Thrive March 2020 Issue

Page 1

MARCH 2020


Special Sections:


Spring Festival Guide

Dig Up Some Dirt Lawn and Garden Care

first person with

Lance Frank ,

Vice-President of Communications, CBS News, New York


Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

Others who can benefit from inpatient rehabilitation are postoperative patients, accident victims and cancer patients. 24 Hour Nursing Care • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy Speech Therapy • Nutritional Counseling and Monitoring Case Management Call for a free assessment today. One Hospital Drive, Ste. 101 • Jennings, LA 70546 • Phone: (337) 821-5353 • Fax: (337) 821-5355 or 5366 • 2

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020



Women's Birthing Services at CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital!

Fun Run/Walk/Crawl GOSPEL BRUNCH Register by March 6 at


MARCH 14 Green Hat Cook Off s Only -

pots ava30 reseHruvreryyanildable! ours!

Assemble a team and show off your jambalaya cooking skills. Teams start at 8:00 a.m. and present their dishes to the judges at 12:45 p.m. Any jambalaya recipe is acceptable. Best Dishes will be awardED.

Green Hat Cook Off Location: Lake(underCharlbusetermi s Transi t Center nal covering) 1155 Ryan Street -

Run participants may also register the day of the event but must come early to do so. Day of registration fees are adults $35 and children (12 & under) $25.


Kicks off at 11:00 a.m. at the Lake Charles Transit Center.



• T-shirt and goodies • Pass for 1 drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and 1 appetizer at each of the stops: • PLAID PIG (WITH CRYING EAGLE BREWERY) • 121 ARTISAN BISTRO










All participants need to register by March 6 by visiting SPONSORS:

JD Bank • Tim & Jordan Haman • Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P. P.S. Promotions • B1 Bank • Lamar Advertising • Champeaux Evans Hotard Architects

11:45 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.





JD Bank • Cameron Communications • First Federal Bank of Louisiana Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P. • Lamar Advertising


Contents In This Issue

Regular Features

Wining & Dining

48 Who’s News 50 Happenings 70 Business Buzz 71 Solutions for Life

6 Rolls and Bowls 8 Bone Broth 10 Food Delivery Services

Mind & Body


12 Arthritis: A Disease Affecting All Ages 14 Music Education and Why it is Important 16 Resolution Reset and Why Breaking Resolutions Can be a Good Thing

Money & Career 18-37

Cover Section:

Places & Faces

ECONOMIC UPDATE SWLA Spring Festival Guide

40-43 Special Section: 44 First Person – Lance Frank, Vice-President of Communications, CBS News, New York 46 National Cheerleading Safety Month

Style & Beauty



G uide

52-57 Special Section: pring tyle 52 Wherever you Go, There’s an Outfit for That 54 Spring Make-Up Products: Splurge or Save? 56 Hair Color Trends for Spring

Home & Family

Dig Up Some Dirt

58-68 Special Section: Lawn and Garden Care 61 Trends in Landscape Design 62 Keep Pests at Yard’s Length this Year 64 Soil and Natural Fertilizers 66 Add Living Color to your Backyard 68 Preserving History through Heirloom Gardening

@thriveswla | Thrive is designed for people focused on living a happy, healthy life, one that is balanced, full of energy and contentment. Thrive readers want to make the most of every day and to be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions. 4


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020


Managing Editor

Angie Kay Dilmore

Editors and Publishers

Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher

Creative Director

Barbara VanGossen

Design and Layout

Sarah Bercier

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel Stevenson

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Submissions

E-RECYCLE DAY SATURDAY MARCH 14, 2020 8 – 11 a.m.


RECYCLE YOUR ELECTRONICS Each year thousands of computers, monitors, TVs, cellphones and other electronics are discarded. Such “e-waste” contains recyclable materials and can be hazardous if disposed with regular garbage.

Electronic Items Accepted:

Items Not Accepted:

• Computers • Monitors • Printers • Fax Machines

Smoke Detectors

• Keyboards • Photocopiers • TVs • VCRs

Fire Alarms

• Stereos • Home & Office Phones • Cellphones


• Consumer Electronics

Large Appliances (i.e. Refrigerators)

Mercury Items Accepted: • Thermostats • Thermometers • Lamps (i.e. fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium and

Medical Equipment Units with Sludge or Liquids Residential items only please.

metal halide)

For details, call the City of Lake Charles at (337) 491-1481. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH


©2020 CITGO Petroleum Corporation


Wining & Dining

Rolls Bowls and

story and photos by Angie Kay Dilmore

Sushi and sashimi have been mainstays in our nation’s culinary culture since soon after the late 1960s when it was first introduced to Americans. More recently, raw fish is catching on in new, exciting ways – namely the Hawaiian concept of poké (pronounced PO-kay and means to slice or cut) and the Japanese notion of bento, which is a prepared lunch, usually served either in a box or on a tray with separate compartments. Several new Lake Charles establishments offer innovative takes on these age-old traditions.

Poke Geaux

Poké Geaux

has been a dining staple in Lafayette since early 2018. They got the Poké ball rolling in Lake Charles at their fourth location on Nelson Road late last year. At Poké Geaux, the concept is simple, but the choices are endless. All options are available in either a bowl, wrap, or salad. You can create-your-own by choosing a base (sushi, brown or coconut rice), a protein or two, mix-ins (vegetables and fruits), a sauce, and toppings. Can’t decide? Choose from a variety of their Signature Geauxs – tempting pre-designed combos sure to perk up your taste buds. If you’re watching calories, Poké Geaux provides calorie counts on their menu and offers several “Eat Fit Geaux” options. 4740 Nelson Rd, Lake Charles,, 337-656-2917


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

C-J Sprout

offers a similar model to Poké Geaux – buildyour-own with a base, protein, toppings, sauce, and garnishes – but kicks up the menu options considerably. In addition to bowls, rolls, and salads, they also serve poké in clever cone-shaped crepes and fusion-inspired sushi burritos. Drink choices include a dizzying array of irresistible matcha lattes, smoothies, fruit teas, boba teas, and other specialty drinks, such as their Light Bulb Teas. And do save room for dessert! You won’t believe their over-the-top ice cream concoctions called Bubble Egg Waffles until you taste one for yourself!

Ice cream in a bubble egg waffle

4301 Nelson Rd, Lake Charles,, 337-564-6360

C-J Sprouts Roll, Bowl and Drinks



Looking for a quiet, unhurried place with a great atmosphere?

UMANI Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

opened late last year under new ownership in what was previously the well-established Miyako. Their extensive menu offers a long list of sushi rolls and sashimi, hibachi, rice and noodle entrees, soups, and appetizers. Lunch is an excellent bargain at UMAMI. Try their Business Lunch Bento, Rice Bowls, Lunch Makimono (sushi combo), or a variety of salads, all accompanied with stellar service. Full bar available. 915 E. Prien Lake Rd., 337-478-1600




We’re now available on Waitr & Gubers!

119 West College Street, Lake Charles | (337) 474-3651 | Monday – Thursday: 11am–10pm | Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm Closed Sunday | Happy Hour 4–7pm


Wining & Dining

The Basics of

Bone Broth

by Matt Dye

When it comes to diet, many meat-eating Americans tend to eat only the muscle of the animal, neglecting the rest. The advent of fast food lifestyles has us eating simple burgers and chicken wings, yet never benefitting from the full nourishment that our ancestors enjoyed. While those of us in Louisiana might see it a little more often in the bases of our gumbos and other recipes, the total nutrients and support are often lost or forgotten.

This trend has begun to reverse in recent years with the re-introduction of bone broth. But what exactly is bone broth? It’s just as it sounds. It is a broth made from animal bones, joints, and other parts, usually accented with a vegetable mix. This broth is different than a traditional store-bought chicken or beef stock, as these tend to focus on just the meat. You can use bone broth in any number of dishes from soups to pot pies, even enchiladas The benefits from adding bone broth to your diet are still being researched. The bones’ cartilage draws out such things as collagen and other amino acids including glycine. As our bodies age, we produce less of the protein-rich collagen, which results in skin wrinkles and loss of elasticity. While there’s no evidence that

collagen creates collagen, many broth backers, some doctors included, insist that it helps with joint pain and alleviating stomach issues, as well as improving hair and nail health. Currently, many people get little to no collagen in their daily diet. Incorporating more glycine into your diet can help with restful sleep, control blood sugar, and build up neurotransmitters. As a soluble base, bone broth is easily absorbed through the stomach lining, making the transmission of nutrients such as magnesium and potassium effortless. This base is one reason people crave broth when they’re sick. Other proteins, such as milk, eggs, rice, and soy are all insoluble, meaning the stomach must work to breakdown the proteins. Conversely, bone broth is soothing and easy on the system.

While it can be purchased online or in grocery stores, bone broth is easy to make at home. It just takes a bit of time. According to Bonafide Provisions, maker of a unique organic frozen bone broth in a variety of flavors, the long, slow simmer process allows nutrients in the bones – collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, other amino acids , and minerals – to break down and release into the water, creating a nutrient-dense broth that becomes thick and viscous when it’s cooled. FOLLOW THIS RECIPE TO CREATE BONE BROTH; THEN INCORPORATE INTO YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES. Ingredients: • 3 lbs of bones (consider grass fed and steroid free from a farmer’s market) • Big pot to boil about 2 gallons of water • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar • Assorted herbs and vegetable mix (can’t go wrong with the Cajun Trinity) • sea salt Instructions: • In a big pot, add bones, water, and apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes. The apple cider vinegar interacts with the bones and draws out important nutrients. Leave enough room at the top of your pot so that when you add the heat, it won’t boil over. • Next, add herbs, vegetables, and sea salt. Bring to a boil. • Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 10 to 24 hours. The longer the better, as this imparts the most flavor and nutrients. • When finished, let cool, and then strain into glass jars to be used in various recipes or frozen.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

TRANSFORMING THE WAY WE LOOK AT WEIGHT LOSS Introducing the Nation’s First Integrated, Interdisciplinary Treatment Program at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute Our Physicians Kenneth P. Kleinpeter, Jr., MD, FACS, FASMBS Brent W. Allain, Jr., MD, FASMBS Philip R. Schauer, MD, FACS, FASMBS Karl A. LeBlanc, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS Mark G. Hausmann, MD, FACS, FASMBS

At the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, you will have access to our world-class research, clinical expertise, and personalized approach to treating obesity. Our integrated team of experts, including obesity medicine specialists, endocrinologists, dietitians, psychologists, exercise physiologists, and surgeons offer the full range of treatments: •

Lifestyle Interventions

Surgical Procedures

• •

Drug Therapies

Combination Therapies

We look forward to meeting you and learning more about what we can do for you. Call us at (225) 255-2705 or visit us at to connect with us.



Wining & Dining

Food Delivery Options Wide Open in SWLA by Matt Dye

In years past, food delivery seemed only to apply to pizza – or Chinese food if you were lucky. But more recently, we’ve seen the paradigm shift to where you can get nearly anything delivered in no time at all.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Even so, if you ask the average SWLA resident how many food delivery services we have in town, they’d likely name two or three. Everyone knows our hometown Waitr! But over the past year or so, several others have moved into the area, giving consumers options. A total of SEVEN are now or soon to be available in the Lake Charles market. So, which is the best value, and what are the differences between the services? Let’s break them down.


remains one of the best deals in food delivery, though people may have opinions one way or the other. Unlike many of the other delivery services, Waitr doesn’t charge additional hidden fees – just the basics: food, tax, delivery, and tip. While they’ve lost a few local favorites due to business model changes, you can still get a lot of good food delivered quickly from a professional staff . . . if it’s within their delivery radius.


offers a quality service and boasts a lower delivery fee than most of the other carriers, though they do have an additional 5% service fee on all orders, which is common with delivery services. In addition, some of their menu items are a dollar or so more expensive than on other ordering services.

DoorDash has no set delivery fee, with some places even offering free delivery for first time orders or if a minimum amount is ordered. While this might seem to give DD an advantage, they take an additional 11% service fee which balances out that cheaper delivery. The one upside they do have on all these other delivery services is that they deliver past 10:00 p.m. While most restaurants close their kitchens around that time, Door Dash will still get you that fast food fix and chicken finger fulfillment as the clock ticks close to midnight.

Postmates currently delivers food locally, but promises to deliver more than just food in the future, for example, groceries, home appliances, etc. But for now, it’s hard to take them seriously when they impose an outrageous 23.5% service fee for any delivery order.

Gubers of SETX

, a successful locally-owned food delivery service based in the Southeast Texas area for the past four years with over 200 participating restaurants, has expanded into the Lake Area as Gubers of SWLA. Gubers offers exemplary serve to both their participating restaurants and their delivery service clients. Unlike most delivery services, Gubers accepts cash in addition to credit cards, they do not markup menu prices, and they charge zero fees or percentages to the restaurants, allowing them to keep all profits. The company has recently changed several pricing policies. They dropped their service fee to 13% from 15%, discontinued the credit card fee, and ended the minimum order requirement, though orders of less than $15 will incur a surcharge. Gubers provides service up to 20 miles from each restaurant; and delivery is mileage-based, starting at $1.99! Their app is available for both iPhone and Android. If you are interested in trying Gubers, they are offering a onetime $5 discount on any order with this promo code: THRIVE5. For more information, call 409-209-9009.


is the newest Lake Charles-based food delivery company. They’ve got a nice app, their website is up and running, and by early this month, they should be delivering food. They propose a $5 delivery fee. We’re not certain yet if there will be additional fees., another

local Louisiana start-up, looks to change the game in delivery services with their unique delivery model, making it a two-part venture that will theoretically save the consumers and businesses money. They use new progressive web app technology which can be used from both mobile devices and desktops. This new web app technology also takes up zero storage space on customers’ devices. In RoadRunner’s model, you order and pay for whatever you want directly with the store or restaurant, then head over to the app and key in where you would like the item delivered, and it’s done. Find them in the Google Play Store, roadrunnerapp.


Mind & Body


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Our pediatric therapy program provides help with occupational, physical and speech therapy for our littlest patients. Our licensed and certified therapists are excited about the advancements they see every day in our patients. Call us to learn more about the possibilities for your child.

Walk. Talk. Move.

1727 Imperial Blvd, Bldg 3 | 478-5880


Mind & Body

Music Education Benefits Youth

by Angie Kay Dilmore

March is National Music in our Schools Month so it’s a great time to highlight the many reasons music is beneficial to young people. Singing or playing a musical instrument helps students in numerous ways – academically, physically, psychologically, and socially. Mickey Smith, Jr., band director at Maplewood Middle School and 2020 Music Educator Grammy Award winner, says music is not an elective. “Music is an essential element to children’s development and the human experience called life.”


Language development and reasoning: Students who have early musical training develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music. Songs help imprint information on young minds. Memorization skills: Musicians constantly use their memory to perform. Memorization can serve students well in education and beyond. Pattern recognition: Children develop math and pattern-recognition skills when learning music. Playing music offers repetition in a fun format. Students learn to improve their work: Music education promotes craftsmanship, and students learn to want to create good work instead of mediocre work. This desire can be applied to all subjects of study. More interest in school: Music can keep kids interested and engaged in school. Student musicians are likely to stay in school and achieve in other subjects.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Better standardized testing scores: Students who learn music statistically have higher ACT and SAT scores. Greater music appreciation: Annee DeFelice, a freshman at Sam Houston High School, has played clarinet since fifth grade. “The band program introduces me to a wide variety of music genres that I would not normally be exposed to,” she says.

Mickey Smith Jr. gets students at Maplewood Middle excited about music.

Artistic education develops the whole brain and heightens a child’s creativity. Music can be relaxing: Students can relax and lessen stress by learning to play music.

Fine-tuned auditory skills: Students who practice music have better auditory attention and pick out predictable patterns from surrounding noise.

Improved self-confidence: Learning to play music on a new instrument can be a challenging but achievable goal. Students who master even the smallest objective in music will feel proud of their achievement. “For me, teaching music is not just about the subject matter; it’s an opportunity to show the students that they matter,” says Smith. “Music education provides a stage for children to discover their “sound” (their unique, personalsignificance). Smith founded Musicmakers2U, a non-profit organization thatcollects used instruments from the community, refurbishes them, and gives them to students who want to participate in band but cannot afford to buy their own instrument.

Physical activity: Marching band, with parades, practices for Friday night football and competition events, and the rigors of summer band camp are serious workouts! Many schools now accept marching band as PE credit.

Emotional development: Music students can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures. They also tend to have higher self-esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.


Musical instruments can teach discipline: Kids who play an instrument learn the value of discipline. They must set time aside to practice in order to master playing their instrument.


Increased coordination: Students who practice musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Like playing sports, children develop motor skills when playing music.

Music builds imagination and curiosity: Introducing music during early childhood helps foster a positive attitude toward learning and wonder.


Band practice at S.P. Arnett Middle.


The value of teamwork: Music education teaches students to work together and build camaraderie. “Participating in the band program teaches me the importance of teamwork, requiring me to work with and listen to others in order to create good music,” says DeFelice. “It’s very satisfying to put in hours of rehearsal and then see the entire band shine in an outstanding performance.” Success in society: Music can help shape abilities and character. Students in band or chorus are less likely to abuse substances over their lifetime.

Services Offered: • • • • •

Primary Care IV Hydration House Calls Memberships Aesthetics

Positive Relationships: Children who participate in music form strong bonds with other music students, often resulting in life-long friendships. In this era of nationwide budget cuts to the arts in education, it’s important to know that the Calcasieu Parish School Board values music education in our schools. “Education today often has the feel of a high pressure, highly tested, results driven process,” says Calcasieu Parish School Board Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus. “Music education in Calcasieu Parish is a catalyst to help remind everyone that education needs to go beyond just testing to create quality human beings. Music has the ability to feed the soul and nurture a quality in students that can truly last a lifetime.”

Insurances Accepted: • • • • • •

Blue Cross/Blue Shield United Healthcare Aetna Cigna Gilsbar Medicare • 337-210-1260

2002 W. Walnut St., Suite 1A, Lake Charles, LA 70601


Mind & Body

RESOLUTION RESET Why Breaking Resolutions Can Be a Good Thing

New Year’s resolutions are notorious for being broken — especially by March. But slipping up doesn’t mean you should abandon your goals completely. Making mistakes is part of the process. In fact, your missteps might even help you honor your resolutions in the long run.





It’s important to remember to be kind to yourself and not beat yourself up when things don’t go the way you planned. Research has shown that people with perfectionist tendencies are less successful at achieving their goals. If you slip-up, forgive yourself. Don’t worry about missing one day at the gym or an occasional overindulgence in sweets. Brush it off and move on with the same level of consistency. If you work harder every time you meet a bump in the road, it could lead to burnout.

Resolutions can help you step outside your comfort zone, so any movement in the direction of achieving a goal is positive. Consider all you have done to work toward a resolution that you might not have otherwise achieved. If you don’t struggle with a resolution, there’d be no need to set the intention. Research shows resolution-makers are more likely to make positive changes than people who don’t make resolutions at all. Slip-ups can be a reminder of how well you were doing until that moment and proves you’ll be able to succeed again.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

If you’ve had trouble honoring your resolution but are still eager to reach your goal, step back, reassess your desire to succeed, and reconnect with your will to change. This will remind you why you wanted to pursue your resolution initially and make your commitment even stronger.

Slip ups provide the opportunity to start over. Learn from your mistakes and move on, making changes as necessary. That’s what the journey toward your goal is all about — learning in order to become a better version of yourself.

SLEEP like a baby


AGAIN. Hospital

Expert Care Closer to Home. Schedule your appointment today. NO REFERRALS NECESSARY

CALL US AT 337.388.6200

Over time, some of us lose our natural ability to sleep well. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia and narcolepsy interfere with getting quality sleep. Our sleep specialists at the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana can diagnose and treat over 80 types of sleep disorders. If you’re having difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, call us for an appointment and sleep like a baby again. Dr. Phillip Conner

Sleep Specialists

Phillip Conner, MD Michelle Zimmerman, NP

Fernando Ruiz, MD | Avinash Murthy, MD | Karen Golla, NP

Lake Charles | Sulphur (337) 310-REST


Money & Career

ECONOMIC UPDATE If one could describe the current economic culture of Southwest Louisiana in one word, it would surely be GROWTH. Our small business community is thriving, our airports and ports are expanding, our schools of higher education are elevating their services, land is being developed and buildings constructed, and the industries are growing by the minute. Whew!

In 2019, Southern Business & Development magazine ranked Louisiana No. 2 for securing the best economic development performance in the South on a per capita basis. It was the 11th year in a row that Louisiana ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the highly competitive category within the magazine’s annual SB&D "100 Top Deals and Hot Markets" issue. Also last year, Lake Charles earned its ninth consecutive Small Market of the Year honor for best economic development performance in cities of 50,000 to 250,000 people. In this annual economic issue, we celebrate these achievements with some of the latest updates on our business community.

18 Thrive Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020


Money & Career: Economic Update


ARE NEW LED-CERTIFIED SITES West Calcasieu Port Director Lynn Hohensee announced recently that the port is now home to a certified site under Louisiana Economic Development’s Site Certification Program. The director made the announcement at a special ceremony held at Intracoastal Park.

The 32-acre certified site is adjacent to existing tenants and other port property, which consists of 203 acres along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway off La. Hwy. 27, just west of the Ellender Bridge. Hohensee hopes the Certified Site will help attract new tenants to the port, which is zoned Heavy Industrial. “Like our fellow 30-plus public maritime ports in Louisiana, the West Cal Port is a regional economic development engine designed to attract private business that, in turn, will facilitate the growth of private investment, job growth and tax base expansion,” Hohensee explained. “Our port commissioners are confident that the newly certified acreage will be an incentive that will attract new tenants and their workforce.” “West Cal Port is located in an area that could potentially be useful to major construction projects as they develop up and down the Calcasieu Ship Channel,”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

said Gus Fontenot, Project Coordinator for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “The port having a certified site lets them offer an advantage to companies that want to locate and start their operations quickly. Hopefully this results in new jobs for the community and more revenue for the port,” added Fontenot. DeQuincy Mayor Riley Smith announced that DeQuincy Industrial Park is also now officially a certified site. The mayor made the announcement at a ceremony at City Hall earlier this year. The city-owned 50-acre Industrial Park, located next to the airport, earned

designation as an official Certified Site under LED’s Site Certification Program. The City hopes this designation will help attract new tenants to the Industrial Park, which is zoned for light industrial or commercial use. “Our goal is to entice new tenants to this site which will spur economic growth and more local jobs,” said Mayor Smith. “We want to kickstart more activity in that area which should, in turn, serve our community well into the future.” The Industrial Park in DeQuincy is the 12th certified site in Southwest Louisiana and the ninth in Calcasieu Parish.

“The DeQuincy area is ripe for this type of site development,” said Gus Fontenot, Project Coordinator for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “A ‘shovel-ready’ certified site is an asset that can hopefully lure the kind of activity that will bring new jobs and opportunities to the DeQuincy area,” added Fontenot LED administers the Site Certification Program that promotes “shovel ready” sites for businesses to build or locate on. Since 2012, the state’s Site Certification Program has incentivized landowners to get property certified by offering to pay up to 75 percent of the costs associated with the due diligence process. That process includes environmental inspection, elevation surveys, archaeological investigations, a wetlands delineation, and much more in-depth documentation, analysis, and background work. The remaining 25 percent of the costs are covered by the landowner or others. For more information about Southwest Louisiana’s Site Certification Program, contact Gus Fontenot at The Alliance (337) 433-3632 or email

Leading the Nation’s Energy Independence (337) 775-5206

Clair Hebert Marceaux, Director

WE ARE PHILLIPS 66. Phillips 66 is proud to partner with the communities we operate in. We have developed long-lasting relationships with many worthy causes in this community, focused on literacy & education, safety & preparedness, and environment & sustainability.

□ $650,000+ in contributions to the United Way of Southwest Louisiana □ Partner in Education with 4 Calcasieu Parish Schools □ More than 4,500 volunteer hours in our community


Money & Career: Economic Update

SOWELA & McNeese


SOWELA Business Students Can Seamlessly Enter McNeese’s Bachelor’s Degree Program in Business Administration as a Junior McNeese State University and SOWELA Technical Community College have made the transition easier for SOWELA students completing two-year associate degrees in business administration to pursue four-year bachelor’s degrees in business at McNeese. Through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), SOWELA transfer students who meet the minimum admission requirements to enter McNeese and who have completed the Associate of Applied Science degree in business administration may be awarded up to 57 credit hours at McNeese to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, finance, general business administration, management or marketing, all housed under the College of Business. McNeese’s College of Business is among just 5% of business schools in the world to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The College also features a dedicated internship director who assists employers and students with identifying opportunities for business majors and regularly hosts information and interview sessions to connect McNeese students with representatives from local, national and international business organizations. “Creating a clear pathway for SOWELA students to earn a four-year degree at McNeese provides them with the opportunity to reach their goals and directly connects with our university mission of changing lives,” McNeese President Dr. Daryl V. Burckel said during the signing ceremony held on the SOWELA campus.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

“Our faculty and staff are invested in our students and we want them to achieve their dreams and aspirations,” Burckel said. “When students graduate from McNeese, we want them to make a life, make a living and make a difference in their communities.” McNeese also offers SOWELA students who earn an associate degree in nursing a seamless process to transfer into the College of Nursing and Health Professions to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. “Our vision for McNeese is to be the First Choice in every effort, every endeavor, every experience and First Choice for every SOWELA graduate who aspires to earn a four-year degree,” said Dr. Burckel.

“McNeese and SOWELA have distinct missions, and it is imperative for us to collaborate and work together for the benefit of Southwest Louisiana. We plan to create as many of these transfer agreements as possible because it will benefit the students. Increasing the educational attainment rate will grow our economy and provide our graduates with unlimited opportunities.”

From left to right: SOWELA Technical Community College Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall and McNeese State University President Dr. Daryl V. Burckel sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) allowing SOWELA associate degree students in business administration to more easily transition to four-year degree programs in the College of Business at McNeese.

“This MoU is another great example of how partnering with four-year institutions allows our students to seamlessly move from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree without losing credit hours. We greatly appreciate McNeese’s willingness to further strengthen our partnership which will benefit our students and help grow the workforce and economy of Southwest Louisiana,” said SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall.

Stronger Together.

PRINCIPALS (from left to right in photo) John Mitchell, CFP® | Owen Thompson, CEPA® | Denise Rau, CFP® | Stephen Liles, CFP® We’re proud to announce a new partnership between two of the region’s leading financial planning firms:

This unique, strategic collaboration will continue each firm’s commitment to an unparalleled client experience, while adding shared resources and expertise to position the partnership for future growth and stability. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Goss Advisors, a registered investment advisor. Goss Advisors, Rau Financial Group and Oak Grove Wealth Partners are separate entities from LPL Financial.

OAK GROVE WEALTH PARTNERS 1634 Ryan St. | Lake Charles | (337) 480-3835

RAU FINANCIAL GROUP 4965 Elliott Rd. | Lake Charles | (337) 562-0900


Money & Career: Economic Update


AS AN EDUCATIONAL LEADER FOR STUDENTS, LOCAL BUSINESSES, & INDUSTRY SOWELA Technical Community College is expanding in numerous ways: student enrollment, building construction, and business collaboration, to name a few recent developments.


SOWELA has experienced massive growth in the number of its registered students, bucking a national trend of decreasing college enrollment. In the current semester, enrollment has increased by 19% from the same time last year. Their current enrollment is 3,553 students. “Many would think with the massive industrial growth in Southwest Louisiana that our enrollment would coincide with the workforce needs directly related to these industrial expansions.” said SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall. “However, the growth we are experiencing is not limited to our technical/industrial program areas; we are seeing growth in program areas such as Aviation, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Chemical Lab Technology, Graphic Art, and Nursing. I can directly attribute this growth to the great student focus we practice and the extraordinary dedication of our faculty and staff.”


Last summer, SOWELA officials announced a $1 million donation from TC Energy that will be used to construct Louisiana’s first-ever training pipeline and only the third of its kind in the country. The donation will also be used to create the new state-of-the-art TC Energy Pipeline Academy on SOWELA’s Lake Charles Campus. The TC Energy Pipeline Academy at SOWELA will serve as a regional learning center for students pursuing a career in the oil and gas field – one of Louisiana’s largest workforce industries. According to recent studies, the oil and gas industry employs nearly 45,000 Louisianans, primarily in South Louisiana.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

The new academy is being created to help fill a growing number of energy industry jobs and provide specific pipeline training in South Louisiana and surrounding areas. TC Energy also awarded $10,000 in scholarships to four SOWELA students. “The creation of the TC Energy Pipeline Training Academy is a great and unique opportunity for SOWELA to partner with one of the world’s largest energy companies to provide training in a specific field that touches all aspects of the Louisiana economy,” said Aspinwall. “TC Energy’s investment is yet another example of how industry and education can partner to provide a trained and skilled workforce for Louisiana and the nation.” SOWELA also recently announced a $500,000 donation from Houston-based Cheniere Energy and the launch of a partnership in the form of an apprenticeship program.


Last fall, SOWELA broke ground on its new $10.2 million state-ofthe-art Culinary, Gaming and Hospitality Building at its Lake Charles Campus. The 28,000-square-feet building will provide education and training for students seeking jobs and careers in Louisiana’s booming hospitality industry. According to Louisiana Workforce Commission data, Louisiana is expected to see a 14.9% increase in hospitality employment opportunities by 2026. The goal of the new building on SOWELA’s campus is to help fill Louisiana Workforce Commission-rated four-star hospitality occupations in Louisiana’s economy. Currently, SOWELA has 80 students enrolled in culinary, gaming and hospitality programs. Funding for the new building was approved by Governor John Bel Edwards in 2018 with the goal of educating and training students from across Louisiana. Construction of the building is scheduled to be completed in March 2021. “SOWELA’s new Culinary, Gaming and Hospitality Building will help Louisiana take huge steps in filling much-needed tourism and hospitality jobs across the entire state,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Building Foundations for the Future!



The school has established a collaborative agreement with the SWLA Center for Health Services to expand student services at the College. A health clinic will be available at the Main Campus for students, faculty and staff beginning Fall 2020.



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For more information, go to





Available at SOWELA in Lake Charles and Jennings for kids entering 1st – 12th grade.

Explore A Culinary Career • Learn Kitchen Safety Gain Cooking Skills

Sign up at SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Compliance Officer, 3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave., Lake Charles, LA 70615, 337-421-6565 or 800-256-0483,


Money & Career: Economic Update

In SWLA’s Economic Boom,

THE PORT OF LAKE CHARLES DOES THE HEAVY LIFTING . . . & THE SHIPPING & HANDLING Think of the Port of Lake Charles as the master link of Southwest Louisiana’s economic growth—an essential component forging partnerships that serve land and sea. “The Port works as part of a logistical chain in the global economy,” said Port Executive Director William J. “Bill” Rase. “We don’t make, create, or produce cargo—we work as a shipping service, moving it in and out efficiently.” The Port of Lake Charles moves the world’s goods, facilitating the cargo’s journey from origin to destination—and because so much of the work has directly served local business and industry, the Port has been the anchor of Southwest Louisiana’s industrial and economic diversification for nearly a century.

MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT Rase stressed that cargo offloaded at the Port gets moved along quickly—going out by ship, rail or truck, for example—even if it might have a short stop in storage first. “We have some cargo in storage at any given time,” Rase said. “But it’s cargo that’s between destinations. We take it, handle it and move it. That’s why I call it being part of that ‘logistical chain’ in our economy.” Indeed, cargo moves in and out on a global scale. At the same time, the Port’s various leased properties serve the needs of the area’s petrochemical complex and entertain the public with firsttier gaming and entertainment. The “Port” is actually a component of the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District. While the District covers more than 200 square miles in Southwest Louisiana, the Port’s activities operate on some 5,400 acres. The main lane for commerce is the carefully dredged Calcasieu Ship Channel. Together, the Port and Ship Channel form America’s Energy Corridor. It’s an “H2O highway” for cargo ranging from petrochemical products to liquefied natural gas, high-tech wind turbine blades, and rice.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

A BUSY 2020 AHEAD “We continue to work to provide the best services available to meet our industrial community’s—and the world’s—shipping needs,” Rase said. Those needs are expected to grow, and several factors suggest that the Port faces increased activity for a busy 2020 and beyond: • The Port, Calcasieu Ship Channel and Gulf of Mexico have a global role in the transport of liquefied natural gas, and some of the area’s announced LNG projects could get the green light this year. • The Port of Lake Charles and its partners secured $136 million in federal funding for dredging and maintaining the Calcasieu Ship Channel, clearing the way for the increased commerce and growth expected in the coming years. • The Global Groundwork Index, compiled by the national consulting firm CG/LA Infrastructure, ranks several Port-related economic and transportation initiatives among the current Top 100 Strategic Projects in North America. They include the dredging of the Calcasieu Ship Channel (No. 15); the estimated $15.2 billion Driftwood LNG project planned by Tellurian Inc. (No. 17); Louisiana’s ongoing $50 billion Coastal Master Plan led by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (No. 19); and the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge project in Lake Charles (No. 94).


• Rase, who has been with the Port since 2002 and its executive director since 2010, will retire May 31.

• His No. 2 man, Deputy Executive Director Richert “Ricky”

Self, who has served at the Port since 2003, will take over as Executive Director on June 1. • Also, Jonathan “Jon” Ringo has been named the Port’s General Counsel. He succeeds longtime Port attorney Michael K. Dees. Visit the Port’s reorganized and redesigned website,, for quick access to a wealth of information related to the Port, the Calcasieu Ship Channel and other elements related to America’s Energy Corridor.

THE PORT, BY THE NUMBERS: • Exports from Lake Charles jumped from

$6.6 BILLION in 2017 to nearly $8.4 BILLION in 2018, a record. That’s a 27 % INCREASE—the highest among

Louisiana’s Gulf Coast ports—according to the U.S. Commerce Department statistics.

• More than 15,000 JOBS—nearly 15 %

We’re Growing Places

OF ALL JOBS IN LAKE CHARLES— rely on the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District. That impact on the local economy extends throughout the area, all the way to the Gulf. projects along the Calcasieu Ship Channel will, once completed by 2023, facilitate an estimated 10,729 NEW JOBS.

• America’s Energy Corridor will only get


$200 $190 $180 $170 $160 $140 $120 $100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0 $220 $210


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Assets Deposits Gross Loans


busier, analysts note. The Lake Charles metro area is projected to add 5,300 JOBS this year, part of a two-year hiring cycle that represents the fastest growth rate in Louisiana—much of it driven by LNG projects.

Our annual numbers once again reflect our continued growth and financial stability. Lakeside’s performance since our 2010 opening demonstrates the soundness of our management practices and our commitment to providing the highest quality local banking services for our community. We’re proud to be part of the unprecedented growth in our region and as we approach our 10th anniversary, we are excited to be positioned for even stronger growth in the future.

Assets Deposits


Gross Loans





• Economic development expansion

$100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0 2011





The way banking should be. MYLKSB.BANK LAKE CHARLES | SULPHUR | WESTLAKE | DERIDDER (Loan Production Office)


Money & Career: Economic Update


Countless articles have been written highlighting the benefits small businesses add to local economies. Entrepreneurs create jobs and in many cases, their ideas lead to the introduction of new products, services and innovations that fuel economic growth. Understanding the value entrepreneurs bring to a community, one can appreciate why local, state and federal efforts to support small businesses are necessary and constantly evolving. The City of Lake Charles, under the leadership of Mayor Nicholas E. Hunter, recognizes the value of entrepreneurism. As a result, the City of Lake Charles is partnering with the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance during the month of March to embark upon a month-long celebration of entrepreneurship. The official name of the celebration is SWLA Lake Charles Launch.


Encourage and promote the entrepreneurial spirit throughout the community

Provide educational resources to current and aspiring entrepreneurs that will enable them to strengthen the capacity of existing and future businesses

Strengthen the network between local businesses and the community

“The City of Lake Charles is the perfect place to start a business. We have assets in this City that other cities simply do not possess. Also, as a City, we have become more aggressive in our efforts to attract business development. The Lake Charles City Council’s approval of economic incentives and economic development districts are just two examples of the many ways we as a City are attempting to invest in entrepreneurship and growth” states Mayor Hunter.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

The City of Lake Charles and the Alliance are not alone in this effort. In fact, several other local organizations have agreed to host events under the umbrella of the SWLA Lake Charles Launch initiative. To date, participating agencies include:

• • • • •

McNeese State University Louisiana Small Business Development Center SCORE LaFleur Leadership Institute What Works

Those interested in launching a new business or those desiring to learn business tips that can be applied to the management of an existing business are encouraged to take a look at the schedule of events. Most workshops offered as part of the SWLA Lake Charles Launch are free, but some will have a minimal cost. Mayor Hunter added, “The idea is to get people in the community excited about business ownership, but we are also interested in ensuring that people are prepared and educated on how to increase their chances of being successful in business, and that’s why the SWLA Lake Charles Launch is important.” Adrian Wallace, Executive Director of the SEED Center Business Incubator, states “I’m really elated to see how this initiative will impact the culture surrounding entrepreneurship within the community. I hope people will take advantage of the many opportunities available during the month and utilize the information to formulate business ideas that can be presented in the upcoming business incubator pitch competition.” A wise man once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it . . . ” Leaders from our local government and local business sector are attempting to create a future in Southwest Louisiana that is ripe for entrepreneurs and small business development, and the SWLA Lake Charles Launch is one of the initiatives they are employing to accomplish this goal. For a schedule of events, go to

We’ve delivered 800+

new jobs*

*and they’re your friends & neighbors

$4 billion to

local businesses* *that’s billions with a “b”

$5 million to

education & community programs*

*worth every smile


Money & Career: Economic Update


WAVE OF NEW LEASES Whether it’s the low hum of a private plane, or the loud zip of a fighter jet practicing aerial maneuvers, the sounds of aircraft coming in and out of Chennault International Airport are familiar to many Southwest Louisiana residents. Aircraft of all shapes and sizes fly into Chennault for rest, fuel, repairs and modifications. Originally constructed as a WWII-era air base, Chennault is now a multi-use facility where some 1,500 people go to work each day. It’s home to an active airfield—complete with a certified air traffic control tower and massive two-mile runway—as well as a private business community, known as Chennault Park, where companies like Northrop Grumman run their daily operations.

Capital One tOwer • Class “A” office space • 6-story parking garage for tenants plus ample visitor parking • Affordable lease rates • Direct access to I-10 • Prominent location • On-site security • Level 5 Salon, Lakeshore Café, Black Tie Drycleaning pickup and delivery • Beautifully Landscaped • Flexible office design • On-site professional management • Overnight delivery drop stations • Nightly cleaning services Typical floor plan

L e a s i n g i n f o r m at i o n : M a r k p O l i t z , C p M ® 3 3 7 - 4 3 7 - 1 1 4 2 | M a r k @ h e r t z g r O u p. C O M One lakeshOre Drive | lake Charles, la 70629 30

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020


Back in 2018, Chennault and the City of Lake Charles completed an agreement for the airport to acquire Mallard Cove Golf Course for new development, opening up exciting new possibilities for the airport. Also that year, Citadel Completions announced a $17.6 million capital investment into a new interior jet modifications center at the airport. Armed with new land and a promising new tenant, Chennault started actively looking for ways to grow. The airport authority engaged consulting firm CSRS, along with commercial real estate companies NAI Latter & Blum and Cushman & Wakefield, to market the Chennault business community under the new name “Chennault Park” to prospective tenants worldwide.


• Site 1 Leased to National Guard: The US Army National Guard has leased 63 acres at Site 1.

• Site 2 Leased to Wildlife & Fisheries: Louisiana Wildlife and

Fisheries is expected to break ground on a new administrative building in 2020 at Site 2.

• New Air Cargo Facility: A ground-breaking is set for 2020 on a $4 million, 10,000 square feet air cargo facility. The demand for air cargo has dramatically increased as companies like Amazon drive business online. Chennault—with its two-mile runway, uncongested airspace and ample room for development—is uniquely equipped to handle air cargo.

• Citadel Executes Lease Agreement: Citadel Completions

recently committed to a property lease for 35 acres to support their expanding operations. Conceptual renderings are currently in the works, with more details anticipated this spring.

“The company is proud to continue its relationship with Chennault and contribute to the economic development of Lake Charles and the local community,” said Joe Bonita, managing director at Citadel. Citadel Completions provides interior refurbishment along with maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for luxury-outfitted VIP/VVIP aircraft. The company’s current hangar space, more than 260,000 square feet, allows them to accommodate multiple projects simultaneously. To date, Citadel has redelivered 10 aircraft including B737, B767, and B747 airframes. Chennault is also actively looking for investors to build additional hangars for smaller general aviation airplanes, as well as grow retail and other services adjacent to the airport. “These opportunities will fuel the fire for continued economic growth and intertwine with our efforts to invigorate this north Lake Charles community,” said Kevin Melton, the airport’s executive director.

With the continued support of the City, Parish and State, anticipated growth at Chennault is expected to generate up to $780 million in sales tax revenue for the parish and up to $1.1 billion in sales tax revenue for the state over the coming decades. Chennault Park’s current tenants include Northrop Grumman, Million Air, Landlocked Aviation Services, Masonite/ Louisiana Millwork, Habitat for Humanity, and Citadel Completions—with ample CHENNAULT PARK LOGO USAGE GUIDELINES room forclear,new To keep the message only onedevelopment. tagline should be used at a time.

Tenants benefit from nearby access to a deep-water port, rail and Interstate highways.



Primary logo and tagline to be used in all materials. This tagline positions the project as a blank slate opportunity with a location that maximizes operation efficiency.

Where business can take off Chennault Park is the world-class business community at Chennault International Airport. It’s where major names in aerospace and other industries—such as Northrop Grumman, Citadel Completions, Bechtel CHENNAULT PARK – LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA and Masonite’s Louisiana Millwork—do business. We offer space and opportunity for businesses to locate here and create even more jobs. Secondary logo and tagline to be used when approaching out of state prospects. CHENNAULT PARK – AT CHENNAULT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Prime Location • Air, Rail, Highway & Water Access • Development-Ready Sites • Business Incentives Secondary logo and tagline to be used when approaching aviation prospects.

For inquiries about Chennault Park, contact Joel Davidson, CCIM, NAI/Latter & Blum, 337-529-6710,


Money & Career: Economic Update


Taking part in PICK IT UP Campaign There’s a growing expectation for a cleaner, more sustainable standard of living in Calcasieu Parish for the sake of ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. Trash is a problem, but a preventable one—and it’s clear that we need to pick it up.

Area businesses and industries understand that, and they’re increasingly stepping up to help. A worthwhile three-word goal for all of us can found in the name of the parish’s anti-litter effort: “Pick It Up.” That movement is now in its first full calendar year and is already showing results. The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Pick It Up campaign addresses all forms of litter in all corners of the parish — and enlists people of all ages to take part.


• Louisiana spends about $40 MILLION in taxpayer dollars each year on litter removal, abatement, education and enforcement.

• 36% of business development officials

say litter affects their site choice process.

• 32% of litter at storm drains and drainage areas is tobacco products, which worsens flooding problems.

• Litter in a community decreases property values by nearly 10%.

Businesses can play a crucial role in the effort to clean up the parish. Employers can play a vital role in changing the culture around litter, starting from the standards they set for their employees.


• Adopt-A-Spot. Pick up trash in an area

Butch Ferdinandsen

CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPS, CRPC Investment Advisor Representative Securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (WFS), member FINRA/SIPC. WFS is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of WFS.

2356 E McNeese St #100, Lake Charles, LA 70607 • 337-491-9236 32

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

that needs it. The parish will supply free bags, gloves, pickers and vests. Sign up at

• Give authorities a heads-up. The parish has full-time anti-litter enforcement, and municipalities like Lake Charles have stepped up their fines. See litter? Call 337-493-LITR (5487) or complete the Report A Litterer form at

For more information, visit


SIGN OF THE TIMES: Stickers like these are showing up on windows of businesses that support Calcasieu Parish’s “Pick It Up” campaign. Business and industries are boosting awareness and signing up for team litter cleanups.

Working for SWLA For 75 years, PPG - Lake Charles has upheld a tradition of excellence in Southwest Louisiana, producing quality products with a team of employees who are committed to making a difference in our community. As a silica producer, we improve the performance and safety of tires, extend the life of rubber belts and hoses and give tennis shoes more flexibility. Just as our products make your life easier, we enhance the quality of life in our communities by investing in educational programs, supporting the arts and sciences, celebrating diversity, and giving people opportunities to succeed. With over 200 employees in Southwest Louisiana, we’re proud to be part of PPG, a world-wide industrial leader since 1883. To learn more about our vision and employment opportunities in SWLA, visit



Money & Career: Economic Update


Everyone feels at home in Southwest Louisiana Three years ago, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance/Chamber SWLA started an initiative to address equality in economic development and cultural competence. Since then the agency oversaw the creation of the Business Development and Inclusion Task Force, acknowledged businesses that display diversity programing on a day-to-day basis, provided training and participated in other area outreach. This year, the Task Force is in the process of growing its numbers and starting committee work with an emphasis on educating and influencing Chamber members and the organization’s partners to foster diverse and inclusive practices to improve the five-parish region’s competitive edge. With over 1,300 members which represent tens of thousands of employees, the Chamber “family” is where the Task Force will focus its efforts with the belief that policy initiatives, programing and advocacy will impact the whole region in a positive manner.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020


• Business Development/Procurement Committee:

enables the creation of pathways for disadvantaged and minority (definition includes racial minorities, women, veterans, disabled citizens and other impacted communities) members to participate in governmental and private enterprise contracts, advocate for policies and legislation to ensure equal opportunity, utilize best practices, spearhead creation of a business database, and sponsor trainings and networking events.

• Sustainable Inclusion Committee: focus on Chamber

members “soft skills” through training, networking events, panel discussions and messaging. The goal of the committee is to nurture an open, inviting and inclusive business environment that benefits the Chamber SWLA members and rest of the community. The committee will research best practices that promote inclusion and cultural competency.

Earlier this year, the Task Force selected Chamber members Global Management and Billy Navarre Auto Group for its annual awards that were presented at the Chamber SWLA’s annual banquet. While working within the Chamber SWLA world, the Task Force strives to collaborate with civic groups, non-profit agencies, academics, industry and governmental leaders on events and programing to help make our region become even more diverse.



for SWLA

• Alert Notifications • Appointment Scheduling Services • Conference Calling • Dispatch Services • Email Monitoring • Event Registrations • Medical Answering • Real Estate Connections • 1st Level Tech Support • Voice Mail • Virtual Receptionist • Voice Broadcast


Cultural competence involves understanding and appropriately responding to the unique combination of cultural variables and the full range of dimension of diversity that individuals bring to interaction.





Wind power blows through America’s Energy Corridor. The Calcasieu Ship Channel has been called “America’s Energy Corridor” for the great quantity of energy products that flows up and down the waterway, primarily petroleum and LNG. Now another form of energy travels the corridor— huge









wind turbine blades arrive at the Port of Lake Charles for delivery throughout the U.S. for power generation. It’s another example of how the Port of Lake Charles has the capacity and resources to supply power to America’s energy needs and to Southwest Louisiana’s economy.

A cargo ship arrives at the Port of Lake Charles carrying a load of 144-foot-long wind turbine blades.


Money & Career: Economic Update


New I-10 Bridge


• President Trump made a commitment to build this

bridge if elected and to making sure preparations for the project moved forward now.

• Governor John Bel Edwards committed $85 million in

state funding as the state match to the promised federal funding.

While the completion of a new I-10 Bridge project is still projected to be years away, the Chamber SWLA I-10 Bridge Task Force and both state and federal delegations have been successful in moving the project forward.

• Designation of a project manager for the I-10 Calcasieu

“More progress has been made in the past year since we released our recommendations, than in the past 30 years, which is when the first discussions regarding the need for a new bridge began,” said Keith DuRousseau, I-10 Bridge Task Force Chair. Elected officials agree the Task Force has been successful in keeping attention focused on the long overdue replacement bridge at both the state and federal levels. “Progress has been made, but a firm plan for funding and moving forward is still not in place,” says George Swift, President/CEO of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance. “We are closer than we’ve ever been before, without a doubt. Continued support from area elected officials, business leaders and the SWLA community remains critical.”

• Louisiana Legislature passed a bill dedicating any

In May of last year, during a visit to the area, President Donald Trump made a commitment to build a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge if re-elected.

River Bridge project.

• LA DOTD changed the location of ingress and egress in Westlake to the one proposed by the Task Force. industrial spill damage funds to a newly created Calcasieu Parish Bridge Fund.

• LA DOTD has selected a list of potential contractors. • Concurrent resolution passed by Louisiana Legislature

directing LA DOTD to work with the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Task Force to continue to move the bridge project forward.

• Funds committed by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury,

Lake Charles City Council and the Calcasieu Parish Industrial Development Board to support the campaign to build a new bridge.

• President Trump, on another visit to Lake Charles,

reiterates his commitment and that of the federal government to building a new bridge over the Calcasieu.

This bridge is the most critical infrastructure project in the United States, located in the center of the nation’s largest industrial construction zone, where America’s emerging energy independence and worldwide dominance is taking place. Southwest Louisiana leads the state – and the nation – in economic development, with over $108 billion in industrial projects. “These projects provide thousands of new jobs and deliver millions to our economy,” stressed DuRousseau. “A new bridge is a vital link in the infrastructure needed to sustain continued growth. We will not stop until it is reality.” 36

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

The public can express their support for a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge under the “get involved” section of www. A simple form will send a message out to elected officials at the state and federal level.


• When the current I-10 Calcasieu River bridge opened for traffic

in 1952, it was designed for a traffic load of 37,000 per day and a 50-year life span.

• Today, the average daily crossings are over 90,000. • Safety and structural concerns regarding the bridge are well-

documented. The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) has rated the bridge a 6.6 out of 100.

• For over 30 years, this project has been delayed and left for future generations to solve.

• Chamber SWLA formed the I-10 Calcasieu Bridge Task Force

to pursue any and all funding options to make a new bridge a reality sooner, rather than later.

• In January 2019, after exhaustive research seeking funding

options and finding there were none available, the group released recommendations that provided the state with a well-researched, detailed action plan that would result in a new bridge within five years without incurring any debt or requiring any tax revenue.







Ribbon Cutting | 11:30 Free Income Tax Clinic | 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Free Financial Counseling | All Day




Southwest Cash Machine | All Day

Blood Drive | 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Donate here today! Qualify to jump in the Southwest Cash Machine when you attend Lunch & Learn and/or the Blood Drive.

Featuring: Workforce Development • SWLA Center for Health Services • Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Asset Builders Program • Calcasieu Parish Public Library • Project Build a Future

Food Trucks in Our Parking Lot | 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Lunch & Learn | Noon–1 p.m.

Register to have lunch with us and learn about Credit Unions. It’s free. Call 337-477-9190 to reserve your spot.

Southwest Cash Machine | All Day

Community Resource Fair | 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Qualify to jump in the Southwest Cash Machine when you become a member or apply for a loan.

2255 E. McNeese St.





asChemical the largest We’re Dedicated to Serving SWLA Westlake United Way’s annual luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 6 as the largest campaign of 2019.

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$366 Over


in sales tax in the past 5 years


Source: Calcasieu Parish School Board

1 out of3

volunteer hours Source: Survey of Plant Managers

teacher’s salaries & benefits largely paid by taxes from local industry Source: The Calcasieu Parish School Board

Industry is Powering SWLA Local industries have a positive impact in Southwest Louisiana. The petrochemical industry brings good jobs, great benefits and security to thousands of residents in our region. Their tax dollars benefit our community through infrastructure, funding for our law enforcement agencies and schools as well as improvements to roads and parks to make our region better. They are among our most generous corporate citizens, volunteering thousands of hours for area organizations as well as giving millions in donations. Area industries are producing opportunity right here at home.


Places & Faces

SWLA l a v i t s e F g n i r p S uide G

Live @ the Lakefront

Iowa Rabbit Festival

Lake Charles Civic Center Amphitheatre Admission free

Burton Coliseum Thurs. 5:00 – 10:00 p.m., free admission Fri. 5:00 p.m. – midnight Sat. 10:00 a.m. – midnight Admission $10 (ages 12 and up)

March 13, 20, and 27, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

March 19 – 21

The 2020 Live @ the Lakefront season features fan favorites like The Flamethrowers, the art market, and food truck gallery. However, this year brings in some new elements such as a side stage band shell that will showcase newcomers like the Washington Marion Marching Band, the Michael Davis Band, and more. The 2020 lineup includes 12 acts total, the most bands to date!

Show some love to all things rabbit and enjoy non-stop music, including Gyth Rigdon on Saturday, 10:00 p.m. On Thursday, carnival and vendors open, but Burton closed.

Black Heritage Festival


In Southwest Louisiana, we’re proud of our culture and heritage, and we celebrate our favorite things best through our many festivals. The region is home to over 70 festivals each year. Here’s a lineup of what Spring 2020 has to offer.

Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival March 28, gates open at 11:00 a.m.

March 14, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. Lake Charles Civic Center Admission $5

Lake Charles Civic Center Tickets $10 in advance, kids 10 and under free when accompanied by an adult with a ticket.

Celebrate African American culture with good food, entertainment, a Kid Zone and vendor market.

Music, dancing, and plenty of mug bugs available for purchase. Go pass a good time!

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

SWLA Garden Conference & Expo March 27 – 28

Burton Coliseum Fee for admission Southwest Louisiana’s premier garden show and plant sale. It’s an educational experience in horticulture for gardeners and plant enthusiasts.


Places & Faces: SWLA

Spring Festival Guide

Flea Fest

April 24, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Ryan St., Downtown Lake Charles. Free admission

A unique market featuring nearly four covered acres of anything and everything in a fun country fair-like atmosphere. Approx. 300 vendors sell antiques, retro & vintage items, handcrafted items, toys, collectibles, unique clothing, artwork, comic books, furniture, gifts, unique jewelry, plants, a farmers market and more. Pony rides, a petting zoo, and food vendors available.

Pop-up galleries, Art Market, Art Wars competition, live music, food trucks . . . come celebrate our vibrant arts community!

Louisiana Railroad Days Festival

Experience carnival rides, a car/bike show, barbecue cookoff, parade, entertainment, and pirates. Watch the Mayor of Lake Charles walk the plank!

Dequincy Railroad Museum Park Admission Free

Louisiana Beer Festival

Burton Complex Event Barn Admission $5, kids 12 and under free

April. 9-11

Commemorate Dequincy’s railroading history with a 5K Cannonball Run, K9 Caboose Pageant, Railroad Days Pageant, a parade and bicycle parade, gospel music, carnival rides, food booths, and crafts.


Spring Art Walk

April 4-5, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Louisiana Pirate Festival Apr. 30-May 10

Lake Charles Lakefront/Civic Center Admission free

May 9, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. 1911 Historic City Hall and Courthouse Grounds 1001 Ryan St., Lake Charles Tickets $50 regular admission, $100 VIP

Event will feature over 100 different craft beers from a variety of American brewers, including Louisiana favorites and local brews from Crying Eagle Brewing Company. Several brewers will have beers special to the festival. The event will also feature live music and a variety of local food vendors.

IMAGEmatters. Make yours a Healthy one. advertising public relations graphic design media relations social media copywriting photography strategic planning video production website development event planning corporate communication

4845 Ihles Road, Lake Charles (337) 312-0972 |


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Places & Faces

Lance Frank was born and raised in Lake Charles. His love of broadcast journalism began when he was a student at F.K. White Middle School, where he helped produce and anchor the morning announcements. During the summer between middle and high school, Lance “interned” at KPLC. He’d go out with photographers and reporters in the field, soaking up every aspect of television news. In high school, he became a teen reporter at KPLC and an intern at the American Press. Lance met his wife, Janesia Fontenot, in sixth grade, and they both graduated from LaGrange High. He attended the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication. During that time, he worked in Student Media and eventually became the station manager for Tiger TV, a member of the student media board, and the student member for the committee that hired the dean, Jerry Ceppos, in 2011.

first person with

Lance Frank, Vice-President of

Communications, CBS News, New York by Angie Kay Dilmore

44 Thrive Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

How did your experiences at the Manship School prepare you for your career?

Lance and wife, Janesia

Throughout college, Lance also worked at the CBS affiliate in Baton Rouge as an associate producer and eventually made it on air. “I worked weekends and missed a lot of LSU football games, but the sacrifice was worth it. The experience at Channel 9 and working in news since the age of 13 got me to New York at CBS News.” Now 30 years old and new to fatherhood, Lance recently shared his story with Thrive magazine, where he highlighted his ongoing career journey, and the importance of maintaining strong relationships. What were you like as a kid?

I grew up in a tight-knit family with my parents, Larry and Vanessa, and younger sister, Alyssa. We went to church every Sunday and had lunch at my grandparents’ house. We took family vacations every summer. At school, I was involved with just about every organization from Boy Scouts to Student Council, band to drama club. While I participated in so many activities, I was obsessed with the news. I’d get to school early and leave late because I wanted to learn everything I could about the cameras and how to produce television.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a Minor in Political Science. I’m very fond of the Manship School and still very involved there today. It was one of the most formative experiences of my life. While Manship gave me a well-rounded education to prepare me for my career, it also taught me that relationships are everything. There, I met many of the contacts that helped launch my career; many are still close friends and mentors. One of the most rewarding opportunities for me since graduation has been starting a fund to help students pay for travel to conventions and other important industry events that can help them make connections. Those experiences were integral for me in college, and I want to make sure others have the same opportunity.

Describe the path that took you from LSU to your current role at CBS News in New York.

After college, CBS News hired me as the first employee in a new program intended to introduce young people to network news and help them figure out what they wanted to do. I started at the CBS Evening News, answering phones and running scripts. I helped producers prepare for interviews, logged tapes, and did lots of research. I had a friend and mentor from LSU named Donna Dees who worked in public relations at another unit within CBS. Donna talked me up to the head of public relations for CBS News, who was looking for a junior publicist to help with the CBS Evening News and with the launch of our morning show CBS This Morning. She called me and after I spent one day in that office, I was hooked. I worked on press campaigns for a correspondent who was in Syria at the height of the civil war there. I worked on photo shoots with top magazines and newspapers and helped out at cool events around town. I was in the mix for political coverage as we prepared for the 2012 election, and was eventually hired full-time in the communications office. From there, I worked my way up to my current position.

Describe your role as VP of Communications. What do you do?

I work closely with our news executives and talent, promoting the exceptional journalism we do here. CBS News is the leader in original reporting and storytelling, and it’s a very rewarding job because the journalism that comes out of here is an important public service and critical to the national conversation. I truly believe that there is no democracy without journalism. So my day might include work on a media strategy for an exclusive interview with a celebrity or world leader, coordinating internal communications to engage employees, writing a speech or press release, or arranging a photo shoot or interview for an anchor or correspondent. I also work closely with our editorial teams to promote CBS News’ political coverage and arrange publicity efforts around big events like Election Night and for breaking news.

Every day is different. I often travel and spend a lot of time in Washington, D.C. lately. My greatest challenge is managing these many responsibilities and making sure I complete each task at the level I expect from myself. The reward is that I truly love what I do. It has never felt like a job, and I learn something almost every day.

Tell us about the mentors in your life.

My parents are huge inspirations for me. They’ve always supported me; taking me to KPLC at 5:00 a.m. before school, shuttling me all around for camps, making sure I felt confident that I could do anything in the world as long as I worked hard. My wife and I recently had a daughter and we realize more than ever how important it is to instill those values in a child. I also look up to my wife. She inspires me, and juggles so much as a new mom but makes it look easy. I credit Jim Serra, the general manager at KPLC while I was there, with giving me my professional start. Jim would watch my stories, offer suggestions, and help me improve them. Former CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston was pivotal in my professional life. He and I randomly met on an airplane in 2008. He sat next to me and I told him I was a college student studying journalism, which prompted a conversation. When we landed he gave me his card. We kept in touch and he helped me get the internship at CBS News.

Describe a typical day in your life.

I live in Queens and take the subway into work in midtown Manhattan every day. Working in news, there is no “typical” day, but I normally arrive around 10:00 a.m. and often leave around 8:00 p.m. In general, my favorite food in NYC is Asian. I love dim sum, ramen and Korean BBQ. Luckily there is always a new place to try but one of my favorites is Totto Ramen at 51st and 10th. It’s close to work, so I can run out, grab a bowl of ramen and get back to my desk in about 30 minutes.

How do you spend your free time?

I’m an avid runner and plan to run the New York Marathon for the second time this coming November. I’m also an avid reader.

Do you come home to Louisiana to visit family and friends often?

Yes. We spent nearly two weeks in Lake Charles for Christmas. It was my three-month-old daughter’s first plane ride! Family and LSU Football are very important to me so I try to get home as often as I can.

Name three things on your bucket list.

Start a scholarship at the Manship School, spend a month cruising around the Mediterranean, and buy a fixer upper and customize it from bones to beauty.

What’s next for Lance Frank?

Right now I’m mainly focused on being a great dad.


Places & Faces


by Angie Kay Dilmore

Anyone with even a hint of interest in cheerleading has likely seen or at least heard of Netflix’s documentary series, Cheer. The popular show follows the Cheer Team at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas from practicing routines to the serious preparation for the National Championships. This small-town college has made a big name in the cheerleading world by winning the annual Daytona event title 14 times to date. Christian Trahan, a former cheerleader from Lake Arthur High School, taught himself tumbling in his backyard as a child via YouTube. In school, he participated in other sports such as football, basketball, and baseball, but he says nothing excited him as much as tumbling. “When I found a sport to put my tumbling skills to use, I immediately fell in love with it.” Trahan began his cheer career with Allstar Cheerleading in 2015. That same year, he and his team were in Dallas for a competition. It was there that he was first introduced to the Navarro Cheer Team. From that point on, Trahan set his sights on making it onto this prominent team. “By following the cheerleaders of Navarro ever since I started cheer, I became more familiar with how special this program was to their hearts and how high of a standard they were held to by the cheer world.” Fast forward to May 2019. Trahan had tried out and made the Navarro College Cheer Team! “I tried out for Navarro because I knew I wanted to be a part of such a prestigious team, and I knew that I could learn more from the coaches and athletes there than I would anywhere else. When I found out I had made the Navarro Cheer Team I felt as if my life

was surreal. My dream since I had started cheerleading was to compete at the highest level and be the best possible cheerleader I could be and making the Navarro Cheer Team was a big step into fulfilling that dream.” Trahan is currently in his second semester with the team. He’s a general studies major with plans to pursue a medical degree at Louisiana State University after his undergraduate education. Trahan hopes to continue as a member of the Cheer Team. Tryouts for the fall semester take place in April. “I can honestly say that the Navarro Cheer Team is everything I dreamed of and more. I have already learned so much in such little time and I have grown so close to all my teammates. One of the best parts of being a Navarro Cheerleader is experiencing the love that you receive from what is now your family. Anyone on the team can tell you that it is not possible to endure training, schooling, and every-day life stresses without having the bond that we do with each other. There is one saying that we all use when non-cheerleaders ask us why we put ourselves through so much exhaustion and pain: ‘From the outside looking in you can’t understand it.

From the inside looking out you can’t explain it.’ This saying conveys the indescribable passion we have for our sport, and how incredible it is to be a Navarro College Cheerleader.”

Christian Trahan and Navarro Head Coach Monica Aldama


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Cheerleading Organizations S TRE SS THE IMPOR TANCE OF SAFE T Y by Angie Kay Dilmore

March is National Cheerleading Safety Month. There are nearly four million cheerleaders across America, ranging in age from six years old to adults. With all the tumbling, tossing, and ever more intricate stunts performed by cheer teams, it’s no surprise that potential injuries are a major concern. Although the sport of cheerleading is meant to support athletic teams, it has become an intense competition at the high school and collegiate levels. The new competitive dynamics have increased the risk for injury among young athletes. But the risk has been on the decline in recent years. Data from the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research shows that cheerleading has experienced a major reduction in injuries, thanks to additional rules, restrictions, and coach training. According to, a 2018-19 High School RIO Study shows cheerleading has the 4th lowest overall injury rate of 20 high school sports studied. In 2018, there were fewer emergency room visits for girls age 14-18 for

cheerleading (23,3511) than girls’ basketball (55,069), soccer (40,396), softball (31,095), and volleyball (29.774). Compare this to a statistic reported in 2014 when cheerleading accounted for two-thirds of all catastrophic injuries among female high school athletes. A cheerleader since 2015, Christian Trahan has not been immune to injury. In 2017, he tore his ACL doing a tumbling pass which resulted in reconstructive surgery. “One of the worst possible things you can do as a dedicated cheerleader is injure yourself,” he says. “The feeling is so miserably upsetting because you are not only preventing yourself from participating in the sport that you love, but you are also affecting the rest of your teammates and coaches.”


• Always warm up and stretch before practice, games, and competitions.

• Practice somewhere that has floors that absorb impact well.

• Never practice on a basketball court or other hard surface.

• Use mats and spotters during stunts and pyramids.

• Work with coaches who have been trained in cheer safety.


Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana... Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

Empire of the Seed Promotes Ashley Gatte Empire of the Seed is pleased to announce the promotion of Ashley Gatte, MBA, to President of its Historic Events Division. Since 2016, Ashley has served as the event leasing agent and Ashley Gatte business development specialist for Empire of the Seed’s properties. In addition to helping plan and coordinate events at Empire of the Seed properties and act as a customer service representative to the community, she will also lead business expansion, facilitate community engagement and manage business financials and day-to-day operations. In addition to her 14-year professional career, Ashley holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in management from McNeese State University. She is also a recent graduate of The Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Institute. For more information about Empire of the Seed, visit their website at

Aaron LeBoeuf

Mike Moore

Lakeside Bank Welcomes LeBoeuf & Moore Lakeside Bank has announced the addition of Aaron LeBoeuf and Mike Moore to their management team. LeBoeuf has been named Senior Vice President at Lakeside. He brings 17 years of banking experience to his new position and has an extensive background in commercial, residential and consumer lending. He was with First Federal Bank of Louisiana for the past eight years, where he most recently held the position of Senior Vice President-Private Banking Manager. Moore has been named Market Development Officer/Vice President of Lending at Lakeside. He has over 25 years of business development experience and served as a Deputy Assessor for the Calcasieu Parish Assessor’s Office for eight years. 48

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Moore comes to Lakeside from First Federal Bank of Louisiana where he served as a branch manager for the last two years. LeBoeuf will be working at Lakeside’s Nelson Road in Lake Charles and Moore will be working at the bank’s Sulphur location. State Representative Stephen Dwight Completes Henry Toll Fellowship Stephen Dwight, State Representative for District 35, was recently recognized for participation in The Council of State Governments (CSG) Stephen Dwight Henry Toll Fellowship during a graduation ceremony and luncheon. The event was held in conjunction with the CSG National Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Drawing participants from 33 states in 2019, the Henry Toll Fellowship is one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials. Each year, the Toll Fellowship brings up to 48 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government to the CSG national headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, for an intensive five-day “leadership boot camp.” The program’s sessions are designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing priceless networking and relationship-building opportunities. Each year’s program is unique, but previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership. The program encourages participants to evaluate and adapt the way they interact with each other and the world around them, providing an opportunity unlike any other in the nation. Barbe Senior Named 2020 Cooke College Scholar Semifinalist The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced the selection of 477 high school seniors as semifinalists for the prestigious Cooke College Scholarship Program. This highly Isaac Broussard selective scholarship provides high-achieving students with financial need up to $40,000 annually for four years of college, to enable them to attend a top college or university.

Isaac Broussard, a senior at Barbe High School, is a semifinalist for the award. The semifinalists were chosen from a pool of over 5,300 applicants. Approximately 60 semifinalists will be selected to receive the scholarship. The 2020 Cooke College Scholarship recipients will be announced in April. Broussard is one of only three semifinalists in Louisiana. He has also been accepted and offered a full academic scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Broussard was named a Horatio Alger State Scholar for Louisiana, a National Merit Semi-Finalist, a S.C.S. Noonan Scholar, a Questbridge College Prep Scholar, and is a recipient of the High School Pioneer High School Academics Research Program for research in the field of Coding Theory and Cryptography.

Dr. Vasanth Nalam

Dr. Jonathan Jones

Lourdes Physician Group Welcomes New Physicians Lourdes Physician Group recently welcomed a local Pediatrician to the group and a new Neurologist to the Acadiana region. Board-certified pediatrician Dr. Vasanth Nalam joined the practice of Dr. Lauren Bailey, also a board-certified pediatrician. Their office is located at 4704 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., inside the Kids Specialty Center on the Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital campus. Dr. Nalam and Dr. Bailey treat ADD/ADHD, asthma and other general pediatric-related conditions. Neurologist Dr. Jonathan Jones recently opened an office at 4811 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Suite 401A, on the campus of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. Dr. Jones treats headaches, epilepsy and neurophysiology. Both practices are accepting new patients. Call 337-470-GoMD (4663) or visit today to schedule an appointment.

Taylor Beard Stanley of Visit Lake Charles awarded Rising Star of the Year The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) introduced Taylor Beard Stanley, Senior Sales Manager of Visit Lake Charles (VLC), as the winner Taylor Beard Stanley of the 2019 Rising Star of the Year during its Annual Meeting in Charenton, La. This year, LTA presented 19 “Louey Awards” to honor and showcase individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the Louisiana tourism industry. A graduate of Grand Lake High School and McNeese State University, Taylor began her career at Visit Lake Charles in October 2016 as Sales Manager. After being promoted to Senior Sales Manager in March 2018, she aligned her vision on how Visit Lake Charles could provide added value and educational opportunities to hotel partners. Taylor has recently developed and launched the Hotel Onboarding Program to educate hotel partners’ front-line and management on the role of Visit Lake Charles and how to strengthen our relationship and create a better experience for visitors. Additionally, she has developed several other programs such as the Partner Shadowing

Program for the VLC Sales Department, the Meeting Planner Incentive Program to increase association and corporate meetings, and the Softball Housing Program to coordinate the lodging of 95 softball teams, to name a few. She has also developed and organized Baton Rouge and Houston sales missions to market Southwest Louisiana as a corporate, associate and group business destination. Among her many sales accomplishments, Taylor has worked to bring in the 18th CWC World LNG & Gas Series: Americas Summit & Exhibition to Lake Charles, which is the first-ever international conference to be hosted in Southwest Louisiana. Chef Dave Evans awarded 2019 Restauranteur of the Year The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) introduced Chef Dave Evans of Luna Bar & Grill as the winner of the 2019 Restauranteur of Chef Dave Evans the Year during its Annual Meeting in Charenton, La. This year, LTA presented 19 “Louey Awards” to honor and showcase individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the Louisiana tourism industry.

Born and raised in Lake Charles, Chef Dave Evans has been involved in the restaurant industry since childhood. Today, Chef Dave is the owner and executive chef at Luna Bar and Grill, which has been a staple in Southwest Louisiana for 16 years. In early 2020, Chef Dave will open his second location in Downton Lafayette, with plans to expand Luna Bar and Grill to cities across Texas and Louisiana. In addition to Luna, Chef Dave is also an art and music champion. What initially began as an idea to celebrate Luna’s 10th birthday in 2013, Chef Dave founded Chuck Fest, now one of Lake Charles’ largest annual festivals. Held every third Saturday in October, Chuck Fest is a culmination of Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana’s music, arts, culinary scene, and culture. Chef Dave attributes much of his success to the many partnerships that have cumulated throughout his 16 years of business. He applauds Visit Lake Charles’ shift in focus to marketing Lake Charles as a culinary and arts destination. With the addition of the CVB’s Top 20 Best Restaurants annual contest, Chef Dave and Luna Bar and Grill have been awarded #1 and #2 since the contest began 7 years ago. With many tourists visiting his restaurant, he says this influx keeps him and many business owners from being complacent in their work, resulting in creating a more vibrant culinary scene in Southwest Louisiana. To learn about LTA, visit



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Places & Faces


Exercise is Topic at Upcoming Diabetes Support Group West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its diabetes support group on March 10, at 11:30am at the hospital’s cafeteria conference room. Guest speaker is Adele Stewart with Dynamic Dimensions, the topic is Moving into a Healthier 2020. There is no charge to attend and the group is open to the public. For details, call (337) 527-4282. Upcoming Breast Cancer Support Group will Focus on Motivation West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its Pink Crusade breast cancer support group on March 12, at 6:00pm in the hospital’s board room. This month’s topic is “Has Your Get Up and Go Got Up and Gone?” Carol Pettyjohn, cancer survivor, will lead the discussion. The group is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call (337) 528-7320. Shots for Tots March Dates Announced West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will offer Shots for Tots on several dates in March. Shots for Tots offers immunizations for children six weeks of age through 18 years of age who are uninsured, underinsured, or have Medicaid, or are American Indian/ Alaskan native. The cost is $10 per person. On March 7, the clinic will be held in Sulphur at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital near the Cypress Street entrance from 8:30 a.m. – noon. Walk-ins are welcome, sign-in ends at 11:30am. Also on March 7, the clinic will be held at the Vinton Medical Clinic, 1611 Hampton Street by appointment only. Call (337) 527-4361 prior to 11:00 am on clinic day. 50

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

On March 12, the clinic will be held in Moss Bluff at Dynamic Dimensions East, located at 602 Sam Houston Jones Parkway, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, sign-in ends at 6:30pm. On March 25, the clinic will be held in Westlake at the Westlake Diagnostic Center, located at 2345 Sampson Street, from 2:00pm–4:00pm. by appointment only, call (337) 433-1395 to schedule. Lake Charles Civic Ballet and Lake Charles Symphony Present Assemble 2020 Once again Lake Charles Civic Ballet joins forces with the Lake Charles Symphony to present Assemblé 2020 – The Sleeping Beauty. This is the classic tale of Princess Aurora, cursed into a deep sleep and awakened by the kiss of a prince. Based on the Kirov Ballet, this LCCB production boasts original choreography by Artistic Director, Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough, and several Civic Ballet alumni. Accompanying the dancers of LCCB is the Lake Charles Symphony, under the direction of guest conductor William G. Rose. Performances will be held on March 21 at 6:00pm and March 22 at 3:00pm at the Rosa Hart Theatre. Visit for tickets and sponsorship information. 45th Annual Pam Sunday Tour of Homes Scheduled The 45th Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes will be on April 5, Palm Sunday afternoon, from 1:00-5:00pm. The theme will be 100 Years and Beyond: Aging to Perfection, and five private residences will be on the tour. Properties are located in the prestigious neighborhood in the Charpentier District near downtown Lake Charles. Staff and docent tour guides will provide historical content and information at each of the properties on the day of the Tour. For tickets or more information, visit

Lake Area Ballet Theatre Presents Spring Gala Lake Area Ballet Theatre (LABT) will present its annual Spring Gala on March 27 at 7:00pm, and on March 28 at 2:00pm, at the Tritico Theatre, located at McNeese State University in the Sherman Fine Arts Addition, 4205 Lake Street. This mixed repertoire is performed by the over 50 LABT junior and senior company members and features the company’s versatility. For more information about the Lake Area Ballet Theatre’s 2019 – 2020 season, visit Blind Author to Inspire Women at Upcoming Area-Wide Conference Hundreds of women will gather for the upcoming Fresh Grounded Faith women’s event on March 20-21 in Lake Charles. The event will be hosted by one church, Trinity Baptist Church, but presented by nine churches from the region. The event will take place at Trinity Baptist Church at 1800 Country Club Road. Women from many different churches and denominations will join together for this two-day unifying conference. Teams of volunteers have been meeting and preparing for months with a single goal in mind: to create a life-changing experience for women in our community. For more information or tickets, call (337) 480-1555. West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Hosts Class for Delivery and Breastfeeding West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host a class on March 24 from 6-8:00pm on preparing for delivery and breastfeeding. The cost is $10 per participant and will be held in the North Conference Room at the Cypress Street entrance. Class space is limited and pre-registration is required. A childbirth educator as well as a certified lactation counselor will lead the discussion and will be available for one-on-one questions. To register, call (337) 527-4361.



SATURDAY, MARCH 21 • 8PM Doors open 7pm | Show starts 8pm Tickets are on sale and may be purchased at Studs of L’Auberge and




Must be 21 to enter casino and Event Center. ©2020 Penn National Gaming, Inc. All rights reserved.



Style & Beauty Spring Style G uide

r e v e r e h W ou Go, Y There’s an Outfit for That by Emily Alford

We spend an awful lot of time wondering what to wear to formal events, like work parties and weddings, but really, those events only happen a few times a year at most. Much of our social life revolves around less formal occasions— brunches with friends and taking the family to local festivals. However, we can still find ourselves staring at our closet, wondering what to wear. Check out these ideas for everyday spring style.

Crawfish Boils Crawfish boils get messy, and you’ll most likely leave feeling full. A pair of dark color track pants (with an elastic waist) and a fun vintage band tee, also in a dark color, paired with sunglasses looks just trendy enough to feel fun but still provides enough comfort to eat your fill.

Festivals The warmer months mean the entire state starts celebrating. Whether you’re attending Lafayette’s Festival International, Shreveport’s Mudbug Madness, the Pirate Festival in Downtown Lake Charles, or any number of amazing outdoor music events that happen during the warmer months, you’re going to want to look cool, while, most importantly, staying cool. Go for a big, floppy hat and large sunglasses to protect yourself from UV rays. Opt for a solid color tank top and a loose-fitting kimono-style, lightweight cotton jacket. Paired with shorts and boots or even jeans and sandals, this is a classic, cool girl outdoor celebration look.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Farmers Markets A farmers market isn’t just a place to get a giant bag of tomatoes. It can also be a fun place for a first date or to grab something unique to eat with friends. A farmers market is also a place to show off some seriously fun athleisurewear. Opt for high waisted leggings (with pockets!) and a solid color tee shirt, finish with a pair of comfy, yet clean lounging sneakers. If it’s chilly, a denim jacket makes the look even more stylish.

A Bottomless Champagne Brunch A four-hour brunch with a big group of friends is one of life’s unsung pleasures—especially when the mimosas are unlimited. But brunch is also a bit of an urban ritual, and getting a bit dressed up is part of the fun. Showing off the season’s most stylish sundresses, off-the-shoulder tops, ’70s-style bell sleeves, or even maxi jumpsuits, are a great option for keeping it stylish yet comfy for an all day pancake and bubbly party. If dresses aren’t your thing, look for wide-legged, flowing pants in drapping fabrics and soft colors, as well as spring-weight, off the shoulder sweaters. With casual events where there’s no dress code, feeling great in what you’re wearing is the most important outfit choice of all. If you feel like you look good, chances are you do!

By appointment only so all eyes can be on you... Reserve your private appointment at 5656 Nelson Rd Ste A3 Lake Charles, LA 70605


Style & Beauty: S pring

S tyle G uide

r o e g r u l p S ? e v a S Getting Glam Without Breaking the Bank

by Emily Alford

Most of our makeup bags are haunted by the trends of seasons past: products we tried once or twice and ultimately decided just weren’t for us. And many of those products came with a price tag that, in hindsight, may have been a waste of money. While there are a few spring trends that are worth the cash, this year also presents some great options for saving. Here’s where to splurge on the biggest spring beauty trends and a few tips to save.

Splurge: Colored Mascara Blue is back in a major way this spring. And while blue eye shadow is one way to pull off the look, blue mascara is actually much more interesting. And whether you’re using a bit of blue mascara to accentuate your eye shadow or using the mascara on its own for a subtle pop of color, mascara is never really a product to skimp on. Cheaper formulas often flake and smudge, which can lead to accidentally looking like you’ve got a nasty bruise. Plus, paying a bit more for mascara usually means getting a high quality brush that keeps lashes defined and separated.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Save: Stick ‘em Up

Eye stickers and gems are a cute way to add a playful bit of bling to any makeup look, from a special occasion to a night on the town. And while high-end cosmetics brands sell specialized eye stickers and gems for a pretty penny, you can have all the pretty for less by applying regular false eyelash glue to any craft store gem and glue it into the inner or outer corners of the eye or even along the lash line for a fancy finish to a night out look.

Splurge: All That Glitters After years of matte makeup dominating the makeup world, glitter has finally made a huge comeback. But all glitter eye shadows and lipsticks are not created equal. If you’re looking for quality color that stays true to the way it looks in the package, paying a bit more for a higher quality glitter product means your shimmer is more likely to shine—and to stay put. As for lipsticks, glitter formulas that are pretty cheap are also generally pretty gritty, not a great feeling if you’re planning on wearing it all day or night – or if you want to kiss someone!

Save: Neon Eyes

Another eye-popping trend for spring is neon eye makeup. The best eyeliners this season are the colors of a vintage Las Vegas sign—bright green, yellow, orange, and blue. But for most of us, eyeliners last forever, especially when these bright colors aren’t exactly the kind normally worn to the office. Instead of buying a bundle of expensive new eyeliners, buy one white eyeliner and an angled, fine-tipped eyeliner brush. Apply the white eyeliner, then wet the eyeliner brush and cover it in less-expensive, neon-hued eye shadow. Apply the damp eye shadow over the white eyeliner and finish with a setting spray. All the bold look, for less! Of course, the value of any beauty product comes from whether or not it makes you feel like a million bucks. Got a splurge you love? Don’t apologize! Found an amazing product that is a steal? Shout it to the world!


Style & Beauty: S pring

S tyle G uide

The Experts’ Guide to Spring’s Most In-Demand

r i a H lors Co by Emily Alford

Springtime is all about freshening up: new plants sprouting, bright green grass on the ground, and maybe even a few spring showers to wash everything clean. But the idea of brightening up doesn’t only apply to the great outdoors; spring is also an excellent time to consider freshening up your look, starting with your hair color. Here are some of the most requested spring colors from a few area hair stylists.

Iced Out

Going blonde is already a pretty big step, but this spring, blonde is going one step further with platinum, almost white, blondes becoming some of the most requested colors for spring, according to Aryca Bussell, master stylist at Bauhaus Salon in Lake Charles. “I have been getting a lot of requests lately for icy blonde hair,” Bussell says. “Icy blonde is actually a very mild and bright tone.” The style works on a lot of different skin types and ages as well, whether it’s all over for a dramatic blonde makeover or just a few subtle highlights.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Red Hot

And if blonde isn’t your thing, but you’re looking for a spicy new hair color, consider red. This spring, every shade from light, bright strawberry blonde to deep, sultry hues the color of a red velvet cupcake will be all the rage. Ask your stylist which red might best suit your skin tone, chances are, they’ll have a rainbow of options. “We will still be seeing plenty of rooted blondes and honey or dirty blonde balayage, but apricot, ginger and strawberry blonde highlights are making their way back into popularity which makes me very happy,” says Kelly Nicholson, master stylist at Bauhaus.

Pretty Pastels

If you’ve been into rainbow hair—bright blues, pinks, and even greens—for the past few years and are longing for a change, look to the colors in your Easter basket. Softer, pastel hues will be the rainbow options of choice for those in the know this spring, says Tori Shumaker, senior stylist at Bauhaus. “Colors are becoming softer. I’m seeing more pastels this year than bold and bright colors.”

And for an even more original look, consider fading a bolder root into lighter ends, Bussell says. “I’m seeing not so much one solid, bold color but a bright vibrant root faded into pastel ends. My favorites are the bright blues and the deep magentas.”But the most stylish hair color for spring, of course, is whatever hair color feels most comfortable for you! For more information or to make an appointment, call Bauhaus Salon at 337-474-4000.


Home & Family

Dig Up SomeLawnDirt: and

Garden Care Spring ranks high on the list of favorite seasons, and for good reasons. The sun shines brighter, the days stretch longer, birds sing, flowers bloom, and grass transforms from brown to green. It’s also the perfect time to pamper the lawn and plant a garden! In this special section, you’ll find stories on how to spruce up your little corner of the world.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020


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Home & Family:

Dig Up Some Dirt

Love your Landscape in 2020 with these Design Trends by Kristy Como Armand

Spending time outdoors on a daily basis is more popular than ever, and people are much more focused on the functional quality of their landscape and outdoor spaces, from expansive backyards and pool areas to patios, porches and pergolas. According to Richie Everage, landscape design consultant with Landscape Management, landscape design trends may shift more slowly than fashion trends, but they still change over time, especially as general lifestyle preferences move in a particular direction. “Upkeep is always a concern, but with today’s multi-functional design options and new innovations, homeowners can spend more time enjoying their personal outdoor space.” Here are some of the top outdoor design trends as reported by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) from their annual survey that Everage says are becoming more popular here in Southwest Louisiana as well.

Simple & Functional

Minimalism has taken the world by storm, and outdoor spaces are adopting the trend too. NALP’s survey found people are looking for sleek, contemporary landscape designs that look good and have some useful function, preferably in multiple seasons. Everage says this includes things like native plants, sleek lighting and protective structures that allow people to spend more time outdoors year-round.

Intricate Hardscaping

Flat, uniform surfaces are giving way to more ornate, geometric ones. Homeowners are incorporating stone, concrete, and other hardscaping into their outdoor spaces and requesting waves, chevron, lattice, and basket weave patterns on everything from walkways to retaining walls, according to NALP. If you’re repaving a walkway or adding a fire feature, Everage says you can add visual interest and reflect your personal style by working in a pattern. 60

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Customized Comfort

Everage says customized features that allow people to expand the amount of time – daily and seasonally – they can comfortably spend outdoors continue to increase in popularity. For example, pergolas, an ever-popular feature, are becoming more sophisticated, with major upgrades including rolldown windows, space heaters, lighting and sound systems. Outdoor kitchens are increasingly requested, along with ample seating space for outdoor entertaining. Fire pits and fireplaces are also becoming an expected part of outdoor living spaces. Everage says these can extend the season of the space, as well as create a natural gathering area for friends and family.

Artificial Turf

A more recent trend that is picking up here is artificial turf. Everage says one of the main reasons is less upkeep for maintaining a green lawn year-round. “Turf also expands your usable outdoor living spaces – adding green space that is also functional. The turfed space can be treated just like a patio without adding hard surface.” says Everage. He adds that people with pets are requesting these more and more also, due to the built-in drainage and ease of clean-up. “We’ve also used turf to install personal putting greens. It’s very versatile.”

Outdoor Lighting

Another major trend for landscapes is the addition of landscape lighting, as more homeowners want to extend the usable hours of their outdoor spaces. Everage says often people start with outdoor lights for security reasons, then expand to add curb appeal and to accent specific landscape features, such as trees, statuary or water features. Fixtures can be built into the hardscaping to keep them hidden from view. “Today’s lighting features are easy to use and incorporate LED, which reduces the need for replacing burned out bulbs,” says Everage. “Systems can be hands-off, controlled from a central console or even a smartphone for added, no-worry convenience.”

Smart Irrigation

Smart home devices have made maintaining a home easier, and they do the same outdoors, too – beyond lighting. High-tech irrigation, such as smart sprinkler systems, makes caring for large, green yard and landscaped beds easier. NALP predicts it will be a top landscape design trend in 2020.

Water Features

The demand for water features is holding steady, according to NALP’s survey, with the popularity of large water features related to hardscape installations becoming more prevalent. “Overall, what we are seeing is landscape planning that is more personalized for the lifestyle of the homeowners,” says Everage. “With the right plan, there’s no reason your outdoor space shouldn’t expand your usable living space and give you more ways to enjoy the time you spend at home.” For more information on landscape plans and design, call Landscape Management at (337) 478-3836 or visit

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EDS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, or gender in admission of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs.


Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School provides academic excellence to a diverse student body in a Christian environment.


Home & Family:

Dig Up Some Dirt


Pests at Yard’s Length this Year by Kristian Bland

Roaches, ants, mosquitoes, mice, silverfish, and more - the list of pests is long in Southwest Louisiana. We get a bit of a break from a few of them during the winter, but they always return with a vengeance in the spring, especially if your home is not prepared.

There are steps every resident can take to keep the bugs out, though. Step one is to call an exterminator, and if you call a good one, this step might be the only step you need. There are many options out there, but the best solutions protect your home all year long. After all, it’s better to prevent pests from becoming a problem than to deal with them later. Look for a company that offers full protection year-round. Typically, this involves an initial inspection followed by the first treatment. After that, most exterminators make quarterly to yearly appointments to ensure your property remains protected. Louisiana-owned J&J Exterminating offers these options. Lake Charles branch manager, Robert Soileau, says, “With 60 years of experience behind us, we’re knowledgeable and ready for the fight against termites and mosquitoes this spring. J&J offers the latest and most effective weapons against termites, as well as eliminating and controlling mosquitoes with options including our most popular Platinum Level Mosquitoes & Pest Service." If you find yourself in a pest-related situation, it’s better to act early than wait until things get worse. Fleas are a common problem that can start small and quickly get out of hand if left untreated. 62

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Even if you don’t have pets of your own, your neighbors might and fleas don’t respect fences. At the first sign of them, call an exterminator. You’ll be glad you did. Mosquitoes can also be controlled during the warmer months when you’re hosting a party outside or simply want to enjoy lounging by the pool during the summer. They’re treated a little differently than year-round protection but can still be kept at bay either as needed or with ongoing protection. Of course, there are steps you can take to make your yard a little less inviting to mosquitoes to begin with. Empty containers with standing water (including birdbaths), and keep bushes trimmed and yard mowed. Termites are another significant problem every Louisiana homeowner needs to stay on top of. Few things can ruin the value of your property faster and amass expensive bills faster than termite damage. If you haven’t noticed termites yet, you will - unless you take preventative measures before they become a problem. If you do find termites, it’s still treatable, but as with everything else pest-related, the sooner you act, the more money you’ll save.


Southwest Louisiana is a beautiful place, but the swamp will reclaim its own without constant vigilance. Ensure your home and yard stay clean and clear of clutter, try to keep things dry when you can, and don’t let pest problems get ahead of you. A little maintenance can go a long way. For everything else, call an exterminator. For more information, call J&J Exterminating Lake Charles at 337-474-7377. JJ-LC-Thrive-half_March2020_JJ_LC_Thrive-hlfpg_March_2-18-20 2/18/2020 8:45 AM Page 1

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Home & Family:

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Soil & Natural Fertilizers Your Lawn & Garden’s Immune System

by Madelaine Brauner Landry

Much like human communities, soil communities thrive when their neighborhood of earthworms, fungi and structure is well maintained. Without sufficient diversity and nutrients, soil suffers from immune deficiency, making it unable to fight plant diseases once they show up. Natural fertilization is preventative health care, making crops resilient and more productive: every gardener’s dream! In a 2016 New York Times article, science writer Carl Zimmer noted that crops worldwide face enemies like harmful fungi, bacteria and parasitic animals. Chemical pesticides, long thought to be the best protection, have not only failed to halt the enemies, but resulted in a loss of “a sizable portion of our food supply,” while damaging animals, humans, and global water supplies. “When soils are loaded with microbes, they use so many nutrients that it’s hard for a lethal blight or other pathogen to gain a foothold. Some may manage to survive, but they don’t flourish — or wreak havoc on plants,” wrote Zimmer.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Soil, loam, silt, or clay, whatever term you apply, think before you apply chemical fertilizers to your lawn. If you are concerned about you and your family’s health, also be aware of your garden’s growing medium. Sadly, conventional gardening practices have been degrading our soil for decades. A few easy practices can help you to rebuild soil health and increase its beneficial diversity.

Researchers continue to study how healthy soil fights off dangerous invaders. It’s a complex system; plants are also thought to “orchestrate” their own immunity, not just passively receive benefits from soil. Still, your garden soil’s ability to hold nutrients, water, and other necessary elements helps ward off plant attackers like pathogens. When good microbes move in and are encouraged to thrive, the soil community’s overall health is increased. Some factors indicating soil health include: • Stable pH • Ability to hold and release nutrients to plants • Soil life’s biodiversity DIY soil test kits are now available that determine pH, moisture and light. You can also send samples to agencies like the LSU AgCenter Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab. Your analysis will include recommendations for natural fertilizers and treatments appropriate to the plants growing in your native environment.

Email or Text Notification when your RX is ready!

Many gardeners mix their own natural fertilizers to avoid adding unwanted chemicals that kill off beneficial insects, pollinators and wildlife. Planting certain flowers and herbs, like basil, mint and marigolds, naturally fight off harmful bugs. Composting is another proactive method that recycles kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings and some manures. Your soil requires hydration just like you do for optimal health. Avoid over-digging and compacting the soil, which destroys its structure. Apply mulch or a living ground cover to check evaporation, reduce watering needs and decrease nutrient loss. Organic matter does increase your soil’s moisture retention, but always check for consistency. Too little moisture means plants cannot access valuable nutrients; too much causes nutrients to drown. Know your soil and each plant’s water requirements. Naturally maintaining soil wellness is the best preventative medicine for stronger plants and greater crop yields. It’s mutually beneficial, maintaining your health as well!

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Home & Family:

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Add Living Color to your Backyard Garden

by Planting Flowers & Shrubs That Attract Hummingbirds, Butterflies, & Bees by Dan Gill

Few sights are more thrilling in the garden than hummingbirds and butterflies darting amongst the flowers. People put out feeders to entice them into the landscape, but even better are gardens full of flowering plants that provide the nectar these creatures crave. Creating a garden with plants specifically chosen to attract and feed hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees is not difficult. They all feed on similar nectars. For many people, attracting hummers is as easy as hanging a feeder. But that is not always successful because many hummingbirds are not accustomed to using feeders. Numerous people have found that planting a garden full of plants that attract these birds and insects is more reliable. There is currently great interest in planting gardens to support local pollinator populations.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Feeders Hummingbirds are powerfully attracted to anything colored red. Feeders with bright red parts are especially useful for enticing the tiny birds into the open where they are best seen. The sugar syrup dispensed from the feeder supplements the birds’ natural diet of nectar and insects with an unlimited amount of calories to fuel their rapid metabolism. The best formula for feeders should mimic natural nectar. A simple formula can be made at home by dissolving one part cane sugar into four parts boiling water. Allow the syrup to cool before filling feeders. Several commercial nectars or mixes are available on the market, but none provide better nourishment than a simple homemade sugar syrup. Place feeders high enough so that cats cannot attack the birds while they feed and place them near windows for maximum viewing pleasure. Feeders are most effective when located within view of flowers that attract hummers.

RECOMMENDED PLANTS FOR HUMMINGBIRD GARDENS Trees: Crybaby tree (Erythrina crista-galli), Japanese plum or loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), citrus.

Gardens The most satisfying method of attracting hummingbirds and butterflies is to plant a garden with flowering trees, shrubs, vines, annuals and perennials that produce an excellent supply of nectar over a long period and beautify your landscape at the same time. Insects living in the plants and nectar from flowers provide hummingbirds with a complete, balanced diet. Typical hummingbird flowers are red in color, have a tubular shape and have no strong scent. However, there are several notable exceptions to this general rule. Many plants with red flowers do not contain very much nectar, and not all good nectar producers have red flowers. Roses, petunias, geraniums and zinnias have brilliant colors but little nectar, while Japanese honeysuckle, which has fragrant, white flowers, produces abundant nectar. Plants that produce plentiful flowers over an extended period of time and those that require little care are good choices. When several color varieties of a plant are available, choose the brightest red. Although hummingbird and butterfly gardens are planted with the birds and insects in mind, lavish flowers and bright colors also add beauty to the landscape. Pesticides should be used sparingly and only on non-flowering plants. Stick to pesticides low in toxicity, such as oils, insecticidal soaps and Bt. Never use systemic insecticides or rotenone on plants where hummingbirds may feed.

Shrubs: Turk’s cap (Malvaviscus arboreus), Mexican cigar plant (Cuphea ignea and C. micropetala), shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana), firespike (Odontanema strictum), hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.), lantana (Lantana spp.), azalea (Rhododendron spp.), pentas (Pentas lanceolata), red buckeye (Aesculus pavia). Vines: Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis), cypress vine (Quamoclit pinnata), trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans). Annuals and perennials: Salvia (Salvia splendens, S. coccinea, S. greggii, S. leucantha and many others), pineapple sage (Salvia rutilans), iris (Iris spp.), red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria), impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), coral plant (Russelia equisetiformis), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), gilia or standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa).

Dan Gill is a retired horticulturist from the LSU AgCenter.

We Mean Business. Pam Whiteard

Eric Mire

Kyle Duplantis

Will Henning


Our expert team of financial professionals makes business banking easy. First Federal Bank should be your first choice for business loans and cash management solutions, no matter the size of your business. Come on over for the tools to help you profit.

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Home & Family:

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Preserving History through

Heirloom Gardening by Madelaine Brauner Landry

Maybe you’ve heard of heirloom plants and produce, but what exactly defines an heirloom fruit, vegetable, or flower? An heirloom variety is simply one that has not been developed as a hybrid. They often taste and smell better, as those properties have not been hybridized out of them. Heirloom seeds and plants have been passed down, often through several generations of families. They generally cost less, but there’s more than price to consider. Most are open-pollinated, which means their pollination has occurred naturally in fields by wind or by pollinators like honeybees. Some self-pollinate, so they’re kept isolated to produce unchanging seeds. Many heirloom varieties are fifty years old or older. They’re valued like family elders, each with its own intriguing ancestral story to tell. And, no one owns the patent on heirloom varieties. Heirloom gardening allows you to grow and eat produce that has not been genetically modified, sprayed with insecticides or forced into ripeness. You pick what you need, share, and preserve your bounty through canning or freezing.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

When agriculture became more industrialized post-World War II, we lost plant diversity. Heirloom gardeners are committed to reversing that. As global population increases, heirlooms are respected for their genetic diversity, as well as their preservation of the world’s food supplies. Some varieties thrive in specific regions; others have unique adaptation qualities, empowering new regions to grow quality plants, collect seeds, and maintain precious food and flower resources. Heirloom gardeners are part of the global biodiversity movement. Want to start your own heirloom garden? Start small with a manageable plot and plant variety. Seeds can be found in certain catalogs, such as Burpee’s, and plants can often be found at area farmers markets. Grow what you like, but don’t be afraid to try new things. Maybe okra and cauliflower were not your childhood favorites, but as you’ve matured, so have your taste buds. Become an adventurous eater!

Dirt is Good for You Don’t enjoy getting your hands dirty? Think again. Digging in dirt has many health and therapeutic benefits, some of which are just now being re-discovered. Even though we live in the most hygienically aware time in human history, you cannot avoid germs: nor should you always want to! Germs are necessary to boost immunity. Current research proves that microbes—bacteria, fungi and viruses—are essential catalysts for the tissues in our immune systems. According to the germ experts, without activation by microbe exposure, we cannot “grow” friendly bacteria. Most microbes, as high as 99%, according to immunologists, are benign and beneficial.


Unlike other workers’ comp providers, LCI is a Louisiana business that understands how Louisiana businesses work. We take the time to get to know our members personally, which means we get to know the ins and outs of your business. So when you need us most we won’t show up with a giant ice ax. 985-612-1230 ::


CSE Named “Best of Bauer Credit Union” BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation’s Premier Bank and Credit Union Rating Firm, commended CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) on its achievement of another 5-Star Superior Rating for 2019. CSE has maintained the highest Bauer rating for financial strength and stability for 103 consecutive quarters, giving it the added status of being a “Best of Bauer Credit Union.” This designation is reserved specifically for institutions that have earned Bauer’s highest rating consistently for 100 consecutive quarters or longer. BauerFinancial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Star ratings are all available at CSE is the largest credit union headquartered in SWLA with assets over $335 million. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis Parishes. For more information, call (337) 562-3161.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020

Visit Lake Charles awarded 2019 Major Event of the Year for Hosting USA Boxing The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) introduced Visit Lake Charles as the winner of the 2019 Major Event of the Year for hosting the USA Boxing National Championships and Olympic Trials for Boxing. During its Annual Meeting in Charenton, La., LTA presented 19 “Louey Awards” to honor and showcase individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the Louisiana tourism industry. USA Boxing, the national governing body for Olympicstyle amateur boxing, chose Lake Charles to host the USA Boxing National Championships and Olympic Trials for Boxing which took place on December 7-16, 2019. The week-long event generated more than 8,000 total overnight stays, with the estimated economic impact over 3 million dollars. It included over 900 boxers vying for national titles in the youth (17-18), junior (15-16), intermediate (13-14), bantam (11-12) and pee wee (8-10) divisions. The junior and youth winners will have the opportunity to represent USA Boxing at international competitions in 2020, while the other divisions will be looking to earn national ranking points.

Solutions for Life


from Solutions Counseling & EAP by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, LPC, LMFT, CEAP

Getting Happy – at Work! (Part 1) Let’s go to your “happy place” . . . Normally I would be referring to a place in your mind: a memory, situation or activity that brings you comfort and peace. Maybe you’re picturing yourself in the mountains, or at the beach, or with someone special. When you think of your “happy place,” I would venture to say you don’t think about your workspace. But, what if you could turn that space into a happier, more comforting place? Research indicates happiness at work reduces stress, significantly raises your energy (like by 65%!), boosts productivity, and increases your quality of life. So, why isn’t work a happy place for most of us? A recent study found that burnout and pay are the top threats to happiness at work. Heavy workloads and toxic bosses or coworkers also play a large role. All these characteristics can lead to anxiety and depression over time. What should you look for when it comes to a happy workplace? An empathetic boss, management having a caring attitude, a relaxed and productive atmosphere, financial benefits, job security, opportunity for growth, and open and honest communication top the list. What a great list! But, none of that is in your control, is it? You certainly can look for those things with a new job, but what if you aren’t looking to change jobs? What if you want to make your current job a happier fit? Ultimately, happiness is an inside job. People who work on happiness and contentment report higher satisfaction with their jobs. Isn’t that great news?! Your happiness at work is not solely reliant on all those factors in the preceding paragraph that aren’t in your control! Here are some tips to help you start moving towards happiness at work:

Change the tape in your head. We’ve talked about this before – we all have a tape in our minds that plays on a loop. What does your tape tell you? “I must win that contract;” “I have to get that promotion;” “this project has to be perfect”? Look at those statements. All of them are extremely stress inducing and are also unrealistic. You’ll be much happier when you start being kinder to yourself. Stay focused on the things that are in your control. “I’m going to be able to say I did everything I possibly could on this project;” “I hope I get that promotion, but if I don’t I’m going to choose to believe something better is on the way.” Studies have long shown that being more gentle with yourself, and forgiving yourself for mistakes, reduces stress, speeds up recovery and boosts motivation. Take care of yourself. One of the first things we discard when we begin to feel stressed are the very things we need the most at that time: self-care. Happy, content people make self-care a priority. Adopting a healthy lifestyle needs to be a priority for you – nutritious food, regular exercise, good sleep. When you feel stressed or exhausted, you need to do a HALT check-in. HALT is an acronym for the things that are most likely causing your current state: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. It is very likely one or more of those things is out of balance. If you don’t know which one, take a shotgun approach: call a friend for lunch to take care of Lonely and Hungry, go exercise to work off that Anger, then take a nap! Next month, we will continue our discussion of how to make your workspace your happy place!

Begin to build in breathing room. You must take breaks during your workday. And, you will be more productive if you do. Just as you need to sometimes shut your door to focus, you also have to open that door up and get out of that office at times! Begin to set a timer – every 30 minutes, take a mental break for 2-3 minutes. Stretch, take a quick walk around the office, go say “hi” to a co-worker. You will find renewed energy when you get back to that task at hand.


SWLA’s Only


is now at


Memorial is leading the way in trauma care with the region’s only trauma center. The American College of Surgeons’ Committee on

This achievement recognizes Memorial’s commitment

Trauma (CoT) has recognized our team of trauma and

to providing optimal care for injured patients. The

critical healthcare professionals and their three years of

CoT does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the

dedication and hard work to achieving a Level III Trauma

program provides confirmation that a trauma center has

Program. The CoT’s Verification Review Committee for

demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest

Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in

quality trauma care. The designation of trauma centers

which participants provide not only the hospital resources

is the function of the Louisiana Emergency Response

necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum

Network (LERN) which develops and maintains a statewide

of care to address the needs of all injured patients from

system of care coordination for patients suddenly stricken

prehospital phase through rehabilitation.

by serious traumatic injury or time-sensitive illness.

Memorial. Now a Level III Trauma Center. 72

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2020