TABLE OF CONTENTs East New Orleans Business Development District Editor & Production Manager Jessica DeBold Art Director Ali Sullivan East NOLA BDD Chairman Sean Bruno East NOLA BDD Communications Committee Cyndi Nguyen, Troy Henry, Marc Leunissen, Larry Johnson, Dwight Barnes, Mtumishi St. Julien
Contributing Writers Kevin O’Sullivan, Jenny Peterson, Andrea Blumenstein Contributing Photographers Cheryl Gerber, Mike Lirette Account Executive Tess Jones 504-830-7239 Tess@myneworleans.com Traffic Coordinator Terra Durio Production Designers Monique DiPietro, Demi Schaffer, Molly Tullier
About East New Orleans BDD Letter From the Chairman
Executive Committee & Board members
Community Projects Q&A with Community Leaders
16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23
24 26 27 28 31 32
Map of Joe W. Brown Park
The EAST New Orleans
Health and Wellness in New Orleans East Taking a Walk Through Joe W. Brown Park Loving Lake Bullard Edgelake Living
Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne Executive Vice President/ Editor in Chief Errol Laborde President Alan Campbell Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan
Business in the East
NORDC’s Chief Executive Officer, Vic Richard discusses the transformation of Joe W. Brown Park into a regional hub fostering Joe W. Brown Memorial Park
physical, mental and social well-being. From big-name events to non-traditional leisure activities allowing families to experience new activities together, the park has become a multi-faceted hotspot for personal and community growth.
Living in the East
Papa John’s St. Bernard Drugs
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Banner Chevrolet Universal Printing
East By the Numbers
Published by Renaissance Publishing LLC 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 • www.myneworleans.com
Investors Acknowledgement Photo Gallery Member Levels & Benefits Member Application
Copyright 2016 The EAST, East New Orleans Business Development and Renaissance Publishing LLC. Postage Paid at New Orleans and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to East NOLA DDB, 7240 Crowder Blvd #301, New Orleans, LA 70127. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine’s managers, owners or publisher. The Jefferson Chamber is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope.
letter from the 2017 chairman
ABOUT East NOLA BDD
T Sean M. Bruno Chairman 2017
East New Orleans is a jewel and has so much potential for growth and development. The East New Orleans Business Development District is committed to fostering economic developments through advocacy and promoting assets in the East New Orleans. As a community, we will continue to work hard to restore this gem that we all love and adore...East New Orleans. Despite challenges we have faced in the past, we will collaborate to create an actively productive community for our children. As the Chairman for the East New Orleans Business Development District, I am vested and will continue to work with our elected officials and community leaders to create strong economic developments and improvements. I encourage you to be hopeful and to work with the East New Orleans Business Development District to bring positive and meaningful projects to the East. I have been a lifelong resident of East New Orleans, and I remembered how the East used to be â€œthe place to go.â€? We can have those happy days again by working together as a team in supporting strong economic developments. We have rebuilt our homes from the worst hurricane ever in history. We are builders, and we can rebuild our community to support the quality of life that we deserve. In the next few months, the East New Orleans Business Development District will host series of community outreach events that will engage community members to develop the East Economic Development Plan. I hope that you will attend to provide your feedback and to help us create a strong community economic development plan that can be used by elected officials and community leaders to bring back the East. Join the East New Orleans Business Development District movement! Sincerely,
Sean Bruno Chairman
he East New Orleans Business Development District (East NOLA BDD) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 established to foster, coordinate and catalyze initiatives that improve the business climate and quality of life in East NOLA through business development, infrastructure improvements, and image enhancement, in order to grow good jobs, investments and tax revenues in the City of New Orleans. The 13 member Board of East NOLA BDD is comprised of a cross section of credible and respected business and civic leaders with a track record of garnering the support, partnerships and resources to implement a targeted economic revitalization strategy. COMMERCIAL AND RETAIL DEVELOPMENT Catalyze the growth of retail and commercial developments along existing corridors integrated into unique, interesting and pedestrian-oriented centers of neighborhood and destination- based retail, office, residential and entertainment uses.
BLIGHT, BEAUTIFICATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE Improve the attractiveness and marketability of major commercial corridors through the elimination of commercial blight, infrastructure improvements, increased code enforcement and public safety measures. IMAGE ENHANCEMENT AND BRANDING Improve business competitiveness and opportunities in East New Orleans through business education, training and marketing initiatives. Launch a communications campaign that educates key stakeholder groups on the economic assets, successful business investments and market opportunities in East New Orleans (monthly E-News, website, Facebook, Twitter). East NOLA BDD hosts special events (e.g. food festivals, mural art competition, business briefings) that build awareness of the positive developments and market potential of East New Orleans.
ENOBDD Executive Committee: Larry Johnson, Sean M. Bruno, Cyndi Nguyen, J.C. Celestin EastNolabdd.com
executive Committee & Board members
Sean M. Bruno Chairman 2017 Sean M. Bruno CPA
Larry Johnson Secretary Franklin Avenue Baptist Church
J.C. Celestin Treasurer Whitney Bank
Henry L. Coaxum Board Member Coaxum Enterprises, Inc.
Anthony Bridges Board Member Fidelity Bank
Brian Egana Board Member Circular Consulting
Dwight Barnes Board Member Crescent Crown Distributing
Lynette White-Colin Board Member New Orleans Business Alliance
Marc Leunissen Board Member Cox Media (Ret.)
Mtumishi St. Julien Board Member The Finance Authority of N.O. (Ret.)
Troy Henry Board Member Henry Consulting, LLC 4
Cyndi Nguyen Vice-Chairperson VIET
The EAST New Orleans
Wade Verges Board Member Wade T. Verges Construction Co.
Kelly Derbigny Warren Executive Administrative Assistant
2017 EVENTS QUARTERLY TEAM UP TO CLEAN
In collaboration with Keep New Orleans Beautiful and NOLA Trash Mob, East Nola BDD will host a day of cleaning and refreshing of the Eastern New Orleans Community by promoting a cleanup initiative to harness needed resources to maintain the cleanliness and attractiveness of areas surrounding the I-10 corridors and retail sites.
REAL ESTATE SUMMIT
An East New Orleans trade show where businesses can display and market their services and products. Realtors can showcase available commercial and industrial properties
Spend happy hour with fellow business professionals to share tips and tricks of the trade in doing commerce in the East. If you are interested in hosting a B2B event at your place of business, please contact Kelly Derbigny Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHITE LINEN NIGHT AT THE NATURE CENTER - Mark Your Calendar
Friday, September 1, 2017 Wear your linen and enjoy a
beautiful summer night with friends and family at the newly renovated Nature Center. For information to be a vendor, please contact Kelly Derbigny Warren at email@example.com.
2017 PROJECTS REAL-ESTATE SITE SELECTION AND MARKET ANALYSIS TOOL
Introducing an integrated tool with a combined strategy, design and technological purpose to create a digital analysis of the community impact on economic investment in the East. The solution stack for this tool includes a site selection and market analysis; property inventory and data collection; data integration and fusing; digital marketing and outreach tools and executive and operational dashboards.
EAST NOLA BUSINESS BILLBOARD
The organization’s billboard will be used to rebrand and market East New Orleans as a powerful economic engine. East NOLA BDD members will have an opportunity to advertise on the billboard, at no cost or a low cost depending on the level of membership and investment. The billboard is a donation by Lamar Advertising Company and Premier Automotive Group to East NOLA BDD and Greater New Orleans, Inc.
BEAUTIFICATION AND ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS
Lighting, irrigating and pruning landscaping around the street marker monument signs at Bullard and Read Boulevards. For more information or to volunteer contact Sean Bruno firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EAST New Orleans
ADOPT A CORRIDOR CAMPAIGN
Our goal is to launch a campaign where businesses, homeowner associations, subdivision security and improvement taxing districts or civic organizations can adopt the corridor. For more information, or to adopt a corridor, email email@example.com.
The East NOLA BDD reports and monitors the process of adjudication, demolition or rehabilitation of large Intrusive Commercial Blight in our community that is impeding on our quality of life and positive economic growth in East New Orleans.
East NOLA BDD spearheads events in the East, providing opportunities for businesses and individuals to showcase their products and services. Vendors at East NOLA BDD events gain visibility and connect with residents in the most populated area of the city. Inquire about vendor opportunities by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Q&A | By Jenny Peterson
Tangee Wall president of the Friends of Joe W. Brown
Memorial Park & Louisiana Audobon Nature Center How did the organization Friends of the Joe W. Brown Memorial Park & Louisiana Nature Center form? Right after Hurricane Katrina, we recognized that the park, like a lot of infrastructures, was in disrepair and so we began a grassroots effort. It began in Baton Rouge with displaced residents. It took a while to make a difference when we returned; the park had a padlock on it.
Why was it important to re-open the park?
The Joe W. Brown Memorial Park was central to the life of our community. It was a place of interest for families to have something to bring people together. It’s such a jewel, with Cypress trees, a lagoon and lake beauty. With youth and families who were coming back, we were yearning for entertainment for the family. We talked about it so much at city council meetings, that (former) Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson asked if we ever considered forming a “friends of the park” group. That’s when people saw an impetus for us to be a voice for the community. We all had the same desire for the future, and the padlocks came off in 2009.
What new things were added to the park?
A gymnasium and recreation center were renovated, and additional facilities have been built—the Victory baseball field stadium and concession area, Victory track and field area, a renovated tennis court and building and a natatorium run by the New Orleans Recreation Development Center (NORDC). There’s an Olympic-sized swimming pool with a retractable roof open year-round. There’s a children’s area playground, a new walking trail, and an enhanced bike trail. There’s a summer camp for the kids. A sundial in the park was improved, painted and fixed up by our volunteers.
How has the park served the community since it re-opened?
It has been a source of a lot of social interaction, entertainment, recreation and relaxation. I see a lot of seniors out there with fishing poles. It’s so natural and relaxing, there are places to sit on benches and observe nature and there are shelters for picnic lunches. The athletic facilities are second to none. There’s something for everybody.
The EAST New Orleans
What events are held at the park each year? The Back to Nature Heart Walk is in February and is a brisk walk in the park and a festival with health screenings, door prizes and healthy food and snacks. We also have movies in the Joe Brown Park in late spring. The NOLA East Friends Fest in the fall brings our entire community together to celebrate diversity through the engagement of local musicians, food vendors, arts and crafts, school bands, church choirs, small businesses and children’s entertainment. We have a wonderful holiday celebration in December where we interact with businesses to promote a toy giveaway, have photos with Santa, a gingerbread workshop and games. The East NOLA Business Development District (East NOLA BDD) has supported these events for the past two years.
What are plans for the Audubon Nature Center?
The park and Audubon Nature Center are adjacent to one another. It became natural to partner with each other. The nature center focuses on the natural environment with wetlands. We need to preserve and conserve these natural resources through education, recreation, beautification, and community involvement. The historic greenhouse and the boardwalks are gorgeous, the facility is beautiful and we are working on bringing back the planetarium as well.
What do you credit with the organization’s success?
A shared vision. We got together with churches and community organizations and our wonderful volunteers helped every step of the way. Volunteers do landscaping and provide continual upkeep for the park. Building partnerships is a must to survive. The support of the East NOLA BDD has been significant in providing opportunities for increased participation of the entire East New Orleans community. This entire process taught us that we can all come together and achieve great things for the good of the community.
Rep. Wesley Bishop
State Senator District 4
What are your fondest memories of New Orleans East? When I was 10 years old, I moved from the Lower Ninth Ward to the East and thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was 1980, and I was in a new, exciting place called Academy Park subdivision. There were lots of families, a lot of kids my age living there and we grew up together. We had Lake Forest Plaza, schools, parks, playgrounds, and a lot of family-oriented activities. It was fun being a kid growing up there – playing sports and enjoying the parks.
What is the community like today?
East New Orleans is the most engaged area of the city. There’s the East New Orleans Business Development District organization, an East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission made up of four or five different organizations of people who all grew up in the same New Orleans East that I grew up in, and who want to make sure we get back there. There is no shortage of involved community members.
What were your goals after Hurricane Katrina? I was elected in 2011 and had ideas about how to improve the quality of life. People need quality goods and services within a short proximity of where they live. Most of the people in the East are from here. They grew up here and aren’t going anywhere. We want to make sure the East can provide everything they need.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Bringing Wal-Mart back to the East. I went to a Young Leaders conference in Chicago right after I was elected. On the first day, everyone introduced themselves. One guy said he worked with corporate services for Wal-Mart. During a break, I met with him and I said, “We need you in New Orleans East.” He put me in contact with an office in Mississippi, and we got them to come back here. We went 10 years without a Wal-Mart. The first one to re-open on Bullard Avenue brought in $500,000 the first day. We now have two Wal-Mart stores. It makes all the difference, not just for goods and services, but for other businesses to follow.
What are your goals for the future? We want businesses to have an opportunity to make money in the East. We are trying to get restaurants and more establishments out here. We have commercial spaces filling up, high-visibility spaces directly off I-10. The biggest project is to bring back the Lake Forest Plaza site. A dream project is a mall-like development with 20 different stores all tied together.
How is New Orleans East a prime location to do business? We have 80,000 people in New Orleans East. We’ve got tons of parks, a football field and a track field. If you stood in the middle of the Lake Forest Plaza site and looked two miles in any direction, you would find ten of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city. Franklin Baptist Church is the biggest church in New Orleans East, and people are there every day of the week. There are ten different churches within a mile of each other. I’ve been working with the Department of Transportation on a signage program in New Orleans East. When you exit on Downman Road, you see a sign that points to all the attractions in the area. We got approved signs that will point drivers to the new hospital, hotels and the nature center. It’s a great advertisement for what’s available in the area and can point to other things we want to advertise..
How does the community work together on common goals? We remember what drew us to New Orleans East. It’s my home and will continue to be my home. Elected officials and community leaders all work together and have one goal in mind: to make New Orleans East the dynamic community we know it can be and what it will be again. We are on our way.
Q&A | By Andrea Blumenstein
East New Orleans Regional Library Executive Director What is the impact of the regular Story Time and what do community members need to know about bringing their children? During story times, children experience talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing, all of which lead to the development of critical early literacy skills all while emphasizing that reading is something that can be a lot of fun. The East New Orleans Regional Library host two weekly Story Times. For children ages 2-8, every Tuesday at 5 p.m. we have a story time and craft and every Thursday at 10:30 am we have our baby storytime with music and rhymes for newborns through 18 months.
What impact does the Library App have on your ability to service the population?
The NOLA Library app allows anyone with a mobile device to take the library with them wherever they go. With the app, people can use their mobile device to read on e-book, access their library card account, search our catalog, learn about upcoming events, find the nearest library, and much more. One really cool feature that the NOLA Library app offers is the ability to scan a book’s barcode to see if the Library has it in the collection. If you are at a store, you can check to see if we have the book before buying it, which can save you money.
Can you give me a preview of the Summer Reading Program?
This year’s Summer Reading Program is packed with hundreds of free and fun events for everyone at all library locations throughout June and July, as well as rewards and challenges for the number of pages read. At the East New Orleans Regional Library alone we are offering dozens of programs. For children, just a few of the many things we have planned are a visit from the New Orleans Fire Department, family movie nights, a magician performance, hula hoop lessons, and the Audubon Zoo will visit with their wetland creatures. For teens, there will be computer coding classes, a t-shirt pillow craft, button making workshops, and much more. Just some of the programs for adults include wine and coloring nights, book clubs, crafting sessions, and a writing contest. Everyone can sign up for the Summer Reading Program at any library location, or on NOLALibrary.org.
The EAST New Orleans
As a part of the East NOLA BDD, what changes have you seen over your tenure at the library that you are particularly proud of? The East New Orleans Regional Library is one of the system’s top performing locations and I’m particularly proud of the way the community has embraced all that we offer. At any time of day, there are always people at the East New Orleans Regional Library, which is one of our largest locations and is also one of our locations that is open seven days a week.
What impact does the Library have as a member of the community and part of the East NOLA BDD? In 2016, system-wide, over 1.3 million items were checked out, and we had over 1.6 million library visits last year, with both of those numbers increasing from 2015. There were over 392,000 computer sessions, 51,316 people attended library programs, and we issued almost 26,000 new library cards. The people of New Orleans really do love their libraries, which makes us really proud. System-wide we average around 50-60 programs each week, so there is a lot to keep up with, and we try to provide as many ways as possible for people to do that. One of the easiest ways is to sign up for our weekly email updates, which is available on our website, NOLALibrary.org. You can sign up for a weekly email about children’s programs, teen programs, adult programs, or all programs.
What services does the library offer to aid the community in the East?
Online homework help can be found on our website through HomeworkLouisiana, which offers live online tutors, skill building, a writing and career center, as well as adult education resources. Several of our locations offer homework clubs for teens. The Library has partnered with the YMCA’s YES! Program to provide services at the Main Library and also at the East New Orleans Regional Library. The YES! Program provides assistance with adult literacy, one-on-one assistance with computer training, as well as job application assistance. The Library provides many computer training classes both in person and online. An in-person Computer Basics class takes place on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. and an in-person Device Advice class on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. There are many online computer and career assistance resources available on our website, NOLALibrary.org.
Senator JP Morrell After being honored by LIDEA in 2015 for his role in improving the economic health of New Orleans East and other represented communities, Senator JP Morrell continues to fuel economic growth while spearheading women’s issues and prison reform.
Tell us about the #AskJP campaign and how you think it is working in relationship to your efforts to connect with constituents and continue to develop New Orleans East? #AskJP has gone well, by all accounts. We’re seeing hundreds of downloads of each episode and the ‘a la carte’ nature of the podcast means you can seek out the episodes that address specific areas of concern. I’ve got a reputation for being candid, bordering on ‘blunt’, and the format really lets me express how I feel about the important topics of the day. Social media is a double-edged sword. I’ve certainly seen much more engagement with citizens and elected officials and a greater awareness of what’s transpiring in government. That is certainly a good thing and bodes well for Millennials as they come into their own. However, Facebook and Twitter have also lead to people gathering into groups of like-minded online gated communities where they lose the ability to see things from an opponent’s perspective. Communication is important. Whether it’s addressing the needs of the Vietnamese Community with Cyndi Ngyuen or strategic partnerships with Brian Egana, this coalition has been a leading force for change in Eastern New Orleans. I can say, without question, that New Orleans East is open and ready for business!
Tell me about a summer initiative available to the community that you are excited about, that you’d like to highlight in the East NOLA BDD?
Located in the heart of District 3 is the newly renovated Milne Boys Home, which is the home of the New Orleans Recreation Department. There a host of opportunities to mentor or coach youth teams and qualified role models are sorely needed throughout our community.
Are there any other organizations that you work with to promote economic development in the East? There are several organizations that I’ve enjoyed working with to bring additional development opportunities to New Orleans East. One of the leading organizations on this front is the East New Orleans Business Development District. Comprised of a diverse membership representing the many interests throughout New Orleans East, it’s been a great pleasure to work with its leadership to focus on the unique needs of the East.
How do you try to manage a work/life balance? It’s very difficult. Being a legislator is not a full-time job. My actual profession is as lawyer. Being a legislator requires you to deal with a tremendous amount of problems in a very condensed period, our legislative ‘sessions’ only last 2-3 months as compared to most other legislatures around the country that meet for a much more significant amount of time. I’m fortunate that I’m a member of a large law firm so my colleagues pick up my slack when I’m not available due to legislative conflicts. I also have a wonderful family, a wife, Catherine, and 3 kids, Jude, Fiona and Alexander, that also need me. They sacrifice a lot for me to be able to serve, but I find that if I am present when I’m home and give them dedicated time for our family to connect and thrive, it’s manageable. It’s a challenge but I’m honored to serve the people of District 3.
What is an accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?
Honestly, I think the achievement I’m most proud of is the ongoing work I’ve done with Rep. Franklin Foil to provide resources and services to families struggling with children with Autism. We began our work by first mandating that insurance companies provide real coverage so families can get the help their children need. Later we worked together to make sure new therapies, and professional services, are available in our state as they become available.
What helps you get out of bed and start your day?
It really depends on where I am that day. If I’m in Baton Rouge, during session, I take my dog (Chewbacca) on a long walk before sitting in front of my apartment read through notes regarding legislation that day. If I’m at home, I wake up with Catherine and we begin the whirlwind that all families experience of trying to an eight-year-old and six-year-old to school, which is essentially herding cats with opposable thumbs.
Cover Story | By Kevin O’Sullivan
An ever-growing, all-inclusive regional anchor of New Orleans
The EAST New Orleans
stadium, an Olympic track, a second playground area and just this year built a Louisiana High School Athletic Association regulation baseball facility. “Our approach to bringing Joe W. Brown back to life was not to bring it back to what it was like before the storm” Richard explains, “but how it could and should be — how it could affect the community and become a major regional attraction.” With a vision of how they wanted the park to look and the amenities that would transform the park, Richard and the NORD team approached Mayor Mitch Landrieu who was integral in their ability to, in Landrieu’s words, “link and leverage.” With Landrieu’s help, NORD developed a relationship with major private sponsors like Nike, The Sugar Bowl, The Brees Dream Foundation and Footlocker who assisted in making the Joe W. Brown Memorial
Photo by Mike Lirette
hen was the last time you’ve been to Joe W. Brown Park? A question the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD) Chief Executive Officer, Vic Richard wants to ask you. If your answer isn’t “today,” then you’re missing out on something—because the Joe W. Brown Memorial Park is offering something new every day. Joe W. Brown Memorial Park has been a massive transformation project over the past seven years. In 2010 the NORD administration began the project by putting the aquatics facility that sat untouched after Kartrina for 5 years and was placed back into commerce in 11 months. Since then, NORD has installed walking trails, a brand new state-of-the-art tennis facility with 10 lit tennis courts, an enormous and beautiful picnic pavilion called Shelter Number Two, a brand new football
Park dream a reality. In the years to follow, through the leadership of the NORD Foundation, partnerships with Entergy, Chevron, First NBC, Boh Brothers and others have continued to enhance the park’s facilities and programing. Now, with state-of-the-art facilities and national sponsorships, the park is a central figure in not just New Orleans East, but in southern Louisiana. In the past four years, Joe W. Brown Memorial Park has hosted several regional events like the Regional Nike High School Combine, one of the largest high school athletic showcases in the country, as well as other big name events like The NBA Allstar Weekend and Sugar Bowl youth events. The Saints and Pelicans also play a significant role in the park as they often participate and lead staff and coaching clinic and youth training camps. “We see the role of the park as a regional anchor of the entire city,” says Richard. “We also see the green space like we see public recreation — as a part of the character of the community. We are designing all of the amenities and programs at the park to fit in line with our mission statement: to foster the physical, mental and social wellbeing of all of our citizens. So, we’re serving young children all the way up to senior citizens who come out to play some serious tennis matches every Saturday, going at it like they are 20 years old.” The versatility of Joe W. Brown Memorial Park is truly astonishing. With its beautiful green spaces surrounded by newly paved walking paths, sleek pavilions, massive ecologically rich lagoon and state-of-the-art sports facilities, there is something different to do every day. People can play sports, exercise, swim, engage
Photos by Mike Lirette
in solo or group activities in both instructional and noninstructional environments; that’s why NORD’s new tagline is “Something for Everyone.” If you’re not the type to sweat it out on the tennis court, Joe W. Brown Memorial Park offers a vast array of what Richard likes to call “non-traditional leisure life activities.” These non-traditional leisure activities involve fishing, hiking through nature, canoeing, camping and bird watching to name a few. These leisure activities are all about inclusion; creating an intentional space for social growth and active involvement. “There is a space that I call the Urban Camping Experience,” explains Richard. “We’ve already done two camp outs with the youth boy scouts and just completed creating an intentional fire pit just over the pond in the back of the park so we can expose young people to a true camping
experience in the wilderness. “We’re also investing in putting the aeration system back into the lagoons for the first time since Katrina. We just completed the first of five installations and are working with our partners at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to stock the lagoon with a variety of different fish enhance the fishing experience. “It’s very heartwarming to hear feedback about the park. Just last week when I was in a radio interview, a resident called in to tell me thanks for the new aeration system. He said he likes going to the park with his three sons and teaching them how to fish. I also heard from a mother who said she took her daughter on a canoe ride through the park and they were able to share the experience of doing something together that they’d both never done before. The park is truly a regional anchor of the city.”
The EAST New Orleans
Joe W. Brown Memorial Park
Photo courtesy of Boh Bros. Construction Co., L.L.C.
Amenities • Two Indoor Basketball Courts • Four Baseball Field • All-Purpose Fields • Off-Street Parking • three Picnic Pavilions • Two Sets of Play Equipment • Indoor Year-Round Pool • Recreation Center • Teen Center •Football Stadium/ Spartan Field • Tennis Center • 10 Hard Tennis Courts • Victory Track & Field • Walking Path and Nature Trail • Lagoon • Gazebo
PROGRAMMING Aquatics swimming
lessons, water aerobics, adult swim, junior lifeguard program, lap swim
fishing, certs for service, geocaching, field trips, survival skills class, nature walks, teambuilding exercises
Athletics track and field, Teens Teen Center, 1881 Vex soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, A’s & Aces Youth Tennis
Cultural Arts Piano, sewing, fitness, senior dance, ballet & boot camp Fit NOLA yoga,
adult fitness, Zumba
COMMUNITY & VOLUNTEERING
Booster Club, Friends of Joe Brown
Robotic, Family Bike Rides
Youth Family game nights, Heart to Heart Girl Talk, Kids Café, STEM Nola
Events Annual Easter
Eggstravaganza, Fit Fest, Athletic Championship games, Movies in the Park, Halloween Spooktacular, African American Male Wellness Walk, NO Friends Fest, Heart Walk, Toy Giveaways, Service Projects EastNolabdd.com
Living in the East | By Kevin O’Sullivan
» Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, MD discusses best practices for promoting a healthy heart and better quality of life. By using any of the newly renovated features offered in New Orleans East such as Joe W. Brown Park, The Audubon Nature Center or the elevated walking/biking paths, it is easy to maintain a healthy exercise regimen. Exercise can be practiced alone or in group classes and events that are offered through Friends of Joe W. Brown that both encourage active lifestyles and stronger communities.
Health and Wellness in New Orleans East Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, MD advises using neighborhood amenities to live healthier
The EAST New Orleans
Photo by Mike Lirette
As summer nears, people everywhere are stepping outside, enjoying the sunshine and getting back in shape. With top-tier amenities such as Joe W. Brown Park, the Audubon Nature Center and miles of walking and biking tracks throughout the city, New Orleans East offers plenty of programs and opportunities for its health conscious community. Living a healthy life means adequate nutrition, access to primary and specialty care and physical activity. “Regular physical activity” according to Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, “has been shown to help control blood pressure, decrease the onset of diabetes, improve physical strength, decrease psychological stress and improve the quality and length of life.” Dr. Ferdinand is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, a Fellow of the American Heart Association, a board member of the New Orleans East Hospital, a longtime citizen of New Orleans East and an advocate for the health benefits of utilizing the many resources that New Orleans East has to offer. “One of the best things about living in New Orleans East is the newly refurbished Joe W. Brown Park,” Dr. Ferdinand says. “In Joe W. Brown Memorial Park there are acres of green space and state-of-the-art facilities in which members of our community can exercise on a regular basis.” These facilities include the newly refurbished basketball and tennis courts, a gymnasium, an indoor pool and much more. “The memorial swimming pool is an excellent facility for those who have an inability to do brisk walking because of joint pain or deconditioning,” says Dr. Ferdinand. “Classes and events are always being developed for various activities using the Joe W. Brown gymnasium, pool and track and citizens should take advantage of the opportunities as these courses and seminars become available.” Attached to Joe W. Brown Memorial Park is the Audubon Nature Center, 86 acres of protected nature and walking trails. The center is just reopening after having been closed down since Hurri-
cane Katrina and “will feature a unique means of not only learning about the environmental history of New Orleans” says Dr. Ferdinand, “but a place where a person can relieve stress while also getting the ability to continue their walking program. “The Friends of Joe W. Brown Memorial Park and the Audubon Nature Center are organizing many ongoing and upcoming events. For instance, this non-profit organization has held an annual ‘back to nature heart walk’. The event allows citizens of New Orleans East the opportunity to enjoy the green space and walking paths, leading all the way to the New Orleans East Hospital where the event ends with heart screenings and education relating to heart disease and blood pressure.” If a person does not want to utilize Joe W. Brown Park, there are ample streets with elevated walking and bicycling paths throughout New Orleans East, and even more, are being developed. Dr. Ferdinand stresses that although it may seem that exercise is synonymous with heavy weight lifting or long distance running, “most studies suggest that a total of 150 minutes of at least moderate physical activity per week helps to control blood pressure and is an adequate goal for heart healthy exercise.” These 150 minutes of exercise can include activities such as brisk walking, water aerobics, yoga, gardening or riding a bicycle for thirty minutes a day. All across East New Orleans, these resources promote safe exercise practices for a healthier heart and mind, all the while beautifying the area. “The New Orleans East Hospital ensures adequate care including emergency and elective care,” explains Dr. Ferdinand. “The East New Orleans Regional Library allows people access to research living a healthy lifestyle, and the amenities at Joe W. Brown Memorial Park make it possible to have a fun, productive and meaningful active lifestyle in the now more beautiful than ever.”
By Kevin O’Sullivan
| Living in the East
Taking a Walk in the Park
Photo by Mike Lirette
Gregory Carrie discusses the community’s History in building Joe W. Brown Memorial Park “Joe W. Brown Memorial Park is like the heartbeat of New Orleans East,” says longtime New Orleans East resident Gregory Carrie. “With its community meetings and events, it’s a place that takes you away from the city for a moment and just get lost in whatever it is you like to do there.” Joe W. Brown Memorial Park is a 163-acre park that has kept its promise to be a source of philanthropy and public good since the land was donated by Dorothy Dorsett Brown in honor of her late husband, Joe W. Brown in 1959. As the land around the memorial park transforms, as businesses, homes and industries come and go, Joe W. Brown Memorial Park has remained home to beautiful walking paths and recreational amenities as well as 86 acres of preserved nature in the Audubon Nature Center. “A lot of people don’t know this, but New Orleans East started with nothing,” says Carrie. “I used to play with the cows back here and watch the interstate construction. They dug a half dozen human-made lakes and completely shaped the geography of this area, but the entirety of Joe W. Brown Memorial Park was never touched by them. Since I’ve lived here it has never gotten smaller; none of it has ever been sold as was mandated by Joe W. Brown, himself. It’s a fixture for the community that has been built around it since the 1960s. “Now, the park is surrounded by three state-of-the-art schools and is the centerpiece of the East community. Joe W. Brown supports these schools as space where they can hold events all year round. People around the community put flyers up on bulletin boards and hold their events. It is a hub for community building.” Joe W. Brown Memorial Park has taken great strides in recovering after its facilities were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since, the park has rebuilt a state-of-theart track and field, football and baseball stadiums, updated tennis courts, pavilions, an indoor recreation center, a gymnasium, an indoor pool, and is soon to open a brand new nature center. “It’s better than ever. My family gets a lot of use out of it,” says Carrie. “We go on picnics out there under the oak trees, and my kids participate in all kinds of events in the park. It’s got something for everyone. You can fish in the lakes, and there is a highly developed play center for the
» Joe W. Brown Memorial Park and its 163 acres of greenspace
and public facilities have been a cornerstone in New Orleans East community building since it was donated in 1959. Since its inception, the park has featured 83 acres of protected nature and popular recreational services. Today, the Park has newly renovated facilities and state-of-the-art sports complexes that serve the community and the park’s three surrounding schools. Daily and annual events fill the park’s itinerary and serve as conduits for civic engagement, relationship building and a more physically active community.
kids. It’s honestly really hard to keep up with all of the things that the park has to offer. It’s just incredible how much it has to offer our community.” On any given day the park’s event itinerary is chalk full from 8 a.m. till sunset. Daily events include swimming lessons for all ages, tennis lessons, after-school health and nutrition programs, and water aerobics to name a few. The park, with the support of Friends of Joe W. Brown and the Audubon Nature Institute, also hosts many annual and larger events and fundraisers like the Back to Nature Heart Walk, Movies in the Park, Under the Tree Learning Camp and NOLA East Friends Fest. The events gather the local community and become an incredible conduit for civic engagement and community relationship building. “More people than ever use Joe W. Brown Park,” Carrie says. “The young community members gather in the park to get away from things and listen to the music they want to listen to and be a community together. Local church groups and families gather in the park to talk about things and be active together. Since the indoor pool renovation, and the new Nature Center, the facilities and landscape all just look especially incredible. This park is truly the heartbeat around here, and we’re all the better for it.” EastNolabdd.com
Living in the East | By Jenny Peterson
Lake Bullard is a peaceful upscale retreat nestled in a quiet New Orleans suburb, which offers lakefront living at its finest. With 289 homeowneroccupied homes and neighborhoodsponsored security patrol, it’s a safe, family-friendly community bounded by Bullard Avenue, Lake Forest Boulevard, Stillwater Drive and Midpoint Drive. The neighborhood is primarily made up of medium sized (three or four bedrooms) to large (four, five or more bedrooms) single-family homes and townhomes that were first built in the 1970s. The neighborhood is within the Lake Bullard Neighborhood Improvement District. The neighborhood website can be found at LakeBullard.com.
Loving Lake Bullard Family-friendly neighborhood has lots to offer
The EAST New Orleans
Photo by Cheryl Gerber
Derrick Francis is someone who makes a difference in his community. And he especially takes pride in his Lake Bullard Neighborhood. Francis and his wife Christina were born and raised in the East; both moved back to the area in 2010 after earning their degrees at Old Dominion University. The couple settled in the Lake Bullard Neighborhood, an established, upscale suburban neighborhood of 289 owner-occupied homes built around Lake Bullard. The neighborhood is about a mile from popular East New Orleans attractions like Joe W. Brown Memorial Park and the Audubon Nature Center. “Everybody in the neighborhood works hard, takes care of their homes; it’s a tight-knit community,” Francis said. “A lot of people there purchased homes in the late 1970s, early 1980s.” In 2015, Francis took over as president of the Lake Bullard Neighborhood Improvement District (LBNID), which oversees the neighborhood tax district, handling neighborhood security and beautification. Now raising a two-year-old daughter in the neighborhood, Derrick and Christina are passionate about keeping the Lake Bullard Neighborhood a special, attractive, safe, family-friendly community. One thing that sets the Lake Bullard Neighborhood apart is the neighborhood-sponsored private security service. Private patrols canvas the neighborhood and are on-call for residents each day. “It’s one of the safest neighborhoods in the city,” Francis said. “It was a gem when it was first built, and it’s still very much that way,” he said. Last year, Francis helped launch the Lake Bullard Security App, a free mobile app for residents to communicate with the security patrols and each other, as well as to make reports. Francis has experience in website development and content management as the creator of the website Bizzemo, a nationwide directory of minority-owned and women-owned businesses. He volunteered his expertise in technology to create the mobile security app. “It’s made a huge difference,” he said. Through the neighborhood improvement district, Francis also coordinates neighborhood beautification. “We added new landscaping to the neighborhood entrance sign and new lettering,” he said. “We also worked with the City of New Orleans on getting streets striped, and we got street signs redone. When people came home, they feel good about where they live.” Francis said there has always been a real sense of community in Lake Bullard. On any given day, you can see neighbors jogging around palm-lined neighborhood streets. Large homes surround-
ing the lake create a peaceful, family-friendly atmosphere. Francis’ efforts have paid off. “It’s beautiful, and there’s a lot of space to run around. It’s family-friendly and secure. Homes for sale here don’t stay on the market long,” Francis said. Recent nearby developments include Lake Forest Charter School, a blue-ribbon school that built its campus across from the Lake Bullard neighborhood, and the new campus of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. Each year, Lake Bullard neighbors gather for a Christmas social – an event with music, food and updates on the neighborhood’s progress. “I’m always excited to meet the new people coming into the neighborhood,” Francis said. “We all work together to make the neighborhood beautiful and we always look out for each other.” This sense of community involvement was most recently displayed by Lake Bullard and surrounding neighborhoods coming together to help others in the wake of the tornado that hit another nearby New Orleans East community in early 2017. “The Lake Bullard and Eastover neighborhoods donated almost $1,000 in water and supplies to those affected,” Francis said. Derrick and Christina’s love of their neighborhood runs deep. He jokes that on their first meeting in college when Christina told him she said was born and raised in New Orleans East, he almost asked her to marry him on the spot. Several years later, he recalls, “When my wife and I were looking for homes to buy in New Orleans, I asked her, ‘Where do you want to live?’ She said, ‘Lake Bullard.’ I said, ‘Ok, what’s your second choice?’ She said, ‘Lake Bullard.’”
By Jenny Peterson
| Living in the East
Photo by Cheryl Gerber
Lake views and recreational opportunities abound Lake Pontchartrain is just two blocks from the Edgelake neighborhood in New Orleans East, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the view. A walking trail on the levee runs along Hayne Boulevard from the Seabrook Bridge to Paris Road and draws many walkers, runners, and bikers. Lake views are stunning no matter the time of day. There are plenty of boating and fishing opportunities right from the shore or from the nearby South Shore Harbor Marina, which also offers boat docking facilities. David Terrie has lived in the Edgelake neighborhood since 2003 after he and his wife decided to build a house on an available lot in the neighborhood. He’s an advocate of the community and actively works to make the East a family-friendly place to live. Moving to New Orleans East to raise a family was a natural choice; his wife’s family lived there, and although he grew up in Gentilly, Terrie regularly traveled to New Orleans East throughout his childhood.“I remember as a child going to New Orleans East just when it was being developed in the late 1970s and 80s; it was the promised land,” Terrie said. “We went there as a family on a regular basis, and I had friends who lived there. Later on, I had friends who I’d go out and play tennis with there. The East was part of my lifestyle.” The Edgelake neighborhood had everything the Terries were looking for, including a large number of homeowners, a family-oriented atmosphere and popular restaurants nearby, such as Castnet Seafood and Walker’s BBQ restaurant. “It just so happens there was an empty lot in the neighborhood on the same street where my sister-in-law and brotherin-law lived,” Terrie said. After Hurricane Katrina, Terrie and members of the Edgelake neighborhood formed a neighborhood group to get residents involved and get to know each other. “We started meeting on a regular basis, and there was kind of a social aspect to it—we would meet at local restaurants like Deanie’s Restaurant and Castnet Seafood. We also started our ‘Night Out Against Crime’ program.” Today, there is still a very active Edgelake Neighborhood Association and neighborhood watch association. Terrie is now raising his 14-year-old daughter in the Edgelake community and is a tireless proponent of bringing more quality businesses to New Orleans East. He works for a financial services company and does a full spectrum of investments for individuals. Terrie also trains new agents in the field. “Our focus is families,” he said. “There are significant opportunities in the East and lots of dollars.” The family-centered neighborhoods in New Orleans East allow for relaxation away from traffic and congestion. “It is mostly residential out here, so vehicle traffic is confined
» Edgelake is a neighborhood community on the edge of Lake
Pontchartrain with its own unique characteristics and attributes. The boundary streets are Lady Gray to Berg, and from Hayne to Morrison. It is located two blocks from Lake Pontchartrain, and there is a walking trail along the levee that runs along Hayne Boulevard from Seabrook Bridge to Paris Road. A number of people use the path for walking, running and biking. The neighborhood has many owner-occupied homes, and there is a very active Edgelake Neighborhood Association and neighborhood watch group. Each year the community hosts an annual Night Out Against Crime. For more information about the neighborhood association, email email@example.com.
only to the major corridors that intersect I-10,” Terrie said. He’s excited about post-Katrina updates to the East, including the Joe Brown Park with a full slate of park amenities, including a walking trail, shelters for picnicking, baseball fields, tennis courts, an indoor pool, gym and football stadium. “The best feature the park offers is access to the Audubon Nature Center, which is an outstanding nature preserve in the middle of an urban area,” Terrie said. “It has walking trails as well. The entire park and nature preserve is great for bird watching.” Another standout is Southern Oaks Plantation, a wedding and reception venue with an Antebellum mansion surrounded by stately oak trees. The plantation is known as one of the most romantic places for a wedding in New Orleans. Southern Oaks Plantation is adjacent to the Edgelake neighborhood. Terrie said he’s happy when he sees new younger families moving to the neighborhood and investing in the community. He continues to advocate for more quality businesses and commercial opportunities in the area. “My hope is that the East will be restored to the bright, shiny Mecca of middle-class living that I (saw) often when I visited as a child,” he said. “New Orleans East is a community for all.” EastNolabdd.com
Business in the East | By Jenny Peterson
Kenyatta Ford-Theodore and Herb Theodore operate two Papa John’s pizza locations in New Orleans East. They opened their first location at 6003 Bullard Avenue in late 2010. The Theodores were honored with the Papa John’s Franchise Operators of the Year International Hinkle Award in 2011, given to franchisees that exemplify Papa John’s commitment to superior-quality pizza, world-class customer service and outstanding community involvement. The couple opened a second location at 7100 Downman Road. They continue to donate pizza for community events and show support to neighborhood youth sports teams, churches schools in New Orleans East.
Sizzling Success Papa John’s offers fresh food and a commitment to the community
The EAST New Orleans
Photo by Cheryl Gerber
Kenyatta Ford-Theodore and Herb Theodore have found sizzling success bringing hot, readyto-order Papa John’s pizza to New Orleans East residents. The franchise owners opened their first store on Bullard Avenue in New Orleans East in 2010; it was an area where Herb grew up and he wanted to return. “There wasn’t much in the neighborhood at the time when we opened,” Kenyatta said. The idea to open a Papa John’s franchise came about when the couple found themselves regularly ordering pizzas at a Papa John’s in Baton Rouge when Kenyatta’s job moved there following Hurricane Katrina. “I kept stopping at a Papa John’s location and thought, ‘We should buy stock in this place – every time I go in, they are busy,’” Kenyatta said. “We started doing research about starting one in the New Orleans area, and New Orleans East was the only area available. To us, it was a perfect opportunity.” The enterprising pair found themselves at the start of a long and intense period of preparation and training. Papa John’s corporate headquarters want franchisees to succeed, so the rigorous training focuses on desire, commitment and fortitude. After lengthy training both off- and on-site at their 6003 Bullard Avenue location, the Theodores opened the doors on December 20, 2010. Their rigorous training proved valuable. “It was an immediate hit,” Kenyatta said. “We were busy as soon as we opened. People started tweeting that we were now open, and it was like a flood.” The eager New Orleans East community embraced the Papa John’s site wholeheartedly. Just one year later, the Theodores were honored with the Papa John’s Franchise Operators of the Year International Hinkle Award in 2011, given to franchisees who own one to three stores and who exemplify Papa John’s commitment to serving a superior-quality pizza, world-class customer service and outstanding community involvement. The business was so successful that the couple opened another location in New Orleans East on Downman Road in 2012. “We never would have thought it,” Kenyatta said. “Usually people don’t open another store in the same territory.”
Herb serves as the manager of both locations. He is fully involved in the business operations and makes every effort to get to know customers personally. “The people in New Orleans East are incredibly good people. They have been really good to us, and we strive to give them the best pizza and customer service possible,” Herb said. “We would definitely invest again in New Orleans East.” Herb said some of his employees have been at the restaurant since day one. “We get to know our customers; we offer outstanding customer service, and we’re very involved with our stores,” Herb said. The restaurant sends email blasts to customers notifying them of offers and deals, and it supports local schools and churches with special deals and discounts. “We have fundraiser cards that we give to schools that they sell for $5 each, and they keep the profit. It contains a book of 10 coupons, with offerings such as a free small pizza with a purchase and a buy one, get one free special,” Kenyatta said. “During football season, schools can earn money from it to pay for youth programs.” The Papa John’s franchise also helps with New Orleans East little league baseball teams. “When they travel out of town, we contract other Papa John’s to donate pizzas,” Kenyatta said. They also donate pizza for New Orleans East’s “Night Out Against Crime” events. “We have been very successful in New Orleans East, and I hope we can show people and other businesses why they should come back to the area,” Herb said. “Hopefully we have helped set the tone for the future of New Orleans East. It’s back and we are grateful to have helped start that trend.” Both locations continue to see steady business. “Our goal is to win the Papa John’s Hinkle Award again this year,” Herb said.
By Andrea Blumenstein
| Business in the East
St. Bernard Drugs
Photo by Cheryl Gerber
A Family Drug Store The expanse of Highway 90/Chef Menteur Highway, or, if you prefer, “Chef ’s Highway” heading east from New Orleans crosses low landscape speckled with businesses ranging in façades from shiny and new to derelict. This disparity is due in part to a series of harsh hits from nature, including Hurricane Katrina and, more recently, a tornado. Just past Read Boulevard, holding court in its own pocket of nature sits St. Bernard Drugs, family owned and operated since 1983. The building was completely renovated and includes the retail store, pharmacy and a spacious office. St. Bernard Drugs is an independent community pharmacy that also has a closeddoor pharmacy to manage the needs of a variety of long-term care facilities, group homes and surgical centers. “We have been here since 1983,” says pharmacist Christine Rosenbohm, whose uncle Dominick Sciortino is the patriarch of St. Bernard Drugs. “That is the reason why we have our customer and patient base,” she says. “We were one of the first businesses – the first pharmacy back after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the community, they still remember that.” St. Bernard Drugs is truly a family affair. One glance at the walls of the spacious office documents the many accomplishments of the proprietor and his family with plaques, photos and awards. The large desk, stocked with the best kind of pens – the ones that glide over the page – is surrounded by generations smiling from an array of photos. Here, customers are like family too. “As an independent store, we really do reach out to the customer,” says Rosenbohm, who, by the way, started off working the counter there when she was a youth. “We have a personal friendship, liaison with our customers. They know that they can come in, or call and we will take the time to talk to them about anything they
» St. Bernard Drugs is truly a family affair. Family owned and operated since
1984, proprietor Dominick Sciortino refuses to let tragedy get in the way of serving his community. Today, with Mr. Sciortino spending more time in the community, his niece Christine Rosenbohm works as a pharmacist. As one of the first businesses back after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Drugs established itself as a staple for the community providing “old time wets and dries” along with all of the bells and whistles of a modern pharmacy like speedy refills and vaccinations for the community. St. Bernard Drugs also has a closed-door pharmacy to continue servicing area long-term care facilities.
need for their health and medical needs.” Many of the other employees have been with the store for decades, she notes. Except for the counter workers, whom, like herself, are for the most part in school and working for a family business on the side. “Sometimes when my uncle is here,” says Rosenbohm, “Customers will sit down and talk and chat for a bit.” Another signature of St. Bernard Drugs is catering to the incredibly common “My grandmother said… or my mother said...” says Christine. “We have the old-timey wets and dries – clove oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil. People know.” They come repeatedly asking for Scotts Emulsion (cod liver oil) and Two Old Goats because such-and-such said so. For those looking for more than a home-remedy, St. Bernard Drugs fills prescriptions while you wait. They also offer vaccines to the community, including annual flu, Pneumonia, ZOSTAVAX and TDAP, many of which do not need a prescription. Owner Dominick Sciortino remains active in the community through Manresa Retreat House and St. Clement of Rome Church. He served as President of the Louisiana Pharmacy Association in 1978, received the Order of St. Louis Medal from Archbishop Schulte in 1993 and is the Past President of Legatus. St. Bernard Drugs, located at 10200 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70127, is open Mondays-Fridays from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Business in the East | By Sarah Ravits
» As longtime residents of New
Orleans East, Psytia and Aaron Jordan’s 6-year-old printing company is proof of progress. Universal Printing 9900 Lake Forest Blvd., Suite K New Orleans, La. 70127 504-244-1177 Print@uvprintcenter.com UVPrintcenter.com.
Universal Printing Printing the path to the future
The EAST New Orleans
Photo by Cheryl Gerber
In a successful effort to provide quality printing services at competitive prices to residents of the community, Psytia and Aaron Jordan opened Universal Printing in 2011. The husband-and-wife team operates the independent company — which has a total of four hardworking employees who multi-task daily to make everything run smoothly. “Printing services is a resource that is needed and used by many,” Psytia Jordan notes. “We are a one stop shop for copying, printing, faxing, graphic design and most of all helping customers to bring their ideas to life.” The husband-and-wife team of entrepreneurs are longtime residents of eastern New Orleans — they’ve been there for more than 30 years. It was important for the couple to set up shop in their beloved community. “I was born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans,” Psytia explains. “My husband Aaron is from Baton Rouge but lived in New Orleans for 36 years.” After Hurricane Katrina, “our community suffered major economic losses because very few businesses returned to the area,” says Psytia. “After being laid off from a 20-year job, we used the opportunity to start our own business in our community.” As co-owner and manager, Psytia also operates production printers and makes signs, banners, business cards, flyers, booklets, programs and more. She says her favorite part of the job is working with and serving customers and meeting people from different areas of the city. She says they are dedicated to customer service, as well. “We serve the Greater New Orleans Metro area with the majority of our customers from Eastern New Orleans,” she says. “Our customer base includes individuals, businesses, the
City of New Orleans, hospitals, schools, churches, and even businesses traveling to New Orleans for conventions.” The Jordans believe that a reputation as a high quality, professional service, competitively priced products and reliability, are the recipes for success. While others seek to profit by cutting corners, or recommending unnecessary services to customers, the Jordans believe in value honesty, and are committed to maintaining a good reputation. They also believe that consistent service will continue to help establish long-lasting relationships with new and established customers. “I manage the day-to-day operations of the print shop,” explains Psytia. She and the staff are also dedicated to “providing quality service, establishing relationships with customers, schools, churches and local businesses.” Faith also plays a major role in her life — not just in the community’s ability to thrive, but religiously, as well. “Throughout my life, I was taught to work hard, take pride in everything I do and that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” she says. While she looks forward to continuing the business and possibly opening a second location in the future, she also hopes to see other entrepreneurs follow suit and set up shop in the area and continue to contribute to both the economic development and the spirit of the community. She cites a few fellow businesses and establishments that have also helped nurture the recovery. “Businesses such as the New Orleans East Hospital, the Nature Center in Joe W. Brown Park, and the new schools and churches give hope that there’s more to come.”
by Sarah Ravits
| Business in the East
Photo by Cheryl Gerber
A symbol of recovery and loyalty in New Orleans East When Banner Chevrolet opened in New Orleans East in 1974, its ambitious mission was to be No. 1 in customer satisfaction, service and sales. Since its inception, the company is successful in meeting its goals and has exceeded them in many ways. With a full inventory of new and used cars, trucks and SUV’s, Banner also offers diverse services, automobile parts and has an in-house body shop for repairs and maintenance. Banner is also a hallmark of the community and a symbol of recovery and growth in the New Orleans region. In the days following Hurricane Katrina, the business also proved to be a source of inspiration and tenacity, representing New Orleans’ — particularly New Orleans East’s— ongoing recovery. The car dealership is a constant reminder to its community about the value of work ethic and loyalty to the area. Richard Flick, president and co-owner of Banner Chevrolet, is a fourth-generation New Orleanian and a second-generation automobile dealer. He has worked for the company since 1976 — just two years after his father purchased the dealership from the previous owners. “We kept the dealership [in The East] because it is conveniently located between the Downman Road and Chef Menteur exits off Interstate 10,” he says. Banner Chevrolet also appeals to clients who aren’t from the area. It draws in a range of new and established customers, whom Flick praises for being diverse and loyal. Customers come from the surrounding parishes of Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. Bernard, Tangipahoa and other cities including Baton Rouge and Houma. Some even drive in from Mississippi.
» This car dealership is also a beacon of hope, offering encouragement in New Orleans’ ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Banner Chevrolet, 5950 Chef Menteur Highway, New Orleans, La. 70126 504-302-8900, BannerChevy.com.
As president, Flick works closely with co-owners Kelley Moreau, Leanne Cvitanovich and Marshall Soullier to foster a positive, nurturing work environment to the company’s 95 employees. (The company also has a Ford dealership north of Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville.) Flick believes that Banner Chevrolet fosters a “fun and extremely competitive” work atmosphere. “The day flies by because of the intense activity,” he notes. It also helps that he is extremely passionate about the industry, his clients and providing people with new vehicles. “I love automobiles,” he says. “There’s nothing like the smell of a new car.” Flick reiterates that Banner Chevrolet is more than just a car dealership, though. It’s of special significance that “we were the first business to open up after Hurricane Katrina in the East,” he says. “Our lights were like a beacon of hope that lit up skies that would have otherwise been dark.” Flick is also proud of the fact that Banner gives back to the community by supporting local youth programs, schools and a variety of local charities. Since the Banner staff first reopened their doors, other businesses have followed suit. The area is once again experiencing growth in population, which requires local businesses to service them. “Every year we see more and more people moving back to the East,” notes Flick. “The growth has been steady and seems to be picking up speed.” New businesses, he says, appear to be opening up almost daily.
East New Orleans bY the numbers If treated like an independent city in Louisiana, East New Orleans would be the 6th largest in the state. Here’s why:
East New Orleans makes up more than 20 percent of Greater New Orleans’ population according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
389,617 Total population of New Orleans (est. 2015)
83,298 Population of East New Orleans (est. 2010).
58% 20% 66%
58 percent of the population in East New Orleans are homeowners, a figure comparable to other major Louisiana cities.
The East New Orleans area is poised for an estimated 20 percent population increase by 2020.
East New Orleans comprises 66 percent of the city’s land mass, providing distinct opportunities for industrial and other major commercial developments.
Nearly one-fifth of East New Orleans households have an annual income above $75,000. 24
The EAST New Orleans
100,000 vehicles travel through East New Orleans via the I-10 corridor every day.
East New Orleans bY the numbers
There has been over $3.2 billion in public and private investments to the East since 2005.
Over $2.5 billion has been spent to protect East New Orleans from storm surge and flooding.
14,000 East New Orleans boasts nearly 14,000 jobs; 50 percent are considered “high paying” in accordance with the US Census’ Local Employment Dynamic Report.
The Michoud Assembly Facility
• Created more than 5,240 jobs in Louisiana.
• Is responsible for more than for $308 million in labor income. • $342 million in economic output
• More than $19 million in Louisiana state and local taxes each year.
• Approximately 3,500 employees on-site at Michoud every day • Located on 832 acres with 3.8 million square feet of total infrastructure, including nearby Interstate Highway and railway access and a port that accesses the Mississippi River-Gulf of Mexico.
The Folgers coffee plant • A major customer of
the Port of New Orleans.
• Roasters, including Folgers, import an average 250,000 to 300,000 tons of coffee beans annually through the port.
Investors Presidential Circle
Wade T. Verges Construction Co.
The EAST New Orleans
THANK YOU! The East NOLA BDD would like to thank the following contributors and partners for their dedication to our mission. • Wade T. Verges • Air Products • Councilman James Gray’s Office • GNO, Inc. • Cliff Robinson • New Orleans Business Alliance • Karen Coaxum • Ron Wright
• Robert Packnett - R & P Landscaping
• New Orleans Lakefront Airport
• Loews Home Improvement
• New Orleans East Economic Development
• Home Depot
• STUDS Club
• Sphinx Foundation
• New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood
• Jacoby Jones Foundation
• Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET)
Photo Gallery Winter 2016 The EAST Directory Magazine Release Party
Councilman James Gray and NORDC CEO Vic Richards Pamela Carrie, Cyndi Nguyen, Terrie Guerin
Sean Bruno, Cyndi Nguyen & JC Celestin
Networking Event At Fidelity Bank
The EAST New Orleans
Aziza Landrum, Troy Henry, Larry Johnson and Karen Coaxum
Disaster Business Technical Assistance Workshop
Networking Event at DON VILLAVASSOâ€™S Food & Cigar Bar
Marc Leunissan and Maurice Biard
Grand Opening of the Wyndham Garden Hotel
Michael Ricks, Sean Bruno, Cyndi Nguyen, Mtumishi St. Julien
Marc Leunissan, Dwight Barnes & Lynette White-Colin EastNolabdd.com
memberHSIP levels & benefits
CORPORATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Annual Membership $5,000.00
Benefits of Membership • Co-sponsor of the East New Orleans Business Development District – “State of the District” Breakfast Summit • Co-sponsor, the future New Orleans Snowball Festival (Signature Event – September 2018) • Co-sponsor Linen Night in the East (September 2017) • Eligibility to serve on the Board of Directors • Recognition of Membership in “The EAST” magazine (Summer & Winter Editions) • Co-sponsor of all Networking Events
Annual Membership $1,000.00
Benefits of Membership • Eligible to serve on Board of Directors • Recognition of Membership in “The EAST” Magazine (Summer & Winter Editions) • Invitation to all Networking Events
Annual Membership $500.00
( 50 or more employees )
Benefits of Membership • Recognition of Membership in “The EAST” Magazine (Summer & Winter Editions) • Listing in business directory for the Winter Edition • Invitation to all Networking Events
Annual Membership $250.00
( less than 50 employees )
Benefits of Membership • Recognition of Membership in “The East” Magazine (Winter Edition) • Invitation to all Networking Events
Annual Membership $100.00
Benefits of Membership • Listing in business directory for the Winter Edition • Invitation to all Networking Events EastNolabdd.com
APPLY & UPDATE
Become a member, investor or update your business listing with the East NOLA BDD I would like to: Update my Business Directory Listing Apply for an East NOLA BDD Membership
Information of Interest: Annual membership investment: ___________ Corporate Executive Council ($5,000) Board Council ($1,000) Large Organization ($500) Mid-sized Organization($250) Individual ($100)
Become an Investor in East NOLA BDD Form of Payment: General Information
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made payable to East New Orleans Business Development District
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East New Orleans Business Development District
7240 Crowder Blvd #301, New Orleans, LA 70127
The EAST is the Official Publication of East New Orleans Business Development District A Bi-annual magazine highlighting business growth,...
Published on Jul 13, 2017
The EAST is the Official Publication of East New Orleans Business Development District A Bi-annual magazine highlighting business growth,...