Biz New Orleans January 2020

Page 1

The King of King Cakes 50 varieties under one roof P. 18

6 Powerful “Talk Triggers” Harness the power of wordof-mouth advertising P. 30

Wonderland Meets Magazine Street A peek at Drink Beauty’s Instagram-ready concoctions P. 66



of the

Our 2019 CEO of the Year — Kevin Dolliole, director of aviation for the new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

january 2020

January Volume 5 Issue 11




from the lens

10 Editor’s note 11 publisher’s note 12 Calendar 14 industry news 16 recent openings 18 Events

in the biz dining..........................22

More than 50 varieties in one convenient spot? King Cake Hub is the place to be this Carnival season.

banking+finance. . ... 38

Have a great business idea you want to turn into a reality? Local banking professionals share 5 tips for securing startup funding

tourism. . .....................24

Must-dos in 2020 sports .. ......................26

Anticipation is mounting for Zion Williamson’s return

great workspaces.........................................................64

Morris Adjmi Architects’ Lower Garden District offices are designed for flexibility and change

entertainment.. ......28

Riverboat Louis Armstrong — New Orleans’ newest luxury concert and event venue

healthcare................ 42

why didn’t i think of that?. . .....................................66

Children’s Hospital’s new addition

New café Drink Beauty brings a bit of Wonderland to Magazine Street making a match: businesses + nonprofits. . .....68

For almost 125 years, New Orleanians of all ages have been touched by Kingsley House’s wide array of programming


NOBA’s Talent and Workforce Development program is helping entrepreneurs find employees


etiquette. . .................32

Tricks and tips for elevating your look in an increasingly casual workplace marketing.................34

The secret to harnessing the power of word-ofmouth advertising lies in effective “talk triggers”

law................................. 44

The new Louisiana Private Works Act has a significant impact on liens

on the job..........................................................................72

CEO and Business People of the Year A look at the “Transformative 13” whose success is garnering attention nationwide and helping spread the region’s prosperity to all. By Kim SIngletary, Jennifer Larino, Jennifer Schecter and Rebecca Friedman photos by greg miles

High Level Speech and Hearing’s dedicated Musician’s Clinic provides custom-made solutions to help artists safeguard their voice and hearing

on the cover Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Photograph by Greg Miles

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 Rich Collins Contributors Julia Carcamo, Rich Collins, Rebecca Friedman, Jennifer Larino, Keith Loria, Pamela Marquis, Ashley McLellan, Chris Price, Jessica Rosgaard, Jennifer Gibson Schecter, Melanie Warner Spencer, Poppy Tooker, Keith Twitchell Advertising Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan (504) 830-7215 Sales Manager Caitlin Sistrunk (504) 830-7252 Senior Account Executive Brennan Manale (504) 830-7298 Senior Account Executive Jessica Jaycox (504) 830-7255 Marketing Director of Marketing & Events Jeanel Luquette Event Coordinator Abbie Dugruise Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne For event information, call (504) 830-7264 Production Traffic Coordinator Lane Brocato Traffic Assistant Jeremiah Michel Production Manager Emily Andras Production Designers 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 Audience Development Claire Sargent For subscriptions, call (504) 830-7231

2016 Bronze: Best Feature Layout 2017 Bronze: Best Daily Email 2017 Silver: Best Recurring Feature 2018 Gold: Most Improved Publication 2018 Silver: Best Recurring Feature 2019 Gold: Best Recurring Feature 2019 Gold: Best Explanatory Journalism

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 2020 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.


meet the sales team

Caitlin Sistrunk Sales Manager

(504) 830-7252

Brennan Manale

Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7298

Jessica Jaycox

Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7255

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales

(504) 830-7215 8

Biz New Orleans

january 2020


editor’s note

Welcome Home I was lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful conversation for over an

hour with our CEO of the Year, Kevin Dolliole, and toward the end of our chat I shared how, growing up in San Diego I always had a special love for the airport there. If you haven’t flown into San Diego before, I’ll just say it’s a bit of an adventure. The airport is located smack dab in the middle of the downtown area, and as such, you fly incredibly close to multiple city landmarks — Balboa Park among them. I used to attend live theater performances in the park and the performers were trained to freeze the whole show whenever a plane flew over so you didn’t miss any of the dialogue. While I’ve heard it can be a bit harrowing for pilots, at least for me, it’s always been a special little “welcome home.” (As a side note, San Diego’s 50-year-old terminal currently has a $3 billion expansion plan, and the airport authority announced this past summer a goal to raise $500 million to improve access to and from the airport.) As a fairly frequent traveler throughout my life, and someone who has called two countries and at least eight different cities in the Northwest, Southwest, Midwest and South home, this is only the second airport that I have loved. Coming home from our last trip just before Thanksgiving, it felt a little special — there was this sense of excitement. It’s like the difference between being greeted by an old taxi or black car service. I can’t wait for our friends and family to get the same greeting when they visit. This is such a special city that we deserved a special welcome mat to roll out and, thanks to the hard work of Mr. Dolliole, and everyone at the airport over the course of many years, that’s exactly what we got. Everyone at Biz is so proud of all of our Business People of the Year and all the ways they are taking our region to new heights. Here’s to prosperous new beginnings for us all! Happy Reading!


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

publisher’s note

A Fresh Start Happy New Year and welcome to the 2020s.

This month, we celebrate a fresh new set of numbers, and while writing my first column in this new decade, I can’t help but think of all the changes that have happen over the past 10 years. In my family, all our girls graduated high school and college and got married (the final one will take place in a few months). That is a lot of celebrating. Andrea and I are so happy and proud of the ladies our girls have become and the gentlemen they have brought into our lives. In business, we purchased Acadiana Profile, launched Biz New Orleans and other ancillary titles like Acadiana Weddings and Courts of Carnival. We have created three books, numerous custom titles, events (which now number over 40 a year) and started a foundation to give back. Last year, we helped promote a wide variety of charities and donated over $185,000. Our editorial team has won so many awards over the pass decade we would need to publish another book to list them all — outstanding work. Personally, over the pass 10 years I have begun to feel my age. Moving into my 50s has brought on a new set of physical challenges and I work on them every day, with the goal of being in better shape at 60 than at 50. So, as the 2020s start, I encourage you to look forward to 2029 and set your own 10-year goals. Write them down, make a plan, and let’s all get to work. Todd Matherne



January 9 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce 2020 Women’s Business Alliance Seminar: Women’s Leadership Academy Panel 4 to 7 p.m. The Higgins Hotel New Orleans 1000 Magazine St. 9 Jefferson Chamber of Commerce JCYP Eats & Edu. 6 to 9 p.m. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 3064 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie

28 St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner 5 to 7 p.m. Docville Farm 5124 E. St. Bernard Hwy., Violet 29 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Chamber After 5 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Mercantile Hotel New Orleans 727 S. Peter Street

14 St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Mandeville Mayoral Forum Luncheon 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Benedict’s 1144 N. Causeway Blvd. 16 ABWA Crescent City Connections January Breakfast: Selecting the Right Type of Website for Your Business 8 to 10 a.m. The Forum 3131 Veterans Blvd. 23-25 Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Washington Mardi Gras Washington Hilton 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC 23 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Educational Seminar with NOLA SHRM: Wellness Strategies for Your Business Culture 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Embassy Suites by Hilton New Orleans 2nd Floor, Julia Street

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


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

industry news



Louisiana Ranks First for Software Engineers

NOCHI Celebrates Second Graduating Class

Computer Science Online has named Louisiana No.1 in the nation for “Best Opportunities for Software Engineers,” noting over 80% growth in jobs expected by 2022. Louisiana is followed by Colorado, Utah, Virginia, Montana and Washington, DC.

On Dec. 20, James Beard Award-winning Chef Donald Link presented the keynote address for the second graduating class of the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI). Over 100 working days, graduates covered 26 subjects to receive either a Culinary Arts Certificate or a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate. Students then accepted jobs at restaurants including Brennan’s, True Food Kitchen, Justine and Costera.


Loyola and Nunez Sign Cooperation Agreement On Dec. 3, Loyola University New Orleans and Nunez Community College signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a transfer agreement that allows students to attain both an associate degree in paralegal studies from Nunez and a bachelor of arts in criminology and justice from Loyola within four years of academic study. The program is open to all students who meet the admissions qualifications of both institutions and who are pursuing the associate degree in paralegal studies at Nunez. Currently ranked by College Choice as one of the Top 15 criminology programs in the country, Loyola’s program includes both undergraduate and master’s degree offerings, including a new online bachelor and master’s degree programs in criminology and justice aimed at working professionals seeking careers as professionally trained criminal justice leaders, administrators, planners, researchers and private security professionals. More than 1,000 undergraduates have matriculated from the programs since 1960. Many have gone on to careers as lawyers, advocates, and high-ranking leaders in law enforcement.


Biz New Orleans

The Loyola community has achieved a remarkable turnaround, balancing budgets and restoring enrollment. We have become an innovative and entrepreneurial institution at a crucial moment, a time of greater competition in higher education. Tania Tetlow Loyola University President In response to the Dec. 10 announcement that the university had been removed from a oneyear financial probation imposed last December by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) following a downturn in enrollment from 2013 to 2016. “Through an all-hands effort on campus over the last several years, Loyola has not only found efficiencies and cut expenses, but has also increased and diversified revenue,” said Loyola’s press release announcing the news. “Enrollment has been restored for the past three years, and this fall Loyola welcomed one of its largest first-year classes ever.”


Ochsner CEO Named One of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare Warren Thomas, president and CEO of Ochsner Health System, has been recognized by weekly publication Modern Healthcare as one of 2019’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. Ranked at number 64 on the list, Thomas is included among notable healthcare executives and policymakers like Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma; Amazon Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Bezos; Apple CEO Tim Cook and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

january 2020


Louisiana’s Top Parishes for Small Business Owners Rank Parish Small Small Income Small Business Business Taxes Business Returns Income Index

1 Plaquemines 30.95% 15.23% $9,328 55.48 2 Orleans 31.14% 14.36% $9,328 54.60 3 East Baton Rouge 27.40% 17.41% $9,328 54.50 4 Lafayette 31.19% 13.63% $9,328 53.75 5 Saint Tammany 30.63% 13.68% $9,328 53.22 6 West Feliciana 28.01% 15.02% $9,328 52.15 7 Cameron 29.25% 12.14% $9,328 49.86 8 Tensas 28.49% 12.60% $9,328 49.64 9 Jefferson 28.58% 12.47% $9,328 49.57 10 Ouachita 25.83% 11.77% $9,328 45.81 Source: SmartAsset. The study weighed three factors: the percentage of people in a parish with small business income, the proportion of that income to total income in the parish and taxes paid by small business owners.

recent openings

The Saenger Theatre Just one day short of two months after being forced to close following the collapse of the adjacent Hard Rock Hotel, on Dec. 11, the Saenger Theatre officially reopened to the public with “Criss Angel RAW – The Mindfreak Unplugged.” In order to accommodate limited parking and remaining street closures, the theater announced it would be opening doors two hours prior to performance times and offering a continuous shuttle for patrons parking in the University Place Garage.

Riverboat Louis Armstrong On Dec. 14, New Orleans welcomed its newest luxury events and concert venue with the commissioning of Riverboat Louis Armstrong. Owned by the family-owned group of companies Hospitality Enterprises/ — which also owns the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen the Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours and City Sightseeing buses — Riverboat Louis Armstrong features four entertainment decks equipped to entertain up to 3,000 passengers. For more information, check out this month’s Entertainment Column on page 28.

Cox Technology Center at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana’s Westbank Club


On Dec. 10, Cox Communications unveiled a newly updated technology center at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana’s Westbank Club, located at 900 Tenth Street in Gretna. The new center includes computers stocked with coding and gaming programs that encourage students to learn about coding and building their own computers. Cox’s $11,000 gift also allowed for the purchase of a “green screen” and digital cameras so students can create videos and backdrops for web-based STEM learning.

WB Collective New Orleans

Biz New Orleans

On Nov. 19, Herzing University-New Orleans announced it will relocate its local campus to Metairie, with classes to begin March 2020. The nonprofit school has signed a 10-year lease to occupy the entire eighth floor of a tower in the Lakeway Center at One Lakeway, 3900 North Causeway Boulevard, which is owned and managed by The Feil Organization. Noting growing enrollment and demand in particular for the school’s surgical technology and nursing programs, Herzing-New Orleans President Jamie Hardage said the new campus will provide 10,000 square feet of learning space and accommodate future growth.

Higgins Hotel New Orleans

The Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South) officially opened a collaborative working and networking environment called the WB Collective on Dec. 5. at 401 St. Joseph Street in New Orleans. Spanning over 7,000 square feet, the WB Collective is dedicated exclusively to womenowned businesses and offers available space for daily or monthly lease, as well as rentable event space, along with a pop-up marketplace featuring women-owned products.


Herzing University

On Dec. 6, the National WWII Museum officially opened its landmark hotel property, the Higgins Hotel New Orleans, Curio Collection by Hilton. The hotel features 230 rooms, four dining outlets—including the city’s newest rooftop bar—along with 18,000 square feet of meeting and event space and an assortment of museum artifacts, including General George S. Patton’s piano; the Higgins Boat Trophy — presented to General Arthur Trudeau for his service in the Amphibian Command — and a 1943 portrait of Andrew Jackson Higgins, for whom the hotel is named. The Higgins Hotel is the first in Louisiana to be part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, and all proceeds generated will support the ongoing educational mission of the museum.

january 2020

Shake Shack On Dec. 3, Shake Shack opened its New Orleans area flagship location inside the Canal Place shopping center. The 3,411-square-foot Shack will feature ample seating for guests to enjoy the modern day “roadside” burger stand, which also features frozen custard concretes, wine and craft beers from local breweries.












Thursday, November 14 | Acadiana Center for the Arts

Wednesday, December 4 | Hyatt Regency New Orleans

Thursday, December 12th | The Forum

Get Started Medical Presented by Cox Business

2019 New Orleans Chamber Annual Meeting

ABWA December Luncheon

A medical pitch competition with a grand prize of $20,000, this event was presented by Cox Business in partnership with Lafayette General Health to celebrate innovative companies with all the excitement of the popular TV show “Shark Tank.” Winter Innovations, a company that makes repair work easier for orthopedic surgeons, walked out with the big prize.

Newly reelected Governor John Bel Edwards delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

1. Leigh King 2. Leigh King, Lia Winter, Ken Kraft 3. Leigh King, Cian Robinson, Aimee Quirk, Lia Winter, Dr. Larry Simon, Sujata Gosalia, Molly Hegarty, Ken Kraft

1. Ben Johnson, Sen. Mary Landrieu and Jeff Pilet 2. Dr. Marc Barnes, Dr. Kiki Barnes and Sam Joffray 3. Kevin Kirby, Tandra LeMay and Jillian Sandoval


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

“Does she have it all together or is it just the dry shampoo?” was the title of the presentation given by Emily LaBorde, proprietor of BLEU, a Blowdry Bar at the December meeting of the ABWA Crescent City Connections.

1. Liz Wood, Becky Libaudais and Liz Broekman 2. Nanette Giraud, Brianna Reddeman and Monica Betts 3. Theresa Barnard, Shelly Molaschi and Donna Bertucci


In The Biz Biz columnists speak out

dining King Cake Hub

tourism Must-dos in


sports Zion Williamson


Riverboat Louis Armstrong

entrepreneur NOBA’s Talent & Workforce Development program

etiquette Conquering

casual dress

in the biz dining

The King of King Cakes More than 50 varieties in one convenient spot? King Cake Hub is the place to be this Carnival season. by Poppy Tooker


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

illu st r at ion by Ton y H e al e 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.

How big is the king cake business in New completely, and by March, Samuels had to Orleans? Considering this unique seasonal close the doors at Pizza NOLA. pastry is traditionally available only between That’s when Vincent Scelfo called from January 6 and Mardi Gras Day, how big could Gambino’s Bakery offering Samuels distributhat business really be? tion of his company’s king cake, previously only Ask Will Samuels and his answer will make available from Gambino’s. At that moment, your head spin. His “only in New Orleans” style Samuels had an epiphany of his own. He concept, King Cake Hub, was born from happy wondered “Can I do what I did for the Dong coincidence joined with marketing genius. Phuong king cake with any cake that exists Back in 2011, Samuels’ wife, Jennifer, or doesn’t exist yet in this city?” Together, developed her own “McKenzie’s style” king Scelfo and Will developed the Epiphany cake — which pays homage to the legendary Cake — a classic brioche dough cake with a New Orleans bakery — for the couple’s own mix of cream cheese and buttercream icing. Metairie Road bakery and gelato shop La It was the first exclusive for Samuels’ new Dolce NOLA. Jennifer’s king cake was so brainchild, King Cake Hub, a new king cake well received there that the couple began to distribution concept that began as just an offer them at Pizza NOLA, their Lakeview idea and a website. restaurant, selling about 50 per day. When “We didn’t have a location and the first La Dolce NOLA folded in 2014, Jennifer Epiphany Cake had not yet been baked when continued to provide her popular king cakes our website popped up in November 2018,” for Pizza NOLA during Carnival. said Samuels. Yet, within a few hours, king cake On Lundi Gras 2014, Will and Jennifer crazy New Orleanians ordered the new king had sold out of their own king cakes. Too cake “with no idea of what it would taste like,” tired to bake more, instead they took an he said. It quickly became 2019’s top seller. excursion to Dong Phuong Bakery in New Emboldened by that success, Samuels Orleans East, having heard the buzz about approached several dozen bakeries, eventutheir version. With one bite, Will Samuels ally offering 35 varieties from places as far became obsessed with the idea of marketing away as Cannata’s in Houma. He secured an Dong Phuong’s king cake in lieu of baking their unlikely location at a former funeral home own. After several months of conversations, turned haunted house on Canal Street, where a deal was struck. During the 2015 Carnival he set up shop in the outdoor porte-cochere. season, Pizza NOLA became the first spot to The new King Cake Hub kicked off Carnival offer Dong Phuong king cakes off-site. That’s 2019 with a second-line led by the Panorama when the relentless marketer Will Samuels Brass Band and ended with insatiable crowds decided to turn his king cake business into that kept up through Lundi Gras. In 2020, 50 king cake varieties will be a three-ring circus. On January 6, 2016, Pizza NOLA hosted available daily at King Cake Hub, including its first Carnival kickoff. In true New Orleans a new, limited edition “Dong Phuong style” style, Benny Grunch and the Bunch entertained Dragon Claw from Caluda’s. the crowds as the Dong Phuong van, with full Ringling Brothers roll over! There’s a new police escort, arrived to deliver the first king circus in town and New Orleans’ king cake cakes of the season. The marketing scheme king, Will Samuels, is the ringmaster. n worked, and by Ash Wednesday, Pizza NOLA had sold over 4,100 Dong Phuong king cakes, a number that doubled in 2017. Will Samuels had big plans for 2018, projecting sales of up to 1,000 king cakes per day. That volume had changed the profile of Pizza NOLA’s profitability and represented almost one-third of the company’s annual business. Then, everything changed. Shortly after Pizza NOLA’s Carnival kickoff, Dong Phuong received national recognition, winning a James Beard American Classics award. News of the award resulted in insanely long lines at the company’s New Orleans Catch Poppy Tooker on her radio show, East bakery and limited quantities for Will “Louisiana Eats!” Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Samuels. Eventually, his supply was cut off Mondays at 8 p.m. on WWNO 89.9 FM.

in the bi z tourism

Unconventional Resolutions Tourism must-dos in 2020 By Jennifer Gibson Schecter


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

Ride the Algiers ferry. The residents of Algiers were hit hard with the months-long shutdown of ferry service at the end of last year. In December, the RTA hired a new company that promised to restore service early this year. As soon as it is operational, board the ferry and remind yourself of the power of the Mississippi River. For $2 each way, you can reconnect with the reason we all live here. Be sure to visit the restaurants and stores in Algiers as well, and help them rebound from months of lost sales.

illu st r at ion by Ton y H e al e 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

Attend a convention. The New Orleans about measuring and marking time. For eons, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is the our ancestors needed to anticipate the cycles sixth-largest convention facility in the United of nature for hunting animals and gathering States, and it’s getting bigger. The convention vegetation, and after agrarian culture began, center construction on Convention Center they marked seasons for managing crops. In Boulevard is ongoing, and the convention modern times, most of us have no idea when center is moving ahead with three development planting season is, and instead, we rely on our firms to submit proposals for the planned smart watches to inform us we haven’t slept development of a 39-acre mixed-use project, or walked enough today. and that doesn’t even include the new 1,200It is January, when getting enough sleep room hotel it also intends to build. To be and hitting 10,000 daily steps might be part a truly informed citizen, not just an angry of your New Year’s resolutions. But let’s be real person sitting in traffic, why don’t you attend a with each other, we live in New Orleans. We convention there this year? Be it professional sacrifice our sleep for a late night at Kermit’s development or a jewelry show, check out Tremé Mother-In-Law Lounge and the most the convention center facilities for yourself. we walk is during Mardi Gras. Therefore, I challenge you to some more realistic resolu- Visit a museum for free (then make a donation). Museums are not just for tourtions this year. New Orleans is one of the world’s greatest ists and school field trips, they are institucities. That’s why we share it with so many tions that preserve our culture and push our visitors. And haven’t you ever felt a little bit boundaries. Thanks to Art for All, a program envious of them — those tourists in the French through the Helis Foundation, many of our Quarter on a Wednesday afternoon when you prestigious museums are free for Louisiana are there for a dry business luncheon? When residents. With your valid ID, Contemporary you are getting from Point A to Point B, do Arts Center (CAC) is free on Sundays, New you notice the architecture or the blooming Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is free on flowers in February? When was the last time Wednesdays, New Orleans Botanical Garden is free on Wednesdays, Ogden Museum of you visited a museum? In 2020, make a resolution to really live Southern Art is free on Thursdays, and the where you live. Carve out some time to see Louisiana Children’s Museum is free one day firsthand what draws 18.51 million visitors every other month. If you love your experience, who spend over $9 billion (in 2018) to our consider buying a membership before you leave. Some of our smaller institutions are area. Here are some suggestions. free year-round, including: House of Dance and Feathers (by appointment), The Historic Dine healthy at a new restaurant. This month is your best shot at eating healthy — New Orleans Collection, Newcomb Art Gallery, but only if you limit your king cake eating to Diboll Gallery at Loyola University, The New just Jan. 6. Instead of going to your favorite Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint, neighborhood restaurant and ordering a The Cabildo and The Presbytère. n salad, try a new restaurant and order from the Eat Fit menu options. More than 125 local restaurants participate in Ochsner’s healthy eating program and mark items with the circular logo. Find you next dining experience at There is something inherently human

in the biz sports

Iron Lion Zion Anticipation is mounting for Zion Williamson’s return by chris price


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

illu st r at ion by Ton y H e al e y

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

erate with his return will protect the player’s A false start is more often associated with the gridiron of the Mercedes-Benz long-term health. While it initially looked Superdome than the court of the Smoothie like Williamson would miss 20 games, Gentry King Center, but the term is applicable for said it could be as many as 30. “I don’t think it’s anything that can be rushed,” the beginning of the New Orleans Pelicans’ Gentry said. “It’s not anything that’s going to 2019-20 season. Basketball hopes have been high in the be rushed. It’s a matter of taking the time to Crescent City since the spring, when the Pels make sure he’s fine.” Patience has been a luxury for the Pelicans. were the beneficiary of a fortuitous bounce of an NBA Draft Lottery ping-pong ball The team is taking its time getting Williamson that gave them the top draft choice and the on the court and in the spotlight. New Orleans opportunity to land Zion Williamson, a has one of the youngest teams in the NBA, generational talent who has been called the and the Western Conference is stacked with most exciting player to enter the league since talented teams. From the beginning of the season, the Pelicans were seen as a marginal four-time MVP LeBron James. The excitement for Williamson came on playoff team. The charge for this squad has the heels of Anthony Davis, the face of the been to get comfortable playing together and franchise for the previous seven seasons, build for the future. Jrue Holiday is tasked announcing last January that he no longer with assuming leadership of the team as the wanted to play in New Orleans and requested youngsters adjust to the rigors of playing in a midseason trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. the NBA. Brandon Ingram is averaging more The fallout from the demand wrecked both than 25 points and seven rebounds per game. teams’ seasons and, with former NBA cities J.J. Redick is among the best in the league like Seattle currently without a franchise, hitting three-pointers. But only four players caused many to question whether or not New on the roster haven’t been injured this year. “My mindset is just come back stronger, come Orleans was a viable basketball city. Questions about the team’s future in NOLA back better so I can help my team,” Williamson vanished immediately when the Pelicans said. “It’s 82 games (in the season), so I don’t won the top choice in draft lottery and the really see a need to rush back.” “I do feel like it’s getting stronger,” he added. right to select the superstar prospect. “Zion fever” hit the city. His name and likeness “Day by day, it’s getting better…It’s getting have become ubiquitous in New Orleans and stronger and I can feel the difference each day.” With Williamson’s return, the postseason across the country. The Pelicans became a hot commodity and even sparked talk about the may still be obtainable. Even if he misses 30 games there are 52 left in the season, but New team making the playoffs. That excitement was put on pause Oct. Orleans will have to have several things go 21, when the team announced the 6-foot-6, right just to make the playoffs. There is no 285-pound, 19-year-old would miss the first doubt, though, that the Pelicans will be a two months of the season as he recovered much more formidable team with No. 1 on from surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus the court. n in his right knee. Without the No. 1 overall pick, the team has struggled, winning roughly a third of the games they’ve played. But with Williamson, who averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocked shots at Duke University last season and averaged 23.2 points in four preseason games, set to return to action, many feel the Pelicans’ season is just beginning. Last month, Williamson said his knee was slowly getting better; however, Pelicans’ brass have not given a timeline for his return. They would rather wait for their star to make a full recovery rather than pushing him into action too early and risking another, possibly more serious, injury. While the anticipation for the start of Williamson’s NBA career is nearly palpable, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said being delib-

in the biz entertainment

Jazzin’ On the River Riverboat Louis Armstrong is New Orleans’ newest luxury concert and event venue by Kim Singletary


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

illu st r at ion by Ton y H e al e 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.

“We’re thinking a gospel jazz brunch on officially welcomed a younger, yet larger, Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” said Reuther. brother on Dec. 14 with the commission Armstrong’s music will undoubtedly be a part of Riverboat Louis Armstrong. Docked of the festivities, and passengers can also visit one behind the other just adjacent to the the boat’s third level where a foundation room Hilton Riverside and The Outlet Collection celebrates Satchmo’s musical legacy with at Riverwalk, the siblings offer a unique various items and historic photos. According to Reuther, Riverboat Louis setting for events ranging from weddings, to conventions, to private parties for any Armstrong is already off to a strong start. “ESPN has chartered the boat for three occasion. One is just a lot larger, and newer, days during the College Football Playoff than the other. “We’ve been hosting on the Paddlewheeler for National Championship, so they’ll be there 36 years now,” said Warren Reuther, president docked at Woldenberg Park,” he said. “That’s and CEO of Hospitality Enterprises, which really exciting.” Fo r m o r e i n f o r m at i o n , v i s i t also the Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours and City Sightseeing buses. “We’ve been tremendously successful, but the fact is the tourism industry here just keeps growing. Fifty-two years ago, there were 10,000 hotel rooms in the city. Now there are 52,000 rooms and another 40 or so hotels on the drawing board. You do the numbers.” With the addition of Riverboat Louis Armstrong, Reuther has quadrupled his event capacity: The Creole Queen holds approximately 1,000 passengers, while Louis Armstrong can accommodate 3,000 across four decks, making it one of the largest riverboats in the region. More than just a business move, however, speaking with Reuther it’s clear the New Orleans native has a real love for the city’s most famed musician that he wanted to express in his own special way. “When Louis Armstrong was 14 years old — too young to play in bars — he would jump on a boat as a deck hand and play out on the water,” said Reuther. “He was actually discovered at the age of 18 while playing on a boat in St. Louis…To have a history like this city has, to have the river right here and to have a guy like Louis Armstrong — why not put it all together?” The idea was there, but the right boat did not prove easy to find. After a two-year search, Reuther found a casino boat in Evansville, Indiana called the City of Evansville that had been in operation since 1995. The boat was sent to the Conrad Shipyard in Morgan City, Louisiana in Nov. 2017 where it took a year to convert it into an entertainment boat. The newly named Riverboat Louis Armstrong was then brought to Buck Kreihs in Algiers for its final upgrades. If you don’t have an event, there are plans at the moment to have at least one opportunity a week for the general public to board the new riverboat. T h e Pa d d l e w h e e l e r C r e o l e Q u e e n

in the biz entrepreneur

Need Help Hiring? NOBA’s Talent and Workforce Development program is a great resource for entrepreneurs. by keith twitchell


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

“You can come to us and share your hiring needs,” Gardere explained, “and we can connect you to workers who are ready to step into the jobs you have.” She added that with many small businesses, the organization collaborates to find employees that live nearby. When, for example, local artisan kombucha maker Big Easy Bucha was ready for its first expansion, the owner came to NOLABA and was able to fill the company’s staffing needs with graduates from the program. Gardere sees the Talent and Workforce Development program as a good fit with NOLABA’s overall focus on creating “a thriving economy that delivers for everyone. We need to fully leverage all the benefits that New Orleans has to offer in a way that leads to truly inclusive growth.” There is a lot of attention being paid to developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is genuinely accessible to those from disadvantaged backgrounds; complimenting this with workforce development programs focusing on these same communities is a critically important link. When successful, entrepreneurship lifts up both individuals and communities, and when business owners can hire staff from their communities, it accelerates this process while easing some of the challenges businesspeople face in finding the right employees. Ideally, this type of connectivity will endure and expand as new programs, for both entrepreneurs and workers, come online.n

illu st r at ion by Ton y H e al e 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.

So, your fledgling business has made

it through those early stages, your customer base and revenues are growing and it’s time to start hiring a few staff members. Now what? It’s no secret that we have challenges with workforce quality in our region. And while many area entrepreneur support programs include a component on hiring and managing employees, they don’t connect entrepreneurs to a pipeline to find them. It’s been just one year now since New Orleans Business Alliance’s Talent and Workforce Development program stepped in to fill this gap. As framed by Ashleigh Gardere, NOLABA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, this program is “activating the people resource we have here in New Orleans.” NOLABA is using the STRIVE International model, tailored to those facing the greatest barriers to employment, which can include people with difficult family situations, those suffering with physical or mental illnesses and the previously incarcerated. Gardere added that challenges can include the fact that “even people with degrees sometime do not get the basics of fulfilling job responsibilities.” Working with partners like Total Community Action, the Urban League and Job One, NOLABA identifies people who are ready to move past their barriers and into the workforce. The program is an intense four-week course that focuses a lot on the “soft skills” valued by employers, like attitude, teamwork and receiving and accepting feedback. “We want to prepare people for real work scenarios,” said Gardere, “and initially, we didn’t realize how many people were stuck in their situations, how much trauma people were experiencing. So many people do not believe that opportunity is available to them.” Upon completing the program, graduates receive assistance in finding a job and/or with securing more job-specific training. Currently, approximately 300 people have gone through the program. Graduates have an 84% employment rate and 78% retention rate and have found jobs with companies as diverse as PJ’s Coffee, Ochsner Health Care Systems and Capital Energy. The program has been so successful, in fact, that NOLABA is now launching a new component that offers training for people who are already employed but may still be grappling with some of these workforce readiness skills. For entrepreneurs struggling to find employees, NOLABA is an open, no-cost resource.

in the biz e tique t te

Make Casual Work for You Tricks and tips for elevating your look in an increasingly casual workplace by Melanie Warner Spencer


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

wearing where you aspire to work —there are still messages being sent by each individual. The question then becomes, how can you send the message that you are capable, trustworthy and productive while wearing the same attire you might wear to hang out at a brewery with your friends? The answer: attention to detail. Make sure every item you are wearing, no matter how casual, is in good condition. Avoid anything ripped, misshapen, stained, tattered or ill-fitting. As soon as a garment or accessory starts to look worse for wear, retire it to your home or weekend wardrobe, donate it or toss it, but whatever you do, pull it from the work rotation. While patterns and logos are generally safe, omit designs that could be considered risqué and items with slogans (especially those that are political, religious or sexual in nature). Often a way to stand out in the right way — without seeming as though you don’t fit in — is to elevate casual attire with a jacket, sweater or accessories, such as statement jewelry and watches, or fine fabrics and materials. For example, if sneakers are de rigueur, opt for a stylish leather (or vegan leather) version in lieu of canvas. Investing in a well-made, attractive messenger bag or tote is also a solid way to bring sophistication to a dressed-down look. If you are worried about budget, rest assured that a pulled-together casual wardrobe can be sourced from thrift stores if you are willing to put a little extra time into the endeavor. If there is one thing we can always count on, it’s change, but the ongoing shift to a casual workplace doesn’t mean you have to give up personal style or professional perception. This year, resolve to level up your work wardrobe — especially if it’s casual — and get another step closer to that raise or promotion you’ve been working toward. n

illu st r at ion by Ton y H e al e 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

In the summer of 2017, United States

congresswomen protested the House chamber and speaker’s lobby dress code for women, which forbids sleeveless tops or dresses worn without a sweater or jacket. (It’s worth mentioning that the rules state that men must wear suit jackets and ties; no sneakers or open-toed shoes are permitted for either sex.) Speaker Paul Ryan soon announced that officials would review the policy and reconsider it. It seems after all the hoopla, the rules weren’t updated — or I’ve been unsuccessful in determining a change — but the fact that the dress code for those at the highest levels of government was challenged at all once again brings to the forefront the gradual transformation of American work attire since “business casual” hit the scene in the ’80s. I took a deep dive into the trajectory in this column in 2018, but work attire is always a hot topic due to our rapidly changing culture (both in and outside of the office), vague or absent employer guidelines and the fact that for the first time in history, there are five generations in the workplace and each has its own ideas when it comes to appropriate dress (among other issues that we can unpack in future columns this year). There trend toward more and more casual, workplace clothing still confuses more than half of employees. According to a 2017 PayScale survey, “49 percent of … respondents said their company has an explicit dress code policy. About 19 percent said that while there’s no explicit dress code at their place of work, there is strong pressure to look or dress a certain way. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they can look however they want at work, within reason [and] more than 42 percent of respondents reported their company encouraged a business casual appearance.” Adding to the bewilderment is the fact that even if an office culture is casual, employees are still going to be judged by managers and peers for their appearance. In the 1999 release “Emily Post’s the Etiquette Advantage in Business: Personal Skills for Professional Success,” Peggy Post and Peter Post write, “How you dress and accessorize speaks volumes about you. In the business world, your attire sends instant messages to others about your status, profession and professionalism, self-image and self-confidence.” This was true prior to the 1990s and still holds true. If you look around your office and everyone is wearing T-shirts, jeans and sneakers — or that’s what they are

in the biz marke ting

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About The secret to harnessing the power of word-of-mouth advertising lies in effective “talk triggers” By Julia Carcamo

2. Get Close to Your Customer. Find and marketing, but maybe none so powerful ways – through surveys and sampling, social (and free) as letting happy customers do the media conversation data, product, or service work for you. usage data – to get an understanding of how According to a 2018 study entitled “Chatter customers are experiencing your offerings. Matters,” 83% of Americans reported a personal recommendation from a friend 3. Create Candidate Talk Triggers. Search or family member would make them more through surveys or engage in social media to likely to purchase a product or service. That find the customer answers to the following. same percentage of respondents reported • When I buy or use this product/service, I having made recommendations to others, am… and 55% said they made product or service • What I don’t expect from this product is… recommendations monthly —if not more • What I’m talking about in my life right frequently. Unfortunately, fewer than 1% now is… of companies have an actual strategy for • What I think I want is… creating, maintaining and sustaining the • What I actually want is… right environment to generate these crucial conversations. 4. Test Your Ideas. As with all programs, Late last year, marketing guru Jay Baer you must test and measure. Try out a few asked me to review a galley version of his “candidate” talk triggers to ensure they will latest book Talk Triggers. This newest effort have the desired outcome. — co-written with Daniel Lemin — details cases of extraordinary marketing achieved 5. Turn It On. Once you have developed through strategic operational decisions that a winning idea and it has tested positively successfully compelled happy customers to for momentum, it’s time to put it on repeat. make recommendations. While many businesses experiment with 6. Amplify. With ongoing activation, you’re gimmicks and bonuses to get customers now ready to amplify your talk trigger. Look talking, Baer and Lemin stress that “talk for opportunities to share your trigger in triggers” must be essential elements of your your media outlets (but not as advertising brand experience — something that customers campaigns). Amplification is about others cannot help but share. Rather than fleeting telling your story. Encourage employees to gimmicks, talk triggers are strategic business share their stories with friends and family. choices. Like chocolate chip cookies at DoubleTree, Creating these conversations takes effort, strive to make your talk trigger an icon for but according to the authors, creating a talk your company. The tasty talk trigger has stood trigger is done through a precise process. First, the test of time, and customers continue to a talk trigger must hit four basic principles; share their stories. It must be: remarkable, relevant, realistic and repeatable. One last note: Be patient. Remember that For example, one casino I’ve worked with by its nature, word of mouth takes time to features an unremarkable soft-serve ice cream spread. n machine just outside of the buffet. Customers stop by and serve themselves a cone for a refreshing break at any time of the day or night. There are no signs limiting servings, just an ample supply of cones. The management team understood that little perk wasn’t going to break the bank, but it could put a smile on a customer or two, perhaps giving them something to talk about. I think you’ll agree this little effort hits all four requirements. There are many forms of advertising

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


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

Review competitive positioning, messaging, revenue, customer service issues and compliments, as well as the information you gather through employee stories.

1. Gather Insights.

illu st r at ion by Ton y H e al e y

Creating Talk Triggers in Six Steps

Perspectives hot topics in southeast Louisiana industries

banking + Finance Tips for securing startup funding

healthcare New Behavioral Health Unit at Children’s Hospital

law New Louisiana Private Works Act

perspectives banking + finance

Show Me the Money Have a great business idea you want to turn into a reality? Local banking professionals share 5 tips for securing startup funding. By Jessica Rosgaard

There’s a lot of work that goes into

starting your own business. It begins with a great idea, but how do you turn that idea into a reality? You’ll have to do a lot of research and planning — and you’re also probably going to need money. 1 . Ta k e a dva n tag e o f f r e e lo c a l resources. “Jefferson Parish Economic

Development Commission (JEDCO) has a great business startup kit, and they will help people for free with business plans, market research and mentorship,” said Holley Haag, Southshore Market President at First Bank and Trust. “Another resource is the Small Business Association (SBA): They offer loans and grants. Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) has 10 regional offices in the New Orleans area, and they offer free consulting, training and information resources for people. 2. Put together a strong business plan, then go beyond it. But a strong business plan

isn’t going to guarantee loan approval. Debbie Moran, a partner at Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, said banks may be hesitant to lend money to a startup. “Unless you have some kind of collateral, like an asset — a CD or a house — or you have somebody with assets I advise people co-signing for you, it’s going to be difficult.” to make Kevin Laborde is the president of Cash Flow assumptions Resources, a private commercial factoring company based in New Orleans. He said and be there’s other information you can provide, in conservative lieu of — or in addition to — collateral, that and realistic can help with your loan application. about revenues. “A traditional lender like a bank is going to want to see what you’ve been able to Holley Haag, accomplish in the past,” Laborde said. “Income southshore market statements for the last couple of years, a president at First balance sheet that shows your assets and Bank and Trust


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

liabilities, what do you own and what do you owe on it. If you had a $10,000 debt a year ago but it’s gone now, well, you’ve shown someone that you can pay off a debt. The easiest way to get somebody to buy into a loan request is show them how it will come back,” he said.

The way to demonstrate how the money gets paid back is through your business plan, which should include the location of your business, the product you’ll be selling, how much it will cost to produce that product, how you’re going to sell it and research showing that there is a market for your product.


According to Moran, you should also be able to answer the following questions: “Do I need, for example, $50,000? And if I get that money what am I going to do with it? Is that amount going to hire the first person? What do I anticipate my sales will be this month? Next month? Ten months from now? What are my expenses are going to be?” 3. Have detailed financial statements in hand.

A business plan should also include projected financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statements and projected cash flows. “Before you go to the bank, you should have thought out exactly what you think those [financial statements] are going to look like,” said Moran. “You need to have those in hand when you walk in the bank.” The more detailed your financial plan, the better. “Usually we like to see monthly projections for the first 12 months, then another three to five years after that on an annual basis with the assumption of fixed expenses, variable expenses and revenues,” said Haag. “I advise people to make assumptions and be conservative and realistic about revenues.” 4. Be realistic about both goals and expenses.

“I see lots of people come in who think they can accomplish X, and they’re probably fortunate if they can do half that,” Laborde said. “They want to convey such optimism about what they’re doing that they forget about realism. I think you need to strike that balance and remember what that lender needs to do on his end, which is get that loan repaid.” Laborde added that part of being realistic is understanding that sometimes reality gets in the way of a well-documented plan. “Maybe my annual projection is I’m going to do $500,000 in revenue, and it’s going to cost me $400,000, so I’m going to make $100,000. That’s great,” he said. “But you have to kind of play that out and think about what can go wrong. What might make you stumble, and if you did stumble, are you going to be able to recover from that?” 5. Maintain a relationship of trust. Once a loan is approved, the best way to maintain trust — and a solid relationship with a lender — is to continuously provide a bank with updated financial information, which may be required sometimes quarterly, but at least on an annual basis. Always make sure you can provide financial information on demand. “If I ask a company for a current income statement, and they tell me, ‘I have to go back and ask my accountant for that,’ well I know instantly they’re not using an accounting system to help manage their business,” said Laborde. “Even if the information isn’t always the best story to tell, you can at least show them what’s going on and what you’re trying to do about it.” n


Biz New Orleans

january 2020


perspectives he alt hc are

New Behavioral Health Unit at Children’s Hospital Opens This Month Hospital behavioral health practice administrator shares some of the best practices that went into this unique addition By Rich Collins

Children’s Hospital New Orleans — part

of the LCMC Health network — is in the midst of a $300 million capital improvement project that will bring new services to its Uptown campus. $25 million of that budget is devoted to the hospital’s new Behavioral Health Center, scheduled to open late this month. When completed, the center will be one of the largest free-standing pediatric facilities of its kind in the nation. The unit will have 51 inpatient beds available for children age 7 to 17 who need mental health services, such as treatment for severe depression, anxiety or mood disorders. Hospital leaders said they’ve made safety, quality and access the key principles of the new project. “The first priority is patient safety,” said Cameron Bisset, Children’s Hospital’s behavioral health practice administrator. “It’s a state-of-the-art building in which everything is designed to keep the kids safe. The layout of the floor provides better vision to see all of the patients. The appliances, doorknobs and windows are all anti-ligature, which basically means they can’t be used as a way to harm yourself.” Another priority of the project is increasing access, which is why the hospital is expanding its inpatient and outpatient capacity (adding 12 inpatient beds) to serve the behavioral health needs of children in the community. The goal of building the new unit, however, is to increase the overall quality of care.


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

We see hundreds of kids in some kind of mental health crisis come through the emergency room every month. Daniel Waldman, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital

“During our years in the field we have group therapy, interacting with peers and found evidence of what works,” said Daniel music therapy. Part of it is coming up with Waldman, a child and adolescent psychiatrist the treatment but you also need to be able to at Children’s Hospital. “The new building implement the plan and this space has been lends itself to those best practices. One is the designed for that.” interdisciplinary model of care, where we have Nationwide, and in New Orleans, there is social workers, recreational therapists and a growing need for this type of unit. music therapists all working with psychiatrists “We see hundreds of kids in some kind to come up with treatment plans for the kids. of mental health crisis come through the We have these spaces that are designed to emergency room every month,” said Waldman. facilitate that. And even though during a “It’s usually about them being an imminent hospital stay the parents aren’t sleeping there, danger to themselves or others — kids who we recognize that families need to be involved say they are thinking about hurting themselves. in the treatment process for best outcomes.” They’ll tell a friend through social media or Waldman said that if families aren’t involved they’ll confide in a social worker at school. in the recovery process, problems sometimes We’ll do a risk assessment and decide if they reoccur after the patient goes home. should be admitted. “It’s important for the parents to be aware of “We had more than 300 cases like that in what is going on from the kids’ perspective,” September,” he said. “On average, more than 2,000 come through the ER every year. On a he said. “There may be a lot of parent-child conflict that will be worked on in an outpatient national level, we’re seeing this crisis in ERs environment, but the more we work on during across the country where more and more kids the child’s stay in the unit, the better. To that are showing up in emergency rooms for mental end, we have rooms specifically set up for health care. There are many reasons why that’s family sessions that maintain privacy.” happening, including parents, social workers, Waldman said kids also benefit from school professionals, and peers who better “milieu treatment,” which involves forming understand how to recognize signs of crisis and communities of patients. how to seek immediate treatment. Also, the way kids access services in our city is changing. It’s “A lot of the good the kids get out of being there is not just what’s happening one-on-one constantly evolving. This is the primary way we’re with a psychiatrist, but also in supervised responding and our way to find solutions.” n

perspectives law

Legal Changes Hit Construction Industry The new Louisiana Private Works Act has a significant impact on liens. By Keith Loria

As of January 1, 2020, all parties

involved in private construction projects in the state must now comply with changes to the Louisiana Private Works Act (LPWA). Included in the changes are the expansion of the definitions of “owner” and “immovable,” changes in the filing requirements for general contractors and owners, and clarification of the circumstances under which subrogation (substituting one person or group for another when it comes to debt or an insurance claim) operates in favor of contractors and subcontractors. General contractors who fail to file a notice of contract on a project exceeding $100,000 will now also be deprived of any privilege under the new LPWA. The time period during which liens may be timely recorded has also changed and owners’ filings are now required to include property descriptions equivalent to that used in mortgages. “A critical change was to La. R.S. § 9:4822, which governs deadlines to record liens,” said Kelly E. Theard, a partner with Deutsch Kerrigan, L.L.P. “The change in terminology from ‘within’ to ‘no later than’ under this Louisiana provision makes clear that claimants are not property required to wait until the commencement of owners and developers the lien-filing period to file a lien.” Scott Barney, a partner with Chaffe McCall, will be excited said he also sees the changes involving filing to know that liens to be among the most notable. the changes to “Under the old laws, a claimant where a the Act make it Notice of Contract was filed but a Notice of easier to have Termination was not filed, arguably had an an expired lien unlimited amount of time to file his lien,” he removed. said. “Under the new laws, a claimant in those circumstances will have seven months if they Kelly E. Theard, a are a general contractor, or six months for partner with Deutsch everyone else. That’s a significant limitation.” Kerrigan, L.L.P.


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

Another significant change, according to Barney, is that general contractors can now provide a notice demanding that an owner record a Notice of Termination of completed or abandoned work. If the owner fails to comply, the general contractor can now get

a judicial decree recognizing the work as terminated or completed. In the event that no notice of termination of the contract is filed, there are now new outside deadlines for lien filing. This revision distinguishes the LPWA from its companion Public Works Statute,


which has been interpreted by some courts to render liens filed before the commencement of the lien-filing period as premature and invalid. Based on the lien deadline changes, Theard said a general contractor should always take advantage to request the Notice of Termination from the owner to limit the time period for potential liens by other claimants. “These requirements can be confusing and complicated,” she said, “so it is always best to consult an attorney as soon as possible to avoid any potential forfeiture of your lien right by failing to comply with the requirements of the new act.” For instance, said Elizabeth L. Gordon, a partner with Shields/Mott LLP, “Before the changes, a Notice of Contract was required for projects costing $25,000 or more and had to include a legal property description. If a general contractor did not file a Notice of Contract in accordance with the statute, he would lose his lien right, and the time period for a subcontractor to file a lien was extended.” In the new changes, a Notice of Contract must be filed for all projects $100,000 and up. In addition to the higher threshold, the Notice of Contract now only needs to provide a “complete property description” which is defined as “any description that, if contained in a mortgage of the immovable properly filed for registry, would be sufficient for the mortgage to be effective as to third persons.” A general contractor who fails to file a Notice of Contract when it is required will not be entitled to file a lien. “Louisiana property owners and developers will be excited to know that the changes to the Act make it easier to have an expired lien removed,” Theard said. “Now, under the new La R.S. 4833(E), if a lien is filed on an owner’s property and that lien expires, the owner can write a request to the recorder and have the lien released.” This change eliminates the need to have the lien claimant sign off on the expired lien, thus helping property owners clean up expired liens on their property. Theard said the current Louisiana lien deadlines apply if a project is completed prior to January 1, 2020. Meaning, if a Notice of Termination is filed before January 1, or if the project is substantially completed before January 1, 2020, the old deadlines apply. “To avoid any confusion, the act goes a step further,” she said. “Even if a project is completed prior to January 1, 2020 and a Notice of Termination is filed later, a general contractor’s lien can’t be filed later than July 31, 2020. The same applies for other lien claimants, but the date is shortened to June 30, 2020. If a project ends right around January 1, and you’re unsure of which lien deadlines apply, it’s a good idea to play it safe.” While there will likely be a period of adjustment, Barney said he feels the changes are long overdue. “Some of these changes are in response to the old way not working as intended,” he said. “As issues became apparent, the rewrite began to be in the works.” n 46

Biz New Orleans

january 2020

These requirements can be confusing and complicated, so it’s always best to consult an attorney as soon as possible to avoid any potential forfeiture of your lien right by failing to comply with the requirements of the new act. Kelly E. Theard, partner with Deutsch Kerrigan, L.L.P.


Business People of the Year Introducing T h e t r a n s f o r m at i v e t h i r t e e n of 2019


Biz New Orleans

january 2020


t’s a challenge to look back at an entire year of business in Southeast Louisiana and come up with a small group of standouts given the fact that, once again, this has been a year where almost all industries have seen tremendous growth. There are some, however, that have emerged as clear leaders in their fields. For our fourth-annual class of Biz New Orleans Business People of the Year, 13 is indeed a lucky number, but it’s much more than luck that has brought them this far. Within these pages we celebrate leaders that are safeguarding and growing our cherished institutions, like the 166-year-old New Orleans City Park and the annual Sugar Bowl — first played in 1935. We also honor home-grown companies that continue to reach beyond our borders and into the national scene, grabbing honors like “Top Architectural Firm in the Country” and “First New Orleans Tech Company to hit the $100 Million mark.” While the region as a whole continues to prosper, that prosperity has been a lot slower to reach some in our community. Thankfully, there are some that have made it their mission to help spread the wealth and opportunity to all, and we are proud that almost half our class this year are devoted to just that — expanding support for female entrepreneurs, continuing to strengthen the only historically black and Catholic university in the country, and reaching into neighborhoods like New Orleans East to bring new opportunity and growth. Finally, we honor the clear man of the hour, the person responsible for delivering the region the airport it deserves. One can’t help but feel proud to have such a welcome mat greeting visitors to our fine city and welcoming us all back home again. Here’s to this year’s “Transformative Thirteen,” and to a very prosperous and exciting 2020.

portraits by greg miles


Crystal Nugent owner your cbd store


rystal Nugent first entered the world of cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD) as a customer, when she began using the non-intoxicating, hempderived chemical to help manage her anxiety. Today, she’s the franchise owner of New Orleans’ leading CBD retailer and has become a local spokeswoman for a product with a fast-growing global market. In just the first year since Your CBD Store’s founder, Rachael Quinn, opened the company’s first location in Bradenton, Florida, in 2018, more than 300 Your CBD Stores opened. The company expects to reach 1,000 stores this year. Among the wave of original stores was the first CBD retailer in New Orleans, the one Nugent opened on Magazine Street in July 2018. She has since opened two more stores, one in Metairie and another on the West Bank. Each location has a clean, spa-like vibe and carries a range of CBD oils, tinctures and creams. Nugent said the stores are designed to be a welcoming space with employees who are well-versed in the product. “It’s not like your corner vape shop or your spa that happens to carry CBD but has no idea about it,” she said. “It’s very welcoming and very comfortable.” Unlike THC — the chemical in marijuana that creates the “high” — CBD is legal in most states, including Louisiana, and sales are booming. A recent report by BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research estimates the U.S. market could balloon to $20 billion by 2024. However, research on CBD is still limited, and the ingredient is mostly unregulated. The FDA has approved a version of CBD to treat only two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. Here in Louisiana, CBD retailers are navigating new rules signed into law over the summer, including a new permitting process for sellers and a ban on edible and drinkable versions of the ingredient. CBD sales to minors under age 18 were also outlawed. Nugent said her role has evolved from business owner to CBD advocate and educator for a client base she noted tends to be older individuals seeking alternatives to manage stress or inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Nugent said the new rules have meant that her stores can no longer sell CBD gummies and hard candies, but noted she is optimistic about the future of CBD, especially as more research is released. Hemp, the low-THC variety of the cannabis plant used to make cannabidiol, was legalized nationwide in 2018, a move that advocates expect to boost U.S.-based studies of CBD and other cannabinoids. In the meantime, Nugent said she is studying where Your CBD Store might grow next in the New Orleans area. “I think the biggest thing is really getting out into the community like I have been and advocating for it and talking about it every way I can,” she said. “That’s what I’m passionate about.” — By Jennifer Larino


Dr. Robert W. Becker CEO C i t y P a r k I m p r o v e m e n t A s s o c i a t i o n

ew Orleans City Park’s live oaks and lagoons have witnessed incredible change throughout the park’s 166-year history, but the park is about to close out one of its most challenging and successful eras as Dr. Robert W. Becker — CEO of City Park for almost 20 years — has announced he will retire upon the hiring of his successor, anticipated in the first quarter of 2020. Becker has served as CEO of the City Park Improvement Association, the entity that runs New Orleans City Park, since 2001. Under his leadership, the park created and began to implement a comprehensive master plan that included land use strategy, projects and programs. That master plan was adopted mere months before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The levee failure resulted in flooding during which the park lost more than 2,000 trees and Becker and his reduced staff worked from trailers for more than five years before they were able to move back into offices. Becker counts the recovery from Katrina as the most meaningful accomplishment during his tenure at the park. “It was total devastation…the master plan provided a blueprint for our recovery,” said Becker. “Using the plan and rallying volunteers, corporate donors, nonprofit organizations and state and local government, we worked together to get things back up and running.” The same year as Hurricane Katrina, the park received its first public operating funds from the state; it wasn’t until 2019 that New Orleanians voted for the first time to include City Park in the distribution of funding from city taxes. These two sources of public funding amount to almost $4 million out of the park’s $22 million operating budget. “City Park is the principal urban recreation resource in the entire state,” said Becker. “Most U.S. parks are funded 60 to 70% with public dollars. We were successful by telling that story so it resonated with state and local officials and citizens.” The board of the City Park Improvement Association has engaged a national search firm to find a new CEO, and Becker has offered to overlap with the person to help with onboarding. “He or she will be able to write their own story. They will be able to get the park to another level of success,” said Becker. Meanwhile, Becker said he plans to travel with his wife to visit their children and grandchildren and write a book. “I want to write a history of what we’ve been though in the park for the last 20 years,” he said. “There are a lot of really important lessons about what we learned here about being hit by a disaster. Other parks can benefit from what we learned.” ­— By Jennifer Gibson Schecter



ennifer and Erich Weishaupt founded the original Ruby Slipper Café in Mid-City in 2008, serving up comfort to a neighborhood still in the throes of post-Katrina recovery. The New Orleans-inspired breakfast/brunch concept proved popular enough to transform one location into a benedict-and-Bloody-Maryfueled empire. Currently, the Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group oversees nearly 650 employees in 11 locations of the Ruby Slipper Café across Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. The group has also opened three Ruby Sunshine restaurants, a sister concept, in Tennessee and Alabama, with four more scheduled to open by the end of May in Tennessee and North Carolina. In January, the group brought in its first CFO, Jennifer Beougher, to help shepherd Ruby Slipper’s expansion and add a more strategic perspective on finance, accounting and debt management. “Erich was our finance and accounting person for a long time,” said Jennifer Weishaupt. “He taught himself QuickBooks, and we’re both engineers, so our poor controller always had to undo whatever Erich was trying to do.” The group made news in January when Ruby Slipper Café locations offered free meals to federal employees affected by the government shutdown. The company served 7,000 meals to furloughed workers and received recognition from federal agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard and the FBI. “The restaurant was kind of born from the remnants of rebuilding after Katrina,” said Erich Weishaupt, “so that’s kind of our back story and where we came from. We’ve been there.” October presented a setback when the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel on Oct. 12 forced the Ruby Slipper location at 1005 Canal Street to close its doors until Nov. 30. “I don’t think many businesses would have that type of scenario in their emergency response or business continuity plans,” said Jennifer Weishaupt. “I know for sure that we did not.” Management worked to place employees in other Ruby Slipper locations during Canal Street’s closure, an investment the Weishaupts noted made reopening much smoother. The couple said they are grateful for the path their business has taken. “This was never our plan,” said Erich Weishaupt. “It just kind of organically grew – the right niche at the right time. We’re lucky to be where we’re at and be able to provide for so many people.” —By Rebecca Friedman


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

erich & jennifer Weishaupt founders the ruby slipper café


sk Quentin Messer what drives his team at the New Orleans Business Alliance and he’ll counter with another question: How can we make sure the economy works better for all New Orleanians? In 2019, NOLABA tackled the question from multiple angles, kickstarting a Workforce Leadership Academy with the Aspen Institute and inviting urban experts from across the world to study the city’s toughest problems. The group teamed with NASA to promote small business opportunities, developed online tools to make it easier for local firms to cull U.S. Census data, and launched InvestNOLA, a business accelerator designed for entrepreneurs of color. “We have to be very good at convincing people to continue to invest in New Orleans,” Messer said, “whether that’s the CEO of a company or a local resident considering dedicating five weeks to a job training program.” NOLABA now has a three-person team dedicated to economic development at the neighborhood level, which is currently ranging from a billboard campaign touting businesses doing work in New Orleans East to collaborating with local leaders on leveraging federal Opportunity Zones. The organization continues to work closely with Goodwill Industries and the Urban League of Louisiana to provide job training to residents through the STRIVE program supported by funding from AT&T. Messer also highlighted recent tech wins. This past November, three locally grown biotech firms — AxoSim, Cadex Genomics and Obtala Sciences — announced expansion plans, adding a total of 135 new jobs. U.K.-based Testronic also announced plans for a game testing facility in New Orleans, employing 150 people. That followed expansion news earlier in the year from Technology Associates, a marine engineering firm; global software developer Accruent; legal tech platform Litify and Dreamleague Gaming, which hosts eSports events. To be sure, New Orleans faces challenges. Big projects like redeveloping the former Six Flags site or negotiating to keep the National Finance Center, damaged in a 2017 tornado, in New Orleans East will take time, Messer said. In Messer’s view, growing income disparity is one of the biggest hurdles the city faces. To that end, he said NOLABA is focused on boosting job and skills training across ages, neighborhoods and educational attainment. “We really are looking into 2020 to develop a complete talent plan that goes from pre-K throughout one’s lifetime,” Messer said. “Ultimately our aspiration is to see New Orleans be a city of lifelong learners.” — By Jennifer Larino

Quentin Messer p r e s i d e n t a n d CEO new orleans business alliance


or New Orleans native Jesseca “Judy” Dupart, 2019 caps off a halfdecade of staggering growth. Since the former stylist founded her Kaleidoscope hair product line in 2013, the brand has achieved more than $20 million in sales. Kaleidoscope products, including the Miracle Drops hair and scalp oil that launched the line, are now available in major retailers including Target and more than 2,000 Sally Beauty Supply stores, with plans for more retailers, and product lines, in the works. It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Dupart, however. Her first salon, located in a shopping plaza in New Orleans East, burned down in 2013. She recovered, and her subsequent success has enabled Dupart to give back to the spot that housed her earliest venture. Dupart’s company now owns the 70,000 square feet of retail space in the 5900 block of Bullard Avenue called Miracle Plaza. “You know how they say if they close the door, you go back and buy the building?” asked Dupart. “To buy the building where my business was – besides the bragging rights of it – is inspirational for people to see. It tells the story: if I could do it, anybody can, because I started there.” This past July, Dupart attended the plaza’s ribbon-cutting ceremony during SneauxBall Fest ’19, which she hosted in Miracle Plaza accompanied by local political dignitaries. She said her investment reflects her ties to New Orleans East — an “overlooked” neighborhood that, until recently, Dupart called home. In addition to Miracle Plaza, Dupart has been active in philanthropic efforts across the city, creating the Kaleidoscope Fitness Center for trainees in the NOPD Education and Police Academy, partnering with the NOPD to provide more than 600 bicycles to children in need, and sponsoring the Carver Theater’s Summer Camp for children. These and other efforts helped earn Dupart an honorary key to the city of New Orleans in May 2019. Dupart said she hopes to inspire others, including her 1.2 million Instagram followers, to achieve their own goals. She said she often shares the following advice with aspiring entrepreneurs: “Never give up. Go with your craziest idea – that’s usually the best one — and don’t tell people what you’re doing, show them. Let the action speak for itself.” —By Rebecca Friedman

Jesseca “Judy” Dupart f o u n d e r a n d CEO Kaleidoscope Hair Products Owner Miracle Plaza


elizabeth broekman & tammy o’Shea AVP Director P.O.W.E.R. (Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized) Chief Marketing Officer Fidelity Bank

t started with a gut feeling back in 2015. Tammy O’Shea, chief marketing officer at Fidelity Bank, knew Southeast Louisiana was home to a growing number of womenled businesses and she sensed those women needed a forum to connect and talk shop. She said one of her first calls was to Elizabeth Broekman, a former colleague whom O’Shea described as having “more energy than anyone I’ve ever met in my life.” Together, O’Shea and Broekman built the Fidelity Bank P.O.W.E.R. (Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized) program in 2017. Since that time, P.O.W.E.R. has grown from 150 to 700 members in the New Orleans area. The program hosts networking and educational workshops for entrepreneurial women in the New Orleans area and produces digital content, including a podcast, to highlight members. O’Shea said women in business face the same challenges as men in business but tend to go about finding solutions in a little bit of a different way. “One of the things women really enjoy is being collaborative,” she said. “They’re more likely to share with each other the problems they’re encountering with business.” Fidelity’s P.O.W.E.R. program was inspired by a model developed by a bank in Richmond, Virginia. Fidelity owns the trademark for the program in Southeast Louisiana. Members must have an account with Fidelity, and the program comes with custom financial products, including small loans and a checking account with an exclusive purple-colored debit card. The program also includes P.O.W.E.R. Join-Up meetings, which bring together small groups of members multiple times a year to talk about business obstacles and goals. The groups celebrate victories and swap advice for tackling common challenges — from raising capital to raising children. “It’s really magic,” Broekman said. “The light bulbs go on and women are like, ‘This is how I can help you.’” This summer, P.O.W.E.R. partnered with the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation to help drive business to local women-owned bars and restaurants. The program has also launched a blog that will feature insight from local women in business. Broekman said she wants to add a youth advisory board in 2020 to gather insight from young women in the community. O’Shea and Broekman expect up to 800 attendees at the second-annual P.O.W.E.R. Up Conference, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans in March 2020. O’Shea said the program’s success is rooted in a dual purpose: Do good and creatively serve a historically underserved market. “It’s just smart business,” she said. ­— By Jennifer Larino



ith more than half of its students majoring in natural or health sciences, Xavier University of Louisiana is known for graduating leading scientists, pharmacists and doctors. Not surprisingly, the university’s president began his career as a biochemist and immunologist. Dr. Reynold Verret has served as Xavier’s president since 2015, when he became the second layperson to lead the university in its 80-year history. Xavier is the only historically black and Catholic university (HBCU) in the United States, and as such, finds a balance to this day with the involvement of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. When Verret began his tenure at Xavier, he tackled a surprising challenge first. “In light of what Xavier has accomplished and continues to accomplish, it was surprising that Xavier was little known, even within the larger African-American community,” said Verret. “We have made great strides in enhancing the reputation of the university, such that its good work is known.” Xavier’s programs attract a growing student body of 3,300 students, of which approximately 71% are black and 19% Catholic. Nearly half the student body hails from the New Orleans area, but non-local enrollment is trending upward. The current student body includes representatives from at least 15 foreign countries. Verret attributes the university’s success to the recruitment of a talented leadership team, specifically, the chief academic officer, Dr. Melissa Baumann, who led faculty in reimagining curricula and programmatic offerings, and the marketing and communications department, tasked with promoting the Xavier story to attract new students, faculty and other stakeholders. He describes his own leadership style as, “trusting in very capable colleagues in the leadership team, reducing silos and insisting on collaboration.” That interdisciplinary collaboration will help Xavier this year as it prepares for its decennial reaffirmation of accreditation. Additional projects slated for 2020 include the modernization of its residential facilities and the launch of multiple new programs and partnerships. For Verret, Xavier’s work will never be done, noting, “An openness to change and capacity to question why and what we do is an important element of our success.” — By Jennifer Gibson Schecter


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

Dr. Reynold Verret President Xavier University of Louisiana


Jeff Hundley

n a given year, the Allstate Sugar Bowl generates an annual economic impact of nearly $250 million. But in years like 2020, when the organization hosts the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, those figures more than double to top half a billion dollars. Organizers created the Sugar Bowl — first played on Jan. 1, 1935, pitting two of the nation’s top collegiate football teams against each other in postseason play — to draw tourists (and their cash) to the Crescent City during the lean winter months. Eighty-five years after its inaugural contest, Jeff Hundley, who in July became just the seventh CEO of the Sugar Bowl, said his organization is more than fulfilling its mission as it presents one of the premier bowl games in the nation. “The founding fathers, back in the 1930s — I don’t know that they envisioned anything like the numbers we’re seeing today,” Hundley said. “We’d like to think that we’re doing a good job in keeping with their original plan to create events that would help the city economically.” With a focus on amateur sports tourism, the Sugar Bowl sponsors almost 60 events throughout the year, including the annual football game – which creates between $175 million and $200 million in spending each year — the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s state championships, AAU basketball tournaments, sailing regattas and the Crescent City Classic. In addition to visitors flocking to area hotels, restaurants and local attractions, the city and state receive upward of $25 million in direct taxes as a result of the Sugar Bowl’s efforts according to Hundley. This month, the annual Sugar Bowl game, which features the best available teams from the Southeastern and Big XII conferences, will be played on January 1. The CFP National Championship, which has an economic impact of nearly $300 million, will follow on the 13th. In addition to the monetary figures the bowl has been able to quantify, media coverage of the Sugar Bowl and National Championship Game provide added value for the city and state. There will be three weeks of multimedia promotion of the city as a tourism destination from the time bowl season kicks off after Christmas through the first fortnight of the year. ­—By Chris Price

CEO A l l s t a t e S u g a r B o w l



t wasn’t very long ago that the idea of the tech industry having a firm footprint in New Orleans seemed almost ridiculous. When Patrick Comer, CEO and founder of market research platform Lucid LLC, moved to New Orleans in 2008, he decided to change that. “I started Lucid back in 2010, partly due to the lack of tech companies in the city,” said Comer. “Shortly after moving here, I realized there were few roles available to me and that I had to create that job for myself, and the opportunities for others, too, as well. It has been incredible to see the number of tech startups rise over the years, from Align to SampleChain. It’s a good sign that there is the desire and support in the city for the tech and entrepreneurial space to expand.” That expansion is being realized at Lucid. Last year, the company reached $100 million in gross merchandise volume (GMV), a major indicator of success. “This was a monumental moment for the company,” said Comer. “It signifies a milestone and marker of success for those at Lucid to be proud of, as well as a desire to look toward the next goal – $ 1 billion.” Comer said hitting this milestone wasn’t just a win for Lucid, it was a win for the city of New Orleans. “A few years back, I came to the realization that in order for New Orleans to be seen as a tech city, we needed five $100 million tech companies. I promised that Lucid would be one of those five. My hope is that by Lucid reaching $100 million, it shows that it is possible and that we as a community are moving closer to the goal of becoming a recognized tech hub.” The industry is watching. Last October, online magazine OZY named New Orleans one of “Three Rising Tech Hubs that May Surprise You.” Comer said Lucid will continue to be a key player in New Orleans’ success. “2020 will be about continued scale and operational efficiency,” he said. “As we cross 500 global employees, we see focus becoming even more important. Look for Lucid to continue to hire those experienced in technology and scaling fast-growing organizations.”— By Jennifer Gibson Schecter


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

Patrick Comer CEO a n d F o u n d e r L u c i d LLC


Victor F. “Trey” Trahan, III, FAIA Founder and CEO Trahan Architects

here are some industry awards that mean so much, receiving one is almost a pipedream. In architecture, topping the Architect Magazine Architect 50 list is one of those honors. Locally headquartered global architecture firm Trahan Architects brought home that honor for 2019. “It’s something I never thought was possible,” said Trahan Architects Founder and CEO Victor F. “Trey” Trahan III. “I am excited about the opportunities that may come out of that ranking, but I also feel the responsibility I have to the colleagues in the firm, both present and past, who have put in significant time and energy, and who have cared deeply about what we do as architects and our role in creating a healthier existence.” With projects on four continents, Trahan’s firm has experienced exponential growth. He attributes that success to a set of core values. “I think it’s about a commitment to quality,” said Trahan, “and realizing that business is about relationships of respect and caring about things that are both directly related to architecture, and those things that are much broader, such as ecology, basic human needs and a responsibility to both present and future.” The scope of work at Trahan Architects is broad. The firm has offices in New Orleans, Chicago and New York. Trahan says he is placing increased importance on diversity, particularly in hiring women. “We’ve diversified the office,” said Trahan. “We’ve increased the diversity and the empowerment of women, and we’ve arrived at a place where things that were once complex problems are solved much more efficiently.” Trahan Architects has also been chosen as the architectural force behind the $450 million renovation of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Last November, phase one plans were approved by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, commonly known as the Superdome Commission, and work will begin this month. Trahan hopes visitors to the renovated Superdome feel the space is consistent with the past. “I think it’s important that we are reverential and respectful,” said Trahan. “This is an intervention of a masterpiece that was conceived over 40 years ago and our ego should be muted in expressions that are as timeless as the original design.” ­— By Jennifer Gibson Schecter



of the


Kevin Dolliole Di r e c t o r o f A v i a t i o n L o u i s A r m s t r o n g n e w o r l e a n s i n t e r n at i o n a l a i r p o r t


Biz New Orleans

january 2020


move of this magnitude can be compared to picking up a small city and moving it to a different location.” This is how Kevin Dolliole, the director of aviation at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, explained the scope of the work involved in the construction of the new North Terminal in a letter to community partners he sent out this past November 14 — just over a week after the airport opened its doors following over four years of construction. Since joining the airport on June 26, 2017, Dolliole’s over 40 years of experience in the aviation industry has been put to the test. Dolliole oversees a management board of seven and over 200 airport employees, but if you add in airline employees, parking, concessions, ground transportation, police, etc., that number balloons to over 4,000 people serving approximately 40,000 travelers every single day. Added to the challenge of moving this “small city” is the fact that projects of this nature, especially one in which an airport is not just renovated on an existing site but moved to a different location, are very few and far between. “It’s not like I could just call up a colleague and ask how they did something,” he said. With so many moving parts, there were bound to be issues, and they included problems with sewer lines before the opening and long security and baggage problems in those first opening days. “That second day was a tough day,” he said. “There was no way we could have simulated the stress that tens of thousands of moving bags could create on our new system, but we identified and corrected the problem and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how we got through the Thanksgiving holidays, which include the two heaviest travel days of the year. With the new airport up and running, Dolliole said his attention is now turning to the creation of a new master plan, a project he anticipates will take between 18-24 months but will plan for MSY’s next 20 years.

His management style: “It’s participatory; I see myself as being more a leader than a boss. I hire good people and we set goals and expectations and then allow people to make choices. You have to be willing to listen and willing to take some hits, but I believe in the talent we’ve brought onboard.”

How he handles problems: “Upfront and head on. I don’t let issues linger and I don’t sugar coat them. It’s always better to confront things on the front end so something doesn’t become a problem rather than a challenge.”

How he decompresses: “I work out four nights a week. Nights work best for me and it gives me the boost to get back on my laptop at night. I also try to golf every weekend. Those four hours with a close group of guys can be therapeutic — if I’m not stinking up the course too bad.”

His tip for travelers: “I don’t know if everyone knows, but we’ve introduced economy parking in the old longterm parking garage where you can pull up to the curb, check in and check your bags and then jump on a shuttle free of baggage — all at no charge.”


From The Lens Southeast louisiana business in full color

workspaces Morris Adjmi Architects

why didn’t i think of that Drink


nonprofit Kingsley House

on the job High Level Speech &

Hearing Center

from the lens gre at workspaces

The Lower Garden District offices of Morris Adjmi Archtects are located in a 3,000-square-foot loft comprised of four spaces. High ceilings, large windows and an open floor plan define the space, designed for growth, flexibility and collaboration. The design team took a restrained approach to showcase the history and architecture of the building.

at a glance

In Transition Morris Adjmi Architects’ Lower Garden District offices are designed for flexibility and change By Melanie Warner Spencer photos by sara essex bradley


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

When Morris Adjmi Architects opened

its New Orleans offices in August 2018, the staff were aware the pool house where they were working would be a temporary space. Originally from New Orleans, Adjmi had been based in New York City for more than 20 years, but on the heels of finishing The Standard — the South Market condominium project in the Central Business District — he made the move back to his home town. The award-winning firm has clients all over the country, with the New Orleans team


1033 Jackson Ave. Suite 201 Date of Opening

July 2019 Size

3,000 square feet Number of Employees

10 Person in Charge

Ian Mills, Director of New Orleans Office

currently working on projects in Tampa, Miami, Nashville, Memphis, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Palo Alto. “We always collaborate with highly skilled and knowledgeable local partners so we get to familiarize ourselves with different markets around the country,” said New Orleans office director Ian Mills. “This arrangement also allows us to focus on design. We’re equally interested in the work we’re doing in New Orleans where we see an opportunity to combine a historically sensitive and contextual approach with the added knowledge of our lessons learned from around the country.” The team has been in a state of transition, due to the initial move from New York to New Orleans and then from a pool house to the loft where they now work. The pool house was a 630-square-foot space renovated to accommodate the staff until the new space was leased in July of 2019. “The actual move from New York City to New Orleans was a bit hectic as the initial renovation of the pool house was behind schedule, so I had to oversee that while working out of another space and managing my ongoing projects,” said Mills. “We renovated [the pool house] with the intention that it would eventually be converted back to residential use.” Mills said he, Adjmi and the company’s lead interior designer, Lucy Garner worked out the plan for the pool house and he oversaw the construction, with Garner then directing the conversion back to residential use. The three also later renovated the loft space to fit the local team’s needs. “We tried to have a light touch and keep most of the space open and partition free,” says Mills. “Like most New Orleans spaces, the ceilings are high and the windows are large so there was great interior light from the beginning. We have the major elements in place and we’re continuing to refine and fit out the space.” For the loft, Mills says they also needed to create spaces for both 20-person meetings and two-person team discussions. The pool house connects to an outdoor space with a pool and large courtyard, with what Mills describes as having a secret garden feel to it, which they wanted to recreate in some way in the new space. “We want our staff and clients alike to feel comfortable working, eating, and meeting in the space,” he says. “It was imperative to be able to have a connection to the exterior as we did in the pool house. The balconies on Jackson and Magazine [streets] provide

“We’re equally interested in the work we’re doing in New Orleans, where we see an opportunity to combine a historically sensitive and contextual approach with the added knowledge of our lessons learned around the country,” says Ian Mills, director of the New Orleans office.

this and we’re in the process of furnishing and planting them now.” Mills said flexibility was the biggest challenge for the design but it was also the most essential aspect in both spaces to allow the firm to accommodate collaboration, transition and growth, adding that it was important to showcase the proportions of the rooms and the windows. “The traces of the history of the building were something we wanted to showcase as it’s something that relates directly to our work,” he said. “We tried not to be too precious with the renovation but also make sure it all works well. We hope everyone that comes into the space feels comfortable visiting, discussing, working and collaborating.” n

The design team was also charged with creating spaces for both 20-person meetings and two-person team discussions. “We work hard to create an environment where all staff members can perform at their best,” says Mills


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

Creative Concoctions New café Drink Beauty brings a bit of Wonderland to Magazine Street By Ashley McLellan photos by sara essex bradley

Drink Beauty made it’s debut on Magazine Street in August and had quickly become a success with customers looking for a café experience unlike any other, according to owners Melissa Coleman and CeCe Colhoun.

Boasting a menu of restorative and

rejuvenating drinks and beauty products, Drink Beauty, located at 3424 Magazine Street, is the kind of café (and more) that Alice in Wonderland might appreciate: a dreamy, pretty space where there’s more than meets the eye in every cup served. New Orleans-born founders Melissa Coleman and CeCe Colhoun transitioned from the business of fashion and retail to that of beauty and nourishment when Drink Beauty launched in August 2019. Their inspiration came from the popular cafes that have taken big cities like Los Angeles and New York by storm. Colhoun said that the goal was to follow the lead of “coffee shops on the coasts that have Instagrammable cafes with beautiful and healthy drinks — along with basic coffee drinks — but also add a little something extra.” Menu items include café standards such as cold brew coffee, lattes and cappuccinos, along with dreamy concoctions sometimes accented with CBD for an extra dose of botanical enrichment. Drinks are designed to “transform the soul while feeding the body.” Colhoun said Drink Beauty’s line of specialty lattes is a consistent bestseller. “The specialty lattes [are very popular], which include the ‘Drink Beauty,’ ‘The Purple Rain,’ the ‘Daydream’ and the ‘Golden Girl Chai,’” said Colhoun, “but our Mollwellens CBD-infused latte ‘The Inner Peace’ — which is a matcha drink — and the ‘Lit From Within’ —which is espresso-based — are our top sellers.” Drink Beauty’s concoctions don’t just rely on caffeine to provide a boost. Servers adorn drinks with colorful foam drawings and sayings like “You Look Good,” “Fall In Love” and “Babe.” Drinks range in price from $2.50 for a cup of coffee to $8 for a specialty latte.


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

Melissa Coleman

Did You Know? “A National Restaurant Association survey found that 3 in 4 chefs named CBD- and cannabisinfused food as a hot trend in 2019.” According to a CNBC April 2019 report.

“I think we are trying to create an experience,” said Coleman. “We definitely are the coffee shop that you can run into each morning and grab your daily coffee to go, but we also strive to provide a space where people can gather and stay awhile.” Drink Beauty also offers a unique line of edible CBD products that promise to bring wellness for those with anxiety issues, sleeplessness, stress and more. The addition of CBD to offerings is definitely on trend. According to a March 2019 report, U.S. sales of CBD, or cannabidiol — a natural, non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant — is projected to reach $16 billion by 2025. “This number is a marked jump from the estimated retail sales of CBD consumer products in 2018 that ranged between $600 million and $2 billion,” the report noted. “I do think CBD is a growing trend, and it’s important to us that we educate our customer on the fact that while there are many different CBD companies out there, many [products] aren’t tested for purity or consistency,” said Coleman. “The company we work with is one of the very few in the marketplace that is pesticide free and lab tested. That’s very important to us.” New menu items and merchandise on are the way, with the duo looking to expand customers’ experiences. “We are constantly tweaking our menu and adding new seasonal items,” said Coleman. “We’ve branched a lot into food, such as salads and avocado toast, so people can come for coffee and stay for lunch. We’re really excited about that.” Drink Beauty relies heavily on social media, specifically Instagram, to convey the company’s vision and brand. “Our target customer is anyone who wants a great experience and a great photo op,” Colhoun said. “Beyond award-winning coffee beans, we thrive on our specialty lattes and the smiles on our customers’ faces when they come have drinks with us.” In addition to the café’s menu of drink and food, retail items that will appeal to fashionistas, gift for girlfriends or inexpensive splurge for yourself are available, many featuring the store’s iconic lipstick print. Items range from a $12 tote bag to sparkly candles at $38 and apparel, such as sweatshirts (around $70) and tees ($15). All items are available for order online and can be picked up in store (exclusively for café drinks and food items), or shipped for convenience. n

We definitely are the coffee shop that you can run into each morning and grab your daily coffee to go, but we also strive to provide a space where people can gather and stay awhile. Melissa Coleman, Drink Beauty Co-founder


From The Lens making a match: businesses and nonprofits

What Lifts One, Lifts Us All For almost 125 years, New Orleanians of all ages have been touched by Kingsley House’s wide array of programming.


Educate children, strengthen families and build community Location

Main Campus — 1600 Constance St. (504) 523-6221 Annual Budget

By Pamela Marquis photos by cheryl gerber

New Orleans’ first playground, first

after-school program, first integrated pool, first kindergarten — Kingsley House is responsible for them all. Founded in 1896 as part of Trinity Episcopal Church’s effort to address the many problems inherent in multigenerational poverty, early successes for Kingsley House also included passing child labor laws, helping to eradicate yellow fever and helping many of New Orleans’ early immigrants overcome language, cultural, social and family displacement barriers as they settled into the city. Throughout its history, Kingsley House has served as a recreational, educational and social center for thousands upon thousands of youth in the surrounding area. “In particular, we served the residents of the adjacent St. Thomas housing development, which was built in the 1940s,” said Keith Liederman, the organization’s CEO. “In fact, the New Orleans Recreation Department got its start here.” Since its beginning, more than 500,000 people have received services through Kingsley House. Annually, 7,000 infants, children, youth, parents, senior citizens, veterans and medically fragile adults in the Greater New Orleans area benefit from the organization’s comprehensive array of nationally accredited and state certified programs, including: Early Childhood Education For more than 100 years, Kingsley House has been at the forefront of early education and quality childcare in Louisiana. It currently provides services to 150 infants/toddlers and their families through the Early Head Start — Child


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january 2020

$14.5 million Ongoing Partnerships

Include The United Way, Agenda for Children, Council For a Better Louisiana, Louisiana Covering Kids Initiative, Louisiana Department of Social Services, New Orleans Council on Aging and The City of New Orleans Office of Criminal Justice Fundraising Events April 21, 2020

Annual Friendraising Luncheon There is no fee to attend, but a donation is encouraged. This event is the best opportunity to learn about Kingsley House and its far-reaching community impact. Every November

Benefit Under the Stars A private dinner that last year featured a four-course meal prepared by celebrity chefs Nina Compton, Donald Link, Maggie Scales, Susan Spicer and Stephen Stryjewski.

by the numbers Most recently, we helped the preschool kids decorate ornaments to display at Audubon Zoo Lights. We had holiday music playing, every color paint imaginable, and huge smiles from the kids, staff and IBERIABANK volunteers. Megan Eustis, Community Relations for IBERIABANK.

Success of Services in the Past Year


infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families provided access to high quality early learning services and supports.


of infants achieve essential developmental milestones in gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, language, self-help and social and emotional skills


of all enrolled children have health insurance


vulnerable senior citizens, veterans, and medically fragile adults found yearround day care


Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) program which partners with local childcare providers. (Top, left) Kingsley House CEO Keith Liederman. (Bottom, left) Kingsley House boasts the largest adult day care center in the state. (Above) The organization currently provides early childhood services to 150 infants/toddlers and their families through the Early Head Start — Child Care Partnership program.

On the other end of the spectrum, older adults are welcomed at the state’s largest Adult Day Care and at the organization’s senior center. Participants can take advantage of nursing services, health monitoring, social services, case management and personalized nutritional consultations in a setting that is supportive and inviting.

Adult Day Care

Community and Supportive Services Program Kingsley House’s Community and

Supportive Services Program (CSSP) offers comprehensive community-based services in New Orleans. CSSP works with individuals and families of the newly-developed Columbia Parc at the Bayou District and Heritage Senior Residences (formerly the St. Bernard Public Housing Development) to offer classes in topics including employment assistance, budgeting, GED preparation and housing assistance.

P r o g r a m m i n g t h at C h a n g e s Li v e s

“Kingsley’s Adult Day Care staff treated my dad like their own family,” said Marques Celestine, Jr. “The staff even let him help them and assigned him certain tasks to make him feel useful and engaged as a team member. For a man who worked and felt needed his entire life, this was a crucial component to his success at Kingsley. Kingsley gave my dad a reason to get up every morning.” Some Ways Businesses Can Help

• Rent Kingsley House for meetings or parties — All proceeds from rentals go toward supporting the organization’s mission and a portion of the rental fee is even tax deductible. • Volunteer to do landscaping or minor renovation projects • Share and teach skills and knowledge • Support the Career Pathways program or create an Adult Day Care sponsorship • Offer a matching gift program by matching their employee’s charitable contributions. n

of Adult Day Care participants avoided unnecessary transition into a nursing home and were able to remain in their own homes or with family


of participants engaged in peer activities to reduce isolation and build social and emotional capital


single femaleheaded families received emergency financial assistance and ongoing support, preventing homelessness and future crises


children and youth, provided with fullday summer camp including indoor/ outdoor sports, recreation and academic enrichment


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.


Biz New Orleans

january 2020


From The Lens on the job

Protecting Valuable Instruments High Level Speech and Hearing’s dedicated Musician’s Clinic provides custom-made solutions to help artists safeguard their voice and hearing. photo by cheryl gerber


Biz New Orleans

january 2020

In addition to working with school kids and

adults of all ages through two locations in Harahan and New Orleans, High Level Speech and Hearing — founded by Dr. Lana Joseph-Ford in 2016 — has found another niche for its work. Seen here, Dr. Joseph-Ford creates an ear impression on R&B singer Denisia to fit her with custom in-ear monitors that will reduce background noise and stage volume. For more information, visit n