Thrive April 2017 Issue

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APRIL 2017

April 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017

April 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Cover photo courtesy of Porche Aerial Imagery




In This Issue

Regular Features

Wining & Dining

29 Who’s News 50 The New Family Tree 52 First Person with Paula Gant 60 Business Buzz 68 Happenings 70 McNeese Corral 71 Solutions for Life

6 Meal Kit Delivery Services 8 Immeasurable Culinary Imagination of George Graham Places & Faces

10 – 37

Special Section:

18 SWLACVB Celebrates 45 Years of Promoting SWLA

Mind & Body


Unleash Your Inner Artist 32 Cycling In SWLA 36 Yoga Y’all

It’s not too early to be thinking about your plans for summer fun for the kids, but don’t worry, the Summer Fun Guide section in our May issue will have everything you need to know. You’ll find information on local summer camp opportunities, tips on beach safety, fun outdoor activities, grilling and BBQ ideas, the importance of family vacations, and more.

Home & Family 40 44 46 48

The View from a Tree Chennault International Airshow 7 Amazing Places to Enjoy Glamping in the South DeWanna’s Closet

Money & Career

Be the Best YOU


Alfred Miller Contracting 58 Financial Planners - They Work Hard for Your Money Style & Beauty

62 Yes! You Can Wear Hats 64 Tips for Transitioning Fall Boots to Spring Shoes 66 Brighter Days Ahead - Teeth Whitening Options


Thrive is designed for people focused on living a happy, healthy life, one that is balanced, full of energy and contentment. Thrive readers want to make the most of every day and be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. 4

Editors and Publishers

Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099

Creative Director

Barbara VanGossen


Managing Editor

Angie Kay Dilmore

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel Stevenson

Assistant Designers

Shonda Manuel Kris Roy Mandy Gilmore

Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017

SWLA TOURS INC. Bringing You Closer to Nature!

Daily Creole Nature Trail and L.C. After Dark/Sunset Tours MONTHLY DAY TRIPS:

Now offering 4 NEW TOURS starting this Spring!

• Shangri La Botanical Gardens – Orange, TX • Visit the gardens and Stark Museum

• Hodges Gardens – Many, LA • Visit the gardens, Vernon Parish Attractions and More • Hot & Spicy Tour – Avery Island, LA • Tour Avery Island, Jungle Gardens, & Historic Downtown New Iberia • Myths & Legends Tour – Beauregard & Allen Parish • Tour Gothic Hanging Jail, Leatherwood Museum, Doll Museum & More

Great for clubs, groups, and organizations! Sit back, Relax, and Let us do the driving! FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE OR CALL!

Book your tour now! (337) 415-9007 or April 2017

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Wining & Dining A Culinary Adventure in a Box Whether it’s juggling baseball practice and gymnastics, or just a long day at the office, nothing can put a damper on the evening like realizing its 8 o’clock and your cupboards only hold half a block of Velveeta cheese, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a sleeve of saltine crackers. There are only so many drivethrough dinners a family can take before the stove starts collecting dust and the bathroom scales begin to tip unfavorably. Before you throw your hands up in defeat, there is another mealtime option that doesn’t require multiple trips to the supermarket or tons of planning. Meal kit delivery service products arrive in a box on your doorstep, complete with pre-measured ingredients and

easy-to-follow recipes. Below are descriptions of some of the current popular companies. Hello Fresh - If you’re looking for healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods for around $8.75 a meal, consider this service. Weekly shipments include enough protein and produce to create three fresh meals a week for two to four people in less than 30 minutes, Hello Fresh has a wide variety of recipe options for you and your family. Green Chef - This service gives new customers 50 dollars off their first box. The company works hard to ensure all their ingredients are certified organic. They offer meal plans for gluten-free diets, paleo diets, and even meat or seafood lovers. Green Chef prides itself on flexibility. You can try different plans or recipes, skip weeks, or cancel whenever you want. Around $10.50 per meal. Blue Apron - If you seek adventure in your kitchen, Blue Apron may be the meal kit delivery service for you. Customers sign up for the two-person plan or the family plan and receive from six to sixteen meals a week. Ingredients are pre-portioned and Blue Apron features an interesting ingredient with each shipment. From Oaxaca cheese and plantain tortas to mushroom and barley miso ramen, your palate will thank you.


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by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

Plated - Deciding what’s for dinner shouldn’t be a struggle. So Plated allows you to choose the meals you want, and they arrive at your doorstep the following week. For $12.00 per meal, you select from a menu created by awardwinning chefs, including recipes for Cuban Chicken Empanadas with lime crema and avocado and Mediterranean burgers. PeachDish - The first shipment this company made was to ten customers -- nine of the owner’s friends, and one to a woman in Lake Charles. Now it ships more than 200,000 meals a year to its customers focusing on Southern cuisine. For about $12.50 a meal, you’ll receive eight recipe options a week dictated by seasonal ingredients. Sun Basket - Feel good about the food you put into your body by ordering convenient meals from Sun Basket. With paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, and farm-to-table options, Sun Basket sends you delicious meals with kidfriendly options for around $10.00 a meal. There is no commitment, so you can skip or cancel at any time. With these pre-packed meal options delivered to your door, minimizing prep-time and planning, it’s like opening a box of dinnertime magic, allowing you more time to enjoy the company and the meal, and less time checking your list and waiting in line at the grocery store. Take the stress out of dinner and make your life a little bit easier.

April 2017

April 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Wining & Dining

The Immeasurable Culinary Imagination of

GEORGE GRAHAM by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

To say that Louisiana native George Graham is remarkable in the kitchen would be like saying that Leonardo DaVinci dabbled with painting. Sure, it is an accurate description, but it barely encompasses the awe in which both men inspire creativity, the masterful artistry of their craft, or the way their imaginations bring art to life. George Graham, writer, photographer, and esteemed cook is the author of Acadiana Table, a cookbook that can change the way you think about food. If you have yet to discover this collection of southern recipes, you are in luck. You can order it on Amazon for less than 20 dollars, and it will be money well-spent. George Graham grew up in a restaurant business family. He remembers “the blasts of heat coming from the ovens, the high-pitched


whine of a band saw cutting through bone, and the intoxicating smell of roux cooking on the commercial stovetop in my daddy’s restaurant kitchen. At an early age, I recall standing on a wooden orange crate learning to stir one of those pots at the side of a masterful Creole cook.” Baptism by fire is what George calls it. It isn’t any wonder that creating awe-inspiring dishes comes as naturally as breathing to this Acadian cook. When asked from where he draws his inspiration, George says, “If you live in South Louisiana, it’s hard not to be inspired by our culinary world. Inspiration is as close as your next meal. It’s at the bottom of a bowl of smoked rabbit gumbo; it’s fried up in a crispy crusted slab of catfish cloaked in a velvety crawfish étouffée. I drive far and get up close to our food culture to find the delicious story behind my next meal.” To experience some of his favorite Louisiana cuisine, you can visit George’s blog at and eat your way through his favorite restaurants, listed in his blog posts. If you’d like to experience George’s favorites in your own kitchen, his cookbook is a household staple. His beautiful culinary photography will leave your mouth watering. His recipes tempt readers to don an apron and pull out the pots and pans. Boudin cream sauce may become your new favorite dish. But the recipes are so much more than cooking instructions. George weaves his recipes around stories of Cajun life and those who live it. Reading a

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recipe is like delving into a fond memory, and his table tips will ensure you enjoy your food to the utmost. In Acadiana Table George Graham successfully honors tradition while simultaneously challenging it to create something comforting and new. If there were one recipe George would urge you to try, it would be Rox’s Roux. It’s a classic, and the foundation on which so many recipes are built. George says, “I’ve found that food unites us all, and the passion for cooking—especially here in Louisiana—is one that folks love to talk about. I urge you, next time you’re in someone’s kitchen, take a seat at the table and ask them about their favorite recipes. Never more poetic words are spoken than a kitchen table conversation with a passionate cook.” You can have that conversation with George by reading his blog or his remarkable cookbook, Acadiana Table.

April 2017

Plan the by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

What makes a perfect, relaxing picnic? Location, good weather, lovely company, great food, and because this is Southwest Louisiana, lots of mosquito spray. Picnics are an excellent way to enjoy the company of someone you care about or someone you would like to get to know better, but there are a few elements required in the planning stage to ensure your picnic is flawless and fun. Pick the perfect picnic spot. There are so many ideal options in our beautiful area to enjoy a meal outdoors. Here are but a few suggestions. Calcasieu Point Landing - Located at 3955 Henry Pugh Road, Calcasieu Point Landing is a local park with a boatload of amenities. It serves primarily as a boat launch, but offers picnic tables for those interested in a peaceful picnic, panoramic views of the ship channel, and gorgeous Louisiana scenery. Creole Nature Trail - There are plenty of picnic spots to choose from along the 26-mile Creole Nature Trail. With marshlands, beaches, and over four-hundred species of birds, this Louisiana treasure is sure to set the perfect ambiance to enjoy a picnic. You may even catch sight of an alligator or two. Prien Lake Park - Overlooking Prien Lake, you’ll find dozens of options for dining outdoors and taking in the amazing local scenery. From trimmed lawns and man-made streams and fountains to the shores of Indian Bay, Prien Lake Park is a twenty-nine-acre park certain to please on your picnic-outing.

traditional route, you may want to include time-tested favorites like fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, or cold cut sandwiches. To end the meal on a sweet note, include a southern favorite such as a few slices of sweet potato pie, or strawberry rhubarb hand pies. Perhaps modern meals are more to your liking. Consider cold-cut lettuce wraps, fresh veggie sticks and hummus or beet and feta dip. Make blackberry and mozzarella skewers for snacking and sate your sweet tooth with chocolate ganache cupcakes or caramel popcorn bars. Packing your picnic requires thought and preparation, but City Market and Deli, located at 710 Dr. Michael Debakey Drive, provides several easy options to make the packing a breeze. They offer a daily homemade soup, salad, and sandwich bar. If you want to add a sophisticated flair to your basket, try their selection of stuffed olives, crackers, packaged cheeses, and wine. If that’s not your style, you might enjoy something from their selection of craft beers and massive sandwich options. With advanced notice, City Market can accommodate the needs of any customers. If you prefer cooked kabobs, or even something heartier, like spaghetti for your lunch outing, just let them know and they will do their best to find something perfect for you. Bon appetite, al fresco!

Pack Accordingly. Part of being a successful picnicker is preparation. Consider the following items when packing your basket.

• A comfortable blanket to sit on. • A cooler for items that should be chilled. Include ice packs or freeze water • • • • • • •

bottles to keep drinks and food cool. Disposable plates, utensils, glassware, napkins. A trash bag. Bug spray. Sunscreen. A small Bluetooth speaker if you’re interested in light background music. Moist towelettes for easy clean-up. A small first-aid kit, just in case.

NEW Location Coming Soon! OPENING SPRING 2017

Choose the perfect cuisine. The first step in deciding on food is to choose whether you want a picnic infused with tradition, or a modern feast. If you decide on going the 4212 Lake Street Lake Charles 70605 (337) 474-4000

April 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


| 30 Somethings

Places & Faces

by Angie Kay Dilmore Photos by Shonda Manuel


How do you define success? Is it fame and fortune? Six figures and a shiny sports car in a three-car garage? Here at Thrive, we believe it is so much more. We’re privileged each year to see dozens of examples of the true meaning of success when we ask our readers to nominate candidates for our annual Thirteen Thriving Thirty-Somethings contest. Stories pour into our email introducing us to people in their 30s who excel professionally and are also stars in their community, volunteering their time to make Southwest Louisiana a better place to live. The difficult part for us is whittling such a stellar list of nominations down to only 13! They are ALL thriving and worthy of recognition, in our opinion. But here they are – this year’s troop of Thirteen Thriving Thirty-Somethings!

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April 2017

| 30 Somethings

Alyson (32) owns Antoon Law Firm LLC (in partnership with her husband and fellow attorney Michael N. Antoon). She practices family law, criminal defense, and personal injury and is a certified divorce and family law mediator. Raised in Lake Charles, she enjoys serving her community through the legal practice. “For me, being a lawyer is not just about making money. I love that I’m able to help others and give back via my profession.” Alyson is a member of the SWLA Bar Association and served on the SWLA Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Section board in 2016. She currently serves on the executive board as president-elect and will serve as president in 2018. Her duties on the Young Lawyer’s Board involve organizing and overseeing the Holiday Helping Hands Program which provides Christmas Gifts to needy children in our community. Alyson is a member of Fusion Five and was chosen by her peers as a 2017 Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” Alyson is passionate about animal welfare and rescue -- one of a handful of attorneys who practices animal law in Louisiana. She currently serves as pro-bono legal counsel for the Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue and serves on its board of directors. She often volunteers to serve on the Calcasieu Parish Animal Services hearing panel.

April 2017

Alyson was a speaker at the 2016 Louisiana State Bar Association’s Animal Law Continuing Education Seminar.

Glamping on a beach somewhere in the Mediterranean.

For information on how to adopt Theo, see page 25.

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| 30 Somethings

Places & Faces

Mike began babysitting in middle school for extra money. “I was the only guy in the Red Cross Babysitting certification/training course.”

The Smokey Mountains in North Carolina

At 36, Mike Beer’s personal mission statement is, “To help strengthen families and our community through Scouting.” Under his leadership, the Calcasieu Area Council has led the nation in membership growth over the past two years, surpassing 170% increase. Mike graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Exceptional Education (for students with emotional handicaps). He knows what it’s like to be a transplant. Mike was born in Michigan and grew up in Florida. With his Scouting career, he has moved 11 times in 15 years between Florida, Georgia, and now Louisiana. Mike and his family engage in many activities and organizations throughout our community. He is a member of Seven Slot Society of SWLA (a civic-minded Jeep Club), Board Member for the Greater Lake Charles Rotary Club, Board Member for the Lake Charles Symphony, active member of First United Methodist Church Lake Charles, currently a participant in the SWLA Alliance Leadership Program, and a regular at the monthly 100 Men Breakfast held at Greater St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church. He says, “There is something in the way Scouting functions that teaches kids and families that we can’t sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to make a difference. We get involved and help make it happen.”


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April 2017

| 30 Somethings

Owen (33) began his career as an elementary PE teacher. By age 27, he was an assistant principal and at age 30, he was chosen as head principal of F.K. White Middle School, becoming the youngest principal in the district. In the past three years, he’s exhibited strong leadership skills. He was chosen for the National Institute for School Leadership; is a member of the Louisiana Association of Principals; is involved with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and was a presenter at the Louisiana Middle School Association conference in New Orleans. Owen also assists in the development of a CPSB leader group which will help area principals. For Owen, education is more than a career. He truly cares about his students. He encourages them to believe they have the ability to change the world. “Accolades don’t matter to me as much as leaving a positive impact on those around me.” Owen’s community involvement includes volunteering with Krewe du Sauvage, St. Margaret Catholic Church, and participating as a contestant with Mad Hot Ballroom, an annual fundraiser for Whistlestop.

Teaching is in Owen’s blood. His father and grandfather were both educators in Tammany Parish. “It’s hard not to acknowledge the impact they both had in forming my view points as their whole careers were about public service.”

April 2017

Owen and his family love Christmas, so he says they’d love to camp at Rockefeller Center in New York City to see the lighting of the tree.

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| 30 Somethings

Places & Faces

Brandon (32) started his career at L’Auberge in 2005 as a security officer. He worked his way up through the ranks as lead officer, shift supervisor, operations manager, and now director of security. He’s a highly respected member of the L’Auberge team and a “Five Star Employee.” Brandon first found his leadership skills in sports where he lettered four straight years in high school. He was a 2003 High School State Champion in Track & Field. In college, he again lettered four years in a row. Brandon excelled off the field, as well. He served as senior class president and never missed a day of school. He graduated from McNeese State University with a degree in General Studies. Brandon says, “The best way to discover yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” His extensive list of community involvement includes participation in numerous charitable fundraisers, basketball coaching, Boy Scouts, CASA Program volunteer, and Omega Psi Phi, just to name a few. He attributes his success to God. “My day to day decisions are guided by a power so much stronger than me. GOD tells me to use kindness. GOD tells me to use love.”


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In 2006, Brandon oversaw the security detail for Vice President Dick Cheney when he visited L’Auberge and SWLA. He received a certificate of appreciation from the White House for assisting the secret service.

Mount Everest’s Base Camp, located 18,192 feet above sea level in Nepal, Tibet.

April 2017

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Marcell first served with VoA as a direct support professional working nights and weekends in a Supervised Independent Living program for adults with mental health diagnoses.

A glass igloo in Finland to see the Northern Lights.

April 2017

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Marcell (33) graduated from McNeese in 2009 with a MA in Psychology with a concentration in mental health counseling, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has served with Volunteers of America since 2004. “I love working for a company that was founded in 1896 with a promise ‘To go wherever we are needed and do whatever comes to hand’ in the service of God and humanity. Marcell is a member of Fusion Five, the Junior League of Lake Charles, and a participant in the 2017 Class of Leadership SWLA. She credits her parents, Gregg and Deborah Meaux, with instilling in her a love and compassion for people and community. “From my mom, I learned the importance of serving others. She is a retired elementary school teacher from Vermilion Parish. I watched her work tirelessly for 25 years, giving back to children and her community. Her love and commitment for her community inspired me to work toward making SWLA a better place. I owe my perseverance and success in my career to my father. He had a prosperous career in the oil field. He began working at the bottom of the totem pole and worked his way through the ranks. His work ethic is ingrained in me.”


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Places & Faces

Megan (34) was awarded the 2016 Women’s Business Network Up & Coming Business Woman of the Year by the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Mass Communications/Public Relations degree. She’s worked for the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, CITGO, and now Phillips 66. “I have been blessed in my career and have truly enjoyed each job I’ve had,” Megan says. Megan is heavily involved with Phillips 66 volunteer work, participating in numerous community events throughout the year. She’s a fundraiser and advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association and Walk to End Alzheimer’s. She teaches Sunday School at Sale Street Baptist Church. She doesn’t see her life as busy, but rather full and abundant. “I’m a people person and am energized from serving others. My parents modeled servant leadership, while at the same time prioritizing quality time spent with family -- a great example for me to serve others.”

This girly-girl loves fashion, style, and make-up, and she also enjoys hunting and fishing. “My dad’s passion for the outdoors and our local community was instrumental in establishing my love for Southwest Louisiana. Whether it’s enjoying a piping hot tray of blue crabs, spending weekends on the Calcasieu River with my family, or reeling in feisty redfish, our community is special.”


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“I would Glamp in Niarobi, Kenya, for an authentic safari experience in the midst of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Reserve in the Great Rift Valley.”

April 2017

| 30 Somethings

Jennifer (33) was born in New Orleans and has lived most of her life in Lake Charles. She graduated from McNeese and majored in Marketing. Her first job was as manager of the pro shop at the Lake Charles Racquet Club, where she is still a member and has served on numerous committees. Jennifer currently enjoys working for IBERIABANK because the company has a strong sense of community and they support her many volunteer efforts. She has served on the Fusion Five Board and serves on the Kids Can Board, as well as the Family & Youth Counseling Board. She has previously been in charge of the local USTA Leagues, worked as a United Way Chairperson for IBERIABANK, and won the United Way “Spirit of SWLA” Award last year. She is active at St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church. Jennifer is a graduate of the Chamber Leadership Program and was recently crowned the 2017 Duchess of Krewe de Sauvage. “Whether it is organizing a school supply drive for the less fortunate or reading to students at a local school, I feel a sense of purpose each time I’m able to volunteer my time,” she says. “Volunteering my time to help others has given me new friends, expanded my network, and allowed me to explore my passion for service.”

Jennifer is Mom to four boys: 9-year-old twins, a two year old, and a one year old.

Somewhere tropical and exotic, like Haleakala National Park, Hawaii.

April 2017

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| 30 Somethings

Places & Faces

Terra (31) supports Family & Youth Counseling Agency’s overall mission to provide affordable and professional support through programs and services dedicated to advocacy, counseling, and education for the people of Southwest Louisiana. Her daily activities involve serving as the primary interface and event planner for the organization’s divisions such as the Shannon Cox Counseling Center, the Leadership Center for Youth, and the Children’s Advocacy Center. This newly married self-professed optimist also uses her creative and organizational strengths to serve the SWLA Chamber Leadership and Quality of Life councils, Fusion Five, the local Phi Mu alumnae chapter, the Junior League of Lake Charles, and many other area nonprofits. She is a graduate of the SWLA Chamber Leadership program and the Excellence in Board Governance Institute, as well as a recipient of the Up and Coming Women in Business award from the SWLA Chamber’s Women in Business Network. “I’m reminded daily to be grateful for the things we all take for granted in life and the abundance of blessings I have.

For the past seven summers, Terra has taken groups of high school students (over 60 to date) to Washington, DC, to speak with our congressional leaders on issues of their concern, as well as to educate them on the democratic process. “Each of those young people inspired my life just as much as I inspired theirs.”


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Terra is more of a glamper than a camper. She prefers any place with luxury accommodations, including Wifi and air conditioning.

April 2017

| 30 Somethings

Brett (30) was born and raised in Pickering, La. He graduated from LSU Shreveport with a degree in Criminal Justice and came to the Lake Area as a State Police Officer, Troop D. “I truly enjoy serving the great citizens of Louisiana by keeping them safe on and off the roadways,” he says. Brett coaches Pony League baseball in Iowa and enjoys taking kids on hunting and fishing trips. He says, “There no greater feeling than teaching our young generations and knowing that you have had a positive impact on their future.” His greatest passion is his volunteer involvement with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Both his children, Landon, age 6, and Karlee, 6 months, were born with this genetic disorder that affects their lungs and digestive system. Brett and his wife Tiffany are committed to helping find a cure for this disease. They help organize the Lake Charles Cystic Fibrosis Walk. In 2016, they raised over $50,000 dollars for the local walk and were named the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Baton Rouge Chapter’s Family of the Year.

Brett loves hunting and the outdoors (his parents own a sporting goods store, Star Gun and Archery in Leesville) and LSU sports. “Sports are a big part of my life and have taught me many things such as discipline, compassion, focus, and the drive to be your best.”

April 2017

Big Sur, California. “I have always been intrigued by the giant redwood forests.”

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| 30 Somethings

Places & Faces

At 31, Lauren’s passion for fashion and people shines through in her interactions with customers and those in the community. She graduated from Barbe High and McNeese with a degree in Business Administration. After a few early stints with Hollister and Target, she opened Mimosa Boutique, where she’s been dressing women for the past seven years. “My mission is to make women feel confident and beautiful. I also like to push the envelope with fashion and make women step outside of their comfort zones.” Lauren was raised in a Christian home and taught to put others first. This upbringing is evident now through her service with the Junior League and her business’s support of several non-profits. She is active in her church, Trinity Baptist, as a worship leader and participation with mission trips. Lauren’s signature outreach, Fashion Gives Back, is an annual fashion show that raises money for the organization, Hand to Hold. This organization helps families who have had premature babies, families who have lost a child, or suffered infertility. “Based on my personal life experiences, I know everyone’s journey to motherhood is difficult. It’s a topic that gets pushed aside because it’s too hard to talk about. I wanted to do something to empower women and their families. Something to give them comfort and hope.

Last year, Fashion Gives Back donated $25,000 to Hand to Hold, the non-profit’s largest individual donation to date.


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Admittedly not much of a camper, but “somewhere in the mountains.”

April 2017

| 30 Somethings

John O’Donnell (30) defies convention and lives life on his own terms. After his sophomore year at St. Louis Catholic High School, John realized traditional education wasn’t working for him. So he earned a GED and spent the next few years traveling, primarily in Central and South America, doing mission work and studying leadership and expedition logistics. In 2005, John returned home and studied history at McNeese. He participated in Student Government and founded several organizations including an environmental group called Blue and Gold Goes Green. “Within a year BGGG was one of the largest student organizations on campus. We recycled more waste than any other college in the country, winning the coveted Recyclemania Competition,” John says. Since then, he’s been a businessman, a political consultant, and a community activist, volunteering his time for numerous non-profits. “Focusing on the needs of others, on something bigger than yourself, or just doing the right thing gives you a sense of purpose and joy that you can’t find anywhere else.” As Coalition Coordinator of Healthier SWLA, John coordinates the efforts of 170 organizations, businesses and governments whose mission is to get people to move more, eat better, and stop smoking.

John is a fitness buff and especially enjoys running. He is president of Lake Area Runners and has run several marathons. Last fall, he completed a full Ironman Triathlon (1.4 mile ocean swim. 112 mile bike ride. 26.2 mile run) in Mexico.

April 2017

Mars. “It doesn’t get any better than exploring a place that’s never been explored before.”

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Places & Faces

Amanda (38) has worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for more than 10 years. She grew up in Moss Bluff and majored in Public Relations at McNeese State University. As public relations manager for the CVB, Amanda has many opportunities to tout the virtues of life in the Lake Area. “When I get the chance to speak about SWLA to the media or individuals in other areas, I let them know that our people are our greatest asset, and having the opportunity to serve in any capacity in this community is an honor,” she says. Amanda has served on the Board of Directors for the Arts & Humanities Council, was Vice President of the SWLA Lodging Association, is active in both Fusion Five and the Chamber SWLA, and has participated as a model in the fundraiser Fashion Gives Back for the past two years. She is a member of Krewe du Sauvage and a Phi Mu Alumni. Through her church, Water’s Edge Gathering, she was instrumental in starting their Homeless Outreach, as well as a yearly Christmas Banquet for the less fortunate. One of Amanda’s first assignments with the CVB was as an assistant on a Mardi Gras press trip. “When I saw SWLA through the eyes of a tourist, I fell in love with our community and the rest is history!

New Zealand. “The landscape of this country is so picturesque it almost looks fake.”


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April 2017

| 30 Somethings

In the 18 months since Maria (35) began working at Lillie’s, she and her team have increased their guest service scores by over 60%. Under her direction, Lillie’s was recently awarded Most Improved Operations in Landry’s Signature Division. Because her parents, who immigrated to America as Vietnam refuges in 1975, taught Maria to “give back when you can,” and her childhood mentor, Sr. De Chantal Hyland, encouraged her to “go out there and create positive results,” volunteerism is important to Maria. She participates in numerous charity fundraisers, Fusion Five, Locks of Love, the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, and the Make a Wish Foundation. “Knowing I am able to make a difference by lending a hand, helping others when I can, and making the world a better place only motivates me to be more involved with our community.” Maria’s first job was at Taco Bell where she was the fastest burrito and taco wrapper. During college, she waited tables at Red Lobster. Afterwards, she moved to Tennessee for medical school. But she started dealing poker and fell in love with the casino industry. “Needless to say, the rest is history and I didn’t start medical school!”

Maria has three BS degrees from the University of Arkansas – Biochemistry, Biology, and Psychology.

Havasupai Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona. She’s camped at Zion National Park and hiked the thrilling Angel’s Landing. Next, she’d love to see those blue/green waterfalls.

April 2017

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| 30 Somethings

Places & Faces


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017

| 30 Somethings



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Alyson’s friend Theo is a 6-year-old English bulldog who is eager for adoption. He was once used for showing and breeding. When he became too old for either, his owners dropped him off at an animal shelter. He was full of heartworms and barely survived through the treatment. Now he is heartworm negative, full of love, and just wants to love on people! He is currently in foster care at Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue. Check him out at

April 2017

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| 30 Somethings

Places & Faces

Young Professionals in SWLA Meet Common Goals through Fusion Five by Angie Kay Dilmore

In 2007, eight or so young professionals sought to create a group where they could come together to improve the community, do business together, and network. They realized the need for some support, and at the same time, the SWLA Chamber Alliance wanted to start a young professional organization in the area. “It was a marriage made in heaven,” says Fusion Five president Katie Hebert. “Amanda White (Vice President, Communications & Special Projects with the SWLA Economic Development Alliance) served as the liaison between the group and the Chamber. She was very instrumental in keeping it organized and helping the group accomplish their goals.” This year, Fusion Five members celebrate the group’s 10th anniversary! The name Fusion Five comes from the desire to unite

young professionals from across the fiveparish region. And they’ve done just that! From the initial handful of go-getters in 2007, the group has grown to approximately 200 current members. Their target age group is 21-45. Last year, they applied for and were recently awarded 501c3 non-profit status. This designation gives the group more independence and ability to branch out. The goals of Fusion Five are to make Southwest Louisiana a better place for young professionals to live, retain millennials in the area, provide an outlet for socializing and networking, and professional development opportunities through mentorships. They host events in an effort to connect one generation to another to help members transition to the next level in their career or volunteer life. They

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April 2017

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Care That Makes You SMILE

host monthly luncheons, weekly coffees, and after hours events. Most events are free for members or charge a nominal fee, ie for luncheons. They try to plug members into various committees, depending on interests, and offer many opportunities for volunteer service. Fusion Five is a great way for newcomers to form friendships. Hebert, age 36, moved here from Lafayette in 2005. “Fusion Five is where I’ve met most of my friends and business associates,” she says. “It’s a great time to be a young professional in Southwest Louisiana.” Annual dues are $75. For more information on events or to find a membership application, see their website,, or find them on Facebook.

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Places & Faces

Get Out and About and Help the SWLA Convention and Visitors Bureau Celebrate 45 Years of Promoting Southwest Louisiana by Angie Kay Dilmore

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). From their humble beginnings, with a small contingent of people who created the Creole Nature Trail and wanted to draw tourists to the area, the CVB has grown to become a key component in the life of our community. Impact on our Economy – The CVB added 411 million dollars to our local economy through travel expenditures in 2016, up 7 million from the previous year. They are currently ranked 6th in state for tourism. “It’s no surprise, when you look at all the economic development we’ve had,” says Shelley Johnson, Executive Director of the CVB. “The area has new hotels and casino expansions, more people moving to the area and a diversity of restaurants. It’s a wonderful time to be in Southwest Louisiana!” With a visible presence along I-10 on Lakeshore Dr., The CVB Visitor Center welcomes over 44,000 visitors each year. If guests are looking for lodging, staff members or volunteers direct them to one of the 6,700 hotel rooms in the area. Another six or seven hotels are currently being built. “Our mission is to enhance the economic fabric of the area by generating overnight stays. It’s up to us and our sales and marketing departments to advertise for both the leisure visitor and groups such as state associations and the state of Texas for conventions, conferences, retreats, meetings, and of course, sporting events. Johnson says sporting events “are our bread and butter.” The CVB partnered with the Calcasieu Police Jury for last month’s Marsh Madness (LHSAA state basketball championships). 48 teams played in the event this year, compared to 28 in 2016. This month, the CVB hosts the LHSAA Baseball Fast Pitch 95. The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) brings 10-12 softball and baseball events to the area each year. In addition to sporting events, the CVB promoted Calcasieu Parish by attending 43 travel shows, meetings, and conventions. They conducted 26 site inspections for tour operators, meeting planners, and travel writers, so these visitors can see for themselves the possibilities SWLA has to offer and take that information back to their clients. Johnson is excited about the recent development in our region. “The face of downtown and the area as a whole is changing with new restaurants, food trucks, and live music opportunities such as Rikenjaks, Sloppy’s Downtown and their Zydeco Brunch, Blue Dog Café, Crying Eagle Brewery . . . we’ve got so much going on! We’ve had some live music series such as Live at the Lakefront and Downtown at Sundown for a long time. Now we’re Groovin’ at the Grove at Walnut Grove, also. There are fun new shops in the area, such as the Round About Record Store. Farmer’s Markets serve as an attraction to tourists. We have the Cash and Carry, the Charleston, and a market over in Sulphur. There


International Tourists –

It’s an exhilarating time regarding international visitors. 209,511 travelers came to Louisiana last year – a 14% increase over 2014. International leisure visitors in Louisiana spent $97,736,138 in total expenditures in 2015. New Orleans will soon have a direct flight from Germany on Condor Airlines and a direct flight from London on British Airways. There are already a number of direct flights to Europe from Houston, as well. Even prior to these developments, the United Kingdom was in the top three and Germany in the top five, in terms of number of international visitors to SWLA. (Canada is number one.) These new flights will facilitate even more European tourism. Johnson says the era of motor coach tours is fading. “Most Boomers, Xers, and Millennials like to drive.” To assist these travelers, the CVB has put a vast amount of travel information on their website. Several pages on the website have been translated into foreign languages – French, German, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese. “We’re ready for these international travelers. Our app for the Creole Nature Trail and Charpentier Historic District are also translated into these languages.”

Social Media – The CVB has a vibrant

active presence on social media. They’ve increased their Facebook fan base from 66,414 to 76,653. They’re also visible on Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest, and maintain a popular blog on their website. They sponsor website and social media contests – for example, their Instagram Photo of the Month contest. They get about 70,000 unique visits to their website per month, unless it is Mardi Gras season, during which site traffic rose to 100,000 visits. “We do as much as we can to promote this area in creative ways,” says Johnson.

National Tourism Week and their “Get Out and About” Campaign – The gang at the CVB want local folks to “get out and about” and see what Southwest Louisiana has to offer. “Be a visitor in your own hometown. Invite your friends and family from out of town to come

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visit,” says Johnson. A great way to get started is to explore the Bureau’s website. Discover is packed with everything you need to know to discover the culture, food, music, entertainment, and outdoors of this fascinating corner of the state. The website is easy to navigate, with separate tabs for lodging, restaurants, events and festivals, outdoor activities, and maps/ guides. Find an itinerary that interests you! For more information on the Get Out and About campaign, see www. During National Tourism Week, May 6-14, every day is a party at CVB headquarters at 1205 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles. Children’s Day takes place May 13, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Kids will experience engaging displays, coloring books, representatives from kid-friendly attractions and organizations, Gumbeaux Gator, and refreshments. Volunteer Day recognizes and honors area volunteers. Johnson says volunteers are vital to most of their community events. For example, over 100 people volunteered at Marsh Madness. “We appreciate those in the community who volunteer their time.” For the fifth year, the CVB is sponsoring their Top 20 Local Favorites restaurant contest during the month of April through National Tourism Week. Find updates on the contest on Facebook and vote for your favorite restaurants via

Community Participation –

The CVB strives to connect with the community, and likewise, they appreciate the help of people in the lake area. If you know of a group or organization that is looking for a place to hold their next convention, conference, or meeting, or if you’re expecting family visiting from out of town and you’re planning a family reunion, let the CVB know and they’ll assist you in planning your event. The CVB can help find hotel rooms, and organize guest appearances or dignitaries at your event, for example the Mardi Gras Revelers, Gumbeaux Gator, or the Buccanneers. “Bring business home!” says Johnson.

April 2017

Movers and Shakers in Southwest News? You tell us! Send press releases to Louisiana... Who’s with the subject line “Who’s News.”

Lake Area Medical Center Welcomes Board of Trustees Members

Board of Trustees include: Roxanne Baggett, Tammy Fairchild, M.D., Mike Harmison, James Jancuska, M.D., Brad Lebert, M.D., Sam Liprie, Willie Mount, Toby Osburn, Alice Prestia, M.D., Beverly St. Mary and Bryan S. Bateman.

John McMullen Joins Chennault Airport as Director of Maintenance Charlotte Colosky

David Landry

Charlotte Colosky and Dr. David Landry have been named to the Board of Trustees at Lake Area Medical Center. Colosky, a lifelong resident of Southwest Louisiana, spent most her career in politics – working in the political arena locally and statewide. Landry is a Family Medicine physician. As an independent member of the medical staff at Lake Area Medical Center, Landry has served as a Hospitalist for the past three years. Other members of the Lake Area Medical Center

John McMullen has joined Chennault International Airport as Director of Maintenance. A native of Sulphur, McMullen is a McNeese State University John McMullen alumnus, and he has been a state licensed commercial and residential contractor for 27 years. In 2015, he retired from Phillips 66 after 33 years of service in operations. For more information on Chennault International Airport, visit

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Honors Two Employees West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital recently recognized its February and March employees of the month for 2017 which are Ronnie Vice and Tammy Fontenot, RN. Ronnie serves as section coordinator Tammy Fontenot, RN Ronnie Vice in WCCH’s Health Information Management department where she is responsible for planning, coordinating and managing the duties and activities for chart analysts as well as scanning specialists to ensure patient’s records are readily available for continuation of care. “Ronnie plays a key role in making certain that medical records are complete in a timely manner. Her strong, well-disciplined work ethic proves her dedication to her department and our organization,” says Mayra Allemond, Health Information Management department manager. Ronnie has been with the organization for over eight years. Tammy Fontenot, RN, charge nurse in surgical service, helps oversee the different areas and daily functions of day surgery, endoscopy and recovery room areas by maintaining a steady flow of staffing for the department, updating procedures and collecting data. “Tammy is committed to providing an exceptional experience for each patient. She is a team player and a valuable asset to our team,” says Kris Conner, director of Surgical Services. Tammy has been with the organization for four years.

The physicians with the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana have announced the transfer of ownership from Dr. Jana Kaimal to Dr. Philip Conner, upon Dr. Philip Conner the retirement of Dr. Kaimal. Dr. Conner is now the medical director and owner of the practice. Dr. Conner is board certified in both family medicine as well as sleep medicine. He is a member of the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, Louisiana State Medical Society, American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Family Practice. For more information, call (337) 310-REST.

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April 2017

Dr. Conner assumes ownership of Sleep Disorder Center

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514 N. PINE ST.


Mind & Body

by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

How many times have you visited The Art Walk and wished that you, too, could create something like the masterpieces that hang in the Gallery by the Lake or The Art Shop? If those particular skills seem beyond your reach, you may be mistaken. Lake Charles is home to several different studios that can stoke your creative fires and help you achieve the results you want with the artistic outlet of your choice.


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April 2017

Enhancing your face requires the skill of a surgeon and the eye of an artist. Making skin smooth and tight again is only a part of facial plastic surgery. Also, consider the balance and proportions of your face – the relationship of your chin, nose, eyes and ears to your total appearance. Adjusting this balance creates a face that is more youthful, more delicately shaped, more gently perfected. You want to look better, not different.

Jeffrey J. Joseph, md, facs

The hands of a surgeon. The eye of an artist.

1000 W. Pinhook Road • Lafayette 337-237-0650

board-certified & fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon jeffrey j. joseph, md, facs April 2017

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Mind & Body


Get on your Bikes and Ride by John O’Donnell

When you think of great places for cycling you may think of France, Amsterdam, and California . . . but could Southwest Louisiana be included on that list? Thanks to a push by an unprecedented number of organizations, governments, and businesses, this region is buzzing with bicycle advocacy, bike lane construction, and group rides on any kind of bicycle you can think of. Below are some groups, events, and locations that will encourage you to dust off your 10-speed, pump up the tires, and hit the road. LOCATIONS Sam Houston Jones State Park has some of the best mountain bike trails in Louisiana. Start with the family friendly Orange Trail that follows the river and work your way up to the more technical Blue, Yellow, Purple and Red Trails. parks/sam-houston-jones-state-park/index

Wheels of Hope–The Wheels of Hope Bike Ride is a charity ride to benefit the St. Nicholas Center for Children. Routes range from 5 to 75 miles and include fully supported aid stations and the natural beauty of Calcasieu Parish, from Moss Bluff to DeQuincy. Post-ride, enjoy a Taste of Louisiana with some of the best gumbo, jambalaya, boudin, and other local delicacies. Cycling Louisiana’s Outback on the Group Rides from Southern Bicycle While participating in any cycling activity, Creole Nature Trail is a great way to Company–These group rides are a please ride safely and responsibly. Always safe and fun way to enjoy or break in to experience our area’s natural beauty. wear a helmet. Have several reflectors on Ride from Chesson’s Grocery to Gibstown road cycling. Three groups—beginner, your bike, and front and rear bike lights Bridge and back and see many species intermediate and expert -- leave Southern installed if you ride after dark. Always of wildlife, birds, wild flowers, and fish Bicycle shop on Prien Lake Road Tuesdays ride with (not against) traffic and obey all as you cruise along wide bike lanes at 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. for a 20-40 mile ride. Helmets and road bikes South through Cameron Prairie National traffic rules as if you were a vehicle. Never ride your bike while under the influence Wildlife Refuge. are required. of drugs or alcohol. Most importantly, Bon Temps Triathletes Tri Tuesdays– remember to have fun! Visit Bicycle This fun loving Triathlon Club hosts Superstore and Southern Bicycle EVENTS a mini triathlon at I-10 beach every Tour Lafitte–The Tour is SWLA’s premier Company, both located on Prien Lake Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. A short open water cycling event. This massive road tour Road for your biking needs. swim is followed by a bike ride down takes place every first weekend in May, River Rd., and finishes with a run down with a choice of 10, 27, 50 or 62.5 mile the beach and boardwalk. This is a great routes. Starting and finishing at the Lake way to break in to triathlon and try Charles Civic Center, each route is fully something new. stocked with aid stations and plenty of bontempstriathletes/ volunteer support. After the ride, stick around for food, music and big giveaways like bicycles from Specialized and Trek! GROUPS The Slow Spokes Biking Social–Slow Spokes Rides are easy and relaxing. Enjoy a pleasant cruise around Lake Charles, often stopping along the way for beverages, art classes, live music, or whatever is going on in town. These rides are the perfect place to show off your beach cruiser or festival bike. facebook. com/Lakechuckbrewscruise/


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Better Block and Bicycle Advocacy: A diverse coalition of organizations will host a “Better Block” demonstration on April 28 from 3 – 8 p.m., in conjunction with the annual Spring Art Walk in Downtown Lake Charles. The demonstration will take place along Pujo St. near Botsky’s and Lake Shore Dr. between Clarence and Broad Sts. These stretches of road will be outfitted with temporary bicycle lanes, as well as other quality of life improvements with an aim of advocating for a Complete Streets Policy. A Complete Streets Policy is a policy adopted by a municipality that states that any infrastructure improvement has to consider bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as public transportation, regular traffic and freight. It shifts the thinking about transportation planning toward moving people, and not just moving cars as fast as possible.

April 2017

The reasons I get a 3D mammogram are clear.

Early detection is a powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer. West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital now offers the latest 3D mammography technology. Thanks to this technology, skilled physicians and WCCH’s breast health navigation team, I know they’re looking out for me while I’m looking out for my family.

701 Cypress Street, Sulphur April 2017

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Mind & Body

First Total Knee Replacement Using MAKO Robotic-Assisted Surgery Performed at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Health System

The Sneeze & Wheeze.

It’s a classic move, and one that could be a sign of allergies, a cold, sinus problems or even an infection.

Specialized treatment for little ears, noses and throats. It’s the season for sneezing and wheezing, and when you notice these symptoms in your child, that’s your signal to see an experienced ENT specialist. Dr. Bridget Loehn, ENT & Allergy Specialist with Imperial Health, offers advanced diagnostic and treatment options for a wide range of pediatric ear, nose and throat problems, along with comprehensive allergy testing and treatment.

Call Dr. Bridget Loehn

ENT & Allergy Specialist

1747 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles (inside CFO) • (337) 419-1960 34

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Orthopaedic Surgeon John Noble Jr. MD, performed the first total knee replacement in Southwest Louisiana last month using the MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Health System. The hospital is the exclusive provider of MAKO robotic technology in the region, and orthopaedic surgeons from Imperial Health Center for Orthopaedics have been using this advanced surgical system to perform total hip replacements and partial knee replacements for over a year. The FDA recently extended approval for the total knee replacement procedure as well, and St. Patrick is among the first hospitals in the country to offer this expanded capability to their patients. Robotic-arm assisted total knee surgery is an innovative alternative to the conventional surgical procedure in patients suffering from degenerative knee diseases such as osteoarthritis. It is performed using roboticarm technology that allows the surgeon to precisely execute the procedure based on an individualized CT scan of each patient’s own unique anatomy. “Accuracy is key in planning and performing joint replacement procedures,” said Dr. Noble “Much like a fingerprint, each individual joint is unique, so replacing the joint components should be just as individualized.

April 2017

This system allows us to do this much more precisely. A key factor in this precision is a pre-operative high resolution CT scan,” he explains. “This interfaces with the computer program in the MAKO system to provide us with millions of data points which we use during our pre-operative planning, allowing us to customize each patient’s procedure before the first cut is every made. And during surgery, the system provides visualization of the joint and biomechanical data to guide the bone preparation and implant positioning, while preserving more soft tissue. We are able to align and position the implants at a level of accuracy and reproducibility previously unattainable with conventional instrumentation.” More than 600,000 people in the United States have a total knee replacement each year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. With an aging population staying in the workforce longer and obesity on the rise, that number is expected to exceed 3 million by the year 2030. Dr. Noble says advancements in medical technology like the MAKO system allow those new joints to move more naturally and last longer. “It’s important to note that with the system at St. Patrick, your surgeon, not a robot, is still performing your surgery, right at the operating table,” Dr. Noble adds. “The MAKO system ensures the greatest possible accuracy with a personalized, detailed surgical plan and robotic guidance.” Along with Dr. Noble, orthopaedics surgeons Dr. Steven Hale and Dr. Jonathan Foret with Center for Orthopaedics are also using the MAKO system for hip, partial knee and now total knee replacement procedures at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. “We’ve been very pleased with the results our patients have experienced with the MAKO system, and more importantly, our patients have been extremely satisfied,” says Dr. Noble. Robotic-assisted surgery may not be an option for every patient. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call CHRISTUS St. Patrick Health System and Imperial Health Center for Orthopaedics at 800-831-1796.

April 2017

SLEEP like a baby

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

Phillip Conner, MD Michelle Zimmerman, NP

4820 Lake St., Lake Charles (337) 310-REST Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Mind & Body

by Angie Kay Dilmore photo by Matthew Duplichan

New Yoga Studio to Open on Nelson Road A single note of a melodic gong commences Miranda Fontenot’s Yin Yoga class. Quiet music with peaceful nature sounds plays in the background. Infused essential oils scent the air. “Namaste.” As she calmly voices instructions, Miranda walks among her students, helping them attain proper postures. She encourages them to relax into the positions. Prior to opening Yoga Y’all, Miranda taught yoga at several area fitness centers, gyms, and a doctor’s office. She’s been teaching classes temporarily at The Majestic Hall at Walnut Grove, but she hopes to open her new studio at 3630 Nelson Rd. sometime this month. She says it’s important to have a dedicated place to practice yoga and that a yoga studio is “sacred space.” “When you walk into a yoga studio, you take your shoes off. You treat the space really special. It’s a clean space. It’s quiet. Traditionally, yoga is a sacred practice.” When her mother died in 2005, Miranda felt her mom’s guidance. “She told me to do yoga. After I started practicing, I understood. When I did yoga, I’d start to cry and release all these emotions. Yoga opens up the hidden

ASHTANGA is a primary series of postures that come from the lineage. It’s a quicker paced vinyasa class.

SLOW FLOW offers unhurried movements and is good place for beginners to learn the yoga postures.


stuff we tend to hold onto. Practicing yoga led me into a disciplined lifestyle. Yoga is more than just exercise. It’s a way of life. It’s a way to treat your body and a way to live your life that benefits yourself and others.” People practice yoga for many different reasons. Miranda says a primary benefit is that it alleviates back pain. “Back pain is an epidemic in our society due to our sedentary lifestyles. Yoga counters that lifestyle and brings harmony into your body. It also relieves tension and stress, uplifting your mood.” Yoga also seems to imbue youthfulness to practitioners. Miranda, who easily looks a decade younger than her 28 years, says, “The day you begin doing yoga is the day you stop aging.” She also says the greatest benefit of yoga comes from learning to practice yoga in your everyday life – how to be kind and friendly to yourself and others. “When you learn how to be kind to yourself on your mat, you can go out into the world and share yoga in that way. It is exercise, but it’s also a lifestyle.” For more information and a schedule of classes, see her website,

VINYASA is a more YIN is a gentle upbeat class with flowing calming class that cardio movements. holds simple postures for a longer time. It’s more of a mental practice, requiring effort to calm the mind. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

BUTI YOGA is a new popular yoga practice that combines a dance element to the postures.

photo by Chris Brennen April 2017

Clinical Trials Provide Critical Answers THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR A WONDER DRUG TO BEAT CANCER. GREAT STRIDES HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE FIELD OF CANCER RESEARCH. MEDICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE TODAY TO IMPROVE SYMPTOMS, AND IN SOME CASES, GIVE A PATIENT WITH CANCER PRECIOUS YEARS WITH A HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE THAN WAS POSSIBLE EVEN 10 OR 20 YEARS AGO. Many of those advancements are thanks, in part, to discoveries made during clinical trials. These studies conducted on volunteer patients help physicians, researchers and developers determine whether a new treatment works and is safe for people. CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital recently began several clinical trials in the areas of colon, breast and lung cancer. “In the medical field, we are always trying to find better ways to treat patients,” explains Windy Dean-Colomb, MD, oncologist with CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Regional Cancer Center. “We’re continually studying to discover new and better medications, techniques, and technologies to treat and cure people, and improve their quality of life.” She said in the past couple of years, there were five new drugs approved for breast cancer and a plethora of drugs approved to treat lung cancer. “Let’s look at lung cancer further,” she says. “In previous years, survival rates were dismal, but researchers have made significant progress. Immune therapies have been developed and tested and are now making a big difference in the lives of patients with lung cancer. These clinical trials are a significant piece of the whole puzzle in bringing advanced treatments to the market.” Clinical trials show what works and what doesn’t work in medicine and health care. They answer two critical questions: Does the new treatment work in humans, and is the new treatment safe? On average, a new cancer drug has been studied for at least six years before it is tested in a clinical trial. In fact, about 1,000 potential medicines are tested before one makes it to clinical trials, according to the American Cancer Society. At that point, it’s tested in clinical trials for about eight years until it’s approved, or rejected. This extended time in research is required to ensure the medication is safe and effective. It takes months, if not years, to see if a cancer treatment makes significant improvement in people, and even longer to claim a drug improves survival rate. The data obtained in clinical trial delivers useful information. Physicians and researchers learn as much from something that doesn’t work as they do from patients who show improvements. Patients who volunteer for these studies are carefully monitored throughout the study and continue to be monitored after the study concludes. If at any time they wish to, a volunteer may withdraw from the study. The type of patients vary greatly in clinical trials. They may be newly diagnosed or they may have tried all current medicine available with no success. Patients must meet certain criteria, depending April 2017

on the type and goal of the clinical trial being conducted. Their physician and the clinical trial medical team can guide them on the risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial. “We’re in a unique position,” says Dr. DeanColomb. “CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital is the only facility in Southwest Louisiana conducting clinical trials for cancer research. In addition to these current clinical trials, we are excited about more to be offered here in the near future. It’s rewarding to give people from my home state the opportunity to stay close to home, near their support system, while still receiving opportunities to be part of clinical trials that were previously available only in larger cities.” A Lafayette native, Dr. Dean-Colomb was raised in Baton Rouge. She has experienced the impact

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of cancer personally and has had several family members affected by this disease. Her brother passed away from colon cancer at age 24; her sister received a diagnosis of breast cancer. “I know the effect cancer can have on an individual and their family. I also know the impact of effective medication and treatment. I’ve been involved in 20 – 30 clinical trials and know they can make a tremendous difference in the healthcare field both now and for future patients. It’s rewarding to see the advancements that are being made in cancer treatment.” To learn more about clinical trials at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Regional Cancer Center at (337) 491-7569.


Mind & Body

Memorial Breaks Through with Robotic-Assisted Knee Surgeries Navio robotic-assisted partial and total knee replacement is now available at Lake Charles Memorial. Partial and total knee replacement removes diseased bone while sparing healthy tissue and bone. Orthopedic Surgeon Robert Duarte, MD, with Orthopaedic Specialists, a part of the Memorial Medical Group, was the first to perform robotic-assisted total knee replacement at Memorial on February 28 and offer patients the revolutionary advanced precision of the Navio surgical system in Southwest Louisiana. The Navio system provides roboticcontrolled assistance, aiding in precise surgical outcomes for patients living with knee pain caused by early to mid-stage osteoarthritis.


Navio surgery differs from other roboticsassisted surgery with unique algorithmic technology which allows for handheld instrumentation that assists surgeons. “We re-create a model of the patient’s knee’s movement and bone anatomy using computer-assisted virtualization that doesn’t require having the patient undergo a CT scan,” Dr. Duarte says. “Using this virtual model, I plan the location of the implant and balance the knee through bending. Finally, using the Navio hand piece, I then prepare the bone to accept the implant.” The end result is partial and total knee replacements that give patients a return to daily activity and decrease in pain. During the

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procedure, the diseased portion of the bone is replaced with an implant that spares healthy bone and returns function. There are no pre-operative procedures required. The difference is in the tools Dr. Duarte uses. Navio is a robotic-controlled smart instrument that delivers the precision of robotics into Dr. Duarte’s hands, allowing for accurate and predictable bone resurfacing and replacement. To find out if robotic-assisted knee surgery is right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Duarte at 337.494.4900.

April 2017

Bring your world back into focus with the advanced iLASIK procedure. See life’s moments as they were meant to be seen—without the hassle of contacts or glasses. This iLASIK alllaser procedure combines custom vision-correcting technologies to correct the broadest range of vision imperfections, including mild to severe nearsightedness, farsightedness and all types of astigmatism. A Difference You Can See:

Call today to learn more at 877-95-FOCUS or visit to take our LASIK questionnaire.

• 100% of patients see 20/40 or better after iLASIK, the standard requirement to drive without prescription lenses. • Approved by NASA and the U.S. Military.


How DoesYour Heart Score? 77.78%

582.35% 64.66%

Find out, with a coronary calcium test at Imperial Health Imaging Center. One in three adults has some form of cardiovascular disease, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. We use advanced, non-invasive CT technology and low-dose radiation to take an in-depth look at your heart and blood vessels to determine your level of calcium buildup. This calcium score can help your doctor determine if you are at risk, or have, coronary artery disease, even if you are not displaying symptoms. The test is painless and takes just minutes, and could give you an early start on beating heart disease. Call Imperial Health Imaging Center at 312-8761 to take advantage of this special offer.

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Consider coronary calcium testing to assess your heart health if you have any of these risk factors: • family history of heart disease • high cholesterol • high blood pressure • smoke • overweight • diabetes • inactive lifestyle • high stress

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(337) 312-8761 1747 Imperial Blvd. Lake Charles

April 2017

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Home & Family

by Angie Kay Dilmore photos by Shonda Manuel

Likely since the dawn of civilization, mankind has had a fascination with climbing trees. From biblical Zaccheus to Pete Nelson, host of Animal Planet’s for popular show Tree Masters, kids and grownups alike long s. that back-to-nature bird’s eye view of their surroundinged So it’s no surprise that children have enjoyed and envi backyard treehouses for decades.


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April 2017

Bam Arceneaux stands on his Star Wars inspired “Ewok Village Treehouse.

April 2017

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Home & Family Local carpenter and handyman Bam Arceneaux, aka “Handy Bam,” specializes in renovating, repairing and constructing bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, decks and various other residential and commercial projects. He hadn’t planned to become a treehouse builder, but when his friend Shonna Grandchampt approached him last year about constructing a whimsical treehouse for her son Levi’s 6th birthday, Arceneaux eagerly accepted the challenge. Based on Shonna’s imaginative design, he built the structure from recycled fence wood, complete with Spider-Man decorations, swings, a balcony and bucket lift.

Grandchampt Treehouse

Word spread and Arceneaux was asked to build two more treehouses as Christmas gifts. One treehouse, designed as a Star Wars inspired “Ewok Village,” includes a rock wall, swings, two platforms, and a zipline. A third treehouse project, built for Billy and Tammy Edwards’ son Reed, evokes a “Ninja Lair,” with a shingle roof, rope railing, recycled windows and door, leftover lap siding matching their home, and rustic benches. “Even their dog Bacca enjoys hanging out on the treehouse porch, after realizing she could climb the ladder,” says Arceneaux. Edwards Treehouse

Each treehouse Arceneaux builds is unique, depending on the wants and needs (and budget) of the client; but it is also determined by the tree itself. “You have to work around the tree,” he says. “The tree determines what you can do.” Arceneaux has a couple more treehouses in the works and hopes to continue the trend. He would especially enjoy building an adult treehouse . . . “Up in the tree, hanging out, doors, lights, maybe even a bathroom. That’s fun stuff!” To contact Arceneaux, call 337-842-7007.


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April 2017

They Were Looking For: • 4 Bathrooms • Fireplace • Walk-In Closets

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have moved! New location: 4845 Ihles Road, Lake Charles 1000 sq/ft of lease space is also available. Please call 312-0972 for information. (337) 312-0972

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April 2017

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Home & Family

Chennault International Airshow Thunders Back to Lake Charles

On the weekend of April 28–30, the heart-stopping Kia of Lake Charles Chennault International Airshow will return to Lake Charles for unforgettable aerobatic performances. This family-friendly event has captured audiences since its return in 2013, and this year’s Airshow will be the best yet.“Thrillseekers will have their eyes glued to the sky during the weekend’s fast paced lineup of first-time performers as well as returning event favorites,” said Randy Robb, Airshow board president.“We are pulling out all the stops for this year’s Airshow.” The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet demonstration team will return to the Chennault Airshow for an exciting routine. The squadron is internationally recognized for their hard-charging demonstrations of precision formation flying and pushing their F-16s to the limit. The team was activated in 1953 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona during the infancy of military aviation when the jet age was just beginning to boom. More than 120 enlisted personnel representing nearly 30 career fields, form “America’s Ambassadors in Blue.” 44

The squadron is made up of 12 officers, eight of which are fighter pilots with extensive combat experience. A Thunderbirds air demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The four-jet diamond formation demonstrates the training and precision of Air Force pilots, while the lead and opposing solo aircraft highlight some of the most impressive capabilities of the F-16. “But the thrills don’t stop there,” Robb said.“We’re happy to announce the return of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. In addition to performing during the regular weekend show, the team will also perform a night jump during our Twilight Show on Friday.”The Twilight Show will be an abbreviated evening show that takes place as the sun sets, and will promise awe-inspiring, night-time performances. Guests will also be excited to see old-time warbirds perform; AeroShell Aerobatic Team; CAF Red Tail Squadron, who educate audiences on the history of the Tuskegee Airmen; Randy Ball, who routinely pulls 8Gs and reaches speeds approaching 700 mph while, Thrive Magazine for Better Living

at times, flying less than 100 feet off the ground in a Russian MIG-17F jet; Kevin Coleman, a Louisiana native and one of the youngest pilots around; Gene Soucy, a former member of the record-setting Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team; Julie Clark, whose sparkling personality and graceful aerobatics have endeared her to legions of faithful fans; and so much more. The Airshow will take place at Chennault International Airport, and will include various static displays of vintage aircraft and warbirds, interactive exhibits and the McDonald’s of SWLA Kids’ Zone. “At the end of the day, the Chennault Airshow and its proceeds invest in STEM education—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—which acts as the backbone of Southwest Louisiana’s next generation workforce,” Robb said.“We want to inspire, delight, encourage and educate area youth with all we have to offer at the Airshow.” To purchase tickets online or to learn about the 2017 event lineup, visit the Airshow’s website at April 2017

music | performance | film | lecture

Broaden your mind, learn something new, and experience unique events with Banners at McNeese. Acrobats of Cirque-tacular is a heartstopping, mind-boggling display of artistry and athleticism.

April 2017

THE WRECKING CREW Tues. April 4 | 6pm CInemark Movie Theater

FREE STATE OF JONES Sat. April 22 | 3pm Cinemark Movie Theater

ACROBATS OF CIRQUE-TACULAR Fri. April 7 | 7pm Burton Coliseum


MYSTIC IRAN: THE UNSEEN WORLD Thurs. April 13 | 6pm Holbrook Student Union

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TIEMPO LIBRE Thurs. April 27 | 7pm Rosa Hart Theatre Lake Charles Civic Center

Tickets on Sale Now!


Home & Family


Amazing Places to Enjoy Glamping in the South

Alligator Bayou – Holly Beach, LA These glamping tents each have their own themed pavilion and plenty of space to house ice chests, hang beach towels, kick back and relax on camping chairs and a fire pit. Tiki torches and sconces incorporate citronella oil to keep the mosquitoes away. It started with a 20×20 deck; and now includes a tin roof on top to keep the branches off the tent and keep it cool. The deck is large enough to hold the 10×20 glamping tent and have room for a nice patio area. It also includes a cell phone charging station, little flash lights, bug spray, soap, trash cans, and more.

by Sylvia Ney

A recent trend has caught fire that offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation. Glamping, defined as glamorous camping, is a new word for a new kind of travel. When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no fire to build. Whether in a high-end tent, yurt, airstream, pod, igloo, hut, villa, cabin, cube, teepee, or treehouse, glamping is the ultimate way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury. Here are a few locations that pamper the poshest patrons.

Westgate River Ranch Resort & The Lodge – Little St. Simon’s Island, GA Rodeo - Lake Wales, FL This private barrier island off the You can enjoy this authentic dude Georgia coast - accessible only by ranch in a rare untouched piece of boat – allows you to reserve a single Florida wilderness. Westgate River room, a cottage, or the whole island. Ranch Resort & Rodeo lies on 1,700 Enjoy seven miles of undeveloped acres one hour South of Orlando. beaches and 10,000 acres of forests and marshlands, inhabited by no more Designed to accommodate a couples getaway, family bonding, or a group than 32 overnight guests at any one of friends, their offering includes a time. Stays include boat transfers to fully-furnished, air conditioned tent and from the island, meals, activities complete with access to a private including Naturalist led excursions and use of all recreation equipment, such as bath, campfire with a s’mores kit, warm cinnamon rolls, and a personalized fishing gear, bikes and kayaks. concierge service. Teepees are also available. Weekend guests can also return to the days of “Old Florida” by attending a rodeo in the 1,200-seat arena followed by a variety of Florida cowboy-themed activities.

Blue Bear Mountain Camp - Todd, NC Stay in a luxury cabin or teepee while you play, hike and take in the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These offthe-grid accommodations are powered by wind and sun. The hand-painted, 22’ teepee includes a queen size bed, table and chairs, close access to private baths, and a kitchen dishwashing station. The cabin has a queen size bed, kitchenette, fireplace, private toilet, and a porch outfitted with a gas grill.

Rivers Edge Treehouse Resort Robinnsville, NC These six luxury treehouses are situated on the Cheoah River with Catherine’s Landing – Hot Springs, AK parking underneath, king size Stay in a yurt at this camping beds, WiFi, and satellite television. destination built on a former dairy The Martyn House - Ellijay, GA Continental breakfast is delivered to farm. It includes a zip line tour and your door. Sit on the deck and cook rents out recreational equipment Cozy up in a luxury sleeping tent from such as kayaks and pontoon boats. dinner on the gas grill or barbecue over India in this one-of-a-kind getaway in These circular tent-like structures with one of the fire pits. Cornhole, horseshoe the North Georgia mountains. The ecowooden floors include air conditioning, pits, fishing gear, and trails are ready for friendly accommodations include hot those who come to “play.” comfy beds, and skylights so you can water, composting toilets, and natural gaze at the stars. You can also stay in cooling. Enjoy 18 acres of streams, rolling one of their glamper-approved cabins, hills, woods, and breathtaking views built from tiny house blueprints. while staying in the midst of nature with fine linens and gourmet meals. 46

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017

Make your Backyard a Haven for Hummingbirds by Trish Trejo

The frenetic flight and delicate chirping of hummingbirds can entertain backyard birders for hours. But how do you entice these tiniest of birds to your backyard so you can enjoy the show? Hummingbird feeders are one option. They abound in all shapes and sizes and are a good addition to a home garden. They do require regular re-filling and cleaning, however, especially in hot temperatures. Many people attract hummingbirds through appropriate landscaping. These birds prefer red, tubular flowers without a strong scent. The essential quality, however, is that the plant must produce nectar. Nectar makes up 90 percent of a hummingbird’s diet. Their long beaks and grooved tongues are designed to extract this rich, sweet source of energy. Hummingbirds make their way northward through Southwest Louisiana and the Gulf Coast beginning in early January through early March,

reaching the Canadian border by early May. They return, moving toward their winter homes in Mexico and Central America, in August and September. Nectar-rich feeders and plants provide the needed energy for both directions. Some hummingbird species, labeled vagrants, come to the Gulf Coast in the fall to stay, setting up their winter habitat here during mild winters. Gardeners seeking to lure these small visitors need to focus on nectar-producing plants that bloom into the late months of the year. Clean full feeders throughout the winter will work, as well. According to the Baton Rouge Audubon Society, Louisiana plays host to at least eight different species of hummingbirds throughout the year. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the one commonly seen in spring and summer gardens as it follows its migration path.

Hummingbird vagrants that winter in south Louisiana begin arriving in August. They include the following species: • Allen’s • Anna’s • Black-chinned • Broad-billed • Buff-bellied • Calliope • Rufous Avid birders interested in hummingbird research can go to, a project of the Audubon Society, and log backyard sightings and other information. This activity helps researchers understand and predict the birds’ migratory paths.

Landscaping Options to Attract Hummingbirds SHRUBS • Firebush (Hamelia patens) – Drought tolerant, likes full sun, blooms throughout the southern growing season • Mexican shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeeana) – Drought tolerant but likes high humidity, can survive a hard frost • Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) – Southern favorite but a native of South Africa, evergreen but susceptible to freezing, full-sun but must have moist soil VINES • Coral or trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) – Evergreen, deciduous, a woody wildflower vine • Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) – Spring-blooming perennial • Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) – Attractive but aggressive wildflower, woody vine

TREES • Loquat or Japanese plum (Eriobotrya japonica) – Evergreen Asian native, needs well drained soil, has edible fruit • Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) – Fast-growing, aggressive tree FLOWER VARIETIES • Red salvia or scarlet sage (Salvia splendens) – Perennial, full sun • Impatiens (Impatiens spp.] – Annual; likes cool, shady, and moist spots • Scarlet bee balm (Monarda didyma) – Full sun with afternoon shade, needs well drained soil • Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides) – Drought tolerant, likes full sun, deer proof April 2017

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Home & Family by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

DeWanna’s Closet

It happens every year. Educators greet their students as they enter the classroom on the first day of school, smiling and full of hope, and they see that one student. She walks into the room, also full of smiles and hope, but part of that hope is that other students won’t notice she doesn’t have new shoes or uniform shirts this school year like the other kids. Other students lay out their brand-new markers on their desks and compliment each other’s new jackets, while she smiles shyly, hoping to sit in the back of the room and escape notice. Teachers all wish they could meet the needs of these students themselves, but that is not realistic. That is where DeWanna Tarver comes in.

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DeWanna Tarver, founder of the non-profit organization, DeWanna’s Closet, saw a need in this community for educators to have access to resources for their students who lack some basic items. This organization is housed at J.D. Clifton Elementary where the principal, Pam Bell, has made room to support every student in this parish. It is open to educators on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. An educator can shop for specific students during this time, or simply send an email of their student needs, and those requested items will be boxed up and sent directly to their school via interoffice mail. Servicing Calcasieu Parish and its 34,000 students did not happen overnight. This dream-come-true for students and educators alike humbly started several years ago in J.C. Penney’s, where DeWanna saw uniform items on sale for a price she could not pass up, even though she did not have children who needed them. After calling local schools to donate these uniforms, she quickly realized there were many needs in our community for uniforms, shoes, jackets, belts, backpacks, and school supplies. She says that after doing a little research, she learned it was not just a North Lake Charles problem and it was not just a South Lake Charles problem—it was a community problem. “My husband Phillip and I have always had a heart for children,” says DeWanna. “I love to shop. God just put all of that together and made something beautiful.” Despite the challenges of getting this organization off the ground, it now thrives. If you are interested in making donations, checks can be made to J.D. Clifton Elementary with “DeWanna’s Closet” written in the description. They also accept cash and gift cards to help them purchase needed items. They stress that no donation is too small. DeWanna’s son and Calcasieu Parish school board member Eric Tarver says, “For as long as I can remember, but especially so since I was elected to the school board, Mom has been focused on meeting kids’ needs wherever she sees them. We’ve watched this idea grow from her garage project into an operation that serves the whole parish. I am exceedingly excited and proud to see it continue to grow and changes lives for the better.” Addressing that growth, the ever-humble DeWanna expresses, “I had no doubt that God had called us to it and the outcome would be determined by Him, not us. All we could do was our best. And time and time and time again since we opened in October [2016], God has shown me that this is His program, these are His children, and He has it under control. And I am so thankful that He is allowing me to tag along for the ride.” It would be difficult for anyone to disagree with the fact that DeWanna Tarver is a local superhero to thousands of children in our community.

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April 2017

by Robin Barton

Spring has sprung! With the change of season, our thoughts turn to spring cleaning, yard work, and enjoying extended daylight hours. But with the new season comes some springtime hazards for our pets. Dr. Jae Chang, veterinarian with Prien Lake Animal Hospital, has a few tips to keep your pets safe this spring:

for your pets

Pesky Little Critters

Open Windows

Spring Cleaning

April showers bring May flowers— and an onslaught of bugs! “This is very important - make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program,” says Dr. Chang. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet.

Like us, many pets enjoy the breezy days of spring through open windows. Unfortunately, you can unknowingly put your pets at risk—especially cats. “Cats are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows, so be sure to install snug and sturdy screens,” says Dr. Chang.

Easter Treats & Decorations

While most dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving car windows is dangerous. “Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury,” says Dr. Chang. “Pets riding in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.”

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ reach! “Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets,” explains Dr. Chang. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.

Keep flowers (such as lilies) and chocolate away from pets. “Chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs, and all true lilies can be fatal if ingested by cats,” says Dr. Chang. And be mindful of the plastic grass and eggs, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration in pets. “Also, while live bunnies, chicks and other pets that are associated with the season are adorable, resist the urge to buy them—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care,” adds Dr. Chang.

Buckle Up!

Home Improvement 101 “Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends,” says Dr. Chang. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails and power tools. He says it may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

Let Your Garden Grow— With Care Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them, warns Dr. Chang. “Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully.” Many popular springtime plants—including rhododendron and azaleas—are also highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal if eaten.

Ah-Ah-Achoo! Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. “Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings,” explains Dr. Chang. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Out and About Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Dr. Chang recommends having your pet microchipped. “Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information,” says Dr. Chang. For more information about Prien Lake Animal Hospital visit, or call 337-474-1526.

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Home & Family

Bright-Eyed, Spunky Girl Hopes to be Part of a Forever Family

Seven-year old Mikeala is legally freed for adoption through the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and is ready to make that move. She has spent the past couple of years in a loving foster home with Chelsea Alfred’s family. Mikeala’s favorite subject in school is reading… and math, and arts, and science. And Alfred says homework is never a battle of wills. Mikeala loves school and she does well in the classroom. The Alfreds have given unconditional love to Mikeala, knowing the ultimate goal would be for her to find a forever family. “A couple: mom and dad,” said Alfred. “She does get along with kids, so if she could do a brother or sister, have someone to be around, she would love that.” Mikeala says she wants to be adopted, knowing she is in a family that will help her grow into a young lady—and help guide her to make one big dream come true one day: becoming a cop! “I want to bring bad guys to jail,” she said. The first step to adopt through foster care is attending orientation, then going through the certification process with classes, a background check, and home study. To enroll in the next round of classes or make an inquiry about Mikeala, call 337-491-2470. If you have questions about the adoption process or want to make an inquiry about Mikeala, call the Lake Charles DCFS office at 337-491-2470.


Each day, an abused or neglected child is removed from an unsafe home and placed in Louisiana’s foster care system. They remain in the system until their home environment is safe—but for many, that never happens. Of the 4,000 children currently cycling in state foster care, about 350 are ready to be adopted today. More than 60 of them are in Southwest Louisiana, right here in our community.

KPLC reporter Britney Glaser, in partnership with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), highlights children who are legally ready to be adopted. Thrive is supporting The New Family Tree by featuring this month’s story.


• Minimum age is 21. • Single people can adopt. • Many of the children in state custody are considered “special needs,” which is defined as the following: older child, race/ ethnic background, sibling group, medical conditions, and/or physical/mental/emotional handicaps. • Children in foster care are there as a result of abuse, neglect or abandonment. • The certification process typically takes 90 days to complete. Once matched with a child, the process to legally adopt a child takes about one year.

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April 2017

By the Numbers

26 86

Number of employees at Landscape Management

Number of years Landscape Management has been in business.

169,863 200

Number of different rose species in the retail yard

Number of cubic feet of mulch sold each year

Average number of different types of plants, trees, and shrumbs available for sale in their retail yard


Different selections of bedding material for sale

528,140 Sponsored Content

April 2017

Amount of square feet of sod installed annually

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Money & Career


aula Gant is a Sulphur hometown girl who, through hard work and steadfast confidence in her abilities, earned a PhD in economics from Auburn University and has had a remarkable career as an expert in the field. In 2013, President Obama appointed her to a high profile post in the Department of Energy, where she served until the recent change in White House administration. She’s currently taking a break before discovering where life takes her next. Paula lives in Washington, DC, with her son Mason, aka “the center of her universe,” and their border collie, Sammie Girl. I recently caught up with Paula, and she shared her thoughts on her career, the state of our country’s energy resources, and the importance of having mentors.

first person with


Paula Gant

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

by Angie Kay Dilmore

April 2017

Who inspired you as a young person? I had a series of really great teachers, from elementary through high school, who were instrumental in helping me form my identity. They called out particular aspects of my capabilities and made me see them. Three teachers in particular -- Renee Wright, Linda Dupuis, and Michael Danos -- asked me to step up to their expectations, giving me confidence in my intellect and creativity -- each in different ways. I owe them a debt of gratitude. At McNeese, I majored in liberal arts and came to economics as a study of human behavior. Dr. Michael Kurth was my professor and counselor. He saw something in me, made me believe in something I didn’t know was there, and convinced me to go to graduate school. He has remained a source of support and encouragement to me over the years. As far as people I admire most, it’s my mom, Joyce Areno Gant, who is the sweetest, kindest, most empathetic person you’ll ever meet. She is very loving, but also one of the strongest persons I know. It is her example, how she has lived her life, that has given me the courage in difficult times to believe in my own abilities to get through trials in a way that is considerate of other people.

to produce them in a responsible manner; our mission at DOE was to share that understanding. The office is also responsible for regulating the exports of natural gas, for example from the LNG terminals being developed in Southwest Louisiana. In my second role, as Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, I engaged with our partner countries who want to import the natural gas we export. I helped them understand that we do have very abundant resources, which increases their energy security, and ultimately makes the world a more stable place. I was also responsible for our engagements with other countries in support of our collective commitments to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, collaborating with them and sharing what we know about efficient and clean production and use of energy, whether it’s natural gas, wind and solar, or carbon capture and sequestration. We currently have the opportunity to grow our economy while also addressing our environmental objectives. We no longer have to choose between the

two of them. We have a greater abundance of energy resources in this country than we ever could have imagined. That makes us a stronger country from economic and national security perspectives. And that’s been an exciting message to be a part of. For a girl who remembers waiting in line with her father to buy gasoline on ration day in the 1970s, it’s an incredible turn of events.

What are your hobbies? I love to cook – I am from Louisiana, after all. Food is love. I learned to cook from my grandmother and enjoy sharing that with other people. My personal passion is Mexican cooking.

You’re currently enjoying some down time. What’s on your bucket list? Top of my list is to walk the Heaphy Track on the South Island of New Zealand. It is a 50-mile trail starting in the mountains and ending up on the beach. The thought of having that much time to walk and experience the South Island’s wild beauty while enjoying their fantastic food along the way is a dream for me.

What was one of your earliest jobs? During college, I worked for the Bel Estate in Lake Charles. Billy Blake and his family were very supportive of me and my education. My first job was filing well logs from oil and gas development. That was when they were on paper and I’d get blue ink all over my fingers from filing them. Now they’re all electronic, of course. I learned a lot there about the oil and gas business, giving me practical skills in understanding how business works.

Tell us about your work at the Department of Energy. Energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions were the two core focuses of my work at the Department of Energy. Initially, I was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Gas. I had responsibility for the research and development program at our National Energy Technology Lab in Pittsburgh. We focused on how to responsibly produce oil and gas resources, particularly shale resources that have been more productive in recent years, and how we produce those resources while we protect our air, land, and water in local communities. Scientific research is the foundation upon which policy makers can make informed decisions. We know we have pervasive oil and gas resources across our country. Our ability to produce them economically has contributed not only to our economic growth but also to our national security. We also have the ability

April 2017

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Money & Career

Drive by any of Southwest Louisiana’s industrial plants and you’ll see enormous structures of steel and concrete. But what may not be so readily evident are the fingerprints of the company that designed and erected many parts of these plants. For three generations, Alfred Miller Contracting in Lake Charles has been the region’s premier designer and builder of many parts of the plants that fuel much of Southwest Louisiana’s economy. This year, the company celebrates its 70th anniversary, a milestone cemented in concrete – literally – and achieved through innovation, hard work, family love, and a commitment to quality. “We’re always innovating,” said Chester Miller, the company’s vice president of research and development and former company president and owner. “We work on the philosophy of constant improvement. Everything changes on a continual basis, and we’re constantly trying to improve.” The company’s beginnings date back far beyond its establishment in 1947. Chester Miller’s grandfather, Titus Miller, a carpenter and general contractor in Lake Charles, launched T. Miller and Sons in 1901. Business was good and 46 years later, Miller’s son, Alfred, launched his masonry business, Alfred Miller Construction. Alfred Miller ran his business from 1947


until his death in 1974. During that time Miller’s bricklaying business grew into one specializing in concrete work. “We had between 15 and 20 employees when my dad ran the company,” said Chester Miller, who became the company’s president and CEO upon his father’s death. “It grew to about 65 employees during my time. We started doing concrete work

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as well as masonry and fireproofing work for the industrial plants. Our business continued to grow and our concrete work turned into precast concrete work where we cast panels at our facility and then haul them out to the job and erect them for the builders.”

April 2017

Today, Alfred Miller Contracting has grown into a multi-service company that contributes to many parts of industrial projects. The business is supported by three legs: Design Build Construction of Buildings, Fireproofing of Structural Steel, and Specialty precast/prestressed concrete components. For buildings, Alfred Miller Contracting performs detailed design of the building, fabricates the components of the building in their precast plant, then goes on site to erect the components and finish out the interior to provide a complete turn-key solution. Fireproofing consists of spraying on a cement or epoxy coating that protects the steel from catastrophic collapse during a petroleum fire. These fires burn at over 2000 degrees F, and the protection can last from 1 to 4 hours, depending

April 2017

on thickness. Alfred Miller’s fireproofing facility produces more fireproofing (by tonnage) than any other facility in North America. It is the only UL Listed shop fireproofing facility in the world. The third leg is specialty precast/prestressed concrete. For buildings and structures, Alfred Miller produces precast columns, beams, wall panels, roof panels, and floor panels. For LNG facilities, Alfred Miller produces special containment and drainage trenches. These can be enhanced to handle the cryogenic temperatures of an LNG spill. For electrical systems, Alfred Miller produces a precast electrical duct bank that has conduits cast in red concrete. One of the most interesting specialty products Alfred Miller has developed is a precast pipe rack structure that can be erected completely from the ground. Since it is concrete, it doesn’t need

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fireproofing (watch a video at This type of rack is unique because it can be loaded with pipe level by level, which steel pipe racks cannot be. Alfred Miller recently received plant certification from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). The PCI certifies all aspects of precast production and quality control. Alfred Miller is now one of six PCI Certified Plants in Louisiana. Philip Miller, Chester’s son, is now the President of Alfred Miller Contracting. He is a McNeese graduate with a degree in Economics. His son, Grant, is graduating from LSU, also with a degree in Economics, and is proceeding to the University of Kentucky to pursue an MBA with an emphasis in Lean Manufacturing. The legacy continues…


Money & Career


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017

Putting off Retirement Interest rates have remained static and low since the Fed first reduced rates to near-zero in 2008. It may have been a good thing to do for the economy, but for seniors - many of whom rely on their lifetimes of saving - it has been an added burden, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens. How, then, can the government claim that elderly Americans are making more money today than they were ten years

ago? One obvious reason is that many seniors have given up on retirement and are spending their days working instead of playing golf or relaxing in their backyards. According to the pollsters at Gallup fewer of them are retiring at age 65 or younger. Thirty-seven percent of workers who are approaching what used to be known as “retirement age� are keeping their jobs as long as they can.

All Systems GROW. Be a Part of It! The Alliance for Positive Growth is an organization of professionals in the fields of real estate, development, construction and all other interested parties working together to protect property rights and promote strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana.

To learn more, visit: April 2017

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Money & Career

- They Work Hard for Your Money by Madelaine Brauner Landry

A wise person once observed: it is not how much money you make, but how much you keep that matters. We earn reward points on our credit cards, store coupons on our phones, and search for bargains to “save” money. Why then do we resist calling on professionals who offer significant assistance that helps preserve more of our hard-earned money? As Americans age, their financial needs constantly adjust to meet different lifestyle goals. Therefore, CPA Israel Lowery, of Scalisi, Myers & White, cites the importance of financial planning in every stage of life. “An estimated 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and this trend will continue for the next ten years, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. This shift is leading to many small business owners selling the companies that they’ve operated for decades to members of younger generations, and figuring out how to deal with the accompanying income tax issues, the complexity of managing retirement assets, and navigating Social Security and Medicare.” It’s intimidating to find yourself drowning in a sea of acronym and symbol soup. Terms like deductibles, 401(k), IRA, 529, Schedule A, probate, beneficiaries, or credit scores can be overwhelming. Life preservers are available from various types of financial planners -- accountants, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, investment counselors, estate planning attorneys, and even medical billing advocates. Costs vary, depending on the type of planner, and some financial planning is free, available as an additional service by some financial specialists. For example, Shayna M. Laughlin, State Farm agent, explains that most insurance agents are financial planners without the certificate on the wall. “We don’t just look at one or two aspects of a person’s life. We take the elevator to the top floor so that we can look at a complete picture of their personal and financial situation. Our sole purpose is to protect our customers and their families from financial devastation, while showing


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them appropriate and diverse ways to save for retirement.” Assurance Financial banker, Jessica McBride, further notes we often fail to consider the importance of decisions like home-buying in long-range financial planning. “You have to consider how to prepare for buying a home by putting aside money for down payments and keeping up your credit scores. Home ownership has so many financial advantages, including potential tax deductions and appreciation in some cases.” Peter J. Pohorelsky, with Scofield, Gerard, Pohorelsky, Gallaugher & Landry, explains that estate-planning attorneys draft legal documents that serve as long-term planning vehicles. “For instance, I draft trusts into which a client can place an annuity, which, because of unique state and federal laws, can grow virtually tax free inside of the trust for generations. Estate planning with an attorney can create legacies which may last multiple lifetimes, provided the appropriate asset or investment and legal instrument are matched together.” Financial Consultant Trina Duhon, owner of Duhon Wealth Management, agrees, reminding clients that retirement is hardly a static event. Dire warnings from financial prognosticators predicting major changes in government programs such as Social Security and Medicare add unknown factors to the mix. She says the default position -- putting one’s head in the sand -- is shortsighted and dangerous. “Workers who are now in the early-to-midpoints of their careers tell me they need more, not less money in retirement. Therefore, I am amazed that they believe establishing a tax-deferred 401(k) is both difficult and unnecessary. Do you really want your plans dashed because you left them up to government bureaucrats or politicians? Surrendering control of your financial future today is not a realistic or wise path to economic freedom tomorrow.”

April 2017

Email or Text Notification when your RX is ready!








John B. Scofield, Emeritus Richard E. Gerard, Emeritus John R. Pohorelsky Scott J. Scofield Patrick D. Gallaugher Robert E. Landry Phillip W. Devilbiss Peter J. Pohorelsky Kevin P. Fontenot Andrea Albright Crawford William B. Swift, L.L.C., Of Counsel

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Monday - Saturday | 10am - 7pm 800 W. Prien Lake Road | Lake Charles, LA • 337.602.6379 April 2017

Shayne M Laughlin, Agent • Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Money & Career All you need to know to stay in the know! Lake Area Dentistry Acquires Patients from Dentistry on the Bayou Dr. Jeffery Hennigan and Dr. Nathan Bray with Lake Area Dentistry have acquired the patients of the late David Kestel, DMD, of Dentistry on the Bayou, upon Dr. Kestel’s passing in December of 2016. Dr. Kestel had the succession plan in place to ensure his patients would continue to receive dental care from a team who shared his values and compassion. Lake Area Dentistry, located at 700 W. McNeese Street in Lake Charles and in DeQuincy at 824 W. 4th Street, provides comprehensive dental care for all ages. For more information, call (337) 478-8460 in Lake Charles or (337) 786-6221 in DeQuincy or visit

Parish schools. The trainers will make daily school visits and cover games and practices. Memorial’s full range of services including orthopedic surgery, cardiology, rehabilitation, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, pain management and pediatric intensive care are available to the student athletes should the need arise. As Lake Charles’ community hospital, these services are offered at no cost to the school district.

Oak Crossing Opens The Gazebo Event Venue

Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine Contract Renewed with CPSB Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine will continue serving the student athletes of Calcasieu Parish Schools for the next four years. The Calcasieu Parish School Board recently voted in favor of the extension. Under the agreement, Memorial Sports Medicine will provide athletic trainers to all Calcasieu

A ribbon cutting was held at The Gazebo at Oak Crossing last month. The 16 x 20 – foot Gazebo was designed to provide a scenic venue under the beautiful canopy of oak trees in Oak Crossing’s square. It is available as an event venue for weddings, receptions, reunions and other outdoor events. Call (337) 421-6200 for additional information.

Lake Charles Memorial Wound Care Center Recognized for Clinical Excellence Lake Charles Memorial Wound Care Center has been recognized with a national award for clinical excellence by Healogics, the nation’s leading and largest wound care management company. Memorial’s Wound Care Center achieved outstanding clinical outcomes for 12 consecutive months, 60

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including patient satisfaction higher than 92 percent, and a wound healing rate of at least 91 percent in less than 31 median days. Out of 630 Centers eligible for the Center of Distinction award, 334 achieved this honor in 2016.

Signatures Salon Honored Named to SALON TODAY 200 by Salon Today Magazine Signatures Salon in Lake Charles, owned by Wendy White-McCown, was named to the Salon Today 200 by Salon Today magazine, the top business publication for salon and spa owners. The magazine’s 20th annual SALON TODAY 200 issue profiled selected salons in its January 2017 edition. The 200 salons were honored for their best business practices from applications submitted by SALON TODAY readers, who represent the 20,000 top-producing salons and spas in the country. For a salon to be named to the prestigious list, it had to meet stringent requirements. Signatures Salon was honored this year for Retail & Merchandising. Signatures has been recognized on the list of 200 top-performing salons in previous years for growth, advanced education, client retention and marketing.

Marshland Group and Affiliates Announce Investment in Maplewood Industrial Services

Marshland Group, LLC, a venture capital firm based in Lake Charles, LA, announced that its members and affiliates have purchased a majority interest in Maplewood Industrial Services, LLC (MIS). MIS is a leading industrial storage facility with over 15 years of experience located in Sulphur, LA, offering secured climate controlled industrial storage and outdoor laydown space. MIS is strategically located on 20 acres adjacent to Interstate 10 within a 5-mile radius of the petro-chemical complex of Southwest Louisiana. In conjunction with the Marshland Group investment, MIS announced the expansion of its storage facilities. Construction is underway on the company’s third warehouse, which will increase MIS’s total available square feet to more than 110,000. The expansion project is projected to be completed by April 2017.

April 2017


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To earn 2.51% APY* on your ZYDECASH Checking account, you must meet the following transaction targets each monthly qualification cycle: • Have at least 10 debit card transactions • Have at least one (1) direct deposit or automatic payment

• Receive e-statement notices • Access online banking

carlyss | EUNICE | IOWA | JENNINGS | KINDER | LAFAYETTE | LAKE ARTHUR | LAKE CHARLES | MAMOU | MOSS BLUFF NEW IBERIA | SULPHUR | VIDRINE | VILLE PLATTE | WELSH | WESTLAKE | OPELOUSAS (LOAN PRODUCTION OFFICE) *Minimum to open account is $100 for ZydeCashSM CHECKING. Annual Percentage Yield (APY) accurate as of 9/6/2016. ZydeCash CHECKING rate tiers are as follows: 2.51% APY applies to balances of $0.01-$10,000 and 0.15% APY applies to balances over $10,000 if qualifications are met during monthly qualification cycle. 0.05% APY applies to all balances if qualifications are not met. All balances will earn 2.51% APY – 0.15% APY if qualifications are met. The advertised ZydeCash CHECKING APY is based on compounding interest. The actual interest paid may be less than the advertised APY. Qualifying transactions must post and settle in ZydeCash CHECKING during monthly qualification cycle. Transactions may take one or more banking days from transaction date to post to an account. Intra-bank transfers do not count as qualifying transactions. ATM-processed transactions do not count as debit card transactions. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings. Unlimited domestic ATM Fee refunds provided only if qualifications are met within monthly qualification cycle. Limited to one account per social security number. Overdraft and returned item fees may apply. ZydeCashSM is a Service Mark of Jeff Davis Bancshares. Member FDIC **Mobile carrier charges may apply.

April 2017

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Style & Beauty

You Can Wear Hats. (Here’s How) by Emily Alford


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017


Dry, cold winter air and indoor heat can take a toll on your skin, leading to chapping, flaking, and redness. The Aesthetic Center can help you refresh and revive dry winter skin with nourishing, rejuvenating facial treatments and product. • • • •

Chemical Peels Microdermabrasion Cosmetic Injections Dermapen

• • • •

Targeted Skin Care Treatments PCA Home Care Products Jane Iredale Mineral Make-up Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Call 310-1070 for more information or to schedule your appointment.

310-1070 • 1767 Imperial Blvd. Lake Charles Treatments are provided under the medical direction of facial cosmetic specialist, Mark Crawford, MD.

April 2017

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Style & Beauty

Tips For Transitioning Fall Boots to

Spring Shoes by Emily Alford

Spring is a strange time for fashion. On one hand, the stores are packed with fun clothes best suited to a beach vacation, while outside, the weather can be chilly one day, dumping rain the next, and hot enough for shorts and tee shirts the day after that. The fluctuating temperatures, coupled with the fact that many of us put our warm weather clothes away for winter, can make getting dressed a daily conundrum. As the rainy season usually leaves the ground pretty squishy, one thing’s for certain: it’s definitely not sandal weather quite yet. Here are a few tips for getting just a little more mileage out of those trusty winter boots.

Consider Your Socks

Have a pair of tall boots that served you well through the cold weather months? They can be just as cute with a short spring dress. If temperatures are too warm for tights but too chilly to go bare-legged, consider a pair of knee or thigh-high socks in light spring colors to both keep legs warm and soften a pair of black or brown boots. A pretty pair of shorter socks can also make a pair of flat leather booties look more cheerful for the warmer months. Just make sure they clear the top of the boot by about three or four inches, and if the booties have a side zipper, leave it down for a fresher look.

Cuff ‘Em

Booties look great any time of year and can be worn with dresses, skirts, and jeans. But to avoid looking too wintery in those ankle high boots, especially when you’re still wearing jackets and light sweaters, showing some skin does wonders. Cuff those jeans and let an inch or two of ankle show over the tops of your booties. Just a little touch can make a whole outfit look a little more seasonally appropriate.


Lighten Up

Those over-the-knee boots that did you so right in the frosty winter months have still got a few days left. If it’s not too hot, wear them with skinny or straight leg jeans, but pair them with a light-colored bag and breezy top. Perfect for getting through the puddles left by those April showers.

Boots With Shorts: Can It Be Done? The short answer is yes, but the real answer is more complicated. Instagram fashionistas are all about pairing denim shorts with ankle boots, but in real life, it can look like a fashion mullet: party on the top and business on the bottom. If you’re dying to try it, pick short (at least mid-thigh) denim shorts and make sure the top tonally matches the boots: think army jacket with white tee shirt or a mid-to-long sleeved tee shirt or blouse. A summery top with shorts and boots can just look too seasonally confusing. Finding a good blend of spring and summer is the key. It’s not a look for the fashion faint of heart, but if you’re feeling daring, go for it! Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017

Scents and Sensibility the ART of Wearing Perfume Wearing perfume or cologne correctly can be tricky business. People often make the mistake of applying too much fragrance without realizing the faux pas, leaving others to endure an overpowering scent that may cause headaches, trigger allergies, or otherwise offend. Thankfully, wearing perfume or cologne correctly can be easily accomplished by understanding the science behind the scent. The difference between perfume, cologne, and eau de toilette lies in their concentration of fragrance oils. The amount of fragrance oil determines the longevity of the scent. Perfume may contain between 15-20% fragrance oil and is the most concentrated and long lasting of all fragrances, which is why perfume is typically more expensive than cologne or eau de toilette. The rarity of the ingredients necessary to create the fragrance also plays a role in the cost of perfume. Cologne may contain between 2-5% fragrance oil. The low concentration of fragrance oil means that the scent will wear off in a few hours. Instead of making the mistake of dousing yourself in cologne, reapply as needed. Eau de toilette may contain between 4-10% fragrance oil. Although the scent won’t last as long as perfume, it is an affordable option for those interested in saving money. Fragrances can be expensive, so it’s important to understand how to use them. A key point to perfecting fragrance etiquette is to remember that less is more. Fragrance should be subtle, not overbearing. Here are a few tips to help you make an understated but long lasting impression with your choice of perfume, cologne, or eau de toilette.

by Felicite Toney

The logical way to unwind.

Target pulse points. By applying perfume or cologne to pulse points, such as your wrists and neck, you allow the fragrance to be amplified by body heat. Other pulse points include the back of knees and inside of elbows. Moisturize. The key to prolonging fragrance on the skin is to keep skin moisturized. The better hydrated your skin, the longer the scent will last.

• Facials • Massage & Body Services • Nail Services • Salon Services • Spa Packages • Waxing

Spray hair and accessories. Fragrances latch onto fibers like clothing and hair and will leave a lingering scent trailing behind you. Spray winter scarves or summer skirts with fragrances to ensure long lasting results. Reapply as needed. If you choose to wear a less concentrated fragrance, don’t apply too much at once. Instead, reapply every few hours. If you apply fragrance before work, you may want to reapply before or after lunch.

April 2017

5656 Nelson Rd. • Lake Charles • • 477.1195 Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Style & Beauty


Teeth Whitening Options We’ve all seen the ads and the displays at the local pharmacies -- dozens of brands, all claiming to do one thing: make your teeth whiter. Some advertise themselves as the easiest or fastest, while others claim to be as good as the service your dentist offers. So what’s the truth? In short, there are two basic types of teeth whiteners: at-home, unsupervised methods, and methods either supervised by a dentist or done entirely in a dentist’s office. Deciding which is better for you depends on several factors. First, do you have naturally sensitive teeth? If so, you may want to consult with your dentist before trying out a DIY method. Second, how quickly do you want results? Options for teeth whitening can range from a handful of treatments to daily maintenance. Third, how much time do you have in your schedule for the treatments? A dentist-supervised option is going to have fewer, longer sessions, versus some of the quicker but more long-running options you do yourself. Fourth, what is your budget? This is pretty selfexplanatory, since an in-office or custom option with a dentist is going to cost far more than an at-home option. 66

by Keaghan P. Wier

HERE ARE A FEW OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING THIS DECISION: • If you have darkened tissue under your enamel (this makes the tooth look grayish and is caused by age or injury,) teeth whitening will not correct it.

• Over-the-counter systems will not have as strong a formula as what a dentist can provide for you. This will affect how long it takes for you to see the results you want.

• Whitening will only affect your natural tooth. If you have veneers, crowns, etc., they will not be affected. This may cause some color mismatching on your teeth.

• Do not attempt teeth whitening with the assumption you will come out with a snow-white smile. Results will vary based on your teeth, eating and drinking habits, any damage, etc. Be realistic in your expectations.

• Deep staining will not be fixed by whitening toothpaste. You will need to use an actual whitening system to see significant results.

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April 2017

To m F o r d | M o d o | C o a c h | Tr i n a Tu r k | To r y B u r c h | Ve r a B r a d l ey | C o s t a D e l M a r | Ve r a Wa n g

THAT SAID, HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHESTREVIEWED AT-HOME METHODS FOR TEETH WHITENING: • If you’d like a natural option, try a whitening powder or toothpaste made with charcoal. There are many brands available, especially online. • For toothpastes, appropriate for maintenance and light staining, try these: Crest 3D Whitening Toothpaste, Colgate Optic White Toothpaste, and Colgate Advanced Total Whitening Toothpaste. • For bleaching strips, try the Crest 3D White Luxe Professional Effects Strips. • For at-home bleaching trays, the Plus White Whitening Systems and the Smartsmile Professional Teeth Whitening Kit are wellreviewed. Both consist of trays and bleaching gel, and range in price from about $11.00 to $25.00 on Amazon. There are many culprits responsible for “less-than-white” teeth. Things like red wine, coffee, age, trauma, and even medications can darken your teeth. Many dentists offer in-office whitening services that can restore and brighten your enamel. For patients seeking a whiter smile, Robinson Dental Group Family Dentistry offers Philips Zoom at both its Lake Charles and Moss Bluff offices. Zoom is a professional whitening solution only available at dental offices. “The procedure is safe, pain-free and offers a full range of options based on the patient’s needs and lifestyle,” said Dr. Tim Robinson, DDS. “A safe bleach solution is applied to the teeth in trays and then a special light is used to enhance the action of the whitening agent,” said Dr. Robinson. Over 10 million people rely on Zoom for a whiter smile. Patients can see their teeth looking up to eight shades whiter in only 45 minutes. To learn more, visit

Raise Your Glasses to Our New Location at a Spectacular Fashion Event

EYEWEAR TRUNK SHOW Thursday, April 27 10am – 6pm The Eye Clinic New Main Office – 1767 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles

Designer Styles - Huge Savings Door Prizes - Refreshments Aesthetic Center consultations will be available, as well as discounts on products and cosmetic treatments scheduled at event.

Y o u w o n ’ t b e l i e v e y our

eyeS !

New Office: 1767 Imperial Blvd, Lake Charles (just off of Nelson Rd.)

Is your smile making you feel frustrated, embarrassed or just plain fed up?

We can help! Implants • Dentures • Braces • Whitening • Veneers • Lumineers

OAK PARK DENTAL Family Dentistry

Specialty Practice

337-478-3232 Mon -Friday 8am- 5pm Saturday 8am - 4pm

Free Consultations!

New Patient Special

FREE Exam & X-Rays $236 Value Code: 0150,0274,0330

1616 W. McNeese St. Lake Charles, LA 70605 April 2017

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Mark Your Calendar! New Groovin’ at the Grove Concert Series Announces Spring Line-up Groovin’ at the Grove, Lake Charles’ new, outdoor live music series, has announced their 2017 spring line-up. The concerts will be held at Walnut Grove, a traditional neighborhood development. Musicians will perform on Walnut Grove’s Great Lawn, overlooking the beautiful Contraband Bayou. The music series is family-friendly, free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to put down. No ice chests please. The live performances will be held from 5:30-8:30pm. The schedule of dates and performers is: April 6, Louisiana Red May 4, Nik-L Beer For more information, visit groovinatthegrove or call (337) 656-9602.

42nd Palm Sunday Tour of Homes Announced Six homes will be the selected properties for the 42nd Palm Sunday Tour of Homes on April 9, sponsored by the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society (CHPS).


Pre-event tickets are priced at $10 and will be available at Gordon’s Drug Store on Lake Street in Lake Charles and at Papersmith on Ernest Street. The Tour includes a full color souvenir program with images. The 42nd Palm Sunday Tour of Homes is part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the City of Lake Charles. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit

The Leaf and the Dram: A Lesson n Scotch and Cigars

Cooking Demonstration to Provide Tips on Easy & Healthy Dishes

Family Fishing Festival Announced

On April 18 at 11am, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will provide a free cooking demonstration in the WCCH Cafeteria Conference Room, located at 701 Cypress Street in Sulphur, for individuals looking for ideas for quick and healthy dishes. The class will last approximately 45 minutes, and will cover healthy meal planning, provide step-by-step tactics to make cooking easy, and demonstrate how quick and fun cooking can be. Samples will be provided to attendees. For more information, or to sign up for a class, call (337) 527-4261 or email

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In collaboration with Rouge et Blanc and Southwest Beverage Company, Cigar Club will host The Leaf and the Dram on April 22 from 6-9pm. This will be a multi-faceted event featuring a free Scotch tasting and 3 free classes: A Cigar 101 at 6pm, a Scotch 101 at 7pm and a Cigar 201 at 8pm. For more information, visit Cigar Club on Facebook. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Friends of the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex and Wetlands are working with numerous partners and volunteers to host a free Family Fishing Festival on April 8 from 9am-1pm at Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. Licenses will be required and all fishing regulations will apply. Participants will have an opportunity to fish for bass and/or catfish from three ponds covering 6.5 acres which are only open to fishing during this event. There will also be a variety of activities

April 2017

and demonstrations throughout the festival. The first 200 registered guests will receive gift bags and golf towels with the event logo. Drinks and snacks provided by sponsors will be available while supplies last. For more information, call (337) 598-2216.

Moss Bluff Community Informational Meeting on Sales Tax Renewal

Port Arthur Cajun Heritage Festival Announced The Cajun Heritage Fest 2017 (formerly Carnival Des Cajuns) is scheduled for April 8 in Port Arthur. Doors open at noon with crawfish, food and dancing. A variety of live music featuring Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns, Travis Matte and the Kingpins

and the Grammy Award-winning, Jo-El Sonnier will perform. For more information or to become a vendor, visit or call (409) 835-2787.

There will be a Moss Bluff Community Informational Meeting on the upcoming Sales Tax Renewal at the Sam Houston High School Gymnasium in Moss Bluff on March 13 at 6pm. All are welcome to attend. The Sales Tax and Bond Election will be held on April 29.

The CVB and Arts Council of SWLA Showcase Banners Depicting Area Cultural Traditions The Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana have partnered to showcase hand-painted banners from local artists in Historic Central School, 809 Kirby St., which were originally designed and created in 1999 as part of the opening of the CVB’s welcome center. The banners will hang two at a time on the second floor of the facility, near the Art Associates’ Gallery and the Black Heritage Gallery, rotating every six weeks. Visitors can enjoy the 20-different hand-painted themes that convey the authenticity of Southwest Louisiana’s culture, intricately designed on two-sided banners measuring three feet by five feet. For more information, call (337) 439-2787.

Lake Charles Alumnae Chapter & Lake Charles Alumnae Foundation Present

Delta and Diamonds Scholarship Gala Saturday, April 22, 2017 • 8: 00pm • Donation $60

Formal Attire • Cocktail Hour 7- 8: 00pm • Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum | | April 2017

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McNeese IIEC Offers SHRM Certification Exam Prep Course

McNeese announces Juried Student Exhibition Winners

A Society for Human Resources Management Certification Exam Prep Course will be held from 9am-4:30pm every other Saturday, April 1-May 27, through McNeese State University’s Institute for Industry – Education Collaboration. This course - held at the McNeese SEED Center is intended to either prepare human resource professionals for the SHRM Certified Professional or the SHRM Certified Senior Professional exams, achieve professional development or build needed expertise to address today’s human resource challenges. The cost is $1,195 per person. To register go to registration.

McNeese State University’s Annual Juried Student Exhibition is currently on display through April 7 in the Abercrombie Gallery located the in the Shearman Fine Arts Center. Eighty-eight student works from over 200 entries were selected by juror Christopher Stewart, associate professor of art and department chair for the visual and performing arts department at Angelo State University. The exhibition features printmaking, ceramics, painting, drawing, foundations design, photography, graphic arts, and mixed media.

McNeese Health and Human Performance Department Feature The McNeese State University Department of Health and Human Performance is prepared for changes as construction is underway for the new Health and Human Performance Education Complex. The addition of this new complex, which will contain six classrooms, 12 faculty offices and a lab, as well as a sports training center, is scheduled for completion in June 2018. Locating the building across the street from the sports medicine and rehabilitation strength and conditioning facilities for the student-athletes in the Doland Athletics Complex will provide lab settings and internship opportunities for students majoring in health and human performance disciplines. The facility will also provide a future home for Cowgirl volleyball, Cowboy and Cowgirl basketball, Banners at McNeese and numerous other performing arts events. For more information, call (337) 475-5374.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017


Solutions for Life

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

Lessons Learned on the Grief Trail It’s been a few months since my wonderful mother passed away unexpectedly. I’ve been touched by how many of you have reached out to me since I wrote the article in the January edition of Thrive about my mom and the life lessons she taught me. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. Since my mother’s death, I have had several friends deal with death themselves. This has, of course, been hard for me. To see others in pain when my own pain is still so fresh and raw is not fun. Beyond that, though, I feel I have something to offer these friends that I did not have before. I’ve been there. I know what helped me and what I found comforting. They can look at me and see that things do get better. Never the same, but better. I want to share those things with you. The things others did that helped me and continue to help me. So that the next time someone in your life is dealing with death, maybe you can help them. Go. I know you don’t like funeral homes. I know you are really busy and the time is inconvenient. I know you had to bury someone close to you and it brings back memories. Go. You can tell yourself all day long that your presence won’t make a difference, but that is simply not true. It makes a huge difference. I was so touched by the people who took time out of their busy lives to pay their respects. If you can’t make it to (or handle) the funeral, go to the visitation. Look at the pictures and memorabilia of that life. Tell

April 2017

the grieving person what their loved one meant to you. Or tell the grieving person what he or she themself means to you. Or don’t say anything. Just be there. Feed. I am still receiving notices from various places that a donation has been made in my mother’s honor. I received a thoughtful note just the other day that held a wonderful story about my mom. All the flowers and plants at the funeral were so beautiful and special. These things continue to feed my soul. I have decided, though, that from now on I will be bringing food for the family of those I care about who are dealing with death. I want to help nourish their bodies during this difficult time. There are so many decisions to be made, and thinking about going to the grocery store/cooking/eating is nowhere near the top of the list. And, while I was not at all interested in food, I had a house full of people who were. Also, after my mom’s funeral, everyone came to my house for a meal. Thanks to my wonderful family and friends, and my mom’s church friends, I didn’t have to worry if there would be enough. I want those I care about to not have to worry about that either.

say anything. (Sometimes, there are no adequate words.) Other times it’s because we all get back to our busy lives, understandably. After things settle down, check in on your friend who has lost someone. Some solitude is necessary for the grieving process to be able to happen, but we all need to know others remember we are going through a difficult time. From now on, I plan to be annoying. My friends/loved ones who deal with death are going to be hearing a lot from me. It has meant so much to me to have people call/text/come by/insist on going to lunch. And my favorites are the ones who don’t take “no, thank you” or “I’m fine” for an answer! As I continue on this unplanned and unrequested journey, I am determined to grow as a person. It is my hope that you can learn from my experiences before you are forced to take your own journey.

Return. I will never forget what a friend of mine told me many years ago after she had lost a child: “Everyone is there, and then no one is there.” Sometimes this happens because people are uncomfortable with death. They don’t know what to say, and they don’t understand that they don’t have to

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Thrive Magazine for Better Living

April 2017