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Annual Report

Connection East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and Ochsner North Shore Present

Starry, Starry Nights in the East

2013 Chairman of the Board, S. Michele Blanchard, turned over the gavel to 2014 Chairman, Joe DiGiovanni

Large Business of the Year Ochsner North Shore

CHairMan’s COrner The Chamber is busting at the seams with opportunity! Getting involved in the Chamber has never been so exciting. When I think about all of the stellar awards we have won, it would be a grand enough goal to keep the status quo. But not THIS CHAMBER. Our members continue to see more value in being part of this “5 Star” Chamber.

Our staff has moved to a new, much larger home, and the amount of energy building is sure to establish us as a “BEACON” of our community. We are a bright light that will get the attention of many far and wide, with a Market Place filled with local artists’ creations and Class A offices for handling our bustling business. And one of our “Wow” factors is sure to be our state-of-the-art Conference Center, it’s huge with all the bells and whistles! The rubber hits the road in our committees, which add value in every aspect of our businesses. I salute the committee members for becoming one of our many “rays of light” as they continue to make a difference in our little spot of the world. If you want to get more out of your membership, put yourself into a committee! The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce is honored to be the go-to place for over 1,100 members, representing over 40% of ALL small businesses in our area!

Small Business of the Year Patriot Title, and Linda K. Larkin EYP Board Member of the Year

Large Community Involvement Business of the Year Charter Business

Small Community Involvement Business of the Year Airey Blanchard Law Office, LC

If you are involved already, thank you. If not, follow the light and join the fun! Let’s shine together!

Joe DiGiovanni, CPA

2014 Chairman of the Board

Member of the Year Slidell Independent, and Chrissy Smith EYP Member of the Year

Athena Award Recipients New Small Buiness of the Year Creole Bagelry

Athena Award Recipient Kim Harbison New Large Business of the Year Associated Wholesale Grocers

Advisory Board Member of the Year Yolanda Paz

Ambassador of the Year Lee Cosgrove

The Community Spirit Award Charles Klepfer and Mary Byrd (not pictured)

Young Athena Award Recipient and Director of the Year, S. Michele Blanchard

2013 - 2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is comprised of a dynamic and diverse group of business and leaders to insure all businesses are represented in the Chamber.

EXECUTIVE BOARD BACK ROW, l-r: Bill Davis (Vice Chair) SMH CEO Joe DiGiovanni (Chair 2014 & 1999) CPA Dawn Sharpe-Brackett (CEO) Peter Cavignac (Advisory Chair) Whitney Bank FRONT ROW, l-r: S. Michele Blanchard (Chair 2013) Attorney John Smith (Life Member) (2006, 2012 Chair, 2014 Treasurer) Polly Davenport (Vice Chair) Ochsner-Northshore CEO NOT PICTURED: Steven Kernahan (Vice Chair) Financial Advisor Grant Gravois (Vice Chair) State Farm Insurance


BACK ROW, l-r: Fulton J. Hicks; Danny Schaus, CLECO (Chair 2007); Charles Klepfer, CiCi Pizza; Mark Baham, STARC; Mike Gelpi, Textron; David E. Smith, AWG; FRONT ROW, l-r: Al Hamauei, Lacombe, First Bank & Trust; Linda K. Larkin, Patriot Title Marketing; Victoria Langlinais, Silver Slipper Casino; Rene Arcemont, eSYNCS NOT PICTURED: Chadwick Collings, Attorney; Sheila Wagner, Resource Bank; Barbara Doyle, Pelican Pages


Yolanda Paz, St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission Peggy Seeley, Pearl River & School Board Representative Kathy Lowrey, Northshore Harbor Center Bonnie Eades, Schroder Development Group Kelly Le, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Mary Byrd, New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union NOT PICTURED: Bill Joubert, Southeastern Small Business Melissa Lee Richier, Geaux For The Gold Brenda Bertus, St. Tammany Economic Development J. William Newton, Advisory Executive Board


Laura Colvin, Membership Director Ann Bowser, Executive Assistant Dawn Sharpe-Brackett, CEO JoBeth Kavanaugh, COO Christie LeBouef, Communications Director

CEO Corner CEO Corner – Dawn Sharpe-Brackett, CCE, IOM Lets hear it for the awesome Chamber STAFF here at the EST Chamber! When I get complimented on what a great job our Chamber does for the investors we represent, I love to point out that I cannot do it alone. Having a team that each person brings a special talent to, is what makes your Chamber successful. Making history in 2013 with the purchase of a Historic Slidell Landmark was a dream come true. While we have loved our home on West Hall for 30 years, having more space on Front Street to provide workshops, a venue for entrepreneurs and virtual offices, and promote cultural economy is bringing full circle the mission of your Chamber. Expanding my educational career in the 2013, I was 1 of 22 nationally to receive the CCE (Certified Chamber Executive) designation, 1 of 3 in the state of Louisiana. This is the highest certification of a chamber executive given by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Assoc. Giving back to our membership, being a voice of business and your information center is what our focus is here at the Chamber. Providing networking opportunities, educational seminars and business to business events allows us to help generate business growth across the region. We are here for you and your business. I love representing the community which I have grown up in and invite you to stop by your five star accredited chamber to truly understand the dedication of the staff and daily operations of your regional chamber.

OFFICE: 985-718-4558 CELL: 318-852-5502

Mary Beth & Bobby Bugea

Independent Associates Small Business, CDLP & Group Benefits Specialists

Visit our website and contact us!

2013 Vice-Chairman Club

2013 Chairman Club Slidell Memorial Hospital Silver Slipper Casino Louisiana Heart Hospital City of Slidell First NBC Bank River View Solar Electric Regions Bank Capital One Bank Resource Bank Crossgates Family Fitness Pelican Pages WST Electric Progressive Waste Solutions Sunshine Media Gilbar Health & Benefit Mgnt. Slidell Magazine Home Bank Champagne Beverage Co. Inc.

CiCi’s Pizza Northshore Harbor Center CLECO Pontchartrain Investment Mgnt. Lake 94.7 Ochsner Whitney Bank Charter Business Associated Grocers Sam’s Club Northshore St. Tammany Parish Slidell Athletic Club AT&T Iberia Bank Airey Blanchard Law Office, LC eSyncs Watch Systems Textron Marine & Land

Brian Harris Autoplex Chase Bank Clipper Magazine DiGiovanni & Associates, CPA Environmental Enterprises USA, Inc. First Bank and Trust Gaylord Chemical Corporation Grant P. Gravois Insurance Agency, Inc. Heritage Manor of Slidell John Smith John C. Stennis Space Center Lakeshore Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Patriot Title, LLC Rooms To Go Southern Surgical Hospital St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees Standard Materials, LLC Welbilt Custom Homes, Inc.

THANK YOU TO OUR CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN CLUB MEMBERS! Express Party Supplies Fox’s Pizza Den Sports Bar and Grill H&R Block Premium Mi Patio Planet Fitness Mimosas LV Nails & Hair Spa Iberia Bank Mia Sorella Bayou Title Lacombe Family Pharmacy Ochsner Specialty Health Center Baskins Western & Work Wear Horstman Special Products, Inc AAA Ins. & Travel All Stitched Up Avon Hooters Pitstop Carwash Forever Young All Dolled Up Habitat Restore Creole Bagelry LaRosetta Clementi’s Gladiator Academy Mascaro Bros. Villa du Lac Apartments FatBoy Check in Check Out Live Oak Village of Slidell Gulf Coast Framing Harborside Apartments SMH Pediatric, Primary Care, & Spine Center Armed Forces Career Center/Military Recruiting Office Family Notary Restaurant Cote Allegiance Title & Land Service Boot Barn SMH ER & CARDIOLOGY UNIT Café du Bone Deja Neaux Merrill Lynch Tobacco Biz Terry Lynn’s Café Eustis Mortgage Green Oaks Apothecary


Grand Openings

Ribbon Cuttings Groundbreakings

TECHNOLOGY MyChamber App The Chamber provides tech services to our members and the community. These advances in technology keep our members informed and save time, which we all relate to money.

MyChamber App is available for smart phones to easily locate businesses by category or keyword search, access “ABC Deals” promoting our Always Buy Chamber motto, plus they can reach your business phone with one click! Our Community Calendar is also available on the MyChamberApp which helps you stay linked to events in the region. DAILY POSTS on Face Book and Twitter helps you to keep up with the region we represent. For more information, visit or call us 985-643-5678.

Want to learn more about Social Media Marketing, Smart Wireless Solutions, Computer Fundamentals, AND MORE? Attend “Tech Smarts” held throughout the year!

2013 Annual Report

MEMBERSHIP 2013 TOTAL MEMBERSHIP = 1088 including 122 new members!

AWARD WINNING! This year at the ACCE Convention in Oklahoma, we were again recognized for our outstanding achievements!!! The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce scored in the top 10 in the nation in MEMBERSHIP RETENTION.

FIVE STAR U.S. CHAMBER ACCREDIATION Following our new 2012 - 2016 Strategic Plan and leveraging the process through our everyday procedures has continued to grow our chamber.


• AFFINITY PROGRAMS increased 28% with Office Depot Program. • AMBASSADORS reached goals of 100 member visits & 25 new members. • WORKFORCE/BUSINESS TRAINING: 19 Workshop seminars held, hosting over 300 attendees. TechSmart Conference hosted over 100 registrants. • EYP: Stronger than ever with great programs and community projects. • MEMBER BENEFITS: 2013 focused on workshops/seminars and Collaborative Sponsorships to allow more businesses to be promoted.

2013 EVENTS AT A GLANCE Business After Hours = 23

Breakfasts =7

Meetings/Committees = 106

EYP Events = 32

SLU/SCORE Days = 18

Chamber 101 = 3

Grand Openings = 43

Lunches= 13

Collaborative Events = 18

Tech Smart = 1

Jazzin Up Chamber Kick Off

Workshops = 19

Business & Community Showcase Awards Banquet Annual Golf Tournament

Tailgate Fan Up

Did You Know? The Board of Directors is made up from the Member Matrix to make sure all businesses are represented on the board. Our Chamber has over a 95% retention of members every year - above average for national standards. Total area of businesses that are a member of the Chamber are over 40%! National average is less than 20%!

Thanks for supporting local business!

Committees Operating Cost

8% 37%


YOUR CHAMBER, YOUR INVESTMENT Promoting your Chamber membership, whether onsite or online improves your brand reputation. When customers know that a small business is a member of the Chamber, the business gains:

73% 68% 49% 80%

increase in

awareness increase in

reputation increase in

favorability increase in

likelihood of patronage


Your chamber is always at work for your business. 985-643-5678

Source: The Shapiro Group, The American Chamber of Commerce Executives, 2012

Member Support


How is YOUR Chamber Investment broken down?


Weekly Chamber Update Legislative Update During Session Annual Report Community Connection Directory Website MyChamber App Community Calendar For All Local Events • We have over 1,666 likes on Facebook! Our new Website is getting more hits and use than ever, including over 200,000 visits to our calendar!

PLACES YOU CAN GET CONNECTED Ambassador Program Emerging Young Professionals Grassroots Public Policy Education Committee Small Business Support Council Technology Committee Events – Fundraising Planning / Communications

Are you IN?

The Chamber hosts over


relationship building events a year. Check out www.ESTCHAMBER.COM for a complete listing of Chamber & Community events



The Economic Development Pioneer Award was established in 2010 to recognize community leaders who have inspired and promoted economic development and growth of our region. This year, the Chamber honored a business who has been an asset to the community and a member of the Chamber since 1965, Slidell Memorial Hospital. In 2013 they had more than $30 million in capital improvements. SMH increased payroll over 5%. They are very involved in the community, giving back, hosting Lunch & Learns, free screenings and health talks. They reached more than 15,000 community members. SMH has expanded the community hospital to a Cancer Center, Heart Center and grown the emergency room to meet the needs of the citizens in our region. Slidell Memorial Hospital has supported and grown economic development as a pioneer in Slidell.

Members of the Month 2013 January – Charles Klepfer, CiCi’s Pizza February – Lee Kreil, UPS Store March – Grant Gravois, State Farm Insurance April – Progressive Waste Solutions May – Mary Byrd, NOFFCU June – Maria Popa, MetLife July – Tony Walley, Tojo’s Lawn Care August – Slidell Independent September – Rotolo’s October – Nell Schmidt, Keesler Federal Credit Union November – Slidell Magazine December – SLU Small Business Development Center

In 2010, to recognize young business leaders in our community, the Chamber introduced Emerging Young Professionals (EYP). Two members, Linda K. Larkin, Marketing Director of Patriot Title, and Kristen Stanley, a local attorney, took the initiative. Since that time, the EYPs have grown and flourished!

ARE YOU... 21-40 years old?


willing to make a difference?


the desire to build important relationships? the energy to GET INVOLVED?

JOIN TODAY! Call the Chamber at 985-643-5678


FAN UP! Pep Rally

the ultimate tailgate party!


Saint’s Fan Package 2 Season Tickets in the Plaza Level (valued at $3000)

Sports Fan Dream Pick your Raffle Saints • LSU • Pelicans and many more items of sports memorabilia

Food • Drinks • Music • FUN! SAVE THE DATE! NEXT YEAR’S PEP RALLY IS AUGUST 14, 2014 WINNER! Slidell Memorial Hospital CEO Bill Davis accepts the Grand Prize Saint’s Fan Package on behalf of the SMH staff. Presented by Chamber CEO Dawn Sharpe-Brackett and board member, John Smith

© 2014 Ochsner Health System

Your husband’s chest pain extends to his arms, a cold sweat sets in, he feels nauseous... where should you

Expert ER Care Locally.

The fastest ER in Slidell.* Emergencies happen without notice, but having a plan can save a life. Call 911 and tell them to take you to Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore ER. Our specialists in Slidell have access to leading-edge technology. Ochsner patients’ medical records are available immediately through MyOchsner. And you’ll be connected to the Ochsner health network with expert physicians and treatment options you won’t find anywhere else in the region. 985.649.7070 Healthcare With Peace Of Mind. *, February 2014

Plan ahead. Go to Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore ER at Gause Blvd. East and I-10.

Athena Award 2013


Health Screenings The Fire Department Smoke House Regional & Local Businesses Restaurant Samplings The Blood Center Blood Mobile La Works Career Solutions Center St. Tammany Parish Information Center Coastal Cruisers Antique Car Show Free Giveaways • Drawings For Prizes Delicious Food • Sweet Treats • Drinks • Music

The 2013 Athena Leadership Award recipient, Slidell Councilwoman Kim Harbison. Slidell attorney S. Michele Blanchard received the Young Athena Leadership Award.







One of several premier fundraisers, this event not only helps the Chamber support and promote their investors, but it also promises the best in outdoors, golf, fun and networking, all taking place on the beautiful greens of Oak Harbor Golf Course in Slidell. Food, drinks, and gifts at each hole, raffle prizes, delicious catered food, prizes for closest to the hole, longest drive, first place and more! Everyone has a great time for this sold out event.

SAVE THE DATE! The next Golf Classic is

October 3, 2014



1808 Front Street • Slidell, LA 70458 Dawn Sharpe-Brackett Chamber CEO Joe DiGiovanni Chairman 2014 S. Michele Blanchard Chair Woman 2013

2009 & 2012 Chamber of the Year

C e l e b r a t i n g O v e r 5 0 Ye a r s o f B u s i n e s s S u p p o r t Publication designed by Slidell Magazine

$10,000 GIVEAWAY! Buy your nail to help build a better Chamber and you could win


$100 NAIL SPONSORSHIP Includes a chance to win great prizes including $10,000 in a drawing raffle at the new Chamber building Grand Opening!

All funds dedicated to refurbishing the new Chamber Building



1808 FRONT STREET 985 • 643 • 5678

Final annual report 2013  
Final annual report 2013