BIZ NEW ORLEANS / SEPTEMBER 2021 / LAKESIDE SHOPPING CENTER / HIGHER ED CHECK-IN
GROWING IN AN OVERSATURATED MARKET
Top tips from a business scaling expert P. 32
THE NEW POWDER PUFF ON MAGAZINE
High-end national boutique Stoney Clover Lane comes to town P. 60
HIGHER ED CHECK-IN
New programs and partnerships are plentiful this fall P. 40
Brian Lade, Regional Manager at The Feil Organization, owner of Lakeside Shopping Center
Lakeside Lives On As other local malls struggle to survive or plan for reinvention, Lakeside Shopping Center is thriving, just as it is.
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
September VOLUME 07 ISSUE 12
FE ATURE S
FROM THE LENS
08 EDITOR’S NOTE 09 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 10 ON THE WEB
REAL ESTATE+ CONSTRUCTION............ 26
Recent and upcoming projects generating excitement BANKING+FINANCE. . ... 28
IN THE BIZ
AI is Changing Banking: Industry professionals weigh in
Ten years after surviving a violent crime, Nathanial Zimet is at work on a five-year plan to make a difference
GREAT WORKSPACES . . ........................................................... 56
Brockschmidt & Coleman design firm and Sud, a Sicilian antiques and art boutique, share space and clientele on Magazine Street
WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?........................................ 60
Carnival Glory marks the return of ocean cruise ships to Port of New Orleans
Stoney Clover Lane brings unique travel style to the Big Easy
ON THE JOB............................................................................... 64
Thoughts on a legend and the sadness our families have in common
What health consequences could weight gain have during the pandemic?
GUEST. . ............................. 32
SPORTS .......................... 20
Bond Moroch’s Jordan Friedman shares his company’s plans for what he’s calling a critical restart for a new era
Tips on finding your ideal client and consumers in oversaturated industries – during a global pandemic
Lakeside Lives On
Higher Ed Check-In
As other local malls struggle to survive or plan for reinvention, Lakeside Shopping Center is thriving, just as it is
Area colleges and universities are packed with new programs and partnerships this fall
Community Sailing New Orleans launched its first programming in 2020, offering opportunities for everyone to get out on the water
ON THE COVER Brian Lade, regional manager at The Feil Organization, owner of Lakeside Shopping Center photo by Greg Miles
Publisher Todd Matherne EDITORIAL Managing Editor Kimberley Singletary
THE MALL WAS A BIG PART OF MY ADOLESCENCE. In my teen years there was just nothing better
than getting together a group of girls and being dropped off at the mall by someone’s parents with a cool $20 bill burning a hole in my little purse. We’d spend hours there — eating, drinking, oohing and aahing over Guess jeans and Swatch watches, and just enjoying feeling grown up and out on our own. It seems some things don’t change. During a lovely conversation with Brian Lade for this month’s cover feature, he shared that Gen Z (currently those between ages 6 and 24) are “power shoppers” — and the good news for malls is there are approximately 68 million of them in the U.S. right now. While today’s youth may never have known a world without smart phones and online shopping, they still seem to feel the same draw to the mall as a social gathering place. In addition to the experience of wandering a mall or shop, there’s just some things that, to me at least, are hard to imagine purchasing online. I’m picky about how my shoes fit, the comfort level of my furniture and finding the perfect shade of foundation, so those are all among the things I need to experience before I purchase. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Someday I imagine I will be dropping off my own daughter and her friends at the mall to make their own memories, so I was happy to hear Brian report that Lakeside Shopping Center is not only surviving, but “I am not sure if new leasing activity has ever been stronger than it is today.” Long live Lakeside. On another note, I’m excited about next month’s issue. Our October magazine is our annual real estate issue, the highlight of which is the chance to pick the brain of top people in both the residential and commercial sectors. There’s plenty to talk about right now — from the crazy residential boom, to the continued struggle for affordable housing options, to all the uncertainty in the office market. Stay tuned! Happy Reading,
Art Director Sarah George Digital Media Editor Kelly Massicot Associate News Editor Rich Collins Contributors Ashley McLellan, Chris Price, Jennifer Gibson Schecter, Carrita Tanner-Cloud, Melanie Warner Spencer, Poppy Tooker, Keith Twitchell ADVERTISING Sales Manager Caitlin Sistrunk (504) 830-7252 Caitlin@BizNewOrleans.com Senior Account Executive Brennan Manale (504) 830-7298 Brennan@BizNewOrleans.com Senior Account Executive Jessica Jaycox (504) 830-7255 JessicaJ@BizNewOrleans.com RENAISSANCE PUBLISHING MARKETING Coordinator Abbie Dugruise PRODUCTION Designers Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney CIRCULATION Subscriptions Jessica Armand Distribution John Holzer ADMINISTRATION Office Manager Mallary Wolfe Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne For subscriptions, call (504) 830-7231
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New Orleans 500 is Coming I A M S O E XC I T E D A B O U T O U R N E W E S T
publication: We are in the final stages of the first New Orleans 500, which is going to press at the end of the month. All year the staff has been working hard to compile the area’s first-of-itskind publication focused on 500 executives in this region who are innovating, creating , leading , succeeding and giving back to the community. I am so proud of the team as they have created a beautiful publication. If you are a subscriber to Biz New Orleans, you will receive a copy in November, or you can visit BizNewOrleans.com and pre-order your copy today. The price includes a three-year subscription to Biz New Orleans magazine. Todd Matherne On a side note, the Jefferson business community is in search of new leaders. My friends Todd Murphy and Tim Coulon are stepping down from the Jefferson Chamber and Jefferson Business Council. Under Todd’s leadership, the now five-star Jefferson Chamber has grown in members and influence throughout the region and Tim proved to be a guiding light for the JBC over the past two years. They both will be missed at the helm and I wish them success in their next chapter.
ON THE WEB BIZNE WORL E A NS.C OM
The Superdome contributes close to $600 million in annual economic impact to the state of Louisiana, and Caesars is the largest gaming company in America. Together, they will ensure that our iconic stadium drives even more jobs, tax revenue, and global brand awareness for New Orleans and Louisiana. Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., speaking on the announcement in late July that the New Orleans Saints and Caesars Entertainment had entered into a 20-year partnership to rename the city’s downtown stadium Caesars Superdome. Caesars is also beginning a $325 million renovation to transform Harrah’s New Orleans into Caesars New Orleans.
BIZ TALKS PODCAST
A Convo with the New President of Entergy New Orleans Deanna Rodriguez became the new president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans just three months ago. Who is she? What are her big goals? What does she have to say about the company’s recent controversies and this fall’s proposed rate hike? Hear it all on this week’s episode of Biz Talks.
Get Vaccinated! The Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading most quickly in places with low vaccination rates. Dr. Stacy Greene of DePaul Community Health Centers has a simple message for those who want to stay safe and help life to return to normal.
WHAT YOU MISSED ON BIZNEWORLEANS.COM
Blue is Back “THE UPCOMING LAUNCH OF BLUE BIKES IS A MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT IN OUR COMMITMENT TO
improve equity, connectivity, safety and efficiency in our transportation networks. Bike share is a critical component of our transportation system; people rely on it to get to work, and we are excited that 500 bikes will be back on the streets soon. We appreciate the partnership in the Greater New Orleans Foundation, which helped develop the new program, and are thankful for the return of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana as lead sponsor.” — Mayor LaToya Cantrell speaking about the launch this month of a fleet of 500 e-assist bikes.
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
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STEM NOLA Goes Global Could New Orleans become known as the place to be for STEM education? Dr. Calvin Mackie, founder of the nonprofit STEM NOLA, thinks so and he’s received millions of dollars in support so far to make it happen.
MEET THE SALES TEAM
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In The Biz
BIZ COLUMNISTS SPE AK OUT
DINING Nathanial Zimet is at work on a five-year plan to make a difference
TOURISM Carnival Glory marks the return of ocean cruise ships to Port of New Orleans
SPORTS Thoughts on a legend and the sadness our families have in common
ENTREPRENEUR Bond Moroch’s Jordan Friedman shares his company’s plans for what he’s calling a critical restart.
IN THE BIZ DINING
Owner of Boucherie and Bourrée Goes After a New Demographic Ten years after surviving a violent crime, Nathanial Zimet is at work on a five-year plan to make a difference BY P OP PY TO O KE R
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
I L L U ST R AT I O N B Y T O N Y H E A L E Y
A native New Orleanian, Poppy Tooker has spent her life devoted to the cultural essence that food brings to Louisiana, a topic she explores weekly on her NPR-affiliated radio show, Louisiana Eats! From farmers markets to the homes and restaurants where our culinary traditions are revered and renewed, Poppy lends the voice of an insider to interested readers everywhere.
he found himself compulsively wiping the There’s so much energy in the air…and edges of paper plates he was using. then I get shot.” Adjusting his own expectations, by This is the way Nathanial Zimet recalls September 2006 Que Crawl hit its stride, the 2011 senseless crime that nearly cost becoming a fixture outside Tipitina’s, him his life. Just after an all-night shift at the first non-Hispanic food truck of the his restaurant Boucherie where he was post-Katrina era. The distinctive purple preparing food for the Bayou Boogaloo truck was quickly became famous for fried Festival, Zimet was in his car outside his boudin balls and succulent brisket served home when he was shot twice, including on crisp, Dong Phuong baguettes. once in the chest, during a robbery attempt. Barely two years later, the young chef Up until that moment, 100-hour work- opened Boucherie in Uptown New Orleans. weeks had been the young chef ’s norm. Designed as a fine dining establishment, Undoubtedly, Zimet himself generated some Zimet focused on nose to tail, in-house of that crackling energy he spoke about. butchery, forming relationships with local Beginning with the purple Que Crawl farmers who brought the best to his door. food truck in 2006, Zimet had built a With youthful exuberance, he grabbed small food empire that included film every opportunity that came along until the catering, a bourgeoning fine dining busi- shooting brought him to a full stop. ness at Boucherie, in-house catering at The food community rallied around, Latrobe’s and a new restaurant planned with fundraisers and other assistance that for the Marigny. allowed Zimet to heal through multiple Since the age of 15, the North Carolina surgeries without detriment to his native was drawn to the restaurant business. business. “I realized if I wanted to own a restau“That’s what I hang on to,” he said. rant, I had to become a chef,” Zimet said, “This city I’m honored to call home referring to his training at the Cordon supported me with such love and compasBleu in London and Sydney, Australia. sion. I just want to be that much more a After training, he brought his newly part of it today.” acquired skills home to North Carolina In 2014, Zimet expanded his Carrollton where Chef Shane Ingram turned him into footprint by opening Bourrée, a casual a seasoned professional at Durham’s fine wing and daiquir i sp ot where his dining establishment, 4 Square. Boucherie butchery is also available by “I’d turn out a perfect version of a dish and the pound. Chef would challenge me to stop cooking Now married with a three-year-old at to please him and cook to please myself home, Zimet has become laser focused instead,” said Zimet, who said this order on school lunch programs. By adding a taught him to respect his own taste buds. shipping container onto Boucherie’s tiny After two years under Ingram’s tutelage, kitchen, he drastically expanded capacity. in 2004 Zimet pursued a girlfriend to Currently the provider for St. Andrew’s New Orleans where he initially worked and St. George’s private schools, his fivealongside Aaron Burgau, Alex Harrell and year goal is to make a difference in New Brian Landry (all chefs in their own right Orleans’ public/charter school system. today) under Gerard Maras’ watchful eye Daughter Joslynn, his “picky eater,” in the early days of Ralph’s On The Park. remains Dad’s biggest critic. However, barely a year later, the Katrina “It’s all about nutrition!” he exclaimed. evacuee was living in Florida with his “Now, when I make macaroni and cheese father, unsure of the future. there’s no béchamel. Instead, I mound Over dinner one night, David Zimet cheese into pureed roasted carrots, caulisuggested his son consider a food truck. flower and squash and [the students] “If anything like Katrina happens again, love it.” n you can just pack up your business and drive it away,” his father advised him, while offering to co-sign a loan. Zimet formulated a business plan and returned to North Carolina for research, exploring the region’s best barbecue while developing the signature rub and sauces Catch Poppy Tooker on her radio show, he still uses today. During the first night “Louisiana Eats!” Saturdays at 3 p.m. and out in the truck, the fine dining chef said Mondays at 8 p.m. on WWNO 89.9 FM.
“THE AIR STARTS TO CRACKLE, THEN LIGHTNING.
IN THE BIZ TOURISM
Ship Ahoy Carnival Glory marks the return of ocean cruise ships to Port of New Orleans BY J E NNIF E R G IB SO N SCHE CT ER
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
before or after their cruise. This generates 306,000 hotel room nights annually and additional spending in area restaurants, shops and cultural attractions. The cruise industry operating out of Port Nola accounts for over 9,000 jobs in Louisiana as well. “There is a strong network of hardworking men and women who rely on and contribute to the cruise industry — from the river pilots who navigate those cruise ships up and down the river safely, to the hospitality industry workers, the wait staff, bartenders, etc. who provide customers with services to enjoy our city before and after their cruise, to those greeting our guests at the cruise terminal as they arrive and ensure passengers make it onto the ship seamlessly. We want to take the opportunity to recognize the importance of the cruise industry and all those Louisiana citizens who make it work,” said Ragusa. With many unknowns, especially regarding variant strains of COVID-19, Port Nola leadership is continuing to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control, cruise line partners and elected officials to adapt operations and develop new safety protocols for its guests, crew and community. Port Nola has reasons to be optimistic. River cruise sailings from American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company resumed in March 2021 with reduced capacity and strict COVID protocols beyond the federal recommendations. And in long-awaited news, Viking Cruise Line is scheduled to begin river service from New Orleans in the summer of 2022, marking the company’s first North American homeport. As of publication, Port Nola also anticipates welcoming the Carnival Valor on Nov. 1, 2021; the Norwegian Breakaway on Nov. 21, 2021; and the Disney Wonder in February 2022. “As we all know, when things start to get back to normal, Louisiana will continue to be a place where visitors from all over the world will keep coming back to experience our unique people and culture,” said Ragusa. Cruise guests are encouraged to monitor their cruise line’s webpages directly for updates and announcements. To learn more about cruising from Port Nola, visit portnola.com/cruise. n
I L L U ST R AT I O N B Y T O N Y H E A L E Y
Jennifer Gibson Schecter was once a tourist in New Orleans herself and is now proud to call NOLA home. She also writes the Wednesday Tourism Blog on BizNewOrleans.com.
IN MARCH 2020, GLOBAL CRUISE LINE OPER-
ations shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing major job losses and negative economic impacts to the tourism industry and port cities worldwide. This month marks the return of oceangoing cruise ships to New Orleans with the Carnival Glory set to sail a seven-day itinerary departing the Port of New Orleans (Port Nola) on Sept. 5. Carnival Cruise Line implemented its restart plan in July with five vessels under sail, gradually increasing to 15 through the fall. It is operating its cruises with a 95% vaccination rate for passengers. “The decision to sail with vaccinated voyages was a difficult one to make, and we recognize this is disappointing to some of our guests, especially the many families with children under the age of 12 who we love to sail, and who love to sail with us,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line in a press release. “It’s important to remember that this is a temporary measure given the current circumstances. In consultation with our medical experts and advisors, we’ve determined this plan is in the best interests of the health and safety of our guests, crew and the destinations that we bring our ships to.” Carnival Cruise Line has long served Port Nola and prior to COVID-19, it accounted for approximately 80% of the port’s 1.2 million passenger movements in 2019. Other cruise lines homeporting in New Orleans prior to the pandemic include Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and riverine cruise lines American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company. Port Nola’s cruise business was severely impacted by the pandemic. According to Jessica Ragusa, communications manager at Port Nola, there were 338 missed ship calls, which resulted in missing an estimated 1.5 million cruise passenger movements. As of publication, Port Nola has lost an estimated $21 million in direct cruise revenue. Cruises are integral to the tourism industry of New Orleans, and to the entire state. Ragusa said 98% of the calls made to Port Nola are homeports, where the ships take on provisions, fueling, maintenance and business services from local businesses. This activity results in new money injected into the state economy. Port Nola’s 2019 Economic Impact Study reported that 90% of its cruise passengers hail from out of state and 73% spend one or two nights in New Orleans
IN THE BIZ SP ORTS
Archie Manning: A Hall of Fame Dad Thoughts on a legend and the sadness our families have in common BY C HR I S PR ICE
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
of credit for his family’s success. And this aspect of his life should be lauded. I empathize with the trials the Manning family has faced because my family has been affected by my grandfather’s suicide. On Mardi Gras night in February 1977, my mom, 18, and my dad, 21, were getting ready to leave her parents’ home to watch the Mistick Krewe of Comus parade when they heard a gunshot in the backyard. They rushed out to discover that my grandfather had a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest and was gone. In an instant, he changed the trajectory of not only his life, but those he left behind. A funeral home director, his partner embezzled money and he fell on tough financial times, did the best to protect his family, but, ultimately, succumbed to the thought that his wife and two daughters would be better off without him. Although they tried their best to deal with it, my grandmother never got over his suicide; neither did my aunt, nor my mom. He didn’t know it, but my mom, at the time of his death, was pregnant with me. I was born in the shadow of his death, and his absence has cast a pall over everyone he left behind. For much of my childhood and adolescence, he and his death were taboo subjects. As an adult, I began a dialogue with my mom about my granddad, mental health and our family’s experiences. I’m forever grateful for the decisions my mom has made to ensure our family’s health and well-being. As a fan of football and fellow man, I sure am glad Archie did the same for his. People are realizing that not everyone’s brain chemistry is perfect, that some need help – therapeutically and medicinally – and that’s OK. Much like a diabetic that needs help regulating their insulin, some people need help regulating the chemicals in their brains. Hundreds of thousands of Americans live with a serious mental condition, and only about 50 percent of them receive treatment. As we continue to endure the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure more people will be affected by mental health issues. I’m glad that we live in a time when stigmas are fading. If you or someone you know or love is struggling, help and resources are available. So is love and compassion. Reach out. You are not alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255. n
I L L U ST R AT I O N B Y T O N Y H E A L E Y
Chris Price is an award-winning journalist and public relations principal. When he’s not writing, he’s avid about music, the outdoors, and Saints, Ole Miss and Chelsea football. Price also authors the Friday Sports Column at BizNewOrleans.com.
I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE PEYTON
Manning play at the high school, collegiate and professional levels of his football career, and it was awesome to see him inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month. Watching his speech and his father’s introduction, I was reminded of how much Archie made it all possible. Sure, for Peyton, being the son of an SEC legend turned professional quarterback and a homecoming queen had its benefits, but before Archie became ARCHIE! at Ole Miss, he had to deal with his father’s suicide. Archie was 20 years old in the summer of 1969, entering his sophomore year and his first year with the Rebel varsity. Between summer session and the start of fall camp, he went home to Drew, Miss., to spend time with his mom, who the family called “Sis,” his dad, “Buddy,” and sister, Pam. The family was scheduled to attend a wedding, but Buddy wanted to stay home. He told his son to come home early so the two could catch up and enjoy a steak dinner together. When Archie returned, he found his dad dead, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot. He called the authorities and then rang a family friend to ask that he delay his mom and sister from coming home. Next, he got to work cleaning the site, going as far as to burn the blood-stained mattress and linens, so that his mom and sister wouldn’t have to bear the additional trauma of the sight. Buddy had suffered a stroke and his farm supply business was seemingly going under. The Mannings believe that he thought he would be a strain and would be better off without him – a common belief of the suicidal. Initially, Archie decided to quit school, get a job, and support his mother and sister, but his mom was adamant that he continue to follow his dream, especially with the opportunity that was right before him. He did and became a football legend in the process. While he was lauded for his play, Archie was also focused on his growing family. He turned the tragedy into a guiding principle to put them first, tell his wife and children he loved them, and provide a sanctuary for them to grow and develop in a healthy atmosphere. Archie decided to turn pain and loss into a mission. There have been many examples of his success — two of his sons are two-time Super Bowl champions. His third overcame a devastating career-ending football injury to become known as the most affable of the bunch. With one son inducted, a second a strong possibility, and a new generation already making headlines, he deserves a lot
IN THE BIZ EN T REPRENEUR
Adapt or Perish Bond Moroch’s Jordan Friedman shares his company’s plans for what he’s calling a critical restart for a new era BY KEI T H TWITCHE LL
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
I L L U ST R AT I O N B Y T O N Y H E A L E Y
Keith Twitchell spent 16 years running his own business before becoming president of the Committee for a Better New Orleans. He has observed, supported and participated in entrepreneurial ventures at the street, neighborhood, nonprofit, micro- and macro-business levels.
leaders and staff to approach the notion A DISRUPTION ON THE SCOPE OF THE COVID of a culture rebuild from a holistic pandemic demands a response from perspective. Step one begins with what businesses. Life has changed, people have changed, and if businesses don’t change, Friedman termed “a deep listen to your people,” a detailed survey of all staff even those that made it through the crisis members to understand what each one are at risk going forward. perceives as both good and bad about “Your customers, your staff, even your suppliers want to do things differ- their workplace. From this input, a customized set ently,” said Jordan Friedman, partner at of recommendations is developed. The Bond Moroch. “And it’s the same in the premise is that meeting employees’ needs academic and nonprofit world. People’s at all levels — physical, intellectual, envitolerance for sacred cows, whether they ronmental, emotional and even spiritual be bad employees, bad practices or bad — builds a sense of ownership within the policies, is gone.” staff. In turn, this creates renewed focus Some of the new realities result directly and dedication among employees, which from changes forced by the pandemic leads to improved performance and shutdown. Employees who have been greater productivity. working at home may be anxious about Friedman emphasized repeatedly that returning to work, a problem that can this requires complete commitment at the be exacerbated by rusty workplace leadership level. skills, such as communications or people “This is not a kumbaya exercise, a group management. Many have reflected on hug,” he said. “It’s about leadership and their job and workplace satisfaction demonstrating a commitment to your while away and are demanding changes employees. Companies who are smart, — if they are returning at all. Looking at leaders who are smart can get out in front employment statistics, employers must of the post-COVID changes. If you don’t realize that we are in an employee market make the changes, your company is at risk.” and respond accordingly. According to Friedman, this applies Friedman brought up another adjustto newer, more entrepreneurial ventures ment that will impact most business every bit as much as larger, well-estaboffices going forward. lished firms. Indeed, in a general business “As workplaces go hybrid, this will tend climate that retains high degrees of uncerto increase silos, and generally make all inefficiencies and dysfunctional work- tainty, establishing a positive, progressive workplace culture from the outset could place cultures worse. Leadership must be what determines the success or failure get ahead of this.” of a new enterprise. He also noted increased demand for a The changed workplace realities unquesmore equitable work environment. tionably pose challenges for business, “Workers want to know that their well-being is a factor in company deci- education and nonprofit leaders. At the same time, this generates an exceptional sion-making,” he explained. “The equity opportunity to convene the team, listen component is here to stay, and company openly and honestly, and in Friedman’s leaders need to embrace it or get stepped words, “chart a course that can effectively on by it.” Friedman views the situation as a lead- rebuild the cultures of their organizations and make them stronger than ever. There ership opportunity to reset their culture in ways that will not just head off poten- is no better time for organizational leaders to reassume their leadership roles. If not tial post-pandemic issues, but enhance now, when?” n productivity, reduce turnover, and build clientele and revenues. And this all starts at the highest levels. “Taking control of an organization’s post-COVID workplace culture is not an HR function,” he said. “It is a leadership imperative. It must be driven from the top.” To assist leaders of businesses small and large, Friedman’s team has rolled out what they call “the new team algorithm,” a program that allows for company
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
Perspectives HOT TOPICS IN SOUTHE AST LOUISIANA INDUSTRIES
REAL ESTATE+CONSTRUCTION Recent and upcoming projects generating excitement
BANKING+FINANCE Industry professionals weigh in on how AI is changing banking
HEALTHCARE What health consequences could weight gain have during the pandemic?
GUEST Tips on finding your ideal client and consumers in today’s oversaturated industries
PERSPECTIVES RE A L ES TAT E+C ONS T RUCTION
Bert J. Turner Principal Mouton Long Turner Architects We have kicked off a number of projects during the pandemic, which I am delighted to mention. To start, MLT was a part of a restoration to a three-story, party wall, CBD historic tax credit building located at 528 Gravier Street for Westfeldt Brothers. Although the bidding for this project occurred during the peak of COVID, I am truly grateful to the contractors who worked with MLT to substantiate an honorable “bid and proceed” during those hard times. Today, it is incredibly exciting to see the completion of this relic happen within the next two months! We have also experienced a surge in our drivethrough restaurant business, with the notable accomplishment of the first drive-throughonly restaurant for Arby’s in the U.S. located in Kerrville, Texas. I am eagerly anticipating the progression of the fun and versatile projects we have been working on lately, which feature outdoor eatery/bar concepts, as well as, the construction of a stately Old Metairie residence on Bonnabel Boulevard.
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
What are some recent or upcoming projects you’re excited about?
Lauren R. Gibbs
CEO Gibbs Construction
VP of Business Development DonahueFavret
Gibbs is wrapping up renovations to Lafayette Elementary School. We also recently broke ground on the new fire station for the City of Gretna; this state-of-the-art facility will bolster the sense of safety and security for the citizens of Gretna while improving the quality of life for our amazing first responders. I would be remiss not to mention our private work in the multifamily sector; Gibbs enjoys working with local developers who are helping to meet the housing needs of our community.
We’re seeing an increase in healthcare and assisted living opportunities, and we’ve just begun work on Poydras Home. The two brand new three-story buildings linked by a glass atrium will serve as the entryway for six separate homes. We’re also in the process of building two new ground-up assisted living facilities across the state with an existing longterm client. Lastly, we’ll soon begin construction on the expanding 22-bed Ronald McDonald House on the Children’s Hospital New Orleans campus.
Anne Teague Landis
CEO Landis Construction Co.
President Woodward Design+Build
We are working on hospitality lodging big and small, from three-unit, short-term rental properties to a total renovation of the Iberville Tower at The Hotel Monteleone. Multifamily housing is another category we are excited about. We’ve just completed a 76-unit, mixed-income project by the Lafitte Greenway for McCormack Baron Salazer and have a number of multifamily projects on the horizon, filling a need for more housing options in New Orleans.
Our teams are transforming the riverfront right now with the Four Seasons and the new RTA Ferry Terminal. The former World Trade Center is enormous, with over 750 people working there on a typical construction day. The building’s 744,000 square feet have been renovated into multifaceted, beautiful hospitality space, which is stacked over 33 stories, making the project incredibly complex. Most impressive is the size and the complexity together with the extremely high standards and attention to detail that the Four Seasons is famous for.
New Orleans 500 Will Profile the City’s Business Leaders 2022 EDITION ARRIVES Q4 OF 2021
The New Orleans 500, a new annual publication from Biz New Orleans magazine, will profile the business leaders who are driving the greater New Orleans economy today and making decisions that will shape the region’s future. The diverse list features everyone from hospital CEOs battling the pandemic to restaurateurs pivoting to meet the times and startup CEOs working to make the city a center of technological innovation. The New Orleans 500 profiles will include questions and answers designed to reveal the people behind the titles. Taken together, they provide a fascinating and fun snapshot of the city’s most influential and involved leaders.
P R E O R D E R T O D AY B I Z N E W O R L E A N S .C O M
T O A D V E R T I S E C O N TA C T
PERSPECTIVES B A NK ING+FIN A NCE
AI is Changing Banking Industry professionals weigh in BY JA M E S SE B ASTIE N
THE TERM ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HAS
been synonymous with science fiction for decades, with the genre bringing all sorts of fantastical variations of AI to life. But today’s world has grown to see the term as more than an element of a book or movie. Now AI is becoming a part of everyday vocabulary through social media, marketing and the banking community. With the digitalization of the world, AI’s transition into a buzz word was inevitable. In recent years, AI has turned into a growing force across the board, transforming how we live our lives in areas from shopping to banking. While AI hasn’t quite yet taken over the banking sector, as the technology matures and becomes more affordable for smaller and midsize banks, the possibilities will become endless. Some of the ways banks have already implemented AI are through fraud prevention, unusual transactions, customer service and risk management. CYBERSECURITY
Cybersecurity is answering some of our country’s biggest fears in the banking sector. Many industry insiders believe that AI is part of that answer. Tom Czerniak, SVP of operations at Gulf Coast Bank and Trust, says the field of cybersecurity has exploded and there aren’t enough qualified people to fill the positions. This, he says, is where AI comes into play. “[AI] is being used as a security tool and resource to help fill the needs,” he says. “It enhances security with intrusion detection/prevention systems, malware detections and fraud detection. AI plays a significant role in determining whether a transaction is valid, relative to customer, location, frequency, history, merchant and amount. Each transaction is scored and weighed against risk in a real-time scenario. Questionable transactions can be brought to customers’ attention via immediate texting to help to improve
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Thanks to RPA (robotic process automation) we’ve been able to reduce some of our onboarding processes from days to minutes, allowing our staff to provide greater focus on directly helping our clients with complex problems that need a personal touch. Charles LeFevre, chief operations and client experience officer at Fidelity Bank LA
these AI models and not disrupt customer transactions.” Czerniak says AI is also helping companies maintain higher levels of security through platforms that gather information from sources, such as the government, which is then input into databases that can search and detect specific attacks. “AI increases those capabilities and has the potential to predict threats in advance,” he said. “We spend a lot of time and energy playing defense, but with AI we can play a little offense as well. This increases our overall security posture.” Charles LeFevre, chief operations and client experience officer at Fidelity Bank LA, said his InfoSec team augments their review processes with AI, which looks for anomalous behavior at a deep level in order to automatically block potentially malicious activity. According to LeFevre, Fidelity isn’t stopping there as the company continues
to expand its capabilities in AI and other robotic processes in all areas. “Whether it is AI, IA (intelligent assistance), or RPA (robotic process automation), using these tools have resulted in better experiences for our associates and our clients,” he said. “Thanks to RPA we’ve been able to reduce some of our onboarding processes from days to minutes, allowing our staff to provide greater focus on directly helping our clients with complex problems that need a personal touch. AI will continue to open doors that will help banks provide clients with fast solutions and recommendations that are tailored to their specific needs.” ROI WITH AI
AI is one of the greatest innovations in recent years for customers when it comes to online banking. But the cost of the services is not viable for some small- to midsize financial firms to achieve a ROI.
Rafael Rondon, president and CEO of Xplore Federal Credit Union, is a proponent of AI due to its potential to increase efficiencies and more effective diversify assets and services. But ultimately for Rondon, the cost and lack of competition amongst vendors, at this time, made the decision to integrate AI not financially viable. However, ROI was not the sole factor in his decision. “Depending on the AI system being considered, implementation and set-up could be complex and require a significant portion of limited assets an organization has,” he said. “Programming the different behaviors and factors to be taken into account by the AI can be time consuming. Also, AI in most cases is a learning system that improves from each interaction and increases its effectiveness with greater number of interactions — this is great, but it also means that it could take some time before your AI system reaches peak efficiency and you may have subpar performance in the earlier stages when the system goes live.” Rondon believes in the years to come AI will become more commonplace and have a more pronounced presence in everyday banking. He projects that in as little as three to five years the technology could become affordable for small and midsize banks, and effective enough in processing and anticipating the needs of customers. “The social and economic environment is also fueling a rapid shift towards AI in the financial industry,” he added. “Organizations want to market themselves as forward thinking and most innovative [financial institutions] to attract younger clients and capture a larger segment of the market.” Are we witnessing the beginning of a new era? Rondon predicts that soon the norm of banking will become clients interacting with AI at their financial institution instead of humans. But he believes that one of the biggest ways AI will change banking is through data mining. “Organizations are using AI in more innovative and effective ways to mine data and identify behaviors that relate to current needs,” he said. “In the very near future, those same AI systems will be able to predict future client needs with an extreme high level of accuracy. “Can you imagine receiving an offer for a home improvement loan on the day you decide you need to upgrade your kitchen or add a pool to your house? Soon that will be a reality because AI systems are learning and identifying what are the behaviors and activities you perform days, weeks and months prior to you making the decision to improve your home. The AI system that can more closely predict the date that you’ll make the decision to improve your home and seek financing to do so, will be the one that gets your business.” n
AI plays a significant role in determining whether a transaction is valid, relative to customer, location, frequency, history, merchant and amount. Tom Czerniak, SVP of operations at Gulf Coast Bank and Trust
PERSPECTIVES HE A LT HC A RE
Dr. Carolina Urbizo
Gabrielle Givens, M.D.
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics DePaul Community Health Centers
Family Medicine St. Tammany Health System The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a host of challenges to our daily lives, and unfortunately for many adults and children, weight gain has been one of those challenges. Weight gain can have a detrimental effect on a person’s overall health. I personally am already seeing these effects taking place as I diagnose new onset type 2 diabetes or hypertension in previously healthy patients. In order to prevent long-term health consequences, now is the time to start replacing some of the unhealthy habits we have adopted during the pandemic with healthier ones.
During the pandemic, we are seeing weight gain in patients of all ages. A large majority of children participated in virtual learning last school year, contributing to them being more sedentary and eating more. As for adults, some have been working remotely and activities outside of work have been limited, therefore increasing in sedentary life. With this weight gain in patients, we have seen more uncontrolled blood pressures, out-of-control diabetes, increasing strokes and increasing joint pains. In addition, the added pounds in patients have contributed to an increase in depression.
Walter Hoyt, MD Pediatric and AdultCongenital Cardiology and Electrophysiology Ochsner Health Increasing levels of obesity and inappropriate weight gain have been a growing problem prior to the pandemic, and studies in both adult and pediatric populations suggest that pandemic-associated changes in exercise and recreation have exacerbated the problem. Additionally, possible delays in non-emergent appointments likely makes the true change in prevalence difficult to quantify. Regardless, the impact of pandemic-related changes in organized sports and physical education is readily visible in many children’s physical and mental well-being.
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
There’s a lot of talk of weight gain in all ages during the pandemic. Are you seeing this and if so, what health consequences could it have?
Stephanie Losq-Sarkar, M.D. Family Medicine Physician Touro Just as the pandemic has changed eating habits, it has had an impact on exercise habits. With the gyms being closed or limiting hours and access and people losing out on basic daily physical activity — like walking from the parking lot to their office — some people just aren’t getting the same level of exercise. However, it’s not time to guilt yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Eating is one of life’s pleasures and the pandemic has been so stressful, so it’s understandable that we ate more of our favorite comfort foods — and more often and in larger quantities.
PERSPECTIVES GUES T
Advice From a Business Scaling Expert Tips on finding your ideal client and consumers in oversaturated industries – during a global pandemic BY C A R R ITA TANNE R-CLO U D
WE ALL THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH
COVID-19: Masks mandates lifted, vaccines administered and businesses returning provided a certain sense of “normalcy” or, at least, our “new normal,” right? Wrong! Here’s comes the new Delta variant train coming to town, and by the looks of it, it’s here to party for a while. Businesses may have found it difficult to try to manage increased expenses from exorbitant shipping costs, materials and overhead, with little to no foot traffic or online traffic to balance the scales. Add lack of employees and mandatory shutdowns, and it seems like a recipe for disaster. All industries have felt the sting of COVID-19; however, it seems certain businesses were not only able to weather the storm, but have built the proverbial arc the size of the Titanic to accommodate their business’s continued growth and success during an otherwise detrimental global pandemic. A RESHUFFLING IN THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS
So, how is it that some businesses scaled to Babylonian heights while others shuttered their doors forever? It’s something that makes you sit back and wonder. Was it luck, favor, blessings, strategy or plain ole voodoo? Well, depending on your foundational beliefs, you may believe it was a little of all the above, or maybe none. As a business scaling expert and marketing specialist, I can tell you that it took way more than luck and a lot more than voodoo! To scale in this tumultuous season, it took reshuffling of both the physical and digital worlds, and if a business shuffled correctly, it saw show-stopping growth. If a business could not merge both the physical and online presence of
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their businesses, ultimately, failure was their destination. And, to successfully scale, businesses had to home in and focus on targeting their ideal clients that were stuck in front of televisions, tablets, phones and radios for more than a year. DEFINING MY IDEAL AUDIENCE
Carrita TannerCloud is the founder and owner of Creativity Justified, the largest blackowned, women-led advertising agency in Louisiana, as well as Carrita Cloud and Associates, a business growth consulting firm. Both are located on the Northshore in Slidell, Louisiana. TannerCloud has been recognized as a 2021 Inc. 5000 business, noted as a Top Investor with the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and has been recognized as a 2021 Woman to Watch.
Scaling businesses cannot be done without properly identifying your ideal client. To identify your ideal client, you must realistically map out who you are, what your brand/business represents and what problems you help to alleviate for your audience. Too often, when meeting with my new clients (small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and organizational leaders), I learn that many of them are simply casting a wide net, “hoping” to catch the right consumers with their vague messaging, inconsistent branding, unorthodox systems and “undesirable” client experiences. Does this sound like a business you’d be attracted to? I think not! Your ideal audience is not simply those who can afford your products and/or services. It’s also not those who want to simply take you for a “test ride” (yeah, you know which clients/consumers I’m talking about). To attract your ideal audience, you must “give them something to be attracted to.” You must utilize tools, resources and systems to help merge your business’ physical and digital presence while also focuses on the branding, systems and experience needed to attract your ideal client.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ATTRACTING YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE
1. Double-down on your systems. Whether your audience engages with your brand online or in person, it is extremely important to incorporate workflows and automation to provide a seamless engagement and experience for your customers. 2. Fortify your client experience. Become a “secret shopper” in your business to embody the experience your consumers go through. Make tweaks and adjustments where needed. Consumers don’t just buy what they see. We buy with our ears, nose, eyes and ultimately, our feelings. Improve your experiences to improve the way your audience feels about your brand. 3. Invest in advertising. Many successful businesses don’t see advertising as an expense. We must understand advertising and marketing is an investment. It tells the world that you exist. And your ideal audience will need to see your brand at least five to seven times before they purchase your products and/or services. Side note: Social media is not the only form, nor should it be the only form of advertising for your business. 4. Hire a consultant. I understand it’s the last thing you want to do; however, investing in the right business, marketing or growth consultant can and will do wonders for your business. Make sure you vet them by understanding how they’ve assisted their previous clients and determine if they have the expertise to assist you within your industry. n
LAKESIDE As other local malls struggle to survive or plan for reinvention, Lakeside Shopping Center is thriving, just as it is.
BY KIM SINGLETARY | PHOTOS BY GREG MILES
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
When Lakeside Shopping Center first opened its doors to shoppers in 1960 as an outdoor mall with 13 tenants on a 50-acre tract, a pair of jeans cost about $5, Veterans Memorial Highway was only four years old, and the Saints were still seven years away from stepping out onto a field.
that is planned to include new retail, a Regions Bank, an Ochsner “super clinic” and outdoor event space. In contrast, according to Brian Lade, regional manager at the New York Citybased Feil Organization — an investment, development and management firm that has owned the mall since the 1980s — Lakeside Shopping Center is seeing enough success that there is no current need to change its makeup. “We’re having people call us now that we’ve been chasing for years that are interested in leasing space from us,” said Lade. “We have significant new activity. There’s just a lot going on.” In addition to running Lakeside Shopping Center, Lade also operates the adjacent Vieux Carre Shopping Center and 3300 North Causeway — two other Feil Organization properties — as well as North Riverside Park Mall in Chicago. Lade’s background includes 40 years of mall management experience that began with the Rouse Company and that led him to New Orleans in 1989 to serve as a general manager at Riverwalk Mall and then vice president/general manager at Oakwood Center on the West Bank. It’s been a busy three and a half years since Lade took over command of Lakeside Shopping Center, and about half that time the mall has spent coping with COVID-19, but Lade said the industry began changing decades ago.
Over 60 years later, a lot has changed, but one thing that hasn’t is that, while many other local malls have come and gone, Lakeside remains a successful and critical part of the local economy. The mall now spans 1.2 million square feet and includes over 100 tenants. An economic powerhouse for Jefferson Parish, Lakeside is one of the largest taxpayers in the parish and employs an estimated 2,000 people. Let’s start out by talking about your It’s very good news, then, that despite the combination of COVID-19, the decline industry in general. How have you seen of brick-and-mortar retail, and the rise of online shopping that has been occurring for the marketplace change over the past few some time now, Lakeside Shopping Center is bucking the odds and doing well. While decades? “Things really started to change in the midst of a renovation that began in 2017, the mall is continuing to attract new tenants — with four added in the past year, including athleisure brand Aerie and OFFL/ in the ’90s. When I worked for the Rouse Company, there was a gentleman named NE™ by Aerie, Tempur-pedic, Lovesac and one particular addition that’s received plenty Matt DeVito who was our CEO. Mr. of fanfare, A Tavola Restaurant and Wine Bar. DeVito accurately predicted that the ’80s The largest mall in the greater New Orleans market, Lakeside continues to be a solid was the decade of overdevelopment and retail force at a time when many malls are struggling. Among those is Esplanade Mall in Kenner. With growing vacancies and few shop- the ’90s was going to be the decade of pers, the mall now faces an uncertain future. According to a June 22 article on Nola. paying the price. The Rouse Company foresaw that between overdevelopment, com, Atlanta-based architecture and planning firm TSW has recommended converting the shrinking of the middle class the mall into a residential and commercial district, and the rise of big box category citing that fewer than 100 malls in the United States are killer retailers, the weaker malls expected to survive beyond 2030. were not going to be able to be This idea to bring in residential and commercial can FUN FACT saved. As a result, Rouse sold be seen in action just about 5 miles east of Esplanade The owner of Lakeside Shopping class C and D malls and retained a at the 35-acre Clearview Mall, recently renamed Center — The Feil Organization — strong portfolio of A and B malls. Clearview City Center. Here, the mall’s owners since also owns the building that houses The performance of Class A malls 1968, the Richards family, unveiled a plan this past the new, 9,000-square-foot remains very strong. Class B malls February to build a $55 million, 270-unit apartment Museum of the Southern Jewish are performing well, and Cs and Experience at 818 Howard Avenue, complex called The Metro at Clearview. The apartDs are struggling to find tenants which opened this past May. ments are part of a $100 million renovation of the area
FAVORITES Favorite Movie? Forrest Gump Favorite TV Show? Historical documentaries Who do you look up to? My father was the person that I looked up to and respected the most in my life. Best advice ever received? The most important thing you have in life is your name. Hobbies? Travel, hiking and outdoor activities. We have our second Grand Canyon float trip planned next year. Daily habits? My day starts with reading the Wall Street Journal and picking up Saints and Pelicans news. Pet peeve(s)? People not waiting their turn What are you most looking forward to in the next year? Hopefully having COVID completely behind us
FUN FACT Originally an outdoor mall, in 1968 Lakeside was enclosed — and air conditioned — during one of what would be many renovations to follow over the years.
and remain relevant. The economic downturn in 2007 and 2008 was another significant reset. Retailers and landlords both struggled, but we came through it, just like we will find a path through COVID-related issues.
How has the rise of online shopping affected you? Clearly online sales have had an impact on our business, but there is a sizeable segment of the population who prefer to shop brick-and-mortar. Lakeside’s traffic is incredible. When you walk through the mall you see a diverse group of people. From a long-term viability perspective, it is important to note the number of young people. Demographic studies reveal that Generation Z are power shoppers. Many people like to touch and feel products before they buy. They appreciate social interaction and customer service, and enjoy the mall’s ambiance and shopping experience. There is also a segment of the population that prefers to sit at home and click. I think that there’s room for both. Retailers have seen the brick-and-mortar and online support each other. If a retailer closes a store and completely vacates a market they lose online sales. This symbiotic relationship will likely continue.
COVID-19 has been the most recent hurdle. How did Lakeside Mall fare? It’s been difficult. We were closed for two months. A lot of our retailers introduced curbside pickup, which really helped. We reduced mall hours and of course moved quickly to abide by all the health requirements, including eliminating food court seating and monitoring occupancy. We’re still operating on reduced hours because our retailers are having a difficult time finding enough staff. The most accurate comparison of sales performances in 2021 versus 2019 and that trend is generally positive. You have had some notable closings in the past year, including J. Crew, The Disney Store and Godiva Chocolatier, but those haven’t been specific to Lakeside, right? Yes. There have been a number of retail bankruptcies recently, many driven by leveraged buyouts that loaded these companies with excessive debt. Several retailers that went into bankruptcy
THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION, THE FRANK-BERTACCI COLLECTION, ACC. NO. 1918.104.22.1684
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The mall also hosts a lot of different events. How big of a part of your business plan are events? I think it’s really important. At Christmas, people love to come down and see Santa Claus, they love the train, they love the Easter Bunny. I think that experience is becoming more and more important in our business. We also believe in community service. We work with various nonprofit groups throughout the year and just recently partnered with Ochsner to open a vaccine site in the mall. We also recently invested in constructing a state-of-the-art Kids’ Castle Play Area sponsored by LCMC Health and Touro Hospital. We’ve added new art and sensory classes to the scheduled play times which have been very popular. THE 1980S
A Totally Radical Time to Build a Mall and emerged with de-levered balance sheets, and are probably healthier than they’ve been in years. So, some of these bankruptcy actions may result in the shopping center industry being stronger in the long run. But then there are other stores, like Macy’s, that added their Backstage concept. We opened A Tavola and Love Sac during the pandemic, both of which are performing well. New leasing activity is very robust. We have significant interest from quality prospects that will be very positive additions to our merchandise mix. From talking to the team, I am not sure if new leasing activity has ever been stronger than it is today. Some of that development has included four new retailers in the past year. How are you with capacity? Do you still have space to grow and add more retailers? Yes. With retail it’s always a matter of staying current, what’s fashionable. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards. So, the nature of our business is that there’s always going to be turnover and that isn’t a bad thing because our job is to bring in current retail that’s enticing to our customers, that makes them want to come here and shop and that’s bound to change over time. To advance a merchandise strategy can require a major investment on the part of a landlord. For instance, the Zara deal required us to tear down the building and build a new two-story building. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to partner with established and new local retailers. An example of that partnership is the Lee Michaels relocation and expansion from the mall to the former Red Lobster pad. This relocation allows Lee Michaels to grow and already sucessful store and make a strong merchandising statement in this prominent location.
Half of the metro area’s big malls were built within just two years.
Lakeside Shopping Center
Elmwood Shopping Center
The Shops at Riverwalk (formerly Riverwalk Marketplace) renovated in 2014
There are some malls that are leaning more toward that town center idea and adding things like teleworking spaces and doctor and dentist offices. Is that something Lakeside might do? I think you have to think of all those things. We do continually think about what the future is going to look like. Over time we may end up adding more service and entertainment uses. How do you go about securing retailers? You must have a top wish list. Definitely. The Feil Organization has a real commitment to merchandising and getting the right store in the right location. If that means we must wait and a space stays vacant for a while to make that happen, that’s what we’ll do. It’s nice to work for a company that really understands retail and is committed to long-term value, not just short-term gains.
ABOUT LAKESIDE’S OWNERS —THE FEIL ORGANIZATION With offices in New York, Chicago, New Orleans and St. Petersburg Florida, The Feil Organization owns, develops and manages over 24 million square feet of retail, commercial and industrial properties across the country, as well as over 5,000 residential rental units. In New Orleans, just a few of the company’s other retail holdings include the Lakeside Shopping Center adjacent Vieux Carre Shopping Center and 3300 North Causeway, as well as Elmwood Distribution Center and The Costco Center off Carrollton Avenue.
How do you market to these retailers? What are the big selling points to come to New Orleans, and specifically to Lakeside Shopping Center? Retailers across the country that are looking to come into this region know who Lakeside is and its’ productivity. They’re looking at the demographics we reach and the reinvestments that Mr. Feil continues to make in the mall. It’s also that we have a great location — we’re on the right corner. n
FUN FACT JC Penney was among the original mall tenants when it opened in 1960 and remains one of the mall’s anchor stores.
HIGHER ED CHECK-IN Area colleges and universities are packed with new programs and partnerships this fall BY Keith Twitchell ILLUSTRATION BY Amber Day
L ocal institut i o n s of h i g h er learning are a tremendous, if sometimes underappreciated, asset for Southeast Louisiana. New Orleans alone boasts eight colleges and universities. Along with the community colleges, they comprise a major economic sector, employing more than 12,500 people. The schools provide multiple programs benefiting local residents — from health care to the arts to continuing education. Collectively, they educate the largest percentage of metro area students, while drawing talented young people from all over the country and world. Given their powerful, positive impact, it is a relief to hear that these institutions are doing better than many of their national counterparts. Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge drop in college enrollment, forcing many schools to curtail programs and cut staff. Locally, many of the schools have increased student populations, and virtually all are launching new programs and buildings projects, many of which involve partnerships with the business and nonprofit sectors and even with each other. Quite a few focus on training professionals in various healthcare fields, helping address severe staffing shortages in that sector. While concerned about the current coronavirus spike, all anticipate returning to relatively normal campus routines this fall — though online learning is a permanent addition to the educational environment. Many programs will be hybrids of in-person and online classes, in the year ahead and well into the future.
Delgado Community College
e rh a p s t h e m o s t v i s i b l e n e w on-campus construction will be the Delgado Nursing and Allied Health Building, currently emerging at the corner of City Park and Orleans Avenues. In par tnership with Ochsner Health, the 120,000-squarefoot structure will be home to the Charity School of Nursing, which was founded in 1894 and became part of Delgado in 1990. “The building will house the registered and practicing nurse programs,” said Dr. Cheryl Myers, provost and vice chancellor for student affairs, “along with the majority of the allied health programs. State-of-the-art classrooms, skills labs and a simulation hospital will allow for interprofessional collaboration and education.” The project was seeded by a $10 million gift from Ochsner, which added another $10 million for scholarships for students and related programs. Myers added that “another new building that will house the culinary arts and some technical programs is being planned.” These exemplify the type of programming that requires hands-on, in-person learning, even as Delgado continues to expand its online classes. With six area locations, Delgado can serve students closer to home, a distinct plus for those who are working as they study. The oldest and largest community college in Louisiana, Delgado is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, while preparing to serve the region for another century.
nother theme common to many local higher education institutions is ensuring continued student access to education opportunities. Exemplifying this Dillard University, the HBCU in Gentilly that traces its history back to 1869. For the second year in a row, the university is not raising its tuition. In addition, David Page, vice president of enrollment management, noted that “Dillard provides a competitive and generous merit-based and need-based aid grant program.” While some schools cut scholarships during the pandemic, Dillard “was able to maintain offering an additional grant to each eligible student.” Another step toward increasing student access, said Page, is “for those students who did not have the opportunity to test, Dillard went test-optional for the 2021 academic year.” Instead, the university accepted various other credentials and recommendations. With COVID-19 disrupting
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standard testing access for many high schoolers, this flexibility made a vital difference; Page reported that “about a third of the new student population for fall 2021 are test-optional.” As the oldest HBCU in Louisiana, Dillard offers programs with consistent themes of cultural heritage and racial justice. Indeed, the Center for Racial Justice is at the forefront of addressing national issues around policing and people of color. Key additional programs include the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, the pre-law program, and the Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture.
o local school is bucking the national trend of declining enrollment more than Loyola University. “We are welcoming the largest incoming class in our history,” said Loyola President Tania Tetlow. “We’re up 20% over our normal target, at nearly 1,000 new students from 43 different states.” Tetlow attributed this growth to several factors, starting with the appeal of New Orleans as a setting and a Jesuit university as a context. She also cited the university’s efforts to respond to the needs of both students and potential employers as boosting enrollment. “We have been working with GNO Inc. to identify where the local business community needs training for its employees,” she reported, “and matching those needs with our strengths.” A prime example is Loyola’s Women’s Leadership Academy. The program brings together women at the top of their professions, such as CEOs, judges and surgeons, for networking, problem-solving and sharing of experiences. Loyola is also addressing the healthcare staffing situation, again in partnership with Ochsner. This includes a new undergraduate nursing program; a new public health major; and a new master’s degree in healthcare administration. Tetlow believes that these programs are especially appealing at Loyola because “in this field, you need equal parts ethics and empathy, which is in line with a Jesuit education.” This philosophy guides the university’s approach to COVID-19: There is a vaccine requirement for all students, and according to Tetlow, the only reason there is no similar mandate for faculty and staff is because they are already vaccinated at a high rate. Overall, Tetlow hopes that “this will be a far more normal semester. Loyola has been gaining real momentum, and we are glad the pandemic didn’t slow it down.”
Nunez Community College
n St. Bernard Parish, Nunez Community College is another institution working closely to understand the needs of area businesses and develop programs in response – and subsequently, the school is literally shooting for the moon. Nunez is providing a wide variety of programs for the fall semester. A cloud computing program offers both a professional certificate and associate’s degree. The same is true for an expanded air conditioning and digital refrigeration program. With construction increasing in the parish, carpentry is back on the schedule. Digital media is another new focus area. A broader partnership is behind the new mechatronics program. According to Jason Browne, director of communications, “Mechatronics is a blend of electronics, robotics, mechanics, and related technologies.” Nunez is joining with Northshore Technical Community College as well as local employers Laitram, Elmer’s Chocolates and Zatarain’s to deliver the program. This creates added opportunities for the students. “Students work as apprentices at these companies while they are taking the courses,” Browne explained, “and if they make it through, they are guaranteed a job at the end.” Another partnership has Nunez operating on the University of New Orleans lakefront campus, providing classes for students who have become temporarily ineligible at UNO. “Students keep their IDs, live in the dorms, but take Nunez courses,” Browne said. “They can do everything as full-fledged UNO students while they get their academics in order.” Perhaps the most exciting development is Nunez’s Aerospace Manufacturing facility, home to the school’s Manufacturing Technology program. With its proximity to NASA facilities, including an aerospace concentration is a natural, and Browne reported that Nunez graduates are currently working on the space launch system for NASA’s Artemis moon mission.
hen most people think of Tulane University, the stately campus uptown comes to mind. In fact, according to President Dr. Michael Fitts, “Our future is on the downtown campus. We have 17 buildings downtown, and we are bringing them together into a truly integrated campus.” Fitts indicated that this is where Tulane’s future research expansion will occur, as well as related start-up business activity. Included in
the planning is occupying a significant portion of the old Charity Hospital. More immediately, the university is opening a new residence hall in the middle of the Bioinnovation District. The downtown facilities house the Schools of Medicine, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Social Work. Grouping these together encourages collaboration, and Tulane is introducing several new ones. “Personalized health and gender differences in health care will be new research areas,” said Fitts. “We will also investigate emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, including looking at the long-term effects of COVID. The pandemic has really underscored the importance of research.” Back on the Uptown campus, Tulane is building a new residential community, an innovative approach to college life and learning. The facility will include 700 residences, for both students and faculty, along with classrooms and labs. “This will transform the undergraduate experience,” Fitts stated. The university is also focused on providing area students with access to quality higher education, introducing its new Louisiana Promise this fall. “Louisiana students from families with incomes under $100,000 can come to Tulane with no loans,” Fitts explained. A complimentary program offers 50 scholastic residency scholarships for Louisiana high school students over the summer. Tulane also offers college counseling advice to New Orleans area students. Tulane was one of the first local institutions to impose a vaccine requirement. As a result, Fitts said, 95% of students are vaccinated, along with more than 90% of faculty and staff. While Fitts remains concerned about the impacts of COVID19, he noted that “Tulane came out of last year as a stronger institution. We stayed on track and even accelerated our initiatives.”
University of Holy Cross
estled in its serene Westbank location, the University of Holy Cross may be the best-kept secret among local higher education options. Yet even this quiet campus is home to exciting new growth. Holy Cross was a commuter college for almost a century, until opening a residence hall in 2018. Subsequently, the university opened its new Health Science building in January 2020 – just in time for the pandemic. With its 40-plus year-old nursing program, Holy Cross is another important contributor to easing the healthcare staffing crisis. This is further augmented by new online options for programs such as master’s degrees in science and counseling, and a PhD in counseling.
“The healthcare industry is in dire straits,” observed Holy Cross President Stanton McNeely. “We are extending our reach and adding new partnerships across key sectors to address this.” Examples include offering dual high school and college enrollment to students from Baton Rouge to the Gulf Coast, enabling participants to accelerate their college track. Nursing students join clinical rotations at local hospitals. A new partnership with Delgado enables students studying Respiratory Care Technology to transfer their credits to Holy Cross, again expediting progress toward graduation. Another initiative is an accelerated business degree program. Like the other programs, innovations include more online course options and the opportunity to get course credit for prior learning and work experiences. Students may also test out of certain classes. Holy Cross is also part of the tuition freeze movement, which McNeely believes contributed to a 10% enrollment increase over the summer. He also placed it in the larger context. “As we’re going through COVID, it’s very important to keep tuition affordable,” he stated. “We continue to provide access and opportunity for students.”
University of New Orleans
s with the other campuses, innovations abound at the University of New Orleans – but only UNO has built a new e-sports arena and launched an e-sports team. The team will compete across the country, but as Chancellor Dr. John Nicklow wryly observed, “Travel costs will be lower than for our other sports teams.” On a more scholarly note, the newly reimagined UNO Research and Technology Park is expanding its partnerships in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Rebranded this summer as The Beach, it is also increasing student internships and related opportunities. Collaboration with the business community is paramount at UNO. “Traditionally, higher education institutions have been in their own world,” Nicklow said. “The better we respond to businesses, listen to and address their needs, the more they will hire our graduates.” Examples of this include the Innovation Academy, which offers education and apprenticeships in high-growth fields. A new Urban Construction Management degree was developed in direct response to business needs. The recently dedicated Boysie Bollinger building for the School of Naval Architecture and Engineering houses the only such program in the region. In a different arena, UNO is now offering a
PhD in Justice. “This can be social, criminal, environmental, education,” said Nicklow. “Students can take it in any direction they choose, with faculty guidance and mentorship.” The university also has a strong commitment to accessibility for area students. “The Privateer Pledge is our promise to fill the unmet needs of students in Orleans Parish, and we are expanding to Jefferson Parish this fall,” Nicklow said. “For families earning under $60,000, we are ensuring those students have access to a college education and a career.”
n a crisis, playing to one’s strengths is a wise approach. Xavier University is not just the leading HBCU in the pre-medical and pharmaceutical fields, but one of the best in the country overall. As one example, last year it doubled the number of physician assistants it graduated. Not only does this meet yet another need in the health care sector, “It adds significantly to diversity in the field,” said Xavier President Dr. Reynold Verret. “And as we have learned during the pandemic, representation equals trust.” Xavier also expanded its speech pathology program, along with other key allied health programs. However, the university views this field through a different lens than many. “Public health is a population science,” explained Verret. “We have to look at health disparities in different population groups.” To this end, Xavier has partnered with Ochsner to establish the Health Equity Institute. “Our goal is to move Louisiana from 49th to 40th place nationally in health outcomes,” Verret said. “This may not seem like a lot, but it will make a great difference in many people’s lives.” Equity is also the objective of the new Victory Capital Scholars Program. The program, sponsored by Victory Capital Holdings, includes scholarships for students pursuing careers in the investment management field, and even funding to launch an investment club at Xavier. Other new offerings on campus range from a program in African Diaspora Culture Studies to launching varsity baseball and softball teams. Verret credited legendary baseball slugger Hank Aaron with nudging the university to add these teams to its sports calendar. Verret has guided the university through a cautious approach to the pandemic. Vaccines are required for students, faculty and staff, which has kept infection rates low and will hopefully allow for a more normal fall. “The coming year will still require some flexibility,” Verret observed, “but our community tradition of service will carry us through.” n
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From The Lens SOUTHE AST LOUISIANA BUSINESS IN FULL COLOR
WORKSPACES Brockschmidt & Coleman design firm and Sud, a Sicilian antiques and art boutique, share space and clientele on Magazine Street
WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? Stoney Clover Lane brings unique travel style to the Big Easy
ON THE JOB Community Sailing New Orleans launched its first programming in 2020, offering opportunities for everyone to get out on the water
FROM THE LENS GRE AT WORKSPACES
Fidelity Bank worked with Trapolin Peer Architects to restore and reimagine the circa-1800s Union Savings & Loan building at 353 Carondelet Street. The lobby features terrazzo floors installed during a 1950s renovation that resulted in the iconic building’s midcentury modern façade.
Room for Two Brockschmidt & Coleman design firm and Sud, a Sicilian antiques and art boutique, share space and clientele on Magazine Street BY M E L A N IE WAR NE R SPE NCER PHOTOS BY SAR A E SSE X B R ADLEY
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
I N 2019, CO U RT N E Y CO L E M A N A N D B I L L
Brockschmidt, partners in New York design firm Brockschmidt & Coleman, opened a New Orleans branch of their business on Magazine Street. Housed in a 2,100-square-foot, circa-1900s late Victorian-style New Orleans double shotgun, Brockschmidt & Coleman shares its bright and airy Crescent City office with Sud, a boutique specializing in Sicilian accessories, art and antiques. The boutique is a joint venture between Brockschmidt and his husband, Richard
Housed in a bright and airy, 2,100-square-foot, circa- 1900s late Victorian-style New Orleans double shotgun, Brockschmidt & Coleman shares its Crescent City office with Sud, a boutique specializing in Sicilian accessories, art and antiques.
Dragisic, and provides a luxurious link between design and lifestyle. “It was known from the beginning that B&C would operate as a separate business with the store, Sud, taking over the front of the building for the display of products,” said Dragisic. “[The] B&C offices required a consistent set of workspaces for the partners and the employees, while the Sud spaces were left free to allow for flexible display.” To further delineate the two entities, Dragisic said they created arched openings and decorative painted elements throughout Sud, while the office “retains some of the qualities of a residence,” but there is a lot more common ground than the group anticipated. The two separate, but related businesses share some spaces in the building, including a studio, the commissary, as well as the conference room and garden, which are used for meetings and events.
AT A GLANCE LOCATION
4021 Magazine St. DATE BUILDING WAS BUILT
MOVE IN DATE
PERSON(S) IN CHARGE
Designers and owners at Brockschmidt & Coleman, William Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman; Co-proprietors at Sud, William Brockschmidt and Richard Dragisic ARCHITECT
Brockschmidt & Coleman was responsible for all renovation, including all new millwork INTERIOR DESIGNER
Brockschmidt & Coleman
FURNISHINGS AND ART
All built-in millwork including offices, conference and kitchen by Brockschmidt & Coleman. All material and color selections by Brockschmidt & Coleman, including custom colors.
Designers and owners of Brockschmidt & Coleman, William Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman, pictured, added a wall of shelves in the studio space to house fabric and finish samples, as well as a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in the shared conference room to house collections of design books.
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
“Originally the plan was for B&C to have separate studio and workspaces from Sud, and for Richard to have a workspace in part of the retail shop,” said Courtney Coleman. “However, since we really enjoy his company and had extra space in our studio, we offered him a desk there. The studio has now become the de facto Sud office, which has turned out to be nice [public relations] for B&C since Sud shoppers are introduced to our design work when they are checking out and having their Sicilian treasures wrapped.” The team points to layout and planning as the most challenging aspect of designing the space, due to the long,
skinny rooms characteristic of shotgun-style houses. “We added an entire wall of shelves in the studio space to house all the fabric and finish samples we use in our design projects, and it has been great to have all of those things so easily accessible,” said Brockschmidt. “We also designed an enormous floor-to-ceiling bookcase in our shared conference room to house our collection of design books that we use every day.” The sunny interior and home-like environment make the space comfortable for this group of creatives and its clientele. “We even have a bar and a refrigerator stocked with wine and champagne,” said
Dragisic, who is quick to define what sets both Sud and B&C apart from similar businesses. “The store is focused only on Sicily as a source for design items in New Orleans. B&C retains it national presence with the majority of its staff in New York and its growing list of projects throughout the South.” B&C relies on remote work practices, including virtual meetings, chat and messaging for communication, and digital files for workflow cohesion with its New York office. This transition had already taken place when the COVID-19 lockdown and its subsequent mandates and protocols took effect. Dragisic said the company is “looking forward to seeing a regular season once COVID recedes from the scene.” One silver lining of the pandemic, if you can call it that, for B&C has been in the location-based pivot they’ve made amid the crisis. “When we opened our B&C branch office in New Orleans in 2019, we had envisioned going back and forth between here and our office in New York, where most of our staff is still located,” said Coleman. “Because of COVID, however, we have spent most of the last few months in New Orleans and have found everything about it enchanting.” n
Arched openings and decorative painted elements help deliniate the Sud spaces from the Brockschmidt & Coleman studio spaces. The sunny interior and home-like environment make the space comfortable for this group of creatives and its clientele.
FROM THE LENS W H Y DIDN’ T I T HINK OF T H AT?
Stoney Clover Lane brings its national brand to the Big Easy with its first location in the city on Magazine Street. The company offers unique travel accessories, with locally inspired patches to customize products like bags, duffels and pouches.
The New Powder Puff on Magazine Street Stoney Clover Lane brings unique travel style to the Big Easy BY A S HL EY MCLE LL AN
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
ON JULY 19, SISTERS AND TULANE ALUMNI
Kendall and Libby Glazer officially opened the first New Orleans location of their popular travel accessories boutique at 3938 Magazine Street. It is the company’s fifth location. Stoney Clover Lane’s product line includes customizable duffel bags, backpacks, pouches and purses. An in-store seamstress brings each creation to life, and a selection of patches are available to make personalization of each accessory an option. The company was originally launched in 2009 and has since grown to include locations in Palm Beach, Florida, East Hampton, New York, New York City and Newport Beach, California, as well as addi-
tional retailer options at Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, but the goal of opening a New Orleans store has been in the works for a while. “New Orleans is one of our all-time favorite cities,” said Libby Glazer. “We fell in love with New Orleans during our four years as students at Tulane University and have always enjoyed spending time here. We were so excited to put it on our Stoney Clover Lane destination list and bring this store to life.” The new Magazine Street location follows the company’s successful model, with customization and the products’ pastel color options as the key to its standout success. “The entire store serves to inspire with pre-sewn products on display, all available for purchase,” said Kendall Glazer. And an in-store seamstress is available daily in a designated sewing station where customers are able to watch products be sewn. Each guest can have the option to work with a customization specialist at the patch bar to design their own perfect product.” The New Orleans location will also offer exclusive branded merchandise, including sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats, as well as a collection of New Orleans icon patches and destination patches featuring some local businesses like Café du Monde, Theo’s, Saba and Creole Creamery. IT’S A GOOD TIME FOR TRAVEL ACCESSORIES
According to MarketWatch.com, while travel overall has shown some continued
HIT THE ROAD “Nine in 10 surveyed have taken at least one road trip since March 2020, with 75% taking more than four. Road trips have become as popular in 2021 as they were in 2019, with it more likely that they will pass 2019 levels as the summer goes on.” — Forbes
PHOTOS COURTESY STONEY CLOVER
impacts from the ongoing pandemic, travel accessories have not taken a substantial sales hit. Forbes.com also recently noted even more positive markers in a look at “Summer 2021 Travel Trends,” that stated, “nearly nine in 10 American travelers have plans to travel in the next six months – a new pandemic high.” As such, demand for lightweight options that can do double duty for travel, as well as casual activities, are steady, if not on the rise, as many look to get away to nearby destinations. Items such as sports bags, convertible backpacks, organization accessories and digital device storage bags remain popular items. Stoney Clover Lane caters to the higher-end market, with prices ranging from $128 for a fanny pack to $268 for deluxe duffel bags, with a long list of accessories and travel bag options at a variety of price points. BOLDNESS PAYS OFF
The company’s products also have taken advantage of a dull market by being instantly recognizable for their rainbow of candy colors, a move that sets them apart from other travel and luggage brands that, for the most part, remain neutral. Think bubblegum pink, mint green and lavender. Design collaboration partnerships include Barbie, Roller Rabbit and Hello Kitty. “We always recommend our classic pouches — mini, small and large — as a great starting point for building your collection,” said Kendall Glazer. “Our personal favorites are the duffel bags because you can fit them under an airplane seat.” Stoney Clover Lane’s New Orleans location is the third to open since the start of the pandemic. “It’s definitely been interesting navigating store openings during the pandemic,” said Libby Glazer. “We’ve prioritized the safety of our employees and customers, putting precautions in place to ensure we’re being responsible and cautious, while also making sure we’re still able to celebrate in some way,” she said. Design plays a big part not only in the company’s products, but also in each location’s storefronts. The sisters worked closely with local architects and interior designers to reflect the surrounding business communities. “We wanted the space to pay tribute to what is quintessentially New Orleans and we worked with many local New Orleans artists to help design the store,” said Libby Glazer. “Local architect and designer siblings Patrick and Monica Melancon designed and built out the store. We also partnered with Natalie
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL REMAINS STRONG Nearly half (47%) of travelers surveyed globally say they are planning to travel internationally in 2021, including 45% of U.S. travelers. Globally, more than three quarters (77%) of travelers surveyed say they will be more likely to travel internationally if they receive the vaccine, rising to 86% for travel domestically. In the U.S., those numbers change to 69% and 80% respectively.
Erwin Nagim of Fleur Home on two exclusive mirror styles and colorways that will permanently reside in the store and are available for purchase. Additional local artists featured in the store are Rob Corley, Mardi Gras bead artwork, and lighting by Julie Neill Design. We also sourced our antique furniture from local shops including Dunn and Sonnier, Merchant House, and Secondline Arts and Antiques.” Re s p o n s e f ro m n e i g h b o rs , n ew customers and those loyal to the brand has been positive, and Libby Glazer said the sisters are looking forward to moving forward with sales. “The response to our New Orleans store has been overwhelming,” she said. “We received a warm welcome to the city by some of our favorite local businesses who collaborated with us on destination patches, and our local neighbors on Magazine Street have been so excited for us to join the block. The customer response has been incredible as well. We saw so many members of our
community fly in to celebrate with us and the locals have been just as excited for us to arrive.” For the company’s formula for success, Libby notes that customer relations are key to Stoney Clover Lane’s community development. “I don’t think there’s any set-in-stone path to success. What’s worked for us has been the importance of our relationship with customers and how we’ve worked to develop that over the years. Kendall and I are constantly interacting with our customers, whether we are DM’ing with them directly through our Instagram or going live to chat with them. We love building these relationships with our customers, which has led to brand loyalty. I also think our customers know that Kendall and I design all of the product ourselves and anything we’re releasing is something that we love, are obsessed with, and use ourselves so they have trust in our products.”n
SOURCE: TRIPADVISOR — STANDOUT TRAVEL TRENDS 2021
Stoney Clover Lane proves that travel accessories don’t have to be boring. The company’s line of pastel colored items stand out, earning them big sales, a national following and a dedicated customer base. Plus your items will always stand out at baggage claim.
PUBLISHER’S NOTICE: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Ace and the Louisiana Open Housing Act, which make it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. For more information, call the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-273-5718.
BIZ NEW ORLEANS
FROM THE LENS ON T HE JOB
Setting Sail Community Sailing New Orleans launched its first programming in 2020, offering opportunities for everyone to get out on the water PHOTO BY CHE RYL G E R B E R
WITH THE GOAL OF MAKING LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE, Community Sailing New Orleans operates from the northeast corner of West End Park, just across the marina from popular restaurant The Blue Crab. The nonprofit works with local organizations to provide programs focused on positive youth development and STEM education and has a strong focus on adaptive sailing programs for local veterans and anyone with a mental or physical disability. Shown here are participants in one of the organization’s Warrior Sailing clinics. Future events for veterans are currently being scheduled and are sponsored by the Tolmas Foundation. Sailing opportunities are also available to the general public and include the ability to purchase a pass to take a boat out, adult learn to sail classes and youth summer camps. NOLACommunitySailing.org .n