Thrive Magazine - November 2021 Issue

Page 1



Thanksgiving Day

Your guide to success! first person

with David Sickey

Strategist, activist for indigenous concerns, and former Chairman of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana



Rehabilitation Hospital

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021


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Contents In This Issue Wining & Dining


Thanksgiving Day

Regular Features

46 Business Buzz 56 Who’s News 75 Solutions for Life



Mind & Body



26 Plastic Surgery: Is it Right for You?

Money & Career




Places & Faces

48 First Person with David Sickey 50 Recovery Spotlight – Petro Bowl is Back! 52 Holiday Happenings

Style & Beauty

58 Brazilian Blowout 60 Shackets—the latest trend in winter outerwear 61 Hair Color Trends for Fall/Winter

Home & Family 62 64 66 68 70 74

Gifts to WOW your Hostess How to Avoid Package Delivery Scams Travel Tips to Reduce Holiday Expenses Boxwood Dieback Disease It’s a Matter of Faith CPSB Education Affects Everyone

62 Managing Editor Editors and Publishers

@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 • November 2021

Creative Director Design and Layout Business Manager Advertising Sales Submissions

Angie Kay Dilmore Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Barbara VanGossen Sarah Bercier Katie McDaniel Stevenson 337.310.2099



At Memorial Sports Medicine, our physicians and athletic trainers are everywhere athletes need us to be. Lake Charles Memorial Health System sets the standard for sports medicine in southwest Louisiana. Using cutting-

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Wining & Dining Your

Thanksgiving Day


Next to Christmas, Thanksgiving is Americans’ second favorite holiday at 19%. (For more interesting statistics, see our By the Numbers column on page 14). And it’s no wonder – who doesn’t love family, friends, food, and fun!? In this special section about this beloved holiday, you’ll discover a roundup of favorite meat markets to find your holiday main courses, some recipes for easy side dishes, and a hodgepodge of fun Thanksgiving Day trivia.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021


COCKTAIL ROYALE II MAKE IT A DOUBLE Eleven restaurants enter, only one will be crowned the People’s Champion! Visit the participating restaurants, order their Smoke and Barrel cocktail, then vote with your wallet! Let your money do the talking and toss it right into the branded barrel at each bar. There are no memberships required at any venue, but you must be 21 or older to drink! For more information visit

2021 Competitors:

brought to you by:

The James 710 Restaurant Calla 121 Artisan Bistro Pujo St Café The Villa-Harlequin The Pioneer Club Rush Lounge @ GN Ice Bar @ GN Crying Eagle Luna Bar & Grill Tia Juanita’s Benefitting the United Way of Southwest Louisiana

/ /smokeandbarrel_la


Wining & Dining | Your Thanksgiving Day Headquarters

Where’s the

Beef ?


by Matt Dye

As the holiday season grows ever closer, there are few things better than to gather with family and friends, and SWLA knows the best way is around the dinner table. With that in mind, there are several quality meat markets around the area ready to help your kitchen smell fantastic, with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

Down Country Club Road is Lake Charles’ own slice of heaven, Hebert’s Specialty Meats. They're set to help you with your spread, offering a wide assortment of meats and sides for your entire Thanksgiving weekend. One of their hidden gems is the Corn Casserole Stuffed Chicken, which is quite divine when you throw it on your smoker at home. And if you like Crawfish Etouffee, you’ve found your jam! They’re also one of the few places around offering Turduckens this year.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Sonnier’s Sausage and Boudin, located

off Enterprise on Mill Street, is your place to get sausage and boudin, especially if you live around the downtown Lake Charles area. With over seven varieties of boudin for sale, from regular to smoked to spicy, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one. And be sure to get a couple pounds of their Spicy Garlic Sausage to put on the table and watch disappear.

Those of you in the Moss Bluff/Gillis area should be sure to check out the Gillis Meat Market just down Hwy 171. Owner Steve Gaudet runs one of the friendliest shops around, and while he’s not doing turkeys for Thanksgiving, he’s quick to note that his stuffed chickens are big sellers as the holidays roll closer. While you’re there, try one of their Boudin Balls – bigger than a baby’s head!

If you wish to forgo the traditional turkey dinner, the next best bet is a smoked/glazed ham, and let’s be real, it’s best to go to the place proud enough to put it in their name. Honey B Ham on Prien Lake Rd. offers not only the best ham money can buy, but also a variety of holiday sides to help round out your table offerings. Over in Iowa are two of the finest meat markets in SWLA. Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen, just off I-10, has been delivering excellence for many years. Most patrons get a couple pounds of smoked sausage along with their regular order. Rabideaux’s also offers hard-to-find delicacies like Seasoned Quail and nearly every meat cut stuffed full and ready for your smoker.

Finally, if you’re still avoiding crowds because of COVID-19, or you simply enjoy the convenience of online ordering, Big Easy Foods has got you covered. They offer stuffed chickens, smoked sausage, boudin, and a variety of dinner entrees that can be delivered. Perfect if you’re looking to give a friend or family member out of state a taste of Louisiana. Just be sure to check their shipping schedule on their website to ensure you’re getting your delivery when you want it. These are just a few fantastic choices we have here in the greater SWLA area, and no matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong. So, this holiday season, be sure your spread is top notch by hitting up one of these places, and let’s keep it local!

Also in Iowa, you’ll find Roy’s Meat Market, also right off I-10. They sell some of the best ribeye’s around, though the friendly staff was quick to point out that Oxtails might be their best kept secret. They also offer wholesale meat deals at highly affordable prices if you’re looking to get your holiday shopping done in bulk. And be sure to ask about their specialty beef and pork roasts for the holidays.


Wining & Dining | Your Thanksgiving Day Headquarters

Simple Sides for easy

HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING Preparing holiday side dishes can be time consuming, and there are so many other things to do! Save precious minutes by using store-bought refrigerated options like mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, baked apples, even macaroni and cheese that can be dressed up, heated in the microwave, and ready to serve in minutes. We offer here a few new takes on some holiday favorites, but with some imagination, you can tweak your own meal traditions. Guests will never know they’re not completely homemade!

Perfect Holiday Potatoes Mashed potatoes are a staple on many holiday menus, but all that peeling and mashing can take hours. Save time by using refrigerated, ready-to-eat mashed potatoes: Add your family’s special ingredients, like cheese, bacon, chives, or sage butter. Microwave the mashed potatoes just before dinner or throw them in a crockpot on low and pitch the packaging so no one knows you didn’t make them ahead of time. Buy a couple extra and store them in the fridge in case you have unexpected guests.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Fancy Mac • • • • • • • •

Serves: 4

Nonstick cooking spray 1 pkg refrigerated Macaroni and Cheese 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 1 1/4 cups shredded gouda cheese, divided 1 pkg thick-sliced hardwood smoked bacon, cooked and broken into pieces 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 400 F. Spray four ramekins with cooking spray. Heat macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Once cooked, stir in spinach, 1 cup cheese, bacon, salt, and pepper. Let mixture stand 10-15 minutes to cool. Add eggs. Spoon evenly into ramekins. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes, or until centers are set.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Makes 40 poppers

• • • • • • Mini Hash Brown Casseroles Serves: 24

• • • • • • • •

1 lb. ground sausage 4 lg. eggs 1/2 cup milk 3 pkg (20 oz) frozen shredded hash browns 3 TBS butter, melted 1 cup ham, cubed 1/2 tsp black pepper 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In skillet, cook sausage according to package directions. Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two 12cup muffin tins. In bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add cooked sausage, hash browns, butter, ham, black pepper and cheese; mix thoroughly. Fill muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake 2730 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in center comes out clean.

2 pkgs thick sliced hardwood smoked bacon, slices cut in half 1 pkg refrigerated white cheddar mashed potatoes 1 pkg garlic herb cheese spread 20 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded with membranes removed 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 400 F. Set bacon out to thaw to room temperature so it is pliable. In mixing bowl, use rubber spatula to combine mashed potatoes and garlic herb cheese. Stir until incorporated. Spread 1 teaspoon mashed potato mixture in each jalapeno half; level each with butter knife or spatula. Wrap each jalapeno with bacon; use three half slices for large jalapenos or two halves for smaller sizes. Be sure bacon is wrapped sealing in mashed potato mixture tightly. In small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Generously sprinkle over bacon and pat gently to make it stick. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper so sugar does not burn to pan. Bake until bacon reaches desired crispiness, around 25-35 minutes. Let peppers cool slightly before serving, about 5 minutes.

Sweet Potato Cookies • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Makes 3 dozen

3/4 cup vegetable shortening 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 lg. egg 1 cup refrigerated mashed sweet potatoes 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1 cup butter, unsalted 3 cups powdered sugar 1/2 tsp maple extract chopped honey roasted pecans (optional) mini marshmallows (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, using hand mixer or paddle attachment, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and sweet potatoes; mix until combined. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture until well mixed. Using small cookie scoop, drop rounds onto greased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before frosting. In separate bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar and maple extract until frosting is light and fluffy. Frost each cooled cookie with maple butter cream frosting. Sprinkle with pecans and mini marshmallows, if desired. Carefully toast marshmallows with culinary torch, if desired, while avoiding melting frosting. Find more ideas to make your holiday sides simply delicious at Family Features


Wining & Dining | Your Thanksgiving Day Headquarters

Thanksgiving By the Numbers


115 million



Number of feathers on a full-grown turkey.

Number of Americans who shop on Black Friday, or 69% of the population.

Number of grams of fat a person typically eats on Thanksgiving. That’s 3-4 times more than the recommended daily allowance.


Year of the first Thanksgiving Day NFL football game.

Length in minutes of Arlo Guthrie’s song, “Alice’s Restaurant”, often played on radio stations on Thanksgiving.


Average number of calories consumed per person on Thanksgiving Day.

1920 1924 1995

Percentage of Americans who eat turkey on Thanksgiving. The other 12% might either be vegetarian, vegan, or simply don’t like turkey.

Near 100,000

Number of calls and texts answered by the Butterball Turkey Talk Line each Thanksgiving.

8 10 in

Number of Americans who prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the Thanksgiving Day meal.

Amount consumers spend on Campbell’s Mushroom Soup for green bean casseroles each Thanksgiving.





Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021



Average number of people who attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade each year. About 8,000 people participate in the parade. The route is 2.5 miles long.

The year of the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. There were floats with singers, puppets, celebrities, zoo animals, and of course, Santa Claus. But no high-flying balloons.

The year “Tofurkys” hit holiday tables, much to the delight of vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians everywhere.

Heaviest weight on record of a turkey, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Weight of an average Thanksgiving turkey is 15 pounds.

86 lbs


Number of turkeys Americans serve each Thanksgiving, compared with 22 million on Christmas.


Number of pumpkin pies eaten each Thanksgiving. and

Thanksgiving Trivia

The First Thanksgiving

In November 1621, the settlers’ first corn harvest proved so successful, Governor William Bradford reportedly invited the Plymouth colonists’ Native American allies to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Members of the Wampanoag tribe came bearing food to share. They had so much bounty, the revelers decided to extend the event to three days.

No Turkey?

No one knows for sure what was on the menu in 1621, but the early coastal settlers often ate lobster, seal, and swan. The Wampanoag also reportedly brought five deer to the celebration.

Gobble, Gobble?

Only male turkeys gobble. The females cackle.

Persistence Pays Off

Sarah Josepha Hale (writer of the nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb) doggedly lobbied President Abraham Lincoln for three decades to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. Possibly tired of her frequent letters, Lincoln wrote the proclamation in 1863.

Desperate Times Call for Changing Holiday Dates

Initially, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the last Thursday of November. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in order to boost the U.S. economy during the Depression, changed it to the next-tolast Thursday, to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. In 1941, Congress permanently established Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November.

Presidential Pardon

John F. Kennedy was the first president to pardon a turkey, but President George H.W. Bush made it an annual tradition when he pardoned a turkey in 1989 after he noticed the 50-pound bird at his official Thanksgiving proclamation looked a bit nervous. The turkey pardon has been a tradition ever since.

First Thanksgiving Day Parade

New York City and Macy’s may be famous for their Thanksgiving Day parade, but the first Thanksgiving Day parade took place in Philadelphia in 1920.

Plumbers Always Work on Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers due to food waste going down the kitchen sink and house guests stressing the plumbing system. SERVING UP FINGER-LICKING FOOD FOR THREE DECADES





Turkey Farming

Minnesota raises more turkeys than any other state.

Called a What?

The loose skin under a male turkey’s neck is called a snood. The bit of red flesh right under the beak is called a wattle.

We are now available on Eats 2 Go, Gubers & Waitr!

Run Off those Turkey Day Calories

America’s first Turkey Trot took place over 100 years ago with only six runners. Only four completed the race. In 2018, around 1000 turkey trots took place, involving over a million runners.

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


FACT: SARS-CoV-1 was discovered 19 YEARS AGO. The COVID-19 vaccine took NEARLY 20 YEARS to develop.



visit or call the Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774. Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

2002 Coronavirus Vaccine research began in 2002.

So much has happened since then...

2004 Facebook founded


Children's Hospital of New Orleans

Original iPhone revealed


Fitbit Tracker launched

2012 Ring Doorbell created

2013 Amazon Alexa released

In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 virus begins COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine target identified quickly thanks to research. 3.3 billion people have now received the COVID-19 Vaccine. 17

Mind & Body



Research shows the holidays can be hard on our health, both physically and mentally. A study reported in the journal Circulation reports that cardiac-related deaths are higher from Thanksgiving through New Year’s than any other time of year. Accidents increase, whether from chopping down a tree or hanging lights from the highest roof line. We drink too much and overeat and gain weight. The stress of the holiday season can lead to depression and negatively affect our mental health. In this special section on Staying Healthy Over the Holidays, we encourage people to take care of themselves while enjoying the merriment, with stories on how to manage diabetes, deal with grief, pamper their feet after all the mall-walking, even a piece on caring for teeth and braces in the face of all those sweets!

The Facts About Cancer in Southwest Louisiana– from a local doctor

Although many people believe cancer rates are higher here, it’s just not true. Overall, cancer rates are about the same across the country. But there is a difference here: we have a lower survival rate. Why? Fewer people in our region see their doctor for regular exams and screenings. This is a fact we can change. The earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival. Breast cancer, specifically, has a 99% 5-year survival rate when detected early. Lifestyle factors can increase the likelihood of getting cancer. Take control of your cancer risk by living a healthier life – don’t smoke, eat right, get recommended screenings and get plenty of exercise. Sources: American Cancer Society, Louisiana Tumor Registry

Amanda Ellington, MD, breast cancer surgeon with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital

A community partnership between:


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Fight Cancer with Facts.

How to Avoid,

Identify, & Treat COMMON


Levels of the common cold and influenza (aka the flu) hovered at historic lows during most of 2020, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and most likely due to mask wearing and social distancing measures. But as COVID-19 restrictions continue to lift, we may see a resurgence of colds and flu this fall and winter. In addition to chicken noodle soup and plenty of Kleenex, arm yourself with the following information to avoid, identify, and treat cold and flu symptoms. What can you do to prevent the cold/flu? The common cold or flu is spread by direct contact with the virus which is transmitted by other infected persons. Avoid public places, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands routinely, and avoid touching common objects in public places such as restroom fixtures (use a paper towel),

counters, and keyboards. Avoid touching your face without first washing your hands. Physical activity helps boost your immunity and keeps your heart pumping and blood flowing to better combat viruses. Eat more dark green leafy vegetables, red and yellow veggies, and more fruits to help build antioxidant phytochemicals to fight off the virus.

muscles. The common cold generally will not last longer than 10 days, occurs most often in late fall and winter and may take a few days after exposure before symptoms present. Colds generally causes a cough, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose. It can sometimes cause fatigue and aches and pains in muscles. Flu is similar but usually is accompanied by fever.

Is it a cold, flu, or allergies? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if symptoms are from a common cold, a virus, or from allergies. The body reacts similarly to both common cold and allergies, but some of the differences are how long the symptoms last, the time of year, and time of onset of symptoms. Allergies can occur any time of the year and can last anywhere from a few days to months and start immediately after exposure to the allergen that may affect you such as seasonal allergies, pet fur/ dander, or dust and mold. Allergies most commonly cause runny or stuffy nose and itchy watery eyes. Sometimes allergies may cause a sore throat and fatigue, but rarely will they cause aches and pain in

How to sleep with a stuffy nose? Buy a Neti pot kit at your local drug store and follow directions to make a lukewarm saline nasal rinse just before bedtime. Take a hot, steamy shower or sit in the bathroom with hot water running to allow steam to loosen mucus in sinuses. This will help drain and alleviate pressure. Drinking hot broth, soup or drinking hot tea will help alleviate stuffiness by reducing swelling in membranes. Avoid alcohol and caffeine prior to bedtime. Elevate your head while trying to sleep.


Mind & Body | Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

Managing Grief


Grief is not a topic most people like to talk about. Whether prompted by the death of a loved one, divorce, or any life event that breaks your heart, learning how to deal with grief is a first step in ultimately overcoming the sorrow. Victoria Ellender, a local public relations professional, knows a lot about grieving. Her mother, Cheryl Garner-Hartley, died of metastatic breast cancer at the age of 49 in 2016. Three years later, Victoria’s 24-yearold sister, Madeleine, died tragically while on a vacation in Mexico. As the oldest of six children, Victoria says the ramifications of losing their mother prematurely caused many other difficult circumstances and events to occur. “Mom died much earlier than expected. With no family history of cancer, her loss was jolting. It redefined everything we knew and could expect for our future.” On the very day her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Victoria discovered she was pregnant with her fourth child. Despite pregnancy and later parenting four children under the age of five, Victoria supported her mother through her


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

valiant battle against the disease. “Grief can be especially difficult for caregivers,” she says. “I developed some long-term consequences from living in that level of survival mode for so long. It delayed my grieving process. It took more than a year for me to reach an equilibrium after living under that level of high stress. By then, I was finally ready to do some grief work, and that’s when people told me I should be over it. But, no. I shouldn’t have been.” While being mindful of the five stages of grief, Victoria says she learned to not compare her grief with that of others. “Every relationship is unique and every loss—no matter how or when it happens—is uniquely our own. I learned much about grief through the loss of my mom. When my sister died, I was much better equipped to handle it. My sister’s death was traumatic. Gut-wrenching. And the hardest part was watching my siblings and dad go through another loss. Madeleine was a beautiful soul. I also learned how incredibly unique each of us is through the loss of her. We are all uniquely irreplaceable. There is no one else like Mom. No one else like Madeleine.” Victoria admits, grief can be particularly difficult over the holidays. “For me, the days and weeks leading up to holidays

by Angie Kay Dilmore

are worse than the anniversaries of their deaths. Because I know what’s coming, I do a lot of my grief work in advance. I find that we can endure just about anything if we prepare for it. I take a lot of time for myself in the days leading up to holidays. I drop my self-expectations. I allow myself to just be. I also create boundaries with other people who don’t understand. We put so much pressure on ourselves and on others to act normal, to be happy. But everyone’s grief is unique. For some, keeping traditions alive is how they cope best with grief. Others prefer to skip the traditional stuff and go to Cracker Barrel instead. For me, I try to avoid the festivities and keep things low key.” There is no way to describe how pervasive grief with that of others is until you’ve been through a loss, says Victoria. “It affects the way you see the world. The days are long, and everything feels cold and dark.” Yet she continues to do the hard work to come to grips with her grief. She finds solace in counseling and recommends a grief recovery support group called Griefshare. She intentionally incorporates grief into her life. “I do not want to bury my pain or numb out. I know I would be worse off if I tried to ignore it. So I face it directly and intentionally.”

She also reads books on grief, keeps a journal, and shares her experiences. “Telling my story is cathartic. It helps me to get my words out. Oftentimes, I don’t make connections until I say things out loud to another person. That’s how I am wired. I think we all are wired for connection.” “I have learned so much from grief,” Victoria adds. “I am deeply grateful for my journey. Of course, I would never wish for these losses, but I am thankful for the lessons. I believe each of us has our own unique path to walk in this life. Every person has a different purpose on this earth. Reaching a place of acceptance in my purpose—that pain is a major theme in this chapter of my story—has brought healing. These losses have transformed me and allowed me to access places I didn’t know existed. It’s like I’ve been granted a portal into the trenches of pain and loss. My path has been filled with people who hurt like me, and I have been able to understand—

truly understand—their broken hearts. Being able to look someone in the eyes when they’re hurting and not flinch or turn away . . . my experiences have given me that. And I am so thankful. In essence, recognizing my purpose and having faith in its meaning is what gets me through my grief.” Ellender offers the following advice for those grieving during the holidays: Don’t worry about how other people respond. Give yourself and others grace. Take it hour by hour, minute by minute. Don’t force yourself to smile if you don’t want to. Do not allow others to rush you. Your path is your own. Your heart and mind know what you need to heal. If you’re a planner, plan ahead. If plans overwhelm you, don’t plan. If you want to be alone, be alone. If you’d rather be busy, stay busy. Do what you need to find peace in each moment.

Victoria and her mother at MD Anderson

Victoria and her sister Maddy



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Mind & Body | Stay Healthy Over the Holidays



at Holiday Gatherings ‘Tis the season for festivity, family, and food—LOTS of food. Social events and family gatherings during the holidays are often primarily centered around all things food and drink related. Since healthy eating is one of the best tools for managing blood glucose levels, the holiday season can be a challenging time for those living with diabetes. Adequate control of their blood glucose levels over time is crucial for appropriate management of their condition. In diabetics, high blood glucose levels can lead to long-term complications if left uncontrolled, such as nerve damage, vision problems, circulation issues, heart disease, and kidney disease. Hemoglobin A1C level serves as a long-term indicator of how blood sugar levels are running. This is why a primary goal for many diabetics is to prevent their A1C level from raising. Low blood glucose levels can potentially cause short-term complications, such as weakness and dizziness; thus, the importance of adequate blood glucose control. By planning ahead, a patient with diabetes can keep their diabetes management on track during the holiday season.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

November is National Diabetes Month and here are a few tips on how diabetics can best manage their chronic condition during the holidays:

First and foremost, plan to stay on top of your blood sugar level. Checking it more often during the holidays is a good idea since your daily routine will differ from the usual. A common mistake diabetics make during the holidays is skipping their usual mealtimes to “save up for a feast later on.” Doing this may make it harder for the diabetic to manage their blood sugar level. Skipping a usual mealtime can place a diabetic at risk for having low blood sugar. And once they do consume the holiday meal, they’re more likely to overindulge, which in turn causes a large spike in blood sugar levels. Try to eat close to your usual mealtimes to help keep your blood sugar steady. For instance, if your holiday meal is served later than usual, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served. Account for serving size amounts of carbohydrate sources in holiday meals to stay on track and adhere to your diabetes management plan. Starchy, carbohydrate-rich sources include breads, rice, potatoes, and

by Emily Clyde, MS, RD, LDN

sweets. Plan to eat around the same amount of carbohydrates that you normally would for a meal. Incorporate as much nutrient-dense and colorful fruit and vegetables choices as you can in your holiday meals. Raw, grilled or steamed fruits and veggies are a great source of vitamins and minerals, are high in fiber, and may help you feel full longer on fewer calories. Go ahead and enjoy your favorites and pass on the options you’re not too crazy about. Choose the holiday dishes you really love and can’t get any other time of the year, like your relative’s famous pumpkin pie. Have a reasonable portion and enjoy it without any guilt. Lastly, find opportunities for activity throughout holiday celebrations. Even if the activity is something as simple as a 15-minute walk, exercise is a great way to lower blood sugar levels. ‘Tis the season for celebrating, reconnecting, and spending time with your loved ones. Focus less on food, and more on enjoying precious time with friends and family! Emily Clyde is a Wellness Registered Dietitian at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.



More Vitality

by Christine Fisher

Aching feet are certainly nothing new, especially after long hours of standing and walking. However, when the ache continues for a long time, or is especially painful, it could indicate a problem.

This leads to patients limiting their movement to avoid the pain, and the end result is a stiff, non-functioning joint. The joints of the ankle and great toe are common areas where we see this occurring,” explains Christine Palma, DPM, podiatric surgical specialist with Imperial Health.

While many types of arthritis can exist in the foot and ankle, osteoarthritis is the most prevalent. Commonly referred to as the “wear and tear” disease, osteoarthritis is joint breakdown over long periods of time. “Our joint surfaces are made of a shock absorbing force called cartilage. Cartilage is what allows our joints to move freely and without pain. When this is compromised, even slight movement can become very painful.

Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis include:

• • • • •

Tenderness when the joint is touched Pain during movement Trouble walking or putting weight on the foot Joint stiffness, warmth or swelling More pain and swelling after resting, such as sitting or sleeping

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a variety of treatment methods available. Some of these include antiinflammatory medications, steroid injections, custom bracing, and surgery. “We have a variety of options available, depending on each patient’s situation. We don’t want them to live with pain when it can be avoided, and we will work to keep them active,” Dr. Palma says. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Palma, call (337) 312-8120. She accepts all major insurance and Medicare.

Meet the Newest Member of our medical Team

Dr. Christine Palma, Podiatric Medicine Specialist Imperial Health is proud to welcome Christine Palma, DPM, podiatric medicine specialist, to our medical staff. Originally from Lake Charles, Dr. Palma earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine degree from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before completing her surgical training at the University of Florida Health in Jacksonville, Florida. To schedule an appointment, call 312-8120.

501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., 2nd Floor | Lake Charles | (337) 312-8120


Mind & Body | Stay Healthy Over the Holidays


Orthodontic Care Tips for Enjoying Seasonal Favorites with Braces by Kristy Como Armand

The two most food-focused holidays of the year are right around the corner: Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are plenty of tempting treats to enjoy during the holiday season, but if you’re wearing braces, you’ll likely need to make some adjustments. According to Dr. Craig Crawford, orthodontist with Crawford Orthodontics, taking care of your braces during the holiday season requires some awareness of foods that pose a risk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy holiday flavors. “Basically, the same general rules you were given when you got your braces regarding foods to avoid still apply. What you don’t want is for the holidays to set back your treatment time, or even worse, result in damage to your braces that causes pain or an orthodontic emergency during the holidays.”

Dr. Crawford offers the following guidelines for caring for your braces during the holidays: BRUSHING: After each meal and before bedtime, brush your teeth and braces with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.


There are special toothbrushes for braces called “interdental toothbrushes” that help get to those hard-to-reach places like under wires, between brackets and in the back of your mouth. FLOSSING: Floss after each meal, or at a minimum of twice a day. Floss the areas between your teeth — even the hard to reach places. Floss threaders can make navigating between the brackets and around the braces easier. ELASTICS: If you have these, you should wear them as your orthodontist prescribed. The only time you shouldn’t wear them is when eating and when brushing your teeth. Make sure you have the correct elastic size as well as some extras just in case you misplace them. Not wearing your elastics could increase the risk of your teeth shifting, which would prolong treatment. TRAVEL KIT: If you travel during the holidays, pack a braces care kit. Include a small toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, wax, elastics and a mirror to check your smile. These are great for the car, backpack, bag, or purse. This is a good kit to keep with you even if you aren’t traveling, for times you will be away from home at holiday festivities for an extended length of time.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

EAT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY: Cut your food into bite-sized pieces before chewing them slowly and carefully. This is always good advice for anyone with braces, but is even more important during the holidays, when you may be eating food that is not as familiar as your normal diet. KEEP YOUR ORTHODONTIC APPOINTMENTS: The holiday season is hectic and it can be tempting to skip an orthodontic appointment, but it’s important to remember that adjustments and examinations are important for making sure your treatment is still on track. “The holidays are meant to be enjoyed by all, even if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Crawford. “By following just a few preventive guidelines, you can avoid problems and keep your new smile moving in the right direction.” For more information about orthodontic options and care, call Crawford Orthodontics at (337) 478-7590.


Here’s a list of some foods to avoid if you have braces this holiday season:

Holiday Foods to Avoid if you have Braces While you can still enjoy many seasonal favorites, such as turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, bread pudding and more, there are some traditional holiday foods that could cause problems for braces.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• •

Jerky Hard bread

All nuts Peanut brittle Pecan pie Gingerbread cookies Taffy Popcorn Seeds Raw, crunchy vegetables Fruit cake Caramel Sticky treats Crunchy snacks Candy canes Hard candy

Welcome to our

Newest Surgeon Matthew Ayo, MD, general surgeon Sulphur Surgical Clinic

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital is pleased to welcome Matthew Ayo, MD, general surgeon, to its medical staff. Dr. Ayo practices alongside Dr. Castleberry, Dr. Ledet and Dr. Seale at Sulphur Surgical Clinic, located at 914 Cypress Street in Sulphur. Dr. Ayo is a native of Alexandria, Louisiana and received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. He earned his medical degree from LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. He completed his general surgery residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. To schedule an appointment, please call (337) 527-6363.

914 Cypress Street, Sulphur


Mind & Body


Is it Right for You? by Stefanie Powers

2021 was a difficult year but finally there may be some light ahead with the holidays approaching and parties and Mardi Gras balls back on the agenda. If you are looking for a refreshed look, it may be time to consider aesthetic surgery. There are many reasons to consider plastic surgery, such as those procedures that minimize the effects of childbearing, aging and weight loss. Breast augmentation surgery and liposuction continue to be some of the most popular surgeries. If you’ve thought about it in the past, now might be the time to see if it’s right for you. The good news is that there are all types of surgical and non-surgical options available, and many can be done in-office. Dr. Suma Maddox, MD FACS, is a board-eligible plastic surgeon with offices in both Lake Charles and New Orleans. “I focus on reconstructive microsurgery and aesthetics of the face, breast and body,” she says.


Born in New Orleans and raised in Houma, Dr. Maddox earned her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at New York University in New York City and went on to get her medical degree at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She completed her general surgery internship and residency at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI in 2014. She’s been certified by the American Board of Surgery since then. “I practiced general and breast surgery with Ochsner in New Orleans for four years before pursuing a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at LSU in New Orleans,” she continues. “There, I trained under the pioneer of breast reconstruction, Dr. Robert Allen, Sr., and advanced my techniques in reconstructive microsurgery.” Dr. Maddox says her philosophy is centered on being a strong advocate for patient-centered care. “I have made it my priority to unite the practice of reconstruction with the art of aesthetic


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

surgery to elevate my patients’ outcomes.” She offers a full range of procedures, both in-office and surgical. The decision to pursue plastic surgery is a very personal one, Dr. Maddox says. “As a mother of three children, I understand the emotions that go along with the changes that occur after pregnancy. I want to create a safe space for women to discuss their aesthetic goals without judgment. As a female plastic surgeon, I’m able to listen with empathy and deliver results with artistic elegance.” She advises that when making the decision to pursue plastic surgery, make sure your surgeon is board eligible or board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). “This ensures that your surgeon has completed the requisite six to eight years of plastic surgery training,” she explains. “A more cost-effective procedure by a non-plastics trained surgeon who is not certified may compromise results and may leave you disappointed with your outcome.”



Thank you for weathering the storm with us. For many of you, Hurricane Ida left a trail of destruction. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as more than 26,000 line crews worked to restore power to the homes and businesses in Louisiana. Our community came together, as we always do. We know that the storm isn’t over until every light is turned back on. The

Dr. Maddox says the benefits of plastic surgery to mental well-being are at the forefront of the selfcare movement. “My goal here is not to alter who you are, but to elevate your natural details. Some women have functional limitations related to excess breast weight or skin, resulting in chronic neck pain and headaches. In others, the abdominal muscles stretch with pregnancy or weight loss and can alter core body strength resulting in back or hip pain. These are all areas which can be successfully addressed with plastic surgery. We need to put oxygen on ourselves first so that we can better nurture those around us and be more effective in our daily lives.”

Entergy team continues to work 24/7 to make that happen as soon as possible. To our line crews from near and far, to the public agencies that provided the leadership and support for a successful and safe restoration, and most of all to you, our more than 1 million customers – thank you. Together, we power life.

Dr. Suma Maddox, Lake Christus Ochsner, 4150 Nelson Road, Building E, Suite 3, Lake Charles, LA 70605 (337) 656-7875 Follow her professional work on Instagram


A message from Entergy Louisiana, LLC ©2021 Entergy Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Money & Career


Your guide to success!

Many budding businesspersons come up with great ideas for innovative ventures, but they often become stymied between concept inception, the grand ribbon cutting, and the intended eventual profit margin. They need someone or something – a blueprint of sorts – to help them achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. In this special section, we discuss everything a new-to-business person needs to know, such as financing the venture, the importance of location, staffing issues, promotion, and more.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

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Your Small Business

When starting a business, funding is a critical component to success. To make your dream a reality, there are a number of financial solutions. It is vital to understand your personal financial position and how that will impact your business financing in order to choose the funding option that is best for you. Whether you decide to selffinance, apply for a small business loan, involve investors, or utilize crowdsourcing, the first step in funding your business is to have a business plan with realistic financial projections.

Self-funding is an attractive option, as it allows you to retain complete and total control of your business, however, you do take on all the risk. Self-funding can come in the form of turning to family and friends, using your savings accounts, or even tapping into your 401(k). When going this route, it is important to understand how much risk you are able to take on and also

what penalties are involved if you tap into your retirement account early. To ensure that you are in a position to self-finance, it is important to speak with your financial advisor before making any decisions. If you do not have the money to self-finance, a business loan allows you to borrow the money you need, while maintaining control of your business. When

Retirement… Are We There Yet? Let’s Build a Plan.


Marty DeRouen CFP ®, CHFC ®, LUTCF Wealth Management Advisor Martin DeRouen, David Girola provides investment brokerage services as a Registered Representative of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a subsidiary of NM, brokerdealer, registered investment adviser and member FINRA and SIPC. Martin DeRouen, David Girola is an Insurance Agent(s) of NM. Martin DeRouen, David Girola provides investment advisory services as an Advisor of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company®, (NMWMC) Milwaukee, WI,


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

preparing to present your request to a financial institution, ensure that you have a comprehensive business plan and detailed projections on the income and expenses. It is important for aspiring business owners who seek a bank loan to finance a startup to understand that most banks will not finance the full cost. The business owner should have at least 10-20% of the startup

David Girola CFP®, CLU® Wealth Management Advisor

a subsidiary of NM and a federal savings bank. There may be instances when this agent represents companies in addition to NM or its subsidiaries. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

“A sound business plan with detailed projections on income and expense are not only important for the bank to review, but also helps the client visualize the potential revenue that could be earned,” noted Michael Stulb, JD Bank Commercial Loan Officer.

costs available in cash for an equity injection into the business. “By having this amount available to invest in the business, this will show the banker that the business owner is committed to starting and operating the business and is not relying solely on the bank to help get the business started,” said Mark Lewis, JD Bank Commercial Loan Officer. An investor can provide the funding to start your business, but traditionally wants an ownership role in the company (think “Shark Tank”). When you consider working with an investor, you will need to do your research and due diligence to ensure the investor is reputable. Finally, crowdfunding raises money from a large number of individuals who are not investors. People who participate in crowdfunding do not expect a share of ownership or a financial return on their money. They expect a “gift” that could be a product you plan to sell or another perk. Before you go this route, make sure to read the fine print. All crowdfunding platforms are different, and you need to be aware of your financial and legal obligations. Choosing the right funding option will help shape the future and success of your business. Having a solid understanding of the industry you are considering, along with the proper financing, will make your dreams of owning your own business a reality. For more information contact a local JD Bank lender today at (337) 616-5040.

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Choosing the Best

LOCATION for Your Business by Kristy Como Armand

“Location, location, location.” That’s how the real estate cliché goes. Every cliché is based on truth, and this certainly applies to choosing a location for your business.

Sharel Hebert, Realtor with Century 21 Bessette Realty, Inc., says a business owner should be focused on choosing the right location, but there are many factors that go into that decision, and these aren’t the same for every business. “You need to consider how the location will or will not contribute to the success of the business and choose accordingly. A perfect location for a clothing boutique, for example, may not be the best location for an auto mechanic. An internet-based business may not need a highly visible physical storefront. The same is likely true for a service provider who does most of their work at their customers’ locations. These are just a few examples of why your business location should be an integral part of your overall business plan.”

Hebert offers some guidelines to help evaluate a potential business location:

How much can you afford?

Remember, the monthly payment is not the total cost of the location. Be sure to include the costs of utilities, taxes, renovations and upkeep in your budget.

Will the space fit your needs?

When choosing business space, the biggest consideration is sometimes not where it is but what it is. The space should be appropriate for – or adaptable to – your business and the equipment, staff and supplies you need to operate it.

Is there room for growth?

Consider the potential growth of your business when choosing a location. A small space might be cheaper, but the size might limit your business in the future, which could cost more over the long term.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

What’s the area like?

You want to be sure your business won’t be surrounded by competitors. It’s also a good idea to investigate other local businesses to see how they are doing. If they are all struggling, this might not be the best location. If they are doing well, your new business could benefit from proximity, particularly if you are targeting the same type of customers. Your goal is to choose a location where you’ll be a good fit.

How easy is the location to find & access?

Make sure you will be able to put up highly visible signage so your customers can find you. Consider how much parking space you will need, for both your employees and customers. Don’t forget your suppliers! If they can’t easily get to your business to delivery your supplies with ease, you won’t be in business long.

What are the zoning regulations?

Make sure there are no local regulations that would limit how you can use the space you are considering in a way that would impede your business. According to Hebert, the final decision on a business location is often specific to the business and its owner. “You know your goals and budget – take the time to thoroughly evaluate the pros and cons of your location options. The choice you make will have a big impact on your success – or lack of it.” Learn more about commercial real estate at or call (337) 474-2185.

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WORD OUT How to Promote your New Business by Lauren Morris

There are many reasons that businesses fail. According to a 2019 report by the Small Business Administration, about 20% of small businesses fail within their first year, and half will close their doors within five years. Failure to market the new business is a contributing factor to this daunting statistic. The good news is that building a marketing strategy into your business plan can help you avoid this. Many people mistake the word “marketing” for “advertising.” Armand explains that the two words are not interchangeable. “Advertising is a part of a good marketing strategy, but there is a lot more to marketing than just advertising, including public relations, social media, online visibility, networking and much more.” Today, there are more ways than ever for ensuring your business is present in the minds of potential customers, and one of these – a very important one – is establishing an online presence. “Make sure you budget for at least a simple website, social media and Google business listing,” Armand says. “This is essential for all businesses, and especially new ones.


You’ve made the leap to start a new business. You’ve got your plan tied up nicely with a bow, paint is going on the walls, sign will be up soon; everything is coming together. It’s an exciting time but also a nervous one. You feel like you’ve covered all your bases, but what about marketing? You may feel that you don’t have it in your budget to spend money on marketing of any sort, but Kristy Armand, owner/ partner at Healthy Image Marketing Agency says, “If you don’t plan and budget for marketing, you might not be in business very long.”

The first place people search for products and services is online, so it’s important that when they go online, they can easily find you. They’ll see that billboard or TV commercial, but then they will still go online to find your website, and/or your phone number, address and other details about your business. This is why you need more than one element to your marketing strategy. The elements you choose should work together to get customers to you.” Everything online is connected, so the better and more thorough your presence is, the more return on investment you’ll see. It’s important that your online presence succinctly states who you are as a business and what you offer in a way that differentiates you from your competitors. “When it comes to a new business, be sure to stay focused and be consistent in your communication,” Armand adds. “You want your initial marketing impact to be clear and concise; you want people to ‘get it.’ If you don’t know how to communicate who you are and the benefits you offer, how will your customers be able to connect?”

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Armand explains that when you take the time to build out your budget, marketing should be an item on the list from day one. If it’s built in from the beginning, you’ll never feel the sting of adding it in later. “The type of marketing you do and the media you include will be driven by your budget, but not doing anything or waiting until later is not the best way to launch a business. If you do your initial marketing well, you’ll establish visibility and name recognition that will provide an invaluable foundation for your future growth and success.” Armand also suggests that new business owners budget another asset: time. “One of the most affordable ways to make your business’s presence known is to do the real boots-on-the-ground work; go to events, better yet, sponsor events, join your local chamber, find any outlet you can for building relationships face to face. Be a visible, active part of the community. This element of networking is invaluable. Remember you are your own brand.”

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Experts recommend that small businesses spend about 7-8% of their gross revenue on marketing and advertising. If you start with a healthy budget, then your business is more likely to be successful, and you can continue to grow your overall public presence and be top-of-mind in your community. Don’t shy away from spending simply because your business is new. In fact, this actually gives you all the more reason to put some money down and invest in the future of your business. Armand adds, “Don’t adopt an ‘If you build it, they will come’ mindset. Rather, if you build it . . . and market it well . . . then they will come.”

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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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NEW BUSINESS? The Bottom Line is in the Details!

by Stefanie Powers

It’s finally time to put the wheels in motion to start your own business—something you’ve been carefully planning for a long while. You’ve drawn up your business plan and your finances are in place. Now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty—all the details that come with owning a business. There are a lot of them—and none of them are minor. They could make or break your business.


First, come up with a name for your company, and then decide which corporation form you’d like to register your business under, be it a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or sole proprietorship. The FEIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Whichever form you choose, you will need to register for one—unless you’re a sole proprietorship without employees. Then, you can use your own Social Security Number. There is no cost for a FEIN, and it only takes a few minutes to request. All new businesses in Louisiana need to register with the State of Louisiana. The State has simplified the registration process by centralizing the sign-up process, which allows a business to register a Louisiana Tax Account Number for their sales tax license, employer registration, and more.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021


If your business isn’t home-based, there are rent and utilities to be paid, along with the cost of any improvements that you need to make on the space. Then, you’ll need a permit to run your business out of that location. The building must be up to code, and you’ll need fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, along with an alarm system.

Business Insurance

The protections you get from choosing a business structure like a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation typically only protect your personal property from lawsuits, and even that protection is limited. Business insurance can fill in the gaps to make sure both your personal assets and your business assets are fully protected from unexpected catastrophes. In some instances, you might be legally required to purchase certain types of business insurance. The federal government requires every business with employees to have workers’ compensation, unemployment, and disability insurance. For more information, visit our state’s website (


Aside from inventory and any equipment specific to your business, you must have office furniture, computers, internet service, phones, and anything else necessary to keep your company going. It is imperative that you find a good IT company that you can call on when you’re having computer problems. Your business can completely shut down when this happens—and it’s going to happen. Be prepared!


Hiring and keeping employees is a huge deal. You will need to make a lot of decisions that include salaries, benefits, vacation time and sick leave, etc. Will they get bonuses? How often will you do performance reviews? How will you pay them? Direct deposit, or check? How often? Look into using a payroll service. Many employers prefer to use them to help ensure their employees and taxes are paid accurately and on time. The service will also file your federal, state and local taxes.

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Marketing $$

It’s not cheap to get the word out there, so you need to put aside a chunk of money initially to market your business. Luckily, social media has been a big help, but folks need to know that you’re around. Do your research and decide how and where your advertising dollars should be spent: radio, TV, billboards, print, etc. Think about donating your products or services at live and silent auctions to benefit charities. Set up a booth at trade shows. Offer giveaways and run contests on your Facebook page. Always stay in the public eye.

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Resources for Budding

ENTREPRENEURS Starting a new business is an exciting adventure, but it comes with challenges. Taking the time to plan and prepare before opening your business is an important step toward success. There are many things to consider when starting a new business, so knowing where to begin can be difficult.

Before diving into entrepreneurship, it’s a good idea to assess yourself as a business owner and determine the feasibility of your idea. An honest self-evaluation will allow you to ascertain your ability to meet the demands of entrepreneurship. There is a common misconception that starting a business can be an affordable way to take control of your financial future and your work-life balance. In reality, being an entrepreneur usually requires a capital investment and long hours beyond 9-to-5. If you think owning a business is for you, you can continue working on your business idea by identifying potential competitors and examining market research. Resources like your local library, census data at data.census. gov, the state library at and your local LSBDC can help you access research materials. When starting a new business, you need to determine what your business structure will be to formally establish ownership. If you are unsure which structure is right for your business after comparing the different types, you may want to consult with a lawyer for more information. Registering your business with the Secretary of State can be done at You can also build a free checklist to find resources that help with


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

planning for your business and produce a list of possible licenses and permits required for your industry. Writing a business plan is an essential part of preparing for your new business. Developing financial projections can make a big difference in the success or failure of your business. You can find more information and some sample business plans at and Unfortunately, there are rarely grants available for new businesses. The majority of business financing comes from owner contribution or local lenders. Understanding credit is a vital part of starting a business, so you may want to begin building your credit as soon as possible. There are organizations that specialize in working with potential entrepreneurs to start or grow their business. The Louisiana SBDC offfice at McNeese State University provides no-cost business counseling and planning services, as well as entrepreneur workshops and training. You can register for business consulting services and training events at our website, SCORE is a nonprofit organization that assists pre-venture businesses through education and mentorship. You can find information about their resources at

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) offers special programs like the Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program and Pathway to Assist Veteran Entrepreneurs (PAVE) for potential entrepreneurs, which you can find information about at The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center is located at 4310 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, and serves as a one-stop shop housing organizations such as the Business Incubator of Southwest Louisiana, the SWLA Alliance and the LSBDC at McNeese State University. Courtesy of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center network, which is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Louisiana Department of Economic Development. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. The team at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) has put together a detailed guide for starting a small business that you can download at

Sponsored by

LET IT MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD Running a business is hard. Business owners today must juggle more responsibilities than ever and often don’t have time to manage their IT infrastructure. Let a Managed Service Provider (MSP) handle the technical IT aspects, implement cybersecurity framework, lower operating costs and increase efficiency, while you focus on your core competencies. | | (337) 513-4272 | 1638 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Opening Soon!

Personal Banking in Moss Bluff Lakeside is growing! Our new Moss Bluff Financial Center will be opening soon and we are excited to introduce Aimee Gilmore, Vice President – Manager, and Hollie Saltzman, Assistant Manager, for our new Lakeside location.

AIMEE GILMORE, Vice President – Manager

Opening Soon 372 Sam Houston Jones Pkwy.

Nelson & Oak Park in Lake Charles



Moss Bluff

HOLLIE SALTZMAN, Assistant Manager




Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Sponsored by




If it can happen to Google, Amazon and Facebook, then it can happen to your business. These megacorporations were all victims of business invoice fraud, resulting in millions of dollars lost through the payment of fraudulent invoices. Business Invoice fraud, also referred to as business email compromise (BEC) has increased dramatically – over 350 percent – since the COVID-19 pandemic began, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars. Aimee Gilmore, Lakeside Bank Vice President and Moss Bluff Branch Manager, explains that fake invoice scams are a simple but effective way for criminals to steal money from unsuspecting businesses. “Scammers send fraudulent invoices to businesses for goods or services they never ordered, then pocket the payment. The scam succeeds mainly because the invoices look legitimate and unsuspecting employees who process them don’t look closely enough to see it’s not real.

Every business, regardless of size, deals with numerous invoices every day, with more and more of these being received and paid electronically. This makes it easier for a fake invoice to slip through.” Gilmore says there are some red flags to watch for to help you spot invoice fraud. “These criminals are smart. The invoices they send will look similar in format, and even in name, to legitimate invoices, but there are some warning signs you can look for if you are vigilant.”

Names. Verify the company name and recipient name on each invoice. Criminals will often use a similar name or change just one letter in a name so it will slip by. Amount Billed. Look at the

amounts. Compare the amount billed with what was ordered. Be suspicious of evenly rounded amounts that are billed and duplicate amounts on an invoice.


Agency Manager (337) 421-1252

Commercial Lines (337) 421-1156

*Not a deposit *Not FDIC insured *Not insured by any federal government agency *Not guaranteed by First Federal Bank of Louisiana *May go down in value.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Other Numbers. Examine other

numbers on the invoice, such as account numbers, invoice numbers and addresses. This will often be off by one number or have a series of consecutive numbers, such as 12345 instead of a real account number or address.

Logo. Check the logo on the invoice. Instead of normal invoice format, false invoices may have a logo in a white box that looks more pasted onto the form. Some may have a logo that looks close in design to one for a real company you do business with but is slightly off. For more information about business banking services and invoice fraud prevention, call Lakeside Bank at (337) 474-3766.


PASSWORD PROTECTION STRATEGIES We all know that the more complicated a password is, the better. They should include a mixture of numbers, punctuation marks and symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters.

Or should they?

Recent research into password security has shown that much of conventional password wisdom is not only wrong, but possibly dangerous. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and LinkedIn have all fallen prey to online attackers who have stolen entire databases full of passwords. The passwords are scrambled for security, but this offers little comfort when computer programs can make millions of guesses in just a few hours. Because most passwords are based on words in a dictionary combined with a number or symbol, it can take these sophisticated programs even less time to hack them. The end result is that common password policies don’t prevent the theft of many users’ passwords, which creates a complex, sophisticated, and lucrative shadow industry. Stolen passwords can fetch big money on the black market. So, what does that mean to you? It means that every password you’ve created is a valuable and vulnerable commodity worth protecting. To do so, you should go a step beyond choosing passwords that are hard for a human to guess. Your passwords need to also be difficult for a computer to figure out. Here are some tips.

Favor Length Over Complexity

LinkedIn or Twitter accounts, but what would happen if hackers used your compromised password to access your email, brokerage, or bank accounts? If you have trouble remembering multiple passwords, you may want to keep a list on your computer, but don’t store it on your desktop or in your inbox. Give the file a misleading name and bury it in a folder where only you can find it. There’s no such thing as an impregnable password. Still, putting personal information behind a basic password is like leaving your Porsche in a parking lot with your keys on the dash.

No Plain English

By taking preventative measures to strengthen your password, you may be able to help safeguard your sensitive personal data and your privacy.

Longer passwords are more difficult to crack. A minimum of 12 characters is recommended. Consider stringing together the first couple letters of a favorite movie quote, song lyric, or poem. For extrasensitive accounts, it may make sense to change your passwords on a regular basis. If you like the idea of optimal password protection, but worry you won’t be able to handle many, frequently changing passwords, password managers can help you organize, store, and use multiple passwords safely. Simple strings of numbers, along with passwords that can be found in the dictionary, are the easiest to crack. Microsoft suggests that your password should contain one or more uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, symbols, and even unicode (using letters and symbols from languages around the world) characters.

Mix It Up

Many people use the same password for multiple accounts because it’s easier to remember. But this could lead to serious consequences. You may not be too concerned about the personal information stored in your

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC, and Registered Investment Adviser. Ferdinandsen Financial Group is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial Services or registered as a broker-dealer or investment adviser. Source: Ferdinandsen Financial Group,

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Enter to Win!

REDOUX The Chamber SWLA/SWLA Economic Development Alliance wants to help its members and other businesses within Southwest Louisiana reshape and refresh how they do business.

This year, the Alliance is rolling out the Workplace Redoux! Does your office need a new look, a chance to destress, and/ or the expertise to revamp their workplace policies? Businesses can log into to lock in their chance to have three regional experts in different fields come to their offices and advise them on their office space, office morale, and office policies as well as $1000 to help them make it happen! It’s a workplace makeover raffle! Tickets are $150 and only 250 will be sold. Chances are limited to businesses of 20 or less full-time employees, or departments within larger companies/organizations.

Regional experts that have signed on for the 2021 program:

Keri Forbess-McCorquodale of Solution EAP is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Employee Assistance Professional. She supports companies in achieving optimal productivity and profitability. Myriam Hutchinson, ASID, of Myriam Hutchinson Interior Design provides her commercial and residential clients with functional, affordable, and stylish interior design. Previous projects include the renovations of the Rosa Hart Theater, the West Calcasieu Event Center, Kyoto Japanese Steak House, and the Lake Charles Regional Airport Terminal Building. Ross Raley of the Stockwell, Sievert Law Firm is an expert on labor and employment law. He serves as Legal Counsel for the Chamber SWLA and has often lent his experience and time-sharing information on business law and human resources.

This year’s winner will be drawn and announced at the Annual Banquet on January 13, 2022. All consulting must be coordinated within the first six months of 2022. Funds from this raffle will benefit the SWLA Alliance Foundation which over the past few years has managed a business recovery center after Hurricanes Laura and Delta and the May 2021 flood. The Foundation also gave out over $400,000 in grants to small, locally owned businesses that were in desperate need.

Sponsored by 44

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

If you are in business in Southwest Louisiana,

THE CHAMBER WORKS FOR YOU! DO YOU OWN OR OPERATE A BUSINESS? You may not realize it, but the Chamber SWLA and its members are already working towards your success!

As one of the largest Chambers in the state, the Chamber SWLA is proactive in attracting industry and growing our economy, developing leadership and workforce training, seeding visionary quality-of-life programs, and ensuring local businesses concerns are heard in Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C. For M

embership Inf o, With the support of Chamber members - and future contact Paul a Ramsey members like you - we will continue to lead the nation pramsey@ allianceswla .org in new jobs, business opportunities and or (337) 433-363 2. unprecendeted growth. www.alliance

4310 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605

(337) 433-3632


Money & Career

SOWELA Now Enrolling for Pipeline Technician Training Successful Completers Earn TC Energy Pipeline Academy’s Pipeline Technician Certificate SOWELA Technical Community College is now accepting applications for its Pipeline Technician training class in the TC Energy Pipeline Academy, the only academy of its kind in Louisiana. The class is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 1. The purpose of the 10-week Pipeline Technician program is to provide classroom instruction and practical shop experience to prepare students for employment in a variety of jobs in the pipeline industry. Registration is open on a first-come, first-serve basis. A limited number of training seats are available. For more information or to enroll, visit technician or call (337) 421-6560 or email The Johnson Firm Begins Construction of New Ryan Street Office Jonathan Johnson and Adam Johnson, Lake Charles attorneys and owners of The Johnson Firm, will hold an official groundbreaking for their new, 10,000 ft² office located at 1409 Ryan Street. The event will commemorate more than 40 years of local law practice, beginning with their father, Terry. J. Johnson and mark a moment all three Johnsons have envisioned for years. A first-generation college graduate and native of Lake Charles, Terry opened his office in 1980 at 910 Ford Street, where he practiced more than 30 years. He eventually partnered with Cary W. Vercher, and they operated as “Johnson & Vercher, LLC.” before Vercher retired and Johnson sold the practice to his sons in 2016. Jonathan and Adam purchased the 1409 Ryan Street property in 2018, with plans to construct their new office soon thereafter. But the world, and specifically Southwest Louisiana, would soon suffer a series of impacting events, including the COVID-19 46

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

pandemic and two, devastating, back-to-back hurricanes. The Johnson Firm’s new office, located at 1409 Ryan Street and designed by Jeff Kudla, is scheduled for completion December 2022. The James W. Gardiner Breast Center at CHRISTUS Ochsner-Lake Area Awarded ACR Accreditation in Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana is kicking off October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) by announcing the James W. Gardiner Breast Center at CHRISTUS OchsnerLake Area has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MRI of the breast offers valuable information about many breast conditions that may not be obtained by other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound. The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement. The James W. Gardiner Breast Center offers a complete continuum of women’s breast care including Screening Mammograms, Diagnostic Breast Mammogram, Breast MRI, Breast Ultrasound, Breast Biopsy, and Genetic Testing for cancer risk.

To learn more about a breast MRI, or to schedule a mammogram or other imaging services call 337.431.7887. CITGO E-Recycle Day Keeps 6 Roll-Off Boxes of Unwanted Electronics Out of Landfills Hundreds of Southwest Louisiana residents recycled their unwanted electronics during the annual CITGO E-Recycle Day at the West-Cal Arena parking lot in Sulphur. The CITGO Lake Charles Refinery organized the event with the support of the City of Sulphur, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Waste Management, West-Cal Arena & Events Center and the City of Lake Charles Wastewater Division. This event provides residents with the opportunity to recycle their unwanted electronics, completely free of charge. Items collected included TVs, cell phones, computers, batteries, household items containing mercury and other consumer electronics. This year 400 vehicles drove through the event with collections totaling six extra-large roll-off boxes, which equals approximately three semitrailers, 485 light bulbs and several items containing mercury. Each year, CITGO E-Recycle Day alternates between the cities of Lake Charles and Sulphur to give residents in each region a convenient place to recycle their e-waste. Since 2009, CITGO E-Recycle Day has kept more than 462 tons of electronic waste out of landfills and is one of many initiatives sponsored by CITGO as part of its commitment to reduce waste. Best of Bauer CSE Federal Credit Union CSE Federal Credit Union, Sulphur, Louisiana has earned the prestigious "Best of Bauer Credit Union" status from BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation's Premier Credit Union and BankRating Firm. This distinction is reserved solely for institutions that have earned Bauer's highest (5Star) rating consistently for at least 25 years.

Bauer congratulates CSE Federal Credit Union on its achievement. To earn a 5Star rating, the credit union must excel under a rigorous, independent analysis of its financial condition. CSE Federal Credit Union is well-positioned to continue to support its membership as we navigate through our ever-changing circumstances. Established in 1943, CSE Federal Credit Union has been a source of strength and stability for its members for 78 years. No matter what circumstances we are facing, you can always rely on CSE Federal Credit Union's dedicated team. Whether at the branch, by phone or online at csefcu.orq, they are at your service. CSE Federal Credit Union Directly Supports Southeast Louisiana Neighbors In September 2021, CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) held a disaster supply drive in support of employees of Louisiana Federal Credit Union (LFCU) who were severely impacted by Hurricane Ida. The drive took place at all CSE branches. Without hesitation, CSE joined in on the rescue to help its Southeast Louisiana (SELA) neighbors in LaPlace, LA due to the natural disaster. CSE is all about family helping family, neighbors helping neighbors, and people helping people. The CSE SELA Supply Drive included drop off points for donations of disaster and emergency supplies. CSE management and staff helped hand deliver a trailer full of supplies, including water, batteries, paper goods, toiletries, cleaning supplies, baby wipes and more to the LFCU training center in LaPlace, LA. To learn more or to donate money or supplies for the SELA recovery, visit Sasol Announces New Emission Reduction Commitment and Growth Plans for Lake Charles Site Sasol has announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent globally and across its U.S. operations by 2030. The company also announced growth plans for its Lake Charles multi-asset site. During its Capital Markets Day on Sept. 22, the company said it would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from its U.S. operations as part of an increased focus on sustainability. The company also announced plans to increase investment in developing innovative solutions produced at Lake Charles that can help its customers – and the consumers who buy their products – achieve their own sustainability goals.

Stouder said the company was already partnering with several global consumer brands to lessen the environmental impact of fabric care. Sasol also announced that the company’s America region has delivered strong financial results coming out of the COVID-19 downturn. Sasol expects the America region to contribute EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $700-$900 million by fiscal year 2025, and $0.9 - $1.1 billion by fiscal year 2030. Imperial Health Lab Earns COLA Excellence Award The laboratory of Imperial Health medical group recently completed its biannual inspection by COLA Inc. and received full accreditation as well as the COLA Laboratory Excellence Award. COLA is a leading national laboratory accreditor; whose program and standards enable clinical laboratories and staff to meet U.S. CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) and other regulatory requirements. Accreditation is given to laboratories that apply the highest standards of quality in day-to-day operations, demonstrate continued accuracy in the performance of proficiency testing, and pass a rigorous on-site laboratory survey. The Excellence Award is achieved only by COLA accredited laboratories that are found to be compliant with all COLA essential and required criteria during their onsite survey. In addition, award recipients must have demonstrated successful proficiency testing for the prior three testing events and have no substantiated complaints against the laboratory.

Imperial Health’s lab’s supervisory team responsible for the recognition are Julie Miller, Laboratory Director, Jennifer Rodriguez, Assistant Laboratory Director and Dr. Todd Peavy, Medical Laboratory Director. In addition to the in-house laboratory at the group’s main office in Lake Charles, there are seven convenient draw site locations across Southwest Louisiana. Learn more at Cameron Lions Club Launches White Boot Campaign to Support Hurricane Recovery for Bayou Neighbors The Cameron Lions Club has launched a White Boot Campaign to support hurricane recovery for residents in the bayou parishes of St. Mary, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche and Grand Isle. Specially labeled white boots will be displayed at area businesses through November 15 for donation contributions. Donations can also be made online at www.CameronLionsClub. com or mailed to Cameron Lions Club, PO Box 751, Cameron, LA 70631. After the deadline date, club representatives will travel to Southeast Louisiana to deliver gift cards for residents.

Collecting through November 30


HELP US PROVIDE WARMTH AND FOOD TO THOSE LESS FORTUNATE THIS WINTER. This year Lakeside Bank is not only collecting coats, but also food donations. New and gently used winter coats, and sweaters of all sizes and nonperishable food will be collected. If we all do our part, we will be warming someone’s heart as well as our own. DROP OFF BOXES ARE IN EVERY LAKESIDE BANK LOCATION LAKE CHARLES - NELSON ROAD LAKE CHARLES - OAK PARK




Places & Faces David Sickey

was born in 1978 into the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana. He began his tenure in Coushatta Tribal government in 2003 at age 25 and served in their government in various capacities for 18 consecutive years. In June 2021, he founded and became CEO of Sickey Global Strategies, LLC (SGS). SGS provides consulting services on numerous issues that affect the lives of Native Americans. “My aim is to help leaders and governments deliver for their people so that they can develop open, inclusive, and sustainable societies in an interconnected global community,” Sickey says. Sickey lives in Iowa, La., with his wife and five children. He is passionate about Native American issues, the plight of indigenous peoples, and the importance of bringing awareness of their concerns to the American public. In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, Thrive magazine helps Sickey share his story.

first person with

David Sickey

Strategist, activist for indigenous concerns, and former Chairman of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana by Angie Kay Dilmore


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Describe the path that led you to your involvement in Coushatta Tribal government.

My father, Ernest Sickey, was the architect of the Coushatta Tribe’s federal re-recognition in June 1973. As a young boy I vividly remember observing, hearing, and learning about public service, and I knew that is what I wanted to do one day. I worked within the tribe prior to running for the Tribal Council. My first campaign for the Tribal Council was successful in May 2003. Two years later I became the Vice Chairman. In 2017, I became the Chairman and ended my term in June 2021. Second to getting married and having five beautiful children, serving in the role of a tribal government leader has been the high point of my life. It was an honor and a privilege to serve and make an impact on my tribe and the surrounding communities.

What do you see as the primary concern of Native Americans today? The issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) is a major humanitarian crisis in the United States. In 15 years of conflict in Iraq, the U.S. has suffered 4,541 fatalities; yet in 2016 alone, there were 5,712 reported MMIWG cases in the U.S. For over a decade, the U.S. Department of Justice has estimated that American Indian women are around 2.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault when compared to the general population. One in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes. In Canada, First Nations women are six times more likely to be the victims of homicide, while in the United States that figure increases to ten times. Among the general population of American Indian women, 67% of rapes suffered by Native women are committed by nonNatives. 80% of sex crimes on reservations are committed by non-Natives, and according to the U.S. Department of Justice, 86% of all reported sex crimes against Native women are perpetrated by non-Natives. Taking what we thought was a proactive approach, we began our own internal investigation to assess our level of threat here in Louisiana. In the state that surrounds our sovereign nation, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, our people are categorized by coroners and the Louisiana Department of Health and all Vital Statistics as “other.” To this day, there is no accurate accounting of MMIWG victims in Louisiana. It is as if we do not exist; as if our women and children are invisible. David with current U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (L), and Juliet Langley Hayes, presenter of the Say Her Name documentary.

On October 10, 2020, two bills were signed into law to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in the United States. In combination, the reintroduced Savanna’s Act and the Justice for Native Survivors of Sexual Violence Act incorporate the recommendations made by several Native American organizations. that were discussed with Senator Murkowski, Senator Udall and others in December 2018. Support came from the offices of Senators Kamala Harris, Diane Feinstein, and James Lankford. A priority for all federally recognized Indian tribes is to strengthen and extend the jurisdiction of tribal courts to cover MMIWG crimes, which is at the heart of the Justice for Native Survivors of Sexual Violence Act. Additional pressing concerns for Native Americans today are recovering from boarding school trauma, including searching for unmarked graves and bringing children home; Native American voting rights; and helping tribal communities recover from trauma associated with COVID-19.

What were some of your most significant accomplishments as Chairman?

I was instrumental in influencing Governor John Bel Edwards to issue a historic Proclamation designating May 5th as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day. He also signed a sweeping executive order to create a Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Task Force which I chaired. This Louisiana executive action is arguably the most expansive MMIW/MMIP gubernatorial order of its kind to be adopted in the United States to date. Additionally, I led my tribe to become the Executive Producers of two MMIWG-related documentaries; Somebody’s Daughter and Say Her Name, which can be found on YouTube. These are movies made to edify and inform the world on these important issues. Elected to the position of Tribal Chairman in 2017, I was responsible for steering the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana through the COVID-19 pandemic. I oversaw the procurement and provision of health services,

worked with numerous federal agencies and officials to secure federal funding for the Tribe, and navigated my Tribe’s multi-milliondollar business through the pandemic’s unstable financial throes. Notwithstanding the shutdowns and other significant hurdles imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coushatta Tribe’s business grew stronger. I also helped the Coushatta Tribe overcome the impacts of multiple natural disasters. I was instrumental in helping this Tribe obtain millions of dollars in grants and funding programs thereby securing prosperity for the Tribe and our surrounding communities. Drawing on my extensive experience in government, I led the Coushatta Tribal Council in enacting several important ordinances, including a Tax Revenue and Administration Code, an Environmental and Cultural Resource Protection Ordinance, and a Tribal Archive and Artifact Protection Ordinance. I also negotiated with the Governor of the State of Louisiana to secure a favorable amendment to the Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the State and the Tribe. Most recently, I laid the groundwork for significant improvements to tribal infrastructure that will improve access to education, ensure adequate health care, alleviate environmental concerns, and allow for community investment.

Name three noteworthy Native Americans you’d like to highlight.

• •

Debra Haaland, a New Mexico congresswoman who was recently appointed as the United States Secretary of the Interior – the first Native American to hold this position. Sharice Davids, a Congresswoman from Kansas who is the only Native American Democrat currently in the U.S. House of Representatives. Joy Harjo, an American poet, musician, playwright, author, and the current United States Poet Laureate – the first Native American to hold that honor.

For more information on the Coushatta Tribe, see their exhibit at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum. This exhibit runs through Dec. 23.


Places & Faces


l w o B o r t Pe ! k c a is B by Angie Kay

Petro Bowl has been a family-fun institution since 1984. They’d had some damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005, but nothing compared to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura. “The day after Laura came through, we were in Houston and saw the destruction to the bowling center on the national news – it was horrible,” says Debbie Stroderd, General Manager at Petro Bowl. “We came home to see firsthand the damage to the bowling center, as well as our home. My heart dropped when I walked into Petro Bowl and saw the extent of the damage. Tables and chairs were thrown all over the place. Exterior walls on the east and northeast had crumbled. The eight-inch circle windows were thrown on the inside of the building. The huge front awning had collapsed. The roof was peeled back like a can of tuna, especially on the east side. Rain poured into the building and destroyed all the bowling lanes, pinsetters, etc.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021



Places & Faces



Nov. 6, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

MISTLETOE AND MOSS HOLIDAY M ARKET The Junior League of Lake Charles hosts their annual Mistletoe and Moss Holiday Market, Nov. 19-21, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Arts and Crafts vendors and various businesses will be on-site for your holiday shopping pleasure.

BROTHER BUBBA’S BACK PORCH CHRISTMAS COMEDY & DINNER SHOW Brother Bubba’s Back Porch Christmas Comedy and Dinner Show, Dec. 3-4, doors open at 6:00 p.m.,West Cal Cam Events Center, Sulphur, La. Featuring the Back Porch Quartet. Hosted by First Pentecostal Church of Sulphur. Advanced tickets required. Go to brobubbas.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

LIGHT UP THE LAKE The City of Lake Charles celebrates the holiday season Dec. 4 with their annual Light Up the Lake. Activities take place throughout the day. • 8:00 a.m. – The Literacy Council hosts their annual Hot Chocolate Run with Santa. • 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. – An impressive line-up of musical and theater performances at the Lakefront Amphitheater, as well as arts/crafts activities for children, food trucks, stocking giveaways, and photos with Santa. • 7:30 p.m. – Head over to the Civic Center’s front steps. Mayor Hunter will flip the switch to light the tree and the many brilliant ornaments positioned at the Civic Center entrance. • 8:30 p.m. – Holiday fireworks display over the lake.

HISTORIC CITY HALL Historic City Hall will display 10 impressive, ornately decorated Christmas trees this year. They’ll also host their annual Christmas Card workshop for students during December. Meet Me at the Market continues each first Saturday of the month. Dec. 4, you’ll find art vendors on the front lawn and the Charlestown Farmers Market at the rear of the building. The Children’s Museum will be on-site with activities for the kids.

CHILDREN’S THEATRE COMPANY The Children’s Theatre Company presents Cinderella’s Holiday Dining, on Dec. 4, 2021, 12:00 p.m. The magic begins as snow and festive sounds fill the air. Children enter through a castle glistening with icicles surrounded by toy soldiers before dining, then join their favorite storybook characters – Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Prince, Snow White, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, and Aladdin for an unforgettable experience. Character meals include pizza, dessert, and a drink. Seating includes a visit with photographs and autographs from each famous character from. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite costume. Cost is $25.00 per person (everyone must have a ticket including adults and infants). Seating is limited and reservations required. Call the theatre box office at 337-433-7323 or visit

CHRISTMAS UNDER THE OAKS Heritage Grove in Sulphur Tentative (as of late Oct.) Schedule: • Fri., Dec. 3rd, 7:00 p.m. Louisiana Express • • • •

8:00 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting Sat., Dec. 4th, 10:00 a.m. Holiday Market Opens 11:00 a.m. Kiwanis Christmas Parade 12:00 p.m.-8 p.m. Local school choirs, local music artists, and a nationally known headliner from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. TBA • 8:30 p.m. 100% chance of snow! As part of Christmas Under the Oaks,The Brimstone Historical Society brings back its annual fundraiser, Holiday House at Henning Cultural Center: Dec. 2-4. With over 30 small businesses, artisans, and creators, you’ll find everything you need for every person on your shopping list this year! Entry is $5. This event is hosted by The Brimstone Historical Society, in partnership with Sulphur Parks and Recreation, The City of Sulphur, Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA, and The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. • Thurs., Dec. 2, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.:Preview Party Night. Take a stroll to get first pick of all the amazing wares in store for the festival! Call to reserve your tickets, they go fast! • Fri., Dec. 3 and Sat., Dec. 4, 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Two full days of shopping, carriage rides, a carnival, and more! For tickets or more info, call 337-527-0357 or go to


Places & Faces

Holiday Happenings continued...

LAKE CHARLES MESSIAH CHORUS & ORCHESTRA The Lake Charles Messiah Chorus and Orchestra will host its 80th performance on Sunday, Dec.5 at 3:00 p.m. at the Francis G. Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese Campus. The performance features McNeese student vocal majors. Orchestra members include community musicians and McNeese faculty. Songs performed by the chorus include the famous Hallelujah Chorus and For unto Us a Child is Born. The performance will be directed by Colette Bulber Tanner, the daughter of the founder and first director of the Chorus, Francis G Bulber, who started this SWLA holiday tradition in 1939. Admission is free to the public.

LAKE AREA BALLET THEATRE Lake Area Ballet Theatre presents their annual, all local “Nutcracker” Dec. 9, 7:00 p.m.; Dec. 10, 7:00 p.m.; Dec. 11, 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. in the McNeese State University Tritico theatre. See this traditional holiday full-length ballet featuring colorful costumes and lively dances. Meet Clara, who travels to the magical Land of Sweets with a Nutcracker who has turned into a handsome prince! The show features over 100 local Lake Charles Dance Academy dancers and artists along with two guest artists who joined the cast this year. Tickets now on sale. Visit for more information.

CHRISTMAS ON THE PLAZA Christmas on the Plaza at Episcopal Day School South Campus, Dec. 9. Admission includes a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a sleigh ride, a craft at the Elf Workshop, hot chocolate, and vendors for shopping. Tickets $10 at


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

LAKE CHARLES SYMPHONY Lake Charles Symphony will host their Holiday Jazz and Java fundraiser on Sun., Dec. 12, 5:00 p.m. at the West-Cal Events Center, Sulphur, LA. Join them for a special evening of holiday jazz combined with the perfect cup of java and sweet pastries. Tickets $75 for adults, $40 for students with ID at



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Sundays with the Symphony

Brahms Violin & Viola Sonatas Sunday, November 21, 4:00pm Saint Luke-Simpson United Methodist Church 1500 Country Club Road Lake Charles, LA 70605

Holiday Jazz & Java Fundraiser Sunday, December 12, 5:00pm West Cal Events Center 401 Arena Road Sulphur, LA 70665

Tickets available online at our website and at the door. 809 Kirby St., Suite 210 Lake Charles, LA


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Places & Faces

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

Aimee Gilmore

Lakeside Bank Welcomes Aimee Gilmore for Moss Bluff Branch Lakeside Bank has named Aimee Gilmore Vice President - Branch Manager for their new Moss Bluff Location, which

will open this fall. She has 20 years of banking experience at financial institutions across Southwest Louisiana, including positions as teller, head teller and assistant manager. She has completed numerous banking compliance training courses. Gilmore can be contacted at Lakeside Bank’s main office, (337) 474-4766, until the Moss Bluff branch opens. Lakeside Bank Names Hollie Saltzman Assistant Manager of Moss Bluff Branch Hollie Saltzman has joined Lakeside Bank as the Assistant Hollie Saltzman Manager of their Moss Bluff branch, which will be opening this fall at 372 Sam Houston Jones Pkwy. Saltzman is from Lake Charles and has over 40 years of experience in local banking. She is licensed notary public. She can be contacted at Lakeside Bank’s main office, (337) 474-3766, until the Moss Bluff branch opens.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Jessica Williamson with Imperial Health Earns CPCO™ Certification Jessica Williamson, Director of Quality and Compliance at Imperial Health, has earned Jessica Williamson the Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) credential that addresses the evergrowing compliance requirements in the healthcare industry. To earn this certification, Williamson was required to demonstrate an understanding of the key requirements necessary to effectively develop, implement, and monitor a healthcare compliance program based on governmental regulatory guidelines — including Office of Inspector General (OIG) Compliance Program Guidance listed in the Federal Register, key healthcare fraud and abuse laws such as False Claims Act, Stark Law, Anti-kickback Statute, Civil Monetary Penalties Law and HIPAA amongst others. The CPCO credential is awarded by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Williamson has 16 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Williamson is a member of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).

Jenny Bono, Earns Fellowship Designation from the Healthcare Financial Management Association Jennings American Legion Hospital has announced Jenny Bono that Jenny Bono, FHFMA, MBA, CHFP, CRHCP, recently became a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA). She joined Jennings American Legion Hospital in 2018 as the Chief Financial Officer and holds additional designations as a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional and Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional. She’s a graduate of McNeese State University and the current President of Fusion Five, SWLA’s Young Professional Organization. To be awarded the FHFMA distinction, applicants must be credentialed as a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP); be an HFMA member for at least five years; complete a bachelor’s degree or 120 semester hours from an accredited college or university; and volunteer in HFMA or the healthcare industry. More than 1,700 HFMA members nationwide have achieved this accomplishment in the organization’s 68-year history.

Brian Bubb

Tonya Stillwell

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Announces New Leaders West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital announces two new leaders within its management team. Brian Bubb has been named director of biomedical services. In his new role, Bubb will direct, coordinate and oversee all functions related to safety testing, repair and maintenance of biomedical patient care equipment. He will also provide training and technical leadership to appropriate patient care personnel regarding equipment operations, standards and maintenance. Bubb began his biomedical engineering career in the U.S. Army serving in various roles until he retired in 2013. Upon his retirement from the Army, Bubb has pursued opportunities within the hospital biomedical sector and brings over 16 years of biomedical experience to this role. Tonya Stillwell, PT, has been promoted to director of physical medicine. Stillwell joined WCCH in 1996. During her employment, she has served as clinical instructor for the PT/PTA students, participated in process improvement initiatives centered around patient care outcomes and was named Employee of the Year in 2009. In her new role, Stillwell will be responsible for the direct oversight and management for all inpatient/outpatient Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Genesis Therapeutic Riding Center services at WCCH. Stillwell brings more than 25 years of experience to her role. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University’s School of Allied Health Professions.

Kaitlyn Gallegos

Kaitlyn Gallegos Completes STS Marketing College, Earns ‘Travel Marketing Professional’ Certification Kaitlyn Gallegos, MBA, TMP, Tourism Sales Manager, at Visit Lake Charles has completed the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College and earned certification as a Travel Marketing Professional (TMP). Gallegos has been employed at Visit Lake Charles since February 2019. Her responsibilities at Visit Lake Charles include showcasing Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana as a premier visitor and convention destination, working closely with other economic development and community organizations to improve and highlight local attractions, and working to target both domestic and international tour and travel programs to Lake Charles. Gallegos obtained a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Louisiana Tech University in 2014 and a Master of Business Administration from McNeese State University in 2018. Missy Amidon Named CITGO Public Affairs Manager Missy Amidon has been named Public Affairs Manager for the CITGO Lake Charles Manufacturing Missy Amidon Complex.

Amidon brought 20 years of marketing and public relations experience when she joined CITGO close to 10 years ago as the Public Affairs and Community Relations Coordinator. Outside of work, Amidon currently serves as the CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation Board Chair, is a member of the Southland Airport Management Board and a proud McNeese State University Alumni. Dr. Carl Fastabend Appointed to National Board of Directors Carl Fastabend, MD, FACC, founder and medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, has been Carl Fastabend, MD appointed to the Board of Directors for the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine (ABVLM). This goal of this organization is to promote the education of physicians practicing venous medicine and improve the quality of patient care related to the treatment of venous disorders. ABVLM administers the certification exam for this medical specialty. Dr. Fastabend is the only full-time, comprehensive vein specialist in Louisiana, and he is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiology. In addition to this board position, he is also a Diplomate of the ABVLA , a Fellow of the American Society of Cardiology and Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention, and serves on the board of the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) Vein Center. Dr. Fastabend is a recognized leader in his field and a frequent speaker at venous conferences and training programs across the country.


Style & Beauty

n a i l i z a Br t u o w o l B e Rescue! to th

A by Kerry


It’s not being overly dramatic to say that a Brazilian blowout can change your life. Anyone who calls Southwest Louisiana home knows all about the battle to get your hair to act right when the humidity inches up, rain showers pop in and the dreaded frizz takes over. We buy endless thermal products and hot tools in the quest for sleek, straight tresses only to see our carefully coifed hair destroyed in the time it takes to make a run for it from the air-conditioned house to the car.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

before Things to Remember • The process is not permanent. A good Brazilian blowout will last up to twelve weeks.


In years past, those seeking a

string of good hair days had to spend a small fortune and endure stinky, harsh chemicals to straighten their hair and protect it from our legendary southern humidity. Enter the Brazilian blowout, a liquid protein hair smoothing method that originated in Brazil using smaller molecules sealed with heat. The modern amino based treatment makes big promises: eliminate frizz, boost shine, lock in color and even cut blow-dry time in half. Sound too good to be true? Cosmetologist Stacy Leigh Hunt with Ginger Vine Salon says, “The Brazilian blowout delivers. The treatment will actually improve the health of colortreated, highlighted or even over processed strands by conditioning hair while sealing the cuticle for less frizz and radiant shine. The best part is that Brazilian blowouts do not permanently alter the hair’s texture and there is no down time like with a traditional keratin treatment which requires eight hours of avoiding hair clips, ponytails, sweating or moisture of any kind to protect results.”

• You’ll pay the price for frizz-free locks. A Brazilian blowout costs between $200-$500 depending on the length of your hair. An express version of the treatment is more affordable at around $125 but wears off after four weeks. • The Brazilian blowout is perfect for all hair types (curly, frizzy, damaged, course) but if you already have fine, straight hair, a keratin-based treatment might be a better option to combat frizz.

Hunt advises to choose a salon with experience because if too much heat is applied during treatment your hair can be damaged.

Aftercare • Your treatment will gradually wash away over time – choose a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate and sodium free (Aveda, Sol Janeiro) to extend your results. • To stretch your style even longer, consider simply wetting your hair in the shower rather than washing it. Ginger Vine Salon, formerly Salon Mixx, is located at 4720 Nelson Road, Unit 150, Lake Charles. Contact 337-497-9499 or for appointments.

In the Salon • Your stylist will shampoo, towel dry and divide your hair into sections. • The semi-permanent protein treatment is applied to each section. • Your hair is blown dry and then carefully flat ironed to lock in results. • The entire process takes about 90 minutes. The minute you leave the salon you can work out, wash your hair, or wear a ponytail without worry.


Style & Beauty Layer it up!

Style Tips

t e k c a Sh Fever rsen

by Kerry Ande

With celebrated cooler temperatures finally upon us, women in Southwest Louisiana are excitedly reaching for their favorite fall fashion staples. This season’s hero piece – the Shacket – is having a full-on moment as the top trending clothing item across the globe. Boutique racks are stuffed full of the hybrid shirt/jacket combo and every fashion magazine is featuring the ultimate year-round layering piece. Perhaps because the grab-and-go piece flatters all sizes, is easy to wear and instantly completes an outfit.

Shirt + Jacket = Shacket

So exactly what is a shacket? It looks like a shirt but is thick enough to be halfway between a shirt and a jacket. The silhouette is oversized with the details of a traditional button-down shirt (buttons, collar, chest pockets) but made from a thicker material. The feel is cozy meets cool. Shacket’s range from light and layerable to lined and textured, but they have one thing in common – effortless style!


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Have fun with fabric. A plaid flannel shacket is the look of the moment, but look also for boucle, corduroy, army green canvas with military details and even faux leather. Special touches like Sherpa collars, raw edge hems, unusual fabric finishes or upgraded buttons deliver an elevated look all your own. Incorporate playful patterns into your wardrobe by choosing a shacket in a buffalo plaid check, houndstooth, or quilted fabrication. • Heavier weight shackets with large pockets on the lower half are also referred to as ‘chore jackets’ and can provide a bit more warmth. Bottom line? This is an easy to wear fashion trend that works for all ages, body types and budgets so grab a shacket and get out there!

Move over denim – shackets are the new casual topper. Their versatility is what makes them a fashion essential. Pop one on to elevate your work from home look or grab one on the way out the door to pick up the kids from school. The shacket allows you to look put together without trying too hard. • For an everyday easy chic look, layer the shacket over a funnel neck top and skinny jeans or joggers. Belt the shacket for a more polished feel or roll up the sleeves and wear it open for a low maintenance pop of color and warmth. • Dress it up over cropped trousers and a tucked in top paired with pointy-toe boots. • Wear one open over a floral midi or sweater dress paired with combat boots for a nod to 90’s fashion with a bit of edge. • Choose a long and lean shacket with pockets (think trench coat but made from flannel) for more of an updated outwear look. • Pop it on over activewear for the ultimate in comfort and style.

Fall & Winter Hair Colors Try a New Hue this Season! For many men and women, hair is like a natural accessory. You can do so many different things to your hair to complement the look you’re going for. Going shopping? You might straighten it and put it half up half down. Going out or on a date? Curls with some styling is the way to go. Staying inside and cleaning house? Definitely, a messy bun. Change it often to fit with the season, trends, or whenever you want something new and different. What better way to complete your fall outfits than to color your hair to match?

by Lakyn Conner

Fall and winter bring on the browns, maroons, and darker color pallets. This is the season when blondes go auburn, and brunettes go darker. Choosing a new hair color can be difficult – there are so many different hues to choose from; but your skin tone can help you decide. The hair color that looks the best on you should complement your skin’s undertones. Warm undertones work best with golden blonde, honey blonde, golden brown, caramel, toffee, or amber colors. These colors bring out the warmth of your skin. If you have cool undertones, chocolate brown, ash/smoky brown, espresso, beige blonde, and champagne blonde go hand in hand with your skin. If you have neutral undertones, lucky you! Any hair color will complement your skin!

Trending fall/winter hair colors:

• • • • • • •

Crisp Apple Cider Sangria Burgundy Color Melt Copper Red Panels with Dark Brown Chocolate and Chestnut Balayage Warm Blonde Cappuccino Caramel and Mocha Red and Amber Blend

Fall and winter colors give a warm, cozy feel to fit the season and the season’s apparel. People also go darker to help their hair become healthy again after lightening it throughout the summer. Darker hair colors radiate with shine, softness, and richness. Plus, fall/winter hair colors make it easier to get your desired hair color rather than going from brunette to blonde. Many cosmetologists suggest going two shades lighter than your goal hair color. This way you can see what it will be like darker, and if you still want it even darker, color it again. If you went straight to the degree of dark you thought you wanted, but it’s too dark for your liking, instead of needing to color it back lighter, you can go darker shade by shade.

Tips on treating your newly colored hair: • Use quality shampoo and conditioner (NO sulfates or parabens). • Use heat protectant when styling. • Use leave-in treatments and deep conditioning treatments • Use lukewarm water in shower


Home & Family

How to Be a Welcomed

Holiday Guest this Year:

Gifts & Guidelines

by Andrea Guthmann

Did you scrap your traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year as the pandemic raged across the country? We’re all eager to reunite with loved ones, but there are a few new things to consider before packing your bags to stay with friends and extended family this year. Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, offers these tips.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

1. Have the COVID-19

conversation. Let your host know your vaccination status and feel free to politely ask if they and other guests will be vaccinated.

2. Respect the COVID-19 house rules. Are we wearing masks? Can we hug? Should we maintain social distancing? Discuss coronavirus comfort levels with your host before you arrive.

• Candle- When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a classic candle. Pampering your host with this luxurious candle such as Floral Street, with scents ranging from rose to saffron to cedar wood, will help them relax after hosting a house full of holiday guests. $46 at Nordstrom.

3. Avoid surprise guests.

“If you decide you want to bring a friend at the last minute, it’s not appropriate to call the host and ask if there’s extra space,” says Gottsmann.

4. Let your host know of any food allergies in advance.

5. Leave on the date you

told your host you’d be departing.

• Slippers- Your host may have been on their feet all day preparing. When they finally sit down to take a break, encourage them to kick back and relax by surprising them with super-comfy Pudus vegan slippers that come in dozens of styles. $25 at amazon or

6. Don’t expect the use of the family car.

9. And possibly the most

7. Be respectful of the host’s pet. “The family pet is an integral part of the family,” says Gottsman. “Treat them with kindness and respect.”

important rule . . . don’t arrive empty-handed. Flowers and a bottle of wine are nice, but below are suggestions for hostess gifts that will be appreciated long after you’re back home.

8. Pitch in. Make your bed

and keep your area tidy. If you’re staying multiple days, Gottsman recommends taking your host to dinner and helping prepare food for daily meals.

• Blanket- What better way to bring warmth to your hosts’ home than a cozy blanket? It’s the gift that keeps on giving! A faux fur throw will take the chill off all winter long. $79 at L. L. Bean.

• Tea Forte- Staying with a tea drinker? Help your host wind down in a luxurious way. Treat them to a boxed set so beautifully packaged, you won’t need to wrap it. $66 at amazon or

• Coffee- Is your host more of a coffee drinker? If you’ll be drinking your host’s coffee, why not replenish their supply with something special? You can’t go wrong with this World Coffee Tour sampler that takes you around the world from Rwanda to Ecuador, Vietnam to Honduras. $90 at amazon or

As much as we’d all like the pandemic to be behind us, COVID-19 can still impact our plans. Follow these guest guidelines for a happy holiday.


Home & Family


5 Ways to Avoid Delivery Scams Some consumers have recently been getting text messages stating a major delivery carrier needs them to “update delivery preferences” on a package by clicking on a link. The problem? The text is a scam, and the link results in theft of personal information.

Most consumers love the convenience of making purchases online and having them shipped straight to their doorstep. But with millions of packages delivered each year, con artists and thieves have developed many ways to steal from shoppers. Fortunately, there are also many ways to protect yourself from their shady tactics. Popular Delivery Scams Delivery scams and theft are particularly prevalent at the holidays, when more packages are being shipped, but they can happen year-round. Scammers are hoping shoppers are busy or distracted and will act without thinking. Look out for phishing texts or emails that pose as official notices from delivery companies. These either contain a “tracking link” or a message that the shipper is having difficulty delivering a package to you, or most recently, a link to update delivery preferences. Clicking the link either takes you to a form that asks for personally identifying information, or to a site that downloads malware onto your computer. Be aware of fake “missed delivery” tags. Scammers place a note on your door that claims they are having challenges delivering a package to you. They ask you to call a phone number to reschedule your delivery, but it’s really a ruse to get your personal information. Another issue is package theft. Many consumers have had their packages stolen before they arrive home from work. Thieves snatch packages from doorsteps or lobbies of apartment or condo complexes. Criminals even follow delivery and postal trucks. When the truck leaves, the crooks move in and grab the parcels. 64

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

How to Avoid Delivery Scams: • Take precautions to ensure a safe delivery. If you are having a valuable or fragile item delivered to your home, purchase shipping insurance. Always get tracking numbers for your purchases and check the shipping progress periodically. • Watch out for texts, calls or emails about a missed delivery. Legitimate delivery services usually leave a “missed delivery” notice on your door. If you receive a missed delivery notice, examine the form carefully to make sure it is authentic and only then follow their instructions. Keep track of what you’ve ordered so you have a better idea of what is coming and when. Don’t click on any links; go to the delivery carrier’s website directly, or log in and use the retailer’s tracking tools. • Request a signature. Chances are this feature may come with a price tag, but it may be worth the extra fee. Requesting a signature means that a delivery service won’t be able to drop a package on your doorstep unless someone is around to sign for it. • Don’t leave packages sitting on your doorstep. Packages left sitting outside are particularly vulnerable to theft. To ensure safe delivery, have your package delivered to your workplace, or to a trusted friend or neighbor who will be home to accept delivery. Some delivery companies now have lockers where your packages can securely wait for you to pick them up using a one-time code to open the locker. • Open your delivery upon receipt to check for damage or signs of tampering. Contact the seller immediately if you believe something is wrong with the shipment or if it’s not what you ordered. Also, be sure to review the seller’s return policy for damaged or unwanted items. Visit to learn more. If you’ve been the victim of a delivery scam, please report it at Your report can help others avoid falling victim to similar scams.


• Secure the shipment. Signature

Online shoppers should watch out for ‘porch pirates’ – people who steal packages from unsuspecting homeowners. Package theft is at an all-time high because so many people shop online. The U.S. Postal Service offers these tips to keep packages safe from thieves.

• Don’t leave delivered packages unattended. • Use online tracking services. If a

company says a package was delivered but it’s not at the delivered address, report it.

• Consider monitoring the front

door. If you have a home security camera system, make sure it captures activity at your front door and mailbox. If you catch any mail thieves in the act, save the video and alert your local Postal Inspectors. Video surveillance helps prevent crimes and catch bad guys.

• Customize the delivery. If you know the package will be larger than the mailbox, authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified out-of-sight location. You can also request pick-up at their facility.

confirmations ensure that the package ends up in the right hands. Register your most valuable packages so special care and documentation is used every step of the way. Ship your packages to where you are, not where you aren’t.

• Talk to employers. See if they’ll

agree to having packages delivered to the workplace instead of the home address.

• Watch for suspicious activity. Some thieves follow delivery trucks waiting for the opportune time to steal packages. If you notice something out of place in your neighborhood, report it to the proper authorities with specific details.


Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment


With all of the industry located near the various waterways we have in our area, what effect are they having on our water?


Industries clean the water before it reaches the environment.

Water treatment procedures at area industries utilize advanced biological technology to eliminate unwanted materials so water can be reused. This biologically engineered process results in clean water which is lab tested to verify compliance with regulations. These labs are certified by the Department of Environmental Quality. Industries must meet water quality standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Over time, these standards have become increasingly stringent and local industry continues to remain in compliance. The water that is discharged is continually monitored by industries to remain in strict compliance with regulatory agencies. We aim to recycle, reuse, reduce, and treat as much as possible. It’s good for the environment and good for business. All of us play a role in maintaining good water quality, and that includes local industry.

Megan Hartman

Local industry representative

Visit to learn more and submit your question about local industry and the environment.


Home & Family

Boxwood Dieback Disease

Affects Louisiana Landscape

by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

Boxwood dieback disease, scientifically known as Colletotrichum theobromicola, is affecting English, Korean and Japanese boxwoods. The pathogen is spread into new locations on infected nursery stock. Once introduced into the landscape, spores of the pathogen are produced on the infected twigs. These spores are spread by splashing rain and overhead irrigation water. Poor pruning seems to be associated with the development of the disease, possibly through the infection of pruning cuts.

66 66

Thrive Thrive Magazine Magazine for for Better Better Living Living •• November November 2021 2021


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

“Boxwood dieback is a fungal disease that causes random dieback of twigs and branches,” said Chad Everage with Landscape Management. “Leaves initially turn light green and then turn more light tan colored as the disease progresses. Affected leaves do not defoliate, but rather tend to stay attached to the branches. The root and crowns of affected plants look normal.” Although the environmental conditions affecting disease development are not currently known, high humidity is believed to be contributing factor, which explains its spread across the southern states. Since boxwood dieback is a recently discovered disease – first reported in the United States by an LSU AgCenter plant doctor in 2015 – effective diagnostic tools and control measures such as fungicides are currently limited. “We recommend homeowners follow good cultural practices and create an environment that will decrease the spread and development of boxwood dieback,” said Everage. “Since removing the dead and dying twigs from plants infected by the pathogen is not known to control this disease, once detected, all symptomatic plants in the landscape should be removed and destroyed. Surface disinfection of pruning and cutting tools is also important to reduce its spread.” Everage says they have seen some cases here and are available to provide inspections.

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

600 W McNeese Street, Lake Charles | (337) 474-9913

Email or Text Notification when your RX is ready!

ThriftyWay PHARMACY #2

Friendly service from your home town pharmacy. • Citywide Delivery Service • Drive-Thru Pick-Up Window • E-Mail and Call in RX Service

For more information, call Landscape Management at (337) 478-3836.

601 S. Pine Street • DeRidder, LA 70634 • (337) 463-7442 •


Home & Family

Travel tips

to reduce your holiday TRAVEL EXPENSES Like last year, holiday travel plans might look a bit different this year. Hidden costs, restrictions, and requirements for even domestic travel can make planning your usual yearly trip costly if you aren’t aware. Most countries, including the United States, have new rules and regulations that could cost you thousands. But with careful consideration and the tips below, you can cut your holiday travel expenses:

Check COVID-19 requirements for states. Vaccinated or not, it’s important to check what the state you’re going to says about visiting. Some may require an incubation period, vaccination proof, and additional medical coverage. Check the guidelines of where you’re visiting so your trip isn’t ruined by forgotten proof of medical records or a required quarantine period. If you’re going to a state that requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination, be sure to put everyone’s vaccine cards in an easily accessible place and keep them organized.


Prepare ahead of time. The booming post-pandemic travel industry makes it difficult to plan last-minute. Planning weeks and even months in advance for important pieces of your trip (hotels, rental car, etc.) is crucial and can get you the best deals for things like flights and rooms. This allows you time to budget. Insure your travel. Most medical insurance plans don’t cover the cost of out of network help. When traveling to another state, a visit to the doctor could cost thousands. Consider an out of state (OOS) medical

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

insurance that would work best for you. For example, Goose Insurance has a comprehensive plan that includes trip cancellation coverage, hospital, physician and ambulance services, $250,000 in medical coverage with COVID-19 being covered, and more. If you travel outside of the country this holiday season, find a plan that will cover you for COVID-19 related medical emergencies as well as if your trip gets canceled or interrupted due to COVID-19.

Look into loyalty programs. Whether or not you frequently travel, consider looking into airline, hotel, and any other travelrelated rewards programs. Often by signing up, you can get a great deal on your next trip. Consider what kind of rewards program would be beneficial and weigh your options to see which can get you the best deals. Loyalty programs with the best activities and amenities for your lifestyle can help you get more out of your stay.

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Home & Family

Matters of FAITH by Angie Kay Dilmore

Each person has a unique character with personal preferences for just about everything, including how they experience and express their faith. Whether one is most comfortable in a gothic cathedral, a modern worship center, a mosque or temple, or outdoors in the sanctuary of nature, praising and communing with God is a deeply personal choice. Religious organizations today recognize the importance of meeting individuals’ needs and strive to tailor their worship services to either focus on a specific style or host multiple services that appeal to a variety of people.

Traditional churches tend to have services that hold fast to the heritage of a particular denomination. They sing the old hymns – often accompanied by an impressive pipe organ – and follow a specific order of worship that often includes reciting prayers and professions of faith in unison. Their church buildings are often older and ornate, adorned with stained glass windows. Many traditional churches are considered “mainline” denominations – generally protestant with long histories, such as Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Episcopalian.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

Catholic churches also adhere to traditional services, or Mass. Catholics around the world take communion and read the same scripture passages specific for each day. This consistency unifies Catholics worldwide, which many Catholics appreciate. Our Lady Queen of Heaven offers Mass Mon. – Fri. 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., a Saturday Vigil Mass at 4:00 p.m., and Sundays at 7:00, 9:00, 11:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (LifeTeen Mass). Some Catholics long to return to historic roots and hear Mass in the traditional Latin. This is offered at the Oratory in Sulphur and the Cathedral in downtown Lake Charles.

Contemporary services are less structured with modern music and enthusiastic praise, prayer, and worship. They are often attended by younger people and families looking for a different way to experience God. Some Protestant churches have moved away from the traditional format and host contemporary services. Larger churches often have a variety of services, both traditional and contemporary, to appeal to all their members. Trinity Baptist Church in South Lake Charles offers contemporary services at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. and a blended traditional/contemporary service at 8:30 a.m.

Non-Denominational churches have no affiliation with any organized denomination and are generally contemporary. They’re often progressive and inclusive and focused on community service. Water’s Edge Gathering in Lake Charles hosts around 800 in-person attendees and another 1000 or so who watch online each week. While many churches have relaxed their unspoken but expected dress codes over the decades, “cowboy” churches embrace a more casual, come-as-you-are approach which appeals to people who might be intimidated by more formal churches. Like Open Gate Cowboy Church on Tom Hebert Rd., Lake Charles, these churches are often located in rural farm areas.

Other worship styles include Gospel churches, traditionally found in our African-American communities. Pentecostal/Charismatic churches place more emphasis on the Spirit nature of God and focus on biblical gifts of the Spirit sometimes overlooked by other denominations, such as speaking in tongues. There are Spanish-speaking churches and churches such as Trinity Baptist in South Lake Charles that offer a Sunday service in Spanish at 11:00 a.m.. There’s a Korean Presbyterian Church in Leesville, La.

As believers across the country and here in Southwest Louisiana flock to mega-nondenominational churches, many churches across the country have experienced a decline in membership over the past several decades. While some have opted to close their doors, others have come up with creative solutions, such as renting space in unexpected places like storefronts and event centers. First Presbyterian Church Lake Charles and Grace Point Christian Fellowship (formerly First Christian Church) had shared the latter’s building for six years prior to moving into their newly completed shared worship space called Harvest Community Center in the Morganfield neighborhood.


Home & Family Countless churches in Southwest Louisiana were severely damaged during Hurricane Laura. This disaster prompted cooperation not only between a variety of Christian denominations, but between different religions. From June 2020 until this past summer, Temple Sinai had gathered at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd (returning a favor from 1918). Down in lower Cameron Parish, the congregations of three destroyed Catholic churches are combining into one church. Religions other than Christian are also represented in Southwest Louisiana. In addition to the Jewish community at Temple Sinai, the Islamic Center of Lake Charles is the only mosque between Lafayette and Beaumont, serving 8001000 devotees. And there are several Buddhist temples in the Lafayette area. Culture and worship styles are not the only considerations when choosing a church home. Each church has its own way of outwardly demonstrating the love of God beyond the church walls and into the community. Churches might host food pantries, homeless ministries, prison outreach, or international mission. They might focus on local community service and helping people rebuild after the storms. When looking for a church home, a person might strive to match their personal passions to a church’s missionmindedness. For every believer or seeker, there is a church where he or she can feel at home.

Religious Affiliations in Louisiana • Protestant (57%) • Catholic (26%) • Other Christian (1%) • No religion (13%) • Buddhism (1%) • Other religion (1%) • Don’t know (1%) Source: Wikipedia

Harvest Community Center opens in Morganfield.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021


Home & Family

SAVE-THE-DATES: • Deadline to Register to Vote in person or •

Investing in Foundations for the Future

• • • •

by mail – Sun., Nov. 14, by 4:30 p.m. Deadline to Register to Vote Online at – Sat., Nov. 20, by 4:30 p.m. Deadline to Request a Mail-In Ballot – Tues., Dec. 7, by 4:30 p.m. Deadline for mail in ballot to be received by Registrar – Fri., Dec. 10, by 4:30 p.m. Early Voting—Sat., Nov. 27—Sat., Dec. 4, from 8:30 a.m.—6 p.m. Election Day—Sat., Dec. 11, from 7:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m.


by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

The founding fathers of our country understood the importance of publicly funded education as a cornerstone to a functioning democracy. In 1785, John Adams wrote, “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.” The Calcasieu Parish School Board has a crucial issue before voters on Saturday, December 11, with two 10-year tax renewals on the election ballot parish-wide. Representing nearly $57 million in annual operating revenues, the renewals are essential to the overall long-term future of the Calcasieu Parish School Board. Taxes are generally approved for a specified period of time before going back to the voters for reauthorization. Those reauthorizations are called “renewals,” as written on actual ballots for the voters to consider. Both of the Calcasieu Parish School Board taxes on the December 11 election date are 10-year tax renewals that

were last approved on March 24, 2012, and expire in 2022. “This are not new taxes, nor are they increases in current taxes,” said Karl Bruchhaus, Superintendent for the Calcasieu Parish School Board. “This is a renewal of what’s been in place for more than 30 years in Calcasieu Parish.” Both the ½ cent sales tax and the 9.52 mill property tax presented for renewal are used for operational expenses in the General Fund, the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s operating account. Parts of these taxes can generally be attributed in part to all school system nongrant expenditures. “The nearly $57 million per year generated by these two renewable taxes plays a vital role in the operations of the school system and truly reaches into the cost of every employee’s salary and every child’s education,” said Bruchhaus. “The ½ cent sales tax and the 9.52 mill property tax represent 15% to 17% of the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s annual operating budget over the last five years and certainly have an impact on the quality of education offered in our school system.”

While the CPSB school system has certainly experienced challenges in the last several years with the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple natural disasters, they have always continued to focus clearly on the most important aspect of education: the relationship between teachers and students. In fact, greater than 83% of their operating budget is spent on salaries and benefits. With another 6.4% spent on maintenance, 2.2% on materials, equipment and textbooks, and .6% on transportation, it becomes clear how crucial these two tax renewals are to continue to provide the current levels of service. If approved by voters parish-wide, the two taxes would be renewed for 10 years starting January 1, 2023. For more information on the tax renewals, visit: For election details, voting locations, registration questions, etc. visit:

Invest in

Foundations for the Future on DECEMBER 11

Both the ½ cent sales tax and the 9.52 mill property tax represented for 10-year renewals can generally be attributed in part to all school system non-grant expenditures as follows: 83.4% SALARIES & BENEFITS






100% TOTAL 74

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021

EARLY VOTING NOV. 27 – DEC. 4 #EducationAffectsEveryone


for life


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

You Need a Mentor! For the last several years, I have been supervising new therapists. It’s a lot of work (for both me and them), but I love watching them grow as clinicians. And I feel a sense of responsibility to help the next generation of therapists find their way. You see, I remember being in their shoes. Fresh out of graduate school and with a brand new job. I didn’t even know where the bathroom was, much less how to conduct a therapy session. I try very hard for the people I supervise to not spend so much time feeling “lost.” I had some really good mentors along the way, and I want to be just as helpful to them. While I feel pretty proficient about this therapy stuff after 30 years of doing it (I seriously can’t believe that number), there are still times I feel I need to bounce ideas off a colleague. I don’t ever want to get to the point where I think I know everything and am infallible. So, when I am thinking about a case long after the client has left my office, I know I need to reach out to one of my mentors. I view a mentor as someone who knows more than me about something and is willing to share insight with me. So, I have mentors for lots of different areas: owning a business, handling staffing issues, financial planning, decorating, etc. All areas I am involved with, realize I don’t know as much as I need to, and want to discuss with a true expert. A career mentor is something we all need. If you want to move forward on your career path in a planned way, why wouldn’t you ask someone who has gone before you? If you want to change careers, why wouldn’t you talk to someone doing the job you want to be doing? Any way you look at it, you need to have someone you can go to who will help you in your goals. So, you’ve decided you need a mentor, now who will it be? Consider the following: Your mentor needs to be knowledgeable. You’re not looking for a friend here. This person needs to be seasoned and experienced. This will not be someone new to the field you want to be mentored in. Your mentor needs to want to mentor you. Knowledge is not enough. Good mentors understand there is a time commitment to mentoring. Good mentors like helping people and like seeing people grow.

Your mentor needs to be someone you trust and respect. If you use your mentor wisely, you will be willing to discuss mistakes made and concerns you have. If you don’t trust your mentor, or aren’t willing to make yourself vulnerable, you will not get nearly as much out of the mentoring relationship. Likewise, you need to respect your mentor. As you are sharing yourself, you need to have confidence in your mentor’s advice. Now that you are on track to get a mentor, what are your responsibilities? It is your job to maintain contact. You ask for and schedule the meetings, at your mentor’s convenience, of course. It is your job to set the agenda. Good mentors are busy and won’t like to “meet just to meet.” You need to have a running list of topics you would like to discuss and get feedback on. Other than your current concerns, use the time with your mentor to get some long-term advice. Some questions to consider: • What steps would you take to jump start your career if you were in my shoes? • What are some things you regret not doing earlier in your career? • What career-defining moments have come your way? • What hard choices have you had to make and how did you make them? It is your job to incorporate the advice you are given. The mentor/mentee relationship must be productive. You are there for advice and solutions, not complaining/venting. Your mentor will become frustrated if you do not implement the advice given. Obviously, if you don’t agree with the advice on several occasions, that is a sign that you might need a different mentor. It is your job to ask for feedback and show gratitude. Asking your mentor “what else can I do to make our time together more valuable?” or “I would like your honest opinion about this” is key. Additionally, being grateful to your mentor on a regular basis demonstrates to the mentor that this is time well spent. The next time you are in a challenging situation, or about to start a new endeavor, I hope you will ask yourself, “Who knows more about this than me?” and give that person a call. You never know, that person might be your next mentor!



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when they won’t pay, call 76

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2021