May-June 2022 Issue of Inside Northside Magazine

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495

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INSIDEPUB.com

WOMEN IN BUSINESS •

CHERYL GERBER • COVINGTON PARKS • SHILO BRUHL

MAY-JUNE 2022 VOL. 37, NO. 3






contents table of

A new take on Southern charm. Page 28

page 22

Departments 8 Pub Note 10 Contributors 16 INside Scoop 20 IN Other Words Sixty. Who cares? 37

Traces Seniors Sander McComiskey and Martha Rigney Christ Episcopal School

73 IN The Bookcase Just Tyrus: A Memoir by Tyrus 78 Flourishes Extraordinary Gifts and Home Accents 81 INside Look 84 Generous Hearts Northshore Community Foundation 88 INside Peek 90 IN Love & Marriage 94 IN Great Taste Rise and Shine – It’s Biscuit Time!

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page 81

Features 12 Soul-Stirring Painting Cover Artist Karen Treuting 22 Chief of Police Shilo Bruhl Blazing a New Trail in Folsom 28 A New Take on Southern Charm 40 Welcome to The Little Potter’s House Local Potter Vanessa Hock 86 Downtown Covington Parks

47

Women in Business

48 Through Her Lens Artist Cheryl Gerber

Editorial Contributors: Maggie Bokobza, Heidi Bowers, Susan Bonnett Bourgeois, Hilary Creamer, Matthew Foster, Cheryl Gerber Photography, Karen Gibbs, Bobby Gilroy Photography, Monica Growden, Thomas B. Growden, Poki Hampton, Paige Henderson,

96 Haute Plates

Yvette Zuniga Jemison, Liz King, Mimi Greenwood Knight, Kevin Schurb Photography, Susan

98 Last Look

F. Sheehan, Becky Slatten, John Snell, Mollie Suzanne Photography, Claire Friedrichs Taylor.

Inside Northside



Hello, not goodbye! I am so happy to introduce Desiree Forsyth as the next publisher of Inside Northside! After 21 years, this will be my last issue as publisher. I look back with pride and gratitude to have met and collaborated with so many incredible people. As this season of my life was being overtaken with new blessings, I was fortunate to meet Desiree. From the start, I knew she would be the perfect next steward of the magazine. She cherishes the same things about the magazine that I do, and hope you do too! She is a northshore native and an alumna of SLU; her tenure in the magazine publishing business and powerful marketing background promise great possibilities for the next generation of Inside Northside. What you love about the magazine will remain the same. Brad Growden, the art director who makes us all look good, will be right next to Desiree, as he has been next to me since the beginning. Most of the team will carry on under her leadership. Jan Murphy, my mother-in-law and editor extraordinaire, and I are the ones riding off into the sunset! We are expecting a bundle of joy to arrive in June and are all set to spend our hours pushing strollers and bouncing a grandbaby on our knees. I was reminded recently by a message I read from Sam Parker, a marketing guru with Inspire Your People, that the work we have the opportunity to pour ourselves into belongs to us for a relatively short period of time. I have really enjoyed being steward to Inside Northside, but the time has come to hand it off to someone else. It’s natural for me to hope Desiree thinks my work is good, but I am sure you will see her bring great new ideas and inspiration to the pages of the magazine. She embodies what is new in the publishing business, but has an appreciation for what has made us successful since the ’80s. I am leaving Inside Northside in better hands than my own. This isn’t a goodbye since I will be here supporting Desiree and the work of Inside Northside—always.

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Inside Northside



Contributors May-June 2022 Vol. 37, No. 3

Our contributors give Inside Northside its voice, its personality and its feel. We are proud to highlight a few of them so that you can put a face with a name and get to know them.

Claire Friedrichs Taylor Her friends call Claire the Swiss Army Knife because she is at least a little bit interested in almost everything. A lifelong learner, reading and research are her passions. Claire’s careers have included teacher, hotel sales manager, landscape contractor/horticulturist, stockbroker, Certified Portfolio Manager (her day job), artist and now--writer. “Connecting with people is the constant thread in my interests. I jumped at the chance to write a book report on Mandeville’s own Tyrus because he has a great story to tell.” Inspired by his journey, she looks forward to sharing what she calls a testament to his tenacity. This summer you will likely find her relaxing poolside with her dogs--and reading another book. Hilary Creamer A Louisiana native, Hilary Creamer settled in Mandeville after her service in the military and having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Nevada–Reno. For the past several years, she has been honored to volunteer as a mentor with the 22nd JDC Veterans’ Court. When she isn’t reading or spoiling her two rescue dogs, Sadie and Scout, you can find her treasure hunting at antique shops, visiting local nature parks and museums, or enjoying the many fun events on the northshore. This year’s nature series has her happily blending her love of nature, exploring, photography, and writing. 10

Inside Northside

Publisher Lori Murphy lori@insidepub.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Editor Jan Murphy jan@insidepub.com Creative Director Brad Growden brad@insidepub.com Digital Communications Margaret Murphy ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Business Manager Jane Quillin jane@insidepub.com Operations Manager Margaret Rivera margaret@insidepub.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Advertising Account Executives Barbara Roscoe Poki Hampton barbara@insidepub.com poki@insidepub.com Pemmie Sheasby Hilary Creamer pemmie@insidepub.com hilary@insidepub.com Brenda Breck Stacey Paretti Rase brenda@insidepub.com –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

On the Cover

The cover painting was inspired by an image taken by famous photographer, Flip Schulke in the 1970s.

Cover Artist Karen Tre uting. Find more on page 12.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Contact

phone (985) 626-9684 fax (985) 674-7721 Advertising Sales sales@insidepub.com Subscriptions subscriptions@insidepub.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– INSIDE NORTHSIDE is published bi-monthly (January, March, May, July, September, November) by M and L Publishing, LLC, PO Box 9148, Mandeville, LA 70470-9148 as a means of communication and information for St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes, Louisiana. Bulk Postage paid at Mandeville, LA. Copy­right ©2022 by M & L Publishing, LLC. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent of publisher. Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and artwork. Inside Northside Magazine is created using the Adobe Creative Suite on Apple Macintosh computers.



Soul-stirring Painting Cover Artist Karen Treuting IT MAY SURPRISE those who admire Karen Treuting’s artwork to learn that painting is just a hobby for the talented artist. And though she would also call it her passion, Treuting has to deliberately

photo: HEIDI BOWERS

by Becky Slatten

12

Inside Northside

carve out time in her busy life as a wife, mother and residential realtor to create her whimsically beautiful paintings. Born the fourth of five children in McComb, Mississippi, Karen comes by her talent naturally, the proof being that both her mother and uncle are artists. And though she enjoyed her creative pastimes, she opted to pursue a nursing degree in college. “Nursing was my first love,” says Treuting, who spent the majority of her career in labor and delivery, neonatal ICU and the ER. But with a husband who constantly traveled for business and the arrival of her two children, Karen made the decision to stay home and become a full-time mom. Once her son and daughter were school-aged and relatively self-sufficient, however, Karen launched a brand >>



photo: KEVIN SCHURB PHOTOGRAPHY

new career in residential real estate because it afforded her more flexibility than nursing. “I’ve always worked,” she says. “I always have to be doing something. Even when my children were small, I was the president of the PTA and always at their school,” she laughs. “Oddly enough, my nursing training has come in handy in my real estate career. My experience helping patients and their family members through difficult situations has translated to walking my clients through stressful real estate transactions. A home is likely the most expensive purchase most people will ever make, and it can be nerve-racking!” Now, 15 years later, her kids are grown, and she is busier than ever in a hot real estate market, which makes it even more difficult to find the time to pursue her passion for painting. She says, “I try to not let work interfere with my Wednesday afternoon art class,” but admits it’s not easy to juggle the demands of the job and keep her Wednesday appointment with her paintbrushes and canvas. “It’s about the only time I get to paint these days.” Though Karen has always enjoyed painting, she didn’t really make time for it until fate arranged a meeting with local artist and teacher, Gretchen Armbruster. “I started painting with Gretchen off and on years ago when she was still teaching in her dining room,” smiles Karen. Armbruster has since established her art school and studio in downtown Covington, and starting just before the advent of the 2019 Covid 19 shutdowns, Treuting has become a Wednesday afternoon regular, where she says she’s formed a strong bond with her classmates. “We all come from very different backgrounds, but we have so much in common” says Karen. “It makes art class so much fun.” It’s also interesting to note that Karen’s daughter Katherine has inherited the family gift as well. “She’s a very talented artist,” says Treuting, “and she’s also a nurse!”


Treuting has only one criteria when it comes to selecting the subject matter for her paintings. “Whether it’s a photograph or a family memory, it has to stir my soul. I only paint things that make me happy,” she says. The cover painting, titled Darlings, was inspired by an image taken by famous photographer, Flip Schulke in the 1970s because the beauty wearing the cat-eye sunglasses and bathing cap so closely resembles Karen’s grandmother, Beatrice, whom they called Darlin’. Treuting has developed a refined eye and talent for choosing unique and whimsical subjects, and her expressive use of color makes her work distinctive and eye-catching. Though she stays busy with work and her art during the week, lately Karen and her husband, Jimmy, spend as many weekends as they can together at their lakehouse on Big Bay Lake. “It’s certainly not as often as we’d like. Now that he’s able to work from home and doesn’t have to travel for business as much, it’s like we’re dating again,” she laughs. Hopefully, Treuting will also slow down one of these days and find more time to create the paintings that can’t help but make us smile. To inquire about available art for your current home or a lead on your next dream house, reach out to Karen at karen@ treuting.com. She is a Luxury Collection Specialist with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Preferred REALTORS®. May-June 2022 15


p resen t ed b y

29th Annual Youth Fishing Rodeo June 11 Calling all youth 15 years of age and younger! Join your friends at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex and the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. for a day of family fishing fun at the Youth Fishing Rodeo! Families can go fishing all weekend long in Louisiana without needing a fishing license. Take I-59 to the Pearl River Turnaround Exit 11, and turn right. Backtrack on the frontage road about a mile, and the entrance is on the left. Pearl River Turnaround - I-12, Exit 11, (985) 882-2025, fws.gov/ refuge/bogue-chitto/visit-us/activities.

May Folsom Scenic Rivers Art Festival Sunday,

in the Town Square for free concerts

Trailhead! The featured artist for May

May 1, 4-7pm Stroll and shop to your

featuring Band Camp. Bring your lawn

6 is Gregg Martinez and May 13 is

heart’s content at this event—spanning

chairs and dancing shoes, but no ice

Amanda Shaw. Admission is free, all

from Far Horizons Art Gallery to Giddy

chests, please. Help to keep concerts

ages welcome. Guests to the Mandeville

Up Coffee Shop to The Paddock event

free and give back to the community.

Live! concert series are welcome to bring

area—and you will find original art by

As with all 2022 events, portions of the

lawn chairs or blankets and small coolers

artists who work in all kinds of media.

proceeds will benefit The Terra Bella

for drinks. Food trucks will be onsite.

Live musical entertainment on The

Institute and Wounded War Heroes. 111

675 Lafitte St., Mandeville, 624-3147,

Paddock, and guest speakers will speak

Terra Bella Blvd., Covington, 871-7171,

ExperienceMandeville.org.

to the heart of the festival: fine artwork

terrabellavillage.com/news-events.

depicting Louisiana’s scenic waterways.

May 6, 5-10pm. The Olde Towne Slidell

When you’re ready for a break from

Thursday, May 5, 5-7pm Celebrate the

Retail Merchants Association brings

strolling and shopping, follow the sound

opening of the Samaritan Center’s new food

you Spring Crawl 2022 on four streets

of live music, or follow your nose, to the

bank building in Old Mandeville at its Grand

in the heart of Slidell. Expect 75+ local

food trucks in the alleyway and Giddy Up

Opening. Learn about its teaching kitchen

artists and crafters, organizations and

Coffee Shop to relax with a bite to eat

and classes and enjoy refreshments provided

food vendors, and after-hours shopping,

and live music. 82286 LA-25, Folsom,

by Village Church Lutheran of Lacombe. 412

dining, eating and drinking. This block

607-8280, farhorizonsart.com.

Girod St., Mandeville, 626-4457, samcen.org.

party will also feature three live local

Friday Nights on the Square Spring

16

Samaritan Center Food Bank Grand Opening

Olde Towne Slidell Spring Crawl Friday,

Mandeville Live! Free Friday Concert

music acts and games and crafts for kids.

2022 Concerts Friday, May 6, 5:30-

Friday, May 6 & 13; music starts at

2200 Block of Carey St., between Robert

8:30pm TerraBella’s Friday Night Concert

6:30pm Grab your blankets and chairs

and Cousin streets, Slidell, facebook.

Series brings together local bands

and kick off your weekends this spring

com/OldeTowneSlidell.

and food and beverage vendors right

with a free concert at Mandeville

I n s i d e N o rt h s i d e

History of Fontainebleau State Park


Fridays, May 7-June 24, 3pm Guests are taken on a journey through the 2,500year timeline of Fontainebleau’s history. This program starts at the Visitors Center and includes a short walk around the Sugar Mill and through the Alley of the Oaks. Educational programs are free, but entrance fee to the park is $3.00 per person for ages 4-62, free for ages 3 and under and 63 and up. Reservations are required for large groups. 62883 Hwy. 1089, Mandeville, 624-4130, lastateparks.com/parks-preserves/ fontainebleau-state-park. NPAS Presents: Let It Be - A Beatles Tribute Friday, May 13 at 7:30pm and Sunday, May 15 at 3pm The Northlake Performing Arts Society presents Let It Be - A Beatles Tribute. Conducted by Artistic Director Kenya Lawrence Jackson with accompanist Irina Cunev on piano. Admission is $20 for ages 10 and up, free for children 9 and under. Tickets available at the door, in advance at npas.ticketleap. com, or Braswell Drugs on Hwy. 21, Covington. The Northlake Performing Arts Society is a non-profit organization, funded by gifts and donations from people who share a passion for great music. 80 Christwood Blvd., Covington, 276-9335, npassingers.org. Jazz’n the Vines Concerts May 14-June 25, 5-9pm Pontchartrain Vineyards wines are available for tasting and purchase, and local food trucks will be serving up some good eats. Picnic baskets are welcome, though no outside alcohol permitted. Bring your fest chairs, blankets and battery powered candles. Tickets are $12 per person. Children are free under 12. Take advantage of the onlineonly special: two tickets plus a bottle of featured wine for $28. Spring 2022 Schedule: May 14 - The Tin Men; May 28 - Mia Borders; June 11 - Ten Gallon Tinfoil Hat; June 25 - Mark Levron & Friends. 81250 Old Military Rd.,

>>


Inside Scoop Bush, 892-9742, bontempstix.com/

Crawfishman Triathlon Sunday, May 22,

events/jazzn-the-vines-featuring-the-tin-

7:30am Crawfishman is a great race with

men-5-14-2022.

a rich history dating back to 1983; the

Bhakti Farms Yoga Fest May 20-22 This

race venue located in Bush, Louisiana,

all-inclusive, annual festival features

is picturesque and perfect for an early

a variety of offerings including yoga,

season triathlon. The swim takes place in

meditation, music, homeopathy,

Grande Hills Lake and has a 1000 meter

acupuncture, wellness talks, social

swim and a shorter swim option of 400

gatherings and kids’ yoga. The secluded

meters. The bike course is an 18-mile

location allows for a restorative and serene

out-and-back along scenic country roads.

weekend where relationships with fellow

The race finishes up with a 4-mile hilly run

yogis can be reinforced through a shared

within the Grande Hill Estates subdivision.

love of health and wellness, making it

211 Churchill Downs Dr., Bush, (504)

a unique and restorative experience.

952-2899, crawfishmantri.com/Race/Info/

Admission for ages 13 and up is $35$175, free for age 12 and under to the

LA/Bush/CrawfishmanTriathlon. Columbia Street Block Party Friday, May 27,

Kid’s Forest. A portion of proceeds will be

& June 24 6-9pm This free family event

donated to Child Advocacy Center - Hope

features classic car enthusiasts displaying

House. 79468 Keating Rd., Covington,

their “pride and joy” over four blocks in

718-6262, bhaktifarms.com.

Covington’s historic St. John District. Check

St. Tammany Hamburger Festival May

out local shops and restaurants, and live

20-22 Team of Twenty Production, LLC,

and DJ music in many of the downtown

presents the inaugural St. Tammany

entertainment venues. Free off-street

Hamburger Festival at the St. Tammany

parking and in public parking (“oxlots”).

Parish Fairgrounds in Covington. The

200-500 Blocks of Columbia Street,

festival will feature a hamburger cook-

Covington, (985) 892-1873, covla.com.

off with $1,000 prize and trophy and includes a classic car show, carnival rides, loads of live music and contests

June Southern Hotel’s 115th Anniversary

in hamburger eating, drawing and baby

Party Wednesday June 1, 5-7pm In

crawling. Admission is $10 for adults, $5

honor of its 115th anniversary, Southern

for students and is free for kids under

Hotel is throwing an anniversary party!

6. 1304 N. Columbia St., Covington, 249-

Enjoy complimentary Champagne

1801, sttammanyhamburgerfestival.com.

and macaroons in the lobby. 428 E.

Sunset at the Landing Concert Friday, May 20 & June 17, 6-9pm Bring family, friends and picnics to the Columbia

Boston St., Covington, (844) 866-1907, southernhotel.com. A Taste of Covington Food, Wine, Music

Street Landing in Covington for Sunset

& Art Festival June 1-30 The 11th

at the Landing, a free concert featuring

annual event revolves around Covington’s

regional and touring artists performing

stellar restaurants and arts-loving culture

jazz, bluegrass, folk, blues and more. All

in Historic Downtown Covington. This

are encouraged to bring refreshments

month-long event features wine dinners,

and chairs or blankets for lawn seating.

tastings and more, Tuesday through Friday

Some bench seating is also available. 100

nights, with special events on weekends.

N. Columbia St., Covington, 892-1873,

Each restaurant will provide an all-inclusive

sunsetatthelanding.org.

four-to-five-course gourmet meal with wine


pairing at varied prices. Seatings are at 7 pm, and are limited so make your reservations early with the restaurant of your choice. Menus, prices, and events will be posted as received at atasteofcovington.com. Covington, (504) 439-2543. 6th Annual Kokomo Stroll Saturday, June 4, 3:30-7pm Flip-flops and boat drinks will be aplenty in downtown Covington for patrons to stroll from business to business to taste the most scrumptious summer cocktails and craft beers served by local businesses, as well as several small plate tastings from local restaurants. The Covington Business Association’s Kokomo Stroll features live music. Kokomo Stroll cups are $35, available at gocovington.org. Patrons must be at least 21 years of age to participate. Historic Downtown Covington. 51st Annual Tour de Louisiane Bike Race Sunday, June 5, 7am Cyclists come from all over the United States to compete for titles and thousands of dollars in prizes. The big race is Sunday, starting at Covington’s Trailhead of the Tammany Trace. Online registration closes at 11:59pm CST on Thursday before the race, with time trials at locations around the parish on Saturday (see website for times and locations). Tour de Louisiane is promoted by the New Orleans Bicycle Club. 419 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, 892-1873, covla.com. A Night Under the Sea Saturday, June 11, 7pm The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum presents a Gala Fundraiser to support Recreational Fisheries Research Institute (RFRI) and the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program. The evening includes food, drinks, a DJ and a silent auction. Tickets are $150 per person. Cocktail attire. 133 Mabel Drive, Madisonville, (504) 756-4325, rfri.net/tag-louisiana-fundraiser-gala. Q50 Races Run to the Hills Saturday, June 18, 9am Q50 Races presents Run to the Hills in Bogue Chitto State Park, a 5- or 10-mile race on a scenic, dirt course with small hills. Awards given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place male and female in both the 10-mile and 5-mile races. To register, and for more details, visit Q50races. com/2018/06/21/q50-run-to-the-hills. Bug spray is a must, and runners should be prepared for hot weather. Bogue Chitto State Park, 17049 State Park Blvd., Franklinton, (504) 390-8807. Larry Hartzog’s 9th Annual Twisted Beer Fest & Homebrew Competition Saturday, June 25 Come to Pelican Park’s Castine Center in Mandeville for the 9th Annual Larry Hartzog Twisted Beer Fest & Homebrew Competition! The event features a Beer Garden with over 200 beer samplings from homebrew and commercial breweries around the state. Attendees can also enjoy delicious food, music and a people’s choice competition among the homebrews. Admission includes all beer samplings, with added special food and beer samplings for VIP ticket holders. This event is dog-friendly! Castine Center 63350 Pelican Dr., Mandeville, (985) 892-7387, larrybrewfest.com. May-June 2022 19


IN Other Words

by Becky Slatten

Who cares? I’M TURNING 60. It would be an understatement to say this milestone birthday has me a little rattled— mostly because I feel as though just yesterday I was 40-something driving around in an SUV full of hungry, ungrateful children. And then, somehow, with no warning at all, I became a 60-year-old grandmother who takes a handful of pills at bedtime. Did I doze off? I’m not sure what I was expecting upon the completion of my 60th year on earth, but I certainly thought I would be much wiser and way more mature by now. I suppose it’s conceivable that I could live to be 100, which means I potentially have the next 40 years to grow up and maybe stop repeating the same mistakes over and over again, but I’m not holding my breath. I can remember a time when a much younger version of myself viewed all people over 60 as decrepit little grey-haired elderlies whose entire lives revolved around grandchildren and Jeopardy!. I’ve since changed my mind about that, haha! I swear I think 60 has gotten younger than it used to be, or is it just that, now that I’m here, my perspective has changed? To me, my grandmother looked 70 years old for about 30 years; she was a tiny little grey-haired lady who got more done before lunchtime than I can get done in a week. I might look younger at 60 than she did, but she had more energy and skills than I’ll ever have. That generation went through so much adversity that by the time they turned 60, they probably felt like they earned their grey hair and didn’t care what anyone thought

20 Inside Northside

about it. I, for one, attend regular meetings with my hairdresser and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Although several of my friends are a few years younger than I am, it’s somewhat gratifying to know I’m not alone in this aging thing. Recently, I was socializing with some of these younger friends (broads in their mid-50s mind you), when I was suddenly struck with the realization that we had been discussing our various ailments and aches and pains and surgeries and medications for about an hour, and we were all completely engrossed in this topic. Besides the usual salacious gossip, I can’t even remember what we used to talk about; when and how did plantar fasciitis and bursitis in the hip become interesting?? And if that isn’t bad enough, we were all home in bed at 10:15 after a party on a Saturday night. On the roller coaster of life, we are indeed on the steep downslope. Another significant symptom of aging among women is that we inadvertently turn into our mothers. I try to stay keenly aware of any sign that I’m starting to act and sound like mine. Unfortunately, the number one indicator is denial, so just remember that—it’s tricky. And speaking of my mother, she now has me hooked on some of the British detective shows that air on public television. I would describe them as similar to the American television shows, Matlock and Murder She Wrote, and yes, I do see those big red flags. You know you’re watching “old-people TV” when every commercial is advertising either a Jitterbug phone, a walk- in tub or anything to do with Medicare Part B benefits—whatever those are. I’m not that old yet. Sometimes getting older feels like one big cliché: time flies, age is just a number, it’s hell getting old, old age ain’t for sissies. You’ve heard them all, and they’re all true, every last one of them. But who cares? Attitude is everything, and I love that my husband refers to this birthday as my Diamond Jubilee. I’ll take a birthday over a funeral any day, and turning 60 just makes me realize that those birthdays will just keep coming faster and faster until they don’t. If I’ve learned anything at all in 60 years, it’s this: the only things that really matter are the things that really matter, and I have those in abundance. Cheers!



Chief of Police

Shilo Bruhl by Mimi Greenwood Knight

Blazing a New Trail in Folsom

22 Inside Northside


photo: KEVIN SCHURB PHOTOGRAPHY

SHILO BRUHL JOKES that she still doesn’t know what she wants to be “when she grows up.” For now, she’s happy breaking glass ceilings and paving the way for other women in her chosen field of law enforcement. Throughout this country, only one in ten police officers are women. The number of female police chiefs is considerably lower. Yet, Bruhl began 2022 being sworn in as the firstever female chief of police in the Village of Folsom (only the second in St. Tammany Parish history). She got where she is, however, not because there was a quota to be filled, but through years of hard work and dedication, beginning with the Folsom Police Department as a secretary and learning the job as she went. As a person of faith, Bruhl also credits her success—in this and every aspect of her life—to God’s plan. “God gave me a servant’s heart,” she says. “Whatever He puts in front of me I want to do with all my ability.” That “whatever” has run the gamut for Bruhl from teacher to full-time mom, from administrative assistant to beloved school resource officer, from beat cop to her new role heading up the Folsom Police Department. In between, she attended the police academy at almost 40, surrounded by men and women half her age. “My son was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and hospitalized while I was in school,” Bruhl says. “So, I was working 40-hour weeks, going to the police academy at night and spending every second I could at Children’s Hospital with him.” To spite all the

challenges, the week before her 40th birthday, Bruhl walked across the stage to graduate from the police academy, manned her gear and hit the streets on patrol for Mardi Gras week. One of her first posts as an officer was a security detail at the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse in Covington. There, she worked with Deputy Laura Aucoin, who says, “We worked together this past year during Hurricane Ida and at the courthouse during the height of the COVID pandemic. Bruhl always has a smile on her face and always thoroughly enjoys her days. She makes everyone around her smile and laugh. It definitely makes our days better. When I heard she was appointed chief, I knew she’d do great. She loves the citizens of the village.” Bruhl’s ever-present smile was an asset during her years as a school resource officer at Folsom Elementary School. She says, “Most people don’t realize all school resource officers are also criminal patrol officers. We have to be road certified before we qualify to be an SRO. Then, when the kids are out of school, we’re back on the street with the crime patrol unit. We were on patrol the whole time the schools were closed due to COVID.” But when she is at the school, Bruhl is 100 percent devoted to the faculty and students. Julie Sciortino, principal at Folsom Elementary School, says, “She’s probably the most beloved person in the Village of Folsom and especially at our schools. She makes it a point to learn every kid’s name and always greet them with a smile or hug. You could find her on any day on >>


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I n s i d e N o rt h s i d e

photo: KEVIN SCHURB PHOTOGRAPHY

the playground laughing with the kids or jumping rope. The kids call her ‘Miss Officer Bruhl.’” During her time at the school, Bruhl took it upon herself to launch a program recognizing kids who performed random acts of kindness. “She got the rewards for the kids herself,” Sciortino says. “And she not only rewarded the kids who displayed the acts of kindness, but the kids who nominated them as well. She loved to do things for the faculty and staff, like surprise us with snacks and drinks. Then, she’d push a cart from room to room handing out treats and just generally making everybody’s day brighter. She still comes by all the time, never misses an honor roll breakfast or award ceremony. Or we’ll look out on the playground and see her with a group of 20 kids around her in one giant embrace.” Holly Menheim, who knew Bruhl during her 4thand 5th-grade years at Folsom Elementary, says “She was always someone we could relate to. She’d come eat lunch with us, almost every day, and talk to us about how our day was going. We talked about everything with her, and she’d listen to whatever was happening in our lives. She was that way for everybody, just super involved, playing games with us on the playground and letting us know she was there, if we ever needed her.”


Kids growing up in Folsom today know a police officer who’s approachable, who makes them feel heard and seen and like a valuable member of our community. What a great attitude to take into any leadership position, but especially one where people’s lives and safety are your main concern. “Respect for people is so important in this job,” says Bruhl. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. As a Christian, I know all God gives me that I don’t deserve, including a wonderful husband of 27 years who supports me in everything I do. I wanted the kids to understand why an SRO is at their school. I told them, ‘We’re here to keep you safe and because we love you.’ Some of them have family members in jail. I wanted them to understand people who go to jail aren’t bad people. They’re people who’ve done something wrong, just like when you go to detention. I want to give them a positive experience with a police officer. I want them to know how much I love them. When they see me, I want them to think, ‘There’s my friend, Officer Bruhl.’” She was at Folsom Elementary the day she received a call from then Folsom Police Chief Beau

Killingsworth. “He was about to retire, after 27 years, and wanted me to take his place. I actually laughed when he said it. He said, ‘Shilo, you know the job, and you’re well rounded. You ran this place with me when you were here.’ I can’t thank Beau enough that he thinks that much of me.” Killingsworth says he had no doubt Bruhl could do the job and do it well. “Shilo knows the ins and outs of this department. She works well with people. It’s not just about putting people in jail. You need to be able to work with everyone, be approachable and be able to work with the community, and that’s where Shilo does so well. She’s got an experienced group of guys—the most experienced police department we’ve ever had—and we’re still growing. Her time at the sheriff’s office and the contacts she has there will be a huge help. She’s going to do fine. I have every confidence in her.” Bruhl also had the enthusiastic support of Folsom Mayor Lance Willie and was unanimously approved by the village’s board of aldermen. April Narretto has been Bruhl’s closest friend since junior high. Although she admits law >> May-June 2022 25


photo: KEVIN SCHURB PHOTOGRAPHY

Chief Bruhl at her regular Monday community meeting at the Giddy Up.


enforcement wasn’t initially a career she saw her friend choosing, once she did, Narretto knew she’d give it 100 percent. “Shilo has such a great work ethic and an even bigger heart,” she says. “It doesn’t matter who you are; she’s going to treat you with respect. She has a way with people and especially kids. When we’re out somewhere and one of ‘her kids’ spot her, you should see their faces light up. She loves them all. The Folsom Elementary kids were so lucky to have her, and she loved being there. It was a hard choice for her to leave. But now the Village of Folsom is just as lucky to have her as chief of police.” Folsom business owner Frank Richerand appreciates that Bruhl is eager to stay visible around the village. “She attends our monthly community breakfast meetings and is always happy to meet with the citizens and hear what they have to say,” he says. “She’s always got a smile on her face and genuinely engages with whoever she’s talking to. I’m hearing good things from other police officers, too. They respect her

and the job she’s doing.” Deputy Paul Blair is one of those officers. Starting his 38th year in law enforcement, Blair has been with the Folsom PD the last four and a half. He’s second in command after Chief Bruhl. “She’s going to do great,” he says of his new police chief. “I’m at the end of my career, and I see my job now as making sure Shilo succeeds at everything she does. There’s a learning curve here for both of us. But she’s smart, and she’s willing to learn. She’s not afraid to ask questions or to ask for help. There will be bumps ahead, but we’ll have fun overcoming them together. This village absolutely adores their police officers.” The feeling is mutual. Bruhl says, “I don’t think anyone is going to love this village like I love this village. I have a big heart for kids and such a connection with this community. I know most every child in town and think of them as my own. These kids are the future of this village, and I feel blessed to be serving them and their families, for as long as I’m in this position.”

May-June 2022 27


A New Take On

Southern Charm

by Poki Hampton IT’S NOT OFTEN that a architectural designer renovates a home for a client and then buys it for himself and his family five years later. But that’s how it worked out for Matt and Mimi Voelkel to own this charming center-hall, 125-year-old Covington cottage. “It’s our first time living in a house that I did not totally design,” says Matt, of MV Studio Designs. “We love the classic, turn-of-the-century Southern style of the house.” Being the designer that he is, Matt has made several changes and additions, which only enhance the cottage, to make it livable in the 21st century. 28

Inside Northside


photo: THOMAS B. GROWDEN

The stunning large entrance hall creates >>

another living space. May-June 2022 29


30

Inside Northside

photos: THOMAS B. GROWDEN

You enter the house from the front porch by French doors with opening sidelights. Original to the house, these pour sunlight into the entrance and provide cross ventilation, as did the long windows before the days of air conditioning. The warm, wide entrance hall has the original beadedboard ceiling and wide-plank heart pine floors. Treated as an additional room in the house, the more formal entrance is divided from the informal family room by a unique set of louvered shutters, which open to give light but close to give privacy. A comfortable white linen sofa, flanked by two goldleaf martini tables and a cantilevered black iron floor lamp provides seating. Above a mid-century-inspired stained oak sideboard are framed drawings from Matt’s 1984 thesis, while a large contemporary painting by Jean Maloney hangs at the end of the hallway. The formal living room is roomy enough to hold two sofas and several comfortable club chairs. Matt added the bookcases flanking the original fireplace. Above the fireplace is an antique gilded French mirror that came from Matt’s childhood home in Old Metairie. The cabriole leg desk and chair were Matt’s father’s and originally came from the ship Cristobal, which was used to transport troops during World War II. A marble mortar and pestle used by Matt’s mother, a pharmacist, sits on a wooden pedestal column. “One of the things we wanted >>


The clean-lined kitchen, with custom cabinets and plaster vent hood, leads into the back porch. May-June 2022 31


Walk-through windows were added to the formal dining room, which now opens out onto the pool area.

The newly built pavilion, with

The master bedroom is

comfortable upscale furnishings,

tranquil and bright in

is a great place to entertain

shades of grey and white.

Opposite page: An antique armoire is converted into a bar/wine cabinet in the dining room. 32

to do in this house was to bring more of the outdoors in and make a seamless transition between the two,” says Matt. In the dining room, creating a relationship between the house and the outdoors, he added triple walk-through windows to help achieve this. A six-foot round glass top sits on a concrete base surrounded by antique Chippendale-style chairs with grey linen slipcovered seats. Over the table is a live brass

Inside Northside

chandelier with white linen conical shades, while an antique Turkish Oushak rug anchors the room. A hickory wood French chest sits across the room from an antique armoire used as a bar; its interior is painted in a flat grey finish. The family room is both contemporary and comfortable. A charcoal leather 1940s-inspired sectional sofa and distressed white credenza, along with two grandchild-sized chairs, make it a

photos: THOMAS B. GROWDEN

guests and family.


great place for family gatherings. The beaded-board ceiling is painted Revere Pewter, and the walls are Dove White. Over the fireplace, which is original to the house, hangs a large sunburst mirror in antique gold leaf. The original back porch was enclosed and turned into a prep kitchen and coffee bar, complete with refrigerator drawers, deep farmhouse sink and two dishwashers. Cabinets with hand-forged hardware and a center island/work table were added. In the kitchen, clean lined cabinets with inset doors are topped with White Rhino marble countertops. Recessed lighting was added, along with a mercury glass-and-iron oversized pendant light. The vent hood in the kitchen over the Le Cornue Frenchstyle range is plastered to a smooth finish. The backsplash is a combination of polished and honed White Rhino. The screened-in back porch was added in the original renovation done five years before. Matt removed the wall between the kitchen and back porch and added a peninsula bar. The porch was glassed in, creating lots of light, and the floor raised and leveled to provide a casual living and >> May-June 2022 33


Above: The formal living area has lots of natural light and a large seating capacity with pops of

Right: Over the original fireplace hangs an antique gilded mirror. Far right: An oversized mortar and pestle was once used by Matt’s mother. 34

Inside Northside

dining area. “We were able to match the wideplank heart pine floors,” says Matt. When they have family night, they can pull out the two trestle tables, move them in front of the sofa, add chairs and 14 can sit to dine or play games. The back porch opens onto the old brick patio,

photos: THOMAS B. GROWDEN

bright green for color.


The glassed-in back porch is a favorite place for the family to gather.

dappled in sunlight, which holds a magnificent limestone corbel salvaged from a Manhattan bank building. It is topped with a concrete top to create a table. The back steps are flanked by two concrete columns holding concrete obelisques. The property had a wide-open space with mature trees and hedges, creating a courtyard which becomes a private oasis, complete with a bubbling fountain in an antique syrup kettle. Matt designed and created a pavilion for entertaining, which is centered on the lawn behind the pool. The construction of the pavilion is painted brick with flush mortar, vertical butted wood walls and Pennsylvania blue stone floors, with a weathered washed-corrugated metal roof. A wood-burning fireplace and wood stacks are built into the brick wall. Contemporary sconces and hanging lanterns by Ralph Lauren and recessed lighting allow the partying to continue after dark. The outdoor furnishings are a weatherproof version of old-fashioned caning on a steel base, with a white-metal cocktail table. “Having an opportunity to keep the authenticity of a 125-year-old historic home, yet give it my own twist to both update and adapt it to the needs of our family, was a joy and very rewarding. I feel so fortunate to have my three married adult children and four grandchildren in the same neighborhood,” says Matt. May-June 2022 35



Traces by Susan F. Sheehan AT THE HEART of Christ Episcopal School is the belief that each child is special, an individual, and that in giving students the tools to develop selfesteem, independence and self-motivation, they will be prepared for the continuing educational process. Seniors Sander McComiskey and Martha Rigney embody this CES ethos, one that combines an individualized and superior academic experience for each student with opportunities to pursue a wide variety of interests both in and out of the classroom. “In so many ways, I always say I’d be an entirely different person if I had not attended CES,” says Martha, who transferred to CES in seventh grade. “I was given room to grow, and the opportunities that I’ve had here gave me a voice. I have been set up for success.” Sander started his journey at CES in kindergarten and agrees with Martha. “The opportunities here shape you as a person as you grow into an adult,” he says. “It’s more than academics; you’re taught how to think—to love to think.” Both are 2022 National Merit Finalists, and academics were certainly an integral component of their time at CES. They each point to one-onone meaningful relationships with their teachers as playing a vital role in their success. “The relationships developed with teachers are really special,” says Sander. “They help you through life, not just learning.” Martha says, “I felt seen and respected by my teachers. We are given room to grow, and I feel confident and prepared to now take the next step.” The next step for Martha will be pursuing a

the ways to branch out, such as through research and designing and marketing sustainable fashion.” Branching out is something Martha did throughout her CES career. While she designed and constructed dozens of costumes for the theater department’s productions and won national recognition for this work (including two 2021 Thespy Award medals for Superior ratings in both costume construction and costume design at the International Thespian Festival), she took the opportunity to

degree in textiles, apparel and merchandising at LSU, a passion that took root as she honed design and sewing skills through dedicated courses in theatrical costume design and years of participation in theater department productions. “I will always be involved in theater—I will still sew and help in that way,” Martha says. “Costume design gave me a deeper appreciation for how humans can express themselves through what they wear, and I’m taking all I learned from that (to explore) all of

explore almost everything CES has to offer. “I’ve done sports, theater, student council, and speech and debate (where she also garnered national awards). And doing so many things at once definitely taught me time management,” she laughs. Sander, who plans to attend Princeton in the fall, will continue to be guided by several of CES’ Operating Principles for Students—including “do a good deed daily” and “reach out and help others”— >> as he prepares for a life of public service.

Seniors Sander McComiskey and Martha Rigney Christ Episcopal School

May-June 2022 37


“I can 100 percent say that there’s no chance I’d be in this position if it was not for CES. Colleges want people who love to think and people who care about service and making a difference,” Sander says, noting that a career in government and public policy will allow him to utilize problem-solving and critical thinking skills while improving the lives of others. Like Martha, Sander has found numerous ways to be involved at CES. He laid the groundwork for future career plans—he founded the nonprofit LAVote, which focuses on voter registration and education, and a good government state PAC; he is a member of the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council; and he served as the CES High School student body president. At the same time, he excelled as an athlete—he was a four-year starter on the varsity basketball team, surpassing the 1,000-career-points mark this year, and participated in cross country and golf—and won numerous speech and debate awards. Martha and Sander both express excitement about their futures, and, like many seniors, also are starting to feel a bit nostalgic about their high school days. “I’m going to miss all of the little things, like going to games to support friends, field days, fun events, knowing the names of everyone in the school,” Martha says. And Sander concludes, “This is really just a very special place.” Founded in 1984, Christ Episcopal School is an independent, co-educational college preparatory day school for students in Early Pre-kindergarten through 12th Grade. The school, with its 600+ students, is set on two idyllic campuses in Covington. For more information, visit christepiscopalschool.org. 38

Inside Northside



40

Inside Northside


WelTchoeme to Little Potter’s House

Local Potter Vanessa Hock

photo: KEVIN SCHURB PHOTOGRAPHY

by Mimi Greenwood Knight

COVINGTON POTTER VANESSA HOCK is often surprised at the path her life has taken. “Every summer growing up, my mom took us to the art store and let us buy anything we wanted,” she says. “We tried painting and crocheting, whatever looked fun to us. She developed that desire in us to create something artistic, but I never thought of art as a job or career. It was just a fun summer activity.” When it was time to choose a college major, Hock went with something more practical— English—and set about obtaining her degree. But when summer rolled around after her freshman year, her sister asked her to take a pottery class with her at Tulane. That summer would be her introduction to clay work. “My sister was two years ahead of me, and we were best of friends,” Hock says. “I’d never touched clay in my life and had no idea it was even something you could do in college. But I wanted to spend time with my sister, so I tagged along to the class.” There she met thenProfessor of Art Bernard

Maddox. “From the first day, Barney had me excited about the idea of communicating to people through art, through clay,” she remembers. “He said, ‘If somebody were to dig up your pottery, 100 years from now, what would they learn about you or your community?’ What a cool idea! It was his last semester teaching at Tulane, and I felt fortunate to have had him. My next teacher was Jeremy Jernegan. He was great and helped me fine tune my wheel-throwing skills. But Barney was the one who lit that passion for art I didn’t even know existed in me.” Then life happened. Hock married, had three children and didn’t do anything particularly artsy for 20 years. “Then, I was homeschooling my kids and looking for something to do on the side,” she says. “A friend told me about the (St. Tammany) Art Association. The lady who’d been teaching pottery there forever was ready to retire, and they asked me if I wanted to take over. I was looking for a way to make money at night, while >> May-June 2022 41


homeschooling during the day, so it was kind of perfect. The job just fell in my lap.” That’s when Hock’s natural teaching abilities surfaced. As those who’ve taken her classes at the Art Association or at her Little Potter’s House on North Vermont in Covington can attest, Hock is not just a talented potter, but a natural-born teacher. Amy Bethke is one of those students. A gifted artist and longtime student of art herself, Bethke says, “Vanessa is my favorite kind of art teacher. She gives guidance and encouragement and has plenty of ideas, but she lets you follow your own vision. Her studio is bright and inviting and offers plenty of inspiration. I thoroughly enjoy my classes with her.” Eight years after starting at the Art Association, Hock felt ready to try her wings in a solo venture. “The lady who was occupying the space where my studio is now was ready to make a move,” Hock says. “The timing was perfect for me, and she already had quite a few students. So, I asked her if she wanted me to come in and take over the teaching for her. But she’d already handed the keys back to the landlord and moved her kiln and other equipment out of the space.” That was late November, and the students were eager to start back in January. Hock had a big decision to make and not a lot of time to make it. “I was looking at a $20,000 investment and potentially months to gather my equipment and set everything up.” While all these things were swirling in her head, she was enjoying a visit from her paternal aunt and uncle in town from Puerto Rico. “They reminded me of my grandfather, my dad’s dad,” Hock says. “All my life, I’d heard how he started 42

Inside Northside


photo: KEVIN SCHURB PHOTOGRAPHY

a typing school with 12 students at age 40 and, within 20 or so years, had built it into a junior college. They’d grown up watching their father grow his school, and they reminded me you can start where you are and build to where you want to be. They got excited about the possibilities, and that made me feel like it could actually happen.” Happen it did. By January 1, students were back expressing themselves through clay, and Hock was realizing her dream of owning her own studio. Melanie Edwards was part of the studio’s original art co-op, before Hock came along. “We were frantic for someone to take over,” Edwards says. “We had a great camaraderie in the studio and didn’t want to give that up. Everybody was thrilled to death when Vanessa came. We all love working with her. (The Little Potter’s House) >> May-June 2022 43


photo: KEVIN SCHURB PHOTOGRAPHY

is like a big family. Everybody helps everybody. If you’re having trouble with a piece, somebody jumps in to help you. It’s just a fun place to be, and Vanessa is the perfect person to run it.” Hock says she was raised with a legacy of faith and the idea that all things are possible with God. “My parents taught me to do something with the gifts I’ve been given that serves a higher purpose, not just myself,” she says. She caught a glimpse of that higher purpose during the COVID pandemic. “COVID helped me see how therapeutic clay can be,” she says. “People were looking for an escape from the emotional toil the pandemic was taking. They’d come in, and you could feel the tension and the stress on them. They’d sit at the wheel for two hours and just forget. Then, they’d leave uplifted, and I realized, wow, this is bigger than just spreading art and joy. For some people, it’s a muchneeded release.” “I have a student who’s new to the

area and doesn’t know anybody,” Hock says. “Like many moms, she felt guilty about doing something for herself. But she told me, ‘I need this.’ When she came by the studio to pick up the things she’d made, you can’t imagine how excited she was. She had all the students in stitches at her excitement over her pieces. She said, ‘My face hurts from smiling.’ This is why I love what I do. She needed that positive in her life, and I was able to provide it for her.” Hock has also seen students become artists, begin selling their pottery and launch a career from the things she’s taught them. “This isn’t just a job for me, but a chance to share the love of pottery with others, to be that Bernard Mattox for someone else, and to provide others with an outlet, with clay therapy, and a haven away from whatever the world is throwing at them.” Now, she’s busting at the seams at her Little Potter’s House and looking for a larger space. Meanwhile, she’s


welcoming new students to her wheel and hand-building classes. Her artists’ co-op gives ceramic artists access to the studio, all of her supplies, a kiln and space to display and sell their wares. She teaches workshops and girls’night-out pottery parties. She does art pop-ups of her own work at The Southern Hotel and other hotspots around town. She’s been a featured artist in Spring for Art and Fall for Art in Downtown Covington, where she’s performed live pottery-wheel demonstrations. Last month, she was a popular addition to the Sip and Stroll Art Festival at Terra Bella Village in Covington. And she’s happy to hear about pieces of her work making their way to countries around the globe. “It’s hard to let some pieces go,” she says. “It feels like giving your baby away. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a little piece or a big sculpture—I put so much of myself into it that I want to sit with it a while. I try to take pictures of each piece before I put it out there. Even then, it can be hard to watch it go.” Hock often thinks about the legacy she’ll leave behind, for her three children and for her pottery students. “My mom was an artsy person,” she says. “She was a singer and creative writer, and she brought all of that into our house. My dad was the rational, logical business mind. I feel lucky to have had the benefit of both those ways of thinking while I was growing up, and to have found a career where I use both every day. I’ve also been blessed with a husband who’s supported me every step of the way. Every pop-up, demo, exhibition, you name it, Adam is by my side encouraging me, lugging and lifting stuff, just being there and giving me the freedom to follow this path.” Hock still finds herself fascinated by the history of pottery. “This art form goes so far back in history and remains a desired art form today,” she says. “For me, it’s incredibly satisfying, but it’s also a spiritual experience. The name for my studio, The Little Potter’s House, was partially inspired by Jeremiah 18 where God tells a prophet, ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house.’ There, Jeremiah saw the connection between Creator and creation through a potter at a pottery wheel. I think a lot about this connection, when I’m making something with clay, how God sees us, His creation. I can look at my life’s journey and see it much like the process a lump of clay goes through before becoming a finished vessel. There’s a connection between the potter and the clay, between Creator and creation. And this analogy is what makes pottery so special to me. If I can get so attached to my little creations, how much more does God care for us?” May-June 2022 45


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70515 Hwy. 21, Covington • (985) 900-2410 • 46

Inside Northside


2022

photo: LORI MURPHY

Garrett Field, Slidell.

table of contents

64

Lisa Kent, Melissa Rehage, Lauren Yarbrough, Desiree Forsyth & Jenny Mevers Livio Designs

48

Artist Cheryl Gerber Through Her Lens

65

Meg Williams Latter & Blum

54

Gretchen Armbruster Armbruster Artworks School

56

Tori Pasentine Royal Retreat Day Spa

66

Leslie Landry, Susan Bonnett Bourgeois, Carla Mouton and Jeanne Martin Northshore Community Foundation

58

Dr. Christie McHughes Crosspoint Veterinary Hospital

67

Dr. Heather Bronaugh Northshore Rejuvenation

59

Michelle Isis Enclade Eleventh Street Salon and Boutique

68

Christy Montgomery, Ed.D, LPC Northshore Technical Community College

60

Mary Holmes Artigue Grace Funeral Home & St. Lazarus of Bethany Memorial Garden

69

Michelle Perdomo Perdomo Roofing & Sheet Metal

70

Paige Henderson Bellus, A Photography Boutique

61

Abbie Icamina and Mandy Gonzales Gray & Graham Salon

70

Jonna Turner Fidelity Bank

62

Annette Dowdle, RHU, CCWC, CHRS HUB International

71

Kimberly Walker, RN, MSN Slidell Memorial Hospital

63

Kristen Callahan and Connie Boudreaux KiKi and Lolli

71

Suzanne and Alex Lentz TASS Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center May-June 2022 47


48

Inside Northside


u o r h T

s n e L r e H gh

photos: CHERYL GERBER PHOTOGRAPHY

by Maggie Bokobza

BORN IN NEW ORLEANS, Cheryl Gerber’s family moved to the northshore when she was 11 years old. She cheered on the Lions at Covington High and eventually attended Southeastern, where she specialized in journalism. Soon, she landed her first job as a reporter for the St. Tammany News Banner, but quickly learned that maybe writing wasn’t her strong suit. “I was a lousy writer,” Gerber jokes about her early days as a journalist. “Each week, my editor covered my stories in red ink. It was so discouraging.”

Artist Cheryl Gerber But the trajectory of her career changes when she was gifted a camera for her 20th birthday. As the paper had only one staff photographer, it was rarely able to take accompanying photographs for Gerber’s stories. Once she had the means to take her own photography, she realized that this is where her true talents were able to shine. About that lightbulb moment, Gerber explains, “I started taking the photos to go with my stories, and I noticed the photos got bigger and the stories got shorter, hence less red ink. >>

Opposite page: Photographer Cheryl Gerber. Above: The Merry Antoinettes. May-June 2022 49


Left: Saints and Pelicans owner, Gayle Benson.

I knew that I was on to something!” It was at this time in the late ’80s, while Gerber was working for the Banner, that she was actually highlighted in Inside Northside as part of a story on successful working women of the northshore. Once Gerber finished college, she moved back to New Orleans to work as a copyeditor for New Orleans Magazine. She has since spent the last 30 years working for several publications and created two books of her photography, both of which highlight the unique and flourishing culture of New Orleans. Reflecting on her passion for the city and its people, Gerber says, “When I was a kid, I dreamed of moving to New York City. But as I began rediscovering my native city as an adult, especially though the [camera] lens, I knew that New Orleans was the best city in the country to be a storyteller. The culture is the richest in the world. “After photographing the city for more than 30 years, I continue to be awed and inspired by the many creative and traditional ways that New Orleanians celebrate life and death.” When describing her technique, Gerber says her style is very simple. “I want to portray people as I see them, without filters. In the Instagram age, photos have become so over-processed. I just want to portray people as I see them at the moment I click the shutter.” She means this not just in a literal sense, but in a metaphorical way as well. She also is constantly working to fight against her own prejudices and fears about people so as to remove those biases from her work. “Photography has not only opened my eyes, but my heart too, to the depths of people that you can’t usually see on the surface. I often train my lens on people that most of us don’t ‘see,’ or are afraid to see. It only makes me see and love people more,” she says of the impact her subjects have had on shaping her as an individual. This approach also influenced her decision to create her latest book, Cherchez La Femme: New Orleans Women. She was inspired to create the book 50

Inside Northside

photos: CHERYL GERBER PHOTOGRAPHY

Below: Chef Leah Chase.


after covering the 2017 Women’s March in New Orleans, at which 5,000 women from across the city, along with their kids and partners, took to the streets in solidarity with millions across the globe in support of women’s rights. “I’d covered a lot of protests in my career, but that was by far the biggest and most inspirational. I was so moved by the special flair and passion that they brought to the march that I realized women needed to be represented in a book,” she says. The book, which includes over 200 images of women from all across New Orleans, is divided into 12 chapters and each celebrates different women bringing their own contribution to the city of New Orleans, from entertainers and socialites to activists, musicians, chefs, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders and burlesque artists. One of Gerber’s favorite chapters celebrates the accomplishments of local female entrepreneurs. Built around writer Kathy Finn’s essay, “Careers Built on Dreams: Entrepreneurs, businesswomen follow uniquely New Orleans paths,”

the chapter highlights an array of women from wellknown jewelry designer Mignon Faget to Sallie Ann Glassman, a voodoo priestess who manages a successful business and retail shop. In the pages, you will see stories like that of Lauren Haydel, owner of retail shop Fleurty Girl, highlighted next to that of Trixie Minx, the stage name of Alexa Graber, who has become a cultural icon in the New Orleans burlesque scene, alongside the >>

Clockwise from top left: Northshore native Amanda Shaw, the Muff-aLottas Dance Troupe and Lauren Haydel of Fleurty Girl. May-June 2022 51


Rukiya Montsh of the Creole Wild West. Below: Jeweler Mignon Faget. Opposite page: Loretta Johnson of Loretta’s Pralines.

52

journey of Gale Benson, the only female owner of an NFL and NBA team. Each of these women brings a different perspective to the discussion of women in business, and all of them contribute to what makes New Orleans special. “I love how women from this area can turn their passions into careers and businesses, whether you are a voodoo priestess, t-shirt maker,

Inside Northside

a jewelry maker or sports franchise owner,” Gerber says of the chapter. When reflecting on the experience of creating the book, she notes that the most gratifying aspect of the process has been getting to know some of the women she had previously photographed but never met. One such woman, a member of the Nyxettes Mardi Gras dance team, Gerber met when she brought her a copy of the book ahead of the launch. “She was wearing her pink Nyxettes outfit under her business clothes because she was going to the event right after work,” says Gerber. “I told her that I had chosen her particular photo because she exuded so much joy. She teared up and told me how she was going through some hard times, that she was a single mother of a six-year-old, was the primary caregiver for her disabled mother and worked full time. Once a year, getting to dance in the streets with her ‘Nyxette sisters,’ she forgets all of her problems for just a few hours. It’s when she is the most joyful.” Another inspiring story in the book is that of Loretta Johnson, creator of Loretta’s Pralines, the

photos: CHERYL GERBER PHOTOGRAPHY

Above: Abenaa


Cherchez la Femme: New Orleans Women New Orleans native Cheryl Gerber captures the vibrancy and diversity of New Orleans women in Cherchez la Femme: New Orleans

Women. Inspired by the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC, Gerber’s book includes over two hundred photographs of the city’s most wellfirst African American women to open a brick and mortar praline shop in New Orleans. When Gerber delivered her book, Loretta teared up, explaining that it meant so much for her to be immortalized in a book alongside her hero, Chef Leah Chase. “That’s when I realized how important it was for women, who have been historically underrepresented in our male-dominated society, to be recognized for their contributions to our cultural landscape,” Gerber says of the moment. “Last month, Miss Loretta passed away. I can’t help but think that she and Chef Leah Chase, who also passed away during the production of the book, are up in heaven cooking

up gumbo and pralines!” When initially laying out the book, Gerber expected to feature 50 women and their stories. But as the pages came together, so many different categories of women emerged that she knew she could not do them all justice on her own. So she enlisted the expertise of some of her favorite local female writers to contribute to each chapter. “I think their essays make the book so much more important than just a photography coffee table book,” Gerber says of their contributions. “It really tells the story of who we are as women at this moment in time and where we are going. I learned so much about New Orleans women from the essays.”

known women and the everyday women who make New Orleans so rich and diverse. Drawing from her own archives as well as new works, Gerber’s selection of photographs in Cherchez la

Femme highlights the contributions of women to the city, making it one of the only photographic histories of modern New Orleans women. Alongside Gerber’s photographs are twelve essays written by female writers about such women as Leah Chase, Irma Thomas, Mignon Faget and Trixie Minx. Also featured are prominent groups of women that have made their mark on the city, like the Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Dolls and the Krewe of Muses, among others. The book is divided into eleven chapters, each celebrating the women who add to New Orleans’s uniqueness, including entertainers, socialites, activists, musicians, chefs, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders and burlesque artists.

May-June 2022 53


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For 14 years, Gretchen Armbruster has

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Armbruster Artworks School because she gets to teach and mentor a diverse

has never received instruction and helping them

been teaching students in her downtown

group of wonderfully talented people. Her students

discover, little by little, their true ability.”

Covington workshop. The classes, which began

include some of the northshore’s favorite artists,

in her garage, are now in their own home on

whose works hang in galleries and museums across

Columbia Street. She says, “Covington is great

the country. Gretchen enjoys fostering the talents

because there are a variety of restaurants and

of her adult students at any level, and in many

events that take place in downtown.”

mediums, teaching them different techniques.

Gretchen says she loves her job so much

Armbruster Artworks is located at 502 Columbia St. in

And, she says, “I love working with a student who

Covington. 630-6295. armbrusterartworks.com.

Megan Westervelt

Viva Thibaut

After taking many

“After retirement,

workshops, Megan

I decided to try

Westervelt has found

something fresh each

that a regular art class

new decade. I thought

at Armbruster Artworks

if I could really see an

gives her the opportunity

object, I could paint

to paint different subjects

it. I talked to Gretchen

and use different

Armbruster and have

techniques with a great

taken her classes ever

teacher and support of classmates. “I love to paint landscapes, but also

since. Gretchen is an amazing and beautiful teacher who

love exploring subjects that are out of my wheelhouse. I have enjoyed

gives and assures each of her students success. She is an

learning about layering color and seeing light in a painting. We usually

encouraging positive force. “

paint in oils in class, but I also enjoy other mediums.” 54

Inside Northside


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Cindy Trist

B U S I N E S S Gretchen

Art has been Cindy

Armbruster

Trist’s passion for

From a very young

as long as she can

age, Gretchen loved

remember. She

to paint and draw.

says, “I believe that

She often captures

artists view the world

people in fun

differently than

situations, setting

others.” After dabbling

a celebratory mood

in acrylic paintings,

with the painting

Cindy decided to paint with oils, and joined Gretchen Armbruster’s oil

but has also painted

painting class three years ago. She was chosen to be the cover artist

formal portraits throughout her career. Always wanting to learn

for Inside Northside’s January-February 2020 issue. For 20 years,

something new, she experiments with technique and subject matter

Cindy has also pursued her creative passion through a successful

often. There is even a series done behind raindrops. She is best

career in interior design.

known for rich landscape scenes and striking still life images in oil.

Rachelle Woodard

Sue Zaunbrecher

While Rachelle’s interior

“I have always loved color,

design portfolio spans

design and crafts, but when

over many decades

I moved to New Orleans, I

and states, she is also a

was inspired to capture the

calligrapher, iconographer

light and beauty all around

and artist, working in

me,” says Sue Zaunbrecher.

pastel, oil, and watercolor.

Six years ago, she wanted

Through her time

to explore oils and started

spent painting at Armbruster Artworks, her joy and love of painting has

classes with Gretchen. “I have learned so much, especially about value

returned. She has been recently inspired to paint many of the Catholic

and composition. My favorite subjects are florals and landscapes.” See

saints, both ancient and modern day. Rachelle’s online collection at

Sue’s work at the St. Tammany Art Association, Armbruster Artworks,

rachellewoodard.com includes paintings in various media, her interior

suezaunbrecher.com or Instagram (@suezaunbrecher). Sue loves doing

design work, pillows, and notecards depicting her recent saint portraits.

commissions, especially wedding bouquets!

Claire Friedricks Taylor

Becky Slatten

“Painting and golf

I’ve always had

are how I relax. I have

the desire to

always turned to art

paint but didn’t

when time permitted,”

know how to get

says Claire Friedricks

started. I heard

Taylor. “Now I make

about Gretchen’s

time.” Claire moved

art lessons and was dying to get in but they stayed full and

to the Northshore in

I missed the deadline every month. One day I caught her

2004, fell in love with the art community and joined Gretchen

in the grocery store parking lot on the last day to sign up

Armbruster’s classes. She loves to catch the personality of dogs,

for the following month - I wrote my check on the spot and

horses and other animals, but also paints abstracts for fun. “Art

handed it to her as she put her groceries in her car. And

is not only fun, but a rewarding look into the soul! Painting

I’ve taken her classes ever since.

makes me happy, and that is a good thing!” May-June 2022 55


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Tori Pasentine

ROYAL RETREAT DAY SPA

Opening the doors of Royal Retreat Day Spa in Mandeville reveals the warm, relaxing atmosphere of excellence and luxury that is usually only

always leaving him or her feeling like royalty! Not only does Royal Retreat serve the highest-quality treatments of its

afforded to royalty. This unique day spa combines state-of-the-art facilities,

kind for individuals, it also has experiences tailored for groups. Enjoy your next

products from the World’s Best Spa Brand (Natural Bisse) and individualized

girls’ day out, or bring your bridal party for a unique, rejuvenating experience

care, crafting a unique experience fit for royalty.

that they will remember for a long time.

One of the aspects that make Royal Retreat exceptional is that many

Just as the services and experiences are fit for royalty, the products used

of the services provided are available to men as well as women. The team

during the experiences have been voted World’s Best Spa Brand at the World

of professional massage therapists and estheticians is committed to giving

Spa Awards™ over the last several years. Natura Bisse products are designed to

customers the highest possible quality of service, providing the ultimate

be tailored to each individuals’ skin needs.

rejuvenation, relaxation and/or invigoration that they need. Within a week of its Grand Opening in March, Royal Retreat was already garnering attention from the community, with multiple rave reviews amassed on Google. This distinctive day spa is sure to become a staple of life on the Northshore, setting the standard for individualized care and luxury. Royal Retreat offers a wide variety of services geared towards goals of relaxation,

“All of our aestheticians and massage therapists were trained by our trade partner, Natura Bisse,” says Royal Retreat Day Spa founder, Tori Pasentine. “We like to keep the brand’s integrity by strictly following treatment protocols and procedures.” Combining research, state-of-the-art technology and a deep understanding of humans’ relationship with our skin, Natura Bisse has created a collection of products and treatments that fit any need and deliver a level

rejuvenation and invigoration. With services including massages, facials, body

of excellence in care that is unparalleled in the industry today. Natura Bisse’s

perfectors and Royal Retreat exclusive treatments, the expert team ensures that

collection features product lines focused on anti-aging, hydration, balance

each individual will find the treatment perfectly suited for them. Facial treatments

and more. A variety of these products are featured in Royal Retreat’s selection

can be focused on improving firmness, soothing inflammation, protection from free

of treatments, providing the best of the best for each treatment session. The

radicals or more. The pre-designed massage treatments grant release from stress

luxury of Natura Bisse products strengthens the indulgent experiences found at

in various ways. Combining expert massage techniques with exfoliation and whole

Royal Retreat, combining expert care with deluxe skincare products.

body masks, the Royal Retreat exclusive treatments are sure to melt away any built-up

“We believe in the power of touch; therefore, each facial and body

stress. Among the many choices, the spa has specially designated service options for

treatment follows massage techniques while incorporating the highly effective

expectant mothers, providing relief and rest for those who need it.

ingredients in Natura Bisse’s products to promote beauty and wellness to our

Beyond the pre-designed experiences, Royal Retreat offers customizable massage and facial experiences as well. When a customer has specific needs, the team is happy and ready to create a custom treatment for that individual, 56

Inside Northside

clients,” adds Pasentine. Not only does Royal Retreat feature the exemplary level of care in its relaxing, rejuvenating experiences, but it also offers a variety of additional amenities in the


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brand-new facilities. Step into the breathtaking VIP room, which has a soaking tub. Or perhaps, take a peek at free amenities available for customers, such as the luxury jacuzzi and sauna. The breathtaking designs of the VIP room and jacuzzi transport visitors to a place of utter tranquility, far from any worries or cares. The spa exudes an air of elegance and luxury in its decor and design that enhances the relaxing experiences that customers have already begun lauding as the best on the Northshore. Tori Pasentine has been working in this industry for as long as she can remember. She grew up in the business with her family as massage therapists, aestheticians, and nail technicians. Ethnically mixed Vietnamese and born in the Philippines, Tori has lived all over the country, but she eventually found herself in Mandeville. Now, her dreams of opening a retreat fit for royalty in her community have come to fruition. For months, Tori worked closely with architect Travis Jore, BSD Construction and Patrice Senac to design and build the most elegant and tranquil retreat on the Northshore. She is now operating with her siblings as her partners to provide unparalleled customer care service. Through social media, the Royal Retreat team has shared the build process, from conception to execution. The magnificent hallway, decorated with chandeliers, was designed to take people’s breath away, and it certainly delivers. “Luxurious products, and a luxurious atmosphere” was the goal, the spa posted on Instagram alongside a photo of the then-work-in-progress grand hallway. Once the process of designing and building the experiences and facilities was done, Royal Retreat Day Spa opened its doors on March 26. Within a week of opening, the spa had already received acclaim online for its luxurious services. Locals are applauding the warm atmosphere, the immediate and lasting feeling of relaxation and the care taken to address individual needs. This elegant, luxurious retreat from the stressors of life has been made

Royal Retreat Day Spa is located at

possible by the hearts and souls of Tori Pasentine and her team, who provide

3571 US Highway 190, Mandeville,

these royal experiences. The Northshore is lucky to have them.

985-231-7329. royalretreatdayspa.com. May-June 2022 57


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B U S I N E S S Crosspoint is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association - a distinction granted to only 12 percent of veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada. “This means that we uphold over 900 standards of care from pain management and anesthetic protocols to practice management and preventative care,” Dr. McHughes explains. In addition to the variety of advanced medical services, Crosspoint also provides guidance in prevention of illness to prolong the health and wellness of clients’ pets. “We value preventative care, and it is key for optimal pet care.” Crosspoint’s wellness programs often involve vaccinations, spaying or neutering and blood work to determine healthy baseline values. With this baseline information, Crosspoint is able to understand each pet individually and make a plan for the pet’s wellness moving forward. “If we have a proactive approach to our pets’ health and catch trending changes early on, we can add many more years to your pet’s life expectancy.” Dr. McHughes adds, “We promote client education, so clients are just as involved in their pet’s healthcare.” Not only is medical care held to a high standard at Crosspoint, but the team is also attentive in making the pets feel as comfortable as possible in their care. Crosspoint has Fear-Free professionals on staff, who have been “trained and certified to approach pet care with a gentle hand and lessen the anxiety of veterinary visits for pets and their owners.” The team of professionals at Crosspoint work collaboratively to ensure the highest level of care is afforded to every client. “Myself, my full-time associate, Dr. Eugene Jenkins, and our part-time veterinarians all practice very similar medicine, and we all work together to organize the best health plan for your pet. We have the best staff of veterinary assistants and nurses, who help our clients along the way with any questions they may have. “

Dr. Christie McHughes

CROSSPOINT VETERINARY HOSPITAL Dr. Christie McHughes has been caring for animals her entire life. After growing up in Amite on a farm with many animals, spending

Crosspoint offers grooming, bathing, boarding, dental care, dermatology, heartworm testing, intensive care, hospice/euthanasia, laser therapy, microchipping, nutrition counseling, pain management, pharmacy, radiology, ultrasound and surgery. The team at Crosspoint are excited for what the future holds, eager to

eight years in undergraduate and graduate programs and working at animal

continue providing exceptional care to existing and future clients. If you have

hospitals in the Northshore area for 11 years, Dr. McHughes was able to

a pet who needs a team of brilliant veterinary care professionals, consider

achieve her dream by opening Crosspoint Veterinary Hospital in 2015.

choosing Crosspoint Veterinary Hospital.

Serving the Northshore and the surrounding areas, Crosspoint’s goal

“We offer standing scheduled appointments, in-hospital day

is to provide the most reasonable, comprehensive veterinary care available.

appointments (drop-off appointments), and walk-in appointments during

From their sophisticated equipment to their attentive, professional staff and

doctor hours.”

educational resources for clients, Crosspoint practices a thorough approach to caring for pets. At Crosspoint, clients can rest assured knowing that their pets will receive the best of care, thanks to the hospital’s advanced equipment and distinguished accreditation status. “We offer a complete, fully functioning hospital with state-of-the-art equipment, from digital radiographs, including dental radiographs, ultrasound, laser therapy, full anesthetic monitoring and charting, to in-house blood work, urinalysis and digital cytology with results available within minutes while you wait,” says Dr. McHughes. 58

Inside Northside

Crosspoint Veterinary Hospital is located at 70323 LA-1077 in Covington. 888-1566. crosspointveterinaryhospital.com.


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Eleventh Street Salon and Boutique

There is something very special about a family business. That is true for

beauty school. There is no better feeling than sharing what I love to do with others,”

staff and customers alike. For 20 years, the father-daughter duo of Tomus Enclade

says Michelle.Five years ago, Michelle’s other daughter Bethany decided on a parallel

and Michelle Isis Enclade have created unrivaled hair styles for discerning women

path, opening a fashion boutique in the same building. Bethany hand-picks classic

on the northshore. Their work has included styling for fashion shows, runway models

and contemporary merchandise for a wide variety of clients. “I help them build

and photoshoots. “The artistry of our industry, the relationship with our clients and

a wardrobe tailored to their individual taste and style,” says Bethany. If you can’t

the experience they have while here is paramount,” says Michelle. “We are hands-on

navigate your own closet, Bethany can help you do that with personal styling and

professionals, with a particular expertise in color. We touch hearts as well as hair!”

shopping services, but you don’t need an appointment to shop in the boutique!

Professionally trained at world-renowned academies: Vidal Sassoon, London;

Sometimes what the client needs is advice, not just a new dress. Bethany offers

Jacque Dessange, Paris; and Lluis Llongueras, Buenos Aires, they have a unique, high-

a complimentary consultation to help clients get used to the idea, asking all of the

end approach to styling. Tomus’ original salon in toney Buckhead was where Isis grew

right questions to make a transformative change.

up doing hair with her Dad. When they came to Mandeville in 2003, they joined forces

Over the years, Eleventh Street Salon and Boutique has committed to many

to open ISIS the Salon, a sleek, contemporary studio. In 2015 they updated the name

organizations, offering products and services to events for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer

to better reflect the scope of the business.

Center at STPH, Mandeville High School and the St. Scholastica Chapel, to name a few.

It is said that it’s hard for employees to care about your business as much as you do… but loved ones go the extra mile. That is the case at Eleventh Street Salon and Boutique where success is a family affair. Michelle’s daughter Samantha, who practically grew up in the salon, is now a

Bethany Schwartz.

Keep an eye out for their Ladies Nights and Sip and Stroll events, which are always fun! “We are so proud of what we have created and built over the years! The clients that have supported us are like family. We are so grateful and truly blessed,” says Michelle. Whether you are looking for a new haircut and color, or a complete style

stylist, extending the service clients can

transformation, Eleventh Street Salon and Boutique can help re-create a new you.

expect to three generations! It makes a

Their motto is “Expect the Finest”—and you get it every time.

difference to everyone who walks in the door. As a way of expanding that circle, Michelle, a licensed professional teacher, conducts salon seminars for local hairstylists, as well as an apprenticeship program. “I enjoy working with aspiring young people through the apprenticeship program for those who may not have the means to afford traditional

Eleventh Street the Salon & Boutique is located at ​2255 11th St., Mandeville, 985-626-1999. eleventhstreetsalon.com. May-June 2022 59


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The many difficult decisions that must be made after losing a loved one can seem overwhelming, especially when one is grieving. Often people do not know which steps to take or where to start. The dedicated team at Grace Funeral Home can help ease this burden by walking through the process with you. Mary says, “We help navigate this sacred journey with patience and understanding. The relationships we build with our customers are built on trust and genuine care. We make every effort to ensure they are fully informed and know that we are with them every step of the way.” Serving all backgrounds and religious beliefs, the team at Grace Funeral Home is experienced in facilitating a wide range of funeral celebrations. Great emphasis is placed on personalizing services so that each ceremony reflects the unique life being celebrated. Some of the options to consider when making arrangements include selecting a traditional burial or cremation and location of burial, flowers, music, obituaries and other details. The funeral home offers serene gathering areas with flexible chapel space and an outdoor pavilion. Traditional family plots for ground burials, niches, and private mausoleums are offered on the 50-acre immaculate grounds of St. Lazarus of Bethany Memorial Garden. Another important service that Grace Funeral Home provides is helping families make funeral pre-arrangements. “This is one of the best gifts that you can give your family,” says Mary. “Planning and making your wishes known ahead of time allows family members to make an educated decision rather

Mary Holmes Artigue

GRACE FUNERAL HOME & ST. LAZARUS OF BETHANY MEMORIAL GARDEN

With 20 years of experience in the funeral service industry, Mary Holmes Artigue began her most recent role as General Sales Manager of Grace Funeral

than an emotional one.” Pre-planning arrangements and securing a rate at today’s cost is also an economical decision given that the average funeral costs double every ten years. Grace Funeral Home and St. Lazarus of Bethany Memorial Garden is proud to serve the families of the Northshore. You are invited to tour the funeral home or cemetery grounds by appointment.

Home & St. Lazarus of Bethany Memorial Garden in May of 2021. Mary, originally from Arcadia, moved from St. Bernard Parish to Mandeville in 2006 with her husband, Warren. She is a loving and devoted mother to her children, Jacob, 20, Allie, 25 and Ryne, 31. Having served in a wide range of roles in the funeral industry, she well understands the delicate and intricate process of making funeral and cemetery arrangements. One of the things she cherishes most about her new role is how the entire staff at Grace Funeral Home works collectively to make every service the best that it can be. Mary says, “A culture of empathy is inherent to our team, and I am fortunate to work with such a qualified and compassionate staff.”

For additional information, please call 985-635-4745 or visit gracenorthshore.com. 60

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B U S I N E S S open a second Gray & Graham location in Mandeville. Mandy says, “Abbie inspired me to reach for my biggest dreams. Opening this salon has given me the opportunity to advance my career and do what I enjoy most—coaching stylists to be the best that they can be.” Abbie agrees. “I want to support my stylists’ dreams and goals and help them in any way that I can. Mandy is doing an amazing job with our second G&G Salon!” The entire team at Gray & Graham Salon strives to make guests feel welcomed, relaxed and pampered from the time you arrive until the time you check out—client satisfaction is the ultimate goal. Gray and Graham’s stylists offer a complimentary blowout within two weeks of the first appointment to follow up with their guests and ensure client satisfaction. The Guest Happiness Coordinator at Gray & Graham provides clients with a welcoming smile and pleasant perks like mimosas, whiskey and a coffee bar. Complimentary cut-and-color consultations are offered by all the G&G stylists. Lauren, a client, says, “My hair looks amazing every time. The salons are stacked with talented stylists. The real treat is the environment—everyone is welcoming and friendly.” Gray & Graham Salon offers an impressive array of luxurious services and treatments for hair and skin—from color and cuts for women, men and children to custom hair extensions. Don’t forget about your lashes and brows! Lash extensions and brow services are available at G&G Madisonville, as well as other specialized aesthetic treatments and makeup applications. “We are so thankful to the people of Madisonville, Mandeville and the entire Northshore community for

Abbie Icamina and Mandy Gonzales GRAY & GRAHAM SALON

In January 2020, Abbie Icamina opened Gray & Graham Salon in Madisonville with two clear

supporting us and helping us continue to grow,” says Abbie. Call or visit their website to see a full list of services and schedule your next consultation or appointment at either their Madisonville or Mandeville location.

objectives in mind: to provide luxury salon services in a modern, welcoming atmosphere and to create a space where stylists support each other in achieving their personal and professional goals. Abbie named her salon after her two sons, Grayson, age 14, and Graham, age 12, because, she says, “They are the reason I do what I do. I want my boys to know that they can do anything they set their minds to.” Abbie’s passion as a hairstylist is now channeled into helping stylists develop their careers, succeed at their goals and have a happy and balanced life. She says, “Obtaining a healthy work-life balance is vital. I want everyone to grow and flourish in their lives! I love seeing our stylists achieve their ambitions, increase their income and still be able to enjoy time with their families.” Stylist Mandy Gonzales had always aspired to own a business, but didn’t know where to

Gray & Graham Salon is located at 541 N. Causeway Blvd. in Mandeville, 985-276-8897, and 101 St. Ann St. in Madisonville. 985-792-7256, grayandgrahamsalon.com

start. When she shared with Abbie her dream of owning a salon, Abbie recognized in Mandy the

Instagram: @grayandgrahammandeville,

same drive, passion and motivation to help others succeed that she has. Together, they decided to

@grayandgrahammadisonville. May-June 2022 61


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the client and employee experience to a whole new level. It makes me enjoy this industry even more. I love the satisfaction of helping my clients and their employees to live a healthier lifestyle. I enjoy meeting with companies in the community and learning more about their business. I also get to speak on HUB’s innovative tools and resources that set us apart from the competition.” HUB has a very collaborative and innovative approach when it comes to new strategies and the benefits it offers and can adapt to this everchanging business—something not all companies are able to do. In addition, HUB fully staffs every resource they offer with specialists in that respective field, while competitors often have team members wearing multiple hats. Annette networks and meets with prospective clients. She says, “I tell them about how my team can help their employees as well as their bottom line on what is typically their second-largest expense. Our consultants see how the health of employees can affect not only a client’s balance sheet, but also employee morale and corporate culture.” When working with Annette, you gain her years of experience and wealth of knowledge. “I like to tell my clients that my team and I are here to serve as an extension of their HR team and lessen their burden. I also like to advise my clients to look at employee benefits with an open mind. It is very common to get a budget from a client and get challenged to lower the costs with

Annette Dowdle, RHU, CCWC, CHRS HUB INTERNATIONAL

benefit reductions. Typically, by the end of the process we show them how to add in certain benefit items that can ultimately reduce the cost of benefits.”

In an ever-evolving environment, Annette Dowdle flourishes while brainstorming and

An enthusiastic advocate for the American Heart

collaborating on solutions to help clients and their employees. “I’ve heard a lot that the benefits

Association, Annette is co-chair of the 2022 American

industry can be boring, but I disagree. There’s a new challenge every day!”

Heart Association Northshore Heart Walk. She is a

Now Senior Vice President of HUB International Gulf South, Annette’s career in the insurance

member of National Women in Construction and serves

industry began over 20 years ago. She says, “The employee benefits industry has drastically changed

on HUB’s National Best Practices Task Force and Loyola

over the last few decades, and staying on the leading edge of those changes has allowed me to take

Women’s Leadership Academy.

annette.dowdle@hubinternational.com. 504-491-5576. 62

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P R O F I L E S on a Nuna model. It was at the top of every list but unfortunately, not available in their store. KiKi and Lolli jumped through the extensive hoops required to become a Nuna retailer. “An experienced mom might understand the safety difference, but the firsttime mom might not. I know we can help her make that ‘best choice,’ because I’ve done the research myself,” says Kristen. She adds that one surprise of parenting in 2021 is the involvement of dads in studying which product options are best—and they love the Nuna line. In addition to high-quality equipment, KiKi and Lolli sells a complete array of clothing and accessories for children from newborn to tween-size 20! Originally, the store carried clothing up to size six, but as client relationships grew with moms and grandparents, so did the kids! Connie says, “It has been fun to really get to know them as they grow up.” Finding the perfect new-baby gift can be a challenge, and Connie and Kristen are a great help. Though they recommend always considering the mom’s style first, a great go-to is the well-loved Pixie Lily line of snugly super soft, pima cotton classic layette options, accented with sweet knit trim. Some in-demand lines are northshore born

Kristen Callahan and Connie Boudreaux KIKI AND LOLLI

and bred, including the most popular clothing line they sell, Lullaby Set, from Covington’s Kelly Stewart. They like that it is completely designed

When mother-daughter team Connie

together. Though Connie had previously considered

and distributed right here, as are Little Louanne

Boudreaux and Kristen Callahan decided to open

opening a shop, nothing compared to doing it with

by Kaleigh Pederson and Remember Nguyen from

KiKi and Lolli children’s boutique, sister Peyton

Kristen. As they perused the baby and children’s

Kim Ho, whom they have known since St. Peter’s

expressed a few doubts. “Am I going to have to pick

retail world and how they might bring something

elementary school days. These northshore women-

sides if you two disagree?” she asked. She needn’t

unique to the northshore, KiKi and Lolli was born.

in-business love doing business with others just

have worried because working side by side with an

They haven’t looked back.

like themselves whenever possible.

intensely shared love for what they do has made the dynamic duo even closer than they were before.

In addition to the shop, the three years since

For quality children’s clothing from newborn

the wedding planning have also made them mother

to toddler or big kids to tweens, stop in and

and grandmother to 18-month-old Rhett, a great

introduce yourself to Kristen and Connie. They look

Kristen’s wedding. In Atlanta doing mother-

touch point for product evaluation. An example of

forward to sharing the wonderful items they have

daughter stuff, they decided to check the market

this is that after extensive research on safety ratings

for northshore children, parents and grandparents

out for business ideas they might enjoy doing

and reviews for the “perfect” stroller, Kristen settled

to enjoy. Unique and special are their forte!

It all started when they were planning

KiKi and Lolli is located at 70515 Hwy. 21, Ste. D, in Covington, 900-2410. May-June 2022 63


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Lisa Kent, Melissa Rehage, Lauren Yarbrough, Desiree Forsyth & Jenny Mevers LIVIO DESIGNS

Behind the hand-forged wrought iron gates of the Livio Designs showroom,

and create the perfect indoor and outdoor spaces. “When Lauren joined us, we

you’ll find more than just exclusive furniture collections and luxury kitchen

instantly expanded our ability to provide design services to our clients. She was the

accessories. You’ll find a fully stocked wine room that showcases beautifully crafted

perfect fit for Livio and completed our executive team,” says Forsyth.

racking systems. You’ll find imported pizza ovens alongside locally made oyster

Finance and Operations are handled by Controller Lisa Kent and Chief

beds. And you’ll find an extraordinary team led by five women who have worked

Administrative Officer Jenny Mevers. Together, they lead the admin functions

together to bring this new concept to reality.

for seven of Morris’s companies. The logistical scale of Livio is a unique

“We wanted Livio Designs to be a new kind of shopping experience,’’ says

challenge that requires the admin team to fully integrate with the other

Director of Marketing Desiree Forsyth. “We didn’t set out to build just another store.

departments. And though most of these women have worked with Morris

You can come here, grab a glass of wine and talk about dry aging with our grill

for years, working late nights together to bring Livio Designs to life has

specialist, talk about indoor/outdoor design with our design director or find the perfect

transformed their working and personal relationships with each other. “This

new furniture set to complement your outdoor space. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you

Livio team is practically family at this point,” says Mevers.

want a new set of cookware or a built-in wine dispenser for your outdoor kitchen—if it is beautiful, well-crafted and unique, you might find it in our showroom.” Sourcing all these items falls to Chief Strategy Officer Melissa Rehage,

The span of services Livio provides is expansive, which necessitates opening in phases. Phase one includes outdoor kitchen design and construction and interior/ exterior design services. Phase two includes the opening of the showroom, expected

Design Director Lauren Yarbrough and owner Rob Morris. Rehage has spent the

in early summer, and phase three will be the opening of the outdoor showcase and

past year stocking the Livio showroom with high-end outdoor furniture, rugs,

event space. Livio will have four beautifully built and furnished outdoor kitchens

grills, appliances and every essential needed for entertaining in your home. She

that showcase different architectural and design styles and a demonstration kitchen

hand-picks items that are luxury but livable and beautiful but durable enough to

that will be the hub for events such as cooking and cocktail classes. “It will be a

withstand our Southern climates. Yarbrough is busy building out the new Livio

completely unique shopping experience for this area,” says Forsyth. “We are so

Design Center, where clients will meet with their designers to design, coordinate

excited to show the Northshore what we’ve been working on for the past year!”

Livio Designs is located at 29089 Krentel Road, Lacombe. liviodesigns.com. 64

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Meg Williams LATTER & BLUM

When Meg Williams was a little girl, she knew the number to the Covington

calling, Meg has earned at the least Platinum level every single year. But here’s the

Latter & Blum office by heart. Her mother, Marion Williams, was a million-dollar

icing on the cake. She’s loved every minute of it. “It’s not a job for me,” Williams says.

producer there, and everybody in the office knew Meg and her sister, Melissa. But

“I do it because I love it. This is the first sales job I’ve had where I don’t really sell. I

real estate wasn’t on the radar for Meg for the first 40 years of her work life. She was

take care of people. And I learn something new every day. Don’t get me wrong. I stay

a natural-born salesman, though, selling everything from newspaper advertising to

awake at night worrying about getting someone the house they really want. I’ve cried

giftware to the first cellular phones and high-speed internet circuits. Even though

with clients when I couldn’t. And I often feel sad when I do, because it’s the end of our

big sister Melissa had a successful CPA practice, she was also having phenomenal

journey together.” But with Meg’s sparkling personality and generous spirit, it’s not

success as a Realtor, while Meg was happily working other sales jobs.

uncommon for what began as a business relationship to segue into friendship.

Melissa knew her little sister well enough to know what a match Meg and

Williams says that, unlike with other sales positions where a youthful

real estate would be. And anyone who knows Melissa knows that once she has an

appearance is your best asset, in real estate, it’s age and experience that count most.

idea, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion. It took some convincing, but she finally

“As a realtor, the older you are, the better you are. I’ll happily do this until I drop.” A

induced Meg to join her at Latter & Blum in 2011. The rest is St. Tammany real

cursory glance of Zillow.com turns up five-star reviews from Williams’ clients, who

estate history.

give her highest ratings for local knowledge, process expertise, responsiveness,

As the Mysing & Williams Group, the two sisters have captured top sales awards from the very first year they joined forces. Last year, they sold a whopping $30 million. What would their mama think of that and of her girls rating among the

negotiation skills and more. There’s no doubt Marion Williams would be proud to see her daughters carry on her legacy and do so with such aplomb and heart. The proud mama of a grown son, Staten, when Meg’s not selling or listing

top thirty realtors in the Greater New Orleans area? That’s not the top 30 percent.

real estate, she throws herself into community service projects and attends local

That’s not even the top 1 percent. Team Mysing & Williams consistently ranks in the

fundraisers and social events. She’s the 2022 Alumni of the Year at her Alma Mater,

top ½ percent of the 5,000 realtors on the north- and southshore.

St. Scholastica Academy, where she serves on the alumni board, and she sits on the

In the 12 years since Meg earned her real estate license and found her true

board of her HOA.

Mysing & Williams is located at 1151 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, 985-626-5695. MysingWilliams.com. May-June 2022 65


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B U S I N E S S and incredibly approachable—just like her. Before Jeanne joined the team, the Foundation did important work and achieved great things, but sadly, no one knew about it. Her ability to take seemingly complicated details and make them understandable, interesting and joyful is a real gift, and that enriches the effect of the work in immeasurable ways. Leslie Landry, the most recent addition to the NCF team, brought a fresh perspective, unwavering professionalism and home-grown Northshore street cred to the Foundation four years ago. Her growing up in Covington, mothering a young family and having management and fundraising credentials a mile long add depth and capacity to the Foundation that serve it well, now and into the future. Her knowledge of the goodness of how things “used to be” makes her that much more determined to ensure it remains wonderful for generations to come. The legacy-building aspect of the Foundation’s work fits perfectly with her personal desire to contribute to the community that has been her family’s home forever. Susan Bonnett Bourgeois leads the team and has spent her 15 years with the Foundation Leslie Landry,

Susan Bonnett Bourgeois, Carla Mouton and Jeanne Martin.

Northshore Community Foundation Members of the Northshore Community

“speaking things into being,” as a board member noted. In a region still reeling with the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2006, she started with “a good idea” and enlisted a dream-team board that partnered with her and founded the NCF. With a

and professionally as she does the fundholders and

resolute drive and unapologetic boldness, she will

Foundation team spend their days making life

members who drive the work of the Foundation.

cast a vision and share it with anyone who will listen.

on the Northshore better for all of us. While the

Carla’s heart desire to take care of people and make a

Her ease of communicating convinces others to

Foundation’s mission to enhance our quality of life

difference led her to this calling, and we are all better

want to make a difference as well. That unavoidable

remains consistent, how the all-women staff makes

because of her tireless effort.

momentum propels the Foundation to this day.

that happen is as varied as they are. Carla Mouton, the true core of the team, has

Jeanne Martin is the creative genius behind

Together, this team is unstoppable, and that is

every picture, social media post and story about

very good for the Northshore. Their talent and hard

been a part of the Foundation since it opened its

philanthropy through the Foundation. Her passion

work have enabled the Foundation to move over $60

doors in 2007. Her warm smile and gracious attitude

to help others, coupled with her irreplaceable wit,

million dollars for the greater good, and there is no

are her greatest assets, and she serves the strangers

makes the brand and perception of the Foundation

end in sight. As the business of philanthropy goes,

who walk into Northshare off the street as kindly

exactly what it should be: authentic, impactful

there is no better group of people to get it done.

The Northshore Community Foundation is located in Northshare at 807 N. Columbia St. in Covington. 893-8757, NorthshoreFoundation.org. 66

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B U S I N E S S something different—something that would be just as helpful and impactful for people’s lives but would allow me to have a life.” The answer was medical aesthetics. Since 2007, Dr. Bronaugh had been doing injectables, like BOTOX and filler, as a side to her surgery practice. As she focused more on medical aesthetics, she realized that opening her own medical spa was the sweet spot for which she’d been searching. In 2021, Northshore Rejuvenation became a reality. “Aesthetics is not all about appearances. It’s about changing scars, wrinkles, lines—whatever patients are concerned about—and giving them confidence to go above and beyond, to be happier.” At Northshore Rejuvenation, there is no surgery. All procedures are non-invasive. These include body contouring/CoolSculpting, microneedling (creates new collagen and elastin), laser skin resurfacing (alternative to face lifts), BOTOX and Juvéderm. Dr. Bronaugh also offers hormone replacement for men and women. “Testosterone deficiency is not well-recognized in women, but it plays a huge role in how they feel, their relationships, stress levels and sleep patterns. It makes patients feel better from within.” Northshore Rejuvenation is physician-owned and operated. Unlike many medical spas, which are owned or operated by estheticians or entrepreneurs, Northshore Rejuvenation’s patients are not seeing just an esthetician or a laser tech; they are actually seeing a doctor for consultations and throughout the entire treatment plan. A year into her new practice, Dr. Bronaugh is all smiles. “What I’m doing

Dr. Heather Bronaugh NORTHSHORE REJUVENATION

Dr. Heather Bronaugh, owner and operator of Northshore Rejuvenation, is a remarkably talented, compassionate woman who is dedicated to her family and her patients. Prior to opening her medical spa last year, she had been a surgeon in practice for over twenty years.

now is a different kind of medicine—it’s very happy. People want to come see me. Plus, I have time to devote to my family—my husband, Dr. David Bronaugh, anesthesiologist at Ochsner Northshore, and our son, fourteen-year-old Lance, an eighth grader at Lake Castle Private School. I only have one son, only one chance to get it right as a mom.” And get it right, she has. She and David are very involved in Lance’s Boy Scout career. “He’s a Life Scout now and close to becoming an Eagle Scout.

“I like surgery,” says Dr. Bronaugh. “Intellectually, it is challenging and

David, who is an Eagle Scout, is his troop’s assistant scoutmaster, and I am the

fascinating. But emotionally and time-wise, it can be very hard. I did a large

outdoor activities chair. I do all the planning, all the logistics for their monthly

number of surgeries on women—a lot of young women—with breast cancer.

camping trips and summer camp. I get to go on about half the trips.” One trip

It’s very hard to leave that at the hospital. That played a role in my decision to

she absolutely will be on is a SCUBA diving trip to Florida. “David and I are both

move away from general surgery.”

certified divers. It’s going to be exciting!”

Such a decision was difficult but necessary. “Before our son was born, my career was it. But after, I asked myself: What’s important now? I wanted to do

Looks like medical aesthetics IS a very happy practice—not only for Dr. Bronaugh’s patients but also for the doctor, herself!

Northshore Rejuvenation is located at 2306 Front St., Ste. 17, Slidell, 985-265-4544. May-June 2022 67


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B U S I N E S S that there’s no such thing as “college material.” “There is a fit for every student, and we’re here to help them find it. They just have to be willing to step out, fall and get back up again.” In November 2013, Dr. Montgomery became student services officer for Northshore Technical Community College (Hammond). “I fell in love with the mission and climate of NTCC.” In July 2014, she was selected to serve as viceprovost of student affairs. As the college expanded its mission and locations, so did Dr. Montgomery’s responsibilities. Today, she leads a team of thirty that is responsible for most aspects of the student experience—from application to graduation—at each of the college’s six locations: Lacombe, Hammond, Connect to Success at SLU, Greensburg, Walker and Bogalusa. During her eight years at NTCC, Dr. Montgomery has added directors of career services, recruiting, admissions and accessibility services. She’s implemented the Success Coach program, which provides a go-to person to help with students’ needs on and off campus. She’s also coordinated a success series covering study skills, self-confidence, persistence, etc. and instituted Wellness Week to address mental, physical and emotional health. To provide leadership opportunities for students, she oversees student organizations that include student government, Phi Theta Kappa and student nursing organizations.

Christy Montgomery, Ed.D, LPC

NORTHSHORE TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE Dr. Christy Montgomery wears many hats. She’s the devoted wife

Most recently, Dr. Montgomery implemented an initiative to reach out to the underserved by bringing the NTCC experience to local rural high schools. “We expose students for a full day to all our programs, including dual enrollment, where high school seniors can earn college credit at no or low cost.

of Christopher and mother of Christyn and Christopher, Jr. (who’s due in

We emphasize that courses taken at NTCC are transferrable across the nation,

August). Plus, she’s vice-chancellor of student affairs, diversity and inclusion at

and we offer many programs that target specific populations, including the

Northshore Technical Community College—a job for which she is passionate. “It

women-in-welding course, health sciences industry training/partnerships and a

is our mission—our obligation—to speak life into those students who walk in

newly launched heavy equipment program.

defeated, who doubt if they are college material.” Dr. Montgomery knows that feeling well. She once doubted if she

Dr. Montgomery is zealous to do even more for her students. To expand leadership opportunities, she’s proposed an ambassador program to promote

were college material, too. Despite graduating with a 3.8 average from

NTCC at schools and community events. To address the increased number

Bogalusa High School, Christy ended her first year at Xavier University with a

of students with post-pandemic mental health issues, she plans to expand

discouraging 1.677 GPA. “My parents told me not to give up—that I had the

in-house mental health services beyond professional therapy and counseling.

potential to do something with my life. They spoke life to me. That helped me

Northshore Technical Community College is a goldmine of opportunity

go on and get a bachelor’s degree from Xavier, a master’s from Northwestern

for our community. Learn more by visiting NorthshoreCollege.edu. “We’re

and doctorate from UL Lafayette.”

not the old Vo-Tech that you remember,” says Dr. Montgomery. “Whatever an

Enlightened by that experience, Dr. Montgomery tells incoming students

individual’s end goal is, we’re here to help them meet it.” Spread the word!

Northshore Technical Community College is located at 65556 Centerpoint Blvd., Lacombe, 985-545-1500. 68

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Michelle Perdomo

PERDOMO ROOFING & SHEET METAL Locally owned and operated, Perdomo Roofing & Sheet Metal has been

Perdomo Roofing & Sheet Metal is dedicated to keeping our

rebuilding roofs in New Orleans and the surrounding area for over 16 years. The

neighborhoods—our community—looking beautiful. Their commitment to

highly-skilled team is dedicated to getting the job done right the first time by

employing local contractors ensures faster response times and lower rates,

adherence to strict quality control measures in every step of the roofing process.

and more jobs and resources remain in our community. Perdomo Roofing

From analyzing each client’s needs to planning and scheduling, you can be

is a Haag Engineering Certified Inspector and is proud to be the only New

assured that your roof will be repaired or replaced on time and on budget.

Orleans area Master Elite Certified Contractor by GAF—the nation’s #1 roofing

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, owners Eric and Michelle

manufacturer. It is listed on Angie’s List and holds an A+ rating with the BBB.

Perdomo know the havoc our storms can produce. Whether it’s a small leak or

Whether it’s for a new build or to repair or replace your existing roof,

major storm damage, roofing issues can quickly become a major problem for

Perdomo Roofing & Sheet Metal has you covered every step of the way. They

your entire home or business. You can trust the team at Perdomo Roofing &

provide 24-hour emergency repairs and a variety of additional services, including

Sheet Metal because, as Michelle says, “We are local. We are your neighbors.

attic insulation, skylight, soffit, roof ventilation and more. From insurance

We are here for you after the storms and have a dedicated claims department

processing to deciding shingle color, the qualified staff is ready to assist you.

to help you navigate the insurance process.”

For added peace of mind, Perdomo Roofing & Sheet Metal is fully licensed and

Bob and Brenda Breck, Metairie clients, say, “Michelle and Eric are very hands on. Eric was first on site to evaluate our needs and was very informative

insured and offers financing plus material and labor warranties for their work. Now is the perfect time to prepare your roof for hurricane season and

and professional. The Perdomo team was personable, their service was

ensure your home and business are protected. The team at Perdomo Roofing

comprehensive and they delivered an excellent product.”

& Sheet Metal is ready to provide you with a free evaluation and quote as well

The women at Perdomo Roofing & Sheet Metal are the best in the industry and take pride in providing seamless customer service. Michelle says,

as answer any questions you may have. For a full list of their residential and commercial services, visit nolaroof.com, or call (504) 885-NOLA.

“We worry about the details so that you can set your mind at ease.” Through each step of the process, Jill, Jeanne, Lauren, Jacqueline, Allison and Michelle will handle your project with care and ensure you are satisfied with your roof repair or replacement. As Office Manager, Jill handles accounting and sales processes. Lauren is ready to help you with scheduling and customer requests. Jacqueline’s role is Department Coordinator. Jeanne handles project estimates, and Allison is the insurance claims specialist.

Perdomo Roofing & Sheet Metal can be reached by calling 504-885-6652. nolaroof.com. May-June 2022 69


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Jonna Turner FIDELITY BANK

Jonna Turner’s devotion to her community blends harmoniously with her role as Vice President & Commercial

Paige Henderson

Relationship Manager at Fidelity Bank. She says,

BELLUS, A PHOTOGRAPHY BOUTIQUE

Obsessed with modeling, magazines and fashion, Paige Henderson has long

“Fidelity Bank, ‘Here for

dreamed of working in the beauty industry. Today, she channels that love of beauty

Good,’ seeks to continually

imagery onto her clients at her portrait photography studio in Mandeville, appropriately

enhance its heritage of over 100 years. Its dedication to helping families and

named Bellus, meaning “pretty, charming, handsome” in Latin. The core focus at Bellus is

businesses thrive within the communities it serves is 100 percent in line with

to create timeless images through magazine-styled photo shoots for everyone.

the values that have been instilled in me and that I strive to instill in my sons

“We believe everyone deserves a day in the photo studio to celebrate their beauty. It is transformative and can really show you how beautiful you are—not just in the commercial sense, but in revealing the inner beauty that lives in all of us,” says Paige. Born in New Orleans, Paige travelled extensively with her family while she was young. She says, “My father carried a camera everywhere, and the photos— the stories—he captured are timeless. That instilled in me a deep appreciation of photography’s ability to capture moments and to tell a story.” With a modern, elegant atmosphere, Bellus is a full-service portrait studio that

Barrett,10, and Jack,17, and daughter Madison, 23.” Jonna adds, “When I meet people who share the same vision, it fuels a fire inside me. Seeing their vision go from a conversation to a successful business that supports the needs and future economic growth of the community is the most rewarding part of what I do and why I do it.” A member of the East St. Tammany Business Alliance, Fidelity Bank continually endeavors to facilitate and support empowerment and leadership in local businesses. One of Jonna’s favorite programs is Fidelity’s P.O.W.E.R., Potential

features inspiring wall galleries, a luxurious wardrobe area with amenities and a

of Women Entrepreneurship Realized, which focuses on women in business, their

state-of-the-art shooting area. You can expect excellent service with a personal touch

accomplishments and providing the tools they need to succeed and flourish.

from the moment you walk in until the moment you see the finished product. Each

“Community is everything,” says Jonna. “An important source of social

shoot is custom-designed to consider your needs and vision. A recent client says, “I

connection, building relationships gives a sense of belonging, which is

was nervous at the start, but Paige made me feel at ease and guided me through

essential to a fulfilling life.” She is active in East St. Tammany Parish, serving

different poses, and it became fun. I can’t wait to do this again!”

on several boards, including Leadership Northshore Alumni Association,

Beginning with a design consultation, Paige will take you step-by-step

Olde Towne Main Street, Junior Auxiliary of Slidell and Camellia City Kiwanis

through the process. What would you like to create? How do you want to be

Club. Nominated for the 2017 Young Athena Leadership award, she served as

photographed? What type of clothing should you wear? Every question will

president of Emerging Young Professionals for two years, was Board Member of

be answered. Using state-of-the-art software, Paige can even show how your

the Year twice, and is a founding member of Steel Mimosas. A 2014 graduate

photograph will look framed and hanging in your home.

of Leadership Northshore, Jonna helped found “Slidell Movie Nights.” For four

Paige says, “I want to inspire my clients to see themselves in a new light. You have everything you need to elevate your potential and realize how awesome you

years, she has participated in the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity “Rosie the Riveter” Women’s Build program.

are.” Visit the Bellus website to see a full list of services and book your shoot today.

70

Bellus, A Photography Boutique, is located at 5150 Hwy. 22

Let Fidelity Bank be a part of your success! Visit a branch or

in Mandeville, 503-8229. bellus.photography.

bankwithfidelity.com. Call Jonna at 985-285-2726.

Inside Northside


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Commanding the dual role of Chief Nursing Officer at both Slidell Memorial Hospital and Ochsner Medical Center–Northshore, Kimberly Walker oversees all nursing operations, including evaluations, strategy and implementation and delivery of care. She dedicates her career to creating and improving quality care and excellent

Kimberly Walker, RN, MSN SLIDELL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

service to all patients. Kimberly has always had a passion for health

Suzanne and Alex Lentz

TASS BRAIN INJURY REHABILITATION CENTER The TASS Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center team understands that rebuilding an independent lifestyle after suffering a brain injury is a step-by-step process. Providing residential in-patient, post-acute rehabilitation for adults with acquired brain injury,

and fitness. When she was 30 years old and had worked in the fitness industry

TASS’s mission is to empower its clients through individualized programs in a safe and

for 10 years, she decided to obtain a nursing degree. She says, “Caring for

comfortable environment.

patients when they are at their most vulnerable brings a rewarding sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that I was searching for in a career.” Having earned both a Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing,

“I felt the love and care they had for my mom. There is nowhere else I would want her to be for her recovery,” says Naomi, a client’s daughter. With 30 years of experience working in the neurological rehabilitation field,

Kimberly continues her focus on higher education and is currently enrolled in a

Suzanne Lentz, M.C.D. CCC-SLP, the owner of TASS, recognizes that a dignified and

Master of Business Administration program. She says, “I believe it is my duty to

client-centered approach is needed for successful skill development. TASS offers

continue expanding my knowledge so that I can bring forward best practices.”

customized programs in physical, occupational and speech therapy to support each

Crediting the amazing mentors whom she has had along the way,

client. Additional services, such as behavioral therapy, vocational rehabilitation and

she places great importance on helping the next generation of healthcare providers navigate their career opportunities and achieve their professional

equine therapy, offer further individualization. After earning a Master of Communication Disorders from LSU Medical Center,

goals. Described as a “servant leader,” she strives to put the needs of her staff

Suzanne’s work with brain injury programs turned into a passion to help others. A

and community first. She says, “I never dreamed my first executive leadership

founding member of the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana (est. 2005), Suzanne

role would entail navigating a pandemic. Although it has been a tremendous

also holds a governor-appointed seat on the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council. With

challenge, the experience has helped me improve my leadership style by

TASS locations in Ponchatoula and Crystal Springs, Missisippi, Suzanne opened TASS in

rolling up my sleeves and helping where I can. It truly is a team effort.”

Covington with her daughter, Alex, as Program Director.

Providing compassionate care is embedded in the culture at Slidell

Alex is an LSU graduate with a business degree. Having grown up in the family

Memorial Hospital. Ongoing initiatives and investments in new technology

business, she is well-equipped to balance the growth and needs of a residential rehab

and equipment allow SMH to evolve with the needs of the community. A new

center. Suzanne says, “Sharing my lifetime of knowledge with my daughter is a joy. In

3-story building expansion will house new operating suites, clinical areas and

her, I can see the future of this family business. Family is the most important aspect of

a comprehensive breast cancer surgical program. Specialty services, such as

anyone’s life. It’s a key element of my business and for my clients’ recovery.”

neurology and cardiology, are also expanding, including a complete renovation of a Cardiac Cath Lab. Throughout it all, the team’s focus at Slidell Memorial Hospital remains on providing the best outcomes possible for its patients.

Slidell Memorial Hospital, 1001 Gause Boulevard, Slidell, LA 70458,

The TASS team is grateful to offer their services to the northshore community!

985-280-2200, SlidellMemorial.org.

Find more information and see a video tour at tassbraininjury.com. May-June 2022 71



IN the Bookcase

photo: PAIGE HENDERSON www.bellus.photography

by Claire Friedrichs Taylor

THE FIRST TIME I EVER HEARD of Tyrus, I was watching The Five on Fox News, and they were talking about great food and restaurants. I hear this big behemoth of a man say he had a fabulous meal at Gallagher’s 527 in Mandeville, Louisiana. WOW! This guy in New York had been to our little hamlet on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. Little did I know that he lived a few miles from me. I became a fan that day, as did my elderly mother. (He is a hit with the older ladies.) Tyrus is 6’8” tall, weighs north of 300 pounds and has tats cover to cover. I watched him interact with tiny Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld and felt like I was a part of their deepening friendship. The chemistry was there, and it >> May-June 2022 73


Tyrus at home with his wife Ingrid and Georgie, the youngest of their five children.


was both contagious and mesmerizing. As millions have, I became a fan and followed him to The Greg Gutfeld Show and other Fox airings as a guest. When I was asked to do a review of his upcoming memoir, I was interested to read about his life. What a revelation it is. Tyrus, aka Brodus Clay, aka G-Rilla, aka The Funkasaurus, is actually George Murdoch. He was born into a dysfunctional, mixed-race household at a time in the 1970s when mixed-race relationships were actually illegal. His white mother was small, and he describes her as a hippie, waif of a woman. His father, who was black, spent many nights drinking and coming home to reek domestic abuse upon his wife. George had a younger brother and felt he had to protect his mother and brother when things got rough at home. At age 3 or 4, he learned to use his sense of humor to make his mother laugh and take her attention away from her plight. From the East Coast to the West Coast and >>


the corn fields of Nebraska, Tyrus lived in several homes with both family and non-family members. His childhood was difficult, and he learned at an early age to combat violence with violence. It was his survival mechanism. His soft spot was always for animals of every species, his mom and children. Smart as a whip, he was able to use his intellect to get ahead in school, when he wanted to. Sports was a savior for Tyrus. He excelled in football, until a ruptured appendix sidelined him. Tyrus went from football to teaching special-needs kids, from wrestling to being a bouncer in a club, where he met Snoop Dogg. Tyrus gives up a tender introspective into Snoop, who had the same soft spot for at-risk kids that Tyrus had. They worked together for years between stints in the WWE, where he reinvented himself over and over. The most important message in the book, in my opinion, is how a young boy with a troubled, violent childhood could get knocked down so many times and reinvent himself. His humor and joke-telling got him into many doors, and he is genuinely a likable guy. Race, of course, played a role in his life—but he did not let it rule his destiny. So many kids today in broken homes have not seen the successes Tyrus has, and it is understandable. He is a worthy role model for so many “throw-away” kids. Tyrus has been fired from more jobs than I have had in life. To many, this could have had a devastating impact—but not him. He always found opportunity. He has been in movies, on Fox News shows and in commercials, as well as his award-winning wrestling career. His time with Snoop took him 76

Inside Northside


all over the world. A two-time voter for President Obama, he tells how he was apprehensive as to how he would be received at a conservative news outlet like Fox. Pleasantly surprised, he tells how inclusive and welcoming they all were to a guy who did not wear a suit and a tie. He is covered with tattoos and hangs his wrestling belt over his shoulder on Gutfeld. Greg throws tough subject matter at him, like ‘Black Lives Matter’ and controversial Trump issues. He admits that he has plenty of issues with President Trump, but, “I did like how, right out of the gate, Trump called everybody out, even Republicans, who quickly fell in line, for the most part out of fear of him.” He tells his readers that there was never a better president for the media than Trump. “Trump’s battle with the media became the game within the game; it was entertaining, it was reality TV, it was pro wrestling.” I was mesmerized by the story of the life of George Murdoch to Tyrus. There is the good, the bad and the ugly, but his tenderness comes through to readers. He loves animals and children. As an adult, he preaches to his kids (all five of them) that “no matter how people may come after you and attack you, it’s your reaction that defines you. Use your voice and fight for what you believe in.” I highly recommend reading Just Tyrus. Once you get past the incredible hulk of Tyrus, he is a teddy bear. He remains friends with those who helped him at tough times in his life and speaks fondly of so many along the way. The book left me wanting to know more. I hope this is not his last endeavor into writing. Like others will be, I look forward to more Tyrus. May-June 2022 77


Flourishes 1

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1. Country French chandelier, 6-arm, from $1,450$1,650. Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, Mandeville, 4

249-6040. 2. Magnolia on acrylic, $115. Niche Modern Home, Mandeville, 624-4045. 3. Fun,

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quirky, fashionable vases. Florist of Covington, Covington, 892-7701. 4. 21” pastel ginger jar, $174. DeLuca’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts, Covington, 892-2317. 5. Dominique table lamp, by Lucas + Mckearn. Southland Plumbing and Supply, Mandeville, 893-8883. 6. DeliVita woodfired pizza oven, $2,249. Livio Designs, Lacombe, 220-1415. 7. Le Cadeaux Melamine Moroccan Blue Collection, starting at $25. Corrinn Fisher Interiors, Covington, 888-1229. 8. Corkcicle classics in a variety of colors and styles. The Lifestyle Boutique at Franco’s, Mandeville, 792-0270.

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May-June 2022 79


Flourishes

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1. Austin Contemporary Lantern by The CopperSmith. Available in gas or electric, two sizes and three mounting styles. Gulf Coast Lanterns Showroom, Covington, 800-910-3275, gulfcoastlanterns.com. 2. Nielle Olson mosaic tables. Many in-stock sizes and designs. Outdoor Living Center, Covington, 893-8008. 3. Contemporary pink vases, starting at $105. Greige Home Interiors, Covington 875-7576. 4. One-of-a-kind artisanal handmade tiles and natural stones sourced from quarries worldwide. Stafford Tile & Stone, showrooms in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, staffordtile.com.

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INside Look 1

1. Marco Bicego amethyst ring, $1,200. Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, New Orleans, 504-8320000. 2. This butterfly sleeve mermaid tankini with playful colors and patterns is the ultimate summer and water attire. Redoux Home & Market, Mandeville, 674-8811. 3. Hinge bangle bracelet with

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crystal starburst design, $48. The Villa, Mandeville, 6269797. 4. Rejuvenating skincare products. Royal Retreat Day Spa, Mandeville, 231-7329.

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INside Look 2 1

1. Purple garnet, pink sapphire and diamond halo pearl-shaped pendant, $5,500. Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, New Orleans, 504-8320000. 2. Jude Frances Moroccan Marrakesh diamond pavé bangle

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bracelet in 18K gold, $9,860. Boudreaux’s Jewelers, Mandeville, 6261666. 3. Queen of Sparkles tween pink holographic short set. Kiki & Loll, Covington, 900-2410. 4. Fuchsia rhinestone bootie by Betsy Johnson, $149. Shoefflé, Covington, 898-6465. 5. Paisley ruched mini skirt and orange bustier style tank. Eleventh Street the Salon & Boutique, Covington, 626-5255. 6. Paisley print V-neck half-sleeve top. Columbia Street Mercantile, Covington, 809-1690 or 809-1789. 7. Jewelry organizer in two sizes and three colors: Leopard, Blush and Nude. V Home & Interiors, Mandeville, 231-7411.

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May-June 2022 83


Generous Hearts by Susan Bonnett Bourgeois

Northshore Community Foundation Above: In 2021, when Hurricane Ida took direct aim at our region, we quickly activated our Weather

IN 2007, THE NORTHSHORE Community Foundation began with the mission of simplifying, organizing and magnifying philanthropy on the northshore. What has happened in the 15 years since has been remarkable. The generosity of our community has changed lives and brought people together—$70 million so far—and that work continues.

Since then, in man-made disasters, natural disasters and even a global pandemic, we quickly activate and respond, because immediate generosity matters. Local, national, and international supporters have used the Foundation to funnel millions of dollars to our region, trusting that we will direct it for the greatest possible impact.

Relief Fund and raised $1.6 million to support emergency relief and long-term recovery from the impact of the storm. More than 100 grants have been made to support relief work, and we continue to fund projects to aid that recovery. Right: Exceptional Lives was launched in 2017, and we helped create a virtual platform that is a trustworthy and easy-to-use resource for Louisiana families and children with disabilities and provides information on more than 1,000 resources available in the state. 84

Inside Northside

Response. It’s where we come from. From the beginning, the Northshore Community Foundation was born from the need for a local response after a natural disaster, and we have excelled in that work ever since. In the months following Hurricane Katrina, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation saw the glaring need for local leadership, staff, funding and services as our northshore recovered from the unprecedented impact of the storm. In the months after opening, the Foundation distributed nearly a million dollars to local nonprofits still dealing with Katrina’s wrath, and our emergency response work was born.

Convene. Creative alliances are at the root of all we do. Bringing together those that share a common purpose simply makes sense. Donors who support the same cause, organizations serving similar missions, experts on subjects


that matter to the region— we work to get them around the same table and in dialogue with each other. We know the needle moves in a positive direction when we partner together, and the results speak for themselves.

as “charitable checkbooks” so our Fundholders can focus on what matters to them.

Nonprofit Support. Helping the helpers. The hundreds of nonprofit organizations serving this region are fundamental to all that we value and love about our four-parish region. They protect our environment, care for the most vulnerable among us, and enrich our lives in meaningful ways. Training, supporting, mentoring and rewarding the tireless people who run these organizations is essential to us, as the region is better because of them.

Top, left: The Chevron

Education. The future is bright.

Community Fellows program

Protecting and enhancing the future of all that is wonderful about the northshore starts with investing in our children. From scholarships to enrichment programs to financing their dreams, the Foundation makes young people a priority, and the results are good for all of us.

community leaders who serve

focuses on a small group of

mission-based organizations and works to empower them to make a greater impact on their organizations and the region as a whole. Top, right: Sydney Vander, a Slidell native, was the recipient of the First Annual Pat

Engagement. Making it work.

Fund Management. Philanthropy is fueled by passion, not paperwork. That is why our Foundation offers systems and an infrastructure to handle the administrative details while leveraging that work for the maximum impact. Our Funds act

Through an innovative model focused on engagement, our work is driven by people, companies and partners that join in our vision of healthy, safe, beautiful and vibrant communities. Membership is how we harness this power and focus it on the greater good.

Brister Legacy Scholarship in 2021. Bottom, left: Neighbors coming together to pool their resources and direct them to the needy is a powerful idea. In Slidell, that collective giving power, which goes by the name Camellia City Chicks with Checks, is dedicated

For more information about the Foundation and our work, please visit northshorefoundation.org.

to harnessing the power of generous women to improve lives in their community. May-June 2022 85


photo: BOBBY GILBOY PHOTOGRAPHY

Downtown Covington Parks by Hilary Creamer

Above: Bogue Falaya Wayside Park. Below: Columbia Street Landing. Opposite page: 1st Avenue Park,

photo: HILARY CREAMER

aka “Nose Park.”

ONE OF THE THINGS I have come to value most about living on the northshore is its variety of shopping, dining, nature parks, events and art—it has it all. And this is especially evident in Downtown Covington. There is a beautiful balance in this quaint area that offers such a variety of things to do and see. One could plan a perfect day here. Looking for a great dining experience? Downtown Covington

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has it. In need of some retail therapy at unique local boutiques and antique shops? Downtown Covington has it. Beautiful homes and gardens and art galleries? Yep, it’s got those, too. But what balances it all are the beautiful pockets of nature nestled in this historic area. One minute you are browsing in boutiques or grabbing a latte at St. John’s Coffee House and the next you are at the entrance to Columbia Street Landing. This charming park, located at 100 N. Columbia St., blooms between Downtown Covington and the Bogue Falaya River. The park is open from 6 am to 10 pm, and is the site of the popular Sunset at the Landing concert series. This was likely once the busiest spot in Covington, as it was the site of the main port of the city. It’s hard to imagine this serene riverscape full of steamboats unloading goods and visitors. On my latest visit, it was just me, the river and the garden. The sound of water splashing down the fountain, the fresh air and the new green growth of the various plants placed with obvious care add to the tranquility of this space. Just a few blocks over, you will find Bogue Falaya Wayside Park. Opened in 1909, today the 13-acre park at the end of N. New Hampshire St. still offers the fundamental elements that first attracted visitors over one hundred years ago—rest, recreation and fresh air. It is a popular location for big and


photo: HILARY CREAMER

small events. The park has a launch for canoeing/kayaking, a pavilion available to rent, an impressive ADA-compliant playground and plenty of prime places to sit amongst the tall cypress trees and watch the river run by. Yet another option for recreation and a beautiful river vista is just a short drive away. The 1st Avenue Park, known locally as “Nose Park,” is open from 6 am to 10 pm and is located at 401 E. 1st Ave. Dubbed “Nose Park” because of the large sculpture of a nose near the entrance, this park offers playground equipment and a circular, paved track that is perfect for walking, running and skating. There is also a covered pavilion with a short, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that grants a sweeping view of the Tchefuncte River. So, next time you are in Downtown Covington and want to walk off that amazing meal you just had, or mix in a little nature therapy with your retail therapy or maybe just do a little people (or dog) watching, remember these parks and the gifts that they are ready to give you. From the immortal words of Petula Clark, “Things will be great when you’re downtown…Everything’s waiting for you.” (I bet you just sang that last part, didn’t you?) For a full list of parks (and dog parks!) and recreation sites in Covington, visit covla.com. May-June 2022 87


INside Peek

Chef Soirée

José and Ana Carolina Cardona J.A.C. PAINTING, LLC

In 2019, José and Ana Carolina Cardona took their joy in revitalizing spaces and started their family business. J.A.C. Painting, LLC, now keeps the Cardonas happily busy doing what they love. J.A.C. Painting, LLC, is a fully insured painting, renovation and cleaning company ready to handle the needs of your residential, commercial or construction space. Services include demolition, drywall finishing, painting, floors, interior and exterior remodeling, home and garage organization and commercial cleaning. José says, “For me, my responsibilities to my clients are paramount—it’s personal. I speak with my clients directly and make every effort to understand their needs.” Having studied interior design and previously owned her own business creating decorations for special events, Ana Carolina brought her passion for beautifying spaces into her new role. She says, “I enjoy the challenge of renewing a space—adding color, changing the uncomely to lovely, the disorganized to orderly. I love leaving a space organized and impeccably clean; seeing our customer’s satisfaction with our work is the greatest reward.” At first, branching out on their own seemed a bit daunting, but the dream was persistent. “Choosing this path meant a lot of hard work, but it feels good and allows me to spend my free time with my family,” says José. Ana Carolina adds, “We wanted our daughters, Annabella, aged 8, and Antonella, aged 11, to learn by our example—if you’re honest, have a strong work ethic, and don’t give up, your dreams are possible.” “We are so thankful to God for allowing us this journey and for placing so many amazing people—our clients—in our lives. We consider ourselves lucky in that we get to meet wonderful, new people by doing work we enjoy,” says Ana Carolina. Call José and Ana Carolina for a free estimate for all your professional painting, remodeling, organization, and cleaning needs.

J.A.C. Painting, LLC can be reached by calling (504) 428-6351 or (504) 617-2389. j.a.c.painting@hotmail.com. 88

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Chef Soirée is a night of delicious offerings from more than 90 restaurant and beverage suppliers. Bogue Falaya Park transforms into a magical setting for the Northshore’s most beloved charity event. For 38 years, guests have returned to make memories while enjoying the best of this area’s food, drink and music. This year’s lucky raffle winner got to choose between a 2022 Mustang and a Bronco Sport – courtesy of Banner Ford. Chef Soirée benefits the Youth Service Bureau, a Northshore nonprofit that provides advocacy, counseling, education and intervention for at-risk youth and their families.


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1. Lynn Gardner, Susanne Lentz and hostess Beth Falkenstein enjoyed the afternoon bridesmaid luncheon with

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a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme. 2. Melanie Smith with her mother, Molly Smith, soon-to-be mother-in-law, Beverly Clary, and aunts Judy Gaienne, Sally Kaye, and Nancy Ridely celebrating in the days leading up to her wedding. 3. Mandeville High students competed at the “Catch a Pass from Drew Brees” charity event held in New Orleans in April, 2022. Left to right: Remy Marsh, Julio Zelaya, Landon Ibieta, Drew Brees, Rex Henderson and Tristan Chreene. 4. Julie Taglauer and Ellen Sweetman at the Halfway to Oktoberfest Pub Crawl in Mandeville. 5. Nicole and Larry Gunn, Monica Growden, event organizer Heidi Rhea, Brad

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Growden, Jill and Steve Burbrink. 6. St. Paul’s Crawfish Cook-Off with 2007 Alumni team Geaux Daddies. Left to right: Clay Harvin, Kirk Bodenheimer, Cameron Martin and daughter Eva, Brian Paddison, Matt Daniel, & Mark Hawley II & son Mark III. 7. St. Peter’s school club “Serving Others United in Love – SOUL” raised $207 by selling items for $.25 each at recess for a week. 8. Kenny and Dodie Adams (Integrity

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Builders), Shanna Cole, and the kids at the NHBA Crawfish Boil! 9. Matt Faust, Bubba and Beth Jenkins (Jenkins Homes), Sally and Casey Forshag (Forshag Construction) at the NHBA Crawfish Boil! 10. Front row: Norma Richard & CJ Ladner. Back row: Maria McComsey, Susan Blanchard, Lori Murphy and Cathy LeBlanc at an Easter luncheon at Tchefuncte’s. 11. Janet Fabre Smith & Eileen Hodges. 12. Cynthia Thompson and Megan Haggerty. 10

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May-June 2022 89


M A R R I A G E A N D L O V E

Gitz-DeAgano The Arbor at the Greystone of Mandeville was the setting for the wedding of Audrey Ellen Gitz and Tyler Michael DeAgano, officiated by family friend

I N

Reverend Joe Stutson. During the ceremony, the couple lit a unity candle while Anne Simpson sang Hold Onto Me. The bride wore a Martina Liana sweetheart strapless gown from Town and Country Bridal Boutique featuring embellished, hand-beaded floral lace details, tulle skirt, full train and a cathedral-length veil. Her attendants wore Jenny Yoo emerald satin crepe dresses from Bella Bridesmaids. The bride and bridesmaids carried a combination of flowers including blue delphinium, magenta orchids, candlelight roses and orange ranunculus by Delphine Floral Designs of Covington, who also decorated the wedding Arbor. The groomsmen and ring bearers wore cobalt blue suits with bow ties. After the ceremony, guests were greeted with champagne and passed hors d’oeurves in the reception hall and gardens. The bride and groom were announced by the band BRW and had their first dance to This Magic Moment. White tablecloths and gold garden bamboo chairs filled the room, with lavender uplights on the walls. Candles, olive leaves and autumn florals and sprays formed the table centerpieces. The bride and groom specialty cocktail, a d’oeuvres featured crab and cream spinach crostini, fried catfish, bruschetta, mini crab cakes, seafood stuffed mushrooms, boudin balls, and stuffed artichoke leaves. Later, guests enjoyed corn and crab soup and chicken andouille gumbo, a gourmet potato bar, a live pasta station, and prime rib, pork loin and chicken carving stations. The Cakery provided a four-tier red velvet cake with cream cheese icing adorned with flowers to match the wedding flowers. The groom’s white chocolate cake by Dab and a Pinch Baked Goods was a replica of Pamplona, Spain, in remembrance of Tyler’s running with the bulls. Family and friends danced the night away to the music of BRW, a variety of classics and present day hits. Audrey and Tyler led a second line with umbrellas through a burst of bubbles as they exited to a white Rolls Royce, which carried them away to the Southern Hotel. 90

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photos: MOLLIE SUZANNE PHOTOGRAPHY AND LILLY FOSTER VIDEOGRAPHY

Kentucky bourbon old fashioned, and Louisiana lemonade were served. Hors




M A R R I A G E A N D L O V E

Mathews-Reynolds

The nuptial Mass of Sarah Marie Mathews and Theodore Carl Reynolds was

celebrated at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Covington by family friend Father

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Doug Busch. The bride wore a cathedral-length Martina Liana ball gown-style dress in silk Mikado ivory fabric, accented by her matching veil, which featured embroidered lace with simple sequins. Both were from Town and Country Bridal. The bridesmaids wore floor-length black chiffon dresses by Azazie. Tuxedos to Geaux provided the three-piece black Italian Bellio Bespoke tuxedos for the groomsmen. The bridal bouquet by CJ’s Florist of Covington featured white and soft pink roses, orchids, green background flowers and crystals. The bridesmaids carried traditional white roses and green background flowers. Following the ceremony, the bride and groom had a private moment with champagne and food at The Greystone in Mandeville before greeting their guests. For the Southern Elegance-themed reception, the tables were decorated with candles and bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces. Rock It Productions provided the colorful lighting for the evening. On arrival, guests signed a corn hole decorated with the Reynolds family

photos: MATTHEW FOSTER AND ASSISTANT LIZ KING matthewfosterphotography.com

name, destined to become a timeless keepsake. Guests enjoyed a Southern palette of mostly seafood, including hors d’oeuvres, corn and crab bisque, chicken andouille gumbo, fried oysters, BBQ shrimp and polenta and shrimp Alfredo pasta. Classic cheeseburger sliders were served with a potato bar and chicken, pork loin and prime rib carving stations. The open bar featured Greystone champagne, wine and other libations. After the Anniversary Dance, which called only married couples to the dance floor, the bride and groom cut their cakes. Provided by Swiss Confectionery, the four-tier, white, almond-flavored wedding cake featured cascading white roses and orchids, the favorite flower of the bride’s father. The Cookie Cake provided by the Great American Cookie Company featured the inscription, “It is your wedding day,” a play on the quote from the TV series The Office. As the reception came to an end with a second-line dance, guests exited so that the bride and groom could have the last dance alone. As guests departed, they were given wedding favors, bags of Community Coffee and donut holes from Butter Krisp. The couple honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico, and now reside in Covington. May-June 2022 93


IN Great Taste by Yvette Zuniga Jemison

HOMEMADE slab biscuits are fluffy, tender and a wonderful breakfast treat. They’re filled with subtle layers of flavor by mixing a generous amount of cheese and herbs right into the dough. You’ll easily mix the dough and shape it into a slab. Cut and bake for biscuits that are versatile enough to be served from breakfast to dinner. Create a decadent egg sandwich by sliding an egg into these beautifully baked biscuits. The crispy exterior and doughy interior make a great base for a deli sandwich, or simply slather with butter and serve with dinner. 94

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Rise and Shine— It’s Biscuit Time! Herb and Cheese Slab Biscuits Servings: 8 1¼ cups whole milk, plus extra for topping 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for worksurface 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoons salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

photos: YVETTE ZUNIGA JEMISON YDelicacies.com

For serving: butter and jam

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. 2. In a cup, stir together the milk and vinegar and set aside. 3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together. 4. Grate the butter on the large holes of a grater. Add to the dry ingredients and toss to coat the butter. Add the cheese and herbs and toss to combine. 5. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix just until the dough forms. 6. On a floured surface, gently shape the dough into a 12”x6” slab. Transfer to the lined baking sheet. Flour a knife and cut into 8 biscuits. Keep the biscuits close together. Brush the top of the biscuits with milk. Bake until puffed and golden brown on the top and the bottom, 25-30 minutes.

We’d like to see which recipe you’ve made, so share with us on Instagram @insidenorthside and @y_delicacies. Scan QR code to go to @y_delicacies by Yvette Jemison on Instagram.

May-June 2022 95


Haute Plates

A selection of restaurants and haute dishes found around the northshore and beyond.

Chivos Bistro & Cantina

Gallagher’s Grill

MANDEVILLE • 778-2298

509 S. TYLER ST, COVINGTON

2999 HWY. 190

CHIVOSMEXICANBISTRO.COM Making Mexican Food Great

Again. Enjoy everything from burritos

2306 FRONT ST, SLIDELL 326-8350 892-9992

GALLAGHERSGRILL.COM Award-winning entrées featuring

Half Shell Oyster House 70367 LA 21

COVINGTON • 276-4500

HALFSHELLOYSTERHOUSE.COM Local Gulf oysters and a variety

one thirteen 113 N. OAK ST.,

HAMMOND 402-3481

ONETHIRTEENRESTAURANT.COM One Thirteen seeks to enliven the senses through an inspired mid-

of Gulf Coast seafood with a New

century modern setting, graceful service and new American cuisine

to fajitas to tacos and more, all made

sizzling steaks, pork chops, and the best

Orleans flair and influence that

from scratch. Stop by to enjoy our

seafood Louisiana has to offer. Whether

extends throughout our ambience

that simply tastes delicious. Menu

daily lunch specials.Happy Hour every

you’re looking for fine dining in a

and menu. Steaks, chicken, pasta and

items include chicken, beef, seafood,

day from 2-6pm. Be sure to try one of

comfortable setting, or a lunch that’s a cut

so much more. Lunch, dinner, daily

wood-fired flat bread, and house-

our signature margaritas. Food can be

above the rest, we specialize in creating

happy hour, Sunday brunch.

made desserts.

ordered online and delivered.

the perfect experience for your needs.

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Pat’s Rest Awhile 2129 LAKESHORE DR.

1905 W. THOMAS ST., STE. V

COVINGTON • 888-6555

FACEBOOK.COM/

SISENORTAQUERIA.COM

1111 GREENGATE DR. #D

MANDEVILLE• 951-2173

NOTHINGBUNDTCAKES.COM

PATSRESTAWHILE

Our goal is to bake a cake that

Casual, waterfront seafood

Si Señor

HAMMOND • 393-0090

Whether you are looking for an

Tchefuncte’s

407 ST. TAMMANY ST.

MADISONVILLE • 323-4800 TCHEFUNCTES.COM

Overlooking the river, Tchefuncte’s

enhanced dining experience or a happy

celebrates the highlights of the season,

not only reminds you of home but also

restaurant and bar helmed by renowned

hour, Si Señor Taqueria is the best

rooted in classic Southern cuisine.

opens you to a new world. And while

chef Pat Gallagher. Enjoy local favorites

spot for authentic Mexican dining in

Executive Chef Michael Gottlieb sought

that’s no easy request, the handcrafted

such as Gulf Fish Almondine, Oysters

Southeastern Louisiana. Experience our

the world’s best ingredients and found

recipes are more than up to the task.

Rockefeller and Gumbo, alongside classics

upbeat atmosphere while enjoying our

most in the Northshore area. Tchefuncte’s

Each recipe uses the finest ingredients

such as grilled steaks and burgers, while

fresh cocktails, like the House Paloma

partners with community purveyors for

to bring you Bundt Cake perfection.

overlooking Lake Pontchartrain.

with fresh agave nectar.

the best seafood, meats and produce.

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Marketplace

May-June 2022 97


Last Look by John Snell

Egret Wingspan by FOX 8’s John Snell. 98

Inside Northside