Thrive's SWLA Homegrown 2019 Issue

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Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region

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


2019 - Annual Issue


2019 2019



Family & Youth Counseling Agency (Family & Youth), an awardwinning organization, was established as a non-profit in 1970 to provide affordable and professional family services to people in Southwest Louisiana. It is the belief of Family & Youth that all individuals possess the ability to solve their own challenges and live full and healthy lives when support is available. It is their mission to provide programs and services dedicated to advocacy, counseling and education for the people of Southwest Louisiana. Family & Youth has many divisions to uphold its commitment to building family values to guarantee a stable and stronger community. For nearly five decades, thousands of Southwest Louisiana residents have come to Family & Youth to address their wideranging concerns. The Shannon Cox Counseling Center alone provides more than 8,000 hours of strength-focused counseling, consultation and education to children, youth and families annually.

The Leadership Center provides guidance, leadership development, career exploration and civic engagement opportunities to shape youth into strong leaders for tomorrow.

Services provided from the agency are:

• • • • • •

Individual, couples, family counseling Grief counseling for children and their families Smart parenting and behavior management services Training and professional development Behavioral and mental health consultation Counseling for pre/post-partum depression and anxiety

Why do they come? They have confidence that Family & Youth cares and helps with a variety of concerns and struggles that affect all of us at one point or another in our lives. Family & Youth leads the community in impact and positive outcomes— constantly making things happen for the benefit of everyone in the community. To learn more or to get involved, please visit our website at or give us a call at 337-436-9533.

Shannon Cox Counseling Center provides a wide range of counseling services for individuals, couples and families, including grief counseling for children.

Autism Support Alliance promotes access and opportunities for persons with autism and their families to be fully included as participating members of their communities.

Children & Families Action Network (CFAN) promotes missionbased advocacy for civic engagement and participation to effect changes in public policy on behalf of children, families and communities.


Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are volunteers who speak in court for a child’s best interest and help ensure that the child receives appropriate care while in the court system.

The Children’s Advocacy Center is a child-friendly facility to coordinate services for children who have been reported as sexually or severely physically abused.

Performance Employee Assistance and Business Services provides high-quality, affordable human support services to businesses in Southwest Louisiana through counseling, consultation and training.


Human Services Response Institute (HSRI) addresses emerging human needs and improves the area’s quality of life.

2019 - Annual Issue

2019 - Annual Issue



Your Guide to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region


14 Seed Center Business Incubator Update 18 The Entrepreneurial Dream 22 Business Women Working Together Managing Editor

26 Chamber Perks

Angie Kay Dilmore

Your Guide to Thriving Local Busine

Editors and Publishers Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Creative Director Barbara VanGossen Design and Layout

Sarah Bercier

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel Stevenson

27 Networking in a Digital Age

30 411 on Chamber and Alliance 38 The Port of Lake Charles Anchors Local Economy

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Submissions


Brought to you by

Cheers to


For 16 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 2019 - Annual Issue


2019 - Annual Issue





2019 - Annual Issue

In Louisiana, we’re like family.

We don’t only work, worship, and celebrate together; we support each other! For this reason, each year we publish our Homegrown issue to highlight area businesses and the benefits they contribute to our community. Our culture and economic landscape continue to grow and evolve. We hope you’ll take a few minutes and read through this year’s edition. You just might discover something new and interesting!

2019 - Annual Issue




Darrell DeRouen was a driven man. He was an avid cook, loved to hunt, was an outstanding athlete, and had a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. And, he was extremely hospitable. In the mid-1980’s, he dreamed of opening a restaurant. The idea was discussed with his wife, Susie, who always supported his ideas. She was not surprised when he came home one evening after making an agreement to lease a building on Ryan Street and a plan to open a bar the following week. He was always full of surprises, and Susie was ready to assist him in that adventure. Darrell’s officially opened in 1985. As a team, Darrell and Susie first sold liquor with music provided via the jukebox and soon after, a record player. Susie decorated the bar for Christmas, bought music (albums) and made the environment welcoming. Darrell continued working at South Central Bell while Susie quickly caught on to doing payroll, preparing the registers, hiring employees, and securing liquor licenses. After a long day at his job, he relieved Susie and took charge of the evening shift. 8


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Come Come ComeCheck Check CheckOut Out Outour our our NEW NEW NEWTo-Go To-Go To-GoKitchen! Kitchen! Kitchen! As the business prospered, Darrell the temptation could not be AsAs thethe business business prospered, prospered, Darrell Darrell where where where thethe temptation temptation could could notnot bebe did not stop with his dream to aa apassed by –– right along the Interstate. diddid notnot stop stop with with hishis dream dream to invent to invent invent passed passed byby right – right along along thethe Interstate. Interstate. tasty product. Within the first year, he new business location also tasty tasty product. product. Within Within thethe first first year, year, hehe This This This new new business business location location also also added Po’boys into the business with easy access to parade added added Po’boys Po’boys into into thethe business business with with offered offered offered easy easy access access to the to thethe parade parade aa blend of mayonnaise and for Mardi Gras. For years, Darrell blend a blend of jalapeno of jalapeno jalapeno mayonnaise mayonnaise and and route route route forfor Mardi Mardi Gras. Gras. ForFor years, years, Darrell Darrell gravy. He created roast beef Po’boys, Susie spent hours barbequing for gravy. gravy. HeHe created created roast roast beef beef Po’boys, Po’boys, and and and Susie Susie spent spent hours hours barbequing barbequing forfor followed by turkey, ham, and Darrell’s community while they waited for followed followed byby turkey, turkey, ham, ham, and and Darrell’s Darrell’s the thethe community community while while they they waited waited forfor Special – a combination of ham, the parade to start. Darrell cooked Special Special – a– combination a combination of of ham, ham, thethe parade parade to to start. start. Darrell Darrell cooked cooked turkey, and roast beef, –– and later, the Monday night football games and turkey, turkey, and and roast roast beef, beef, and – and later, later, thethe for forfor Monday Monday night night football football games games and and surf nn turf. fed the locals aa home-cooked meal. surf surf turf. n turf. fedfed thethe locals locals home-cooked a home-cooked meal. meal. Putting gravy on the Po’boys came years later, Darrell’s isis is Putting Putting gravy gravy onon thethe Po’boys Po’boys came came Thirty-four Thirty-four Thirty-four years years later, later, Darrell’s Darrell’s from Darrell’s childhood. His mother supported by McNeese students, from from Darrell’s Darrell’s childhood. childhood. HisHis mother mother still still still supported supported byby McNeese McNeese students, students, made sandwiches from leftover roast coaches, and faculty. Even made made sandwiches sandwiches from from leftover leftover roast roast athletes, athletes, athletes, coaches, coaches, and and faculty. faculty. Even Even and gravy, and as aa boy, he loved itit as opponents come in and and gravy, gravy, and and asas boy, a boy, hehe loved loved as it asMcNeese’s McNeese’s McNeese’s opponents opponents come come in to in to order to order order his after-school snack. sandwiches for their own team. hishis after-school after-school snack. snack. sandwiches sandwiches forfor their their own own team. team. During the development, he Today, Darrell’s employs During During thethe development, development, hehe Today, Today, Darrell’s Darrell’s employs employs tried many different breads until he approximately seventy workers. tried tried many many different different breads breads until until hehe approximately approximately seventy seventy workers. workers. was satisfied. He drove to Customers include all ages and was was satisfied. satisfied. HeHe drove drove to nearby to nearby nearby Customers Customers include include allall ages ages and and cities tasting bread of size, students, and families, cities cities tasting tasting bread bread of different of different different size, size, occupations, occupations, occupations, students, students, and and families, families, consistency and taste. All of not to those who drive from consistency consistency and and taste. taste. AllAll of the of thethe notnot to mention to mention mention those those who who drive drive from from bread seemed delicious to but and New Orleans. The kitchen bread bread seemed seemed delicious delicious to most, to most, most, butbut Houston Houston Houston and and New New Orleans. Orleans. The The kitchen kitchen to Darrell, he knew exactly what he is so busy during lunch that the line of to to Darrell, Darrell, hehe knew knew exactly exactly what what hehe is is soso busy busy during during lunch lunch that that thethe line line of of wanted and was not going to cars at drive-through extends to wanted wanted and and was was notnot going going to settle to settle settle cars cars at the at thethe drive-through drive-through extends extends to to for anything but excellence. By the College St. Customers are encouraged forfor anything anything butbut excellence. excellence. ByBy thethe College College St.St. Customers Customers areare encouraged encouraged end of first year, he mastered the twenty-four hours in to end end of the of thethe first first year, year, hehe mastered mastered thethe to to call to call call twenty-four twenty-four hours hours in advance in advance advance to to right combination that customers enjoy their orders. right right combination combination that that customers customers enjoy enjoyplace place place their their orders. orders. today. Darrell passed away in after today. today. Darrell Darrell passed passed away away in 2013 in 2013 2013 after after Success never prospers without aa six-month battle with brain cancer Success Success never never prospers prospers without without six-month a six-month battle battle with with brain brain cancer cancer challenges. At time, the couple sixty-six. His dream of challenges. challenges. At one At one one time, time, thethe couple couple at at age at age age sixty-six. sixty-six. HisHis dream dream of opening of opening opening moved to location aa restaurant has become more than moved moved to ato a different different a different location location restaurant a restaurant has has become become more more than than temporarily. They rented aa small space ever anticipated. The business temporarily. temporarily. They They rented rented small a small space spacehe hehe ever ever anticipated. anticipated. The The business business on South Common near Cowboys continues to His wife continues onon South South Common Common near near Cowboys Cowboys continues continues to thrive. to thrive. thrive. HisHis wife wife continues continues and Yesterday’s where Susie kept the tradition the couple established and and Yesterday’s Yesterday’s where where Susie Susie kept kept thethe the thethe tradition tradition thethe couple couple established established kitchen in In meantime, Susie enjoys the benefits kitchen kitchen in operation. in operation. operation. In the In thethe meantime, meantime, together. together. together. Susie Susie enjoys enjoys thethe benefits benefits Darrell decided to property many years of work. The Darrell Darrell decided decided to purchase to purchase purchase property property after after after many many years years of hard of hard hard work. work. The The on College St. and build a Darrell’s Darrell’s tradition continues. onon College College St.St. and and build build a Darrell’s a Darrell’s Darrell’s Darrell’s tradition tradition continues. continues.

119 West College Street, Lake Charles | | (337) 474-3651 | | 119119 West West College College Street, Street, Lake Lake Charles Charles (337) | (337) 474-3651 474-3651 | Monday ––Thursday: 11am–10pm | | Friday &&Saturday: 11am-11pm Monday Monday Thursday: – Thursday: 11am–10pm 11am–10pm Friday | Friday Saturday: & Saturday: 11am-11pm 11am-11pm Closed Sunday | | Happy Hour 4–7pm Closed Closed Sunday Sunday Happy | Happy Hour Hour 4–7pm 4–7pm 2019 - Annual Issue



Mike Moore has over 25 years of leadership and business development experience in Southwest Louisiana, including 8 years as a Deputy Assessor for Calcasieu Parish. His background, combined with his knowledge of property assessment in our parish, makes him the right choice to serve as our next Assessor.

paid for by the Mike Moore campaign

A Better Bridge for a Better SWLA We’ve made great progress building support and focusing attention at the state and national level for a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge. Help us continue this momentum. Visit our website ( to learn more and find out how you can get involved: · Submit a letter of support · Request a speaker for your organization · Make a contribution to the communication campaign The Calcasieu River Bridge is critical to the continued and historic expansion of this area’s industrial development. The time is now to BUILD OUR BRIDGE! 10


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Fr om a y oung age, Laur ie Bay nar d k new she w anted to hav e her ow n business and planned to open a br idal boutique. H er senior y ear of high school at Sam H ouston, she took an inter est in health and the human body w hich led her to chir opr actic. W hile attending M cN eese, she w as a per sonal tr ainer and star ted to under stand the dir ect r elationship the spine, br ain and ner v ous sy stem hav e on health. In 2008, Laur ie mov ed aw ay fr om SW LA to go to chir opr actic school in T ex as. A s soon as she left, she couldn’t w ait to come back home to Louisiana. In 2012, she became licensed and star ted her pr actice. She began to focus on w hat r aised some ey ebr ow s ar ound tow n—chir opr actic dur ing pr egnancy . W hile chir opr actic dur ing pr egnancy w as nothing new , not many people k new y ou could go to the chir opr actor w hile pr egnant. T he benefits of chir opr actic dur ing pr egnancy ar e amazing and she w as ex cited to shar e this w ith the community . In 2014, she mov ed her pr actice and opened Lak e Char les Chir opr actic w ith her business par tner (fellow chir opr actor and br other -inlaw ), Dr . Joseph K ulaga. Since then, her pr actice has gr ow n and the w eir dest oppor tunity k ept pr esenting itself—a coutur e br idal boutique. She honestly hadn’t thought about opening a br idal boutique much since becoming so inv ested in chir opr actic. T he oppor tunity continued to pr esent itself so she star ted to tak e notice. She contacted a couple w edding gow n designer s and the fir st one she called w as a company out of Bar celona. T he company told her “w e’v e been look ing for someone in y our ar ea…w e w er e actually ther e last w eek ”. Coincidentally , w her e her pr actice is—the Oak Cr ossing dev elopment— had just opened a w edding v enue. T her e w as r etail space just steps aw ay fr om her pr actice and the w edding v enue. So in 2018, L Br idal Coutur e opened it’s door s! L Br idal Coutur e is special because it is by appointment only . W hen our br ides come in, the entir e stor e is closed for them and their family /fr iends. Pick ing out y our w edding gow n is a meaningful day and at L, w e w anted to mak e it as memor able as possible. T hr ough these tw o businesses, Laur ie has lear ned her life pur pose of helping our community build families fr om w eddings to babies! T o schedule an appointment at L Br idal Coutur e,y ou may r equest online at lbr idalcoutur T o schedule an appointment w ith Dr . Laur ie at Lak e Char les Chir opr actic, please call (337) 240-6619.

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Pre-K3 – 8th Grade Participant in Education in Virtues Program Excellent Student/Teacher Ratio Diverse Student Body Morning, Noon, Afternoon Prayer & Weekly Liturgy Special Education Services

“Nurturing All Children and Achieving Academic Success in the Spirit of Christ” 2510 Enterprise Boulevard | Lake Charles, La. 70601 (337) 436-7959 | St. Margaret Catholic School welcomes all children regardless of race, creed, or nationality.


64 Celebrating

Access of Louisiana Federal Credit Union’s focus is on our members. Our goal is to provide our members with lowcost, high-quality finan cial services in a friendly, personal environment.


Your Community Credit Union!

years of service

The credit union was established on June 9, 1955, by and for employees We haveofmade excep The Board of Directors Olin Chemical Plant in Lake Charles, over theto change the agreed LA, employees of the credittional union progress and bylawsour to allow more people years in expanding both employees’ immediate families, to become members of the when an organization certificate services and keeping credit union, and became for Olin Mathieson Lake Charles up with the demands of multi-SEG a designated Employees Federal Credit Union based institution. was issued. technology. We could



Proudly serving our community since 1955!


On February 15, 2011, Access of Louisiana FCU was granted community charter and membership was extended to individuals On February 15, 2011, who live, work, worship or attend school in Access of Louisiana Calcasieu Parish in addition to current field of membership and their immediate families.FCU was granted


The credit union was In October 2004,9,the established on June credit union merged 1955, by and106 forFCU and in Local employees Olinlocation. gained itsofthird community charter Chemical Plant in Lake not have achieved such The Board of and membership was Charles, LA, success without you- the Directors agreed to extended to employees of the change the bylaws to members and our individuals In August 2017, the who live, credit union and both On March 13, 1970, a certificate of approval The credit union continued to expand On February 1, 2009, Olin allow more people to Credit credit union work, merged was filed to amend the charter and bylaws membership by merging the West Employees LC Federal volunteers. worship or employees’ LC Municipal become membersaofcertificate of the credit union. The approved certificate Calcasieu Cameronimmediate Hospital (WCCH) Union submitted attend school in families, In October 2004, Federal Credit changed the credit union’s name to Olin Credit Union into operation and expanded of name to formally the credit change union, and Calcasieu Parish in Employees LC Federal Credit Union and the Board of Directors when from 7an toorganization 9 volunteers change credit union’s name the credit Union union into operation. becamethe a designated addition to current certificate the bylaws reflected those members eligible in October 1993. This becamefor itsOlin 2nd to Access of Louisiana Federal merged in Local multi-SEG based field of membership to join the credit union. location in theMathieson community Credit Union. Lake 106 FCU and institution. and their immediate Charles Employees gained its third families. Federal Credit Union location. was executed.








Access of Louisiana Federal (337) 533-1808 Credit Union’s focus is on ourSulphur:

We have made exceptional progress over the 1970 years in expanding our services and keeping On March 13, 1970, a with many up with the demands of technology, members. Our goal is to provide our 4400 Maplewood Drive certificate of approval projects underway for 2019 and 2020. We members with low-cost, high-quality (ATM, Drive Thru) was filed to amend the could not have achieved such success without finan­cial­services­in­a­friendly,­personal­ charter and bylaws of our valued members and volunteers. environment. the credit union. The Lake Charles:

3109 Common Street, Suite 103


Westlake: 910 Sampson Street,

approved certificate changed the credit union’s name to Olin Employees LC Federal Thrive Credit Union and the

Sulphur • Westlake • Lake Charles




The credit union On February 1, 2009, continued to expand Olin Employees LC membership by Federal Credit Union merging the West submitted a certificate Federally Insured byofNCUA Calcasieu Cameron name change to Hospital (WCCH) Credit formally change the Union into operation credit union’s name to and expanded the Access of Louisiana Board of Directors from Federal Credit Union. 2019 - Annual Issue 7 to 9 volunteers in


2019 - Annual Issue



The Birth of a Business Idea Imagine if there was a place where entrepreneurs, economic developers, business people, and the general citizenry could come together as a community team for the economic uplifting of our five-parish area. What possibilities! Everything first begins with an idea, a thought or, if you will, a SEED. In 2013, a unique collaborative effort came together to achieve such possibilities: The SWLA Alliance, Calcasieu Parish, City of Lake Charles and McNeese State University gave birth to the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial & Economic Development Center – aka the SEED Center. Six years later, the SEED Center Business Incubator is not only a reality but contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southwest Louisiana. The mission of the Business Incubator is to serve our five-parish region as the economic catalyst to facilitate the development and sustainability of early stage ventures and existing businesses.


By design, businesses in the Center come and go. The goal is to nurture these businesses and provide them with the resources they need to eventually become viable and independent. Here is a roster of current companies growing in the SEED Center Business Incubator:

Cypress Group, owned by David and Jessica Minton. Commercial engineering company that focuses on civil construction and development projects.

Blueprint Construction, owned by Adam Gremillion. A licensed General Contractor company that specializes in light commercial and residential construction.

Duhon Wealth Management, owned by Trina Duhon. Financial service firm focused on individual investors.

CDL Mentors, LLC, owned by Herman Marigny. Provides training for individuals wishing to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License. Wing 7 Advanced Trucking & Logistics, owned by Herman Marigny. Specializes in freight transportation arrangement and courier services.


Rachel Hinton, LPC LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist.

Empire Industrial Sales, owned by Todd Buckman. Committed to building enduring relationships with businesses by providing necessary parts and supplies with superior customer service. Exceptional Med-Help, LLC, owned by Jamie P. Harrison. Designed to assist with medication administration in assisted living facilities, senior apartment complexes, and/ or private residences.

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GOPHR App, LLC, owned by Warren Vandever. A local digital marketplace that allows users to search items, price check against others in the area, and have the item delivered the same day. Involve U, owned by Aaron Myers & Garrett Benoit. A smart phone app that acts as a social media site specifically for campus events of student organizations at a single college campus. Kowarsch & Judice, owned by Justin Kowarsch & Garrett Judice. An engineering and design firm specializing in electrical and instrument engineering for clients in both the commercial and industrial markets. Pizza Artista, owned by Scott & Cynthia McClaskey. A create-your-own pizza shop with over 80 items to choose from. Sassy Oil & Vinegar, owned by Liz Fuselier. A specialty boutique with flavored infused olive oils & balsamic vinegars and vinegar blends. Exodus Logistics, owned by Glenn Collins Sr. A trucking logistic company. Trinova, owned by Curt McCain. Works with clients from a broad spectrum of industries to provide solutions to instrumentation needs. Goosport Media, LLC, owned by Brandon Malbrough. A company designed to help clients with digital media, video editing, and billboard placement. Technician Rentals, LLC, owned by Scott Boudreaux. A systems solutions and systems integrator provider and technician staffing service. 17 Five Services, owned by Augusto “Tito� Azores. A product and service provider of Protective Molecular Coating. RunnerEats, owned by Alex Brown & Malik Ellis. An app that allows customers to place orders on their phone while at sporting events and have their food delivered to them at their stadium seat. Team Publication, owned by Tracy Clark & Brenda Hill. Produces The Voice of Southwest Louisiana, a publication that provides encouraging details about individuals and issues in SWLA. Veritas Advantage, owned by Lee Monlezun. A cloudbased application designed to transform the way hospitals negotiate for and purchase medical supplies or devices.

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Coming Fall 2020

Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School South Campus Middle and Upper School

Providing academic excellence to a diverse student body in a Christian environment since 1953.

5665 North Gray Market Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70605 337-433-5246

For 70 years, First Federal Bank of Louisiana has provided customers across Louisiana with financial support and guidance. Empowering people to realize and attain their dreams is what our community-first banking is all about, and that’s what our team strives to do in the communities we serve each and every day.


(337) 433-3611 | 16


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Together, we power a brighter Louisiana. We’re the South’s leading corporate force for economic development and have been named a Top 10 Economic Development Utility by Site Selection magazine for 11 consecutive years. We’ve worked to add thousands of jobs to Louisiana, helping our communities grow. Entergy partners with state and local agencies to boost economic development. We invest in new infrastructure while keeping rates among the lowest in the state. And because we think generations ahead, we help train the workforce of the future. Learn more at

A message from Entergy Louisiana, LLC ©2019 Entergy Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

2019 - Annual Issue



The Entrepreneurial

DREAM by Donna Little, Center Director, Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University

Do you know an entrepreneur? Is your neighbor or cousin or friend a small business owner? If so, then you probably appreciate all that it takes to own and operate a small business. Whether it’s a full-time operation or a part-time gig, being a business owner is hard work. Taking care of all the details occupies an owner’s mind and time. Stress and concern about getting it all done are frequent feelings. But if you ask business owners if the hard work is worth it, the response is usually a heartfelt “Yes!” They love the freedom to use their own talents and energy to create success and control their destiny.


As a customer, you benefit from having entrepreneurs in the marketplace. When you buy from a local shop or hire a local businessperson to provide services for you and your family, you get a good product and excellent value with a selection tailored to Southwest Louisiana. You also support your neighbors and build your community. The local owner employs local people (your friends and family), pays local taxes (think police protection and clean water) and buys products and services right in your town. Before you order online, investigate what’s available down the street. You’ll find merchandise tailored


to Southwest Louisiana instead of items more suited to cold climates or urban environments. Give the store around the corner an opportunity to show you what is for sale nearby. You can likely take your purchase home with you instead of waiting for delivery. Enjoy the chance to touch the merchandise and ask questions about how something is made or how it works. You’ll often deal directly with the owner who may have many years of experience in that field. When you buy from a local shop, you know you’re getting something that works in Southwest Louisiana, where blue and gold are important colors and where a duck call is more than a noisemaker.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that in 2015 (latest figures available), Louisiana small businesses employed over 900,000 people. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University reports that interest in starting a small business continues to be strong. The residents in Southwest Louisiana, both old and new, want and need everything from hamburgers to housing. Opportunity is everywhere and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of our exciting world. You’ve heard that small businesses are the backbone of

2019 - Annual Issue

our economy. Think about the local restaurant that serves your favorite meal, the shop where you take your dry cleaning and the company that sponsors your child’s sports team. These places employ your friends and family, put money back into the local economy and support local activities and charities. Every big business was once one of the little guys, with an owner who struggled to turn passion into a profitable reality. When you shop local and support locally owned small businesses, you’ll help entrepreneurs bring their dreams to life.



We Have the Keys You Need Tara Demarie 337.474.2185

Tobie Hodgkins 337.474.2185

Ashley Demarie Deborah Anderson 337.474.2185 337.515.4464

Tammy Ardoin 337.274.9996

Karen Barker 337.274.3321

Becky Bennett 337.540.6542

Kim Blanchard 337-.802.3633

Koni Bridges 337.274.6391

Ricky Chapman 337.474.2185

Roxanne Corbello 337.517.7333

Karen Davis 337.302.7177

Joy Dumesnil 337.794.9380

Analee Dupuie 337.274.9996

JoAnn Fisette 337.794.9579

Kim Granger 337.526.5787

Sharel Hebert 337.515.8189

Michel Hirsch 337.884.9493

Shellie Hoffpauir 337.513.6627

Lydia Holland 337.794.7848

Peggie Hollowell 337.515.2583

Valentine Holmes 337.794.5408

John Koetter 337.802.2678

Anita Lancaster 337.263.3025

Sharon Leger 337.802.0305

Jaeson Leverkuhn 337.496.9670

Suzanne McCoy 337.842.6411

Jade Miles 337.660.8545

Linda Moffett 337.794.0512

Jackie Myers 337.540.2503

Stacey Pias-Rowe 337.526.6325

John Morgan Portie 337.496.6450

Grace Robideaux 337.496.1611

Madison Rogers 337.532.1211

Rebecca Slone 337.540.3915

Jennifer Sproles 337.348.9927

McCall Thibodeaux 337.304.7749

Lisa Thompson 337.570.7323

Larry Turner 337.540.1916

Office Awards

337.474.2185 3025 Lake Street | Lake Charles 20

Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated


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copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders Locally owned and operated for over 35 years

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


324 Pujo Street, Downtown Lake Charles | (337) 436-6251

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Business Women Working Together

Presentation by the Water Institute

by Amanda White, Alliance SWLA VP of Communications & Women’s Business Network Liaison


A Women in Business Group makes me think of the 1988 movie “Working Girl” in all of its shoulder padded glory. In the movie, the protagonist had to use trickery to win out over her mean boss lady to have her idea heard and executed. When I was younger, I was very “you go girl” and came away from that movie feeling that to get ahead in life you had to stick it to the “man” (who in this movie is played by a wicked Sigourney Weaver) to get ahead and that shoulder pads were wholly unnatural.

As I got older and moved into the workplace, I did encounter a few supervisors who did not have my best interests at heart and would get a leg up in business by standing on the backs of the people who worked for them; but they were by far the exception. For the most part, my workplaces – especially the successful ones – were collaborative, think spaces where everyone’s opinion on how to make our work better and easier was heard and taken into consideration. We all pulled ahead by working together.


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In the 80’s I had been misled and am now a bit horrified when I think about the message of that movie through older, wiser eyes. 1) You don’t need to change everything about yourself to fit into the workplace. Being unique is why you are there in the first place. They hired you. Not a you-shaped person who fits into that hole at work. 2) It is the rare person who wants to keep someone down. And, if they do – report them to HR and leave. You don’t need that. No one does. One of my core beliefs is that people want to be good and do good things. Bosses and coworkers want you to succeed because when you do, so does the company and them by extension. 3) Shoulder pads are still weird. Why am I recapping an old movie? To highlight why things are so vastly different in the real world and how supportive it can be to be a woman working with other women in business. I oversee the Chamber SWLA’s Women’s Business Network (WBN), and though it has had changes since it started in April 2010, the things that stay the same are what make it such a wonderful network to join. Its only mission is to support and inform its members. Meetings are usually filled with laughter, tidbits to take back to work, and that overall feeling of “that was fun.” Under the leadership of our 2019 Chair Jennifer Istre of Iberia Bank, we have been engaging our members, spurring them into action, and bolstering their confidence and work prowess. Our August 27 luncheon will feature Marion Fox of Jeff Davis Economic Development. She will tell us why we need to stop apologizing and be proud of ourselves and our work. The Women’s Business Network has long been supported by corporate sponsor First Federal Bank.

For tickets, visit and click on Events. For more information or to be on the e-mail list for future WBN events, email

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We are a FAMILY PRACTICE CLINIC that provides quality personalized health care approach in the Lake Area community. Quality care, close to home.


• Primary Care • IV Fluid Hydration • Medication Management

Direct Primary Care Memberships Available We accept most private insurances & Medicare.


Monday - Thursday 8AM-4PM Friday- 8AM-12PM Saturday-Sunday- On Call

337-210-1260 • 24

2002 W. Wa l n u t S t . , Su ite 1 A


L a ke Ch a r le s, L A 7 0 601 2019 - Annual Issue

Over 28 Years of Service in Southwest Louisiana

Since 1991, Landscape Management Services has provided Southwest Louisiana with leading commercial and residential landscape installation and maintenance. We have maintained our commitment to quality, integrity and service, and these principles remain an important part of all of our projects. In addition to full range

of landscaping services, we offer a fully-stocked landscape supply house for the “do-it-yourself ” landscaper or landscape contractors. You can pick up from our location, or we can deliver all of your plants, soils, mulches, decorative stone, aggregates and much more!

5005 Cobra Road in Lake Charles | (337) 478-3836 M–F: 7am – 4pm | Sat: 8am – 2pm (Seasonal Hours) 2019 - Annual Issue Thrive


e to Thriving Local Businesses in our Region


Chamber Perks:

Just One More Reason to Join the Chamber Alliance

Presentation by the Water Institute

Business owners are aware of the many reasons to join the SWLA Chamber Alliance – support, networking, mentoring, and promotion. Need another reason? The Chamber offers its members a unique program called Chamber Perks. This program encourages members and their employees to buy from other Chamber members. With a Perks Program Card, you receive discounts at dozens of participating member companies. This program is free and only available to members. Get the most out of Chamber Perks:

• Your business can offer an exclusive discount to fellow Chamber members.

• You and your employees can take advantage of savings at other Chamber member businesses.

• Your business can use it as a great way to expand your

existing customer base by introducing your business, its products and services to fellow Chamber members and their employees.

Got a question regarding our SWLA economy? Major employers? The cost of living or local weather stats? The Port of Lake Charles? Info on recent development projects? The Chamber SWLA/SWLA Alliance offers downloadable reports on their website, free to the public.

• Your business will receive an extra free listing on the Chamber website displaying your discount.

If you are interested in participating in the Chamber Perks member-to-member discount program (effective for one year), contact Paula Ramsey at (337) 433-3632 or



2019 - Annual Issue

New Approaches to Old Ways Networking in the Digital Age The Future is a daunting premise. Things change so rapidly that we are confronted by problems that didn’t exist 10 years ago and are offered opportunities that weren’t around last year. But, fundamentally, we are all humans who connect best with other humans. Today, that communication may be more often via text, back and forth in social media post comments, or other new forms of communication that anyone over the age of 30 hasn’t heard of yet.

So, it is common to think of embracing new technology and letting go of oldfashioned notions of handshakes and small talk over cheese cubes at an event. The Chamber SWLA and SWLA Alliance are doing its best to do both. It explores new opportunities to connect with Southwest Louisiana business people, but will still hold onto some of the old ways of doing things. Nothing can replace meeting someone in person, shaking their hand and learning something unexpected. Now, we just have the technology to grab their information digitally, share things with them on “platforms” and check out their LinkedIn profile for more information.

New and old are folding together to make life sometimes easier, sometimes more complicated, but also more interesting. Change is an ever constant and necessary thing, so programs will go by the wayside and new ones will flourish . . . but, maintaining a means for people in business to connect is and will always be a primary function of the Chamber. Currently, we offer networking at our monthly Business After Hours (usually the 3rd Thursday of the month, different location every month), and annual events like the Banquet (January), LegisGator (August 23) and what we call green networking – the Golf Tournament (September 27 at The National).

• Confidential counseling services • Wide-range of training and development programs for businesses and groups • Custom programs designed by experienced, licensed counselors Locally Owned by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, CEAP, LPC-S, LMFT | 337-310-2822 400 7th Street | Lake Charles 2019 - Annual Issue





2019 - Annual Issue

2019 - Annual Issue



ocal Businesses in our Region


Chamber SWLA/SWLA Alliance 411 ... in case you were wondering The Chamber Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) is the voice of the Southwest Louisiana business community and promotes ongoing regional development to cultivate a higher quality of life for all citizens on Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis Parishes. 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. The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance is the umbrella organization of the Chamber SWLA, the SWLA Alliance Foundation, and the Southwest Louisiana Partnership for Economic Development.


These regional economic development organizations, each with its own Board of Directors, have combined resources to strengthen the business recruiting and retention efforts for Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis Parishes. The Alliance combines the staff and resources of the three organizations on the third floor of the SEED Center at 4310 Ryan Street, Lake Charles.


2019 - Annual Issue



for SWLA

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

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 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.

Butch Ferdinandsen

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

(337) 433-8400 | 2019 - Annual Issue



Putting the Fun in Function Putting thethe FunFun in Function Putting in Function Viator sells used golf cars. They can Golf cars can be useful for more than range in price from modest model at the links on a golf course. You’ve Viator sells used golfagolf cars. They can can Golf navigating cars can be useful for more than Viator sells used cars. They Golf cars can be useful for more than $1500 to a tricked-out deluxe model for seen them around – auto salespersons dash in price fromfrom a modest model at at navigating the links on a on golfa course. You’ve range in price a modest model navigating the links golf course. You’verange over He saysdeluxe wholesale golf from the car lot to –the service department; to $8000. a to tricked-out model forcar seen seen themthem around – auto salespersons dashdash $1500 $1500 a tricked-out deluxe model for around auto salespersons distributors lease golf cars to golf courses plant workers whisk themselves over $8000. He says wholesale golf car fromindustrial the car lot to the service department; over $8000. He says wholesale golf car from the car lot to the service department; for threelease to four After time, they from one end ofworkers the whisk property tothemselves the oth- distributors golfyears. carscars to golf courses industrial plant workers themselves distributors lease golf tothat golf courses industrial plant whisk sell three the cars to retailers Viator, who er; and families pile and around to golf four years. After thatlike time, theythey fromfrom one end of theofproperty toscoot the for to four years. After that time, one end the in property tooththe oth- for three refurbish and customize a car to a client’s the neighborhood, tunes blaring -all in sell the golf cars to retailers like Viator, who er; and families pile in and scoot around sell the golf cars to retailers like Viator, who er; and families pile in and scoot around needs.and “When a golf cart in, we customized golftunes Fromblaring sales to--in service, customize a caracomes to client’s the neighborhood, blaring -- all refurbish and customize cara to a client’s the neighborhood, all in refurbish strip it,“When clean it,a rebuild itcomes and it look John Viator and business, Golfneeds. “When a golf cart cart comes in,make we customized golf cars. From salessales toSouthern service, needs. golf in, we customized golf his cars. From to service, pretty. With our consumer clients, we meets the golf car needs of all these strip it, clean it, rebuild it and make it look JohnCars, Viator and his business, Southern Golf strip it, clean it, rebuild it and make it can look John Viator and his business, Southern Golf make anything want a clients, reality! Hecan and people. With our consumer clients, we can Cars,Cars, meetsmeets the golf of allofthese pretty. With ourthey consumer we the car golfneeds car needs all these pretty. hisanything team offer full service on any and Viator became interested in the golf makemake they want a reality! Hemake and people. anything they want a reality! He and people. model golf car. They pick up and deliver car business soon after opening Southern his team offeroffer full service on any make andand Viator became interested in the his team full service on any make Viator became interested ingolf the golf freegolf of charge within certain radius. Bicycle Company. He sells bicycles to the model car. They pickapick up and deliver car business soonsoon after after opening Southern model golf car. They up mile and deliver car business opening Southern For all your golf call or radius. visit local and surrounding industries. While charge within acar certain mile radius. Bicycle Company. He sells bicycles to the free of charge within aneeds, certain mile Bicycle Company. He sells bicycles to theon free of Southern Golf Cars. these industrial properties, Viator would golf golf car needs, call call or visit locallocal and surrounding industries. While on on For all Foryour all your car needs, or visit and surrounding industries. While see employees moving around the would premises Southern GolfGolf Cars.Cars. thesethese industrial properties, Viator would Southern industrial properties, Viator on cars. Hemoving saw a need in premises the see employees moving around the see golf employees around themarket premises and opened family-owned and operated on golf He saw need in the on cars. golf cars. He asaw a need inmarket the market Southern Golf Cars in and 2018. and opened family-owned operated and opened family-owned and operated Southern Golf Cars in 2018. Southern Golf Cars in 2018.

We are a full service Golf Car dealership and specialize in We are a full service Golf CarCar dealership andLet specialize customizing carts toGolf enhance your life. usspecialize make in your We are a full service dealership and in customizing carts to enhance your LetLet us make dream cart ayour reality! customizing carts to enhance your us make your dream cart a reality! dream cart a reality!



2019 - Annual Issue

bicycles to area industries, so he may pick John Viator started cycling in college. As up items delivery. Then hehespends he became more involved in the sport, bicycles tofor area industries, may pick pick Viator startedin cycling in college. Asbicycles to area industries, sosohe may John ViatorJohn started cycling college. As some time in his office in Westlake he worked at the local bike shop to learn up items for delivery. Thenhehespends spendsbebecame more involved in the sport, up items for delivery. Then he became more involved in the sport, fore working rest ofinthe day at hisbegolf how to local fix his ownlocal bikes. “That decision time inthe his office inWestlake Westlake beat bike the bike shop to learnsomesome time in his office he worked he at worked the shop to learn cart business next door. turned out to be one of the best decisions fore working theday dayatathis his golf golf howown to fixbikes. his own bikes.decision “That decision fore working thethe restrest of of the how to fix his “That addition to Specialized-brand for career, heone says. college andcart business cartIn business next door. out to of After the best decisions next door. turned out turned to my be one of”be the best decisions biking Viator also a couple other”After jobs, the bike shop Inand addition toaccessories, Specialized-brand for my he says. After college and Inbikes addition to Specialized-brand for my career,” hecareer, says. college and owner sells Brooks running shoes, Skechers called Viator to say he’ d be interested in biking accessories,Viator Viator also also a couple bike shop ownerbikesbikes and and biking accessories, a couple other jobs,other the jobs, bike the shop owner running shoes, Loom athletic shoes, and selling thehe’ shop at interested some point and sells Brooks running shoes, Skechers called Viator say he’d be interested in sells Brooks running shoes, Skechers called Viator to say dtobe in asked running accessories, Oakley and Wi-and if he was interested. Viator saw an excitrunning shoes, Loom athleticshoes, shoes, and selling shoppoint at some point and askedrunning shoes, Loom athletic selling the shop atthe some and asked leyX sunglasses, Yeti coolers, and Garmin ing opportunity. He managed the bike running accessories, Oakleyand andWiWiif he was interested. Viator saw an excit- running accessories, Oakley if he was interested. Viator saw an excitproducts. “We’re socoolers, much more just shopopportunity. for two years purchased it in leyX leyX sunglasses, coolers, andthan Garmin ing Heand managed sunglasses, YetiYeti and Garmin ing opportunity. He managed the bikethe bike a bike shop!” Viator says. 2015. products. “We’re much morethan than just just shop for two and purchased “We’re so so much more shop for two years andyears purchased it in it in products. Since then, he has grown Southern a bikea bike shop!” Viator says. 2015. shop!” Viator says. 2015. Bicycle a successful, diSince then, he into hasSouthern grown Southern Since then, heCompany has grown verse business and a vibrant community Bicycle Company into a successful, diBicycle Company into a successful, diresource. offers customer service verseand business and afair vibrant community verse business aHevibrant community andoffers strivesHe tooffers meet the of Lake Area resource. fairneeds customer service resource. He fair customer service customers. Viator sells bikes for the whole strivesthe to needs meet the Lake Area and strivesand to meet ofneeds Lake of Area family caters to outdoor endurance Viator sells bikes for the whole customers. customers. Viatorand sells bikes for the whole fitness such as triathletes. and caters to outdoor endurance family and family catersenthusiasts, to outdoor endurance A typical for Viator begins early fitness enthusiasts, such as triathletes. fitness enthusiasts, suchday as triathletes. at the bike tends paperwork A typical dayHe forbegins Viatortoearly begins early A typical day forshop. Viator and difficult require thetackles bike shop. He tends tothat paperwork at the bike at shop. He tends torepairs paperwork expertise. He also sellsrequire and services and tacklesrepairs difficult repairs that require and tackleshis difficult that his He expertise. He also and services his expertise. also sells andsells services

615 E. Prien Lake Road, Lake Charles 615 E. Prien Lake Road, LakeCharles Charles 615 E. Prien Lake Road, Lake (337) 474-9090 (337) 474-9090 474-9090 Bikes(337) and a Whole Lot More

Bikes and a WholeLot LotMore More Bikes and a Whole

2019 - 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 their new Center for Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative Medicine is a revolutionary treatment approach that harnesses the power of the body’s own cells for accelerated healing of injuries and to reduce pain and limitations from osteoarthritis. Advanced biologic therapies allow physicians to use a patient’s own blood and bone marrow for the non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal pain. 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. Growth at CFO is keeping pace with the rapid growth in the region, and new development taking place on the Imperial Pointe campus around their office will only enhance this, 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


2019 - Annual Issue

& It’s why I’m here. HUNTER PERRIN, State Farm Agent Celebrating our 30th Year in SWLA!

Yourhomeandcararemorethanjustthings.They’rewhere you make your memories — and they deserve the right protection. I get it. It’s why I’m here. LET’S TALK TODAY.

Pronia’s Deli and Bakery is a locally owned business who has been in Lake Charles for 30 years! We specialize in many delicious sandwiches and other deli items along with many bakery items such as cakes, cupcakes, baklava, cannoli and more!

1968 - 2020

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

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

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

DESIGN 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, cash flow, and social security planning.

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

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

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. 2019 - Annual Issue



Healthy Image: Thriving for 17 Years Seventeen 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.


Nearly 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.


2019 - Annual Issue

We’ve delivered We’ve delivered 700+ 700+ new jobs*

newthey’re jobs* *and your *and they’re your friends & neighbors friends & neighbors

$4 billion to $4businesses* billion to local

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

$5 million to $5 million to education & community

education programs*& community programs* *worth every smile

*worth every smile

2019 - Annual Issue Thrive


The Port of Lake Charles Anchors Local Economy - and nation’s energy corridor The Port of Lake Charles continues to grow the Southwest Louisiana economy — and it does so in ways much wider than its core business of shipping. The Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District is the nation’s 12th-busiest port district, based on tonnage, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Port and Calcasieu Ship Channel — the dredged waterway offering easy access to the Gulf of Mexico — constitute “America’s Energy Corridor,” as it is called. Fortune magazine ranks Lake Charles as the No. 7 port in the nation for growth, as measured by the increase in the value of exports. The Port is also the landlord to more than 60 companies — oil and gas, chemicals, gaming and businesses that are Southwest Louisiana economic powerhouses. Major tenants include L’Auberge Casino Resort and Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Port property is also connected via leases, option agreements and customer relationships to such major industrial presences as Alcoa, Cameron LNG, Magnolia LNG, Tellurian LNG, G2X Methanol and Southern Ionics. Other major customers and tenants are a Who’s Who of local business and industry.

Established in 1926 to facilitate the lumber and sawmill businesses of Lake Charles and the rice grown in surrounding communities, the Port today has a wide portfolio of partners, tenants and clients that reflects its economic reach. The “Energy Corridor” name comes from the great quantity of energy products that flow up and down the waterway — primarily petroleum and LNG. Another form of energy recently made its appearance in the corridor. A shipload of huge windmill blades arrived at the Port of Lake Charles for delivery via rail for power generation. It’s another example of how the Port supplies power to America’s energy needs and to Southwest Louisiana’s economy. SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY Economic, environmental and educational initiatives in our community are all part of the Port’s outreach. For example, the Port has direct involvement in ongoing efforts toward marsh creation. The projects are building back the area’s vital wetlands — including 150 acres near the Interstate 210 bridge — with efforts to create more than 400 acres of additional wetlands.

The Port was a stakeholder in creating the Cove Lane interchange to address growing traffic congestion in South Lake Charles. The Port has co-funded extended operating hours at the Saltwater Barrier; an effort that better accommodates emergency response and commercial and recreational boating activity. Another community investment is the Port’s partnership to build a firearms training range for use by local law enforcement. The Port awards grants and scholarships in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to McNeese State University and SOWELA Community Technical College. In the same spirit, it also supports the Southwest Louisiana Economic Alliance and the Chennault International Airshow’s STEM education efforts. The bottom line for the Port, now and in the future, includes new customers, new cargo, new capital projects, and new national and global stature. They’re all examples of how a small set of docks driven in the water nearly a century ago have emerged as a world-class leader in shipping and a success story right here at home. Read more at and on its Facebook and LinkedIn pages.



2019 - Annual Issue

How does the

Chamber SWLA Work for You?

You see the networking events and ribbon cuttings the Chamber hosts, but what you don't see is what happens behind the scenes to support business growth. The hardworking group of professionals play a critical role in keeping the economic engine of our region running. Currently, there are $44 billion in projects under construction and $65 billion in projects pending, bringing

the total new investment in our region to $109 billion. Over the past seven years, 9,491 new, permanent jobs have been added in our five-parish region as a result of our Chamber’s relentless support of job growth which means customer growth and stability for our members.

Why Join the Chamber? GROWTH: Be a part of economic development growth in our region. Job growth means more customers for your business.

Networking: Make one-on-one connections with regional business leaders. It’s not just who you know, it’s who knows you.

BE IN THE KNOW: Stay informed about the latest news and opportunities within our community.

VOICE: Gain a say in what happens in government through our advocacy efforts.

CREDIBILITY: Raise your reputation through membership.

Mission Statement: The Chamber SWLA is the voice of the Southwest Louisiana business community and promotes ongoing regional development to cultivate a higher quality of life for all citizens of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis Parishes.

LEARNING: Exclusive access to a bevy of programs and training opportunities to increase your intellectual capital.

DISCOUNTS: Increase your purchasing power through membersonly discounts and perks.

EXPOSURE: Stand out and get noticed in the community.

2019 - Annual Issue



FUELING GOOD IN Southwest Louisiana SINCE 1944 kcip yam eh os ,seirtsudni aera ot selcycib sdneps eh neTh .yreviled rof smeti pu -eb ekaltseW ni eciffo sih ni emit emos flog sih ta yad eht fo tser eht gnikrow erof .rood txen ssenisub trac dnarb-dezilaicepS ot noitidda nI osla rotaiV ,seirossecca gnikib dna sekib srehcekS ,seohs gninnur skoorB slles dna ,seohs citelhta mooL ,seohs gninnur -iW dna yelkaO ,seirossecca gninnur nimraG dna ,srelooc iteY ,sessalgnus Xyel tsuj naht erom hcum os er’eW“ .stcudorp .syas rotaiV ”!pohs ekib a

sA .egelloc ni gnilcyc detrats rotaiV nhoJ ,trops eht ni devlovni erom emaceb eh nrael ot pohs ekib lacol eht ta dekrow eh noisiced taTh“ .sekib nwo sih xfi ot woh snoisiced tseb eht fo eno eb ot tuo denrut dna egelloc reftA .syas eh ”,reerac ym rof renwo pohs ekib eht ,sboj rehto elpuoc a ni detseretni eb d’eh yas ot rotaiV dellac deksa dna tniop emos ta pohs eht gnilles -ticxe na was rotaiV .detseretni saw eh fi ekib eht deganam eH .ytinutroppo gni ni ti desahcrup dna sraey owt rof pohs .5102 nrehtuoS nworg sah eh ,neht ecniS -id ,lufsseccus a otni ynapmoC elcyciB ytinummoc tnarbiv a dna ssenisub esrev ecivres remotsuc riaf sreffo eH .ecruoser aerA ekaL fo sdeen eht teem ot sevirts dna CITGO Lake Charles was strategically elohw eht rof sekbuilt ib slles rto otaisupply V .sremotfuel suc for U.S. military ecnarudne roodtuo ot sretac dna ylimaf forces that protected the Gulf Coast during World War II. Today, we are .setelhtairt sa hcus ,stsaisuhtne ssentfi proud to produce the fuel and ylraeproducts snigeb rotaiVthat rof yhelp ad lacipdrive yt A the economy of krowrepap o net eH .poh s ekib eht ta impacts, CITGO our local communities. In addition tot sdpositive economic eriuqer taht sriaper tlucffiid selkcat dna Lake Charles contributed over and seci$500,000 vres dna slles oto sla ethe H .eslocal itrepxecommunity sih

TeamCITGO volunteers donated over 3,300 volunteer hours right here in Southwest Louisiana in 2018. We are honored to be part of the fabric of Southwest Louisiana, today and for generations to come.

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2019 - Annual Issue

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