Thrive March 2018 Issue

Page 1

March 2018

first person with Don Pierson March 2018

Special Section

NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Special Feature



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March 2018

March 2018

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Contents In This Issue

tyle &Beauty S 6 Hair Tips for Girls with Curls 8 L Bridal Couture 10 Spring Forward for Easter Fashions

Wining &Dining 12 – 19 Special Section: It’s National Nutrition Month!


Places &Faces 20 Stress-Free Party Planning! 23 The Fine Art of Party Favors 24 Crowne Plaza 26 Live @ The Lakefront Announced 28 Lake Area Ballet Theatre Spring Gala 29 MusicMakers2U Instrument Drive Money &Career

32 – 57 Cover Story:



Home &Family 58 – 67 Special Feature:



68 The Importance of Clean Air in Your Home 69 Test & Spring Forward

Mind &Body 74 76 77 78 80

Cura Your Life 8 Tips to Better Manage Your Time Combating the Sleepy Effects of Daylight Savings Time Cool New Therapy Treatment Available in Lake Charles Lipogems: Helping Patients with Knee Pain

Regular Features

30 Who’s News 34 First Person with Don Pierson 56 Business Buzz 70 The New Family Tree


71 Easter By the Numbers 72 Happenings 82 Solutions for Life! 83 McNeese Corral

Managing Editor


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

Angie Kay Dilmore

Editors and Publishers Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Creative Director

Barbara VanGossen

Design and Layout

Mandy Gilmore

Business Manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Submissions

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

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March 2018

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March 2018

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Style & Beauty

HAIR TIPS for Girls with

CURLS by Emily Alford


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Every decade has its own rules for how tame hair should be. The 80s were all about the power perm and a set of hot rollers, while the 90s and early 2000s saw the rise of the flat iron. But decades past shared one thing in common: natural curls were meant to be tamed in the name of fashion. However, the times are changing, according to Noelle Mills of Signatures Salon. “We are seeing more and more people embrace their natural texture,� she says. Here are some tips for making the most of your natural curl.

March 2018

Get to know your curls There are many types of curl, and each type requires its own care. Hair that dries wavy tends to be frizzier and prone to turn puffy in humidity. Curly hair has a natural “S” shape and can easily be weighted down by too much product, giving it a “greasy” look. Kinky hair is very tightly coiled, and is the driest of all hair types, making it very fragile.

Make moisture a priority Whether your hair is a bit wavy or incredibly curly, you probably need more moisture than someone with stick straight strands.

March 2018

“The most most common issues with curly hair are frizz, puffiness, and dryness,” Mills says. “Curls have a tendency to be more coarse and dry.” Finding a conditioner created specifically for curly hair to add moisture without weighing curls down is imperative for perfectly styled curls. Ask your stylist what he or she recommends for your hair type.

Shampoo selectively This may sound strange, but curls are best left unwashed. Sodium lauryl sulfate, the active ingredient in most shampoos, is a salt, which is great for getting rid of oil, but not so great for those trying to lock in moisture. Of course, you don’t have to stop shampooing entirely, just try to limit the

number of washes to a few a week and wash only the scalp (which is the only part that tends to get greasy). Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.

Lay off the alcohol If you hate “crunchy” looking curls, look for hair products without alcohol. Hairspray is the worst offender when it comes to alcohol, but many gels and mousses have it, too. Look for products that are specifically made for curly hair and don’t list alcohol as their first ingredient. “Our best seller for naturallooking curls is Bumble and Bumble’s mousse,” says Mills. “Our curly-haired clients and staff swear by it because it is not crunchy. Bumble and Bumble also has an antihumidity gel oil that’s a favorite

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and one of the best sellers in the curl line.” Getting great curls might be a process of trial and error, but if you’re tired of spending hours attempting to style your curly hair only to have it puff back up again in the humidity, ask your stylist about the best way to go natural.



& Beauty


photo by Chris Brennan



photo by Breanna Weldon Photography


Personalized Service to Plan your Big Day by Chelse Willis

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March 2018

photo by Breanna Weldon Photography


s it possible to chase two dreams? Local chiropractor Dr. Laurie Baynard has turned her longtime dreams into reality. She has crafted her own corner of our local bridal market. L Bridal Couture should open by the end of this month. With her chiropractic practice only steps away from her bridal shop, Baynard can pursue both her dreams. Ambitions to open a bridal shop were put on hold when she was a senior in high school. During that year she became more interested in health and fitness. She “fell in love with chiropractic” and decided to follow a new dream. She says, “A few months ago, this [bridal shop] opportunity presented itself and everything fell into place!” After you answer “yes,” it’s time to prepare for “I do!” One of the most important details of your wedding, your attire, can be the hardest to decide upon. Making sure you’re dressed to perfection and feeling your best is the goal for L Bridal Couture. Dr. Baynard’s team is eager to assist you with perhaps the most important day in your life thus far. Before you walk down the aisle, you’ll look for that heart-stopping gown that connects to your personal style. The gowns at L Bridal Couture are selected from some of the most exclusive and luxurious bridal lines, including Pronovias and Atelier Pronovias, Hayley Paige, Blush by Hayley

March 2018

Paige, Tara Keely by Lazaro, Ti Adora, WTOO by Watters, and Willowby by Watters. When selecting gowns, Baynard paid attention to the current fashion trends -- “lots of long sleeves, illusion plunging necklines, bows are making a comeback, or did they ever leave?” says Baynard. L Bridal Couture dresses range from $1,500 to $5,000. If you want to experience L Bridal Couture, you’ll need to make an appointment to guarantee that you are their number one focus, as it should be. Dr. Baynard is booking appointments now before her doors even open. Baynard thought of everything when she chose accessories for her clients. Her shop will carry wedding bands from a designer in California. “Every band is gorgeous and completely unique,” Baynard said. She will also carry traditional accessories like veils, hair pieces, dress embellishments, and lingerie. The front of the store will house some off-the-rack dresses for bridal showers and rehearsals. Baynard deliberated on whether to add bridesmaid dresses until she saw the Hayley Paige Occasions collection and couldn’t pass it up. She said those dresses could also be worn by the mother of the groom/bride. L Bridal Couture is designed with the bride in mind, from the décor to the tiny details, all to ensure the bride shines. Dr. Baynard created a unique bridal shop that caters to the bride while offering a magical experience to her clients.

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& Beauty

Spring Forward for 2018’s Best Easter Fashions Dressing up for Easter services, egg hunts, and family gatherings is a time-honored Southern tradition. And after a winter full of dark colors and soggy weather, it’s also one of the best times to break out new fashions in colors bright enough to rival the Easter eggs. Luckily this year’s best trends seem to be made for Easter Sunday.

Candy colors

In 2018, pastels are back in a big way. Many of the season’s best dresses feature romantic details like ruffles and flowy materials, but the best part is: the colors are straight out of the candy shop. Two of the most ubiquitous colors this year are soft lilac and sky-blue. Also trending are pale greens and yellows. If you’re longing to wear white, add some of these colors by way of shoes or handbags for a fashion-forward Easter look.

Tangerine dream

If pastels aren’t your thing, make a statement in bright orange. Some of the most stunning looks on the spring runway were shades of tangerine and even scarlet. These bold looks will be sure to set you apart from the crowd.


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March 2018

Stunning sleeves

2017 was all about the bell sleeve, which gradually widens from the elbow to the wrist. And while bell sleeves are still a great look for Easter dresses and separates, balloon sleeves are also a fun new trend for spring. Balloon sleeves are wide at the elbow and forearm, but cinch in again at the wrist, giving them an elegant, old-school look. If you’re hoping for a more conservative outfit for Easter services, having fun with sheer sleeves can be a great way to cover up without sacrificing style.

Playful Pastels

Who says men have to spend Easter in stuffy colors? Pastels are big for both genders this year. Pastels look best against white, so if you’re planning on wearing a white button-down for Easter, why not pair it with a pale blue or yellow tie? Pastels can also look great together, so if you’re a little more into fashion, layer that yellow tie over a pale blue button-down for a look that’s perfectly festive for the holiday. One word of caution: pastels don’t usually look great with black, so it might be best to invest in a lighter gray suit or khaki pants. Spring is all about rebirth and renewal, so get the season started by lightening up your Easter look.

March 2018

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Wining & Dining Put Your Best Fork Forward

It’s National Nutrition Month! March is National Nutrition Month, and we want our readers to be healthy! So we’ve assembled an informative assortment of stories to help you make smart food choices, whether you’re shopping at the grocery store, dining at home, or ordering at a restaurant. Eat well and live well!


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March 2018

Shun the Sugar,

Keep the Sweet It’s a medical fact that too much sugar in our diets is unhealthy. Refined white sugar is made from a long process that removes every bit of trace minerals. After harvesting sugarcane stalks and beets, white sugar is washed, milled, extracted, juiced, filtered, purified, vacuumed, and condensed. It is pure carbohydrate with zero nutritional value. Beginning in the 1970s, some sweet seekers would opt for sugar substitutes such as saccharine and aspartame. These chemicallaced compounds have proven to not only be unhelpful, but potentially harmful. Healthconscious consumers today know the best option is to simply limit sugars in our diet as much as possible. That said, there’s a place in every balanced diet for a little added sweetness now and then, and different types of sugar alternatives have different advantages. See how your favorite substitute stacks up.


Honey has been used across millennia and cultures to cure ailments from stomach pains to skin wounds. But when it comes to the glycemic index (a number associated with the carbohydrates in a particular food that indicates the effect of these carbohydrates on a person’s blood glucose level) honey is similar to refined sugar. Unlike sugar, honey holds trace amounts of minerals, amino acids, and B vitamins. Raw honey contains the most nutrition. Local honey is touted as helping with allergies.

Coconut Sugar

A natural manufacturing process allows coconut sugar, made from the sap of the coconut palm, to retain very small amounts of nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and amino acids. But don’t be fooled. It’s nonetheless exactly like regular sugar, containing about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon and can be substituted for sugar 1:1 in baking.

March 2018

Maple Syrup

With a rich taste, lower glycemic index than white sugar, and a low-fructose content, maple syrup has a good reputation as a sweetener. It contains small amounts of antioxidants, calcium, potassium, iron, and the mineral manganese, which contributes to healthy bone structure. But like all sweeteners, use in moderation.

Agave Syrup

Agave, once a popular sugar-sub fad, has fallen from favor with the health-conscious set. Although it ranks low on the glycemic index compared to other sweeteners, it’s higher in fructose than even high-fructose corn syrup! Recent studies suggest that the body converts fructose into fat more rapidly than it does glucose, causing potential negative effects such as weight gain or increased insulin resistance. Honey or maple syrup are better options.

sugar has been removed from the juice. This process is repeated several times, and each time a different type of molasses is produced; either light, dark, or black-strap. It contains nutrients and antioxidants, namely vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, which are good for bone and heart health and stabilizing blood sugar, making it a better option than refined sugar. However, it’s still very high in sugar, and should be consumed in limited amounts.


Date Sugar

Stevia is somewhat controversial as a sugar substitute. It is made from the stevia plant, which makes it natural, but it has no calories and it is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Some studies suggest stevia may have extra health benefits (treating endocrine diseases, diabetes, and hypertension,) and other studies show that replacing sugar with artificial or lowcalorie sweeteners may not lead to weight loss after all. A 2004 study in rats found that low-calorie sweeteners led the animals to overeat, possibly because of a mismatch between the perceived sweetness and the expected calories from sugar, according to the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. The author of that study later argued that people who use artificial sweeteners may suffer health problems associated with excess sugar, including metabolic syndrome, which can be a precursor to diabetes. Again, as with most everything, moderation is key.


Ultimately, when our brains crave a little something sweet, it’s good to know there are alternatives to both refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Yet even these “healthier” sugar substitutes are still essentially empty carbs and should be limited in your diet. The next time you get a craving for something sweet, your best plan for a healthy diet is to reach for some fresh fruit, which provides nutrients, fiber, and natural sugar.

Full of potassium, iron, B vitamins, and fiber, date sugar is made with dehydrated dates that are ground to resemble granulated sugar. Because whole, pitted dates are used to make the sugar, the presence of fiber creates a tiny grit in the sugar that won’t dissolve in hot liquids or baked goods. It is similar to brown sugar but has a unique taste. You can use date sugar to replace brown sugar in baking, but it is a bit pricey. You can also use it as a rub for meats or atop your morning oatmeal. Don’t confuse date sugar with date palm sugar (or simply palm sugar) which is made from the sap of the sugar palm tree and is no different than cane sugar. Molasses is formed as a byproduct of the sugar-making process. Sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed and the juice is extracted. The juice is then boiled down to form sugar crystals, which are removed from the liquid. Molasses is the thick brown syrup left after the

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Wining & Dining | National Nutrition Month

Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet by John O’Donnell

Modern medicine and science tell us that by eating more fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods we can increase our energy levels, lose weight, focus better, and prevent chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Eating more plants may also be better for the environment. Studies have shown that by eating vegetarian you can lower your carbon footprint, conserve water, and prevent agriculturalrelated coastal dead zones like the one we see annually off our own Louisiana coastline. Making a change to a plant-based diet, or even just planning to eat more plants can seem like a daunting task, but by making a few gradual changes you can be eating a healthier diet before you know it.

Ease in to it: It’s unrealistic to stop eating all

animal products all at once. The last thing you want to do is get overwhelmed and lose your meatless momentum. Start by phasing meat out gradually. Focus first on eating meatless one meal per day. Next, strive for a full day of not eating meat for breakfast, lunch or dinner one day a week. Then transition to meatless days several times a week. For example, consider not eating meat on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As you become more comfortable as a vegetarian, add more veggie meals and then more veggie days until your entire week is sans meat.

Start by eating vegetarian versions of meals that you already like: It’s easy

to enjoy great foods that you love by making simple substitutions to phase out the meat. Veggie tacos, vegan sandwiches, bean burgers, veggie pizzas, are all simple to make, adapt, or can be found at many local restaurants. By focusing on adapting meals that you already eat and enjoy you will be making healthier changes with little shock to your regular schedule.


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March 2018

Be Prepared: Transitioning to a plant-based

diet starts in the grocery store. Stock your kitchen and fridge with vegetable-based foods and snacks. If your worksite is far away from restaurants with good vegetable options, prepare and pack your own lunch so you’re not tempted to cheat.

Find and connect with other vegetarians/vegans in the community:

There are many types of vegetarians with varying food preferences, even here in SWLA. Connecting with other veggiephiles will help you find great new vegetarian dishes at local restaurants, share recipes, and learn tips and tricks like meal prepping. Start by using social media. On Instagram and Facebook check out @ LakeCharlesVegans to get vegetable-based inspiration and meet vegans, vegetarians, or people who just enjoy a good salad. Once you get started eating vegetarian, you will have plenty of motivation to keep going. Eating a completely plant-based diet, or simply eating more fruits and vegetables in your daily life will, among other things, boost your energy, help with weight loss, and regulate your digestive system. The benefits of plant-based eating may be all you need to keep the momentum and continue living a healthier life style.

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Wining & Dining | National Nutrition Month

Healthier Fast Food by John O’Donnell

While none of it is “healthy,” (even some fast food salads have too much sodium!) if you must hit the drive-thru, know your best options to make wise “heathier” choices. The average American consumes 12% of their diet annually from fast food chains or drive through restaurants. Twenty percent of American meals are eaten in a vehicle. Fast food is great for its convenience. It’s easy to eat on the way to or from work, and you can feed the whole family quickly and easily during a tough or busy week. What’s inconvenient is eating fast food while trying to eat healthy. But not all fast food is bad for you. Some fast food favorites have healthy menu items that don’t taste like paper. Before we get to the list, let’s talk a little about what a healthy menu item is. For this list we’re defining “healthy” as an entrée that must have less than 600 calories, less than 800mg of sodium, no trans-fat, less than 20 grams of added sugar, and must include at least 10 grams of protein. While you should always shoot for less sugar and less sodium, it’s tough to find fast food options light on them. This list also assumes you are not combining these menu items with sides or sugar sweetened beverages.

Starbucks: Reduced-fat Turkey Bacon,

Burger King: The BK Veggie Burger.

Subway: Six-inch Turkey Breast Sub on 9-Grain Wheat with Swiss Cheese, Banana Peppers, Cucumbers, Green Peppers, Lettuce, Spinach, Tomatoes, Avocados and vinegar dressing. It’s easy to eat healthy at Subway as long as you custom order. Choose lots of vegetables, less or no cheese, and always stick with the six inch sandwich. This sandwich, with 390 calories, 22 grams of protein, 720mg of sodium, and 14g of fat make it a decent healthy lunch. Try it without the turkey for fewer calories and more veggies.

Chick-fil-A: Grilled Chicken Cool

With Egg Whites, and White Cheddar on ½ an English Muffin. At only 230 calories, and 18 grams of lean protein from egg whites and turkey, this tasty sandwich makes for a relatively healthy breakfast. But be careful -- 560mg of sodium is on the high side, so be mindful of your sodium intake throughout the rest of the day.

With 390 calories, 21 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, this sandwich is a decent healthy option, but be careful of its 900mg of sodium. Many of Burger King’s menu items come packed with sodium, even their salads. So always research the nutrition statistics before ordering. Most chains have nutritional information on their websites. Wrap. Weighing in at a svelte 340 calories, but packing 36 grams of protein, this wrap is great after a hard morning workout, but again be careful of the 900mg of sodium it comes with. The key to eating healthy in any situation is to do your research. Find or ask for the nutrition information for whatever you’re ordering, even if it’s on this list, and be mindful not only of how many calories you’re consuming, but how many of what kind of calories you’re putting in your body. Toga Grill Baba Ganoush


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1. Servings Wining & Dining | National Nutrition Month Current Label The number of “servings per container” and the “Serving Size” declaration have increased and are now in larger and/or bolder type. Serving sizes have been updated to reflect what people actually eat and drink today. For example, the serving size for ice cream was previously 1/2 cup and now is 2/3 cup. There are also new requirements for certain size packages, such as those that are between one and two servings or are larger than a single serving but could be consumed in one or multiple sittings.

2. Calories

3. Fats

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 2/3 cup (55g) Servings Per Container About 8

Nutrition Facts

1 8 servings per container Serving size

2/3 cup (55g)

Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat 72

Calories 230


% Daily Value*

Total Fat 8g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 160mg

12 % 5%

Total Carbohydrate 37g Dietary Fiber 4g Sugars 12g Protein 3g

Vitamin A Vitamin C Calcium Iron

Nutrition Labels Cholesterol Sodium Total Carbohydrate Dietary Fiber

Less than Less than


300mg 2,400mg 300g 25g


Calories Total Fat 8g


Cholesterol 0mg


Sodium 160mg

Total Carbohydrate 37g Dietary Fiber 4g

10% 8% 20% 45%

80g 25g 300mg 2,400mg 375g 30g


Saturated Fat 1g

Trans Fat 0g

7% 12 % 16 %

by Andrea Mongler “Calories from Fat” has been removed because research shows * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. the type Nutrition of fat consumed is more Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on Facts labels . . . if you’ve set foot inside a grocery your calorie needs. important than the amount. Calories: 2,000 2,500

store, you’ve seen them. Chances are, your pantryLess is lined Total Fat than 65g Sat Fat Less than 20g with food containers sporting the often-overlooked label. 4. Added Sugars

Amount per serving

% Daily Value*



“Calories” is now larger and bolder.

New Label

7% 13% 14%

Total Sugars 12g


Includes 10g Added Sugars Protein 3g


Vitamin D 2mcg


Iron 8mg


Calcium 200mg

Potassium 235mg



15% 6%

* The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in

a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories “Added Sugars” in grams and as a a day is used for general nutrition advice. percent The Daily Value Facts (%DV) isprovides now a great Nutrition label amount you require depends on factors and saturated fat. The American Academy of the nutrients your food, including your age, gender, and activity of Family Physicians says to avoid trans-fat requiredrundown on the label. Added in sugars is helpful for healthy level. If you don’t know your daily caloric entirely if possible and to aim for less than includeswhich sugars that are either eating. addedThe key is knowing what to for. or needs, talk with your doctor or try an online gramsLabel of saturated fat per day. But be during the processing oflook foods, Transitioning to the20New calorie calculator or app. sure you’re getting plenty of unsaturated are packaged as such (e.g., a bag the new and improved Nutrition Start with the serving size. “This Manufacturers still have time to begin using fat. “Unsaturated fat, even though it is a fat, of table sugar), and also includes Facts label, so you will see both label versions for a while. However, the is frequently where people go wrong,” Pay attention to the percent is heart-healthy,” Foch says. “You shouldn’t sugars from syrups and honey, and newvalues. label is The already starting says Courtney Foch, a registered dietitian daily daily value of a to appear on products nationwide.

fear it. Make sure you’re getting enough, with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and particular nutrient is how much you should including monounsaturated fats and Wellness Program. consume each day. The percent daily value polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty For more information the new Facts For example,about if the serving size Nutrition says listedlabel, on the visit: Nutrition Facts tells you what acids.” one cup but you eat two cups’ worth, percentage of that recommended daily you’ll need to double the amounts of value you’ll get by eating one serving. If A Nutrition Checklist. Read labels all the items listed on the label to know you’re trying to consume less of something, to ensure you eat plenty of dietary fiber, how much of everything you consumed. for example sodium or saturated fat, aim protein, calcium, iron, and other vitamins Also, don’t assume that a smallish food or for foods that contain no more than five and minerals. drink container contains just one serving. percent of the recommended daily value. Finally, Foch says be wary of hyped-up Sometimes there’s more than one serving Keep in mind that these values are based claims on food packages; for example, per container. Check the label to be sure. on a 2,000-calories-per-day diet, so you “Helps prevent heart disease.” These can be might need a bit more or less. Note the calories contained misleading. “That’s why it’s important to be per serving. This will help you keep Use the Nutrition Facts as a able to correctly read the Nutrition Facts track of your total daily calorie intake. On Warning Label. Foch recommends label yourself rather than basing your food average, adults need about 2,000 calories using the Nutrition Facts label to help choices on those claims.” per day, though most people realistically you avoid foods that are high in sugar need a bit more or less than that. The actual (especially added sugars), sodium, trans-fat,


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sugars fro vegetable shows tha nutrient ne calorie lim than 10 pe calories fr

5. Nutrie

The lists o required o have been potassium the label b not always amounts. longer req of these v The actua microgram must be lis iron, and p

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March 2018

New version of the Nutrition Facts label The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has redesigned the label to make it easier for consumers to make informed food choices. Some manufacturers have already made the switch to the new label; others are still using the old one. Here is a brief rundown of the major changes:


Serving sizes have been updated to reflect how much people actually eat and drink.


The serving size and calories are bigger and bolder.


“Calories from fat” has been removed because the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount.


“Added sugars” are required on the label because research has shown that it’s difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume too much added sugar.


The list of nutrients required or permitted on the label has been updated.

March 2018

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Places & Faces


Party Planning! by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

Parties should be enjoyable, lively events where people are smiling, laughing, and thinking about how effortless you have made everything look; but often the planning aspects evolve into little nightmares full of checklists, guestlists, and wondering why you decided to plan a shindig in the first place. Whether you are planning an elegant soiree or a fourth birthday party, there are sure-fire steps you can take to make your event successful, not stressful.

Planning A Party at Home Keep it simple and organized. Three things will determine the tenor of your event: the theme, the guestlist, and your budget. Once you know what you want to do and who you want to invite, you can set realistic goals within your budget. Keeping things simple and within the original parameters you’ve set will keep you grounded and organized


when you start thinking things like, “If one piñata for my fiesta is good, onehundred will be even better. Ole!” From there, you can find useful checklists online with timelines to help you prepare for your special occasion.

but if you’re throwing a bridal shower for a dear friend, you may want to consider using a professional. PaperSmith, located on Ernest Street, will take care of the details for you and ensure that you send out a beautiful invitation that gives the right impression to your guests.

Send out informative invitations. If you have ever received an invitation that left out crucial information like the time of the event or the appropriate attire, you know how frustrating that can be for guests and hosts alike. Carefully proofread your invitations before sending them out and anticipate things that your guests might need to know. Is it casual? Should everyone wear costumes? Did you include your address, phone number, and RSVP instructions? The invitation is the first thing guests will see, and it sets the tone for the entire event. If you’re having a unicorn birthday party for your seven-year-old, you might find whimsical invitations online, for example,;

Food, music, and décor make or break a party. Chris Allen, owner of Paradise Florist, reminds that, “No party should be without food and music. Décor plays a huge role in the look of the event, but without the other two, there is no reason for a guest to stay.” Allen’s job is to make a place feel special, no matter the budget. Regarding floral décor, he says, “Fewer, more substantial pieces are appreciated more than many offerings that are skimpy.” Once you’ve decided on a look, you’ll want to focus on what types of food and drink you will serve and create a timeline in which to prepare them, unless you’re hiring a caterer.

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March 2018

Perhaps you will have live music. Book musical talent well in advance of your event. Chris Shearman, a local musician, reminds hosts to check out live video of a musician playing before deciding if they will be right for your event. They may be talented, but unable to work with the vibe of the party. He says, “Lake Chares has a wealth of hardworking, talented musicians. I don’t know if there is a better region to book great local musicians who will adapt to whatever the gathering calls for.” For a child-focused get-together, you might choose the perfect Disney Radio playlist to make your young guests happy. Relax and enjoy your guests. Once you’ve set up the final touches for your party, relax and enjoy your guests, knowing you are a super host or hostess, and that planning makes perfect.





Livestock Shows

Sporting Events



And more!

Events and entertainment on any scale! March 2018

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For booking or more information visit 337 721-4090


Planning A Party at a Venue Find a venue that will accommodate your guests. When helping you plan your special event, Jake Stutes and Luke Powell, owners/operators of Charleston Ballroom and The Governor’s Mansion, first ask, “How many guests are you expecting?” For small parties or showers, the second floor of The Governor’s Mansion has a loft space that can accommodate up to 70 people. For larger parties, the main floor can host up to175. The Ballroom at the Charleston can host even more, accommodating up to 225 guests for larger events. If you’re hosting a birthday party for a younger child and want something exciting with very little set-up and no clean up, The Children’s Museum of Lake Charles is a great place to consider as there are multiple party rooms, three floors worth of entertainment for your children and guests, and they provide everything but the cake. Packages must be booked in advance and range from $170-$300. They are open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., making celebrations a breeze. Decide on the details. Much like planning an event at home, you will need to focus on details like invitations, décor, music, and food. However, many local venues offer their services in most of these areas. Powell and Stutes of The Charleston handle all the planning, from food, alcohol, floral arrangements, and photography. They work with trusted vendors for any service they don’t provide. Brickhouse Catering and Events also includes a bevy of services to cater your event needs from business meetings, office parties, and weddings. If your venue does not have an event coordinator on-site to assist you in creating the perfect party atmosphere, it is important to create a list of things you want at your event and fit them into your budget, as well as a realistic timeline. Find vendors with great reputations and book them far in advance of your party to ensure getting everything you want. Have a great time. Once the clock announces the time of your event, you’ve done all you can do except mingle around and make people feel welcome. Put on a smile, grab a drink, and toast to a successful party that you and your friends will talk about for years to come. 22

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March 2018


Party Favors Sanford I. Weil once said, “Details create the big picture.” Perhaps for this reason we agonize over creating just the right party favors meant to amaze our guests, big or small. Whether you are planning a Princess and the Pea tea party for a gaggle of six-year-old girls or an anniversary party for your parents, you want that special lagniappe item that will complement your event and leave your guests thinking about how thoughtful you are. Sometimes the best favors don’t break the bank but take time and care to create. For your next perfectly-planned affair, try a few of these out-of-the-box favors to impress your friends and family.

“Mint to Be” Bridal Shower Sugar Scrub All you need for this fragrant favor is: • 2 cups of coconut oil • 10 cups of sugar • 4 tablespoons of mint extract • 4 drops of green food coloring • 4 ounce jars • 2 inch printable labels that say “Mint to Be!”

March 2018

“Our Roots Run Deep” 50th Anniversary Seedling Favor To put together this unique favor, go to your local garden store and purchase magnolia saplings or seedlings of your favorite flower. Wrap it in burlap, tie it with a ribbon, and attach a tag that says, “Our Roots Run Deep.” Your guests will have something to remember the occasion every time they go outside. “I Dig You” Construction Worker Birthday Bags Putting this together for your favorite little guy and all his friends is a cinch. All you need are yellow sand shovels, small plastic construction trucks, M&M’s, cellophane bags, tags that say, “I Dig You,” and some yellow ribbon to tie it off. A Mermaid’s Best Friend Birthday Bag This favor has a lot of wow-factor packed into a small, simple container. Put generous amounts of teal jelly beans into cellophane bags. Add several baked Goldfish crackers on top and tie it off with a white string. It will be the perfect end to your “shell-abration.”

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By Lauren Atterbery Cesar

“From Our Shower to Yours” Baby Shower Favors There are several ways to create this adorable take-away. You can attach a tag that says, “From Our Shower to Yours” to pieces of beautiful handmade soaps, or pick up miniature shower gels. Either way, your guests will be impressed. Easter Brunch Bouquets Flowers can say anything, so why not, “Thank you for coming”? Create miniature bouquets to leave at each place setting of your intimate brunch using brown paper, pastel tissue paper, and two or three storebought bouquets of spring flowers. Tie it off with brown string and you’ve created an exciting parting gift. Focusing on the small details will show your friends and family that you are the host or hostess with the mostess and give them a small take-home treasure to help them remember your special event.


Places & Faces

Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel Whether arriving or departing, your best choice when traveling through the Louis Armstrong New Orleans airport When you travel by plane, you want every leg of the journey to be as easy and problem-free as possible, and you do whatever you can to make that low-stress travel day a reality. A good first step is to include an airport hotel that goes out of their way to get your trip off to a great start. Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel offers a myriad of perks to their traveling patrons. This Kenner hotel is conveniently located just off I-10, only 2.5 miles from the Louis Armstrong International Airport, and 12 miles from downtown New Orleans. Their complimentary airport shuttle service makes it easy to get to and from the airport. Their friendly attentive staff ensures you have a relaxing comfortable stay in one of their 292 spacious guest rooms and suites. If you’re hungry, take advantage of room service or dine at the hotel’s Creole restaurant, The Landing. They are


open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Food can also be ordered from the lobby lounge. Work off the day’s stress at their state-ofthe-art fitness center. Then take a dip in the outdoor pool/jacuzzi. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the facility to keep you connected while away from home. According to Jonathan Serigne, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel, they cater to busy corporate travelers and offer amenities well-suited to business persons. Executive suites are available with large desks and comfortable chairs for working. The business center is open 24 hours. They offer 12,000 square feet of meeting space throughout 12 rooms, including a reception space -- ideal for corporate events. The Grand Ballroom can host up to 500 people. Convention South magazine named their boardroom one of the best boardrooms in

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the South in 2014. This space accommodates up to twelve people and offers plush executive leather chairs, electrical outlets and a viewing screen built into the fine wood table. Because their primary focus is the business traveler, the hotel offers these meeting spaces at reasonable prices and flexible hours. Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel has been a part of the New Orleans Hotel Collection for the past decade. They offer an array of packages; for example, the Park Fly and Stay package allows you to park your car in the hotel lot for up to 14 days at no charge. Whether for business or pleasure, enjoy the modern comforts of the Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel for your next trip through the New Orleans Airport. For more information, go to or call (877) 270-1393 for reservations.

March 2018

March 2018

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Places & Faces

2018 Lineup Announced The electric lineup of free live music performances for Live @ the Lakefront 2018 has been announced by the event’s presenting sponsors – the Arts Council of SWLA, the City of Lake Charles, and Deep South Productions. The wildly-popular annual concert series will celebrate its seventh season on three consecutive Fridays, March 9th, 16th, and 23rd, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Lakefront Promenade’s Arcade Amphitheatre.

March 9

Bon Bon Vivant kicks off the 2018 season with the headlining performance on March 9. Hailing from New Orleans, Bon Bon Vivant is an indie-gypsy band that plays original ballads, gypsy swing, and up-tempo rock mixed with dance music. Frontwoman Abigail Cosio’s songwriting is as fierce as it is heartbreaking, paying homage to the New Orleans music tradition while infusing a punk edge which attracts dancers and concertgoers alike. Opening for Bon Bon Vivant is the immensely-talented jazz, pop, and rhythm & blues of Jairus Daigle and the Network, along with Lake Area indie-folk group The Pretty Cavaliers (previously known as Elms District). Sponsoring the opening concert is Whitney Bank.


March 16

The Pine Leaf Boys return to the Lake Area for another exciting performance on March 16. Rolling Stone Magazine described the Pine Leaf Boys as “the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time.” The band’s mission is to present the beauty and power of real Cajun music to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life. The Pine Leaf Boys were recognized with a Grammy award in 2012 for “Best Regional Roots” album and have performed in 23 countries through invitations from the U.S. State Department. Opening for the Pine Leaf Boys is Boozoo’s grandson and torchbearer Mason Trail & the Zydeco Rhythm, along with country, soul, rock-androll band Sinners, from right here in Lake Charles. Crying Eagle Brewing and Volkswagen of Lake Charles sponsor this concert.

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March 23

Closing out the season will be returning favorite The Flamethrowers on March 23. The Flamethrowers have consistently sold out venues across the Gulf Coast since 2005. The popular party rock band performs high energy cover songs from across the decades, and their popularity has been steadily growing through the years, thanks to a signature stage presence that makes them a favorite act in the Lake Area. Opening for the Flamethrowers is the Lake Area’s best new blues rockers The Cards, along with the smooth soul sounds of Jarvis Jacob & the Southern Gentlemen. Shiner Beers returns to sponsor the closing night of this popular concert series and will be raffling off a custom Shiner-branded Epiphone Les Paul guitar for the event. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at each concert, with the drawing to be held on the closing night of the series.

March 2018

Live @ the Lakefront will also include an eclectic local art market each Friday as well as food trucks and food booths from several locally-owned restaurants. The public is encouraged to bring chairs and a blanket to put down on the amphitheater’s communal green space. The Arts Council will benefit from all beverage sales, so no outside ice chests are allowed.

Live @ the Lakefront is presented by the Arts Council of SWLA, the City of Lake Charles, and Deep South Productions, with major sponsorship from Whitney Bank, Volkswagen of Lake Charles, Crying Eagle Brewing, and Shiner Beers. Additional support is given by Fusion Five, Automotive Alignment, Assurance Financial, Beverage Sales Inc., CBS Lake Charles, Coca-Cola, Digikast, Edward Jones, Event Solutions, Image360, Jeff Davis Bank, Knight Media Inc, KPLC-TV, Lamar Advertising, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Louisiana Mortgage Associates, Louisiana Radio Communications, Parker Brand Creative Services, and Redfish Rentals.

March 2018

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Places & Faces

photo by Andrew Dilmore

photo by Chad Moreno

Lake Area Ballet Theatre Presents their Spring Gala

Tickets are now available for the Lake Area Ballet Theatre’s annual Spring Gala ballet showcase, which will celebrate the talents of over 50 local dancers, guest choreographers KaLinda LeJune, and Libby Tete Looney, as well as guest artists Dr. Lonny Benoit and the McNeese Steel Drum Band. The performance will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Rosa Hart Theatre in Lake Charles. The Lake Area Ballet Theatre (LABT) will present an exciting and colorful repertoire of vignette ballet performances, including: Degas Dancers: Inspired by the works of the famous impressionist Edgar Degas, the ballet incorporates elements from many of the artist’s ballet paintings, including the dance studio, the period costumes. and the old-world charm of the 17th century French Society. This ballet made its premier when it was performed by the Lake Charles Ballet Society for Ballet Joyeux in 1978.


Concerto: A new work choreographed by Colleen Cannon Benoit set to the beautiful music of Antonio Vivaldi. An American in Paris: A new work choreographed by Libby Tete Looney to the uplifting music of Gershwin. This ballet is sure to entertain with its mix of ballet, tap, and ballroom-inspired vignettes, all while weaving the story of the “American in Paris.” Passports 2: The second new work is choreographed by LABT artist in residence, KaLinda Lejune, accompanied by the McNeese State University Steel Drum Band under the direction of Dr. Lonny Benoit. The calypso-sounding island music and dancing is sure to entertain audience members of all ages. In LABT’s second collaboration with the MSU percussion students, the company looks to continue this partnership with local college students. LABT is led by Colleen Cannon Benoit, who spent much of her career studying and

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teaching at the Clarke Dance Center under the direction of Cissie Clarke and the late Ida Winter Clarke. The mission of LABT is to stage full-scale ballet productions, provide new and innovative works, and develop the next generation of local dancers. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at Lake Area Ballet Theatre is supported by grants from the City of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Lake Charles/SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of SWLA. For more information, contact Lake Area Ballet Theatre at 337-477-1510 or visit

March 2018


Dust Off and Donate Instrument Drive The best things happen unexpectedly. When Sarah and Sophie Medwick showed up for a Second Sunday Tipitana’s Youth Workshop on the Luna Live stage September 14, 2014, they found themselves paired with Mikayla Smith, someone they had never met or practiced with. The three girls, a clarinetist and two guitarists, hit it off, and began collaborating together on their music. All three have received instruments from MusicMakers2U, an organization devoted to providing middle, high school, and McNeese State Music Majors with access to musical instruments. The trio eventually formed the musical group “Foot in the Door” and have represented MusicMakers2U by playing at CSE Federal Credit Union, the Shrimp and Jazz Festival, and Sax in the City. They have also played at Stellar Beans, Christmas at the Grove, the Southwest Louisiana Arts Council’s Holiday Art Market and this year’s Mardi Gras Festival. The girls say they would never have met had it not been for MusicMakers2U. Musicmakers2U is in need of instruments

March 2018

and asks you to Dust Off and Donate your musical instruments for area students. Instruments may be dropped off at any CSE Federal Credit Union location from March 16 – 29. Donors can be assured that their musical instrument will be given new life with a deserving music student in Southwest Louisiana. The 501-(c)-3 non-profit group collects used musical instruments, has them refurbished and cleaned, and with the help of area school band directors and music teachers, pairs them with deserving students who otherwise might not be able to realize their dreams. In the words of President Mickey Smith, Jr., “I believe there is a song inside every child that is just waiting to be heard. MM2U helps children across SWLA discover their sound.” Although CSE locations are collection points year-round, March is the perfect time to start refurbishing instruments to have them ready for the next school year. Donors will fill out a brief information form, which the receiving student can use to send a note of

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thanks or to invite the donor to a future recital or concert. The student and parents sign a contract agreeing to care for the instrument and if the instrument is no longer needed, to return it to the group for re-pairing to another student. CSE Federal Credit Union locations are at 4321 Nelson Road in Lake Charles, 2154 Swisco Road in Sulphur, and 1170 Sam Houston Jones Parkway in Moss Bluff. The “Foot in the Door” story is just one example of the 400 students MusicMakers2U has benefitted and represents the success that MM2U hopes for all recipients of the instruments. The trio has received supportive encouragement along with the instruments from the MusicMakers group. They are learning to manage their goals of eventually writing their own music and getting more gigs locally. They write their goals down and find the steps needed to achieve them. They have grown in confidence and pulled each other to higher levels of leadership within the group. Foot in the Door can be found on YouTube, Instagram, and FaceBook.


Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana...

Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to with the subject line “Who’s News.”

Haley Armand Tarasiewicz Joins Healthy Image Marketing Agency Healthy Image Marketing Agency in Lake Charles has announced the addition of Haley Armand Tarasiewicz to their Haley Armand Tarasiewicz team of communication specialists. Originally from Sulphur, Louisiana, Tarasiewicz earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in public relations and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with concentrations in government affairs and public policy from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Tarasiewicz brings over seven years of experience in the marketing and public relations fields to the agency. She worked for the past four years as a public affairs specialist for Sasol North America and its U.S. Mega Project in Westlake. In that position, she developed, managed and executed corporate social responsibility projects, created external and internal communication tools, restructured the Community Advisory Panel (CAP), managed and operated the North America website, directed photography and videography productions, organized and hosted events for stakeholders, and served as a member of the crisis communications team. Her previous experience includes various positions throughout the state with Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Louisiana State University, One Acadiana, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and SWLA Economic Development Alliance. In her new position at Healthy Image, Tarasiewicz will be responsible for working on a variety of public relations and communication projects for the agency’s clients.

The Eye Clinic Names Director of Optical Operations for Optics Unlimited Retail Stores

Maura Pappion


Maura Pappion has been named the Director of Optical Operations

for Optics Unlimited at The Eye Clinic. She brings over 37 years of experience in optical retail management to the position. At Optics Unlimited, retail eyewear stores located within each of The Eye Clinic’s six offices, Pappion will be the liaison between the patients and optical staff to ensure excellent customer care and service is provided throughout every location. She is responsible for ensuring a smooth patient transition from the clinic to Optics Unlimited, as well as managing all optical staff at each location. Pappion handles interactions with external vendors and various health care providers to ensure Optics Unlimited is up to date with new styles and colors, as well as current insurance information. Pappion is also responsible for the ongoing training of the Optics Unlimited staff. The Eye Clinic is the region’s largest provider of comprehensive family eye care, with six locations and 13 doctors. Learn more at

Mhire Named Business Relations and Development Manager for The Eye Clinic Doris Mhire is the new Business Relations and Development Manager at The Eye Clinic. Originally from Metairie, Doris Mhire Louisiana, Mhire obtained a Bachelor of Science from McNeese State University and is a Certified Optician granted by the American Board of Opticianry. For the past 11 years, Mhire has been employed by The Eye Clinic as a Certified Optician, focusing on assisting patients with products in the optics department, and an Office Manager, responsible for maintaining smooth operations with patients and staff. In her new position, Mhire will be responsible for working with regional businesses and organizations to develop referral avenues and new business opportunities for The Eye Clinic and their optical department, Optics Unlimited. She will also coordinate marketing and advertising efforts. The Eye Clinic is the region’s largest provider of comprehensive family eye care, with six locations and 13 doctors.

Women’s Commission Announces Executive Board The Women’s Commission of Southwest Louisiana, Inc. is pleased to announce the 2018 Executive Board. • Tammy Thibodeaux – Commission’s President • Cynthia Tomlinson – Annual Fall Conference Chair • Tara Ross – Junior Conference Chair • Jeanine Blanely – Secretary • Cathy Brady – Treasurer • Melissa Adrian – Advisor • Kathy Sonnier – Publicity • Sarah Lavergne – Finance • Debbie Boudreaux – Parliamentarian • Betty Anderson – Special Events • Sandy Laurel – Advisor • Roma Mitchell – Membership • Carol Spence – Website. • Monica Duhon – Community Events Chair • Kensley Warren-Lewis – Cook Book Chair • Rev. Mary Guidry-Ringo – Advisor • Ashley Williams – Scholarship Chair The Women’s Commission of Southwest Louisiana, Inc holds an annual Fall Conference that attracts 2,000 participants for a day of empowering women to improve and enhance their personal, social and community lives and professional development. A similar conference called the Junior Women’s Conference is held for teens. This year Taja V. Simpson, a Lake Charles native who is now a noteworthy actress, will be the Keynote Speaker on Saturday, April 21st. Online registration is now open. To learn more go to

Learn more at

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March 2018

Women’s Commission Announces 2017 Commissioners of the Year The Women’s Commission of Southwest Louisiana, Inc. is pleased to announce its 2017 Commissioners of the Year. • Verda Anthony – Lifetime Commissioner Award • Sarah Lavergne – New Commissioner Award • Betty Anderson – Advisory Commissioner Award • Tammy Thibodeaux – Leadership Award • Tara Ross – Active Commissioner Award. • Jeanine Blanely - Commissioner’s Attendance Award. To learn more go to www.

Kerry Andersen elected as Treasurer of Louisiana Travel Association’s board of directors Kerry Andersen of Pinnacle Entertainment was recently installed as Treasurer of the Kerry Andersen Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) – formerly the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (LTPA) – Board of Directors at its annual meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lafayette. New officers installed on the executive board committee include the following: Travis Napper, with Ruston-Lincoln CVB, as chairman; Janice Delerno Verges, with the Stockade Bed & Breakfast, as vice-chairman; Ben Berthelot, with Lafayette CVC, as secretary; and Mark Romig, with New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, as immediate past chair. New members on the board of directors are Timothy Bush, with Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou; Dustin Gontarski, with Compass Media; Jennifer Ritter Guidry, with Atchafalaya National Heritage Area; and Kevin Kelly, with Houmas House Plantation & Gardens. Returning members on the board of directors are Marc Becker, with New Orleans Hotel Collection; Peggy Benoit, with Carmel Inn & Suites Thibodaux; Dickie Brennan, with Dickie Brennan & Company; Alana Cooper, with Monroe-West Monroe CVB; John Crook, March 2018

with Vernon Parish TC; Brandy Evans, with Shreveport-Bossier CTB; Marion Fox, with Jeff Davis Parish TC; Arlene Gould, Natchitoches Parish CVB; Andy LeBouef, with Mardi Gras World; Ralph Ney, with Marriot Hotel Baton Rouge; Donna O’Daniels, with St. Tammany Parish TC; Lynette Tanner, with Frogmore Plantation & Gins; and Denise Thevenot, with Louisiana Tax Free Shopping. Andersen has worked for Pinnacle Entertainment since 2003. Prior to that she was an award-winning journalist. She is a graduate of McNeese State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications.

2018 Environmental Affairs Committee Names St. Margaret Catholic School Winners The 2018 Environmental Affairs Committee of the Chamber Southwest Commercial Contest has named 2 winning entries from St. Margaret Catholic School. These winners are 2 groups of 8th graders that created videos showcasing their efforts to drive air quality awareness. Winners: • Amerie Guillory • Isabel David • Genesis Bass • Emma Freeman • Jacob Robinson • Niraj Mitchell • Colby Trahan • Clay Dupuis

Banking Compliance Veteran Appointed SVP/Chief Compliance Officer/In-House Counsel George Shafer has joined the JD Bank team as Senior Vice President, George Shafer Chief Compliance Officer and In-house Counsel. He has spent the last 18 years working in compliance for three Louisiana banks. Shafer grew up in rural Vernon Parish, just north of DeRidder. He graduated with a BA from Northwestern State University and then from LSU Law Center in 1995. Shafer was admitted to the Bar and practiced law for five years, before his passion for banking led him to the field where he’s worked ever since. Shafer has extensive experience in all aspects of compliance for area financial institutions and, for a time, also handled asset management and trust compliance. As Chief Compliance Officer, Shafer will handle all compliance, including matters involving consumer protection laws and lending or deposits. He will also be responsible for interacting with federal banking regulators as they examine the bank’s compliance. Shafer will also rely on his experience as an attorney, serving as JD Bank’s In-house Counsel, where he will manage legal work and the analysis of internal documents and other bank transactions. Shafer will also supervise legal matters with outside counsel.

XIL Consulting Names New Company President

Shelley Johnson Receives Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award Shelley Johnson, executive director/CEO of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau receives the Will Mangham Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award as presented by Jill Kidder, president/ CEO of the Louisiana Travel Association (LTA); Travis Napper, president/CEO of the Ruston Lincoln CVB and LTA chairman; Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser; and Mark Romig, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation president/CEO and past LTA chairman.

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Raymond McCall of Lake Charles, Louisiana has joined XIL Consulting as the company’s new President.. XIL Consulting specializes in generating strategic and Raymond McCall innovative solutions to create economic value for companies managing prescription drug benefits and access. With over 27 years of pharmacy and retail experience, Raymond has already jumped in, leading the XIL team in the disruption of the drug market and creating rapid impact for clients. Prior to this new role, Raymond was the Senior Vice President of Health and Household at AholdUSA. In his time at Ahold, Raymond focused on leadership strategies, and designed and executed campaigns for portfolios in pharmacy, health and beauty care, household, etc. Before that, Raymond served as a Vice President of Pharmacy Operations at Albertsons, and worked for CVS Pharmacy, Owen Healthcare, and Kmart.


Money & Career



Here in Southwest Louisiana, we often hear about the significant number of new projects in the region. Indeed, the numbers are impressive! A 2016 figure from the national Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 8.1 percent, one of the fastest growing in the nation for metropolitan areas with populations less than two million. Manufacturing of non-durable goods was cited as the primary reason for this growth. Our current unemployment rate, another strong indicator of our economy, is 3.2 %, as of December 2017. This is one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, and lower than the national average of 4.1%. The dollar value


of the area’s current and pending projects equals an incredible $108,671,644,326. That’s trillions, folks! In Loren Scott’s 2017-2018 predictions for the state, he says of Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, “the whole country envies this expansion.” He adds that we have three primary industries going for us. First, the petrochemical industries – SWLA is currently home to 16 different chemical plants, two refineries, three LNG export facilities, and two industrial gas processing plants. Total current employment in these facilities is 6,995 direct employees and 12,500 contractors, according to Larry DeRoussel with Lake Area Industry Alliance. Second, the gaming industry.

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SWLA currently has five major casinos resorts, employing a total of 6199 (a 2017 statistic.) The third major sector is aircraft repair at the two local airports. Chennault has Northrup-Grumman, employing 721. Lake Charles Regional is home to ERA Helicopters and PHI, another helicopter service company. Healthcare and education are also major employers in our area. We hear these impressive numbers bantered about, but they make a bigger impact when we see them with our own eyes. Take a look at these lists of projects, all taking place here in Southwest Louisiana. Information was provided by the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, and they said the lists are not exhaustive.

March 2018

Projects under Construction

JEFF DAVIS • Jeff Davis Jail

• Venture Global LNG – Calcasieu Pass

CALCASIEU • Lotte Westlake Chemical Complex • Belle Savanne • Big Lake Fuels (G2X) • Dongsung • Entergy Louisiana • Indorama Ventures • Juniper Specialty Products, LLC • Lake Charles Memorial Health System • Lake Charles Regional Airport • Lakes at Morganfield • McNeese State University • Port of Lake Charles – Calcasieu Ship Channel • Sasol – Ethane Cracker • West Calcasieu Port

Subtotal: $43,280,179,326

Subtotal: $65,391,465,000

Announced Projects Pending Final Approval

Total: $108,671,644,326

CAMERON • Cheniere LNG Phase 1 & 2 • Cameron Access • Cameron Courthouse • Cameron LNG

CAMERON • Cheniere LNG Phase 3 • Commonwealth LNG (formerly Waller Point) • Port Cameron, LLC • G2 LNG • Monkey Island LNG (formerly SCT&E LNG)

March 2018

CALCASIEU • ART • Driftwood LNG • Gulf South Pipeline Company • Lake Charles LNG/Shell • Lake Charles Methanol LLC • Lake Charles Memorial Health • Lake Charles Regional Airport • Magnolia LNG • McNeese State University • Erdace (Sears Residential Housing)

Completed Projects 2012-2017 ALLEN • Allen Parish Jail • Seven Clans Hotel at Coushatta BEAUREGARD • Beauregard Courthouse • Packaging Inc. of America (Boise) CALCASIEU • Chennault Hanger • Crying Eagle Brewery • Delta Downs Casino • Farmers Rice Milling • Golden Nugget • Golden Nugget Rush Tower • Heritage Square • IFG Port Holdings • Lake Charles City Court • Lake Charles Regional Airport

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

L’Auberge Matheson TriGas McNeese State University Northrup Grumman PLC – Rail Improvements SW Beverage SEED Center Sowela Aviation Training Facility Sowela Industrial Training Facility Sowela Nursing/Health Facility Sycamore Student Center at Sowela VA Hospital West Calcasieu Event Center Westlake Chemical

CAMERON • Cameron Fisheries Facility JEFF DAVIS • LA Spirits • Metalplate Galvanizing • Porocel • Sowela Jennings Campus Facility • Zagis Expansion

Total: $1,863,118,364



first person by Kristy Como Armand



Don Pierson

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March 2018

Appointed two years ago by newly-elected Governor John Bel Edwards to the post of Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Don Pierson wasted no time getting down to business. He had the background for the job, bringing more than 27 years of economic development experience with him. He served as LED’s Senior Director of Business Development and as Assistant Secretary and Chief Marketing Officer for the Agency for 10 years. Before making the the move to Baton Rouge, he served for 17 years as the Executive Director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation. Prior to entering the economic development field, he served as an Airborne and Ranger-qualified Infantry Office in the 82nd Airborne Division. When it comes to the state’s economic development, Southwest Louisiana is a proud success story. Thrive visited with Secretary Pierson to get his insight on the state’s economic outlook and his goals for LED.

March 2018

You’re a graduate of West Point and served active duty. How did your military background prepare you for a career in economic development? My years as an Airborne and RangerQualified Infantry Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army speak to “grit.” It’s safe to say that I have a passion for service and an enduring commitment to America and our state. These are core values that guide me in everything I do. I think those values serve me well in leading LED. Economic development requires planning, organization, and executing a mission. That sounds a lot like the military. Importantly, the military provides that experience in organizing, planning and executing excellence, in service and in leadership. I strive to lead Louisiana Economic Development with passion, understanding, and excellence each and every day.

You’ve been in your current position for two years. What LED accomplishments are you most proud of during this time? Our mission is to cultivate jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and we have scored important project wins in every region of the state. Today, over two million people are working in Louisiana. Since January 2016, Louisiana has attracted 83 major economic development projects that represent over $25.6 billion in new capital investment for the state. These project wins are attracting almost 20,000 new direct and indirect jobs to Louisiana, while also retaining more than 13,000 existing jobs. We landed the second best economic development deal in the entire country last year with the announcement of DXC Technology – the largest economic development deal in our state’s history – in large part because we stabilized funding for higher education. Unemployment has dropped to its lowest point in 10 years and more folks are out looking

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for and finding jobs than when we started this journey in 2016. And yes, there has been wage growth as well. Projects such as Lotte Chemical USA moving its corporate headquarters to Calcasieu Parish (and creating more than 130 new, direct jobs in the process) and the development of the Cyber Technology Corridor along Interstate 20, from Shreveport/ Bossier to Ruston to Monroe, are testaments to the great things happening here. Meanwhile, we also have stepped up our efforts to grow our small businesses, which employ more than half of our private-sector workforce in Louisiana. We greatly value the role of small businesses in our state’s economy. I am proud to lead an organization that has achieved this record of excellence.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the state when it comes to recruiting new businesses? It all starts with workforce. If our industries and businesses can’t rely on a skilled workforce, that’s trouble, so we put a great emphasis on preparing Louisiana workers for Louisiana jobs. A prime example of this is the $20 million advanced manufacturing training center that we’ve created at SOWELA Technical Community College. We worked out the funding for this important facility as part of Sasol’s multibilliondollar ethane cracker project at Westlake, but there’s more to it than that. This state-of-the-art center will be a great asset for training our residents for a broad range of good-paying manufacturing jobs throughout this region. What’s more, our LED FastStart® workforce training program has been rated the nation’s best for eight consecutive years. Eligible companies can get customized employee recruitment, screening and training services from our LED FastStart team, at no cost. It has been, and continues to be, a great tool for us to recruit new companies to Louisiana or help our existing companies expand.



Where are your plans for helping small businesses across the state be more successful? Small businesses account for 97 percent of all employers in the state, so it is in Louisiana’s best interest for them to thrive and grow. LED has an array of effective programs for small businesses, and they are constantly expanding to meet the needs of the business community in every region of our state. These projects include our Economic Gardening initiative, CEO Roundtables, Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute, Bonding Assistance Program, and the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program, which we launched last year to provide Louisiana veterans with a custom training program to help them open a new business in the state.

What are your most critical goals for the next two years? Our goal is to continue to attract more jobs, investment, and opportunity for Louisiana residents. Leveraging Louisiana’s resource strengths and realistic opportunities, we have identified nine key industries that represent continued progress or success in a relative new field of endeavor for our state. To build a strong, resilient, and diverse economy, we’ll need success to be achieved in establishing


operations in these key industries: • • • • • • • • •

Advanced manufacturing Aerospace Agribusiness Automotive Energy Entertainment Process industries Software development and IT Water management

Louisiana has many competitive advantages, including a productive workforce, impressive infrastructure and logistics, a low tax burden, a probusiness climate, and the nation’s best workforce development program. We will make the most of them in order to grow both traditional and emerging industries in Louisiana. Our goal is to grow in our established sectors and make continued progress in the emerging fields where we have very real potential to succeed.

How do the state’s current budget challenges impact your job as the state’s top economic developer? Louisiana remains a great state for doing business, and our assets remain strong selling points. Again, last year alone, we announced 43 economic development projects in 21 parishes throughout our state. These projects accounted for 13,138 new direct and

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indirect jobs and more than $4.6 billion in capital investment. Among these projects is DXC Technology’s new, 2,000-job Digital Transformation Center in New Orleans. Louisiana bested 30 other states to attract DXC, a Fortune 250 company; the company will create more permanent direct jobs at one site than any prior economic development project in the state. Gov. John Bel Edwards wasn’t exaggerating when he described it as “an historic economic development achievement for our state.” The reality is all states have budget challenges, and the sooner we are able to establish greater certainty here, the brighter our future will become. Gov. Edwards knows this, and his efforts are focused very clearly on getting our state to that platform of fiscal certainty.

On a regional level, Southwest Louisiana continues to experience record economic growth. What is fueling this and what do you feel needs to be done so the region and support and sustain ongoing growth? The industrial boom in the Southwest Region is one of the great stories of Louisiana’s modern-day economy – and it’s a story that’s still being written. Our established companies have long been a source of quality jobs and major economic impetus for the area. On top of that, we’re in the midst of $45

March 2018

billion in industrial construction projects that are underway in this region of Louisiana. This doesn’t happen by accident. It relies on a healthy business climate to set the stage for success, effective infrastructure for moving feedstocks in and finished products out, a productive workforce to get the job done, and an effective alliance of economic development partners at the state, regional and local level to keep us competitive.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Without question, I have embraced the philosophy of “lead by example.” Every day, in every way, seek to be the best at what you do. And before you think that sounds easy, please know what is required to achieve success. If you are going to be a manager of salesmen, you must first serve as a salesman. Whatever your field of endeavor, to effectively increase your value to the organization, and to one day be a leader, you must know every aspect, every element of every task. As a skilled and accomplished team member, you’ll earn the respect of your organization, and you’ll own its success. Over time you’ll find yourself in leadership roles and be comfortable with the responsibility that comes with that authority. I find myself mentoring a lot of young professionals – it’s a passion of mine. I am constantly encouraging them to combine both academic knowledge and real-world experience, but in all things, strive for excellence. If you love what you do, you’ll enjoy great satisfaction in your work. If you know every element of it, you’ll find progress and success come easily. Lead by example.

Recapping a Successful First Year and Previewing the Year Ahead As we began our first year in early 2017 recruiting members, we didn’t know what the response would be to our grassroots effort. We knew our mission was on target with what the community had expressed as an unmet need: The Alliance for Positive Growth is an organization of professionals in the fields of real estate, development, construction and all other interested parties working together to promote strong, beneficial growth in Southwest Louisiana. That message resonated, because membership quickly grew. By the end of the year, we had over 260 members and are still growing. Our accomplishments last year include: • Formed the Calcasieu Parish Drainage Task Force Committee in conjunction with Calcasieu Parish Administrators, Parish staff, and community leaders to analyze the parish’s proposed revisions to the drainage Code of Ordinance. • Timely and consistent fact-based governmental communication shared with members. • Numerous successful after-hours events that provided tremendous networking and ideaexchange opportunities. We are incredibly proud of these and other accomplishments and look forward to continuing to work toward our goals. Below are our 2018 committees and their respective board member chairperson. Each has outlined specific goals to accomplish in the coming year. Ralph Lewing Drainage

Billy Loftin, Jr. Sewer

Mary Kay Hopkins Membership/Events

Tim Flavin Ordinance

Tommy Eastman Economic Research

Larry Thomas Permits/Inspection

Daniel Kramer Sulphur

We are also very excited to announce plans for the inaugural “Growing SWLA Strong,” Positive Growth Awards which will take place on August 2 at the Historic Calcasieu Marine Bank in Lake Charles. Governor John Bel Edwards will be the keynote speaker at the awards banquet. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and applications for awards will be accepted through June 2. Learn more about the event on our website at www.apgrowth/awards. | p: (337) 602.6788 • f: (337) 602.6789 March 2018

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SWLA Across the Lake Charles metro area, a variety of housing developments are taking shape, expanding, or evolving. Some are brand-new, some have unique and cutting-edge features, and some are practically small towns of their own. According to the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance 2017 Projects Report, close to 50 new or existing housing developments are being built or expanded in the region. Here are a few of the latest housing highlights.

MorganField Located off E. McNeese Street, MorganField is more than just a neighborhood. In fact, it is five neighborhoods — the Village at MorganField, the Lakes at MorganField, the Crest, Waterside, and Wildflower — that will be connected not only by roads but by walking trails, too. As its website says, “MorganField was inspired by the best small towns of the past.” That small-town feel extends beyond the homes in the development to businesses, including JD Bank, which was the first business to open in MorganField; a credit union that is under construction; the Lighthouse, which is a soon-to-open convenience store; and Romancelli Italian restaurant, also under construction. A public golf course is planned for the development, and Harvest Community Center will be home to two local churches. Eventually, Morganfield is slated to contain several hundred homes, as well as lakes, parks, and swimming pools. Nikki Woodcock, a broker with Woodcock Realty who sells homes at MorganField, says houses in the Village and the Lakes are being built by local or


by Andrea Mongler

Lafayette-based independent builders. More than 50 homes have been sold between the two neighborhoods, and about a dozen are currently available. They range in price from the mid$200,000s to the mid-$300,000s. Waterside — the first phase of which has sold out — and Wildflower will contain custom-built homes with larger lots — at least five acres each at Wildflower.

Walnut Grove Known as a traditional neighborhood development, Walnut Grove contains homes that are within easy walking distance of a variety of businesses. Among these are the upscale Restaurant Calla, bank branches, a post office, and medical clinics. But the feeling of community doesn’t end there. Walnut Grove also hosts community events, like the popular Groovin’ at the Grove concert series and the Walnut Grove 5K and Nutty Fun Bubble Run. Its Majestic Hall can be booked for weddings, meetings, parties and other events, and cooking classes are also among the activities that take place there. “The events and the community involvement we have along with the commercial businesses in the neighborhood really form a tightknit community,” says Marilyn Zimmermann, design coordinator assistant at Walnut Grove. The first home in the neighborhood broke ground in 2012. Today, 17 houses and five townhomes are complete, with four homes under construction. Homes range in price from $290,000 to $799,000, and Walnut Grove is also beginning to sell not only homes but also lots to future residents looking to build there.

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Morganfield Development

Walnut Grove

Walnut Grove

March 2018

Waterfront Lots

New 1-Acre Playground & Park

Completion in March!

Park & Playground-facing Lots

Lots located off W. Sallier Street along Contraband Bayou



in Walnut Grove • A Tr aditional Neighborhood •

Starting at $79,000 Contact Gr eg Wise or Abby Cagle for infor mation Moffett L atter & Blum, Inc. | R E A LTORS Gr eg (337) 304-2492 | A bby (337) 532-0401

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Audubon Trace

Though Graywood isn’t new, homes are still being built and sold in some of its 18 neighborhoods. Currently, 36 homes and 103 lots are for sale, with 33 custom and spec homes under construction. One planned neighborhood remains undeveloped. Homes in the master-planned community off Big Lake Road in South Lake Charles range in price from $300,000 to $5 million, with prices and sizes varying by neighborhood. Graywood also features the Gray Plantation Golf Course; a private sports club with swimming, tennis, and a fitness center; and the Gray Plantation Cypress Grille, which is open to the public. In addition, Graywood Parkway, the main entrance to the community, is being upgraded and is slated to be finished by late March. Community manager Carolyn Marcantel says Graywood’s plentiful green space, filled with trees and water features, sets it apart from other developments. “We are in the city limits, but we have that rural feeling,” she says. “It’s like living in the country even though you’re actually living in the city.”

In Moss Bluff, development is under way on Audubon Trace, a new subdivision with a unique design approach that aims to be more eco-friendly than the traditional grid design. Rather than building streets and lots along straight lines, “coving” employs a curved design. This results in reduced infrastructure, including roads, which should ultimately lead to less environmentally harmful stormwater runoff. The neighborhood was designed by Minnesota firm Rick Harrison Site Design. “The design is really neat,” says Audubon Trace developer Mo Hannie, owner of Hannie Consulting. “There is nothing else like this here.” Hannie says his company will start selling lots to builders within about a month, with construction of homes planned to start shortly thereafter. More than 600 homes are slated to be built, along with walking paths and playground areas.

Also under construction in Iowa are two adjoining master-planned neighborhoods developed by Lafayettebased Southern Lifestyle Development: Oak Grove and Highland Hills. The two neighborhoods will share communal green space, a pond, and a children’s playground. Plans call for a total of 254 houses built by DSLD Homes in Oak Grove, and 188 built by multiple builders in Highland Hills. So far, 49 have been completed in Oak Grove, with 39 sold, and 21 have been completed in Highland Hills, with 16 sold.

Sugarcane Townes


In Iowa, ground was broken in August for a large development with plans for 517 single-family houses and 144 townhomes. Communications coordinator Diana Barrios says the inspiration for Sugarcane Townes came in part from the New Urbanism movement and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, resulting in an emphasis on “recreation and entertainment, sentiment, and health.” “This is what we call ‘ the sweet life,’ and it’s what definitely sets us apart from other projects in the area,” Barrios says. Plans for the development’s neighborhoods include five miles of walking paths and sidewalks, 19 ponds and fountains, parks for children and pets, an orchard, an outdoor theater, and a sports club that will be free to residents as part of their homeowners’ association fees and open to members of the surrounding community for a membership fee. In addition, plans call for a commercial area within walking distance of homes.

Rather than single-family homes, Erdace will feature 270 luxury apartments in a four-story building. Groundbreaking at the downtown site of the former Sears building on Ryan Street took place in early January, and construction is projected to be finished in March 2019. Studio, one-bedroom, and twobedroom options will be available, with features including balconies, granite countertops, garden tubs, walk-in closets, and stainless-steel appliances. According to Erdace’s website, it is “a $43 million project that will create over 1,000 construction jobs at the height of construction.”

Terre Sainte Adjacent to Walnut Grove is a new development called Terre Sainte, which can be translated as “holy land” or “holy ground.” Lead developer Troy Stine says his vision was to create a communityoriented, kid-friendly neighborhood with an “old” ambience, including a front porch on every house and an oak tree in every yard. Construction of homes is ongoing with plans calling for about 90 in total. Many have been sold, but some are currently up for sale. The development consists of three different areas, with homes in all of them: the front of the neighborhood, closest to Sallier Street; the centrally located park, considered the “hub” of the neighborhood; and the back of the development, including five waterfront homes on Contraband Bayou.


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It is slated to have several businesses, including a daycare, a grocery store, a restaurant and bar, and an urgent care. Infrastructure construction is under way for the first phase of Sugarcane Townes, and Barrios says construction on the first homes might begin this summer.

Highland Hills and Oak Grove

March 2018

Imperial Health Expands Leadership Team

We are proud to Welcome Lee Holmes as our New CEO Lee Holmes, FACHE, CMPE, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Health, the largest, multi-specialty, physician-owned group in Southwest Louisiana.

Originally from Texas, Lee brings 25 years of experience in healthcare management to this position. He has held senior leadership positions with healthcare organizations across the country, including multi-state, multi-specialty medical groups, hospitals and academic medical facilities. He has served in the United States Air Force in Active and Reserve status since 1985 and currently serves on the senior staff of Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana. Lee earned an undergraduate degree in political science and business from Texas A & M University and a joint Master of Business Administration/Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Lee shares Imperial Health’s commitment to provide our patients with a comprehensive array of high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services, delivered in a compassionate and patient-centric manner.

501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr. | Lake Charles |

March 2018

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Lotte Chemical USA T O H E A D Q U A R T E R I T S O P E R AT I O N S I N SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA Company invests more than $3 billion in capital, creating 1,200 indirect local jobs by Victoria Hartley-Ellender

Lotte Chemical USA will be the first industry to establish its permanent headquarters in Southwest Louisiana. The company is currently about 50 percent complete in its construction of a $1.1 billion monoethylene glycol (MEG) facility along with a $1.9 billion ethane cracker facility—a joint venture with Westlake Chemical. Both facilities are located on a 250-acre site near the Interstate 210 interchange. Once in operation, Lotte’s MEG facility is expected to be the largest in the world. The company’s corporate offices will be housed in Lake Charles, nearby its biggest U.S. operation. According to Lotte’s Site Executive Director Jim Rock, the company has worked closely with Don Pierson of LED (Louisiana Economic Development) to make moving its headquarters to Lake Charles viable. “With this being the largest presence in the USA, it made sense for our corporate offices to be located here as opposed to a remote location. Access to the highest levels of management of Lotte Chemical USA will facilitate improved communications and make for rapid responses and decisionmaking,” Rock said.


The company’s joint venture with Westlake Chemical will result in an ethane cracker capable of producing one million tons per year of ethylene. Lotte is investing 90% of the capital with Westlake contributing 10%. The 250-acre site was a prime location for the projects because of the area’s access to transportation -- marine, rail and pipeline -- as well as access to raw materials via pipeline and a ready-to-work skilled workforce. “Southwest Louisiana has a lot to offer including an invaluable workforce with trained operators and skilled craftsmen,” Rock said. “We are very proud to be building this facility and look forward to a bright future.” There are now more than 3,000 construction jobs and about 175 full-time employees at the site. The company plans to employ between 250 and 280 people directly. Right now, the site is bustling with excitement as crews work diligently to erect a brand new, state-of-the-art chemical complex. “It’s amazing to see a plant of this magnitude being constructed from the ground up,” Rock said. “In addition to building a brand new facility, we’re also building a new organization, and it is an involved,

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challenging, and exciting process.” Both the ethane cracker and the MEG plant facilities are expected to be in operation by early 2019. Lotte Chemical USA is part of Lotte Group, based in Seoul, South Korea. The company has deep philanthropic roots, with a long history of serving its neighbors. Lotte Group was founded in 1948 by Korean businessman Shin Kyuk-ho, and is now the fifth largest business conglomerate in South Korea. Shin Kyuk-ho named the company, Lotte, from the last syllable of the name, Charlotte, the main character in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. The heroine, Charlotte, made a deep impression on the company’s founder, who was inspired by the character’s kindness, care, and compassion for others -- values deeply intrinsic to his vision for Lotte’s future. Today, Lotte takes an active role in supporting its neighbors. The company plans to support local communities, and has already donated time and resources to the United Way of Southwest Louisiana, the Southwest Louisiana Foundation, SOWELA Technical Community College, the Lake Charles Symphony, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

March 2018

March 2018

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Parish by Parish SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA IS GROWING E C O N O M I C A L LY by Angie Kay Dilmore

Southwest Louisiana is blessed to have five different parishes in the region. Each one adds its own unique threads to the fabric of our local culture . . . coastal Cameron and the crawfish ponds of Jeff Davis, the rural farms and fields of Allen and Beauregard, and the bustle of Calcasieu sandwiched in between. They differ economically, as well, and each contributes in their own progressive way.

Calcasieu Parish

continues to expand in several economic sectors. Industries are building, growing, producing . . . providing the foundation for the Lake Area to thrive. Sasol thrums with their ethane cracker expansion in Westlake. Indorama Ventures nears the completion of their construction and should start producing the second quarter of 2018. Lotte Chemical has made Southwest Louisiana their headquarters (see full story on page 42.) And these updates are but a fraction of the work being done in the region. Healthcare institutions have expanded and updated to better meet the needs of the


community. Memorial Hospital has a new 40-bed Emergency Department and a new Medical Intensive Care Unit. CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital updated and improved their cardiology services department. They formed a partnership with Ochsner Health System who now operates CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital. Avail Health Lake Charles Hospital opened on Nelson Road, and the VA built a new clinic. Housing development is still booming (see article on page 38.) New restaurants and retail businesses dot our busy corridors. Successful development in one industry sector naturally radiates outward to business growth in other sectors.

Cameron Parish

continues to grow at an astounding pace. Clair Hebert Marceaux, PCED, Port Director, Cameron Parish Port, Harbor & Terminal District, says that, based on information coming from Louisiana Economic Development, Cameron Parish currently represents 47 percent of all capital

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expenditures in the state of Louisiana. The Parish also provided 84 percent of the total construction jobs in the state. “Those are staggering numbers,” says Marceaux. “We only have 6,800 permanent residents. We have three times as many construction workers each day in the parish as we do permanent residents.” Two projects are currently under construction. Cameron LNG in Hackberry and Cheniere Energy-Sabine Pass Project in Johnson Bayou. The following projects are announced and pending. Venture Global LNG-Calcasieu Pass Project; G2 LNG; Monkey Island LNG; Delfin LNG; Commonwealth LNG; and Port Cameron, LLC. In addition to industry, there are other economic developments in Cameron. The parish’s first new hotel (not a motel) in five decades was built late last year in Hackberry, called The Hackberry Sportsman’s Lodge by Mainstay. A new 69-lot residential development called Oak Ridge in Hackberry is underway, with the first two homes under construction. Tourism is also an active

March 2018

March 2018

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The Experience to Lead. The Choice Sulphur Needs.


industry in Cameron Parish. Marceaux says nearly 300,000 visitors experience the Creole Nature Trail and the parish’s four wildlife refuges each year. The fishing industry is thriving. “Our parish revolves around more than liquefied natural gas,” Marceaux says. “But we are certainly proud of the present global spotlight that is shining on us.”

SULPHUR MAYOR Early Voting March 10 – 17

Election Day March 24

Beauregard Parish

Lifelong Sulphur resident and three-term State Representative Mike Danahay has the experience to lead the City of Sulphur during this exciting and challenging period of economic development in our region. Known for his sensible, conservative businesslike approach to government, Mike has built a well-deserved reputation as a problem-solver during his years of public service. His work ethic, integrity and dedication to the community he serves are unquestioned. As Mayor, Mike will bring the people of Sulphur together to make our city stronger for generations to come. • Graduate of Sulphur High School • Graduate of McNeese State University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration • Senior Sales Representative, Lake Charles Office Supply 15 years • Married to Daphne Danahay for 37 years, 2 daughters, 5 grandchildren • Member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church • Calcasieu Parish Police Juror, 2000 - 2007; Served as President in 2006 • State Representative, District 33, 10 Years • Chairman, House and Governmental Affairs • Serves on Legislative Budgetary Control Council Paid for by the Committee to Elect Mike Danahay 46

is the hidden jewel of the state, according to Lisa Adams, Executive Director Greater Beauregard Parish Chamber of Commerce. They are centrally located and only a short car ride to big city amenities. Adams believes Beauregard is on the verge of both population and economic growth within the next 10 years. “As our sister parish to the south booms from the oil and gas industry, we hope either longtime residents or those relocating to fill these jobs will make Beauregard Parish their new home by regaining that ‘small town’ feeling. As our population grows, these numbers help us attract new businesses and industry.” The Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce recently received a $50,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority to aid in certifying the parish as a “Work Ready” community. Currently they are at 90% complete and with the grant, their goal is to be 100% completed by August 2018. “In doing so, this will give Beauregard Parish a competitive edge when vying to attract new business and industry because we will have the data to support that our workforce is indeed ready,” says Adams.” We are a community of hard working and very loyal individuals who not only enjoy living in our parish, but also love raising our families at home right here in Beauregard Parish.” Adams says small businesses are key to her area. The community has recently welcomed several new small businesses: Transitions, a full hair salon and day spa; two boutiques -- Rustic Cottage & Kayce J’s, all located in Country Square, which is also home to Champion Jewelry, Curious Cargo, Merle Norman, and Nice Necessities. Downtown Grounds, in historic DeRidder, serves soups and sandwiches, inside dining, and Wi-Fi.

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March 2018

Jeff Davis Parish

Construction has commenced on Entergy Louisiana’s $100 million upgrade to its electric power transmission grid. Once completed, this infrastructure upgrade will provide reliable, affordable electricity to their customers. Work will include construction of new transmission lines and the rebuilding of existing lines. These new lines will withstand winds up to 140 mph. Louisiana Spirits rum distillery in Lacassine has started a sixmillion-dollar expansion, which will add an event space and outdoor entertainment area to the distillery, along with a larger barrel library to hold more varieties of Bayou Rum. The facility has become a tourist destination, attracting 35,000 visitors in 2016. Work will be completed in a year.

Jeff Davis Parish also loves their small businesses. Ground has been broken for a Tractor Supply Company in Jennings.

Allen Parish

is small and rural, but they, too, show economic development. Their primary economic generator continues to be Coushatta Casino Resort and tourism. The casino recently opened a new Tex-Mex restaurant named Jalapeño Rio. Their annual Coushatta Pow Wow takes place in June. Canal Coffee opened cafes in Kinder, Oberlin, and one coming soon in Oakdale. Main Street Diner 2 opened in Oberlin. No matter where you are in Southwest Louisiana, look around. You’ll see the signs of healthy economic growth, which improves the quality of life for the region’s residents.

IndustryInsider Q: A:

Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment I see the flares burning at industry by my house and can’t help but wonder what they’re burning, or if something is on fire. Is it dangerous?

Flares are a safety mechanism.

Flares process excess gas by burning it off. This safety mechanism minimizes air pollution and helps prevent industrial accidents. The noise that sometimes accompanies a flare is from the steam that’s used as a coolant. When the steam is introduced, it creates a hissing or rumbling noise. The steam cools the system, reduces smoke and minimizes air pollution. We know flares can cause concern and questions, and we try to minimize their use as much as possible because they’re so costly. Understanding why the flares are used can hopefully put any concerns to rest.

Joe Andrepont


senior community affairs director with local industry

Lake Area Industry Alliance

March 2018

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When the Quality of Life Task Force (QoL) formed in 2014, Chair Matt Young and Alliance staffer Amanda White had one thing in mind – to make our region better in small steps that would radiate outward to bigger changes. “We had the benefit of several reports all being produced around the same time that were to help community leaders take advantage of the impending growth to make longlasting improvements within our region. We sifted through these reports and narrowed our focus down to what we thought were attainable goals. From there, we invited about 50 volunteers to meet, presented these goals, and asked them what they wanted to do. Our previous attempts at Quality of Life efforts were a little too broad, too hard to take a bite out of. This time, we settled on smaller tasks with the intention of taking one step and then another towards a larger goal,” said White. That was then. This is now. Today, the group is an even more rapidly shifting cadre of volunteers and fellow non-profits who all work together toward the same goals. “We meet every six months to overview what we have worked on, what died in its tracks, and what we want to work on in the future,” White continued. “For every great event or forum that was accomplished, there are two or three other projects that didn’t make it off the ground. That is how this group works. We come up with or are brought a great idea for an event or program, and we assess how to best approach the idea, meet with key policy makers who would have input on the program or event, and if it is feasible, we do it. If it is not feasible or best suited for another organization or


municipality, we know it is okay to hand it off and concentrate on the things we can do, what changes we can make in our region.” Over the past couple of years, under the leadership of Chair Patricia Prudhomme, the group has focused on two main initiatives: Healthy Lifestyles and Promoting Regional Businesses. In November 2016, QoL hosted all the regional municipalities and like-minded non-profits for a two-day Complete Streets conference. Complete Streets is a national movement to look at our community infrastructure to ensure that all people from age eight to 80 have a safe means to get around, whether they are in a car, walking, in a wheel chair, or cycling. (Disclaimer: This does not mean that every street should have a bike lane. It just means that there needs to be consideration given to how people get around and how to make it easier and safer.) Stemming from Complete Streets, the Healthy Lifestyles Task Force wanted to initiate “Better Blocks,” a program where a section of a town is temporarily updated with a bike lane or reshaped to make it more user-friendly and festive for a short time. For its first Better Block event, QoL was invited by Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA and the City of Lake Charles during the Spring 2017 Art Walk downtown. QoL volunteers utilized a plan drafted by a consultant to the City of Lake Charles to make Lakeshore Drive a Complete Street including street side parking and a bike lane. For two nights, volunteers converged on Lakeshore Drive painting temporary lines for the parking lanes and the bike lane. On the evening of the

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event, the Quality of Life volunteers set up shop on the vacant lot donated for the event from Dore Enterprises. Multiple vendors and organizations were on hand to sell goods, give medical check-ups, and even lend participants bikes so they could test out the bike lanes. The next Better Block event will take place on South Huntington in Sulphur. The group is working closely with the City of Sulphur and the Brimstone Museum and Henning Cultural Center on setting up a date for the event. The next project in the hopper is “Choose Local,” which was the brainchild of Erin Tucker Howle with Joseph’s Electric. She wanted to see what we can do to encourage shopping locally. Volunteers immediately began to research other programs nationwide and gathered information on the benefits of shopping locally. The task force also reached out to Healthy Image Marketing for their feedback and was delighted to find a great partner in their project. To date, the group has ironed out the parameters of the campaign and worked with Healthy Image on a logo. As a test run, the group reached out to small businesses that focused on retail and food service to put together and distribute a “Small Business Saturday” guide which was accessed nearly 3000 times directly through the SWLA Economic Development Alliance’s Facebook page and also shared to a wider audience through KPLC’s social media. The next steps are to meet with regional small businesses to discern their level of interest, and what they need from the campaign. Stay tuned for more developments on Choose Local SWLA!

March 2018

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The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance has announced the next phase of their Ready, Set, Work workforce initiative called Industry Works, a collaborative effort between the Alliance’s Workforce Development Committee, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex, Louisiana Economic Development and the Regional Economic Alliance of Louisiana. The goal of the project is to increase awareness of, interest in and access to information about the wide range of career opportunities in our local refineries and manufacturing facilities, as well as the service providers who support these companies. Southwest Louisiana is currently in the midst of an incredible industrial expansion and skilled workers will be needed for new positions for years to come. A look at the Southwest Louisiana Projects Report, compiled by the Alliance and last updated on December 1, 2017, shows over


15 projects either under construction or pending final approval; all which will create permanent jobs upon completion. “With the tremendous economic growth Southwest Louisiana is experiencing – and will continue to see for the next decade – our local industries often face challenges when it comes to finding qualified employees for a multitude of jobs. That’s what Industry Works is all about – to ensure that we have a qualified workforce to meet the current and future demand of industry in our region,” says R. B. Smith, Vice President of Workforce Development for the Alliance. “As a result of this grant, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex is able to assist in supporting and maintaining a high quality workforce that translates into a safer work environment overall. This initiative is one way we can help our community and align our key company values to improve lives where we live and work,” said Richard

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G. Harbison, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex Manager. “LED understands that a highly skilled, productive workforce is vital to supporting the unprecedented industrial expansion in the Lake Charles area. Effective workforce development initiatives build this critical pipeline while providing access for our citizens to the best jobs in their area. Industry Works will provide tremendous value to the Lake Charles community, and we look forward to celebrating its success,” says Susana Schowen, Director of Workforce Initiatives, LED FastStart. The new Industry Works web page at provides information on a variety of careers, training programs and links to job openings at local facilities. An awareness campaign is underway on social and traditional media to provide education about the wide variety of employment opportunities in the regional industries.

March 2018

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The Water Institute of the Gulf H E L P S TA C K L E I S S U E S R E L AT E D T O L I F E N E A R T H E C O A S T by Angie Kay Dilmore With more than two million people living in the coastal zone of the Bayou State, water is an integral part of life in South Louisiana. We fish on the fringes of lakes, rivers, and bayous. We boat for recreation and commerce. We rarely go anywhere without crossing a bridge or two. And we know from experience, when it storms, water seems to have a mind of its own and goes where it goes. There is not a lot we can do about it. But thanks to the Water Institute of the Gulf, a non-profit organization based in Baton Rouge, we can get better at learning to track it and predict areas likely to flood in a rain event so people can prepare, and hopefully incur less damage and loss of life. Businesses and industries are also at risk and can benefit from improved prediction models and systems. Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf, recently spoke to a group of concerned citizens, business owners, and government officials in Lake Charles at a luncheon hosted by the Alliance for Positive Growth and Empire of the Seed. He explained how the first step the Institute took was to visit Amsterdam and a company called Deltares, considered the “gold standard” in water research. “The Dutch have been protecting their coastlines for the past 800 years,” said Ehrenwerth. “They are the best in the world at thinking about water, coastal issues, and how people live in coastal geographies.” Deltares was the inspiration for how the Water Institute manages its activities. Started six years ago, the Institute takes a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates research and applied science with the environment, the economy, and the human factor, employing coastal


ecologists, geographic modelers, a field team, and social scientists. “They work together and contribute to the state’s coastal master plan,” said Ehrenwerth. “When we look at the challenges we face in South Louisiana and beyond, they’re not related to any one discipline. It’s about people, the economy, it’s about how do we thrive in a coastal and deltaic environment.” Ehrenwerth said the primary water challenges we have in South Louisiana are subsidence, sea level rise, and preparing for the next storm. He reminded attendees -- the next flood is never a matter of if, but when. Scientists at the Water Institute have been working on creating a state-of-the-art system for real time flood forecasting. He adds that the key is to have good, up-to-date models. “When we build new buildings and lay new pavement, that needs to be incorporated into the model. Without good models, we can’t have good information. People in the state are paying attention to modeling like they never have before. And it’s because, unfortunately, we’ve learned our lesson and we want to be as prepared as possible.” The Water Institute has also been working closely with the Port of Lake Charles. Their greatest problem is how to deal with the never-ending sediment at the port terminal and in the Calcasieu Ship Channel. They try to find answers to questions like, Where is that sediment coming from? What are some solutions that could be applied to prevent that sediment? Where’s the best place to put the sediment? Are there ways to use that material to help protect our infrastructure and our communities? Currently, the ship channel must be dredged yearly to ensure

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it meets the 400-by 40-foot-deep federally mandated requirements. In August 2017, the Port tasked the Institute with providing a better understanding of how sediment moves through the ship channel as part of a strategy to reduce dredging needs and to evaluate alternative locations for longterm and realistic dredge disposal sites. The water woes we face are similar to challenges faced by deltaic regions around the world. The Water Institute is working to solve problems in areas such as the Makong Delta in Vietnam, coastal Chile, and the South Pacific. “We want to export the knowledge we’ve developed here in Louisiana, from a science perspective, an engineering perspective, and a design perspective,” Ehrenwerth said. He added that Southwest Louisiana is leading the way in these new technologies to better live with the reality of water and what it can do. “The world is calling on us and our partnerships to do some of the most advanced thinking on this set of issues in the world. And we’re doing that in Calcasieu Parish.”

Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf

March 2018


$170 Assets




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Our annual numbers are in and reflect strong financial stability. Lakeside’s performance since our 2010 opening demonstrates the soundness of our management practices and the continued expansion of the Southwest Louisiana economy. We’re proud to be part of the unprecedented growth in our region, and sincerely appreciate the trust our customers have placed in us. We are excited about the future and renew our commitment to keep growing strong.

Join the Migration to Lakeside March 2018

The way banking should be. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

4735 Nelson Rd. 474-3766 | 2132 Oak Park Blvd. 502-4314 2203 Sampson St.,Westlake 437-3861 53 2594 Maplewood Drive, Sulphur 502-4830


HENDERSON C E L E B R AT E S 5 0 Y E A R S Henderson, a leading retailer of Tracker boats, Blue Wave marine, Kubota tractors, and Polaris ATVs, recently announced that 2018 marks the 50th year of continuous operation of Henderson Brands, all in Southwest Louisiana.


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March 2018

“Everyone at Henderson is extremely proud of reaching our 50-year milestone,” said Chuck Henderson, president/ owner. “The fact that we have prospered and grown as a local family-owned business in this highly competitive marketplace is a tribute to our family values, our employees, and most importantly, our customers! I want to communicate to our associates working at Henderson, our customers, our community, and to our competition that this company has been here a very long time and it will be around for many years to come.” Henderson was originally incorporated in 1967 in Welsh, La. as a farm implement store. During the next two decades, Henderson moved its retail operations to Abbeville and Lake Charles, La. In 1999, Henderson expanded into

the wholesale food market, establishing TK Pizza as a regional distributor of Hunt Brothers Pizza. Henderson currently has 705 Hunt Brother Store locations from Houston to New Orleans, with new stores being added every day. Today, Henderson’s businesses generate more than $50 million in annual revenue. Henderson gives back to the community through its Community Carea-Van Outreach Program, where volunteer associates cook and serve pizza at local fundraising events with 100 percent of the sales going to the charity.

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Henderson’s corporate office is located at 211 Service Road West, in Welsh, and its two retail stores, at 2351 E. McNeese St., Lake Charles; and, 11238 Veterans Memorial Dr., Abbeville. To learn more about Henderson, visit www.

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

U. S. Chamber Top 100 Small Business • SWLA Chamber Small Business of the Year LA Department of Economic Development • Regional Small Business of the Year

for a

GREAT CAREER Record-setting industry expansion is taking place in Southwest Louisiana. Good jobs are available now and for years to come: operators, electricians, welders, lab techs, engineers and more. Average salaries range from $50,000 to $100,000 and up, with good benefits. Be part of the growth and get the training you need now to build your career into the future. The Industry Works’ website has all the information you need about jobs at local industries and the training you need to get them.

March 2018

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Chennault NAMED ‘LOUISIANA AIRP ORT OF THE YE AR’ Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles was honored by the Federal Aviation Administration with the “Louisiana Airport of the Year” award.

The award was presented at the 2018 FAA Southwest Regional Airport Conference in Fort Worth and accepted by Chennault representatives Randy Robb, Andrea LaFleur, Cortez Gallien, Loretta Hanks, and John McMullen. The award citation praises Chennault’s “utmost creativity” in developing a plan to create an alternate runway by widening and improving a parallel taxiway, followed by major rehabilitation of the main runway, resulting in two first-class runways. This plan avoids closure of the airport’s only runway for repairs, which would be “a catastrophic blow to the regional economy.” The new 8,000 x 150–foot alternate runway/taxiway “will allow the airport to maintain its contribution to the bustling of Southwest Louisiana economy, while rehabilitating their primary runway.” Chennault’s award citation states, “The airport’s efforts,


coordination, and attention to the FAA’s standards of safety and operations, while utilizing the utmost creativity are the reasons Chennault International Airport Authority is being recognized for Airport of the Year.” The FAA’s Airport of the Year award recognizes airports that “have created a positive safety culture, implemented sound and consistent capital planning, supported FAA initiatives, and have enhanced safety at the airport.” Chennault International Airport is an industrial airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana, operated by the Chennault International Airport Authority. The airport and its tenant companies employ more than 1,500 persons, providing an annual economic impact of some $300 million. For more information, visit

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March 2018

FIND A NEW HOME FOR YOUR FINANCES. For over 17 years, Denise Rau, CFP®, and the staff of Rau Financial Group have been fully invested in helping clients pursue their financial dreams. Whether its getting started with investing, saving for college, defending your family from financial uncertainty, preparing for retirement, arranging your estate, supporting an aging parent, or all of these, we’ll listen to your goals and dreams first. Then we’ll develop a sound strategy and customized financial plan to help you pursue them. There’s no time like the present to plan for your future. Give us a call today. (l-r) Denise Wilkinson, Denise Rau, Debora Alexander and Latrana White

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

Investment advice offered through GWM Advisors, dba Rau Financial Group, a registered investment advisor. GWM Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.

March 2018

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Money & Career

Where you go to stay in the know! Healthy Image Marketing Announces Expansion of Event Planning Services Healthy Image Marketing, a Southwest Louisiana marketing and public relations agency, is expanding the scope of event planning services they offer. Since the company launched in 2002, event planning has been a service provided to their clients. The agency has coordinated a wide variety of small- and largescale events, including seminars, media conferences, grand openings, health screenings, trade shows, fundraisers, receptions, luncheons and more. Now, the agency is focusing on growing this area of the business with expanded event planning capabilities and staff. These services will be available to their clients, as well as other businesses and organizations seeking assistance with their events. Caroline Landry, part of the Healthy Image team since 2015, is transitioning to the role of project manager to coordinate event services for the agency. Landry was previously a communication specialist with Healthy Image and brought 10 years of marketing and event management experience to that position. Prior to joining Healthy Image, she worked for the Jack Lawton Companies, where she served as the marketing director and development associate for Walnut Grove Development. Originally from Kountze, Texas, Landry earned a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from McNeese State University. She serves on the board of Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA, is a member of Fusion5, Alumni of Delta Sigma Pi and a founding member of the McNeese College of Business Alumni Chapter. Healthy Image has been in business for 16 years and is


owned by Kristy Como Armand, Christine Fisher and Barbara VanGossen. The agency, located at 4845 Ihles Road in Lake Charles, offers comprehensive marketing, advertising and public relations services to over 100 clients in a wide range of business sectors. The agency was named a Top 100 Small Business by the U.S. Chamber; a LED Small Business of the Year; SWLA Chamber Alliance Small Business of the Year; and a Women Owned Business of the Week by the U. S. Congress. For more information, call (337) 312-0972.

Waitr Launches Restaurant Incubator Lab to Back Aspiring Chefs Waitr, the popular restaurant ondemand platform, has announced the formation of the Waitr Restaurant Incubator Lab. The new initiative is designed to accelerate early stage growth of a startup restaurant, providing aspiring chefs the ability to create a brand and design a menu to make their businesses successful. The lab is located in Waitr’s just-opened Baton Rouge office. Waitr is seen as the industry’s top food delivery service for customers and businesses, despite launching only three years ago. Founded in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Waitr has quickly grown to serve more than 150 cities across the Southeast, including Baton Rouge. It currently has 3,000 employees and partners with more than 4,000 restaurants nationwide. Waitr’s new Baton Rouge office was formerly occupied by Baton Rouge meal kit company Indie Plate. Additionally, Waitr has acquired select assets from Indie Plate, including a full commercial kitchen to launch the restaurant incubator program. The employees of Indie Plate have all been hired

by Waitr and will be integral in working on the program’s development, as well as other elements of Waitr’s core business. Waitr has received acclaim for distinguishing itself with its distinct technology. The company has been widely lauded for its growth cornerstones, including its live monitoring of deliveries yielding faster door-to-door service, its unique ability to provide full-color photography of every menu item from all participating restaurants and its go-to market strategy.

DeRidder Named Safest City in Louisiana The National Council for Home Safety and Security is happy to announce their ranking of the Safest Cities in Louisiana for 2018. The top ten cities are: 1. De Ridder 2. Minden 3. Mandeville 4. Broussard 5. Ruston 6. Covington 7. Jennings 8. Kenner 9. Zachary 10. Gretna To identify the safest cities, the council reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. They eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Lake Charles Memorial Opens Expanded ER, Begins Trauma Program Lake Charles Memorial has completed a three-year renovation and expansion of the emergency department and has started the process of becoming a designated level III trauma center.

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Memorial’s newest milestone, the 40-bed, 26,000 sq. ft. Emergency Center, doubles the size of their previous ER and includes a CT and digital x-ray technology in the center with specialized treatment areas for critical care, mental health and fast track non-critical emergencies. There are six trauma bays for the trauma program currently in the development stages. As the largest, full-service health system in Southwest Louisiana with the most specialists, Memorial provides board certified emergency medicine physician coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with the support of medical and surgical specialists. Memorial has been designated by the Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN) as having a Trauma Program, which is the 18-month groundwork for becoming the Level III Certified Trauma Center for Southwest Louisiana. LERN is an agency of the Louisiana state government with the responsibility of developing and maintaining a statewide system of care coordination for patients suddenly stricken by serious traumatic injury or timesensitive illness (such as heart attack and stroke). It is a system also designated to serve as a vital healthcare resource in the face of larger scale emergencies and natural disasters. Hospital participation in LERN is voluntary. Through the participation agreement, hospitals define the level of trauma care resources typically available at their facility and agree to routinely notify LERN of changes in the availability of their trauma care resources using Resource Management (LERN). The agreement also requires hospitals to utilize LERN entry criteria and destination protocols.

March 2018

Home & Family

Get Growing! It’s that time of year again, when winter’s drab gray-brown filter lifts and the colors of spring burst onto our Southwest Louisiana landscapes . . . the coral and fuchsia of azaleas, the shock of red buds, the blush of tulip tree blossoms. Garden enthusiasts can’t wait to dig into their backyards and get their hands dirty. Be inspired by these stories on local garden festivals, tips and trends for gardening around your home, and a profile on one local couple who just can’t get enough of daffodils.

March 2018

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Home & Family

Garden Conference SWLA


The Southwest Louisiana Garden Conference & EXPO presents its 19th Annual Conference, Show and Plant Extravaganza at Burton Coliseum, Lake Charles, on March 23-24. The Expo attracts over 3,000 garden lovers, residents, and visitors each year. Festivalgoers will experience all things related to gardening, flowers, trees, shrubs, garden accessories, books, demonstrations, educational lectures, and general gardening tools. The Federated Garden Clubs of Southwest Louisiana will host “A Buffett Buffet: Celebrating Jimmy Buffett Songs,” their 2018 flower show theme. Local and interstate exhibitors and vendors will assist you with your plant and gardening needs. LSU AgCenter specialists, as well as regional and


state guest speakers, will offer exciting educational programs, including Home Vegetable Gardening, Fruit Production, and Ornamental and Landscape Gardening. There will be a Plant Health Clinic with professionals from the LSU AgCenter, and Master Gardener volunteers who will help diagnose plant problems and answer garden questions. Educational garden seminars will be ongoing throughout the two-day event. The 4-H Cart Service will assist attendees carry out purchased items to their vehicles. “The Garden EXPO is a wholesome, educational environment and the perfect activity to bring together friends and families,” said LSU AgCenter Extension Horticulturist, Robert Turley. The SWL Master Gardeners will present

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their Garden EXPO Preview Party with a Gumbo Supper in the Chalkley Room of the Burton Coliseum on Thursday, March 22nd, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Donation of $10.00 in advance for admission. Tickets can be purchased at the LSU AgCenter, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles or at the door. Attendees will enjoy the gumbo supper, silent auction, and participate in the preview of the Garden Show and may purchase from participating Garden EXPO vendors that evening. The more you know about growing a garden, the more successful your efforts will be. Whether you have a green thumb or are just green with envy by your neighbor’s garden, the Southwest Louisiana Garden Conference & EXPO 2018 is here to help.

March 2018

Garden Conference & EXPO hours are Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by the SWL Garden Conference & Expo Steering Committee through the LSU AgCenter – Calcasieu Parish Cooperative Extension Service, Lake Charles. Admission $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Kid-friendly activities Admission $500 & food trucks Kids 2 and Under FREE

For more information, contact Robert Turley at 337.721.4080 ext. 6502, or RTurley@

Spring is here, and it’s time to begin planning for your beautiful yard. We can help. We’ll create a plan, help you choose the plants from our huge retail yard, lay out your beds and guide you as you create the yard of your dreams.

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March 2018

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5005 Cobra Road in Lake Charles (337) 478-3836 M-F: 7am – 4pm Sat: 8am – 2pm (Spring only)


Home & Family


Annual Louisiana Nursery Festival

Forest Hill, Louisiana is home to over 60 nurseries and is known across the state as the go-to place for plants, shrubs, and trees. With a population of around 800, the village celebrates their regional claim to fame by hosting the Louisiana Nursery Festival, March 16-18. This “festival of flowers” will kick off the gardening season in the downtown area. Over 100 vendors will offer an assortment of gardening supplies and plants to get people started on another fruitful season during this three-day event. In addition to gardening supplies


and plants, festival-goers will find porch swings, bird and other animal feeders, wind chimes, pottery, landscaping materials, tools, and arts and crafts. The Louisiana Nursery Festival has a little something for everyone, from a formal ball and the crowning of the festival queen to numerous booths set up for gardeners and plant enthusiasts to explore this year’s crops and the latest gardening gadgets. On-site gardening experts can offer advice on what to plant, how to plant it, and how to take care of your garden. Heavy-duty

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equipment will also be on display and for sale, such as golf carts, lawn mowers, tractors, trucks, and lawn care power tools. Other activities include carnival rides, a Saturday morning parade, a car show, and if you get hungry, food will be available from area vendors. Admission to the event is free. Carnival ride tickets are available for purchase. Festival hours are Friday 8:00 a.m. midnight, Saturday 10:00 a.m. midnight, and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For more information, call 318-452-2362.

March 2018

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Pe t e r Pa n Fly to Neverland for a thrilling and truly soaring theatre experience! ASSEMBLÉ | 2018

ROSA HART THEATRE Gala Performance: March 17 – 7pm Matinee Performance: March 18 – 3pm

Tickets start at $20 and are available at the Lake Charles Civic Center Box Office (337.491.1432) or For a third year in a row, LCCB’s Assemblé has been named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.

March 2018

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Home & Family

back yard gardening

trends by Sylvia Ney


Gardening has often been thought to be the hobby of the elderly or retired. However, six million people nationwide took up the pastime of gardening in recent months, with millennials accounting for 80 percent of the newbies, according to the National Gardening Survey. The survey also reports that “the number of households purchasing landscape design, installation, and maintenance services has doubled in the past six years.�

Create an Oasis

With these facts in mind, look for these garden trends in 2018.

Ornate walls and gates remain popular forms of enclosing your personal space, and an increasing number of homeowners choose vertical gardens to mark their boundaries. Climbing vines and topiaries are also common around the perimeter. Raised beds atop shorter walls frequently sport ferns, lush foliage, and perennials.

Gardens offer a great way to unplug from technology and connect with nature. Interior designers expect people with digital-driven lives to embrace gardens, for example botanical gardens and rustic ranches, as nondigital havens from their fast-paced lives. Backyards provide a personally-stylized escape from the reality of work and social media.

Lush Living

Leafy retreats come in a variety of colors and sizes specific to owners’ needs. Some feature plants and flowers with favorite scents or visual stimuli while many homeowners plan to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs this year.

Nature Wall

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March 2018

Layered Lines

Creative design features with multi-level areas are becoming a staple with designers. Symmetrical planting which slopes downward toward the house and backdoor offers enormous potential. A series of terraces or beds provides a pleasing view.


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

Urban Touches

Decking, river rocks, fountains, ponds, pavers, and mondo grass gives a chic, moody look to backyard retreats. Designers have noticed an increase in the color black being used in exterior design over the last few years.

Outdoor Rooms

A search for award-winning gardens will yield a variety of outdoor rooms including living spaces, kitchens, dining rooms, playrooms, and even sleeping areas. Multi-level walls, planters, and coverings offer homeowners the chance to increase the feel of size in their living spaces.

Covered Coziness

Pergolas, fabric shades, latticework, and foliage offer shade, privacy, and definition to your outdoor surroundings.

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

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

Water Features

Fountains and sunken ponds can add tranquility to outdoor retreats. Lotus and koi ponds offer the soothing appeal of added color and evoke a sense of calm.

Hand-Crafted Happiness

Many gardeners seek out artisans to help add a special touch to their outdoor spaces. Some designers bring in those personal touches by creating artwork that looks like it’s been there for generations, while others offer whimsical play houses or statuesque art.

Backyard Animal Habitats

Most gardeners are aware that bees and butterflies are in decline, but habitat loss is also impacting birds, frogs, even turtles. Some homeowners design areas capable of supporting local wildlife by including edibles and shelter for their animal neighbors. The use of natural composting and eliminating harmful insecticides in your yard also promotes animal habitats. Find your green thumb and create your own beautiful outdoor sanctuary this spring!

March 2018

Butch Ferdinandsen

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

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Home & Family

Spring remembers by Angie Kay Dilmore

Local couple shares their adventure in daffodils and living the country life One might say yellow is Beth Fontenot’s signature color . . . daffodil yellow, to be precise. Her love affair with daffodils began when Beth was a child. She recalls springtime visits to her grandma’s home near Gibsland, Bienville Parish. “My grandmother loved her daffodils; one variety especially that she called ‘buttercups.’”


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March 2018

In Gibsland, daffodils are a big deal. The trend blossomed around 1920 when Ms. Annie Lou Holstun began cultivating and selling daffodil bulbs around the Gibsland community. People like Beth’s grandmother planted the bulbs by the thousands. “Consequently, you see them growing in random places where houses once stood or in the yards of the old homes in the area,” Beth says. “I like to say, ‘Spring remembers’ when I see flowers growing around what was obviously once the foundation of a building.” Twenty years ago, to celebrate Gibsland’s favorite flower, the folks in this ‘daffodil capital of Louisiana’ started the Jonquil Jubilee, a oneday festival held the first Saturday of each March. Over the years, the festival has been responsible for over a million bulbs planted in the area around Gibsland. Beth and her husband Steve live in Lake Charles, but in 2014, they began building a second home on 32 acres near Gibsland; part of a larger tract of land that has been in her mother’s family since the 1800s. The couple first erected a metal building -- half shop, half living quarters – which they lived in while building what Beth calls her new “old” farmhouse. “I wanted to design a farmhouse that looked like it had always been there. We looked at the homes in the community of Mt. Lebanon, La, just south of Gibsland, where there are several houses on the National Register of Historic Places, and I chose one whose exterior I wanted to emulate. It was only after we were well along into the building process that I learned the house I used as my inspiration was once my great-grandparents’ home! It made [our new home] all the more special. I must have succeeded with achieving the ‘always been there’ look because during the construction I was asked by a painter if we were remodeling an old barn. I’ve also been asked where we moved the house from.” Beth and Steve furnished their country home with antiques collected over the years, renovated vintage furniture, and

March 2018

salvaged wood, windows, and other features. The house has a large front and back porch floored with tongue and groove boards, complete with rockers and a porch swing, and of course, the porch ceilings are painted ‘haint blue.’ The living quarter side of the original metal building is now their guest house. “When our children and grandchildren (the couple has three children and eight grandchildren) come to visit, they have their own space. They sleep in the barn, as it has come to be known,” says Beth. Not surprisingly, Beth and Steve are all in with the local daffodil trend. She says they planted 250 daffodil bulbs their first year on the property. And that was only the beginning. “My cousin, who is 89 years old, has planted over 40,000 bulbs in his yard, and I began purchasing them wholesale with him the second year. I bought 1,500 bulbs of different varieties that year. The third year we added about 1,000, and last fall I ordered about 750, but my cousin gave me buckets and buckets of bulbs he had dug up and divided from his yard, too. Friends have let us go on their property and dig bulbs. We have gone way back in the woods where houses once stood and ‘rescued’ bulbs that had multiplied to the point where they no longer bloomed. The Jonquil Jubilee committee has also provided us with some bulbs since our place is on their driving tour. So, I would say in all, we have planted close to 5,000 bulbs at our place. With approximately eight acres of cleared land on the property, we plan to continue expanding our daffodil plantings.” Beth says the past three and a half years have been a dream come true. “We feel very grateful to God that we’ve been entrusted with this little slice of heaven on earth. My goal for the place has and continues to be to make my grandparents proud. I know they are watching and hopefully approving of what we’re doing on land they worked so hard to acquire.”

Beth & Steve Fontenot

bb Jonquil is often used as a synonym for daffodil, though in reality, it is a variety of daffodil. bb There are over 25,000 varieties of daffodils, but not all will grow in Louisiana. When planting daffodil bulbs in Louisiana, be sure the variety is one that grows well in this region. Check with the LSU Ag Center.

bb Daffodils contain a poison that mammals won’t eat, so deer and other critters won’t bother the bulbs or flowers. bb Once daffodils bloom, you must let the foliage die on its own and not cut or mow it down. Next year’s flowers depend on this year’s green foliage.

bb Daffodils are generally hardy in cold weather and will tolerate a good amount of frost and freezing temperatures.

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Home & Family

Breathe Easy

The Importance of Clean Air in Your Home

by Keaghan P. Wier

Home maintenance is something everyone faces. Maintenance includes simple things like sweeping and mopping, as well as more complex issues like roof replacements and repainting rooms. However, there’s one part of your home that you might be neglecting – and if you are, it could be impacting your health. The air ducts in your home are havens for dust, mold spores, dander, allergens, and other chemicals. If you smoke or have pets, your indoor air quality is likely even worse. Air ducts clogged with dust and other particles will contaminate your air, leaving you breathing in allergens all day. Poor indoor air quality is a real issue. However, it is an issue that can be fixed through cleaning and filtration. For individuals with asthma or severe allergies, the symptoms of poor indoor air quality are obvious, as it causes these conditions to flare. However, even people without serious sensitivities may find that poor air quality causes them discomfort including sneezing, congestion, and watery eyes. Since air quality is crucial to a good quality of life, there are steps you can take to ensure that your family is breathing the best air. Here are a few.


If you see any signs of mold growth – whether on walls, countertops or any other hard surface, determine what is causing it. In bathrooms, this is often indicative of poor air circulation. One solution is to use a dehumidifier or install a fan. In other areas of the home, mold can be a sign of underlying water damage. Mold remediation specialists can clean and remove any mold, as well as determine if the mold is toxic. Look into some additional options for filtering your home’s air. Purchase air filters for your vents that target pet dander, dust, mold spores, and other common allergens. Outfit bedrooms with HEPA filter fans and air purifiers, and consider buying a HEPA filter for your vacuum cleaner. If you have a green thumb, there are even some houseplants that are good for air filtration.

If it’s time to clean your air ducts, or if you see symptoms of mold growth and water damage, contact a specialist. Rytech of SWLA offers a variety of services including water damage repair, mold remediation, and air duct cleaning. According to owner Jennifer Rulon, Rytech is dedicated to quality work and integrity, all at reasonable prices. With 24/7 emergency service and highly experienced staff, Rytech of SWLA is ready to help you boost the air quality in your home. They service the SWLA area including Lake Charles, DeRidder, Jennings, Sulphur, Cameron, and nearby parishes. Visit their website at for more information or to contact them.

If you find your system is releasing dust or particles back into the air of your home, have your air ducts cleaned. Infestations of pests, vermin, or mold growth on any hard surfaces of your ducts or HVAC unit are additional signs that your air ducts need to be cleaned.

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March 2018

Test & Spring Forward Check Your Smoke Alarms When You Change Your Clocks Daylight Saving Time begins on March 11, 2:00 a.m. and once again, we’ll be springing our clocks forward one hour. The American Red Cross suggests this is a good time to test the batteries in our smoke alarms when we turn our clocks forward. “We know the potential life-saving warnings that smoke alarms provide,” says Joshua Joachim, regional CEO for the Louisiana Red Cross. “Take a few minutes to replace your smoke alarm batteries and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working.” It’s also a good time for everyone to take these steps to make sure their household is prepared for emergencies. Install smoke alarms. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and in halls near sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements. Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

of Southwest Louisiana

LET US CLEAR THE AIR of Southwest Louisiana


We offer air duct cleaning services that will remove airborne contaminants and improve your indoor air quality. FIRE • WATER • MOLD • ASBESTOS • LABOR SERVICES

Remove Dust, Allergens, and Mold.

Put together an emergency kit. Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or carry in case ordered to evacuate. Make a plan. Have all household members plan what steps they should take if an emergency occurs. Be informed. Learn what emergencies can occur in the area and how officials notify residents should a disaster occur.

337.626.3725 • March 2018

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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.

Summer Camp for SWLA Foster Children

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.

Recruiting Campers and Volunteers For the second year, the Royal Family Kids Camp will give foster children between the ages of 6-12 one week of positive memories at a sleep-away summer camp. Foster parent Kimberly Marler began volunteering as a Royal Family Kids Camp counselor four years ago and is now the director of the region’s camp. “Just seeing these children,” she said. “They need so much love and so much support in their lives. Being opened up to that, it just really impacted my life just to help them and to serve them in any way that I can.”


She and her husband, Matt, were so personally moved by the children they met while volunteering together two years ago, that they came back home and became foster parents. “I knew I had to do more than just a week of camp,” said Marler. “I wanted to become a foster parent.” Now, Marler is once again taking her heart for foster kids to a summer retreat at a private spot in Beauregard Parish, where the only concern these children will have is how much fun can be squeezed into five jam-packed days with a carnival, tea party

for the girls, adventure day for the boys . . . and more. “We’re going to do a rodeo for them, we’ll have swimming, we’re going to do arts and crafts with them and then they’ll do a workshop with grandpa, because we do have aunts and uncles and grandparents there as a Royal Family,” said Marler. The goal: to show these kids they are valuable and loved by God - and loved by every volunteer invested in them. Marler says she is actively recruiting an army of volunteers to spend five days loving on these children and working to get the word out about

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camper spots for children. $500 covers the cost of a child to attend camp and Marler says they organization is also looking for donations of bikes and summer gear that most children in foster care do not have. Every bit adds up to what Marler says is a life-changing experience for the camper. This year’s Royal Family Kids Camp will be Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 13 in Beauregard Parish. All volunteers will go through an interview and background check. For more information, email

March 2018

Easter By the Numbers

81.3% Percent of Americans who celebrate Easter each year

50.8% Percent of Americans who plan to attend church Easter Sunday



Amount spent on Easter candy per person

Candy produced in US each year:

90 million chocolate bunnies.

91.4 billion chocolate eggs.



Amount the average US citizen spends on Easter clothing


Year the White House Easter Egg Roll became a tradition

180 million

700 million Peeps.

Number of eggs Americans will dye and decorate this Easter


Number of times they would circle the globe If all the Easter jellybeans were lined up end to end


Number of minutes it takes to make a Peeps Marshmallow Chick

Sources: | | March 2018

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Home & Family


Shots for Tots March Dates Announced West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will offer Shots for Tots on several dates in March. On March 3, the clinic will be held in Sulphur at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital near the Cypress Street entrance from 8:30am until 12pm. Walk-ins are welcome, sign-in ends at 11:30am. Also on March 3, the clinic will be held at the Vinton Medical Clinic from 2pm to 4pm by appointment only, call (337) 527-4361 to schedule. On March 8, the clinic will be held at Dynamic Dimensions East in Moss Bluff from 4pm to 7pm. Walk-ins are welcome,


sign-in ends at 6:30pm. On March 28, the clinic will be held at the Westlake Diagnostic Center from 2pm to 4pm by appointment only, call (337) 433-1395 to schedule. Shots for Tots offers immunizations for children six weeks of age through 18 years of age who are uninsured, underinsured, or have Medicaid, or are American Indian/Alaskan native. The cost is $10 per person.

Elite Redfish Series Weigh Ins Will Be Part of Cajun Heritage Festival This year’s Cajun Heritage Festival in Port Arthur, Texas, will include the Elite Redfish Series

fishing tournament weigh ins on April 7, with music to begin at noon. Events will be at the Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center, 1800 Lakeshore Drive. Cajun Fest celebrates the area’s cultures with music and food. The Elite Redfish Series, a televised, pro redfish tour, will roll back into Port Arthur April 5-7 as part of Cajun Fest. Catch the final weigh ins on April 7. The Cajun Heritage Festival tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Diabetes and Foot Care is Topic at Upcoming Support Group West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its diabetes support group on Tuesday, March 13 at 11:30am at the hospital’s cafeteria conference room. Guest speaker Paula Koonce, PT, will talk about diabetes and foot care. There is no charge to attend and the group is open to the public. For details, call (337) 527-4282.

For more information, call the Southeast Texas Arts Council at (409)835-2787 or visit

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March 2018

Reconstructive Surgery is Topic of Upcoming Breast Cancer Support Group West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its Pink Crusade breast cancer support group on March 8 at 6pm in the hospital’s board room. Guest speaker Ralph Colpitts, MD, board certified plastic surgeon, will discuss reconstructive surgery. The group is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call (337) 528-7320.

10th Annual Beats & Eats Features The GTO’s On March 23 from 6pm to 9 pm, Volunteers of America will hold the 10th Annual Beats & Eats at the Lake Charles Civic Center Buccaneer Room. The GTO’s will perform classic hits and the event will highlight Volunteers of America programs that assist people in mental health recovery. The business casual event will also feature a dinner, complimentary beer and an auction. Tickets for Beats & Eats 2018 are $55 per person or $360 for a reserved table of 8. Order event tickets on-line at beatsandeatslc2018. or call (337) 497-0034 for event or raffle tickets.


West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Hosts Class for Delivery and Breastfeeding




West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host a class on March 20 from 6pm to 8pm on preparing for delivery and breastfeeding. The cost is $10 per participant and will be held in the North Conference Room at the Cypress Street entrance. Class space is limited and pre-registration is required. A childbirth educator as well as a certified lactation counselor will lead the discussion and will be available for one-on-one questions.

Non-stop flights to Houston and Dallas. One-stop flights to virtually anywhere that thrills you. Let’s go!

To register, call (337) 527-4361.


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Mind & Body

Cura Your Life

Local teacher, author, and life coach inspires women to transform daily lives for success

by Victoria Hartley-Ellender

Overwhelmed, overworked, and out of time -- those are the three biggest complaints that Angela Tezeno hears from her clients when describing their daily problems. Tezeno, a Lake Charles native and Calcasieu Parish schoolteacher, is also an author and life coach for women. Her comprehensive program, Cura Your Life™, is designed to help women achieve their goals and balance daily life. “Cura” a Latin expression that means, “to care for the entire person,” is used throughout Tezeno’s program, as well as in the title of her book, Cura Your Life. This practical guidebook for women features “Life Tabs,” which are the categories that Tezeno identifies as the key areas for regular focus and attention.


“When we focus on hitting each of the life tabs every day or at least weekly, we will achieve balance,” said Tezeno. “Balance is the key to the fulfillment that we all hope to have in our lives.” As a life management expert, Tezeno leads women to navigate their busy lives in a whole new way. Her program offers “balance and fulfillment at the intersection of change.” “All women crave two things -- balance and fulfillment. My program gives you the step-by-step process to get both,” Tezeno said. Part of the program includes designing a life plan based on the Cura Canvas™, an innovative life management vision map that provides an entire view of a woman’s life tabs. “The Cura Canvas™ provides

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the perfect vision tool to organize and optimize all the moving parts of your very busy life and make it work with ease,” she said. With Tezeno’s guidance, clients utilize the Cura Canvas™, incorporating their goals as well as their unique circumstances and issues. From her experience, Tezeno said the meaning of a woman’s name is crucial in discovering her purpose. Her name, Angela, means, “messenger, bringer of truth.” For Tezeno, she said her name’s meaning rings true for her life mission. “Each woman has her own unique purpose. We all do things differently and that’s beautiful,” said Tezeno. “My job is to help coach my clients in a way that gives them their own direction because that brings supreme satisfaction and joy.” A school teacher for 15 years, Tezeno’s passion for coaching women

March 2018

Your Place or Ours? The first step in diagnosing sleep apnea is a sleep test. It can be done in your own home or in our sleep lab. Afterward, one of our sleep specialists will meet with you to review results and guide you on the path to sleeping well and waking up refreshed.

Angela Tezeno, life management expert and author of Cura Your Life, a guidebook for managing a busy life and making life work with ease.

developed from her own life struggles to find solutions for life-work balance issues. “I’ve been there and experienced it,” she explained. “Once I found this solution, I wanted to share with every woman I meet.” When writing her book, Tezeno focused her research on women from all walks of life in Southwest Louisiana. Each section features indepth interviews -- all with local women -- speaking on a variety of topics that affect women’s daily lives. “Southwest Louisiana is an incredible community of strong, powerful women. This book was written about local women -- the women we shop with, attend church with, and do business

Call us today to get started.

with -- they’re my focus.” In addition to individual and small group coaching sessions, Tezeno offers halfday and full-day workshops. She also does speaking engagements for area businesses and organizations throughout the year. The Cura Your Life™ program aims to inspire and encourage women. “You don’t have to be overwhelmed, overworked and out of time,” said Tezeno. “You can do a lot of life in 24 hours. If you are intentional to consider your entire canvas -- caring for the entire person -- you can change your life.” For more information, visit


Phillip Conner, MD | Michelle Zimmerman, NP

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

March 2018

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& Body


TO BETTER MANAGE YOUR TIME “I wish I had more time.” Haven’t we all voiced that common lament? Maybe it’s more time to spend with family or friends; more time to exercise and eat healthy; or more time to go back to school. Whatever you long for, how do you make more time for those truly important things in your life? The reality is, we all have the same 24 hours. The difference is that some people know how to better manage their time than others. When it comes to making time for the important things, Dr. Alok Trivedi, author of Chasing Success, recommends the following:

Differentiate between efficiency and effectiveness.

Minimize, minimize and minimize more.

Single task and hold your focus.

Eliminate the unnecessary and find what you love in the process. Get rid of what does not bring you joy. This can include old items or even toxic relationships that no longer serve you. Less really is more.

Being busy does not bring you value.

In American culture, we are very good at running around completing task after task. Many people feel this form of productivity determines their worth within society. It’s wise to assess what in your life brings you value and maximizes joy, rather than doing things that just don’t feel right and make you feel unworthy on the inside. Busyness is an excuse and distraction to overlook the things in which you may be afraid to focus your energy on.


Your time is precious and needs to be allocated to the important things. Utilize your time to be both effective and efficient. Being only effective can be a time-consuming action. While complementary, being only efficient can lead to sloppy results. When you focus on a task, approach it within a concept of both maximum efficiency and total effectiveness to reap the best results. In your personal life, this is achieved through being present and genuine in your interactions. Many people find themselves casually checking a single email, and before long they snap into full-fledged work mode. Develop a schedule and follow it religiously. It may be hard to find your groove initially, but if you stick to it, little by little it will become a habit.

Know what you hold important.

It is a challenge to know how to dedicate your free time if you haven’t discovered what you love. Find the activities where your creativity flows and your heart sings. Only then will you find yourself in the places of joy that make you feel life is worth living.

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Address problems at their root.

When you dedicate time to the important things, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by work issues. If there is a problem at work, address it from the start. Don’t delay, as it will fester at inopportune times. This is true in your personal life, as well. If you have a dilemma with a family member, confront your problems head on to solve them. Avoidance will only allow the problem to become worse over time.

Get and stay organized.

Dedicate an initial cleaning and mass organization of your space. After this initial step, take a little time each day to clear, clean, and organize. Clarity of your physical space lends to clarity of mind. Don’t be distracted by a cluttered work space.

Block out time just for you.

You must become your own top priority. Declare certain times of the day and week that are just for you. During this time, indulge in your favorite pastimes, meditate, or simply relax and do nothing. This time is yours to center yourself and think about what you are presently encountering in life. Live in every moment and focus on the present.

March 2018

Combating the Sleepy Effects of Daylight Saving Time

by Christine Fisher

Time giveth, and time taketh away. Perhaps that’s not exactly how the line goes, but nevertheless, an hour is taken away each spring with daylight saving time.

Clocks move ahead one hour and many Americans are bleary-eyed for days. “It’s not all in our heads,” explained Philip Conner, MD, board certified sleep specialist and medical director of the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana. “Moving clocks in either direction changes the principle time cue, which is light. In the spring, we’ll get more light in the evenings, but we give up light in the morning, making it more difficult to wake up.” Dr. Conner says it affects our internal clock. It can be more difficult to adjust to losing the hour during spring than it is to gain an hour in the fall. The good news is that it’s easier for people who get regular sleep to adjust quickly to daylight saving time. “If you’re used to getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night, your body will adapt easily,” he said. “You might be a little more tired at first, but it won’t take much time until you’re adjusted. However, it’s more difficult for those who have sleep troubles. If you only get about six or fewer hours of sleep each night, you might notice difficulties.” Dr. Conner said these troubles usually include lack of concentration, feeling sluggish and sleepy during the

daytime, and decreased motivation. To bounce back as quickly as possible, he advises using that time cue of light. Expose yourself to light as much as possible during the day. Open curtains and blinds and spend time outside for a few minutes each day. In the evening, close the curtains, even though it’s light outside, turn off overhead lights and use fewer lamps an hour before bedtime. Put away electronic gadgets, such as your phone or tablet computer, because your mind may have trouble settling down. Some phones or tablets offer a night version of brightness that decreases the blue light emitted as it can interfere with the brain’s ability to fall asleep; opt for this version a few hours before bedtime. “These tips work well for children and adolescents, too. We’re all affected by time change, no matter what age,” said Dr. Conner. For more information about adjusting to the time change, call the Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana at 310-REST.


SAFETY FIRST. March 2018

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& Body

COOL NEW THERAPY TREATMENT Available in Lake Charles by Kristy Como Armand


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March 2018

Here are a few lesser-known heart health tips. Now you know! It wasn’t that long ago that the word “cryotherapy” would have brought to mind futuristic images of a sci-fi laboratory and top-secret government equipment. But those days are past. Lake Charles Cryotherapy is now open and offering treatment with the technologically advanced cryotherapy system from Impact Cryotherapy. Sheila Sanders, co-owner and manager of Lake Charles Cryotherapy, says the treatment provides natural wellness in a single, three-minute session. “Our cryosaunas use very cold temperatures to promote the natural healing process, offering a fast, effective alternative to traditional ice baths.” Whole body cryotherapy was introduced in Japan during the 1970s to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and its use quickly spread and expanded

throughout Europe. It’s gained widespread popularity in the United States over the past two decades. The user stands on an adjustable platform inside the chamber so his/ her head remains outside the chamber. The chamber is filled with nitrogen vapor, which drops the temperature to a range of (minus) - 110°C to -130°C and temporarily lowers the temperature of the skin’s top layer. The treatment lasts a maximum of three minutes before the Impact Cryotherapy unit automatically turns off. “We did a great deal of research when we decided to get into this line of business and we chose Impact equipment because they offer the market’s most reliable, safe, efficient and innovative whole body cryotherapy system,” said Sanders. Impact equipment is made in the United States and used around the world by a wide range of professional

and university sports teams, training and fitness facilities and wellness entrepreneurs.

Cryotherapy can provide numerous benefits, including: • Faster healing of injuries and recovery from workouts • Reduced inflammation and improved circulation • Improved skin tone because of a boost in collagen levels • Increased feeling of wellbeing due to a rush of endorphins • Weight loss resulting from metabolism boost Sanders says introductory prices are being offered for new clients interested in trying cryotherapy for the first time. Lake Charles Cryotherapy is located at 832 University Drive. For more information, visit or call (337) 656-2907.

Robotic Joint Replacement. Advanced Technology in Experienced Hands.

If you need knee or hip replacement, our surgeons offer an exclusive procedure completely customized for you, using the Mako® robotic -arm assisted surgery system at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. This innovative technology results in greater precision, less pain, significantly increased mobility and quicker recovery time. Take a step toward pain-free movement today. Call us for more information.


March 2018

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& Body


Stem-Cell Treatment from Fat Tissue Now Helping Patients with Knee Pain at the Center for Orthopaedics by Kristy Como Armand

Dr. John Noble Jr., orthopaedic surgeon with the Center for Orthopaedics, is the first physician in Southwest Louisiana to use Lipogems, a treatment which uses the patient’s own fat tissue to promote healing the natural way.


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March 2018

Body fat has been used in plastic surgery for many years for repairing tissue and providing support. Now it is being used to help with orthopaedic conditions, including wear-and-tear injuries in the knee, which impact millions of people each year and keeps them doing their normal daily activities. Dr. Noble explains that Lipogems is an innovative technology that gently processes and produces a micro-fragmented tissue intended for the repair, replacement, cushion and support of damaged or injured tissues from the patient’s own adipose cells. The FDA-cleared device rinses and cleans the inflammatory oils and blood from the patient’s harvested fat and keeps the natural and beneficial properties of the fat tissue, which is then injected into the knee where it provides structure and promotes healing. Lipogems tends to stay in the area where it is injected instead of being reabsorbed by the body, allowing your body to maximize the benefits for an extended period of time. Inside of your fat cells, there are many different components, including blood vessels, stem cells, pericytes, adipocytes

and a variety of immune cells that need to work together and communicate like a well-run factory. Lipogems is unique because it keeps the cells intact and keeps the “factory” running just like it does naturally in the human body, improving the biologic environment at the damaged site to allow the patient to heal the natural way. In addition, fat cells tend to retain these healing properties regardless of a person’s age. “Not every patient is ready for surgery to repair a damaged joint,” says Dr. Noble. “More and more patients of varying ages are highly active and want to delay surgery. In addition, there are many patients who don’t qualify for surgery due to other medical conditions that pose a risk. Lipogems gives us a new option to help alleviate pain for these people.” According to Dr. Noble, the Lipogems treatment is a simple and efficient outpatient procedure. The fat cells are taken from the abdomen or thigh with the use of a local anesthetic to control the pain. The tissue is processed to retrieve the beneficial fat cells, which are then injected into the injured site

where they will promote healing. Following injection, the patient can leave right away and go home with minimal pain medication. “Lipogems is a new option for patients who have tried physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroid injections, and other treatments that have not provided enough relief, as well as for those who are just not ready to have a surgical repair,” said Dr. Noble. “There is a tremendous future in understanding the biologic treatment of injury and degeneration. Understanding more about our DNA and gene therapy may ultimately lead to treatments that surpass the current generation of biologic treatment. There are other forms of stem cells being investigated and it will take years to determine the best type and technique of delivery. As always, our goal is to make these advances available to our patients here in Southwest Louisiana.” For more information, call the Center for Orthopaedics at (337) 721-7236, or visit or

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 offers advanced diagnostic and treatment options for a wide range of pediatric ear, nose and throat problems, along with comprehensive allergy testing and treatment.

ENT & Allergy Specialist

Call Dr. Bridget Loehn

1747 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles (inside CFO) • (337) 419-1960 March 2018

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Solutions for Life

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

Mind Over Money How are you doing financially? Are you where you want to be? Are you doing better than you used to? Money is a big deal. A really big deal. Money is the #1 thing couples argue about. That, alone, should tell you how big of a deal it is. Often, when couples learn how to manage their money as a team, everything else seems to get worked out, too. The same thing happens for individuals. When you take control of your financial life, many other aspects of your life will become more manageable. As with everything else in life, money has a psychological side. What you believe about money determines how you spend it. And what you believe about money has everything to do with how you were raised financially. What do you remember about money? Was it talked about a lot (the lack thereof, or just how much things cost in general)? Was it never mentioned, and you received no guidance about it? Did your parents fight about money? Did you have more or less than your friends? Did you get an allowance and have to spend that allowance when you wanted something? Or were you given everything you wanted and rarely heard the word “no”? As children, we learn how to value money. We learn that money can bring pleasure (ice cream cones, toys, movies). And we learn that money can bring pain (arguments, not being able to afford things others can buy). What many of us don’t learn is that money


does not equal happiness. Managing your money well, not how much money you have, is what leads to feeling content in the financial arena. Consider one (or all) of these suggestions to help you put your mind over your money: Use Cash Swiping that little card is so easy. I challenge you to use cash only for at least one week. When you have to pull out the bills and coins, you may find you think twice about that purchase. Along those same lines, consider going to an “all cash” system for a few months. Place all the money you are allotting per category for the month into an envelope. There will be an envelope for groceries, entertainment, eating out – everything beyond your basic bills. When the envelope is empty, you are through purchasing in that category for the month. You will soon see if you spend your money on the things that are most important to you. Dream Life cannot be about working, paying bills, sleeping, and doing it all over again. You need something to look forward to. What do you dream of? Travel? Owning a home? Being debt free? Begin to methodically develop the steps to achieve your dream – eat out one less time per week; automatically send a certain amount to an account opened just for your dream’s purpose; bring coffee from home instead of stopping at the coffee shop (you know the one.) Note: when I ask people what

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they dream of financially, they never say “I dream of having more stuff.” Think before you purchase more stuff: “How is buying this helping me achieve my dream?” Appreciate what you have

Remember those things you HAD to have? When is the last time you enjoyed them? Before buying anything else, begin truly noticing the things you already have. Do you love the way it looks? Do you have a memory involving it that brings you joy? Spend some time with it, notice it and appreciate it. Pay off a small debt first So, this kind of goes against many financial advisors’ advice. Many advisors encourage you to pay off whatever has the highest interest rate first. I say pay off your smallest debt first, so you can build some momentum and feel successful. I use this technique with a lot of things. When I’m working with kids and homework, or when I’m helping someone with a large project, I always say, “Start with the easiest thing, then move to the hardest thing to get it out of the way.” Taking control of your financial life is actually a sign of how much you love and care for yourself. Once you make a commitment to yourself, it is imperative that you honor the commitment. Every time we break a promise to ourselves, it eats away at our self-esteem. Why would you expect anyone else to keep their promises to you, if you don’t even expect that of yourself? It’s time. Your financial self will thank you!

March 2018

Pride of McNeese Marching Band Selected for Honor

McNeese State University’s Pride of McNeese Marching Band was one of six university marching bands selected for video performance at the 2018 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Southern Division Conference in February at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The CBDNA Southern Division, which includes universities from 11 states, invites performance applications every other year and selects finalists through a juried selection process, with a panel of college band directors acting as judges. The Pride of McNeese Marching Band was selected for the video performance along with Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Central Florida and University of South Florida. The Pride of McNeese Marching Band was on the international stage recently as the band

led the 2018 London New Year’s Day Parade as one of only two university marching bands from the United States invited to perform in this prestigious event. McNeese submitted one of its four 2017 shows titled “Dangerous.” The show included arrangements of Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous,” “Smooth Criminal,” “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Leave Me Alone.” Music arrangements for the show were made by McNeese alumnus, Tim McMillen, and McNeese Interim Department Head and Assistant Professor of Percussion, Lonny Benoit. Other instructional band staff includes Cortney Lyon, color guard instructor, and Jay Sconyers, assistant director of bands.

McNeese Names New Banners Director

Brook Hanemann has been named the director of Banners at McNeese State University. This annual spring event that is known for its series Brook Hanemann of concerts, exhibits, lectures and educational programming that has provided Southwest Louisiana with 26 years of easy access to exceptional arts and

humanities events unique to this area. A native of New Orleans, Hanemann received both her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in theatre from the University of Central Florida and is currently working on her doctorate in theatre history, literature and theory at Louisiana State University. She has served as director of theatre and special events for the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival, that was named among the Top 10 Literary Festivals by USA Today, executive producer/artistic director of the Orlando International Fringe Festival, an international multi-arts festival with year-round programming and outreach, a theatre professor at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus and a government and corporate trainer. Prior to her selection, Hanemann was a teacher at an area school. Since 2013, she has served as guest director for three McNeese theatre productions, including the fall semester production of “The Crucible,” which broke attendance records. Hanemann is a volunteer with Harbor House Hospice and on the board of directors of Lake Charles Little Theatre. Hanemann said this is an extremely exciting time of change and growth for McNeese State University and Banners is fortunate to benefit greatly from the support of the administration and faculty.

THIS SPACE COULD BE YOURS! Contact for more information on sponsoring McNeese’s news page. March 2018

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2018