Biz New Orleans August 2018

Page 1

Saints in Business

Off the field ent repreneurs

Executive Coaching Could it work for you? pg 54

Storm Ready A checklist to live by Pg 42

Biotech’s Big Star Synthetic nerves could revolutionize drug testing pg 56 AxoSim co-founder and COO, Lowry Curley

august 2018

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Publisher Todd Matherne

Editorial Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde Managing Editor Kimberley Singletary Art Director Sarah George Digital Media Editor Kelly Massicot Associate News Editor Alexa Harrison Social Media Assistant Becca Miller Multimedia Blogger Leslie T. Snadowsky

Contributors Julia Carcamo, Keith Loria, Pamela Marquis, Ashley McLellan, Amanda Orr, Chris Price, Kim Roberts, Jessica Rosgaard, Jennifer Gibson Schecter, Poppy Tooker, Keith Twitchell, Melanie Warner Spencer

Advertising Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan (504) 830-7215 Sales Manager Maegan O’Brien (504) 830-7219 Senior Account Executive Caitlin Sistrunk (504) 830-7252 Account Executive Jessica Jaycox (504) 830-7255

Marketing Director of Marketing & Events Cheryl Lemoine Event Coordinator Whitney Weathers Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne For event information, call (504) 830-7264

Production Production Manager Jessica DeBold Traffic Manager Topher Balfer Production Designers Emily Andras, Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney

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

AABP 2016 Bronze: Best Feature Layout AABP 2017 Bronze: Best Daily Email AABP 2017 Silver: Best Recurring Feature AABP 2018 Gold: Most Improved Publication AABP 2018 Silver: Best Recurring Feature 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 Biz New Orleans is published monthly by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. Subscription rate: one year $24.95, two year $39.95, three year $49.95 — foreign rates vary call for pricing. Postage paid at Metairie, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Biz New Orleans, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2018 Biz New Orleans. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Biz New Orleans is registered. Biz New Orleans is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Biz New Orleans are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

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AUGUST 2018 / Volume 4 / Issue 11

contents EVERY ISSUE



from the lens

08 / Editor’s note 09 / publisher’s note 12 / Calendar 14 / industry news 16 / recent openings 18 / Events

in the biz 24 / dining

New Orleans Groceries: 21st Century Style

40 / healthcare

Saving Your Skin 44 / Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Season is Here

26 / tourism

Our 23-Hour Staycation

82 / great workspaces

Welcome Home 86 / why didn’t i think of that?

All Buttered Up

28 / sports

The Saints Are Coming! 30 / entertainment

“The Purge” Hits New Orleans


32 / entrepreneurship



Biotech’s Rising Star

Black & Gold & Green

Lowry Curley, co-founder and COO of AxoSim, discusses the company’s ambitious goals, its current wins and what we need to do to make New Orleans a real player in Biotechnology.

With a short shelf life as professional athletes, New Orleans Saints of all ages share their transitions to enterprises off the field.

by Amanda Orr

by chris price

From The Giant Screw Pump To Poker. 48 / real estate & construction

90 / making a match: businesses and nonprofits

Blending Old and New

Houses of Hope 96 / on the job

52 / guest viewpoint

Executive Coaching

34 / etiquette

Work It 36 / marketing

What Festivals Can Teach Us

Angelo Brocato Original Ice Cream Parlor

on the cover AxoSim co-founder and COO, Lowry Curley Photo by Jeffery Johnston

Editor’s Note

More Wins! Biz New Orleans is still such a new publication — we’ll

celebrate our fourth year of publication in October — but in that short time I’ve been very proud of how we stand with our peers, not only nationally but internationally. We are members of the Alliance of Area Business Publishers (AABP), a national organization representing 55 business-focused magazines and newspapers in the United States, Canada and Australia. Every June they hold their annual conference and awards and this year was our third year attending. I’m excited to say that every year we’ve walked out with awards. For our first year in publication it was a bronze award for Best Design for one of our features. Last year we were awarded a bronze for Best Daily Email and a silver for Best Recurring Feature (our Why Didn’t I Think of That series). This year’s competition included 484 entries from 37 publications across three countries that were judged by 24 members of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. I’m excited to say that we again took home a silver for Best Recurring Feature (this time for our entertainment column) and a gold for Most Improved Publication. That last award is the result of last year’s redesign, the work of our amazing art director, Sarah George. You never do what you do to get awards, but it certainly is nice to be recognized by your peers. We are honored to receive these awards, but we are especially honored every day to cover all the booming industries in Southeast Louisiana. Happy Reading,

Kimberley Singletary Managing Editor

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Publisher’s Note

Custom Built I am sure you have seen the award-

winning titles that Renaissance Publishing produces in addition to Biz New Orleans — New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, New Orleans Bride, St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and Acadiana Profile & Weddings — or visited our websites, and But today I am writing about another division of our company that you may not be aware of that produces magazines for other businesses and associations. Our custom publishing division produces over 50 magazines a year and continues to grow and add new titles. Last month, we signed another three-year contract as the official publisher of the New Orleans Saints for the in-stadium program, GameDay magazine. We take great pride in producing titles for other entities and win national awards for this work. Twelve years ago, when we started the company, the New Orleans Saints was our only custom title, and in the comeback year of 2006, producing GameDay helped jumpstart our new company. I would say it is our flagship custom title and we are honored to produce this and all of our custom titles. If you would like to promote your business to Saints fans this season, please give me a call at (504) 830-7247. We even offer season subscriptions to GameDay at Todd Matherne / 9

Meet the Sales Team

Maegan O’Brien Sales Manager

(504) 830-7219

Caitlin Sistrunk Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7252

Jessica Jaycox Account Executive (504) 830-7255

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

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August 4 New Orleans Regional SCORE Second Annual Small Business Award Ceremony 6 to 9 p.m. Best Western Hotel & Suites 2600 Severn Ave., Metairie

7 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast 8 to 9:30 a.m. 1515 Poydras St. 5th Floor Auditorium

7 St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce Northshore Young Professionals Pop-Up Happy Hour 4 to 6 p.m. Half Shell Oyster House 70367 Hwy. 21, Ste. 100, Covington

8 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana Hispanic Business Conference and Trade Show 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Harrah’s New Orleans 228 Poydras St.

9 Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Business Card Exchange 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fleming’s Steakhouse 3064 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie

10 Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Business & Breakfast 7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 1001 S. Clearview Pkwy.

11 NOLA Marketplace Business Expo 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lakeside Shopping Center

14 Professional Women of St. Tammany August Luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tchefuncta Country Club 2 Pinecrest Dr., Covington PWST.Rocks


St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce B2B Networking 8 to 9 a.m. Chamber Board Room 610 Hollycrest Blvd., Covington


Propeller Racial Equity Institute: Groundwater Data Presentation 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Greater New Orleans Foundation 919 St. Charles Ave.


AMWA New Orleans August Luncheon “One Time in New Orleans: The Tricentennial Campaign” Featuring Mark C. Romig, CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Cannery 3803 Toulouse Street


New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Education Seminar with AMA: Social Media ROI 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1515 Poydras St. 5th Floor Auditorium


BCBSLA Business to Business Forum on Healthcare Solutions (B2B Health Forum) 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Hyatt Regency 601 Loyola Ave., New Orleans


New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Chamber After 5 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Exchange Centre 935 Gravier Street


Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Prosper Jefferson: Sales 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Entergy Offices 4809 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson

For a more complete list of events visit We’d love to include your business-related event in next month’s calendar. Please email details to

12 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018


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

Josephine Estelle

Ace Hotel • 600 Carondelet St. • (504) 930-3070 • Named after each of their daughters, Josephine Estelle serves seasonal, Southern inspired Italian fare by James Beard Award nominated chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, weekend brunch and the very best kind of happy hour. Cin cin.


819 Conti St. • (504) 581-3866 • Join Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard from now until September 23rd as we honor our rich and vibrant history with our 1920 specials, which pay homage to the year of our founding and to 98 years of exemplary food and service. Enjoy our three-course dinner for only $19.20, featuring your choice of summertime favorites like our goat cheese tart, cane glazed pork tenderloin, mousse au chocolat, and more! We are also excited to offer select bottles of wine for $19.20 and our weekly featured punch during happy hour for only $1.92!

Ralph’s on the Park


Ralph’s on the Park is reviving their annual summer special of 3 Appetizers + a Glass of Wine for $33. Now through the end of September, sip and snack on Chef Chip Flanagan’s delectable menu of over 15 items like Tempura Fried Shrimp, Crab & Avocado Toast, Tuna Tartare and Watermelon Feta Salad. For reservations, call 504-488-1000!

Set in a classic Creole cottage built in 1832, Seaworthy has garnered critical acclaim for its seasonal selection of sustainably sourced local seafood and handcrafted cocktails. Chef Daniel Causgrove helms the kitchen, showcasing wild-caught and responsibly harvested seafare from American coastal waters, suffused with Southern inspirations.

900 City Park Ave. • (504) 488-1000 •

630 Carondelet St. • (504) 930-3071 • / 13

Industry News

Under Construction

Stirling Properties Redeveloping Old Metairie Village In mid-June, Stirling Properties began phase one of a $2.5 million renovation and redevelopment of Old Metairie Village shopping center, an 84,400-square-foot, three-story mixed-use development located at the corner of Metairie Road and Focis Street in Metairie. The first phase includes the north and west buildings and upgraded lighting in the parking lot, and is slated for completion in early November 2018. Phase two of the renovation — planned to begin in late December — encompasses the two eastern buildings. Construction will wrap up in early spring of 2019.


Emeril Lagasse Foundation grants over $360,000 to 6 Nonprofits Dedicated to creating opportunities to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their fullest potential through culinary, nutrition and arts education, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation is awarding its 2018 community grants (totaling more than $360,000) to the following six nonprofits: Broad Community Connections, Café Hope, Einstein Charter School, Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Education Fund, Second Harvest Food Bank and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).



Jefferson Chamber Awarded 5-Star Accreditation

Top 10 States with the Happiest Workers in America

The United States Chamber of Commerce — the world’s largest business federation, representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations — has awarded the Jefferson Chamber with 5-star accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community. The Jefferson Chamber is only the 116th chamber in the United States to achieve this status (out of 7000 organizations).

Hawaii Alaska Wyoming New Mexico Government

Nungesser Accepts New Role Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser was named chair-elect at the annual National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) meeting in New Orleans June 2729. Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney was elected chair and will serve through July 2019 when Lt. Gov. Nungesser will become chair. The NLGA Executive Committee is elected annually and meets three times a year to discuss issues to be pursued by those first in the line of gubernatorial succession in each state. During the meeting, the lieutenant governors discussed issues facing Louisiana and the nation such as building cross-border tourism in regional areas, how seafood, ports, grain and forestry connect all states to Louisiana and emergency and disaster management. In addition to being selected as chair-elect, Lt. Gov. Nungesser also received the 2017 Public Leadership in Energy and Environmental Stewardship award by General Electric through a partnership with NLGA.

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West Virginia Maine Nevada South Dakota Louisiana Montana Source: 2017 study by career platform Sokanu

“The Green Building Professional Skills Training is just one part of a critical shift that is taking place in our region - a shift toward sustainable thinking, sustainable living, and of course, sustainable construction. The Urban League of Louisiana is proud to be a part of the equation that will yield a more resilient, environmentally sound and economically strong Louisiana – one person, one business, one building and one neighborhood at time.” Klassi R. Duncan, director, Women’s Business Resource Center and Contractor’s Resource Center, Urban League of Louisiana (ULLA), speaking about the ULLA partnering with the Urban Green Council, the New York City affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council, to offer the Green Professional Building Skills (GPRO) training program and certificate across the state of Louisiana. The Urban League of Louisiana will offer its first class, Green Professional Building Skills Training: Operations and Maintenance Essentials - 2 Day Training on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 21-22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the AARP Community Resource Center, 3502 S. Carrollton Avenue, Suite C, New Orleans. Registration:




LOUISIANACOOKBOOK.COM Now in its second printing!

Recent Openings

KREWE Eyewear company KREWE opened its second New Orleans location at 1818 Magazine Street on June 28. In addition to retail merchandise, this location seeks to “reinvent the typical, banal eye exam experience” by allowing people to make appointments by text and greeting clients with sparkling rose or kombucha on tap.

Odeon at South Market Nearly 10 years in the making, The Odeon at South Market, a $106 million mixed-use project in the heart of Downtown New Orleans, completed financing and began construction in July. Louisiana’s first mixed-use, transit-oriented development, the 29-story, 414,000-squarefoot building will include 271 apartments, 200 parking spaces and 12,000 square feet of retail space being leased through New Orleans-based Corporate Realty.

The Standard at South Market Currently the top-selling condominium project in New Orleans, The Standard at South Market opened in June for move-ins and is already 50 percent sold. The 15-story luxury condominium project at 1001 Julia Street recently set a record for highestpriced condominium sold in the city — $3.215 million for one of the project’s two penthouses. Both penthouses are under contract. Prices range from $650,000 for a one-bedroom, to $785,000 for a two-bedroom and $1.189 million for a three-bedroom. This is the fourth development in the Domain Companies’ South Market District.

Planet Fitness Gretna

Kurt Coste photo

Following an extensive upgrade, Planet Fitness in Gretna’s Westside Shopping Center North (62 West Bank Expressway, #230) reopened its doors June 21. The updated location spans over 20,000 square feet and includes new equipment, two additional HydroMassage loungers and stand up tanning beds. The location is operated by United PF Partners, which currently operates 88 Planet Fitness locations across 10 states.

School of Rock A new concept in music education called School of Rock opened its doors at the end of June at 1907 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie. Using individual lessons, group rehearsals and live performances at locations around the city, School of Rock offers music programs from age 4 through adult. The school is enrolling now for the fall.

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Southern Hotel A family-owned business in Covington, The Southern Hotel unveiled its newly restored Garden House on June 28. Built in 1937 and originally used as a post office, the Garden House adds five suites, a standard king room, conference room and courtyard entertaining space to the hotel’s offerings. The renovations were completed in just under a year with assistance from Striker Construction, landscape architect Johnny Mayronne and Pascal Architects.

Business First Bank Business First Bank has opened its newest branch in Metairie at 2328 Metairie Road, Suite 100. While the corporate offices are located in Baton Rouge, Business First has 16 locations throughout the state of Louisiana, plus a branch in Dallas. This is the bank’s first New Orleans location.

Events 1






New Orleans Chamber 2nd Quarter Luncheon

Women’s Business Alliance: Ask An Expert

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 | Hyatt Regency New Orleans Empire Ballroom

Thursday, June 7, 2018 | Springhill & Towneplace Suites

Louisiana House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore, Walt Leger III, gave a presentation entitled, “Legislative Special Session and Regular Session: Are We Making Progress?” at the second quarter luncheon of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

The New Orleans Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Business Alliance joined with NAWBO and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses for an evening of networking with women at the top of their field in “Ask An Expert: Hot Topics With Iconic Women.”

1. Anthony Feret, Kim Hasney, Stanton McNeely, Deanna Causey, Jamie Ziglar and Cathy Gregoire 2. Walt Leger III 3. Mark Samuel, Al Williams, Karen Anklam and Samuel Bradley Jr.

1. Regina Correa, Sheila Craft, Myra Corrello, Tina Meilleur, Dee Clubb, Shea Marshall, Jennifer Hayes 2. Stefanie Allweiss, Regina Correa, Marigny deMauriac 3. Teresa Lawrence, Betsie Gambel, Mindy Nunez Airhart, Myra Corrello, Sheila Craft, Becky Gustafson, Sandra Lindquist

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photographs by cheryl gerber

Events 1






The 8th annual FestiGals Women’s Weekend June 21-24 | Jung Hotel and Residences

Biz New Orleans New & Notables presented by Fidelity Bank Wednesday, July 11 | Felicity Church

This year’s Tricentennial Women’s Day featured NASA engineer, physicist, author and mother Dr. K. Renee Horton as the featured keynote speaker. It also included empowering presentations by 25 leading women. The Step Up Second-Line Parade (formerly Stiletto Stroll) & After-Glow Party that took place later that day raised nearly $40,000 for the New Orleans Family Justice Center to help women and families victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault. 1. Cari Roy, Pam Fortner and Leslie T. Snadowsky 2. Dr. K. Renee Horton 3. Diane Lyons, Stephanie Burks and Sandra Dartus

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Thirteen local professionals were honored for their recent achievements at Biz New Orleans magazine’s second-annual New & Notables awards event.

1. Cathy Alfonso and Rosario Juarez 2. Linda Stone and Robert Baer 3. Todd Matherne and Jessica Inman

photographs by cheryl gerber; Riverview Photography / 21

Biz columnists spe ak out


Working out at work? Yes, you should sweat the details.

In The Biz dinin g

New Orleans Groceries : 21st Century Style Local grocery options are reinventing themselves to serve a changing marketplace and clientele. by Poppy Tooker

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revolution is afoot. While nationally, business is trending toward door-to-door delivery and drive-thru pick-up by national business giants like Walmart and Amazon, locally, a new coterie of independent grocers are reinventing what it means to make groceries in New Orleans. Simone’s Market Welcomes Online Shopping Trend

Simone Reggie is the new face of Uptown groceries. Previously with Good Eggs online delivery service, when that enterprise folded Simone knew that 150 local farmers and food producers had lost a vital outlet for their wares. She set out to help rectify the problem by creating Simone’s Market on Oak Street. Reggie believes that online shopping is going to regrow corner groceries. “While paper goods and cleaning supplies may be delivered to your door, people want to touch and feel perishables,” she says. At Simone’s, fresh seafood, prime steaks and specialty Cajun meats from Eunice Superette join beautifully curated seasonal produce, making grocery shopping there an impulse pleasure. Convenience is paramount to many Simone’s Market customers. Basic prepared home-style foods like chicken pot pies, meat loaf and sandwiches made to order from Simone’s kitchen account for over a quarter of her revenue. Catering is also available. With her Lebanese background, she caused a stir at the 2017 Oak Street Po-Boy Festival with her “Lebacajun,” a combination of hashweh, tabouli and yogurt sauce on Leidenheimer’s French bread that was awarded “Most Original” by a panel of judges. With subscription meal kits flooding the delivery market, Reggie is currently working with local chefs like Isaac Toups and Justin Devillier to develop meal kits with a distinctly local flair available exclusively at the market. Dryades Public Market Reinvented

Over in Central City, the Dryades Public Market seems to have hit its stride after some radical experimentation. Back in 2016, when the market first opened in the former McDonough 38 school

building, its goals were as lofty as the grand chandeliers that dominate the space. Individual boutique counters operated by small purveyors sold fresh pasta, pastry and seafood. The Curious Oyster served oysters on the half shell along with menu items like smoked drum-stuffed local cherry tomatoes with preserved lemon pesto. Those high-end offerings, however, simply did not meet the neighborhood’s needs. Now, the market is a full-service, value-priced grocery featuring conventional brands. Chef Allison Dean serves as the market’s unofficial ambassador, gregariously greeting customers with tastes of old-school favorites served on the hot and cold lines. For $6.99 a pound, shoppers load up on soul food classics like red beans and rice, smothered greens, fried catfish and cornbread. Dean is one-of-a-kind, and so are his desserts. New Orleans Food Co-op Transforming

The New Orleans Food Co-op, which opened in the Healing Center on St. Claude Avenue in 2011, is also currently undergoing a transformation. One of the co-op’s original founders, John Calhoun took over management earlier this year, intent on increasing revenue with healthy, hard-to-find local products while creating a true community hub. Stroll the co-op’s aisles and you’ll find Louisiana-sourced staples like sugar, rice, grits and eggs alongside specialty ingredients like tofu and kombucha. Gulf seafood shares freezer shelf space with beef, pork and lamb all produced within the state. A wellness department includes local soaps and homeopathic CBD oil products. Knife sharpening services are available and some evenings there’s live musical entertainment. There hasn’t been such a revolution in local grocery shopping since 1946 when Schwegmann’s Brother’s Giant Super Markets opened the area’s first big-box store, complete with an in-store bar. But some things never change. The Dryades Public Market’s bar has been a popular fixture since the day it opened, proving in New Orleans, we make groceries our way, dawlin’. n Catch Poppy Tooker on her radio show, Louisiana Eats! Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m. on WWNO 89.9 FM.

i llustrat i on by Ton y H eale y

A native New Orleanian, Poppy Tooker has spent her life devoted to the cultural essence that food brings to Louisiana, a topic she explores weekly on her NPR-affiliated radio show, Louisiana Eats! From farmers markets to the homes and restaurants where our culinary traditions are revered and renewed, Poppy lends the voice of an insider to interested readers everywhere.

A 21st century local grocery store / 25

In The Biz to u ri s m

Our 23-Hour Staycation An adventure in local tourism by Jennifer Gibson Schecter

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this year’s Pride parade on Canal Street like true tourists. Our fellow spectators seemed bemused that I kept running out into the street to hug friends as they paraded by, and they were astonished when I scored a can of beer as a “throw.” After the parade we went to our favorite bar, the Erin Rose. A round of drinks and $5 in the juke box (a real one, not one of those awful internet ones) was time well spent. The siren song of Lady Luck was calling our names, so we left the bar and walked to Harrah’s Casino. When my husband and I get really wild and crazy, you can typically find us at the video poker bar. For a few bucks of gambling, you can drink a nightcap for free and maybe even win a little. Thinking ahead, I also asked our bartender for those little bottles of water they give the really drunk guests so we would have water to drink at the hotel in the morning — no honor bar charges here! The walk back to the hotel was easy and we both slept incredibly well. Our morning was showers, check-out, then brunch at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant. Did you know Lucy’s does brunch? We didn’t until we walked by. My husband pretended he was back in college and ordered “Brunchos,” an a.m. take on nachos that had the typical fare but also had eggs and bacon atop the chips. I’m a basic breakfast fan and went the eggs-bacon-and-biscuit route. Needing to buy a wedding present for friends, we stopped in at St. James Cheese Co. after brunch and picked up some fancy condiments and spreads. Then our chauffeur, my stepmother/babysitter extraordinaire, picked us up and we made the long journey back up Tchoupitoulas Street where dirty dishes and dirty laundry awaited our attention. Our 23-hour staycation had officially ended…(sigh). n

i llustrat i on by Ton y H eale y

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

Between work projects and summer

camp schedules, tightening budgets and the school year seeming to get longer and longer, it can be a real challenge to take a vacation. Yet scientists and therapists agree that time away is necessary for stress reduction and happy marriages. The answer? A staycation! My husband and I recently seized the day (and night) and embarked on a treacherous journey down Tchoupitoulas Street, throwing caution to the wind as we traveled the five miles of perilous roadway from our house to our temporary abode at The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery. The hotel has a well-deserved spot on multiple “Top” and “Best of” lists. In 2017, it earned No. 1 New Orleans Hotel in the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. As of mid-June, the hotel was nominated again for 2018 and voting was underway. The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery is a boutique hotel that features dreamy design elements that celebrate the building’s history as an 1854 coffee warehouse turned chandlery, or general supply store. We were able to check in at 2 p.m. (two hours early), and after exploring the rotating art exhibit on the first floor, we settled into our room. Armed with our New Orleans Public Library books and whiskey we brought from home, we lounged in the quiet of our room and actually relaxed. Then it was time to get all dolled up. On the advice of an extremely helpful hotel staff, we had made an early dinner reservation at Compère Lapin. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the hotel and is led by Chef Nina Compton, recipient of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best Chef: South. Compère Lapin has a lovely sentiment on its website regarding its philosophy: “Meals are about moments, memories and those who surround you at your table.” My husband and I will cherish our memory of that exquisite meal. We always order to share everything in a practice of romantic frugality. From the herbed biscuits with two compound butters, to the cold smoked tuna tartare, to the jerk black drum and black-eyed peas, the food, service and atmosphere were all perfection. Then it was time to walk it all off. Leaving the Warehouse District we headed toward the French Quarter and happened to catch / 27

In The Biz s por t s

The Saints Are Coming! With five nationally televised games on the schedule, New Orleans enters 2018 with high expectations and the media attention to match. by chris price

After coming one play away from

making the NFC Championship game last season, the New Orleans Saints enter the 2018 season loaded with talent The league and the national media have taken notice, and have the Saints playing five nationally televised prime-time games this season. Those games have the power to lift the Saints’ national profile, which in turn boosts interest and, more importantly, merchandise and advertising sales. With most starters returning and few roster positions open, this month’s preseason and training camp will be used to determine the best talent to build depth. Backing up Brees

There aren’t enough good things you can say about Drew Brees as quarterback, but the battle behind him will be interesting to watch. Taysom Hill, a second-year player who saw action on special teams last season, looks to be Brees’ back up. The Saints usually keep two QBs on the active roster, so rookie J.T. Barrett and fifth-year journeyman Tom Savage will likely battle to make the practice squad. Although he’ll miss the first four games due to suspension, Mark Ingram, along with Alvin Kamara will again provide a one-two punch from the backfield. Daniel Lasco, Jonathan Williams and fullback Zach Line will also combine to power the Saints’ ground game. Wide receiver Michael Thomas is well on his way to becoming a bonafide star. Look for Brandon Coleman, Ted Ginn Jr., Tommylee Lewis, and tight ends Josh Hill and Benjamin Watson to be prime targets as well. The offensive line will be anchored by familiar names – Max Unger, Terron Armstead, Jermon Bushrod, Andrus Peat and Ryan Ramczyk. LSU Center Will Clapp was a steal as a seventh-round draft pick. Working under Unger, I think he’ll make the team, provide depth and hopefully keep the middle of the line as solid as it has been.

Davenport, the No. 14 overall pick, to the unit. The Saints traded their first- and fifth-round picks in the 2018 draft and a first-rounder in next year’s draft to the Green Bay Packers to move up from No. 27 to get the defensive end. Although he had to have thumb surgery after mini-camp, the team hopes he is a player who can start immediately and anchor the defense for years to come. A.J. Klein, Demario Davis and Alex Anzalone will lead the linebacker corps, with support from Craig Robertson, Manti Te’o and Nathan Stupar. The collection of talent in this defensive backfield may be the best the team has ever had. Look for Ken Crawley, Vonn Bell, P.J. Williams, Marshon Lattimore and Patrick Robinson to shut down the opposition’s passing game with deflections and interceptions. The season schedule is a bit quirky. It starts and ends with two home games, with the remaining four home games sprinkled over the last 13 weeks. After a Sunday match with the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, the Saints have back-to-back Thursday-night games with a Thanksgiving night clash at home against Atlanta, then it’s on the road against Dallas. They also play four of their six games against division rivals in the last six weeks of the season. n

2018 Schedule

The New Orleans Saints’ Opponent Date Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sun., Sept. 9 Cleveland Browns Sun., Sept. 16 at Atlanta Falcons Sun., Sept. 23 at New York Giants Sun., Sept. 30 Washington Redskins

Mon., Oct. 8

BYE at Baltimore Ravens Sun., Oct. 21 at Minnesota Vikings Sun., Oct. 28 Los Angeles Rams Sun., Nov. 4 at Cincinnati Bengals Sun., Nov. 11 Philadelphia Eagles Sun., Nov. 18

Chris Price is an award-winning journalist and public relations principal. When he’s not writing, he’s avid about music, the outdoors, and Saints, Ole Miss and Chelsea football. Price also authors the Friday Sports Column at

28 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

at Dallas Cowboys Thurs., Nov. 29

The Saints have a defensive line that’s going to be fun to watch. Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata, Alex Okafor and Tyeler Davison welcome Marcus

at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sun., Dec. 9 at Carolina Panthers

Mon., Dec. 17

Pittsburgh Steelers Sun., Dec. 23 Carolina Panthers Sun., Dec. 30

i llustrat i on by Ton y H eale y

Atlanta Falcons Thurs., Nov. 22

Depending on Davenport / 29

In The Biz en t er ta inmen t

“The Purge” Hits New Orleans A new series in production now could add to the list of Hollywood South’s small screen successes. by Kim Singletary

30 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

New Orleans,” currently on its fifth season; AMC’s “Preacher,” and the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Queen Sugar,” both on their third seasons; and HBO’s “Claws,” which just renewed for its third season July 2. A strong TV filming presence is important to Hollywood South because TV productions tend to stay in town a good deal longer than feature films, providing both more revenue and potential sources of steady employment for locals in an industry where that can be very hard to come by. You can see this in the budget for “The Purge” series — $20.8 million of the show’s $44 million budget will be spent in Louisiana, which includes a $16 million payroll. I recently spoke with one of the stars of the upcoming series, Jessica Garza, who is currently living in a furnished apartment downtown during the four months of filming. A Dallas native now living in Los Angeles, Garza said she had never been to New Orleans before this role. Although New Orleans is not designed to be recognizable in the show, which is looking for more of a generic “this could be any city” feel, Garza said the city’s kind of spooky, mysterious element really lends itself to the darker nature of the show. “The show really looks at the broader story of “The Purge” and how it affects all these different people who all find themselves questioning their decisions in one way or another. I think the appeal for “The Purge” started as a good, scary movie and then it just exploded and they [the creators] really saw what they had and that is the basis for a really good story that says something meaningful about the world we live in, or could end up living in.” What it means now, however, is more money and jobs for Louisiana, which is always welcome. Here’s hoping it’s another Hollywood South hit! n

i llustrat i on by Ton y H eale y

Kimberley Singletary is the managing editor of Biz New Orleans magazine. A 20-year Southern California veteran, she has been surrounded by the film industry for most of her life.

Imagine if all crime, including

murder, was legal for one 12-hour period of time every year. That is the idea behind the hit movie franchise “The Purge.” The fourth movie in “The Purge” series, a kind of prequel titled “The First Purge,” came out July 4, and after less than two weeks had already racked up over $48 million worldwide. If past showings are any indication, it will be an even bigger blockbuster than its predecessor because, unlike many sequels that fail to duplicate the success of the original, “The Purge” films have each been more profitable than the last. The first film, “The Purge,” released in 2013, grossed $89.3 million worldwide. The 2014 follow up, “The Purge: Anarchy,” grossed $111.9 million, and 2016’s “The Purge: Election Year” grossed $118.6 million worldwide. Screenwriter, director and producer James DeMonaco’s first screenplay was a 1996 comedy called “Jack” that starred Robin Williams. It received poor reviews and grossed not much over its budget. But this much darker creation has struck a chord with viewers and its popularity just keeps growing. With audiences obviously clamoring for more of this dystopian horror series, its not surprising that the entire team behind the franchise — including producer Michael Bay, the man behind films like “Armageddon,” “Transformers” and “The Rock” — are all currently at work on “The Purge” the TV series. It’s also not really surprising that this 10-episode series is filming in New Orleans, given the fact that Hollywood South is most definitely rising again. As of early this spring, no less than 10 different TV productions were filming in Louisiana. As of July, however, only two were still braving the heat: a new TNT series called “Tell Me Your Secrets,” filming June 25 through Oct. 25, and “The Purge,” which began filming the first week of May and wraps Aug. 31. The series’ first episode will broadcast Sept. 4 at 10/9 central on USA and Syfy. If it continues the franchise’s streak, “The Purge” could add another successful series to our collection of Louisiana-shot shows, which includes the CBS show “NCIS: / 31

In The Biz en t reprene u r s hip

From the Giant Screw Pump to Poker A look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of New Orleans’ history with entrepreneurism. by keith twitchell

32 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

and was greatly developed within the brothels and music halls, in part because they were the only places where black and white musicians were allowed to play together. Although Storyville lasted only 20 years, it had a lasting impact on the city’s culture, with jazz noted as one of the city’s greatest gifts to the world. The second major innovation was the giant screw pump invented by mechanical engineer A. Baldwin Wood in the early 20th century. Wood’s pumping system could move vast quantities of water and actually propel it over retaining walls and levees. These pumps enabled the draining of Gentilly, Lakeview and Metairie, and set the world standard in flood protection, so much so that the Dutch came to New Orleans to learn about water management. New Orleans was also a major leader in aviation. The original Lakefront airport was one of the first commercial airports in the South; later, Moisant Field was one of America’s largest airports, and was the first to install Instrument Landing Systems. Sadly, its status as “The Gateway to Latin America” has been long since surpassed by other cities. Among other great inventions created in New Orleans are the binocular microscope; frozen orange juice; wrinkle-free cotton; Venetian blinds (but why Venetian?), dental floss; poker and/or craps; and many libations, especially the Sazerac and Hurricane. Special mention should be made of the Higgins Boat, which played such a vital role in the D-Day invasion. New Orleans today is experiencing a new golden age in entrepreneurism, of which we are deservedly proud. But if there is one lesson to be learned from our long history of innovation, it is that we have repeatedly surged to the top and then allowed others to leap over us – whether it is the Dutch in water management, Atlanta or Miami in airports, or Houston in shipping. This time, let’s stake out our entrepreneurial ground and keep building on it, rather than resting on our laurels and ceding leadership to others. n i llustrat i on by Ton y H eale y

Keith Twitchell spent 16 years running his own business before becoming president of the Committee for a Better New Orleans. He has observed, supported and participated in entrepreneurial ventures at the street, neighborhood, nonprofit, micro- and macro-business levels.

In this year of our tricentennial, it

seems appropriate to look at the history of entrepreneurism in New Orleans. The city has a long record of innovation, inventions and business leadership – combined, unfortunately, with complacency and a tendency to be its own worst enemy. While little is known of the original inhabitants of the area, they had to be a very adaptive and enterprising people, and some recognition should be given to the first great, if unknown, New Orleans inventor: the Native American who created the plant paste used to ward off mosquitos. The French explorer Bienville selected the site of present-day New Orleans in large part due to its potential to control the Mississippi River from both a military and economic standpoint. Over its first 80 years, the port of New Orleans became the largest in the entire Gulf Coast. Hundreds of fortunes were made (and undoubtedly, a few lost) based on the shipping capacity of the port. The dark underside of this, of course, is that the plantations, the manufacturing and even the shipping itself were greatly facilitated by New Orleans’ status as the largest slave port in the new world. By the beginning of the 19th century, the city’s strategic value was such that the entire Louisiana Purchase was made by Thomas Jefferson for the sole purpose of obtaining New Orleans. The port was the third-largest in the new nation, and by the 1820s, New Orleans was arguably the wealthiest city in America. Business flourished in many arenas, including banking, shipping and trading. A variety of local inventions did everything from keep the river navigable to expedite cargo loading to increase crop production. The following Civil War caused major upheaval throughout the South, though New Orleans came out of the conflict in better shape than many of its southern counterparts. The dawn of the 19th century saw two vastly different innovations that are still legendary in the city’s history. The first was Storyville. In 1897, city leaders defined a 38-block area where prostitution would be allowed (though not technically legal) as a way to control this and other vices. Though jazz was not actually born in Storyville, it flourished / 33

In The Biz etiquet te

Work It The etiquette of working out at work by Melanie Warner Spencer

In May, our company had its first

Remember the schoolyard rules

group workout class. Six or seven of us jumped at the chance to take advantage of a free yoga session one Thursday afternoon about 30 minutes before closing time, and it was a hit. This trend is on the rise as more and more companies across the country include wellness activities in benefits packages and use them as a recruiting tool. According to the results of the 2018 Employee Benefits Survey, released in June by the Society for Human Resource Management, in the past 12 months, “when employers added [benefit] offerings, they were most likely to increase health-related benefits (51 percent) and wellness benefits (44 percent).” Research has found that healthy, active employees generally take less time off and are more productive and efficient. This knowledge has led to the adoption of benefits including everything from flu shots, meditation classes and massage sessions, to healthy snacks in the break room, or the aforementioned fitness classes — either at the office or at nearby establishments — plus on-site gyms or discounted gym memberships. Few would argue that these are all great perks; however, the idea of standing next to the CEO of your company in an elevator after a particularly sweaty Crossfit class probably doesn’t sound that great. It’s obviously not always possible to get to the class or gym in the proper attire undetected or to get cleaned up without being seen in a less-than-desirable state after sweating it out. So, here are a few things to keep in mind when working out at work.

Share the equipment and don’t linger too long on any one machine or station. Be sure to wipe down the machines after use.

Modesty is the best policy

34 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

Eye of the tiger

Keep your eyes on the instructor or on the mirror monitoring your own form and technique, not on your coworkers.

Often on-site gyms include showers and locker-room facilities, but that’s not always the case. If there aren’t shower facilities, limit workouts to the end of the day when you can go directly from the gym or class to your car. If you live close to the office and have a flexible schedule, going home to shower and change is also an option. If you don’t have flex scheduling, be mindful of lunch and break times and avoid using gym time and fitness class — and the subsequent time it takes to clean up — as an excuse to evade duties or be late to the office and meetings. In the bag

Don’t leave sweaty clothes in your locker or in a gym bag by your desk for days at a time. Take them home immediately. Also, wear fresh workout gear every time you go to a class or the gym. The last thing you want is for someone to see — or worse, smell you — in the same gear and for it to appear as if you are being unhygienic. Perception is key. Phoning it in

Many people use fitness apps or built-in functions on their phones to track workouts, so bringing the phone with you is A-OK, just don’t take or make calls while you are working out. Speaking of talking

Keep chitchat to a minimum. Keep in mind that some view their workout time as sacred or a time to decompress and let off steam. Avoid talking shop or chatting for too long. As our workplaces evolve, in some cases into spaces where we not only work, but also work out and even socialize (Can you say Friday daiquiri happy hour?) we have to be ever mindful of boundaries. Workplace bonding is good for business, but it’s important to always keep our interactions professional and to consider how our superiors and our peers perceive us. n

i llustrat i on by Ton y H eale y

Melanie Warner Spencer is editor of New Orleans Bride and New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and managing editor of Louisiana Life and Acadiana Profile. Spencer’s ever-expanding library of etiquette books is rivaled only by her ever-ready stash of blank thank-you notes. Submit business etiquette questions to

When it comes to your workout attire, by no means do you have to wear a full tracksuit with baggy pants and a jacket, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, avoid anything too tight and revealing. You are here to get fit, not to show off your perfectly toned abs and posterior. Keep attire G-rated. Also, avoid tattered gear with holes and stains.

Keep it clean / 35

In The Biz m a rke t in g

What Festivals Can Teach Us More than just a good time, festivals demonstrate five valuable marketing tips. by Julia carcamo

Every year in New Orleans people

wait with anticipation for the announcement of the Jazz Fest cubes, the Voodoo Fest lineup and even the announcement of the “fill-in-the-blank-here” festival queen. While we love our festivals, they have so much more to teach us than just the name of a great new band. Just like great marketing, they are organized, planned and then adjusted based on hits and misses. The following are my top five festivalbased marketing tips:


Have A Theme.

Festivals need a hook, particularly in this area when we’re often faced with two or three options every weekend. One size does not fit all. Like brands, they must have focus or risk losing the weekend. The Lesson: Start by articulating your specific product and the unique benefits only you can deliver that are relevant to your target audience. Keep in mind that this is a big thought process — one that should be undertaken over an appropriate period rather than an hour-long meeting. Remember, be truthful and honest; customers can see right through smoke and mirrors.


36 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018


Offer “Free Admission”

Festivals that provide free admission tend to be better attended.


Deliver an Experience They’ll Want to Share

Whether you’re attending a music festival, a food festival or just a celebration festival, you are guaranteed to create mini-experiences that you will want to tell your friends about (or share on social media). The Lesson: One of the biggest threats to retail is experience. Consumers are choosing to spend less on stuff and more on experiences. Creating an experience that makes your customer feel something worth talking about can make a difference in your bottom line. Is yours an experience worth talking about? Remember that marketing campaign you so carefully crafted? It needs to match the experience. To paraphrase a great man of advertising, “Nothing kills a bad product like great marketing.” If you don’t believe it, I have two words in keeping with our festival theme: Fyre Festival.


Have Fun

The biggest marketing lesson from festivals that I can share with you is to have fun. Enjoy the music, the food and the sun...or, in the case of your company’s marketing, the social media, the TV production and seeing your ads come to life. n

i llustrat i on by Ton y H eale y

Julia Carcamo is president and chief brand strategist at J Carcamo & Associates, specializing in brand and marketing strategy. She is also the co-founder of espNOLA, a Hispanic marketing and engagement agency. Learn more at and

Get the Word Out

Many area festivals can overlap and often directly compete against each other. The only way to ensure that someone will consider your event as a 'to do' is to get the word out. The Lesson: Advertising has played a critical role in enabling marketers to get the attention of buyers as far back as Ancient Egypt and still plays an important role. When used properly, it builds awareness as well as inviting comparisons among your competitive set. And, sometimes, it can be a boost to employee morale. In a dream world your budgets would be limitless, but the reality is that they are not. In order to utilize your budgets in the best way, you must understand who is most likely to buy and where they are listening and watching – whether that is through PR, social media, paid media or a skywriter.

The Lesson: Make it easy. How hard do you make it for people to do business with you? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and walk through the experience you are delivering. What is the parking like? When you approach the door, is it well-lit? Clean? Are the employees greeting customers with a smile or do they barely look up? All of these things become the cost of doing business with you. Open your eyes to the experience you are creating and understand the challenges or cost of admission to your customers, then fix them. If your customers need to contact you, give them easy access and an easy way to find your phone number. If you don’t provide parking, provide suggestions on your website. Simple gestures can go a long way and can motivate customers to spread the good word. / 37

38 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

hot topics in southe ast Louisiana industries

perspectives healthcare  /  hurricane preparedness  /  Real Estate & Construction  /  GUEST VIEWPOINT

We’re in the middle of hurricane season — is your business prepared?

Perspectives he a lt hc a re

Saving Your Skin From skin cancer to skin infections, local dermatologists offer advice on how to stay safe this summer. by Keith Loria

More than 5 million skin cancer

cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, and in the past decade, the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed has grown by 53 percent. In 2018, an estimated 9,320 people will die from melanoma. Melanoma is an aggressive form of cancer with risk factors that include a family history of the disease and the presence of atypical, large,or numerous (more than 50) moles. Many of these cases could have been prevented by protecting skin from excessive sun exposure and not using indoortanning devices. “The No. 1 cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) and the best way to avoid sunlight is to seek shade, wear sun-protective clothing, or wear sunscreen,” said Dr. Deirdre Hooper, a dermatologist with New Orleans-based Audubon Dermatology. “You should protect yourself from the sun at all times. There is no ‘healthy’ tan or ‘safe’ base tan.” Dr. Erin Boh, professor and chairman of dermatology at Tulane University’s Department of Dermatology, stresses that skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. “Even if you’re able to tan, you’re still at risk,” she explained. “One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, so the key is to put a barrier between yourself and

40 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

Did You Know? The vast majority of skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cells carcinomas (non-melanoma). About 4.3 million cases of basal cell carcinoma and nearly 1 million cases of squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed every year according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

the sun. I suggest generously applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen every two hours while in the sun.” Feeling the Heat

In Louisiana, approximately 1,000 new cases of melanoma of the skin were reported over the last year, mirroring numbers in most states in regards to population. Hooper emphasizes that skin care needs to be a daily concern. “A lot of people tell me they wear sunscreen when they go on their beach vacations or are spending a day in the sun, but they don’t think about incidental sun exposure—going to the store, heading out for cocktails, etc.,” she said. “The average

American gets around 30 hours of sun a week just from incidental exposure.” Dr. Kyle Coleman, a dermatologist with Etré Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center, cautions patients to go above and beyond just sunscreen and don a hat with a brim of at least 6 inches, as well as clothing that covers the chest, shoulders and arms, since the region’s high humidity can cause sunscreens to sweat off more easily. Treatment Options

If you do end up with skin cancer, Dr. Elizabeth Grieshaber, a partner in Terezakis and Grieshaber Dermatology in Metairie, said the primary treatment is removal by excision.

“Squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma can be more aggressive and can spread to other organs and parts of the body,” she warned. “If this occurs, treatment usually consists of a combination of therapy with chemo, radiation and surgical modalities.” Currently, surgery is the most effective treatment for skin cancer and Hooper noted about 90 percent of cases are treated this way. Boh added that the earlier the cancer is detected, the better the surgical outcome and the smaller the scar. “The newest technologies are focused on the early diagnosis of skin cancer,” Boh said. “Computer scientists are using artificial intelligence to train computers how to detect skin cancer. It may be used as a tool to help patients and dermatologists identify skin cancer, however, currently you can’t trust an app to tell you if you have skin cancer. There is no substitute for a full-body skin exam with a board-certified dermatologist.” One new therapy gaining acceptance is SRT (superficial radiation therapy), which is used to treat non-melanoma forms of skin cancer. Hooper explained that the treatment uses very focused, low-dose radiation that only goes skin-deep to stop cancer cells from spreading. SRT is a good method for elderly people and those who can’t be treated with surgery because their immune systems could be compromised. Know Your Body

The best way to detect skin cancer early is to be aware of new or changing skin growths, particularly those that look unusual. Hooper said that the No. 1 thing to look for is growth on your skin that is not healing the way you would expect. “A common report I get is, ‘I have this pimple that doesn’t go away,’ or ‘I have a spot that bleeds every time I wash my face or shave,’ and these are things that should heal or go away,” she said. “These are common signs of non-melanoma skin cancers.” Another concern is a spot on your body that is chronically flaking (skin falls off and comes back). Other Summer Skin Concerns

It’s not only skin cancer that people need to be wary of. There are numerous problems with the skin that can cause trouble.

42 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

Because New Orleans can get so warm, humid and wet in summertime, skin infections are common, especially in body folds between the legs, under arms or between toes. “People don’t know what to do with them and are sometimes embarrassed to talk about them,” Hooper said. “I talk to people about trying to keep cool and dry and maybe apply powder to body folds after a shower if they are prone to getting red, itchy or flaky.” Another problem caused by New Orleans’ humidity is little red bumps on the skin called miliaria. “Cool soaks with an oatmeal-based bath can help calm the skin down,” Coleman said. “In areas where skin rubs, try a cornstarch-based powder to prevent irritation.” While burning and skin cancer are natural concerns, another important thing to remember about sun exposure, Boh warned, is that it’s the No. 1 most preventable cause of early skin aging.


Avoiding Skin Cancer Stay in the shade— especially during high-sun times (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Avoid tanning. Don’t use UV tanning beds. Liberally apply sunscreen to your entire body a half hour before heading outside. Cover up — this includes wearing a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming. See a dermatologist every year for a professional skin exam. Examine your own skin at least once a month for any new or changing moles.

“To look young, stay away from tanning beds and wear sunscreen daily,” she said. “Two of the most important skin products for anti-aging are retinols and sunscreen,” said Dr. Vineeta Estes, medical director at The Sculpting Center of New Orleans. “Topical retinol products are essential for reversing the effects of photo damaged skin. They improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Daily sunscreen protects the skin from further damage.” When considering sunscreen, Dr. Grieshaber said to look for an SPF of 30 or higher and something that is broad spectrum, meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB. “The ingredients in sunscreens matter,” she said. “My two favorite active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are physical rather than chemical blockers so you get better UVA coverage with these ingredients.” n / 43

Perspectives h u rric a ne prepa redne s s

Hurricane Season is Here Are You Prepared? by Kim Roberts

According to the National Hurricane

Initiative, an estimated 40 percent of small businesses that close due to hurricane damage do not reopen. In order to prevent your business from being another statistic, it is critical to make preparations sooner rather than later. With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicting a 75 percent chance that the 2018 hurricane season will be at or above normal activity, protecting projects, property and employees from risks they may face in the months ahead is crucial.

44 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

“There is serious potential for a storm to disrupt a job, especially any exposed equipment and materials,” says Bob Kreuzer, vice president of risk control construction at Travelers insurance company. “Taking proactive steps before a storm can go a long way toward minimizing damage.” With the onset of the season, Travelers recommends that businesses with operations outdoors consider securing all aspects of the job, identifying the potential for flooding and taking steps to move equipment and even install drainage systems where practical. Companies of all sizes should create an

employee communications plan and regularly review their insurance coverage to make sure it sufficiently protects the business and its assets. “On the technology front, it is a good idea to have people in place and have pre-mapped out the process of how the technology that a company uses on a daily basis will continue to run during and after a storm,” says Chris Moyer, vice president and general manager of DXC Technology. “We find that businesses are running lean now and a hurricane can definitely cause a disruption if they are not properly prepared. During a disaster, you

Think ahead

Business Survival Plan The National Hurricane Preparedness Initiative has developed a Business Survival Plan to serve as a comprehensive guide to safeguard your business. This Survival Plan provides steps to improve employee safety and protect property as well as important company information. It serves as an important tool to enforce your business’ emergency plan in the event of any disaster. Keep this plan handy by printing it out and ensure you have covered all the relevant steps before the hurricane season begins.

can’t always depend on your physical location, so business owners have to look at how they will maintain service remotely. Think of it as a continuous process, look at what you need for your people to maintain normal communication first and then address how to keep customers informed.” Moyer recommends that all of a business’ key people are on the same page and have the information, tools and mission critical to access everything necessary to operate during a disturbance. Knowing how to utilize the cloud to store and access your data is also recommended, as well as contacting your service provider to find out what remote access options are available. The cloud is considered by some in the tech industry as the best place to store important documents. If a business does keep paper files — especially tax documents and insurance papers — these should be stored in a waterproof container and placed in a well-secured location. Additionally,

Using these three key steps as guidelines will ensure you are prepared for any damages following any disaster. Companies should make sure to decide on a back-up location where the business could run smoothly if damages occur on the original site and this plan should be discussed with all employees. If your business is damaged remember to assess, document and report them to your insurance company as soon as possible. / 45

businesses should have access to information for lawyers, clients and other important people to the company. “Doing a simulation, even a table-top simulation, is a good idea in this type of situation,” Moyer says. “This will allow everyone to see exactly what could happen so they can plan accordingly how to react and how best to serve customers.” While there is no guaranteed way to totally protect your business during a hurricane, there are steps that can be taken to soften the blow and keep the damage to a minimum. The National Hurricane Initiative recommends that businesses anchor large pieces of furniture or shelving. Secure these to wall studs with braces where possible. Keep the water heater and gas tanks on risers to protect them from flooding. Keeping these measures in place year-round is also a good idea so that precautions will be taken as the storm approaches. Travelers recommends business owners carry business insurance at all times to protect them during hurricane season. If you are unsure about what your insurance covers, speak with your insurance representative to make sure you’re wellprotected. Maintain a complete inventory of your business. Use photos or video so you have a clear record. This helps if you need to replace critical items or rebuild your location. Document the business both inside and out. Businesses also need to take care as to how they operate following a storm. “Before taking a job post-storm, businesses should consider whether or not they have enough qualified staff to handle the work, the necessary materials to complete the job and adequate insurance coverage for the situation,” said Rick Keegan, president of Construction at Travelers. “Weighing the risks and putting safety first are important to protecting business’s livelihood and employees.” “It is so imperative to plan ahead,” Moyer said. “Businesses need to keep doing business during the storm and after. Owners need time to get their core infrastructure back up and running, and there is no way to tell how long that will take. You want the least amount of customer disruption as possible. Really, a good rule of thumb is to plan to be able to run remotely from one to six weeks to start with.” n

46 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

take action

steps to Protect property


Invest in and install shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from windborne debris. Have the roof of your building evaluated to ensure it can withstand a storm. Remove any branches or trees adjacent to your building that could potentially fall and damage it. Sandbag any area that is subject to flooding. Anchor and brace any large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs. Relocate any valuable or fragile possessions.

Secure all utilities including water heaters, gas tanks and heaters and if necessary, raise them to higher locations to avoid water damages.

accountants, suppliers, etc.

Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or velcro.

Back up computer files that contain documents not easily produced, such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns and accounting statements, to avoid water damage.

Turn off all the utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall if possible.

Seal paper versions of these documents in waterproof containers onsite.


Save all your designated contacts and documents in an alternate, accessible off-site location.

Protect important documents and information. Designate important contacts to save that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers,


Keep A preparedness checklist.

The below items should be gathered in one location at your place of business. This will help protect the safety of your employees should disaster strike during regular working hours and without ample notice.

towels and garbage cans

Battery operated radio or television

Emergency contact information such as the nearest hospital and police, along with:

First-aid kit and firstaid manual Flashlights, batteries, light-sticks Toolkit (basic tools, gloves, etc.) Camera and film for documenting damages Whistle/signal flare to signal for help Tarps, plastic bags, duct tape Cleaning supplies, including mops,

Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers Electric generator Gas for vehicles, generators and other equipment Cash, ATM cards, credit cards proper identification

Life safety issues: 9-1-1 Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-3592227 FEMA teleregistration hotline: 1-800-462-9029 Insurance company and agent’s contact information / 47

Perspectives R e a l E s tat e & Con s t r u c t ion

Blending Old and New Local architects weigh in on how they work to find the perfect mix of honoring New Orleans’ past while inventing its future. by Jessica Rosgaard

As New Orleans celebrates its tricentennial,

the city is both honoring its architectural past and embracing the future with contemporary designs that coexist with the unique architecture for which the city is known. “In the New Orleans market, we’re seeing new construction projects built in both traditional and modern styles of architecture,” says Richard Albert, founder of Albert Architecture, a full-service, multi-state licensed architecture firm based out of New Orleans. Honoring the Past

Trapolin-Peer Architects is among those firms specializing in historic property renovation and restoration. Their new construction is what they call “context-sensitive.” “We like our designs to be contemporary, so they speak to our time,” says founding principal Peter Trapolin, “but they’re tempered by use of same scale and materials of the surrounding neighborhood.” One example is the firm’s current project on St. Charles Avenue and Julia Street, near the Julia Row buildings that were built in the 1830s. “We picked up on the rhythm of that intact row of townhouses and used that as a basis of the design for the new construction,” says Trapolin. The high-rise part of the building starts on the fifth floor and is pushed back, so the streetfront scale of the building feels lower and is in context with the Julia Row townhomes. The brick construction follows historic trends of a taller first floor and second-floor balconies, but, Trapolin says, “when you look at the way the detailing is

48 / Biz New Orleans / august 2018

done, nobody’s going to question whether it was built in the 1830s or 2018. It’s going to be clearly a contemporary building, but everything we’ve done with it is trying to fit in with the scale and proportions of the neighborhood.” Trapolin says while there are some in New Orleans who want all new construction to replicate historic buildings, some residents believe architecture should be of its time. “Neighborhoods are often composed of buildings that stretch historically over 150 to 200 years, representing different periods of time,” he says. “You’ll have Greek revival, art nouveau, art deco – all of which represent a distinct period of the city and also the history of architecture.”

Terri Hogan Dreyer, owner and founding partner at NANO, LLC, —an architectural and interior design firm for commercial, residential and municipal projects — agrees that historic cities need to be open to exploring new architecture, and points to Paris as an example of a city that has successfully married historic buildings with evolving design concepts. “It doesn’t mean that you have to change the ultimate character and form,” she says, “but it does mean that you can bring in new structural principles and new sustainability principles that allow the architecture of the 21st century to stand alongside that of the 20th century and still maintain a sense of cohesiveness.” / 49

And then, of course, there’s the fact that all good architects aim to make their mark. “We’re architects,” Trapolin adds, “and we like to create something new. If you really look back at history, you know all of these buildings were new at a time and now they’re part of the historic fabric of our city.” Renovation Makes Way For New Construction

Since historic tax cuts were introduced nationally in the 1970s, this form of renovation has been understandably popular with developers, and locally Albert says the cuts have been critical to bringing historic buildings back into commerce, with local regulatory oversight serving to protect New Orleans’ architectural history and significant components within a structure. “The standards also recognize that renovation or additions to historic buildings should not appear as a false representation of history,” Albert says. “This is where contemporary design merges with our rich architectural historic fabric. Done correctly, contemporary components read independently and complimentary to these historic buildings.” Trapolin says New Orleans design firms relish the opportunity to restore historic buildings. “Developers all over just can’t wait for a historic property to come on the market,” he says, “but there aren’t that many left that haven’t been renovated.” As New Orleans’ historic inventory diminishes, new development has expanded – taking over parking lots in the Central Business and Warehouse Districts. “You’ve got other people jumping in and building new apartment buildings now that residential living has become really popular downtown,” Trapolin says. The Canal Street corridor, Tulane corridor and Mid-City are all experiencing growth, too. Dreyer points to the neighborhood invigoration that’s occurred as a result of the new VA Hospital, along with a change in zoning regulations, as the main drivers for this new growth. “You see a lot of pedestrian activity and growth in the Mid-City/Tulane corridor,” he says. “It’s just starting to take off, and I think that’s a great opportunity for New Orleans to look at other venues besides hospitality. It could be a great place for more dot-coms or more industrial or manufacturing businesses.” Dreyer compares this potential for growth to New York City’s expansion beyond Manhattan and into Brooklyn. “A lot of times architects and contractors focus on the ‘A’ space which is going to be your Warehouse District, your Downtown,” Dreyer says, “but I like the fact that you see major opportunity and great

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architecture starting to occur around the periphery and I think that is a very good opportunity. It also shows a good healthy balance in the economy.” Commercial Workspace Trends

When it comes to commercial building interiors, the trend is shifting toward more residential design and open workspaces. “Companies are realizing they have a very strong need to have their people collaborate on projects and not work in silos, so they’re bringing a lot of people out of private offices and more into

“We’re architects, and we like to create something new. If you really look back at history, you know all of these buildings were new at a time and now they’re part of the historic fabric of our city.” Peter Trapolin, founding principal Trapolin-Peer Architects

community environments,” says Shelby Russ, president and CEO of AOS, a New Orleans-based commercial office furniture provider. “If someone does have a private office, it’s likely to have a glass front to allow a visual connection with employees.” “Open-plan living, and workspaces have become very popular in recent years,” adds Albert. “Designs are focusing on connectivity and interaction.” Wireless technology has been a driving force in the workplace, freeing employees from their desks, and companies are taking advantage of wireless technology with designs that encourage interactive work sessions. “Conference rooms are becoming team rooms or huddle spaces used for collaborative work sessions,” says Albert. “Cafés, lounges and intimate spaces with comfortable chairs are used to encourage informal interactions.” Noise can be a problem in an open space, so architects are incorporating soundproofing materials in their designs.” There’s also a shift to workspaces that feel less corporate, and more like home. Russ attributes this trend to the millennial generation, and the realization that people spend most of their waking hours at the office. “It’s an aesthetic that millennials prefer,” he says, “and they’re emerging as a bigger influence on commercial design.”

Russ says companies are showing an increased willingness to make a significant investment in their workplace, recognizing it as a tool for attracting and retaining talent. “Companies are being a lot more strategic about investing on behalf of their people,” he says. “More progressive or modernly designed spaces connote a little more openness, creativity, innovation and agility – and New Orleans, as it relates to commercial interior space, is much more progressive than it used to be.” Aesthetically, Russ is a fan of mixing historic exteriors with more modern interiors. “I think it works incredibly well together,” he says. “How the traditional bones work in conjunction with contemporary interiors is really beautiful when it’s all put together well.” Design Technology

Since only about 5 percent of the population can read and understand 2D line drawings, architecture and design firms have incorporated virtual reality into their design process, saving clients time and money. “Architects in the local and global market are moving away from two-dimensional computer drawing programs and are now using modeling and animation software,” says Albert “This software helps us process design concepts and offers our clients a more realistic picture of an unbuilt design.” Rebecca Cooley is the vice president of manufactured interior construction at AOS. “We actually have a virtual reality setup in our office, so we’re able to invite the design community and the ownership into our space and not only look at a 3D fly-through, but actually set them in the middle of their space to understand the context and the scale,” Cooley says. “When they can do that, they can actually make decisions faster because they have a clearer understanding of it.” The technology currently in use by architects is the same that is found in online virtual reality games. Just like gamers can interact with other players from around the world in an identical simulated environment, shareholders in different cities can explore the same VR mock-up simultaneously. “We call it augmented reality,” Cooley says. “We can put multiple people in the file and you can have it from multiple locations so someone can be here in New Orleans and they may have shareholders in New York, L.A. or Europe. The architect may be in another location – as long as you all have the headset and the equipment you can all get into the same working file, [can] be talking to each other. You can actually communicate in this live virtual world.” As virtual reality technology becomes more affordable, Albert says he anticipates it will become common practice for architects in the near future. n / 51

Perspectives g u e s t viewpoin t

Executive Coaching: What is it and could it be for you? Executive coaches from trepwise answer your questions by trepwise executive coaches

Executive coaching has gained

popularity over the last 10-plus years, and even the greatest CEOs — think Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and Bill Gates — have all used coaches. In a time when most people will likely have multiple jobs (if not careers) in their lifetime, the need for continued growth and learning — both personally and professionally — is imperative. Whether you’re in a stage of career growth and exploration, stepping into a new role at work, or seeking to expand your leadership skills, executive coaching can help you set strategies, prioritize actions, and stay accountable to your personal and professional goals. Executive coaching engagements can be effective and successful if there is a good match and the party seeking a coach is open to critique and willing to do put in some work. Though it can take effort to discern quality from quantity, the benefits

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of finding the right coach can be career (and life) changing. So, how can you identify a quality coach and what should you expect from your sessions with one? We sat down with each of the seven coaches from trepwise’s Executive Coaching Platform to gain an insight into their approach, how they work with their clients, and what to expect from an executive coaching engagement:

This sense results from deep reflection on one’s emotional, spiritual and physical being. With this sense, leaders are empowered with an understanding of the personal context through which they see the world on any given day. Developing a sense of self is like strengthening a muscle; it can be challenging, it takes practice, but is so fulfilling when achieved.” Kevin Wilkins

Who needs a coach? What do they provide?

What should people look for in a coach?

“Some leaders need a support system to brainstorm solutions while others need an accountability partner to keep them on track with their goals. With changing needs and evolving perspectives, the most important thing that executive clients can learn is how to have a sense of self.

“People should look for a trustworthy and open relationship with a coach. They need to feel heard, comfortable enough to say anything with no embarrassment. Coaching clients need to feel accepted for where they are now in their process. A good coach will push clients, but with

empathy. Coaches do not talk much but rather ask the right questions to help clients understand their assumptions and challenge them when necessary.” Andrea Picou What is your top advice for executives to transition their mindset from professional to executive?

“I encourage professionals to engage in deep self-reflection that leads to crystal-clear clarity about their motivations as they move into a new role. I would advise the individual to ask themselves: Why do I want to be an executive? Why do I want the responsibility of leadership at this level? Answering these questions as honestly as possible, as if no one else is around to hear, judge, or comment,

will reveal where their focus must be regarding preparation for the position.” Judy Ford What would you recommend as an ideal timeframe (duration and career stage) for a coaching engagement?

“I think coaching is relevant at every stage of a career, but possibly most critical for professionals managing their own team or transitions. I believe a worthwhile coaching engagement should last a minimum of six months.” Katie Sternberg “The ideal coaching engagement never ends. As you grow, so do the challenges that require coaching. An ideal time for coaching is in the midst of transition, for instance, when beginning a new position, as the learning curve is steepest and you can use all the help you can get. As for a timeframe to experience results, the minimum duration is 90 days in order to experience enough events to evaluate coaching success” Joe Liss

to create space for relearning that which will support them in their growth and development. One whose commitment to their personal and professional development allows them to bring their whole self to the coaching process. The ideal client shows up for every session, willing to engage in the work both during the session and in-between, where I feel the real coaching occurs. A great client engages their new skills, learnings and behaviors to navigate opportunities in life. I have found that clients so described make the most significant progress during their coaching engagement and get the most out of the opportunity. As a coach, it is a joy to work with such clients! It is why we as coaches do this work.” Judy Ford n

What is a realistic price range for coaching?

“A realistic range is between $150$225 per session. Clarify with your coach if the sessions last for 60 or 90 minutes, if they provide notes, and if there is access to them between your sessions.” Nancy Fournier Who is your favorite type of coaching client?

“I have a very diverse set of clients concerning age, race and stage in career. I enjoy those who want to dig in and make change for themselves, others or their organizations. I have the most fun when clients can dig deep while not taking themselves too seriously. We are all fantastic individuals with profound strengths and flaws, and the process should be challenging but fun!” Rayne Martin “My favorite type of coaching client is one who is ready for, and open to, the coaching process of deep self-reflection. A client must be open to the process of unlearning that which no longer serves them in order

The trepwise Executive Coaching Platform focuses on building leadership capacity for a stronger community. It is a carefully curated selection of coaches with diverse backgrounds and skill sets to bring you the highest caliber of coaches in the city who are invested in building a flourishing New Orleans for all. The coaches in the platform work with individual professionals and executives across management teams and organizations to help guide both personal and professional growth. Their practices combine objective assessment, personalized goalsetting and ongoing support to help clients reach their leadership potential. / 53

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Biotech’s Rising Star Lowry Curley, co-founder and COO of AxoSim, discusses the company’s ambitious goals, its current wins, and what we need to do to make New Orleans a real player in biotechnology.

by Amanda Orr portraits by Jeffery Johnston


n March, AxoSim took home New Orleans Entrepreneur Week’s grand prize, and with it $100,000. While an obviously large payday, it was only the latest in a string of wins for the young startup, founded in 2014 by two researchers at Tulane University — J. Lowry Curley, who serves as AxoSim’s co-founder and COO, and Michael Moore, co-founder and CSO. Last September, AxoSim made headlines with the announcement of a $1.77 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Small Business Technology Transfer. Before that, the company received two grants in August 2016 from the National Science Foundation and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, totaling $455,000. The year it was founded, AxoSim won the Louisiana BioChallenge business pitch, which included $25,000 to help get the company started. What does this company do that’s attracting so much support? Simply put, its Nerve-On-A-Chip technology uses a 3D model that looks and acts like a real nerve to allow pharmaceutical researchers and scientists to monitor the potential effects of drugs on humans more quickly and cost-effectively than traditional methods. During the Coulter IDEAPitch, which rounded out this year’s NOEW, Curley wowed the crowd with the promise that his company is going to help speed up the process for discovering the best drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS and multiple sclerosis. With the prize money, the company plans to hire additional sales staff. Curley says his career in biotechnology began with a seed of curiosity implanted while he endured a personal medical experience in college. “I had a neurological issue that required some very innovative, high-tech medicine,” he says, “Everything is 100 percent fine now, but I was intrigued by the development of newer and better biomedical tools. I knew I wanted to make a difference, which has driven my life goals.” Curley’s path to Nerve-On-A-Chip gained traction while he was working on his PhD in biomedical engineering at Tulane University. Following several postdocs, including a stint in Belgium, he realized the only way to translate research breakthroughs outside of the lab was through commercialization, which drove him to return to New Orleans and begin AxoSim’s efforts.

What makes the company’s Nerve-On-A-Chip technology so attractive to pharmaceutical companies, according to Curley, is that nearly 94 percent of drugs intended to treat neurodegenerative diseases fail in clinical trials—a huge margin of error for investors and patients alike. AxoSim’s technology is designed to create an alternative to animal testing that will provide more data earlier on in the process. AxoSim now employs a team of neuroscientists and biomedical engineers housed in the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, New Orleans’ first LEED Goldcertified laboratory building, located in the heart of the city’s biomedical district.

[ favo r i t e s ]

Can you explain a bit more what AxoSim does?

Created via micro-engineering techniques and novel biomaterials, Nerve-On-A-Chip is a 3D cell-based model that mimics living tissue in both form and function. By implanting organoids (artificially grown masses of cells or tissue that resemble an organ) into a Nerve-On-A-Chip, biometric human nerve tissue is allowed to grow, thereby allowing researchers to perform clinically relevant nerve conduction tests, as well as perform histology to correlate structural changes to functional metrics. What about your company should excite the average New Orleanian? One in 10 people suffer from a

neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, MS, ALS or Parkinson’s — that’s 32 million Americans, including many of our loved ones. AxoSim is helping develop cures for some of the most devastating diseases in the world, right here in New Orleans, so our family and friends don’t suffer for the rest of their lives. What is AxoSim bringing to the Southeast Louisiana economy? AxoSim hired brilliant people who came

to New Orleans to work with a cutting-edge biotech company and exceptional local talent who may not have been able to stay here otherwise. On top of that, we are already working with some of the largest pharmaceutical companies on the planet, forming international partnerships and injecting over $3 million in capital into our region. What types of jobs are you offering? Right now, AxoSim has seven full-time and three part-time employees, as well as four interns. The majority of our team is scientists, but we have a chief business officer and an administrator and operations manager. We are also bringing on two high schoolers from the YouthForce NOLA summer program to expose local students to new industries.

Favorite book? “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay. I first read this book about living a mission-driven life in high school and it really stuck with me. Favorite TV show? “Game of Thrones.” I am a bit of a nerd and may have read the books more than once… Who do you look up to? My grandfather, Cappy, has been a big role model for me. He enlisted in World War II at 17. His three older brothers had already volunteered, and he had to convince his mom to sign his papers. He was a humble leader who accomplished great things, traveled the world and raised a loving family. He also had a sense of style and loved good food, which I try to carry on in his honor. Biggest life lesson learned? Under-promise and over-deliver.

[ favo r i t e s ]

Best advice received? I don’t know if you would call it advice exactly, but watching my parents and grandparents sacrifice and work hard to make the world a better place really shaped me from an early age. Hobbies? I don’t have as much time for hobbies as I used to, but I have always loved reading. I try to make time to read as much as possible. Daily habits? I try to exercise every morning. This is one of the few things that keeps me sane with all the stress of startup life. Pet peeves? When people chew too loudly. It’s funny, but I recently found out from 23andMe that I have a genetic predisposition to “feelings of rage triggered by people munching, chewing, sipping and chomping their food.” I’m not kidding; It’s called misophonia, look it up. What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months? I am getting married in March 2019 to an amazing woman, so I am looking forward to starting a new chapter and celebrating with family and friends. It can’t all be about work, right?

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Does funding for the company come largely from grants or are there private investors? Right when

we were founded we began applying for federal small business commercialization grants. We received three out of the three grants we applied for, which is pretty incredible. However, the grant process is slow and 2016 is when we really got traction. Our funding has come from a combination of grants, commercial revenue and private investment from across the country, including significant support from local angel groups. Your company slogan is “Human Data, Faster.” Can you give an example where your product has produced faster data than is expected within the industry? We

were approached by a large pharmaceutical company last year who had a critical project where they had been quoted $250,000 and three months for a single animal study. We were able to deliver the same results in one-third of the time and at a fraction of the cost. They are now a repeat customer and valuable partner. Why is getting this data faster important to the world at large? There are patients across the world who have

suffered for years from Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s — even our local hero, Steve Gleason, who has ALS. Our Nerve-on-a-Chip technology unlocks a critical tool for pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of cures to help patients in a way that hasn’t been possible before. What are the company’s long-term goals? One of AxoSim’s most ambitious goals is to develop our Nerveon-a-Chip as a platform for personalized medicine. Imagine if someone suffering from Alzheimer’s could receive a treatment designed specifically for them, without wasting critical time trying treatments that ultimately don’t work. As far as biotech in the region, where does New Orleans rank? Close to the top, down at the bottom or securely in the middle? Unfortunately for now, New Orleans is

not a big regional player. I hate to say that, but we are working hard to change our position. More resources for the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, University Medical Center, and local entrepreneurs are crucial. However, the community here is very supportive instead of hyper competitive, which is unique compared to the Northeast or West Coast. Who are the big biotech players in the region and what are they doing? To name a few: Nashville has grown a

big industry in healthcare IT and Houston had developed a significant ecosystem around new cancer treatments, stemming from MD Anderson. Between Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama has put together some serious public and private institutions fueling biotech growth, including a large pharmaceutical company called

Nektar Therapeutics that has now expanded to San Francisco and India. What are the challenges to the biotech industry in this region? The success of Silicon Valley partially stemmed

from some hugely successful startups that went on to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. While we have some great innovations and talent coming out of Tulane, LSU, Xavier, and UNO, we haven’t

“One in 10 people suffer from a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, MS, ALS or Parkinson’s — that’s 32 million Americans, including many of our loved ones. AxoSim is helping develop cures for some of the most devastating diseases in the world, right here in New Orleans, so our family and friends don’t suffer for the rest of their lives.” generated that critical mass yet. Access to capital is another hurdle, but this is slowly starting to change. While local investors are beginning to understand the benefits of investing in startups, the comfort level with biotech needs to improve. What would you like to see happen to move the biotech industry forward? Startups who become regional anchors.

Startups blaze the trail for up-and-coming biotech innovations by creating jobs, developing experienced leaders and managers, and investing back into the local ecosystem. I think that we will have a difficult time recruiting a large biotech company to relocate here. Instead, we need to focus our resources to create our own momentum. What’s next for AxoSim? Continue growing. That may sound broad, but one of AxoSim’s core values is dedication to personal and professional development. As our team gets stronger and we continue to create global partnerships, the sky is the limit. We aren’t going to rest until we are an international player.

Black Gold Green With a short shelf life as a professional athlete, New Orleans Saints of all ages share their transitions to enterprises away from football.

by Chris Price select photos by Cheryl Gerber


aking it to the National Football League (NFL) is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for a few lucky athletes. But while fame and fortune can be byproducts of today’s game, things can get dark for players after the stadium lights fade. While mega-contracts — like the five-year, $150 million extension that Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan signed in May — garner the headlines, most players don’t make megabucks, relatively speaking of course. The average NFL player’s salary is about $2 million annually, but that’s a mirage inflated by deals like Ryan’s. The median income is closer to $750,000 per year, and since NFL contracts are not fully guaranteed, a player can be cut at any time without warning. According to the NFL Players Association, the average player’s career is just

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over three years, so player salaries can end up falling short of a nest egg that will last a lifetime. As a result, too often players go from sitting on top of the world to carrying its weight on their shoulders. Sports Illustrated’s Pablo Torre reported in March 2009, that 78 percent of NFL players are either bankrupt or are under financial stress within two years of retirement. Since then, the NFL has started a mandatory Financial Education Program and an optional, more advanced Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program. As a result, more and more players are gaining business savvy, becoming entrepreneurs, and investing in ventures to maintain and grow their wealth. Biz New Orleans spoke with several New Orleans Saints about their move from the gridiron to off-field careers.

Marques Colston Wide Receiver, 2006–2015 | Minority Owner of the Philadelphia Soul | Partner, Main Squeeze Juice Co.


arques Colston knows a thing or two about success. While he was the Saints’ last pick in the 2006 draft and the late seventh-rounder out of Hofstra University — not exactly a football factory — Colston became a favored receiver who finished his career in New Orleans as a Super Bowl champion and the franchise’s career leader in touchdowns (72), receptions (711), receiving yards (9,759), career yards per reception (13.7), and yards from scrimmage (9,766). Today, Colston is still connected to football. He has been a minority owner of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul since 2015 and bought into the Albany Empire earlier this year. “The business side is like night and day from the players’ side,” Colston said. “It’s been a really great learning experience getting to see both the

front of the house and the back of the house and really developing that understanding of both sides and how they work together.” In May, Colston and his wife, Emily, became partners in Main Squeeze Juice Co., a New Orleans-based juice and smoothie bar that he discovered on LinkedIn after three years spent looking for the right franchise opportunity. The Colstons will be co-owners of the company’s flagship Magazine Street store, slated to open with 19 other locations later this year, and work with the company’s executive team to support the brand’s expansion. “We think that we have a synergy that we can leverage to expand nationwide,” he said. / 63


orten Andersen describes himself as the embodiment of the American dream. After coming to the United States as a 17-year-old exchange student from Denmark, Andersen said he only tried football because his school didn’t have a soccer team. Within a year he was kicking at Michigan State University, eventually as an All-American. The Saints drafted Andersen in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL draft, a relatively high pick for a kicker, and he quickly proved to the team that it was a good decision. After 25 NFL seasons, “Mr. Automatic” retired as the league’s all-time leading scorer (2,544 points), was a seven time Pro Bowler, one of only two kickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and one of 25 players to have been twice named to an NFL All-Decade Team (1980s and 1990s). While with the Saints, Andersen opened the sports-themed Champions restaurant in Lakeside Mall in the space Pottery Barn currently occupies. When he officially retired at the end of the 2008 season, Andersen created a golf outing company that organizes 10-stop tours at some of the United States’ most exclusive private courses, including Augusta National, home of the annual Masters Tournament. In addition to golf, he heads Morten Andersen Global, a business-to-business consulting company, is a published author writing his second book, and works as a public speaker, private kicking tutor, and filmmaker. This summer he will premiere a documentary in Scandinavia on the “Gold Jacket Experience,” a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “We had a film crew follow us all around Canton last summer to capture every moment at the Hall of Fame,” Andersen said. “I don’t think it’s an angle that’s ever been seen before.” The Morten Andersen Family Foundation’s Special Teams for Special Ops program, which raises money to support critically wounded Special Operations soldiers and the families of the fallen. "The Great Dane" says he spends more than half of his time working in philanthropic endeavors. “I try to pick fun projects and people that I want to work with to do good things,” he said. “I’m definitely staying busy.”

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Morten Andersen Kicker, 1982–1994 | Founder, Morten Andersen Global Inc. Public Speaker, Author, Private Kicking Tutor and Filmmaker


Zach Strief Offensive Tackle, 2006–2017 | Managing Partner, Port Orleans Brewing Co.

n his early years in New Orleans, fans knew Zach Strief’s number before they knew his name. As an offensive lineman, a position ineligible to catch the ball, he was required by NFL rules to wear a jersey number in the 60s. However, when the Saints were in short-yardage situations, Strief would line up as a blocking tight end, a position that can be thrown to, so the referee would turn on his microphone to alert opposing teams: “No. 64 is eligible.” It wasn’t too long before the Who Dat Nation knew exactly who No. 64 was. Drafted in the amazing 2006 class, Strief played 12 seasons with the Saints, including the last five as a team captain. As the clock on his playing days ticked down, however, Strief joined with his father-in-law, Tommy Discon, and Ricky Thomas as managing partner of Port Orleans Brewing Co., a 12,000-barrel brewery with a tasting room and beer garden on Tchoupitoulas Street. “I was toward the end of my career and knew it was time to find something to transition into,” Strief said. “It sounded like an industry that I would really enjoy, so I jumped on it. “It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of work,” he added. “New Orleans is still very young in craft beer — there’s a lot of options, and, like any brand, it takes time to connect and build a relationship with customers.” Strief has carried over some elements of his playing days into his new venture. At a practice last season, his head coach told him he wanted a beer with his name on it. That led to a limited edition Sean Payton Blonde Ale. This summer, Port Orleans will release a Steve Gleason-themed brew, with proceeds going to Team Gleason, his former teammate’s foundation that assists individuals with the terminal neuromuscular disease ALS. “We realized there was a tremendous market for something related to my football career with the Saints,” he said. “So we thought about doing another limited edition, and Steve was the first person we thought of. He’s been in and had our beer. Now we have a partner that we can pass some of the profits to and do some good things while making beer that people will enjoy.” / 65

Archie Manning Quarterback, 1971–1982 | Motivational speaker, spokesperson


omparing Ryan’s $30 million annual salary, with Archie Manning’s deals with the Saints is almost laughable. According to a 1981 Sports Illustrated feature, Manning’s rookie contract paid him $84,000 a year, his second-year pay rose to $166,250, and his final Saints contract climbed to $367,500. While those figures seem minuscule for modern pro athletes, in the early 1980s, Manning was the third-highest player in the NFL, and the first Saints superstar to really cash in on his celebrity. He became a ubiquitous presence in New Orleans as a pitchman for industries as varied as radio, insurance, banking and automotive, namely Metairie-based Royal Oldsmobile, a gig he held for 35 years. “Up until they stopped making Oldsmobiles,” Manning said. When Manning hung up his pads, his wife, Olivia, thought he’d go into coaching, but after playing into his mid-30s, Manning wanted to have an influential presence at home as patriarch of what would become the “first family of football.” While he had learned the automobile business as part of Oldsmobile’s dealer development program, Manning decided against working with cars. Instead, he went to work in investment planning at Morgan Keegan, making corporate speeches and marketing appearances on the side. Four years later, he joined Jim Henderson as the color analyst for Saints Radio broadcasts, a position he held for 12 years.

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“It was a great time in my life,” Manning said. “It was a fun, fun relationship that he and I had. He’s a great friend, the ultimate pro and the best sportscaster New Orleans ever had.” As their sons, Cooper, Peyton, and Eli, moved into the high school, collegiate and professional football ranks, the Mannings spent a lot of time on the road watching their sons’ games. “Those were some killer weekends,” Manning said. “We’d watch Eli play in New Orleans on Friday, fly to wherever Peyton and Tennessee were playing on Saturday, and catch up with the Saints to call games on Sunday.” He gave up calling Saints games after the 1997 season, which allowed him to watch Peyton and Eli’s pro careers, during which they won two Super Bowls each. Today, the inaugural member of both the Saints’ Ring of Honor and Hall of Fame says he doesn’t get the same amount of calls as he used to, but he’s still keeping busy. Manning can still be found on the motivational speakers circuit, where he gives as many as 25 speeches a year, as well as at his namesake Manning’s Eat, Drink, Cheer and the Manning Passing Academy. “I wanted to get off of the road,” the 69 year old said. “I was flying 130, 140 days a year.” Manning is still featured in national advertisements for Gatorade, DirecTV, and Nationwide insurance, as well as health care companies NuVasive, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, Leading Health Care of Louisiana, and spends as much time as he can with Olivia, and his sons’ families in New Orleans, Denver and New York City. “We’re right back at those ole ballparks and gymnasiums that we spent so much time at with our boys,” he said.


Pat Swilling

ith 490 tackles, 107.5 quarterback sacks, and six interceptions in his career, Pat Swilling was known league-wide for tearing down opposing offenses. But off the field, the 1991 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year and member of the vaunted “Dome Patrol,” the best linebacking unit in NFL history, was laying the foundation for his post-football career in construction. After brief stints with the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders, the fivetime Pro Bowler finished his 13-year playing career and returned to New Orleans as a full-time real estate developer. Swilling said he became interested in construction by watching his father and uncle, subcontractors in his native Georgia, build throughout their professional careers. “I didn’t want to be just a subcontractor,” he said, “I wanted to own my own construction business.” Swilling bought his first property, a double, in New Orleans during his days with the Saints, and quickly turned his focus to commercial properties. He estimates he’s developed more than 50, maybe up to 100, buildings in the city, mostly in eastern New Orleans, in the past 20 years. He said his on-field and business success helped him become a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2001 to 2004. “A lot of young guys don’t understand that they’re not going to play forever,” he said, “but I always knew football would end. Even when I was playing, I was looking at properties, building in the offseason, and playing during the season. While I was knocking down quarterbacks, I was also building a future for myself.”

Linebacker, 1986-1992 | Founder, Swilling Design & Development / 67 / 69

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Southe ast louisiana businesses in full color


This new peanut butter alternative has become a quick success in today’s healthconscious marketplace.

From The Lens g re at work s pace s

Welcome Home Gardner Realty restores circa-1871 Carrollton neighborhood offices as it celebrates its 75th year in business. by Melanie Warner Spencer photos by Sara Essex Bradley

Entering Gardner Realty’s newly renovated

offices on Maple Street, you’ll see a decidedly residential space. A cream-colored wooden desk and slipper chair are situated to the right, and to the left, an upholstered sofa with a brass table. The first vignette likely to catch your eye, however, is a portrait hanging above the white mantel on an exposed brick wall. The painting is of Gertrude Gardner, founder of Gardner Realty. This year, the company is celebrating 75 years in business. Known as an innovator, Gardner moved her company into the circa-1871 corner building at 7934 Maple St. in the Carrollton neighborhood in the ’40s. Her legacy is alive and well — the company is now run by the third and fourth generations of her family—Glenn and Sharon Gardner, and their children, Crystal Gardner-Phillips and Chip Gardner. Recently, Gardner Realty unveiled an extensive renovation of the space. The new look is light, airy and was designed with residential flair. “We wanted to create a real estate office where people feel comfortable coming in and saying hi,” says Crystal Gardner-Phillips, vice president and head of marketing and public relations. “It’s welcoming, with a lot of A portrait of features you’d see in a home.” Gertrude Gardner To achieve an atmosphere hangs in the that had the elements necesnewly restored, circa-1871 offices sary for a modern, functional of Gardner office, as well as the comfortRealty. The building began able, homey design scheme as newspaper they envisioned, the Gardners offices in worked with Kim DeVun of Carrollton. KDK Interior Designs.

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The Garden Room is one of three meeting spaces in the offices. It is housed in what the owners call The Cottage, which used to be the print room when the building housed a newspaper. The Gardners worked with Alec Adamick of Adamick Architecture to preserve this historic slice of New Orleans history. For the interior design, they worked with Kim DeVun of KDK Interior Designs. / 83

TOP LEFT: The galley kitchen features white cabinets with brass pulls and serves as a connecting hallway between the two sides of the building. TOP RIGHT: The collaboration room takes advantage of vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, with the added bonus of skylights. Glenn Gardner, president of operations, says this room was new construction because termites had their way with the prior structure over the years. It was designed, however, to mesh with the historic architecture. BOTTOM RIGHT: Gertrude Gardner moved her company into the corner architecture-style building at 7934 Maple St. in the Carrollton neighborhood in the 1940s. BOTTOM LEFT: The Gertrude Room serves as an homage to the company’s founder and is located in her former office in the center of the building.

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For the structural and preservation aspects of the project, they turned to Alec Adamick of Adamick Architecture, which specializes in historic preservation. From a business standpoint, the family wanted to take advantage of historic tax credits, but Gardner-Phillips says they also saw the restoration as an opportunity to preserve part of New Orleans’ history. The space is furnished and decorated with the work of local New Orleans artists and designers, including Lisa Rickert of AVE Home, Holly Mabry Poole Art and Chris Bevolo of Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights. The plants are from The Plant Gallery. There are three meeting rooms in the 4,700-square-foot offices. The Gertrude Room serves as an homage to the company’s founder and is located in her former office in the center of the building. It features an original bargeboard wall, as well as a mix of traditional and contemporary furniture and colorful artwork. The Garden Room is in the old “cottage,” which was the print room of a community newspaper when the building was first built. The bright Garden Room employs walls of windows, a wealth of tropical plants and breakfast room vibes. The Maple Room is off the lobby and overlooks the bustle of Maple Street. Each room has a round table, reminiscent of comfortable gatherings around the kitchen table at home. Throughout the space the ceilings were raised, carpet was replaced with dark wood flooring, and systems and storage were put in place to de-clutter and organize. “The realtors were a big part of the process,” Gardner-Phillips says. “They wanted it to be very client-centric. They wanted an updated space. Our office etiquette is not bringing in random cups and plates and leaving things lying around; we use the storage space on-site, and anything new — everyone has to agree. I kept hearing the words ‘good energy.’ All of us want that and can feel it when we are in that type of space, but we didn’t know how to accomplish that energy, which is why we relied on our relationships with local artists and designers.” One of the fruits of those relationships is that if a client sees and buys a Bevolo lantern — like the one featured in the reception area — a portion of the proceeds goes to Nola Mission, which is

The Maple Room is off the lobby and overlooks the bustle of Maple Street. Each of the three meeting rooms at Gardner Realty has a round table, reminiscent of comfortable gatherings around the kitchen table at home.

At a Glance

Company Name: Gardner Realty Address: 7934 Maple St. Office completed: Spring 2018 Architect: Alec Adamick of Adamick Architecture Interior Designer: Kim DeVun of KDK Interior Designs Furnishings: Furnishings by Lisa Rickert of AVE Home; Art by Holly Mabry Poole Art; and lantern in entry by Chris Bevolo of Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights. Plants are from The Plant Gallery. Square footage: 4,700 square feet

one of Gardner-Phillips’ favorite charitable organizations. She and her mother, Sharon, worked closely with the designer and architect to ensure that the look of the offices was contemporary but not too modern, and that it incorporated traditional flavor and the company’s history, without being dated. The design also needed to appeal to the different generations of employees and clients using the space. The long galley kitchen, as well as hightop tables and a television, are near the open office area or “collaboration room,” which is a lively space with a vaulted, exposed beam ceiling and sunlights. “I used to come to this office when I was a little kid,” says Glenn Gardner, president

of operations. “It looks a lot better now! We did enjoy restoring it to even probably better than it was before.” Opening up the space, creating a more welcoming and collaborative multi-generational atmosphere, while at the same time being attentive to the functional aspects of the modern-day office, increasing accessibility for less-mobile clients, and honoring the company’s founder were the priorities and the areas in which the group didn’t compromise. “We don’t want to be trendy,” says Gardner-Phillips. “We want to be timeless, because that’s the kind of company we are.” n

Main goal: To restore the circa-1871 building and create a multi-generational, functional office space that is also handicapped accessible and welcoming. Standout Features: Corner-building architecture with angled entry door; partial exposed brick wall in lobby; and the original bargeboard wall in the Gertrude Room meeting space. / 85

From The Lens why didn ’ t i t hink of t h at ?

All Buttered Up South Louisiana-meets-Bolivia company, Beyond the Equator, is cashing in on a rapidly growing health food trend with a national award-winning peanut butter alternative. by Ashley McLellan photos by sara essex bradley

Created in 2014 as a retail offshoot

of the local wholesale company Supreme Specialty Foods, Beyond the Equator has tapped into a growing market of healthconscious eaters, including those with food allergies and sensitivities, along with those always in search of the next delicious trend. The company’s latest invention, 5 Seed Butter, was just selected in June from more than 3,000 entries across 39 specialty food categories for the national Specialty Food Association’s Best New Product award. Sales for the butter have increased each month, enough so that Beyond the Equator is now aiming to expand its retail line off the product’s popularity. Before the Butter

The journey of Beyond the Equator began with a meeting of the business minds

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between Tulane graduate Kevin Bratcher and fellow alum Carl Newton. “I graduated with my MBA from Tulane in 2014 and met alumni Carl Newton who happened to own some farms in Bolivia,” Bratcher said. “He had partnered in 2003 or 2004 with his brother-in-law, a Louisiana farmer, as an expansion of his sugar cane business. While trying to grow sugar cane and soybeans [in South America,] they learned about super foods that are grown in that area.” From this meeting grew New Orleansbased Supreme Specialty Foods, formed in 2014 in New Orleans. The wholesale company grew to sell a long list of health foods, including wholesale chia seeds, quinoa, amaranth, mung beans, pumpkin seed flour, sesame seeds and hemp seed oil to grocers and health food stores.

As interest grew, Bratcher was often asked about Supreme’s superfood products and applications for the everyday consumer, which he says spurred the decision to create a retail outlet. Along with LSU graduate Will Myers, Bratcher formed Beyond the Equator in 2017 — zoning in on products that would be desirable and healthful to consumers. Ch-ch-ch-Chia

“We started with the chia oil, which was super niche,” he said. “It is used only in

cold applications, such as salad dressings or in smoothies, but we wanted something that would be more mainstream so we got with our manufacturer and discussed what they could make [settling on the idea of chia butter.] I don’t know if you’ve had it, but chia butter does not taste very good, so we had the idea to incorporate some of the other seeds we had access to in order to make it more palatable.” The result was 5 Seed Butter — made from chia, sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds, along with hemp hearts, a dash

of cane syrup and salt. The product is allergen-friendly, vegan and gluten-free. A 16-ounce jar sells for $11.99. “We’ve had a great reception in Louisiana,” Bratcher said. “Our product launched in stores in December of 2017 and we have seen steady sales, with most stores selling a case or two each month.” Working with the seeds that led to the crazy, quick-growing foliage on Chia Pets, the company knew a good deal of consumer education would be necessary for their product, which serves for many as an alternative to peanut butter. “Chia seeds are high in protein, and also have omega-3 and-6 fatty acids,” said Bratcher, “which makes them a good way to get both protein and healthy fatty acids into a diet. We adjusted the seeds, and when we added the sunflower seeds, we had a product that tasted as good as it was healthy.” While providing a healthy butter full of protein and nutrients was a plus, another upside to Beyond the Equator’s push for a peanut-free butter is the steady demand for allergen-free alternatives for people with sensitivities, especially among parents and kids. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), food allergies are “a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated 4 to 6 percent of children in the United States. There is no cure for food allergies and reactions can be life threatening. Strict avoidance of the food allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction.” The challenge, according to Bratcher, was to eliminate the worry and to create a product parents could feel comfortable serving to their kids. “Our big selling point [with 5 Seed Butter] is that it is allergen friendly,” he said. “We wanted to make it as safe as possible.” While Beyond the Equator’s brainpower and corporate offices remain local in New Orleans, manufacturing a truly allergenfree product — one that did not also have peanuts on site — proved to be challenging within Louisiana. The company settled instead on a 4,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse space in upstate New York.

Beyond the Equator’s award-winning 5 Seed Butter is made from chia, sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds, along with hemp hearts, a dash of cane syrup and salt.

Food science

Did You Know? Ninety percent of food groups related to serious allergic reactions come from just eight foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts and tree nuts. / 87

5 Seed Butter is a 100 percent allergen friendly alternative to traditional peanut butter, making it a popular option for parents with kids with food allergies.

“Amazon sales [of 5 Seed Butter] have increased approximately 100 percent each month. Once we registered with Amazon Prime, our sales really grew. We recently made it into the top 100 butters on the site.”

handle with care

Food Allergies On the Rise In Youth Among Americans under the age of 18:

3 million

were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in 2007

18 percent

increase in reported food allergies in youth from 1997 to 2007 Children with food allergies are

2 to 4 times

more likely to have other related conditions, such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies


hospital discharges per year from 2004 to 2006 in this age group with a diagnosis related to food allergies Source: CDC October 2008 report

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Kevin Bratcher, co-founder Beyond the Equator

A Market That’s Not Softening

Beyond the Equator’s target population continues to grow, along with the popularity of 5 Seed Butter. “Our target consumer is anyone who is health conscious or looking to add healthy alternatives to their diet [or the diet of a loved one].” Bratcher said, noting a “growing vegan and vegetarian community, with many people looking to go meat-free one or more days of the week.” The company currently distributes only in Louisiana (30 stores), but has its sights on a larger scale. “Right now we are aiming locally to get into Rouses and Robert Fresh Markets,” Bratcher said. “Next step would be expanding into Texas and the West Coast, where these kinds of products are sought after,” he said. In addition to local sales, online markets continue to be a source of growth and outreach for the company. “Amazon sales [of 5 Seed Butter] have increased approximately 100 percent each month,” Bratcher said. “Once we registered with Amazon Prime, our sales really grew. We recently made it into the top 100 butters on the site.” Sales growth figures may also receive a national bump after Beyond the Equator’s debut and award presentation at the Specialty Food Association “Fancy Food Show” in New York. “[Winning the Best New Product award from the Specialty Food Association] was a validation for what we are doing and where we are going,” Bratcher said. “We are excited to see the impact on the product after the show. It puts us up front among distributors and retailers on a national scale.” While sandwich lovers and home cooks begin to enjoy 5 Seed Butter, Bratcher and his partner are continuing to develop new ideas to reach an even wider audience. “We’re working on product variations on the 5 Seed Butter,” he said. “We want to make crunchy and sugar-free options, along with a protein-infused version and flavored options [with honey or maple]. We’re also looking into making a jelly to go along with the 5 Seed Butter — a superfood jam or jelly. It’s still in R&D, but we are hoping to develop it soon.” n

vegetarian options

Hold the Meat The number of Americans switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is on the rise.


of Americans report that they “always or sometimes” eat vegetarian when dining out


always eat vegetarian or vegan when dining out


of the total population is vegetarian (including vegans) all the time Source: 2016 national Harris Poll published by the nonprofit Vegetarian Resource Group:

Beyond the Equator’s 5 Seed Butter is winning over traditional peanut butter lovers, people with food allergies and critics alike. It recently won the Best New Product Award from the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. / 89

From The Lens m a kin g a m atch: b u s ine s s e s a nd nonprofi t s

Houses of Hope Boys Hope Girls Hope New Orleans is ending the cycle of poverty in the city one scholar at a time. by Pamela Marquis photos by cheryl gerber

There’s a house in Mid-City that’s unlike

any other. It’s a big home — 7,000 square feet, with nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms — that features an oversized dining room table for family-style dinners, a wide variety of family photographs on the walls, and a large kitchen island where one of the house’s residents, an 11-year-old girl named Mariam, is excitedly burbling about her day at Country Day Creative Arts camp. “It’s so much fun,” she says. “I can’t decide if I’ll audition for Tina Turner or Britney Spears, or maybe Michael Jackson in the play. I love that I get to go there.” Miriam is one of eight girls and four adults who live at this home — one of two residential facilities operated by Boys Hope Girls Hope of New Orleans (the other home caters to boys). One of 18 affiliates across the United States and Latin America, the New Orleans organization was founded in 1980 with the mission of helping academically minded youth rise above the challenges of poverty to find success. Since its founding, BHGH New Orleans has helped over 250 scholars move from disadvantaged backgrounds into successful careers.

A good Match

For companies that Have experience in residential construction fields, have an interest in mentoring youth, or can sponsor events that support the efforts of Boys Hope Girls Hope throughout the year. Contact Cydne Romine at or (504) 484-7744

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Success Stories

Aaliyah Navarro Navarro has been in the program for almost four years as a scholar and has been a staff member at BHGH New Orleans for the past year. She recently graduated from the University of North Texas. Her goals include starting her own business, mentoring, getting her master’s degree in higher education, and helping friends and family. “I love this program and all that it stands for,” she says. “While I did not appreciate it as much when I was a scholar, being a staff member has helped me realize that I have a lot to be thankful for. The program means a lot to me.” Demi Varuso

House Parent Lerrin Trufant (left) helps scholars Mariam and Raydonce with meal time, along with Executive Director Chuck Roth.

Boys Hope Girls Hope of New Orleans has helped more than 250 academically minded youth rise above the challenges of poverty to find success.

Scholars enter the program as early as 8 years old and live full-time, year-round through high school graduation and college matriculation. The children are cared for by four live-in staff live in each home — three residential counselors, who fulfill the role of parents, and one AmeriCorps academic success coordinator, who focuses on scholar academics. While living in the home, the children attend college preparatory schools, participate in extracurricular activities and engage in volunteer work in their communities. “For BHGH residential and non-residential scholars, a college education is not a dream, it is an expectation,” says Chuck Roth, BHGH New Orleans executive director. Founded in 1977 in St. Louis, Missouri, by Jesuit priest Rev. Paul Sheridan, BHGH International began with one goal: to help children break the cycle of poverty by offering them a stable and loving home, guidance and access to quality education. “Our residential program functions as a loving and nurturing family atmosphere,” explains Development Director Cydne Romine. “It’s a lively environment that also gives the children a sense of belonging, which is central to healthy adolescent development.”

Teachers, community leaders, church members and even parents can refer young people to BHGH’s application process. Scholars are then selected according to their desire to participate and their capacity to respond to academically rigorous and character-defining programs. Those who qualify then interview before receiving a final admissions decision. “Many factors determine a good fit,” says Roth. “The child must meet a threshold of need, demonstrate academic ability, and display the emotional and behavioral ability to respond to our program.” Support for scholars does not end when they get to college. BHGH collegians continue to receive financial and emotional support through college, including scholarships, a home to stay in over school breaks, assistance with transportation to and from college, and quarterly grade check-ins. The program also addresses aspects of college life that are unfamiliar to many first-generation college applicants —things like navigating dorm life, handling the stress of being away from home, applying for and managing financial aid and loans,and managing time. Choosing to take advantage of the assistance provided by BHGH is a big step for children, and it’s an even bigger step for the parents and

“Before I was in Boys Hope Girls Hope I did not know what college was,” says Demi Varuso. “I did not have the academic support I needed and so I do not think I would have made it to college. I would not have had the help that was given during the application process as well.” Varuso has been involved in the program for 14 years — seven years as a scholar, five as a college student, and two as a member of the BHGH New Orleans staff. She graduated from University of Louisiana— Lafayette in May 2016 and is planning on getting a masters degree and then a job she enjoys. “The program has offered me a lot of opportunities, such as academic support, and helped me develop into a well-rounded young woman,” she said. “It helped me know how to set goals and advocate for myself. I was able to get to college and graduate because of the support of the program.” / 91

House parent Lerrin Trufant and Mariam

Success of services

Boys Hope Girls Hope New Orleans has served over 250 children since 1980


of BHGH New Orleans scholars are from lowincome families


of BHGH New Orleans scholars attend local, college-preparatory schools that partner with the program to provide the widest net of resources possible for each child THE BASICS

Mission: Boys Hope Girls Hope helps academically capable and motivated childrenin need meet their full potential and grow into men and women by providing valuescentered homes with a familial atmosphere, opportunities and education through college. Website: Location: The physical addresses of the BHGH New Orleans’ two homes are private, but the organization can be reached via mail at: PO Box 19307, New Orleans, LA 70179

100% guardians who must decide to allow their child to take advantage of this opportunity. “It was the first time she was ever away from me, “ says Daphne de Leon, speaking about her daughter, Daniella. “I cried every single night and even told my friends how much I regretted letting her go. But now I look back and think, ‘What a foolish thing to say.’” De Leon says she visited the house regularly and always had a sense of security about how her daughter was doing. “My daughter graduated from LA Tech in 2017 and is now a residential counselor at a Boys Hope Girls Hope house in Brooklyn,” she adds. “She loves what she does and is so grateful for the opportunity to give back.” Roth says that a successful partnership between the program, parents or guardians, and program mentors is essential to the BHGH program. “I’ve been mentoring the young men and women at Boys Hope Girls Hope for the past three years and have gotten to experience how great they truly are,” says Franciscoadan Orellana, a member of the Kiwanis Club. In addition to community volunteers, BHGH also gets help from businesses, organizations,

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churches and individuals who bring groceries, help cook meals, clean the house and mow the lawn. “Raising funds never ends, and as we don’t take any state or federal funds, every single effort helps,” says Roth. “We are looking for people who can help us with so many things. The maintenance on our homes is constant and extensive, so anyone who can help with things like electrical problems, plumbing or landscaping is always appreciated. The number of people who helps us is so impressive. People who work and give so generously really do contribute to making our kids lives better.” “When I started as a mentor, I never would have imagined they would play such a big role in my life,” says Orellana. “Having numerous conversations with them has allowed me to understand how complex their view of life truly is, yet they’re still so innocent.” A New Orleans native who is quick to profess his love for the city, Orellana believes mentoring BHGH’s young men and women gives him the opportunity to invest in the city’s future. “In my opinion,” he says, “the young men and women who participate in programs like Boys Hope Girls Hope will one day be leading our society.” n

of scholars since 1980 have graduated high school and have enrolled in postsecondary education.


of BHGH New Orleans graduates return for their second year of postsecondary education – 30% higher than the national average.


of scholars perform community service projects throughout the year. Middle school students complete 50 hours while high school students complete 100 hours of service per year.


of scholars participate in at least two extracurricular activities each year.

Scholars attend college preparatory schools, participate in extracurricular activities and engage in volunteer work with one goal in mind: college acceptance. / 93

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 ON THE JOB

I Scream, You Scream photo by cheryl gerber

In the depths of summer, we all

scream for ice cream, and Angelo Brocato Original Italian Ice Cream Parlor has been keeping New Orleanians cool since it was first opened in the French Quarter in 1905 by an enterprising Italian named Angelo Brocato. Known for its Italian ice cream (or gelato) and wide array of Italian pastries and cookies, Brocato’s (as it’s known around town) has been at its current location at 214 N. Carrollton Avenue since 1979. Now operated by the third generation of the Brocato family, the parlor offers up about 36 flavors of gelato — including its first-ever flavor, torroncino, vanilla-based gelato with cinnamon and ground almond, along with Italian ices and frozen treats like spumoni and cassata. Seen here, Angelo Brocato III looks on as his grandson, Angelo V, pulls fresh gelato out of a machine that slow freezes the handmade concoction to let in less air. The result is a denser, more intensely flavored treat than traditional ice cream — with less milk fat! So go ahead, it’s hot out there, indulge a little. n

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