Thrive Magazine-March 2022

Page 1

MARCH 2022


SCORECARD Sponsored by

Special Sections: Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler Take a Day Trip to . . . SULPHUR Create your Personal Paradise

Spring Festival first Guide person - Jim Rock

Executive Director,

Lake Area Industry Alliance


Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

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

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

CITGO E-RECYCLE DAY SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2022 8A.M.-11A.M. LAKE CHARLES CIVIC CENTER Each year thousands of computers, monitors, TVs, cellphones and other electronics are discarded. Such “e-waste” contains recyclable materials and can be hazardous if disposed with regular garbage.






Contents In This Issue Mind & Body

9 Screening Prevents Colon Cancer 10-20 SPECIAL SECTION:

Regular Features

72 Who’s News 82 Solutions for Life

Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler

Style & Beauty


23 Spray Tans 24 Keeping Time - Trends in Wristwatches 26 Nail Trends for 2022

Wining & Dining

28 Recovery Spotlight: Panorama Music House 30 Stock the Bar in SWLA

Money & Career 32-53 50 52 54 56 57



first person

- Jim Rock Sharpen Your Cybersecurity Toolkit American Job Center: Opportunity & Services Ahead Don't Leave a Paper Trail Alliance for Positive Growth

Places & Faces


Take a Day Trip to . . . SULPHUR 66 SWLA Spring Festival Guide 68 Salvation Army Empty Bowl Fundraiser 70 The Lion King JR.: Barbe and LaGrange production

Home & Family



Create your Personal Paradise

@thriveswla | 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. Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions. 4

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Managing Editor Editors and Publishers Creative Director Design and Layout Business Manager Advertising Sales Submissions

Angie Kay Dilmore Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Barbara VanGossen Sarah Bercier Katie McDaniel Stevenson 337.310.2099

At Cheniere, we support Louisiana jobs and American energy by safely providing clean, reliable natural gas to the world — energy that is helping people be more productive, healthy and safe by reducing carbon emissions and lighting, heating and powering homes and businesses.


MARCH 1 3 1 Wear your green hats and enjoy this self-guided event throughout the entire month of March! Registration: $50 (includes t-shirt and tickets to participating restaurants)

Participating Restaurants: • 121 Artisan Bistro • Area 337 • Calla • Casa Manana

• Drago’s at L’Auberge • Maplewood Burgers • Pujo Street Café • Que Pasa

• The Chart House at Golden Nugget • The James 710 • Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp • Toga Grill

Event will benefit Women’s Services at CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital, helping to fund equipment and technology for these areas. Register today by calling (337) 430-5353 or visiting


Chamber SWLA Business After Hours Thursday, March 17 | 5:00 - 7:00 PM CHRISTUS Ochsner SWLA Foundation 437 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive 6

Enjoy refreshments while learning about the exciting things happening at CHRISTUS Ochsner SWLA. Please bring your business card for admission & door prizes! Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022




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also consent to the trial. CLINICAL TRIAL FOR





Date: Time:

Monday - Friday 9AM - 4 PM


The TRAILBLAZER-All 3 study, a new research study sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, is testing whether a study drug can potentially prevent or slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Can I be part of this trial? •••••••••••

� 337-409-8383

Yes, you may be able to join the research study if you: 0 Are aged 55-80 years old


0 Have normal memory and thinking 0 Have a reliable study partner

Location: 600 Bayou Pines East Dr. Suite B Lake Charles, LA 70601

0 Pass study screening activities

A study partner O is a person who is familiar with your day-to-day life and would notice any changes in your memory, thinking, mood and behavior. This could be your spouse, partner, friend, relative or caregiver. Your study partner would also consent to the trial.


Monday - Friday 9AM - 4 PM

Location: 600 Bayou Pines East Dr. Suite B Lake Charles, LA 70601


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022




Mind & Body S C R E E N I N G Can Largely Prevent

Colon Cancer Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States in men and the third leading cause of cancer death in women. The positive news is that it is largely preventable. March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, a time to double check risk factors, symptoms, and schedule a colonoscopy, if recommended by a physician. Colon cancer is often initially asymptomatic, which is why screening and early detection are critical. “We’re seeing younger people being diagnosed within the last few years,” says Matthew Ayo, MD, general surgeon with Sulphur Surgical Clinic and medical staff member of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. “While the typical age is between 65 and 74, it’s showing up in those of younger age.” Research shows those born in 1990 have double the risk of developing colon cancer than those born in 1950. “We don’t know all the reasons for this increased risk; we do know that obesity plays a big factor in colon cancer diagnosis. More young people are being diagnosed with obesity, which may be associated with inflammation in the body. People who are obese tend to have higher levels of a protein known as CRP, a marker for colon cancer.” The colonoscopy is considered the gold standard test because it is the most sensitive test to determine if polyps are present. Polyps are small growths within the colon; and are

by Christine Fisher

the precursors for colon cancer. If allowed to go unchecked, polyps have a 10 – 40 percent chance of turning into cancer, depending on their pathology. “There are alternatives to colonoscopy for colon cancer screening, such as stool tests or imaging. However, colonoscopy is the only test that can both identify colon polyps and remove them,” says Dr. Ayo. Depending on the findings of a colonoscopy, a physician may recommend repeating the test as soon as one year and as late as 10 years. Thanks to sedation, colonoscopies are painless, and most people don’t remember anything about the procedure. The prep the day before the screening is what people usually dread, as it’s designed to clean the colon to allow for better visualization of polyps. “The prep that we use now is much easier on patients than before. Not only is it a smaller amount of liquid, but it has a much better taste and is all available over the counter,” says Dr. Ayo. Symptoms of colon cancer include:

• • • •

Bloody or dark stools Changes in normal bowel habits Abdominal pain or cramping in lower stomach Unexpected weight loss

“Based on recent data, the recommended age for adults undergoing screening colonoscopy has moved from 50 to 45,” says Dr. Ayo. “However, if you have strong risk factors, you may qualify even earlier than that.”

Risk factors of colon cancer include:

• • • •

Family history of colon cancer, rectal cancer or polyps Race: African Americans have the highest rate among all racial groups in the U.S. Age: frequently diagnosed in people ages 65 – 74 The presence of inflammatory bowel disease

“Individuals may not have any symptoms of colon cancer or have vague symptoms that can be easily ignored. When symptoms persist, often the disease is in its advanced stages,” explains Dr. Ayo. “That’s why having a colonoscopy beginning at the recommended age is critical.” While there are many factors that can increase the risk for colon cancer, there are some risk factors that are within one’s control. “Being overweight along with a lack of physical activity has a strong correlation to colon cancer,” says Dr. Ayo. “Cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use, and a diet heavy in red or processed meats are also linked to an increased risk.” “Talk with your physician about your risk factors and see if a colonoscopy is recommended for you,” says Dr. Ayo. “It can make all the difference in your future.”


Mind & Body | Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler

Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler

Science and medicine are exciting, evolving industries, consistently striving to learn, improve, and create new and better technology, techniques, medications, treatments and therapies to better serve healthcare consumers. In this special section on Medical Advances, we spotlight cutting edge healthcare modalities found right here in Southwest Louisiana. You’ll find information on the latest in cardiology, plastic surgery, pelvic floor reconstruction, and laser skin therapy.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

MEMORIAL Recognized by CareChex® as the #1 Hospital in the Market for Patient Safety in Heart Attack Treatment and Heart Failure Treatment

Edward Bergen, DO Interventional Cardiology

Hari Bogabathina, MD Interventional Cardiology

Christopher S. Thompson, MD Interventional Cardiology

Clay Hammett, MD Cardiology

J. King White, MD

Interventional Cardiology

J. Gregory Lugo, MD

Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgery

Kevin R. Young, MD Interventional Cardiology

Memorial provides the area’s ONLY local CV Surgeon. As one who lives and works in southwest Louisiana; individuals experiencing life threatening heart and vascular issues can have peace of mind knowing that Dr. Lugo is close by and immediately accessible. An expert in his field, Dr. J. Gregory Lugo has been healing hearts for over 30 years. He specializes in aortic surgery, heart valve repair and replacement, peripheral vascular surgery, bypasses, and surgery for diseases of the lungs and chest cavity. When it comes to your heart, every second counts and you can count on Memorial’s medical experts for heart healing procedures.

J. Gregory Lugo, MD Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgery


Louisiana Surgeon Masters

Mind & Body | Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler

You Shouldn’t Have to Cross Your Legs When You Sneeze Pelvic Floor Reconstruction Options at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women For some women, urinary incontinence rules their lives, from making it difficult to play with kids to attending a workout class. Having to worry about crossing your legs when you sneeze or cough can be frustrating and living with vaginal pressure and discomfort can become exhausting. If this describes the embarrassing experience you have with physical activity or simple daily tasks, know that you are not alone. Living with urinary incontinence is common in women, but it doesn’t have to be tolerated or derail your life. In fact, more than half of women over 20 years of age in the U.S. reported urinary leakage, yet less than 50% of those suffering seek care for urinary incontinence, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In some cases, the root of the problem may be caused by pelvic prolapse, or pelvic


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

floor dysfunction, meaning the muscles and connective tissue in the pelvic area loosen and slip down from the usual position, causing uncomfortable pressure, urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, or even fecal incontinence. This issue can also be corrected with a simple gynecological procedure by a local OB/GYN. Although surgery is not the first in the line of treatment, should it be needed, the surgery can be done as a procedure to support and help reconstruct the pelvic floor and correct the incontinence issues. During the procedure, a mid-urethral sling is placed under the urethra to support it. This is the gold standard for this procedure, according to Dr. Joseph Semien, Jr., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with the Memorial Medical Group. This weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, which usually tends to happen as women age, with pregnancy and with certain pelvic floor conditions can be painful and uncomfortable. Additionally, as the muscles

become weak, it becomes easier for there to be unwanted leakage or other issues to arise. “We have treatment options here in our community. You don’t have to suffer alone and you don’t have to leave SWLA to get help,” says Dr. Semien. Dr. Semien has built a strong reputation in the Lake Charles community by providing high quality OB/GYN services to women. His training, research, and experience of doing this procedure over the last 13 years has allowed him to help many women regain a sense of normalcy and experience life without fear of urinary incontinence. Although you can’t always prevent developing urinary incontinence, you may be able to lower your risk by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and staying at a healthy weight throughout your adult life. If you begin to experience unwanted symptoms or discomfort, an appropriate evaluation is necessary to determine the type and cause of the problem. Urinary incontinence may be common, but it shouldn’t be normal.

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Mind & Body | Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler

CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Announces Plans for Hybrid Operating Room On February 3, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana revealed some exciting news: a $5 million Hybrid Operating Room is in the works at CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles. In a nutshell, the Hybrid OR will combine a conventional operating room with an image-guided interventional suite. Merging the latest in surgical and cardiovascular advancements into one room will allow teams of interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons to work together on both intricate and emergency procedures. The Hybrid OR is funded in part by the CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Foundation and its donors, who gifted nearly $2 million to bring the project to fruition. “This has been a long time coming,” said Thomas Mulhearn, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist, CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital. “It was about three to four years of fundraising, along with lots of planning.” Dr. Mulhearn said that in the past, if a problem presented itself, or a procedure needed to be done in a hybrid manner, another room would be necessary.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

by Stefanie Powers

“If a complication arose, the patient would either have to be transferred to another operating room—or could even be sent back to their room while arrangements were made for the next surgery.” The Hybrid OR changes all that. “This allows us to have the best of both worlds,” Dr. Mulhearn continues. “We have an operating room and a cardiac catheterization lab where complex vascular surgeries can all be done in one room. The care teams have all the equipment and technology needed to handle an advanced surgical procedure without any transition.” Patient benefits include faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays because medical issues that once required multiple procedures can now be handled with one, minimizing risks. “As a leader in innovative health care, the Hybrid Operating Room brings a new level of comprehensive care to our region,” said Jim Davidson, President and Chief Operating Officer, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana. The Hybrid Operating Room is expected to be completed later this year.



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Mind & Body | Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler


Foot Specialists Using New Technology for Personalized Wound Healing by Kristy Como Armand

Minor wounds, cuts, and burns are an unavoidable part of life. The body is designed to heal itself, unless a medical condition, like diabetes, interferes with that process. Foot problems are a well-known risk associated with diabetes. The disease can cause reduced blood flow to the feet, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients. This makes it more difficult for blisters, sores, and cuts to heal. Diabetic nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy can also cause numbness in your feet. “When you can’t feel cuts and blisters, you’re more likely to get sores and infections,” explains Tyson Green, DPM, foot and ankle specialist with the Center for Orthopaedics and medical director of the CHRISTUS Ochsner Wound Center. “If you don’t notice or treat these sores, they can become deeply infected, leading to foot ulcers, sepsis and even amputation.” Research shows that about 60% of all diabetic patients will eventually experience a wound that does not heal, putting them at risk for more serious complications. Unfortunately, having a toe, foot, or lower leg surgically removed is 10 times more likely in people with diabetes. 16

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

“Diabetic foot ulcers are one complication of the disease that has continued to frustrate doctors and significantly affect the quality of life of patients,” says Dr. Green. “We know one of the keys to successful wound treatment lies in the body’s capacity to heal, but in a diabetic patient, the body’s natural healing capabilities are blocked by the disease itself. But an innovative new treatment, the 3C Patch System, allows us to harness the healing properties within a patient’s own blood to help heal their wound.” The 3C name reflects the 3-step process used to create the healing patch: centrifugation, coagulation and compaction. Using just a small sample of the patient’s blood – nothing else – the 3C Patch System separates, coagulates and compacts the blood components into a solid patch. The result is a healing patch comprised of a concentration of proteins, cells and growth factors. One of few evidence-based wound treatments, the 3C Patch is clinically proven to significantly accelerate wound healing of hard-to-heal diabetic foot ulcers. The outcome is a cost-effective, personalized wound treatment that draws on each patient’s inherent capability to heal themselves.

Dr. Green says each 3C Patch takes about 20 minutes to produce and is applied directly to the wound at point-of-care. Multiple patches can be applied to larger wounds, and several weeks of 3C patch treatments are typically required. “This process, while technologically advanced, really makes innate sense,” says Dr. Green. “It gives us a way to work around the vascular inefficiencies caused by the patient’s diabetes but still deliver their body’s healing properties where needed. This provides a treatment that is uniquely and biologically theirs, not a one-size-fits-all solution.

We’re taking a person’s own blood, with no manipulation other than spinning in a centrifuge, to create a healing patch that delivers their own highly concentrated white cells, platelets and growth factors directly to the wound,” he explains. “It’s very exciting to have something like this to offer our patients and see the successful results.” For more information, call 337-430-3282.


Mind & Body | Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler

Art & Science Fused: Laser Genesis by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

Laser Genesis is a treatment that can improve the appearance of redness, enlarged pores, uneven texture, fine lines and wrinkles. It is a near-infrared laser that is efficient for skin rejuvenation due to its ability to provide long-lasting stimulation of elastin and increase in the amount of collagen overall, resulting in clinically improved skin tone and texture. Additionally, the thermal energy of Laser Genesis targets the tiny vessels and capillaries that are the cause of persistent skin redness, such as with conditions like rosacea. By breaking down these vessels, blood that is trapped under the surface of the skin dissipates, which reduces overall redness. “Laser Genesis is a useful tool for people of all ages and backgrounds, as it targets a multitude of cellular skincare problems and concerns,” said Dr. Allison Clement, Medical Director and Master Injector at The Skin Studios in Lake Charles. “Surface skin problems are typically addressed with complementary procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion, but Laser Genesis treatment differs in that it penetrates deeper triggering additional healing and regeneration processes bellow the skin tissue surface.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Dr. Clement explains that there are many other benefits that patients appreciate with this treatment, such as convenience. “Laser Genesis is a non-invasive treatment that typically takes 20 to 30 minutes” said Dr. Clement. “There is no need for anesthesia because it is a painless procedure that only causes a gentle warming sensation. There is no downtime required, making it the ideal treatment for busy patients who want to see results but do not have the time to take off for recovery. Makeup can be applied immediately after your treatment.” It is typically recommended to receive between 5 to 10 Laser Genesis treatments, spaced about 2 -4 weeks apart. It is important to keep in mind that even though the course of the treatment can be several months, you don’t have to deal with disadvantages of downtime. “In contrast to other lasers that come with the risk of discoloration if used on the wrong skin type, Laser Genesis is designed for safe and effective treatment on all skin types and ethnicities and can be safely used on all body parts—excluding the eye and surrounding area,” said Dr Clement.

What does Laser Genesis treat?

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Acne Redness & Rosacea Large pores Scars from acne, surgery, injuries, burns, etc. Port Wine Stains Skin tags Wrinkles Facial veins Freckles Angiomas Lentigines And more…

“However, there are some actions to avoid prior to treatment, such as tanning, exfoliating the treatment site and pausing retinol use. Additionally, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should wait to undergo treatment.” To design a custom treatment plan for you based on your unique needs, visit The Skin Studios at or call 337-474-1220.

INJECTABLES are Art & Science Fused Dr. Allison Clement, MD Injector BOTOX AND DERMAL FILLERS 2640 Country Club Rd. | Lake Charles 337.474.1220 |


COMMUNITY CARE The Community Health Center of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital provides a variety of healthcare services to our community, including adult primary care, walk-ins, and specialty care for general surgery, gynecology and wound care with plans to expand service lines in the future. All patients are welcome—those with Medicare, Medicaid, insurance and those without insurance. 703 Cypress Street, Suite A | Sulphur (337) 310-0395

Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.


Mind & Body | Medical Advances Make Wellness Simpler

Louisiana Surgeon Masters

Craft of Rhinoplasty the

by Kerry Andersen

Dr. Jon Perenack, MD, DDS has perfected the art of the ‘before and after.’ His social media pages (Instagram @drjonperenack) and websites for his practices in Lake Charles and across Louisiana are filled with photos and videos of patients peeling back their bandages to reveal the happy results of various cosmetic procedures and often accompanied by tears of joy. It’s no surprise that he views the human face with the eye of an artist considering a blank canvas, because he IS an artist. Oil paintings fill the walls at his offices, and his works have been formally displayed in the U.S. and Canada. But it’s the surgical suite where he focuses his artists eye most often these days, and usually while performing his signature operation – the rhinoplasty; otherwise known as a nose job in lay terms. Dr. Perenack has performed more than 1,700 of the procedures in his career and talks with enthusiasm and joy about the surgical advances that bring smiles to his patients. The face shaping procedure that moves bones and sculpts tissue once relied on rudimentary mallets and chisels very much like the tools he uses to create a sculpture out of a block of marble. The process has now advanced to more refined ultrasonic technology that allows him to combine art and science with absolute accuracy. 20

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

“Rhinoplasty is the most difficult operation to get predictable results,” says Dr. Perenack. “We are always looking for more predictability, less down time and a better experience for our patients and we found it with ultrasonic technology.” That’s because ultrasonic vibrations allow surgeons to cut bones with greater precision without damaging blood vessels and nerves in previously hard to reach places. “Using ultrasonic technology takes a bit longer but is far superior to traditional methods,” Dr. Perenack says. “It allows us to make a very precise cut and set the bones exactly where we want them.” The benefits of ultrasonic rhinoplasty are many, but these are the top reasons that make it the new and superior standard for reconstructing noses:

• • • • •

Greater precision Less bleeding, swelling and black eyes Fewer unwanted fractures Faster recovery More accurate cosmetic outcome

Most patients who come to Renaître (which means rebirth in French) for a surgical consult are looking to balance their facial features and boost selfesteem, most commonly by changing

the size of their nose, altering the tip or the bridge or changing the shape of their nostrils. He says an ideal outcome is not dramatic but delivers more natural results for an overall rejuvenated look that reflects a patient’s personality. Reshaping the nose also corrects breathing problems and some sinus disorders. The detailed outpatient procedure takes approximately 2.5 hours to perform. Patients wear a splint for a week and often don’t even require pain medication. Results settle in at about six months. While each case is different, expect to budget $9,000 – $10,000 (including anesthesia) for ultrasonic rhinoplasty. Dr. Perenack says there’s no such thing as the perfect rhinoplasty, but ultrasonic technology allows him to get as close to perfect as possible, restoring noses and confidence for his grateful patients. Renaître (5656 Nelson Road, Suite C-1) has joined Williamson Cosmetic Center and now offers surgical and cosmetic services in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and Gonzales. It is the top practice for Botox and Juvéderm in Louisiana and #36 in the United States. To schedule a consultation with digital imaging, call (337) 508-2559 or visit



Louisianans come from all different walks of life. Whether you work in an office or on a farm. Put out traps or put out fires. Dribble a ball or walk the mall. It’s time we all stepped up and gave COVID the boot. If you’re vaccinated, get the booster for maximum protection. If you’re not, get vaccinated so you don’t get sick or pass the virus on to someone who is vulnerable like a tiny baby or an older adult.

Whatever shoes you wear, step up Louisiana and give COVID the boot.

To book your free vaccine or booster, visit or call 855-453-0774 to speak with a trusted medical professional.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Style & Beauty

First Time Spray Tan? Five things to know before you go! by Katelynn Mouton

As the cooler temperatures make way for warmer spring days, you might be thinking ahead to your Spring Break getaway. Even if a beach trip is not in your near future, nothing breaks the doldrums of winter like fresh, glowing, sun-kissed skin. But getting that glow can be detrimental to your longterm wellness. Spray tanning offers a healthier alternative to sunbathing by avoiding negative impacts on your skin, such as increased risk of developing wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer. If you hope to achieve a natural look that will last by spray tanning, here are five things to know before you book your first appointment.



Continue using a lightweight sunscreen to protect your skin and faux-glow. And avoid showering for at least eight hours after receiving your tan. While a quick dip in the pool will not ruin your tan, spending hours in chlorinated water will. Limit your swim time after getting a spray tan and pat your skin dry when you get out of the water.


Choose your outfit wisely. No matter how careful you are, the clothing you wear to your spray tan appointment will end up with some discoloration. It should wash out easily, but it is best to stick with dark clothing. A fresh spray tan can easily be altered so avoid tight leggings and tight sleeves, and wear loose-fitting clothes to the appointment. A dark-colored sundress or loose sweatpants and a T-shirt are smart choices, and if you can, avoid tight fighting undergarments for the first few hours afterward.

Moisturize with care and avoid layering spray tans. Keeping the skin highly moisturized post-spray tan may seem like a good way to prolong your tan, but not so fast! Heavy lotions and body butters will chip away at your glow, causing it to fade faster. Only moisturize if necessary and select a lightweight lotion instead. It may also be tempting to build upon your spray tan, but a new tan sprayed on top of an old one will likely look patchy—darker in some places where remnants of your old tan remain and lighter in areas where it has worn off. Enjoy your spray tan for about a week or week and a half and then remove it with a tan-removing mitt before starting over fresh.

Continue applying sunscreen afterwards. The idea of using a spray tan as a “base tan” is a bad one to begin with, but a spray tan has no effect on the melanin in your body. This melanin is what causes your skin to tan naturally and just because you look tan, does not mean you are not going to burn.

Finally, one last note. If you book a spray tan ahead of a special occasion, schedule your appointment two days before your big event. Spray tans last slightly different lengths, but this two day window allows the time necessary for the tan to settle in and fully develop.


Select a trained professional. Self-tanning can be a great option, but it is also very difficult to achieve an even, natural-looking glow. A trained professional will be able to start with a customizable base shade that will help ensure you do not end up with an orange hue to the skin. A professional grade product will also enhance the lifespan of your spray tan. Prep your skin before heading out. Exfoliating before a spray tan helps slough off old skin cells, creating an even base for the tan to adhere to, but it is important to choose the right scrub. The wrong exfoliating product may cause your tan to

streak and the oils in popular sugar scrubs may cause the tan to run right off your skin. It’s best to use an exfoliating mitt and skip the moisturizing step post scrub. Spray tan formulas stick best to dry skin. Also, while it may seem like common sense to shave right before a spray tan, doing so immediately prior to your appointment may lead to some skin irritation. It’s best to shave about 12 to 24 hours prior. For your face, go foundation-free or remove your makeup prior to your appointment.



Style & Beauty

Trends in Wristwatches by Madelaine Brauner Landry

When it comes to choosing a wristwatch, consumers have so many choices. Large or small face? Sporty, bejeweled, or vintage? High-end celebrity-inspired fashion accessory? Economical and functional for everyday wear? The good news in contemporary timepieces is that you don’t have to choose just one. Watchmakers and jewelers want you to know: Don’t just save time—enjoy it! “Most of our customers have an idea of what they are looking for,” says Jason Murphy, of Nederland Jewelers in Lake Charles. “First, I like to learn what our customers plan to use the watch for. From there we go over all the options from quality and pricing to functionality.” Despite the abundance of digital time reminders flashing all around us, wearing a watch has not become outdated. In 2017, industry reports estimated that approximately 32% of adults over 35 wore watches. Millennials tended to shun them. Five years later, however, there’s an uptick in watch sales across all demographics. Age, gender, and income are still factors, but the latest estimates based on online surveys show that 35-50% of adult Americans are enjoying the convenience and efficiency of having a watch on their wrists.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Modern timepieces are multi-functional instruments, making “timepiece” a misnomer. In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, having access to weather information, GPS directions, customizable alarms, health data, and other personal communication options is necessary. Technology has found a way to minimize this information so it can be seen at a glance. At the touch of a button, modern watches keep us aware and informed. “We ask our customers questions,” says Murphy. “Do they need an automatic or maybe a quartz? With an automatic, we go over normal services for the timepiece. With a quartz, we educate on how long the battery will last and how we can assist with battery changes. Our goal is to let them know that we will take care of their timepiece for its lifetime. We offer cleanings, servicing, battery changes, and even trade-ins. We have a CW21 watchmaker on staff who takes care of all timepieces at Nederland Jewelers. He has been with us since 2013, and with his certification, he is one of few in the country.” Watches have long been recognized as

fashion statements, aesthetically pleasing accessories that layer well with other jewelry for men and women. Today’s chunky watches combine well with dainty bracelets. Classically designed watches accentuate fashionable manicures. Vintage watches, or quality facsimiles, make their own stylish statements. The wearer is a collector, an aficionado of things faded, rusty and worn, maybe even with a unique story to tell. Some watches are authentic heirlooms—gifts possessing sentimental value, passed down from generation to generation. Watch purchasers search for rare, limited edition watches, aware that their value can increase over time. With very little maintenance, the initial outlay for a quality timepiece makes it an affordable investment. Watches are practical. One simply cannot keep glancing at a phone during a job interview, or business appointments. Glancing at a watch, however, suggests reliability and punctuality. For safety or security reasons, many professions prohibit carrying phones into the work environment: Think defense contractors,

prison security guards, or research and development personnel. Moreover, many atomic or solar watches keep on ticking without a battery change; most phone batteries can’t make it through one day without recharging. How’s that for dependability? “Currently, watch sales are at all-time highs,” Murphy adds. “The luxury brands are having trouble keeping up with demand due to supply chain issues. Omega has done a great job considering this issue. They did a fantastic job through the holidays keeping our inventory where we needed it to be for Christmas.” Murphy confirms that Christmas is still the busiest watch sale season, with graduations and Father’s Day close behind. Time passes. Time flies. Time waits for no one, and once spent, is never found again. We cannot turn back the hands of time. However, with the current crop of contemporary watches to choose from, we can certainly tick away the hours each day with sophistication and practicality.

4031 NELSON ROAD (337) 478-0901


Style & Beauty

d e l i a N ! t I

Top Nail Trends for 2022 by Kerry Andersen

There’s nothing quite like a manicure and fresh coat of polish to boost your mood and express your inner fashion diva without making a huge investment (or commitment) to a new look. Part pampering, part fashion – nail polish always fits and is easy to switch out to match your outfit or your current vibe. If you want to branch out from your usual polish shades and inject trendy fun to your look, the top nail trends for 2022 offer something for everyone:

Pop of Periwinkle Chosen as the Pantone color of the year, periwinkle is popping up everywhere! It is hands down the must try shade of 2022. Named for the lesser periwinkle plant which bears flowers of the same hue, it’s best described as a lavender blue. Periwinkle flatters all skin tones and is both sweet and versatile.


Solar Shades After dreary cold months spent inside, bright nail colors are a sure-fire way to bring joy to your day while elevating your look. Sunshine filled solar inspired shades flooded the fashion runways: gold, amber, marigold, and bronze signal an end to subdued winter looks. Try fiery, fun shades of sunset red too. Think classic red nail but brighter and more fun!

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Sheer Neutrals Short, neat nails painted a glossy neutral shade are timeless. To elevate this classic look, ask for a soft brown shade like sand or khaki for an updated French manicure. The Milk Foam trend offers soft pink and brown shades that appear diluted with milk for a soft and sophisticated option. Envision lattes or lime sherbet on a lazy summer day. For a more interesting look, layer several milky shades on one hand. Try OPI Canyon Pink or Cactus What You Preach.

DIY Goes Luxe Do it yourself manicures surged in popularity during the pandemic. Press on nails continue to explode this season. The new and affordable strips are luxe, longlasting, and mimic shiny salon results without the costly visit. Or try an at-home gel manicure. Mini starter kits by Le Mini Macaron ($35) include tiny portable LED lamps that plug into any USB outlet and cure nail polish in 30 seconds flat for results that last up to two weeks without chips.

True Blues Classic blue is making a comeback in nail salons this year. If you’re less comfortable with this season’s bright colors, choose a shade of blue that is trendy but a bit subdued. Navy is a more approachable way to try a darker shade while cobalt and royal blue will be a top pick for fashionistas everywhere. Bonus – classic blue tones work on fair and dark skin alike and won’t clash with your wardrobe. If you prefer pretty pastels, choose sky blue from the polish rack.

Grown Up Glitter 80’s babies and those who embrace their inner diva rejoice – all things glitter and gold are back! Whether you call it gilded or glitzy, sparkly (square shaped) tips are trendy again. Look for more grown-up glitter that can be as simple as a shiny accent nail (or two) or a sparkly topcoat to pop against a more neutral color. For extra drama, ask for full gold foil or layer it on top of black for contrast. You can also line just the tips of your nails in shiny gold or another metallic shade. It’s your time to shine!

3D Details Subtle is not on the menu for this fashion moment – think jewelry but for your nails. Nail techs are busy affixing shiny jewels to fingertips everywhere and even adding small gold hoops that look like tiny earrings as over the top embellishment. Prefer the more classic look of pearls? Instead of wearing them around your neck, add them to your nails as an accent to iridescent polish. Whimsical pearlcore nails have been spotted on super chic celebs around the globe. Stickers in both nostalgic and more modern graphic designs are also adding dimension and drama to nails everywhere. Bottom line – have fun!

Dark Drama Finally, a nail trend that never left us – black. The appeal of a deep, rich black nail is stronger than ever. Don’t be surprised to see both men and women dipping into the drama of black nails. For an unexpected alternative, brush on an earthy cocoa brown nail color to add an air of sophistication to your springtime look (think espresso and brown sugar). Try OPI Black Onyx or Cliffside Karaoke.


Wining & Dining Rec over y Sp otlig ht

Panoram a Music House by Stefanie Powers

Jay Ecker, musician and owner of Rikenjaks, had a vision for a downtown venue that became the Panorama Music House. In its brief existence, it brought local music, good food and cool vibes to a building that had many incarnations in its lifetime, including the original location of Rikenjaks. The disastrous weather events of 2020 changed all that. “Winds from Hurricane Laura blew out the front wall of the upstairs music museum and 28

destroyed most of the artifacts stored there,” Ecker says. “The roof was also severely damaged. Then, rains from Hurricane Delta soaked the inside of the building.” In the aftermath of the hurricanes, there were many hurdles to overcome. “Without the front wall, the structural integrity of the building was compromised, and an engineer had to be consulted to design a metal superstructure to support the building,” Ecker continues. “Also, our restored historic sign

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

was almost completely destroyed, although we were able to save a piece to use on an inside wall. A local company, Acme Signs, is installing a replica of the original.” Ecker says their first contractor was an out-of-state company that did mitigation, tearing out the damaged interior. “They proved to be unscrupulous, and we had to cut our ties with them,” he says. “We are currently involved in litigation with them. For the actual rebuilding, local engineer David Minton, architect

Jeff Kudla and PERC building contractors were engaged to design and complete the renovations. “There are many challenges to doing a complete renovation of a 115-year-old building,” Ecker says. “These, along with delays caused by COVID-19 have pushed the opening date from the original October 2021 until spring 2022.” As the renovations began, it was clear that some changes could be made to the original design.

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DARRELL’S TO-GO “We chose to treat this disaster as an opportunity, so we worked with our architect to design some new features for the historic building,” he continues. “The destroyed upstairs room has been reimagined as Lake Charles’s first rooftop bar and features a brandnew mural by Jeremy Price. We also turned a space formerly used as an office and apartment into a private event and gallery room.”



Ecker says that as of this writing, the plan is to open the downstairs on Fat Tuesday (March 1), with a grand opening of the entire facility to come later in the spring. Panorama Music House, 331 Broad St. Lake Charles 70601, 337-602-6343,,, and find them on Facebook.

We are now available on Eats 2 Go, Gubers & Waitr!

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


Wining & Dining

Stock the Bar in

SWLA! Area Liquor Retailers Tell Us What’s Trending Here in Louisiana, we love a party. And with that party comes liquor. What are the locals buying to stock their bars? We checked around with some retailers to find out what’s trending this season. There are some new best sellers, but it’s clear that some favorites will never go out of style. Rachel Hardesty, manager of Hokus Pokus, say she’s been selling a “crazy” amount of wine and bourbon lately. “But recently, bourbons are getting harder to come by, so we are seeing quite an increase in high-end tequila and mezcals,” she says. The 2022 Mardi Gras season saw the favorite, Crown Royal, fly off the shelves, as usual. “It’s so popular!” Hardesty says. “I’ve been in this business for almost 12 years, and I think that’s a trend we will never see die down. We could order 25 cases at a time and blow through it in two to three weeks!” Fireball buckets are hugely popular. “A bucket fits 20 of the .50 ml bottles. People love the tiny bottles in general just for the sake of convenience,” she says. Jell-O shots remain big. “There are readymade ones now,” Hardesty says. “Some of them are liquid and you put them in the fridge to solidify. Others come with a gelatin consistency, and you just have to keep them chilled. Of course, we still have plenty of customers who make their shots at home and come to us for their ingredients.” At Sunshine Liquors, Stella Rosa wine has suddenly become a favorite due to its lowalcohol content, reasonable price tag and variety of fruit flavors. It sounds like something a wine-lover would quickly dismiss—but it’s the best-selling wine in California! While the winery is on the West Coast, Stella Rosa is actually produced in Italy and is getting rave reviews. 30

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

The manager at Sunshine says their best sellers are cognac (especially Hennessy), brandy and bourbon, but again, bourbon is hard to keep in stock. Crown will never go out of style, and luckily, he is able to keep up with the demand. Tequila sales are on the rise, especially Jose Cuervo. And when folks buy nips, it’s generally Fireball! Like everyone else, Ashley Rozas, owner of Lake Street Liquor, can’t keep bourbon on her shelves. “Everyone wants Maker’s Mark, and due to supply chain problems, we aren’t getting it,” she says. “People are turning to sipping tequilas, which are becoming big sellers.” Tito’s is the vodka of choice at Lake Street, and Crown still wears the crown. “I’ve seen a decline in Jell-O shots this season, but an increase in people buying little .50ml bottles of liquor,” Rozas says. “With the change in the state law in 2020, we are now allowed to carry these smaller bottles. And they sell.” Rozas says that hard seltzers have become the hit of the season. “They’re lighter than beer and don’t have the calories, and are approximately five percent alcohol,”

by Stefanie Powers

she explains. Corona, Bud Light, Truly, White Claw, High Noon, Smirnoff . . . all produce seltzers, and the list goes on. They come in a wide variety of flavors and go down easily; without the full feeling you get from beer. So, what’s on your bar? Cheers!


Money & Career


SCORECARD Keeping track of the local industries in SWLA/SETX can be almost as exciting and fast paced as following the mania of March Madness! Considering the economic and service contributions these companies make to our community, we enthusiastically cheer then on, as their success is vital to SWLA’s success. This issue’s cover section, called Economic Scorecard, features a microsample of local industries who are New to the Game, Back in the Game, Still in the Game, Growing their Game, even Women in the Game!

Sponsored by


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

If you are in business in Southwest Louisiana,

THE CHAMBER WORKS FOR YOU! DO YOU OWN OR OPERATE A BUSINESS? You may not realize it, but the Chamber SWLA and its members are already working towards your success!

As one of the largest Chambers in the state, the Chamber SWLA is proactive in attracting industry and growing our economy, developing leadership and workforce training, seeding visionary quality-of-life programs, and ensuring local businesses concerns are heard in Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C. For M

embership Inf o, With the support of Chamber members - and future contact Paul a Ramsey members like you - we will continue to lead the nation pramsey@ allianceswla .org in new jobs, business opportunities and or (337) 433-363 2. unprecendeted growth. www.alliance

4310 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605

(337) 433-3632


Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by

g n i w o r G : e m a G r t hei


Exports LNG to the World Cheniere’s Sabine Pass liquefaction facility, located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, first began service in 2008 to import natural gas to the U.S. With abundant U.S. natural gas supplies developed since that time, the facility was changed to send cleaner energy to the rest of the world. By chilling natural gas to approximately -260F, natural gas is liquified and its volume reduced by hundreds of times, making it practical to ship. That product is then called liquefied natural gas or LNG. In 2016, Cheniere began exporting LNG from the Sabine Pass facility. Cheniere also owns and operates a facility in Corpus Christi, Texas that began exporting LNG in 2018. Their headquarters are in Houston, Texas, with offices around the globe.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Natural gas is processed on a line of equipment called a train. Each train can liquefy millions of tonnes of LNG per year for export. Cheniere’s sixth train at the Sabine Pass liquefaction facility was placed in service in February of 2022. This marks the ninth train now in-service across Cheniere’s two facilities. Natural gas is in demand around the globe. Cheniere has now exported to 37 markets around the world since start-up. Top destinations include South Korea, China, Mexico, Spain and Brazil. As a cleaner fuel, natural gas is replacing coal in electric power plants in many locations. It also serves as a heating and cooking fuel in homes, businesses, schools and hospitals, makes fertilizer to keep food supplies coming to your table and powers transportation. With so many uses and benefits, the demand should remain strong well into the future.

As such, Cheniere is considering opportunities to further expand their facilities. They expect to make a decision on the construction of an expansion project at their Corpus Christi facility this year. Cheniere stats: Site: 1000+ acres Accessibility: 40' channel depth Access: ~4 nautical miles from coast Berths: 2 docks, 3rd dock construction underway Storage: 5 tanks (17 Bcfe) Trains operating: 6 In service: since 2016 (as liquefaction) Personnel: ~950

G ro w i n g t he ir G a m e



International Airport Chennault International Airport is an emerging national aerospace hub that has kept military, corporate and personal aircraft in tip-top condition for more than three decades. Much of the industry is already familiar with Chennault and the Lake Charles region, given its first-class tenant partners — including Northrop Grumman, LandLocked Aviation Services and Citadel Completions. In addition to the world-class maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work done for years by its tenant partners, Chennault is also home to non-aerospace manufacturing and service businesses. Chennault boasts an impressive 10,701-foot-long runway, the longest at any airport between Houston and Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is capable of handling all aircraft flying today and has ample adjacent concrete for parking. Chennault is served by an accredited, contracted air traffic control tower. FBO services are provided by Million Air. Even with all the development at Chennault, there’s still room to grow. There are more than a dozen tracts of land totaling nearly 1,000 acres available for development.

AIRPORT OF THE YEAR Chennault is Louisiana’s reigning Airport of the Year as judged by the state Department of Transportation and Development. It also earned the designation as the 2021 Southwest Region leader in Louisiana Economic Development’s ranking of top achievements statewide. “The willingness to change and look for opportunities outside of the norm is critical to remaining relevant in our dynamic world today,” said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton. “Chennault remains a gamechanger — we continue to work toward new tenant partners, more development and more jobs.” NEW IN ’22: AIR CARGO Projects under way at Chennault International Airport are expanding the complex’s profile in serving aerospace and other needs. One effort is the construction of a $4 million, 10,000-square-foot facility that represents Chennault’s entry into the air cargo sector. Construction of the air cargo pass-through facility is its latest initiative to expand and diversify the job-producing business/aerospace complex.

“Chennault offers relief to airlines and freight forwarders who need space and attention as a low-cost alternative to larger markets where expense, ground delays, and airspace delays slow delivery,” said David Whitaker, an advisor for the initiative. The facility is funded by $3 million in state capital outlay funding, with the Chennault International Airport Authority paying the rest. Construction will be completed this summer. A tenant partner is sought for the facility. As the facility is being built, ongoing discussions are planned with potential ground handling partners on such related issues as ramp handling, warehouse operations and securing unique ground equipment to service large aircraft. MILLIONS MORE IN CONSTRUCTION Another project at Chennault is a new facility for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Also on the horizon is a $24 million, 60,0000-square foot training and readiness committee for the Louisiana National Guard. As these projects get under way, Chennault has completed the widening of the main entrance of the complex by adding signage, lighting and video security to the new four-laned plaza.


Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by

ne w to : e m a G e h t

CAMERON LNG Combines Corporate Success with Environmental Preservation & Community Involvement Cameron LNG is an $11 billion natural gas export liquefaction facility in Hackberry, Louisiana. The three-liquefaction train facility reached full commercial operations in August 2020 and has an export capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum of LNG or approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet per day. Cameron LNG represents a significant investment in U.S. energy infrastructure that has and continues to provide many benefits – both locally and globally – including jobs, economic growth and increased investment in the community while helping America’s trading partners in Europe and Asia. The more than 300 Cameron LNG employees help honor the company’s commitment to safeguard the area’s wildlife and marshlands, support the community and work with local businesses and schools to improve the region’s quality of life every day. Cameron LNG has awarded more than $3.3 million in contributions to nonprofit and business organizations benefitting the region. By beneficially using dredge spoil material since construction of the regasification terminal in 2005 and continuing through the construction of the liquefaction facilities, Cameron LNG has created over 750 acres of marshland to date in Cameron Parish. Annual dredging of the berth area will allow Cameron LNG to continue to create up to 7000 acres of marshland for the life of the project.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Additionally, through its annual corporate responsibility investment program, Cameron LNG partners in local efforts to preserve and protect wildlife habitats, restore the coastal beach and wetland areas and support beautification efforts in nearby communities. The company is in a long-time partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to reintroduce the whooping crane at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge. The Foundation awarded Cameron LNG with the Whooping Crane Stewardship Award for its financial support of the project. “Cameron LNG has been a responsible community partner in Southwest Louisiana for more than 17 years when it first began developing the regasification project,” said Stevie Trahan, external affairs manager for Cameron LNG. “We remain committed to investing in the communities where we work and live, and we partner with organizations and leadership that align with our efforts to champion local growth and development and support resilient and safe communities.” Cameron LNG is committed to producing socially responsible LNG and reducing our carbon emissions footprint. Since commencing commercial operations, Cameron LNG has initiated strategic and operational actions with the goal of continuing to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In January 2022, Cameron LNG filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking a limited amendment to its existing authorization for expansion to the company’s three-train liquefaction export facility. This amendment provides for optimization of one additional liquefaction train (Train 4) with design enhancements that will include the use of electric drive (E-drive) motors to replace gas turbine drives and tie-ins to allow the optionality of carbon sequestration. “As part of Cameron LNG’s environmental, social, and governance strategy, the company is continually evaluating ways to reduce the environmental impacts of its facility,” said Clayton Miller, environmental manager for Cameron LNG. “Utilizing E-drive technology, instead of gas turbine drives on the new train, will allow for significant reduction in emissions.” Construction of the Amended Expansion Project will occur on property owned and managed by Cameron LNG, and construction is expected to begin in April 2023. Cameron LNG is jointly owned by Sempra Infrastructure, Total, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and Japan LNG Investment, LLC, a company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK).

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NOW HIRING At Cameron LNG, our people are our greatest strength. We are fueling the future by providing opportunities for individuals interested in a rewarding career within the energy industry. Available positions are posted on our website Visit: > Careers > Jobs at CLNG

(337) 421-1291

Cameron LNG is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap or disability, or any other protected category, in accordance with applicable state and federal law.

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More with a $127 million payroll—and $379 million in annual economic impact. at the complex available for economic development.


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Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by

st i l l i n t he G a me :


Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex CITGO Lake Charles has been a SWLA industry leader since 1942 when World War II raged across the globe. Early in the war, U.S. military chiefs decided that all military aircraft engines would be built to use 100-octane gasoline. Planes would need to fly farther, faster, and higher than ever before and carry larger and larger payloads. But there was one problem . . . U.S. refineries could not furnish enough fuel to keep our bombers, fighters, and support planes in the air. In March 1942, government officials gave the go-ahead for Cities Service to build a refinery, now known as CITGO Lake Charles

Manufacturing Complex, 29 miles up the Calcasieu River from the Gulf of Mexico on Rose Bluff. The plant was built in 1944 to refine crude oil into 100-octane fuel for U.S. bombers. The Civil Air Patrol began the establishment of a series of coastal patrol bases in 1942, including Coastal Patrol Base No. 9 at Grand Isle, La. to safeguard vital oil tankers and other merchant traffic from marauding German U-boats. Today, CITGO Lake Charles employs approximately 1,000 full time workers and around 1,000 contractors. While the plant’s original product was primarily jet



Financial Advisor (337) 625-3018

Financial Advisor (337) 625-3018


Senior Financial Advisor (337) 478-6464

fuel, it currently produces a wide range of products, predominantly gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. Consumers use these products every day – gasoline for cars, jet fuel for air travel, and diesel fuel used by delivery trucks on their daily routes. Petrochemical products produced at the CITGO plant are also the building blocks for many household items, primarily plastics. This year, CITGO celebrates 78 years in Southwest Louisiana and plans to continue providing energy for generations to come.


Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Neither Cetera Investment Services nor Cetera Investment Advisers are affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Investments are: *Not FDIC Insured *May lose value *Not financial institution guaranteed *Not a deposit *Not insured by any federal government agency. 2250 Maplewood Drive, Sulphur, LA 70663. (337) 625-3018. 4090 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605. (337) 478-6464.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

bac k in t he G a m e:


Moves this Company into a More Profitable, Sustainable Future Sasol surged into 2022 with significant momentum, as it continues to make progress on a company-wide effort to create a more profitable, more sustainable future. Sasol 2.0, as the initiative is called, relies heavily on the company’s Lake Charles operations to deliver high demand, high margin specialty chemicals to customers around the world. In September 2021, Sasol announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent globally and across its U.S. operations, with the Lake Charles site a key focus. The challenges Like many local companies, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 created multiple obstacles for Sasol Chemicals and its Lake Charles area employees. But the pandemic also drove down oil demand – and oil prices – which had severe repercussions for the company. Hurricanes Laura and Delta added to the challenges, damaging or destroying the homes of many employees. How Sasol Chemicals responded To protect employees against COVID-19, Sasol implemented significant safety protocols, including regular testing and work-from-home policies where applicable. The company’s health and safety teams and operations

personnel worked together to ensure that employees were looking out for each other. Following the hurricanes, the company responded by providing financial grants of $2.3 million to employees to assist with recovery efforts. In addition, more than 225 requests for temporary lodging were processed and tarps and tree removal services were provided to more than 430 employees. Sasol assisted more than 650 employees and their families with hurricane recovery. Sasol also assisted the community, as well. The company provided a total of $150,000 to aid in recovery efforts, including $120,000 to the City of Westlake and $30,000 to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana’s Hurricane Relief and Recovery Fund. The company responded to 2020’s financial challenges by embarking on its ambitious Sasol 2.0 initiative – a business reset to position the organization for a sustainable future. Where Sasol is today Sasol achieved significantly improved financial results in its 2021 fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2021. For the first time ever, Sasol Chemicals’ revenues exceeded $8 billion. The Chemicals America regional operating segment, which

includes the Lake Charles site, played a key role in those results, with earnings more than doubling those from the previous year. In addition, the company’s other financial measures all showed improvements. After production challenges associated with two major hurricanes in 2021, the units are producing well, and the associated cash flow generation continues to improve. As 2022 continues, Sasol continues to make substantial progress on its strategic deliverables and its financial performance, with the Lake Charles site front and center in the long-term strategy to answer the sustainability call. About Sasol Sasol Lake Charles Chemical Complex manufactures products used in cleaning and personal care markets to manufacture ingredients for soaps, detergents, shampoos and cosmetics. Their specialty chemicals are also used in mild abrasives, thickeners and pharmaceuticals, as well as in the enhanced oil recovery markets. Globally, the company employs more than 29,000 people in 27 countries. In North America, Sasol has operations in Arizona, Louisiana, Texas and Pennsylvania. The company’s Lake Charles Chemical Complex near Westlake supports more than 1,100 employees and contractors.


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This is what it takes. This is what we represent. This is KEILAND.

40 | (337) 436-6846 600 Bayou Pines East, Suite G | Lake Charles La 70601 Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Sasol is proud to be a diverse and truly global team that connects our unique chemistry with our customers and partners to create value and develop innovative solutions for a better and more sustainable world.


Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by

st i l l i n : e m a G e th


An Economic Centerpiece for Nearly a Century

The Port of Lake Charles remains a powerful force in Southwest Louisiana. While the Port may have opened way back in 1926, it’s not resting on its laurels. Instead, more area development is ahead. Over the next five years, there are $46 billion of planned projects that will utilize the Calcasieu Ship Channel. The Port manages the Ship Channel, which runs inland 36 miles and extends out into the Gulf of Mexico another 32 miles. Study finds Calcasieu Ship Channel has multibillion-dollar economic impact. The value of the Port and the Calcasieu Ship Channel is seen in the newest economic study commissioned by the Port. The study found that activity on the Ship Channel generates two-thirds of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the CalcasieuCameron economy. That’s 67 cents of every dollar. Port-related economic development efforts expand in all directions. The Calcasieu Ship Channel drives $39 billion of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and two-thirds of the Gross Domestic


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Product of Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. Those are among the findings of this new study commissioned by Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District (LCH&TD). The study states that the LCH&TD and the Ship Channel are substantial sources of jobs and tax revenue, which will increase with the $46 million in planned projects over the next five years. The study, “The Economic Impacts of the Calcasieu Ship Channel,” was conducted by Martin Associates and reviewed at the December public meeting of the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District Board of Commissioners. To calculate the local economic impact, the study measured economic impacts on the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)— Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. Ship Channel Cargo moving via marine terminals along the Calcasieu Ship Channel in 2020 supported 158,485 jobs nationwide. That includes 108,773 jobs in Louisiana and 42,075 in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. The Calcasieu-Cameron figure represents 45 percent of the area’s non-farm jobs. The study found there were 13,279 direct

jobs generated in the Calcasieu-Cameron area. Marine cargo activity along the Ship Channel supported $39 billion of total economic value to the U.S. economy. Of that, $29.9 billion was in Louisiana, representing 13 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product. About $12 billion of that value was in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes—67 percent of the region’s GDP. Infrastructure and Economic Benefit The study also measured the environmental and infrastructure benefits provided by the use of the Ship Channel. The Ship Channel “provides about $1.1 billion in benefits to the U.S. economy by avoiding the environmental emissions, safety, and external trucking infrastructure degradation costs that would result if the domestic cargo now shipped and received along the Calcasieu Ship Channel could no longer use the Ship Channel and would have to be delivered by truck,” the study noted. Planned Growth Ahead Over the next five years, there are $46 billion of planned projects that will use the Ship Channel — adding 90.8 million tons of cargo per year to the current cargo handled.

Lake Area Industry Alliance is Proud to be Part of the Southwest Louisiana Community Southwest Louisiana is home to a thriving industrial community. Lake Area Industry Alliance is proud to be a channel of communication between industries and our community, offering education about the industrial processes, working with area schools to meet present and future needs of the industrial community, and lending support to local leaders for the continued positive growth of Southwest Louisiana. Beginning with supporting the World War II efforts with refineries to produce fuel, to current production of hydrazine to assist spacecraft landing on Mars, the companies represented by LAIA continue to produce products that consumers depend on and demand. The taxes paid by industry including property, sales and state income tax, have enabled the parish to improve our schools, enhance our sheriff’s office facilities and supplies and improve area roads and drainage. Donations to charitable causes and educational institutions such as McNeese University, SOWELA and the parish school system improve the educational foundation for those in our area. Annually, thousands of volunteer hours of have helped those in need to build a better life for themselves and their families. Lake Area Industry Alliance members produce products that we need every day while improving the quality of life in the community where we work and live.

Our next century will be even busier. The Calcasieu Ship Channel is a busy highway of commerce, with global cargoes traveling up and down America’s Energy Corridor, energizing the region’s economy. Channel activity drives two-thirds of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, generating 67 cents of every local dollar and supporting 42,075 local jobs.

The Calcasieu Ship Channel connects Southwest Louisiana to the world.









Over the next five years, there are $46 billion in planned projects which, at full build-out, would add 90 million tons of cargo a year through the Ship Channel. The Port of Lake Charles, which opened in 1926, is approaching a century of service. The century ahead looks to be even busier—and that’s good news for the Southwest Louisiana economy.


Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by


JOLIE RHINEHART General Manager at Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex

Jolie Rhinehart, a chemical engineer who graduated from the University of Delaware, is now in her 24th year with Phillips 66. She has thrived in a variety of roles within the company – engineering, planning and economics, operations – and in several locations spanning from one end of the country to the other. She and her husband moved to Southwest Louisiana in June 2020 when she came on board as the General Manager (GM) at Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex (LCMC). Rhinehart began her new role as GM at Phillips 66 LCMC in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a tough time to get started. “I couldn’t see the faces of my new team and doing a lot of face-to-face interaction didn’t set the right message as a leader. Thankfully, I’m blessed with an amazing team who understood the risks and challenges of COVID-19 and have given me a lot of grace during what was a very challenging transition. In the past two years, we have come to expect adversity in our everyday lives. The people of Phillips 66 have both persevered and prevailed, managing through the pandemic, weather disasters, and volatile markets. Our resilience defined 2021.” Rhinehart says her role as GM has been to keep the organization focused on safe, environmentally sound and reliable operations. Their Pandemic Response Team works closely 44

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

by Angie Kay Dilmore

with their Health Services Department that monitors the situation and ensures compliance with federal and state regulations. “I think we’re all ready to have COVID-19 behind us, but we continue to do our best to protect our people and our community. Our Phillips 66 team did an exceptional job of keeping our business operating safely during the pandemic and continues to do so today.” Phillips 66, like most companies, took an economic hit during the pandemic. “The first year or so, the airline industry was hit the hardest, and jet fuel is one of our primary products,” Rhinehart says. “We managed our business by running limited rates during the worst of it, but thankfully demand has mostly returned to normal.” In addition to managing natural disasters and a global pandemic, Rhinehart has made several positive, employee-related changes in her time thus far at Phillips 66 LCMC, specifically in the areas of hiring, the cafeteria, employee parking, and the addition of an on-site employee gym. “We had gotten behind on hiring the past couple years and had not had all of our jobs filled in over three years. Working with the refinery leadership team, we prioritized the jobs that needed to be filled, posted open jobs on our website, and started interviewing and hiring candidates. Over the past two years we have hired over 128 people at Phillips 66 LCMC. We have hired more than

the number of open jobs in some areas like operators and instrument technicians to help prepare the team for additional anticipated retirements. For the cafeteria, we teamed up with the Moncla family and put in fresh markets throughout our facility to provide great, fresh food for our team. Parking at our site is a challenge and we prioritized returning a parking lot for our Area A operators and not constructing anything on our existing parking lots. And our folks wanted to exercise, especially during the pandemic, so we found a location and put in an employee gym, which we think is a great asset to promote the health and wellness of our team.” Rhinehart continues to have big plans for Phillips 66 LCMC. “My primary goal is to ensure everyone gets home safely at the end of each work shift. As far as the facility, our priority is to maximize our clean high value products through prudent capital investment. We are in our 81st year of operation at Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex and we have made major upgrades through the decades, most recently with the investment of a unit that improves our ability to produce higher quantities of octane low sulfur gasoline. Our next investment strategy upgrades our distillate products and is a suite of three projects that will really elevate the flexibility and robustness of our business with a premium product line.”

For a woman to succeed in a highlevel leadership position in the maledominated petro-chemical industry, it requires more than competence, experience, and a chemical engineering degree. For Rhinehart, it’s her strong character and ability to relate well to others. “I’m very expressive, honest, and open,” she says. “I share my motivation, why I took certain action, and why I think it was the right thing to do." At Phillips 66, we encourage diversity of thought, and I believe I bring that. I am an extrovert by nature. I love working on a team, getting to know my team, and

working to get the best from each individual on my team. In addition to being a woman, I don’t have the ‘typical’ engineering personality. I find I’m able to use my differences to benefit my team and the company.” Rhinehart represents Phillips 66 on the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Committee and serves on the boards of several associations and foundations in Southwest Louisiana. She says, “The energy sector is dynamic and is on the precipice of a lot of change. It’s an exciting opportunity to be an innovator. We are in a time where we need to get out and tell our story, what we do, why it’s important, and why energy matters.”

WE ARE PHILLIPS 66. Phillips 66 is proud to partner with the communities we operate in. We have developed long-lasting relationships with many worthy causes in this community, focused on literacy & education, safety & preparedness, and environment & sustainability. $1,145,000 in grants and sponsorships in 2021 Since 2012, $4,125,000+ in contributions to the United Way of Southwest Louisiana Partner in Education with 4 Calcasieu Parish Schools Celebrating 80 years in Westlake, Louisiana


Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by

a i d e m l s o c i a e gi e s strat


by Kerry Andersen

Like any successful team, the tech giants of social media have impressive stats they track. Consider this: 69-percent of Americans use Facebook, the platform has 2.41 billion monthly active users, usage is highest among U.S. adults who earn more than $70k annually and at least 76-percent of buyer decisions are now influenced by social media. You can even buy products directly from social media pages without having to log on to a company’s website. While Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and other platforms are growing rapidly, Facebook remains the MVP of the social media world and the most important (and mostly free) tool you can use to attract followers to your business. The following are the proven ways to build your roster of online fans on the world’s largest social media site: UPDATE YOUR PROFILE There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than logging on to a company’s social media page looking for basic information like address, phone number or operating hours only to find missing or outof-date details. Check to make sure all your social media pages have accurate information including a link to your website. Use fun and engaging cover photos that showcase your business. Fill in the ‘about’ section with your company mission and a short bio. 46

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

POST CONSISTENTLY Having a social media page isn’t enough – you need to actively maintain it and engage with your followers on a routine basis. Prioritize it like you would any other aspect of your business by sitting down to create an editorial calendar that plans out your social media posts for the quarter. Make sure your posts are strategic and support your business goals. The good news is that once you set your strategy and tone, there are now social media management tools like Loomly and Hootsuite that can do most of the work of daily posting and analysis for you. BE HONEST AND TRANSPARENT The rules of engagement on social media should be no different than in-person customer interaction. Be as honest as you can when answering questions. Assign a page moderator and be responsive; make it a priority to consistently monitor your page for customer inquiries. It’s ok to remove inappropriate content – you can even set up your page to look for (and block) harmful words and profanity. But don’t remove negative posts or those you simply don’t like; it’s important to respond in a calm and professional manner. Think of it as an opportunity to show customers you care about their problems – they’ll love you for it!

STAY ON BRAND Identify what your business goals are as a company, who your target audience is, and then talk to those people! Think about what your customers are interested in and stick with those topics. Inappropriate content is a confusing turnoff for fans (would LSU post news about Alabama’s quarterback?). Give your followers content that matters to them. ENGAGE YOUR FANS Remember that social media is a team sport. Like any great two-way conversation, don’t speak AT your followers but WITH them. Ask them questions (and then respond to their answers). Encourage them to post on your page and share stories and photos. Choose content that is fun or thought provoking and will inspire followers to comment and share your posts. CONTESTS AND GIVEAWAYS It’s human nature – people love a freebie or a special deal! Use your social media page to offer exclusive discounts for your online fans. It could be a coupon not available anywhere else, an online giveaway or first crack at a sale. Reward the loyal fans who follow your brand. Don’t forget the most important gift – show gratitude and say thank you!

TWO TEAMS ARE BETTER THAN ONE FOR YOUR BUSINESS VIDEO RULES A picture is pretty, but social media posts featuring video score the highest engagement numbers. It’s now easy to shoot a minute or so of video using the phone in your hand and upload it to Facebook and other social platforms. Consider highlighting the things that set your business apart. Interview employees with unique skills, give a behind the scenes tour of your company or demonstrate how a product is made. Followers will enjoy feeling like they have VIP access to your company. If social media is still outside of your comfort zone, consider contracting a marketing firm to build out your page templates, set your strategy and even oversee daily posting and monitoring for your business. It’s a small investment that will lead to a big win for your bottom line. Kerry Andersen is a public relations and marketing expert with over 18 years of industry experience helping businesses meet their goals by utilizing branding, PR and social media.


Owner: Vic Vicknair


Residential, Commercial & Industrial Moving SERV ICES Solutions moving & storage Our Services Include: Packing & Unpacking

Corporate Relocation

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337-602-6189 logistics

Full service records and information management company serving Southwest Louisiana.






Marwa Vicknair: Co-Owner

ADVOCACY Join the Group that Gets Things Done! We invite you to join APG (Alliance for Positive Growth), an organization of local businesses advocating for economic development. Our membership is over 200 individual members strong and growing. We are proud of what our group has accomplished for the benefit of our community in our first 5 years, and we are just getting started! These accomplishments include:


-Working with parish for Drainage District consolidation -Voter awareness campaigns for multiple elections -Annual APG Positive Growth Banquet -Collaboration with the HELP SWLA NOW hurricane federal disaster relief advocacy -Independent drone survey of drainage laterals days after historic flood Visit our website to learn more. OUR MISSION APG 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.

COLLABORATION | (337) 602.6788


Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by


The Importance of Marketing and Communication Strategies by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

It’s been over 25 years since Bill Gates uttered the now famous phrase “content is king,” which ushered in our transition to widespread online consumption of information. And where people go for information, so too goes the advertiser who needs to reach those people. This is how the field of content marketing evolved. Content marketing is the development and distribution of useful content such as articles, videos, social media, news releases, and more to current and potential customers or target audiences. When done right, it conveys expertise and makes it clear a company values their target audiences. Consistent use establishes and nurtures relationships with your audiences. It helps them get to know and trust you. Companies that use content marketing see approximately 30 percent higher growth rates and 72 percent of business-to-business marketers say it increases engagement and lead generation by 75 percent. When it comes to marketing, your objectives should be focused on your business’s needs. These could fall into brand awareness, sales, image, hiring, an election or corporate social responsibility, for example. You must determine what goals are core to your business success in both the short and long term. Creating content without a thoughtful vision is a lot like writing individual book pages for readers expecting a story. Marketing and advertising are meant to reach people, whether that is a broadly defined group or a narrower segment with a specific demographic or behavioral attributes, such as age, gender, household income, location, education, media preferences, consumer needs, fears and others. “We often have clients tell us ‘everyone,’ when we ask them ‘who do you need to reach?” said Kristy Como Armand, owner and partner at Healthy Image Marketing Agency. “But, when we work with them to set goals, we can help them


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

narrow down to a more defined target audience. Sometimes, however, it really is ‘everyone,’ but even in this situation, we still have to develop targeted messaging and strategies to reach different segments within this broad audience.” So how do you reach your target audience(s)? First, you need to understand them. What are their online habits? What types of media do they consume regularly? What are their personal goals, fears and beliefs? What would motivate them to take the desired action? What opportunities do you have to reach your audience and what barriers stand in the way? Once you know how to reach them, what will you say to them? Armand recommends the following questions to help with content development:

How can your content add to the conversation?

• •

What sets you apart from competitors?

What content does your target audience(s) care about?

How would that content tie back to your brand?

After you’ve answered these questions, distribution methods are going to be your primary focus. Is that Facebook, Instagram stories, e-blasts, direct mail, billboard, print ads or television? Once you have your primary methods, try to repurpose elements of that content to use on other channels, i.e., a television spot could be shortened into a smaller piece for social media feed and stories, as well as Google video ads. A social media design coupled with accompanying post copy could be expanded to create a direct mail piece or magazine ad. Having trouble determining the best distribution method for your business?

Armand recommends you consider the following:

Assess your resources and capabilities. What is the available budget? How will it be broken down between development, production and distribution? How will content get created—in-house, use of an agency, a mix of internal/external sources, or customer/community-generated content? What is length of campaign? Great production without adequate placement won’t deliver results you need.

Design a content calendar. Success is in the details. Map out where content will come from and who needs to approve. Let different media support each other. Don’t spread it out too thin. For the content calendar, planning ahead helps ensure your content is consistently running, but also gives you the flexibility to pivot when needed.

Determine in advance how results will be measured. Set expectations for measuring results ahead of time. Decide who is responsible for monitoring/measuring/ reporting and make sure the right tools are available. Set a timeframe for reporting results.

Whether you are a small, medium or large business, you need marketing. Marketing is not meant to be a quick fix for problems, but rather a way to build the relationships that will sustain a company’s presence. It’s something every businesse needs to invest in, cultivate and work at every day. For any marketing, public relations or event planning need, call Healthy Image Marketing Agency at 337-312-0972 or visit

A L W S R E CHAMB If you are in business, we work for you. You may not realize it, but the Chamber SWLA and its members are already working towards your success. Chambers of Commerce were founded across the world starting as early as 1599 under many names like a Board of Commerce or a Merchants or Trade Association. The goal then is the same as today, to band the power of many businesses together to act as the voice for the business community, to advocate for the business community, and recruit and develop new businesses for the community. In that regard, the only thing that has changed is the technology. As one of the largest Chambers in the state, the Chamber SWLA is proactive in attracting industry and growing our economy, developing leadership, and undertaking visionary quality-oflife programs. The Chamber SWLA tackles workforce issues by working with SOWELA Technical Community College, McNeese State University, and other area schools to match the needs of our regional business community with the training programs being offered. The Chamber SWLA works for you in the halls at the State Capitol, in Washington, D.C., and locally. We are part of several national and international movements to make it easier for you to do business here in our region. We also track down and meet with developers and industry leaders nationally and internationally, to share all the things that make Southwest Louisiana great and why they should open their next venture here. With the support of Chamber members – and future members – we will continue to lead the nation in new jobs, business opportunities and unprecedented growth!

Networking – The Chamber SWLA provides many opportunities to make one-on-one connections with regional business leaders. It’s not just who you know, it’s who knows you.

Learning Opportunities – Being successful in business requires staying up-to-date on trends, technology, and other issues that might affect your business. The Chamber SWLA hosts many online and in person training opportunities to provide the information businesses need to stay competitive in a rapidly changing market.

For more information, contact Paula Ramsey at or (337) 433-3632.






Other perks of membership are:

Knowledge – Our staff keeps up-to-date on industry trends, legislative issues, and national programs that can benefit our members, so we do our best to share this information through our bi-weekly e-newsletters, newspaper articles, and luncheons.

Credibility – Even if they don’t realize it consciously, when your customers see that you are a member of the Chamber SWLA, they know that you are a reputable part of our community. “When customers know that a small business is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 49% more likely to think favorably of it and 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.” (Shapiro Report, 2012)

Lake Charles  Sulphur 337-533-1808  Federally Insured by NCUA


Money & Career | Economic


Sponsored by

Jim Rock and local industry are synonymous. Even though he is from Alabama and has been known to yell “Roll Tide” during football season, we try not to hold that against him. He has more than proven his love for the Bayou State given the many years he has chosen to make Southwest Louisiana his home. Site manager, vice president and executive director are just a few of the hats Rock has worn during his illustrious career in industry. He gives Thrive an update on how he’s putting his knowledge of industry to work in his current role as executive director with Lake Area Industry Alliance.

first person with


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Jim Rock

by Christine Fisher

Describe your career path in industry.

I graduated from the University of Alabama in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, I moved from Alabama to Lake Charles to work for PPG Industries. For 32 years, I worked in a variety of roles of growing responsibility in the departments of maintenance, engineering, operations and EHS (environment, health and safety) at the plant here in Lake Charles. I then accepted a transfer and promotion to become the site manager in the PPG plant in West Virginia. Seven years (and seven winters) later, I returned to Lake Charles as the site manager of the Axiall North and South plants. About a year and a half later, I was assigned to the role of vice president of operational excellence for Axiall and a few months after that, was offered the position of executive director of Lotte Chemical for their new facility in Westlake.

What led to your decision to be the executive director of LAIA after the retirement of Larry DeRoussel?

Many years prior to returning to Lake Charles, I had actually thought about what a great job LAIA would be after retiring from a full-time job in industry. I was elated when Larry called to say he was interested in retiring and his job would become available. At that time, I had worked for 42 years in a variety of roles in the chemical industry including nine years as a site manager and was ready to slow down. I saw this as a way to continue to contribute to industry and the community while having more personal time. I became the executive director of LAIA in November 2019. By the way, I’m still waiting to slow down!

What do you see as LAIA’s role within the community?

LAIA is the communication liaison between local industries and the community, civic leaders, elected officials, educators, and non-profit organizations. We educate those groups on issues affecting business, industry, and trade. We provide factual information to the community regarding industrial operations that could affect residents, and we work with local education leaders from elementary school to college level to enhance the education systems to meet the present and future needs of the industrial community.

How does LAIA work with local industries?

LAIA is multi-faceted with the overall goal of bringing industry together to enhance Southwest Louisiana. We currently have 22 members of local industries as members of LAIA. Through our monthly meetings and ongoing discussions, we learn what issues and challenges

facilities are facing, and work together to solve them. We also share best practices on subjects like hurricane preparation, dealing with pandemics and supply chain issues. We discuss any current community needs and how we can work together to improve our community. We collaborate with local community and government leaders to see how we can work together to enhance our part of the state.

What initiatives has LAIA been involved with over the years?

Some of the community initiatives that LAIA has sponsored and supported include the City of Lake Charles Trash Bash where paint from households is recycled, the e-recycling activity for appliances and electronics, the Calcasieu Parish litter pick-up, Partners in Education and Chem Expo. We also work closely with McNeese State University and SOWELA to help educate future employees in the engineering, process technology and mechanical integrity curriculum. LAIA uses a third party to periodically conduct community surveys to better understand the concerns and issues of our neighbors. We use those survey results to develop and share factual information in order to better educate the public about our industries. One of those campaigns provides facts about cancer risks and how the chances of having cancer in our community are not statistically different from other parts of the state or nation. Local doctors have partnered with us and have shared that the key to surviving cancer lies with early detection which is why the recommended screenings and wellness visits are so important. Another campaign, Industry Insider, helps educate the community about the various processes that occur inside local plants. We know that when plants flare, it can cause questions among the community. Industry Insider explains the purpose of flares and other industrial processes that protect the air and water in the community. Industry Impact, our most recent campaign, focused on how industry tax dollars, jobs, volunteerism and donations to local non-profits impact the local community in a positive way. The impact of local industry is eye-opening when you include how much they economically benefit our area.

I also enjoy taking advantage of having a “part-time” job which allows me lots of time to work for some great non-profits such as the Community Foundation of SWLA.

What are your goals for LAIA in the coming years?

There are a lot of potential changes in the industry, and it will be important for LAIA to be active in making sure local industries are positioned to adapt and continue to supply products that consumers all over the world will require. The rapid growth in demand for LNG, or liquified natural gas, has propelled SWLA into the position of being the number one exporter in the world. It’s a stunning milestone for a nation that, less than a decade ago, was a net importer of natural gas. Since then, the shale boom has transformed the U.S. into the world’s biggest gas producer allowing the U.S. to supply much needed gas to nations that need it to meet demands due to phasing out nuclear, coal and other energy sources in order to feed power plants and heat homes. SWLA is the leader in providing that commodity. Active participation in the development and operation of the LNG Center of Excellence will be a key to maintain the pipeline of talent to support these facilities to enable them to continue to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

When you’re not at the office, what hobbies do you enjoy?

I enjoy working in the yard, going for walks, playing tennis and best of all, being “Poprock” (grandfather) to my grandkids. Running and cycling was a big part of my non-work activities several years ago, but after 19 marathons including four Boston marathons, I hung up my running shoes and only ride a bike occasionally for pleasure.


Money & Career

Stay Safe from Cybersecurity

THR E ATS The importance of cybersecurity in business. by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

Cyberattacks are constantly evolving, but businesses should be aware of the most common types:

• • • •

Malware—software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client or network. Viruses—harmful programs intended to spread from computer to computer (and other connected devices), giving access to your system. Ransomware—infects and restricts access to a computer until a ransom is paid. Phishing—uses email or a malicious website to collect sensitive information; usually appear as though they’ve been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual.

Businesses can no longer afford to place cybersecurity at the bottom of the budget— not with cyberattacks targeting any business, regardless of size, strict security and privacy regulations surrounding data. “Every year marks another ‘worst year ever’ for cyberattacks,” said Brett Dering, owner of Kinetic IT Solutions in Lake Charles. “The good news is that it is estimated that 93 percent of all 52

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

breaches can be avoided if simple processes are put in place. From regularly updating software, training employees on the ins and outs of email phishing campaigns, and implementing multifactor authentication, there are many effective ways of preventing cybercriminals from getting what they want. But, these are what I like to call the ‘first line of defense.’ Businesses need a full cybersecurity strategy to protect themselves, their customers, and their data from growing threats. That’s where we can help by offering managed services tailored to their business.” Why managed services? Partnering with a managed service provider is the most effective way to prevent attacks and protect your business from these malicious threats. They include a full range of proactive IT support that focuses on advanced security, such as around the clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, real-time threat prevention and elimination, network and firewall protection, security awareness training and more. Because managed services are designed to identify and fix weak spots in your IT infrastructure, you’ll optimize the digital backbone of your business processes. You’ll have faster network performance, a business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, as well as minimum downtown.

Need an added bonus? You get a dedicated team of IT professionals ready to assist you with any technology problem you may encounter. This is much more effective and budgetfriendly than having in-house personnel handling all your IT issues. Dering offers some cybersecurity best practices:

Train your employees. Employees and emails are the leading cause of data breaches and are a direct path into your system. Employees should be able to spot a phishing email, use good browsing practices, avoid suspicious downloads, create strong passwords, protect sensitive customer and vendor information, and maintain good cyber hygiene.

Protect and backup data. Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resource files and accounts receivable/payable files. Try to do this at least weekly and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud.



With a dedicated IT team, we can put technology to work for you. By learning your goals and values, we can help your business run efficiently and increase effectiveness, while proactively easing the burden of tech-related issues.



Control physical access. Prevent access or use of business computer and devices by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be easy targets for theft, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel. Secure payment processing. Work with your bank or card processors to ensure the most trust and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the internet.

Being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity is the only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build. If you’d like to know more about how managed services can secure and benefit your business, please visit www. or call 337-513-4272 to schedule your FREE IT consultation.





REAL ESTATE | (337) 513-4272 | 1638 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Acco u nti n g • A s s u r a n ce • Au d iti n g Ta x • B u s i n e s s A c c o u n t i n g

Providing clients with a wide range of accounting, tax and financial management services tailored to meet today’s challenging times. 2740 Rue de Jardin, Ste. 100 | Lake Charles, LA 70605 7670 Woodway Suite 208 | Houston, Texas 77063 3 3 7. 47 8 . 7 9 0 2 w w w. j w a l k e r c o . c o m


Money & Career

Need Help with your


The Region V American Job Center can help you find a job and grow your career by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

Southwest Louisiana withstood four federally declared disasters in less than a year—Hurricanes Laura, Delta, winter storm Uri and historic flooding—all while responding to wave after wave of the coronavirus pandemic. These events have changed the economy, altering the way we work and the types of skills employers will seek as they continue to hire. Workers across industries will need reskilling, retraining and in some cases, may need to return to school for further education. Enter the American Job Center “The American Job Center is designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers—graduating high schoolers, college seniors and any resident who is seeking to increase their employability—under one roof,” said Nypheteria Clophus, One Stop Operator Manager with the American Job Center Region V (AJC). “Our center offers training referrals, career counseling, job listings and similar employment-related services, thanks to a system of partnerships with nonprofit organizations, government agencies and community-based organizations—all with the goal of providing workforce development, educational services and quality of life resources to residents in the community, as well as assistance to businesses.”

ALLEN PARISH 602 Court St. Oberlin, La 70655


Clophus explains services job seekers and businesses can find at the AJC: For Job Seekers: Whatever your employment needs, tap into the free resources at the AJC. Our offices house a resource center with computers, printers and phones to allow job seekers to access online job banks, resume software and other job search resources. Job seekers can learn about the local job market, work on their resume, apply for jobs or other assistance programs. We offer free workshops to help practice interviewing, increase digital literacy, set career goals and more to answer any concerns you may have about your job search. In addition, our trained staff is ready to assist you in finding training options, determining if you qualify for special employment assistance i.e. youth, veterans, persons with disabilities or dislocated workers, and connecting you to other resources in your community i.e. SNAP benefits, emergency funds, Medicaid, childcare, clothing and more. We offer a skills assessment to help you determine where you stand, then direct you to education and training and/or certifications and apprenticeships to support you in finding your next job opportunity.

BEAUREGARD PARISH 1102 West 1St St. DeRidder, La 70634 (337) 462-5838

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

For Businesses: Running your own business can be one of the most rewarding things in life. To be successful takes a high level of foresight, commitment, patience and hustle. Operating your business can come with its share of challenges, whether it’s meeting payroll, dealing with clients, shipping products or delivering services, it can get overwhelming. Regardless of what industry you are in, managing your workforce is one of the most essential components of a successful operation. The AJC understands the complexities with recruiting and retaining your workforce. If this struggle sounds familiar, we can help you save time and costs, and connect you with qualified job seekers and give you access to resources that can enhance the way you run your business. The best part? It is offered to employers at no costs. The AJC is ready and able to be your missing team member in climbing the ladder to business success.

CALCASIEU PARISH 2424 3rd St. Lake Charles, La 70605 (337) 721-4010

VERNON PARISH 408 Fertitta Blvd. Leesville, La 71446

AJC Partners • Community Services Block Grant • Department of Children & Family Services • Goodwill • Job Corps • Jobs for Veterans State Grant • Literacy Council of SWLA • Louisiana Rehabilitation Services • Motivation Education & Training, Inc. • Senior Community Services Employment Program

• SOWELA • Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act • Trade Adjustment Assistance Program • Community Foundation SWLA

Let us help you make a plan.

• Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections • Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University • Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana, Inc.

Butch Ferdinandsen

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


March 30 | 9:00 a.m. Lake Charles Civic Center 900 Lakeshore Drive Lake Charles, La 70601

Walk-ins welcome! Business attire, picture I.D. and copies of resume encouraged.

From basic printing jobs for everyday business needs to extraordinary promotional pieces that target new customers, our experienced staff in the fields of printing, binding, data, mailing and everything in between, will make paper work, for you. Give us a call today.

We make paper, (337) 477-2595 l 1723 W. Sale Road


Money & Career

Don’t Leave a Paper Trail Even in the digital age, businesses and individuals deal with paper every day. Employee records, client records, bank statements, receipts, insurance policies, vendor invoices, tax returns, credit card bills and even junk mail contain information that can be used to steal your identity and your money. Identity theft continues to be a growing problem in the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an estimated nine million identities are stolen each year. Research shows that the majority (56 percent) of identity theft occurs when the thief has direct contact with the victim’s personal information, through a stolen or lost wallet, rifling through a personal mailbox, trashcan or recycling bin, or even taking documents from inside a home or business.

“In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook all the documents that contain personal and financial information,” says Marwa Vicknair, co-owner of Reliable Document Storage & Shredding, a full service records and information management company based in Lake Charles. “Tossing intact anything that contains your name, address, phone number, birth date or financial-record numbers puts you at risk of identity theft. You may not realize that almost every pre-approved credit card and loan offer you receive has enough information for anyone to open an account in your name.” Vicknair says shredding paper documents is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent fraud and identity theft. “Our shredding service helps reduce your risk for exposure by ensuring proper compliance with privacy laws and regulations.” In addition to the privacy protection Reliable’s shredding service provides, it is also an easy way for businesses and individuals

Protect your Identity and the Environment by Shredding by Kristy Como Armand

to be environmentally responsible. The company recycles the paper it shreds. “One ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, three cubic yards of landfill space and 20,000 gallons of water,” says Vicknair. She explains that the shredded paper is collected from their facility and compacted into bales. “Our bales are shipped to various paper mills across the country. Each mill melts the shred to recover the pulp (cellulose fibers), which is used as the raw material for the production of their recycled paper products, such as paper towels, toilet paper, notebook paper, copy paper, packaging and more. So, when you see the recycled paper logo on a product you buy, it may contain sustainable remnants of paper we shredded right here in Southwest Louisiana.” Reliable Document Storage & Shredding is located at 2925 Industrial Avenue in Lake Charles. For more information, call (337) 307-5327 or visit

BE A SAVVY SHREDDER Before you shred anything, make sure you won’t need that document again. Each state has regulations on how long certain documents should be kept, particularly if those documents are used for business or needed for taxes. Regulations on shredding vary by industry as well. Non-tax documents, including utility statements, credit card statements and medical bills should be kept for one to three years. Tax documents should be kept up to six years. 56

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

You should shred: • credit card or loan offers • credit card receipts • expired credit cards • medical and financial records • canceled checks • tax records

• • •

employee records computer printouts containing personal/financial information correspondence related to any of these items

Alliance for Positive Growth

Is Helping SWLA Grow Strong The Alliance for Positive Growth (APG) completed its first five years of operation in 2021 and the organization has firmly established itself as a positive voice for regional growth. APG 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. Since its founding in 2017, APG has grown to include over 200 individual members. The group conducts regular meetings and events for its members and has active committees addressing the most critical issues affecting business growth in our region. Executive Director Faith Hooks says while the pandemic and natural disasters of 2020 and 2021 curtailed many of the group’s in-person meetings and events, it did not stop their work toward overcoming obstacles to business development. “In fact, the challenges our region faced helped guide our work over the past two years. We were involved in relief efforts and assisted local government with drainage improvements. We had to skip our Annual Positive Growth Banquet in 2020 but were able to host this event at the end of 2021, brining in a nationally recognized speaker to discuss strategies for regional growth.”

Other APG accomplishments over the past five years include:

• • • • • • •

Joined forces with parish administration to rewrite Drainage and Sewer Ordinances. Collaborated with city administration to revise a Stormwater Runoff Ordinance. Hosted public forums for mayoral elections. Aided in the drafting of parish-wide efforts to consolidate 7 independent drainage districts into 2 Drainage Boards. Conducted voter awareness campaigns for multiple elections. Joined multi-agency campaign to advocate for federal relief funding after Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Conducted an independent drone aerial survey and analysis of drainage lateral “hot spots” just days after a 100-year historic flood in May 2021, then donated all images and results back to local government. (Study received over 14,000 views online)

“These are just a few of the projects we have completed,” says Hooks. “What we are most proud of is the working relationship we have been able to establish with local government, and working with these leaders to get things done for the benefit of both businesses and the entire community.”

For more information about APG and membership opportunities, visit or call (337) 602.6788.

APG NAMES 2022 BOARD LEADERSHIP APPOINTMENTS APG has named its new Executive Board officers for 2022. They are: President: Trey Hays - First Federal Bank of LA Vice President: Tommy Eastman - Flavin Realty Secretary: Mary Kay Hopkins - Mary Kay Hopkins LLC Treasurer: Ryan Hess - Hancock Whitney Ex-Officio: Matt Redd - Redd Properties Officer: Bart Yakupzack - Jack Lawton Companies Officer: Joseph Banks - Liberty Plaza Properties


Places & Faces Take a Day Trip to



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

This month, Thrive introduces a new monthly travel section featuring day trips to a variety of communities in and around Southwest Louisiana. We want our readers to be tourists in their own backyard and discover the many attractions, restaurants, and retail shops found in these small but exciting communities. First up, take a day trip to Sulphur!

Sulphur Sulphur

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Places & Faces | Take a Day Trip to Sulphur

Art, Adventure, & Aquatics Adventure AWAITS...

South of Sulphur

Planning a road trip along the Creole Nature Trail? Adventure Point is the best place to launch your marshland journey. This unique visitors’ center is especially geared to kids, with exciting activities to introduce the whole family to the culture of Southwest Louisiana. Listen to Cajun music and pretend you are part of the band.

Imagine you’re hidden in a duck blind, hunting ducks in the marsh. Smell the mouthwatering aromas of Cajun and Creole cooking. Explore the wildlife of Southwest Louisiana – alligators, nutria, and birds, to name a few. The knowledgeable staff can answer questions and offer maps and helpful brochures. Visit the gift shop for souvenirs. 2740 Ruth St. in Sulphur


Parks & Recreation Waterpark Sulphur Parks and Recreation (SPAR) Waterpark offers a fun day in the sun for all ages. This wild and wet destination has been expanded over the past two years, offering even more slides, sprays, splashes, and spouts. There’s a 600-foot long Raging River, Larry’s Lazy River, and the Lagoon Pool. Younger guests will enjoy Patch’s Splash Pad and Splash and Play Island, with fountains, tipping buckets, small-scale slides, and a gigantic yellow


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

bucket that dumps 500 gallons of water every two minutes. The park also features plenty of areas to catch some rays or relax in the shade. Lockers, food, and beverages available. Opens mid-May. 933 W. Parish Rd., Sulphur. 337-527-2500


Henning Cultural CENTER The Henning Cultural Center is located in a refurbished historic home by The Grove at Heritage Square. They offer two floors of rotating art exhibits and is one of the largest historic galleries in SWLA. You might find art by talented area school students, local artists, or a variety of art exhibits and activities. All programing and attendance is free, courtesy of Sulphur Parks and Recreation and the Brimstone Historical Society.

Curioddities Art Show See a gorgeous Alice in Wonderland exhibit on the second floor with costumes and immersive art displays. Each room has a different setting from the book with over 100 art pieces. The downstairs gallery holds the ‘oddities’ portion of the exhibit, including many taxidermy pieces on loan from the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, a life-sized sasquatch, family heirlooms from the private collection of Nina Vincent, and more beautiful artwork from local and international artists. This show has 45 exhibiting artists and over 200 art pieces and items to see. Through March 10. CLOSING RECEPTION for Curioddities Art Show You’re invited to the Mad Hatter’s tea party! Enjoy an evening of browsing the exhibit, hear gallery talks from artists featured in the show, and meet and take photos with the Mad Hatter himself! This is a costume-themed event, so wear your best tea party or wonderland attire and support the arts in style! Snacks and beverages provided by the Brimstone Museum. March 10, 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Poetry Night at the Henning House with Open Mic This is an evening of literary delights, free coffee & hot cocoa, and the chance to share our works and writings with like-minded individuals. The intimate setting makes for a beautiful evening. Any poet or writer may sign up to attend/read. There is no age limit, anyone may read something they’ve written or the works of someone whom they admire. March 3, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Chess Tournament and Casual play with Casa de Ajedrez Play chess or Puerto Rican Dominos with Chess instructor Andy Rivera from Casa de Ajedrez. Don’t know how to play chess? Now is a great opportunity to learn, surrounded by art and culture. Chess sets & dominos provided. March 5, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. OPENING RECEPTION for the Talented Arts Program Exhibit Calcasieu Parish schools will feature student artwork from the talented arts program from March 17 - April 21. Student work ranges across a broad array of subject matter and includes many ceramic pieces. March 17, 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Henning Cultural Center is located at 923 Ruth St., Sulphur. Hours are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – noon, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Places & Faces | Take a Day Trip to Sulphur

In the Spirit of Sulphur

Yellowfin Vodka by Angie Kay Dilmore

Jamison Trouth opened his vodka distillery in 2017. Yellowfin Vodka was well-received by the Southwest Louisiana community and quickly became a statewide favorite. By 2019, despite only selling a single product, Trouth says his company was doing very well. “Per a six-month Nielsen consumer research report, we were the number six vodka in the state for our category behind Tito’s, Absolut, Kettle One, Deep Eddy and Stoli. These brands all had multiple SKUs that went toward their totals. We had one.” But then came 2020. “The COVID-19 pandemic completely destroyed our sales in 2020,” Trouth says. “We made sanitizer to help meet the demand in our area and we survived without assistance until Hurricane Laura. The storm caused electrical damage to some of our equipment due to power surges that kept our doors closed for over four months. We ran out of product, our distributor ran out of product, and then the shelves. But we made our repairs and reopened in January of 2021.”

Jamison Trouth displays Yellowfin merch


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

During their downtime in 2020 and 2021, Trouth and his team experimented with oaking their original vodka. After much time and effort, they chose two recipes to produce. “Our Toasted version is light in color and character. It’s rested with American Oak toasted to different intensities ranging from light to dark. Our Charred version is darker in color and character. It’s rested with a range of toasted American Oak as well, but we also include charred oak in this recipe. I wouldn’t compare either of them directly to bourbon but the Charred version is definitely similar. One key difference is that neither contain coloring, artificial flavoring or sugar. They’re lower calorie options without sacrificing quality.” Trouth adds that most people enjoy both versions but usually everyone has a preference. In general, women gravitate toward the Toasted version. The same is true with men and the Charred version. Both of these unique products are currently available at the distillery.

What’s next for Yellowfin? Trouth is excited to announce his next spirit, Mahi Rum! Several versions will be released at the distillery in the coming months. Beyond that, he hopes to relocate his distillery to Lake Charles within the next couple years. For now, Yellowfin Vodka is located at 1716 E Burton Street in Sulphur. Open 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Fridays. Trouth offers free tours and samples, and also sells apparel and other merchandise.

Sulphur Retail

Something for Everyone!

Small businesses, especially retail shops, often represent the priorities and values of the communities that support them. In Sulphur, retail represents family and a focus on the arts. Here’s a small sample of the shops you can visit.

Khoury’s Clothing offers specialty clothes and accessories for men and women. They offer popular name brands like Hey Dude shoes; Oakley, Costa, Maui Jim, and Ray Ban sunglasses; Sweet Grace – a line of fragrance items; Linden & London household products. In the women’s department, they sell jeans, tops, scarves, leggings, tunic tops and more. They carry a variety of work wear, jewelry, and a lot of this and that. They also rent tuxedos for proms and weddings. You never know what you might find at Khoury’s!

The Harrington Gallery is a whimsical hidden gem representing local artists showcasing original oils, acrylics, watercolors, and fine art prints. In addition, the gallery also has a large selection of pottery, woodwork, and unique handmade artisan items. The gallery specializes in custom framing and restoration with an emphasis on one-ofa-kind creative design. Stop by 210 Tamarack Street for a visit guaranteed to be charming and delightful!

1531 E Napoleon St

Flock of Five Gift and Art Emporium is housed in the former Sulphur Post Office. They host 60 vendors, with wares made by painters, potters, quilters, jewelry makers, stained glass artists, mixed media designers, metal workers, photographers, soap and candlemakers, and other artisans. They specialize in Cajun and Louisiana-themed artwork. 217 E. Thomas St.

A business with a longstanding family legacy, Etie’s A Children’s Shoppe opened in 2018. Abbie Ferguson sells kids apparel from sizes preemie to youth XL, as well as toys, games, and books. 206 S. Huntington St.

Flock of Five Gift and Art Emporium, LLC

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

Open Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm Over 50 LOCAL ARTISANS and VENDORS! 7000+ square ft. of Shopping Area. Come “Flock” With Us!

Find us on Facebook!


Places & Faces | Take a Day Trip to Sulphur


Restaurant Round-Up

Sulphur might not be very big, but it is home to a wide variety of restaurants serving a large selection of foods. Italian, Mexican, Japanese and Cajun options exist nearby treat stops with tempting snowballs, delicious baked goods and coffees. Crawfish to go, an old-fashioned burger with fries and a chocolate malt, barbecue and seafood buffets and so much more are all available in the City of Sulphur.

by Danley Romero

Joe’s Pizza and Pasta Some of Joe’s Pizza and Pasta’s popular items include their chicken parmesan, cheese pizza, lasagna, and chicken fettuccine Alfredo, but their list of entrees goes on to include calzones, stromboli, chicken Romano, eggplant parmesan, veal marsala, seafood pasta dishes and other Italian dishes. Along with their meal, customers can enjoy delicious bread rolls and a variety of appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms, fried calamari, artichoke shrimp dip and caprese salad. Cannoli, tiramisu, and cheesecake are available for desserts. Open Tuesday through Sunday. 1601 Ruth St The Village Coffeehouse The Village is a coffeehouse and bakery offering an assortment of teas, coffees, baked goods, smoothies and other drinks. Their savory options include sandwiches, avocado toast, breakfast burritos, bagels and cream cheese, garlic cheddar biscuits, chips and soups. The Village was opened in 2020 and is open every day except Sundays, when the space is available to be rented for events. Community values revolving around people, passion, justice, empathy, community and compassion are hallmarks for this business. Find more information on their website. 121 S Huntington Street Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant Open Monday through Saturday, Rosita’s menu includes tacos, seafood, fajitas, soups, nachos, quesadillas, tortas, burritos, and more. Established in 2007, some of their Mexican plate options are classic staples like the enchiladas and flautas, while others, like the stuffed (and fried) avocado, are great options for anyone wanting to try something new. Desserts include ice creams, ice slushes, fruit sorbets, pops, and mangonadas. 2401 E Napoleon Street 64

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Sake Japanese House Sake Japanese House serves a wide variety of sushi as well as sashimi, teriyaki, tempura, udon, fried rice, lo mein, and hibachi options. Their lunch menu also offers bento boxes. With appetizers like gyoza, crab rangoon, edamame, fried calamari, soft shell crab, delicious volcano shrimp, and soup and salad options like miso soup and seaweed salad, Sake has something for everyone. They serve a variety of desserts, including mochi and green tea, vanilla or red bean ice creams, and offer an assortment of alcoholic drinks including red and white wines, beer (Japanese beer options are available) and, of course, sake! Closed Mondays. 2245 Maplewood Drive. Cody’s Crawfish Shop Established in 2008 and serving food December through June, Cody’s Crawfish Shop is a drive-through selling purged crawfish and shrimp with potatoes, corn, mushrooms, sausage and Dat Dip sauce. There is a 30+ pound ice chest special for customers who bring their own ice chest. The menu is simple and the food is delicious! 500 Cypress Street Dairy Barn Dairy Barn is known for their oldfashioned hamburgers and sides like onion rings, fries, fried string beans and okra and more. Fresh-squeezed lemonade, shrimp burgers, poboys and BLTs, hot dogs, salads and dinner plates are also available. The atmosphere is fun and kid-friendly, with a train track that carries a miniature locomotive above the heads of customers. Their ice cream, shakes and malts are also popular. 2251 Maplewood Drive

Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen Opened in 1995, some of Hollier’s popular items include jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, and gumbo. They also serve marinated steaks, boudin, fried alligator, poboys, burgers and sandwiches, an assortment of seafood options, barbecue, and other Cajun dishes. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m, and seafood buffets are available 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. They’re also well-known for their all-you-can-eat BBQ lunch buffet on Wednesdays. 1709 Ruth Street PT’s Snowballs Coffee and Ice Cream Established way back in 1977, and renamed and rebranded in 2017, PT’s Snowballs, Coffee and Ice Cream has been serving sweet treats in Southwest Louisiana for decades. Open year-round, they have two drive-through windows as well as indoor and outdoor seating. PT’s serves a wide range of snowball flavors, with or without cream—cherry, sour blue raspberry, tiger’s blood, coconut, nectar, Georgia peach and margarita are just a few. Stuffed snowballs full of ice cream, hand-dipped Blue Bell cones, and loads of espressobased coffees are also available. 2405 Maplewood Drive

The City of Sulphur recently debuted a brochure to highlight their attractions. It’s available in print and digital format and is the perfect way for visitors and residents to see the breadth of attractions, restaurants, shops, parks, and places to experience art and culture found within the city limits. “Whenever the brochure came to life, I think that everyone involved in the project was genuinely proud to see all that there is to see and do in the City of Sulphur,” said Mike Danahay, Mayor of Sulphur. “The quality of activities, experiences, events and attractions showcased will help visitors understand the different facets of the community and how to explore Sulphur like a local.” Find the brochure at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point, the Henning Cultural Center, and the Visit Lake Charles Welcome Center. For a digital copy of the brochure, log on to


Places & Faces

g n i r p S SWLA l a v i t s e F Guide March 25-26

March 11-25

Live @ the Lakefront March 11, 18, 25; 5:30 p.m. Admission free

Live @ the Lakefront turns 10 years old this year! The ever-popular concert series is presented by The Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, and the City of Lake Charles, and promises to bring the greatest local bands down to the lake for three Friday evenings of great music, food and drinks, and art. Lineup: March 11 – Washington-Marion Marching Band, Justin Martindale, Zydepokes and The Main Entrée. The good times continue the next weekend on Friday, March 18 – St. Louis Show Choir, Swampland String Band, Red Dirt Revue and Jarvis Jacob & the Gents. The series will conclude on Friday, March 25 – Lake Charles College Prep Marching Band, Bluesiana Red, McNeese Jazz Ensemble and The Flamethrowers. 66

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

March 10 -13

Black Heritage Festival March 10 -13 Lake Charles Civic Center

Events: Senior Citizen Bingo – Thursday, March 10, 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Lake Charles MLK Center. Free to all seniors 50 and above. Multiple prizes and lunch provided. Formal Gala and Dinner – Friday, Mar. 11, 8:00 p.m. to midnight, Magnolia House Event Center. Tickets and tables available for purchase. Main festival day, Saturday, Mar. 12, Lake Charles Civic Center. Parade at 11:00 a.m. with Day Festival inside the Civic Center until 6:00 p.m. Gospel Extravaganza – Sunday, Mar. 13, 5:00 p.m. at United Christian Fellowship

In Southwest Louisiana, we’re proud of our culture and heritage, and we celebrate our favorite things best through our many festivals. The region is home to over 70 festivals each year. Here’s a lineup of what Spring 2022 has to offer.

SWLA Garden Conference & Expo 2022

March 25-26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Burton Coliseum, 7001 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles Admission $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under Contact Robert Turley at 337-721-4080 or e-mail: The Southwest Louisiana Garden Conference & EXPO celebrates gardening with its 22nd Annual Conference, Show and Plant Extravaganza featuring gardening, flowers, trees, shrubs, garden accessories, books, demonstrations, educational lectures, and general garden tools. Area, regional and interstate exhibitors, and vendors will be there to assist you with your plant and garden needs. The Federated Garden Clubs of Southwest Louisiana will display their floral design and horticulture talents. There will be new and exciting educational programs about garden topics of interest by LSU AgCenter specialist, as well as, regional, and state guest speakers. The EXPO attracts over 3,000 garden lovers, residents, and visitors each year. There will be a Plant Health Clinic with professionals from the LSU AgCenter as well as 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 help EXPO-goers carry out items to their vehicles.

Louisiana Pirate Festival April 28 to May 7

Spring Art Walk April 30

April 30, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Ryan St., Downtown Lake Charles. Free admission Pop-up galleries, Art Market, Art Wars competition, live music, food trucks . . . come celebrate our vibrant arts community!

April 28 - May 7 Lake Charles Lakefront/Civic Center Admission free This family-friendly festival celebrates their 65th year and highlights the pirate history of Louisiana, the joie ‘de vive of living in Southwest Louisiana, and showcases local artists and music groups. Other events include a Buccaneer reenactment with live cannon fire where pirates capture the mayor and take over the city; a carnival and rides by Todd Armstrong Shows; a Gymfit adventure course for kids that specializes in Ninja Warrior, Circus Arts, Parkour and Fitness; dog parades, off-road and on road car shows, BBQ cookoffs and more. For more information, go to, call 337-474-0006 or email

Louisiana Beer Festival May 7

May 7, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Historic City Hall and Courthouse Grounds at intersection of Ryan and Kirby Sts., Lake Charles Tickets $50 general admission, $100 VIP By tickets at The Louisiana Beer Festival celebrates its 6th year. Attendees can experience a selection of over 100 Louisiana and American craft beers, meads, and ciders. VIP access starts at 12 noon, and VIP ticket holders can expect premium samplings along with food pairings courtesy of 1910 Restaurant and Wine Bar. The event benefits four local nonprofit organizations: • Arts & Humanities | Devin Corbello • Do Good Dog Rescue | Amanda Cusey • Downtown Business Association | Jay Ecker

SWLA Abolitionists | Rusty Havens PRESENTED BY

To volunteer, contact your choice of organization or email Nick Villaume, To be a vendor, contact Sara Lasher, For sponsorship inquiries, contact Mike Cironi,


Places & Faces

A Fundraiser to Fight Hunger & Feed Hope SALVATION ARMY BRINGS BACK EVENT FOUNDED ON SOUP, SOAP AND SALVATION by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz On Thursday, May 12, 2022, the Salvation Army will host its 12th Empty Bowl at L’Auberge Casino Resort from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy a wide variety of soups prepared by the chefs at some of Lake Charles’ premier restaurants and will receive a one-of-a-kind bowl handcrafted by local artisans. The evening will also feature the comedy duo, Bean and Bailey. Honorary co-chairs for this year’s event are Willie Mount and Jean Kamla. “We are excited to be a part of this event that supports the important work the Salvation Army does in our community,” said Mount, former state senator and mayor of Lake Charles.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

“We invite you to join us in fighting hunger and homelessness in our local community by becoming a sponsor of this special event,” said. Lieutenant Tim Morrison. “The statistics are more than just numbers. They represent people who have been given the hope of Jesus through your support and generosity.” Emergency Disaster Relief Each disaster creates its own unique circumstances and special needs. After the unspeakable, we speak hope.

• • • • •

Served 171,000 hot meals Provided 670 cleanup kits Distributed 3,000+ non-perishable food boxes Made 5,700 spiritual care contacts Opened extreme weather shelter for 79 days

Social Services Our social service programs meet the basic needs of daily life for those without the resources to do so themselves.

• • • • • • • •

Served 427 people Provided 62 grocery orders Assisted in 61 rental payments ranging from $500-$1,000 each Assisted in 56 utility payments averaging $150 each Distributed: 125 clothing items 132 personal comfort kits 82 grocery gift cards

Co-chairs Jean Kamla and Willie Mount

Entertainment by comedy duo, Bean and Bailey

Sponsorship and Ticket Information:

Summer Camp Every year, kids age 7-17 travel to Lexington, MS to gain a fresh perspective on life as they meet new friends, discover new activities, and get a taste of the great outdoors. As campers learn to swim, play sports, create music, make art, and scout, their trained counselors help them navigate the complicated emotions and struggles often associated with their lives back home.

• •

Capacity 100 kids/week Cost $250/week

Red Kettle Campaign Every Christmas, volunteers ring kettle bells to raise funds to provide Christmas services for those in the local community.

• • •

Provided Christmas gifts to 350+ families, including 750+ children and nearly 100 seniors Each Angel Tree child received gifts averaging $150 Each family received $100 grocery gift card

Worship and Ministry Each Sunday, we hold Sunday School and Worship meetings. On Wednesday evenings, we host an Adult Bible Study followed by Men’s and Women’s ministries. These programs are also open for anyone to join. “Since 1904, the Salvation Army has been striving to make this community a better place to live, and your support would enable us to continue our mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination,” said Lieutenant Roslyn Morrison. If interested in purchasing a sponsorship or ticket(s), please do so online at https://give. or by mail. Include “2022 Empty Bowl” somewhere on the check and make payable to: The Salvation Army Lake Charles Corps P.O. Box 17166-7166 Tax ID #58-0660607


$10,000 The General Includes two reserved VIP tables for eight each, White Glove table service, check presentation photograph in American Press, poster-sized ad in prominent position at event and company recognition as General Sponsor by emcee, event program and media.

$5,000 The Major Includes one reserved table for eight, check presentation photograph in American Press, poster-sized ad in prominent position at event and company recognition as Major Sponsor in event program and media.

$2,500 The Captain Includes one reserved table for eight and company recognition as Captain Sponsor in event program and media.

$1,200 The Lieutenant Includes one reserved table for eight and company recognition as Lieutenant sponsor in event program.

$125 Individual Tickets


Register at


Places & Faces

Two Local High Schools Partner to Present Popular Musical

“The Lion King, JR” “The Lion King, JR” has captivated Broadway audiences and their imaginations for 25 years, as patrons connect to the music, the storyline, the puppetry, and the overall message. After Disney recently released the rights for public high schools to perform this popular musical, the theater directors at both Barbe High School and LaGrange High School wanted to offer their students an opportunity to perform in this spectacular show. In an effort to create an even more exciting local theater experience, the directors decided to join the talents of both schools and collaborate on the production. “Theater provides an outlet for students to work with one another, as a team, and pull from each other’s strengths and talents,” said LaGrange Theater Director, Shelly Buller. “Our students have enjoyed being able to meet and work with other theater students from around the district. This collaboration is creating a magical moment that our community will truly enjoy.” Currently, there are nearly 100 students participating in the program, including performers and stage crew.

Directors Cooley & Buller

Barbe Theater Director Kelli Cooley said, “This collaboration is not only enjoyed by the students, but the directors as well. We really feel like we are able build something greater since both of our programs have lost so much over the past few years.” The LaGrange Auditorium is still under construction from damage from Hurricane Laura. The directors hope to be able to use the facility for the performance but have Trinity North

Venue as a backup location. They plan to announce the venue location and showtimes once weekend tickets go on sale March 14. Weekend performances will be Friday, April 8 and Saturday April 9. Purchase tickets at LaGrange High School March 14 - April 8 and at the door, if available.

Lion King JR Cast Set Building


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Business & Workforce Recovery Solutions Releases Full Louisiana Disaster Recovery Conference Speaker Lineup Business & Workforce Recovery Solutions, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, released the speaker lineup for the inaugural Louisiana Disaster Recovery Conference: A Time of Hope and Renewal to be held virtually on March 23. Details and registration are available at conference.

The conference will bring together the business community, elected and government officials, healthcare providers, educators, church leaders, counselors, emergency

managers, those needing employment assistance, and individuals for a day focused on building a resilient community in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and including other disasters. This will be a time of hope, restoration, and renewal. Conference Director Dr. Cathy DenisonRobert said, “We are thrilled that our fully virtual educational experience will welcome outstanding national, state, and local speakers to share advice and real stories of loss and disaster recovery through a variety of industries. We want to reach people from all walks of life to help them to move from surviving to thriving.”

You can view the full conference agenda and read more about each speaker at Sessions will air virtually on Wednesday, March 23 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. With a range of topics, participants can tune in for the full day or pick and choose sessions that most resonate with them. Registration to the event is free and available at conference. The conference is funded by a LA Department of Revenue nonprofit grant and includes collaboration with the Southwest LA Recovery Project for Small Businesses, Workers, and Families mainly funded by the United Way of Southwest LA.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: • Mickey Smith Jr., Grammy Music Educator, Motivational Speaker, Author, & Musician • Stephen Waguespack, President of Louisiana Association of Business & Industry • Kevin Richard, LA Dept. of Revenue Secretary • Marc DeCourcey, Sr. VP of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation • Pat Witty, LA Economic Development Director of Small Business & Community Services • Dr. Melissa Thompson, Consultant & Coach

• Bryan Beam, Parish Administrator, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury • Dr. Cathy Denison-Robert, Conference Director, Executive Director & Business Consultant

• Dr. David Lafargue, SOWELA Executive Director of Workforce Solutions

• Rev. Jody Robert, Unite Us SWLA Community Engagement Manager

• Dr. Maureen Orey, Management Consultant & Professor

• Stephen Hebert, Registered Nurse & Pastor

• Luke Morris, LA Dept. of Revenue Assistant Secretary of Legal Affairs

• Patricia Jones, Executive Director, Allen Council on Aging

• Jennifer Hillman, LA Dept. of Revenue Grant Mgmt & Revenue Tax Auditor Supervisor • Kevin Smith, Certified Emergency Manager & CEO • Rita Fields, Restaurant Owner & Chef in SWLA

• Eric Dinger, Commercial Fisherman in SWLA • Mike Beer, CEO of Calcasieu Area Council Boy Scouts of America • Jason Brown, Chief Marketing Officer of Marketplace Chaplains

• Julie Este-McDonald, Licensed Professional Counselor • Dr. John Noble, Jr., Orthopedic Surgeon & Entrepreneur • Kendra Lewis, Teacher & Instructional Coach • Dr. Brian Rash, FranU Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences


Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana... Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

Terrell Achieves Prestigious Court of the Table MDRT Qualification Barry Terrell of local The Firm of Louisiana in Lake Charles, LA has qualified for Court of the Table, a coveted milestone Barry Terrell achievement for their membership in the MDRT organization. Barry Terrell’s membership equips them with tools and resources to better serve their local community. This is Terrell’s 25th year of being an MDRT member. Court of the Table is an internationally recognized mark of excellence reserved for the most successful in the financial services industry. This places Terrell among the top professionals in the intensely competitive global life insurance and financial services industries. For more information, contact Barry Terrell at 337-477-8271 or


SOWELA Faculty and Staff Honored During Statewide Conference SOWELA Technical Community College faculty and staff were recently honored at the annual Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) Annual Conference. Honorees were nominated by fellow SOWELA employees. The conference and award ceremony were held virtually this year with the following individuals recognized:


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Outstanding Faculty Member: Johnathan Darbonne Johnathan Darbonne is a Welding Assistant Master Instructor at SOWELA and has been with the College for 10 years. Darbonne is also an alum of SOWELA with a Technical Diploma in Welding. His credentials include NCCER CORE, Craft Instructor Certifications, and 6G welding certifications in SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, and FCAW. He also brings years of prior work experience as a Structural and Pipe Welder and Foreman at WPS Industries, Shaw Modular Solutions, CB&I, and DSI. Darbonne is a team player and leads his team effectively, recruiting successfully to increase enrollment at the college. He is also tech-savvy and works to help his colleagues understand how to implement technology in the classroom for different learning styles. Outstanding Professional Staff: Laura LaFleur Laura LaFleur has 24 years of experience at SOWELA Technical Community College. She is currently the Registrar and has held many critical positions within the Office of Admissions, Testing Center, and Office of the Registrar. She is the go-to person for campus-wide registration, policy and procedure creation, and data mining and analysis of student data. Her professional and interpersonal skills, demeanor, and exceptional service are worthy of emulation. Most of all, her can-do attitude and attention to detail are second to none. Her quality of service and commitment to best practices during registration is vital, especially during times of record-breaking enrollment to natural disasters and a pandemic. LaFleur is a proud graduate of SOWELA who loves working with students. Outstanding Professional Support Staff: Tammy Abraham Tammy Abraham is the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor at SOWELA. Her impact on the College has been invaluable. Abraham was part of the recovery team after Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Her positive attitude was instrumental in helping her coworkers through

this challenging time. She is dedicated to the SOWELA team and supports all members equally. She always provides excellent service. A proud SOWELA alum, she is the first to arrive and the last to leave, ensuring that the team runs smoothly and effectively. Abraham meets everyone with a smile and welcoming attitude, and her professionalism is second to none. Distinguished Retiree: Dr. Jo Schexneider After 30 years of service, Dr. Jo Schexneider retired last year from her position as Chief Information Officer at SOWELA. Schexneider is a pioneer in the IT field at SOWELA, developing the IT department from scratch and was an integral part of its leadership and development. She played a pivotal role in eLearning and moving the College into the digital landscape. She would optimize technology offerings creatively through grants, capital, and operational funds. Schexneider served in many roles at SOWELA from instructor to executive leadership team member. She worked tirelessly after Hurricane Laura to bring the buildings back online and provide students with the connectivity they needed to continue their programs. For more information visit

Michael Ardoin

Michael Ardoin, MHA, MT (ASCP) Joins Lake Charles Memorial Health System Lake Charles Memorial Health System welcomes Michael Ardoin, MHA, MT (ASCP) to the leadership team as the new Assistant

Administrator. Born and raised here in SWLA, the Sulphur native graduated from McNeese State University with a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. Working in the laboratory as a generalist, departmental supervisor, and as a director, Michael’s passion for leadership and improving his community’s healthcare inspired

him to further his education. While remaining an American Society of Clinical Pathologists and LSBME certified clinical laboratory scientist, Michael also achieved his Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from LSU Shreveport. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. The experience and skillset that Michael brings to the team will play a key role in the continued growth of Lake Charles Memorial Health System and service to the community. Avail Hospital Promotes New Primary Nurse Practitioner Since 2020, Lexie Reed, FNP-C, has been an integral part of the Avail Hospital staff. After initially joining as a nurse practitioner for Lexie Reed the hospital, she then transitioned to the Primary Care Clinic in 2021. The new year sees a new position for the Moss Bluff native as she assumes the role of sole healthcare provider at Avail Primary Care Clinic. Avail spokesperson, Ashton Cessac, applauds the move. “Lexie has been a tremendous addition to Avail. Her experience and dedication to her patients make her invaluable to the clinic and a comfort to the people and families she cares for.” Lexie Reed is experienced in multiple areas, including neonatal and pediatric intensive care, hospital medicine, and emergency medicine. She was born and raised in Moss Bluff and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at McNeese State University. She then went on to earn her Master of Science in Nursing at Northwestern State University. She has been a part of the Avail team since 2020 and takes great pride in caring for her patients. That’s especially true since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as Lexie has been, and continues to be, a staunch frontline defender against the virus. Prior to joining Avail’s Primary Care Clinic, Lexie helped lead the Infusion clinic at Avail Hospital administering COVID-19 treatments, most notably Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Therapy. The Clinic is available by appointment Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon by calling 337-656-7630.

JD Bank Announcres Mortgage Department Promotions JD Bank is pleased to announce the promotions of Lisa Johnson to SVP/ Director of Mortgage Lending and Lesley Lisa Johnson Schexnayder to SVP/ Assistant Manager of Mortgage Lending. Johnson joined JD Bank in 2017 as the VP/ Mortgage Loan Department Manager with 31 years of experience in banking and mortgage lending. In her position, Johnson oversees the bank’s secondary mortgage origination and interim residential construction programs, including cultivating new customers and building relationships in the communities served by JD Bank. Under her leadership, the Mortgage Lending division has grown significantly. Schexnayder has been in banking for 22 years and joined JD Bank in 2014 as a Mortgage Loan Originator. In her role as Assistant Manager, she will be responsible for assisting the Director in overseeing the mortgage department in the origination and servicing of all mortgage loans.

Timothy Bush

Anna Strider

Visit Lake Charles Hires Timothy Bush and Anna Strider to Enhance Marketing Team Visit Lake Charles announced the staff additions of Timothy Bush as Chief Marketing Officer and Anna Strider as Director of Digital Strategies/ Online Marketing. Bush and Strider have worked in the travel industry for years and bring with them experience and expertise in the realm of destination marketing. Most recently, Bush was the Chief Tourism Development Officer for OneSpartanburg, Inc., with the mission of building a vibrant Spartanburg through business, economic and tourism development. He was the President/CEO of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism for nearly six

years where he directed the strategic vision along with developing tourism products to drive more economic impact to the community. Bush was the Marketing Manager for Visit Macon with for nearly two years after having served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Experience Ruston for over seven years. Bush started his career in journalism as a staff writer for the Beauregard Daily News prior to spring-boarding into his lifelong career in tourism as the Executive Director for the Beauregard Tourist Commission. Strider began her career in tourism at the St. Tammany Parish Tourist & Convention Commission/Louisiana Northshore where she excelled to serve as the Manager of Marketing and Public Relations, promoting the destination through an assortment of programming from media buying and strategic planning to online promotions and representing St. Tammany at culinary festivals, PR events and consumer shows. She also managed film projects, developed social media campaigns, and participated in parish and statewide PR initiatives. For more information on Visit Lake Charles, log onto or follow #VisitLakeCharles and #LouisianasPlayground on social media. AMERISAFE Welcomes New Director of Marketing and Communications Matt Felder is the new Director of Marketing and Communications for AMERISAFE. He oversees the company’s internal and external Matt Felder communication and marketing efforts, including community outreach, publication pieces, social media channels, video production and websites. Felder comes to AMERISAFE with more than 15 years of experience, most recently serving 10 years as the Director of Communications in the Marketing Department of the Lake Charles Memorial Health System. He also worked as the Field Editor for the Texas Farm Bureau organization, and as a reporter and anchor for various TV stations throughout Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, and a Master of Journalism degree from the University of North Texas in Denton.


Home & Family

Personal Paradise

Create your

While one’s home is thought of as a sanctuary, the property surrounding a home is increasingly becoming one’s own private paradise. Home building has extended beyond the four walls and into the backyard to include luxury patios and pergolas, highend outdoor kitchens, expansive landscaping and garden features, unique outdoor lighting options, and maybe, a pool.

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Get Ready to



Garden by Jacey A. Wesley, MMC

Think it’s too early to start working on your spring garden? The official first day of spring is fast approaching, making March the perfect time to get growing. You can start sowing seeds directly into your prepared garden beds for cantaloupe, collards, corn, cucumbers, lima beans, mustards, radishes, snap beans, summer squash, Swiss chard, watermelons and winter squash. These crops are hardy enough to sustain the cooler temperatures of March, and if you get started planting now, you will be savoring your own homegrown, fresh produce in no time.

Before planting seeds, there are several steps you can take to prepare your garden beds for a successful growing season. First, begin by pulling any previous plants and weeds out of the beds and turn the soil with a shovel or tiller. Then add in new compost and garden soil to replace what you pulled out. Next, you need to add fertilizer. Different crops require varying levels of fertilizer. Additionally, when planting in March, you want to be sure to keep an eye on the weather and temperature changes. Be prepared to cover your garden beds. An unexpected cold front can harm the newly planted crops. March is also an excellent time to begin growing a variety of seeds indoors, preparing them for planting in May. You can start preparing numerous crops with seed germination or starting trays including peppers, kohlrabi, eggplants and tomatoes. Seed germination trays enable you to plant several seeds together in one container. Your indoor seedlings should be ready for transplant into the garden in about six to eight weeks. Alternatively, you can buy transplants from your local nurseries and plant them directly into your garden come May. Spring is in the air, and there are plenty of ways you can begin gardening throughout March. It is time to take advantage of the warmer weather, fertile soil and abundant rains by sowing new seeds and preparing future ones. For more information or to determine what fertilizer is needed for your crops, check out the “Sustainable Gardening Guides for School and Home Gardens” from Seeds to Success: The Louisiana Farm to School Program and the LSU AgCenter at lawn_garden/gardening-sustainable-practices. Jacey A. Wesley is the Louisiana Farm to School Communications Director at LSU AgCenter, Baton Rouge.


Home & Family | Create your Personal Paradise

March for

is the Best Time

Bedding Plants by LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings

Invite a rainbow into your yard this summer – plant a flower garden!

Warm-season bedding plants grow and flower best during April through October, and we can begin planting them as early as late March in South Louisiana. Gardeners who planted cool-season bedding plants generally will wait for those plants to begin to fade in late April or May, however, before removing and replacing them with warm-season bedding plants. Tender perennials, such as impatiens, periwinkles, blue daze, pentas and begonias, are used as bedding plants along with true annuals, but these plants have far more stamina and “staying power” in the summer flower garden. They make outstanding bedding plants, often blooming from late spring until cool weather arrives in fall. Sometimes they survive the winter to grow and bloom another year. True annuals, on the other hand, rarely make it all the way through our exceptionally long summer growing season. Choose annuals well-suited to the growing conditions of the location where they will be planted. While most annuals need full sun (at least eight hours of direct sun) to partial sun (about six hours of direct sun), some thrive in partial shade (about four hours of direct sun) or shade (about two hours of direct sun). Even annuals that like partial 76

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

shade to shady locations, however, will generally not perform as well in full shade, where they receive no direct sun. Caladiums, planted from tubers or as growing plants, are one of the best choices for color in full shade.

Prepare your beds carefully before putting in summer bedding plants. First, eliminate any weeds or other unwanted plants. Next, turn the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. Spread a 2-to-4-inch layer of compost, rotted leaves, aged manure, finely ground pine bark or peat moss over the bed, and then evenly sprinkle a light application of a granular or organic all-purpose fertilizer. Thoroughly blend the organic matter and fertilizer into the bed and rake it smooth. Then you’re ready to plant. Make sure you plant the transplants no deeper than they were growing in the original containers and at the proper spacing. Annual plants are not low-maintenance, and you should keep in mind the care they will need when deciding where, how large and how many beds you will plant. Mulch will reduce problems with weeds, but regular weeding still will be necessary. Regular watering, pest control and grooming (removing dead flowers and unattractive leaves) will keep them looking their best. In containers, hanging baskets and window boxes, annuals need regular watering and fertilization.

Here are some excellent choices for summer flower beds in Louisiana:

Full to partial sun (6 to 8 hours of direct sun): abelmoschus, ageratum, amaranthus, angelonia, balsam, blue daze, celosia, cleome, coleus (sun-tolerant types), coreopsis, cosmos, dahlberg daisy, dusty miller, gaillardia, gomphrena, lantana, lisianthus, marigold, melampodium, narrow-leaf zinnia, ornamental pepper, periwinkle, pentas, portulaca, purslane, rudbeckia, salvia, scaevola, sunflower, tithonia, torenia, perennial verbena and zinnia.

Partial shade to shade (2 to 4 hours of direct sun): balsam, begonia, browallia, caladium, cleome, coleus, impatiens, pentas, salvia and torenia.

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The right tool for the job is essential to working safely and efficiently. This is as true in the workplace as it is in the garden. Novice gardeners may not know where to begin in regard to which tool they need. The following items can serve as a foundation for the beginning gardener.


Gloves: Your hands will be working hard, so it pays to protect them from calluses, blisters, splinters, insects and dirt. Look for water resistant gloves that are also breathable.


Hand pruners: Hand pruners are essential for cutting branches, cleaning up shrubs, dead-heading flowers, and various other tasks. Choose ergonomic, no-slip handles that make work easier. Rust-resistant, nonstick blades are also handy.


Wheelbarrow: A wheelbarrow can transport gear to garden beds or tote dirt, leaves, rocks, and other materials around the landscape. A good wheelbarrow is strong but light enough to maneuver when full.


Loppers: Long-handled loppers fit the bill for thick branches. The long handles provide leverage to cut through branches an inch or more in diameter.


Hand trowel: A hand trowel is a handy tool that lets you dig holes or unwanted weeds. While shopping for a trowel, consider getting a hand-held garden fork to aerate soil and cut through roots.


Hose and watering can: Keeping gardens hydrated is part of ensuring their health. That makes a hose and watering can invaluable tools. Invest in a lightweight, expandable hose if storage space is at a premium. An adjustable nozzle will enable you to customize the water flow as needed. A watering can is an easy way to tote water to hard-to-reach pots and containers. Source: Metro Creative

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Home & Family | Create your Personal Paradise

Trends in

Landscape Design

by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz

The pandemic saw many of us dust off our gloves and make the most of our outside spaces. National numbers show that landscape-related spending shot up 77 percent in 2021. Interest is showing no signs of slowing down in 2022 as more people than ever are discovering the joy and connection that nature brings. As homeowners crave comfortable outdoor retreats for entertaining and stress relief, here are five landscape trends to watch, according to Chad Everage with Landscape Management in Lake Charles. The Color Purple. Neutral tones are out, and two colors are particularly trending. Purple is a vibrant, lively hue that’s regal and joyful. Clover green reminds us of life, renewal and nature. Everage says green is the easiest to introduce into landscape; after all, it’s the most common natural plant color. Purple is also easy, as it is available for a wide selection of blooming plants, including iris, prairie phlox, creeping liriope, American beautyberry, petunia, vinca, pansy, verbena, salvia, azalea, veronica and more.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Intentional Design. There is a greater interest in climate-conscious landscaping for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Everage says more people are looking to create spaces that incorporate features like rain gardens, mixed native hedgerows and bird/wildlife attractions. Dense and Layered Plantings. The desire to create family-friendly spaces is driving a trend away from minimalism and toward dense and layered planting schemes. Everage says these types of schemes lend privacy and shade to entertainment spaces and transform landscapes into sanctuary spaces. Trees, shrubs and plenty of perennials help people and wildlife work together to create an oasis for good mental health and well-being. Fabulous Front Yards. Interest in curb appeal has been growing for a while, but Everage says more and more homeowners want to make full use of their front yards and porches. With permanent planting and containers, people ensure their properties will make a great first impression, as well as provide additional outdoor areas to enjoy. Outdoor Kitchens. Because the outdoors remain a prime solution to gathering during waves of the coronavirus pandemic, outdoor

kitchens are often requested, according to Everage. Set-ups can be elaborate, with bar areas, fire pits, pergolas and more. “We want to remind everyone to shop small and shop local,” adds Everage. “We celebrated 30 years in business in 2021, and appreciate the continued support of the community, particularly over the past two years. When you shop local for landscape services, plants and supplies, you are helping to rebuild and strengthen our community and live in a more sustainable way. We specialize in using native plants and creating planting plans specific to the unique challenges and advantages unique locations face. We love helping make Southwest Louisiana beautiful!” If you’re ready to update your current landscaping or do a complete new install, call Landscape Management at 337-478-3836, visit, or visit their fully stocked nursery at 5005 Cobra Road in Lake Charles.


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Home & Family | Create your Personal Paradise

Plan & Create your


Backyard Shed

Backyard sheds can be useful assets to your personal paradise. Sheds are ideal for stowing mowers, tools, gardening and pool equipment; or they can be used to engage in hobbies or create a child’s playhouse.

Consider the design. Just because it is a shed for storage doesn’t mean it can’t be aesthetically pleasing. Choose a shed style that complements your home and possibly match architectural features such as arched doorways or dormers. Incorporate practicality into the design, for example, you might need dual doors to accommodate a larger mower.

Various factors should be considered before building or buying a shed, as these outbuildings can be a significant investment and remain in their spot for years to come. So, careful thought should go into the planning process.

Invest in quality materials. Spending a bit more and using quality materials will ensure your shed will last long enough to be costeffective. The right materials will be resistant to splitting, cracking, decay, and insects.

Check your local building codes before you start. Before you order or purchase building materials for your shed, know the ins and outs of shed codes. These codes may affect the shed’s placement, construction, materials used, size, and other factors. Choose placement wisely. Spend time to assess your yard and consider the uses of the shed. If you plan to store pool floats and chemicals inside the shed, it should be convenient to the pool. If you will store gardening tools in the shed, it should be near your garden. Avoid low lying areas that might get swampy when it rains. If you want your shed to have electricity, put it closer to your home to avoid running costly wiring.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Prepare the site well. A proper foundation for the shed is almost as important as the shed itself. You cannot just drop the shed on the lawn and leave it, or the shed may sink or have structural issues. Remember landscaping. Surround the shed with shrubs or plants so that it blends in and complements the yard. Deck out the interior. Use every storage tool at your disposal to maximize floor, wall, and rafter space for maximize storage capability. Plan where items will be kept and customize your storage options. Source: Metro Creative

Brighten your

Backyard Living Space by Angie Kay Dilmore

No backyard paradise is complete without appropriate illumination. The right outdoor lighting helps to create the perfect ambiance for entertaining and can highlight architectural features of the home or landscape. Erin Howle, lighting consultant at Joseph’s Electrical Center, says back porches, patios, and courtyards have become more popular than ever, but these beautiful spaces don’t feel quite as enjoyable unless the lighting is right. “Imagine sitting on a beautiful patio, sipping a great drink, but with really bright lights turned on . . . this kills the mood. Proper outdoor lighting for an entertaining area should be softer and not so bright. This can be accomplished by adding dimmers to your recessed cans or using wall lanterns instead of ceiling fixtures. Accent lighting also helps to create a warm vibe, whether it’s a light inside a small fountain or an up-light on a feature in the yard like a tree.”

When designing an outdoor space, Howle suggests homeowners ask themselves, ‘How do I want to use this space? What do I want to do while I’m spending time out here?’ “For instance, if you have a grilling area or outdoor kitchen, you may want a separate light above the space that can be controlled independently from the lighting in your outdoor sitting area.” Howle says other outdoor lighting trends include patio string lights with vintage bulbs in warm colors, emitting a soft glow with ample but not overbearing light. Decorative fixtures such as lanterns and contemporary styles with straight lines and minimal curves are also trending. “When it comes to lighting outdoor spaces, you don’t need nearly as much light as you think you do,” advises Howle. “Your back patio shouldn’t feel like a gas station or an airport runway!” For more information on outdoor lighting, visit Joseph’s Electrical Center, 605 12th St, Lake Charles, LA or visit their website, www.

Big city selection. Small town service.

605 12TH ST, LAKE CHARLES 337-436-4930

J O S E P H S E L E C T R I C A LC E N T E R . C O M



for life


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

The ACE Factor

Ever wonder how much your childhood affects your present life? Actually, quite a bit. The way we are raised colors our world view and the way we approach life. Those who are nurtured, protected, encouraged and guided tend to have a much different experience from those who are abused, neglected or ignored, and had to “raise themselves.” The Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE, quiz is something you may have heard of. It is a series of questions about common traumatic experiences occurring early in life. I have been hearing, “What’s your ACE score?” on some of the mainstream podcasts I listen to, so I thought I would share it with you. The ACE was developed initially to help calculate a person’s risk for chronic diseases, such as heart issues, cancer, diabetes, etc. Through years of research, we know we can also connect higher ACE scores to nonphysical issues such as alcoholism, chronic depression, and even job/ money problems. As you read the ACE questions, I’m sure you will be able to understand the connection between trauma in childhood and issues in adulthood. Below are the ACE questions: Prior to your 18th birthday: 1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often . . .


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? Or act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

a fist, or hit with something hard? Or ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often . . . Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? Or ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?

8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?

3. Did an adult or person at least five years older than you ever . . . Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? Or attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?

10. Did a household member go to prison?

4. Did you often or very often feel that . . . No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? Or your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other? 5. Did you often or very often feel that . . . You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? Or your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it? 6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced? 7. Was your mother or stepmother . . . Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? Or sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with

9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?

Each “Yes” is one point. The total is your ACE Score. So, now you have an ACE score. What does it mean? Well, it might be a good starting point for you to better understand how you have been navigating the world. It might help explain some of the choices you have been making in relationships, job situations, and general emotion management. An ACE score of four or more is considered “high” and would indicate you probably need some help dealing with the trauma you survived. But hold up a minute. Saying “yes” to any of the questions above does not sentence you to a life of pain and misery. It only means you are going to have to work hard to overcome your childhood experiences. Next month, we will talk more about how to do that.



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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • March 2022

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.