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Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region 2017 2017

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Great Reasons

inspiring our children to become leaders

to join our


Academic Excellence Safe, Nurturing Environment

Competitive Athletics Global Citizenship


igniting a passion for learning

Outstanding Technology Program Vibrant Fine Arts Program Successful, Confident Graduates Individual Attention Spiritual Growth Leadership

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developing innovative problem solvers



803 North Division Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 337-433-5246 episcopaldayschool.org



How Small Businesses Make a Big Impact on the Local Economy by Donna Little, Center Director Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University

The saying “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy” isn’t a myth — it’s a fact. In Louisiana, 99.5% of all businesses fit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s definition of small. Many of your friends and family members work at locally-owned small businesses. Think of the places where you buy boudin, haircuts, auto repairs, dental services, and many other necessities and pleasures of daily life.

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Besides adding thousands of jobs to our economy, owners of small businesses have the flexibility to be innovative. Entrepreneurs see opportunity and create solutions. The satisfaction of solving a problem and following her own ideas is often more important to a business owner than getting a regular paycheck. We benefit from people who want to make life better instead of drifting along with the status quo. Small businesses pay taxes that help to support our schools, pave our roads, and keep us safe. Your dollars spent at a local business have a multiplier effect in the community. The business owner writes paychecks to employees, hires someone to mow the yard at the shop, buys cleaning services, contributes to a school fundraiser, and puts a large part of the company’s income back into the neighborhood. That money, in turn, is spent locally over and over. The community benefits from small business owners who can take advantage of the flexibility in their work schedules. How many youth league coaches and volunteers with school events are able to help because they have their own businesses? In addition to having an incalculable dollar value, consider the satisfaction for those who have such a positive effect on the world. Southwest Louisiana is fortunate to have the SEED Center as a resource. George Swift, president/CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, said, “Half of the jobs created in the United States are a result of small businesses. In Louisiana there are over 414,000 small businesses which employ over 900,000 workers. Realizing the importance of small

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businesses, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance worked with other organizations to build the SEED Center which opened in 2013. The SEED Center offers a full array of services including the Business Incubator, which can hold thirty businesses and can assist them in building their ideas and formulating a business plan. Startup businesses within the SEED Center, can take advantage of many services to help them grow and prosper.” McNeese State University hosts the Louisiana Small Business Development Center which also offers help to startup and existing businesses. Large industries in our area are investing billions of dollars in new facilities. To compete for sub-contracts with these projects, business owners need to have the right insurance and safety certifications, good cash flow to cope with industry payment terms, and solid knowledge of their company’s finances so they can bid competitively. Networking to connect to the decisionmakers is essential so joining a local Chamber of Commerce or trade association can be crucial to meeting a buyer and getting an audience with the decision-makers. An easy way small businesses can get their share of the growing pie in Southwest Louisiana is by selling goods and services to the thousands of workers who want to enjoy Cajun food, have their vehicles repaired, get a manicure, or buy a boat. As you work and play, look around you at the impact of small businesses in our community. Think of how important our innovative, hard-working entrepreneurs are to the economy in Southwest Louisiana.



CHANGING THE FACE OF BRACES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY Orthodontist Dr. Craig Crawford uses orthodontic techniques today which would have seemed like science-fiction when his father, Dr. Patrick Crawford, first started practicing orthodontics in 1974. Since joining Crawford Orthodontics in 2004, Dr. Crawford has continually brought some of the newest, most advanced orthodontic technology in Southwest Louisiana. One major advance is Invisalign transparent aligners which make treatment less noticeable. Before returning to Lake Charles, Dr. Crawford worked on the orthodontic staff of Align Technology, Inc., the developer of Invisalign®. This is a very popular option for adults and kids. Clear ceramic brackets are another newer option. As opposed to heavier metal brackets, these are more comfortable and blend in with the teeth’s natural enamel. In place of messy, uncomfortable teeth impressions before treatment, a new intra-oral scanner at Crawford Orthodontics takes a series of rapid digital photos of teeth to create 3D models to precisely customize treatment plans. Crawford Orthodontics recently upgraded to an i-Cat FLX Cone Beam 3D imaging system. The QuickScan+ feature allows for a full-dentition 3D scan at a lower radiation dose than a 2D panoramic image. Dr. Crawford says these advances have led to shorter, and much more comfortable, treatment. “Orthodontics is about more than straightening teeth. It not only enhances a person’s health, it also adds to your self-confidence and appearance.” There really is no age limit for braces, and Crawford Orthodontics offers a full range of orthodontic services for adults and children.

Call today to schedule a free consultation. (337) 478-7590 | 701 West College St. | Lake Charles | drcrawfordorthodontics.com 8 thriveswla.com


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Here We Grow! Join Us. Join our initiative and be part of a united, grassroots effort to actively support sustained, progressive growth and development in our community. Our Mission The Alliance for Positive Growth is an organization of professionals in the fields of real estate, development, construction and all other interested parties working together to protect property rights and promote strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana. Our Goals • To be a positive voice for good growth in Southwest Louisiana. • To assist growth professionals involved in development in our region. • To provide fact-based information to the media and public about the economic benefit of positive growth. • To educate and advocate about the need for housing and commercial growth in our region. • To monitor and review municipal actions in order to work with area municipalities to complement public/ private relationships. • To support civic initiatives that enhance quality of life. • To endorse and support projects that align with our pro-quality growth platform. Visit our website to learn more about membership opportunities and the work we are doing in Southwest Louisiana..

APGrowth.org phone: (337) 602.6788 • fax: (337) 602.6789 10 thriveswla.com


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We’re the Perfect Fit for Southwest Louisiana’s

Bessette Realty, Inc.

Real Estate Needs

Tara Demarie 474-2185

Tobie Hodgkins 474-2185

Ashley Demarie 474-2185

Deborah Anderson 515-4464

Tammy Ardoin 884-5214

Karen Barker 274-3321

Eric Blanchard 794-1783

Kimberly Blanchard 802-3633

Koni Bridges 274-6391

Peggie Dando 515-2583

Karen Davis 302-7177

Joy Dumesnil 794-9380

Analee Gregory Dupuie 274-9996

Judy Fontenot 540-1776

Kim Granger 526-5787

Sharel Hebert 515-8189

Shellie Hoffpauir 513-6627

Lydia Holland 794-7848

John Koetter 802-2678

Sharon Leger 802-0305

Suzanne McCoy 842-6411

Jade Miles 660-8545

Linda Moffett 794-0512

Jackie Myers 540-2503

John Morgan Portie 496-6450

Grace Robideaux 496-1611

Madison Rodgers 532-1211

Rebecca Slone 540-3915

Office Awards

Jennifer Sproles 348-9927

Larry Turner 540-1916

Lisa Rivers Weeks 794-5967

Each office independently owned and operated.

century21-bessette.com | 3025 Lake Street, Lake Charles | 474-2185 2017 - Annual Issue





Healthy Image: Thriving for 15 Years For a business, completing construction and moving into your own office building delivers a great sense of accomplishment. When it happens to coincide with the milestone of your 15th anniversary, it seems like the an ideal time to take a look back at how far you’ve come, and to be thankful for where you are. Fifteen years ago, Kristy Armand and Christine Fisher were cheering alone in a parking lot. They had just landed their first client. They didn’t have a business plan or start-up money – they barely had a name. What they did have was a shared vision, experience, a reputation for doing good work, and two computers. In 2007 they were joined by a third partner, graphic designer Barbara VanGossen. The three had worked together for years on various projects. “We didn’t have a defined goal or list of expectations when we started,” Armand said. “We just knew we would work hard.” And they did. Since then, Healthy Image has continued to grow, moving over the years from home offices to a first small office; then to a larger office and expanding that. Today, the new, larger office, located at 4845 Ihles Road in Lake Charles offers ample space for the agency to serve over 120 local, regional and national clients. The team now includes 12 members and offers a full range of marketing services, including strategic planning, advertising, public relations, graphic design, corporate communication, video production, photography, social media management, website development, event planning and more – basically anything a client needs that falls under the 12 thriveswla.com marketing or image-management umbrella. “We’re

tell a client’s story to the people who need to hear it, and there are many different ways to do that. It’s our job to find the most effective way,” says Fisher. Two years after starting Healthy Image in 2002, Armand and Fisher founded Thrive as a small quarterly publication focused on topics for better living; with VanGossen’s help it matured to a full-color, high-quality, award-winning monthly magazine distributed throughout SWLA and Southeast Texas. In 2013, Healthy Image was nationally recognized by the United States Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 100 Small Businesses in the country with the Blue Ribbon Award, and last fall, the U.S. Congress recognized the agency as the Small Business of the Week during National Women’s Small Business Month. Healthy Image was also named Small Business of the Year for Southwest Louisiana in 2012 by Louisiana Economic Development and in 2013, Southwest Louisiana Small Business of the Year by the SWLA Chamber Alliance. The agency has received hundreds of ADDY awards for advertising, design and copywriting and Thrive has been honored for writing, design and overall excellence multiple times by the Louisiana Press Association. While the recognition and awards are appreciated – and humbling – what matters most to the owners and their team is knowing they are helping their clients achieve their goals. “We love what we do, and we realize we are fortunate to be able to do it every day,” says VanGossen. “Our success comes from helping others be successful and that’s a great feeling.” For more information on Healthy Thrive Image’s services, call

4845 Ihles Road, Lake Charles (337) 312-0972 | ehealthyimage.com 4845 Ihles Road, Lake Charles (337) 310-2099 | thriveswla.com

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copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Since 1985, we’ve been satisfying the appetites of Louisiana folks with po-boys, chips and libations. Let Darrell’s put a smile on your face and give you delicious food you’ll love.

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

We pride ourselves on serving enticing po-boys that include surf and turf, Darrell’s Special and BBQ. At Darrell’s, we make all of our gravy, BBQ sauce, jalapeno mayonnaise and butter sauce in-house daily because we believe in giving you the best.

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

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




Four Common Challenges of Owning a Small Business

Small business owners today face many unique challenges as they navigate through the complexities of providing health care benefits, remaining competitive against larger firms, and complying with an array of regulations. As the backbone of America’s economy, small businesses are often caught in the middle as they work double time to meet all of today’s demands. Here are four of the biggest burdens small businesses deal with in the current economy.

by Victoria Hartley-Ellender

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Money Management Employee Retention The task of accounting and bookkeeping is especially challenging for many small businesses, especially those who cannot hire someone to manage these tasks. Payroll, taxes, and billing can be overwhelming to manage for small business owners in addition to their day-to-day work of running the operations. In addition, the complexity of bookkeeping goes up exponentially with each new employee, making it harder to hire additional staff until the benefits outweigh the extra workload.

Staying Current

Sometimes, it can require extra energy and focus to retain employees at a small business. While the small business oftentimes does have the advantage of providing a family-like feel, employees are also saddled with extra tasks and duties they may not have elsewhere. In addition, maintaining a competitive pay rate is also challenging for employers in the small business world. Many small business owners effectively combat this issue by fostering a sense of community and celebrating the advantages of working in a close, family-like environment.

Client Dependence

The ability to stay current on the big picture of their chosen field and market is a challenge in itself. Keeping a good eye on the competition and also staying up-to-date on the latest government and state regulations can be time consuming for small business owners who also have to carry the weight of daily tasks within the company. Workers’ compensation laws, tax regulations, and liability insurance requirements change annually, and each small business has to carry the task of ensuring up-to-date compliance.

Many small businesses struggle between not being able to take on too many clients, and not wanting to become too dependent on any one client to stay afloat. A common red flag for any small business is to avoid depending on one client for any more than 40 to 60 percent of the company’s revenue. That can be difficult for small businesses to accomplish without having enough staff to support numerous clients and accounts.

While these challenges are real and must be met, thanks to the tenacity of successful small business owners, they’re able to overcome them and continue to provide their unique service to their community.

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True. Local. Banking. Join the migration to Lakeside to receive personalized service from one of the healthiest banks in the nation.

Lake Charles Main Branch

(337) 474-3766 • 4735 Nelson Road

Lake Charles - Oak Park Branch

(337) 502-4314 • 2132 Oak Park Blvd.

Westlake Branch

(337) 502-4144 • 2203 Sampson Street

Coming Soon to Sulphur!

Many banks call themselves local, but to be a truly local bank, you have to offer more than a local address. You have to have roots and be committed to helping individuals and businesses in your community be financially successful. That describes Lakeside Bank, a truly local bank. Lakeside opened at the end of 2010, the only new bank granted a charter in the middle of a national recession. Since that time, two other branches have opened, with another one on the horizon. Lakeside has received numerous honors for safety and strength, and for 4 consecutive years, Lakeside has been ranked among the healthiest banks in the U.S. in America, according to DepositAccounts. com. The bank became a $150 million dollar bank on their 5th anniversary and the growth has continued in the two years since then. Mike Harmison, president and CEO of Lakeside Bank is proud of Lakeside’s history and its excellent rankings, and says the bank’s high standing among customers and rating groups are a direct result of the relationships his team of local bankers have with their customers. “People don’t do business with banks. People do business with people. Our growth and success is a testament to the trust our customers have placed in our people, and our commitment to serving our customers,” he says. Lakeside Bank officers, staff and board of directors all live and work in Southwest Louisiana. Banking with Lakeside means customers enjoy the benefit of a face-to-face with a lender who makes decisions based on the merit of the request and understands the unique business climate and opportunities at work in Southwest Louisiana today. “The economic growth taking place in our community is unlike any other in our state, or in the entire country. If you don’t live here, you probably aren’t aware of all the factors that should be considered when making these decisions, both now and

2700 Maplewood Dr. 16 thriveswla.com


what’s we know is coming in the next five-to-ten years,” says Harmison. “Big banks often make decisions in an office far away from here, and have their best interest at heart, not yours. At Lakeside Bank, that’s not the case. The success of our business depends on the success of yours.” Lakeside local banking also has advantages for consumers. Customers never pay an ATM fee at any ATM location of any bank, anywhere. They enjoy more personalized and attentive service from people who remember their name and welcome them into the bank and the drive-thru. Large banks have begun to substitute credit card applications for certain loan products Lakeside Bank continues to offer as a more affordable service its customers. During a time when bigger banks are closing more locations in Southwest Louisiana, Lakeside Bank is expanding to serve its growing community here at home. Plans for a new branch in Sulphur are underway, which will make Lakeside services more convenient for consumers and business owners on both sides of the river. “This makes good business sense for what is happening with industrial expansion in our region today,” says Harmison. When you bank with Lakeside Bank, you gain access to quick, flexible, local decision-making, more personalized and attentive service and banking with the neighbors who support local business and community organizations. Plus, Lakeside Bank customers benefit from the same technology and security of big-name banking, while keeping your dollars at work at home.

The Way Banking Should Be

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Keeping Southwest Louisiana


With every move you make, the bones, joints, tendons and muscles that provide the framework for your body work together with synchronized precision – until there’s a problem. When a problem does occur, whether the result of an injury or from a disease like arthritis, its reassuring to know that expert care from the specialists at Center for Orthopaedics (CFO), the region’s largest musculoskeletal group, is available.

Dr. Steven Hale using the MAKO robot for joint replacement surgery.

Originally founded in Lake Charles in 1994, orthopaedic surgeon Dr. John Noble says it was the group’s move to their new office on Imperial Blvd. in 2009 that “marked a new beginning for CFO and provided the foundation for our current level of growth and innovation.” This new office opened with just four doctors but grew quickly. Today, CFO, an affiliate of Imperial Health, serves all of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas and includes two locations, 10 doctors in several specialty areas, three podiatric medicine and surgery residents, and a large support staff of physician assistants, nurse specialists, technicians and office personnel. An important factor in CFO’s growth is the doctors’ strong connection to this region. All of the doctors were born and raised in Louisiana. They received the high-level training needed for their areas of specialization and brought that expertise home to Southwest Louisiana. As a group, they are committed not just to Center for

Orthopaedics, but to the community they call home and the patients they care for here. Part of the commitment means bringing the latest advances in care to their patients. A recent example of this is MAKO robotic assisted surgery for hip and knee replacement procedures. This innovative technology gives CFO’s orthopaedic surgeons a higher degree of precision during procedures based on an individualized CT scan of each patient’s unique anatomy. CFO’s sports medicine department and its staff of experienced athletic trainers work with the doctors to provide sports medicine coverage for 14 area high schools, working to prevent and treat injuries in young athletes. A 5600-square foot office expansion five years ago has helped CFO keep pace with the rapid growth in the region, as has the implementation of a one-of-a-kind internal digital system and Better Day Health electronic health record application. Designed by physicians, the system reduces the time physicians and staff spend documenting information, improving productivity. “Better Day is helping us enhance every aspect of the patient experience, supporting our commitment to provide care that is patient-centered, not physician-centered,” says Dr. Noble.

Dr. John Noble during a patient visit with the Better Day Health system in place.

New development taking place on the Imperial Pointe campus around the CFO office will contribute to continued growth, according to Dr. Noble. “This promises to be different from anything else going on in the region. It will be a healthy living community that merges health and wellness facilities, including a hospital, medical offices, fitness and rehabilitation center, with office and retail space, restaurants, and a variety of residential components, from apartments and a gated subdivision to independent and assisted living facilities. We are very proud to be part of such a progressive project; one that makes the future of healthcare and healthier living a reality today.”

ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEONS John Noble Jr., MD Steven Hale, MD George “J.” Trappey IV, MD Jonathan Foret, MD David Drez Jr., MD, Senior Advisor PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION SPECIALISTS Craig Morton, MD. William Lowry Jr., MD FOOT & ANKLE SURGEONS Tyson Green, DPM J. Kalieb Pourciau, DPM HAND & WRIST SURGEON Andrew Foret, MD INTERVENTIONAL PAIN MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST William Crookshank, MD starting October, 2017 PODIATRIC MEDICINE & SURGICAL RESIDENTS Matthew McCabe, DPM, 3nd year Jared Gremillion, DPM, 2nd year Megan Herring, DPM, 1st year

(337) 721-7CFO www.centerforortho.com Cardiovascular Specialists Lake Charles • Sulphur

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The Eye Clinic is Building on a Tradition of Visionary Care

Earlier this year, The Eye Clinic moved the region’s most experienced eye care in a new direction – literally – with the opening of our new main office on Imperial Boulevard in Lake Charles. This expansive, modern facility now serves as the group’s main office, and features a spacious lobby, 16 exam rooms, expanded diagnostic testing facilities, a LASIK suite, several minor procedure rooms, a centralized, enlarged retail optical shop, a dedicated Aesthetic Center with separate waiting area, and increased parking capacity with a covered patient drop-off. A second Lake Charles office on 1st Avenue now offers convenient, full-service eye care on the east side of the city, bringing the group’s total number of office to six. According to Dr. Virgil Murray IV, the growth of the group is in response to the growth taking place in the region. “Our goal is to bring the most advanced eye care services to our patients in

Southwest Louisiana, and to ensure that those services are easily accessible where they live.” For nearly 60 years. The Eye Clinic team has seen first-hand how eye care has become more sophisticated and informed – and they’ve brought these advances to their patients in Southwest Louisiana. A few examples of “firsts” in eye care delivered by The Eye Clinic include being the first to offer modern cataract surgery with phaco emulsification, launching the first ophthalmic laser program between New Orleans and Houston, the first laser vision correction procedure, the first to use nerve fiber analysis for the diagnosis of glaucoma and the first implant of a multifocal lens for cataract surgery, among many others.

All the services in sight

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Today, the Eye Clinic has 12 doctors in a range of specialties, all focused on making life-long eye care available for their patients. “We take pride in offering complete family eye care, including specialized services for infants and sub-specialty services for more serious eye conditions,” said Dr. Murray. As The Eye Clinic looks toward the future, continued advancements – both within the group and the ophthalmology field –are a certainty. “It’s a very exciting time in medical technology – anything is possible,” says Dr. Murray, “and we’ll continue to make these advances available here at home.”

The newest addition to the physician staff is ophthalmologist Dr. Marcy Hanudel.

1-800-826-5223 • TheEyeClinic.net

Lake Charles • Sulphur • Moss Bluff • DeRidder • Jennings Thrive





Over 25 Years of Service in Southwest Louisiana

Landscape Management Services began operations in 1991 as a partnership between Doyle Pennick and Mitch Drost. The original company, owned by Pennick, was called Professional Lawn Service, but he wanted a name that was more indicative of the scope of service they would be providing. Thus, the new joint venture, Landscape Management Services, was born, offering a full range of landscape services including landscape installation, landscape maintenance, erosion control, irrigation and a nursery. Over the years, Pennick and Drost worked hard at building a quality

company that would offer all services for an optimum outdoor living experiences. Today, Landscape Management has grown from 15 to 85 employees with a fleet of 42 trucks. Pennick says, “We attribute all our success to our dedicated employees who work very hard every day to give our clients quality, professional service.” Most of the employees at Landscape Management have been a part of the company for nearly all of the years they’ve been in business. For Pennick, whose interest in landscaping started when he was 10 years old, working in neighbor’s flower beds and mowing lawns, the business

has become something larger than he could have ever imagined. “I cannot say enough how much I appreciate Southwest Louisiana for its loyalty to us, which has made us the company we are today.” Landscape Management is proud of the success of its newest service for the ultimate landscape do-it-yourselfer: “We Plan, You Plant.” Their landscape experts will create a plan, help you choose the plants from their huge retail yard, lay out your beds and guide you as you create the yard of your dreams.

5005 Cobra Road in Lake Charles | (337) 478-3836 M–F: 7am – 4pm | Sat: 8am – 2pm (Seasonal Hours) 20 thriveswla.com

landscapemanagement.org Thrive

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Pre-K4 – 8th Grade Excellent Student/Teacher Ratio Participant in Education in Virtues Program Diverse Student Body

“Nurturing All Children and Achieving Academic Success in the Spirit of Christ”

Morning, Noon, Afternoon Prayer & Weekly Liturgy Special Education Services

2510 Enterprise Boulevard | Lake Charles, La. 70601 (337) 436-7959 | stmcs.com St. Margaret Catholic School welcomes all children regardless of race, creed, or nationality. 2017 - Annual Issue





Social Entrepreneurship How doing good in your community can be good for your business by John O’Donnell

Corporate social responsibility, volunteerism, and taking an active role in the community are now central parts of the business model for many businesses. Corporations are becoming more aware that the best way to give back to society is not limited to creating employment but must include the creation of an environment that aligns corporate goals with employees’ passions. To create such an environment, this requires business owners and executives to address key community and societal issues.

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A growing number of business leaders question the classic thinking that their sole responsibility is to increase their profits. They are discovering that using business to do good in their community is also good for business. The business case for philanthropic investment in a community is compelling, especially for companies that draw both employees and their customer base from the community where the business is located. A strong philanthropic presence in a community can help build relationships with clients, support branding, and promote employee engagement. Societal improvement can be an essential measure of business performance. Ron Richard, a local attorney and philanthropist in Southwest Louisiana uses charitable giving to bolster relationships with his partners. “As a boutique law firm, I partner with other firms on certain matters. Any firm that will profit from a relationship with me must assist in my charitable endeavors. That way the charities we support do well when we do well,” Richard said. By engaging his partners in his work in the community, Richard is able to build more solid business relationships by creating partnerships based on shared values as much as on shared business. Branding, marketing, and advertising success is often defined as evoking an authentic connection with customers based on the information published about your business. Nick Villaume, owner of Pops and Rockets, The Dev Group, and the current board chair of the Downtown Business Alliance in Lake Charles, knows a thing or two about branding. “A well-developed philanthropic program will resonate with clients and customers on a deep emotional level that often times goes

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beyond any creative advertising campaign,” Villaume said. “Who you are within your community, your community brand, supersedes your product’s brand. We want to establish our community brand as one that people, and businesses, will want to align,” he added. Businesses also factor in philanthropy when analyzing the performance of their employees. According to a 2016 study, a growing number of businesses measure the connection between employees’ well-being, engagement, retention, rate of promotion, and leadership by using those benchmarks to compare employees who volunteer to those who don’t. The findings are extraordinary. Employees who play an active role in their community by volunteering in corporatesponsored events take fewer sick days, stay with the company longer, and are promoted more often. One of the main challenges facing many businesses is finding qualified workers to sustain their business. A lack of a qualified workforce leads to high turnover, reduced efficiency, and eventually a loss of revenue. To combat this, many corporations invest in the human capital of their surrounding communities by supporting educational programs, quality of life improvements that attract and retain key talent, as well as scholarship and workforce placement programs. Businesses, civic leaders, employees, and the residents living in the community all profit when businesses engage in community service and philanthropy. Successful business leaders recognize that giving back through investment and service in the community need to be a key component in a profitable business model. They realize a company that does good is a company that does well.






SEED Center:

Building Businesses

fter Hurricane Rita’s run through Southwest Louisiana in 2005, the number-one message from the Chamber Southwest was that we were open for business and that it would take more than a big storm to knock us out. Regional leaders considered what was needed to drive economic development, and it was unanimously decided that our region needed a onestop business development center. Land was donated by McNeese State University. A building was fully funded through recovery funds by Calcasieu Parish, the City of Lake Charles, and the Alliance. The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) Center opened doors in August 2013 to an eager audience and has been booming since. The first floor is dedicated to the twin missions of developing inventive McNeese graduates through the University’s Innovation Classroom and

Lab, and the diversification of our regional economy with the SEED Center Business Incubator—a full scale incubator designed to nurture businesses of all types and sizes. The Small Business Development Center is also on the first floor. The second floor is comprised of the Willis Noland Resource Center, which provides meeting space for regional businesses to host meetings, lectures, workshops and luncheons. On any given day, there are two to three events being held at the SEED Center—all for the purpose of connecting and developing our regional business community. The third floor houses the staff offices of the Alliance, IMCAL (the regional planning commission), and the regional offices for SCORE and PTAC. The goal of building a one-stop regional development location has been fully realized. The scope of the projects, events, and programs which has stemmed from

the SEED Center is extraordinary. Any business coming to the SEED Center is provided with free consulting, a venue to host training and/or economic development events, and – if they are a fledgling business—a place to grow and develop within the Business Incubator. The SEED Center Business Incubator offers business training, startup office space, access to business equipment and services that are usually too expensive for a new business. Clients receive coaching, counseling, managerial and technical services, along with the opportunity to network with other emerging businesses. Currently, the incubator has over 16 clients with room for more businesses. Current clients are working through their critical first years under the supervision and guidance of professionally trained counselors. In a few years, they will move out and make room for another wave of entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in starting a new business, visit http://seedcenterswla.com or contact Adrian Wallace at awallace@allianceswla.org or (337) 433-0977. 24 thriveswla.com


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Chamber SWLA: Building Businesses

You may not realize it, but the Chamber SWLA and its members are already working towards your success! Over 1,500 members strong, the Chamber SWLA is proactive in attracting industry and growing our regional economy, developing leadership and workforce training, seeding visionary quality-of-life programs and ensuring local business concerns are heard from Baton Rouge to Washington, D.C. With the support of Chamber members, we will continue to lead the nation in new jobs, business opportunities and unprecedented growth. Simply put, a chamber of commerce is a group of businesses that have banded together to solve problems that a single business could not solve on its own. Here are seven benefits of being a Chamber member. 1. Builds business relationships 2. Acts as the voice of Business in Baton Rouge and Washington DC advocating on important issues 3. Develops tomorrow’s leadership with Leadership SWLA and Fusion Five, Southwest Louisiana’s Young Professionals Organization 4. Supports and assists existing business to prosper and expand, while recruiting new capital investment in our region growing our tax base and creating wealth for residents 5. Markets our region at trade shows, in publications and social media gaining national recognition 6. Tackles workforce and education issues to insure a skilled workforce now and in the future 7. Unifies our five parish region, promoting regionalism and cooperation The Chamber SWLA has twice received 5-Star Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which puts the Chamber SWLA in the top 1% of chambers nationwide. The Chamber SWLA, as part of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, was named one of the Top Ten Economic Development Groups in the U.S. for 4 of the last 6 years, and has been named one of the Ten Notable Collective Economic Development Efforts in the Southern Business & Development Magazine. The Chamber SWLA and the Alliance serve the parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis. To continue progress in Southwest Louisiana, the first step is joining the Chamber SWLA.

For more information on joining the Chamber SWLA, visit allianceswla.org or contact Paula Ramsey, VP, Chamber Operations, at pramsey@allianceswla.org or (337) 433-3632. 2017 - Annual Issue





The Slender Solution



When Dixette Williams treated herself to a body wrap in 1998, she fell in love with the concept of a detoxifying mineral body wrap, not to mention a fabulous way to lose unwanted inches. In 2000, she opened the doors to Slender Solutions, the first body-wrapping salon in Southwest Louisiana. With her unfortunate and untimely passing in 2013, Slender Solutions temporarily shut its doors. Until now. Dixette Williams Today, her daughter, Danette McManus, and one of her former wrap technicians, Candace Brady, joined forces to reignite and continue Dixette’s dreams by opening a new and improved Slender Solutions. Located in beautiful Oak Crossing off Nelson Road in Lake Charles, Slender Solutions uses all FDA-approved ingredients. Both men and women opt for body wraps as a way to relax, lose inches, firm the skin, and encourage the elimination of toxins. Services include their Signature Body Wrap, the Deluxe Infrared Body Wrap and Sunless Airbrush Tanning.

5656 Nelson Rd. Suite A1 (in Oak Crossing) Lake Charles (337) 660-5156 slendersolutionslc@gmail.com

Danette McManus and Candace Brady

Keeping Local Roots

John F. Moffett Jr., DDS, has an affinity for what he calls home. He left Southwest Louisiana for nine years to attend the Emory University School of Dentistry, where he earned his doctoral degree, and University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where he received his certification of orthodontics. He also spent three years on active duty in the Air Force, where he completed a general practice residency at the Ehrling Berquist Strategic Hospital Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. After nearly a decade away from home, it became clear where he wanted to raise

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his family. “After living in various areas of the country, Lake Charles was the obvious choice to raise my family because of its Southern charm, family values and vast culture,” Dr. Moffett says. Dr. Moffett graduated from Barbe High School and did his pre-dental studies at McNeese State University. In addition to the dental programs at Emory, Penn, and Offutt, he completed courses offered by the prestigious Roth/Williams Center for


Functional Occlusion, located in San Fransciso. A board-certified orthodontist, Moffett uses a variety of advanced skills to create individualized treatment plans that address dental and facial esthetics and improve overall long term dental health. Dr. Moffett strives to make available quality affordable orthodontic care to all those living in the Lake area. Dr. Moffett is now a certified Invisalign® provider and is excited to offer this service to his patients.

2017 - Annual Issue

Flock of Five Gift and Art Emporium, LLC

217 E. Thomas St., Sulphur, LA | (337) 476-5096 Located in the Southeast Quadrant, Where S. Huntington Intersects Hwy 90.

Open Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 6pm Over 50 LOCAL ARTISANS and VENDORS! 7000+ square ft. of Shopping Area. Come “Flock” With Us!

Find us on Facebook!

“Flock” on over today and meet the “Giant

pickles, jams and jellies, pickled quail

coloring books, stuffed animals, and other

Pelican of Sulphur”! “J.P.”, our 9-ft tall, chain-

eggs, beautiful wreaths for every occasion,

cool finds of many kinds. Inside “Cajun-Ville”,

saw carved work of art “roosts” here outside

photography, all-natural dog care items, books

kids can meet “Gondra, the Driftwood Dragon

the historic Sulphur Post Office, which houses

by local authors, collage art, rocks, purses,

of Cameron Parish”, and “Picard Richard, the

7000 square feet of shopping area, showcasing

sea shell crafts, driftwood art, cards, religious

‘Hop-less’ Cajun Rabbit”, and all of their friends

the wares of more than fifty local artisans

gifts, hand-sewn items, boutique clothing,

(each created from driftwood and repurposed

and vendors! We offer hand-crafted jewelry,

recycled metal yard art, furniture, vintage items,

materials from our local beaches)! We offer Gift

pottery, paintings, stained glass, ceramics,

collectibles, antiques, Louisiana- and Cajun-

Certificates and custom Gift Baskets while you

homemade soaps, bath-bombs and skin-care

themed gifts, cookbooks, vinyl, jewelry findings

wait! We have two parking areas available for

products, candles and candle-warmers and

and charms for crafting, baby items, sun-

your convenience: in front (Thomas Street),

scented oils (to include our ever-popular “Fleur

catchers, essential oils, custom cutting boards,

and in the rear (Elizabeth Street - handicap

de Luna” oil), custom metal signs and art, wood

and more! We have a great children’s section

accessible). Shop “The Flock” for a “Flockingly-

art, chain-saw carvings, local honey, homemade

in our “Cajun-Ville” booth, complete with toys,

Fantastic”, one-of-a-kind shopping experience!

2017 - Annual Issue





The Tedious Transition to

In this era of security breaches and identity theft, EMV, short for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, is crucial to business security. The purpose of this microchip debit and credit card technology is to safeguard businesses and their customers against fraud. As of October 2015, U.S. merchants have been liable for any fraudulent transactions processed without EMV-enabled terminals. This government-mandated requirement came about as a result of serious widespread security breaches and an increase of counterfeit cards in the U.S. Protecting the security of a business and its clients should be a high priority for every business owner. Globally, as of the 4th quarter 2016, only 52.4% of transactions used an EMV card reader. According to EMVCo.com, the United States trailed last in

the pack, with only 18.61% of transactions using EMV technology. Why is this update so important? Business owners are fully liable for claims of fraud or wrong-doing if they do not comply with EMV card readers. But the fault is not entirely on the businesspersons’ shoulders. Many businesses are already equipped with EMV-compatible machines. Alas they wait in a long queue for machine certification and software updates. But there is hope. The EMV Migration Forum believes 90 percent of terminals will be enabled by the end of 2017.

QUALITY PROTECTION WITH PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Lyons Insurance, Inc. has been serving the insurance needs of families and businesses throughout southwest Louisiana and east Texas since 1960. What started as a two-person, 4-room office, is now a full-service independent agency with 10 licensed agents who are highly trained to assist you with your insurance needs. Lyons Insurance represents over 50 “A+,” financially sound and reputable insurance companies; therefore we

are able to offer the best coverage at the most competitive price. We do not work for the insurance company, we work for you. Lyons Insurance offers several lines of insurance including auto, home, commercial property and liability, worker’s compensation, employee benefits, life and health insurance. The agency specializes in middle-market commercial accounts.

3100 Lake Street • lyonsagency.com • (337) 478 - 4466 28 thriveswla.com


2017 - Annual Issue

Now Available! Local author and history expert Adley Cormier has published his book, Lost Lake Charles, where he delves deep to uncover a regional past nearly forgotten to decades and transformation. Cormier covers fascinating historical tidbits such as the Great Fire of 1910, streetcars, Michigan Men and the lumber industry, Creoles, Cajuns, cowboys, and more. Cormier is a native of Breaux Bridge and a graduate of LSU. He has written numerous history-related articles for journals and magazines and is the area’s leading authority on local history and culture. He and his wife, artist Melinda Antoon Cormier, live in Lake Charles.


Service to our Neighbors— It’s a State of Mind


337-625-4025 3701 Maplewood Drive, Suite 2 | Sulphur, Louisiana

2017 - Annual Issue

Growing up in Bunkie, Louisiana, Ronnie Johns learned a very important lesson from his parents that has guided him throughout his life. “We didn’t have a lot, but my parents taught me that there was always someone else with less, and it was our obligation to try to help them. They instilled a sense of responsibility to give back.” After working as a licensed pharmacist for several years, Johns decided to make a change, and he opened his State Farm Insurance Agency in Sulphur in 1982. Johns’ agency grew quickly learning both loyal customers and numerous awards. “We serve customers from across the five-parish area, often multiple generations from the same family. We get to know our customers; they become our friends,” says Johns. Although the job is a rewarding one, Johns says at times it can be heartbreaking. “We often see people at the very lowest point in their life – after an accident Thrive


or a tragedy, sometimes when they have lost everything. That’s tough. But we are here to help them recover and put the pieces back together.” After first responding to the call to public service at the city and parish level, Johns was elected Louisiana State Representative in 1995, an office he held for four consecutive terms, the maximum allowed in the state. In 2011, he was asked to return to public office and ran for his district’s open seat in the state senate. He ran without opposition, and was elected to a second four-year term last fall. Johns credits his staff agency team for allowing him to be able to do the work he needs to do for the citizens he serves. “I know when I’m working in Baton Rouge that my State Farm clients are being taken care of, just as if I were there. I have complete confidence in my team and appreciate all that they do for our customers in Southwest Louisiana.” thriveswla.com



Dr. Carl Fastabend is Louisiana’s Only Full-Time, Comprehensive Vein Specialist Cardiovascular Specialist Carl Fastabend, MD, is motivated to help his patients improve their quality of life and regain pain-free mobility. A board certified cardiologist with over 30 years of experience in interventional cardiology, Dr. Fastabend developed a special interest in peripheral vascular disease and vein disorders early in his career, which led him to found the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, an affiliate of Imperial Health,in 2011. “I’ve gained great satisfaction from giving people their lives back after revascularization procedures designed to reduce pain and save limbs from amputation,” Dr. Fastabend said. After attending a cardiology conference focused on effective treatments for vein disease, I became intrigued with doing more about these types of condition.“I found myself immersed in learning everything I could to be able to offer more to my patients.” Today, as medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, he specializes in procedures

designed to relieve symptoms of leg pain, swelling, and varicose veins, which also can help prevent more serious cardiovascular problems from developing. He says it’s amazing to see the immediate results and dramatic improvements the treatments provide to his patients. “At the Vein Center, we plan to continue to expand our range of services to our patients to free them of the suffering of chronic venous disease, including varicose veins, leg swelling, venous wounds, and obstructive disease of the pelvic veins,”says Dr.Fastabend.“We also treat cosmetic concerns related to veins. Whether it’s how your legs feel, or how they look, we can offer an effective treatment solution.” The next step will be a program of intervention for deep venous thrombosis, or DVT, a common affliction that can lead to lifelong debilitation, including chronic leg swelling and pain.“There is new technology which allows us to dissolve the leg vein clots quickly in many cases. This is an exciting new frontier which holds

promise for many patients,”says Dr.Fastabend. Dr. Fastabend’s dedication to advancements in his field have resulted in his practice becoming a training site for physicians from across the country, who travel to Southwest Louisiana to study treatment techniques from him.He also frequently conducts training sessions at physician courses and conferences. “Our patient outcomes are very gratifying. It’s important to me and our staff that the community is aware of the advanced level of vein disorder diagnosis and treatment services available right here in Southwest Louisiana,”says Dr.Fastabend. To keep up with the growth of the practice,the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana moved to a larger office earlier this year, located at 711 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, Suite 100. The new office features a larger waiting area, two procedure rooms, a recovery room, a cosmetic suite, conference room, and ample, adjacent parking.

Medical Director

www.VeinCenterSWLA.com LAKE CHARLES (337) 312-VEIN

New Office: 711 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, Ste. 100

Covered by most insurance. 30 thriveswla.com


2017 - Annual Issue

Thrive Magazine is dedicated to helping you live your best possible life! Each issue contains a variety of articles relating to health, finances, relationships, style, home, news & more. The publication is distributed at no charge in over 350 businesses and racks throughout Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas, reaching 60,000 monthly readers and growing. Each issue, is also posted online, and read by thousands of people each month. Don’t just live, THRIVE!

4845 Ihles Road | Lake Charles, LA 70605 2017 - Annual Issue






Providing Commercial Insurance, Financial Services, Auto, Flood and Homeowner’s Insurance 4080 Nelson Road, Suite 900 Lake Charles, LA 70605-2439 337-477-3830 hunter.perrin.b27i@statefarm.com

Providing Insurance Commercial Insurance and Financial Services Home Office, Bloomington, Illinois 61710

BETTER SLEEP Brings Better Days A good night’s sleep ought to be a natural occurrence, but for 60% of Americans, some type of sleep trouble happens regularly. The Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana is the area’s only comprehensive sleep center, diagnosing and treating more than 80 sleep disorders, including:

SLEEP APNEA | RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME INSOMNIA | PEDIATRIC SLEEP DISORDERS NARCOLEPSY The Sleep Disorder Center was established in March of 2000. In 2013, Dr. Phillip Conner, board certified sleep specialist, joined the practice and earlier this year, Dr. Conner became medical director upon the retirement of Dr. Jana Kaimal. The practice also has a full time Nurse Practitioner, Michelle Zimmerman, who has been with them since 2002. They, along with 20 team members, make up the dream team, ready to help solve your sleep problems. Upon receiving treatment for sleep disorders, most patients are able to resume their lives again with renewed energy and a positive outlook. A good night’s sleep makes all the difference!

Sleep Specialists

Phillip Conner, MD Michelle Zimmerman, NP 32 thriveswla.com


4820 Lake St., Lake Charles (337) 310-REST sleepdisordercenterofla.com 2017 - Annual Issue

2017 - Annual Issue






ON-CALL for SWLA Since 1993, Southwest Call Center’s mission and purpose has been to be on-call so their customers do not have to be. The company provides customer support services to businesses throughout Southwest Louisiana and the rest of the US – all day, anytime, every day. Traditional answering service is not all they do. From dispatch to email to voice mail and even conference calling; businesses can use Southwest Call Center to streamline their business communications. The Lake Charles-based call center is committed to providing “business as usual” service during disaster events or weather-related emergencies. Even an evacuation doesn’t stop them. The have a remote agent staff and volunteer-based ride-out crew to keep the community covered with uninterrupted service. Southwest Call Center is committed to treating their customers right by answering every call professionally, taking an accurate message and delivering it according to their specifications – all day every day. 629 S Martin Luther King Hwy, Lake Charles 337-310-2435 l southwestcallcenter.com

Imperial Health:

Doctors Working Together to Keep Southwest Louisiana Healthy Imperial Health’s vital role in meeting the healthcare needs of the Southwest Louisiana community go back to 1957. That’s when the doors of what was originally called Lake Charles Medical and Surgical Clinic, or simply, “The Clinic,” first opened. Fast forward 60 years and we are now Imperial Health, a group of more than 40 respected, experienced physicians, backed by the resources of the region’s largest multispecialty medical practice. Imperial Health is unique in that it is a medical group created by independent physicians whose goal is to put patients first. Our doctors created this group with a unified commitment to work together, share resources, provide exceptional care and give choices back to our patients. Our group continues to expand, keeping pace with the exciting growth in our community. Our physicians offer a wide range of primary and specialty care, with a support staff of over 400 employees. Imperial Health has multiple offices and ancillary services conveniently located across Southwest Louisiana.

Butch Ferdinandsen

CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPS, CRPC Investment Advisor Representative Ferdinandsen Financial Group is a marketing name. Securities and Investment Advisory services offered throughout Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SPIC.

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(337) 433-8400 | www.imperialhealth.com


2017 - Annual Issue

Lake Charles has a Massage School? Yes! And this year marks our 30th anniversary of helping students achieve their dreams of becoming Licensed Massage Therapists. In 1987, Lake Charles native Susan Salvo founded the Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy from her own living room, developing a curriculum from workshops that she created and taught in the early 1980’s. In 2012 Alex and Carrie Chaumont became the new “Mom & Pop” of the school. They are also natives of Lake Charles and value investing in their community. “Whether it’s in massage therapy or a stepping stone to another career, our passion is to help people succeed. We knew we wanted to invest our talents and time into the massage school, because it brought so much joy to our family after I graduated the program. When you are involved in something you love, you see the fruits of your labor,” says Carrie Chaumont. Skilled massage therapists are in high demand today. Massage therapists can practice in a wide variety of settings, and there exist opportunities for employment that extend far beyond private practice. “Our graduates’ career options are limitless with their dedication, resourcefulness, and imagination,” says Alex Chaumont. Career options include: spas, resorts, chiropractic clinics, physical and occupational therapy clinics, sports medicine, hospitals and even hospice. Whatever their direction, our graduates have the satisfaction of knowing that each day they have the opportunity to

3750 Nelson Rd. | 337-474-3737

help others, change lives through the power of touch, and improve health and well-being–both physically and emotionally. Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy offers a 510-hour program. Our curriculum is designed to be challenging, fun, and exciting. Our teaching faculty is made up of highly qualified and dynamic massage therapists. Their dedication ensures quality delivery of the curriculum. Our students develop techniquespecific skills through many hours of supervised, hands-on instruction. Anatomy & Physiology lectures are presented in a way that is massage-focused. Class time is divided between lecture and hands-on lab time, enabling the student to integrate class material. The school continues to produce graduates that are among the most successful in the South. Our first-time pass rate for the national licensing exam is higher than both the state of Louisiana and the national average (Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, 2015). Classes begin each September and March. We offer the lowest tuition rates along the Gulf Coast as well as affordable payment plans. To see the 2017-2018 Class Schedule or request a Student Catalog, visit lamassageschool.com. We are honored by our past, humbled by our present and excited to see what the future holds for Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy and all our graduates! Join us on our journey for the next 30 years!


Next Class begins Sept 8

Flavin Realty Inc. has been a family owned and local real estate firm since 1976. Throughout the years, our company has maintained a strong commitment to professional service and industry expertise. The principles that Bill Flavin founded the company on, integrity and excellent professional service, are still practiced today with sons Dan and Tim Flavin along with 40 agents and staff that are Flavin Realty. What has made Flavin Realty Inc. the market leader in real estate sales in Southwest Louisiana for decades is our sustained effort to build trusting relationships with our clients. Ensuring our clients succeed in their real estate needs is our number one goal. The Flavin Realty staff reflects the diversity of the people who live in Southwest Louisiana. This has been a key factor in the success of our agency. We know how important it is to select a Realtor whose judgment you trust, and with whom you feel comfortable. Flavin Realty excels in Residential Sales, Relocation, Retail/Commercial, Industrial, and Property Management.

Thanks Southwest Louisiana for all of the years of loyalty. We look forward to many more!

Your Local Realtor For Over 40 Years.

3221 Ryan Street, Suite A, Lake Charles (337) 478-8530 l www.flavinrealty.com

2017 - Annual Issue





An Active Web Presence

– a Necessary Part of Every Business Plan by Austin Price

Running a business has never been about luck. Companies with the know-how to take advantage of advertising, press, reputation, and the promotion of quality work generally have an edge over their less-prepared competitors. In this era of high technology, it’s not enough to follow the old methods of conducting businesss. Internet access has given potential customers the opportunity to compare and contrast businesses against one another in mere seconds and decide which option out of dozens they prefer without ever setting foot in an actual store. And yet, according to a recent study by Merrill Research, nearly half of all small businesses continue to forego a web presence more significant than a Twitter account or Facebook page. It’s understandable why some have been slow to adapt. A website can be expensive to start and requires time to maintain; time that could be spent on the business itself. But what seems like frivolous spending could in reality be a vital investment. An active, professional website allows an entrepreneur to distinguish himself from competitors. It allows him to show customers what products or services he carries and at what price, and provides customers a handy way to check against competitors. It also allows a businessman to prove his professional ability; to demonstrate by clean design and organization that he knows how to run a business and thus won’t waste a client’s precious time. Operated personably,

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with an openness that invites customers to email with questions that are quickly and kindly answered, a website can assure clients of the kind of A+ customer service likely to draw them back again and again and earn recommendations to friends. This in turn allows the business owner to mitigate any negative press he might garner from, for example, a negative Yelp or Foursquare review. Just as importantly, a website gives customers access to essential information, anytime, anywhere. While this is of utmost importance in major cities where competition is fierce, it can also prove vital in smaller communities where the options for a particular type of food, style of clothing, or specialty item are much more limited. A business that allows customers easy access to store hours, address, and other vital information is more likely to grab the curious consumer’s attention than the one who shuns or neglects a web presence.


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2017 - Annual Issue






Owner: Vic Vicknair Located in the heart of Southwest Louisiana, Bayou Services offers residential and commercial moving and storage and logistics services. With over 35 years of experience, we offer moving and storage needs for residential and commercial clients. Our 48,000-squre-foot warehouse can accommodate large, heavy machinery and

equipment, as well as typical storage needs for businesses of any size. Bayou Services is a local agent for United Van Lines, a national moving company. Owner, Vic Vicknair was born and raised in Lake Charles. He is proud to be a part of the economic development in our area offering innovative,

customized solutions for residential and commercial businesses in Southwest Louisiana.


2925 Industrial Avenue | Lake Charles, LA, 70615 | 337-602-6189 | bayou-services.com 38 thriveswla.com


2017 - Annual Issue

Sloppy’s Downtown has a mission to provide SWLA with a unique dining, drinking and entertainment experience. Globally-inspired street foods, craft cocktails in a restored Downtown venue.


EVERY Saturday 10am – 1pm

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Friday & Saturday nights


Tu – Th 11am – 10pm Fri 11am – 2am Sat 10am – 2pm brunch, open until 2am

DOWNTOWN LAKE CHARLES 329 Broad Street | Lake Charles, LA 337.602.6365 | www.sloppysdowntown.com

SECURE YOUR FUTURE with Rau Financial Group

When Denise Rau entered the financial field in 1984, women were few and far between in the industry. In 2001, after nearly 18 years of experience at major commercial banks, Rau decided to form her own company, and Rau Financial Group opened its doors. Rau is originally from Lake Charles and received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of Texas. She is a Certified finanCial Planner ™ and holds a variety of other certifications and licenses for insurance and securities. Rau says a big part of her job is listening, and she likes to ask clients what things are most important to them in their lives. “Then together we look at where they are spending their money. Very often, we’ll

find they are not actually spending the most money on the things most important to them, and because they are not putting their money where their heart is, they are unhappy with their financial situation. Once we get their financial goals aligned with their true life goals, they begin to pursue both with renewed inspiration.” Rau Financial Group has grown significantly since its beginning, fueled by a highly-experienced staff, including Registered Paraplanner Latrana White, Branch Operations Manager Denise Wilkinson, and Client Service Manager Debora Alexander. Rau offers an extensive range of financial planning services, including investments, insurance, retirement, trusts, cash flow, and social security planning.

(337) 480-3835 | 1634 RYAN ST., LAKE CHARLES | www.raufinancialgroup.com Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through GWM Advisors, a registered investment advisor. GWM Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.

2017 - Annual Issue







The Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana has been serving the Southwest Louisiana area since1955. Originally, the Council was a chapter of the National Safety Council. Today we are charter members of the American Association of Safety Councils (AASC) and the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils (ARSC). These organizations continue to grow each year with the simple objective of providing service and training to our respective communities to achieve accident prevention in the home, at work and at play.


Over the years, our community service projects have grown, and we have added a broad assortment of programs to support our local industrial growth. In 1992, at the request of local industry, the council began providing orientation and training for area contractor employees with the prime objective of containing costs and providing quality programs. This led to formation of the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils. ARSC has since grown to include over 25 councils across the United States and continues to expand the training base, and training programs, to serve our industry with millions of dollars of savings each year. In addition to these industrial services, the Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana is a vital part of our community, offering a wide variety of educational programs for businesses and individuals, including safety and health training, contractor safety programs, industry site orientation programs, OSHA compliance training, defensive driving, computer-based and web-based training, Certified Occupational Safety Specialist (COSS), Certificate for Occupational Safety Managers (COSM), safe supervisor, CPR, first aid, AED, and blood borne pathogens.


WORKPLACE The Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana is a vital part of our community, providing safety training and services for industrial and contractor businesses, and offering a wide variety of educational programs for the community. • Safety and Health Training • Contractor Safety Programs • Industry Site Orientation Programs • OSHA Compliance Training • Defensive Driving • Classroom, Computer-based and Web-based Training • Certified Occupational Safety Specialist (COSS) • Certificate for Occupational Safety Managers (COSM) • Safe Supervisor • CPR, First Aid, AED, and Blood Borne Pathogen

The Safety Council has two locations. The Lake Charles Training Center is located at 1201 Ryan Street and the Sulphur Training Center is located at 3621 E. Napoleon Street. For more information, call (337) 436-3354 or visit safetycouncilswla.org.

1201 Ryan Street • Lake Charles | 3621 E. Napoleon Street • Sulphur (337) 436-3354 | safetycouncilswla.org 40 thriveswla.com


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Since its formation in 2000, Lake Area Industry Alliance is a channel of communication between these entities. The purpose of LAIA is to bring local industries together, share common resources whenever possible, and provide opportunities for communication between community members and local industries. LAIA also:

Enhancing Industrial Relationships Within Our Community

• Encourages industry members to be good stewards of the environment and facilitate their participation in community projects. • Educates the community about industrial processes. • Works with local education leaders to enhance the education systems of our youth.

Almost $50 billion worth of industrial expansion in Southwest Louisiana is either in progress or on the horizon; an unprecedented amount of growth for our area. With such a significant impact in our community, the work of Lake Area Industry Alliance is as important as ever. LAIA is the umbrella organization between its 22 industrial members and our local community, government officials, educators, business leaders and non-profit organizations.

• Projects the future workforce in cooperation with local technical and higher education facilities to adequately meet anticipated skilled worker needs. As 25% of our local workforce, local industries are a significant contributor to quality of life in Southwest Louisiana. Lake Area Industry Alliance will continue to be a conduit of communication to enhance industrial advancements along with partnerships within the community.

laia.com | (337) 436-6800

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2017 - Annual Issue

2017 - Annual Issue








22 YEARS At Signatures Salon, we’re passionate about what we do. Our stylists have received training and education from all over the United States, providing you with the most up-to-date trends and techniques in hair and skincare services.

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803 West McNeese Street Lake Charles, LA 70605 www.signaturessalon.biz 337.478.4433 Thrive

2017 - Annual Issue

Profile for Thrive Magazine

Thrive Magazine 2017 Homegrown Issue  

2017 Homegrown Issue of Thrive Magazine

Thrive Magazine 2017 Homegrown Issue  

2017 Homegrown Issue of Thrive Magazine

Profile for thrive