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Upper Lafayette on the Move WWW.UPPERLAFAYETTE.COM

January 2017 Volume 97

UPPER LAFAYETTE PROUD TO HONOR HEROES IN AUGUST 2016 FLOOD RELIEF EFFORT City of Scott to Improve Water System Spotlight on Atmos Energy and Home Bank Upper Lafayette Supports I-49 Connector

and more..... Printed by Lafayette Economic Development Authority

Published by

Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation

Printed by

Lafayette Economic Development Authority

Board of Directors

Chad Cole, President Todd Citron, Vice-President Zachary Barker, Sec/Treasurer Monty Warren, Past President Adrian Baudoin Brenda Foulcard Kirk LaCour Donna Landry Pastor Ken Lazard Herbert Schilling Bryan Tabor Jerry Vascocu David Welch

Honorary Advisory Board Don Dupuis Dwight “Bo” Ramsay


Jan Swift, Executive Director Emily Carline, Graphic Designer

Mailing Address P.O. Box 53107 Lafayette, LA 70505

On the Web

Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation is an association of proactive individuals and business leaders joined together to be a catalyst for change. The Foundation’s mission is to enhance and direct the positive, planned growth of Upper Lafayette, focusing on quality of life, while participating in the overall development of the Greater Lafayette Metropolitan Area.

For membership information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Jan Swift at

Interested in advertising in Our 2017 newsletters? Please contact Jan Swift for more details and to discuss opportunities. | (337) 769-7649


Volume 97 • January 2017 •

A Letter from the Executive Director In preparing for our January 18th meeting, I have had the pleasure of taking an in-depth look at the incredible outpouring of love, support, and resources shared in the aftermath of the August 2016 flood. While I had a general sense of the generosity exemplified in our community, I honestly had no idea of the continued and sustained volunteer effort that is being undertaken and which may be sustained only with a deep commitment to make things right for people whose lives have been upended. The rebuilding effort to get people back in their homes and on their feet is estimated to be on a five-year timetable. Five years! While government is doing what it can, by nature it is slow-moving and measured in its response. The churches among us, with some of the bigger names being Our Savior’s Church, the Catholic Diocese and Catholic Services of Acadiana, and the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, as well as United Way, Rebuilding Together Acadiana, Habitat For Humanity, and so many others, are working together to come up with long range planning to coordinate not only repairs of the current flood disaster, but other disasters which may occur in the future. The stories I have heard, and the obvious drive to make a difference and help those most in need have touched my heart. I hope you will join us on Wednesday, January 18th, for our upcoming luncheon and learn more about the Heroes Among Us! Registration may be made online here. Happy New Year!

R egister Now

January 18 Meeting- Honoring Local Heroes It is with great anticipation that we plan our January 18th luncheon to take place at Acadian Companies auditorium at 2916 North University Avenue. August 2016 will long be remembered for the great flood that tragically affected so many of our family and friends. Upper Lafayette is proud to have this opportunity to honor the heroes among us who stepped up to assist others who were in great need of a helping hand. We thank Acadian Companies for assisting in our efforts! Please join us in recognizing these esteemed volunteers and contributors who make our community great. Tickets are $25 each or a reserved table is $200. Register online at Contact or call (337) 769-7649 with any questions. We want to thank our generous sponsors for making this event possible!

Convoy of Hope Volunteers organized by Crossroads Church, 150 Verona Drive, in Upper Lafayette

Volume 97 • January 2017 •


LDH Awards $980,000 Subsidized Loan to the City of Scott for Drinking Water System Improvements The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health awarded a $980,000 subsidized loan to the City of Scott through the State’s Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF). The low-interest subsidized loan will help improve the City of Scott’s Water System. Assistant Secretary for Public Health, Beth Scalco, said it’s imperative that all Louisiana residents have access to safe drinking water. “This program gives local communities a source of dependable and affordable financing to bring their water treatment facilities up to the latest and most modern technology that keeps their residents safe and healthy.” The proposed project includes the installation of a complete automatic meter reading system (cellular network based) throughout the city, including leak detection and software to interface with the current utility billing system. Additionally, all broken/ malfunctioning/old meters will be replaced with new water meters. Mayor Purvis J. Morrison of the city of Scott said it’s a great service that is provided to help cities throughout Louisiana. “This project for the city of Scott will allow us to bring our water system into the 21st century. Automatic meter reading will allow the city to give a more current and accurate reading of our residents water usage. One of the Pictured from left to right: Dan MacDonald, P.E., M.B.A., LDH DWRLF Program Engineer; David Wolf, great features with this system is the leak Attorney, Adams and Reese, LLP; Mark Savoy, P.E., Grooms Engineering, LLC; Jennifer Wilson, LDH detection component. This will allow the DWRLF Program Manager; Mayor Purvis J. Morrison, City of Scott; David M. Medlin, CPA, Government Consultants, Inc.; Earl Paddock, P.E., Grooms Engineering, LLC; and Jason Akers, Foley and Judell, LLP city to notify a resident when they may have a water leak very early instead of waiting until the water meter is read and this will save them money.” Congress established State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Programs in 1996 and is jointly funded by an annual grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (80 percent) and the individual participating states (20 percent). In Louisiana, it is administered by LDH’s Office of Public Health. Loans made through this program are low interest and have a maximum 20-year repayment period. Both public and privately-owned community and nonprofit, non-community water systems are eligible to apply for loans. Once a loan is approved, water systems can use the funds to make their improvements. As the systems pay back the loans, the principal and interest are used to make more money available for other communities that have drinking water needs. “The purpose of the fund is to provide states with a financial mechanism to make below market rate loans to drinking water systems for infrastructure improvements. These improvements assist the systems in complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act and protecting public health,” said Jennifer Wilson, Program Manager for the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund. For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Wilson at LDH’s Office of Public Health, 225-342-7499. The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit For upto-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH’s Twitter account and Facebook.


Volume 97 • January 2017 •

Spotlight on Atmos Energy Corporation Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is the country’s largest natural-gas-only distributor, serving over three million natural gas distribution customers in over 1,400 communities in eight states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Its history dates back to 1906 in the Panhandle of Texas and through the years has grown through various business acquisitions and mergers with its stock publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ATO.” Atmos Energy also manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas and provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. Serving approximately 30,000 metered customers in Acadiana, and approximately 360,000 metered customers throughout Louisiana, Atmos offers excellent customer care service that is available around the clock in order to take care of all your needs. Whether you have a gas leakage at home, or feel that your appliance is not performing effectively or you have doubts about replacing an existing pipeline, you can contact their customer care service. With its wireless meter reading (“WMR”), customers have their meters read through an automated system that causes the least intrusion and which also picks up on abnormal usage trends that may need to be further investigated. Everything at Atmos revolves around safety and reliability; in Lafayette Parish and throughout the state, Atmos has dedicated $20 million in a System Integrity Investment to systematically replace vintage pipe and other material to improve the integrity and reliability of its natural gas service. Locally in Acadiana, we have been fortunate to have Atmos Energy wholeheartedly engaged in supporting our community. Thomas Hebert serves as the Manager of Public Affairs for the Louisiana Division of Atmos Energy. Hebert represents Atmos as a member of Upper Lafayette and also serves on the board of OneAcadiana. Atmos Energy is active in supporting local community causes, including Festival International, the United Way Gumbo and Chili Cookoffs, the Acadiana Affiliate of Susan G. Komen and the UL Lafayette Alumni Association. Atmos contributed to the new basketball court at Heymann Park in 2016. The company’s employees also served over 2000 hot lunches to people in the Lafayette area impacted by the August 2016 flood. Upper Lafayette is grateful for our loyal member, Atmos Energy Corporation. For more information, please visit

Atmos Energy supports new basketball court at Heymann Park

Atmos Energy volunteers cooking for flood victims

Volume 97 • January 2017 •


Celebrating Carnival in Carencro Carnival season is here! The 2017 Krewe of Karencro Mardi Gras flag raising ceremony was held Friday, January 6, at the Carencro Veterans Memorial. Mayor Glenn Brasseaux and Jim Richard of the Carencro Mardi Gras Association helped raise the flags. Royalty in attendance from Krewe of Karencro were King Ray Boudreaux and Queen Rikki Lynne Lail. Royalty from the Krewe de Wide Load were King Cain Hollier and Queen Lauren B. Arceneaux. The local carnival royalty invite everyone to attend the Carencro Mardi Gras Association’s 34th Annual Mardi Gras Parade, Saturday, February 18, at 11 a.m. Parade route roads will close at 10 a.m. For more information and float registration forms, visit the association’s website. View more pictures on the city’s website.


Volume 97 • January 2017 •

Connect Lafayette is a coalition of organizations and citizens who believe a thoughtful design for the I-49 Lafayette Connector will enhance our urban fabric. Join us in support of this project and let elected leaders and stakeholders know the time to “Connect Lafayette” is now. Visit the Connect Lafayette website or Facebook page for the latest updates.

“For decades, it has been apparent that completion of the Lafayette Connector is a vital component in relieving our growing traffic congestion, ensuring safe and efficient hurricane evacuations for all of South Louisiana, and enhancing the ability of America’s Energy Corridor to transport goods and services to points throughout the nation. From a long-term economic development standpoint, Lafayette and all of Acadiana will reap enormous benefits from the $1 Billion investment in our community, especially along the Evangeline Thruway Corridor, which has been in limbo while everyone waits to see if the Lafayette Connector will ever become a reality. Lafayette is well positioned to capitalize on many opportunities when we finalize this important link in America’s interstate system connecting Winnipeg, Canada to New Orleans. Overwhelmingly, the residents and business people located in Upper Lafayette Parish can testify that the time is now to build the Lafayette Connector.” Jan Swift, Executive Director Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation

Volume 97 • January 2017 •


I- 49

Far More than a Standard Interstate by Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary of DOTD

I was disappointed after reading an Editorial published by The Advertiser on December 22, 2016, as the hard work of citizens and DOTD was dismissed by a failure to present facts and instead peddled misrepresentations. It suggested “…a lack of interest from state officials about what local people have to say…” FACT: We’ve held 30 Stakeholder Interviews, 29 Community, Technical, and Executive Meetings, 5 Public Meetings, and 24 structured interactions with various groups. As of today, 1,164 Public Comments are recorded with 6,360 recorded participant responses from the Vision and Values Workshop. We’ve responded in earnest to the community’s feedback, altering schedules, designs and concepts to better reflect the desires and concerns shared with us. Questions regarding how community input is being used strike me as odd; the design concepts now under consideration are based on community feedback. These are Lafayette’s ideas, not DOTD’s. This came at a cost, in both time and money, and was a necessary step to advance the project. If we were not interested, would we have undertaken such an effort just to reject all ideas? Absolutely not. It also suggested DOTD has already made up its mind about what I-49 will look like. FACT: Since inserting significant time in the process, in response to the community’s request, significant changes have occurred that will change the outcome. The original plan now has 19 core area concepts with 25 potential design modifications being investigated for inclusion, many of which work well, add great value, and ALL of which have come from the public in this process. Some changes include eliminating interchanges and ramps, removing embankments, elevating structures, incorporating additional bike/pedestrian friendly elements, and enhanced protection of historic areas. Based on the public response and technical evaluations, we narrowed the list of possible concepts down to two viable series: one based on an elevated structure and another based on a depressed/semi-depressed structure (proposed by a local advisory group).


As Secretary of DOTD, I assure you, we have not made decisions beyond what was originally approved in the original Record of Decision. We are trusting the process to determine which of those decisions will change and what they will become. However, no one should perceive that their participation guarantees their preferred outcome. It was suggested that “Too few people attend meetings, too little is known about how the information working group members provide to the DOTD is used.” When compared to other communities with similar projects, public participation here is better than par, but par is never enough. Like many other public decision processes, such as city councils and elections, we all struggle with participation, which is why we use volunteer, appointed, and elected leaders. As we are now nearing the end of the Tier II phase of the project, the information we get is validated and considered by technical experts and professionals based on public safety, engineering standards,

Volume 97 • January 2017 •

constructibility, and its alignment with previous decisions. The results of the technical analysis, both positive and negative, have all been shared with members of the CSS working groups, the bottom line being that semi- or fully depressed concepts are far more complex, expensive and problematic than an elevated mainline structure. This should not have come as a surprise, but it seems for those who preferred those designs, it has been a disappointment. It stated, “…DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson should step in and show leadership…” FACT: Nearly one year ago, I agreed and authorized this process to become more open in its efforts. We expanded the process with the support of our federal partners. A characteristic of leadership is sharing decision-making responsibility and not dictating an individual opinion. Leadership is responsibly integrating data, best practices, and public opinion in a smart way to make a decision that is in the best interest for ALL involved. The Community, Technical, and Executive committees are part of a leadership structure that is working. With Lafayette’s Parish President and APC CEO, we have jointly led a public engagement process that is unprecedented for Louisiana, one that is changing the trajectory of this project in a good way.

It also stated, “DOTD is building mistrust here.” After a nearly three hour CWG meeting, the facilitator ended the meeting, as the agenda had been exhausted. His closing of the meeting was not a rejection of ideas, just the end of a meeting that night. If that offended you, we apologize. Processes like these are not easy. They are frustrating and difficult, very complex. A perfect public process where everyone is happy and satisfied is a unicorn standing next to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, yet to be found. I will make judgment of DOTD’s effort and the process after all decisions are made. I trust the process and I trust the people that are at the table. FACT: Trust in people and this process has already made this project better than when we started.

Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. Secretary


Volume 97 • January 2017 •


Home is Where the Heart is for Home Bank by Susan Allardyce, Home Bank Marketing Coordinator Community involvement means more than monetary donations for Home Bank. Their bankers volunteer and give back in big and small ways, making our Acadiana communities stronger. “Our approach to giving is two-fold,” said Brandon Kelly, Home Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act Officer. “We have a commitment to doing the right thing for our service areas, making sure we’re impacting undeserved populations with financial literacy education and tools for growth, and we give our time and dollars to the nonprofits and organizations that are doing good works right here at home. We love taking every opportunity to teach with Junior Achievement and to build with Habitat for Humanity. There are so many groups here doing good work— and with such passion. That’s what makes this area such a vibrant place to be.”

Habitat for Humanity Women Build

Last fall, Home Bank was the presenting sponsor for the Women Build event with Habitat for Humanity. The project kicked off in the McCombVeazey neighborhood, at the home of a single mom who had been affected by recent flooding. Habitat was able to fast-track the building of her home, and soon the new owner and her children will be able to move out of their overcrowded apartment.

Flood Relief Donations

Much of Home Bank’s focus after the flood in Acadiana was on making sure families had basic resources, namely food. The bank hosted food drives and received generous donations from its customers and staff. Hundreds of pounds of food were collected and delivered to FoodNet during the drive. The bank also made a monetary donation to Second Harvest Food Bank to assist in ongoing needs related to the flood.


Volume 97 • January 2017 •

Teddy Bears for Hospitals

“We love getting our customers involved in giving at Home Bank,” said Susan Allardyce, Marketing Coordinator for Home Bank. “Each of our locations has donation bins that are used frequently to collect items, and we’re always blown away by the generosity of the public.” As the holidays approached, Home Bank collected teddy bears to distribute to children at local hospitals during the Christmas season. The bears were delivered in the week before Christmas to little ones who weren’t feeling their best. “We felt like Santa’s helpers with our giant bags of toys,” said Allardyce. “The hospitals and clinics were so appreciative, and the sweet kids’ smiles were the very best part.”

The Do Good Project

Two of the smallest Home Bank “Do Gooders” hosted a bake sale to raise funds for hygiene supplies for homeless patrons of the Stella Maris center

Cindy Herpin and Hailey Vincent from Home Bank taught financial literacy skills to local elementary school students over several weeks with Junior Achievement

A few years ago, Home Bank took part in a giving back effort spearheaded by creative guru Aileen Bennett. Bennett had the idea to give local individuals money with one simple instruction: “do good.” The results from that first project were incredible, and this year, Home Bank talked Bennett into renewing the effort. With Home Bank’s funds and Aileen’s creative talents, the Do Good Project launched for a second time. Twenty participants joined in to be the bank’s “do gooders,” and their projects range from helping an animal rescue to providing shoes in Africa. The projects will wrap up soon, and the bank looks forward to sharing all of the participants’ stories on their Facebook page very soon. Find “Home Bank Helps” on Facebook to keep up with all of the company’s community service initiatives.

Volume 97 • January 2017 •


Gotreaux Family Farms in Scott Offers Nutrient Dense Foods to Start Your New Year Off Right! By Brian Gotreaux

Brian Gotreaux, at Hub City Farmer’s Market, displaying the farm’s bounty

The start of the New Year and you have determined to feed your body correctly. Think of eggs as a perfect food. However, only eggs from chickens that can chase bugs, bathe in the dust, and roam in fresh earth and air are beneficial for you. It’s important for us to keep our girls (aka - hens) happy. If our girls are happy then the eggs are going to be the best they can be for you. They will actually get depressed staying inside their egg mobile due to rainy cold weather. These girls love to run, roam, chase, squawk, and eat green grass. According to a study by Mother Earth News, here’s how pastureraised eggs compare to commercial eggs: One-third less cholesterol

Gotreaux Farms offers nutrient dense veggies

One-quarter less saturated fat Two-thirds more vitamin A Twice as many omega-3 fatty acids Three times as much vitamin E Seven times as much beta carotene That’s worth giving thought! So... Come see us on Tuesday & Thursday at the Farm Stand from 2-6 pm for the best eggs around! Gotreaux Farms is located at 205 Facile Road in Scott or visit for more information. If you miss us during the week come see us on Saturday mornings at the Lafayette Hub City Farmer’s Market on Heymann Boulevard. We are there from 8 am until noon!


Pasture-raised chickens at Gotreaux Farms

Volume 97 • January 2017 •

Check Out the Latest Episodes of Upper Lafayette On the Move!

Chad Cole

Pastor John Milton

Photo: Chad Cole, CEO of Universal Sign Company and President of Upper Lafayette, Jan Swift, and Chuck Wood of Delta Media

Photo: Pastor John Milton and Jan Swift. Photo credit to Delta Media

We ended 2016 with a bang with an interview of Upper Lafayette’s newly elected President, Chad Cole, of Universal Sign Company. Married to Angela Garcia Cole, Senior VP at JP Morgan Chase Bank, Chad grew up in Lafayette, and graduated from USL where he majored in Mechanical Engineering. Chad purchased Universal Sign in September 2012 and under his leadership, the company has enjoyed impressive growth. With over 15,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a vast fleet of cranes and ladder trucks, Universal Sign & Manufacturing Company has the capability of fabricating, installing, and servicing even the most complex and hard to reach signs. Their outstanding customer service and attention to detail have long been the driving force behind their past successes and will continue to be the catalyst which will foster their future growth and customer loyalty. Cole is also the owner of Suite Relief in Port Allen, and recently purchased Bay Area Imaging in Webster, TX. We welcome Chad Cole as our new President and look forward to his entrepreneurial spirit of leadership!

Pastor John W. Milton, Esq., of Imani Temple # 49, was our first guest to be interviewed in 2017. A founding board member of Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation, John is an attorney who has been a driving force in our community in his quest to see improvements in the achievement gap in education. John serves on the Lafayette Parish Education Stakeholders Council and is a board member of the Senior Pastoral Alliance. John also serves as Pastor of Imani Temple #49 located at 201 E. Willow in Lafayette. Imani Temple #49 is an African-American Catholic Congregation, an autonomous and independent Catholic institution. The Temple stepped up in the aftermath of the August 2016 flood and addressed immediate needs in the community for emergency shelter, transportation and medications. They also provided contributions to those in need for water, food, household supplies, personal hygiene supplies, clothing, furniture, school supplies and other needs. We are fortunate to partner with Pastor John W. Milton, Esq. in our work to make Upper Lafayette Parish a better place in which to live, work and invest! For more information on Imani Temple # 49, please visit their Facebook site.

Upper Lafayette On the Move! is presented on AOC 2 (COX 16/LUS 4) on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 8:30 pm. Episodes are also available online at Volume 97 • January 2017 •


Marie Bleu Ballroom Opens in Former Prudhomme’s Restaurant The former Prudhomme’s Cajun Café, located at 4676 NE Evangeline Thruway in Carencro near Exit 7, is breathing in fresh air as it has been renovated into an events/ballroom space. The new name is Marie Bleu Ballroom, and the facility is being used for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, bridal, baby showers, parties, business meetings, you name it. It provides a much-needed venue with an easily accessible location. Fun fact, Ms. Enola Prudhomme, sister of world-famous chef Paul Prudhomme, once owned the location. For more information, see their Facebook site or call (337) 212-9324. Ask for Courtland Anderson, coordinator, or the owner, Tessie Jack. Special thanks to Developing Lafayette for providing information for this article.


Volume 97 • January 2017 •

Thank you for your generosity... Platinum Members Acadian Companies Acadiana Computer Systems, Inc. ASH/Badger Oil Company

Silver Members Oakbourne Country Club Prejean Creative Rader Solutions

Couret Farms

Refinery Downtown

Cox Communications

Arla Slaughter, Van Eaton & Romero

Delta Media


Home Furniture



Therapy Center of Carencro

Lafayette General Medical Center

Universal Sign & Manufacturing Company

McDonald’s of Acadiana

Walters Funeral Home

MidSouth Bank Our Lady of Lourdes Republic National Distributing Company Schilling Distributing Company

Bronze Members

Stone Energy Whitney National Bank

Acadiana C.A.R.E.S. Advancial Federal Credit Union

Gold Members

Anytime Fitness Upper Lafayette Jean C. Breaux, Jr. & Associates Crawdaddy’s On-Site Catering

Acadiana Rubber & Gasket

Lynn Guidry, Architect

Aries Marine Corporation

Jay Castille Construction

Atmos Energy

John Paul The Great Academy

Beau Box Commercial Real Estate

Lafayette Animal Aid

Dupré Logistics, LLC

Lafayette Convention and Visitors

Farm D’Allie


Gibson Energy Services

Lafayette Youth Soccer Association

Gulf Coast Bank

Lee Verret/State Farm Insurance Agency

Home Bank

Lowry’s Printing and Copying

Van Eaton & Romero

Mailing Systems Inc.

Sponsors PLATINUM IBERIABANK Keller Williams Realty Acadiana Lafayette Airport Commission LEDA GOLD AT&T Beau Box Commercial Real Estate Billeaud Companies Broussard & David Dwight Andrus Insurance Honda of Lafayette Insurance Resource Group Island Operating Company Jones Walker Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital LUS NeunerPate Rader Solutions SMILE Community Action Agency Van Eaton & Romero SILVER Acadian Companies Advancial Federal Credit Union Picard Group Schilling Distributing Company BRONZE City of Carencro City of Scott Mele Printing A special thanks to the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) for being our Program of Work partner for 2017.

Melancon I-49 Storage Center Iqbal Merchant, CPA

Silver Members

Phyllis Coleman Mouton One Acadiana Petroleum Club Proree, LLC

Ace Plumbing, Inc.

Ron J. Gaubert Realtors

BBR Creative Coburn’s Supply Company

Schools of the Sacred Heart

Edward Jones/Bob Crist

Summit Physical Therapy

Hilton’s Restaurant Supply

John Swift

Master Builders & Specialists, Inc.

Teche Electric Supply, LLC

Volume 97 • January 2017 •


Upper Lafayette January 2017 Newsletter  
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