Magazine Street’s Struggles Can brick and mortars survive changing buying habits? Patrick Dobard, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans
Fighting for Our Schools Education activist Patrick Dobard talks about the future
april 2018 1 Biz January 2017
Solar Tariffs: Will they hurt our local industry? pg. 50
Palmisano’s New Digs:
Construction firm’s offices designed to recruit top talent pg. 94
Publisher Todd Matherne
Editorial Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde Managing Editor Kimberley Singletary Art Director Sarah George Digital Media Editor Kelly Massicot Social Media Assistant Becca Miller Multimedia Blogger Leslie T. Snadowsky
Contributors Jude Boudreaux, Julia Carcamo, Rebecca Friedman, Keith Loria, Pamela Marquis, Ashley McLellan, Chris Price, Kim Roberts, Jessica Rosgaard, Jennifer Gibson Schecter, Poppy Tooker, Keith Twitchell, Melanie Warner Spencer
Advertising Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan (504) 830-7215 Colleen@BizNewOrleans.com Sales Manager Maegan Oâ€™Brien (504) 830-7219 Maegan@BizNewOrleans.com Senior Account Executive Caitlin Sistrunk (504) 830-7252 Caitlin@BizNewOrleans.com Senior Account Executive Carly Goldman (504) 830-7225 Carly@BizNewOrleans.com Account Executive Jessica Jaycox (504) 830-7255 JessicaJ@BizNewOrleans.com
Marketing Director of Marketing & Events Cheryl Lemoine Event Coordinator Whitney Weathers Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne For event information, call (504) 830-7264
Production Production Manager Jessica DeBold Traffic Manager Topher Balfer Production Designers Emily Andras, Demi Schaffer, Molly Tullier
Administration Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde Office Manager Mallary Matherne Distribution Manager John Holzer Subscription Manager Brittanie Bryant For subscriptions, call (504) 830-7231 AABP 2016 Bronze: Best Feature Layout AABP 2017 Bronze: Best Daily Email AABP 2017 Silver: Best Recurring Feature 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 Biz New Orleans is published monthly by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. Subscription rate: one year $24.95, two year $39.95, three year $49.95 â€” foreign rates vary call for pricing. Postage paid at Metairie, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Biz New Orleans, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2018 Biz New Orleans. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Biz New Orleans is registered. Biz New Orleans is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Biz New Orleans are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.
2 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
top stories this month
ABOVE: Changing consumer habits have effected traffic on New Orleans’ famed Magazine Street.
Fighting for Our Future Workforce
On the precipice of another big educational change — on July 1 all New Orleans public schools will fall under the Orleans Parish School Board — Patrick Dobard, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans, talks about how far our schools have come and how we get to where we need to be. By rebecca friedman Photographs by greg miles
Magazine Street retailers battle decreased traffic by adopting new strategies to attract business By chris price photographs by cheryl gerber
april 2018 / Volume 4 / Issue 7
contents 8 / Editor’s note
30 / sports
Excuse My Rant
Benson’s Pelicans Investment a Slam Dunk: Team valued at $1 billion, a nearly 200 percent increase since its 2012 purchase
10 / publisher’s note
Digital Additions 14 / Calendar
16 / industry news
18 / recent openings
20 / Events
perspectives 42 / law
Giving Back Isn’t So Easy: A look at the legal hurdles of creating, and maintaining, a nonprofit
32 / entertainment
Sister Hearts on Screen: Local businesswoman pairs with Square in a powerful short film
34 / entrepreneurship
Business in the #MeToo Era: As companies look to ensure equality, the result is opportunity for new businesses.
36 / etiquette
in the biz 26 / dining
Jazz Fest: The Ultimate Pop-Up
28 / tourism
Making the Quarter Melodious: French Quarter Fest celebrates a milestone birthday
Sharing is Caring: Avoid corrective action via listening, leading and frequent communication.
46 / insurance
Car Insurance Continues to Climb: For some businesses, vehicle insurance ranks among top expenses. Is there anything that can be done? 50 / tech
Solar Tariffs: Is there a bright side?: Local companies remain optimistic and gear up to fight what they say is the real threat.
from the lens
38 / marketing
94 / great workspaces
Channel Surfing: When it comes to marketing channels, one is never enough.
Constructing Community: Palmisano’s new headquarters pays homage to the past while looking toward the future. 100 / why didn’t i think of that?
Jambalaya Girl Mixes It Up: Sales for this local company’s gumbo and jambalaya mixes are up 40 to 50 percent in the past three years. 106 / making a match: businesses and nonprofits
on the cover Patrick Dobard, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans. Photo by Greg Miles.
54 / guest viewpoint
The Power of Play: Want to save more? Get control of your finances? It’s time to play.
A Community of Warriors: Bastion Community of Resilience in Gentilly is providing veterans with a neighborhood unlike any other. 112 / on the job
Loss of an Icon: Mr. Okra
Excuse My Rant As a parent of a second grader, I have a very vested interest in the educational system
here in New Orleans, so this month’s cover feature with Patrick Dobard, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans, was particularly interesting to me. Back before I became a parent, when we were living for a time in Nebraska, I remember watching a documentary about the educational system in New York City. The film showcased various families in the city and their struggles with the fact that the quality of their child’s education literally depended on them winning a lottery. I was horrified. It was so wrong. Little did I know that I was looking at what would be my family’s future. Coming from a childhood where all my parents had to do was sign a paper and their kids were enrolled in what they knew was a quality school, the realities of the pre-kindergarten process in this city were quite a shock. First, there was all the research, all the time spent poring over ratings and test scores trying to figure out what schools we even wanted to consider, paired with endless conversations on the playground that began far before my child was old enough to even stand. Then there were the interviews and tours — both rarely scheduled at a convenient time for those that work or in a way that were child-friendly or offered childcare. This was followed by a plethora of often confusing paperwork, testing appointments to schedule and rankings to agonize over. Finally, all of this was capped off by a nail-biting period of months before ultimately receiving the phone call or email that dictated my child’s educational future. Sounds like fun, huh? I can honestly say it was easier for my husband to get into medical school than it was for my child to get into kindergarten at a high-performing charter school. Our system is unique in the United States in being the first to be comprised primarily of charter schools and I have to say I am very happy with our school. My daughter receives the same education free of charge that I know for a fact parents in San Francisco pay $30,000 a year for their kids to receive. We won the lottery. We were lucky — and that’s what it takes here. There are some truly amazing schools in this city and we need to give them all the support they need, while also boosting those that have struggles up to the same level. That is exactly what New Schools for New Orleans is committed to doing. Someday soon I hope that none of our families will have to rely on luck for their child to attend a great school. The children in this city represent our region’s future workforce. We all have a big stake in their success. Happy Reading,
On the Web
Beyond the Magazine But wait, there’s more! Visit BizNewOrleans.com to watch videos from this month’s issue, including:
“Sister Hearts” Film Produced by Square The fourth production in Square’s “For Every Kind of Dream” series, the powerful 15-minute short film “Sister Hearts” tells the story of St. Bernard Parish’s largest thrift store and the ex-inmate behind its success.
Kimberley Singletary Managing Editor Kimberley@BizNewOrleans.com
8 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
View the film at BizNewOrleans.com/ sisterhearts
Digital Additions A couple months back I wrote about
our new MorningBiz newsletter — thousands of you have signed up to receive this new AI technology of delivering news content. This month, we are increasing our digital presence with two new items at Biz New Orleans and Renaissance Publishing. We are now an approved news provider for Apple News Service and we have launched a digital calendar sync for all Renaissance Publishing events. If you are a reader on the News App from Apple, you know how customizable you can make it — your selections are based on your personal interests in politics, sports, travel, etc. Now you can select local business news and have Biz New Orleans as your source of information. Next time you open the app, look for our channel, BizNewOrleans. I hope you are a frequent attendee of Renaissance Publishing events. Cheryl and Whitney do an outstanding job planning nearly 50 events a year and we now have the technology to sync our events calendar with you. Visit BizNewOrleans.com/Events and download our calendar to your desktop or mobile device. The technology works with nearly every calendar software. As technology changes, we are excited to continue to embrace the digital environment and improve our services to you, the reader. Todd Matherne
10 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
Meet the Sales Team
Maegan Oâ€™Brien Sales Manager (504) 830-7219 Maegan@BizNewOrleans.com
Caitlin Sistrunk Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7252 Caitlin@BizNewOrleans.com
Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7225 Carly@BizNewOrleans.com
Jessica Jaycox Account Executive
(504) 830-7255 JessicaJ@BizNewOrleans.com
Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales (504) 830-7215 Colleen@BizNewOrleans.com 12 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
A STUNNING COLLECTION OF 50 TRADITIONAL (AND SOME NON-TRADITIONAL) LOUISIANA RECIPES. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE FOR YOUR KITCHEN, OR THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A LOUISIANA FOOD LOVER.
TO ORDER VISIT
LOUISIANACOOKBOOK.COM Now in its second printing!
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana 2018 Town Hall Roundtable and Business Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Don Salazar, Chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hyatt Regency New Orleans 601 Loyola Ave. HCCL.biz
Professional Women of St. Tammany Phenomenal Women Retreat in Covington 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Southern Hotel 428 East Boston Street PWST. Rocks
Propeller Racial Equity Institute: Groundwater Data Presentation 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Greater New Orleans Foundation 919 St. Charles Ave. GoPropeller.org
ABWA New Orleans Equal Pay Day 2018 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. National WWII Museum 945 Magazine St. ABWANewOrleans.org
Professional Women of St. Tammany April Luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tchefuncta Country Club 2 Pinecrest Dr., Covington PWST. Rocks
Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) International Fundraising Conference Ernest N. Morial Convention Center AFPFC.com
Northshore Young Professionals Luncheon Featuring Dr. Tommy Karam, Department of Marketing, Senior Instructor at LSU 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Holiday Inn Covington 45 Louis Prima Drive StTammanyChamber.org
14 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
Propeller Our Neighborhoods Part V: Engaging Our Local Government Leveraging resources in Hoffman Triangle, Zion City, Broadmoor, Gert Town and Central City 5 to 7 p.m. 4035 Washington Ave. GoPropeller.org
AMA New Orleans Healthcare Marketing Panel 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. GNO, Inc. 1100 Poydras St., Suite 3475 AMANewOrleans.com
New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Regional Business Networking Night with the New Orleans Baby Cakes 5:30 to 10 p.m. The Shrine on Airline 6000 Airline Dr., Metairie NewOrleansChamber.org
New Orleans Chamber of Commerce 2018 Educational Seminar with Louisiana Society of CPAs: An Update on the New Tax Act 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1515 Poydras St., 5th Floor Auditorium NewOrleansChamber.org
St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation Grow St. Bernard Opening a Business 101 8:30 to 10 a.m. SBEDF.org
Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Prosper Jefferson: Life Cycle of Business, Part 3: Small Business Succession Plan 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Entergy Offices 4809 Jefferson Hwy. JeffersonChamber.org
For a more complete list of events visit BizNewOrleans.com. We’d love to include your business-related event in next month’s calendar. Please email details to Editorial@BizNewOrleans.com.
Close your next deal at one of these business-friendly bistros.
Creole House Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Located on the most fashionable corner of the French Quarter, St. Louis at Royal Street, the Rib Room has delighted locals and visitors alike for over 55 years. The Rib Room’s benchmark rotisserie remains a focal point featuring Prime Rib as its mainstay with contemporary selections that go well beyond the classics. The Rib Room also serves a traditional Sunday JAZZ Brunch from 11:30-2:30. For a private gathering, there are four private dining rooms available for parties of 6-40 guests. Complimentary valet parking available.
Creole House Restaurant & Oyster Bar serves New Orleans classics in the perfect casual atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. It stands as the oldest existing building on Canal Street, recently updated for your dining pleasure. Creole House offers Cajun and Creole cuisine, serving up true Southern favorites and future New Orleans staples to dazzle your taste buds. Take the time to partake in fresh oysters or spoil yourself with southern Louisiana seafood classics: Gumbo, Shrimp & Grits, Crawfish, Chargrilled Oysters, Po-boys and more! Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Sala Restaurant + Bar
Riccobono’s Peppermill Restaurant
In the line up of Riccobono family establishments, Sala is the newest to open. Sala,designed after its name, is a modernly comfortable space to make guests feel at home. The menu focuses on delicious cocktails and wines paired with delectable small plates and entrees.Happy Hour on Tuesdays through Fridays from 4 to 7pm, and late night Thursdays from 10pm to 12am, pours $5 house wines by the glass, $5 classic cocktails, half-priced draft beers and $3 off other wines and sparkling by the glass. Now open for lunch.
For over 42 years the Riccobono family has been serving classic New Orleans and Italian fare to locals and visitors alike. Timeless classics like Shrimp Creole, Trout Amandine, Veal Parmigiana, Oyster Riccobono and much more. Consistently rated as one of the top dining destinations of Metairie. Private dinning facilities available for meetings and events. Join us for a meal to remember. Open Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
621 St. Louis St. • (504) 529-7046 ribroomneworleans.com
124 Lake Marina Avenue • (504) 513-2670 salanola.com
509 Canal St. • (504) 323-2109 creolehouserestaurant.com
3524 Severn Ave., Metairie • (504) 455-2266 riccobonospeppermill.com
bizneworleans.com / 15
Capital One Leads $22.8 Million in Financing to Build New School
Hibernia Bancorp, Inc. Announces Shareholder Approval of Merger with Union Savings and Loan Association
Capital One announced on March 12 that it led a $22.8 million New Markets Tax Credit (“NMTC”) financing for the construction of a new KIPP K-8 school facility in New Orleans. Capital One Community Renewal Fund provided $5 million in NMTC allocation, which was accompanied by $12.3 million from the Low Income Investment Fund (“LIIF”) and $5.5 million from Partners for the Common Good CDE. The new facility will house a 98,595 squarefoot charter school and gymnasium building with capacity for 950 students. KIPP New Orleans’ K-8 school program, KIPP Believe, will be the tenant, operating the school and making lease payments to an affiliate of the Bayou District Foundation (BDF).
On Feb. 27, Hibernia Bancorp, Inc., the holding company of Hibernia Bank, announced that its shareholders approved an Agreement and Plan of Merger that provides for the merger of Hibernia with Union Savings and Loan Association. Under the terms of the agreement, Union will acquire Hibernia Bancorp, Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hibernia Bank, in an all-cash transaction valued at $32 per share. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, subject to approval by bank regulatory authorities, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Union expects to change its name to Hibernia Bank at the closing of the transaction. conference
Microsoft President Among Speakers at Upcoming Collision Conference Collision, “America’s fastest growing technology conference,” has announced the first speakers for this year’s event, which will be held April 30 to May 3 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Collision’s top speakers include:
Port of South Louisiana Passes 300 Million Tons The Port of South Louisiana surpassed 2016’s tonnage of 294.9 million short tons by 4.4 percent in 2017. The district’s total tonnage increase was propelled, in particular, by the handling of Chemicals/Fertilizers (6%), Coal/Lignite/Coke (123%), Crude Oil (4%), Ores/Phosphate Rock (2%), Petrochemicals (4%) and Steel Products (41%).
• • • • • • • • •
Brad Smith, president, Microsoft Miguel McKelvey, co-founder, WeWork Susan Herman, president, ACLU Sophia Bush, actress and activist, The Girl Project Damon Wayans Jr, actor John Chambers, chairman emeritus, Cisco Susan Credle, CCO, FCB Global Marc Mathieu, CMO, Samsung Electronics Sairah Ashman, CEO, Wolff Olins
Now in its 5th year, Collision has grown from a gathering of 2,000 attendees to an expected 25,000 in 2018. The event will include 300 speakers and will host discussions across industries from music and technology to robotics, IoT, climate change, net neutrality, hacking and Hollywood.
Total tonnage for 2017 was over 307.8 million short tons. Of the nearly 5,000 ports worldwide, the Port of South Louisiana is the only U.S. port that ranks in the top 20 ports in the world.
16 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
Louisiana No. 3 for Highest Average Tax Refunds In a new study, SmartAsset analyzed data from the IRS for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to uncover the places where residents receive the highest average tax refund. Louisiana ranks in the number three spot. The Bayou State is the third and final state where the average tax refund exceeds $3,000. In total, Louisiana taxpayers received 1.65 million tax refunds, worth $5.07 billion. Using Census Bureau data, SmartAsset estimates that Louisiana’s average tax refund could pay for one-third of a year’s worth of housing costs. Details on the study, including full methodology and rankings, can be found at smartasset.com/taxes/stateswith-the-highest-average-tax-refund.
Pay for New Orleans Physicians Not Great Last month Doximity (the largest community of health care professionals in the U.S.) released its Second Annual Physician Compensation Report. Of the 50 metro areas featured in the study, New Orleans ranked:
“We’re seeing some very robust, exciting projections of what the market could be, but we have to be ready with the infrastructure in order to not only retain the business but to capture that aggressive new market.” Brandy Christian, president and CEO of Port of New Orleans, speaking at the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce’s First Quarter Luncheon, held March 9, about the port’s plans for the next 20 years. Christian said the port will begin by expanding the Napoleon container terminal from 850,000 TEUs to 1.3 million TEUs. “And that means upgrading the density of our yards and investing in new technology and off terminal solutions,” she added.
• 18th in metro areas with lowest compensation for primary care providers • 24th in metro areas where physicians are paid the highest • 21st in metro areas where female physicians are paid the lowest In 2017, the gap in compensation between female and male
physicians closed by 3 percent, but the data shows there is still a long way to go. Throughout the country, female physicians were found to make 20 percent less than their male counterparts. In more than half of the 50 metros featured in the survey the pay gap between men and women increased in 2017.
bizneworleans.com / 17
Hard Rock International Just blocks away from the Ernest. N. Morial Convention Center, Hard Rock International, working with local developer, Kailas Companies, plans to open the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans and the Residences at the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans at 1301 Canal St. in the spring of 2019. The 18-story building will include 350 hotel rooms, as well as 62 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units available for purchase. Features will include four meeting spaces and two ballrooms, totaling approximately 12,000 square feet of event space. Along with food and beverage offerings to include an upscale Louisiana seafood restaurant, Pitard’s Adult Snowballs and a rooftop bar and lounge, the building will also feature a fullyequipped workout facility and Rock Om®, a one-of-a-kind yoga experience that harnesses the power of music.
Odyssey House Louisiana Odyssey House Louisiana, a nonprofit behavioral health care facility with an emphasis on addiction treatment, broke ground on its future home at the long-vacant Bohn Motor Co. building at 2700 S. Broad Ave. The $14.4 million project will expand and transform the building into a 41,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that is anticipated to create 45 new jobs and provide low cost medical and behavioral health care to thousands of New Orleans residents.
Chamberlain University Chamberlain University and Ochsner Health System have entered into an educational alliance agreement that includes opening a new Chamberlain University campus on the West Campus of Ochsner Medical Center on Jefferson Highway in New Orleans. The campus — Chamberlain’s first in Louisiana — will offer an on-site, three-year bachelor of science in nursing degree designed to help address the city’s nursing shortage. The campus will feature Chamberlain’s Simcare Center™, which provides high-tech simulated patient care for students and Ochsner health care professionals. Applications are now being accepted for spring semester classes, which will begin April 30, 2018.
Waitr Restaurant Incubator Lab
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Bywater American Bistro
Restaurant on-demand platform Waitr has launched the Waitr Restaurant Incubator Lab at its new Baton Rouge office at Celtic Studios. The initiative is designed to accelerate early stage growth of a startup restaurant, providing aspiring chefs with the ability to create a brand and design a menu to make their businesses successful.
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity broke ground in March on its new ReStore location at 2425 Williams Boulevard in Kenner. The Habitat ReStore sells new and gently used construction materials, appliances, furniture and other household items at 90 percent off regular price. This marks the second ReStore location in the Metro — the other is at 2900 Elysian Fields in New Orleans. The Williams Boulevard ReStore will span 25,000 square feet and employ eight to 10 individuals. Projected opening date is early 2019.
Chef Nina Compton, owner of restaurant Compere Lapin, unveiled her newest venture, Bywater American Bistro (BABs), on March 15 inside the Rice Mill Lofts at 2900 Chartres Street. The restaurant will feature seasonal ingredient-driven fare served in a casually elegant setting. Compere Lapin Sous Chef Levi Raines will helm Bywater American Bistro as chef/partner.
Founded in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Waitr has quickly grown to serve more than 150 cities across the Southeast, including Baton Rouge. It currently has 3,000 employees and partners with more than 4,000 restaurants nationwide.
18 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
bizneworleans.com / 19
Biz Tax Talk Sponsored by Postlethwaite & Netterville Wednesday, February 28 | WYES Charlie & Janette Kornman Performance Studio
St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce State of the Parish Breakfast Tuesday, March 6 | Benedictâ€™s Plantation
What do you need to know about the new tax changes? A panel of three tax professionals from Postlethwaite & Netterville made sense of the recent tax act and allowed audience members to get their top questions answered at this Biz New Orleans event.
St. Tammany Parish President, Pat Brister, answered questions at the annual State of the Parish breakfast, which included information on the parishâ€™s future plans.
1. Kathryn Pittman, Brandon Largarde, Gina Rachel and Kimberley Singletary 2. Philip Gunn 3. Keely Villar, Jen Lott, Joseph Atiyeh and Linn Atiyeh
1. Anne Pablovich, Pat Brister, Todd Whalley and Kathy Foley 2. Barry Brupbacher, Reid Falconer and Nixon Adams 3. Jennifer Messina, Justin Greenleaf and Terri Marse
20 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
photographs by cheryl gerber
bizneworleans.com / 21
New Orleans Chamber 1st Quarter Luncheon
Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Gala Royale
Friday, March 9 | The Roosevelt New Orleans- Roosevelt Ballroom
Friday, March 9 | Ochsner Sports Performance Center
Brandy Christian, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, was the keynote speaker at the New Orleans Chamber’s first quarter luncheon.
Jefferson Parish’s top business leaders, community activists and elected officials gathered for a casino themed event to raise money for the Jefferson Chamber’s many initiatives.
1. Jamie Hughes, Shannon Buckley, Allie D’Andrea and Celeste Marshall 2. Matt Lundy, Theresa Ulicsni, Luz Lobos and Karen Mysing 3. Sandra Lindquist, David Aubrey and Janet Galati
1. Anthony Ranatza, Carl Duplessis, Ashley Gambino and Brad Truby 2. Lee Giorgio, Melanie Cannatella, Nancy Prieur and Kenny Prieur 3. Tim Paulin, Elizabeth Paulin, Ryan Daul and Kristen Daul
22 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
photographs by cheryl gerber
bizneworleans.com / 23
Biz columnist s spe ak out
in the biz DINING / TOURISM / SPORTS / ENTERTAINMENT / ENTREPRENEURSHIP / ETIQUETTE / MARKETING
A P P h oto/ Pat r i c k S emans k y
Jazz Fest favorites can become big business, like Pete Hilzam’s popular Crawfish Monica. A look at some of the 60 vendors at this year’s fest.
In The Biz d i n i ng
Jazz Fest: The Ultimate Pop-Up by Poppy Tooker
26 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
from Mrs. Mercedes Sykes’ Jazz Fest fried chicken booth literally built the Second Mt. Triumph Missionary Baptist Church. Big businesses have also been born at the festival. Vance Vaucresson, of Vaucresson Sausage, attended the first festival in his mother’s arms. Today, you can still find Vance serving hot sausage poor-boys in his festival booth, but during the rest of the year he’s the third generation to run the sausage business. In the 1980s, Pete Hilzam was concentrating on a fresh pasta business, playing around with various sauces to showcase his wares. Although Crawfish Monica (named for his wife) was not on his original Jazz Fest menu in 1983, it soon became a runaway bestseller, spawning a huge local food service operation with a devoted national following. It’s very rare for an opening in the Jazz Fest food lineup to appear. This year, regular fest-goers will undoubtedly bemoan the loss of two longtime favorites. Sharon and Guilherme Wegner won’t be serving Guil’s Gator, their fried concoction of tender alligator bites served with fried onions and jalapenos. Original fest vendor Angelo Brocato won’t be there either. After 48 years, the Brocatos have decided to stay home at their North Carrollton store, serving their legendary lemon and strawberry ices and cannoli there. Nugent has some good food news for fest-goers too. Last year’s cultural exchange food vendor, Cubano Congresso, will be filling Guil’s Gator’s spot with ropa vieja and a newly created café con leche paleta. Loretta’s Pralines will have a special spot in the cultural exchange pavilion commemorating the New Orleans tricentennial with pralines and, for the first time, the traditional fried rice cake called calas. See you at the festival! Don’t forget to come hungry! n
Catch Poppy Tooker on her radio show, Louisiana Eats! Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. on WWNO 89.9 FM.
i llust r at i on by Ton y Heale y
A native New Orleanian, Poppy Tooker has spent her life devoted to the cultural essence that food brings to Louisiana, a topic she explores weekly on her NPR-affiliated radio show, Louisiana Eats! From farmers markets to the homes and restaurants where our culinary traditions are revered and renewed, Poppy lends the voice of an insider to interested readers everywhere.
Every spring in New Orleans, a
mega food operation magically pops up in a field where horses usually run. From the time racing ends at the Fair Grounds Race Course, Michelle Nugent, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival food director, has about one month to build out a village of restaurants. The size and scope of the annual project is staggering. Let’s start by looking at the numbers. During the seven days of the festival, 60 vendors serve carefully crafted dishes from 70 different locations. Each food booth has running water and uses propane for cooking fuel. Over 165 tanks of propane are consumed daily. One week before showtime, six 53-foot refrigerated semi trailers are moved onsite. Once they are temperature calibrated, the vendors begin to load in the food. The trucks are monitored 24 hours a day with Nugent on call to make sure everything is maintained at safe food-handling temperatures. When the 400,000 hungry guests arrive, they’ll consume several million portions of carefully curated, distinctly local food. Many will wash it down with festival favorites, rose-mint and mandarin iced tea. Twenty-two thousand gallons of spring water for brewing are trucked on site to meet the demands of thirsty fair-goers. Six thousand pounds of pork butt are smoked for cochon de lait and over 50,000 pounds of crawfish are boiled. On a hot day at the festival, a classic New Orleans snow-ball is a must. A.J. Duvio Jr. designed a special mobile snow-ball stand that utilizes almost 5,000 12 1/2-pound blocks of ice that are shaved into fluffy snow on eight machines. To keep the line moving, custom-made syrups are dispensed from automatic soda guns usually seen in high-volume bars. (That’s 6,000 pounds of sugar cooked into 1,500 gallons of flavored syrups being pumped through the lines!) Numbers aside, the dedicated Jazz Fest vendors and their offerings are the stuff of legend. Fully one-third of the vendors have other careers and only strut out their culinary chops during the festival. Back in the ’70s, much of the food offered came from churches and other community groups. It’s gospel truth that proceeds
bizneworleans.com / 27
In The Biz tou r i sm
Making the Quarter Melodious French Quarter Fest celebrates a milestone birthday by Jennifer Gibson Schecter
28 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
Square, the Hilton Tricentennial Stage will host four days of music by some of New Orleans’ most legendary artists, including Ellis Marsalis, John Boutte, James Andrews and Charmaine Neville. Also new this year is an investment in the musicians of the future thanks to the support of the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation. The Ernie’s Schoolhouse Stage at Homer Plessey Community School at Royal and St. Philip streets will give young artists the opportunity to perform at FQF while gaining business and marketing skills to support their musical careers. The business of music is critical to the festival’s success. It employs more than 1,700 local musicians over the course of the weekend and made an estimated total economic impact of $196 million in 2017. The draw of those working musicians equated to supporting nearly 2,200 full- and part-time jobs that created $57 million in earnings for New Orleans area residents. There’s so much to do over the course of the festival that it can be daunting for first-time visitors. Madero has some great advice. “Plan ahead! With 23 stages throughout the Quarter, menus from over 50 food vendors to enjoy and special events throughout the weekend, there is a lot to explore,” she said. “We just launched a new website with our map, menus and schedule to help fans navigate all the Fest has to offer. Our goal is to showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic wellbeing of the community and uplift the people of New Orleans. If we can make it great for locals, we know our guests will love it too!” To make it even easier to plan, FQF has created an app for smartphones this year. To download the app, purchase VIP tickets and find more information on the music schedule and food vendors, visit frenchquarterfest.org. n
i llust r at i on by Ton y Heale y
Jennifer Gibson Schecter was once a tourist in New Orleans herself and is now proud to call NOLA home. She also writes the Wednesday Tourism Blog on BizNewOrleans.com.
When a person turns 35, they may
just be hitting their stride with career, family and their community. But when a festival turns 35, it’s only due to years of previous success. This year the free French Quarter Festival (FQF) is celebrating its 35th annual iteration of music, food and culture from April 12 to 15. The Quarter will be filled with over 700,000 attendees and music will ring out from 23 stages. The past year has seen not only the planning of its 35th birthday, but a change in leadership at French Quarter Festival Inc., the nonprofit organization that runs FQF. President and CEO Emily Madero took over the reins shortly before the 2017 festival and has spent the past year learning a lot. “Going behind the scenes has completely changed my perspective and helped me develop a deep appreciation for the hundreds of people and thousands of details an event on this scale involves,” shared Madero. “We are a nonprofit with a very small, yet dedicated team, but it truly takes a village to bring the festival to life. I am proud and so grateful for my team, our board, vendors and partners, all of whom are critical and now family.” The small staff of the organization, along with hundreds of volunteers, will deliver some changes to the festival, along with the aspects fans have loved for years. A new stage, the Gateway to Bourbon Stage, will be located on the recently re-opened 100 block of Bourbon Street. Additionally, FQF is introducing a program for fans seeking a more curated festival experience called The NOLA.com Fest Family Experience. The ticket package is available for purchase and will allow access to special viewing areas, refreshments, bathrooms and “lagniappe” swag items. The festival is also commemorating the city’s tricentennial with fireworks on the riverfront Saturday night, a Tricentennial Homecoming Pavilion sponsored by New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation that features a hospitality lounge, the One Time in NOLA story booth and exhibits about New Orleans notables. In Jackson
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In The Biz s p o r ts
Benson’s Pelicans Investment a Slam Dunk Team valued at $1 billion, a nearly 200 percent increase since its 2012 purchase by chris price
Tom Benson bought the New
Orleans Pelicans from the NBA for $340 million in 2012. In the six years since, he has seen the value of the team increase 194 percent. In the 2018 Business of Basketball rankings, their 21st annual valuations of the NBA’s 30 teams, Forbes estimated the Pelicans’ value at $1 billion. That’s a $660 million increase on Benson’s original purchase price — quite the ROI. While the Pelicans are ranked as the least valuable NBA franchise, this year’s estimated team value is a $250 million, or 33 percent, increase compared to their $750 million valuation a year ago. The team had an estimated $204 million in revenue with $37 million in operating income during the 2016-2017 season, compared to $156 million in revenue with $16.7 million in operating income the year before. Those are increases of 31 and 122 percent in revenue and income, respectively. Forbes estimates the average NBA team is worth $1.65 billion, 22 percent more than a year ago, with $246 million in revenue and $52 million in operating income. According to the latest rankings, the New York Knicks, worth $3.6 billion — a 9 percent increase compared to 2017 — are the NBA’s most valuable franchise, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3 billion), Golden State Warriors ($3.1 billion), Chicago Bulls ($2.6 billion) and Boston Celtics ($2.5 billion). The Philadelphia 76ers had the largest increase in value, up 48 percent to $1.18 billion.
The Knicks led the league in operating income with $140 million, while only the Cavaliers were estimated to have lost money (-$6.2 million). Forbes previously cited Tom Benson’s long-running legal proceedings over succession of the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints in their explanation for the team’s last place ranking. The custody battle over both teams now settled, the Pelicans have been seen as a much more stable franchise for commercial partners and advertisers. The Pelicans have one of the sport’s best frontcourts with All-Stars forward Anthony Davis and center DeMarcus Cousins. Before Cousins suffered a season-ending injury in February, the Pels had seen an increase in ticket sales and were well positioned in the playoff race. While the Pelicans don’t talk finances as a matter of policy, Dennis Lauscha, president of the New Orleans Pelicans, told Biz in an October 2017 interview that ownership and management have made several changes to improve the team and align the franchise more closely with the city and region. “When we bought the Pelicans we made promises in regard to rebranding the team,” Lauscha said. “We did that. We said we wanted to be a playoff team. We did that. Now we need to improve on it. We’re investing. We invested in DeMarcus Cousins this year. We said we were going to get a new radio deal and TV deal and we’ve been able to check all of those boxes on things we wanted to accomplish.” n
Most Valuable NBA Teams Forbes estimates the average NBA franchise is now worth $1.65 billion. That’s a 22 percent increase compared to a year ago.
30 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
% Change 9% 10% 19% 4% 14% 28% 33% 7% 31% 26% 22% 33%
Revenue $426 M $371 M $359 M $281 M $257 M $273 M $296 M $257 M $233 M $253 M $246 M $204 M
Operating Income $140 M $136 M $120 M $95 M $85 M $52 M $95 M $35 M $21 M $63 M $52 M $37 M
i llust r at i on by Ton y Heale y
Chris Price is an award-winning journalist and public relations principal. When he’s not writing, he’s avid about music, the outdoors, and Saints, Ole Miss and Chelsea football. Price also authors the Friday Sports Column at BizNewOrleans.com.
Rank Team Value 1 New York Knicks $3.6 B 2 Los Angeles Lakers $3.3 B 3 Golden State Warriors $3.1 B 4 Chicago Bulls $2.6 B 5 Boston Celtics $2.5 B 6 Brooklyn Nets $2.3 B 7 Houston Rockets $2.2 B 8 Los Angeles Clippers $2.15 B 9 Dallas Mavericks $1.9 B 10 Miami Heat $1.7 B NBA Team Average $1.65 B 30 New Orleans Pelicans $1 B
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In The Biz ente r ta i nment
SisterHearts on Screen Local businesswoman pairs with Square in a powerful short film by Kim Singletary
32 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
What Henderson-Uloho does is not only sell used items, she takes in up to 10 newly released former female inmates at a time and provides them with a place to live, helps them find jobs and get whatever care they need. Essentially, she helps them, as she says, de-carcerate. Last fall, Square set out to tell the story of SisterHearts through a short film, the fourth in the company’s “For Every Kind of Dream” series, which documents the dream of small business owners across the United States. The resulting 15-minute film, entitled simply “Sister Hearts” is a powerful piece filmed primarily in black and white that makes no mention of Henderson-Uloho’s relationship with the company. It simply tells her story. The film was shot over a period of a few weeks by Square’s creative team, who brought in Mohammad Gorjestani of Even/ Odd films to direct. It was screened first at Orleans Parish Prison on March 16, and later that day at a premiere event at NOCCA with Dorsey. Dorsey also participated in a walking tour of three local small businesses earlier in the day. A third screening occurred during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, of which Square was a sponsor. Kevin Burke, chief marketing officer at Square, said Henderson-Uloho’s story stood out among the company’s millions of customers. “That idea of second chances in life, her embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit, of being resilient, determined to overcome all the odds and also give back to her community, it moved us,” he said. “She’s incredible. Definitely one of our favorite stories.” For Henderson-Uloho, the extra attention will hopefully result in support for her cause, but, thanks to another gift from Square during their visit, she’s already seeing a boost. “They gave me some equipment that I’ve wanted for so long but couldn’t afford,” she said. “It’s easily increased my business by 25 to 30 percent.” Watch “Sister Hearts” online at BizNewOrleans.com/sisterhearts n
i llust r at i on by Ton y Heale y
Kimberley Singletary is the managing editor of Biz New Orleans magazine. A 20-year Southern California veteran, she has been surrounded by the film industry for most of her life.
Nearly 75 percent of formerly
incarcerated individuals are still unemployed a year after their release. It’s a statistic Arabi business owner Maryam Henderson-Uloho fought hard not to be a part of, and she has dedicated her life and livelihood to helping other women do the same. After serving 13 years in prison on an obstruction of justice charge, HendersonUloho found herself out on the streets of New Orleans unable to get a job, a bank account, a credit card or even find a place to live. She resorted to squatting in an abandoned apartment building selling items she found on the street out of a suitcase. “I used my first $40 to start my business,” she said. “I rented a space at a flea market in Algiers, then outgrew that and moved to a space inside the Healing Arts Center, then to a 1,200-square-foot building that I outgrew in three months, then a 4,000-square-foot building in Arabi, and then to my current space, a 17,000-squarefoot warehouse in Arabi at 7519 W. Judge Perez Dr. All of this was within three years.” Uloho now runs SisterHearts Thrift Store, the largest thrift store in Saint Bernard parish. In her early days of being in business, Henderson-Uloho said her business was changed by the addition of one small piece of technology, a Square credit card swiper. Ubiquitous now for small business owners, the Square Reader allows anyone with a smart phone to receive credit card or debit card payments from anywhere. The company was cofounded nine years ago by its CEO, Jack Dorsey, who also, by the way, cofounded a little thing called Twitter. Last August, Square contacted Henderson-Uloho. “They told me they were interested in telling my story and I honestly didn’t believe it at first,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I had a story worthy of being told. It was just my life.” When members of the company came out and visited her, Henderson-Uloho said she began to change her mind. “It’s the first time I experienced that kind of level of compassion from someone,” she said. “It was obvious that they really cared about me and what I was doing.”
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In The Biz ent r e pr eneu r sh i p
Business in the #MeToo Era As companies look to ensure equality the result is opportunity for new businesses. by keith twitchell
34 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
shining strongly on sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior in the workplace. More recently, the conversation has expanded to address additional gender inequities in the working world, including unequal pay, unfair promotion processes and the under-representation of womenowned businesses in the marketplace. One absolute to be learned from all this is that every business should have clear employee guidelines on a number of topics, but very specifically in regards to sexual harassment and personal behavior. Even if you have just a single employee, a well-defined set of policies and expectations clearly written and presented to your staff is simply imperative. Most businesses also ask employees to sign a brief form indicating that they have read the policies, understand them and will adhere to them. We live in a litigious world and employers should make sure they are buffered against any kind of employment-related claims and suits. Beyond that, a workplace framed by guidelines and expectations is happier, safer and more productive for all. No one should be harassed, in any way, at work. As the conversation unfolds about these longstanding problems, one very positive byproduct is that new opportunities for women are being created. Companies are rushing to address issues of workplace harassment, which is a good start; along the way no small number of them are also exploring their policies regarding pay and advancement. Government always moves more slowly than the private sector, but perhaps this will spur passage of more equal pay legislation. The media continues to cover these stories regularly, keeping that spotlight bright. From the entrepreneurial perspective, there are several positive developments for enterprising women. Financial institutions and other potential entrepreneurial funding sources are expressing increased interest in supporting the launch and growth of women-owned businesses. Businesses and business networks are being formed specifically to support women business owners. Women customers are also making an effort to patronize women-owned businesses.
Not surprisingly, a number of new, women-owned businesses have started up in the past year to provide career and personal counseling for women experiencing bias and harassment in the workplace. Similarly, women-owned law firms are expanding the services they offer to clients who find themselves in these types of situations. Returning for a moment to the issue of harassment itself, quite a few new enterprises have been launched to help address the problem. Examples include firms offering anonymous, third-party reporting of harassment; firms offering policy development and employee training to eliminate workplace harassment; firms that help businesses recruit and retain more female employees (and board members); and even firms developing matrices and software to help employers identify potential harassment risks before they happen. In addition to corporate culture and policy, there are now architectural and design firms looking at workplace layouts to eliminate potential biases in the physical space. As pervasive as the harassment problem has become, there is almost no limit to the ways the situation can be addressed and improved. This has further spread to similar fields such as school and workplace bullying, and improving the workplace for people of color. Someone with experience in any of these fields might examine the local business community and see if there are opportunities to provide these types of services in southeast Louisiana. Harassment, bias and/or inequity of any kind in the workplace is completely unacceptable, and companies that continue to tolerate this will be facing more and more consequences â€” as well they should. At the same time, solving these deeply rooted problems creates some really promising entrepreneurial options. One further way justice may be served for years of unequal opportunity is if a tide of new, successful women entrepreneurs rolls in to seize these current opportunities. n
i llust r at i on by Ton y Heale y
Keith Twitchell spent 16 years running his own business before becoming president of the Committee for a Better New Orleans. He has observed, supported and participated in entrepreneurial ventures at the street, neighborhood, nonprofit, micro- and macro-business levels.
The long-overdue spotlight is
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In The Biz et i quette
Sharing is Caring Avoid corrective action via listening, leading and frequent communication by Melanie Warner Spencer
36 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
most supervisors and managers would list taking corrective action as one of their least favorite tasks. At best it is awkward and at worst, volatile. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid written warnings, suspensions and the like for all but the most severe cases. The first and most important step is to establish good communication during the hiring process and in the first days and weeks of the employee’s start date. Be clear about how and when you like to be communicated with and set up weekly, monthly or quarterly check-ins for progress reports, to discuss problems or concerns or just to catch up. This grounds your working relationship, builds trust and allows managers to address small infractions and lack of progress or low motivation before they ever become problematic. That’s obviously the ideal situation, but what if you’ve inherited an employee with a not-so-great track record? Or what if you hired someone and are realizing they aren’t working up to their potential or your expectations? For example, a friend recently asked how to get an employee to work harder. The friend says he really likes the employee as a person and wants to see him succeed, but their work ethics do not match up. Additionally, the employee doesn’t show initiative when it comes to professional development or even keeping up with changes in the industry that are essential for even maintaining the status quo. In some cases, it might be too late. But most of the time, we can effectively hit the reset button by opening the door to communication and honing our listening skills. If you’ve never shared the company mission or your vision for the company or department, it’s difficult for even the most astute and self-motivated employees to work toward that common purpose. Set a time to have a casual conversation about your organization’s mission and your vision; propose checking in more often; ask about his or her job and professional goals; and share what you’d like to see from the people in your department as a group
and from the employee as an individual. Perhaps the employee didn’t realize there was an opportunity for additional training or other types of professional development. After that initial conversation, stay on track with check-ins so you can continuously reinforce that this is a priority. Employees with aspirations will appreciate your interest and assistance. Those who don’t will likely see it as pressure and will either seek employment elsewhere or dig a deeper hole. If better communication and the checkins uncover bigger problems or cause strife, it might be time to start documenting issues and infractions and follow your company’s procedures for dealing with these situations, including write-ups, suspensions and whatever else is in the corrective action plan. Work relationships, like personal relationships, require communication, empathy and compassion. If we can approach our interactions with openness and the spirit of service, and be good bosses in both words and actions, it will inspire hard work and greater loyalty from the people we are tasked with supervising. We aren’t just here to tell underlings what to do and how to do it. Rather, we are charged with building a talented, efficient and successful team; assisting the group with its progress while keeping their goals aligned with the company’s mission; and fostering the growth and success of each individual member. Only then can we transcend the realm of manager or boss and become true leaders to our team, company and — if it’s what you aspire to — in your profession. n
i llust r at i on by Ton y Heale y
Melanie Warner Spencer is editor of New Orleans Bride and New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and managing editor of Louisiana Life and Acadiana Profile. Spencer’s ever-expanding library of etiquette books is rivaled only by her ever-ready stash of blank thank-you notes. Submit business etiquette questions to Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.
Apart from the sadistic types,
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In The Biz m a r ket i ng
Channel Surfing When it comes to marketing channels, one is never enough. by Julia carcamo
While yesterday’s marketing
approach was focused on creating the right message for the brand — choosing the right channel for the brand, and setting the right time for the brand to deliver its pitch — we have left that paradigm behind. Today’s consumer is interacting with brands on an ongoing basis via an ever-growing number of channels. This means that as a brand, you are “always on.” Omnichannel or multichannel? Same? Different? Interchangeable?
Though often used interchangeably, they refer to different marketing strategies. One refers to a brand’s efforts to communicate with customers across multiple channels. The other is a strategy that helps you build more lasting relationships with customers because they have a consistent brand experience no matter the channel or device they may be using. Both strategies are important. When you look at how consumers are receiving messages, you have to realize that delivering a seamless experience is a must. Consumers who find a glitch or inconsistency in that experience drop out with a simple click. Google research indicates that 90 percent of multiple device owners switch between an average of three devices per day to complete a task, sometimes using two or more at a time. Instead of thinking desktop or mobile, marketers must consider a holistic approach — desktop, mobile, Apple Watch, tablet, and the next product to come off the production line. Even as you read this, I would guess you have a number of devices close at hand. How Do You Become an Omnichannel Marketer?
38 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
Look to Other Companies for Inspiration.
Planning a family vacation to a Disney theme park soon? Look carefully and you’ll see a benchmark omnichannel experience. Disney’s trip planning website is beautiful and works well on mobile, and once you’ve booked, you can start using the “My Disney Experience” tool to plan your entire trip, including securing those Fast Passes for the high-demand rides. Once you’re in the park, the mobile app helps you locate the attractions you want to see. Most visitors would be thrilled with just those channels, but Disney took it a step further with the release of their Magic Band: It’s your room key. Order food with it. Store the pictures you’ve taken with characters. Remember the Fast Passes you ordered? The Band is the key! Now that is a magical omni-channel experience! A pivot to omnichannel means that rather than systemizing how creative gets developed across different mediums, it’s about rethinking how the message gets delivered and then assembling the creative in the proper way. It forces you to think about the customer and their journey to develop the appropriate messages. n
i llust r at i on by Ton y Heale y
Julia Carcamo is president and chief brand strategist at J Carcamo & Associates, specializing in brand and marketing strategy. She is also the co-founder of espNOLA, a Hispanic marketing and engagement agency. Learn more at jcarcamoassociates.com and espnola.com.
Rather than creating two or three, or maybe four campaigns a year, we now have to think about creating a drastically higher number of ads for more and more channels. It’s not just a matter of taking your commercial and posting it to Facebook and YouTube. Your message must “fit” the channel. If you’re saying to yourself that you don’t have to worry about television ads because you’re a small business marketing through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can just copy the same creative
into each channel, you are missing a huge opportunity. Savvy marketers understand that each channel is viewed from a different point and responded to differently, even by the same person. The first step in omnichannel marketing is to audit your channels, your customers and their journeys to your point of purchase (or conversion). Use CX and customer journeys to bring teams working on messaging into a common and shared understanding of what is needed to communicate appropriately. Increasing the “stickiness” of your messages by guiding customers along their chosen journeys to your door is a must if your intention is to defend or retain your market share — or grow it. The ease of access to technology has empowered consumers to use multiple channels to interact with you at their pleasure in a manner of their choosing. When you add the current desire of many customers to experience personalized brand interactions, you realize the importance of understanding the various customer journeys and insights to deliver the right message.
bizneworleans.com / 39
hot topics in southe a st Louisiana industries
perspectives law / insurance / tech / GUEST VIEWPOINT
Local businesses battle rising car insurance rates
Perspectives l aw
Giving Back Isn’t So Easy A look at the legal hurdles of creating—and maintaining—a nonprofit by Keith Loria illustrations by jane sanders
As of 2013, Louisiana was home to more
than 17,000 nonprofit organizations. The nonprofit sector represents a sizeable chunk of our state’s economy, employing nearly 150,000 people — or more than 11 times as many workers as there are in the utility industry — as of the last time data was collected back in 2003. In New Orleans, a mix of great need for social services and a thriving startup community present the perfect conditions for creating a nonprofit, but many may jump into action before considering all the legal issues and hurdles that must be addressed. Max Ciolino, founder and member of the Ciolino Law Firm, says when he’s advising a client about setting up a nonprofit, he first looks at their goals in order to help decide if they should incorporate as a state-level nonprofit, or if they need to go for the 501(c)(3) tax advantages. “The beautiful thing with helping people set up nonprofits is they are all going to be different in how they are organized and what their goals are,” he says. “But from a basic standpoint, I need to know what my client’s vision and mission statement will be and their strategies for achieving their goals. That will help me set up their ongoing legal needs.” Nonprofit 101
Many people conflate a nonprofit with a tax-exempt entity (i.e., a 501(c)(3)), but while all tax-exempt entities are nonprofits, not all nonprofits are tax-exempt entities. Tyler J. Douglas, Taxation LL.M, attorney at Lowe Stein Hoffman Allweiss & Hauver, LLP., says there is a separate application process with the IRS if
42 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
one wants a nonprofit to also be considered tax exempt under federal tax law. For example, there are around 29 different types of tax-exempt entities. These include the gardenvariety charities, but also neighborhood associations and campaign super PACs. The objectives of the entity will dictate many things concerning the formation of the entity under Louisiana law, and also the application process for tax-exempt status with the IRS. “To be considered a 501(c)(3) charity, an organization must be both organized and operated for a
tax-exempt purpose, and there are specific rules as to what those are,” Douglas says. “Further, there are also two types of charities—private foundations and public charities. Private foundations are entities formed by a family or an individual and stay under control of the primary donor. Public charities are entities that get their support primarily from the general public, not just one donor.” Leon H. Rittenberg III, a partner with Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer LLC, says the forms to handle this are Form 1023 or Form 1024, depending upon the type of nonprofit.
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“Some small nonprofits can apply by filing a Form 1023-EZ, which is a much shorter and faster process,” he says. “Public charities with estimated future annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less may be eligible for the Form 1023-EZ.” Ritternberg advises against filing without a little help. “Forming a nonprofit under Louisiana law and preparing Form 1023 are both more complicated than they seem (special provisions are required in the corporate charter to qualify as a nonprofit) and professional advice is recommended in connection with its preparation,” he says. Think Like a Business
Jean-Paul Perrault, managing member of McGlinchey Stafford’s Baton Rouge office, says it’s important for any nonprofit to plan a business model. “A business plan that focuses on the actual goods or services to be provided and that walks through how they will get to the intended targets is a must,” he says. “Form an entity, set a nonprofit designation and most importantly, obtain access to funding in the form of donations or possible grants in order to fund the provision of services.” Rittenberg says the most important things to have in place at the beginning is a plan regarding who will be involved in management, how to raise money and what the mission of the organization will be. The next step is to form a nonprofit with the Louisiana Secretary of State, which involves obtaining a federal tax ID number and filing articles of incorporation. “Other corporate documents, such as bylaws and a conflict of interest policy, may also be necessary or desirable,” Douglas says. “The next step is filing an application for tax exemption with the IRS. Depending on what type of entity you intend to form, the application process can be vastly different.” For example, an entity considered a church doesn’t need to file anything with the IRS to be considered tax exempt. However, many churches do as a matter of due course and there are issues that can arise if one claims to be a church because this provision has been abused by taxpayers trying to seek tax advantages to which they’re not entitled. Up and Running
Once the entity is formed with the Secretary of State and presumably has received an exemption letter from the IRS granting its
44 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
What You Can’t Do Perrault warns that nonprofits cannot undertake activities not associated with their stated IRS 501(c)(3) designated mission and also can’t undertake political activity or other restricted activities or they may lose the ability to be counted as a nonprofit. A nonprofit also can’t endorse a political candidate and must be careful about taking a position on legislative agenda. Ciolino notes that the consequences of violating either of these items can be severe, so it’s wise for a nonprofit to check with a lawyer on anything to do with these issues. Things are also changing with the new tax laws, so all nonprofits are advised to check in with their legal representation and see how they will be impacted in 2018 and in the future. “Some people use nonprofits, such as private foundations or donor-advised funds, as a means of getting a charitable deduction today for amounts dedicated to charitable causes in the future,” Rittenberg says. “Under the new tax bill, for taxpayers who use the standard deduction and will not itemize (such as married couples with under 24,000 in potential itemized deductions), there will be no tax benefit.”
tax-exempt status, there are a few things that have to be done to ensure that it continues running successfully and legally. “There are annual filing requirements with the Secretary of State,” Perrault says. “And there are also annual reporting requirements with the IRS (Form 990 series returns) that are, in essence, informational tax returns, but if you don’t file them the entity’s tax-exempt status can be revoked.” Ciolino says it’s vital that a nonprofit keeps track of all minutes at board meetings, all actions by the board and documentation of all financials for reporting requirements. “Running a nonprofit can be much like running a business; they often need other supporting documents that you would need in the course of any business—a media release, waiver and release forms, contracts for vendors,” he says. Rittenberg says there are also several important compliance issues to keep
in mind. First, nonprofits generally are required to file income tax returns annually and, if they have employees, employment tax returns as well. Second, nonprofits are obligated to provide letters to donors acknowledging gifts in a form which meets technical IRS rules. “Officers and directors of nonprofits owe fiduciary duties to their constituents, which means, in part, they have to manage the nonprofit for the purposes set forth in the mission and not their own personal benefit,” he says. “Nonprofits, like other entities, should carry appropriate liability and other insurances such as directors and officers insurance and employment practices insurances. Were someone to be injured in connection with a nonprofit event, both of these kinds of insurance can provide important protections for officers and directors.” n
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Perspectives i nsu r a nce
If it seems like auto insurance
Car Insurance Continues to Climb For some businesses, vehicle insurance ranks among top expenses. Is there anything that can be done? by Kim Roberts
46 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
rates are going up each year, that’s because they are. Rates increased in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and 2018 doesn’t look any better. Auto insurance companies have reported posting another year with negative profit margins, mostly credited, they say, to an increase in costly car accidents and disastrous storms. The likely result of this scenario will be more rate increases ahead. “Auto insurance is increasing across the nation,” says Ryan Daul, producer at Daul Insurance Agency. “Auto insurance carrier’s profitability, or lack thereof, is the ultimate reason for rate increases.” Daul explains that things such as catastrophic weather, an increase in distracted driving — commonly texting while driving — an increase in the cost to repair vehicles, and increases in medical costs and legal expenses all factor into increases. “I think all of these are a factor in Louisiana,” he says, “but I’ve also heard other reasons as contributing factors from industry experts and carriers.” Daul says issues particularly relevant in Louisiana include poor roads and a high percentage of uninsured drivers. “Louisiana’s accident frequency rate is slightly higher than the national average,” he says. “The property damage claim rate is slightly higher than the national average and the bodily injury rate is double the national average according to the most recent available information.” According to Insure.com, in 2010, 2012 and 2013 Louisiana held the title for the most expensive state in the country for car insurance. The state then dropped down to fourth place the last couple of years, but is currently back up to second place with an annual premium of $1,921 — 46 percent higher than the national average. The site states that one of the reasons for this ranking is because Louisiana has a higher than average amount of uninsured motorists on the road. Nearly 14 percent of Louisiana drivers are estimated to be driving without insurance. Even those who are insured may frequently only carry a very basic, very minimum policy. As a company that relies on cars and trucks for their business operations, Sheila Burns, vice president of QCS Logistics, a trucking and transportation business,
Did you know?
Litigation Drives Up Rates According to Louisiana’s insurance commissioner, Jim Donelon, about 40 percent of drivers carry the minimum car insurance limits required by state law. With a lot of “working poor” in Louisiana, Donelon has noted that those in auto accidents see ads by lawyers saying they will get them money and feel entitled to get a big check for a minor accident. Thus, litigation is another reason that Louisiana car insurance rates are so high. Donelon has cited as an example of the excessive amount of litigation by highlighting the Louisiana Farm Bureau. This insurer is part of a six-state chain of insurance providers; it carries around 17 percent of the policies from the six states, but handles a whopping 50 percent of the lawsuits resulting from auto accidents. When insurers pay out more in claims, the cost is passed on to motorists in the form of higher premiums. Rates in Louisiana also continue to rise due to widespread distracted driving and cheap gas. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reported that from 2011 to 2015, 192 people in Louisiana died and almost 27,000 people were injured because of distractions. Cheaper gas results in more drivers out on the road, who now are more distracted than ever, which leads to more accidents. The cycle continues as the claims could then end up in litigation.
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said that vehicle insurance plays a major role in her company’s bottom line. “Our vehicle insurance cost is high compared to other enterprises because we belong to a high-risk group as defined by insurance underwriters,” she said. “We carry auto insurance for our companyowned vehicles, as well as for several leased vehicles. In addition, we carry liability insurance for our independent drivers.” Burns says the number of carriers that are willing to insure her company’s industry is limited. “We utilize a national insurance agency that services what is termed a specialty market,” she says. “While this has allowed us to stay insured, we are often forced to use ‘non-admitted’ companies. This simply means that the majority of insurers are out-of-state companies. Consequently, we are not protected under the state’s insurance fund if the insurer goes bankrupt.” If you can, it’s important to shop around. “Look hard at the few markets we have in Louisiana,” Daul said. “The rates are still going to be high, but you can make your business more desirable to carriers by taking the proper steps to avoid claims.” “These steps could include, but are not limited to, driver training, proper hiring, implementing safety procedures, GPS monitoring, dash cams and proper vehicle maintenance,” he said. “For consumers, shop your insurance and make sure your current agent is shopping or get multiple agents involved.” Daul acknowledges that a lack of competition means even shopping around may not provide much relief. In this case, it may pay to look at other ideas.
still to come
Rates Continue to Climb The Louisiana Department of Insurance last year approved double-digit rate hikes for at least five insurers that either took effect in late 2017 or will kick in sometime this year. Certain policies under Progressive and Allstate are in that group. See multiple rows with the same insurer? That reflects either a subsidiary that also writes auto coverage in Louisiana or a different group of policies under the same insurer.
“You may want to check with carriers to see if there are any discounts for adding a camera to your vehicle,” he says. “Some commercial auto carriers will provide a rate reduction for installing dash cams.” For local limousine company Limousine Livery, president Christy Dirks says that the company focuses heavily on hiring professional chauffeurs
“Louisiana’s accident frequency rate is slightly higher than the national average. The property damage claim rate is slightly higher than the national average and the bodily injury rate is double the national average according to the most recent available information.” Ryan Daul, producer at Daul Insurance Agency
with vetted background checks, conducting annual motor vehicle reports and providing their employees with extensive safety training. “This is extremely important to our clientele as we know who is driving our clients safely,” she says. “Insurance companies consider these factors when providing the rates for the upcoming year,
Insurer Approved Policyholders Effective date Effective date rate change affected (new policy) (policy renewal) Safe Auto Insurance Co.
Nov. 30, 2017
Jan. 6, 2018
Progressive Paloverde Insurance Co.
June 24, 2017
Nov. 25, 2017
Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co.
Oct. 4, 2017
Oct. 4, 2017
Teachers Insurance Co.
Feb. 16, 2018
Feb. 16, 2018
Safeco Insurance Company of Oregon
Oct. 8, 2017
Dec. 9, 2017
Safeco Insurance Company of Oregon
Oct. 26, 2017
Dec. 5, 2017
Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange
Dec. 2, 2017
Feb. 1, 2018
State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.
Feb. 5, 2018
Feb. 5, 2018
Shelter Mutual Insurance Co.
Dec. 8, 2017
Dec. 8, 2017
Progressive Security Insurance Co.
June 23, 2017
Nov. 24, 2017
Allstate Indemnity Co.
Dec. 13, 2017
Dec. 13, 2017
Allstate Insurance Co.
Dec. 18, 2017
Dec. 18, 2017
Allstate Indemnity Co.
Dec. 18, 2017
Dec. 18, 2017
Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co.
Dec. 13, 2017
Dec. 13, 2017
Liberty Personal Insurance Co.
Dec. 11, 2017
Dec. 11, 2017
Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co.
Dec. 13, 2017
Dec. 13, 2017
Source: Louisiana Department of Insurance
48 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
along with prior year losses. Insurance is one of the highest single expenses of a transportation company. We spend a tremendous amount of time each year securing insurance.” Dirks adds that the fact that Louisiana, and in particular New Orleans, is a highly litigious region also contributes to the problem. “This has caused many insurance companies to refuse to write in this area,” she said. “In turn, it reduces the supply of insurers and drives the cost higher.” Even with insurance coverage, transportation companies are completely liable for any companyowned vehicles in their garage. “While our insurance company will assign legal representation on our behalf, we always engage our corporate attorney to help track progress of any claims against us,” Burns says. “They have been very effective in keeping outside counsel focused and advise us on any settlement options. We are also very safety-conscious and provide regular refresher training for our drivers and have random and mandatory post-accident substance abuse training. As a result, our accident rate is very low.” Daul says he hopes for movement by Louisiana’s government in regards to litigation. “As many experts have stated, many auto insurance carriers have left our state due to litigation from trial attorneys,” he says. “If we can elect legislators that are pro-tort reform it might create a different atmosphere and bring more insurers back into our state, which will create a more competitive auto insurance market.” n
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decrease by 5 percent every year before leveling out at 15 percent. It’s unclear how companies or consumers will be able to access the imported panels not subject to the tariff. U.S. companies installed 12.5 gigawatts worth of solar in the country last year — and though Loeb says that means there’s still “plenty of industry to go around,” the SEIA warns that the tariffs could result in the loss of 23,000 American jobs in 2018 alone. History shows that tariffs are generally bad for business as increased costs for materials get passed on to consumers, and solar infrastructure already has a reputation for being an expensive investment. Louisiana’s investment tax credit for solar can help offset initial costs, but that’s set to expire in 2022. Even with financing, it can take households up to 20 years for their energy savings to cover their investment. A 30 percent tariff could scare off new customers — but local companies say they have reason to be optimistic. Solar in the South
Solar Tariffs: Is There a Bright Side? Local companies remain optimistic and gear up to fight what they say is the real threat. by Jessica Rosgaard
Solar power generated $154 billion in
economic activity in the United States in 2016, employing 370,000 people directly or indirectly nationwide. Thanks to a 68 percent growth over the past decade — driven by tax incentives and prices that have lowered with technological advancements — solar now employs nearly three times the coal industry, and significantly larger than oil and gas. Currently, nearly 80 percent of solar panels used domestically are imported from countries in Asia and Central America, which makes the tariff President Donald Trump announced on imported solar panels Jan. 22, something many fear will hurt the industry. The tariff was created in response to petitions from American manufacturers who claimed inexpensive imports were harming their business here at home. In anticipation of the announcement,
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U.S. solar companies stockpiled foreign-made solar panels: imports from China were up almost 1,200 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. “Every year the industry has faced various battles and challenges from a policy standpoint,” says Karla Loeb, of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “[This tariff ] was primarily focused on China, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan — places that have been the primary source of solar panels for this country.” Loeb, a New Orleanian, is a veteran in solar and clean energy policy and development. She was recently elected to the board of directors at the Solar Energy Industries Association, an organization that represents the U.S. solar industry on critical policy issues The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the tax; beyond that, imported solar panels will be subject to a 30 percent tariff that will
Sunpro Solar is a full-service solar provider serving the Gulf Coast region, handling design, installation, maintenance and financing for customers in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico and Florida. Founder and CEO, Marc Jones, says that while tariffs may mean a small increase in sales price to consumers, solar remains the cheapest way to buy electricity in Louisiana. “The discussion of the solar tariff has in fact raised consumer awareness to the benefits of going solar, and we have seen an increase in our sales since the tariffs have gone into effect,” Jones says. Data from the SEIA show the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent since 2010; panel prices go down over time, while the cost of labor generally stays the same. Loeb says just because the tariff has been imposed doesn’t mean panel prices won’t continue to drop. “The announcement that there was going to be a proceeding about the tariff more than doubled prices overnight,” she says, “but since the tariff has been imposed, prices have dropped dramatically from where they were this fall and will continue to drop.” Kevin Fitzwilliam, an energy consultant with Joule Energy, agrees that solar panel prices overall are on a downward trend. “Despite this kind of imposition that’s placed on us through the tariffs, we do still expect the cost of solar to continue to come down over time,” he says, adding that Joule is set to fare well, thanks to help from a national solar cooperative.
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utilities to benefit from the energy generated from private homes and businesses and possibly resell it at higher rates.” ANOTHER WAY
“We do have locked-in pricing on a certain amount of panels that will protect us in 2018,” he says, “so as far as Joule goes, we feel like we’re in a strong position to continue to do utility scale work.” Jeff Cantin is the president of Solar Alternatives, a commercial and residential solar company serving the Gulf South. He says the company gets its panels from different sources, including imports from Mexico and Asia, but also domestically from Mississippi. “We’ve always supported domestic manufacturers,” Cantin says. “I think it’s important to have American manufacturing be strong, but I think there’s ways to support that without harming the market.” Cantin agrees that the tariffs may cause a price increase, but mostly for bigger utility-scale projects. “For most companies in this area, there aren’t a lot of utility-scale projects, so the residential and commercial scale projects will be affected by the tariff, but it will be a few percent of the overall job cost,” Cantin says. “It won’t be so much that it hurts business permanently.” The Threat From Within
There is, however, a threat to Louisiana’s solar industry coming from within the state in the form of regulatory action from the Louisiana Public Service Commission. There are approximately 20,000 homeowner solar systems in Louisiana; 8,000 of those are in New Orleans, and are regulated by the utility commission at the City Council. The 12,000 residential solar systems across the rest of the state are regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC). The LPSC runs what’s called a “net metering” system with its solar customers. This means that, for example, if you have rooftop solar panels and you’re not at home during the day, your system is
52 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
producing more energy than you’re consuming. That excess energy gets pushed onto the grid. Under the current system, that energy has the same value as energy you would purchase — a 1:1 exchange in kilowatt hours from the energy company. This means the extra energy you produced would reduce your household bill over time. The LPSC, however, has proposed a change to the net metering system. If a kilowatt hour of energy (that your system produces but does not use) goes back on the grid, you can buy the energy you need later at a “voided cost,” not a 1:1 exchange. It’s a proposal that has industry representatives and companies up in arms. “They’re trying to equate small households to a power plant,” says Karla Loeb. “They’re also undermining household investments in their clean energy assets, and basically changing the rules in the middle of the game. Most of the households in Louisiana made an investment in solar to go forward and reduce their overall bills, and part of that investment was knowing that net metering was in place.” Fitzwilliam agrees that the changes are unfair. “We are in favor of homeowners getting what is due to them,” he says, “to be able to continue to enjoy the economic benefits of solar energy under the same guidelines that they signed up for, and to not have the rug pulled out from underneath them.” Jeff Cantin says the proposal is very restrictive compared to the rest of the country. “It sets us on pace to shut down most of the solar work going on in the state — that is, all of the solar work except that done by the utilities.” Jones says the proposed rules would have a negative impact on the solar industry for Louisiana customers. “Like other states, Louisiana needs rules that promote competition and protect consumers from the monopolies of the utilities in Louisiana,” he says. “These proposed new rules could allow Louisiana
Local entrepreneur David Lamouranne is trying to make sure this doesn’t happen. Lamouranne is the founder of American Standard Power, a decentralized energy trading platform that will allow people to buy and sell renewable energy to each other at a fair-market value. The platform also facilitates the fundraising for and ownership of renewable energy producing projects. “Let’s says you’re generating solar energy with battery storage, what happens when you generate more power than you use?” he says. “The only available option now is net metering, which is complicated and falls short as an incentive to invest in renewable energy production. Thanks to blockchain technology, however, there’s a better, new way.” Lamouranne says that excess solar energy is credited back to the grid at 1/3 the retail rate when produced in excess monthly. The energy company then turns around and sells that person’s green power for full price, or close to 10 cents a kilowatt hour. “[Energy companies] are making money off all of us going green,” says Lamouranne. His plan: use blockchain technology to skip the energy companies. “When I generate more power than I need, I’ll be able to sell it to my neighbor or an electric vehicle owner directly,” he says. “That person won’t pay 10 cents a kilowatt hour. Instead I’ll charge them 6 or 7 cents per kilowatt hour with a cryptocurrency taken. I’m happy because I’m making more than the wholesale rate the energy company is going to pay me. My neighbor is happy because they’re not paying 10 cents, they’re paying less — everyone’s happy. And the most important thing for the economy here is now I’m able to get a 20-year return investment down substantially because I can actually pay my renewable investments off faster.” Lamouranne even has a plan for electric vehicle charging stations. Picture this: You have an EV charging station in your driveway. Someone is driving through your neighborhood and realizes their electric car battery is getting low, so they use an app to locate your charging station. They pull up to your house, scan a QR code, and pay you directly with cryptocurrency to use your solar energy to charge their car in your driveway. “You’re turning your assets into moneymakers, just like Uber did; they’re turning people’s cars sitting in their driveways into moneymakers,” he says. “I’m turning people’s renewables into moneymakers. Why not?” Why not, indeed. n
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Perspectives guest v i ew p o i nt
The Power of Play
by that person to reduce expenses in order to create funds to spend on their play activity, but I think it’s also partly unconscious, in that they don’t feel the need to spend as much because they are more fulfilled in their daily lives. I don’t know about you, but I’m far more likely to make poor choices — spending, eating, or otherwise — when I’m running low on my overall energy levels. If play is the charging station for those energy banks, it makes sense to make it a priority.
Want to save more? Get control of your finances? It’s time to play.
What is play for your loved ones?
by H. Jude Boudreaux
I’m often asked what people
can do to save more, to spend less, or to otherwise make changes to their day-to-day finances, and my response is often met with surprise. I advise my clients to do the following: learn what play is for you and your family and focus on those activities. If you do that, you’ll naturally spend less in other areas. The response I often get is the one that’s on your face right now. Really? Play? That’s what’s going to make a difference? Yep. Still with me? Good. I’ll explain. It comes down to the difference between pleasure and happiness. One is short-term and the other is longer-lasting. So, let’s get started defining what we’re talking about here. What is play?
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• Continuation desire — We look for ways to keep the fun going. (A great example of this is bears in the wild who are learning to fight with each other. If a big bear pins another one, he doesn’t stand up, roar and walk away. He’ll smack the bear he beat, and then run away, encouraging the game to continue). How does play save you money?
In every situation I’ve seen with clients where they identify a play behavior and commit to exploring that in their lives, we’ve seen a change in their financial situation. While some play can be rather expensive — think sailing or golf — when a conscious commitment to playing and exploring that activity is made, spending tends to decrease in other areas. Why does this happen? I think it may be partly a conscious effort
Play and travel spending
Brene Brown talks about how thinking about play and their vacations changed the way their family traveled. For so many of us, going to visit “The Mouse” in Orlando is a regular trip, but for how many of us is that really play, including our kids? Brene Brown and her family looked at the list and found that where they were all able to play was in hiking, swimming and playing cards. If you think about your family’s sources of play and built a trip around those, don’t you think it might be less expensive than some of the
A p p h oto/ E van Vucc i
My favorite research regarding play comes from Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play. He’s got a great TED talk and a wonderful book on the topic as well. To quote Dr. Brown, “The opposite of play isn’t work. The opposite of play is depression.”
In his research, Dr. Brown identified seven “properties of play,” which include the following (paraphrased): • Apparently purposeless — Just done for the sake of playing. • Voluntary — Just because you want to do it, not because you have to do it. • Inherently attractive — It’s not hard to get yourself up and moving for the experience. If you want to get me to run or lift weights that’s work, but tennis is play. • Able to lose track of time — Ever look up while doing something and it felt like 30 minutes but it was two hours? That’s play. • Able to be silly, less self-conscious — Where can you be silly and let go of yourself a little? • Ability to create and improvise — We can bend the rules and explore, changing things and trying new situations.
My kids are young (7 and 3) and lately my 7-year-old has taken to asking us to play Go Fish almost every night. I’ve been surprised at how much I enjoy doing this simple thing, and then I started to think about our play criteria. Go Fish meets most of the play criteria for all of us and leads to a great family experience. That said, not everything that is play for one family member will work for others. For me and the kids the playground is play, but for my wife it’s often more along the lines of a panic attack as she’s sure they’re going to fall off of something. For she and the kids, art projects are huge sources of play, but for me they don’t trigger the same benefits internally.
trips you’ve been doing? Even if it’s more expensive, can you find ways to save in the short-term to cover the difference and do something truly restorative? One of the best ways I know to boost one’s overall mood and happiness is to remember those happy events that you’ve had, alone and with loved ones. This is yet another reason why spending on experiences is better than spending on things! The difference between pleasure and happiness
“Happiness that depends mainly on physical pleasure is unstable; one day it’s there, the next day it may not be.” — the Dalai Lama I’ve seen enough in my client families (and in my own) to know that the way we spend money is pretty closely related to our feelings and emotions, and more often tied to negative emotions than positive ones. Our wallets and credit cards are an easy-to-access way to get a simple serotonin hit in our brains. Marketers (particularly software companies) are skilled at making it easy to spend more than we intended.
Best Sources of Serotonin:
• Time with good friends/family (Positive relationships) • Sunlight • Exercise • Remembering happy events Think about that short list, and about play. I think it’s one of the things that makes New Orleans such a wonderful place to live. For many of us, going to parades, hosting crawfish boils and heading out to great restaurants involve important things from that short list. Granted, maybe we don’t do so well on the exercise part, but on the spending time with friends and family, reminiscing about fun times, and even being outside, I think we do a pretty good job with all of those things. My hope for those of you that have made it this far is that you will continue to do those things and get really conscious about the other things that make up play for you and those closest to you so you can nurture more of that in your life. My bet is that you’ll end up spending the same amount (or possibly less) than you are now, and you’ll feel much better about what you’re doing than you are currently. And that is worth celebrating. n
Now for the oversimplified brain chemistry section.
Just yesterday I bought a big box of cookies at Rouses. They were (and still are) delicious, but that was a choice about pleasure, not about happiness. Will I be happier if I eat half of that box of cookies today? Nope. Will I have more pleasure? You bet. When we eat half a box of cookies, or shop online, or explore social media, we’re getting little hits of dopamine in our brain. It works a little bit at a time, and gives an instant pleasure response, but then we find ourselves needing to get more and more of it over time. Serotonin is different. Serotonin is more of a constant source of happiness.
H. Jude Boudreaux is a partner/ senior financial planner with The Planning Center in New Orleans, a fee-only financial planning firm. While his work meets six of the seven play criteria, his other favorite play activities are traveling with his family, baking with his kids, playing tennis,and taking walks in the neighborhood
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56 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
\ On the precipice of another big educational change â€” on July 1 all New Orleans public schools will fall under the Orleans Parish School Board â€” Patrick Dobard, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans, talks about how far our schools have come and how we get to where we need to be.
Fighting for our Future Workforce by Rebecca Friedman portraits by Greg Miles
he post-Katrina transformation of New Orleans’ public education system has involved a dizzying number of players across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. But few have had as much impact as New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to help shepherd the city’s decade-plus transition from a dysfunctional network of chronically underperforming schools to the nation’s first charter district led by an elected school board. While the overhaul has been rocky at times, the student gains are indisputable, with significant increases in graduation rates, standardized test scores and eligibility for TOPS scholarships, among other measures. At the center of this evolution is Patrick Dobard, a New Orleans-born-and-raised educator whose 27-year career has revolved around the belief that every student deserves equal access to high-quality public education and the improved life outcomes it provides. Dobard spent the first decade of his career as a classroom teacher, then 16 years with the Louisiana Department of Education, including a five-year term as superintendent for the city’s Recovery School District. One year ago he took on the role as CEO of NSNO — in time for a significant milestone, the upcoming unification ( July 1, 2018) of all the city’s public schools under the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). As that transition approaches, Dobard reflects on the progress the city has made for its students, the work that remains and the part NSNO will continue to play.
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I never envisioned myself as a superintendent of schools, let alone CEO of an education entity, but I can see now that my career path was leading me this way. What’s driven me, and the work — particularly over the last 12 years or so — has been grounded in my family story. I think it’s common to many of us that grew up here. In 1969, my oldest brother went to our neighborhood public high school, Joseph Clark. He was able to graduate from Clark and be accepted to, and graduate from, Tulane University. Fast forward to 1981, when it was time for me to go to high school, my parents would not even consider me going to the neighborhood public school anymore. They decided they were going to scrape up every dollar they could to send me to St. Augustine High School. [By 2005], unfortunately, Clark had become the lowest-performing high school, not only in the city of New Orleans, but in the state of Louisiana. So that tale — how a young man in 1969 could have his life outcome be positively influenced by the quality of education he received but, by 2005, have that not be the case for most children in New Orleans public schools — underscores what drives me and many of my colleagues in this work.
We’ve made phenomenal growth, whether it’s against local metrics, as we look at the college entry rates and TOPS scholarships, or measuring against growth and standards nationally. We’re much better than where we were, but we still have a very long way to go to get to excellent schools across the city. What are our strengths? We have really good leadership, both local leaders in education as well as statewide. Leadership matters, whether it’s in the classroom or in government. I believe the governance structure we’ve established in New Orleans has allowed a lot of the success we’re seeing. It’s the OPSB understanding and embracing their role as an authorizer — starting this July — of all schools in the city, making certain they continue to build off the infrastructure that has been laid around enrollment and ensuring that there’s equity among services and funding for all kids. We’ve solidified that. We also have a well-coordinated system that values the input of schools. Our charter leaders are viewed as partners. They can create and innovate, all within a framework that government has created and that leadership has put their mark on. But the system has also been nimble enough that when the charter leaders tell us there are things that they need to serve students well, it’s not a top-down approach.
What are some of NSNO’s main accomplishments?
We’ve helped to fund and launch or expand about 35 schools citywide. We are launching the Innovative Schools Fellowship, where we will select individuals with the best ideas for creating new school designs. In the area of special education, we are creating the Special Education Leader Fellowship as well as specialized programs like Opportunities Academy. From a talent perspective, we’ve created the Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency program in partnership with Xavier University — the first of its kind in our nation where a historically black college is partnering with schools to increase the number of teachers in the system. We also do things to celebrate our students and teachers. NSNO created the Senior Shout Out, where we recognize our graduating seniors and motivate them to continue moving higher in their educational career. And we created the New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Awards, recognizing excellent teachers throughout the city and giving them a stipend in honor of their work. How would you describe the city’s progress on education to date? First, out of the 200 largest school districts
in the U.S., there’s no city serving primarily black students that outperforms New Orleans on academic growth. So, we’re measuring up against that national standard. Secondly, in 2015, Tulane’s Education Research Alliance shared that they weren’t aware of any other districts that have made such large improvements in such a short period of time. Third, since 2004, our graduation rates have improved from one out of two students graduating on time to today, when we have almost three out of four students graduating on time. Our college entry rates are up from about 37 percent in 2004 to almost 60 percent today. We’ve also doubled the number of students that are eligible for TOPS opportunity scholarships from 25 percent to almost 50 percent.
What do you consider our main challenges? A few
things come to mind, and context is important. First, charter operators and leaders have given up a lot of individual autonomy for the betterment of the system as a whole. Years ago, they all agreed to opt into a centralized enrollment system which was basically blind to the ability level of the kids being assigned to schools. No school ever knows the capabilities of the kids they’re going to educate because, as public schools, you serve all kids that come through your door. So, while there was a lot of autonomy early on in New Orleans before we created a centralized enrollment around student populations, there isn’t anymore. With that, schools have taken on some of the most challenged kids, not only in our city, but our state. Two out of three kids in New Orleans are born in poverty and will die in poverty. They do not have the infrastructure at home and in society that allows them to be productive students. We have to educate them, but it takes more resources, more human capacity, in order to serve many of our most disadvantaged kids. Another challenge is around the curriculum usage in schools. We made the shift to the Common Core curriculum a few years ago, but around 70 percent of our schools still aren’t using aligned curriculum, and we see the decline. They’ve come to us and said, ‘We need help.’ So, we are now focusing on the curriculum being used.
A final challenge is around talent. We find that in New Orleans, we are losing approximately 875 teachers a year — one quarter of our workforce. That includes teachers going from school to school within networks, or different networks, or even to surrounding parishes. One of the fears is that the cost of living in New Orleans is increasing and educators may be being priced out. That’s something to think about. If we value (and I think we do) our teaching profession, what can we do to retain more teachers?
What prepared you to be an advocate for education? \
[ favo r i t e s ]
Favorite book? The Coldest Winter Ever Favorite TV Show? The Wire Who do you look up to? Muhammad Ali Biggest life lesson learned? Character matters Best advice ever received? Rarely do opportunity and convenience meet Hobbies? Playing golf. Reading and listening to Audible. Watching the NBA. Daily habits? I’m not a “habit” person, but I do these three things daily: 1. Read spiritual devotionals and various news periodicals 2. Drink at least one cup of coffee 3. Ask a lot of questions Pet peeve(s)? When people don’t push in their chairs What are you most looking forward to in the next year? Moving closer to fulfilling the vision of NSNO, which is to dramatically improve the life outcomes of our students in New Orleans schools. The way that we will accomplish this next year is by having significant funding commitments that will jump-start the next wave of work and I’m excited to make this happen.
\ [ b y t h e n u m b e rS ]
$2,650,000 to Schools $1,500,000 to Talent
Number of students attending New Orleans pubic schools: 49,000 New Orleans
NSNO provided nearly $6M in grants to support schools, teachers and related organizations in 2017. Economically Disadvantaged
$550,000 to Personalized Learning
Students of Color
$1,250,000 to Special Education
Students with Disabilities
Improved Student Outcomes 2004
College Entry Rate
TOPS Eligibility Rate
60 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
How is NSNO planning to address these challenges? We’re now embarking on our new three-year
strategic plan, so I’ve spent most of the last 10 months meeting with stakeholders in the city, state and beyond to get a feel for what’s the next frontier. First on our list is portfolio management. We invest to make sure we have schools that are high quality throughout the city, which means new school development and support of existing schools. We want to continue to create a pipeline of schools that create diverse options for families, whether it’s options around programming or around the student population. Second, we’re going to help schools focus on curriculum and instruction, since we identified that as a weak area that has caused some of the decline. We felt like we needed to engage with quality third-party entities that would partner with schools to help them shore up their development of curriculum and help teachers make the switch to a much more rigorous accountability and standards system. The third area of our strategy is talent, so we are going to coordinate the citywide strategy on retention and recruitment of teachers. That includes supporting the growth of current programs such as Teach For America, Relay Graduate School, teachNOLA and TNTP. We’re also looking to fund the launch of at least one new universitybased program to train and place teachers in New Orleans public schools. One of the things I’m proud that we’ve accomplished is convening, for the first time, all the deans of the colleges of education in the city to start the conversation about how to strengthen their programs to become better partners with our schools. We’re working with national experts to help us figure out the root causes for not being able to retain teachers and what we can do to turn that around. We tend to lose most of our teachers here — and nationally — within the first five years. If you can get individuals to stay up to five years, then the likelihood of them making a career out of it is very strong. Part of our talent strategy is also working on the development of our C-level talent: the CEOs of charters, their academic leads, individuals that might be principals, and trying to build up more succession planning. Many of our founding leaders are starting to move on to other things, and we don’t want to destabilize the system if they haven’t thought about a succession plan. We’re starting to think more like the business community, grooming individuals to take our schools to the next level. The fourth area of focus is policy, an area where NSNO has traditionally been behind the scenes — not very vocal in the community but very influential. Going forward, we’ll take more of an active role
with the OPSB and their leadership, as well as our partners that advocate in different areas of education and be a main convener and coordinator around policy development as well as communications. How are schools addressing the issue of workforce development? We have the New Orleans Career
and Technical Center, which will be piloted this fall as a half-day school for kids in career and technical education. For the business community, this should be an exciting thing that allows students to learn
over the next several years, but we also want to tap into more of a local funder base to sustain the work we have going on. We are the lead partner right now in helping to identify those revenue sources so we won’t have to depend totally on philanthropy. What is the government's role now in the city’s educational system? The biggest role they play is to
regulate the system, to hold a high bar for academic quality as well as preserve equity for all of our young people. The leadership of the board has laid out a good foundation to be a quality authorizer and regulator of schools. The OPSB has met all of the benchmarks in the unification legislation that’s been laid out. They’re on schedule. It’s going to be a successful transition come July 1, 2018. How can the business community participate in supporting our public schools? I would strongly
encourage the business community to get actively involved in becoming charter board members. We have seats on multiple charter boards – every charter school and/or network of charter schools has their own board, and those are all volunteer positions. I would encourage people to reach out to organizations like the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, which recruits and trains individuals to serve on charter boards. It’s a way to give back to the community. You’re helping shape the lives of children and using your business expertise to help shape the thinking of a CEO who’s managing a diverse network of schools. We have a lot of strong individuals who come from business and professional backgrounds, but we need more. It sounds like you’re optimistic. I’m
industry skills and get certifications that ultimately, when they graduate from high school, will help them go right into the workforce or continue their education to strengthen their abilities to move into the workforce. We’re working with YouthForce NOLA, a great program that’s been in existence for a few years now, along with the state’s department of education. We feel it’s important to get different sectors to talk to each other and work together in order to figure out other high-wage, high-growth industries that we may not be tapping into. How is NSNO funded? A large portion of our
funding is through philanthropy, and we do receive some federal grants. Fundraising is a big part of our work. We’ve had some strong national partners that are in the process of recommitting to New Orleans
extremely optimistic. After having been superintendent, I have had the privilege to step back and enjoy thinking about the accomplishments we were able to make in a relatively short period of time. But as I reflected, I realized we’re barely at the halfway point. I do feel we can continue to impact, in a positive way, the systemic generational inequities that have plagued our city for far too long, where we are putting more students on the path to quality life outcomes than ever before, and that excites me. That makes me wake up every day with a little bit more energy to say, ‘What can we do today to improve the life outcome of one more child?’ That’s what this next decade-plus is about, and I’m super excited to be part of this incredible team we have built in New Orleans to help solve that. _
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62 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
Magazine Street retailers battle decreased traffic by adopting new strategies to attract business By Ch r i s Pr i ce photogr aphs by Chery l G e rb e r
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From the Audubon Zoo to the Irish
Channel and the Lower Garden District, Magazine Street, the unique, 6-mile corridor that combines restaurants, shops and businesses nestled into residential neighborhoods, is one of New Orleans’ signature hot spots. Recently, however, many retailers say things are cooling down. While Uptown street construction surely hampered many businesses during the past few years, most proprietors believe consumer shopping strategies have rapidly changed, and it’s driving them to explore and adopt new methods to survive. “It has been really tough lately,” said Jack Forbes of Bockman + Forbes Design. “Nobody seems to be shopping on Magazine. I don’t think the local public realizes that if they don’t support our wonderful American streetscape of Magazine Street that it might not be around in the future.” W o r d o n t h e St r e e t “I moved off of Magazine Street in December, and
it was the best thing I could have done,” Virginia Dunn said of relocating her eponymous home furnishings store. “There’s a retail mentality to say business is good, even when it’s not. They don’t want to put it out that things are bad, but it’s brutal.” Dunn said she noticed a decline in traffic in 2016. “It just dropped,” she said. “You’d sit for days, and nobody would come in. It didn’t matter what you had. It didn’t matter how much you advertised.” Now on Leake Avenue near Riverbend, Dunn said her customer base is growing. Ann Koerner, owner of Ann Koerner Antiques & Design, has been on Magazine Street for about 20 years. “I think Magazine Street is one of the most vibrant streets of any city, in terms of the number of individually owned businesses and the mix they represent, but as everywhere in the country, business is changing,” she said. “The way people buy is changing, what they buy is changing and it’s a challenge to respond to these changes. As far as whether or not foot traffic has diminished, I can only speak for myself, and I think that generally, people are buying more online than ever before and they are seeing everything online, so the incentive to go into shops has lessened.”
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A Magazine Street Success Story Local artist celebrates successful first anniversary, praising his location
Carol Robinson has had her gallery on Magazine since 1980 and gets visitors from all over the country – especially New York and Texas. She says she’s blessed with wonderful, loyal clients, but not necessarily a lot of younger people. “Looks like Magazine Street is thriving to me,” Robinson said. “I don't necessarily see a lot of millennials in the gallery, but I see them everywhere Uptown!” Dunn said there is not a simple answer to the cause of the downturn, but believes it is a combination of people not spending as much as they used to, the change in the makeup of businesses on Magazine and losing clusters of similar stores, online shopping, paid parking and ticket enforcement.
I n - D e m a n d D e s t i n at i o n
While many shop owners are hesitant to give away proprietary business information, their belief in changing consumer trends compared to, say, a lack of potential shoppers is supported by Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport’s passenger figures. MSY set a record with more than 12 million total passengers served in 2017. That’s on top of back-to-back record-breaking years in 2016 with 11.1 million passengers and 10.6 million passengers in 2015. In fact, last year was the seventh year of continued passenger growth, with an overall increase of more than 35 percent in total passengers since 2010. While total passenger figures are important, the number of deplaned passengers is most critical
When New Orleans artist Terrance Osborne decided to open his own gallery last March, after more than a decade of painting and showing his art out of his Westbank home, he and his wife and business partner, Stephanie, had the whole city to choose from. They chose Magazine Street for Gallery Osborne. After a year in the location, the Osbornes say they have increased exposure and sales. “Magazine Street feels great,” Stephanie Osborne said. “We wanted to find a place that was safe for clients to visit if we had a late night event. We wanted to be in an area where locals visited and also offered foot traffic.” The gallery; at 3029, near Eighth Street, is in a former T-shirt shop in arguably one of the hippest stretches of the street. There, Osborne’s signature style is on display in several works and mediums that have earned him commissions from corporate entities, including Barq’s Root Beer, Nike, Heineken, The Hilton and Harrah’s Casino. “The gallery is going great! We are happy to be in this location,” she exclaimed. “It’s changed our business drastically because we sell more and we have a venue to host events centered around the art.” Osborne has painted four posters for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, including this year’s edition featuring the iconic Fats Domino. The artist set the painting so that it looks like a continuation of his 2012 Jazz Fest poster that features Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. In addition to showcasing art, the venue has also provided a sanctuary for Stephanie to lead guided meditation. “When you enter Terrance Osborne Gallery, we hope that all of your senses will be gently stimulated with the beautiful scent of lavender, lively music, a thick red textured rug that guests love to walk on, and, of course, colorful, ‘Feel Great’ New Orleans artwork by renowned artist Terrance Osborne,” she said. “We pride ourselves on having something for every budget since we sell art that starts as low as $50 and goes up to $65,000. The rug is also used for our free weekly 45-minute guided meditation sessions every Thursday at 7:30 a.m.,10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Additional sessions are held on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and cost $10.” bizneworleans.com / 65
Deplaned Passengers Matter Most to Local Business Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) set a record with more than 12 million total passengers served in 2017. That’s on top of backto-back record-breaking years with 11.1 million passengers in 2016 and 10.6 million passengers in 2015. Last year was the seventh year of continued passenger growth, with an overall increase of over 35 percent in total passengers since 2010. The number of deplaned passengers is the one that matters most to local business, however, as those are the visitors who are spending at local hotels, restaurants and attractions. Type 2017 2016 % Change Domestic 5,907,259 5,508,315 7.2% International 88,474 44,289 99.8% Charter 8,752 7,240 20.9% TOTAL 6,004,485 5,559,844 8.0%
to local business as those are the visitors who are spending at local hotels, restaurants and attractions. The airport saw 8 percent growth in the total number of deplaned passengers in 2017, with more than 6 million people getting off of a plane in New Orleans last year compared to 5.56 million in 2016. “Travelers from all over the world are flocking to New Orleans for the unique culture, experience and people here,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said about MSY’s 2017 numbers. “I’m so proud to see yet another record-breaking year for the airport. This is a clear sign that New Orleans isn’t just back on its feet. It is as vibrant as ever. As a top travel destination in 2018, we are in a position to see even more tourism growth during our tricentennial year. As construction progresses on the new North Terminal, which will be complete in February 2019, we will continue to open the doors to new opportunities for the people, businesses and visitors in our city.” Ma r k e t i n g Magazi n e
To increase awareness of shopping and entertainment opportunities, the Magazine Street Merchants Association has reached out to the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC), a private economic development corporation that serves as the city of New Orleans’ leisure travel promotion agency, to assist in updating and further promoting the area to tourists and conventioneers though increased advertising, social media and Internet marketing.
66 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
“Over the past few years, we've definitely given Magazine Street coverage,” said Mark Romig, NOTMC’s president and CEO. “We can always do better — it's just a matter of keeping up with all of the great things happening.” Romig said the organization has a number of Magazine Street-centric initiatives coming through its GoNOLA web and social media sites this year, including a new “Day on Magazine Street” video this spring and an updated GoNOLA Guide Magazine Street this summer. NOTMC will also update NewOrleans.com’s Lower Garden District neighborhood guide in the coming months and add Magazine Street Top 10 lists leading up to the start of the school year in August and into the fall.
A d o p t i n g N e w St r at e g i e s
As a result of changing patterns, many owners are looking at the adaptability of their businesses and how technology might draw customers even if foot traffic is down. “I think Magazine Street is undergoing an amazing renaissance and that it will continue to be a destination for those coming from out of town,” Koerner said. “As for the future of my business, that is a very interesting question and one the answer to which I am trying to formulate. I believe it’s going to point me in a slightly different direction than the one I have now in that I see more bespoke pieces being part of my collection. I now have access to a workshop where things can be made to my specification and that is an exciting prospect. Also, my buying habits are undergoing a transformation to respond to the high cost of importing coupled with the availability of what is already in the country.”
Luring Leisure Loot The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation uses many tools to draw visitors. The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) is a private economic development corporation that serves as the city of New Orleans’ leisure travel promotion agency. The state Legislature created the organization in the early 1990s to promote New Orleans as a leisure tourism destination
In the last three years, we have emphasized our neighborhoods to bring a better economy to every part of the city.” Mark Romig, president and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corportation
during slow tourism periods, traditionally summer and the holidays, and to attract visitors and their spending. Today, it uses a broad program of advertising, public relations and other marketing strategies to advertise the city as a year-round vacation destination. “We have produced numerous award-winning advertising campaigns that show the city’s value for tourists throughout the city, including the most recent ranking by the The New York Times as the No. 1 destination in the
world to visit in 2018,” said Mark Romig, NOTMC’s president and CEO. “In the last three years, we have emphasized our neighborhoods to bring a better economy to every part of the city.” NOTMC publishes GoNOLA. com, a New Orleans travel blog that features twice-monthly video updates, and partners with the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau to produce the New Orleans Official Visitors Guide and manage NewOrleans.com, the city's official tourism website. In addition, it provides
for the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, the Mayor's Office of Film & Video, the Mayor's Office of Music Business Development, and the Mayor's Office of Tourism & Arts. “I am especially proud of our partnerships with all other tourism organizations here. By working closely in particular with the NOCVB, including that we recently merged our website with theirs (NewOrleans.com), we have
saved the taxpayers many dollars in efficiencies and offered a more cohesive tourism message,” Romig said. The NOTMC is funded by the city's hotel room occupancy tax and an optional assessment agreed to by hotels in the downtown area. It receives additional funding from the RTA/hotel tax and from Harrah's Casino's agreements with the city and the hotel industry. “It was a successful venture from the start,” he said, “and continues to assist in bringing a record number of tourists to this city.”
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GIVING BACK In Southeast Louisiana we’re all about relationships. Here, there’s nothing better than spending time with friends, family and colleagues — that is, unless it’s time spent also doing something to help people we’ve never even met, and maybe never will. In this issue of Biz New Orleans, we’d like to celebrate all the corporations whose company mission goes far beyond keeping their financials in the black, along with a few of the many nonprofits they partner with to get the job done — whether that job be fighting crime or fighting
cancer, running a race or running an afterschool program. An integral part of their surrounding communities, these businesses and organizations have dedicated themselves to giving back to those in need, while encouraging others, especially their own employees, to experience first-hand how stepping away from their desks for a while to play a personal roll in the effort to make life a little better for those around them can have a profound impact on their own lives as well. We at Biz New Orleans salute you for your efforts. Keep up the good work!
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
ABOUT COX Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and home security and automation services over its own nationwide IP network. The largest privately held telecommunications company in the U.S., Cox serves approximately 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and digital media advertising. WHY WE GIVE BACK At Cox Communications, community involvement is more than a commitment; it is a way of life. Nearly 2,000 employees live, work and play in the communities Cox serves within the Southeast Region. That presence translates into a strong dedication to grow and improve the quality of life in those cities and neighborhoods. The founder of our company, James M. Cox, was a public servant, and it is through his legacy that we give our time, talent and resources to our neighbors, the people we care about most. NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT Coxâ€™s philanthropic focus is on youth and education. The company provides nearly $60 million in cash and in-kind services in the communities it operates. In 2015, Cox Southeast Region launched a unique charitable giving campaign, Cox Charities, which is both funded and guided by employees. Cox Charities provides Innovation in Education grants to local schools and Community Investment grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, Cox Southeast employees have raised nearly $400,000 to donate to schools and nonprofits through Cox Charities.
MISSION STATEMENT Cox Charities was created to strengthen Cox communities through the support of programs that positively impact communities in the areas of education, technology, social issues, conservation and the arts. CONTACT INFO cox.com Steve Sawyer (504) 358-6110 Acadiana/Baton Rouge/New Orleans/ Floridaâ€™s Gulf Coast/Central Florida/ Middle Georgia
Top Crimestoppers Bottom International School of Louisiana
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
ABOUT FIDELITY BANK Since 1908, Fidelity Bank has been lending a helping hand to the communities we serve. Our rich heritage as a homestead bank means we have helped to build the communities we live in and made the dream of homeownership possible for countless clients. Our mortgage division, NOLA Lending Group, continues this legacy and is one of the premier mortgage lenders in the community. Fidelity Bank is a full-service financial institution. We offer solutions to meet the needs of our personal and business clients. Fidelity Bank is committed to delivering world-class client service at our 18 branch locations and through our online and mobile banking experience. WHY WE GIVE BACK Giving back is so important to the Fidelity Family that “community” is one of our core values. We support our team members’ initiatives by offering paid time off to give back to causes of their choice. Our mission is HERE FOR GOOD and that means doing good in the community. Our team members serve on local boards, participate in community events and volunteer for local organizations. We work hard to give back and take great pride in that commitment. We are not just branches in this community; we are a part of it. NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT Fidelity Bank is about more than just banking. We are about building a community with relationships that have spanned generations. Our Fidelity Family focuses our charitable giving efforts in several different areas: including arts and culture, financial literacy education and homeownership. We are especially proud of our FDIC endorsed Youth Savings Program which partners bankers with low to moderate income schools and provides financial literacy education. It is important to the Fidelity Family that we give more than just financial support. From cleaning up after disasters, to working set up and break down at a local black tie gala, we believe in sweat equity. We strive to partner with organizations that want to maximize the opportunities for the Fidelity Family of volunteers and the nonprofit.
MISSION STATEMENT HERE FOR GOOD At Fidelity, our mission is to remain the long-term institution of choice in the marketplace. We seek to continually improve and enhance our rich heritage of over 100 years. “Here for Good” means helping families and businesses thrive in the communities we serve. CONTACT BankWithFidelity.com NolaLending.com 1(800) 220-2497 Greater New Orleans Northshore Baton Rouge Sponsorships@BankWithFidelity.com
TOP Maureen, Mandy, and Tanya turned their “day off” into a day of service as they helped construct a home in New Orleans for a deserving family. BOTTOM Making it a day on assisting Uncommon Construction building homes in the St. Roch neighborhood
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK ABOUT IberiaBANK IBERIABANK entered the New Orleans market in 1997 with a focus on growth and a commitment to the community. The IBERIABANK philosophy is to exceed client satisfaction by delivering unparalleled customer service at every point of contact. We are committed to offering products and services customized to meet your financial needs. WHY WE GIVE BACK IBERIABANK’s strong sense of community is an integral part of our mission. Business plans and decisions are made locally by our market leadership teams who know the communities. We partner with hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the Greater New Orleans area and provide financial literacy programming to thousands of individuals. To further our impact, our associates volunteer to serve nonprofit organizations and their needs. These partnerships strengthen our commitment to the community and improve the lives of others. NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT • Arts Council of New Orleans • Audubon Nature Institute • Bureau of Governmental Research • Café Reconcile • Children’s Hospital • Crimestoppers • Eden House • Everfi Financial Literacy • GNO, Inc. • Greater New Orleans Foundation • Gretna Heritage Festival • JEDCO • KID smART • Kingsley House • Legacy Donor Foundation • Lighthouse Louisiana • Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra • New Orleans Ballet Association • New Orleans Center for Creative Arts • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation • New Orleans Mission • New Orleans Museum of Art • Ogden Museum • Posse Foundation • Preservation Resource Center • The Idea Village • The National World War II Museum • Tulane University • Urban League of New Orleans • WYES • YAYA • Youth Empowerment Project
MISSION STATEMENT • Provide exceptional value-based client service • Great place to work • Growth that is consistent with high performance • Shareholder-focused • Strong sense of community CONTACT IBERIABANK.com (504) 310-7335 Greater New Orleans TOP IBERIABANK associates at the Preservation Resource Center’s October Build BOTTOM Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) students playing basketball
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
ABOUT impastato gallery & Art therapy Impastato Gallery & Art Therapy is a welcoming environment that compels all of the senses while offering original works of art for purchase. Elizabeth Impastato has created the gallery to emulate a spa experience offering private art lessons that cater to the individual. Explore all art services at impastatogallery.com WHY WE GIVE BACK Giving back is something Impastato Gallery & Art Therapy is passionate about and blessed to use the gift of art connecting art and science. The health and well-being of others has always been a part of artist owner, Elizabeth Impastato, who holds degrees in science and art. Working with others as an advocate for the customer comes natural to us at Impastato Gallery & Art Therapy. NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT The Al Copeland Foundation is dear to Impastato’s heart. All of us have been touched in some way by cancer. The Al Copeland Foundation supports local cancer research and is committed to the fight for a cure. We know that 100 percent of all funds stay in Louisiana. Children’s Museum of St Tammany offers families of the area a place where children can discover and learn art and science through playing. This goes along with what our mission and beliefs are for the community. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)ST TAMMANY The mental health awareness and support that NAMI provides to family, friends and people suffering with mental awareness improves life. The mental health of our community is important to address and improve. Impastato Gallery & Art Therapy is very passionate about many causes, realizing without health we have nothing.
MiSSION STATEMENT It is our mission to offer art as a means that allows for a creative outlet, encouraging never— ending self-discovery and increasing collaboration with others to develop channels of communication for growth in our community. CONTACT impastatogallery.com (985) 778-5338 1901 U.S. 190 Suite 28 Mandeville
TOP Art by Elizabeth Impastato BOTTOM Artist/owner of Impastato Gallery and Art Therapy, Elizabeth Impastato
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
ABOUT MassMutual Louisiana MassMutual Louisiana offers life insurance, disability income insurance and investments through its network of career agents and brokers. The General Agency was founded in the New Orleans area in 1883; we are one of the oldest agencies in Louisiana and the MassMutual system. Through economic booms and downturns, hurricanes and recovery efforts, Louisiana residents and businesses have relied on us to help secure their financial futures. We believe that in order to build long-lasting relationships with our clients, we also have to serve our agents and staff, as well as the communities in which we all live and work. WHY WE GIVE BACK Local residents and businesses rely on us to help secure their financial futures, but our commitment doesn’t end there. We believe that in order to build long-lasting relationships with our clients, we also have to serve the local communities in which they live and work. Here’s how we are making a difference in our communities: SOME OF THE NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT • Jefferson Chamber of Commerce • LSU Professional Sales Institute Charter Member • Catholic Charities • Cale P. and Katherine Smith student Financial Management Center at LSU • Co-Chair of LLS Leukemia Society MISSION STATEMENT People choose to team with us because of our inclusive culture, career growth and the impact they can have on their family and community. What this means to you is that you will have continuous support and partnerships that will empower you to grow your business with integrity, professionalism and passion. The real benefit is that you will have the clarity and confidence to pursue all that you desire in your career.
CONTACT louisiana.massmutual.com (504) 299-8971 1 Galleria Blvd. Metairie Offices operating under an alternative marketing name may offer products, services, or guidance outside of their relationship with MassMutual, MML Investors Services, or their affiliated companies. Any such offices are not subsidiaries or affiliates of MassMutual or its affiliated companies. MassMutual is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. Local sales agencies are not subsidiaries of MassMutual or its affiliated companies. Agency officers are not officers of MassMutual. Financial Services Representatives are independent contractors and are not employees of MassMutual, its subsidiaries, or of General Agents with whom they contract.
TOP General Agent, Cale Smith, performs routine maintenance on the Sanctuary for Life Shelter for mothers and expecting mothers. BOTTOM Christy Bellue performs routine maintenance on the Sanctuary for Life Shelter for mothers and expecting mothers.
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
ABOUT TSRG The Stevens Realty Group, Inc. was founded in 1994 as an asset management-based consulting and brokerage business specializing in commercial real estate. Today we offer brokerage and property management services in all of Greater New Orleans. WHY WE GIVE BACK We are in a service industry always striving for positive outcomes. We hope all our efforts make a difference in the community, especially with all our chosen organizations and associations. NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT • The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) — our leadership efforts helped raise over $100,000 in 2017. • New Orleans Track Club (NOTC), offers support for college bound student athletes — we are the major sponsor of its scholarship fund, scholarships are awarded at the Father’s Day Race. • Hogs for the Cause — through our annual support of Frey Smoked Meat Company and Foundation, an award — winning BBQ Team, we are helping the Cause. • Women’s New Life Center, a life saving and life changing organization — we helped find its very first office location and remain a proud annual donor. • Many who have attended a Jesuit school understand the concept, “men for others.” Annually we support elderly and infirmed Jesuits of the Central and Southern Province. MISSION STATEMENT Simply, “here to serve” S olutions, Analytics + Results E ffective communication R elationships, Trust + Confidence V alue estimated or added I nvolved, giving back C ollaboration, teamwork E nthusiasm and positive environment
CONTACT tsgrealestate.com (504) 229-4858 3322 Hessmer Avenue Metairie
TOP Owners Bob and Robert Stevens BOTTOM The Team Peter G at a fundraiser held at Rock N Bowl to raise money for Peter Ganucheau’s COTA fund for his liver transplant
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
ABOUT TRITON STONE Triton Stone Group is a family - owned company, headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Triton is one of the largest importers of natural stone and other building products in the country. We are committed to providing the highest level of customer service, the best quality marble and granite products, and the most competitive price in the market. WHY WE GIVE BACK Triton Stone Group has always been involved in their community. Katie Peralta and Rachel Jones, sisters and the president and vice president of Triton Stone Group, were raised with strong values in a philanthropic family. They understand the importance of taking care of our community, and expend great efforts to give back to the less fortunate. Most recently, Triton has established its community outreach program called Triton Cares. With a small committee of Triton employees, led by Rachel Jones, they organize events, donations and support for the communities surrounding each of their branches.
NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT • Habitat for Humanity • Wounded Warriors • Bridget House/Grace House • Covenant House • Battered Women’s Justice Project • And more… MISSION STATEMENT To inspire creativity in our customers while providing exceptional products and delivering an unparalleled customer service experience. CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org tritonstone.com (504) 738-2228 6131 River Rd Harahan
TOP & BOTTOM 2017 Habitat for Humanity Women Build
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ABOUT ARC OF GREATER NEW ORLEANS Founded in 1953 by parents of children with conditions such as autism and Down syndrome, Arc of Greater New Orleans (ArcGNO) is the region’s largest provider of comprehensive services to citizens with intellectual disabilities. ArcGNO’s dedicated staff currently support nearly 600 residents – from infants to senior citizens – in their homes, out in the community, at school and at job sites throughout a five-parish metropolitan area. ArcGNO enables citizens with disabilities to live and flourish in the communities of their choice, helping them to fill their days with meaningful work and other activities that contribute to their autonomy, well-being and happiness. We assist parents in getting the most effective therapies for their newborns. We help clients at home with activities ranging from hygiene to budgeting. We provide job coaching and placement for those seeking marketplace employment, and we create additional employment opportunities through three social enterprises: a commercial janitorial crew, a groundskeeping company and the celebrated Mardi Gras Recycle Center, which, through the sorting, and reselling of carnival throws, currently funds over 80 jobs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS ArcGNO is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization whose principal source of income is Medicaid. Medicaid reimbursement rates have been reduced twice in the last decade and now stand below rates originally set in 2007. Thus, income from social enterprises and fundraising are critical to our financial health. Individuals can support our mission through donations of cash, services, and, of course, Mardi Gras throws. Donations are always welcome through our website: arcgno.org. Interested volunteers should contact Norelia Reed at email@example.com or 504-324-1486. ArcGNO also hosts two fundraisers throughout the year: Anything Goes in the fall and a golf tournament in the Spring. For more information on these events or if you are interested in supporting ArcGNO in any way, please visit arcgno.org or contact Dr. Stephen Sauer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-837-5105. GET INVOLVED • Join our Circle of Friends at arcgno.org • Volunteer at one of our five community centers, offering daytime activities to adults with intellectual disabilities
• Volunteer at the Mardi Gras Recycle Center, either sorting beads or assisting in our retail store • Volunteer in an administrative support function at our Metairie headquarters • Attend one of our fundraisers or host an event to introduce us to your family and peers. MISSION STATEMENT Arc of Greater New Orleans is committed to securing for all people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to develop, function, and live to their fullest potential. CONTACT arcgno.org (504) 837-5105 925 Labarre Road Metairie
TOP ArcGNO participants enjoy many community activities, including French Quarter Fest 2017 BOTTOM ArcGNO professional staff assist clients so that they can remain autonomous and at home
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ABOUT Community Works Community Works offers afterschool and summer enrichment programs to over 850 youth daily throughout New Orleans. Our programs create an inclusive environment and aim to build equity in access to enrichment activities like art, music, dance, theater, STEAM, sports and career-visioning. Since Community Works was founded in 2009, our programs have been proven to strengthen students’ self-confidence, engage students who may not benefit from traditional methods of teaching and shape students into leaders in their community. In action this can look like students writing their own song lyrics and performing in front of their peers or learning a new chess strategy and competing in a local tournament. Community Works programs are often the only enrichment received by many of the youth we serve and we have a network of over 100 qualified instructors who design project-based activities for those youth. “I like the time, dedication and problem solving skills that Community Works provides to children that are having difficulties during the day.”Chrisey S., parent. “My son enjoys the variety of the activities and the curriculum, the social interaction with students of different ages and the artistic expression available after a day of traditional classes.” - Jason C., parent. FUNDRAISING/ EVENTS GiveNOLA Day – Look for Community Works on May 1st. givenola.org/communityworks Arts + Action – Tap into your creative side with Community Works’ annual event, supporting afterschool and summer programs. Fun hands-on art activities, food, drinks, live music and more. Follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter at communityworksla.org to receive updates on this great event. GET INVOLVED • Partners can reach out for additional information about bringing Community Works programs to your school and your students. • Corporations can sponsor a class or bring Community Works student performers to their events. • Looking to teach – CW is always looking for innovative enrichment instructors in all disciplines. Email us a resume and cover letter.
Volunteering – experience the fun of Community Works classes alongside our instructors. Parents should visit our website to register their students for summer and afterschool programs.
DONATE TODAY! For more information, please reach out to ToniAnn Laborde at email@example.com. MISSION STATEMENT Working to build a community of healthy and creative learners through programs that integrate arts, recreation and educational support. CONTACT communityworksla.org firstname.lastname@example.org (504) 522-2667 3900 General Taylor New Orleans,
TOP CW students ready to perform African Drumming in front of their family and friends BOTTOM CW students painting their way through afterschool
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ABOUT CrescentCare CrescentCare is a community health center with a number of locations across New Orleans serving the greater community on a sliding scale, regardless of insurance status. It was founded over 30 years ago as NO/AIDS Task Force and expanded to become a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2014. Now the agency provides services including primary medical care, dental care and behavioral health, and features specialties like OB-GYN, pediatrics and sexual health. CrescentCare is dedicated to offering comprehensive wrap-around services tailored to individuals. CrescentCare is expanding this year, constructing a health center in the heart of the 8th ward to provide incredible services to more of the community! FUNDRAISING/EVENTS In addition to a series of fundraising events each year to support its programs, CrescentCare launched its Deeply Rooted/Branching Out initiative in early 2018 a capital campaign to raise $4 million to complete the funding on a new health center being constructed. It will triple CresentCare’s capacity to serve the communit, currently over 8,900 patients are being served. CrescentCare remains dedicated to HIV prevention and treatment in the New Orleans area by administering thousands of HIV tests for no cost each year and hosting Art Against AIDS and the Chevron New Orleans Walk To End HIV. For more information on Deeply Rooted/ Branching Out, CrescentCare’s special events, or if you are interested in contributing as a volunteer or becoming a patient, visit crescentcare.org or contact Director of Development Rodney Thoulion at rodney. email@example.com or (504) 821-2601 ext. 203. YEARLY EVENTS • Bow Tie Bash - April 5, 2018 - This breezy cocktail gathering at the Light House in the CBD is a fundraiser inspired by late community member and long-time supporter Chet Pouricau. • Dining Out For Life 2018 - June 7, 2018 Contribute to CrescentCare’s mission and the Food For Friends meal delivery program serving those living with HIV and cancer. How? By enjoying dinner at a participating restaurant, a portion of your meal’s cost goes to CrescentCare! • The Chevron New Orleans Walk To End HIV September 30, 2018 - New Orleans’ signature HIV/AIDS awareness walk featuring the Festival For Life, a community party at the end of the route.
• Art Against AIDS - December 1, World AIDS Day 2018 - Dozens of local artists donate their work to raise money for research and treatment of HIV each year. Open bar, delicious local fare, entertainment and a silent auction are just some of the trappings for this important and festive holiday gathering. MISSION STATEMENT CrescentCare’s mission is to offer comprehensive health and wellness services to the community, to advocate empowerment, to safeguard the rights and dignity of individuals, and to provide for an enlightened public. CONTACT crescentcare.org (504) 207-2273 3308 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans
TOP Ground has been broken and construction began on a new health home at 1631 Elysian Fields in 2017 BOTTOM CrescentCare sees clients from all walks of life and income levels, providing a wide array of services including primary care, OB-GYN, sexual health, dentistry and more
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ABOUT DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY HEALTH CENTERS With more than 180 years of rich history connected to the Daughters of Charity in New Orleans, Daughters of Charity Health Centers (DCHC) delivers high-quality, affordable health care with respect and compassion for all. The agency provides health care for children and adults at 10 conveniently located community health centers and seven schools throughout greater New Orleans, and through two mobile medical and two mobile dental units. Services are unique to each site and may include primary and preventive health care for children and adults, women’s health, dental, optometry, behavioral health, podiatry, onsite laboratories, pharmacies and more. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS Daughters of Charity Health Centers works diligently to “keep its promise” of health care for all, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The organization counts on support from corporate, individual and foundation contributors to support its mission. Throughout the year, DCHC – with the help of generous partners – invests in patients in various ways including, but not limited to, the following programs: Seton Medication Fund: DCHC provides financial support for patients who are unable to afford prescription medications through its Seton Medication Fund. A significant barrier to good health for individuals living below the poverty line is accessing expensive prescription medications, especially for chronic illnesses. The Seton Fund serves as a lifeline for these patients so they can take control of their health and follow through with their care plan. Read For Your Health: Daughters of Charity Health Centers’ Read for Your Health Program, an initiative of Reach Out and Read®, makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care so that children grow up with books and a love for reading. Through this exciting program, health care providers “prescribe” age-appropriate books to patients—from infants to age six—during pediatric well-visits, stimulating early brain development and building children’s mental muscles and their reading libraries.
Daughters of Charity Health Centers hosts two signature fundraising events annually to help support the mission and programs of the organization: March – Keeping Our Promises Gala September – Champions FORE Health Golf Tournament For more information on any of DCHC’s special events or if you are interested in supporting DCHC, please contact Erica Spruille at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact dchcno.org (504) 212-9544 3201 S. Carrollton Ave. New Orleans
Top Dr. Monique Jones and one of her pediatric patients reading during a pediatric visit. Bottom Dr. Louis Bevrotte with a pediatric patient.
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ABOUT footprints to fitness Footprints To Fitness is a health and wellness company whose mission is to help others live a fun and balanced life, while staying true to our New Orleans culture. We love to EAT, DRINK and DANCE to the beat of our own brass band. We specialize in creating fun and unique experiences for locals and visitors to become healthier and happier through our wellness programs. This ranges from weekly fitness classes, to community events, corporate wellness and CPR training. From healthy happy hours, zumba, yoga, pilates, bachelorette parties, Cocktails + Coloring (yes, you read that correctly) there’s something for everyone. We believe health and wellness should be accessible for all. Our Footprints community is a gumbo of diversity, acceptance and strength. Our motto: Treat Ya’ Self and “Join the Journey” with us! FUNDRAISING EVENTS + WHY WE GIVE BACK Footprints is committed to educating others on the importance of total health awareness (mind, body and spirit) and giving back to the community. Many of our wellness events, including our signature Healthy Happy Hours, double as yearlong fundraisers for our programming, as well as other nonprofits. This allows us to continue providing free and affordable resources for the city. Our fundraising events include our: • Healthy Happy Hours • Community Fitness & Wellness Series For more information on any of Footprints’ unique programming, or if you are interested in partnering to host a special event, please visit FootprintsToFitness.com or contact us at info@FootprintsToFitness.com GET INVOLVED • Partner with Footprints to host a private or public event for your group and community. • Student Internships – We partner with colleges to educate students on customer service, public relations and marketing. • Join our email list to learn more about our events that are used to raise funds for wellness education and nonprofits throughout the New Orleans Metro area. • Volunteer to assist with our upcoming events.
MISSION STATEMENT Our mission is to help and educate others to live a fun and balanced life, while staying true to our New Orleans culture. CONTACT FootprintsToFitness.com (504) 383-4718 FOLLOW us on social media: Facebook: Footprints To Fitness Instagram: Footprints_To_Fitness TOP Footprints represents diversity, hard work, acceptance and fun! There’s something for everyone! BOTTOM Footprints signature “Healthy Happy Hours.” Who says fitness can’t be fun? Tell that to the krewe that loves yoga, pilates, dance and cocktails!
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ABOUT THE GREATER NEW ORLEANS FOUNDATION At the Greater New Orleans Foundation, we look to create a vibrant, sustainable and just region for all in the Greater New Orleans region. The Greater New Orleans Foundation serves both donors and grantees—linking people who want to give with the needs and aspirations of the greater community. We provide civic leadership by pulling together people, ideas and resources; we increase the effectiveness of nonprofit leaders and organizations and partner with donors to help them achieve their charitable goals, whether that means starting a fund, creating an endowment, or just making a gift to benefit the community. EVENTS GiveNOLA Day will be Tuesday, May 1. 24hour online giving event inspires people to give generously to over 700 participating nonprofit organizations. Check out givenola. org to see if your favorite nonprofit is participating. Impact 100 is a women’s giving circle that makes a $100,000 transformative grant to a local nonprofit organization every year. To date, the women of Impact 100 have granted out more than $660,000 to local nonprofits. Interested in joining? Please contact Senior Philanthropic Gift Officer Allie Betts at Allie@gnof.org or call (504) 620-5264. GET INVOLVED Open a Fund. Join other like-minded philanthropic individuals and families by opening a donor advised fund. Receive an immediate tax deduction and then recommend grants from your fund to your favorite charitable causes over time. You’ll get the ultimate flexibility for your charitable dollars. Go Beyond Cash. Gifts of appreciated stock, real estate, retirement accounts and business interests are great ways to achieve tax-savvy giving while preserving your cash. Your tax advisor can work with the Greater New Orleans Foundation to help you make gifts from your most strategic assets. Be a Partner in Philanthropy. When you join the Greater New Orleans foundation as a Partner in Philanthropy you’re enabling the Foundation to undertake civic leadership initiatives in workforce development and environmental sustainability. To partner in these, other activities, with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, please contact Senior Philanthropic Gift Officer Allie Betts at Allie@gnof.org or call (504) 620-5264.
MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the Greater New Orleans Foundation is to drive positive impact through philanthropy, leadership and action in the Greater New Orleans region. CONTACT Facebook: greaterneworleansfoundation Twitter: @GNOFoundation Instagram: @GNOFoundation gnof.org (504) 598-4663 919 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA 70130
TOP The Greater New Orleans Foundation recently opened the Center for Philanthropy at 919 St. Charles Avenue, the catalytic hub for philanthropy in our region. BOTTOM Over 750 nonprofit organizations will be participating in GiveNOLA Day on Tuesday, May 1. The 24-hour, online charitable giving event inspires people to give generously. To celebrate, the Greater New Orleans Foundation will host the second annual GiveNOLA Fest from 5:00p.m. – 8:00p.m. at the Center for Philanthropy, featuring performances by Irma Thomas followed by the Soul Rebels.
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About Junior achievement Junior Achievement (JA) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship through experiential, hands-on programs. Celebrating more than 60 years in the metro New Orleans area, Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans ignites the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities of work in a global marketplace. Through the help of more than 1,300 community volunteers, more than 32,000 southeast Louisiana elementary, middle and high school students are annually involved in the JA program in more than 125 public, private and parochial schools throughout 13 parishes. Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans inspires the next generation to navigate their path to their own American Dream. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization supported by corporate, individual and foundation contributors. Corporations can bring JA programs to students in their community by sponsoring a class or an entire school. Individuals can help through donations of cash, products or services. In addition, Junior Achievement hosts four special event fundraisers throughout the year to help support the mission and programs of the organization. Those events include the City Stars Soirée, Crescent City Corporate Championship Golf Tournament, Business Hall of Fame Gala and Bowl-A-Thon/Play4JA events. For more information on any of JA’s special events or if you are interested in supporting JA, please visit jagno.org or contact Melissa Binder at email@example.com or (504) 569-8658. GET INVOLVED • Volunteer in the classroom – lead a JA lesson while sharing your personal and professional experiences • Volunteer at JA BizTown or Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park – guide students as they become citizens, workers and consumers
• Volunteer for one of JA’s multiple high school experiences, including JA Company Program, JA Job Shadow, YouthForce NOLA Career Expo or the Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge • Fundraising – support a JA special event or make an operating donation TODAY! Mission Statement To inspire and prepare young people to successfully participate in our economy through workforce development, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Contact jagno.org (504) 569-8650 5100 Orleans Ave. New Orleans
Top A JA volunteer and student participate in the second grade program, Our Communities. Bottom Three middle school students participate in the JA Global Marketplace program.
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about THE LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN FOUNDATION The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) is the only nonprofit, science — driven environmental organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing Lake Pontchartrain and its basin. The Pontchartrain Basin is a 10,000 — square — mile watershed which includes 16 Louisiana parishes, four Mississippi counties and the most densely populated areas in Louisiana — New Orleans and Baton Rouge. At its core is Lake Pontchartrain, a 630 — square — mile estuary. In 2019 LPBF will celebrate 30 years of protecting our environment, our economy and our culture. LPBF’s programs focus on improving water quality, coastal restoration and education. In 2006, LPBF was responsible for the removal of the lake from the Impaired Water Bodies List, allowing people to return to swimming in the lake. Since then, eight other bodies of water have been removed. Louisiana is facing a land loss crisis and LPBF’s efforts on coastal restoration have included the planting of over 50,000 trees and the engineering behind the creation of new wetlands and a 600’ acre delta. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS LPBF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors representing Basin parishes and regulatory agencies. LPBF welcomes support through grants, donations, sponsorship of events, membership and volunteering. LPBF organizes a number of fundraisers throughout the year. This year, LPBF will host a new event, Yacht Rock on the Lake, on June 9. There will be bands, food, bars, and arts and crafts. Toast Our Coast Gala will take place October 6, and Beach Sweep on September 15. LPBF holds a holiday event, ‘Lights on the Lake,’ which includes a boat parade, live music and other holiday festivities. For more information on LPBF events, contact Jeff Elizardi at firstname.lastname@example.org, look on our website saveourlake.org or call (504) 836-2209. GET INVOLVED • Join the LPBF! • Membership starts at just $40. • Ask LPBF to visit your school or organize a visit to our New Canal Lighthouse and Museum. Information on education programs is available at saveourlake.org • Help your company reach a larger audience and show you care by sponsoring an event such as Yacht Rock or Toast Our Coast.
• Organize a team to volunteer at a tree planting or during our removal of crab traps. • Become a museum docent; attend two hours of instruction and lead tours around our New Canal Lighthouse and Museum. • Support our unified vision of clean waterways and a resilient coast by making a donation. MISSION STATEMENT As the public’s independent voice, LPBF’s mission is to restore and preserve the Pontchartrain Basin for the benefit of this and future generations. CONTACT saveourlake.org (504) 836-2215 8001 Lakeshore Drive New Orleans
TOP Over 800 people enjoyed Lights at the Lake at the New Canal Lighthouse & Museum. BOTTOM Children involved in hands-on environmental science learning at the New Canal Lighthouse and Museum.
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BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
ABOUT THE LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION The alumni association offers a variety of different ways in which alumni can be involved through community service projects, networking opportunities, student mentoring, educational and spiritual programs, and social gatherings. Membership in the Loyola University New Orleans Alumni Association is open and free to all Loyola and friends of the university. Participation allows you to take part in on-campus events and get involved with our chapters. EVENTS Loyola Loyal Day—April 11-12, 2018 Show your Loyola pride and participate in Loyola Loyal Day 2018. Join Loyola at the YLC Wednesday at the Square on Wednesday, April 11 as we kick off Loyola Loyal Day. Give! Share! Celebrate! Learn more at: alumni.loyno.edu/loyolaloyalday College of Business Luncheon—May 4, 2018 Join us for the annual luncheon as we honor Fernando ’04, Osmin ’05, Jorge ’07, and Ricardo ’11 Rivera as Business Young Alumni of the Year and Al Baumer ’75 as the recipient of the Doc Laborde Award for Ethical Entrepreneurship. Tickets available at alumni.loyno.edu/luncheon Wolf Pack Athletics Golf Tournament—May 18, 2018 The 21st annual golf tournament will take place at the Audubon Park Golf Club. Proceeds will support Wolf Pack Athletics. Learn more and register at alumni.loyno.edu/golf18 Wolf Pack Weekend 2018—September 28-30, 2018 All alumni are invited back to campus for a weekend to celebrate and relive your Loyola experience! Attend sessions taught by your favorite professor, reminisce with fellow alumni and celebrate your reunion at Alumni Weekend 2017. Learn more at: alumni.loyno.edu/weekend GET INVOLVED Apply for the Alumni Association Board. Leadership opportunities are available through our boards, committees, and chapters. Loyola’s alumni board members are strategic thinkers who are committed to the alumni association’s mission. Apply or nominate a Loyola alumnus today at alumni.loyno.edu/board
MISSION STATEMENT Guided by the Jesuit principles of men and women with and for others, the Loyola University New Orleans Alumni Association is organized to serve alumni, promote a spirit of cooperation and fellowship among alumni, encourage the development of lifelong relationships between alumni and the university, and foster philanthropic loyalty and support for the university. CONTACT alumni.loyno.edu email@example.com (504) 861-5454 Office of Alumni Engagement 7214 St. Charles Ave, Box 909 New Orleans
TOP Alumni from the 2002 Women’s Wolf Pack Volleyball Team and their families gather at the annual Hall of Fame Reception and Induction Ceremony BOTTOM College of Law Alumni at the Annual Law Alumni Luncheon
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL DIABETES AND OBESITY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (NDORI) NDORI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Joseph Canizaro in the quest to combat the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity in the United States. Our goal is to engage the community through research, education, treatment and prevention. The Institute and its programs are being developed in conjunction with Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute (EMI), local and regional health care providers, educational institutions, as well as local, state and federal agencies, all of which play a critical role in NDORI’s success. NDORI is currently working with Memorial Hospital, Coastal Family Health Center and New Orleans East Hospital to redefine clinical protocols and improve outcomes for Mississippi and Louisiana residents. We also work closely with the Mississippi Department of Health to provide educational offerings to increase the number of recognized diabetes programs and number of Certified Diabetes Educators with goals to increase patient access to education across the state. PROGRAMS OFFERED NDORI’s diabetes and obesity education programs will teach self-management through topics such as diabetes and obesity control, self-monitoring, exercise, medications and depression. Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support - The curriculum utilized for the DSMES program is highly visual and allows for group interaction and is based on current evidence and practice guidelines with criteria for evaluating outcomes. Medical Nutrition Therapy – Individualized dietary program and guidance from our Registered Dietician that incorporates diet therapy counseling for a nutrition related problem or condition. EVENTS October 11th & 12th: Cleveland Clinic and NDORI’s Annual Obesity Summit. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Hospitality and Resort Management Center – Biloxi, MS. GET INVOLVED Opportunities to get involved and support our mission may be found at ndori.org.
MISSION STATEMENT With the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity in the United States, our Institute was founded to achieve the following: Reduce diabetes and obesity incidence nationally through education, treatment and prevention; Conduct and share groundbreaking clinical trials and research; Find a cure for diabetes and obesity; Address healthcare disparities in underserved populations. CONTACT ndori.org Deborah Colby, M.Ed.RD,LD,CDE Director, Education (228) 831-8764 19289 Saint Joseph Street, Suite C Biloxi, MS 39532
TOP Tradition Learning Medical City BOTTOM NDORI and Cleveland Clinic Affiliation Announcement. From left: Joseph Canizaro – Founder & CEO. Senator Sean Tindell. Dr. Tommy King – President of William Carey University. Dr. Richard Shewbridge – Cleveland Clinic EMI. Governor Phil Bryant. Dr. James Young, Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s EMI. Lt. Governor Tate Reeves. Dr. Mary Graham – President of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
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ABOUT New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was incorporated in 1983 as an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. In our 35 years of working in New Orleans and the surrounding area, NOAHH has built and rehabbed over 600 homes, gutted over 2,400 homes and led more than 180,000 volunteers in neighborhoods severely impacted by natural disasters and poverty. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS In May, NOAHH will host Women Build, an all-woman build where women will work together to fund and build two homes for hardworking New Orleans women. The build will begin on May 9 and conclude on June 2. It’s more than a chance to build a home. It’s a chance to build lasting friendships, connect with other local women, learn new skills and create a better future for others. We’re asking you to join us. Be a team leader. If leading a team is not for you, you can still be involved as a team member, a donor or by helping us with other details of the event like lunches, special surprises and more. If you’d like to be part of this extraordinary event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. GET INVOLVED Donate online at donatenola.org There are also many other ways to support our work, including: • Volunteer on a build site or at the ReStore. To learn more, contact Michelle Carty at (504) 861-4121 or email@example.com • Join our 2018 Women Build as a volunteer or sponsor • Renovating or redecorating? Donate used furniture, appliances or building materials to the Habitat ReStore. Free pickup. Call (504) 943-2240 • Shop at the ReStore
MISSION STATEMENT The mission of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity is to build affordable homes in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, communities and homeowner families. Through this process families are empowered to transform their own lives and to eliminate poverty housing in the New Orleans area while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. CONTACT habitat-nola.org (504) 861-2077 2900 Elysian Fields Ave. New Orleans Social Media: @HABITATNOLA
TOP Scott Moersen and his daughter celebrate their new home BOTTOM Habitat Home buyer Nicole Pujol volunteering on a build site
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ABOUT ST. KATHARINE DREXEL PREPARATORY St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory School is an all-girls Catholic school offering a quality education to young students in grades 8th through 12th. Founded in 2013 by a group of alumni dedicated to preserving the legacy of its founder to continue the “Drexel Dream” of educating minority students. Drexel Prep is located at 5116 Magazine Street, formerly the site of Xavier University Preparatory School. Drexel Prep provides an advantageous environment for both education and selfdevelopment by encouraging students to exercise analytic and creative thinking to develop students’ leadership skills. Katharine Drexel realized her dream of establishing a school in New Orleans, Louisiana to educate African and Native Americans. St. Katharine Drexel’s legacy of love, courage, service and the belief of providing a quality education for all is the hallmark of St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory School. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS • I Give Catholic • Give Tuesday • Give NOLA • Mardi Gras Fundraiser • Annual Giving Fund HOW WE GIVE Our faculty, staff and students participate in a variety of community service projects throughout the Greater New Orleans area, such as our feed the homeless campaign, our clothing drive, and other volunteering efforts. GET INVOLVED Many opportunities to support Drexel Prep are available through the board of directors, administration and alumni. Sponsored programs include adopt-a-student program and tuition scholarship assistance programs.
Mission Statement St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory provides an educational opportunity to holistically develop students spiritually, morally, intellectually and physically. Drexel Prep stresses academic excellence while cultivating students’ self-esteem and leadership skills. Contact drexelprep.com/donation Mr. Jacob J. Owens, Jr. | Principal (504) 899-6061 5116 Magazine Street New Orleans
Top Mr. Owens, principal, standing with the #BEEleivers student group members. Bottom Drexel Prep eucharistic ministers serving during monthly liturgy.
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ABOUT XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA Since its inception in 1925 by St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Xavier University of Louisiana’s fundamental vision has stood upon the education of students who would become agents of change in society, government and the church. Xavier’s students are comprised of young men and women of all backgrounds, who prepare themselves to lead and build a greater and more evolved national and global community. Xavier University of Louisiana is recognized as the national leader in minority science education, ranking first in the nation in producing African-American graduates who go on to complete medical school, as well as graduates who achieve PhDs in the life sciences. Xavier University of Louisiana’s College of Pharmacy ranks among the top four colleges in the nation, graduating 25 percent of all African-American pharmacists practicing in the United States. As the only black, Catholic HBCU in the United States, Xavier University’s core curriculum is rooted in the liberal arts and offers close to four dozen majors in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree levels. Tomorrow’s leaders walk Xavier University of Louisiana’s halls today. Xavier continues to be guided by its foundress’ vision and remains rooted in its mission to be a globally recognized university that celebrates diversity, fosters an intellectual environment of academic excellence and educates future leaders who will build a just and humane society. FUNDRAISING/ EVENTS Supporting Xavier University of Louisiana is one of the best investments you can make. The impact of your giving goes beyond the borders of the campus, into the local community and out into the world. The 6th annual Give. Love. Xavier Day is Tuesday, April 10th. The all-day, online fundraising event is dedicated to the annual fund and helps Xavier University of Louisiana to continue our legacy of educating deserving students. Our goal is to have at least 3,500 donors contribute a minimum of $20 for Give.Love.Xavier Day. GET INVOLVED • Make a recurring gift by visiting the Xavier University site at giving.xula.edu/give-love-xavier. • When you make a gift, post about it on your social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to encourage your friends to give. Join in the conversations about Give Love Xavier Day and spread your love with the hashtag #GLXU18!
MISSION STATEMENT Xavier University of Louisiana —founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament — is Catholic and historically black. The ultimate purpose of the university is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. This preparation takes place in a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates all relevant educational means, including research and community service. CONTACT xula.edu @XULA1925 (504) 520-7575 1 Drexel Drive New Orleans
TOP Xavier University of Louisiana President Reynold Verret with Provost Anne McCall and Xavier academic deans in front of the historic Xavier Administration Building, a city of New Orleans landmark. BOTTOM Father Etido Jerome, director of campus ministry, blessing the annual St. Joseph’s Altar in the St. Katharine Drexel Chapel.
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Southe a st louisiana businesses in full color
from the lens GREAT WORKSPACES / WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? / MAKING A MATCH / ON THE JOB
Jambalaya Girl’s gumbo and jambalaya mixes can be found in over 400 stores across the Gulf South. The company just celebrated eight years in business in February.
From The Lens g r e at wo r ks paces
Constructing Community Palmisano’s new headquarters pays homage to the past while looking to the future. by Melanie Warner Spencer photos by Sara Essex Bradley
An expansive covered deck overlooking
the river — with a sizeable grill and ping-pong table — is visible from the meeting table in Wes Palmisano’s new office. Palmisano is the president and CEO of Palmisano construction firm, but apart from using it for meetings, he says he rarely spends time in his executive space, which has a sleek lounge area situated nearby. He opts instead to post up at a desk in a shared “pod” closer to the open office space where the company’s project teams work. Palmisano moved into its new, approximately 30,000-square-foot space at 1730 Tchoupitoulas Street in February. The three-story, state-of-the art building was designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple architectural firm and was created for collaboration and growth. “Our business plan is to double the size of the organization and the building was built with that in mind,” says Palmisano, whose grandfather, Warren J. Palmisano Sr., started W.J. Palmisano Contractors in 1950 as a residential construction company. In 2013, the junior Palmisano transitioned the company to commercial work. Upon moving into its former, 15,000-square-foot space, Palmisano had 20 people in the office. “When we moved out, we had 100 people,” says Palmisano. “We learned a lesson from the last office. We have the structure, foundation and roof built to where we can expand up two floors.”
94 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
Palmisano, which began as the residential construction company W.J. Palmisano Contractors in 1950, moved to a sleek new facility at 1730 Tchoupitoulas Street in February.
The building has three large conference rooms and 10 small conference rooms. Each room is named after a significant street or year in the company’s history or a core value. One of the large rooms is called The Warren Room, named after Wes Palmisano’s grandfather, the company’s founder.
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The expansive deck overlooking the river (TOP) and the Crossfit gym (BOTTOM), are among the many perks enjoyed by Palmisano employees.
At a Glance
Growth was an important element of the design, but Palmisano says he had another, even greater priority than being able to expand in place. “The No. 1 driver of creating this facility was the culture,” says Palmisano. “Company culture has been at the forefront of our design. The space takes on the personality of the company.” That concept is quite literally written on the wall upon entering the building. Rather than a logo in the lobby, Palmisano’s manifesto is etched front and center into a large-scale wood design element behind the reception desk. “Instead of a vision and a mission statement, we have a manifesto,” says Palmisano. “Honorability; a fun and constructive work environment; a place for people to build a career; innovating for our industry — we want to be able to attract top talent. The tech companies do it, so we do it.” Tech companies entice desirable candidates into their ranks via amenities and Palmisano’s new facility has all of the bells and whistles. A yoga room and Crossfit gym with weekly, instructor-lead classes; local craft beer from nearby Urban South Brewery
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Address: 1730 Tchoupitoulas St. Office completed: 2018 Architect: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Interior Designer: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Furnishings: AOS Square footage: 30,000 square feet Main goal: Expansion of offices to accommodate current company size and future growth. Biggest Challenge: “I went through a lot of heartache and grief trying to get everything right,” says Wes Palmisano. “Creating something that captures the personality of an organization; that is very hard to capture in a physical space.” Standout Feature: The company manifesto inscribed in wood in the lobby.
The cafĂŠ features a large screen TV, cushy lounge area and views of the deck and river. bizneworleans.com / 97
(LEFT) The café is located just off of the training room and features a gourmet kitchen, as well as beer and cold brew coffee from nearby Urban South Brewing and French Truck Coffee, respectively. (RIGHT) “Sweep floors” is one of Palmisano’s core values statements and refers to the philosophy that no job is beneath anyone and everyone pitches in to get the job done.
98 / Biz New Orleans / april 2018
and cold brew coffee from French Truck are on tap in the café; and continuous professional development through the company’s “Palmisano University,” which is housed in the training room, round out the company’s offerings. The café, located between the training room and the deck, has a cozy lounge area with cushy leather sofas, a large screen TV and stellar views of the Mississippi River. The architecture team created a clean, modern design that looks like it belongs in the neighborhood. Concrete, wood, steel and glass — natural elements of construction — are employed throughout the building. “We didn’t want stone and high-end materials,” says Palmisano. “We tried to take industrial materials and blend it into an elegant design. We aren’t a fancy bunch. We wanted to use construction materials.” Palmisano picked the location near the Market Street Power Plant in part because he wanted to be in an urban
environment, close to downtown and to take advantage of river views, but also with the hope that the company could play a part in the revitalization of the area. “Since we are community oriented, we wanted to build something that could be bigger,” says Palmisano. “ We’re hoping with our philosophy of doing good in the community that our little project creates a spark of doing something in this area.” The use of raw materials and the building’s industrial surroundings lend a certain humility to the sophisticated design, anchoring it to the company’s origins as a local, family-owned construction business. “A lot of time, thought and effort went into the design and creating something that captures the personality of the organization,” says Palmisano. “That’s very hard to capture in a physical space. I went through a lot of heartache and grief trying to get everything right.” n
CEO Wes Palmisanoâ€™s office overlooks the deck and features a custom table made by E. Kraemer Fine Metal & Woodwork.
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From The Lens wh y d i dn ’ t i th i nk of th at ?
Jambalaya Girl Mixes It Up Sales for this local company’s gumbo and jambalaya mixes are up 40 to 50 percent in the past three years. by Ashley McLellan photos by sara essex bradley
Through her quick meal “Jambalaya”
and “gumbo” kits, Kristen Preau Moore, a.k.a. Jambalaya Girl, is spreading New Orleans love on a national level. Jambalaya Girl marked its eight-year anniversary this past February with gumbo and jambalaya kits for sale in over 400 stores across the Gulf Coast, including regional Sam’s and Costco stores, and online sales in all 50 states through the company’s website and Amazon Prime. “Our job is to take our taste of New Orleans on the road,” she said. “And we are proud to say that our products are made in New Orleans. It keeps it authentic.” While Moore’s staff size is small at two full-time and three part-time, Jambalaya Girl has subcontractor employees at Magic Seasonings Blend in Harahan, where her products are made, as well as a national network of distributors. The company has continued to see growth over the past three years, at 40 to 50 percent over that time. “The Jambalaya Rice Mix is our biggest seller and it’s packaged for retail, wholesale clubs and food service,” Moore said. “We even have schools across Louisiana using it in their cafeterias. However, the gumbo, which is a newer item, is showing significant growth rates – it outsold the jambalaya in most grocery stores over the past three months.” Moore and her staff have worked on branding the company for the past four years. Originally called “Cook me Somethin’ Mister,” Moore realized
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Jambalaya Girl is a New Orleans-based, womanowned business that offers quick cook meal kits inspired by family recipes. Owner and â€œJambalaya Girlâ€? Kristen Preau Moore, known for her quick smile and unique fork earrings, has developed the product and business for the past eight years, with kits currently for sale in over 400 stores across the Gulf South and growing.
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the company’s name might not translate outside southern Louisiana. Asked about it at a meeting of marketing minds in New York while participating in the 10,000 Small Businesses entrepreneurship workshop hosted by Goldman Sachs, she found that her identity, and the identity of the brand, would naturally come together. “When we got to New York, they said, ‘Why aren’t we talking about the elephant in the room…why aren’t you calling your business Jambalaya Girl?’ At that point I had the caricature — which was drawn for me by artist Ricky Nobile at a fundraiser where we were cooking up some jambalaya — and I had been wearing my fork earrings for some time. Everything was there, and so Jambalaya Girl was born.” Moore’s well-known earrings were born out of another local passion, her alter-ego as a Saints football super-fan. “The fork earrings first appeared at the Buddy D. Dress Parade after the Saints won the championship and a trip to the Super Bowl [in 2010,]” she said. “I led the parade with the super-fans. [Another super-fan,] Whistle Monsta, called me out and said I needed to step up my super fan game [to match] my Jambalaya Girl nickname, so I added plastic fork earrings, a mock cast-iron pot on my head and a golden paddle. Luckily, the fork earrings stuck, not the cast-iron pot on my head.” Moore grew up surrounded by New Orleans cultural heroes, from Saints team members to world-famous Chef Paul Prudhomme, but in actuality, Jambalaya Girl was born out of necessity and is part of a long family tradition. “It started with me and my dad going to my brother’s sporting events,” Moore said. “We would set up a tent and my dad would make these big batches of jambalaya. I would be the little sister standing there holding out bowls, and people would say, ‘Look at that little jambalaya girl!’ The name stuck. I guess it was meant to be.” Moore’s father, a culinary inventor who pioneered specially designed outdoor cookers and burner stands for grills, boiling pots, cast-iron pots and double burner cookers, brought her along on his business travels, providing her with an early introduction to Louisiana cooking on all levels. “[My dad’s] customers ranged from the top chefs in the city to festival vendors to homeowners. So the Louisiana culinary tradition that I grew up with was almost always cooking outdoors from the backyard to parking lots, with jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish boils, fish frys and many more. And carrying on this tradition, whether it was a business or not, was just natural,” she said. Moore’s passion for New Orleans and Louisiana culture drove her to pursue a business that would bring a taste of the area to the world, although Jambalaya Girl was not her first stop, working first for the University of New Orleans, top ad agencies and an architecture firm, and even NOLA-themed
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Spice it Up
Successful Louisiana Spice: Tony Chachere’s This Opelousasbased spice and meal prep blend is so popular, we all just know it as “Tony’s.” Started by its namesake creator in 1972, it is still operated by the Chachere family and distributed throughout the Southeast, with mail order requests from across the U.S., Canada and abroad. Magic Seasonings
Moore, seen with her tour van and jambalaya pot, tours the country with cooking demonstrations, a practice she perfected with post-Katrina fundraising tailgates held across the U.S.
mascot work, as Ms. Ima Dilla at Jazzland during high school. “Actually, right out of college I wanted to pursue my own career path. My passion has always been to be an ambassador for New Orleans,” she said. “Once the opportunity struck to start my own business expanding on what my Dad had built, but on the food side this time, it was a no-brainer to make the leap. The Jambalaya Girl business is truly a perfect fit for my childhood cooking outdoors with my Dad, my social personality and my love for New Orleans.” The work and notoriety of New Orleans chefs, like Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, trailblazed the way for Louisiana cuisine across the country and beyond, and allowed small businesses like Jambalaya Girl to flourish and bring personalized home cooking to families from coast to coast, according to Moore. “I am grateful that Chef Paul Prudhomme created an international craving for Louisiana cooking that myself and so many other chefs and culinary entrepreneurs still benefit from today. He even helped put other culinary professionals in business. We work with
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s unique blend of spices and seasonings was born out of his world-famous New Orleans restaurant K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. Magic Seasonings was launched in 1983 and has grown to produce spice mixes, marinades and more for sale in all 50 states and 37 countries around the world. Magic Seasonings also produces custom mixes and blends at the 125,000-squarefoot facility located just outside New Orleans. Tabasco Perhaps the most well-known Louisiana flavor export is Tabasco. Tabasco brand products have been made since Edmund McIlhenny founded Avery Island back in 1868. With eight varieties of hot sauces, as well as condiments, snacks, drink mixes and more, Tabasco can be found in over 180 countries and territories around the world.
Jambalaya Girl’s new gumbo kit is quickly matching the company’s original jambalaya rice kit in popularity. The recipe is a family secret passed down from Moore’s mother.
The company’s original jambalaya rice kit, this one based on a recipe from her dad, offers a quick meal idea that is full of flavor without too much salt and heat.
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one of Chef Paul’s original K-Paul’s team members, Chef George Rhode IV; and our products are specially blended at Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends.” Nationally, premixed spice mixes (think Tony Chachere’s or Magic Seasonings) have seen a boom in popularity in the past five years. According to a 2016 Nielsen Answers on Demand report, spice sales in the United States rose 19 percent from 2012 to 2016, from $765 million to $927 million per year, with premixed herb and spice blends generating $3 million in sales during that period. Moore believes the uptick in spice sensations has a lot to do with the love of Louisiana and the flavors of New Orleans home cooking across the United States. “Wherever we go, people are interested in Louisiana cooking. We have so many great chefs and personalities, I think it really comes from an interest in the city,” she said. “Wherever we take our taste of New Orleans on the road, from San Francisco to New York or Rehoboth, Delaware to Des Moines, Iowa, people love the flavor of our jambalaya and gumbo. Many thanks [goes] to Zatarain’s, who was one of the first to pioneer the New Orleans box dinner mixes. Back when they were first promoting their mixes, my Dad was cooking jambalaya, but it was simply to promote his cast-iron cookers. And he said even back then, people loved his recipe. “ Moore hopes to catch the spice wave while making weeknight night meals a little bit easier, especially for busy parents. Jambalaya Girl’s mixes are prepared carefully, avoiding too much spice and salt, for a recipe that appeals to both kids and grown-ups alike. “[This is] our take to share our flavor and taste of New Orleans,” Moore said. “Sure, we have differentiated our products from what’s currently on the shelves; it’s not as spicy, not as salty, more real vegetables, more seasonings for flavor. But what keeps us in business is that people love it and that’s what motivates us to hustle to get the word out. A lot of people outside of the Gulf Coast assume New Orleans food has to be spicy hot, seasoned with nothing but cayenne. It is important to me to share that the way we grew up cooking, New Orleans food is all about the flavor, not the heat. The beauty of our recipes is that there are so many ingredients blended together in the pot to excite all of your taste buds. It’s like a party in your mouth. And if it’s too heavy on the cayenne, you miss the party.”
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Moore’s unique recipe and easy-to-prepare mix are designed to appeal to a wide array of consumers, impressing commercial buyers on a national level, as well as home cooks at local and regional chain stores, with the most recent to come on board at HEB grocery stores throughout Texas. “We sell to caterers and chefs who appreciate the consistency and flavor of our products,” she said. “Some Louisiana parish schools have started using our industrial-size packages for their cafeterias. Working moms and dads love our products because they’re easy, quick and kid approved. College kids love learning they can make it easily in a rice cooker or Crock Pot. And people across the country continue to order it online because they love that authentic NOLA flavor. It’s been great that our customers have been the ones to spread the word for us. And it’s fun when we can trace new flourishing markets like Des Moines, Iowa and Richmond, Virginia, back to individual customers like Chelsea and Clark.” While Moore and her team criss-cross the country cooking up jambalaya and giving cooking demonstrations, she has found the
Moore’s culinary experience was developed cooking alongside her dad, Paul, an inventor who created and manufactured special outdoor burners and cooking equipment for home cooks and famous New Orleans chefs, including Chef Paul Prudhomme.
biggest business challenge to date has been simply getting people to try the product. “Getting the word out about our products [is always a challenge,]” she said. “Our success thus far has been thanks to our customers, because once they try our recipes they love it. Whenever we meet a new customer, whether at an in-store demonstration or event where we’re sampling our products, I ask them to tell their friends. It’s a grass roots way of marketing, but it works.” Moore and her team at Jambalaya Girl remain focused on bringing the cooking she grew up with at home, using family recipes for new opportunities for flavor. “We just launched our Gumbo Base with Roux last year and it’s catching on even quicker than the jambalaya,” she said. “I made it from my Mom’s gumbo recipe — a dark, rich roux with all the seasonings and vegetables and similar flavor profile to our jambalaya. Our focus right now is to bring our products to more locations across the country, so our team will be on the road. We do have more recipes in the works too, so keep your taste buds hungry.” n
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From The Lens m a k i ng a m atch: bus i nesses a nd non profi ts
A Community of Warriors Bastion Community of Resilience in Gentilly is providing veterans with a neighborhood unlike any other. by Pamela Marquis
Dylan Tête, executive director and
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environment where you depend on the person to the left and to the right of you, it’s hard to return to a place where you no longer have that innermost circle of trust. I had to battle demons when I came back. It took me at least 10 years to come home all the way. We wanted to build a community that offered meaningful relationships and support to the warriors to help them recover from the wounds and casualties of war. ” Phase 1 of the $15.9 million construction on Bastion’s 5.5 acres currently houses 76 residents in 38 residential units along with a wellness center and several common areas. Architect Jonathan Tate designed this phase, which offers one-, two- and three-bedroom models. Seventy percent of the
apartments are dedicated to affordable housing and 30 percent rent at market rates. Phase 2, a $4.7 million project, is underway with the plan to add 20 more units that will be geared toward veterans who need more support. The community’s wellness center for whole health programs (including yoga, financial literacy, legal aid services, mediation groups, job placement via NextOp, art therapy, music therapy, etc.) is opening to a broader membership later this year. Injured veterans live alongside retired military and civilian volunteers, the idea being that veterans and families benefit from a network of friends and neighbors committed to providing lifelong friendship and support.
P h otog r ap h s cou rtes y b ast i on commun i t y of r es i l i ence
founder of Bastion Community of Resilience, with the help and guidance of others, continues to make a difference in our community and the lives of our returning soldiers. Tête spearheaded an effort to build an intentionally designed community to serve veterans with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. The result was Bastion Community of Resilience, (1901 Mirabeau Ave. in New Orleans) which gives veterans an opportunity to join a neighborhood where they find purpose, healing and the chance to continue their commitment to serve. “I had a sense of loss when I came home,” said Tête, an Iraq veteran. “When you’ve been in an
Tête said the housing model is a paradigm shift as it offers community as instrumental support and care for returning war veterans, rather than only professional clinical services and isolation. “Transitioning from military to civilian society is challenging for healthy warriors, but for warriors who require total care or a supportive living environment, it’s especially challenging,” he said. Bastion not only offers veterans affordable housing, it also connects them to a wide variety of services and resources. Residents and their caregivers are offered assistance in developing individualized life plans, as well as the tools to achieve their goals. Programs range from meal preparation and yoga classes to help with negotiating job searches and rides to the grocery.
bastion community of resiliencee Mission: Bastion, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is an intentionally designed neighborhood in New Orleans for returning warriors and families with lifelong rehabilitative needs. Through a powerful community model that empowers neighbors as volunteers in a warrior’s care plan, the aim is to sustain a thriving recovery from the wounds and casualties of war.
The community-based solution also relies on a broader community of civilian volunteers, some located in other states. Bastion’s job placement service is a part of and sponsored by the Houston-based nonprofit, NextOp, which aims to recruit, train and place high-performing middle-enlisted military leaders into Industry careers. Bastion’s residents, as well as New Orleans-area veterans, can take advantage of the job placement service. Another effort came from a bit further afield — the Red River Foundation, a charitable branch of Red River, a technology transformation company based in New Hampshire. The foundation is dedicated to a wide range of efforts but is committed to issues that face veterans. Red River organized a volunteer team at Bastion during a recent professional conference in New Orleans. The company provided and installed 45 pallets of sod, built six benches and 27 tables, installed a wireless network, planted 11,000 plants and 24 maple trees and donated $12,000 in computer and office equipment. This was accomplished with 1,500 volunteer hours. In all, the company gave $200,000: $80,000 in cash and the rest in in-kind donations. “Helping others is part of our company’s DNA,” said Jeff Sessions, Red River’s CEO. “It’s just who we are. When we recruit employees we look for the kind of people who want to give back and who are willing to help others and one another.” Lauren Bowman, Bastion’s director of fundraising and development, said she’s always thankful for companies that offer help but Red River was in a class of its own. They provided everything from building materials to ice cold bottles of water. “We didn’t have to do anything,” said Bowman. “They were adamant about that. When we’d ask, ‘What can we do?’ they would say, ‘Just come look at it and give us some feedback.’”
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Website: joinbastion.org Location: 1901 Mirabeau Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70122 Annual Budget: $675,000
by the numbers
SUCCESS OF SERVICES:
intentionally designed neighborhood
apartment homes, 20 more coming online later in 2018
residents, including 29 children
deployments to the Middle East and Central Asia since 9/11 represented
Tête was also impressed and thankful for Red River’s commitment, praising the “200 employees that gave their sweat and hearts to turn a construction site into a community.” Resident Brandon Darrington said he’s indebted to Bastion for helping him out of the isolation he felt after returning from war. “Here I am surrounded by people who have mutual experiences and there is camaraderie I couldn’t find elsewhere,” he said. “And it helps us transfer the skills we learned in the military to the civilian life. For the first time I’ve been able to understand my challenges and not feel abnormal because I am around others who know how I feel and it feels like I am not alone.” Těte said this project is proving its success and will serve as a replicable model for national expansion. “Whatever challenges confront our community,” he said, “we have the people to solve these challenges and make our country proud for the gift it has bestowed on us once again: each other.” n
Ongoing Partnerships: Red River, Community Coffee, NextOp, VA, UNO, Wounded Warrior Project, LaQuinta, Renaissance Property Group, New Orleans Saints, Renaissance Publishing, St. Charles Avenue Magazine, Team RWB, PEAK Forever, City of New Orleans, Louisiana Housing Corporation, Humana, ILEA New Orleans Current Needs: Corporate Sponsor for Phase 2 Landscaping like Red River, Participants to join Bastion in the Crescent City Classic, Funding for Capital needs Major Fundraising Event(s): April 19 Building Bastion Cocktail Party May 1 GiveNOLA Day May 12 FourPlay Fundraiser - Quads Volleyball Tournament Oct. 4 St. Charles Avenue Magazine’s Wine, Dine & Design Nov. 8 Evening of Appreciation at Bastion For more information on events, visit joinbastion. org/events
making a difference
Success Story Bastion resident Brandon Dorrington served in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan and Operation Iraq Freedom. He was honorably discharged in 2006. Dorrington credits Bastion with helping him to continue to successfully make his transition into civilian life. “Here we can openly dialogue about our feelings and anxieties,” he said. “For example, for many of us the big Mardi Gras parades made us uncomfortable because of the crowds and the noise, so we joined together and went to smaller parades. “ Dorrington is Bastion’s wellness center coordinator and is employed by Delta Corps, a program that deploys AmeriCorps members to local organizations to help them improve economic opportunity in their communities. He was also a candidate for mayor in the 2017 election, a venture he said he did, not to win, but to give him the chance to talk about important issues. “Life is full of challenges and it’s so easy to let yourself become isolated,” he said. “Bastion has given me the support to take a leap of faith and try stepping out.”
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PUBLISHERâ€™S NOTICE: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Ace and the Louisiana Open Housing Act, which make it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. For more information, call the Louisiana Attorney Generalâ€™s Office at 1-800-273-5718.
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From The Lens ON THE JOB
Loss of an Icon photo by cheryl gerber
There’s a lot of people that
make a living selling out of a vehicle — think the recent boom in food trucks for an example — but in a city of beignets, snow-balls and a love for all things unhealthy, Mr. Okra (a.k.a. Arthur James Robinson) managed to become a beloved businessman and public figure selling nothing but fresh produce. After 30 years hawking his wares from his signature red truck over a PA system, Mr. Okra passed away on Feb. 15 at the age of 74. Since his death, his daughter, Sergio — to the delight of New Orleanians — has taken over the business, ensuring that the beloved Mr. Okra’s legacy drives on. n
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