorite place to kite in this general area is Dauphin Island, Alabama. The geography there sets me up for great kiting with flat water, protected areas and waves that I can surf. We are lucky to have the Mandeville beach because it also has a flat water riding spot, which makes it a special location.” From all of us at Edge of the Lake, Happy Summer! Get out and explore all that our Northshore has to offer. If you are interested in learning to kiteboard, you can contact Dimetry Cossich at mandevillekiteboarding@protonmail.com.

PARISH PRIDE When you visit a local business… • You strengthen our local economy • You help create more quality jobs • You support community groups • You Invest in entrepreneurship • You get better and personal service • You invest in our community • You encourage local prosperity • You nurturing a sense of community • You celebrate the uniqueness of our community • You help make this community a destination

Support our local business!!


EDGE June | July 2022

Whether it’s a night out with a large party, landmark celebration or important business meeting, group dining at Tchefuncte’s is as effortless as it is memorable. With scenic views of the Tchefuncte River guests can expect exceptionally attentive service, custom-tailored menus, optional Sommelier wine pairings and flexible room design. The elegant settings of either the Tchefuncte’s Wine Room, The Captain’s Room, Riverview Rooms, or the Terrace will elevate any private party experience. Each private room hosts a full complement of media capabilities including high speed internet and televisions. Exclusive accommodations are available for groups of up to seventy five guests seated and one hundred and fifty guests in a receptionstyle setting. Visit www.tchefunctes.com to learn more about our Private Dining Rooms. To inquire about availability and custom options, please contact Tchefuncte’s Event Team at events@tchefunctes.com.

THESE DAYS, ALMOST everyone wants a straight, beautiful smile. Some adults have already had braces, but their teeth have shifted again, and they don’t want to deal with the brackets and wires that they had as teenagers. Luckily, straight teeth can be achieved with clear aligner therapy such as Invisalign. One of the advantages of aligners is that they can be removed when eating, brushing and flossing. You may have seen ads for at-home, do-ityourself teeth straightening promising an easy option without visiting a dentist office. The reason they can offer lower costs is because they are bypassing the expertise of dental professionals. These companies don’t have x-rays to check for cavities, gum disease or potential infections in the jaw bone around abscessed teeth. This can lead to teeth and gum trauma, loss of a tooth, or bone loss around the teeth! When receiving clear aligner therapy from an orthodontist or dentist, there are special attachments that must be bonded to the teeth and other techniques used for creating space for the teeth to move in a predictable manner. Patients using clear aligner therapy without the help of a dental professional usually have to get new impressions and have new sets of aligners delivered repeatedly. Call your dentist today for a consultation and be on your way to a confident smile!

985.624.8602 985.323.4800 tchefunctes.com 407 St Tammany St., Madisonville

Chantal L. Causin, DDS 2083 3rd Street Mandeville

985.778.2300 Astrid Bratcher, DDS 535 North Causeway Blvd. Mandevillle

Celebrating 20 years this July, Palmettos on the Bayou is a charming and elegant Acadian style restaurant serving classic Creole dishes highlighting fresh Louisiana ingredients. Set on the tranquil Bayou Bonfouca near Old Town Slidell, this waterfront restaurant and event venue is known for its southern charm. Palmettos famous Brunch features live music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and most evenings. The expansive covered/climatecontrolled deck provides a dramatic outdoor setting at night for romantic dinners and a comfortable relaxed atmosphere during the day. The elegant indoor Dunbar Dining Room features artwork by famed Louisiana artist George Dunbar whose artwork has been displayed in museums and galleries around the world. Palmettos recently welcomed new Executive Chef, Ross Dover, formerly Executive Chef of Restaurant August and Executive Sous Chef of the Johnny Sanchez Restaurant. Chef Ross is a Louisiana native, born and raised in Houma. He attended Nicholls State where he studied Culinary Arts at the John Folse Culinary Institute. He plans to offer seasonal menus focusing on locally sourced ingredients, such as the duck and Tasso gumbo based on his grandmother’s recipe and his contemporary take on fried gulf oysters served with a sweet chili aioli.

Homebuyers in St. Tammany parish can rest assured that Andrea West is dedicated to helping them achieve home-ownership with the best rate and best program available. “I moved to Slidell when I was 21, becoming the youngest Realtor in the parish, then Loan Officer two years later, and I’ve never looked back.” Previous to joining loanDepot as Branch Manager for the new Slidell, LA Branch, Andrea was a top performing Loan Officer/Manager at previous national and local mortgage companies and has held titles from Loan Officer to Area Manager. Understanding that purchasing a home is one of the biggest purchases in a lifetime, Andrea streamlines the process to ensure that the experience of obtaining your mortgage is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Working with first-time home-buyers is especially rewarding to Andrea. Seeing them through the process of achieving their dream of homeownership keeps her motivated and excited in her career everyday. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys traveling, boating and spending time with family and friends. She’s married and has twin children. Andrea is currently the co-chair of the annual Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) Bras for a Cause event, which raises money for breast cancer patients. Andrea has been a member of the WCR since 1997.



palmettosrestaurant.com 1901 Bayou Lane, Slidell

loandepot.com/loan-officers/andreawest 34 Louis Prima, Suite A, Covington NMLS ID- 543208





Are you tired of being at home, and ready to get out into beautiful St. Tammany? Then the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program could be a great place for you! The RSVP of St. Tammany program is funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and sponsored by Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana. We offer volunteers, aged 55 and older, the opportunity to use their skills and life experiences to help meet critical needs across St. Tammany Parish, at a variety of volunteer stations. Volunteers can support local tutoring programs, help at area hospitals and medical centers, work at local food banks and thrift stores, make crafts for a variety of projects, and so much more! We have an active senior transportation program, where RSVP volunteers drive other seniors to appointments, the pharmacy - even to the grocery store. Our volunteer opportunities are constantly expanding as we work to find all our volunteers the perfect fit. RSVP volunteers can work as many or as few hours as they want, always at their own pace. Our RSVP program is unique in that we place our volunteers at numerous volunteer stations across St. Tammany Parish. Serving as a OneStop Volunteer Site, individuals interested in volunteering can learn about the wide array of volunteer opportunities when meeting with the RSVP Director Kristen Punch.

Northshore Media Group is a family owned media company with properties in Southeast Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi. The company is owned by Wayne Dowdy, an attorney in McComb, Mississippi, who bought broadcast properties in southeast Louisiana to pair with stations he already owned in southwest Mississippi. He eventually grouped together 12 radio stations along the I-12 and I-55 corridors. Dowdy is now in the process of transitioning ownership to a partnership that includes Brian Shirey, Eloise Cottrell, and Charles Dowdy. Radio remains the backbone of who they are. The Northshore Media studios serve as community hubs for information and entertainment. Every morning veteran broadcasters interview local political figures, civic leaders, non-profit managers and anyone else trying to make their markets better places to live. They regularly host political debates, sponsor non-profit events, and generally try to encourage healthy dialogue. They have been recognized and awarded by numerous local entities for their efforts toward public service. Over time, like many broadcast companies, Northshore Media expanded to include other mediums. They now offer various forms of print, direct mail, and a few digital options. The broadcast facilities are grouped around four studio locations. The company currently employs 50 full or part-time employees.



985.612.1057 facebook.com/rsvpofsttammany/ 823 Carroll Street, Suite B., Mandeville

985.345.0060 northshoremedia.net 200 East Thomas St., Hammond














BIGGER. BETTER. BOLDER. 985.892.4663


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JUNE | JULY 2021

Reach 75,000 potential clients in our August/ September issue of EDGE of the Lake magazine, featuring our Prep-Football Guide. REBECCA BLOSSMAN 985.705.4440


EDGE June | July 2022


Conduit of Culture



A Portrait of Grayhawk Perkins

EDGE June | July 2022




honest, when you encounter people who seem to have life all figured out, from career to spirituality to general perspective, do they seem like a riddle that needs to be solved? I mean, there’s got to be a trick. They probably either have some unfair advantage or massive flaw that makes them not so super human after all, right? I recently found myself pondering the line between my purely inquisitive nature and innate skepticism as I tried to wrap my head around the highly accessible, yet marvelously enigmatic Grayhawk Perkins. In the most general terms, Grayhawk is a Native American tribal storyteller of Choctaw and Houma Nation descent who is originally from New Orleans, and now lives in Mandeville. But, oh boy, is that a misleadingly simple description. Within just a few clicks of the mouse, my head was positively swimming with the sheer volume of his vocations, associations and accomplishments. Ready for a snapshot of his resume? Okay, deep breath… park ranger, master carpenter, conservationist, preservationist, ship engineer, teacher, songwriter, drummer and lead singer of the Grayhawk Band, historian, coordinator of the Native American village at JazzFest, guest lecturer, author and visual artist. He’s also been approached about having one of his stories turned into a ballet/symphony.


EDGE June | July 2022

I mean, what?! On the day that I spoke with Grayhawk, he was working at his part-time day-job of 30 years at Fairview-Riverside State Park in Madisonville. Upon inquiring about a typical week for him, he gave me the itinerary for the upcoming weekend, where he would be serving in an expert capacity for: a storytelling/writing program at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville, a Department of Interior wetlands restoration project in Bayou Sauvage, a leadership program at Southeastern University’s Hispanic Studies Department and the Chalk Art Festival in Mandeville. This may not have been the complete list, but I had to interrupt to tell him I was exhausted just contemplating all that. Does he have clones? Magic vitamins? At least a helicopter? The 65-year-old dynamo laughed, “I’ve been trying to figure out how I do it all for a long time. It’s overwhelming sometimes, but I’m not one of those people who wants to lie down and rest and vegetate. I get my relaxation through my music and yard work. My wife, Robin, sometimes asks me if I know the word ‘no’.” Clearly, he does not. And I’m guessing when he was young, there was no “this OR that” when he dreamed of a career path. Only “and.”

I warned Grayhawk from the start that I was less interested in his accomplishments, and more interested in digging into his brain to figure out what in the world makes him tick. He was completely undaunted. First of all, how does a mere 18-year-old get elected to the Tribal Council of the United Houma Nation? “I just came out cultural,” he explained, quite simply. “Something in me just connected. Something latched on to me. I became aware that a lot of our people are losing their traditions and culture, and I couldn’t let that happen.” He revealed that his elders bestowed his name upon him at the age of 12. According to one source, a gray hawk is “a spiritual being who is wise and caring, working hard today as he plans and prepares for the future,” so they were clearly already aware of his immense potential. Grayhawk continued, “After I graduated from high school, everything took off. I belonged to the River Road Historical Society and I worked at some of the big plantations doing restoration and historical research. I

learned blacksmithing and carpentry, using historic tools, not power tools. Then I worked as an engineer on ships until I started teaching school.” I pointed out that he’d somehow defied an age-old idiom by becoming a Jack of all trades and master of all, instead of none. Without missing a beat, he replied with yet another forthright explanation. “If I see something and want to do it, I’ll do it. Can’t is not in my vocabulary. I’m interested in so much. If I could live 20 lives, I’d love it! ” So, he has loads of energy and a can-do attitude. Cool. Next question, what or who fuels that fire? In truth, I never once had to ask Grayhawk who inspires him because he constantly credited both his elders and notable friends for their positive influences on him. He grew up with Mac Rebennack (a.k.a., Dr. John), the Nevilles, and Coco Robichaux, he’s hung out with the Dalai Lama, and he once introduced some Buddhist Monks to roast beef po-boys and Barq’s root beer. But instead of EDGE June | July 2022


bragging about these associations, he expressed gratitude for having known them. “I’ve hung around a lot of great people. I’ve traveled. I’m drawn to people who practice what they preach, and I’ve learned a lot from them.” Even more frequently, he paid homage to his elders by reciting their words of wisdom and encouragement that he’s clearly committed to memory. “There’s nothing in the world you can’t do, just things you don’t want to do.”


EDGE June | July 2022

“Someday you’ll be a role model and a leader, so always maintain a positive attitude and always be aware that a child could be watching you.” And one influential piece of advice that had a major impact on his life’s trajectory: “It’s great that you’re preserving stories and history, but it’s also important that you write stories for future generations to know what’s going on now.” So, in addition to preserving culture, he started creating it with his own stories, music and art. With his band, he creates music that blends blues, funk and jazz with Native American tribal rhythms and themes. He’s written and illustrated a new book of original short stories for all ages called “Grayhawk’s Fables,” which is expected to be released toward the end of 2022. Oh, and his mural adorns the Alice in Wonderland room at the English Tea Room in Covington. So, what’s the ultimate goal? “I’m not gonna get rich doing what I do!” he joked. “I don’t want to be famous, but I want to be remembered to have lived a full life, to have made a difference and influenced young people. I want my grandchildren to read about me in archives.” Grayhawk told me that, despite his impressive resume, being a father is his most important job. And while his legacy will certainly live on through his family and his body of work after he’s gone, he also has the good fortune of experiencing the impact of his influence in real time. Along with delighting in being recognized by people, whether he’s mowing the fields in a state park or traveling far from home, he regaled me with a charming story about being stopped by a woman who introduced her two little girls, and prompted them to recite one of his stories. How did they know it? Their mom learned it from Grayhawk in a sixth grade school program, it stuck with her and she passed it on to the next generation. He loves that. What about spirituality? What Grayhawk’s resume and frequent references to him being a “Renaissance man” don’t take into account is the extremely vital

spiritual component to his character. To skip that part is to paint an incomplete picture. He told me that to do all that he does, he has to remain balanced. And how does he do that? “I have a daily morning ritual to connect with the universe. Earth, sky and the blessings and energy in all four directions. North for cleansing, East for a new beginning with the sunrise, West for knowledge and teaching and South for energy and spirit.” Though he’s not evangelical with his rituals and beliefs, his ethereal nature seems to subtly shape his entire being. Someone once suggested he start his own church, but Grayhawk politely demurred, insisting, “Spirituality is an individual thing. You’ve got to travel that road on your own to find peace and balance.” Is there anything left that you haven’t done or tried? “Dr. John once asked me something similar,” he said with a chuckle. “He asked if there’s anyone I haven’t met, but would like to. And people might find this funny, but I’d love to hang out with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. I love to listen to his words and the way he puts them together. He’s out there, man.” Far from finding it funny, I adored this unexpected answer that showed his very human, playful side. “As for what I’d still like to do, I mean, I’ve sailed ships and boats, jumped out of a plane, explored caves and a Buddhist temple in the mountains of France, been blown out of an Alamo window in a movie. I’ve done it all. My bucket list is done.” One last thing… As our delightful discussion stretched past the hour and a half mark, I started realizing I was still missing something. Some element to better explain what still seemed inexplicable. The armchair psychologist and all around busybody in me felt like we

hadn’t really delved into his childhood very deeply. Certainly there was something illuminating there. So, in a last ditch effort to find additional clarity, I very inelegantly asked if he thought he was able to flourish at such a young age and lead such a full life because of an especially idyllic childhood, or maybe in spite of some difficulties that he was under no obligation to divulge. Then I sort of braced myself, because it may have sounded like I was fishing for salacious details, and he’d probably be well within his rights to be annoyed. Never one to focus on negativity, he admitted he’d had to overcome some serious hardships that might make others bitter, but he simply chose a path of positivity. He told me, “You can’t learn and grow if you don’t experience the negative, too.” It was silly of me to worry about his reaction after he’d explained to me earlier, “Nothing gets to me. I almost never lose my temper. Once I woke up in a bad mood, and I didn’t want it to have a ripple effect on others, so I got a cup of coffee and decided I would sit by the front door of a local cafe until I told 50 people to have a good day. By the tenth one, I felt better.” Okay, I was finally satisfied. Was he shaped by nature? Nurture? Spirituality? Ancestral guidance? Sheer will? Yes. As my brain began to sort through and arrange all the bits and pieces of information and anecdotes and quotes I’d gathered, a very clear picture emerged. No riddles, no tricks, no unfair advantages. Grayhawk Perkins is simply a great conduit of both cultural and spiritual gifts. He channels current and ancient energy through his magnanimous heart in order to preserve, create, honor and share. Most of us will never accomplish a fraction of what he has, but we can certainly choose to be inspired by him. EDGE June | July 2022


COVID is in retreat. The masks have been put away. NOW WHAT? Are we done with COVID-19? Is it done with us? St. Tammany Health System and Council on Aging St. Tammany invite you to “Living Life to the Fullest in a PostPandemic Reality,” a free, all-ages community luncheon and conversation with infectious disease expert Dr. Michael K. Hill. Registration is required by June 8, as space is limited to 100 registrants, and can be done at StTammany.health/LivingLife. Free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will be available onsite. What: “Living Life to the Fullest in a Post-Pandemic Reality,” a free community luncheon and discussion on the future of COVID-19 in our community. When: 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11, 2022 Where: The Paul R. Spitzfaden Community Center, 3090 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville.

Dr. Michael K. Hill is a board-certified infectious disease specialist with a 30-year career in private practice. Currently, Dr. Hill serves as vice president of quality and utilization management for St. Tammany Health System and medical director of St. Tammany Quality Network. As a result of his unique background, Dr. Hill arose as the go-to resource on the Northshore for factual information on the emerging science and medicine of the worldwide pandemic response to COVID-19.


Registration required by June 8 StTammany.health/LivingLife

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JUNE 2 - 12 In a magical kingdom, fathoms below, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she’ll have to defy her father King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula, and convince Prince Eric that she is the girl with the enchanting voice .Adapted from Disney’s 2008 Broadway production, Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID JR features the hit songs “Part of Your World,” “She’s in Love,” and the Oscar-winning “Under the Sea.”

Cutting Edge Theater 767 ROBERT BLVD. SLIDELL

TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE cuttingedgetheater.com PHONE 985.649.3727 TEXTING 985.285.6666 EDGE June | July 2022


Growing the Wonderfully

WEIRD wildthymefarms.com 985.869.2031



e are blessed to live in the wild landscape of southern Louisiana. I moved to Louisiana eight years ago from south Mississippi. My childhood home is just an hour and fifteen minutes from the home I currently share with my husband and our family: a mischievous toddler and miniature schnauzer, who always seem to be in cahoots with each other. Truth be told, I was not expecting the move to offer such a drastic change in scenery. Louisiana and Mississippi share a border and the mighty river. How different could they be? As they say, “Bless my heart, cher.” Just driving home from work, I wander through two bayous, drive alongside one of our nation’s largest lakes, pass a large marsh, and navigate through a series of canals until I arrive at my driveway. This geographical diversity is never lost on me. What is lost on me is, “What the heck do I grow in my yard?!” Our little clan is blessed with a giant backyard that is always too wet or too dry and impossible to significantly landscape on a budget. I recently brought my frustrations to my new friends at Wild Thyme Farms. They specialize in plants you would not normally find in other nurseries. You may say “exotic;” but I declare this nursery to be “wonderfully weird,” which, as my art collection can attest, is totally my jam. Wild Thyme Farms is a locally owned greenhouse and nursery. If you paid close attention to those initials, you will note that the title is the owners Desiree Stone and Dan Cobb’s tongue-in-cheek response to growing anything in this insane climate. WTF grows a wide variety of plants, which they sell at the Mandeville Trailhead Community Market on Saturday mornings. Plants include succulents, air plants, herbs, annuals, ferns, perennials and house plants. The nursery is open by appointment and on seasonal sale days. When Dan Cobb first met Desiree Stone, his now life and work partner, he was one of her customers. Dan grew up gardening with his grandfather in Houma, and Desiree has always been a plant collector with a passion for gardening. Their shared passion budded into a very successful farm and one genuinely cute love story. Desiree has now been dubbed an “Earth Mother” by Dan Gill, an Associate Professor in Consumer Horticulture with the LSU AgCenter. She is a licensed horticulturist with over 36 years of experience. She was born in New Orleans and attended Ben Franklin High School. She owned Stone Valley Nursery in Mountain Home, Arkansas and Lacombe Nursery in Lacombe, Louisiana. For several years, she was the Greenhouse Manager at Inwood Gardens in Covington, Louisiana. EDGE June | July 2022


She is the grower at WTF, and as the name suggests, is acquainted with the difficulties of growing anything in the ever-diverse landscape that is the Louisiana Northshore. “Containers are the way to go,” Stone offered me in consolation to my wet yard woes. “Unless you can address drainage, which can be costly, creating a stone or gravel patio space with a variety of potted plants is the best way to add interest to your yard. I am a big proponent of doing what works. Make it easy. It is not fun when it is a constant battle. Water wins every time.” Stone offers landscape consultations on top of her “growing” responsibilities at the nursery. “I learned a love of plants from discovering mom and pop nurseries that used to be everywhere before the big box stores. You never knew what you would find, and they would tell you how to grow it. I love teaching people how to grow. It’s good for them and us.” I asked how many employees the farm has on hand. “We are a mom and pop nursery,” quipped Cobb. “It is just Mom and Pop here, along with four cats, two dogs, and nine chickens.” The nursery is just under four acres with a 24’ x 60’ greenhouse.

“What is great about a mom and pop operation, though, is that we do not sell the ‘usual’.” Cobb continues, “We appeal to people who do not want the stuff at the big box store.” The small nursery grows what they can on-site, but they do outsource to other local nurseries. Stone was quick to offer shout-outs to many of their partnering nurseries. “We are an authorized seller of the Cajun Hibiscus, which are grown by our friend, Robbie Dupont, at Dupont Nursery in Plaquemine. A lot of our succulents are curated by Steve Murphy at Sunrise Trading Company in Kenner. One of our sources for houseplants is Jackson Farms in Bassfield, Mississippi. The plants we sell are started as seed or cuttings at the farm, or sourced from family-owned nurseries.” WTF Nursery is popular with many collectors. Desiree and Dan follow trends and pay attention to what their customers call in about. “We do our best to pay attention to the next big thing,” says Desiree. “Dan recently convinced me to grow String of Turtles. We even introduced Snail Vine last year.” Desiree and Dan are even starting to propagate the very rare variegated Monstera Albo, which is crowned by many as the most expensive house plant in the world. Online bidding wars this past year for this white and green Swiss cheese-appearing plant went into the thousands.


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Desiree and Dan have me pretty sold on some desert roses, which will hopefully be gracing my backyard very soon. They sell a wide variety of cacti, succulents and the ever-trendy air plants, which seem to be popping up on my Pinterest feed at an accelerating rate. Air plants, or Tillandsia, grow floating in the air, where they live and thrive without soil. Air plants are epiphytes — plants that attach themselves to other plants for support, without relying on the host to thrive. They are listed as some of Desiree’s and Dan’s favorite plants on their website along with day-blooming cereus, desert roses, Cajun Hibiscus, hoyas, sansevierias, and shaving brush trees.

Photo Courtesy Wild Thyme Farms

Dan and Desiree also sell driftwood collected from several places, including the Mississippi River batture, the Belle River Swamp, and the banks of Lake Pontchartrain. Wild Thyme Farms and Nursery is located in Folsom, Louisiana. The couple can be found at the Mandeville Trailhead Market every Saturday 9 am - 1 pm. Desiree and Dan also host local garden clubs at the nursery. They can be reached through the contact page of their website or through their social media accounts.

Photo Courtesy Wild Thyme Farms

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Mike Cooper St. Tammany Parish President

Randy Smith St. Tammany Sheriff


Summer is here and our Parish is heating up. It is a vibrant time, full of sunshine and festivities. St. Tammany Parish is known for its breathtaking scenery and spirited culture, and summertime creates the perfect opportunity for our neighbors and visitors to discover the quality of life that we know and love. From live music and entertainment to historic parks and downtowns, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for things to do, a bite to eat or a unique place to stay, you can find it all on the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission’s website, LouisianaNorthshore.com. With the closing of the 2022 school year, I want to personally congratulate our graduating class and wish you all luck as you take your next steps in life. Your accomplishments have not gone unnoticed and I am incredibly excited to see how you grow and contribute to our communities. I want to thank our parents, guardians, loved ones, teachers, coaches and all the members of our communities who play a pivotal role in the success of our future generations. It takes a village to raise a child, and I believe St. Tammany Parish is home to truly remarkable role models, who passionately ignite our young minds and enable them to attain their fullest potential. Now is the time for our graduates to enter universities, trade schools, military service and the workforce. It is my hope to see these intelligent, creative minds grow, live and work in our beloved Parish. As your Parish President, it is my most humbling honor to continue to lay the groundwork for a better St. Tammany Parish for our current and future generations. Our young minds are the key to our success, and I look forward to seeing their accomplishments moving forward.

As the temperatures increase so do the number of boats on our waterways. Tasked with enforcing all state and local boating regulations, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division has extra patrol boats and deputies on the parish’s waterways throughout the summer, ensuring that our residents are engaging in safe boating practices. St. Tammany Parish has 279 square miles of navigable waterways. That is approximately one fourth of our parish. Those waterways vary from marshes and bayous to our larger lakes and rivers. To ensure that everyone is safe while out on the water, the Sheriff’s Office has 12 top-notch, trained deputies dedicated to our Marine Division. This year, we updated our already outstanding Marine fleet by replacing two of our older watercraft with new state-of-the-art 27-foot Metal Sharks, which unlike the older boats, have climate-controlled cabins for our deputies and those individuals they are transporting. The boats were added to the fleet, which already included a 39-foot Metal Shark and three 21-foot Bay Boats for use in our larger rivers and lakes; and 10 flat boats, 2 mud boats and an airboat, which are used for accessing our smaller rivers and marshes The deputies in our Marine Division have one goal – keeping the people on our waterways safe, and they take their job very seriously. I want everyone to have fun but please be careful when out on the water. A fun day out with your family and friends can turn tragic in an instant if you are not careful. Simple planning and good choices can help us keep everyone safe this summer. Do not consume alcohol if you are operating a watercraft, always wear a life jacket, obey all no wake zones and refrain from operating your boat or your jet ski in an unsafe manner. Also, please make sure your watercraft is in good working order, file a float plan by letting someone know where you launched and when you expect to return and check the weather forecast before taking your boat out. I wish you all a safe and happy summer,

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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. Dr. JJ Martinez, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA Doctor of Audiology, Board Certified Audiologist

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

Slidell | Hammond | Mandeville

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.

Download Our Free Guide “The Early Symptoms of a Hearing Loss to Look Out For” Written by Dr. JJ Martinez Visit slenthearing.com/free-guide *Source: Findings of EuroTrak 2015 (ET 2015) and MarkeTrak 9 (MT9) worldwide studies about hearing loss and hearing aids.

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


JOIN US ON JUNE 19TH FATHER’S DAY HOURS Sunday — Thursday 11am — 9pm Friday — Saturday 11am — 10pm 2891 Highway 190 Suite D. Mandeville




(In front of the Pelican Athletic Club)

EDGE June | July 2022


Cmstkids.org 985.888.1555


Children’s THE Museum

EDGE June | July 2022



he Children’s Museum of St. Tammany began in 2003 as the vision of members of the Junior League of Greater Covington. Discussions with community leaders, research on children’s museums, recruiting of board members and creating partnerships with community supporters continued and endured through Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, an economic downturn, State of Louisiana Capital Outlay deficits, and other issues. The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany was incorporated in 2011, received 501(c)(3) status, and the doors opened in January 2018. It continues to serve children ages 2-12 and their families and has welcomed more than 125,000 guests to the museum, with 18,465 guests in the last fiscal year. The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany was a place of respite for families during the pandemic. The Museum was able to reimagine how a tactile museum worked during the time when families did not want to touch items that had been used by others. Through careful planning, it was able to resume operations just three months after mandatory closure due to the pandemic, and was the first children’s museum in the region to resume operations. The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany inspires children to EXPLORE in an interactive learning environment that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), to DISCOVER and embrace early learning through the power of play and to IMAGINE and CREATE through the Arts. The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany envisions a community where play is encouraged, creativity is nurtured, and learning is enjoyed. The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany offers daily facilitated programming that is mission driven and focuses on literature, natural history, STEM and play in its five galleries of exploration: ARTworks, Little Lake Tots & River Landing, How & Why, Natural Wonders and the Trace Lobby. The museum’s outreach program, Museum without Walls, is utilized in schools, at local festivals and online through a YouTube Channel and Kids Wanna Know videos. EDGE June | July 2022


St. Photo Courtesy

Community events are a large part of what the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany offers. Events include Chalk Fest, a free arts festival for the community; STEM Quest, which engages guests with STEM experts and activities from various professional organizations throughout South Louisiana and Mississippi; and Back to School Bash, which provides needed resources for children and families as school begins. Fall special events also include Boo Bash on the Lawn and Noon Year’s Eve Bash. The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany also offers two summer camps for children: Camp Curiosity for children ages 4-7, and for the 6th year in a row, NASA’s Astro Camp for rising 2nd – 5th graders. The Museum is located at 21404 Koop Drive in Mandeville, open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


EDGE June | July 2022

Photo Courtesy St. Tammany Childrens Muse um

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Childrens Mus


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COMPREHENSIVE REHABILITATION PROGRAMS PAM Health Specialty and Rehabilitation Hospital of Covington provides comprehensive inpatient services. A team of interdisciplinary clinicians, including a physical medicine rehabilitation physician, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and rehabilitation nurses, works together to help each patient maximize recovery.

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pamhealth.com 20050 Crestwood Boulevard, Covington, LA | 985-875-7525 Referral Fax Number 732-384-9349

HERE TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY PAM Health Specialty and Rehabilitation Hospital of Covington is a 47-bed JOINT COMMISSION ACCREDITED, long-term acute care hospital.

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St. Tammany NOW


Tammany NOW is a curated collection of the latest economic development information and business and industry insight in our community directly from St. Tammany Corporation, the economic development organization for St. Tammany. St. Tammany NOW highlights what and who makes the St. Tammany business community thrive and illustrates the opportunities to diversify and fortify our economy. In this issue, we share insights on the recent launch of a three-parish regional sector strategy pilot program, “Northshore Healthscape: A Collaborative Enhancing the Pulse of our Regional Healthcare Economy.” Northshore Healthscape is an economic development initiative that will harness competitive advantages, enhance workforce, and promote the Northshore as a healthcare destination. Key stakeholders in this collaborative represent St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes, including North Oaks Health System, Ochsner Northshore-Mississippi Gulf Coast Region, Our Lady of the Lake Northshore, Slidell Memorial Hospital, St. Tammany Health System, and St. Tammany Corporation. The pilot program was officially launched on May 4 during an event held at Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe.


Healthcare is a major economic driver on the Northshore, in terms of both jobs and productivity, contributing more than $1.5 billion to the three-parish GDP. The industry represents 22,000 jobs in the area, and demand is continuous with 5,000 unique postings for jobs in the past 12 months. Projections indicate that jobs in this sector will increase by 11% by 2026. As population grows across the Northshore, local healthcare leaders have expanded services to improve access to care closer to home. As a result, patients generally do not have to travel long distances for the care that they or their families need. Northshore healthcare institutions need a talented and skilled workforce qualified to provide these enhanced services, so educating and training the next generation of talent is paramount. In February 2021, St. Tammany Corporation launched the St. Tammany Healthcare Leadership Roundtable, another proactive step for economic development to engage a key economic driver in our economy—the healthcare industry—in a robust, collaborative and solutions-focused facilitated dialogue. These quarterly virtual roundtable meetings are an opportunity to discuss strategic priorities for collaboration, workforce development and talent retention. As the engagement evolved, there was a clear desire among

Northshore Healthscape key stakeholders at Northshore Technical Community College, May 2022 EDGE June | July 2022

Chris Masingill Chief Executive Officer St. Tammany Corporation

partners to pursue a healthcare infrastructure assessment, prioritize workforce development and talent solutions by leveraging St. Tammany Corporation’s existing Workforce Roundtable, and formalize this collaborative effort. In February 2022, St. Tammany Corporation presented the concept of a three-year healthcare sector pilot program, “Northshore Healthscape: A Collaborative Enhancing the Pulse of our Regional Healthcare Economy.” Recognizing the opportunities, challenges, and needs of our healthcare ecosystem, the priority areas of work for the pilot program are capacity building, workforce and talent, ecosystem development, and strategic implementation. Key deliverables in the pilot program’s first year include a healthcare infrastructure assessment conducted by VisionFirst Advisors, tangible efforts to address immediate and short-term workforce and talent needs, the development of a Northshore healthcare collective branding campaign and the production of an industry impact report. Specific benchmarks will be determined for each of these priority areas of work by the steering committee, and the success of the pilot program’s first year will be measured by those agreed upon benchmarks. “For North Oaks Health System, investing in collaborative efforts to position the Northshore as one of the most sought-after health care destinations is a natural extension of our mission to improve lives,” said North Oaks Health System President/Chief Executive Officer Michele Kidd Sutton, FACHE. “The St. Tammany Corporation is to be commended for recognizing the value of a thriving healthcare ecosystem to economic development by bringing together Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, and Washington parishes’ industry leaders in this endeavor. Together, we are stronger, and I have every confidence that we will succeed in enhancing the prosperity of the Northshore and the quality of life for area citizens through our collective focus on developing our workforce and identifying and growing essential services.”

“Ochsner Health values strategic partnerships and regional collaborations to advance the health and well-being of our communities and align with our vision to inspire healthier lives and stronger communities,” said Corwin N. Harper, MHA, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner Northshore and Gulf Coast Region. “Northshore Healthscape represents the dynamic relationship between the healthcare industry, economic development, and workforce with the desired outcome of enhancing access to quality care, increasing awareness of career opportunities in the healthcare industry and related fields, and showcasing the world-class healthcare services provided right here on the Northshore.”

Marty Mayer interacts with the nursing simulator at NTCC

EDGE June | July 2022


Attendees at the Northshore Healthscape Launch at Northshore Technical Community College, May 2022

“Our Lady of the Lake Northshore is excited to help advance healthcare across the Northshore Region through this collaborative partnership. With great intentionality and alignment, I am confident that this work will revolutionize healthcare delivery to the communities we serve by identifying and growing those services that are critical to keeping more of our patients and their families closer to home,” said Dr. Bryan Miller, Physician Executive and Interim President, Northshore Market, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. “The ongoing workforce shortage has inspired us to come up with creative solutions to continue to provide the best options for our patients,” said Sandy Badinger, CEO of Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center – Northshore. “This collective of healthcare leaders, in partnership with St. Tammany Corporation, is creating an actionable framework that will benefit our entire region. It’s exciting to take these steps to enhance our workforce so that, ultimately, we can take care of our patients in the communities we serve.” “We are grateful to St. Tammany Corporation for gathering the leading health systems on the Northshore into this pilot program. Rather than competition, we lead with ‘coopetition’ because we are cooperatively focused on strengthening our labor pool and elevating our region as a destination for world-class healthcare,” said Joan M. Coffman, FACHE, President and CEO, St. Tammany Health System. “The launch of Northshore Healthscape represents a groundbreaking step for a regional, industry-sector specific strategy led by local economic development. We recognize the importance of access to cutting edge healthcare close to home and understand this access is a major factor in where people and companies choose to locate,” said Marty Mayer, Board President, St. Tammany Corporation. “I am proud of the St. Tammany Corporation team for having this vision and for engaging partners from across the Northshore to partake in this pilot program.” “The Northshore is at a pivotal point in determining actionable next steps to transform the healthcare ecosystems in our region,” said Chris Masingill, Chief Executive Officer, St. Tammany Corporation. “The healthcare industry is vital to the well-being of our community and our economy. Northshore Healthscape is a collaborative and innovative initiative harnessing the


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dynamic relationship between economic development, workforce and talent, and industry. St. Tammany Corporation is honored to serve as the coordinator for this regional pilot program.” “Talent development and talent acquisition are central to the sustainability of healthy communities and vibrant economies. Central to our mission, Northshore Technical Community College is committed to supporting Northshore Healthscape in partnership with St. Tammany Corporation,” said Dr. William S. Wainwright, Chancellor, Northshore Technical Community College. “This progressive alliance will ensure pathways to prosperity for our citizens and build upon economic development opportunities that help healthcare systems of the Northshore thrive.” “The Workforce Board for Tri-Parish Works is excited to see this healthcare partnership come together. The Board is committed to serving as part of this talented team of partners ready to assist in addressing the collective workforce and talent pipeline needs,” said Melissa B. Kirsch, Executive Director, Workforce Development Board: Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany. “Now is the time for innovative and impactful solutions, and we expect this collaborative approach will return positive impacts to both the participating employers and our community as a whole.” St. Tammany Corporation will serve as the coordinator and project manager for this comprehensive sector strategy implementation. Participants in the broader initiative also include partners throughout the healthcare industry on the Northshore, with dynamic engagement from our workforce and education partners to enhance workforce retention and development initiatives. 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. Ashley Llewellyn is the lead staff contributor to this article. All photos are courtesy of St. Tammany Corporation.

Northshore Healthscape key stakeholders with NTCC Practical Nursing students EDGE June | July 2022



Robby Miller Tangipahoa Parish President

Greg Cromer City of Slidell Mayor


EDGE June | July 2022

It’s vacation time, and from the swamps of Manchac to the rolling hills of Kentwood, Tangipahoa Parish offers a wealth of things to do and places to go all summer long! From our parks and youth recreation programs to our local libraries and summer camps, there is always something fun to do with your children during the summer months. In addition to these programs, we offer more than two dozen attractions located right here in Tangipahoa Parish. There is never a shortage of things to do! Looking for an escape from the heat or summertime thunderstorms? Think indoor entertainment! From our Florida Parishes Arena where you can watch cattle roping on a Louisiana Saturday night to our historic Columbia Theatre where tiny dancers perform their annual spring recitals, there are some great indoor venues where you can beat the heat and enjoy quality entertainment right here in Tangipahoa. Looking for something unique to do? Check out Ponchatoula’s Collinswood Museum or the Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum in Hammond, where visitors can learn more about our rich culture. Looking for a quick getaway? We have so many great options, both on land and on our beautiful waterways! Our friends at Tangi Tourism have fine-tuned several staycation ideas for a fun getaway in Tangipahoa. From Ladies’ Day Out to that Guys Trip, Family Fun, outdoor experiences, and so much more, you can find more information on these and several other itinerary ideas on the Tangi Tourism website, at www.TangiTourism.com/Tangi/One-DayGetaways. You can also check out their Events page to learn about the many activities we have going on in our parish every single weekend. As always, you’ll find great things to see and do all around our beautiful parish. I hope you’ll carve out a day or two this summer to soak in all that our parish has to offer. It’s just one more reason why people choose Tangipahoa to live, work, play, and MOVE HERE. Have a safe and enjoyable summer!

Dear Citizens, Another hurricane season is approaching, and I encourage everyone to start preparing now. One of the most important things you can do is stay informed. As in years past, we will post all emergency information to our city website at MySlidell. com, the “City of Slidell, Louisiana” Facebook page and @SlidellSOS on Twitter. To be notified via text or email when something is posted on the @SlidellSOS page, visit Enabling Mobile Notifications under the Twitter Help Center for more information. All of these services can be accessed from virtually anywhere, whether it’s a cell phone, desktop, laptop or tablet. Even if you evacuate, you can still get continuous updates about Slidell. I encourage you to take advantage of these useful capabilities.

It’s time to Celebraate Slidell! Join the City of Slidell for these fun summer events!

Slidell Lagn appe White Linen and l


Action! Music! Comedy! Slidell Movie Nights has it all! Heritage Park • Free Admission Movies Start at 8:30 pm Bring your lawnchairs and blankets and join us on Saturday evenings this summer on JUNE 4 & 18 and JULY 9 & 23 at 8:30 pm. Admission is free. Concessions will be available for purchase. To see the list of movies, visit the City of Slidell’s website MYSLIDELL.COM or SLIDELL MOVIE NIGHTS on Facebook.

“Like This, Mommy?” by Keith Dellsperger

Saturday, August 13, 2022 6-9pm ◆ Olde Towne Slidell MySlidell.com ◆ 985.646.4375

Renaissance • $5,000 Sponsors:

Baroque, $2,500 Sponsors: In Memory of Ronnie Kole • Silver Slipper Casino Neoclassical, $1,000 Sponsors: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Home Instead Lori’s Art Depot • Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency

Impressionism, $500 Sponsors: P. David Carollo, Attorney-at-Law • CiCi’s Pizza Mayor Greg Cromer • State Representative Mary DuBuisson, District 90 Dr. David Hildebrandt - Slidell Family Dentistry • Old School Eats Food Truck Pizza Platoon • Pontchartrain Investment Management • Slidell Historic Antique Association Tanya Witchen - Engel & Völkers Real Estate


Mark Johnson City of Covington Mayor

Clay Madden City of Mandeville Mayor


EDGE June | July 2022

Hot summer, southern nights don’t slow down the happenings happening around Covington. On the contrary, we’ve planned some events to keep us cool. In June, it’s A Taste of Covington featuring some of south Louisiana’s best restaurants offering superb-fixed menus … all to benefit the St. Tammany Art Association and Covington Business Association: Gallagher’s on June 1st, the Glorietta on June 7th, Marcello’s on June 8th, Del Porto on June 15th and the Seiler Bar on June 21st … each doing a feté worthy of royalty. July brings the quintessential 4th of July Americana event: Sparks in the Parks. On July 2nd, ease into 13 acres of sand, trees, and shade wrapped by the winding Bogue Falaya River for music by the Northshore Traditional Music Society, face painting, a hot dog eating contest, and a children’s pie-eating contest. That evening the Covington Concert Band, a 60 + orchestra of the area’s finest musicians, fills the Bogue Falaya Park with the sounds of America. For the finale, the band synchronizes their melodies with the oomph, pop, and sparkle of a grand fireworks show—all for free. Also, in July, to keep one of the coolest cities in America cool is Kokomo Stroll. This ticketed event closes down historic Columbia Street as revelers adorned in their Caribbean - Hawaiian - South Sea garb stroll the streets sampling the rum drink concoctions of local businesses. The evening is capped off with a free concert at the Covington Trailhead. For details, www.covla.com The temps may be hot, but Covington is still cool.

The city recently hosted a National Day of Prayer event at the lakefront. It was a beautiful day and an inspiring event, AND…it was the first event to be held at our recently rebuilt lakefront gazebo! I am happy to report that the lakefront gazebo is not only functional but is improved from its pre-hurricane Ida condition. The gazebo is a popular Mandeville landmark and was rebuilt it to be handicap accessible. It is now open for all Mandeville residents to enjoy and additional improvements such as landscaping, and benches are coming soon. We have been reluctant to re-open Sunset Point, which was used as a staging ground during our debris removal process due to the conditions of the fishing pier which has yet to be repaired. Although these is much repair work to be done out there with the pier, I made the decision a few weeks ago to reopen the Sunset Point Park so that everyone can enjoy its beauty, even though the fishing pier may not be repaired for some time. We have also recently completed a new permanent bathroom facility for that park. I ask for your patience with the pier…it is a more complicated project with FEMA. I am also happy to report that the repairs and improvements of our splash pads concluded a few weeks ago and both the Trailhead Splash Pad as well as the Lakeshore Drive/Jackson Avenue Park Splash Pad are open for kids and families to enjoy! With the Gazebo, Sunset Point, and both splash pad parks now open, it will indeed be a beautiful and pleasant spring in Mandeville, and I encourage all residents to get out and take advantage of the beauty of our beloved city! We are now moving into the city budget process. My staff and I will be working with the city council and our residents to prioritize projects. I encourage your participation and input. I am honored to serve as mayor and I appreciate citizen feedback. My e-mail address is cmadden@cityofmandeville.com and my cell phone number is 985-630- 8578.


My turn:

by Chef Ross Dover

ABOUT CHEF ROSS DOVER In every issue, EDGE of the Lake invites a local chef or restauranteur to visit another eatery on the Northshore. Chef Ross Dover recently joined Palmettos from Restaurant August in New Orleans, where he was Executive Chef for 3 years and Executive Sous Chef for 2 years. Prior, he served as Executive Sous Chef for the Johnny Sanchez Restaurant in New Orleans, working directly with Aarón Sánchez, an award-winning chef, TV personality, and cookbook author. Chef Ross is a Louisiana native, born and raised in Houma. He attended Nicholls State University where he studied Culinary Arts at the John Folse Culinary Institute. Chef Ross plans to offer seasonal menus at Palmetto’s focusing on locally sourced ingredients.


EDGE June | July 2022

ZEN Japanese Grill & Sushi Bistro zenjapanesebistro.com 985.778.2231

A few weeks ago, my wife and I met up with another couple for a double date lunch at ZEN Japanese Grill & Sushi Bistro in Mandeville. It was a Tuesday and pretty lively for a lunch hour on a weekday. The owner, Chef Noah, offers an inviting modern space. The long sushi bar is accented with blue uplights, which serve as the focal point of the restaurant. The bar is a pretty cool feature that grabs your attention as soon as you walk in the door. I was also struck by the host staff ready to greet us at the front door. Having that much front-of-house staff on hand in the middle of the lunch rush hour is always a promising sign. We were seated immediately. We had our baby girl with us too, and the staff was super accommodating. We really dug into the menu. ZEN Bistro offers a large range of options, including small plates, salads, “Zen bowls” which remind me of Hawaiian poke bowls, noodle and hibachi style options and bento boxes. For lunch they have specially priced smaller portions available too. ZEN Bistro also offers one of the largest and diverse sushi menus on the Northshore. We started with the Panko-Bonito, which is a panko-fried battered octopus ball over egg tartar topped with bonito flakes, green onions, eel sauce and seafood sauce. Incredible. We also ordered the squid salad, a crab salad, some sashimi and seven or eight of the special rolls. You could taste the freshness of Chef Noah’s seafood. The fish had that buttery clean flavor that you want from sushi. It was all well-proportioned and offered at an unbeatable price. They certainly know what they are doing. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I imagine we will be returning in the near future to explore more of Chef Noah’s vast menu. I highly recommend it.

EDGE June | July 2022


Children’s Museum of St. Tammany’s Chalk Fest

Covington Heritage Foundation held a Farm to Table Dinner at the trailhead.

EDGE June | July 2022


Covington Police F.O.P Lodge #43 held a Rodeo at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds

St Tammany Municipal Association held a crawfish boil at the Maritime Museum.


This year’s recipient of Dr.Todd Brasuell’s 4th Annual Dr. Billy Michal Scholarship Award is Hope Gispert. EDGE June | July 2022

Northhsore Media Group Mississippi team earned some statewide recognition by taking home three first-place awards and other top-three finishes in four categories for radio broadcasting excellence at the annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Awards.

The Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall held an opening reception for ‘George Dunbar: A Retrospective’

More-Than Fore raised $50,000 for St. Jude’s at their second annual golf tournament

EDGE June | July 2022



Centerwell Senior Primary Care (Hammond)

RAO Medical Spa

Grand Family Dentistry and Gray and Graham Salon

Holly & Smith Architects announces Mary Mowad Guiteau as new firm shareholder

St Paul’s School newest club, Wolves for Tutoring, has started a partnership with the West St. Tammany YMCA

Service dogs – City of Slidell Administration learned about service dog laws at a course presented by Amber Sheppard

The Northshore-Collaborative, Northshore Cultural Economy Coalition and the City of Slidell, hosted a reception honoring Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and his dedication to the film industry as a vital component of the economy


EDGE June | July 2022

St Tammany Chamber of Commerce joined with Hancock Chamber for a Cinco de Mayo Business After Hours at the Silver Slipper Casino and Hotel

The Louisiana Northshore team joined other tourism partners and officials and travelled to the Louisiana State Capital

EDGE June | July 2022


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EDGE June | July 2022


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