Page 1




















November VOLUME 08 ISSUE 02






INSURANCE.................... 26

Who are the best candidates for discussing long term care planning and what are important questions to ask when considering your options?


IN THE BIZ DINING............................. 16

Approaching 40 years in business, Tony Mandina’s story reaches across oceans and generations.

The Port of New Orleans celebrates its 125th anniversary while in recovery

GREAT WORKSPACES . . ........................................................... 56

The husband-and-wife team at The Inn at the Old Jail offer a place for travelers to hit the pause button.

WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?........................................ 60

Since opening up shop on Magazine Street in 2019, handmade corset purveyor Autumn Adamme has relied on flexibility to stay strong.

TOURISM......................... 18

How do we bring tourism into the future by reckoning honestly with the past?

SPORTS .......................... 20

Benson’s succession plan to give billions toward New Orleans’ future

ON THE JOB............................................................................... 64

36 BANKING+FINANCE. . ... 32

Top financial planning tips for 2022

GUEST. . ............................. 34

ENTREPRENEUR........... 22

Nobody likes paperwork, but there are ways to make it manageable.

Here’s the No. 1 reason good employees leave, and what you can do about it.


It’s A Family Affair

Growing On The River

Ninety percent of businesses in the U.S. are family affairs. They also face unique challenges, which is where Tulane’s Family Business Center can offer invaluable support.

Devastated by Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, St. Bernard Parish has since rebounded to become the fastest growing parish in Louisiana.

The result of the combination of two family-owned businesses, Marquette Transportation Company is one of the nation’s largest providers of marine transportation services.

ON THE COVER Rosalind Butler, director of the Tulane Family Business Center photo by Craig Mulcahy




Who Ya Gonna Call? Publisher Todd Matherne DECADES-OLD LOCAL FAMILY BUSINESSES have been saving my

butt lately. Having just moved into a new house (the day before Ida hit actually; our timing is impeccable) and with a new baby scheduled to appear sometime this month, it feels like we’ve been doing nothing but making purchases for months now. But while we’ve certainly spent a fair amount on Amazon, we’ve run into a few challenges that it turns out could only be solved by looking local. (Note: I don’t usually give a personal shoutout to specific businesses in my ed note, but since this is our family business issue, I can’t help myself this time.) The first issue that needed solving was our side door. It’s ugly and old and in bad shape. We knew that when we bought our 1913 house. Simple fix though, right? Just get a new door at Lowe’s. Nope! Turns out it’s a weird size that was common 100 years ago, but not so much now. Faced with spending thousands on a custom door, I pinned all my hopes on a 49-year-old family business just off Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard called The Bank Architectural Antiques. Within a half hour, I was guided through 48,000 square feet of architectural salvage to a door that they could fix up to fit my needs perfectly, and for just a few hundred dollars! And hey! Would I like a window in that door? No problem. They would just send it over to another family-owned business down the street, Haro Glass and Mirror Works — a custom glass and mirror shop operating since 1954 — who could create whatever I wanted. Jackpot! That problem solved, we went looking for a chair for the new family member — one that would do it all: glide, recline and swivel. I’m a picky furniture buyer, so there was no way I was buying a chair without sitting in it, which meant online options were out. Unfortunately, however, with all the supply chain issues right now, after a full weekend of furniture shopping it seemed finding our dream chair in stock was not in the cards. Great, a parenting fail already. In a last-ditch effort, we made our first trip to Hurwitz Mintz Furniture. A family-owned business for 98 years that promotes itself as the “South’s largest furniture store,” the Airline Highway store’s 125,000 square feet did not disappoint. Four days later, a chair that ticked all our boxes was sitting in the living room. Our experiences with all three of these businesses was marked by amazing customer service, but more than that, it felt good to spend our money with them, to be supporting the continuation of a dream that, in these three cases, started way before we were born and is still going strong, and all right in our own backyard. According to our cover story Q&A with Rosalind Butler, director of Tulane University’s Family Business Center, family businesses are in a good position in today’s challenging economy due in part to their tendency to be able to pivot quicker and the fact they’re less likely to take on debt, and less likely to have layoffs. As someone who has become an even bigger fan of local family businesses as of late, I’m happy to hear it. Long live our family businesses! Happy Reading,

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Kimberley Singletary Art Director Sarah George Digital Media Editor Kelly Massicot Associate News Editor Rich Collins Contributors Ashley McLellan, Chris Price, Jennifer Gibson Schecter, James Sebastien, Melanie Warner Spencer, Poppy Tooker, Keith Twitchell, Rohan Walkevar, M.D. ADVERTISING Sales Manager Caitlin Sistrunk (504) 830-7252 Senior Account Executive Brennan Manale (504) 830-7298 Senior Account Executive Jessica Jaycox (504) 830-7255 RENAISSANCE PUBLISHING MARKETING Coordinator Abbie Dugruise PRODUCTION Designers Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney CIRCULATION Subscriptions Jessica Armand Distribution John Holzer ADMINISTRATION Office Manager Mallary Wolfe Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne For subscriptions, call (504) 830-7231

2021 Gold Magazine Design Gold Best Explanatory Journalism Gold Feature Design Silver Best Feature Bronze Best Use of Multimedia 2020 Silver Best Recurring Feature 2019 Gold Best Recurring Feature Gold Best Explanatory Journalism 2018 Gold Most Improved Publication Silver Best Recurring Feature 2017 Silver Best Recurring Feature Bronze Best Daily Email 2016 Bronze Best Feature Layout

110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123 • Metairie, LA 70005 • (504) 828-1380

Kimberley Singletary, Managing Editor




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 2021 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.


New Orleans 500 Will Profile the City’s Business Leaders 2022 EDITION ARRIVES Q4 OF 2021

The New Orleans 500, a new annual publication from Biz New Orleans magazine, will profile the business leaders who are driving the greater New Orleans economy today and making decisions that will shape the region’s future. The diverse list features everyone from hospital CEOs battling the pandemic to restaurateurs pivoting to meet the times and startup CEOs working to make the city a center of technological innovation. The New Orleans 500 profiles will include questions and answers designed to reveal the people behind the titles. Taken together, they provide a fascinating and fun snapshot of the city’s most influential and involved leaders.










election. New Orleans city elections are this month, and by most polls we only really have a few races worth watching as many have a leading candidate and no real opposition. In New Orleans, all the real political decision making comes from the mayor’s office, which means that should be the race worth watching, but this time — like so many mayoral races before when the incumbent is running for their second term — no real opposition exists. That, however, should not stop you from voting. The only way to have your voice heard is to cast your vote. For the past four years, we have heard from the mayor many times over the word “respect” — whether it was that some should show her respect, or someone disrespected her. My answer to that is that respect must be earned. It is not given or shown to you just because you hold a political office. It looks like on November 13, we will not elect a new mayor and have four more years with the same administration. I feel right now the people of New Orleans are the ones that need to be respected, and I hope that over the next four years the office shows respect to its citizens and does what it takes to earn their respect in return. Todd Matherne




Caitlin Sistrunk Sales Manager

(504) 830-7252

Brennan Manale Senior Account Executive

(504) 830-7298

Jessica Jaycox

Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7255






In The Biz



DINING Tony Mandina’s story reaches across oceans and generations.

TOURISM How do we bring tourism into the future by reckoning honestly with the past?

SPORTS Benson’s succession plan to give billions toward New Orleans’ future

ENTREPRENEUR Nobody likes paperwork, but there are ways to make it manageable.


Tony Mandina’s: A Westbank Culinary Legacy Approaching 40 years in business, this restaurant’s story reaches across oceans and generations. BY P OP PY TO O KE R





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.

The Mandina’s Sicilian family ties the ABC’s of New Orleans’ legacy restau- are evident in the authenticity of their rant families. And now, just across the cuisine. Tony first connected with cousins Mississippi River in Gretna, Louisiana, there in 1960 while stationed overseas in Tony Mandina’s family is positioned to the Army. In 2009, his daughter, Kolette claim their own place in our culinary Mandina Ditta, expanded family connecpantheon. tions dramatically when she discovered “Tony Mandina’s is a prime example cousins in Salaparuta, a little town in of the multigenerational legacy of our southwestern Sicily where Mandina community,” said Gretna Mayor Belinda family roots can be traced back to 1720, Constant. “The Mandina family has given spanning six generations. their life to food, making everyone who On family land in Salaparuta, the walks through the door feel like family.” Sicilian Mandinas cultivate grapes and Neither Tony Mandina nor his wife, olives that are crafted into fine vintages Grace, had any prior restaurant experience and extra-virgin oil. Kolette quickly began when Tony Mandina’s opened its doors an import venture to make the family’s on November 15, 1982. At the time, Tony vintages and olive oil available both at the was a salesman at Kirschman’s Furniture restaurant and in local stores. store while Grace was a stay-at-home The imported products were a natural mom, raising their three young daughters, addition to the wholesale business Kolette Kim, Kolette and Kary. For several years, created several years ago when she began handyman Tony had dabbled in real estate, producing Tony Mandina’s Red Gravy by buying affordable properties to renovate the quart. The red gravy found a large, and rent or sell when a for sale sign on a devoted following in grocery stores across derelict barbecue shack caught his eye. the South and nationwide as customers Toiling before and after his day job, discovered it on Amazon. construction was almost complete when The family’s entire life has always Grace stopped by for their usual coffee revolved around the restaurant. When break. As they looked around, Tony Kolette gave birth to her daughter, Lindsey, suggested, “I’ve been thinking, Grace. The they stopped at Tony Mandina’s first on girls are getting older … maybe we should the way home from the hospital. Little open this and have a little restaurant Lindsey literally grew up there, working ourselves.” “I was floored! ‘What do we alongside her grandmother in the office know about a restaurant, Tony?’” Grace when she wasn’t helping make meatballs asked. “He said, ‘You’re always cooking in the kitchen. lots of food and we live right down the As Tony and Grace got older, the street…’ Little did I know it wasn’t just demands of the business weighed on the about cooking!” entire family. It was clear that in order In those early days, before beginning to retire, the business would have to his day at Kirshmann’s, Tony would close or be sold, neither of which seemed rise before dawn to make red gravy and like a solution. After a great deal of soul bake fresh bread and cuccidati, closely searching, in 2020 Kolette and daughter following heritage recipes learned from his Lindsey decided to purchase the family mother, “Maw-maw” Mandina. By lunch- business to guarantee its future. In their time, he was back, greeting customers “retirement,” Tony and Grace never miss a at the door while Grace and her sisters day at the restaurant. Stop by and you’ll performed the other duties. find them happily ensconced at Table 41 Originally, Tony Mandina’s offered only ready to see old friends and meet new weekday lunch service. Eager for more ones as they raise a toast to “La Familia.” n business only two months after opening, he came up with the idea to offer buy-one, get-one free meatballs and spaghetti on Tuesdays. “Two For Tuesdays” created such a sensation that by late spring 1983, the restaurant’s hours expanded to include dinner on Friday and Saturday, Catch Poppy Tooker on her radio show, while Monday lunch was eliminated. It’s a “Louisiana Eats!” Saturdays at 3 p.m. and schedule they still maintain today. Mondays at 8 p.m. on WWNO 89.9 FM. ALCIATORE, BRENNAN, CHASE – THESE ARE




Historical Memory How do we bring tourism into the future by reckoning honestly with the past? BY J E NNIF E R G IB SO N SCHE CT ER





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

sites like these is built on a suspension of ONE OF THE PROFOUND BLESSINGS IN LIFE disbelief that people suffered. is that when we know better, we have the Thomas also spoke to the merchandise opportunity and the obligation to do better. Each day brings a new possibility to learn that accompanies the tourist experience in more and reconsider how we walk in this New Orleans. She shared images of items world. In a place like New Orleans, which sold in tourist shops in the French Quarter is steeped in tradition, doing things differ- of old-style “Mammy” advertising, Black ently can be met with resistance, both girl dolls in aprons and “Mammy” salt internally and externally. In industries and pepper shakers, all representing the such as hospitality and tourism, which “happy servitude” of Black people. “Tourists are encouraged to consume are part of a complicated economy affected by federal, state, local and cultural policies, or gaze upon Black culture without the change can be even tougher to implement. uncomfortable acknowledgment of an But this is also a place of resiliency, and we exploitative slave system or the persistent have shown time and again we are able to legacy of racial and class inequality,” said Thomas. “New Orleans tourists then pivot and move forward. With these mental rumblings in mind, become acquainted with a representation of Black lens that leaves the actual Black I recently had the good fortune to attend (virtually) a lecture entitled “Legacies New Orleans invisible.” Thomas also shared her research on of American Slavery: Tourism, Race and Historical Memory” organized by Dillard financial and investment resources, espeUniversity’s Ray Charles Program in cially those made available post-Katrina, African American Material Culture. It which were prioritized into the tourist was led by Dr. Lynell Thomas, a native zones over traditionally Black neighborNew Orleanian, and professor and grad- hoods like the Lower Ninth Ward and uate program director at University of Gentilly. Her research shows that tourism has contributed to the separate and Massachusetts Boston. Through her academic research, Thomas unequal housing patterns in New Orleans. The resistance and agency of Black New traces the roots of inequality and the legacy of slavery in the New Orleans Orleanians is also a vital part of the story tourist industry. She has identified a of tourism. Here, Thomas points to acts paradoxical construction of Blackness of resistance before the Civil War ended, that acknowledges and celebrates Black events during Reconstruction, the civil cultural contributions while simultane- disobedience of Homer Plessy, and actions into the present with the removal of the ously insisting on Black social inferiority. “In the tourist narrative that I studied, Confederate statues and the ongoing work I saw the way that it limited its histor- of Take ’Em Down Nola as a different way ical focus to the colonial and antebellum to experience New Orleans. In that vein, period, focusing almost exclusively on the she is currently co-editing “A People’s purportedly exceptional race relations that Guide to New Orleans” with Dr. Elizabeth distinguished New Orleans from the rest Steeby, a professor at the University of of the slave-holding South,” said Thomas. New Orleans. The guide is online and “Presenting New Orleans as benefitting features places of grassroots activism and from the most liberal and refined elements sites of resistance in New Orleans history. of Southern culture while avoiding its The website is still being developed and most brutal, inhumane and inegalitarian has a growing number of sites of interest features...And we see these racial fictions at /guides/ being exemplified by the modernizing of new-orleans/. Her lecture was timely and important. slave quarters into trendy restaurants and As we recover from the pandemic, we hotels and tourist sites.” Two examples she cited were advertise- have an opportunity to revisit and change ments for Nottoway Plantation and Oak how we position tourism in our region. Alley Plantation. Nottoway’s ad claimed How can we bring justice and equality visitors could, “relive 19th Century for everyone—employees, employers, citizens and visitors? I look forward to elegance”; and Oak Alley invited visitors to consider the “Romance, History and learning more in her book, “Desire and Beauty” of the site. There is no elegance Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, or romance in enslaving human beings. and Historical Memory” and I hope you Plantations would not have existed join me in ordering it from a local Blackwithout the Transatlantic slave trade. The owned bookstore such as Baldwin & Co. or contemporary business model for tourism Community Book Center. n




Saint Gayle, Patroness of the Pelicans’ State Benson’s succession plan to give billions toward New Orleans’ future BY C HR I S PR ICE




Tom Benson did in the ’80s. Even if they are sold to out-of-town ownership, Benson’s executive teams are doing what they can to tie the teams to the Big Easy. The Saints recently signed a 20-year, $138 million naming rights deal on the Caesars Superdome, which is undergoing a $450 million renovation that will keep New Orleans in the rotation to host Super Bowls, College Football Championship Games, and NCAA Final Four Championships. The team’s lease with the state-owned stadium runs through 2025, but the club is negotiating with the state on a 10-year extension with options for two more 10-year extensions through 2055. With a passionate fan base, an owner-favorable lease agreement in place, and a decades-long wait for season tickets, the Saints will draw a lot of interest. It’s nearly impossible to think new ownership would relocate. The Pelicans have made the playoffs seven times in 19 seasons in New Orleans, and the lack of success in the win column has made it difficult for them to grab a solid fanbase dedicated to going to games night in and night out. Other larger-market cities are looking for teams, and their allure may tempt new ownership. However, Fox 8’s Jeff Duncan and Lee Zurik reported the Pelicans are looking at the possibility of partnering with the city and state to build a new downtown arena with modern amenities and functions they currently don’t have. That may be enough to keep them nested in NOLA. In the Catholic Church, the Pope needs two verifiable miracles to declare sainthood. Padre Francisco, here’s one: Several area organizations have already benefited from the Bensons’ largess. Since its founding in 2007, The Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation has donated more than $100 million to local organizations. It’s well within the realm of possibility that the sales of the teams could equate to more than $5 billion to be given away to local education, health care, arts and sciences, and humanitarian causes. The possibilities are amazing. It’s exciting to think the region will see such a significant investment and, hopefully, a return that will see the region become an economic and educational beacon, all the while continuing to enjoy our Saints and Pelicans. It’s the ultimate win-win. And it’s made possible because “Miss Gayle” loves New Orleans and its people. What a blessing! n


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


the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints and National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Pelicans, announced, upon her passing, she intends for the teams to be sold to an owner who will keep the teams in the Crescent City and for proceeds from the sales to be placed in a trust that will benefit New Orleans-area charities, as first reported by The Times-Picayune and WVUE-TV. “I can’t take it with me,” Benson said in the story. “God gives us gifts, and this is a gift. I am a steward for this [organization]. And we help other people with it. My wish is to scatter all the good and gifts that God and Tom have given me to this city and community.” Benson has turned down multiple offers for both franchises, saying keeping the teams in New Orleans for the long term is her major goal. She has appointed Dennis Lauscha, a native New Orleanian with long ties to Tom Benson and deep roots in the city, who serves as president of both teams, to serve as executor of her estate. Benson, 74, inherited the teams in 2018 from her late husband, Tom, who led an ownership group that purchased the Saints in 1985 for just over $70 million. At the time, Benson owned 31% of the team and had 25 minority investors who held 5% to 10% ownership each. By 1993, he owned the team outright. Upon buying the Saints, and preventing the team’s potential move to Jacksonville, he said, “It meant something to me to be able to give something back to the city where I got my start.” In 2012, he bought the New Orleans Hornets for $338 million from the NBA, which had taken over the team from failing owner George Shinn. The Bensons later changed the franchise’s name to the Pelicans. That purchase helped keep pro basketball in New Orleans, even as Seattle, Nashville and Las Vegas were all looking to poach the team. Today, Benson’s teams are worth a combined $4.175 billion, according to Forbes, which has the Saints valued at $2.825 billion and the Pelicans at $1.35 billion. Of course, their market value may be much more. The Utah Jazz, the most recent NBA team to be sold, went for $1.6 billion in 2020. The Carolina Panthers, the most recent NFL team to be sold, went for $2.275 billion in 2018. Benson is Louisiana’s only billionaire, so keeping local ownership would require a group from the region to pool money like




Navigating a Necessary Evil Nobody likes paperwork, but there are ways to make it manageable. BY KEI T H TWITCHE LL




An often-overlooked paperwork category is personnel records. Be fully aware of all federal and state requirements related to employees; these range from unemployment insurance to immigration forms. In addition, all businesses should develop and maintain employee handbooks (and have employees sign forms indicating that they have read them), performance reviews, vacation and sick leave logs, and so on. Employment is highly regulated and, unfortunately, increasingly litigious, and your records are an important protection for your business. Managing paperwork storage is also vital. All electronic files should be maintained at least in duplicate. While many businesses rely on the Cloud these days, backing up vital documents to a flash drive is still a good practice. In addition to being more accessible and replicable when engaging professional services, they may be easier to locate in an emergency. Businesses should also have a document retention policy, informed by legal requirements such as mandates relating to tax records, licensing requirements, etc. And when the time comes to empty one of those filing cabinets, recycling the paper can help save a few of those poor old trees. Finally, businesses should have emergency plans relating to documents. This was again emphasized by Hurricane Ida, which severely damaged many businesses. Entrepreneurs must know what paper files, as well as electronic backup devices, they need to safeguard ahead of such disasters. Ideally, remote storage of duplicates of all important paperwork should be a standard practice, as this protects against other disasters such as fires and flash flooding. There’s no denying that paperwork is a pain – but paperwork mismanagement leads to even greater pain, increased expenses and possible governmental and legal consequences. Think of it this way: Organizing and maintaining your paperwork efficiently is at least a Pain Reduction Act. n


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.


paperwork are paper manufacturers. Most business owners detest it; professionals like attorneys and accountants get swamped by it; and trees certainly don’t like it. Even the federal government passed the Paperwork Reduction Act, back in 1995. Of course, being the federal government, it’s 22 pages of small type, but at least the thought is there. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs have to understand the obligations and benefits of managing paperwork efficiently. This means everything from completing, filing and maintaining all necessary business forms, permits, licenses and so on to compiling every last business-related receipt — and keeping them all in an organized, accessible system. Let’s start with organization. One massive file for “business documents” is a clear path to migraine land. For both electronic and paper documents, multiple files for various categories (i.e., receipts, licenses, personnel, taxes, insurance, etc.) saves time, aggravation and actually money. Many required forms and documents are completed online these days. This saves time and trees, but can cause people to forget to save copies. Documents that must be downloaded to fill out are easily assigned to the appropriate files. However, any time you complete an online application, form or filing, it is imperative to save a copy before submitting it. In some instances, you may have the option to have a copy emailed to you. In a worstcase scenario, print the document before hitting “submit.” Whatever the document may be, if it is lost on the other end, the burden of proof is almost always going to fall on you. This is especially true with government-required forms, and unless your trust in government is absolute, it is wise to cover your tail. One paperwork category that often gets messy quickly is receipts. Yet there is every incentive to make this a top priority, because virtually every receipt is potentially a tax-reducer. Again, one overstuffed “receipts” folder will cause severe headaches, and your accountant is going to double his/ her fee the second you walk in with it. All expenses, from payroll to supplies, utilities to professional services, should be catalogued and records meticulously kept. This is even more vital if you work from home, because in many instances, certain regular everyday expenses may be partially deductible.




INSURANCE Who are the best candidates for discussing long term care planning and what are important questions to ask?

MARITIME+PORTSThe Port of New Orleans celebrates its 125th anniversary while in recovery

BANKING+FINANCE Top financial planning

tips for 2022

GUEST Want to keep those good employees? Here’s the No. 1 reason they leave, and what you can do about it.


Joe Celano, MBA, CLTC, CSA

Mike Greene Employee Benefits Specialist Eagan Insurance Agency The best candidates for long term care insurance are those individuals who are healthy and 50-plus years old. Just know that the longer you wait, the more expensive it becomes. If you have ongoing health conditions then chances are you will be uninsurable, which is another reason to get it early. The main objective when purchasing a LTC policy is to have the funds to pay for someone who can take care of you. If you have worked hard and saved a lot of money for retirement, then you may not need to purchase a policy that pays for 100% of this expected cost. Just know that the cost of this care will continue to rise, like everything else. Good questions to ask when purchasing a LTC insurance policy include, What are the qualifications to receive the benefits? How are the benefits paid and who can they be paid to (do they have to be licensed or skilled caregivers)? Can I receive care in my own home? Is there an inflation protection rider available or does it make more sense to just purchase a flat higher amount? Is there a shared care option for married couples purchasing a LTC policy together? Long term care insurance has evolved over the last several years. Personally, my favorite option is a whole life policy with a long term care rider. If you die before any care was needed, then your beneficiaries receive the life insurance, and there aren’t any wasted premiums. If you do need care, then the life insurance policy pays a long term care benefit.

Certified Senior Advisor Intrx HealthCare LongTerm Care Division The younger and healthier, the better for insurability and costs. LTC planning is a core component of financial retirement planning, so planning while young is very advisable. The most important questions to ask are those that help identify a LTC specialist with enough industry knowledge and without bias toward any carrier or product. A true LTC specialist works exclusively with LTC planning. Seek one that you are comfortable working with.

Sean Flynn Financial Advisor Northwestern Mutual

Who are the best candidates for discussing long term care planning and what are important questions to ask when considering your options?

In planning for a desired lifestyle, one of the most relevant topics we address is incapacitation planning: What is your plan should you become incapacitated, temporarily or permanently? What is covered under Medicare? Medicaid? How do you envision your care situation? How do you envision funding this financial exposure? Herein lies the magic of how planning for long term care can provide that “protective moat” around one’s financial freedom plan.

Kevin M. Gardner Senior Vice President HUB International A person should look for long term care insurance not when in need, but when they are in decent health, both physically and mentally. Most, if not all policies have medical questions to qualify. The number of companies that offer this coverage has shrunk over the years, as has the liberalness of the policy definitions. A purchaser should be careful to check the rating of a company and the definition of benefits. How you get paid, for how long and who can deliver the care, at home or in facility, is critical to finding the right plan for you.

Jack Duvernay, RHU, REBC President Benefitsone The best candidates are anyone who doesn’t have the means to pay for this care, which can cost $7,000 per month. Some questions to ask when shopping for a policy are: What are the claim-triggering events?; How long will benefits be payable if I go on claim?; How long must I wait to receive benefits once I file a claim?; Are benefits paid on a reimbursement or indemnity basis?; How much coverage do I need?; Can my policy (be canceled) for any reason?; and Can my premiums increase in the future?







A Year of Triumphs and Trials The Port of New Orleans celebrates its 125th anniversary while in recovery BY JA M E S SE B ASTIE N


another milestone as the Port of New Orleans marked its 125th anniversary. The Port of New Orleans was founded as an independent subdivision of the State of Louisiana in 1896. The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans was created in order to administer public wharves and regulate trade and traffic on the Mississippi River in the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard. Today, the port and its tenants generate more than 19,000 jobs and nearly $4 billion in revenue annually. The port is a top importer of coffee, steel, natural rubber and consumer goods, and a top exporter of frozen poultry and plastic resins for manufacturing. “The 125th anniversary celebrates the role the port has played, and continues to play, as an economic engine and a global gateway for our region and state,” said Brandy D. Christian, president and CEO Port NOLA and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. “This historic milestone also gives us an opportunity to look ahead as we work to provide the vital infrastructure to drive us into the next 125 years.” The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans held a board meeting on June 24, during which a resolution to officially acknowledge the 125th anniversary celebration was passed. Additionally, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed its own resolution to honor the port’s 125th anniversary. The Board of Commissioners’ celebration of the port is a year-long public engagement campaign. It began in July 2021 and will continue till July 2022. A special anniversary logo was established, and a theme has been set: “Port of New Orleans: Connecting Louisiana with the World.”




In the wake of this powerful storm, we are thankful for our essential port workers, maritime partners, as well as the federal, state and local partners who worked tirelessly to get the Port NOLA gateway up and running. Brandy D. Christian, president and CEO of Port NOLA and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad

The anniversary was kicked off with the launch of a video series called the “125 Years in 125 Seconds.” The videos featureappearances by public officials, including Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, maritime partners, workers and others sharing their perspectives on the history of the port. A video will be released on a weekly basis throughout the yearlong celebration. In addition to the video series, there will be events, promotions and partnerships to further celebrate the Port, including a commemorative 125th anniversary publication. REMAINING STRONG DURING THE PANDEMIC

While 2020 was a tough year, the port did not let the pandemic slow down its progress, even discovering areas of opportunity, and doubling down on efforts throughout its three-parish jurisdiction. Since the pandemic began, the maritime and logistics industry saw a series of big wins, including the arrival of eight new locomotives resulting in fuel reduction and lower emissions; a $1.24 million grant for the port’s Clean Truck Replacement Program, which helps local truck drivers replace older trucks with cleaner vehicles; the NOPB’s completion of work on additional storage at the Kingfish yard in

Jefferson Parish, which accommodates an additional 206 storage cars; and The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ near completion of the historic deepening of the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet. One of the port’s biggest projects is the Napoleon Expansion, a $100 million expansion project at the port’s Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. Four new 100-gauge, ship-to-shore cranes and the related rail infrastructure are scheduled to be operational sometime in 2022. Along with the Napoleon and a second container terminal downriver, the port’s market would broaden with the ability to serve small to large carriers and shippers, as well as provide more space for value-added logistics services. Also, an unrestricted air and water draft would put Louisiana in the position to become the best port in the Gulf, and with the demand for decentralization of the supply chain and the need for more distribution centers, Louisiana is presented with a real opportunity as a job creator. The region’s rail and barge access to the industrial Midwest and other major population centers such as Chicago, Memphis and St. Louis sets the area apart from any other source and lays the way for a bright future.




As the port celebrated its anniversary, progress on existing projects was hindered following Hurricane Ida on Aug. 29, 2021, which occurred on a less celebratory anniversary, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The Lower Mississippi River opened three days after Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4, and by Sept. 2, the port had resumed limited operations, becoming fully operational on Sept. 7. “The State of Louisiana and our entire maritime industry are resilient,” said Christian. “In the wake of this powerful storm, we are thankful for our essential port workers, maritime partners, as well as the federal, state and local partners who worked tirelessly to get the Port NOLA gateway up and running. Our focus has been to resume operations quickly and safely.” While the port’s operations have resumed, assessment of needs and supply chain disruptions continue, and understandably so, as the damages caused by Hurricane Ida were significant and placed more stress on a strained supply chain network throughout the country. Some of the impacts to the area include damages to maritime facilities and infrastructure, as well as the extended closures of grain terminals and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between Morgan City and New Orleans, resulting in delays for barge tows and shallow-water traffic. The maritime communication systems and pilot stations on the Lower Mississippi River also experienced damage. Another issue has been the lack of available housing for labor and transportation sector workers who are essential to restore operations. “Our wharves are busy post storm and trains are moving, but we still have challenges to overcome in order to get back to previous levels,” said Christian. “To restore this economic engine fully and preserve the thousands of jobs that depend on it, we respectfully ask that the White House urgently request funding from Congress to address these issues as soon as possible to help us collectively move forward from these significant impacts.” Nationally, the port supports close to 120,000 jobs and has an economic impact of almost $30 billion. It is one of the busiest complexes in the world, with nearly 6,000 oceangoing ships transiting the river annually. The port also handles 20 percent of the country’s energy and 60 percent of the grain export. n




To restore this economic engine fully and preserve the thousands of jobs that depend on it, we respectfully ask that the White House urgently request funding from Congress to address these issues as soon as possible to help us collectively move forward from these significant impacts. Brandy D. Christian, president and CEO of Port NOLA and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad




What are your top financial planning tips for 2022?

John J. Zollinger IV Director of Commercial Banking Home Bank Remain financially flexible. The best way you can do this is to build and maintain a cash reserve. The prospect of inflation and rising interest rates seems more likely than not. Concentrate on lowering your business’s operating leverage, which includes moving as many costs to the variable category as possible so that they rise when sales rise and fall when sales fall. If you have an opportunity to trade rent for a mortgage on your business, now might be the time to consider it. Rates are at their lowest in decades and building equity in your business location is always a good idea.




Robert Beau Town, CVA Consulting Manager Postlethwaite & Netterville (P&N) Before any forecast can be made, it’s important to first understand past performance, trends, and their drivers through a detailed analysis. Once a historical analysis is complete, assumptions can be used to model a base forecast. [We partner] with clients to build dynamic, inputbased models that calculate results for a wide range of scenarios and sensitivities... A comprehensive understanding of your business through a robust financial model is critical to financial planning for 2022 and beyond.

Tony Adams

Claudia Dixon

New Orleans Market President IBERIABANK/First Horizon

Founder and Senior Accountant J. Beck Accounting & Consulting

Position for new factors: inflation, higher interest rates and higher taxes. [Make sure your emergency fund covers] three to six months of living expenses. Maximize 401(k) contributions to reduce taxable income and capture all available company match benefits. Review current investment allocations to ensure positions will perform considering new risk factors and refinance any high interest rate debt to lock in rates.

For new businesses or existing companies, regardless of size, get an accountant or be very intentional about tracking your income and expenses, especially if your business is heavily cash-based, such as barbershops, homebased businesses, hair salons, retail boutiques, tattoo parlors and musicians. The IRS has increased focus on businesses that aren’t claiming all of their earnings, specifically those that use merchant services or credit card processors like Square, Venmo, CashApp or Zelle. Ideally, even if you do not receive an income reporting document, like a 1099-K or similar, it is the business’s responsibility to report ALL of its income, even the value of bartered services. Tracking income and expenses is a very important part of that. I always encourage new businesses to at least schedule a consultation with an accountant to ensure that their business’s financial infrastructure is best for their industry. On our website, we offer a free income and expense tracker — it’s a great guideline for understanding how to properly track a business’s income and expenses.

George Young Partner and Portfolio Manager Villere & Co. Many taxpayers don’t take full advantage of the benefits of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Common misconceptions and mistakes include: Not contributing. For many, the contribution limit of $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re age 50 or older) may not seem like much, but over a period of years this can be substantial...Funding a Traditional vs. a Roth IRA. Contribute to your Traditional IRA and then move those funds to a Roth IRA immediately. Not contributing on the first of the year. The deadline is generally April 15 of the following year.




Want to Keep Those Good Employees? Here’s the No. 1 reason they leave, and what you can do about it. BY RO HAN WALV E KAR, MD


recognition to bottom-line performance. We know this, even without external data supporting the statement, because it makes logical sense. Reflections on what motivates employees inevitably conclude that we work harder and with more heart for those who value our contribution. Recognition influences us beyond the visible spectrum. It motivates us, fills our emotional bank account, instills commitment and fuels productivity. Data backs up what we intuitively know; recognition is a critical component for organizational success. • Over 75% of employees who quit their jobs identify lack of appreciation as a reason. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics states lack of recognition as the No. 1 reason employees voluntarily leave their jobs. • More than 60% of respondents list appreciation as a significant motivator of performance. 34



• Greater than 90% of employees identified as highly engaged state their leaders provide effective recognition. • Substantive data supports the link between effective recognition and operational results, specifically productivity, engagement, retention and customer satisfaction. Recognition directly affects the bottom line. We know the power of recognition, yet reports share that 70% of the workforce feel underappreciated. We have a “Knowing-Doing” gap. BRIDGING THE KNOWING-DOING GAP

Why is there such a gap between what we know, that recognition of employees is core to business success, and what we do (or are not doing), which is the act of providing timely and meaningful recognition? The most common reason offered for not giving recognition is a lack of time. Other reasons shared are a lack of skill,

being unaware of recognizable actions, or “It’s just not my personality.” While this article does not address all the issues that contribute to bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap, we attempt to address a few easily correctable contributors.

Lack of Time: Often, lack of time and busy schedules with competing priorities are quoted as reasons for not prioritizing team engagement and recognition. Many organizations develop elaborate employee recognition programs to solve this problem, and this can overcomplicate the solution. The reality is that the harder it is to do something, the less likely you are to do it. When it comes to recognition, reduce the barriers and provide tools that are easy to use. Ultimately actions are what count, not elaborate plans. A thank you card delivered to your employee’s home is a lovely gift — truly. However, writing a card can become a barrier and can prevent action. Finding an easier way

Rohan Walvekar, MD, created nDorse in 2015. A digital recognition platform that allows team members and leaders to provide timely and meaningful recognition and reinforce organizational values with each celebration, nDorse is currently helping celebrate over 20,000 healthcare professionals and has served our healthcare community by being a tool used to capture over 75,000 recognition moments during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit or email Dr. Walvekar at rwalvekar@

to provide recognition, such as a digital recognition tool, can reduce or remove obstacles.

Unaware: You are likely aware of more opportunities to recognize the actions and behaviors of others than you believe. Consider the interactions you had during your day or observations you made as you walked through your place of work. Did Sue at the front desk greet you with a cheery “Good morning” and smile as you arrived? And does she do this every day? That she is a consistent bright point in your morning is worthy of recognition. Reinforcing positive behaviors demonstrates that you value the individual. A ripple is created with each moment of recognition and has the potential to create a wave of change and define the culture of an organization. Lack of Skill: Giving meaningful, pointed, real-time recognition requires a bit of skill. We might cite “lack of time” as our primary barrier to providing recognition when we instead lack the skills. Meaningful recognition is specific. When you have observed someone do something worthy of mention, go beyond the generic “great job!” and get specific. Most people want to improve, yearn to learn, and want to make a difference. This is only possible with authentic and constructive feedback. There is a formula you can use to master this skill: Action + Impact. Mention the action you witnessed, and then share the impact it had on you or others. For example: “Thank you, Sue, for always greeting me with such a cheery “good morning” and genuine smile. Your consistent energy and positivity resets my mood, and I find I am more joyful in my heart as I walk towards my office.” RECOGNITION POSITIVELY EFFECTS THE RECEIVER AND THE GIVER

Rhonda Bagby shared in an article published in Biz New Orleans in February 2021 the benefit of a practice of gratitude. Bagby wrote, “One proven route to improving physical and mental health is through the simple act of practicing gratitude. Gratitude means deliberately expressing thankfulness, acknowledging life’s blessings, and showing appreciation for what you have.” This practice includes expressing gratitude or appreciation to another person. Bridge the gap and begin doing — it will elevate the spirits of the receiver and yours as well. n









DEFINED AS ANY BUSINESS in which two or more family members are involved and majority ownership or control lies within a family, family-owned businesses are the foundation of the U.S. economy, but they face unique issues and challenges. According to an old adage, “The first generation builds the business, the second generation grows the business, and the third generation squanders the business,” but in reality only 30% of family businesses today succeed to the second generation and only 10% succeed into the third generation. To improve the odds that family businesses find success, Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business formed the Family Business Center (FBC) in 1992. Its mission is to provide support in the form of professional expertise, systems and educational resources that assist family businesses with managing their enterprise and increase their prospects for transitioning to the next generation. Membership to the center is open to anyone whose family has a majority ownership of a company, even if they themselves are not employees of the business. Member benefits include networking opportunities with other center members who have experienced the unique challenges of the family-owned business, updates on the latest research and articles on family business, access to all of Tulane University’s libraries and the family business collection housed in the business school library, and direct access to the FBC staff for discussion and referral on specific issues. To learn more about the FBC and the top issues facing family businesses today, Biz chatted recently with Rosalind G. Butler, director of Tulane University’s Family Business Center. Butler has spent 22 years at the university working in entrepreneurship. Among her accomplishments are serving as staff adviser for the Freeman Consulting Group and Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, where she established the first business plan competition, now in its 20th year. After being engaged with the FBC off and on for five years, Butler said she developed a strong relationship with some of the members and grew to have a high regard and interest in family business. “Family business is just a natural evolution of entrepreneurship,” she said, “especially down South where relationships are very familiar and communal in nature. This bodes well for family businesses.” In addition to serving as the FBC’s director, Butler became a member of the Family Business Directors Alliance Group, an association of directors that manage approximately 54 centers across the U.S. and Canada. In a recent chat, we asked her to weigh in on the biggest issues affecting this unique, but critical, sector of the business world. What do family businesses mean to our country? At the risk of sounding cliché, family businesses truly are the cornerstone of the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Census, they represent 90% of businesses in the United States, make up 60% of our national GDP, employ 83.3 million people and represent 59% of the private sector workforce. They drive innovation and are producers of the next generation of entrepreneurs. The vast majority of startups around the world are family businesses. Family businesses are also very philanthropic. According to consulting company Family Business USA, 93% of family businesses are engaged in some form of social or philanthropic endeavor. In fact, the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where The Family Business Center is located, was named on behalf of alumnus Albert Lepage, the retired co-chairman of family-owned Lepage Bakeries, which has since been acquired by Flowers Food Inc. What do they mean for our regional economy? We are fortunate that this region has fifth-, sixth-, and even seventh-generation family-owned businesses. However, we haven’t been able to collect enough data to confirm the number of family businesses. I am working with our graduate students to develop this database. I am hoping to collaborate with our other partners to get a clearer picture.





FAVORITE BOOK? I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

FAVORITE TV SHOW? King of Queens

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO? Too many to name. Just ordinary people who intentionally live to better the lives of others.

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON LEARNED? Things are replaceable, people aren’t.



How do family businesses operate differently than non-family businesses? Family businesses can be less formal — and I don’t mean that in in a negative sense. Having access to decision makers can be less complicated. Family business employees also often wear multiple hats that require utilizing different skill sets. This allows employees to explore varying aspects of the business. It can also be problematic, however, if roles and responsibilities are too loosely defined. The greatest advantage of being a part of a family business is their level of loyalty and commitment to their stakeholders.

DID YOU KNOW? Some of the biggest companies in the world are family businesses. Aome obvious ones iinclude WalMart and Berkshire Hathaway, but other surprising titans that remain family-owned include: Cargill Mars Bechtel Comcast Ford Motor Company Porsche Automobil Holding BMW AG ALDI Group Nike LG Corporation Dell Technologies

What are the biggest issues affecting family businesses? Succession and next-generation leadership development are still the biggest challenges for most. I speak with our members all the time, and succession continues to be at the top of the list. There is a lot at stake for founding or current family business owners and some are not feeling fully ready to entrust the next generation with ownership and management of the business. There is a great consideration for non-family employees and job security, established business relationships, and maintaining a valued reputation if the business doesn’t do well after the handover. On the other hand, the next generation can feel stifled by the ambiguous notion of “someday,” when there is no defined timeline or the path to retirement is constantly changing. As part of the Family Business Center’s vision for addressing both sides of this conundrum, we have started working to establish the NextGen Family Business Leadership initiative. The center spent a year and a half In Louisiana, just with Trepwise Consulting on developing and launching its a few large, famiNextGen survey to 500 family-owned businesses, conducting ly-owned businesses include: 50 one-on-one interviews with owners and family executives, Laitram Corporation, and hosting five NextGen focus groups with family business The McIlhenny Co. employees. In addition, we assessed 76 other universiCanal Barge ty-based and non-university-based family business centers Bollinger Shipyards across the country. The research also included reviewing the top 50 MBA programs, top 25 exec education programs, and 25 top-tier undergraduate business programs. We wanted to ensure that we are taking a fully comprehensive approach to establishing the NextGen Family Business Leadership program. The survey findings indicated that there are limited vehicles for training and developing NextGen family business members. The FBC seeks to bridge the gap by bringing a systematic approach for adequately preparing NextGen leaders.

to function as a family in business. In 2015, a named gift from Mr. Lepage created the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which now houses the Levy-Rosenblum Institute and the Family Business Center at the Freeman School of Business. During this time there were a couple of universities providing services to support family firms and the center used this as a model for building its program. Our purpose is to offer a platform where family business members can come together and learn, have open discussions about what concerns them, develop strategies that minimize emotional decision-making, and gain insights that will allow them to grow and flourish from one generation to the next. What kind of services does the center provide? We offer five half-morning forums per year that are facilitated by professionals, thought leaders, and experts who are nationally and internationally recognized in family business education. The topics are very germane to family business. This includes estate planning, establishing family governance, family councils, conflict resolution, next-generation leadership and succession. Participants are guided through case studies based on real family business scenarios. It is a working forum where they apply their business practices to each case study. The center also conducts “live” case presentations where family business owners are invited to share their own challenges or successes. This is done in a peerto-peer learning environment that provides networking and shared learning experiences. Past presentations have included Tony Simmons of the McIlhenny family (Tabasco), Jamie Richardson of White Castle, Carol Bernick of Alberto Culver, and Mitchell Kaneff of Arkay Packaging. What our members appreciate about the live case presentations is that they know they are talking to other owners who are in the trenches with them. The program also offers breakout sessions where participants can engage. The greatest value that our members get from forum is not only learning from the experts but learning from each other. They have indicated that it’s like family business therapy. In addition, they receive annual one-on-one consultations, access to our articles and periodicals in the Freeman School’s Turchin Library, and personal referrals to professionals who can provide support and resources.

What advantages do family businesses have? Family businesses have a lot of positives. There is a greater alignment in leadership because there is a shared vision and DNA. Family businesses are more committed to their non-family employees and often view long-term employees as extended family. They are also less likely to execute layoffs. They are more risk averse and are less likely to take on debt, making them more sustainable during tough economic time. They also can pivot more quickly when quick decisions need to be made. They don’t have a lot of bureaucracy that you can find in corporate settings.

How many people are on staff? I am the only full-time staff member, but we have great resources through the Lepage Center with Executive Director Rob Lalka and our Freeman faculty. Also, we have a new dean, Paulo Goes, who is very focused on innovation and (has) expressed an interest in family business research. How many people and businesses has the center helped? Over the past 21 years we have serviced over 200 family businesses as members of the center. Through our programming, site visits and consultations we interface with more than 400 individuals of family businesses annually. How does the center help its members? The center provides a structured peer-to-peer environment for family business owners and members to learn how to manage, grow and navigate the unique challenges of their business. Participants are coached in taking a less emotional approach to decision-making and being more strategic when dealing with sensitive issues such as family dynamics or leadership styles.

How did the Tulane Family Business Center come about? When the Tulane Family Business Center was established in 1992, it was under the division of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute, where Dr. John Elstrott served as executive director. Elstrott was a serial entrepreneur and the former chair of Whole Foods. Under his tenure, he served on the board of many family businesses and saw there was a need for these companies to learn how

Why is it specifically important for our region to support family businesses? We do not benefit from the Fortune 500 companies that may have existed a few decades ago. As such, family businesses have been the constant regarding job creation, growing the economy, and providing philanthropic resources for the community. n

Does this type of business typically face any other pitfalls? Never allow the family business to be a testing place for family members who are deciding what they want to do professionally or with the rest of their life. When they come into the business, a person should have skill sets and talents that add value to the business, and in return, the business should provide opportunity for growth that comes with defined roles and responsibilities. Bringing in a family member who isn’t a good fit could have long-term implications far beyond addressing their immediate needs.




WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEXT YEAR? Spending more time, in-person, with family and friends, Mardi Gras, and officially celebrating our daughter’s wedding… New Orleans style.

HOBBIES? Gardening


BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED? Spend time sitting by a window. As long as you can see life you’ll want to live life.

DAILY HABITS? Listening to classical music during my morning drive to the office — it tempers my spirit.

PET PEEVE(S)? (Media) depicting people from New Orleans with heavy Cajun accents



Devastated by Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, St. Bernard Parish has since rebounded to become the fastest growing parish in Louisiana.






still lower than most of the metro area — the average home value in the parish is under $150,000. While former residents continue to return as housing becomes available and economic opportunity increases, McCormack has seen people coming in from the Florida Panhandle and as far away as Michigan and the Northeast. The largest number, though, are from closer to home, particularly New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. What are some of the main attractions downriver? For younger famiBERNARD PARISH IS THE BEST-KEPT SECRET IN THE REGION!” lies, the St. Bernard Parish This enthusiastic comment, from Meaghan school system’s ranking the best in the state McCormack, executive director of the St. among is a major draw. The cost Bernard Economic Development Foundation, is of living is lower, including housing pr ices. echoed by businesspeople across the parish and those Crime is also low. The 16 supported by data from the recent U.S. Census miles of Mississippi riveras well as coastal and other sources — which suggests that the front, frontage, outdoor recreation, wildlife and scenic secret may be starting to get out. views are all among the area’s assets, as well as “I think St. Bernard would really easy access to all that New Orleans and surprise people,” said Cat Demaré, the rest of the region has to offer. owner and “creative co-conspirator” “People think this is a far-off place,” of Chicory Productions. Demaré’s said Kerri Callais, managing partner recently launched venture exempliof Callais Ice Service, “but when they fies the startups that are helping to come here, they find it’s as easy to generate so much energy and exciteget to as Metairie or Slidell.” Callais’ ment in the parish. company takes full advantage of what At the opp osite end of the she considers the parish’s prime local o n g ev i ty s p e c t r u m i s Dav i d tion, delivering the 200-plus tons of Clements, owner of Clements ice it manufactures every day to some Insurance. Clements, whose father 300 customers that range from local founded the company nearly 50 groceries and restaurants to locations years ago, traces the family’s St. Bernard roots to the 1700s. Yet his sentiments are the same. in Covington, Avondale and Mandeville. “This place was always a hidden gem,” Clements said. “Now we’ve gone through such a transfor“It takes half the time to get to mation, people who moved away see the progress and are coming back.” Downtown New Orleans as it does Clements’ observation highlights to the starting point for the current revitalization of St. from Jefferson Parish,” echoed Demaré Bernard: the dark, desperate days after Hurricane Katrina. Storm surge, primarily channeled up of Chicory Productions. She and her the now-closed Mississippi River Gulf Outlet — the infamous “Mr. Go” — just about washed the husband took all these factors into parish away. Some questioned whether the area would ever come back. consideration when they moved to Roots in St. Bernard Parish are strong, however, and longtime residents pitched in and started Arabi three years ago. What they did not the rebuilding work. anticipate was the COVID-19 pandemic, “Our people did a fabulous job of bringing St. Bernard back and bringing it back strong,” said which cost Demaré her job in the event Elizabeth Dauterive, CEO of the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, “and it has just kept going production field. But she said the couple from there.” never considered leaving, and instead Parish government played an important role in the comeback via programs such as “Sold on combined their talents to open up their St. Bernard,” which packaged vacant lots for developers, laid down the infrastructure, established virtual events and video production design standards and performance requirements, and streamlined the permitting process. Entire company. new neighborhoods were created. While some of her larger clients are in “Five years later, the parish is really reaping the benefits of this program,” observed McCormack, the city or even spread throughout the who added that not only has the program provided the housing stock that has catalyzed the popunation, many are closer to home. lation growth, it has caused property values to increase exponentially, rewarding early purchasers “In St. Bernard, we can provide and those pre-Katrina homeowners who held on to their lots. At the same time, housing prices are services where they are not as widely




DAVID CLEMENTS, OWNER OF CLEMENTS INSURANCE available, especially for smaller businesses. Businesses here are more actively looking to work with other St. Bernard businesses.” From her perspective, several advantages accrue from, as she put it, “being a bigger fish in a smaller pond. “I can bring my talents here in a way that I couldn’t necessarily do in New Orleans, and I can contribute in other ways. I want to be in a place where I can make a difference.” Demaré has backed this up by being an active Chamber member and serving on several local nonprofit boards. Her point underscores another aspect widely cited as a compelling attraction in the parish. “It’s a smaller community, so everyone helps everyone else,” noted the Chamber’s Dauterive. “It doesn’t take long to meet everyone.” “That’s something that has always been a staple here, that people try to use other St. Bernard businesses,” agreed Clements. “I always try to keep my business in St. Bernard.” He added that this common attitude has led to stronger business performance and accountability. “People provide a better level of service because their customers are their neighbors. I can’t imagine going into too many businesses in St. Bernard where I haven’t at least met the owners. There are very few strangers here.” Few people have a better observation post for the region’s revitalization and sense of community than Jessica Reab, general manager of Brewster’s Restaurant. Another multigenerational family business — founded by Reab’s father 35 years ago — Reab experiences the new and the old on a daily basis. “There’s such a sense of loyalty to our community,” she said. “People really want to support the local businesses and see us do well.” The newcomers seem to welcome this also, she added. “You meet new people and you get connected to them quickly.” The majority of the patrons at Brewster’s are locals, augmented by visitors enjoying the outdoor and recreation opportunities. While Reab noted that the restaurant trade inherently

requires working with some vendors from farther afield, she added that, “We try to do business locally as often as possible.” Of course, there are larger companies and industries in St. Bernard as well. According to McCormack, of the Economic Development Foundation, the parish’s traditional major sectors are maritime and energy. Large refineries still dot the landscape, and the Port of St. Bernard is a major player in the Mississippi River shipping industry. The healthcare and construction sectors are also major employers. That said, “The goal of the foundation has been to diversify, to look at what the jobs of the future will be,” McCormack noted. One example of this is film and video production. Having recently doubled in size, The Ranch Film Studio is now the largest post-production facility in Louisiana. Driven in part by additional incentives offered by the parish government, a growing number of films are shooting there. “This means the film companies are spending their money in the community, from buying the materials for set construction to hiring local caterers,” said McCormack. Another example of diversification is the new Aerospace Manufacturing Program being offered at Nunez Community College in Chalmette, which McCormack says includes some NASAaffiliated companies currently working at the Michoud Assembly Facility in eastern New Orleans that are now looking at relocating to St. Bernard.

“Now we’ve gone through such a transformation, people who moved away see the progress and are coming back.” David Clements, owner of Clements Insurance



“A lot of lots are still vacant from Katrina, but there are so many houses going up my mind has been blown. And there is a lot of growth that’s still going to happen.”

Dauterive noted what she thought was another important factor that helped businesses get through the pandemic: timely communication from parish government. “The parish officials kept us informed,” she reported. “Knowing what was going on helped businesses figure out new ways to generate revenue streams.” In addition to managing her family’s business, Callais has been a councilmember-at-large for six years, and she emphasized that St. Bernard Parish government works to create a business-friendly environment. “We are ready and willing to help any business get started,” she said. “We help with the paperwork, the permits, finding a business location. We are hungry for new businesses as a parish government.” One possible new economic engine on the horizon is the Port of New Orleans’ proposed container terminal, a potential $1.5 billion investment in the parish that would be built in Violet. The project is still in its early stages, including feasibility, environmental impact and other studies, and concerns remain about the potential implications for residential quality of life; but jobs, spending and infrastructure improvements could all be of considerable benefit to St. Bernard. Although the parish has its own port, the facility does not handle containers, so competition would not be a factor.

St. Bernard has weathered the impacts of the recent disasters better than much of the region. To everyone’s considerable relief, the new $14 million floodwall protection systems held up during Hurricane Ida. The Parish may also have come through COVID-19 better than any other in the greater New Orleans area. “I’m not aware of a single business that shut down solely because of COVID,” said McCormack. “Maybe because we have more space here, we had lower case numbers. We have fewer large office complexes and co-working spaces, and business owners really supported each other.” Brewster ’s Restaurant was one example of locals supporting locals. “As soon as things shut down, we went straight to takeout only,” Reab recalled. “Then we went totally to curbside pickup. And once we figured out how that worked, we talked to some other restaurants to let them know they could do the same thing.” The restaurant’s owners used the downtime to completely renovate its interior, something they had wanted to do for a while. “For us,” said Reab, “it was a little bit of a blessing in disguise.” According to McCormack, it also helped that the economy in St. Bernard is largely founded on businesses considered to be essential, like refineries and shipping. “Our businesses needed to be able to continue operating to keep the country functioning.”





Jessica Reab, general manager of Brewster’s Restaurant


ST. BERNARD BY THE NUMBERS St. Bernard is the fastest-growing parish in Louisiana per the 2020 Census, with population increasing 21% from the previous Census to 48,172.


additional population growth is projected by 2025


Median household income, with 6.6% projected growth by 2025

$2,714,041,000 Annual parish GDP, representing growth of 42% between 2016 and 2019


Total number of privately-owned businesses Looking back to where St. Bernard Parish was in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the area’s recovery and revitalization is nothing short of remarkable. The destruction was horrific, easily on a par with that in New Orleans itself; but unlike the city, little national attention — let alone financial and volunteer resources — was focused on the area. The rebuilding process is not complete. “A lot of lots are still vacant from Katrina,” Reab pointed out, “but there are so many houses going up, my mind has been blown. And there is a lot of growth that’s still going to happen.” “Once the wave started, we’ve been catching momentum more and more,” concurred Clements. “More stores are opening up, more restaurants. Businesses are feeding off the population growth, and people are coming in because of the businesses. We are in a really good upward spiral right now, and I really see it continuing to move forward.” The parish’s tangible growth is mirrored by shifting perceptions of St. Bernard by both residents and outsiders. “I think most people saw it as a suburb of New Orleans, never saw it standing on its own,” noted Callais, adding that the pace of change has particularly accelerated in the past five to six years. “Now people are realizing it is a wonderful, affordable place to live and [can] still be in the middle of everything.” “I’m excited about what’s to come,” enthused McCormack. “Things are moving downriver!” n


cars enter the parish on an average day

6 miles

of intercoastal waterway access support the port and shipping industry



















WORKSPACES The husband-and-wife team at The Inn at the Old Jail offer a place for travelers to hit the pause button.

WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? Handmade corset purveyor Autumn Adamme has relied on flexibility to stay strong.

ON THE JOB Marquette Transportation Company is one of the nation’s largest providers of marine transportation services.


Jail Break The husband-and-wife team at The Inn at the Old Jail offer a place for travelers to hit the pause button. BY M E L A N IE WAR NE R SPE NCER PHOTOS BY S A RA ES S EX BRA DLEY

away for good,” as it says on their website. (Visit the site at to view historic photos and pre-renovation images.) Raul and Liz recently visited with Biz New Orleans to tell us more about the space and their family business.

What were your goals for the design?

Raul Canache: My goal was that when you step through the door, you feel that everything you see has been as it is since it was completed in 1902. We did this to honor the history of the building and the New Orleans Police Department.

What was the biggest design challenge and how was it overcome?

Raul Canache: Our greatest challenge was melding my design with the modern construction code restrictions in an historic building. The only way we overcame the differences was by working closely with the historic offices in Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C. along with the New Orleans fire marshal — a lot of give and take! T H E C I R C A- 1 8 9 0 S Q U E E N A N N E AT 2 5 5 2

Saint Philip St. has been home to a police patrol station and jail, a library and a community center. Most recently, however, it houses a nine-room boutique hotel that plays to its original history. Owners and




innkeepers Raul and Liz Canache have lovingly restored the space to highlight the striking architecture and distinct history, reimagining it as The Inn at the Old Jail. The couple welcomes weary travelers, offering a place to get “locked

The 7,100-square-foot Inn at the Old Jail is located in Tremé. The circa-1890s Queen Anne-style building has a 2,500-square-foot rooftop deck. It has been a police station and jail, as well as a library and a community center.

What is the standout feature of the design and why does it stand out?

Liz Canache: The standout feature we tried to achieve was retaining the feel of an old Victorian police station

The rooms throughout the inn are furnished with antiques sourced by owners Raul and Liz Canache primarily at Crescent City Auction Gallery. Names like “The Cage” and “Cellblock A” belie the restrained, yet cozy comfort within.



Raul and Liz Canache welcome guests from all over the world, but they say a large portion of their clientele more recently have been first-responders. A family room, library and commercial kitchen are all available for use by guests.



5 years


Started in 2014; Completed most of the work by June of 2017 SQUARE FOOTAGE

Approximately 7,100 square feet, plus a 2,500-squarefoot rooftop deck NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES



and jail, while creating a comfortable and homey living atmosphere for the travelers. To know why it stands out you will just have to walk in the door and stay with us for a bit.

a truly historic building within a quiet residential area, drawing, to a large extent, first-responders — police, military and medical personnel — and also European travelers.

How would you describe Inn at the Old Jail and its core clientele?

How did you offer something different or set yourselves apart from similar businesses in New Orleans?

Raul Canache: The Inn at the Old Jail is our home where we enjoy receiving our guests with a welcoming atmosphere in




Liz Canache: Our setup is very unique, being an historic police jail. We also

Raul and Liz Canache, owners and innkeepers

have ample common areas where guests can gather and enjoy each other, such as a family room with the only TV, a lovely library with a baby grand piano, a commercially licensed kitchen available for the guests’ use, a front courtyard and a large rooftop deck with views of the surrounding neighborhood and city.

How do you promote a positive work atmosphere?

Liz Canache: We treat all as if they were family and it is a joy to serve them.


Katherine and Liz Harmon of LKHarmon Architects FURNISHINGS AND ART

Chosen by the Canaches, primarily from Crescent City Auction Gallery

What are your biggest challenges?

Raul Canache: COVID-19 has been a huge challenge.

What goals are you looking to meet in the next 12 months?

Raul Canache: Our goals are to attract business back and rebuild our clientele. n




Dramatic Curves Since opening up shop on Magazine Street in 2019, handmade corset purveyor Autumn Adamme has relied on flexibility to stay strong. BY A S HL EY MCLE LL AN PORTRAIT BY SAR A E SSE X B R A DLEY

NEW ORLEANS HAS INSPIRED GENER ATIONS of artists, designers and costume creators almost from its very beginnings, and corset designer, master fitter and founder of Dark Garden Corsetry and Couture Autumn Adamme is one of them. Adamme has translated that New Orleans joie de vivre into a successful line of handmade foundation-wear and a fantastic, and fantastical, 32-year long career. Dark Garden Corsetry opened its flagship location in San Francisco in 1989. Thirty years later, in April 2019, the store expanded into New Orleans at 3528 Magazine Street, and ever since has been providing FUN FACTS custom corsets for international ABOUT celebrities (such as Jennifer Lopez CORSETS and Dita Von Teese), locally celebrated Mardi Gras krewes, brides, Corsets as a couture and costume creations, separate shaping undergarment and anyone just interested in first appeared in fashion and style. the 16th century. While Halloween and Mardi In Europe in the Gras are understandably popular Middle Ages, waisttimes for sales, Dark Garden shaping garments clients aren’t just looking for were worn by both dramatic apparel, a fact that has sexes. Some men kept the boutique businesses busy also wore them for three decades. in the 18th and 19th centuries. “Our clients really run the gamut,” Adamme said. “We have Andy Warhol was people who come in for all sorts said to have worn of needs – medical compression, a corset to support his back after being opera and theater, shapewear to wear under your clothing, state- shot in 1968. ment pieces to show off, full head- Young children were often fitted to-toe ensembles for weddings or with corsets in special occasions, corsets for the the 19th century boudoir or to spice up the bedroom, in the belief they and costumes for burlesque, would ensure a Halloween or Carnival. But all straight spine of our clients come to us because and a good body shape later in life. they’re looking to invest in a piece that will deliver in quality, dura- SOURCE: BRITTANICA.COM AND CORSET-STORY.COM bility, beauty as well as comfort.”




Ad a m m e s a i d h e r journey to the Crescent City was a long time Autumn Adamme, coming, but has been founder of Dark worth the wait. Garden Corsetry and “ Ne w O rl e a n s h a s Couture, creates onelong inspired me with of-a-kind, hand-made creations for celebits magic, history and rities, Mardi Gras creative spirit,” Adamme krewes, brides and said. “The name ‘Dark more from her New Garden,’ which I landed Orleans Magazine Street boutique. on back in 1989, was in part motivated by my love of this city even then. I’ve also spent a lot of time in New Orleans professionally. In 2009, I worked with The Sirens to conceptualize and design the costumes for their Mardi Gras krewe and made their corsets exclusively for eight years. We’ve also created many corsets for The Merry Antoinettes since their inception. It had long been a dream of mine to open a location here, and I was finally able to make that happen with the help of my boutique manager, Annabelle, when she too fell in love with the magic of the city.” Since its local brick-and-mortar debut, success has been steady, although Adamme and her team have had to navigate an unprecedented retail market with quarantine and COVID-19 restrictions. “We certainly weren’t expecting to celebrate our first and second New Orleans anniversaries in quarantine,” she said. “Though we’ve been a brand for over 30 years and built a name for ourselves in San Francisco and beyond within the corset community, we were relatively unknown in New Orleans. Our [two-plus] years here have been spent in part getting to know the New Orleans communities we serve and having them get to know us, as well as navigating the challenges of the pandemic. We’ve adjusted our in-store offerings, played with live-stream selling, increased online events, sponsored local charities, and I’ve even joined the Magazine Street Merchants Association board.” All of Dark Garden’s corsets are hand-made by artisans at the San Francisco boutique. Adamme’s team consists of a tight-knit studio dedicated to creating the highest quality product. “We are proud to employ a local, women-led, queer-inclusive staff who are paid a living wage,” she said. “Dark Garden is unique in that we have the talent and vision of a couture house, the agility of a small design studio, but also have brick-and-mortar stores where we can build a head-to-toe brand image and interact with clients on a personal level,” she said. “Besides myself, there are 10 people in production, including my other two designers, and three people who work in the San Francisco boutique, though one of them is part-time on production. We have four people in New


Orleans, and two contractors in other states, so that’s 19.” Corsets may be ordered remotely via the company’s website or in person at the boutiques, with an emphasis on proper fitting for both comfort and style. “We offer three levels of purchase, both online and in-store,” explained Adamme. “Pre-made, ready-to-wear corsets for sale in our boutiques start at $495 in our signature black cotton, and can go up to around $1,400 or so depending on the silhouette and fabric. With personalized design, the client can select one of our standard silhouettes and design their own corset, choosing among many customizable design elements. Depending on fabric and hardware selection, fit alterations, and add-on details from pockets to piping, the prices can range quite a bit. These corsets take about six weeks to produce.” For those looking for the ultimate in corsetry, Dark Garden also offers a bespoke experience. “These corsets are completely made to measure over the course of three to six months,” said Adamme. “They include an initial designer consultation, extensive measurements and at least two mockup fittings before the corset is made. The final piece is perfectly fit to your body with the highest level of tailoring. These corsets start at $2,995.” Consultants work with clients via email, video consultation and in person to properly fit each corset to the wearer. Dark Garden also hosts private fitting parties for bachelorette parties or krewe costume meetings; for example, for groups of two to six prices range from $100 to $500 per event, and can feature personalized fittings, private access to the boutiques and celebratory refreshments. In a market of quick and cheap options, Dark Garden caters to those who demand quality and craftsmanship. “We hold ourselves to the highest standard in everything we do, including the materials we select, construction techniques, fair labor standards, inclusive sizing and marketing, our boutique experience and customer service,” Adamme said. “Our patterns and techniques are informed by over 30 years of real experience fitting corsets on actual bodies. With mass-produced corsets, you don’t get the benefit of trying items on in-store, consulting with an expert fitter, personalizing the fit of your corset or even designing the construction yourself. You are certainly not likely to get quality materials or comfort in a mass-produced corset.” According to Adamme, this particular undergarment holds a lot of power. “They are transformative garments,” she said. “They improve your posture and enhance your silhouette, boosting your confidence and transforming how others perceive you.” n



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.







Towing the Line The result of the combination of two familyowned businesses, Marquette Transportation Company is one of the nation’s largest providers of marine transportation services. PHOTO BY JE F F E RY JO HNSTO N

IF YOU SEE A TOWBOAT PUSHING A BARGE ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, there’s a good chance it belongs to Marquette Transportation Company’s Gulf Inland Division. The division includes roughly 60 working vessels and employs approximately 500 people, including six port captains. One of those port captains, Jeffery Ellington, is seen here at work last month coiling a line on the St. Andrew towboat at Bollinger Quick Repair in Harvey. Marquette’s vessels can be found pushing barges packed with anything from grains and liquids to NASA components throughout the Southeast — from Brownsville, Texas to St. Mark’s, Florida and up to the Upper Mississippi River. n