Biz New Orleans April 2017

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$4.5 Million in 24 Hours Andy Kopplin aims high P. 58

We Like it Strong: The Crescent City’s Coffee Empire P. 64

+ Luca Falcone

It’s not just clothing, it’s a lifestyle

Hispanic Marketing

Are you leaving dinero on the table?

april 2017 1

2 Biz April 2017

Publisher Todd Matherne

Editorial Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde Managing Editor Kimberley Singletary Art Director Sarah George Web Editor Kelly Massicot Assoc. Multimedia News Editor Leslie T. Snadowsky

Contributors Julia Carcamo, Steven Ellis, Frank Etheridge, Rebecca Friedman, Pamela Marquis, Allison Plyer, Chris Price, Peter Reichard, Kim Roberts, Jennifer Gibson Schecter, Keith Twitchell, Melanie Warner Spencer

Advertising Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan (504) 830-7215 Sales Manager Maegan O’Brien (504) 830-7219 Senior Account Executive Caitlin Sistrunk (504) 830-7252 Account Executive Carly Goldman (504) 830-7225

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 Designers Monique DiPietro, Demi Schaffer, Molly Tullier Traffic Coordinator Terra Durio

Administration Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde Office Manager Mallary Matherne Distribution Manager John Holzer Subscription Manager Sara Kelemencky For subscriptions, call (504) 830-7231

AABP 2016 Award of Excellence Bronze: Best Feature Layout 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 — 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 2016 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.

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features top stories this month

58 A Chat with GNOF’s New CEO, Andy Kopplin Kopplin is leveraging his City Hall experience to help the Greater New Orleans Foundation tackle city problems.


From Folgers to French Market As the nation’s premier coffee handling port, New Orleans is a big bean player. 6 Biz March 2017 7

contents april 2017 | Volume 3 | Issue 7

10 | Editor’s note Springing Ahead

from the lens

12 | publisher’s note

96 | great workspaces

200 Years & Counting

Historic Home Office: The circa-1831 Hermann-Grima house offers a unique work environment.

16 | Calendar 18 | industry news 32 | tourism 20 | recent openings

Streets Paved with Gold: French Quarter

22 | Events

Fest poised for continued success

34 | sports Pelicans — Least Valuable: Even with a 121 percent growth since 2012, the franchise still hit bottom in Forbes’ ranking.

36 | entertainment

perspectives 46 | insurance The Future of Health Insurance: Representatives from two top local insurance firms talk about how they see things playing out and what that means for business.

50 | technology Tulane Opens New Spine Center: The center, designed to handle the most complex kinds of spine surgeries, joins a small army of brain and spine care providers in the area.

Handcrafted America: A look

in the biz 28 | NOLa by the numbers The Future is Water: Water management is projected to have 12,000 job openings by 2019.

102 | why didn’t i think of that?

at the impacts of a production just passing through.

A Touch of Savile Row on Magazine: Luca Falcone brings the European men’s custom clothing experience to New Orleans.

38 | entrepreneurship

106 | making a match: business and nonprofits

Full Speed Ahead:

Youth Empowerment Program: Could your business use

Propeller tackles inequality in startups.

some help? Check out YEP’s Work & Learn program.

40 | etiquette Listen Up: Cultivating

54 | law

112 | behind the scenes

The Taxman Cometh Again:

Take a Ride Aboard a Patrol Torpedo Boat!

listening skills for better leadership and communication

Top local tax attorneys provide forecasts and offer their take on what inevitable changes will mean for business.

The Responsible Restaurant: Local

42 | tech

56 | guest perspective

restaurants can be a force in food waste reduction.

Online Meetings:

Want More Dinero? The Hispanic

They’re more useful than you may realize.

population has the kind of buying power you can’t afford to ignore.

30 | dining

8 Biz April 2017

on the cover Andy Kopplin, CEO of Greater New Orleans Foundation. Photo by David Joshua Jennings. 9

Editor’s Note

Beyond the magazine But wait, there’s more! Visit to watch videos from this month’s issue, including:

Springing Ahead


t’s like the pause button on life is released after Carnival and we all, literally, spring forward. Suddenly thoughts turn to the future: to festivals — the French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, Festival International, and that’s just this month — to plans for summer vacations and summer camps for the kids. Have a summer wedding on the calendar? A few special events? Check out this month’s “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” with European-style custom clothier Luca Falcone. On the opposite end of the fun spectrum, we also look toward the possibilities for change, especially when it comes to things like tax law and health insurance. In this issue, local experts weigh in on both. As your company continues to forge its path into the future, you may want to think about how you’re reaching out to various audiences, including the region’s growing Hispanic population. As Julia Carcamo explains in this month’s Guest Perspective, the Hispanic population has almost doubled in the New Orleans area in the last 15 years — from 58,545 in 2000 to 109,553 in 2015. It’s a group that’s only going to continue to grow, so how can you make sure your marketing efforts grow accordingly? Carcamo has the answers. Looking to up your company’s philanthropic goals? Mark your calendar now for May 2. Last year’s GiveNOLA Day took in over $4 million in donations to local nonprofits that are busy tackling every issue the region has. The 24-hour giving event, a project of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is on track to break records this year. For more, check out this month’s Q&A with CEO Andy Kopplin. As Biz New Orleans continues to grow, we’re excited to announce our own new beginning: this July will be our first-ever New & Notables issue, where we’ll profile our favorite businesspeople whose new companies and innovations are taking Southeast Louisiana into the future. We’re definitely open to suggestions, so if you know of anyone we should be getting to know, please email Enjoy the festivals, and keep reading!

Andy kopplin Behind the scenes at the photo shoot and Q&A with Kopplin at the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

fancy flying

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Take a peek inside British Airways’ new 787-8 Dreamliner. Nonstop flights to London started March 27. 11

Publisher’s Note

200 Years & Counting Recognizing today’s shapers of Louisiana


n 2018 New Orleans celebrates its tri-centennial anniversary; we’ll save that celebration for later. For now, we offer a nod to our state’s capitol city as Baton Rouge commemorates 200 years of incorporation. In honor of this birthday, our sister magazine, Louisiana Life, is throwing a birthday bash on Wednesday, April 12. The event will toast the incredible academic, cultural and economic powerhouse Baton Rouge has evolved into over the last two centuries. In addition, Louisiana Life will be honoring this year’s “Louisianians of the Year,” people changing lives and making an impact in Louisiana. The eight individuals we recognize include Rob Gaudet, Chef Hardette Harris, Andrea Normand, Kelly Stomps, L. Kasimu Harris, C.C. Lockwood, Dr. Larry Hollier and Coach Ed Orgeron. Learn more about these honorees by visiting Join us at the Old Governor’s Mansion to honor Baton Rouge and these outstanding citizens. All ticket proceeds benefit Preserve Louisiana, which works to promote the preservation of Louisiana’s cultural and architectural heritage through education, advocacy and stewardship. The Baton Rouge “Bicentennial Birthday Bash” is presented by Community Coffee, along with additional sponsors, Raising Cane’s, Louisiana Seafood, Visit Baton Rouge and Watermark Baton Rouge Autograph Collection Hotels. Purchase tickets at I hope you can join us. Happy Birthday Baton Rouge! Todd Matherne

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Meet the Sales Team

Maegan O’Brien Sales Manager (504) 830-7219

Caitlin Sistrunk Senior Sales Executive (504) 830-7252

Carly Goldman Account Executive (504) 830-7225

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales (504) 830-7215

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April Tuesday 4

Wednesday 19

Equal Pay Day Women’s Business Alliance with ABWA and FestiGals Presentation from State Rep. Helena Moreno 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Cannery 3803 Toulouse St., New Orleans

Free Social Media Workshop Sponsored by Score “Driving New Business with Facebook” 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The Landing Zone 625 Celeste St., New Orleans

Wednesday 5

Thursday 20

Jefferson Chamber of Commerce JC Young Professionals Dinner 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Drago’s Seafood Restaurant 3232 N. Arnault Rd., Metairie

CPR and AED Training and Certification 9:00 am to 11:30 am If you are interested in offering this training and certification to a group of your employees on your premises, please contact GEB at

Wednesday 5

Friday 21

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Town Hall Round Table & Luncheon 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Round Table Discussion 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Business Luncheon Hyatt Regency New Orleans 601 Loyola Ave.

Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Business & Breakfast 7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Heritage Grill 111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie

Friday 7 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce presents 2nd Quarter Luncheon with Gov. John Bel Edwards 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans 130 Roosevelt Way Roosevelt Ballroom, Mezzanine Level

Tuesday 11 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch sponsored by First NBC Bank 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1515 Poydras St. 5th Floor Auditorium

Wednesday 26 Meet & Greet with President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans Presented by New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, FestiGals and WPO 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registration and networking 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Keynote Windsor Court Hotel 300 Gravier St., New Orleans

Wednesday 26 Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Prosper Jefferson Seminar Series: Workforce Development Panel 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. JEDCO Conference Center 700 Churchill Pkwy., Avondale

Wednesday 19 Lunch & Learn Transitioning from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 Presented by MEPOL and New Orleans Chamber of Commerce 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Delgado Community College Maritime & Industrial Training Center 13200 Old Gentilly Rd., New Orleans 16 Biz April 2017

For a more complete list of events visit our website at We’d love to include your businessrelated event in next month’s calendar. Please email details to


Close your next deal at one of these business-friendly bistros.

Compère Lapin in Old No. 77 Hotel

Tommy’s Cuisine

535 Tchoupitoulas St. • (504) 599-2119 •

746 Tchoupitoulas St. • (504) 581-1103

Inspiration for the menu comes from the traditional Caribbean folktales featuring a mischievous rabbit named Compère Lapin that Chef Nina Compton read during her childhood in St. Lucia. Drawing on the story’s themes of exploration and play, she mixes the indigenous ingredients and rich culinary heritage of New Orleans with those of her Caribbean roots. Tapping into her classical French culinary training and deep experience with Italian cuisine, the result is a playful menu that takes food you know, and makes it food you love.

Tommy’s Cuisine is a locally-owned and operated restaurant located in the Warehouse District. Famous for its inspired upscale Creole-Italian cuisine, all perfectly served in an old-world atmosphere, Tommy’s has been the place to meet, eat, and drink for over a decade. Experience a world-class wine menu along with the finest dishes in the city at Tommy’s Cuisine.


Riccobono’s Peppermill Restaurant

700 Bourbon St. • (504) 523-1485 •

3524 Severn Ave., Metairie • (504) 455-2266

Born from the family who gave Louis Armstrong his first horn, Cornet Restaurant celebrates the sounds and savors the flavors of New Orleans. Located on the corner of Bourbon and St. Peters, Cornet serves authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine inspired by the cradle of Jazz. Boasting the largest balcony on Bourbon Street & private dining rooms, Cornet is the perfect venue to host your next meeting or private event.

For over 40 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, Oysters Riccobono and much more. Consistently rated as one of the top dinning destinations of Metairie. Private dining facilities available for meetings and events. Join us for a meal to remember. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. 17

Industry News

“We are excited to bring top transportation industry leaders from across the country and around the world to New Orleans. Our President and CEO, Brandy Christian, will open the conference by sharing her vision for the port and introduce the director of the largest container port in Cuba, Charles Baker, from the Port of Mariel.”

Janine Moreau Mansour, commercial director, Port of New Orleans Speaking about the Cargo Connections Conference (CCC) to be held April 4-6 at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center. The conference focuses on supply chain and transportation issues relevant to the container, breakbulk and heavylift industries.




Enrollment for Grow St. Bernard Open Now

Since the August 2016 flooding:

Most New and Expanded Corporate Facilities

Emerging and growing small businesses are invited to attend a series of seminars presented by the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce. Participation is open to all and program tuition of $50 per person includes access to all seminars — which run Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Special recognition will be given to businesses that complete the program. Locations are TBD. To register, or for more information, call (504) 277-4009 or email contact@sbedf.

Grow St. Bernard 2017 Seminar Schedule April 4 Perfect your elevator pitch! Win new clients and engage your audience.

- amount FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program will reimburse for the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure as of March 1, including...

$60 million

- repairing schools in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Lafayette, Livingston, St. Landry, Tangipahoa and Vermillion.

Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings has placed Louisiana No. 4 in the U.S. — up from No. 6 last year — for states with the most new and expanded corporate facilities on a per capita basis in 2016. Louisiana ranked No. 2 among all Southern states, trailing only Kentucky on a per capita basis. New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Alexandria were cited among high–performing metropolitan areas, with New Orleans ranking No.3 for total projects along the Mississippi River corridor.

The Top 10 States by Corporate Projects per Capita: 1. Nebraska 2. Kentucky 3. Ohio

April 18 Start and grow your biz! Get the help you need with small business resources and alternative funding

4. Louisiana 5. Illinois 6. Iowa

May 2 Build your brand! Strategies for social media and reaching customers in a digital age

7. North Carolina

May 16 Hire, fire, and retain your team! Create a strong office culture with the right staffing decisions.

Qualifying projects must meet one or more of these criteria for inclusion in the database: a minimum capital investment of $1 million, 20 or more new jobs created, and 20,000 or more square feet of new space.

May 30 How to handle the money! Basics to small business bookkeeping June 13 Changing the gameplan! How to utilize your business plan to make smarter decisions about new directions.


World’s Largest Leadership Conference On May 5, Leadercast, the world’s largest one-day leadership conference will broadcast live from Atlanta and simulcast to hundreds of locations in more than 20 countries around the world. For the third year, St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce will host a simulcast at the Movie Tavern in Covington, sponsored by Chevron. The full-day event, themed “Powered by Purpose” will include a long lineup of keynote speakers, from director/producer Tyler Perry to Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square and founder of LaunchCode. Tickets are on sale now for $110 for chamber members and $125 for non-members.

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8. Alabama 9. Georgia 10. Virginia


Waitr Secures $10 million On-demand food delivery restaurant platform Waitr has secured $10 million in funding from a group of Gulf Southbased investors led by New Orleans Saints Quarterback, Drew Brees. “It’s almost unheard of to obtain this much funding outside of Silicon Valley...” said Chris Meaux, Waitr’s CEO and founder. The company is planning to more than double in size by the end of the year.

Source: GNO, Inc.


Digital Health Startup receives $250,000 New Orleans-based RDnote will receive a $250,000 seed investment from the Lafayette General Foundation (LGF). The funding will allow the digital health startup to pilot its product, a unique nutrition care practice model to manage and customize interventions for patients at high-risk for chronic conditions. 19

Recent Openings

District Donuts. Sliders. Brew

Delgado Maritime On April 1, Delgado Community College announced the completion of the new Delgado Maritime and Industrial Training Center at 13200 Old Gentilly Road in New Orleans. The $7 million, 18,750-square-foot center was funded by state bonds and includes new firefighting, navigation and virtual reality simulations.

The company’s first location in Jefferson Parish, and third total, District Donuts. Sliders. Brew began serving its handmade donuts and sliders at 1126 S. Clearview Pkwy, Suite D in Elmwood mid-February. The company is slated to open a new restaurant in Baton Rouge later this year, which will bring their total employee count to 145 across the state.

tasc Performance Lifestyle and performance apparel brand tasc Performance opened its flagship store March 9 at 3913 Magazine St. The family-run company started in 2010 and is headquartered in Metairie. The company’s 2017 spring collection was unveiled at the opening, along with an exclusive new Gleason Foundation shirt.

Bridge House/ Grace House Thrift Store


Country Club

Modern Acupuncture

In celebration of 40 years in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood, The Country Club unveiled the results of its year-long renovation in March. Upgrades include a complete revamp of the food and wine selections spearheaded by Executive Chef, Chris Barbato, formerly chef de cuisine at Commander’s Palace. Additional touches include hand-painted murals by local artist Cindy Mathis and artwork by Louis St. Lewis.

Modern Acupuncture, a new national franchise concept focused on making acupuncture accessible, is coming to New Orleans by the end of the year. Modern Acupuncture is actively selling franchise licenses now, with a plan to open a minimum of eight locations across the state. The first location opened in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2017. The company estimates that 150 locations will be operating by 2020.

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In time to celebrate its 60th anniversary, nonprofit Bridge House/Grace House opened a new 7,000-square-foot thrift store and used car lot at 4243 Earhart Blvd., right across from its corporate offices and men’s residential facilities. Nearly 40 percent of the nonprofit’s operating budget comes from donations to its now two thrift stores — the other is at 7901 Airline Dr. — and car lot.


Down the Bayou Commander’s Palace, Café Adelaide, Swizzle Stick Bar and Bacobar alumnus, Chef Carl Schaubhut, will open his own restaurant, DTB, (Down the Bayou) at 1801 Oak St. this spring. Inspired by Schaubhut’s Cajun roots and childhood in Des Allemands, Louisiana — known as the “catfish capital of the universe” — the DTB menu will focus on modern interpretations of Southern Louisiana’s coastal cuisine. 21

Events 1






Prosper Jefferson Seminar Series wednesday, february 22 | liberty’s kitchen

ACG Louisiana March Luncheon tuesday, March 7 | Roosevelt Hotel

This month’s event, entitled “Finding Alternative Funding,” brought together speakers Mike Eckert, chairman of the NO/LA Angel Network; Shafin Khan, director of technology commercialization for the New Orleans BioInnovation Center; Alberto Queral, JEDCO director of finance; and Kate Moreano, JEDCO economic development manager.

The Louisiana chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth’s luncheon in March included guest speakers Foster Duncan, operating partner at Bernhard Capital Partners and Jonathan de Lauréal, principal at Bernhard Capital Partners.

1. Kate Moreano, Sarah Franatovich and Joyce Duncan 2. Alberto Queral 3. Tina Mayes, Sid Bullard and Tonia Aiken

1. Dave Culpepper, Michele Avery and Minor Jahncke 2. Foster Duncan and Jonathan de Laureal 3. Frank deVay, Leigh Guglielmo and Brian Johnson

22 Biz April 2017

photographs by cheryl gerber 23

Events 1






Women’s Business Alliance Thursday, march 9 | etre cosmetic dermatology and laser center

WBIA Governor’s West Bank Lunch FRIday, MARCH 10 | The four columns

The New Orleans Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Business Alliance gathers monthly to enjoy an informal networking session accompanied by complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

Algiers Economic Development Foundation (AEDF), Plaquemines Association of Business & Industry (PABI), The Jefferson Chamber, Westbank Business & Industry (WBIA) and State Representative Pat Connick hosted the Annual Governor’s West Bank Lunch with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

1. Danielle Leighton, Nicole Pernock and Laura Egoavil 2. Denise Jochum, Angelica Dubinsky and Ulla Gaudin 3. Kristen Strecker, Tammy Smith, Dr. Kyle Coleman and Meaghan Coleman

1. Mike Boudreaux Jr., Rita Bautista and Billy Soltz 2. Governor John Bel Edwards 3. Nathan Junius, Mike Yenni and Amos Cormier

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photographs by cheryl gerber 25

26 Biz April 2017

in the biz Biz columnists speak out



Leveling the Field A look at Propeller’s efforts to support startups by women and people of color. More on page 38

In the Biz NOLa by the numbers

The Future is Water Water management is projected to have 12,000 job openings by 2019.


he Southeast Louisiana Super Region — the combined metros of Houma-Thibodaux, Baton Rouge and New Orleans—is working on comprehensive growth plans around key economic sectors such as water management. Water management is particularly ripe for growth because of multibillion-dollar investments planned by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, local parishes taxing themselves to fund levees and other protection systems, and private industry investing in their own flood protection measures along the coast. With growing markets for coastal protection all along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, water management has the potential to provide Southeast Louisiana with a unique export specialization that can bring new revenues into the region for decades, spurred by demand for Louisiana’s expertise. Water management also has many well-paying jobs in this cluster that do not require a full four-year bachelor’s degree, and thus has the potential to boost prosperity in the region in the medium term. All told, the water management cluster is projected to have 12,000 job openings by 2019 in its top 20 occupations. Essential to filling these openings will be public and private investments in workforce development that can increase the supply of qualified applicants. To be sure, preparing a strong workforce in Southeast Louisiana will have substantial benefits beyond simply meeting employer demand. A well-prepared low- to

28 Biz April 2017

Allison Plyer is executive director and chief demographer of The Data Center in New Orleans. Dr. Plyer is author of The New Orleans Index series, developed in collaboration with the Brookings Institution to track the region’s progress toward prosperity, and she leads The Data Center’s research on the development of the water management cluster in Southeast Louisiana as published in The Coastal Index series.


A Closer Look In the top 20 water management occupations in our region:

more than 3,500 jobs were created between 2010 and 2014

half medium-skilled workforce benefits the economy in many ways, including identifying inefficiencies in the production of goods and services, offering advice on how to improve labor processes, and even recognizing opportunities that are ripe for entrepreneurship. Importantly, as the demographics of our region and nation change, effectively boosting the recruitment of candidates of color will be an important strategy for filling these job openings. This is because, as of 2010 in Southeast Louisiana,

29 percent of people older than 64 were people of color; 42 percent of people 18-64 were people of color; and 51 percent of people younger than 18 were people of color. Assuming no net in-migration and factoring in age-specific birth and death rates, we can easily project when the super region will become “majority minority” — ­ by 2054. By expanding inclusive workforce development, we can build a strong and capable labor force that can take on the challenges of tomorrow. n

didn’t require an associates or bachelor’s degree in 2014

15 of the top 20 jobs paid more than the regional median earnings for Southeast Louisiana

6 of those 15 jobs did not require a bachelor’s degree

more than 12,000 jobs by 2019 in these top 20 occupations will be due to new jobs + retirements 29

In the Biz dining

The Responsible Restaurant

Did you know?

Wasting Away According to the Environmental Protection Agency, as much as 40 percent of the food grown, processed and transported in the United States goes to waste. With Americans eating out more and more, the potential for restaurants to serve as a vehicle for waste keeps growing.

Local restaurants can be a force in food waste reduction.


s the population of those old enough to remember the Great Depression thins, there has been a collective forgetting of their waste-not, want-not worldview. In its place came the rise of the throw-away society. Its perils have grown so great that even Pope Francis has decried it as symptomatic of a larger malaise plaguing humanity. But addressing waste can produce a hat-trick of benefits: A restaurateur can reduce environmental impacts while improving the bottom line and possibly even providing nutrition to the needy. Like financial waste, reducing food waste begins with a good audit: What foods are going to waste? How much? By answering these questions, a restaurant can do a better job of ordering the right amount of food for its needs. To do a deep-dive on waste, restaurants can purchase inventory software and equipment. The company LeanPath, for instance, specializes in food waste-tracking technology. Once a manager gets a handle on inventory issues, the restaurant can train staff to avoid wasteful practices. Another approach to waste reduction occurs at the front of the house. The National Restaurant Association recommends monitoring the portions offered to customers and “right-sizing” them as needed. It also recommends offering halfportions on the menu and, to reduce packaging waste, ensure that to-go containers are not oversized. In the back of the house, the association recommends nose-totail cooking and using vegetable 30 Biz April 2017

trimmings, such as broccoli stems and leaves, for other dishes like soups. Another way to reduce waste is through donations. Donating food can provide restaurants with both tax deductions and the good feeling that comes with acts of charity. The National Restaurant Association offers advice for donations. Among its recommendations: • Look around your restaurant to find items to donate you didn’t think about, such as unopened cases that can’t be returned or thawed product that wasn’t served and can’t be refrozen. • Develop a one-on-one relationship with a charity in the community. • Decide together on a scheduled pickup time and the food the charity can accept. • Determine how much surplus food you have and the kinds you can donate with ease.

How to Compost: Start with a layer of rocks for drainage and aeration. Next add a layer of twigs or straw. Then alternate between moist (food scraps) and dry (leaves) layers. Add a nitrogen source like grass clippings or manure. Keep the compost covered and moist and turn over every few weeks.

• Determine what is safe and acceptable for donation. • Only donate food that hasn’t been served. Be sure to follow correct food cooling, storing, preparation and handling procedures. • Make sure food is safe, nutritious and wholesome — something you would eat. • Don’t worry about donating complete meals. Chefs at homeless shelters and other organizations that feed the hungry create meals from donated proteins, vegetables, starches and desserts. However, the association points out that prepared

food donations fetch larger tax deductions than raw ingredients. • Track what you donate. Record donations at each pickup on a log or spreadsheet. Another way to reduce waste is to feed the land through composting. Plate scrapings, coffee grounds, peelings, expired foods and other organic matter are all fair game. Composting may lower your garbage hauling costs. It can also ease the burden on water treatment plants and landfills. Locally, the Composting Network supplies restaurants with compost bins and offers various pickup schedules for a fee. To help restaurateurs track their good work, the Composting Network sends each customer a monthly statement showing how much matter was composted. One other form of recycling is to donate food to farmers, although the range of foods that are acceptable for animal feed is much narrower than what you can compost. Finally, as a check on waste reduction, the Green Restaurant Association offers a certification process in which the association examines the restaurants practices, makes recommendations and verifies follow-through. n Peter Reichard is a native New Orleanian who has written about the life and times of the city for more than 20 years, including as a former newspaper editor and business journalist. 31

In The Biz tourism

Streets Paved with Gold French Quarter Fest poised for continued success Jennifer Gibson Schecter


pringtime is festival season in Louisiana. Each one celebrates local culture and cuisine, but not every festival draws hundreds of thousands of attendees and makes a multimillion-dollar impact on the economy. The French Quarter Festival is a valuable leader on all counts. Now entering its 34th year, what began as a small neighborhood event created by then-Mayor Ernest “Dutch” Morial to encourage locals to return to the French Quarter following the 1984 World’s Fair has become the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world. It is also one of the largest free festivals in the country. It is second only to Mardi Gras in event size in Louisiana. Asked about the impact of the festival, 2017 French Quarter Festivals Inc. (FQFI) board president Jeremy Thibodeaux said, “From a business standpoint, French Quarter Festival’s economic impact on New Orleans is tremendous. Everything is local — artists, chefs, suppliers, crew, even printing. Last year the festival generated an economic impact of over $188 million. Spending resulted in the creation or support of nearly 2,200 full- and part-time jobs.” The 2016 French Quarter Festival made a measurable jolt to the New Orleans metro area economy. The festival attracted nearly 761,000 attendees who spent money on lodging, food and beverage, travel, and other entertainment beyond the free festival. The financial impact amounted to $102.3 million in direct expenditures and $86.3 million in secondary expenditures.

32 Biz April 2017

was once a tourist in New Orleans herself and is now proud to call NOLA home. She also writes the Wednesday Tourism Blog on

As to the nearly 2,200 full-and part-time jobs, they created a total of $56.6 million in earnings for New Orleans area residents. According to FQFI, the 2016 festival generated a total of $15.7 million in tax revenue for state and local governments. Of that total, roughly $9.3 million went to the state of Louisiana, and $6.4 million went to local governments in the New Orleans area. Operating as a nonprofit organization, FQFI plays an important role as a New Orleans nonprofit as well. Thibodeaux explained, “French Quarter Festival attracts a huge out-of-town audience, yet we are proud to consistently be voted a ‘local favorite.’ One secret to our success is also one of our great achievements: commitment to our mission. FQFI is a nonprofit formed to showcase New Orleans’ culture and heritage and contribute to its economic well-being.” Highlighting the community engagement of over 1,500 volunteers

Did you know?

fest facts Now in its 34th year — April 6-9, 2017 The largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world $188 million economic impact last year (per FQFI) Created or supported almost 2,200 full- and part-time jobs. 761,000 attendees in 2016 1,500+ volunteers

who are expected to staff the 2017 festival, Thibodeaux also spoke to the direct charitable work of FQFI and said, “Another great achievement is our musician sponsorship program. Since its inception in 2012, the initiative has raised over $1 million in contributions. Every dollar raised has gone directly to the 1,700 musicians who perform.” He continued, “We are also pleased that our support of

organizations such as Roots of Music is helping create the next generation of great New Orleans musicians, many of whom will one day play the stages at French Quarter Festival.” To grow the festival each year takes a committed board and staff, as well as dedicated volunteers and fans. 2017 promises the return of crowd favorites as well as over two dozen debut performances by artists such as Aaron Neville. Expansion is important too, and 2017 brings the relocation of the Jack Daniels stage to JAX Brewery and a new partnership in film. Cinema on the Bayou, founded by prize-winning Louisiana filmmaker Pat Mire, is teaming up with the festival. Thibodeaux explained, “The group will curate Whitney Bank Film Fest at French Quarter Fest inside Le Petit Theatre. Pat and his organization are top-notch, a great addition to our festival family.” Title sponsors like Chevron, along with other sponsors and partners — as well as beverage and merchandise sales — combine to make French Quarter Festival a financial and cultural success. The festival will run from April 6-9, 2017, with stages located throughout the French Quarter. For details on schedules, musicians, artists and participating restaurants, visit the website at n

photo by Zack Smith, courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc. 33

In The Biz sports

Pelicans Named Least Valuable Chris Price is an award-winning

Even with a 121 percent growth since 2012, the franchise still hit bottom in Forbes’ ranking.

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


orbes magazine has once again ranked the New Orleans Pelicans as the least valuable NBA franchise with an estimated value of $750 million. However, the financial media organization’s annual “Business of Basketball” rankings weren’t all bad news for team owners Gayle and Tom Benson. In its 20th annual valuations of the NBA’s 30 teams, Forbes estimates the Pelicans to be worth $750 million, a $100 million or 15 percent increase compared to their $650 million valuation in 2016, 44 percent more than the team’s $420 million valuation in 2015, and 121 percent more than the $340 million paid for the club in 2012. The team had an estimated $156 million in revenue with $16.7 million in operating income in the previous year. That’s an increase of $40 million in revenue, but a $3

million decrease in operating income compared to 2016. It must be noted, however, that the list was compiled before the Pelicans’ blockbuster trade for All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, which should increase the franchise’s number of wins and overall value. Forbes estimates the average NBA team is worth $1.36 billion, 13 percent more than a year ago, with $195 million in revenue and $31 million in operating income. According to the latest rankings, the New York Knicks, worth $3.3 billion — a 10 percent increase compared to 2016, are the NBA’s most valuable franchise, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion), Golden State Warriors ($2.6 billion),

The Breakdown


The Top 10 Most Valuable NBA Teams According to Forbes, the average NBA franchise is now worth $1.36 billion — a 13 percent increase compared to last year, which was the second straight year of 13 percent growth. NBA teams combined to generate a record-high $5.9 billion in revenue last season — a 12 percent increase from the previous year.

New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers Golden State Warriors Chicago Bulls Boston Celtics Los Angeles Clippers Brooklyn Nets Houston Rockets Dallas Mavericks Miami Heat NBA Team Average New Orleans Pelicans

Chicago Bulls ($2.5 billion), and Boston Celtics ($2.2 billion). The Warriors had the largest increase in value, up 37 percent to $2.6 billion. The franchise ranked sixth last year. The Knicks led the league in operating income with $141.2 million, while three teams, the Cavaliers (-$40.2 million), Clippers (-$11.8 million), and Thunder (-$8.4 million), were estimated to have lost money. Forbes has previously cited Tom Benson’s long-running legal proceedings over succession of the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints in its explanation for the team’s last-place ranking. For several years, Benson planned on turning over ownership to his


% Change Revenue




$3.3 B $3 B $2.6 B $2.5 B $2.2 B $2 B $1.8 B $1.65 B $1.45 B $1.35 B $1.36 B $750 M

10% 11% 37% 9% 5% 0% 6% 10% 4% 4% 13% 15%

$376 M $333 M $305 M $232 M $200 M $185 M $223 M $244 M $194 M $210 M $195 M $156 M

source: forbes

34 Biz April 2017

daughter, Renee LeBlanc, and her children, Ryan and Rita. Rita LeBlanc was being groomed to take over operations of both teams until Benson announced not only announced that he would give the teams to his wife, but that he also would have no further contact with his daughter and grandchildren. The custody battle over both teams now appears to be settled. That’s great news for the Pelicans, which will be seen as a much more stable franchise for commercial partners and advertisers. In what Forbes is calling a potential golden era for NBA finances, the league is in the first of a nine-year, $24 billion TV deal with ESPN and TNT that’s worth triple the previous annual amount. It also has a new collective bargaining agreement ensuring seven years of labor peace, new international programming opportunities above the 215 countries the league already reaches, and the addition of advertising on team jerseys beginning next year. The Pelicans have one of the sport’s hottest commodities in forward Anthony Davis. The first overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Davis is the Pels’ franchise player. With Cousins, arguably an equally talented player added to the front court, the team has already seen an increase in ticket sales and should be a playoff contender come season’s end. If they can climb into postseason contention, the money will follow and the team will climb Forbes’ rankings. n 35

In The Biz entertainment

Handcrafted America: A look at the impacts of a production just passing through. 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.


here’s a lot of talk about film and TV productions that are based out of Louisiana, but not as much about those that pass through — taking advantage of local talent and promoting our state in the process. One such project came through New Orleans in mid-February, a TV show called “Handcrafted America.” The award-winning series is currently filming its third season of half hour shows that each spotlight three local artisans that make practical, usable products the old-fashioned way: with their own two hands. The show is hosted by Jill Wagner (former host of the show “Wipeout,” and one of the stars of the TV series “Teen Wolf ”). Wagner said she’s been to Louisiana for fun, but never on the job. On this trip, she said she was excited to film with three Louisiana artists. The production spent one day filming in Sunset, Louisiana, where Wagner worked with Tee Don, the artist behind Key of Z Rubboards washboards, a company started by Tee Don’s father, Willie Landry. Landry’s — and now Tee Don’s — creations have been the industry standard for washboards since 1946. From Sunset, the crew of seven from the show’s production company — Susie Films, based out of Charlotte, North Carolina — traveled to New Orleans where they spent two days shooting at two different shops.

36 Biz April 2017

Derby Pottery and Tile co-owner, Anne Marie Derby

The first was Skimmer Studio (1241 Frenchmen St.), where artist Ross Lunz makes stools from salvaged items he found following Hurricane Katrina like license plates and street signs. The second was Derby Pottery and Tile (2029 Magazine St.), where Mark and Anne Marie Derby craft tiles inspired by the Victorian era, along with reproductions of New Orleans water meter covers and letter tiles found in city sidewalks. Anne Marie Derby said Derby Pottery has attracted customers from around the globe over the past 17 years, but she is hopeful that the estimated more than 10 million viewers of Handcrafted America will result in further exposure for their creations, especially the street tiles that were featured on the show.


Just a Few of the Items Created on Handcrafted America: Golf putters Copper kitchenware Pianos Skis Music boxes Kayaks Rocking horses

“The street tiles are recognized as a cultural icon throughout the city but I think they also resonate in other places,” she said. “It would be such a thrill to see them used in other sidewalks and home street numbers around the country.”

Wagner said she loved shooting in Louisiana, and particularly in New Orleans. “It’s definitely one of my favorite cities,” she said. “It’s so filled with creativity and craftspeople that we could literally do a whole season here.” Handcrafted America’s Director of Photography, Bill Ward, said the show had no problem finding local talent to fill their needs. “We hired local for everything from audio and gaffer, production assistant, second cameraman and hair and makeup.” Handcrafted America runs on a basic cable network called INSP that features “programs with inspiring stories that honor timeless, traditional values and celebrate the American spirit.” Along with a few original shows, the network runs classic shows like “Matlock,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Waltons,” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” The third season of Handcrafted America debuts in August. Since each of the Louisiana-filmed segments will be included in different episodes, as of now there is no set run date for them, but Anne Marie Derby says she’ll be awaiting the day. “Maybe we’ll have a party or something,” she said. “Fall is Art for Art’s sake, so maybe something then.” n

Coming Soon Biz New Orleans

New & Notables This July, Biz New Orleans will honor businesspeople in Southeast Louisiana who are pushing the region forward with their innovative businesses and ideas.

Do you know someone New & Notable? We invite you to submit your suggestions for the first Biz New Orleans New & Notables to Please include information about why this person should be selected, as well as contact information for yourself and the person. 37

In The Biz entrepreneurship

Full Speed Ahead Propeller tackles inequality in startups.


hile New Orleans has built a strong base of entrepreneurial resources, it’s no secret that the startup arena remains disproportionately white and male. Like many other evils, this issue has its roots in money. “The people getting loans and venture capital are typically not women and people of color,” observed Andrea Chen, co-founder and executive director of Propeller, a self-described new business accelerator. “It’s the same type of challenge that these persons face in society in general.” Supported by several recent national grants, Chen has Propeller clearly on course to address not just the resource gap but other concerns that raise the barriers higher for people from less advantaged backgrounds. Propeller itself is an interesting hybrid. The building just off the corner of Broad and Washington is a for-profit venture, leasing space to a variety of tenants. Some are new, up-and-coming businesses, but others are significantly more established enterprises. In turn, the rental income makes it possible to provide free, shared space to a variety of startups. While known for being linked to the “social entrepreneurism” movement, Chen sees a bigger picture. “What we think is most important is the impact, and we define that differently for each sector we work in,” she explained. For example, Propeller is very involved with water management and coastal issues, including the annual Pitch NOLA Water Challenge, but puts equal emphasis on developing innovative solutions and successful business strategies. 38 Biz April 2017

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.

In the Money Andrea Chen, co-founder and executive director of Propeller

Two particular grants from late 2016 have helped expand Propeller’s programming. The first, a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was awarded to Propeller’s Social Impact Equity Fund in recognition of its work to level the entrepreneurial playing field. “Currently the majority of our entrepreneurs are women,” Chen said, “and about half are people of color, which is not typical in other accelerators.” The fund commits a certain amount of capital to be distributed to the rising entrepreneurs in the program — but in a unique twist, the participants in the program rank each other, and the funding is ultimately distributed based on the rankings. “This teaches them how to think like an investor, not just a business owner, and it provides them with peer feedback,” Chen

Propeller was awarded TWO grants late last year to help promote minority enrepreneurship. $250,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was awarded to Propeller’s Social Impact Equity Fund $420,000 over two years from the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will support Propeller’s plans to launch a consulting program for businesses in proximity to Propeller’s physical location.

pointed out. “And it helps overcome the white male investor profile. It’s a more democratic way to allocate funds to more diverse enterprises.” The second grant, $420,000 over two years from the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will support Propeller’s plans to launch a consulting program for businesses in proximity to

Propeller’s physical location. The corridors along both Broad Street and Washington Avenue are home to many small brick-and-mortar businesses, quite a few of which are woman- or minority-owned. Chen wants to create a pipeline from the surrounding neighborhoods into the Propeller programs and connections. “Networks are critical to success,” she noted. “A lot of first customers and contacts come from who you know, and most of the people in our programs are not connected to government and other decisionmakers.” To counter this, Propeller has been very intentional about building relationships with entities like the Sewerage and Water Board and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as a way to open doors for its water-based entrepreneurs. Similar connections have been established in Propeller’s other areas of focus, such as education, food access and health. Since its founding in 2009, Propeller has helped accelerate well over 100 socially minded new businesses. With these grants and other new, additional resources in hand, Propeller is now poised to accelerate its own programs, distributing opportunity on a more equitable basis and helping build wealth within New Orleans’ most disadvantaged communities. n

photo by cheryl gerber 39

In The Biz etiquet te

Listen Up Cultivating listening skills for better leadership and communication


eing listened to has become a rare and precious commodity and the art of listening a rare and precious gift. Now more than ever, it seems, technology and other distractions fight for our attention. In the context of business, failing to cultivate listening skills is detrimental, especially as you move up the career ladder into leadership positions. In the 2013 CEO Performance Evaluation Survey conducted by The Miles Group and Stanford University, listening was one of the leastmentioned skills attributed to CEOs. Stephen Miles, founder and chief executive of The Miles Group, said along with mentoring, developing talent and conflict management, listening “should be at least in the top five of a CEO’s strengths, because they are critical components to excelling in the CEO role.” Most of us do way more talking than we do listening. Why? Multitasking, thinking about what we will say next, nervous energy, a desire to direct and be seen as in command are all possibilities,. This can, of course, lead to lapses in communication and can affect the way we are perceived by our managers and peers. In my experience, good leaders take a genuine interest in what others have to say. They are naturally curious and want to learn more about the way other people do things and the way their minds work. Great leaders go a bit further by spending a lot more time asking questions than making their own thoughts and knowledge known to the room. In “Leadership is a Conversation,” a piece by Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind in the June 2012 issue of the “Harvard Business Review,” the authors write, “Leaders who take

40 Biz April 2017

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


Can You Hear Me Now? 4 ways to amp up your listening skills It takes practice to become a good listener. Each day, pick one of the tips below to focus on, then work on implementing all of them in the coming weeks. You’ll be a listening pro in no time. 1. Take notes: Especially in meetings, write down the most important information. Studies show that people who take notes by hand retain the information better than those who use a computer or electronic device. 2. Ask questions: It’s a great way to learn, clarify, dig deeper, and to be and stay more engaged in the conversation.

organizational conversation seriously know when to stop talking and start listening.” Groysberg and Slind maintain that the “command-andcontrol approach to management has in recent years become less and less viable,” and that corporate communication must become more dynamic, sophisticated and — they emphasize — conversational.

It’s not necessary, however, to aspire to or be in a leadership position to cultivate listening skills and bring a more conversational approach to workplace communication. How much would you learn about the people around you, your industry and the world if you did more listening than talking and if you asked questions? n

3. Pay attention to non-verbal cues: Body language and facial expressions are often a window into whether or not someone understands the information being presented and how they are feeling about it. See tip No. 3 for help deciphering non-verbal cues. 4. Summarize: Repeat what you’ve heard and ask the speaker if it’s correct. This assures the other party that you were listening or can quickly clear up a misunderstanding.




LOUISIANACOOKBOOK.COM Now in its second printing! 41

In The Biz tech

Online Meetings They’re more useful than you may realize.


nline meeting solutions like Webex and GoToMeeting have been around for nearly 20 years, and not a whole lot has changed over that time. Today, as before, they allow people to collaborate in real time over the internet via audio or video conferencing and screen or document sharing. But despite their relative longevity, stability and usefulness, I find that online meetings are still extremely underutilized. Not that I don’t understand the importance of in person meetings — interpersonal relationships are surely the key to many business deals; rather I have come to appreciate the vast superiority of online meetings in certain, not uncommon, circumstances. Of course, the obvious benefit of online meeting is to reduce travel time or expense. Another common use is to allow one person to present to a large (or very large), distributed group of people. I won’t dwell on these cases, as I think the differences between online and in-person meetings are readily apparent. What is less apparent is how much better the online experience is for everyone involved whenever the meeting involves reviewing a document, website, application or anything else on a screen or paper: Everyone is comfortable at their own desk with a perfect view of exactly what the presenter wants him or her to see. No craning your neck to look around a desk, no straining your eyes to read the numbers in a spreadsheet on a projector, no loss of attention from participants reading ahead. My desk and monitors are specifically designed for sharing my computer screens with one or two people in my office, and still I often find that Webex just works better. In 42 Biz April 2017

Steven Ellis has spent the last 16 years working at the intersection of business and technology for Bellwether Technology in New Orleans, where he serves as the company’s vice president.

the extreme case, even if I’m meeting with just one person who sits 20 feet away, I would argue that for screencentric meetings each person sitting at his or her own desk using his own computer is better than both people trying to share the same screen. And when the meeting involves more than a few people with one or more traveling to another location and everyone viewing something on a screen or printout, it’s not even close. Online is miles better. Now, sure, there are exceptions. If you’re building or solidifying a relationship or if emotional response is likely to be important in the meeting, there is no substitute for face-to-face contact. (Incidentally, both of these apply to sales-related meetings, which is when I think online meetings tend to be overused). My approach is to separate the social meetings from the document/ screen review meetings. Have lunch one day and review an application prototype or drill into a spreadsheet over Webex the next. n


Online Meeting Options If hosting an online meeting is new to you but you’re ready to get started, I have one main piece of advice: Stick to the popular options.

Cisco Webex has been the market leader for a long time, which greatly increases the chances that whoever you’re trying to meet with already has the Webex software installed.

Business is up and coming. If you ever think you might host an online meeting with external parties (whose software you can’t directly control), I would stick to one of those three.

Citrix GotoMeeting has a substantial market share, and Microsoft Skype for

The surest way to lose all enthusiasm for online meetings is to hit a few

snags getting everyone connected, and using common solutions reduces the changes of that happening. In any case, the price of the market leading options has come down to the point that it’s just not worth using a less common solution to save a few bucks. 43

44 Biz April 2017

perspectives hot topics in three southeast Louisiana industries



Staying Ahead Brain and Spine Care in the Crescent City More on page 50

Perspectives insurance

The Future of Health Insurance Representatives from two top local insurance firms talk about how they see things playing out and what that means for business. By Jessica Rosgaard illustration by Javier Medellin Puyou


resident Trump commented last month that healthcare is “an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.” He was right on the first part — the nation’s health laws are extremely complicated. As for the second part, ask anyone who makes a career out of deciphering health insurance law, making sure businesses are in compliance with health insurance law, or an employee trying to select the best plan for their family — they know how complicated health insurance can be. Those complex health insurance laws have undergone more changes in the last five years than in the last 20. From the rollout and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, to the pending changes under the Trump administration, it’s a tumultuous landscape. Biz New Orleans reached out to Scott Moak, executive vice president of Ross and Yerger, and Catherine Hales, producer for the Life Health and Benefits division of Gillis, Ellis and Baker, to help readers navigate the uncharted territory of health insurance changes in 2017.

Ch-ch-ch-CHANGES As President Trump follows through on his campaign pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, (a.k.a. Obamacare)

46 Biz April 2017

the health insurance landscape is beginning to come into focus. “With the President’s address to a joint session of Congress [last month] things begin to take a bit better shape,” says Moak. “Albeit the law is the law, and nothing has changed to this point.”

Catherine Hales agrees. “The first draft of the legislation from the House to replace Obamacare was leaked to the press, so we sort of have an outline of what they would like to change. Some of these things were tried in the past, but were vetoed by the president

[Obama]. So we think now that there’s a Republican in office, a lot of those things will get passed.” If he had to guess, Moak says he’d predict the most likely changes to health insurance in 2017 to include the addition of a tax credit system to help individuals without access

to employer coverage, an emphasis on higher deductible plans to include health savings accounts (HSAs), pressure to eliminate the employer and individual mandate (including a repeal of Affordable Care Act penalty taxes) and a rollback of the Medicaid expansion.

Tax Credits The Affordable Care Act includes tax credits for individuals who don’t have access to employer coverage. These credits are designed to help individuals and families with low-to moderate-incomes afford health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Currently, you have to file a tax return to be eligible for the tax credits. Moak says he could see this changing. “In the future, potentially, one option would be to make these tax credits or subsidies based on age,” he says. “The older you are, the more subsidy you would be eligible for, because healthcare becomes more expensive the older you get,” he says. “They could expand on that even further to include pre-existing conditions or high-dollar claims.”

Expansion of Health Savings Accounts A health savings account is essentially a tax-free way to fund medical expenses, Moak says. Unlike a flexible spending account or FSA, which has an annual contribution limit, and a “use or lose” caveat, an HSA has an annual contribution limit, but not a limit on how much you can accumulate. The funds roll over at the end of the year, and the accounts are only available to those enrollees with qualified high deductible health plans — a trifecta of high deductibles, high out-of-pocket payments and a high maximum out-of-pocket requirement. “I think you’ll see some of that loosened up, and see an emphasis put on employers and employees creating health savings accounts — even funding them for, or on behalf of employees, to free up dollars,” Moak says. “The benefit

Did You Know?

Combating the High Cost of Insurance through Workplace Wellness According to Rhonda Bagby, market vice president for Humana, insurance costs account for 7.6 percent, on average, of an organization’s budget. “Employers struggle with rising healthcare costs, and there is a correlation between employee well-being and employee productivity, so we continue to see increasing interest from employers in workplace wellness programs,” Bagby says. More than two-thirds of U.S. employers offer some kind of workplace wellness program, and according to the 2017 Medical Plan Trends and Observations Report, 58 percent of health plans in 2017 offer some type of wellness incentives — up from 50 percent in 2016. The Centers for Disease Control reports that productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $226 billion annually. “Employers understand there is a connection between productivity and business results and the health of their workforce,” Bagby says. Humana recently concluded a threeyear impact study of its own wellness program, Go365, and found that members engaged in the program had less absenteeism, lower health claim costs, and less emergency healthcare consumption than employees not involved in the program. “Our return on investment study with the Go365 program has produced a really good story around the positive results that employees and employers can get from the program,” Bagby says. There’s also a direct financial impact. Companies can save money on insurance premiums when their employees are actively involved in workplace wellness programs, lowering costs and making it more likely that employers can keep good, affordable benefit packages in place for their employees.

of a health savings account is you hopefully make wise healthcare decisions on how you spend your dollars: For example you would stay out of the emergency room for non-emergency situations. You would use generic drugs when they’re available. All of these things 47

promote better healthcare decisions and if you’re paying for it with your money through an HSA, rather than a co-pay, then you hopefully become a better consumer of healthcare because they become your dollars you’re spending.” Restrictions on eligible medical expenses for HSAs are likely to relax too, according to Hales. “They’re going to bring back over-thecounter medication as an eligible expense,” she says. “So where for a few years you couldn’t buy Tylenol with your HSA account, now you would be able to do that.” The goal for HSA changes, Hales says, would be to drive down premiums through less spending. “Funding of the HSA — which has a built-in tax incentive — would help an individual be able to save for, and afford, a higher out-ofpocket cost in the event they had unexpectedly high claims.”

Eliminating the Mandate The ACA requires any business with two or more employees to offer an employer-sponsored healthcare plan; enrollment in the marketplace is mandatory for individuals who don’t have employer-sponsored insurance. Those who don’t comply are hit with a tax penalty. Republicans in Washington have targeted this requirement from the beginning; it was one of the key components of Obama’s legislation. “Before the mandate, employers chose to provide group health insurance as a benefit of employment, not as a mandate,” says Moak. “When it’s mandated, with all of the essential health benefits that are included with offering coverage, it becomes very expensive. No employer wants to be subject to an IRS penalty for not doing it, so they provide the insurance and the cost of everything they do goes up.” Hales agrees. “The penalty was not a deductible business expense, like an employer health plan is, but oftentimes the cost of having an employer health plan to cover your employees was more expensive than the penalty.”

48 Biz April 2017

Both Hales and Moak say eliminating the mandate will be a welcome change for employers who will again have the option of purchasing health insurance because they want to, not because they have to. But eliminating the mandate will likely leave many workers unsure of their options, and eliminating the tax penalty means less money for programs.

Medicaid Rollback One of the most controversial aspects of the ACA was the Medicaid expansion, which gives states the option to make Medicaid available to a larger population and receive federal funds in return. This plan was designed to bridge the so-called “Medicaid gap” — those who made too much money for Medicaid, but not enough money to qualify for an ACA subsidy, and therefore unable to bear the financial burden of health insurance. Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid under the ACA. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 11 million Medicaid enrollees in 2015 were newly eligible adults in the expansion group. Louisiana accepted the expansion, taking advantage of the federal contribution, when Gov. John Bel Edwards was sworn into office in January 2016. The implications in Louisiana are unclear at this point, but so-called “safety net” hospitals in Louisiana stand to lose millions in state and federal funding if the Medicaid expansion is rolled back.

Navigating the Waters Even though the health insurance industry is wading through uncertain times, Moak says many insurance brokers and business owners are optimistic that changes to the ACA will be pro-business. He says partnering with a consultative broker will help steer your company in the right direction when it comes to accomplishing three key health insurance goals: cost containment, liability reduction and improvement in operational efficiencies. n 49

Perspectives technology

Tulane Opens New Spine Center The center, designed to handle the most complex kinds of spine surgeries, joins a small army of brain and spinal care providers in the area. By Kim Roberts


n February 23, the Tulane University Medical Group, a physicians group that employs the doctors at Tulane Medical Center, opened the Tulane Orthopaedic Spine Center at East Jefferson General Hospital’s campus at 4300 Houma Blvd. The clinic, for the moment, is the sole home of Dr. Bruce Senter, orthopaedic and spine surgeon and assistant professor at the Tulane School of Medicine. Dr. Senter specializes in specific and complex spine surgeries, often the kind nobody else will take. “This move represents new expertise coming into Jefferson Parish,” says Ed Leonard, administrator for the orthopaedic department at Tulane University School of Medicine. “We have avoided Jefferson Parish in the past because we felt it was already so well served, but the market has shifted now and we felt we needed to be out there competing.” Leonard says the new spine center also fills a gap for Tulane orthopaedics. “We’ve done, and continue to do a lot of orthopaedic work at Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children, but we don’t currently have ICU or inpatient capacity yet at Lakeside,” he says. “This center will give us that. Currently, Dr. Senter will

50 Biz April 2017

fast facts

Leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) • Falls — account for 40 percent of all injuries • Being hit by an object or blunt trauma • Motor vehicle crashes • Assault Source: Centers for Disease Control

be operating out of the center once a week, but we definitely have the capacity to expand that in the future.” Dr. Felix “Buddy” Savoie, chairman of orthopaedic surgery at Tulane, called the new center, “the pride and joy of the Tulane Orthopaedic Group,” adding “we get a lot of patients from Metairie and it can be a challenge for them to come Downtown, so we figured we’d come to them.” In addition to the new Spine Center, Dr. Senter also works at Tulane’s General Orthopaedic Clinic at the Tulane Medical Center Downtown, which opened last fall. He will be joined in September by another physician, Dr. Matt Cyriac. Dr. Senter says the Center of Excellence Spine Center office — working title for the new office — will eventually evolve into a spine referral site. One of the areas Senter specializes in is degenerative spinal conditions and conditions like scoliosis and birth deformities. “Some of these cases can be challenging,” he says, “especially those in patients who have previously had multiple procedures, but it is important to assess if surgery is needed or not. Surgery is not always the answer, but when it is, there is some interesting stuff out there now to help patients.” Spinal disorders can involve chronic degenerative conditions; scoliosis and spondylolisthesis, tumors of the bone, spinal cord, or nerve roots and acute fractures of the spine with or without spinal 51

In Additional

More Local Brain and Spine Centers Southern Brain and Spine Offices in Metairie, Covington, Laplace and Touro Hospital Ochsner Back and Spine Center 2820 Napoleon Ave. Tulane Neuroscience Center 1415 Tulane Ave.

BIALA’s 10th annual conference took place March 10 and 11 at the Crowne Plaza New Orleans - Airport.

cord injury. “Treatment of these conditions involves the expertise of not only surgeons, but also physical therapists — therapy needs to be specialized to each patient’s needs,” Senter says. While Dr. Senter’s work focuses strictly on the spine and neck, the full spectrum of neurosurgical disorders includes: cerebrovascular disease and stroke, spine disorders, brain and spine tumors, movement disorders, epilepsy, congenital disorders and peripheral nerve disease. To this end, Tulane surgeons have been involved in the development of many new technologies and have led or conducted clinical trials and studies concerning stroke and cerebral vascular disorders on national and international levels. Tulane’s state-of-the-art facilities include a biplane hybrid room where a patient can undergo an angiogram (to 52 Biz April 2017

diagnose their condition) followed by treatment with either minimally invasive endovascular therapy (for example, coiling of a brain aneurysm), or open microsurgery (for example, clipping of a brain aneurysm) in the same room, with the same team during the same session. New Orleans is also fortunate to have a very unique resource — the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana (BIALA) — headquartered on 8325 Oak Street. BIALA, in partnership with the Louisiana chapter of the United Spinal Association, is an affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America, the oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy group. BIALA actively serves brain and spinal cord injury survivors and families. “Our organization is ‘the’ resource that anyone with a brain or spinal injury should turn to because of our meaningful affiliations and commitment to advocating for them on a local, state and national level,” said Kathleen Mulvihill, BIALA director of development. “We provide referrals and resources to survivors, families, caregivers and other professionals. We are the only chapter that runs a 24-hour hotline to assist survivors

and families, as well as providing aid and resources to 10 support groups throughout the state.” BIALA serves 28 to 50 people monthly through its hotline and 150 individuals through its support groups each month. The group’s newly-launched website,, serves as a resource to anyone who has been touched by a brain or spinal cord injury. The website includes interactive features, detailed information about head and spinal cord injury, educational materials, and local events. “For the past 10 years, we have hosted an annual conference to bring together survivors, caregivers, families, vendors and professionals across the state to discuss the latest advancements and therapeutic practices and educational sessions. This year the conference was in March and included workshops for survivors such as art and music therapy and a panel for adaptive sports as well as access to meaningful employment.” According to the BIALA, spinal cord injury occurs when there is any damage to the spinal cord that

blocks communication between the brain and the body. After a spinal cord injury, a person’s sensory, motor and reflex messages are affected and may not be able to get past the damage in the spinal cord. Generally speaking, the higher on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the more likely the person will experience dysfunction. Injuries are referred to as complete or incomplete, based on whether any movement or sensation occurs at or below the level of injury. “The most important, and sometimes frustrating, thing to keep in mind is that each person’s recovery from spinal cord injury is different.” Mulvihill said. “Every person’s experience is different and unique and needs to be treated that way.” Examples of some of the treatments provided by Tulane Neurosurgery include: treatment of scoliosis and spondylolisthesis, microsurgical discectomy both cervical and lumbar, spinal fusion and stabilization, cervical disc arthroplasty, minimally invasive options (including discectomy and fusion), lymphoblast and vertebroiliac and spinal cord stimulators. Tulane’s surgeons are also involved in expanding therapies for the treatment of these disorders by offering minimally invasive treatment options like disc replacement instead of fusion in appropriate candidates. They are also actively involved in research on areas such as spinal cord injury and regeneration. n

Perspectives law

Tackling Tax Troubles: What’s Next? Top local tax attorneys provide forecasts and offer their take on what inevitable changes will mean for business. By Frank Etheridge


ith the election of President Donald Trump at the national level, and the current (and, perhaps, perpetual) Louisiana budget crisis at the state level, 2017 promises to be a year of tax law changes. In his role as tax team leader for Adams and Reese, firm partner John F. “Johnny” Lyle III oversees the work of 10 tax attorneys that work with clients that range from individuals to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to publicly held corporations. “President Trump talks about cutting corporate tax rate to 15 [percent],” says John F. “Johnny” Lyle III, a partner at Adams and Reese law firm. In his role as tax team leader at the firm, Lyle oversees the work of 10 tax attorneys that assist clients ranging from individuals, to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, to publicly held corporations. “We have the highest corporate income tax rate in the world,” Lyle says. “And we have very narrow brackets — the maximum corporate tax bracket is 35, so cutting it down to even 25 is pretty dramatic, and it’s going to hit [businesses] pretty quickly as compared to such a cut for an individual.” On the state level, Lyle explains that Louisiana has a task force established on how to plug the deficit. “The problem is between 54 Biz April 2017

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at the opening of a special session of the state legislature in Baton Rouge, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017.

now and 2018, when the Restore Act dollars from BP become available, there are some large deficit numbers projected,” he says. “Last year, the Legislature rushed through some bills to eliminate sales tax exemptions, and this had a significant number of unintended consequences. Gov. Edwards has also indicated a hit list of credits that might be at risk in 2017. He’s looking almost exclusively at increasing revenues versus cutting expenses. A business can’t get to do that. But that’s his platform; he thinks the budget’s already cut to the bone.”

Lyle also points to “under the radar” changes in Social Security and Medicare thresholds. This year, both employers and employees will pay 7.6 percent into Social Security on the first $127,000 in income, up from $118,500 last year. Additionally, a new 3.8 percent investment income tax on individuals making more than $250,000 is one of about 20 taxes, along with a medical-equipment tax, in place to help fund the Affordable Care Act. “It’s a thinly disguised Medicare tax,” Lyle says. “Trump is going to get rid of that.” In Louisiana, Lyle cites as his top concern — amid the state budgetary crisis — a Louisiana Department of Revenue that is “overworked, understaffed and not being as diligent as they should in responding to taxpayer appeals.”

He describes the lack of response in the appeals process as “the product of a state desperate for money.” William M. “Bill” Backstrom Jr., leader of Jones Walker’s Tax and Estate Practice Group, calls the current state fiscal crisis “unprecedented.” “Last year we had two special sessions of the Louisiana Legislature sandwiched around the regular session to solve the budget crisis and, even with all the work, we’re still $300 million short,” he says. “The legislators spent a lot of time figuring out how to raise tax revenues in 2016, and look what happened: The substantial tax burden fell on businesses in the form of increased sales-tax rates, reduction in some of the eligible exemptions, business sales tax increases, and image: associated press

franchise tax increases, while also extending the franchise tax to cover limited liability companies.” Otherwise, business in Louisiana is doing pretty well, Backstrom explains, noting the oil and gas industry is coming up from its recent downturn, large-scale industrial-development projects are percolating, and the state is still considered attractive to businesses in terms of tax credits and “tried-and-true” incentives. For the 2017 Louisiana Legislature session — convening April 10 — Backstrom says his top concern is lawmakers “enacting changes to the tax code that are retroactive, which is just wrong and against the way business operates,” along with “expanding the state’s sales-tax reach across our borders” by requiring online sellers to collect sales tax. “We have to create opportunities for businesses,” he adds, “while also creating a tax system that is fair and gives us the certainty Louisiana needs.” Changing political winds in 2017 also look to impact how business is conducted on a global scale. “The biggest thing with taxes on an international level is the scheme under Trump and Congress to change our border-adjustment tax to where basically all our imports are being taxed while our exports aren’t,” says Edward “Ted” George, who provides general counsel to local corporations through his practice at Chaffe McCall, “This may not pass muster with the World Trade Organization [WTO], which objects to taxes that unfairly burden international trade. The WTO wants to get rid of tariffs, like the recent tax on importation of steel. Reversing that would be action at the WTO level.” George says at this stage, “we’re waiting to see what new laws take form. Lower rates are a good thing, certainly, but many businesses are going to want to know what deductions and what special allowances are going to be eliminated. I think a lot of this will unfold in the next several weeks and months.” n

moving forward

A Blueprint for Tax Reform The Louisiana Legislature’s task force lays it all out. On January 27, the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy presented its final report, “Louisiana’s Opportunity: Comprehensive Solutions for a Sustainable Tax and Spending Structure.” Several Biz New Orleans sources pointed to the findings of the task force—a 13-member group led by co-chairs Kimberly Robinson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, and Dr. James Richardson, professor of economics and public administration at Louisiana State University—as critical to solving Louisiana’s current budget crisis and having the potential to avoid another in the future. “To me, this final report is a blueprint of the tax reform we need in Louisiana,” adds William M. “Bill” Backstrom, Jr., tax and estate practice group leader of Jones Walker. “The 2017 legislative session presents a real opportunity for businesses to have their voices heard on this issue.” Established by the Louisiana Legislature during its first special session of 2016 to create “a specific plan for longterm tax policy that may be used to introduce legislation no later the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature,” the Task Force held public meetings March through October 2016. The following is a “summary of recommendations” from its 71-page final report: • Louisiana’s Fiscal Mess: If we want to solve fiscal problems and not repeat mistakes of the past, we need to know how we got to where we are. • Spending Practices and Management: Our chronic budget shortfalls and biggest inflationary costs must be addressed with long-term treatments and better fiscal discipline. • Problems with Louisiana’s Tax System: Let’s understand what’s wrong before we try to make it right. • Tax Reform Solutions: We need a combination of new, old and bold ideas based on sound principles to create a better tax structure. • State and Local Relations: We must address the close relationships of state and local spending and revenue and their impacts on all citizens and levels of government View or download the Task Force’s Final Report PDF,visit and click under “Laws and Policies”. 55

Perspectives guest perspective

Want More Dinero?

Few will be exclusively exposed to Hispanic media. It would be a mistake to think your general market message cannot be a convincing one. The impact of seeing a Spanish-language message is to amplify your general market message. You must ensure both work together. Using the usual channels but keeping the culture in mind is of utmost importance.

The Hispanic population has the kind of buying power you can’t afford to ignore. By Julia Carcamo

A Look At The Market


very time I speak to businesses about marketing to Hispanics, the first comment seems to be around translation, specifically a lack of translated materials. My response is consistently about identifying and understanding the target. Hispanic audiences have evolved since I first started my career in marketing. Back then it really was just a matter of translating my ads and placing them in the “Spanish media” —which was sparse and low in ratings at best.

Why Market To Hispanics Most data sources estimate the U.S. Hispanic population at about 59 million. At this number, everyone can agree the purchasing power of the segment is not something to ignore. Hispanics in the United States represent about $1.5 trillion in annual purchasing power. This is a segment integral to the success of many consumer brands and a valuable one to win, making up a quarter of the population in the top 15 U.S. markets. And yet, in the New Orleans area, this market is even more important. The Data Center’s latest reports show an explosion in population from 2000 to 2015 from 58,545 to 109,553 Hispanics, representing 8.7 percent of the population, practically doubling in the 15-year span. The Hispanic population will account for more than half of the expected growth in this country by 2020, and nearly 85 percent of the growth by 2060. Likewise, their spending power will grow as well. 56 Biz April 2017

According to a report from the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), the top 500 U.S. marketers allocated about 8.4 percent of ad spending to Hispanic efforts, up from 5.5 percent in 2010. Best-in-class marketers are allocating more than 14.2 percent of the ad budget to Hispanicdedicated efforts in Spanish/ bilingual media. Notable is the fact that the number of these companies more than doubled from 29 to 68, spending $3.5 billion in 2015.

Yet Few Companies Have A Strategy When you look at population, expected growth and examples from key companies, it’s easy to assume that every business might have a Hispanic strategy and plan in place. Surprisingly that is not the case. A recent study by Google revealed that although senior-level marketers see the Hispanic audience

as contributing somewhere between 11 and 25 percent of the company’s growth in the next three to five years, many did not have a strategy for engaging this demographic. This segment of the market remains the most attractive yet underserved. Two stumbling blocks were identified. First, many believe Hispanic marketing means marketing solely in Spanish. Acculturation has proven this not to be the case as most of the audience is now bilingual or English-dominant. Unfortunately, this same acculturation impact has also led to the identification of a second stumbling block: that advertising for one equals advertising for all. Because most of the Hispanic audience is bilingual or English-dominant, some advertisers believe they can be effectively reached through the same advertising and strategies that have been developed for general audiences. Most Hispanics will see much of your general market messages.

While the local market has exploded with growth and opportunity, a look around the country by comparison shows a distinct difference in the composition of the populations. The U.S. Hispanic population has been driven primarily by immigration from Mexico, whereas the local market is overrepresented by the Honduran population, living mostly in Jefferson Parish. While all are from a Latin American background, the cultures and even languages vary slightly. It becomes even more important to have a good understanding of the nuances. There are, however, some common and understandable elements to the puzzle of reaching the Hispanic audience.

Mobile Mobile first is even more important when reaching Hispanics. This demographic is now the most avid of smartphone users. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report (2016Q2), Hispanics are on their phones for over 14 hours a week (compared to 12 hours for the total market). Nielsen also found the Hispanic mobile user will use over 650 minutes per month on their mobile plans, much higher than the average of 510 for all consumers. And, if they are bilingual Hispanics, their usage jumps to more than 762 minutes! This high usage and engagement with mobile devices provides an interesting opportunity for brands using mobile as a message delivery system. Hispanics have become super users in the space.



It’s now a given that content must be authentic, simple and relevant to the audience in order to be successful. Promoting content that has these three attributes will help your brand grow and will also connect with the consumer in a deeper level. When targeting the Hispanic population, this is when the notion of translation comes in — not only in the sense of a script and copy but in translating the sense of family and community. Bicultural (or acculturated) Hispanics use Spanish and English equally throughout the day. Audience, setting and mood determine the language. Understanding when and where your message is being delivered should drive the language. Successful brands will also focus on the nuances of how this segment of the population engages with mainstream touchpoints and communications. First- and second-generation Hispanics are deeply rooted in their culture. These experiences go hand-in-hand with language. However, younger Hispanics feel they can express their culture beyond the use of language through their expressions, customs, music, holidays and traditions. In fact, they often prefer English. We will gather with the family to make the traditional tamales for Christmas and then Instagram the whole day to our friends in English.

As noted earlier, the last five years has seen an increase in Hispanictargeted media led by best-in-class marketers who allocate more than 14 percent of their ad dollars to the effort in Spanish/bilingual media. The auto industry, consumer packaged goods and retail have seen shifts in media dollars (to Hispanic) result in overall growth acceleration and top-line revenue growth. Companies like AT&T, Lowe’s, Nissan, Toyota, Walmart, Target and Verizon have continued to invest in Hispanic-dedicated media and also in their approach to recognizing the Hispanic target in their ongoing communications. These strategies are not limited to large national companies. Regional and local companies can also embrace the appro- and Spanish-speaking outlets as well as a plethora of digital opportunities. From locally produced broadcast shows such as Que Pasa New Orleans? and the New Orleans Saints games broadcast in Spanish, to pinpoint geo-fencing and even expanded Google ads that can accommodate the language better than ever, the opportunity to engage the Hispanic consumer continues to grow with the market. n

Visual When you consider that 65 percent of people are visual learners and that 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual, how you develop and showcase your products as images is critical. It’s no surprise that we are living in the era of the selfie. As consumers, we all want to see something that will make us read. Images need to look like the audience and feel like the audience, not the designer or the marketing director. Ask any agency or person I’ve worked with, and they will tell you this is one of my biggest pet peeves.

Julia Carcamo is president

and chief brand strategist at J Carcamo & Associates, specializing in brand and marketing strategy. Recognizing the impact the Hispanic market is having now and will have in the future, she has cofounded espÑOLA, a Hispanic marketing and engagement agency. Get more insights at and 57

T h e G r e at e r N e w O r l e a n s F o u n d a t i on has a new address and a new leader, An d y K o p p l i n ,

Local Philanthropy Gets a Fresh Face w h o w a nt s to i m p r o v e the way we put our people – and our w a t e r – to w o r k . B y Rebecca Friedman P h o t o s b y David Joshua Jennings

58 Biz April 2017

If you were to peek through one of the windows of that gleaming new building on Lee Circle between St. Charles and Howard avenues, you’d likely spot a group hard at work on a complex problem. The topic might be underemployment or water management or the upcoming GiveNOLA day, but the discussion would probably include Andy Kopplin, who took the helm of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) as president and CEO in August 2016. Kopplin joined the foundation from City Hall, where he served for more than six years as first deputy mayor and chief administrative officer in the office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu. His career has also included leadership positions with Teach for America and the Louisiana Recovery Authority, where he helped marshal resources for the state’s rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as chief of staff roles with Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Gov. Mike Foster. He’s a man who not only knows his way around a problem but understands the importance of gathering the right resources to find a solution. In this interview, held in the Chevron Learning Center at the GNOF (the room you might see through those soaring windows), Kopplin talks about the role of philanthropy in the region’s development, as well as his personal goals for the foundation. This interview was edited for length.

60 Biz April 2017

Biz: How did your time in City Hall prepare you for this role with the foundation? Kopplin: In many of my public sector careers, the best work we’ve been able to achieve was done in partnership with philanthropy. Nowhere was that more true than in New Orleans, where, post-Katrina, so many people from around the world were working to help us. My favorite moments before the City Council came when we had an initiative that required extra resources, extra talent, an extra push — and we found a philanthropist willing to co-invest in that. Then I could say, ‘The Ford Foundation is going to do this, or the Rockefeller Foundation is going to invest in this, or the Bloomberg Philanthropies are going to invest in this…’ When you think about a community foundation, it is really broad in terms of its mission. The challenges that we’re seeking to address are the challenges that elected officials are seeking to address. It’s just a different vantage point. The mayor often says that if you’re really going to improve a community, you’ve got to have sustained leadership from City Hall and government, from the business community, from the faith-based community, and from philanthropy. And so, after six and a half years of working for Mayor Landrieu, I told him, ‘I’ve been listening to that speech. It’s time for me to switch chairs.’ Biz: The foundation covers an incredibly extensive range of issues — many of them the biggest challenges our region faces. How can the GNOF have an impact in those areas?

Kopplin: I’ll give you an example of one of the things we’ve been doing a lot recently, which is working on this strategy of living with water. New Orleans has been fighting water for 300 years — trying to get the water out. For most of our history, that’s literally been our strategy: figuring out how to drain the rainwater as quickly as possible and pump it back over into the lake. It worked so well that we’re reducing the amount of groundwater in the water table, and because we’re built on clay, the clay condenses, and we sink. We have to reverse that hydrology. We’ve got to make sure there’s enough water in the water table so we don’t sink, yet remove enough water so that we don’t flood. A lot of the research that’s been done since Katrina has been funded by our environmental program here at the foundation. Now we’re trying to create a movement around our planners and architects here in town, so that every building is built like this brand new one for the GNOF. This building can handle a 10-inch rain onsite, and we use the water that hits the ground on our property to replenish the water table so that subsidence is reduced. If every building were built like this in the community, we’d actually solve that problem. So one of the things we’ve been working on is trying to show by example — to give grants, to create a movement where everybody is doing this — because our survival as a city truly depends on it. Biz: If you had to pick an area of focus that is your top priority, personally, what might that be?

FAVORITES Favorite book? “Imagining Argentina,” by Lawrence Thornton. A great but obscure novel about how the mothers of those who were “disappeared” by Argentina’s dictators used the power of their imaginations to create a movement that changed their world. I’m always reminded of this when I think about how visionaries—from Ben Franklin and MLK, Mandela and Vaclav Havel, to my old boss at Teach For America, Wendy Kopp—inspired great movements with their ability to imagine a very different future. Favorite TV shows? I rarely watch. But I love catching up on missed sketches from late night comedy shows online. I like Samantha Bee’s quick sarcasm and satire through a feminist lens. James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” from “The Late Late Show” is a favorite. Who do you look up to? Dr. Norman C. Francis, longtime Xavier University president and chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. He’s the definition of a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner. He leads with wisdom, grace, and love and has had the steely-eyed courage and determination to fight through more insurmountable obstacles than we will ever know. Biggest life lessons learned? When I was the parent of teenagers, I learned my greatest life lesson. Don’t punt on the hard stuff. Don’t just leave it for my wife. Men often get a pass on engaging in the emotionally painful, the unpleasant, the awkward. Living through several challenging years, I learned to truly listen to what’s being said, to work to understand and acknowledge where they are coming from rather than constantly focusing on “what I think.” Sometimes what seems like a “teaching moment” is better served with a hug or a smile. Requires daily commitment. 61

FAVORITES Best advice ever received? Mayor Landrieu always told us to do what is hard for the sake of doing what is right. And from one of my friends: You don’t have to make peace between Israel and Palestine to change the world around you; you just need to smile. Hobbies? Cycling around on the 100+ miles of new bike lanes we have in New Orleans, playing in the Uptown Softball League, going to see live music. April is the best month for that between French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest! Daily habits? I’m addicted to reading It’s the best national political news blog, started by a friend of mine from graduate school. Pet peeve? Negativity. I try not to waste time or ruin a good mood by getting aggravated about things I cannot control. What would you say is our region’s biggest strength? We have a history of reinventing ourselves as required by the times, the post-Katrina period of dramatic, entrepreneurial change being the most recent example. I think our ability to do this has always depended on, and will continue to depend on, our openness to ideas and innovation, to entrepreneurs and artists, and to the contributions of those whose families immigrated here and those whose families were brought here against their will.

62 Biz April 2017

Kopplin: One of our current programs that I would love to see us expand dramatically is a workforce training program called New Orleans Works (NOW). We asked healthcare providers what positions they are struggling to fill, and we heard that medical record clerks were hard for them to retain. They were hiring the wrong people. Folks would come out of college, become a medical record clerk, and as soon as they found a job that they liked better, they would leave. At Ochsner, the turnover was roughly 50 percent. So after exploring with them what they needed, we decided we could help. We gave a grant to a local nonprofit to help us find folks who weren’t actively employed but who had the skills (high school diploma, GED) where a [three- or four-month] training program at Delgado could give them what they need to be successful. Ochsner was our first partner — they led the way. We asked them: ‘Will you guarantee that you’ll hire the folks that we train?’ Which, for an employer, is not usually what you do. But to their credit, they did. The end of the story is that Ochsner has now hired over 80 people. The retention rate is 92 percent. They’re thrilled. And if you ask [Ochsner CEO] Warner Thomas, he’ll say the reason it works and the reason folks are sticking around is because we’ve helped change their lives. That program is now with a bunch of other healthcare providers — including LCMC, Tulane and others — but I want to see that program expand in an enormous way, beyond health care, into the infrastructure system. There is still this persistent problem where 44 percent of the African-American men in New Orleans are un- or underemployed. And we’re about to spend $3 billion in the city over the next decade to rebuild our physical infrastructure. So if we can find some of those men, get them trained, and get them connected to jobs, we can really make a serious

impact. And it’s not just a New Orleans thing. Coastal restoration work involves similar job skills, and they’re going to spend $8 billion of BP’s money rebuilding our coast. It is a huge opportunity for folks in the Greater New Orleans region to get the jobs rebuilding the region. Biz: Does the GNOF also help with quick hit efforts, like disaster relief? Kopplin: Part of what we’ve learned to do — through Katrina, the BP oil spill, and other events — is what they call ‘disaster philanthropy.’ We just had this devastating tornado in New Orleans East, and within half a day, we opened up a fund. We got it onto the news, and Trombone Shorty, who’s a partner of ours in different efforts, heard about it. He said, ‘I’ll give you $50,000 to match the first $50,000 of donations.’ So in 64 hours, we raised enough to match that money. And then other folks kept joining us — the Pelicans, the NBA, the NBA Players Association, Brand Jordan — as well as thousands of folks who were hearing about us in the media and gave small contributions — $20 here, $50 there. Within the first couple of days, we had checks out to the nonprofits who were in the field supporting families with their housing and recovery needs. It’s what we ought to be able to do in a moment like that for our community. Biz: How does GNOF ensure that its nonprofit partners are a smart investment for donors? Kopplin: Let’s take GiveNOLA day as a start. A lot of our nonprofits have never done any kind of online marketing or online fundraising, so GiveNOLA day is really a partnership. It’s not just that we’re out there saying, ‘Donate online.’ We train the nonprofits to build their mailing lists and to send good messages out. Because it builds their capacity to be able to do this on their own.

And that is just one example. In the Chevron Learning Center at the foundation, almost every day, there are trainings for nonprofits. We train boards on governance, we offer executive director training, supervisory training, fundraising training, sustainability training… Part of that is because those organizations are doing great work, and they don’t have the resources to send their people to California to get some expert. But we can get a great trainer in front of 30 or 40 or 60 of them right here in this building and give them the assistance that they need to do well. For our fund holders who are making big investments in nonprofits or folks who are donating on GiveNOLA day, they want to know that those organizations are well managed and that they are using wise fiscal, HR and legal practices. That’s what we call our nonprofit effectiveness division, and we’re really proud of it. Not a lot of folks around the country in community foundations do that work, but we think it’s essential to making sure we get our money’s worth when we make those investments. Biz: GiveNOLA Day is one of the most visible initiatives of the GNOF, and this one will be your first as CEO. What are you most excited about? Kopplin: May 2, 2017, is our fourth GiveNOLA day. We’ve got more than 700 nonprofits, and we’re going to raise $4.5 million in a 24-hour period. Every hour there will be prizes that folks can win for their nonprofits. We call it ‘Rock around the Clock.’ There’s a ticker board that shows how much your nonprofit raised so far and how much we’ve raised for the community. We’re also going to have what we’re calling the GiveNOLA Fest here on our property. Everybody is welcome to come. We’re going to have bands playing, including Rebirth and Big Sam’s Funky Nation, so we’re pretty excited about that.

Biz: What does this new building represent for the organization? Kopplin: I was not a part of the organization at the time they did the capital campaign, but I think what they discovered is that the GNOF, which was started in 1983 but has a history dating back to the Community Chest in 1923, was a great asset for our community, but no one knew what we were doing. And part of that was that we had no address. Our board leadership at the time said we need to increase the prominence so that we can be more effective. And we can revitalize a blighted corner of Lee Circle. As they developed these plans, they got excited about developing in ways that matched our vision and our values. We have a green LEEDcertified building. It’s 42 percent more efficient than the city code requires. We co-host events here all the time with organizations that are doing important things in the region. We tell folks that it’s our home, but it’s the community’s building, and we want to make it available and accessible to our partners as often as possible. Biz: Where would you hope to see the GNOF in a few years’ time? Kopplin: For us to be playing the role that we should play, which is for folks to think of us as the go-to place for strategic philanthropy in in the region. If they’ve got a challenge, if there’s a real opportunity to make a difference in our region, that they come to the foundation as a partner who’s going to be able to help identify the solutions and convene the people to help sort things out — and then gather the resources and momentum to get something done. If we can build, success by success, our way into that role, then the foundation will be able to meet its mission and really be a valued partner throughout the 13 parishes that we serve in the Greater New Orleans region. 63

BREW O While the Crescent City is known for cocktails, coffee has been its favorite drink for more than 215 years.

By Chris Price photographs by jeffery johnston

ORLEANS Of all the scents and flavors associated with New Orleans, none permeates quite like coffee. It’s not just in the city’s worldfamous restaurants or neighborhood coffee shops, it’s in the air — from major coffee bean roasters on the Industrial Canal to boutique roasters in the French Quarter, Garden District, Black Pearl and St. Claude neighborhoods. Home to America’s largest brand, as well as several emerging labels, the Crescent City’s coffee industry is percolating strong as ever.

The Crescent City’s coffee connection While coffee has undoubtedly been part of life in New Orleans since it was founded in 1718, the first record of coffee being imported into New Orleans dates to 1802, when 1,438 bags arrived in the Crescent City.

Soon, green coffee shipments from Cuba and other Caribbean islands were matched by batches from Central and South America. By the 1840s, the bean helped the Port of New Orleans grow to the second largest port in the United States after New York and the fourth-largest in the world. The industry included importers, roasters, packagers, shippers and thousands of laborers to unload and load ships along the waterfront. In the 19th century, stevedores carried single 132-pound bags on their heads from the ships’ cargo hold to the warehouse where the coffee was stored before being roasted and shipped elsewhere. By 1857, more than 530,000 bags of coffee arrived, helping the city earn the nickname of the “Logical Port” for Latin American imports. By the turn of the 20th century, the riverfront between Canal and Julia streets were dominated by coffee. Dozens of importers operated in New Orleans, supplying hundreds of roasters around the country. Though industrialization, mechanical innovations and corporate consolidations through the 1900s led to reductions in the needed workforce, the industry and New Orleans’ place in the coffee industry remained strong. The American Coffee Co. was founded in 1890 at 423 South Peters Street, and introduced labels such as French Market, Dixieland and Honeymoon. American still roasts, including French Market Coffee, at 800 Magazine Street. Local and visitors alike have enjoyed coffee around the clock, be it with beignets in the

morning, on a coffee break (a fabled New Orleans innovation) or after dinner with a Café Brûlot Diabolique (“devilishly burned coffee”), a flaming concoction of coffee, brandy, and spices invented at Antoine’s Restaurant. Coffee helped the city come back to life after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in late August 2005. Folgers restarted its plant on Chef Menteur Highway about a week after the storm, housing workers and their families on plant grounds. The majority of cargo on the first commercial ship to arrive in New Orleans, two weeks after the storm, was coffee beans bound for Folgers’ roasting plants. Today, New Orleans is the nation’s premier coffee-handling port. More than 1.29 million tons of coffee were imported through the Port of New Orleans between 2011-15, in the most recent five-year statistical period available. There are 14 coffee warehouses with more than 5.5 million square feet of storage space, and six roasting facilities within a 20-mile radius, according to figures provided by the Port of New Orleans. Coffee is shipped to the city in large containers from 31 coffee-producing countries, and sent to large, bulk-processing operations, including Dupuy Storage and Forwarding Corp. (the largest in the United States) and Smucker Coffee Silo Operations (formerly Silocaf ), the largest facility of its kind in the world. There are also a growing number of micro-roasters who are bringing stripped-down specialty coffees without additions into popular tastes.

b i g co f f ee NOLA is home to the world’s largest automated silo and top coffee-processing plant in the United States: Smucker Coffee Silo Operations Inc.

Smucker Coffee Silo Operations Inc. (formerly Silocaf) sits just behind the Mississippi River floodwall near the intersection of Tchoupitoulas Street and Jefferson Avenue. The plant receives green coffee in bulk tankers, burlap bags or super sacks from ports around the world, then weighs, samples, sorts, processes, blends, stores and loads out — also in bulk — bags or super sacks to be shipped to locations across North America. The fully computerized plant is able to produce more than 2 million pounds of coffee during a 12-hour workday.

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French Truck Coffee

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A regional community Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Community Coffee Co. has a ubiquitous presence in the New Orleans market via sales in local grocery stores, restaurants and coffee shops. Community is privately held and does not provide specific data related to its volume, sales or imports. It is, however, one of the largest coffee businesses in the region.

“In 1919, our current owner’s great-grandfather, ‘Cap’ Saurage, discovered the secret of making our special coffee,” said Jodi Conachen, Community Coffee Co.’s general manager of communications. “Now in its 97th year, Community Coffee Co. houses the largest familyowned and -operated retail coffee brand in America, and four generations of the Saurage family have operated the company since its inception.” The New Orleans-centric coffee-and-chicory blend is one of many Community offers. Conachen said it’s a growing product outside of Louisiana as well as within state lines. “Our version of this Southern favorite strikes a balance between 100-percent Arabica coffee beans and high-quality chicory for a more intense body and flavor than coffee alone,” she says. “In Louisiana, many take it black, but the café-au-lait version with steamed milk gives a true taste of New Orleans.”

Coffee by the Ton More than 1.29 million tons of coffee has been imported through the Port of New Orleans in the most recent five-year period available.

Year Short Tons











Source: The Port of New Orleans

Driving The Specialty Coffee Trend French Truck Coffee was one of the pioneers of specialty coffee in New Orleans. Founder Geoffrey Meeker started the company in May 2012 in his laundry room on Fern Street in the Carrollton neighborhood.

“My wife made me move [the company] out when the weight of the beans started to bend the floor boards,” Meeker said. The business focused mostly on wholesale before opening its Magazine Street location with a retail shop. Next came a spot on Dryades with a coffee-centric café. A partnership with an existing roaster in Tennessee created French Truck Memphis, home to a roasting space and small retail shop. While Meeker did not disclose how much coffee French Truck sold last year, it is evident that the

business is booming. 2017 may be the company’s best year yet. In May, French Truck will open a 1,100-squarefoot French Quarter coffee and pastry shop in the May & Ellis Building at 221 Chartres Street. In June, it will open a 3,500-squarefoot roasting facility and café in the redevelopment of the old Sears Roebuck Fulfillment Center in Memphis. In July, the company will open on Government Street in Baton Rouge. “We have been prepping for this for a while,” Meeker said. “We currently have 36 employees and will likely double that by next year.”

A m er i ca ’ s m ost belo v e d co f f ee bran d In 1850, James Folger of San Francisco got into the coffee business when he was just 14. By 1880, he established “cup-testing” coffee beans for their flavor rather than appearance. After 110 years in business in California, the Folgers company moved to New Orleans in 1960 to take advantage of cheaper

shipping routes from Central America to the Gulf Coast. Procter & Gamble bought Folgers in 1963 and began distributing it nationally. Soon it was the top-selling brand in the at-home coffee category in the country, a position it still holds today. The J.M. Smucker Co.

acquired Folgers in 2008, and consolidated its coffee manufacturing operations here in 2010, said Maribeth Burns, Smucker’s vice president of corporate communications. As the hub of its coffee supply chain, the company invested $70 million at its existing facilities in New Orleans. In addition to

its name brand, New Orleans’ Folgers plant makes Dunkin’ Donuts, Millstone, Cafe Bustelo and Cafe Pilon coffee brands. “Folgers, Smucker’s, Jif and Milk Bone are all beloved by our consumers, and we are proud that at least one of our products can be found in 93 percent of U.S. households today,” Burns said. 69

Chicory The root of a unique New Orleans flavor

Mr. Mojo Roastin’ In Black Pearl, Matt Cronin is hand roasting small batches of coffee beans 7 pounds at a time.

Top 10 C o f f ee I m p orters to N ew O rleans

Coffee and chicory is a New Orleans tradition that dates back to the French colonial era. The root of the wild, blue-flowered Cichorium intybu reportedly was first dried, roasted, ground and used as a filler in imperial France, when the country was short on coffee during the Continental Blockade. Napoleon’s armies brought chicory back to France from northern Europe in order to extend their coffee supplies, and Parisians began to prefer the enhanced flavor of coffee and chicory and continued to drink it after the blockade was lifted. As capital of a French colony, New Orleans was under French cultural influence and wanted to enjoy the same tastes and trends as Paris, the mother country’s capital. The root became especially important to the city’s culinary identity during the Civil War, when the Union blockade prevented coffee imports, and locals used chicory, beets, acorns, parsnips and burnt sugar as additives to extend the supply.

The taste for chicory coffee has survived. While most national brands only use coffee beans in their grinds, local companies offer blends with and without chicory so those who like it may enjoy its strong flavor. Historically, the ancient Egyptians are thought to have first cultivated chicory as a medicinal plant. It is also thought that the ancient Greeks and Romans used it for curative purposes as well for health concerns including liver enlargement, jaundice, inflammation, and to stimulate appetite, said Jodi Conachen, Community Coffee Co.’s general manager of communications. It may also give your morning cup an extra nutrient boost. “Researchers know that chicory root is rich in beta-carotene and may help decrease swelling,” Conachen said. “More recently, chicory root is being used to produce inulin, a prebiotic that helps promote digestive health, as a fiber source for the food industry in a variety of products including breakfast bars, yogurt, bread and even ice cream.”

The Port of New Orleans received more coffee from these 10 nations than any others in 2015, the most up to date figures available.


Colombia Mojo Coffee Roasters began a little more than two years ago in a 1,600-square-foot facility near the Riverbend area Uptown as an evolution of Mojo Coffee House’s success. He started the roasting business with partners Demian Estevez and Angela Jackson, owners of Mojo Coffee House. “We had a very clear idea of what kind of coffee program we wanted, and we weren’t able to find it,” Cronin said. “So, we decided to do it ourselves. It was the next step in getting into the industry for us.” In addition to supplying Mojo’s shops and locations across New Orleans, they supply stores across the country. “We started out with a volume of a couple hundred pounds a week, and now we’re close to 1,000 pounds a week,” he said. “But still doing it in a real craft style.” Mojo sources its beans from Africa and the Americas. Its seasonal bean selection and roasting focus on drawing out the innate sweetness and unique flavor characteristics of each of coffee the brand offers. “I swap coffees in and out according to seasonal availability so that we get the freshest quality we can,” Cronin said. “It keeps it interesting. (Our offerings are) constantly in a state of flux, so we always have new stuff for people to try.” Despite the popularity of national chain coffee shops, where a study of Italian is needed to order a drink, Cronin said the coffee scene has really blossomed in New Orleans. “We want to keep the traditions we have and expand it into new things,” he said. “We’re taking on new clients. We’re buying more and more interesting coffees. We’re lucky to be part of it.”








Australia Source: The Port of New Orleans

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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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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 third-largest U.S. cable company, 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 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, Community Investment grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and a portion of dollars raised helps Cox employees in need through the Cox Benevolent Fund, a local employee relief program. In its first year, Cox employees awarded more than $120,000 to 40 nonprofits and schools in the Southeast Region.

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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 Steve Sawyer (504) 358-6110 Acadiana/Baton Rouge/New Orleans/ Florida’s Gulf Coast/Central Florida/ Middle Georgia

2016 Cox Charities Grant Recipients Luncheon

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ABOUT DUDLEY DEBOSIER Dudley DeBosier is a personal injury firm with offices throughout the state of Louisiana. Since opening our doors in 2009, we have represented thousands of people who have been injured through no fault of their own. We are passionate about helping people and getting involved in our community. WHY WE GIVE BACK Muhammad Ali put it well when he said, “Community service is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” It is the right thing to do. It is an act of gratitude to the people and communities that have put their trust in us to represent them in their time of need. The spirit of giving back runs deep through the culture of our firm. Whether we are helping each other, our clients, or our community, giving back is something we are passionate about at Dudley DeBosier. NON-PROFIT(S) WE SUPPORT There are so many great nonprofit organizations throughout Louisiana. Below are just a few we are proud to support! In addition to supporting local nonprofits, the firm has also established some personal initiatives to give back. • Children’s Hospital • Youth Oasis Children’s Shelter

MISSION STATEMENT We want to change the way people think about attorneys, one relationship at a time. CONTACT INFO (504) 444-4444 1124 St. Charles Ave.

• American Cancer Society • The Life of a Single Mom • THRIVE Academy • Dudley DeBosier Random Acts of Kindness — every month our team surprises people with random acts of kindness. Whether it’s a flower on Valentine’s Day or paying for a stranger’s coffee, this is our personal way of paying it forward and spreading kindness • Dudley DeBosier Scholarship — the firm awards $10,000 every year to graduating seniors who plan to attend college.

TOP Stuff the Bus: Partners at Dudley DeBosier look forward to donating school supplies to local families each year. BOTTOM Scholarship Program: The firm awards $10,000 to graduating seniors every year. Partners Steven DeBosier, Chad Dudley, and James Peltier enjoy meeting the winners at the annual luncheon.

Responsible Attorneys: Chad Dudley, Steven DeBosier, James H. Peltier, Jr. 75

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About Faubourg Private Wealth: Faubourg Private Wealth is comprised of current and former trust officers, private bankers, nonprofit consultants, and investment and hedge fund analysts and managers. We empower our clients by providing objective, comprehensive financial and investment advice. We believe in the independent financial advisor’s fiduciary standard to provide planning and investment advice that is, first and foremost, in the best interest of our clients. Why we give back In old French, “faubourg” loosely translates to neighborhood. Faubourg signifies our unwavering commitment to our community, to which we dedicate our time and resources. We find that our efforts to partner with nonprofits prove to be the most rewarding and impactful for those most deserving in our communities NonProfits we support Grace at the Greenlight has served over 53,000 meals and distributed over 160,000 bottles of water, 365 days a year for the homeless population of New Orleans. The only requirement is that they be willing to treat others with respect while sharing the meal. The trust that is established during the meal service allows Grace at the Greenlight to implement their unique core program, I’m Going Home. Grace at the Greenlight has successfully reunited over 790 people with their loved ones back home to start a new life. All donations to Grace at the Greenlight go directly to aiding the homeless. Faubourg is proud to serve as one of the corporate sponsors to advance this mission. In addition, on our Slow Money Show on WGSO 990AM, we dedicate segments to local nonprofits to help them share their story and showcase their causes. Over the past few months, we’ve featured Grace at the Greenlight, Youth Empowerment Project, The Rare Trait Hope Fund, Louisiana Red Cross, and The Boy Scouts of Southeast Louisiana Council. We look to feature many more. If you are a local nonprofit that would like to share your story, please contact us!

Mission Statement Faubourg Private Wealth strives to provide independent, comprehensive financial planning and investment services uniquely tailored to nonprofits, businesses, retirement plans, and individual needs. We look at every aspect of a client’s financial picture: assets, liabilities, insurance and estate planning. We help develop, streamline and work toward your financial goals. Contact (504) 321-0923 Metairie | Old Gretna | Larose

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Level Four Advisory Services, a registered investment advisor. Level Four Advisory Services, LLC and Faubourg Private Wealth are separate entities from LPL Financial.​

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Top Staff from Faubourg Private Wealth, Grace at the Greenlight and other volunteers raising money at a recent donation drive. Bottom Tyson Vanlandingham and Jaron Miller of Faubourg Private Wealth preparing meals during our sponsorship week at Grace at the Greenlights’ new facility on Oretha Castle Haley.

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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: 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 houses after a disaster like the recent floods, 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 1(800) 220-2497 Greater New Orleans Northshore Baton Rouge

TOP Fidelity deploys volunteers to support many local nonprofit events like the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws, recently held on the Mandeville lakefront. BOTTOM At Make Martin Luther King Jr “ A DAY ON, NOT A DAY OFF” Fidelity Volunteers worked with several local nonprofits, including Teach for America and Uncommon Construction. 77

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ABOUT HOME BANK Founded in 1908, Home Bank’s history of service has spread along with our footprint through South Louisiana and Western Mississippi. We’re a nationally chartered community bank with 29 locations and over 350 employees. Our company motto is “Good for business. Good for life.” To us this means helping our customers achieve their goals in both their professional and personal lives. It also means that we believe in community outreach and giving — serving our neighbors and helping our neighborhoods flourish and thrive. HOME BANK HELPS In the Greater New Orleans area, our employees created an innovative new way to give back. We call it the “Home Bank Helps Giving Fund.” It is a selfdirected fund combining employees’ donations and giving grants to benefit local nonprofits identified by our employees. We recently completed our first grant cycle. We are so proud that our first recipients were James Storehouse Foundation, Hope House \ Children’s Advocacy Center, Father’s Hands and New Orleans Mission. In addition to this giving program, Home Bank employees also enjoy the benefit of volunteer service during work hours. All staff is encouraged to give of their time and talents when community needs arise. Home Bank removes the barrier of time constraints by offering paid time for good causes. SOME OF THE NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT INCLUDE: Youth Services Bureau Northshore Housing Initiative Café Reconcile Hope House – Child Advocacy Center New Orleans Mission James Storehouse Foundation Junior Achievement Coats for Kids Cancer Crusaders Back-to-School Supply Drive American Heart Association Heart Walk Mardi Paws Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West Boys Town Louisiana Second Harvest Food Bank Boy Scouts Istrouma Area Council Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans

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Growing, Investing and Serving In Our Communities Home Bank is committed to serving the needs of our communities. We have earned our reputation as trusted financial partners for families and businesses across Louisiana and Mississippi because our bankers put you first. It’s part of our culture, and it’s what sets us apart. We live our values each day, focusing on integrity, innovation and a commitment to serving others. Contact (504) 834-1190 (866) 401-9440 29 Locations Across South Louisiana and Western Mississippi

TOP Home Bank’s Northshore staff enjoys volunteering each year at the Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West Women Build event. BOTTOM The New Orleans and Northshore branches of Home Bank participated in a children’s coat drive this past winter. Here, the staff at the Transcontinental banking center in Metairie show donated coats being readied for delivery.

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ABOUT P&N P&N is a leading CPA and consulting firm that helps businesses and individuals across the country shape clearer paths forward. Backed by 65+ years of experience, we are the largest accounting and consulting firm in the Greater New Orleans Area and the only Top 100 U.S. firm based in Louisiana. With more than 500 professionals providing assurance, tax, consulting and technology services, we have one purpose: creating clear, simplified pathways for clients’ success. WHY WE GIVE BACK P&N is deeply committed to making our home the best it can be by giving back. We find joy in making a positive impact on the communities in which we live and work. One of our core values is being united with the community and we demonstrate this by supporting over 100 community organizations and events across New Orleans and Louisiana. We encourage team members to find their passion for making a difference and getting involved in their community. At P&N, we believe that everyone can make a difference in their community through their time, talent and effort. some NONPROFITs WE SUPPORT A Studio in the Woods, Abeona House Child Discovery Center, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Boy Scouts of America, CASA Jefferson, New Orleans City Park, Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy, Crimestoppers, Ducks Unlimited, Eden House, Hogs for the Cause, Junior Achievement, KID smART, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Metropolitan Crime Commission, Muscular Dystrophy Association, NetWork Volunteers, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans Oyster Festival, NORLI, Raintree Children and Family Services, Take A Chance Animal Rescue, UnCommon Construction, United Way, Visiting Pet Program, What You Give Will Grow, Young Leadership Council, Youth Empowerment Project, Youth Run NOLA, Second Harvest, Great New Orleans Foundation, New Orleans Mission, University of New Orleans, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, Innocence Project New Orleans, Louisiana Children’s Museum, St. Michael’s Special School, Catholic Charities, Team Gleason, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, Contemporary Arts Center, Ochsner, National World War II Museum, Bridge House, Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Propeller, New Orleans Museum of Art

MISSION STATEMENT Our mission is to provide traditional and innovative accounting and consulting services of exceptional value and superior quality to those we serve. Our sincere focus on service to our clients, our employees, and our communities is embedded in everything we do. CONTACT (504) 837-5990 Metairie, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Covington, Donaldsonville, Gonzales, Lafayette, Houston, and St. Francisville

TOP Crawfish Mambo hosted by UNO International Alumni Association BOTTOM New Orleans Go Red Luncheon 79

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ABOUT QCS QCS Logistics was founded in 1984 with the singular objective of providing cost effective, dependable and time-sensitive delivery services. Thirty-three years later, we are proud to be one of the region’s most trusted customized logistics and expedited delivery firms serving over 350 clients in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. Our flexible fleet of over 80 drivers, coupled with our vast industry experience and integration of advanced dispatch and scheduling technology, allows us to deliver “Peace of Mind” to our loyal clients. WHY WE GIVE BACK Simply stated, we give back because it’s our responsibility! Our President & CEO, Ronald V. Burns, Sr., made corporate giving/citizenship one of our core values when he founded QCS Logistics. He recognized that the company’s success was attributed to the support of several individuals/organizations and wanted to ensure that we continued to do our part by paying it forward. Over the years, we have been proud to partner with several organizations to provide financial support, volunteering and resources to help each achieve their mission. We take great pride in being a good corporate partner and will continue to support those organizations who are doing great work in the communities we serve. NONPROFITS WE SUPPORT • Son of a Saint — provide mentorship, financial support and annual bike donation to 5 families for Xmas • Akili Academy — provide annual Thanksgiving meals to selected families and donates bikes to 5 needy families for Xmas • Urban League of Louisiana — provide financial support for the UL’s programs/services

MISSION STATEMENT We deliver transportation and logistics solutions with determination, creativity and innovation. We are “Driven to Serve.” CONTACT INFO (504) 940-6262 6600 Plaza Dr., Ste 307 New Orleans, La 70127

• United Way — recently volunteered with UW to help remove debris for N.O. East Tornado victims • Idea Village — provide financial support for the annual N.O. Entrepreneurship Week (NOEW) • Crescent City Links — provided financial support for the Crescent City Link’s programs/ services • Ochsner Health System — donated transportation services for recent BR flood victims, also provided financial support for Ochsner’s annual Moonlight & Miracles gala support cancer research

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TOP QCS Warehouse Team BOTTOM 2017 bike donation

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About Boy Scouts of america The Boy Scouts of America is the Nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organization. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and develops personal fitness. For over 106 years, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible and productive society. PROGRAMS OFFERED Cub Scouts (Boys Aged 6-10) Cub Scouting is a year-round program uniquely designed to meet the needs of young boys and their parents. The program offers fun and challenging activities that promote character development and physical fitness. Boy Scouts (Boys Aged 11-17) Scouting is an outdoor program designed to develop leadership, character, citizenship and fitness. With the Scout Oath and Law as a guide, Scouting helps a boy develop into a well-rounded young man. Venturing (Young Men and Women Aged 14-20) Young people in Venturing learn leadership skills and participate in challenging outdoor activities. Exploring (Young Men and Women aged 14-20)

Exploring’s purpose is to provide experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Most Explorer Posts are career interests-based. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS: April 4 | Houma Golden Eagle Dinner hosted by Boysie

Bollinger and Gordon Dove | Copeland’s in Houma April 6 | Metairie Fundraising Reception | Offices of P&N in the Galleria April 20 | Pillars of Scouting Luncheon honoring Jimmy Fitzmorris, Frank Stewart and Ken Pickering | Audubon Tea Room April | New Orleans Community Fundraiser | Hibernia Building rooftop May | Slidell Golden Eagle Social July | Whitney Young – Urban Scouting Fundraiser August | Sporting Clays

Mission statement It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based on those found in the Scout Oath and Law. Contact (504) 889-0388 4200 S I-10 Service Road W. Metairie, LA 70001

TOP 100th Anniversary Camper-All BOTTOM Scout EXPO City Park New Orleans 81

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ABOUT CRESCENT CARE/NO AIDS TASK FORCE NO/AIDS Task Force was founded in 1983 as a single phone line in response to the devastating effects of the AIDS epidemic in New Orleans. In the years following, we continued to expand our services in response to community need and the impact of the epidemic on diverse populations. When the community needed healthcare in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, the agency expanded when it became a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2013, utilizing opportunities under the Affordable Care Act. In 2014 we began offering dental services, women’s and children’s services, and legal services. CrescentCare continues to grow rapidly to meet the community needs in the changing health care environment. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS April 27 Bow Tie Bash — Benachi House & Gardens Bow Tie Bash is an evening of cocktails, music and fun all for a good cause and in remembrance of Chet Pourciau, longtime CrescentCare Supporter. Dress is dapper attire, bow tie accessories are requested. July 27 Dining Out For Life

Each year in late July, dozens of the area’s best restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds to CrescentCare d.b.a. NO/AIDS Task Force to help fund our Food For Friends program. August DIVAS!

DIVAS! is an outrageous night when CrescentCare employees, as well as other community organizations and leaders, come together to put on a fun-filled night of entertainment. “Lip Sync For Your Life” as your favorite Diva while raising money for the NO/AIDS WALK. September 24 Annual NO/AIDS WALK We’re celebrating 28 years of the Chevron NO/ AIDS WALK. After the WALK, join NO/AIDS and CrescentCare for a fun-filled Festival For Life complete with music, health information, children’s arts and crafts and more! December 9 Art Against AIDS

Art Against AIDS has been entertaining the community for over three decades. This gala-style holiday event has more than 150 auction items, live entertainment and food from many local restaurants. 82 Biz April 2017

GET INVOLVED • Visit our website to volunteer for events or learn how to become an HIV testing counselor. • Attend one of our many events throughout the year—Maybe bring home some art from Art Against AIDS! • Donate online to CrescentCare to contribute to our mission or make our events possible. • Host a dinner and share our mission with your friends. MISSION STATEMENT Crescent Care’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 (504) 207-CARE (2273) 3308 Tulane Avenue (Primary Care Clinic) 2601 Tulane Avenue, Ste. 500 (Business Offices)

CrescentCare providers are poised to meet our community’s needs.

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About Crimestoppers “Anonymous tips from Crimestoppers allow law enforcement to solve many crimes by building much-needed intelligence for future cases across the region. Crimestoppers is also the only civilian source that works and performs this critical function and we appreciate their valuable assistance in crime fighting!”– JPSO Sheriff Newell Normand. In 2016, Crimestoppers received over 18,000 calls, processed over 7,300 tips for investigations which resulted in, as of February 1, 2017, 145 arrests, over 300 cases cleared/charges laid and 76 rewards paid. Approximately $90,000 in rewards were earned. Crimestoppers works with schools, civic and neighborhood associations, businesses and faith-based organizations providing prevention strategies and promoting positive change. Fundraising/Events Crimestoppers funds programs through individual and corporate memberships, as well as special events. As a member, you receive firsthand information on cases and crime trends, and have opportunities to network with law enforcement. We will also work with a specific industry to promote a Crimestoppers day. The October National Night Out Against Crime allows organizations to stand together for community safety. Working with our local musicians, the fall “Blues Night” provides a fun way to support our programs. Please consider purchasing a membership or attending our special events. It’s only through your generosity that we can continue our work. Get Involved How can you support Crimestoppers? • Be a sponsor of our youth programs, including our Teen Ambassador Leadership Program, by providing materials, transportation costs, etc. • Volunteer for Night Out Against Crime activities • Volunteer for fundraising events • Help spread the message by participating in community events and crime walks with victims’ families Please call our office at (504) 837-8477 or visit if you’re interested in volunteering or donating.

Mission statement Crimestoppers, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit proactively serving Greater New Orleans and a nineparish area by providing educational crime prevention programs for youth and adults, and empowering citizens to promote safety by assisting law enforcement with the apprehension of criminals by providing anonymous information on criminal activity. Contact (504) 837-8477 P. O. Box 55249 Metairie, LA 70055

TOP During our annual awards luncheon we recognized the outstanding work of the U.S. Marshals Regional Task Force. Over 1,000 fugitives are arrested each year by these dedicated men and women. BOTTOM Students who participate in our leadership program learn firsthand about the importance of citizen involvement in public safety. They also experience career paths available in criminal justice and have the ability to earn internships. 83

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ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS LOUISIANA EAST As the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts Louisiana East (GSLE) serves around 14,000 participants in our region. Our program model, known as the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, is designed to allow girls to steer their own course, make decisions and exercise leadership in a variety of arenas. We center our programming around three initiatives— STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), financial literacy, and healthy living—and we offer an extensive compilation of activities, events, and workshops designed to broaden girls’ exposure, skills and interests. Further, with the help of grant and donation funding, this programming also reaches hundreds of underserved girls in our communities. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS Girl Scouts Louisiana East raises 88 percent of its own revenue through its product sales and program service fees. The majority of the remaining 12 percent is used to fund outreach and financial assistance so that GSLE’s valuable programming can be made available to underserved girls. Our annual events and fundraisers include: FEBRUARY: Cookies & Cocktails APRIL: Thin Mint Sprint 5K MAY: Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon OCTOBER: B.I.G. (Believe In Girls) Event J. Low’s Fall Festival & Duck Derby Juliette Low Leadership Luncheon

Contact Erica Spruille at for more information. GET INVOLVED Girl Scouts relies on adult volunteers to be troop leaders, cookie volunteers, camp assistants and more—opportunities that can fit into your schedule whether you can offer a day, a week, a month or a year. As a volunteer, you’ll introduce girls to new experiences and help them develop skills and confidence that will last a lifetime. Visit to find out about the many ways you can get involved or click the DONATE button to learn more about ways to give. 84 Biz April 2017

MISSION STATEMENT Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scout Promise On my honor, I will try: to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law. CONTACT (504) 733-8220 Girl Scouts Louisiana East 841 South Clearview Parkway New Orleans, LA 70121

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About The Greater New Orleans Foundation At the Greater New Orleans Foundation, we look to create a resilient, sustainable, vibrant region in which all individuals and families flourish and the special character of our communities is preserved, celebrated and supported. 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 we 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 2nd. This is the region’s 24-hour, online giving event that inspires people to give generously to over 700 participating nonprofit organizations. Check out www.givenola. org to see if your favorite nonprofit is participating. Impact 100 is the women’s giving circle that makes a $100,000 transformative grant to a local nonprofit organization every year. 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. Go Beyond Cash. Gifts of appreciated stock, real

Mission Statement The mission of the Greater New Orleans Foundation is to create a thriving community for all. contact Facebook: greaterneworleansfoundation Twitter: @GNOFoundation Instagram: @GNOFoundation (504) 598-4663 919 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70130

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 and other activities with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, please contact Senior Philanthropic Gift Officer, Allie Betts, at or call (504) 598-1290.

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 700 nonprofit organizations will be participating in this year’s GiveNOLA Day on Tuesday, May 2nd. The 24-hour, online charitable giving event inspires people to give generously. 85

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ABOUT louisiana children’s museum Opened to visitors in 1986, The Louisiana Children’s Museum (LCM) is the oldest children’s museum in a four-state area, and the only museum in Louisiana to have received the National Medal — the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums for extraordinary service to the community from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We recognize the critical role childhood experiences play in strengthening children’s capabilities, and we value the distinct role LCM plays in engaging communities and families in imaginative and hands-on learning. Through the development of a first-of-its-kind early learning campus in City Park, the Louisiana Children’s Museum’s future home (late 2018) will contribute to the region’s future prosperity as it connects children to each other, adults, their environments and communities. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS Each March, Children’s World’s Fair invites families on a daylong journey that explores what is unique and universal to cultures around the world. Travelers enjoy cultural performances and explore the games, music, literature, native attire, crafts and flavors of destinations near and far. Each country also highlights the global importance of science, technology, engineering and math with hands-on science activities. In August, LCM opens its big blue doors for a special gala event. CHAIRish the Children is a fun and festive evening featuring gourmet cuisine and spirits, silent and live auctions, whimsical, one-of-akind chairs and lively entertainment. Festival of Trees each December brings together multiple generations for a family-centered event featuring a holiday breakfast, crafts, games and activities for the young and young at heart. LCM’s whimsical collection of holiday trees, created by local schools, artists, and community partners spark the holiday spirit. Contact Kathleen Ledet at (504) 266-2415 or GET INVOLVED The Louisiana Children’s Museum offers a variety of dynamic and engaging volunteer opportunities for high school students seeking service hours and adult volunteers who are interested in sharing their time and expertise in an engaging learning environment. Volunteers assist with a wide range of activities, from fundraising and special events to educational programs. Internships for college credit are also available. Contact Ann Kerrin at 504-266-2416. 86 Biz April 2017

MISSION STATEMENT Louisiana Children’s Museum contributes to the region’s future prosperity by engaging children’s potential and making that potential visible. Through play, shared explorations, and in dialogue with adults, LCM connects children to each other, adults, their environments and communities. CONTACT (504) 523-1357 420 Julia Street New Orleans, LA 70130

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ABOUT THE LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION The Alumni Association offers a variety of different programs, events and activities suited to a wide array of alumni interests, including community service projects, networking opportunities, student mentoring, educational and spiritual programs, and festive gatherings. Membership in the Loyola University New Orleans Alumni Association is open and free to all Loyola graduates, parents and friends of the university. Participation allows you to take part in on-campus events and get involved with our chapters. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS April 12-13, 2017—Loyola Loyal Day Show your Loyola pride by participating in Loyola Loyal Day. Learn more at June 2-4, 2017—Alumni Weekend

All alumni are invited back to campus for a weekend to celebrate and relive their Loyola experiences! Attend sessions taught by your favorite professor, reminisce with fellow alumni and celebrate your reunion at Alumni Weekend 2017. Learn more at GET INVOLVED Leadership opportunities are available through our boards, committees and chapters. Participation includes mentorship opportunities with current students, hosting freshmen send-off events and other networking activities, raising funds for scholarships and volunteering in your local community to spread the spirit of giving. Loyola’s alumni board members are strategic thinkers who are committed to the Alumni Association’s mission. As Loyola ambassadors and liaisons between fellow alumni and the university, board members serve Loyola through their leadership and participation at alumni events, in business meetings and during fundraising campaigns.

MISSION STATEMENT Guided by the Jesuit principles of being 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 (504) 861-5454 Office of Alumni Engagement 7214 St. Charles Ave., Box 909 New Orleans, LA 70118

TOP Alumni at the Jazz Brunch during Alumni Weekend BOTTOM Young Alumni with Havoc 87

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ABOUT New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was incorporated in 1983 as an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. In our 34 years of working in the New Orleans area, we have built over 550 homes, completed 180 repair projects, gutted over 2,400 homes and led more than 160,000 volunteers in neighborhoods severely impacted by natural disasters and poverty. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS In May, New Orleans Habitat will host Women Build, a women-only accelerated build where over 450 women will come together to plan, fund and build a home for a hard-working local mother and her family. This home will mean an affordable mortgage instead of rising rent, a yard where her children can play without fear, and achieving the dream of home ownership that she has worked hard for for many years. The build will begin on May 11 and conclude on June 11. If you’d like to be part of this extraordinary event as a participant or sponsor, please contact In summer of 2017, New Orleans Habitat will present the second installment of its Songs from the Heart concert series in partnership with Nonesuch and Warner Bros. Records. This series offers a distinctive opportunity to enjoy music by world class artists in intimate settings. Tickets include cocktails, food, music at a spectacular private residence, and the knowledge that you’re helping New Orleans Habitat build homes for and with those who need them. Previous Songs from the Heart concerts featured the musical talent of Randy Newman and Emmylou Harris and the culinary creativity of Chefs Susan Spicer and Nathanial Zimet. For more information, contact Marguerite Oestreicher at (504) 609-3335 or GET INVOLVED Donate online at There are also many other ways to support our work, including: • Volunteer on a build site or at the ReStore. To learn more, contact Avery Hall at (504) 609-3349 or • Join our 2017 Women Build as a volunteer or sponsor • Donate used furniture, appliances or building materials to the Habitat ReStore. Free pickup. Call (504) 943-2240 • Shop at the ReStore

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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 INFO (504) 861-2077 2900 Elysian Fields Ave. New Orleans, LA 70122 TOP Volunteers from VMware raise a wall on America Street in New Orleans East. BOTTOM Guests at Songs From the Heart house party.

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About st. Michael special school Learn. Grow. Belong. For over 50 years, St. Michael School has been educating students with special needs. The tremendous success of the program can be attributed to the expertise of a faculty trained in special education. Curriculum includes religion, reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, technology, creative arts, culinary, independent living, community integration, industrial arts, music and job training. Extracurricular activities include speech therapy, music therapy, adaptive physical education, English bell choir, clubs, student council, sports, and cheerleading. A unique element of a St. Michael education is the opportunity to form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Joining the St. Michael family gives students and parents a chance to Learn, Grow, and Belong together. PROGRAMS OFFERED St. Michael Special School, fully accredited under the AdvancEd Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, offers three programs designed to help learners of all ages and abilities discover their strengths and reach their potential: Students ages 6-15 are enrolled in the Elementary Department with emphasis on basic academic subjects geared to the individual learning styles and cognitive levels of each student. Young adults ages 16-21 are enrolled in the Vocational Training Program which addresses functional applied academics and vocational skills, with an emphasis on independent living skills. Young adults ages 18-25 can enroll in our Exploration Academy job training program, which partners with local businesses to offer job coaches and job placement. St. Michael graduates ages 22 and older can enroll in the Joy Center Program which offers a sheltered activity center where students engage in continued skill development and socialization through a variety of activities, including the popular Mardi Gras bead recycling fundraiser. Fundraising/Events

Get Involved Opportunities to get involved and support our cause may be found at Mission Statement St. Michael Special School provides a Catholic environment where students with special educational needs are able to grow in faith and reach their full potential — academically, socially and physically. Contact (504) 524-7285 1522 Chippewa Street New Orleans, LA 70130

March 16 — Chefs’ Charity for Children September 9 — Blue Rose Ball

Special thanks to the many benefactors who have additional events throughout the year to help raise money to educate these special students. Tuition only covers a portion of the cost. 89

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ABOUT THE ASHLEY SOULÉ CONROY FOUNDATION The foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established in memory of Ashley Conroy by her family. Ashley died in India while studying during her junior year of college. Ashley was an avid traveler who appreciated the delight of discovering the world and learning about different cultures and people. Ashley wrote, “I truly believe that being in a culture completely unlike my own would be an experience that I will always cherish. Hopefully, it will show me new qualities not only about the world but about myself as well.” It is the foundation’s goal to encourage others to explore the unknown and go on adventures for their own betterment and understanding of the world. The foundation currently provides three scholarships in the fall and three scholarships in the spring to assist college students with expenses incident to study abroad programs. Each scholarship recipient is able to choose his or her own study abroad program, field of study and destination. Past scholarship recipients have expressed gratitude for the experience of living in another country and the opportunity to connect with the people of that country. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS The foundation has held various fundraisers over the years. Ashley Conroy was an artist and the foundation has held art exhibitions of her paintings. There was also an exhibition of Ashley’s artwork from her trip to India paired with some of her journal entries and reflections of India. For more information, please contact Stephen Conroy at GET INVOLVED For information on how to become an individual or corporate donor for The Ashley Soulé Conroy Foundation, please email us at or visit our website at

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MISSION STATEMENT The foundation’s mission is to create a permanent endowment and award scholarships to qualified students for travel and study abroad based on merit, personal qualities and/or financial need. To date, the foundation has awarded 27 scholarships to college students who have studied in programs in such varied countries as Japan, Czech Republic, Russia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Peru and Denmark. The foundation pays no salaries and has very minor annual expenses to maximize the award of scholarships. CONTACT INFO (504) 830-3450 Three Lakeway Center - Suite 3130 3838 N. Causeway Blvd. Metairie, LA 70002

TOP Carlo Aragón, scholarship recipient in Peru, spring 2015 BOTTOM Kirsten Paasche, scholarship recipient in Australia, fall of 2011

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ABOUT TIGER ATHLETIC FOUNDATION Since 1987, Tiger Athletic Foundation’s members have focused on enhancing the lives of every student-athlete on every team by providing financial support for programs and facilities that ensure the opportunity to win in the classroom, on the field and in life. The generosity of TAF members ensures that the LSU Athletic Department does not utilize state funds and student fees. That same generosity is also the impetus behind the improvements and construction of athletic facilities that rank among the very best. TAF members have funded the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, the University Club Golf Course, Mike the Tiger’s Habitat and many other projects. In 2016, three additional facilities opened — the Gymnastics Training Facility, the Tennis Complex and the Peterson-Roberts Weight Room at the LSU Football Operations Facility. FUNDRAISING/EVENTS TAF’s primary mission in supporting LSU Athletics is to ensure that each student-athlete has the opportunity to be a student first. To accomplish this goal, TAF has created a non-endowed annual scholarship fund, as well as two endowed scholarship programs, so that all Tiger fans — regardless of means — have the opportunity to play a part in ensuring that every current and future studentathlete has the opportunity to earn an LSU degree. In addition to scholarships, donors contribute to philanthropic projects, donate to our annual fund,and leave planned gifts to Tiger Athletic Foundation. While the majority of TAF’s funds are raised through private donations, a number of events are held annually to support LSU student-athletes and support organizations. These include Tigerama, the President’s Cup Golf Tournament, First Pitch Banquet and Tiger Tour. Learn more at GET INVOLVED Make an impact by joining Team TAF today. Team TAF is the annual fund for Tiger Athletic Foundation. It not only supports our day-to-day operations, but provides services that the LSU Athletic Department budget cannot support. With your help, we are able to address priorities and impact the 21 varsity sports of LSU Athletics in an immediate and positive way. For more information about joining Team TAF, contact Jarred Clarkson at (225)578-4823 or visit

MISSION STATEMENT “To assist Louisiana State University in building and maintaining a superior athletic program by providing private financial support for programs and facilities that ensure LSU student–athletes have the opportunity to win in the classroom, on the field and in life.” CONTACT INFO (225) 578-4823 North Stadium Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (physical address) PO Box 711 Baton Rouge, LA 70821 (Mailing address) Facebook: tigerathleticfoundation Instagram: geauxtaf Twitter: lsutaf

BOTTOM In 2003, TAF donors made the Cox Communications Academic Center for StudentAthletes a reality. The facility staff is responsible for overseeing the educational development and progress towards graduation for all student-athletes. In 2016, graduation rates reached an all-time high of 88 percent. 91

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from the lens Southeast louisiana businesses in full color


making a match

Emerging Workforce Could a partnership with YEP benefit your company? More on page 106

From the Lens great workspaces

Historic Home Office The circa-1831 HermannGrima house offers a unique work environment that really takes you back. By Melanie Warner Spencer Photos by Sara Essex Bradley


isiting a museum inside a house can be an educational experience and, depending on your aesthetic, at times an inspirational one as well. When it comes to workspaces, this kind of museum is, of course, a big change from a traditional office, and at the same time, not exactly like working from home. Katie Burlison, chief curator at the Hermann-Grima House in the French Quarter, spends her days making sure the circa-1831 manor house is in tip-top shape for visitors and the many events held on site throughout the year. “I started as curator in January, so I’ve only been here a couple of months,” says Burlison. “I spend most of my time in the main house, since I’ve been refurnishing it after the recent HVAC install and renovations. My office is also in the main house, in a historic room with a beautiful marble fireplace.”

A portrait of the Hermann-Grima House’s first owner, Lucien Hermann, created by Jean Joseph Vaudechamp hangs in the parlor. Many of the furnishings in the circa-1831 manor house were once owned by the Hermanns and the Grimas.

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At A Glance Company Name: Hermann-Grima House Address: 820 Saint Louis St. Date of Building: 1831 Architect: William Brand Furnishings: Various styles: Empire-style mahogany furniture and decorative arts; early 19th-century Louisiana-made beds and bookcases; a Rococo Revival bedroom suite and 20th-century decorations on the second floor. Early- to mid-19th-century family portraits by Vaudechamp and Amans hang in the parlor, dining room and library. Square footage: Main house, 8,300; slave quarters and kitchen, 3,150; carriage house, 2,150. Standout feature: The working hearth kitchen outside and the carved wood frieze and Corinthian columns separating the parlor and dining room. Mission of the museum: To continue the legacy of The Woman’s Exchange, established in 1881, by preserving and maintaining the Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses, and interpreting their contribution and place in New Orleans. An American Alliance of Museums-accredited institution and a leader in historic preservation for the French Quarter, the organization strives to offer educational, entertaining and interactive programming, while always maintaining the integrity of the founders. 97

The house was designed by architect William Brand and is one of the earliest and best-preserved examples of American architecture in the French Quarter. It is a hybrid of Federal and French styles. Burlison says the Federal features include a symmetrical facade, an ornate doorway and a wide central hall. “But Brand took the basic form of a Federal-style house and added several cabinets, balconies and galleries,” she says. “The balconies and galleries are more typical of French Louisiana style architecture and were an adaptation necessary because of the warm climate. The slave quarters were built in the characteristic New Orleans style.” Renovations and restorations are an integral part of the life of any historic home, especially one that serves as a museum. In 1965, the Hermann-Grima House underwent a major restoration. The architects were Koch + Wilson. The National Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of Louisiana decorated and furnished the hall and parlor, and Burlison says by 1971, the entire complex was transformed into a museum. In 2016 the museum began a project to repair masonry, mortar, roofing and millwork, and install a minimally invasive climate control system. The group effort included Koch + Wilson Architects, Cypress Building Conservation, ADG New Orleans, LLC, Keith M. Guy, Inc., Watson & Henry Associates and Wendy Jessup and Associates. The effort resulted in a 2017 Louisiana

The open hearth kitchen is located in one of the outbuildings off of the main courtyard. This area served as a primary workspace for enslaved members of the household in the 19th century.

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The library is presided over by portraits of Felix Grima and Adelaide Montegut Grima. The courtyard features a parterre garden and is home to various fruit trees. Antique iron elements and a vintage sign decorate a brick wall in the stable courtyard. A hybrid of Federal and French styles, the Hermann-Grima House is one of the earliest and best-preserved examples of American architecture in the French Quarter.

Landmarks Society Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The furnishings and artwork in the house are a mix of pieces that were owned by the Hermanns and the Grimas, who bought the house from the original owners, as well as items that reflect styles typical of the time period. Empire and early 19th-century Louisiana-made pieces are expertly blended with Rococo Revival. “The most interesting thing about working in an historic house museum is the variety of the day-to-day work, and learning about life from the perspective of a different time,” says Burlison. “There are so many stories to tell about the families who lived here, the objects they lived with — many of which have stayed in or returned to the house today — and their place in the history of New Orleans and the French Quarter.” Burlison says it’s also an asset to work out of the house because she is able to share ideas with docents, visitors and volunteer cooks about how to make the tours and the space more attractive and educational for the people who visit. That said, it’s also a bit of a mixed blessing. “You also have to be flexible and willing to jump in and handle any task,” says Burlison. “Houses this age require a good bit of upkeep!” Asked what her favorite features of the house are, Burlison cites the hearth kitchen outside and, in the interior, the carved wood frieze and Corinthian columns separating the parlor and dining room. But above everything, Burlison credits the home’s history to its allure. “The history is so rich and encompasses such a variety of stories, not only related to art, decorative arts and architecture,” she says, “but to 19th- and 20th-century women’s history, the history of free people of color in New Orleans, culinary and garden history. We strive to connect them to contemporary experiences.” n 101

From the Lens why didn’t i think of that?

A Touch of Savile Row on Magazine Luca Falcone brings the European men’s custom clothing experience to New Orleans. By Kim Singletary Photos by jeffery johnston


f James Bond were to fall out of the sky and into New Orleans today — likely beating up bad guys the whole way down — a strong bet would be he would land himself strategically at the door of 2049 Magazine St. There, 007 would be greeted with his favorite cocktail (we can all recite that one as easily as our own) and a finely dressed team would gather around, attending to his every need — maybe sliding back a set of shelves to allow him to watch the big screen while they measure him for his new suit, or inviting him to enjoy a game of billiards while they fit him for a pair of custom, monogrammed shoes. Since 2013, Luca Falcone Custom Clothiers has been offering everyone from celebrities to college graduates the chance to bring a little Bond into their life through a custom experience unlike anything they’d find outside of Europe.

Owner Joe Rotolo (33) fell in love with fine clothing while living abroad for three years.

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There’s no buying off the rack at Luca Falcone, everything is custom — from jeans and polos to tuxedos.

Well Said “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” - Oscar Wilde “Putting on a beautifully designed suit elevates my spirit, extols my sense of self, and helps define me as a man to whom details matter.” – Gay Talese “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” - Tom Ford “Well dressed men know that nothing worthwhile is ever outmoded, that a superb tailor’s work is ageless.” - Finis Farr “It is totally impossible to be well dressed in cheap shoes.” - Hardy Amies “Looking good isn’t self importance; it’s self respect.” - Charles Hix “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little to no influence on society.” - Mark Twain

From custom tuxedos to suits, shirts, blazers, polos, jeans, belts, ties, cufflinks and pocket squares, Luca Falcone does it all — ensuring men can turn to them to create an entire wardrobe capable of carrying them from casual day at the office to black tie galas. While the focus is clearly on upscale elegance, Luca Falcone is determined to be accessible, which means you don’t have to be a captain of industry, or a British spy, to afford this Old World sartorial experience. The company offers three tiers for suits; a made-to-measure option averaging around $800; custom suits for around $1,200 that are created in New York and Spain; and the company’s highest level, the bespoke suit created by an in-house tailor that averages around $5,000. Luca Falcone is filling a niche in a way that has resulted in a steady 25 percent growth in revenue each year since its inception. Currently, the custom clothier creates 80 to 85 custom suits every month.

From leather to linen, Luca Falcone is stocked with samples to help customers create their own suits and shoes.

The Man Behind the Bespoke Northshore native Joe Rotolo comes from a family with a strong knowledge of business. His father, also Joe Rotolo, runs RCI, a landscaping maintenance and construction company out of Slidell that consistently ranks in the top half of the largest 100 landscaping firms in the country in terms of revenue, with RCI reaching $36 million in 2015. The young Rotolo, however, knew early on that he wanted to forge his own path. “In college I took an internship in hospitality management as basically an excuse to travel, and then spent the next three years living and working in Germany in medical sales,” he says. “While there, I found 103

myself surrounded by well-dressed people. There was this large Italian influence and I was determined not to be the sloppy American so, in addition to learning the language, I started wearing well-tailored clothing and I got my first custom suit made. That changed everything.” With his father’s head for business and his mother’s love of beauty and style, Rotolo says he was driven to bring his new love stateside. “I wanted to bring this home but I really thought, ‘Is New Orleans the right place for this?’” he says. “I came to the conclusion that it’s

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not about whether New Orleans is a suit wearing city, it’s about creating a feeling, a lifestyle. It’s about empowering men and showing them how they could dress.”

and it allows me to still pay homage to my family. Plus, Rotolo has a strong association with pizza.”

The Name

Luca Falcone is a true Italian clothier — all suits are created from fine Italian fabrics sourced by Rotolo on his travels to the country twice a year. “I deal directly with fabric mills and tailors which allows me to keep my prices down,” he says. Rotolo stocks everything from the most conservative fabrics to patterned velvet. “We have

So why not Joe Rotolo Custom Clothier? “Luca was actually my nickname growing up,” says Rotolo. “And Falcone is my grandmother’s maiden name. I tried out a lot of different name ideas and that one just seemed to stick. It felt masculine, and sexy,

The Fabrics

Rotolo says he’s created the perfect team with General Manager Rye Cooper and Custom Clothier Vashon Craft.

over 60 different seersuckers and hundreds of linens. Basically, if you see something anywhere or you can dream something up, we can create it. There are no limits.”

The Shoes A year and a half ago Luca Falcone starting creating custom

“We take over 30 measurements and use devices to measure slope and posture,” says Rotolo of the extensive fitting process.

even monogram.” Customers are invited to work with an in-house designer or use the store’s custom shoe designing software from the comfort of home. The turnaround time for shoes is four to six weeks. Prices range from $550 to $700. shoes handmade in Spain. “We use only the finest leather and suede from French and Italian houses, one of which is owned by Hermes,” says Rotolo. “We manufacture for over 65 brands worldwide and then we have our own brand, Falcone Shoes. Ninety-five percent of what we do is private label.” With its shoes, as with its suits, the sky is the limit. “You can choose the material — even alligator or crocodile — the color, the heel, the laces, the buckles, everything,” Rotolo says. “We can

The Clientele Rotolo is quick to point out that his store caters to every man, whether they love to shop or not. “We really make it easy,” he says. “Once we have someone’s measurements and preferences on file they can just call and ask us for anything and we’ll take over.” Capitalizing on the rise of Hollywood South, Luca Falcone has seen its fair share of celebrity clientele, including Gerard Butler and Stephen Dorff, along

with a wide array of business professionals from near and far including Mark Sussman, president of CBS, and Frank Bombaci, co-founder of Vitamin Water. “We get a lot of people that come in for travel or for conventions that look us up,” Rotolo says. And then there are the athletes. “We’ve worked with football players like Zack Strief, Malcolm Jenkins and Stephone Anthony,” he says. “Baseball players, however, I can’t name. They’re extremely secretive about where they get their clothes. It’s all about exclusivity.”

Fashioning the Future Rotolo says his goal for the year is to increase revenue by 35 to 40 percent. “We’ve been looking to bring our services to people’s homes and offices for a while now, but you have to have the right person to do that,” Rotolo says. “We have that person now.” Rotolo says he’s currently looking at expanding the store’s footprint

Did You Know?

James Bond actually did come to New Orleans. The 1973 Bond feature, “Live and Let Die,” was partially filmed on location in New Orleans. It was the first Bond feature to star Roger Moore.

and possible adding another showroom location in the future. “There’s a lot of room for expansion on the distribution aspect of our B2B. With the shoes, I’d like to go from supplying to 65 brands to 100 in the next six months.” The ultimate goal, Rotolo says, is to increase the company’s presence both locally and worldwide. “The biggest complement I ever receive is when people ask, ‘Is this a European brand?’ Not only are we unique for this region, we’re holding our own on the international level. I’m really proud of that.” n 105

From the Lens making a match: business and nonprofits

Youth Empowerment Project Could your business use some help? Check out YEP’s Work & Learn program. By Pamela Marquis, MSW Photos by jeffery johnston


ew Orleanian Jack Norcross needed a new bike. His old bike, which he used for most of his transportation needs and which had deep sentimental value, was gone — stolen. So one Thursday morning he went shopping at Bike Works, a program run by Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) on Oretha Castle Haley boulevard. Through 10 programs, YEP provides New Orleans youth with an array of services. The nonprofit offers high school equivalency and literacy instruction; assistance with transitioning into post-secondary education and employment opportunities; job readiness training; after-school enrichment; academic support and tutoring; summer programming; mentoring; intensive case management; and assistance with basic needs. They also provide work opportunities for youth at their businesses: Design Works, Thrift Works and Bike Works. “A friend told me about this place,” Norcross said. “I like shopping in my neighborhood and keeping my money in the neighborhood. I also think their mission is a good one. Putting tools in the kids’ hands is empowering and probably opens up many opportunities for them. It also helps the community having youth employed and engaged.” 106 Biz April 2017

YEP Executive Director, Melissa Sawyer, and two of her colleagues founded the 501(c)3 in 2004 in order to provide re-entry support to youth who had been involved with the juvenile justice system. Their goal is for the youth to build healthy lives, steer clear of the justice system and remain safe. “Sometimes we take for granted how much easier it makes your

professional journey to have access to resources,” she said. “These resources help create a financial safety net. Our youth face an array of challenges. They need their basic human needs — utilities, transportation and education — to be met in order to be and stay employed.” In its first year of operation YEP had one program and served 25 youth (age 16-21) with an annual

budget of $235,000. In 2016, the organization — the largest, most comprehensive youth-serving organization in New Orleans — reached more than 1,200 youth through programs that operate out of eight service locations. YEP’s first program, Community Reintegration Program, was the first of its kind in Louisiana to serve juvenile offenders returning from

A Good Match

FOR COMPANIES WHO… Are willing to take graduates of YEP’s Work & Learn job skills training programs for six-week externships. Would consider Design Works for their graphic arts needs. Want to organize bike and/or clothing drives to collect bikes to fix and sell at Bike Works and items to sell at Thrift Works. Encourage their employees to shop at these stores: Bike Works 1604 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 504-264-7090 Thrift Works 1604 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Monday—Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 504-702-8070

YEP’s Work & Learn program includes hands-on opportunities at the organization’s three businesses: Design Works, Thrift Works and Bike Works.

detention facilities. The program is still in operation. Among YEP’s offerings, the programs that relate most to the business community is its Trafigura Work & Learn (W&L) program. The W&L center is a youth employment program where individuals earn an educational stipend while working alongside YEP staff. They gain vital hard and soft skills, such as customer service, bicycle repair, digital design and computer coding. Local companies looking for help can also work with YEP to bring in youth and train them in a specific field. The company provides the education and YEP provides the stipend. Currently, YEP collaborates with almost 20 businesses to employ W&L graduates. One of which is Queork, a local cork accessories retailer that recently partnered with YEP to train youth to manufacture the company’s products. Now armed with a very specific set of skills, these individuals also effectively crafted a permanent job for themselves within the company — a win/win for everyone involved. 107

YEP Tackles Education Too Founded in 2006, NOPLAY is the Youth Empowerment Project’s educational program, providing GED and basic literacy instruction to out-of-school youth and young adults between the ages of 16-24 from the Greater New Orleans region.

As of today:

89 %

of NOPLAY graduates remain engaged in their post-secondary institutions after entering their second year of college.

40 %

of graduates have successfully transitioned into employment opportunities since the program’s inception.

$570,000 +

in federal and private scholarships and grants went to 70 NOPLAY graduates entering post-secondary institutions since 2011


YEP participants were engaged in meaningful job training programming during the summer of 2016.


gained employment in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

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YEP is the largest, most comprehensive youth-serving organization in New Orleans.


SUCCESS STORIES Alvinique (21) said in her past jobs she had trouble showing patience and tolerance. “I had an attitude, and I didn’t know how to carry myself.” She knows the YEP classes and the experience she’s gained have helped her make sure her customers are satisfied, “even when they can sometimes be disrespectful,” she adds. Jaleel (20) is a graduate and a retail assistant manager for Thrift Works. He discovered the program during his juvenile justice probation. Now, he’s found his entrepreneurial spirit and wants to start a food business. “I’ll start slowly with maybe selling juice and muffins.” Landrea (19) thinks YEP is a great place. “The money I earn helps with my phone bill, and I’m saving for my own apartment. It’s better than sitting at home watching TV.” Joshua (18) works in Bike Works. His caseworker suggested the program to him. “It helped me with knowing how to have good job interviews and it’s improved my independent living skills.”

Businesses that have partnered with YEP describe the experience as both a boost for their bottom line and something that allows them to know they are making a concrete and positive impact on both individuals and the community as a whole. “This was a very positive experience for us,” said Lyle LeBlanc, vice president of operation of Entrescan, the sole Louisiana provider of industry leader 3D Systems printers, speaking about their externship experience. “With YEP’s support, it was like a paid audition for this youth. He didn’t have prior experience in our field, but during his six-week stay we were able to bring him up the learning curve. He could now compete with a Tulane grad with a 4.0. It leveled the playing field for him.”

“YEP is the interface,” said Sawyer. “So if it isn’t working, we will help fix it. We can also help with things like transportation and purchasing uniforms.” YEP has hired more than two dozen graduates of the program for its own staff. The organization offers a living wage, and four youths now have earned full-time positions with benefits at YEP. “Having our businesses also allows us to help out if one of the youth gets in a tight spot,” Sawyer said. “We can offer them a shift or two at the bike shop or thrift store to help them get through their challenges.” The challenges, said Sawyer, are everywhere. “One traffic ticket, one illness or one unexpected $200 bill can be a real problem,” Sawyer said. “Our kids are vulnerable, so we stay connected with them. They are trying to do the right thing, and sometimes all they need is a hand up and to have someone in their corner.” Roneesha (last name withheld) works as YEP’s receptionist. She started in October 2015 after completing her Work & Learn training. She’ll soon be continuing her education at Delgado, where she plans on studying to become a police officer and eventually a detective. “Having a job and having money means I can do things on my own,” she said. “I don’t have to depend on others. At YEP they never turn their backs on you. I want your readers to know we are trying to grow and trying to be better. It feels like hope.” n


Pedal with purpose YEP recently held its first major fundraising event on March 26, Pedal With Purpose. The event was a community street fair centered around a series of pedicab races among companies who are sponsoring YEP. The companies raced against each other to raise money for YEP and for bragging rights against their competitors.


YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM Mission: “YEP engages underserved young people through communitybased education, mentoring and employment readiness programs to help them develop skills and strengthen ties to family and community.” Vision Statement: YEP envisions a community where all people have access to the opportunities, skills, resources and relationships they need to actualize their potential. Website: Locations: YEP Administrative Office 1600 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard 504-522-1316 YEP Youth Center 1529 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard (504) 522-5933 ANNUAL BUDGET: 2016 -17 YEP budget is $3,795,616 ONGOING PARTNERSHIPS: YEP currently partners with more than 20 businesses in Greater New Orleans, including Queork, Entrescan, Habitat for Humanity RESTORE, SPCA and Rubarb Bikes. CURRENT NEEDS: • A Smartboard for its main NOPLAY location • Donated bicycles to support our Trafigura Work & Learn Bicycle Shop • Items for our Youth Center, including: • Wii and an Xbox • Various sporting equipment including basketballs, footballs and volleyballs • School supplies for our afterschool program including one-subject notebooks, pens and pencils • Tickets to local sporting events and other recreational or educational opportunities • Gift cards for birthdays, holidays and other celebrations FOR MORE INFORMATION: Stephanie Hotard Director of Development 504-522-1316 ext. 295 109

PUBLISHER’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 General’s Office at 1-800-273-5718.

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From the Lens behind the scenes

Take P

a Ride Aboard a Patrol Torpedo Boat Photo by jeffery johnston

112 Biz April 2017

T-305, a combat-veteran boat manufactured by Higgins Industries and restored by The National WWII Museum, underwent sea trials in January at SeaBrook Harbor & Marine in New Orleans. Beginning April 1, it will be available for rides at Lakeshore Landing on Lake Pontchartrain.