Biz New Orleans November 2018

Page 1


Business Death of

A look inside the industry with funeral director Patrick Schoen

p. 58

Help Without the High

Aviation director Kevin Dolliole shares his thoughts on the new airport.

Taking off PG.52

november 2018

New Orleans’ first CBD Shop capitalizes on a growing industry

p. 70

Cryptocurrency What You Should Know

pg. 42 / 5

Publisher Todd Matherne Editorial Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde Managing Editor Kimberley Singletary Art Director Sarah George Digital Media Editor Kelly Massicot Associate News Editor Alexa Harrison Social Media Assistant Becca Miller Multimedia Blogger Leslie T. Snadowsky Contributors Julia Carcamo, Joe Celano, Adam Kinyon, Pamela Marquis, Ashley McLellan, Chris Price, Jennifer Gibson Schecter, Poppy Tooker, Keith Twitchell, Melanie Warner Spencer 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 Account Executive Jessica Jaycox (504) 830-7255 Account Executive Sydney Steib (504) 830-7225 Marketing Director of Marketing & Events Cheryl Lemoine Event Coordinator Abbie Dugruise Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne For event information, call (504) 830-7264 Production Traffic Coordinator Lane Brocato Production Designers Emily Andras, Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney Administration Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde Office Manager Mallary Matherne Distribution Manager John Holzer Subscription Manager Brittanie Bryant For subscriptions, call (504) 830-7231

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

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

6 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

november 2018 / Volume 5 / Issue 2

contents EVERY ISSUE


12 / Editor’s note

44 / banking & finance

13 / publisher’s note 16 / Calendar

from the lens

Cryptocurrency Is Not Dead

18 / industry news 20 / recent openings 22 / Events

in the biz

66 / great workspaces

Inspired Design

28 / dining

The State of the Loaf 30 / tourism

Let Them Eat Beignets

48 / insurance

Caring for Your Care

70 / why didn’t i think of that?

Help Without the High 74 / making a match:

businesses and nonprofits

32 / sports

Son of a Saint

Forbes Values Saints at $2.075 billion 34 / entertainment

New Program Launches for Local Filmmakers




The Billion-Dollar Man

Thinking Outside the Final Box

Kevin Dolliole, the new director of aviation at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, talks about why he took the job, his thoughts on the recently announced delays and what you can expect from the muchanticipated new North Terminal. by topher balfer portraits by Romero & romero

The fifth generation of his family to run Jacob Schoen & Son funeral home, Patrick Schoen is bringing new life and a “no request is too strange” spirit to an industry that’s become all about tailor-made farewells. by kim singletary photos by Cheryl gerber

50 / maritime & port

Port Wrap-Up

80 / on the job

Save Our Cemeteries

36 / entrepreneurship

The Final Frontier 38 / etiquette

The Real Deal 40 / marketing

What’s In a Name?

on the cover Kevin Dolliole, director of aviation at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Photo by Romero & Romero

Editor’s Note

I See Dead People Ok, not really, but the morbid side of me was fulfilled this month

with the few hours I spent along with our photographer, Cheryl Gerber, touring the Jacob Schoen & Son funeral home. The afternoon, I have to say, was full of surprises. I’ve only been in a funeral home once — right after my little brother was killed by a drunk driver 20 years ago — and it was an awful experience. Granted, the circumstances were horrendous, but it didn’t help that the place itself was dark, severely outdated and musty and the funeral home director was so unfeeling that he at times bordered on inappropriate. Understandably, I was a little reluctant to take on this piece, but I’m so glad I did. I got to see how things should be done. Walking in the door of Jacob Schoen & Son I had one clear feeling: peace. It’s light and airy and grand — kind of like you’ve been invited to a glamorous brunch. And our host, Patrick Schoen, could not have been kinder or more accommodating, with the sort of effortless Southern charm and casual, relaxed demeanor that put you instantly at ease. I used to wonder how any person could be attracted to funeral work, but after meeting Schoen, I get it. What could be more honorable than fulfilling someone’s last wishes on earth? What could be more meaningful or beautiful than supporting and helping people celebrate the life of someone they love? Over seven years ago, when my family moved to New Orleans, I remember someone telling me, “This is a city that knows how to live and knows how to die.” I absolutely agree. Happy Reading,

Kimberley Singletary Managing Editor 10 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Publisher’s Note

Wedding Bells The holidays are upon us, and for the Matherne

family it’s an extra special time. During this time of year, people begin to focus on holiday parties, family gatherings and travel plans, but for our family we are focused this month on the wedding of our daughter. Our third daughter, Malayne, is marrying Jake, a lieutenant and Navy pilot she met while he was in flight school in Pensacola three years ago. You know how those stories go, it starts off as a fun girls trip to the beach and then suddenly you meet the guy you will marry. It has been a wonderful time preparing for our first family wedding, and these past three years getting to know Jake and his family have been great. As the father of three girls, what I always hoped for is that we raised them to be strong, independent ladies that develop the self-confidence to be successful in life and along the way find someone to spend the rest of their life with in a nourishing and loving relationship. So this holiday season, I raise a glass and toast to many things, but especially to the new Mr. & Mrs. Lt. Jacob “Jake” and Malayne Schmidt. To many years of happiness. Todd Matherne PS. Happy 29 years Andrea. Love you forever. / 11

Meet the Sales Team

Caitlin Sistrunk Sales Manager (504) 830-7252

Brennan Manale Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7298

Jessica Jaycox Account Executive

(504) 830-7255

Sydney Steib Account Executive

(504) 830-7225

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales (504) 830-7215 12 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018 / 13


November 4 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Dia de los Muertos Festival 12 to 6 p.m. New Orleans Babycakes Stadium

15 Louisiana IT Symposium 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sheraton New Orleans 500 Canal St.

5-9 Louisiana International Trade Week & Jubilee Various locations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge

15 Propeller Propeller Pop 2018 presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. An evening celebrating social entrepreneurs with a tasting of New Orleans’ best pop-up restaurants 6 to 7 p.m. Patron Hour 7 to 9 p.m. General Admission Registration encouraged

7 Propeller Coworking Wednesdays (free monthly coworking event featuring local popups) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Propellera Incubator 4035 Washington Ave. New Orleans 8 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Educational Seminar with AMA: Marketing Port NOLA 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1515 Poydras St. 5th Floor Auditorium 13 Professional Women of St. Tammany Monthly luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tchefuncta Country Club 2 Pinecrest Dr., Covington 13 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch sponsored by Gulf Coast Bank & Trust 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1515 Poydras St. 5th Floor Auditorium 13 St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce Business Community Appreciation Luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Benedict’s Plantation 1144 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville 14 Jefferson Chamber of Commerce State of Jefferson 2018 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport 2829 Williams Blvd., Kenner 14 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

15 St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. St. Anthony’s Gardens 601 Holy Trinity Dr., Covington 16 ABWA New Orleans November Luncheon Fall Power Panel: Overcoming Obstacles and Nurturing a “Success Mindset” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Cannery 3803 Toulouse St. 28 New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Alliance Seminar with Fidelity P.O.W.E.R. 3:30 to 7 p.m. Harrah’s New Orleans 2nd Floor Ballroom 228 Poydras St. 28 Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Prosper Jefferson: Happy, Healthy Workplace, Part 3: Healthy Business Initiatives 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. JEDCO Conference Center 700 Churchill Pkwy., Avondale

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


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



Kingfish is a popular casual restaurant and cocktail bar in New Orleans that salutes the Huey P. Long Era. The Kingfish menu embodies new Louisiana cuisine. That along with our talented bartenders’ skill & expertise combine to create a unique Louisiana-centric dining experience. So whether you are a visitor to our wonderful city or one of our regulars, Kingfish is a perfect place to meet up with friends for brunch, lunch, dinner, or happy hour in the French Quarter.

New Orleans Social House is located in the historic Warehouse District of New Orleans. Combining the fun of a music venue, the cuisine of a worldly new restaurant, and the beverages of a high end craft cocktail & wine bar, NOSH encapsulates the true essence of a “good time.” From a friendly outing, to a work meet & greet, to a date night, NOSH transforms a social house into a home for all. Social Hour 4pm-7pm daily.

Restaurant R’evolution


Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto invite you to celebrate the holidays R’evolution style in the heart of the French Quarter! Enjoy in December extended Lunch (Wednesday-Friday) and our Reveillon prix fixe menus for Dinner and Sunday Jazz Brunch. Contact us to learn more about our holiday party incentive.

Newly Opened Couvant: Classic French Fare, steps from the French Quarter. Couvant brings a fresh perspective to the traditional brasserie serving up simple renditions of iconic French dishes in the brand-new Eliza Jane Hotel. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Social Hour served seven days a week - and Sunday Brunch.

337 Chartres St. • (504) 598-5005 •

777 Bienville Street • (504) 553-2277 •

752 Tchoupitoulas St. • (504) 581-7101 •

317 Magazine Street • (504) 324-5400 • / 15

Industry News


In its 2018 annual report, Area Development Magazine ranked Louisiana nationally in its top 10 in the following categories:

No. 3

Leading Workforce Development

No. 6

Favorable General Regulatory Environment, Business Incentive Programs and Cooperative and Responsive State Government.

port news

American Song Hits the River On Oct. 6, American Song, the first contemporary riverboat in the United States, sailed its inaugural cruise on the Mississippi River. American Song is the flagship riverboat in a new series of contemporary offerings by American Cruise Lines, who has partnered with the Port of New Orleans. With a capacity of just 184 travelers, the boat will cruise a full schedule of 8-day lower Mississippi River cruises throughout the remainder of this year before repositioning out west to the Columbia and Snake rivers in 2019. At that time, American Song’s sister ship, American Harmony — the second modern riverboat in the series — will take over the Mississippi River route, joining the cruise line’s Victorian-style paddlewheelers, Queen of the Mississippi and America.

No. 7

Top States for Doing Business

No. 7

Most Improved Economic Development Policies

No. 9

Overall Cost of Doing Business


Avondale Shipyard Finally Under New Ownership

No. 10

Praised by Jefferson Parish President Mike Yanni as “one of the largest economic development announcements in Jefferson Parish history,” Avondale Shipyard was purchased Oct. 3 by Avondale Marine LLC, a newly-formed joint venture between Virginiabased T. Parker Host and Illinois-based Hilco Redevelopment Partners.

Area Development surveys the nation’s top site selection consultants to produce the annual report.

Once the largest private employer in Louisiana, Avondale Shipyard — a 254-acre property that includes 8,000 feet of deepwater riverfront access and connection to six Class 1 railroads — was once the largest private employer in Louisiana, employing approximately 26,000. In 2014, the final naval vessel to be built at the shipyard departed and JEDCO, GNO, Inc. and Jefferson Parish officials began prioritizing its redevelopment.

Access to Capital and Project Funding and Shovel-Ready Sites Program.


Propeller Fund Invests $250,000 in Social Entrepreneurs The first three investment in New Orleans social entrepreneurs have been approved through the $1 million Propeller Social Venture Fund, operated in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana. Entrepreneurial ventures Bhoomi Cane Water, Clean Course Meals and 826 New Orleans will together receive a total of $250,000 from the fund. Propeller will also provide each loan recipient with technical assistance to help them meet repayments and achieve targets for financial growth and social impact. The announcement was made during a luncheon sponsored by Capital One at Calcasieu on Oct. 5 celebrating Propeller’s 10th anniversary that highlighted the organization’s high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurs and included a special address by Mayor Latoya Cantrell, an early supporter of Propeller. Loan applications for the fund are open on a rolling basis at

16 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Louisiana Ranks in 2018’s HardestWorking States in America by Wallet Hub

No. 2

Engaged Workers — defined as “the share of employees who are ‘involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace,’ as defined by Gallup.”

No. 18

Hardest Working States in America

“Louisiana has reached a pivotal point in its history, and now is the time to reject the broken status quo and embrace a new, bold vision to benefit everyone in our state. [This is] a road map of policy solutions that will fix our fundamentally broken government and help all Louisiana working families in their pursuit of opportunity and a better quality of life.” Daniel Erspamer, CEO of Pelican Institute, a nonpartisan research and educational organization that serves as a voice for free markets in Louisiana. On Oct. 2, the organization rolled out its new policy platform, “A Jobs and Opportunity Agenda for Louisiana,” which will include the release of monthly policy papers detailing key issues impacting Louisiana and offering solutions to lawmakers. The first paper, out now, focuses on the state’s ongoing budget problems. / 17

Recent Openings

Vintage Rock Club Brechtel Hospitality, the management company that operates Fulton Alley, Walk-Ons and Copper Vine, opened its newest venture, Vintage Rock Club, a high-end bar and entertainment venue, Oct. 27 at 1009 Poydras Street. The club took over former event space the Rampart Room, located above Walk-Ons. Open Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and available for event and party rentals seven days a week, Vintage Rock Club is an exclusive multimedia music experience surrounded by the concept of “the greatest jukebox that ever lived.”

Property One


Disney Wonder Representing huge news from the Port of New Orleans, Disney Cruise Line announced it will begin sailing from the port in early 2020. The line’s 2,700-passenger Disney Wonder cruise ship will make its home port at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal for a currently limited schedule of five itineraries in the Caribbean and Bahamas that begin sailing in February. Booking opened Oct. 4.

Esplanade 2018 Partners, a partnership of Metairiebased Property One — a full-service property management, leasing, brokerage and consulting service company — and Dallas-based Provident Realty Advisors — a privately held real estate and investment firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas — opened their newly remodeled office building and company headquarters, Executive Tower, at 3500 N. Causeway on Oct. 2. The building was purchased in April 2018 and Property One relocated its corporate headquarters to the building in June.


Children’s Hospital Hog House



The Julia and Bonci Pizzeria The Julia at Saint Charles, an upcoming mixed-use development in New Orleans’ Warehouse District by Stirling Properties set to open in the second quarter of 2019, will welcome Rome-based Bonci Pizzeria’s third location in the United States as its anchor co-tenant, along with True Food Kitchen. The Julia will include almost 200 luxury apartments and over 16,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

18 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

UNTUCKit, a company created in 2011 that creates dress shirts designed to be worn untucked opened its first Louisiana store at 3943 Magazine Street Sept. 14. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees joined the company as an investor and “brand ambassador” early this year. UNTUCKit is one of the fastest-growing retail brands in the country. The 2,089-squarefoot retail space includes t-shirts, polos, sports jackets, performance wear and new lines for women and boys.

On Sept. 27, Hogs for the Cause teams and supporters joined in dedicating Children’s Hospital’s Hogs House, a 1920s townhouse the organization has pledged $2.1 million to renovate into an on-campus housing facility for families from outside New Orleans who have a child receiving treatment at the hospital. Hogs House will include 13 family suites with private bathroooms, common areas with two family lounges, kitchen spaces and a laundry room.

Universal Facility Services Universal Facility Services — a division of Canada-based Universal Group — has made its first home in the United States in New Orleans. The company, which provides safe, eco-friendly professional cleaning, beautification and external facility improvement services to companies including Ochsner Health System, is located in One Shell Square at 701 Poydras Street.








Monday, September 17 | Orpheum Theater

Friday, September 21 | Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

The American Cuisine and Hospitality Symposium

Tulane Business Forum

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of Commander’s Palace, the restaurant hosted a day-long discussion at the Orpheum Theater about the future of food and hospitality in America. In attendance were some of the area’s most celebrated chefs and thought leaders.

The 39th annual Tulane Business Forum again brought together more than 750 business professionals representing more than 200 companies. This year’s topic, Digital Transformation: Strategy to Execution, was addressed by both local and national speakers.

1. Emeril Lagasse, Tory McPhail and Michael Gulotta 2. Lorin Gaudin, Susan Spicer and Ketrell Garnett 3. Nick Detrich, Poppy Tooker and Lally Brennan

1. Chris Ralston, Laura Plante and Tyler Nichols 2. Eric Smith, Norby Chabert, Rebecca Gardner and Phillip May 3. Rob Munch, Stephanie Kleehammer and Tom Ambrose

20 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

photographs by cheryl gerber / 21








Friday, September 28 | Intercontinental New Orleans

Tuesday, October 9 | Roussel Hall, Loyola University

New Orleans Chamber 3rd Quarter Luncheon in partnership with EO

8th Annual Economic & Real Estate Forecast Symposium Sponsored by Gulf Coast Bank

Drs. Peter and Susan Glaser were the keynote speakers at the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce’s third quarter luncheon. The duo’s presentation was entitled “Navigating Challenging Conversations: Break Through Conflict.”

This sold out event presented by the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors (NOMAR) and its Commercial Investment Division (CID), in partnership with Loyola University, was focused on “New Orleans as an Innovation Economy: Making the Connections.”

1.Sandra Lindquist, Ashley Page and Mamie Gasperecz 2. Luke Cooney, Alana Tanner and Ross McKight 3. Pamela Otibu, Kim Hasney, Ashley Hilsman and Haley Pegg

1. Ryan Pearce, Cindy Callais, LaTanya LaBranch and Jon Cerruti 2. Will Campbell Jr., Kathy Case and Spring Franklin 3. Brian Heiden, Colleen Kuhn, Mamie Gasperecz and Guy Williams

22 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

photographs by cheryl gerber

24 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Biz columnists spe ak out


A look at the wonders and possibilities of space entrepreneurism

In The Biz dining

The State of the Loaf It’s not a New Orleans poor boy without the bread. by Poppy Tooker

26 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

sandwiches consumed in New Orleans each day, it may be hard to believe that those long, crisp loaves could be endangered. However, with the closing of Alois J. Binder’s bakery this fall, only two of the city’s original, old-line, French bread bakeries remain in business. Leidenheimer’s, the city’s oldest bakery, founded in 1896, and John Gendusa Bakery, harkening from 1922. While some 21st century poor-boy purveyors like Boucherie and Killer Po’Boys promote Vietnamese banh mi bread from Dong Phuong bakery on their menus, most stick with tradition. The concept of the endangered poorboy loaf is not new. Back in 2004, Sandy Whann and his sister, Katherine — fourthgeneration owners of Leidenheimer’s — realized national newcomers like the Subway franchise were gaining a foothold in New Orleans. It seemed that national advertising had begun to sway the tastes of the next generation, who were choosing fast food over their parents’ beloved poorboy sandwich. The Whanns believe, as do many New Orleanians, that the poor-boy represents an element of gastronomic culture, a sandwich with a sense of place. So, together with some like-minded poor-boy lovers they formed the Po’boy Preservation Society, the genesis of today’s annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. The Strike that Started It All The bottom line is, you can’t make a real poor-boy without a loaf of New Orleans French bread. John Gendusa, III is an authority on the subject. His grandfather, the original John Gendusa, baked the first poor-boy loaves for Martin Brother’s Grocery back in 1929 during a streetcar strike. The Martin brothers had been streetcar conductors themselves once, so they generously offered free meals to all striking conductors. Together, John Gendusa and the Martin brothers sketched out on brown paper the length a sandwich would have to be in order to feed not just the “poor boys,” but their families as well. The ends of the loaf were blunted to make servings equal from end to end. It’s in the Water No matter how it’s shaped, the bread dough itself is where the magic lies. Light and fluffy with a shatteringly

crisp crust, both John Gendusa III and Whann agree that New Orleans water affects the taste and texture of the final product. Gendusa recalls that back in the 1950s, two of his father’s master bakers tried to open a poor-boy bakery of their own just 80 miles away in Baton Rouge. Even with John Gendusa’s help, they never managed to replicate New Orleans French bread. A Sad Farewell While

the small Gendusa family bakery mourned the loss of Binder’s, Sandy Whann expressed disappointment. He said he had tried to help the Alois J. Binder family keep their brand alive, just as his father, Robert J. Whann, had done with Reising in 1990 and more recently, in 2004, with Angelo Gendusa’s bakery. Early in his career, Robert Whann had observed the growth of in-house grocery store bakeries and decided to pursue domination in New Orleans restaurants. The purchase of Reising yielded the grocery store business, where today that bag of Reising pistolettes sits next to the Leidenheimer Zip loaves, all crafted from the same magical dough. Duck, Duck, Bread “The much smaller Angelo Gendusa bakery came with a wonderful customer base,” said Whann. It also came with another New Orleans bread rarity – the cap loaf. What was first called “duck bread,” was originally about 14 or 15 inches in length, distinguished by a flap of dough turned back across the top, giving the illusion of a sleeping duck. When, over time, the bread size reduced, the small flap became more reminiscent of the tassel on a cap ­— thus the name. The only place you’re likely to encounter cap bread today is at Arnaud’s Restaurant, where it still remains their preference. With all the cultural identity locals find in a loaf of bread, Whann says he feels a great responsibility. “New Orleans claims the richest culinary heritage in America and our French bread holds a special place in that.” At Leidenheimer’s, it’s always “good to the last crumb.” n

Catch Poppy Tooker on her radio show, Louisiana Eats! Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m. on WWNO 89.9 FM.

illust ratio n by To n y H eale y

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

Judging from the number of poor-boy / 27

In The Biz to u r is m

Let Them Eat Beignets Dining options slated for new airport terminal promise much more than a yogurt cup By Jennifer Gibson Schecter

28 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Inn, Angelo Brocato’s and so many more will make you feel like you’re in the city” said Burns. Chase North will run the following: Leah’s Kitchen, Midway Pizza, Chick-Fil-A, Ye Olde College Inn, PJ’s, Heritage Bar, Angelo Brocato’s, Bar Sazerac, MoPho, City Greens, Folse Market and Café Du Monde. HMS Host will also run locally owned vendors, with a few more national chains. Its vendors include: Emeril’s, Shake Shack, Starbucks, Great American Bagel, Cure, Munch Factory, Chili’s, Auntie Anne’s, Mondo, Panda Express, Lucky Dogs and Smoothie King. The specialty retail concepts are also being run by two different companies. The news and gift stores operated by Paradies Lagardere and Pacific Gateway will provide a mix of local brands that are representative of Louisiana and New Orleans, as well as several national brands. Paradies Lagardere will operate The Advocate, Dylan’s Candy Bar, Brother’s Food Mart, The Score Board, CNBC, Trip Advisor, Brighton, InMotion, Fleurty Girl and Nola Couture. Pacific Gateway will run two Pulp & Grind locations, News Stand, Lolli & Pops, Dirty Coast, Preservation Hall, EJE Duty Free and Xpress Spa. Burns said all vendors were selected through an open and competitive bid process last year. She also pointed out that the construction project is an evolving one, and the airport will be hands-on working with the vendors to revise or update the concession program as necessary. n

illust ratio n by To n y H eale y

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

When the new North Terminal opens at

Louis Armstrong International Airport on May 15, 2019, the most exciting of all the features for locals and lovers of our culture are the new dining options. “The new terminal is specifically designed to accommodate modern concessions facilities,” said Erin Burns, director of communications at New Orleans Aviation. “When the new terminal opens, passengers will have access to 45 concessions once they are beyond the newly designed centralized-security checkpoint. Currently, passengers only have access to an average of 13 concessions beyond the existing security checkpoints at each concourse which limits passengers to only those concession offerings on that particular concourse.” Instead of trying to chug that Dunkin’ Donuts latté before TSA yells at you to take your shoes off, you can delay your caffeine fix until you get to New Orleans’ own Pulp & Grind on the other side of security and settle in at your gate to sip your coffee. The planning team made a consistent effort to populate the new terminal with vendors that represent the culture of New Orleans, as well as nationally recognized options. “The airport’s goal is to provide awardwinning concessions options that celebrate New Orleans and appeal to both the local and visiting passengers with varying levels of discretionary funds,” explained Burns. “We wanted to include brands with national and local notoriety, especially with regard to the specialty retail concepts.” The new facility will feature a food and beverage program by two different companies – Delaware North-Chase Catering and Concessions (Chase North) and HMS Host-Coaxum Enterprises-Kaleidoscope Strategies (HMS Host). The airport aims for its food and beverage program to be world-class and provide competition among vendors with a mix of local and national brands that fit all price points. “The options include local James Beard Foundation-recognized restaurants and chefs and national brands that everyone recognizes, so there is something for everyone no matter the budget, taste or time available. Local favorites like Café Du Monde, Munch Factory, Ye Olde College / 29

In The Biz s p o r ts

Forbes Values Saints at $2.08 billion Despite the claims of detractors, the NFL remains the most popular sports league in the United States and the most lucrative in the world. by chris price

30 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

met the league rule that a single owning partner must control at least 30 percent of the team’s equity. Forbes’ assistant managing editor Mike Ozanian was quoted as saying, “The reason for this year’s small increase is the dearth of people with the liquid wealth to buy 30 percent of an NFL team.” Really? There’s a “dearth” of people who have $682.5 million in liquidity ready to buy a football team? C’mon. Don’t feel bad for the owners for the modest increase, though. In the 21 years that Forbes has appraised franchise values, NFL teams’ worth has increased at an annual rate of 11.6 percent, almost three times the rate of the S&P 500. n


Forbes 2018 NFL Valuations

Forbes’ 21st annual listing of the most valuable teams in the National Football League was released this week. The New Orleans Saints, valued at $2.075 billion, ranked 26th out of 32 NFL franchises. The average NFL team is worth $2.34 billion. Rank Team 1 Dallas Cowboys 2 New England Patriots 3 New York Giants 4 Los Angeles Rams 5 Washington Redskins 6 San Francisco 49ers 7 Chicago Bears 8 New York Jets 9 Houston Texans 10 Philadelphia Eagles 11 Denver Broncos 12 Green Bay Packers 13 Atlanta Falcons 14 Baltimore Ravens 15 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 Seattle Seahawks 17 Miami Dolphins 18 Oakland Raiders 19 Minnesota Vikings 20 Indianapolis Colts 21 Carolina Panthers 22 Los Angeles Chargers 23 Arizona Cardinals 24 Kansas City Chiefs 25 Jacksonville Jaguars 26 New Orleans Saints 27 Tennessee Titans 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29 Cleveland Browns 30 Cincinnati Bengals 31 Detroit Lions 32 Buffalo Bills

Value $5 B $3.8 B $3.3 B $3.2 B $3.1 B $3.05 B $2.9 B $2.85 B $2.8 B $2.75 B $2.65 B $2.625 B $2.6 B $2.59 B $2.585 B $2.58 B $2.575 B $2.42 B $2.4 B $2.38 B $2.3 B $2.275 B $2.15 B $2.1 B $2.08 B $2.075 B $2.05 B $2 B $1.95 B $1.8 B $1.7 B $1.6 B

illust r atio n by To n y H eale 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

What difference does a few months make?

For the New Orleans Saints about $75 million. That’s how much the value of the team has increased since July. For a bit of perspective, consider Tom Benson paid $70 million for the Saints when he bought the team in 1985. In its 21st annual NFL Team Valuations, Forbes estimated the Saints’ are worth $2.08 billion, putting them 26th out of 32 NFL teams. In its annual list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams, released this summer, the Black and Gold ranked No. 48 at $2 billion. The Saints’ current value is a 4 percent increase from a year ago. Forbes believes New Orleans made $413 million in revenue and $115 million in operating income last year. The NFL’s 32 franchises range in value from the Dallas Cowboys at $5 billion to the Buffalo Bills at $1.6 billion. The Cowboys are the first team to reach the $5 billion mark, landing atop the list for the 12th straight year even though they haven’t been to the Super Bowl since they won it in 1996. That was 22 years ago, which means almost an entire generation of sports fans has not seen Dallas win a Lombardi Trophy. Still, the Cowboys are believed to have made $864 million in revenue last year, and cleared an operating income of $365 million – an average of $1 million a day over the past year. The New England Patriots ($3.8 billion), New York Giants ($3.3 billion), Los Angeles Rams ($3.2 billion) and Washington Redskins ($3.2 billion) — teams all in the nation’s largest media markets — made up the league’s five most valuable clubs. For the past several years, NFL team values have routinely seen double-digit percentage growth. When the Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles two years ago, their value doubled. This year, increases were minimal. Several teams saw no increase in value at all. Forbes said the average NFL team is worth $2.57 billion, a 2 percent increase compared to last year and the smallest increase since 2011, when values decreased an average of 2 percent. The magazine said the decline was due in part to its methodology, which included offers to buy and invest in teams. The Carolina Panthers were sold for an NFL record $2.28 billion in a fire sale last year, but there was only one offer made that / 31

In The Biz en t er ta i n m en t

New Program Launches for Local Filmmakers The Roux Carré Filmmakers Program looks to support filmmakers as not just artists, but entrepreneurs. by Kim Singletary

32 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

the artist. We just have to identify a film that makes sense for that.” The program will also have two other components: a quarterly independent filmmakers group and a two-day immersive workshop called the Indie Business Plan Primer. The group has had some informal meetings but officially launched around the New Orleans Film Festival Oct. 17-25. “With the new Entertainment Development Fund we now have $2.6 million in funds dedicated to helping filmmakers and we’d really like to get their input on how they’d like to see it used,” Pinder says. The final portion of the program, the Indie Business Plan Primer workshop, fall right in the wheelhouse of the Good Work Network, led by executive director Hermione Malone. “The workshop will take place in the spring and will be a two-day immersive weekend event that covers topics like how to talk to angel investors,” Malone says. “It will be structured around our current tax incentives. This is the same program that Film Independent puts on at the Los Angeles Film Festival and it consistently sells out, so we’re really excited to bring it here. The workshop typically runs a few hundred dollars but we’re looking at basically doing it for the cost of a lunch.” Pinder and Malone say the details on the workshop will be released shortly and that it will likely be limited to between 25 and 30 participants. “We really want people to be able to have that personal, one-on-one contact,” Malone says. n

illust ratio n by To n y H eale y

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

Local filmmakers received a new avenue

for support this fall with the kickoff of the Roux Carré Filmmakers Program. The program is the result of a partnership between two organizations — Good Work Network, which has been providing business development services for women and minority entrepreneurs since its founding in 2001, and #CreateLouisiana, an organization formed in 2015 by Scott Niemeyer and Sian McArthur of Deep South Studios to champion Southern talent in film through grantmaking, development programs, educational initiatives, mentorship opportunities and social media. The latter is run by Jolene Pinder, who previously served as the director of the New Orleans Film Society for six years before stepping in as the first executive director of #CreateLouisiana in 2017. “It’s actually such a perfect fit — these two organizations, because filmmakers really are entrepreneurs,” Pinder says. “What we’re looking to do is galvanize them to become advocates for the industry, which of course starts with knowing who they are and where they are. We don’t have that information right now.” Thanks to funding support from National Endowment for the Arts, the Roux Carré Filmmakers Program began with a film screening and artist discussion on Sept. 20 that showcased “Plaquemines,” a short film written and directed by Nailah Jefferson. The New Orleanian’s 30-minute film tells the story of a father and son trapped in the dwindling fishing town of Plaquemines and trying to navigate life in a dying culture. The film was the recipient of #CreateLouisiana’s first $50,000 Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant in 2015. “The film was shown at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival, but that’s the only time it’s been shown locally, so we had a great turnout,” Pinder says.The event was held at the Central City culinary incubator, Roux Carré on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. The goal is to host at least one more screening before summer 2019. “We’re looking at doing something where we showcase more of a work in progress,” Pinder says. “That way we filmmakers can have an opportunity to give feedback to / 33

In The Biz en t r epr en eu r s h i p

The Final Frontier A look at the present and future of space entrepreneurism by keith twitchell

34 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

was “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” This is also the mission of many entrepreneurs. So, let’s jump on board our own Starship Enterprise (interesting name) and explore the amazing world of space entrepreneurship. With the federal government de-emphasizing space exploration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has increasingly turned to the private sector to partner and even lead in the development of new technologies, and to help it fulfill its mission. Among the most obvious examples is NASA contracting with Elon Musk’s SpaceX company to deliver supplies to the space station. Not content with just being a highaltitude delivery service, Musk has stated his intention to have humans, possibly including himself, set foot on Mars within the next decade. Given the enormous challenges this poses, and the number of failed attempts by SpaceX to solve them, one has to wonder if what Musk is really contemplating is a return to his home planet. A more plausible entrepreneurism opportunity is space tourism. Companies such as Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic have been claiming for several years that they are on the verge of being able to offer wealthy adventure-seekers a ride through the ozone, though that chatter has quieted a bit more recently. One does have to ponder the notion of sitting back in a comfortable rocket seat, tightly sealed adult beverage in hand, and looking down on our home planet. The re-entry could give martini drinkers an entirely new experience of shaken, not stirred. A more practical outcome of the attempts to establish space tourism may be suborbital travel that would greatly reduce the time it would take to get from, say New York to Beijing. Package delivery services like FedEx have expressed interest in this concept as well. Indeed, depending on which side of the international date line you are on, you could order a package today and have it delivered yesterday. Sadly, there appears to be no progress yet on that icon of Star Trek travel, the transporter beam.

A less flashy but already very successful aspect of space entrepreneurism is the satellite business. There are now dozens of companies involved in satellite design, launch, management, data delivery and more, helped along by the development of nano-satellites. Weighing as little as just a few pounds, these tiny technological marvels cost much less to build and place in space, opening the field to far smaller companies. Like every other entrepreneur, visionaries seeking to play in the space race need funding. To meet this growing demand, there are now investor networks focusing exclusively on space entrepreneurism, as well as several space industry entrepreneurial contests and prizes. One byproduct of the space program back in the 1960s was the development of products that also proved useful in daily life on earth. For example, space suit materials developed by NASA have become widely used in athletic shoes (Space Jordans, anyone?) and now make firefighters’ protection suits lighter and more flame-resistant. Memory foam mattresses came from research designed to improve comfort and safety for astronauts’ seats. New products, and companies to produce and market them, will surely emerge as space research continues. New Orleans has its own connection to space — in addition to a few of the stranger clubs in town — the NASA Michoud facility in New Orleans East. The fuel tanks for the space shuttles were assembled there, and the Michoud plant is currently working on the next generation of rockets. While the facility is not open to the public, the Stennis Space Center just across the line in Mississippi, right off I-10, has a spectacular visitor center and is well worth the short drive. If you’re a budding entrepreneur who has not yet found inspiration here on earth, maybe you should look to the stars. Even the sky is no longer the limit! n illust ratio n by To n y H eale y

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

The mission of the crew on Star Trek / 35

In The Biz e t i qu e tt e

The Real Deal How authentic leadership transforms companies from the top down by Melanie Warner Spencer

36 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

colleagues and clients may or may not be able to put their finger on why they don’t trust us, but their gut will send out a caution signal, and could lead to a lack of confidence in our work. So how do we ensure that the principles of consideration, respect and honesty are translating to authentic leadership? It’s all about intention. In a Forbes interview earlier this year about her book The Art of Authenticity: Tools to Become an Authentic Leader and Your Best Self, Karissa Thacker, psychologist, founder and president of the management training and coaching firm Strategic Performance Solutions, said, “The big idea of the book is that we tend to think of authenticity as being true to yourself; in the book, I make the case that in authentic leadership, in particular, we need to be true to our best self, our ideal self … What it really means is that all of us have a sense of what it means to be good. All of us have a sense of who we are at our best, but it’s kind of semi-conscious sometimes.” Thacker advises people to “get crystal clear about who that ideal self is” and to adapt and update as needed, because as we grow, change and evolve, our ideal self also changes. She echoes George’s call to cultivate self-awareness and his recommendation to “engage in reflection and introspective practices,” (think meditation, prayer and long walks). George, Thacker and their like-minded contemporaries are expanding on and debating the concept of authentic leadership much the same as Socrates and his contemporary Athenians did in their day (and in some cases even using the Socratic method — cue rim shot). The discussion is certainly fascinating and worthwhile in bringing these concepts to a new audience, but as is the case with most things, it all boils down to a seemingly simple idea expertly conveyed in the popular and eloquent quote attributed to Socrates, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” Wise leaders understand this well and create a creative, loyal and happy work culture built on transparency, consideration of opposing viewpoints, strong ethics and, of course, authenticity. n

illust ratio n by To n y H eale y

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

If there were a contest for buzzwords

of the year, I’d nominate both “self-care” and “authenticity.” In a way the two words go well together, because as the self-help gurus will tell you, if we practice good selfcare, we are automatically able to express and present ourselves more authentically. As it relates to business, the concept of authenticity — specifically authentic leadership — has also been a hot topic for about the past 15 years, so its current buzzworthiness isn’t much of a surprise (especially to etiquette writers and experts), but it is worth exploration. While the notion of authentic leadership dates back to the philosophers of ancient Greece, it could be said that Harvard Business School senior fellow Bill George is its contemporary revivalist. Since the 2003 release of George’s book, Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value, leadership experts have debated the idea, which the author of course welcomes, because seeking honest feedback and candid critiques are hallmarks of his interpretation of authentic leadership. George puts this into practice in a 2016 article published by Harvard Business School in which he writes, “Like all movements — Harvard University Professor Michael Porter’s famous five forces of strategy comes to mind — growing acceptance of an idea often attracts contrarian critiques, which ultimately are healthy in clarifying our understanding.” He then proceeds to hone in on the critical importance of self-awareness in the process of becoming an authentic leader. To leaders and their employees already engaging in best business etiquette practices, authentic leadership is either already present or easily implemented. The Emily Post Institute — and so many etiquette training programs that came after it — adheres to a philosophy centered on the principles of consideration, respect and honesty. The latter falls under the category of authenticity. If we are authentic in our communications and actions, conducting ourselves with honesty and integrity, our relationships both at work and in our personal lives will be stronger. When we are inauthentic, people can sense it. Our

In The Biz marketing

What’s In a Name? A lot of trouble if you don’t do your research. by Julia carcamo

38 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Once you select a name, you should ensure it is properly registered and protected. This can be somewhat confusing to new business owners, but it can be done on your own with a small investment of time and money. However, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property can be a lifesaver, too. They can assist you in registering your most valuable assets: the words, names, symbols and logos that distinguish you from everyone else. They look for the opportunity to protect you in ways that are not obvious to the inexperienced. This can be a huge help if you’re selling products bearing the trademark. If you’re really committed to using a name that is already in use, consider a licensing agreement with the holder of the trademark. This agreement basically gives you permission to use the trademark. Licenses can vary in terms but should include a specific identification of the trademark, as well as any restrictions and expectations. Once you’ve gone through the long process of determining and trademarking your brand name, keep an eye on it. It’s important that you monitor any usage. Not everyone will go through the same careful steps you did. If you find someone using your trademark, often showing proof that you’ve trademarked the element should be enough to persuade them to cease. If they do not stop, you may want to go a bit further by possibly assessing any damages and then taking some level of legal action. The right name can often make the difference in propelling you to success. It’s important to spend the appropriate amount of time to assure you can use it and that no one else is using it without your consent. n

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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

W h e t h er yo u are start i n g a n e w

business or creating a new product or service for your existing business to market, the naming part can be quite a challenge. It has to sound good when it’s said aloud and should be easy to say and spell. It should be specific enough for the consumer to get a sense of what you’re trying to sell. And above all, it needs to sound appealing. As an example, the unfortunately-named Patagonian toothfish is more commonly found on menus as the more appealing Chilean sea bass. As marketers and creative business leaders, those necessary qualities that I just mentioned are not too hard to work with. My legal friends will hate me when I tell you this, but the thing that tends to bring creating a name to a screeching halt is often the legal aspect of the name itself — the trademark. I used to work with a creative genius who would Google a name. If he didn’t find a website bearing the name, he thought we were good to go. Nope! A web search is a good start, but it’s only a start. You have to consider businesses that may not have a website (shocking, I know). Sometimes, he would find a website and determine the name wasn’t being used the same way. For example, let’s say you want to name a nightclub and there is a coffee house across the country with the same name. Can you use that name? Probably not — it depends on how the coffeehouse registered its trademark. This is where your lawyers come in very handy. The other thing my creative friend used to do is attempt to overcome a trademark concern by changing spelling or using a translation of an existing trademark. That is also a problem. As you go through your brainstorming process, instead of Google, use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool. It’s very easy to use and will allow you to see if the name you want, including similar sounding names and variants of it, are in use. Then look for the domain availability. Ideally, the domain is somewhat keyword focused. You should also do a social media search to ensure you can build a consistent identity across all of your communications. / 39

40 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

hot topics in southe ast Louisiana industries

perspectives banking & Finance  /  insurance  /  Maritime & ports

photo g raph co u rte s y di s n e y c r u i s e li n e s

Disney finally comes to New Orleans! The cruise ship Disney Wonder will begin sailing this coming February.

Perspectives banking & finance

01 TRANSACTION A transaction is requested

02 NETWORK The transation is broadcasted to a network of nodes

06 COMPLETE The transaction is complete

Blockchain Workflow

05 ADDED BLOCKCHAIN The new block is added to the blockchain in a transparent and unalterable way 03 VALIDATES The network validates the transaction using known algorithms

04 UNIFIED DATA The transaction is unified with other transactions as a block of data

Cryptocurrency Is Not Dead It’s actually the future, and you need to be paying attention. by Adam Kinyon

When you think cryptocurrency, chances are

think of the zeitgeist of the 2017 boom: Bitcoin soaring to $20,000 after opening the year at $1,000, with “Altcoins” (any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin) following closely behind on the exponential rise. It seemed like everyone and their cousin was buzzing about cryptocurrency and looking to make a quick buck. As cryptocurrency markets have cooled in recent months, that chatter from newcomers and inexperienced players is absent. In a sense, that’s cause for celebration; it’s silences like these that yield the best investment opportunities. By the you

42 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

time mainstream media outlets publish the next headline about a cryptocurrency bull run, buying in will come at a markup. In August 2017, I decided to channel my passion for cryptocurrency into a full-time practice. I spent countless hours teaching myself how to analyze and predict cryptocurrency market trends. I learned how to leverage this knowledge in cryptocurrency exchanges to turn triple-digit percentage profits in a day. And for the first few months, I taught myself using only free online resources. This is the future: an increasingly digitized world where P2P exchange and information-sharing is the

norm, where I can learn the complexities of an entire trade without setting foot in a classroom. Cryptocurrency is a tool molded for this kind of future: it’s a publicly verifiable, decentralized information-hosting network controlled not by any central governing body but made up of a network of global nodes. Computers around the world verify every transaction and lock them into an immutable public ledger called a blockchain, thereby eliminating fraud or mismanagement by a single player. Cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous (or at least pseudonymous, transacted with 30-character identifier codes), yet the open ledger of the blockchain enables radical transparency. Some have called this next-generation paradigm “triple-entry bookkeeping,” as cryptocurrency transactions consist of a debit entry, a credit entry and an entry into the blockchain. Had blockchain been the standard in 2001, Enron’s fraud might not have escalated into the then-largest corporate bankruptcy in American history. Cryptocurrency’s remarkable computational power allows nearly instant transfers, whereas traditional banking solutions take several business days to finalize the transaction. From our current vantage point, it’s difficult to envision a reality in which we are no longer beholden to financial intermediaries like banks. However, try time-traveling to the 1970s when the military was using primitive packet-switching to communicate between computers — and then explain how consequential the Internet and connected devices are in our daily lives. Cryptocurrency represents a paradigm shift that enables nearly immediate currency transfers, even across international lines, that incur no processing fees and require no middlemen. Every time you use your credit card, whether you’re buying a car or a bottle of water, you extend the merchant access to your entire credit line. The vendor initiates the payment and “pulls” from your account once you’ve provided the info. Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency model returns the power to the consumer with a “push” model. Pay the designated recipient exactly how much you intend and retain the autonomy of your account. No other electronic cash system grants you the power to own your own account. PayPal and Venmo can place a freeze on your account for a variety of reasons, and so can banks. These services can alter their terms and conditions at will. Even non-electronic money management systems are debatably not your own; fiat currency is created, controlled and manipulated by sovereign governments and their central banks. In

2013, this governmental oversight ran amok in a belly-up Cyprus; the central bank wanted to seize uninsured citizen deposits larger than $100,000 to help recapitalize the island. While central banks can increase or tighten the money supply at will, most cryptocurrencies have a fixed supply. The autonomy inherent in the cryptocurrency model and the incorruptible security of blockchain suggest consumer privacy implications. Lessons learned from cryptocurrency could take some of the onus of consumer data protection off of businesses, dodging costly disasters like the Equifax hack of 2017. IBM reports that the average data breach in 2018 is nearly $4 million, but many major enterprises spend nearly that much on prevention. Cryptocurrency has myriad applications beyond use cases like international payments and data privacy. The true potential of blockchain remains relatively untapped; its ability to secure intellectual property, financial assets and sensitive data spans industries. In healthcare, blockchain could keep patient data secure but accessible. In manufacturing and supply chain management, blockchain can facilitate reduced fraud, improved inventory management and immediate status updates. Some cryptocurrencies enable “smart contracts”: digital contracts that self-execute given provided conditions are sufficiently met. Smart contracts can improve traceability, accountability and security of transactions with vendors and clients. Smart contracts could also empower small businesses to compete on a more level playing field with larger competitors; self-executing contracts reduce time and resources otherwise devoted to invoicing, settling interest fees, managing fulfillment, filing, verification, arbitration and legal processes. Granted, crypto still has some problems. User interfaces are convoluted and not user-friendly; it would be hard for most people to imagine their parents navigating the transaction process. It takes an expert trained in analysis of financial markets and with an understanding of the crypto ecosystem to navigate and interpret candlesticks and trend lines. Plus, as any cryptocurrency skeptic will leap at the chance to tell you: The market is risky, speculative and volatile. That same volatility can be an asset that skilled traders can leverage to their advantage. I’ve built my love of cryptocurrency into a hedge fund called Astra Network that creates wealth for clients across New Orleans and beyond. Cryptocurrency is here, not only to stay, but to revolutionize the financial sector as we know it. I’m excited to see how the market changes as cryptocurrency matures beyond these Wild West days of deregulation and becomes a standard. Whatever’s next for the cryptocurrency space, I’m along for the ride — but I’ll be driving. Will you? n

Adam Kinyon is the CEO and managing partner of Astra Network, a cryptocurrency hedge fund founded in New Orleans. His experience in cryptocurrency trading and business management, as well as his personal experience in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, gives him unique insight into the current and future markets of cryptographic technology. / 43

Perspectives i nsu r a n c e

The first step in talking about

long-term care (LTC) is to define what it is, and what it is not. LTC, by definition, is what is required when someone is no longer independent and needs chronic care assistance of 90 days or more. A person may need LTC because of a cognitive impairment such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or senility, or because of aging, such as needing assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and other activities of daily living where musculoskeletal issues, imbalance problems, or other health conditions precipitate the need for caregiving and help. LTC does not, however, necessarily mean someone is fully disabled or incapacitated and requires nursing home care. In fact, only about 20 percent of LTC requires skilled care and if someone doesn’t need skilled care, they usually don’t need to be in a nursing home. As someone gets older, weaker and frailer, they may only need supervision getting in and out of a shower or tub and help with dressing. As a testament to this, over 75 percent of LTC carrier claims are paid to provide care in the privacy of a care recipient’s home. What is long-term care insurance or LTC financial plans and what do they cover?

Caring for Your Care More than 65 percent of people over age 65 will require long-term care. Luckily, there’s insurance for that. by Joe Celano, MBA, CLTC, CSA

44 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Traditional LTC insurance provides benefit coverage by transferring LTC risk to an insurance carrier. The carrier charges an annual premium to maintain that risk and provide LTC benefits and coverage in the form of payment for caregivers. A comprehensive LTC plan pays for home care, facility care (assisted living or nursing home), adult day care, homemaker services, caregiving training, claims-processing assistance, coordination of care and free choice in care facility selection or home health care selection. There are also “hybrid” LTC financial plans that combine life insurance or annuities with LTC insurance and linked benefit plans that allow access to a life insurance death benefit if used for LTC.

Every household is different and it’s important to know how LTC plans differ to determine an optimized solution in meeting a household’s objectives. The primary goals are usually maintaining independence and access to quality care, mitigating the high costs of LTC, eliminating concerns of outliving savings, avoiding family burden and/or welfare and maximizing legacy. Who should consider planning for LTC?

Although LTC insurance or financial products for LTC planning may not be financially suitable for everyone, it is wise for everyone to plan for LTC because of the high statistical likelihood of requiring LTC once we are 65 years of age. More than 65 percent of individuals above age of 65 require LTC before death. Medicare does not pay for LTC. State Medicaid (welfare) will only pay for LTC in a nursing home and only after a spenddown of all monies to $2,000. There are also income and means testing requirements, a five-year asset transfer review and a consistent tightening of regulations to qualify for Medicaid payments for LTC. Additionally, there are filial laws that can hold family members responsible for the payback of Medicaid funds provided for LTC. However, LTC financial-planning products need to be financially suitable and affordable, and applicants must qualify through very sensitive and very unique health underwriting by the carriers. What is the average length of time someone will need LTC and the average costs?

Statistics and studies demonstrate that average need is about 1.1 years of home care, plus 2.2 years in facility care (assisted living or nursing home care) for a combined total of about three to four years. Women typically have a higher risk of needing LTC than men and about 25 percent require over four years of LTC. However, if LTC is a result of cognitive impairment, average need climbs to eight years of care. / 45

The cost of care varies by care modality and need: home care, facility care, skilled or unskilled care and costs also vary geographically. According to the most recent governmental statistics on LTC, 65 percent of individuals require LTC once over 65 years of age. The following are national LTC cost averages for 2017: • home health aides — $4,099/month • homemaker services — $3,994/ month • assisted living facility — $3,750/ month • nursing home-private room — $8,121/month Keep in mind that these costs are not stagnant and have routinely doubled on the average every 10 years. Additionally, as baby boomers turn 65 at the rate of approximately 10,000 each day, the demand and supply of caregivers is expected to increase the costs of care even more aggressively. When doing the math on LTC costs, the risk and numbers become staggering.

assessment, recommendations, plan design, suitability and financial budgeting. A good plan should comfortably fit the LTC risk, a household’s profile of health, finances, risk tolerance and overall objectives, as well as budgetary comfort to fund a plan today and for the duration. What are the benefits of a company group LTC policy?

Group LTC policies can provide easier health underwriting, tax advantages, executive carve-outs and premium discounts (although usually not lower than individual plan premiums). Group LTC policies usually have limitations in benefit coverage and plan-design capability and surprisingly are usually more expensive than individual policy premiums. n

Where can you purchase LTC insurance?

LTC plans can be shopped for online, through general insurance agents, financial planners, investment brokerage firms, estate-planning attorneys or LTC specialists. The complexity of LTC planning is a direct result of the constant flux in plans and carriers within the LTC marketplace, health-underwriting differences with each carrier, different carrier premium price break points by age, numerous financial products and their continuous evolution, changes in carrier availability in the marketplace and infinite LTC plan design capability. Because LTC planning can be a daunting task, it’s wise to work with an LTC-planning specialist who is certified with at least three to five years’ tenure in LTC and works exclusively with LTC planning; preferably an independent agent able to represent all available LTC financial-planning products and carriers without any real bias. An LTC specialist will help muddle you through the LTC complexity in incremental steps of education,

46 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Joe Celano, MBA, CLTC, CSA is based in New Orleans and has provided Independent LTC Planning Services exclusively since 1998; he is certified in LTC, a Certified Senior Advisor and is a principal owner of INTRX HealthCare which is exclusive to LTC Planning solutions in multiple states throughout the USA. He can be reached at (504) 488-3800. / 47

Perspectives m a r i t i m e & p o r ts

Port Wrap-Up

port of new orleans

American Song Launching Port NOLA into River Cruising Modernity

As 2018 comes to a close, the Port of New Orleans and Port of South Louisiana share their highlights from the year.

The momentum of the cruise sector at the Port of New Orleans has the Crescent City positioned to make river-cruise history when the sixthlargest cruise port in the United States welcomes the first modern riverboat in the country this fall, American Song. According to American Cruise Lines, the company that operates the ship, American Song is set to make its inaugural cruise Oct. 6, 2018, on the Mississippi River from New Orleans and will cruise a full schedule of eight-day Lower Mississippi River cruises throughout the remainder of 2018.

compiled by Staff

Port of New Orleans Disney Cruise Line to Sail in Early 2020

Disney Cruise Line announced it will sail from the Port of New Orleans in early 2020. The 2,700-passenger Disney Wonder will embark on a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises from New Orleans, marking the first time Disney Cruise Line will have a homeport in Louisiana. The Disney Wonder, which will homeport at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal, is scheduled for six cruises during this limited-time season from New Orleans, including: four-, six- and seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries; a seven-night Bahamian cruise; and a special 14-night Panama Canal voyage, Feb. 7 through March 6.

American Song’s atrium

Avondale Revitalization Moves Forward

Port Launches Completely Revamped, User-Centered Website

The Port of New Orleans announced in August 2018 the launch of its completely reimagined new website that reflects the Port’s vision as an economic catalyst for the region while being more accessible to the

48 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Port’s multiple audiences. The new site,, prioritizes a clean, uncluttered design, the latest user-interface tools, measurable analytics and essential content to convey the breadth of Port NOLA’s diverse yet integrated lines of business. The streamlined look and functionality were engineered for easy navigation and more insightful behavior tracking, and the architecture can be adapted to meet future needs. Maritime Administration Awards Port $2.5 Million Grant

The Port of New Orleans announced in August 2018 that it was awarded a $2.5 million U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) grant to support the current container-on-barge shuttle service operated by SEACOR AMH between New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Memphis, and to launch a new container-on-barge shuttle service on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal in New Orleans.

The grant will be used to purchase marine terminal handling equipment for efficient loading and unloading of container-on-barge operations in New Orleans. The existing service, which operates on a regular, reliable schedule, repositions empty containers from Memphis to Baton Rouge to meet export customer demand. The loaded containers are then shipped by barge along the Mississippi River to Port NOLA to be loaded onto vessels for export to overseas markets.

Port of South Louisiana Formosa to Build $9.4 Billion Project

This past April, Formosa Petrochemical Corp. announced that the company has selected St. James Parish as the future home of its $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex. Located just downriver from the Sunshine Bridge, the 2,400-acre site on the west bank of the Mississippi River will be built

photo g raph co u rte s y ame r ica n c r u i s e li n e s

The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) and the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Corporation (NOPB) approved separate resolutions authorizing Cooperative Endeavor Agreements between Port NOLA, NOPB, Jefferson Parish and Avondale Marine LLC to facilitate the proposed redevelopment of the former Avondale Shipyard site. The benefits to Port NOLA and NOPB may include additional revenue from increased value-added and maritime activity throughout the jurisdiction. Port NOLA’s goal has been to support the re-opening of the site with additive and sustainable maritime activity that will benefit the region and generate family-supporting jobs. / 49

in two phases and produce ethylene, propylene, ethylene glycol and associated polymers. Branded as “The Sunshine Project,” the complex is expected to begin construction in 2019, with construction projected to take 10 years. An estimated 1,200 new direct jobs will be created with salaries averaging $84,500 plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will also result in 8,000 new indirect jobs. It’s Time to Dredge

Along with the Big River Coalition, the Port of South Louisiana has worked to encourage support in favor of dredging the Mississippi River Channel from its current 45 feet to 50 feet from the Gulf of Mexico to Baton Rouge. The port feels that maintaining a draft of 50 feet will lead to greater commerce and carrying capacity, as well as provide dredged materials for the establishment of 1,500 acres of new marsh habitat, boosting flood-protection measures.

port of south louisiana

Welcoming European Dignitaries In July, the Port of South Louisiana and the World Trade Center of New Orleans welcomed a delegation of European Union dignitaries in Louisiana for a regional two-day tour that focused on issues relating to EU-U.S. trade. During the event, attendees heard from guest speaker Commissioner Mike Strain and the port provided an overview of its operations as the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere and the 16th-largest tonnage port in the world.

Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport

Five years ago, St. John the Baptist Parish transferred ownership of the area airport to the Port of South Louisiana. Since that time, the port has upgraded the runway to 5,150 feet to accompany corporate jets, upgraded the fuel tanks, began offering Jet-A fuel to the mix, along with Avgas, and remodeled the terminal building to include a pilot’s lounge, a conference room and other amenities. Recently, the port also completed a 6,500-square-foot transient hangar. The airport is currently in the planning stages on a new set of t-hangars to accommodate the need for more private hangar space. This past April, the airport hosted the Ford Tri-Motor airplane on its tour across the country. The 1929 metal, multi-engine commercial airliner nicknamed the “Tin Goose” allowed ticketholders a chance to experience the golden age of air travel. The fully restored Tri-Motor can hold up to nine passengers and one co-pilot seat per flight and flew 34 flights in the threeand-a-half days it was here, including a media flight to kick off the event, with 321 people taking to the sky. In May, the airport hosted the second-annual St. John Parish Aviation Awareness Day, an event that encourages school-age children to consider future careers in aviation. National Economic Development Week Breakfast

This past May, together with St. John the Baptist Parish, the Port of South Louisiana hosted a breakfast as part of the parish’s National Economic Development Week. Congressman Cedric Richmond was the guest speaker at the event, which aimed to recognize all those in the River Region and the state who are active in the creation, retention and expansion of jobs, the development of a stable tax base and new industrial investments. n 50 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

port of south louisiana

Partnerships with Nicholls State University and River Parish Community College In late July, the Port of South Louisiana affirmed its commitment to land conservation and maritime-industry education by entering into cooperativeendeavor agreements with both Nicholls State University and River Parish Community College. Two years ago, the port signed an agreement with Nicholls State pledging to support and promote the latter’s Coastal Restoration Program, which seeks to restore and preserve Louisiana’s wetlands, marshes and beach fronts. The port is also supporting River Parish Community College’s attempt to develop and implement a Maritime Workforce Program. As maritime businesses seek to expand and add jobs, the RPCC program will be geared toward providing participants with the needed skills and training (including deckhand, safety and rescue operations) to fill the spots created in the field. / 51

Kevin Dolliole, the new director of aviation at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, talks about why he took the job,


his thoughts on the recently announced delays and what you can expect from the muchanticipated new North Terminal. 52 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018 / 53

On June 26, 2017,

Kevin Dolliole became the new director of aviation at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, responsible for every detail of the facility’s daily operation, from maintaining federal safety regulations and upholding efficiency standards to deciding which concessions are available inside the facility’s terminals. Since that time, each employee, vendor, action and function has been a reflection of his work, and each in turn is a reflection of the city. This is no small amount of pressure for the director of an airport that in 2016 reported 11 million passengers and assets totaling more than $1.4 billion. ¶ Even so, Dolliole is calm and collected. He is good at his job and has dedicated more than 40 years to the aviation industry. Perhaps it’s in his blood: His father was a defense courier in the Air Force, which meant that Dolliole was frequently on the move through his childhood and teen years. ¶ “It made me a lot more flexible in my career and made me more willing to relocate if it appeared it would be a good move,” Dolliole said. “Growing up the way I did, if a better opportunity was there, that’s where I was.” ¶ This is a philosophy that Dolliole has put to the test several times, starting with his entry into the aviation industry, which he never directly intended to pursue. Entertaining ideas of becoming an oil tycoon or an energy revolutionary, he attended a job fair at his college, Xavier University, met representatives from Eastern Air Lines, and was the only student to be offered a position that ultimately led him to Atlanta. ¶ Since then, Dolliole has worked in St. Louis as director of airports at Lambert International, in San Antonio International Airport as aviation director, and spent several years with Unison Consulting helping other facilities solve efficiency and revenue challenges. Now, he is back in New Orleans to take on his most massive project to date: the $1 billion construction of the North Terminal, which spans 972,000 square feet, includes 35 gates and, according to projections, will have resulted in 13,000 construction jobs by its completion. ¶ After some delay, the project now has an opening date of May 15, 2019, and Dolliole has his eye on the finish line — both for the project and for himself. ¶ “No more moves,” Dolliole said. “This is it.”

54 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Top 10 Airports of the Decade by Growth 90% Dallas 63% Austin 60% New Orleans 56% San Francisco 54% Houston 47% Seattle 43% Fort Lauderdale 41% Nashville 37% Los Angeles 36% Boston (Source: FAA data 2007-2017)



Even though you entered aviation because of an unexpected opportunity, has it become a job of passion for you?

of the beast. You’d like to be on the planning end, but at the same time, this is a once-in-a-lifetime type of project. Not many airport staff and not many airport leaders get to touch a program of this size. We have a full new facility on the opposite side of the airfield. Something like that occurs once every 10 to 12 years, so it’s special.You have to be excited about a program this special, even with the challenges it brings.

I can remember when I started with A Absolutely. Eastern. Even after I took that job, I’d tell veterans with Eastern, “Oh, I’m just here for a couple years. When I’m finished, I’m going to work for Conoco or Texaco or somebody like that.” I remember an older agent looking at me one day when I was mouthing off like that, and he said, “Man, if you’re going to leave, I would suggest that you’re with us no longer than a couple of years. Otherwise, it’ll be in your blood, and you won’t be able to leave.” He was absolutely right. This industry draws you in. It gets into your blood. I’ve been at this since ‘76. I’ve been in this industry a long time, it’s a big part of my life, and I have a lot of passion for what I do.


Do you think your excitement is going to show in the finished product?


Oh, yes. You probably picked up that I served for a time as a partner in an airport consulting firm [Unison Consulting] between airports. I traveled a ton, and so I’ve seen a lot of airports, but this is going to be a special facility. I guarantee you. Just moving around it and stacking it in my mind against facilities I’ve seen around the country, it’s very, very nice. It is going to be very functional as well.

Q hear buzz words like “dynamic” all the time, A You but this industry truly is dynamic. There’s constant Q What is it about the aviation industry that keeps you interested?

change in this industry, and there’s constant improvement. There are always new ways to do things. In a position like mine, you can never sit back. There are constant challenges that keep the juices flowing. To be quite honest, I think they’ll flow for a few more years. There’s still a good bit of energy here. If you ever feel like you know it all, that’s when this industry will blow right by you, because you’re constantly learning. I still learn every day.


know, I’d spoke to something about having a A You broader perspective from growing up as a military dependent, and I think it’s the same with being a consultant. I was an airport director before I went to consulting, so I have my peers out there all over the country. And now I’m in my peers’ operations, seeing how things are the same and how they’re different in different airports. I’m picking up on how different structures handle similar issues, so I’m broadening my knowledge on how to deal with tough issues that airports face all the time and the unique ways to handle things. As a consultant, you’re imparting knowledge on those airports, but if you pay attention and you’re not just throwing your own knowledge out there, you pick up something everywhere you go.

You jumped into this role in the middle of a billiondollar project to construct the new North Terminal. Did that responsibility draw you in, or did you see it as a potential obstacle?

was a mix. For something this significant, you’re A Itprobably better off if you’re engaged on the front end and have participated in the planning process, instead of picking up something this major in midstream. So, if there’s a negative, that’s it. But the upside is it’s very exciting to step into a program of this nature, and to take time to learn where it’s coming from, why certain things are set certain ways, and then taking it across the finish line.

Do you think the technical proficiency you learned from working as a consultant is helping you with this project?


Do you think that has also helped you to better understand your employees?

think so. I do. I can appreciate the challenges they A Iface, and maybe I’m a bit more patient as folks are working through challenges.

Q Q not unusual for long-term projects. The guy that A It’s initiated the program might not be the guy who will finish it. I picked up and finished a major program getting into how functional it is and how the A Without in St. Louis that someone else started, and someone customer experience is going to change, a project Is that unusual in this industry?

How do you think or hope that this project will impact the city?

came in after me in San Antonio and finished a program I started there. That’s kind of the nature

of this nature touching a city is always significant for that city. It’s going to work, I think, with all the

Who do you look up to? My father, for the way he’s lived his life, how he handled and took care of his family through a period when it was not as easy to raise a family of five, and for the life lessons he nstilled in me that he lived by and still lives by.

Daily routine? I work, I go home and maybe I calm down for a minute. Then I’m down in the fitness center working out. Dinner, and then back to work. I work every night.

Favorite TV show? “NCIS: New Orleans.” I’ve always liked detective or whodunnit shows.

What are you most looking forward to in the next year? Completion of the North Terminal Program. That’s going to be a heck of an accomplishment for all of the leadership in the area. It’s the biggest thing that’s hit this area in a long time and it’s a huge project to get behind. / 55

evolving images of the city. The New Orleans I left 18 years ago is not necessarily the New Orleans I came back to. It has everything it had back then that made it popular, but there’s a vibrancy here now that wasn’t here then. There are differences in positive ways that have occurred with the industry. I think it goes with how the city’s changing and evolving, how it’s moving away from being as heavily reliant on the tourism industry alone. There are other sectors of the economy that are growing.


Why is a project like this important for the city of New Orleans specifically?

you have an airport facility that dates back A When to the ‘50s, you feel it every time you move around the facility. It’s a reflection on where the region is and how progressive or not a region may be. True or not, it’s the perspective that folks get as they move through your facility. So just without all the other tangible benefits that are there, right off the bat, the city comes through in a very proactive way in a facility that’s new, modern and efficient. It’ll be a big benefit for the airlines as they operate here or function here, and that will impact the city.


You mentioned changes to the customer experience. What sort of improvements can passengers expect when the new terminal is opened?

Customer service is just going to grow exponentially. A There’s a lot more you can bring into the facility that helps in processing passengers and improves the customer experience. The entire concessions program is going to be redone in the new facility. It will all be accessible to everyone. Right now, when you fly out, if you go out on B Concourse, that’s it. You’re stuck on B and the four or five locations on B. In the new facility, when you go through the checkpoint, you have access to everything. So, if you’re flying out on A and you’d like a concession on C, go take advantage of it and walk over. It’s just going to be a completely different experience there.


Are there any smaller improvements on the customer end?

bags.You move through this facility now, A Checking and you see all the bag screening machines behind the ticket counters, and your bags are handled a couple of times before they ever go down into the bag makeup area. In the new facility, all of that stuff is behind the scenes and integrated into the baggage system. Now you’ll check your bag at the ticket counter and the agent will turn around and place it on a belt, and it’s done.

56 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

This is a once-ina-lifetime type of project. Not many airport staff and not many airport leaders get to touch a program of this size.


How did the management team decide on these improvements?

set up a customer experience committee about A 11We months ago that has worked through some short-term, smaller successes in this facility focused on improving the customer experience, and we are working through larger efforts in the customer service arena for the new facility. You’ll see a big difference there in how people are processed through the facility, along with differences in the experience and how it reflects on the region.

LAGNIAPPE because it’s such a critical piece of the infrastructure. Once it was in place, before paving over it as the next step, the contractors ran cameras through to ensure it was set and would function properly once we started operating. And we found an issue. So being proactive in that manner allowed us to stop before closing it in and come up with a solution. Now, we’re about implementing the solution.


How do you stay positive and motivated through those situations when you have to deal with potential negative feedback from the public?

could flip your wig when something like that A You occurs, but what good does it do you?You work with the experts and come up with solutions and then you implement the solutions. They’re challenges, so it’s not like you just ease your way through it, and I don’t want to give that impression. But you can’t overreact either because you’ll come up with poor solutions that you may pay more for down the road.


Favorite book? “War of the Pews” by Rev. Jerome LeDoux

Best advice you’ve ever received? My first boss would from time to time just bark out, “Stay steady in the water.” What he meant by that was to keep your cool during stressful times.

What’s the importance of patience and perseverance to you and your career?

in general presents challenges, and I think A Life patience and perseverance help you get through challenges in your personal life, your professional life, and just generally in how you engage and make decisions. Nothing’s easy, but if you’re not able to keep your wits about yourself, even if you’re the smartest person on the face of the earth, you’re going to make poor decisions over time that can impact you personally and professionally. If I’m really upset about something, particularly in my personal life, I step away from it before I deal with it and I come back with a better mind to deal with the situation than would have been the case spur of the moment.


You’ve had a few delays in the project. What are the main causes of delays on projects this large?

building on reclaimed swamp, and that A We’re presents challenges. In this environment, it isn’t about avoiding challenges, it’s about how you handle the challenges as they come about. A challenge can become a problem if you improperly handle it or can’t come up with a solution, and we’ve fortunately been able to work through solutions. The last challenge was the sewer issue, because it was a main sewer line serving that facility and

You’ve had quite a long journey in your career. If you were able to give your younger self a piece of advice, what would that be?

Hobbies? Golf

Biggest life lessons you’ve learned? The value of honesty, integrity and being reliable. Hard work is a good thing, and just being a man of your word.

the course.” I’m being honest, but there’s A “Stay nothing major that I would say like, “Hey, don’t do this,” or, “Make sure you take this course and not that course.” How my career came out was almost accidental, but I was taken on the course I need to be on. I would say, “Those lessons your folks are trying to drill in your head? Hear them.” Integrity, perseverance, patience, reliability...all of that comes into play, regardless of what path you choose. That’s going to make you successful in whatever road you take. I wouldn’t change any of it.

Pet peeves? Timeliness, or lack thereof. Nothing irks me more than being late for something or having someone else be late. / 57

thinking outside the final box

The fifth generation of his family to run Jacob Schoen & Son funeral home, Patrick Schoen is bringing new life and a “no request is too strange” spirit to an industry that’s become all about tailormade farewells. By Kim Singletary photographs by cheryl gerber


“As family-run funeral homes around the city slowly disappeared or were bought up by out-oftown companies, we collected a lot of their items,” he says. “Like these pictures here, they’re actually of Napoleon’s funeral. We acquired them from House of Bultman.” The Schoen mansion was originally built as the home of the Virgin family. Mr. Uriah J. Virgin was once known as “The Flower King.” The florist grew to prominence in the early 1900s selling his wares to Mardi Gras krewes. Sadly, the family lost their twin children to yellow fever. “They’re in the fireplace,” Schoen says. “You can see them carved into the marble here. It’s interesting, because yellow fever was actually why

We do things differently here. We know that and we’re proud of that. For the first 115 years, every funeral was done exactly the same way. Now, it’s all about personalization.

ew Orleans isn’t short on beautiful old mansions, but there’s one that’s just a little different from the rest. For one thing, it’s built in a Romanesque style not common to the city. For another, 3827 Canal Street enjoys a prime location few can boast, just steps away from the rumble of the streetcar and almost directly across from one of New Orleans’ culinary icons, Mandina’s restaurant. “It doesn’t get much more New Orleans than this,” says Patrick Schoen, whose family has owned the home since 1936. Standing in the cream-colored foyer, Schoen is proud to point out the home’s open floorplan, original crystal chandeliers and elegant furnishings. Schoen is right, the home couldn’t be more New Orleans — it’s beautiful, it’s elegant, and it has both a deep sense of history and more than a touch of the macabre — it’s exactly what you’d expect from one of the city’s largest funeral homes. Did You Know? “These lamps over here, see how the light is red Embalming in the U.S. on the bottom, these began in the Civil War used to go on the sides as a way to preserve soldiers for their of a casket,” Schoen says. fallen journey home. “The red light makes the person inside look better. Funeral homes don’t use them anymore, but we still have them. They’re really beautiful.” The lamps are just a few of the items his family’s company, Jacob Schoen & Son, have purchased from other funeral homes that themselves have become deceased. ( / 59

By the Numbers

the funeral business

19,177 Number of funeral homes in the United States in 2018

$16 billion value of the industry in the U.S. in 2017

$9,000 cost of average American funeral (Economist, 2018)

86 percentage of funeral homes in the U.S. that are privately owned by families or individuals

60% of current mortuary science students are women

my family got into the funeral business.” (More than 41,000 people died of yellow fever in New Orleans between 1817 and 1905). In 1874, Jacob Schoen (Patrick Schoen’s great great grandfather) along with a friend, Henry Frantz, started a funeral business at 155 N. Peters Street. The business soon outgrew its location and moved to 527 Elysian Fields. In 1897, Schoen bought Frantz out and took his oldest son from his first marriage as his business partner. In 1915, the company expanded into Covington, and then into Slidell in 1963. “In 1969 we were doing more than 2,600 funerals a year, operating five funeral homes,” Schoen says. “That was also when I started working.” One of seven kids, Schoen was 12 when it became his job to help transport flowers from the funeral home to various cemeteries. “I grew up in this place,” Schoen says as he walks around some of the back rooms. “This table right here, for example, this came from an antique shop that my aunt owned in the French Quarter. When I was about 19 or 20 I had the job of touching up all the gold leaf. It was a horribly tedious job, so when I finished I decided to write my name on the underside of the table. I know it’s awful and I probably ruined the value, but hey, I was a kid.” In 1986, Jacob Schoen & Son was among the homes sold to out-of-town buyers who did not have any success. In 2014 the home was back up for sale. “I walked in and I couldn’t believe it,” Schoen says. “It was all dark and moldy and closed up. The ceiling in here was black, the walls were orange and the carpet was all stained. My first thought was that I had to transform this back into a welcoming, family home.” After three years and approximately $3 million spent in renovations, Patrick Schoen is now the managing partner of Jacob Schoen & Son, the fifth generation of his family to lead the business, and business, he says, has changed — a lot. There is one thing that hasn’t changed, however; You won’t find an embalming room at Jacob Schoen & Son. “We’ve never had one,” Schoen says. “They require a lot of space and they give off that sweet odor that people associate with funeral homes. We didn’t want that. We contract that [service] out.” The Schoen business instead is solely about event planning and serving as a rental space. Like any other event company, it’s important for the company to Did You Know? respond to the needs of its clientele while also Many of the earliest were offering something no undertakers furniture makers who one else can. chose to expand their On this note, the offerings to include caskets. home’s original chapel — built in 1967 during (

60 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

the second major additions to the property, the first being the grand foyer in 1957 — holds the distinction of being one of the first funeral homes in the country permitted to hold Catholic Masses. “My cousin, J. Garic Schoen, talked to the archbishop and they must have worked all of that out,” Schoen says. “It was a really big draw.” Just a few years after purchasing back the property, in 2017 Schoen decided to add another chapel on what was known as the North Lawn. “This is now the third major addition to the property — all three, incidentally, have been with Lachin Architects,” Schoen says as he enters the new, 5,000-square-foot chapel. A complete contrast to its small, modest counterpart, the new cremation chapel soars high into the air, popularity propped by wooden trusses projected stained to match the solid to continue cherry pews below, which seat 350. The front of the chapel is to grow adorned with a crucifix carved from olive wood, which dates over 150 years old and last 53.5% cremation hung in the Vatican. It was 40.5% burial a gift from the Marianites of Holy Cross from the Academy of Holy Angels. “It’s so beautiful,” Schoen 64% cremation says, adding that the only 30.1% burial time it is removed is for Jewish funerals. Although the chapel is 79.1% cremation clearly Schoen’s favorite of 15% burial his changes to the building, its creation was a well thought out business decision. “So many people now want to hold their services in a funeral home, but up until now we weren’t large enough to accommodate a lot of them,” he says. “Now we can. This is the largest chapel inside a funeral home in the South. We get a lot of comments that other funeral home chapels look more like a courtroom. I’m proud of how ours looks. I feel good about what we’ve done here. You can see it, when people walk in. My dad always said that people are not going to leave remembering the details like the flowers and things. They only leave remembering how they felt.” On the business side, the chapel brought in 70 of the home’s 450 services last year. “That’s huge for us,” he says. Jacob Schoen & Son can handle up to 13 services a day on the property, and up to three at one time. “Our biggest competition really is Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home,” he says. “But they’re run




(Source: National Funeral Directors Association)

by a big outside company.” (Lake TOP: Patrick Schoen, fifth generation of Lawn Metairie is part of a network the the Schoen family to run of licensed funeral home, cremation Jacob Schoen & Son and cemetery providers based out funeral home, shows a special lamp that of Texas that includes more than off features a red hue at 2,000 locations.) the bottom designed To stay competitive, Schoen to make the deceased look better. BOTTOM: focuses on what sets his family’s The business’s original business apart, which he says is not founders: (left to just a deeply rooted New Orleans right) Philip J. Schoen Sr., Jacob Schoen legacy, but the kind of hospitality and Henry Frantz. and friendliness the city is famed for. “We do things differently here,” he says. “We know that and we’re proud of that. For the first 115 years, every funeral was done exactly the same way. Now, it’s all about personalization.” Schoen says that in a city known for “putting the ‘fun’ in funeral,” the focus now, more than ever, is to have a final goodbye to a loved one serve as more of a celebration of life than a mourning of death. “We host jazz bands and parties,” he says, “and then, of course, there are instances like with Mickey Easterling’s funeral, where we can get really creative.” In a 2014 funeral that gained worldwide media attention for its outrageousness, New Orleans socialite Mickey Easterling was placed not in a casket, but per her request was sitting upright on a wrought-iron bench inside the Saenger Theatre. “She was always the life of the party, so we created one big final party,” Schoen says. “She was surrounded by orchids with a champagne glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other.” Out-of-the-ordinary requests have become much more common, Schoen says. “We had one lady who just wanted to have her foot panel open at her funeral because she always had her toes done nice.” No matter the request, Schoen says there’s nothing he and his staff of 15 won’t do. “When I go to conferences and conventions, everyone wants to hear about what we’re doing, in New Orleans,” he says. “The jazz bands, the parties — they think we’re crazy, but to me it’s always about making sure our customers get exactly what they want, whatever that may be.” When it comes to setting up his showroom of caskets and urns and such, however, Schoen says what he sees other funeral homes doing around the country is just too much. “These rooms look like Mardi Gras hit — there’s just stuff everywhere,” he says. “In my view, people coming in here have enough on their minds. I don’t want to overwhelm them with too much choice. I like to keep it simple. And you know what? It’s led to higher sales than many of those other guys.” Schoen offers many of the most popular personalization methods — like metal decorative pieces that magnetically adhere to the sides of caskets and embroidered panels for interiors, but notes that / 61

when it comes to caskets, New Orleans is already very different. “For one, we don’t do metal caskets here like they do everywhere else,” he says. “Metal doesn’t allow for the decomposition that we need to have happen in order for a family to keep reusing a tomb. We have to use wood.” Size, too, is a factor. “We always have to consider where someone is being laid to rest,” he says. “There are so many old tombs in this city that require a smaller, or what we call ‘state-size’ casket. We have to make sure we know the measurements of what we’re dealing with.” When it comes to caskets, prices can range When I go to dramatically. conferences and “The most economical option we carry is $1,595,” conventions, everyone Schoen says. “Then, on the highest end, the RollsRoyce of caskets runs $15,995. That one is solid wants to hear what mahogany with a champagne custom velvet interior.” we’re doing in New Noting that nationally, more and more people Orleans. The jazz are choosing cremation instead of a burial, Schoen bands, the parties says New Orleans, again, is a little bit different. “This city has traditionally been about 85 percent — they think we’re Catholic, and until fairly recently the church didn’t crazy... approve of cremation,” he says. “As things changed, of course, we’ve seen more, but we’re still not at the level of other areas around the country.” While burials are more commonplace at Jacob Schoen & Son, in terms of sales Schoen says cremation figures were higher than burials last year. “People don’t realize that just because you decide on Among the last stops on the tour was his office, cremation, that doesn’t mean you can’t have things which currently resembles more of a museum curalike a graveside service with a casket, or a hearse,” tor’s space. Piled everywhere are various old items, he says. The company offers caskets available for from an original framed business card rent for cremation services and both belonging to Jacob Schoen, to old hearses are equipped with panels in the Did You Know? advertisements featuring the company, back that flip up to reveal a contraption as well as letters, photographs and designed to hold an urn. The difference between funeral records. Among an array of different urn options, a casket and a coffin “This piece talks about my great aunt, Schoen offers something unique — items lies within the shape. A coffin is six sided who was the first female mortician in handcrafted by another Schoen. and tapered at the the state of Louisiana,” he says. “My uncle Tommy makes these captain’s top and bottom (like “Since we opened, people have just chests,” he says. “They’re handmade what you’d see in old Dracula movies or old been bringing things to us that they replicas of the kind of small chests westerns). A casket is thought we might want now that where boat captains used to store their rectangular in shape and is what is typically we’re back,” he says. “Many don’t even navigational instruments.” used in modern burials. leave their names, just maybe a note For Schoen, everything comes back to The term casket used of thanks. It’s really pretty amazing. family — both his and all the families that to refer to a box where treasures were held. All of this, it just means so much.” five generations of Schoens have touched.

TOP: A gift from the funeral homes’ employees celebrates the company’s 100th anniversary. BOTTOM: Patrick Schoen points out the building’s beginnings as a family home in a collection of photographs the chronicles the home’s multiple major renovations. RIGHT: In 2017, Schoen constructed a 5,000-squarefoot chapel on what was formerly known as the North Lawn to accommodate what he says is a growing number of people looking to hold their service in the funeral home instead of at a separate location.

volume handled by funeral homes






150 cases or less a year

151-350 cases

351-500 cases

501-1,000 cases

1001 or more cases

(Numbers represent National Funeral Directors Association Member caseloads – 11,000 funeral homes within the U.S. and 49 countries) 62 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018 / 63

Southe ast louisiana businesses in full color


Save Our Cemeteries has spent millions of dollars on improvements to local cemeteries since its founding in 1974.

From The Lens g r e at w o r k s pac e s

Inspired Design

The design team exposed and refinished the original arched windows in the older building and created informal study or meeting areas.

Tulane’s new Mussafer Hall was custom designed for staff and student success by Melanie Warner Spencer photos by sara essex bradley

At a Glance

For the team and stakeholders behind the

newly dedicated Mussafer Hall at Tulane University, success was literally the inspiration, focus and end result of the project’s design. The Center for Student Success — in a building renamed Mussafer Hall after Tulane alumnus David Mussafer, who gave $5 million to fund the project — houses the Academic Advising Center, Career Services and the Success Center. “The concept behind it was, ‘How do we make it easier for students to connect their academic plan and career plan?’” says Dr. Amjad Ayoubi, senior associate dean, career services, academic advising and athletic advising. “As a student goes through four years or more of college, [by connecting the two] they would know all along to have their eye on the present and eye on the future.” Ayoubi says even after merging the academic advising and career services departments, there were still obstacles in the way of getting people to work together, because they were scattered in different buildings on campus. “Someone said that ‘in college, everything inside the classroom should be challenging; everything outside should be easy’,” says Ayoubi. “We knew that if we were in the same building the staffer could easily bring the student directly to the next person they need to see, eliminating one of the stressors that doesn’t need to be there.” Formerly known as “Building 9,” Mussafer Hall is located on the academic quad and was designed in 1901 in Dutch Renaissance style by Andry and Bendernagel. It was built in 1902. The building was originally the university’s first dormitory, then later home to the Social Sciences Building, Arts and Sciences classrooms and, until 2014, the School of Social Work. The original, 15,100-squarefoot space, which saw its last renovation in 1959, underwent an extensive renovation that served

66 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Tulane University’s Mussafer Hall Address

Tulane Campus, St. Charles Avenue, Academic Quad Office completed

Dedicated on Sept. 28, 2018 Architect


Square footage

15,100-square-foot historic building; 7,500-square-foot addition, with 900 square-foot second floor terrace Main goal

To combine Academic Advising Center, Career Services and the Success Center under one roof and allow a flexible space for advising, meeting and study. Biggest Challenge

The new Mussafer Hall at Tulane University houses the Academic Advising Center, Career Services and the Success Center. The 7,500-squarefoot addition and 900 square-foot second floor terrace, plus renovation to the the 15,100-squarefoot existing building No. 9 were designed by StudioWTA.

to update it and merge it — both physically and visually — with a new, 7,500-square-foot addition and 900 square-foot second floor terrace. Known for their expertise in both historic preservation and restoration, as well as contemporary and modern design, the architectural team at StudioWTA created a striking limestone-andstucco-clad addition that is modern, but with painstaking attention given to details. All at once, it both stands out and fits well with the building it’s attached to, those surrounding it and the verdant quad, thereby creating a visual metaphor

Building the addition into a somewhat triangular plot between two buildings and the only live oak on campus that has been allowed to grow naturally. Standout Feature

The modern exterior of the building and its terrace and rain gardens. / 67

for the merging of the departments housed inside. “A lot of the [nearby] buildings are masonry with punched openings,” says architect and StudioWTA partner Julie Babin. “This [new] building is made with a lot of glass, so in the evening it glows and draws the students like a beacon ... It’s almost a triangle shape. A lot of the geometry is responsive to the building and the tree.” Babin is referring to both nearby Cudd Hall and what she says is the only oak tree on campus that was allowed to grow naturally. “In urban conditions, you are used to having buildings to consider as your surrounding neighbor, but in this case it was also the tree,” she says. Babin says elements such as the raised terrace, which has landscape planters with plants spilling over the edge, and the rain gardens around the perimeter of the building are part of the sustainability plan. The building is expected to receive Tulane’s minimum requirement of a Silver LEED certification, but might achieve Gold.

“The concept behind it was, ‘How do we make it easier for students to connect their academic plan and career plan?’ As a student goes through four years or more of college, [by connecting the two] they would know all along to have their eye on the present and eye on the future.” Dr. Amjad Ayoubi, senior associate dean, career services, academic advising and athletic advising

Inside, institutional beige walls and hard floors (in the same color), ubiquitous in The design team fought to keep the most universities, give way stairwell open to to gallery-white walls donning the lobby in order vibrant, commissioned artwork to create a more welcoming entry. in the hallways; welcoming lounge and study areas featuring colorful, modern furniture; naturally lit offices; and comfortable, softly lit advising rooms. “One thing I wouldn’t compromise is making sure every staff member office had a window,” says Ayoubi. “It has made a big difference. I knew it was important, but I see it in people.” Babin says she is glad they were able to carry the exposed brick of the original building over into the lobby and that the original arched windows were refinished and exposed. The well-lit areas around the latter serve as seating areas for informal meetings or studying. Emily Bonenfant, an International Development and Environmental Studies double major completing her senior year says she has been spending a lot of time in the building. “This is a really interesting space, because I do have specific appointments with my academic advisor and The terrace in the addition provides career advisor,” says Bonenfant. outdoor seating and “But, it has been nice to have a includes landscape space where I can bump into planters with plants spilling over the them as well ... It’s also a really edge. There are great space for studying for various lounge midterms. It’s an easy place areas throughout both buildings that to stop by. It’s clean and quiet. serve as gathering This has been my study spot and meeting or discovery of the semester.” n study areas. 68 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

The second floor terrace provides additional outdoor space for meetings, studying and breaks. It further allows the connection between indoors and outdoors, so students and staff can enjoy the surrounding quad. / 69

From The Lens w h y d i d n ’ t i th i n k o f th at ?

Help Without The High As the first deliveries of medical marijuana hit pharmacies this month, New Orleans’ only CBD store celebrates a successful first four months in business.

The Magazine Street store has a bright, airy feel. “We wanted to create a welcoming storefront to appeal to a wide variety of customers, especially an older group,” Nugent said.

by Ashley McLellan photos by sara essex bradley

When it comes to alternative medicine,

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the new “it” thing. According to an August 2018 article in Forbes, which cites a report by Brightfield Group, sales of CBD oils, creams, tinctures and lotions are projected to surpass consumer interest in marijuana and skyrocket in the next three years. “The data company estimates that hemp CBD sales have already hit $170 million in 2016 and a 55 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years will cause the market to crack the billiondollar mark,” it said, adding that sales are expected to reach $2.15 billion by 2021 if projections continue on trend. CBD is one of more than 100 different chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that comprise the cannabis plant, also known as marijuana. It is derived from industrial hemp and contains no THC, the main mind-altering ingredient in marijuana that makes consumers feel “high.” What it does do, according to proponents, is help treat a wide variety of mental and physical symptoms, ranging from migraines and severe menstrual cramps to epilepsy and seizures. Currently CBD is legal on paper in 47 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico — with only Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota still holding out. 70 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018


The Abc’s of CBD Proposed benefits of CBD

Seizure relief, Pain relief and/ or management, Improved sleep, Anti-inflammatory, Anxiety relief Potential areas of benefits to study

Addiction and substance abuse treatment, Nausea related to cancer treatment, Parkinson’s disease Potential cautions

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should avoid, Some drug interactions could occur, so it is recommended to consult your physician

In early July, the first CBD Store — simply named Your CBD Store New Orleans — opened in the city at 3613 Magazine Street. Your CBD Store is a franchise that currently has 26 stores in nine states, including nine stores in Florida and five in Georgia. This is also the first in Louisiana. Owner Crystal Nugent says she was inspired to open the store by her own experience with CBD. Nugent has long battled anxiety and struggled with finding a treatment to overcome it. Years of prescription medication provided little relief, and it wasn’t until a conversation with a friend

about a new alternative treatment that the tide turned and a light bulb moment occurred. “I first heard about [CBD] from a friend who was using [it] to treat Crohn’s disease,” she said. “She suggested I try it for anxiety. I did, and within a few weeks, I was able to get off all of my prescription medication. We hear of a lot of new customers interested in CBD because of stories like that, word of mouth. We wanted to create a place to answer those questions, educate and provide a product.” The 800-square-foot store has a purposefully relaxing, spa-like feel.

Your CBD Store New Orleans owner Crystal Nugent provides personalized information and advice on the FAQs on CBD. / 71

In addition to treatments for people, CBD oil may also be beneficial to pets, specifically dogs. Products, from tinctures and oils to dog treats, are available to help with issues such as separation anxiety, pain relief, joint inflammation and fearfulness.

Did You Know?

Facts about the Growing CBD Market The CBD market is expected to grow by

700 percent

— from $202 million in 2017 to $2.1 billion by 2020 (CannabisNewsWire, 2018 and Hemp Business Journal)

Demand for CBD products in the U.S. is highest in states where marijuana is difficult to buy — specifically the Midwest. (Forbes, 2017)

The legal cannabis market is expected to hit

$57 billion

by 2027 — with the breakdown being

67 percent

recreational marijuana and

33 percent medical

(CannabisNewsWire, 2018).

The No. 1 brand of CBD products is “Charlotte’s Web,” created by a company called CW Hemp. It gained attention through a CNN segment featuring Sanjay Gupta. (Forbes, 2017)

Customers and window shoppers will notice edited displays of tinctures, lotions, and even dog treats, arrayed not unlike a sophisticated salon. “We wanted to create a welcoming store front to appeal to a wide variety of customers, especially an older group,” Nugent said. “We want people to come in and we teach them the ABCs of CBD. We show them their options and they then can make the choice.” Nugent said customers are using her products most commonly for migraines, arthritis, epilepsy, anxiety and sleeplessness. Often, she adds, it’s for multiple ailments that are related. “If you have anxiety, that might lead to sleeplessness because you are over thinking it,” she said. “If you have arthritis and chronic pain, you might also have sleeplessness or anxiety. One of the best unexpected benefits is helping our customers with sleep. They experience a more restful sleep, not zonked out like with Nyquil or other over-the-counter products.”

72 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

Nugent said that opening sales have been on the rise, with a customer base that stretches across multiple age groups. “We are doing very well,” she said. “I see all kinds of customers, from people in their 20s through their 70s. They are all just coming in to find relief.” While adults seek the benefits of CBD for themselves, Nugent added that many parents are also quietly exploring it for help with multiple physical and mental challenges with their children. “We sell only to customers over the age of 18, but we often have parents come in for products to help their kids with learning disabilities or epilepsy,” she said. “We give them the information they are looking for, so they can make a decision that is right for them. Even younger people can benefit from better sleep. My son is at LSU, and he often takes it the day before a big exam so he can sleep and be more focused the next day.” Nugent’s biggest sellers are the pain cream, which may help with joint pain and

other inflammatory issues, specifically with arthritis, and the water-soluble tincture that users may take once or twice a day for overall heath, pain management, anxiety and problems sleeping. A bottle of 300 mg solution sells for $60, which lasts for about one month, and a 600 mg solution for $90, comes in popular flavors such as piña colada, strawberry lemonade and mint. It may be taken in water, orange juice, tea or any beverage the user prefers. Nugent also features a line of pet care tinctures and dog treats specifically designed to help canines with arthritis, pain, or anxiety associated with separation, fearfulness, thunderstorms and more. The biggest stigma connected with CBD, she said, is not side effects, price point or proposed benefits, but rather its connection to cannabis, and the push by pharmaceutical companies to keep customers coming back to products they already use. “Our goal is to educate,” she said. “We have actually had amazing interactions with doctors here locally, many of whom recommend that their patients explore CBD as an option, especially with pain management. We could not have been more pleased with the reception we’ve had from customers and many local physicians.” As New Orleans consumers begin to explore new pain management and the health benefits of CBD, and as the use and prescription of medical marijuana begins to expand within the state, Nugent said she looks forward to expanding her store, with two new locations set to open in Metairie, both on Veterans Boulevard, later this month.n

in the news

New CBD-based Drug Approved by FDA In June of this year, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved a drug to treat epilepsy, Epidiolex, produced from a purified form of CBD. The new product was approved to treat seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older, according to an FDA press release. The effects cut the number of seizures in most patients by 40 percent. The FDA won’t be able to market the drug, however, until the DEA reclassifies CBD.

From The Lens m a k i n g a m atc h: b us i n e s s e s a n d n o n pr o f i ts

Since its launch in 2015, unCommon Construction has built eight homes in nine semesters and hired more than 100 students that have earned more than $100,000 in pay and equity award scholarships.

Boys to Men Son of a Saint offers local boys the guidance they need. by Pamela Marquis photos by cheryl gerber

There are so many things a father does to bond

with his son: going to the barber shop, sharing a hot dog at a ball game, manning a grill, learning to spiral a football or just simply talking and listening. A good father gives his children the confidence to explore their environment and take risks. But the

74 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

most significant gift of all is for a child to know Sonny’s mother, Cynthia Lee, who worked as a financial analyst for Lockheed Martin, did that their father always has their back. her best to make up for that loss by teaching But what happens when a boy is born without her children good morals, finding them the best a father, has a father in prison, or loses a father schools and creating the best environment to violence and death? According to Bivian “Sonny” Lee, III, she possibly could. A Good Match founder and executive director of Son of a “Sonny was not an easy son to raise,” FOR Saint, life for boys who lose their fathers she says. “You know he was a typical COMPANIES WHO… is an uphill battle involving challenges boy —always in one kind of trouble or related to self-confidence, anger and another. I wanted to keep him from ...are looking for feelings of abandonment. He believes hands-on ways to the wrong side. The hardest thing was that left unaddressed, these challenges to watch the boys in the neighborhood benefit the next manifest in unhealthy behaviors. who also didn’t have fathers turn to the generation of New Orleanians. Lee’s father, Bivian Lee, Jr., was an wrong side. I didn’t want that for him.” NFL defensive back for the New Orleans She says she doesn’t know what she would have done without the help she Saints from 1971 to 1975. In 1972, he led the team in interceptions. In 1984, at the age of 36, received from her younger brother, Warmoth. he died suddenly from cardiac arrhythmia, leaving “He was there for us,” she says. “He helped with behind a wife, a 5-year-old daughter, Tamica, and discipline and was a mentor. He really made a a 3-year-old son, “Sonny.” difference.”

(Left to right) Lindsey Romig, Cheia Musco, Sonny Lee, Allen Smith and Ty Rhodes


son of a saint Mission

Son of a Saint exists to enhance the lives of fatherless boys through mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences and the formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships.

Sonny appreciates the many opportunities he was afforded. He knows the mentoring he received from his uncle and the life his mother created for him helped make him the man he is today. So, it was this model he used in 2011 to create his nonprofit, Son of a Saint, which provides mentorship, education, recreation, cultural enrichment and emotional support to fatherless young men of New Orleans. “Our boys get a good education, have access to mental health specialists, do things like equine therapy and summer camps,” says Lee. “Once a month we take a trip somewhere — flying to places like Detroit, Washington D.C. or Los Angeles. We just got back from taking 10 boys to Costa Rica.” Mentors of Son of a Saint now help more than 80 young boys, and the goal is to reach 50 more. Each year, Son of a Saint selects a group of boys ages 10-13 to join the existing kids in the program. Each boy remains an official Son of a Saint mentee until he is 18. “But the connections remain, and we continue to advise and support him in the years that follow,” Lee says. “Our goal is to graduate self-sufficient, independent thinkers who are leaders and give

back to their community. Really, we just try to be there for them. If they need a pair of jeans we pick them up from school and we’ll go get them a pair of jeans or a pair of shoes.” Each boy is assigned a mentor and a tutor. The tutors are current teachers in the school system and work with each boy at least 90 minutes a week. “Son of a Saint empowers the boys to have high expectations for themselves, to welcome challenges, to think critically and to use their talents and skills to serve as leaders in their communities,” says Katie Rose Norman, who has been a Son of a Saint tutor since June. She tutors Mark, a sixth-grader who wants to be a lawyer one day. “In our first tutoring session, we discussed the power of positive thinking, and he wrote an essay on having the fortitude to overcome challenges and the courage to ask for help,” Norman says. “When he gets frustrated in class or doesn’t understand the material, he takes out his essay and reads it again to remind himself that he will do great things and to never give up.” Lee continues to improve the program. He is currently working with Flow Digital to create


Success of Services The boys in the program have become more self-aware and self-disciplined Their grades have improved And there has been a significant decrease in detention in schools They have logged hundreds of hours in community service

95 percent

of the boys 15 years old and older, are employed. The other

5 percent

are looking for work.


2803 St. Philip St. New Orleans, 70119 (504) 561-7508 Annual Budget

$937,000, plus an additional $275,000 in scholarships Ongoing Partnerships

Son of a Saint has many valuable partnerships, such as River Rock Stone Works, Republic Business Credit, the University of New Orleans, King and Jurgens law firm, Rycars Construction and Dat Dog.

Son of a Saint, provides mentorship, education, recreation, cultural enrichment and emotional support to fatherless young men of New Orleans / 75

Son of a Saint provides mentorship and a wide range of educational and enrichment opportunities — including etiquette classes — to boys age 10 through 18.

how to help

Ways Businesses Can Partner with Son of a Saint Let Son of a Saint pitch the program at your office to recruit volunteers and mentors to the program Create job-shadowing opportunities Offer paid internships Provide cultural experiences for current kids

get involved

Major Fundraising Event Friday, Nov. 30

Son of a Saint will host its 2018 fundraising gala on Friday, Nov. 30, beginning at 7 p.m. in partnership with The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans. Attendees will be welcomed with a patron cocktail party, which precedes the main event. Gala guests will experience musical entertainment with live performances from The Roamin’ Jasmine, silent auctions, a three-course dinner, an open bar and an after party. Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

Also in November, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival donates 20 percent of its proceeds to Son of a Saint.

an app that will help with the organization’s calendar of events. “It will also work almost as the Son of a Saint Uber, making sure the kids who need a ride somewhere are connected to those volunteers who are willing to transport them,” says Lee. Lee has received many honors and awards from his work and recently was honored at the 15th Annual BET Awards. All of this makes his mother more than just a little bit proud. “I am so impressed with him,” she says. “He’s such a good person. Both my children are blossoming; I must have done something right.” Success Stories

Miles is a junior at Lusher Charter School and one of the first boys enrolled in the program. His mother, Marla, is very thankful for the program. “The Son of a Saint organization has been a true blessing to my son Miles as well as to me,” she said. “He’s been able to do a lot of activities and go a lot of places that he would not have been able to do otherwise. He learned how to do things that only a man can teach him, like tie a tie. He’s also grown to appreciate performing

76 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018

community service as well as being rewarded for good behavior and grades.” Jaheim is 16 years old and attends St. Augustine High School, where he plays basketball and football. “Not only has the program helped me but I think it helps other young men in the city because when they see us succeeding, they want to try and be better too,” he said. He also believes the mentors are important. “It’s good to have someone to talk to when you are down, someone who helps you get back on track.” Julio has been with the program for seven years and now at 21 he remains in the program as a mentor. He also helps to fix technical issues around the organization’s office and often picks up boys who need transportation. He works three jobs and is attending Delgado, where he’s taking courses in business. He plans to become an electrician. “The mentors are there to have fun and play but it’s so much more than that,” he said. “They are there when it gets down and dirty, when you have a problem like getting suspended from school. They can give you guidance that really helps. They show you what to do and what not to do.” n

Donations to Son of a Saint Scholars are also being accepted through the Louisiana Tuition Donation Credit (TDC) program. It offers young men access to great schools and transforms the lives of kids in need. Every $100,000 tax credit donation funds 20 students for an entire school year. Donate 100 percent of your Louisiana income tax liability and you’ll receive a 95 percent state tax credit at the time of donation and 5 percent of the donation may be eligible for a federal tax deduction, making the TDC more favorable than movie and historical rehabilitation credits. Current Needs

Books for adolescents Gift cards for groceries Tickets to events and entertainment Access to educational enrichment programs Sponsorships for summer camps / 77

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.

78 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018 / 79

From The Lens ON T H E J OB

Saving Our Cities of the Dead photo by cheryl gerber

On a fall day Juliette

Hotard, restoration and volunteer coordinator for Save Our Cemeteries, is hard at work doing what she does best — evaluating the condition of tombs and mausoleums across the city. In this case its the French Butcher’s Society Tomb at Lafayette No. 2 Cemetery. The tomb is marked as the next major restoration project of Save Our Cemeteries, the only nonprofit in New Orleans focused on restoration of New Orleans “cities of the dead.” Armed with a graduate degree in historic preservation from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, Hotard researches the history of each tomb, checks its integrity and makes a list of what needs to be done. That list is then sent out as an RFP to local construction companies that specialize in this type of restoration. For more information on Save Our Cemeteries, including details on the organization’s upcoming annual gala, All Saints Soirée, on Nov. 9., visit n

80 / Biz New Orleans / november 2018