Thrive's SWLA Homegrown 2018 Issue

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Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region 2018 2018 - Annual Issue




1333 Oak Park Blvd. • Lake Charles, LA 337.478.2960

Accepting New Patients

Lawrence Sean Corcoran ATTORNEY AT LAW

Divorce Child Custody Community Property • Lake Charles • 337- 602- 6214 2


2018 - Annual Issue

2018 - Annual Issue



Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region

10 I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Task Force

Angie Kay Dilmore

Managing Editor

20 Downtown Business Association Promotes the Heart of Lake Charles

Editors and Publishers 2018 Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Creative Director

Barbara VanGossen

Design and Layout

Mandy Gilmore

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel Stevenson

26 Alliance for Positige Growth: Growing and Going!

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099

32 Could You be the Next Waitr?

Submissions Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in o 38 The Story of the Alliance

2018 Brought to you by


Cheers to For 15 years, Thrive has focused on helping readers live a full, balanced and healthy life.


The publication is distributed at no charge in over 500 businesses and racks located throughout Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Each issue, in its entirety, is also posted online, and read by thousands of people each month. Thrive currently reaches 90,000 monthly readers and growing.

4845 Ihles Road | Lake Charles, LA 70605 | 337-310-2099 4

Thrive 2018 - Annual Issue

2018 - Annual Issue





2018 - Annual Issue

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 in 2017, 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!

Butch Ferdinandsen

CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPS, CRPC Investment Advisor Representative

Sleep Specialists

Phillip Conner, MD Michelle Zimmerman, NP 2018 - Annual Issue

Ferdinandsen Financial Group is a marketing name. Securities and Investment Advisory services offered throughout Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SPIC.

4820 Lake St., Lake Charles (337) 310-REST Thrive



copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

Your smile is your trademark; it lights up your face and expresses your joy and friendliness. Put your smile in safe, experienced hands:

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

the hands of the team at Lake Area Dentistry. We offer all aspects of

General Dentistry including: Family | Preventive | Restorative | Sedation Implant | Emergency | Minor Orthodontics Same Day Procedures

LAKE AREA DENTISTRY Ashley Moffett Azevedo, DDS Peter T. Bayles, DDS

Andrew J. Doucet, DDS

Nathan Bray, DDS

Jeffery Hennigan, DDS

LAKE CHARLES 700 W. McNeese St. (337) 478-8470

DEQUINCY 824 W. 4th St. (337) 786-6221 8



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, traditional answering service, dispatch, email, voicemail and even conference calling to businesses throughout Southwest Louisiana and the rest of the US. During disaster events or weather-related emergencies, the call center is committed to providing “business as usual.” Even an evacuation doesn’t stop them. The Lake Charles-based call center has a remote agent staff and volunteer-based ride-out crew to keep the community covered with uninterrupted service. Thrive


2018 - Annual Issue

Over 25 Years of Service in Southwest Louisiana

Since 1991, Landscape

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landscaper or landscape

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and these principles remain

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5005 Cobra Road in Lake Charles | (337) 478-3836 M–F: 7am – 4pm | Sat: 8am – 2pm (Seasonal Hours) 2018 - Annual Issue Thrive


Chamber Forms

I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Task Force



2018 - Annual Issue


The Chamber SWLA formed a task force as part of its effort to facilitate the replacement of the Interstate 10/Calcasieu River Bridge. The group’s first goal is to generate project financing recommendations which will be forwarded to state and federal officials to expedite the process. Built in 1952, the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge has outlived its structural capacity and usefulness in today’s fast-paced national and international business climate. Studies by the National Bridge Inventory and Louisiana officials have established that the bridge does not meet traffic capacity standards which can impede commerce and create safety concerns. Challenges to the replacement of the bridge include the federal and state’s infrastructure funding process, environmental considerations, current and anticipated traffic patterns, as well as debate over bridge height and the relocation of an existing railroad line.

2018 - Annual Issue

The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition ( – which includes the United States Chamber of Commerce – has announced that the I-10/Calcasieu River Bridge needs to be replaced and funding must be made available. In an April 2018 press release, ATM stated, “The I-10 bridge is an ideal example of the need of the federal government and states and private investors to work together to modernize America’s infrastructure.” The need for a new bridge in Southwest Louisiana is especially important because the region is the epicenter of America’s liquefied natural gas renaissance. Currently, Southwest Louisiana is home to over $100 billion in announced new and expanding industrial facilities. It is also home to a top 10 port, world-class pipeline system, multiple rail service providers, regional and international airports, and gaming resort hotels. By creating the task force, the Chamber SWLA is taking a leadership role in advocating for a new bridge.


“America and our region deserve a new Interstate 10 Bridge. Our task force is comprised of area leaders who are talented and skilled in problem solving. This is our version of an infrastructure policy dream team,” said George Swift, President and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance and Chamber SWLA. Task force members held their first meeting in October 2017. Since then, the group has investigated the history of the bridge and efforts to replace it, examined possible funding methods, heard from consultants and government officials, and considered public policy, strategic plan development, and governmental affairs strategies. In February 2018, the Chamber SWLA Board of Directors approved a resolution to allow the task force to work on the project beyond the development of financing recommendations.




2018 - Annual Issue


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View our products online at 2018 - Annual Issue

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3935 Ryan St. Lake Charles, LA 855-477-9296 13

OCEANS HEALTHCARE Through continued growth, Louisiana-built behavioral health system answers the call. Over the last year, Oceans Healthcare’s system of behavioral health facilities treated more individuals than ever before, met and surpassed national quality goals, grew its workforce and expanded its footprint in the Southwest Louisiana region. From the bedside to the C-suite, clinical and operational teams answered a shared calling to care for individuals coping with mental illness.

Born in Louisiana Oceans Healthcare was founded in 2004 and built its headquarters in Lake Charles. What started as a seed of an idea to provide high-quality behavioral health treatment options for seniors soon became a 14-hospital health care system with services across Louisiana and Texas. Oceans has twice been named a Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Company in America” and is now the largest behavioral health provider for older adults and seniors in Louisiana. “Louisiana will always be home for Oceans Healthcare,” said Stuart Archer, CEO. “From Alexandria to Greater New Orleans, we are proud to support communities throughout the state and look forward to expanding our services in these markets to help more people.”

Oceans Behavioral Hospital Lake Charles Main Campus 4250 5th Avenue Lake Charles, LA 70607 (337) 474-7581


Geriatric Behavioral Health Campus 302 McNeese Street Lake Charles, LA 70607 (337) 310-1505

Touching more Lives Last year, more individuals than ever before were able to access much-needed behavioral health treatment at Oceans Behavioral Hospitals. The system’s inpatient programs across Louisiana and Texas impacted more than 12,000 lives while more than 2,000 patients received care in an intensive outpatient setting. The majority of these individuals were adults and seniors managing depression, anxiety and the behavioral side effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “It’s clear to us that our work to proactively educate our communities and serve as a resource is more important than ever,” said Stuart Archer, CEO.

Serving the Underserved Recognizing a growing lack of mental health services designed specifically for older adults and seniors, the company began a mission to increase awareness, education and access for this special population. The number of people age 65 and older in the United States has increased steadily since the 1960s, but is projected to more than double from 47 million today to more than 98 million by 2060. Seniors can be overlooked in the mental health conversation, though it is estimated 20 percent of adults age 55 and over suffer from a mental disorder. Additionally, adults 85 and older have the second highest rate of suicide of all adults, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


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Despite the growing need, older adults can be reluctant to seek treatment because of the stigma surrounding mental illness and lack of services. “When our hospital teams ask patients and their families what kept them from seeking behavioral health treatment sooner, they repeatedly hear reasons related to the public’s perception of mental illness and misconceptions about what it means to receive treatment,” said Archer. “Our teams work hard to combat the stigma around mental illness through patient, family member and community education.”

Lake Charles Expansion As the Southwest Louisiana community has grown, so too has Oceans Healthcare’s Lake Charles campus. In early 2016, the hospital moved into a newly renovated, larger facility, expanded its inpatient services to reach young adults and opened an intensive outpatient program for patients living at home or in an assisted living facility. This expansion allowed the hospital to treat twice as many individuals. “The combination of a lack of behavioral health services and an ever-increasing number of new residents in our city means our services needed to grow to meet our community’s needs,” said [Name] In the summer of last year, the hospital once again expanded with the opening of its specialized inpatient campus for older adults and seniors. “We’re making every effort to increase access to inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care, encourage earlier intervention, and promote community awareness and education,” said [Name]. “Our goal is to ensure every adult and senior community member, loved one, friend and neighbor in need has local access to these services.”

New Services Individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction are almost twice as likely to suffer from mental disorders. That’s why just this year, Oceans Behavioral Hospital Lake Charles began providing inpatient and intensive outpatient programs for adults 18 and older suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

related deaths per 100,000 people is expected to reach 31.8 percent by 2025, an increase of roughly 73 percent over 2015. “The statistics related to drug and alcohol abuse in our state are hard to ignore,” said [Name]. “Lives are being destroyed because of addiction and expanded services are needed to ensure individuals suffering from mental health issues and substance use have a place to receive the long-term treatment they need. Addiction and mental illness go hand in hand, so it’s important to provide access to a full spectrum of treatment resources – from safely managed detox to psychiatrists and outpatient counselors – to ensure no one in the community who is suffering is left without options.”

Beyond Southwest Louisiana Oceans continues to grow in communities outside the Southwest Louisiana region. This year the company expanded services in Texas for active duty military and veterans, and added substance use disorder treatment options at its Alexandria and Crowley, Louisiana facilities. For more information about Oceans Behavioral Hospital Lake Charles, or any Oceans facility in Louisiana, call [number] or visit

According to recent national research, the number of alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 people in Louisiana is expected to reach 10.5 percent by 2025, an increase of roughly 26.5 percent over 2015. The number of drug-

2018 - Annual Issue Thrive


Healthy Image: Thriving for 16 Years Sixteen 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, their 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 marketing or image-management umbrella. “We’re communicators, not just advertisers. We want to 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. Healthy Image was also named Small Business of the Year for Southwest Louisiana in 2012 by Louisiana Economic Development and Southwest Louisiana Small Business of the Year in 2013 by the SWLA Chamber Alliance. In 2016, the U.S. Congress recognized the agency during National Women’s Business Month. 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.”

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

(337) 310-2099 |

For more information on Healthy Image’s services, call (337) 312-0972 or visit


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2018 - Annual Issue





2018 - Annual Issue

2018 - Annual Issue





2018 - Annual Issue

Downtown Business Association Promotes the Heart of Lake Charles by Angie Kay Dilmore Last year, a group of enthusiastic downtown Lake Charles business persons banded together to promote the benefits of living, shopping, and dining in the downtown region. Local businessman Nick Villaume spear-headed the organization, known as the Downtown Business Association (DBA). “We had this idea that we needed a way for downtown businesses to come together to share camaraderie and support, as well as get the word out about the importance of a vibrant downtown and collaboratively figure out how we can get more people downtown,” says Villaume. “We had a few informal meetings with different downtown business members. We elected a board of directors. And we’ve been meeting every month for the past six months. We recently formed as a 501c6, which is similar to a 501c3, but with the added bonus of being permitted to donate to political campaigns and be involved in political activity.” DBA members are passionate about the revitalization of downtown Lake Charles. “We don’t have 100% of our roadmap worked out right now, but our goal is to promote downtown business and attract people downtown, help new businesses start and grow,

2018 - Annual Issue

create events and activities that promote downtown businesses, as well as work with our local government to create policies that support downtown,” Villaume says. For their first project, DBA will create several downtown wayfinding signs located on several corners along Ryan St. and at Millennium Park. Similar to mall directories, the signage will direct visitors and locals alike to all the businesses, government offices, and attractions that downtown Lake Charles offers. The SWLA/Lake Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Lake Charles will assist DBA with this effort. DBA will host quarterly lunches for members to receive updates on projects and exchange ideas. “One thing that is really important to us is that we allow people who like to do awesome stuff to do awesome stuff,” Villaume says. “The idea is you don’t have to be some really wealthy person to create cool projects in your town. We plan to develop a micro-grant program where anyone can come to our quarterly lunch and propose a project. We’ll take up a collection among the members and we might be able to give a $500 grant to someone who wants to do something cool downtown.”


Villaume emphasizes that DBA is unique and separate from other civic-minded organizations. He says, “We have several organizations in Lake Charles – the Chamber Alliance, the Better Business Bureau, the Alliance for Positive Growth – and those are all awesome organizations that have made tremendous progress, raised a lot of money, and have had big influence in government areas. That’s not what DBA is about. We will work with government -- the Downtown Development Authority and City Council are on board with what we are doing – however, we are about creating an awesome downtown where people want to live, dine, shop and do business.” DBA is currently accepting new members. They define “downtown” with the following boundaries: Railroad Ave. to the north, First Ave. on the east, Sallier/12th St. to the south, and the Port of Lake Charles on the west. If you work or own a business in this area, you can become a business member of DBA. If you live within these parameters, you can apply to be a resident member. There is also a level of membership called “friends of the DBA.” For more information, find the Downtown Business Association on Facebook.


Everyone else is just a copier. Serving Louisiana for over 30 years Founded in 1955, Professional Office Products has come a long way from its beginnings in a small home office in Jennings, Louisiana. When Charlie Liles first started out, his passion for providing the best customer service in the office supply business gave him the drive to turn hard work and inspiration into a flourishing office supply store serving five parishes. Liles saw the potential of the company and the Xerox product line. So, in 1987 he and his son, Ronnie, sold, what was then, American Business Machines and became Professional Office Products. That move would spark a long and prosperous relationship with the Xerox corporation. Charlie and Ronnie always put their customers first; a fact proven by the loyal, long-term customers that can still be found in today’s book of business. In 2012, with Ronnie now running the company, Welsh native, Nonie Sonnier, was hired to help support the company’s growth and together they finished that year the #1 Xerox agency in the nation. In August of 2017, Ronnie sold the company to Lake Charles native Jason Montet. Montet, although new to Professional Office Products, was no stranger to Xerox and its line of products. Since 1999, he had been working with Xerox to cover Lake Charles and the surrounding areas. The transition was smooth for Montet, who was able to combine the same customer service values that Professional Office Products customers were so fond of and his extensive knowledge of sales and technology to continue the strong legacy of business that began in 1955. In March of 2018, Professional Office Products expanded its reach even further by acquiring CENLA Office Solutions and opening a store-front in Alexandria to service Central Louisiana. Miranda Shumate was hired to be the territory’s Solutions Specialist.

As you can imagine, much has changed in the office products industry since the mid-1950s. Today, Xerox’s machines can do so much more. “You should expect more from your copier. If you are just printing and scanning, you are wasting your money,” says Montet. With Xerox’s full line of apps, downloaded easily from your device, your Xerox machine can translate text into different languages and convert documents to various file types. You can even access the files in your cloud from your copier’s touchscreen. These are only a few of the many things a Xerox solution can do to keep your business running as efficiently as possible. Montet says the goal he keeps top-of-mind as he services over 2,000 machines in the region is simple. “We want to simplify your workflow by cutting down on the number of steps to do a simple process,” he says. Montet continues, “So much of the day is spent doing those mundane tasks. Our customers’ time is better spent on what actually brings in the business.” Professional Office Products is currently the #1 Gold Level Xerox Agency in the nation; a feat achieved by always making customer satisfaction a priority. To discuss how Professional Office Products can assist you in simplifying your workflow and optimizing productivity of your business, contact them at 337-824-5735 (Jennings), 318-445-1792 (Alexandria) or visit them online at

Nonie Sonnier, Solution Specialist

Miranda Shumate, Solution Specialist

Jason Montet, Owner Jennings 337-824-5735 | Alexandria 318-445-1792 22


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


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

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


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.”


See Young Again!




Sunday Brunch 11AM - 2PM


477-0963 Thrive



g n i r x Ca n o i t i d a r T y’ll tell you e h t d n a n o er asieu or Cam es, caring neighbors lc a C t s e W who lives in e, family valu s of our thriving id r p ic iv C Ask anyone . e ntial qualitie t place to liv a e l. s e s r e g a e r ’s a it e s y ron Hospita he e wh t – m a ic C h t u e ie k s r a y wo of West Calc y c a and a health g le e h t It’s also community.

What began as a small 50-bed hospital in 1953 to answer the needs of the fast-growing population in the post-World War II decades has grown to become a vital part of the community it serves. For over 60 years, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital has provided Sulphur and the surrounding communities of West Calcasieu and Cameron parishes access to experienced physicians, skilled healthcare professionals, the latest medical technology and an unsurpassed tradition of caring.



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Over the years, the growth of the hospital has reflected the dynamic growth of the region, with services added to meet the needs of our communities. This year, voters in West Calcasieu and a portion of Cameron Parish approved the renewal of a 10-year tax millage that will continue to allow the hospital to fulfill its vision to always provide exceptional healthcare: Your Need, Our Commitment. West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital continues to grow and expand departments and services, including the most advanced technology, to provide the best care to our communities. The most recent growth and additions to meet the needs of our communities include: • • • • • •

Diagnostic Centers in Sulphur and Westlake Outpatient Lab Draw Station Renovation and Expansion of the Women’s Center SmartCurve 3D Mammography Technology ENT Services Emergency Department, including implementation of the Fast Track Program • Oncology Services • Pulmonology Services • Telemedicine

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital not only serves members of the community by providing the most advanced health care services in our area, but also is especially proud to offer care for patients in outlying areas of our service district, including: • Vinton Rural Health Center • Hackberry Rural Health Clinic • Johnson Bayou Rural Health Clinic • The Diagnostic Centers located in Sulphur and Westlake Improvements in equipment have also recently been made to some of the unique and innovative services we provide at: • Dynamic Dimensions Fitness Centers in Sulphur and Moss Bluff • Genesis Therapeutic Riding Center

We honor the hard work and dedication of over 700 employees, as well as the visionary leaders who have provided us with their guidance. It is important to look back, but it is even more important to look ahead, to a bright future with the promise of continued growth and caring for our community. 2018 - Annual Issue



Growing & Going!

Presentation by the Water Institute

by Taylor Trahan Henry In 2017, Alliance for Positive Growth (APG) shared their mission for the first time – to promote strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana. It resonated well within the community, to the tune of over 260 members and their representatives becoming involved. Now, with a successful first year under their belt, the grassroots organization has set its sights on year two. As 2018 roars along, APG continues to set and accomplish goals that benefit the community at large. Notably, APG completed a successful campaign launched by their Drainage


Task Force, initiated quarterly joint meetings with parish and city staff, hosted mayors and parish officials for a meeting with the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition and co-hosted a presentation by the Water Institute of the Gulf. In addition to working with city and parish officials across the region, APG has also ramped up their internal structure. There are currently ten committees, focusing on various elements of development and the community. APG is also in the final stages of preparing for its inaugural Growing Southwest Louisiana Strong Awards


Program on August 2. There, the organization will hand out it’s first set of Positive Growth Awards highlighting the incredible work going on around Southwest Louisiana. Guest speaker, Governor John Bel Edwards, will address a sold-out audience of business leaders, community members and the APG membership. After the event, a full list of winners can be found at The organization expresses special thanks to event sponsors; Foundation Level Sponsor Empire of the Seed, LLC; Cornerstone Level Sponsors Bodega Wine Dive, Prime Butcher

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& Brasserie, Southside Machine Works, Inc., Entergy Corporation, First Federal Bank of Louisiana and NAI Latter & Blum; and Pillar Level Sponsors Magnolia Property Management & Investment, LLC, Lewing Construction Company, LLC, Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South, LLC, JC Homes & Development, Alfred Miller Contracting and The Investors Group of Louisiana, LLC. The APG membership is the driving force behind the continual growth of the organization. There are four levels of membership in which businesses, organizations and individuals can become involved. Membership funds cover operational costs, education, community outreach and policy efforts.

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 promote strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana. The goals of the organization are to be a positive voice for good growth in Southwest Louisiana, to assist 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 relations and to endorse and support projects that align with our pro-quality growth platform.

More information about APG and membership opportunities can be found at

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DESIGN YOUR FUTURE with Rau Financial Group

(l-r) Denise Wilkinson, Denise Rau, Debora Alexander and Latrana White

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, cash flow, and social security planning.

(337) 480-3835 | 1634 RYAN ST., LAKE CHARLES |

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Goss Advisors, a registered investment advisor. Goss Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.

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

Keeping Local Roots

to raise 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.

Free Invisalign Consultation. Call Today! 28


2018 - Annual Issue

Building Safer Communities

Your Regional Resource for Safety



Locations in SWLA



Different courses offered



Years in business as a non-profit


Average number of people trained in a day

Number of members



Saved annually by petrochemical industry for reciprocal training with Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils (ARSC)


1201 Ryan Street, Lake Charles | 337-436-3354 |

2018 - Annual Issue



SERVING UP FINGER-LICKING FOOD FOR THREE DECADES 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. 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. 119 West College Street, Lake Charles (337) 474-3651 | Monday – Thursday: 11am–10pm Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm Closed Sunday | Happy Hour 4–7pm

Revealing a Healthy, Beautiful YouYou Revealing a Healthy, Beautiful Revealing a Healthy, Beautiful You

DermatologyDermatology Associates ofAssociates SouthwestofLouisiana focused on protecting and improving SouthwestisLouisiana is focused on protecting and improving the health ofthe skin, hair, and nails, especially in the areas of skin cancer prevention and health of skin, hair, and nails, especially in the areas of skin cancer prevention and Dermatology Associates of Southwest Louisiana is focused on protecting and improving treatment. treatment. the health of skin, hair, and nails, especially in the areas of skin cancer prevention and Formed in 2002, theinfounding physicians Dr. Brian and Dr. Michael Formed 2002, the foundingwere physicians wereFord Dr. Brian Ford and Dr.Cormier. Michael Cormier. treatment. Dr. Kevin Guidry joined the group 2006, followed Dr. Lee by Miller in 2013. MillerDr. Miller Dr. Kevin Guidry joinedinthe group in 2006,byfollowed Dr. Lee MillerDr. in 2013. Formed in 2002, the founding physicians were Dr. Brian Ford and Dr. Michael Cormier. continues to continues be the area’s only Mohs surgeon, thesurgeon, technique that is considered to be the to be the to be the area’s only Mohs the technique that is considered Dr. Kevin Guidry joined the group in 2006, followed by Dr. Lee Miller in 2013. Dr. Miller most effectivemost in treating the two most types of skin cancer. effective inthetreating thecommon two most common types ofthat skiniscancer. continues to be area’s only Mohs surgeon, the technique considered to be the most effective in treating the two most common types of Jamie skin cancer. Laina Bryant,Laina nurse practitioner, joined in 2015, and Burks, nurse practitioner, in Bryant, nurse practitioner, joined in Jamie 2015, and Burks, nurse practitioner, in 2016. Dr. Kerri Davis-Fontenot will join the group in August of 2018. 2016. Dr. Kerri Davis-Fontenot will join the group in August of 2018. Laina Bryant, nurse practitioner, joined in 2015, and Jamie Burks, nurse practitioner, in 2016. Kerri Davis-Fontenot willskincare join the products group in August of 2018. alsoDr.carry advanced, medically approved skincare products fromand Elta MD and We also carryWe advanced, medically approved from Elta MD We also carry advanced, medically approved skincare products from Elta MD and SkinCeuticals. These products allow usour to further of providing SkinCeuticals. These products allow us to further missionour of mission providing SkinCeuticals. These products allow us to further our mission of providing you with optimumto treatments keephealthy your skin and glowing. you with optimum treatments keep yourtoskin andhealthy glowing.

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Jamie Jamie 2000 Tybee |Charles Lake Charles | (337) 433-7272 Tybee Lane |Lane Lake (337) 433-7272 433-7272 Burks Burks20002000 Tybee Lane | Lake Charles | | (337)


2018 - Annual Issue

2018 - Annual Issue



COULD YOU BE THE NEXT Waitr? Do you operate a home-based business or a start-up? Do you have a great idea for a business, but are unsure what the next steps should be? Whether you’re a start-up in the pre-revenue stage, or you’ve been operating your business out of your home, the SEED Center Business Incubator can help entrepreneurs reach their goals with business training, start-up office space, access to business equipment and services that are usually too expensive for a new business. Clients will receive coaching, counseling, managerial and technical services, along with the opportunity to network with other emerging businesses. “In our five years of operations, a diverse group of entrepreneurs have entered our incubator,” said Adrian Wallace, Executive Director of the SEED Center Business Incubator. “Despite different business and life experiences, there are common


threads they all share, such as a desire to create something for themselves or their families, along with a need to sharpen or develop the skillset to operate a business like a business. In the SEED Center Business Incubator, we endeavor to provide clients with the requisite training, coaching, and guidance with a variety of programming, including Growth Wheel, Business Model Canvas, CORE Four, Kauffman FastTrak, Peer to Peer Roundtables, and more. Business Incubation is a process of moving clients at their own pace and needs to become sustainable and successful.” This past May, the SEED Center Business Incubator was named InBIA’s Incubator of the Month, and incubator tenants have been awarded by LED two years in a row. Cypress Engineering and Development received the Small & Emerging Business Award in 2016. Waitr went on to win LED’s 2017 Small Business Innovation Award.


Located on the east and west wings of the SEED Center, the incubator can accommodate up to 30 startup businesses in offices from approximately 126 sq. ft to 820 sq. ft. A unique feature of the incubator is co-working space. Two large rooms have space for clients who wish to collaborate with others and to utilize an office on a part-time basis. “This year, we saw one of our largest and most successful incubator clients – Waitr – graduate out of our incubator and go on to be purchased by Tilman Fertitta for 308 million dollars. There are other success stories out there waiting to happen, and we are the venue to make those dreams a realty for the right entrepreneur,” said Wallace. Other incubator graduates include Earline Marchand (Social Security Non-Attorney Representative), Wendy Harper (CGI Staffing) and Tommie Townsley (Ally-Gator Book Bites). The Incubator receives the full

2018 - Annual Issue

support of the business community from business leaders sharing their expertise in a peer-to-peer environment to helping to fund the programs and services of the incubator. Two of our greatest contributors are Capital One Bank and Sasol Chemical. Clients within the incubator are provided the assistance of a professional receptionist and telephone service and the following:

• Internet • Utilities • Telephone Equipment • Building Security • Private Parking • Guest Parking • Copier/Printer Usage • Office Furniture • Start-Up Office Space • Conference room access • A professional address Clients are also able to access small conference rooms and equipped workrooms located on each wing, and have the ability to reserve the second floor conference facilities within the SEED Center. Every year, the Incubator hosts an open house for the business community to learn more about the incubator and its clients. This popular event is usually held in November or December.

The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center (SEED) is a Joint Venture and Cooperative Endeavor Agreement among the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, City of Lake Charles, McNeese State University, and the SWLA Alliance to establish an economic development center to foster economic growth and development in Southwest Louisiana.

2018 - Annual Issue



It’s why I’m here.

& Hunter Perrin, State Farm Agent

4080 Nelson Rd. Lake Charles, LA 70605 337-477-3830

Your home and care are more than just things. They’re where you make your memories - and they deserve the right protection. I get it. It’s why I’m here. LET’S TALK TODAY.

1968 - 2018

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



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 34


developing innovative problem solvers Thrive

803 North Division Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 337-433-5246 2018 - Annual Issue

2018 - Annual Issue



There’s Strength in our Numbers. 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, it’s reassuring to know that expert care from the team of specialists at the Center for Orthopaedics (CFO), the region’s largest musculoskeletal group, is available. Originally founded in Lake Charles in 1994, 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,” according to orthopaedic surgeon Dr. John Noble. This new office opened with just four doctors but grew quickly. Today, Imperial Health CFO serves all of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas and includes two locations, 14 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 their doctors except one were born and raised in Louisiana. They received the high-level training needed for their areas of specialization and brought

that expertise to Southwest Louisiana. As a group, they are committed not just to the Center for Orthopaedics, but to the community they call home. Part of the commitment means bringing the latest advances in care to their patients, from surgical technology like the MAKO robotic-assisted system for more precise hip and knee replacement procedures and the Better Day® Health electronic health record application that helps the doctors provide patient-centered care by enhancing every aspect of the patient’s experience. 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. The doctors are also part of the Sports Medicine Coalition of Southwest Louisiana, providing care for McNeese State University athletes. A 5600-square foot office expansion six years ago has helped CFO keep pace with the rapid growth in the region, and new development taking place on the Imperial Pointe campus around their office will contribute to continued growth, adds 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.”



(337) 721-7CFO Cardiovascular Specialists Lake Charles • Sulphur Thrive 2018 - Annual Issue

605 12th Street | Lake Charles 337-436-4930

The Lanza family has been lighting up the Lake Area for over 85 years. It all began when Michael Lanza started Lake Charles Electric, an electrical contracting company, in 1929. In the 1970’s he added Joseph’s Electrical Center, an electrical supplies and decorative lighting portion of the business, for his son Joe to manage. Following along in Joe’s footsteps came his sons: Ricky, Danny and Randy who currently manage the store and serve long-time customers. Joe’s daughter Vicki and his wife Flo take care of the bookkeeping and Vicki’s daughter, Erin Howle, represents the fourth 2018 - Annual Issue

generation as a lighting consultant. The business also employs four nonfamily members, including Vickie Farris who has been with the business for more than 32 years. Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge in the electrical and lighting industries. Over the years, Joseph’s has built a reputation of having the widest selection of electrical material and lighting fixtures in the area. With trends in lighting and interior décor always changing, Joseph’s brings the latest and greatest to Lake Charles. “Our goal is to make sure Lake Charles sees what is happening nationally in Thrive

the world of lighting. We want to make that available to our community and offer expertise people won’t find on the internet,” Randy said.


2006 SWLA Partnership for Economic Development Chair Mayor Randy Roach and 2006 Chamber SWLA Chair Bill Willis of what was then Women & Children’s Hospital sign the paperwork to form the Alliance. Observing the ceremony are business and community leaders from Southwest Louisiana.)

THE STORY OF THE ALLIANCE In 2006, under the leadership of George Swift, Chamber SWLA business leaders and regional elected officials formed the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “We were still recovering from Hurricane Rita, but we were doing better in our efforts than other regions because everyone – city, parish, and business community – were working so closely together to bring our region back,” said George Swift, President/CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “It was a great feeling, this rush of accomplishment, and we all wanted it to continue. At the time, the Chamber SWLA was losing its president and I was

asked to step in. It just made sense to build upon this momentum and take advantage of this opportunity to make a real and lasting change for our region. To that end, we created the Alliance and our region has been growing by leaps and bounds since.” “The Alliance is made up of the Chamber SWLA, its Foundation, and the SWLA Partnership for Economic Development,” continued Swift. “It wasn’t just a name change. It was a sign that the business community and public entities – parish and municipal governments – would work together in an unprecedented fashion to drive development. We reached out to our fellow partners in economic development like PTAC, SCORE, and the Small

Business Development Center to make sure we were all working together to develop the next wave of entrepreneurs and support our existing business community. After Hurricane Rita, our regional leaders knew what we needed to drive growth. We needed a one-stop business development center. The land was donated by McNeese State University. The building was fully funded through recovery funds by Calcasieu Parish, the City of Lake Charles, the Alliance, and a U.S. Commerce Department Grant. It opened its doors in August 2013 to an eager audience.”

Continued on page 40 38


2018 - Annual Issue

Pronia’s Deli and Bakery is a locally owned business who has been in Lake Charles for over 20 years! We specialize in many delicious sandwiches and other deli items along with many bakery items such as cakes, cupcakes, baklava, cannoli and more!

Imperial Health: Doctors Working Together to Keep Southwest Louisiana Healthy

Monday – Friday: 10am-5:30pm Saturday: 10am-1:30pm Sunday: Closed 3101 Kirkman St Lake Charles (337) 478-0785

Imperial Health’s vital role in meeting the healthcare needs of the Southwest Louisiana community go back to 1957 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 nearly 50 respected, experienced physicians, backed by the resources of the region’s largest doctor-owned, multispecialty medical practice in Southwest Louisiana. Imperial Health is unique in that it is a medical group created by independent physicians whose goal is to put patients first. Our doctors share 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 rapid growth of our community. Our doctors offer a wide range of primary and specialty care, with a support staff of over 500 employees. Imperial Health has multiple offices and ancillary services conveniently located across Southwest Louisiana, ensuring the care you need is available where you need it.

Commercial and Industrial Construction Supplies Locally Owned and Operated for 30+ years Specializing in Anchoring, Cutting, Drilling, & Fastening Products for Concrete, Steel, or Wood. We also Supply Dryvit EIFS and Stucco Materials Jobsite Delivery


(337) 433-8400 | 2018 - Annual Issue


3312 Hodges St | Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601


THE SEED CENTER YEARS Before moving into the SEED Center, the Chamber SWLA and SWLA Alliance held many events (LegisGator Banquet, Golf Tournament, Business After Hours) and provided programs for the business community like bringing The Leader in Me to several schools. They also ran the Leadership Southwest Program and Fusion Five, the young professionals group. Since moving into the SEED Center, the employees of the Chamber and Alliance Foundation have experienced a renaissance of new programs, projects, and collaborations, including:

1. Replacement solutions for the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge.

2. Healthy Lifestyle projects with their Quality of Life Task Force.

3. The upcoming Choose Local campaign for the business community of SWLA.

4. Assisting regional industries find skilled workers through their Ready, Set, Work program, HealthWorx, and Industry Works.

5. Helping regional partners with a scholarship program for people who require additional training.

6. Bringing two robotics programs to local students in 2018.

7. Developing entrepreneurs – not only through their incubator – but also with small business development programs and the Small Business Development Guide.

8. Since 2013, they have completed 90 requests for information on development sites from site selectors and property developers.

9. Improving the aesthetics and appeal of major shopping arteries.

10. Working on a new, all-inclusive diversity culture shift in our office and organization.

11. Developing a Chamber Alliance app. 12. New website design. 40


2018 - Annual Issue


The Way Local Banking Should Be

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

Sulphur Branch

Many banks call themselves local, but to be a truly local bank, you have to offer more than a local address. You must have roots and be committed to helping individuals and businesses in your community be financially successful. That describes Lakeside Bank, an institution with deep roots in our community. Lakeside opened at the end of 2010 in Lake Charles, the only new bank granted a charter in the middle of a national recession. Since that time, the bank has experienced tremendous growth and has been recognized repeatedly for safety, strength and overall bank health by national review organizations. During a time when bigger banks are closing locations across Southwest Louisiana, Lakeside Bank is expanding to serve its growing community here at home, with a new location in Sulphur and Loan Production Office recently opening in DeRidder. “This makes good business sense for what is happening with industrial expansion in our region today,” says Mike Harmison, president and CEO of Lakeside Bank. Harmison says he is very proud of Lakeside’s history, growth 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 are a testament to the trust our customers have placed in our people, and our commitment to serving our customers.” 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

(337) 502-4830 • 2700 Maplewood Drive

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 what 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; decisions are made right here.” 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. When you bank with Lakeside, you gain access to quick, flexible, local decision-making, more personalized and attentive service and relationships with 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. “We have dedicated ourselves to offering our local consumers and businesses a banking experience based on long-term relationships, financial experience and our long-standing commitment to Southwest Louisiana,” said Harmison. “The region continues to grow and attract new investment by major multinational corporations. Lakeside is committed to strengthening the economic fabric of the community with the financial products and services our customers need to achieve their goals. Our success depends on yours, and we never forget that.”

The Way Banking Should Be

2018 - Annual Issue



Your Idea

Our Expertise

Limitless Opportunities

The beginning of a beautiful partnership (337) 310-7333 | 1424 Ryan Street, Lake Charles 70601




2018 - Annual Issue

2018 - Annual Issue



FUELING GOOD IN Southwest Louisiana SINCE 1944

We have been part of the local community since 1944, when the CITGO Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex was strategically built to supply fuel for U.S. military forces that protected the Gulf Coast during World War II. Today, our nearly 2,000 Lake Charles employees and contractors are proud to produce the fuel and products that help drive the economy of our local communities. In addition to generating nearly $600 million in support of the local economy through salaries, services and taxes over the past three years, TeamCITGO volunteers donate an average of 4,000 volunteer hours annually to important local and national causes. We are honored to be part of the fabric of Southwest Louisiana, today and for generations to come.

Š 2018 CITGO Petroleum Corporation



2018 - Annual Issue

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