Thrive's November 2019 Issue

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November 2019

s e i d La



Thanksgiving M E A L

Leave it to the Pros


GSOOD AMARITANS of Southwest Louisiana


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 • November 2019

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Contents In This Issue Wining & Dining

6-8 Thanksgiving M E A L P R E P Leave it to the Pros 10 Dealing With Food Allergies During the Holidays 14 Common Grounds Sit and Chill Coffee Shop 16 Chicken Sandwiches Round-up

Regular Features

64 Who’s News 66 Happenings 68 Business Buzz 70 Solutions for Life

Mind & Body


18 Listening to your Body: Early Signs of Diabetes 20 PostPartum Physical Therapy: Reclaiming Your Body After Pregnancy 22 Can Unsightly Veins be Prevented? 24 Handling the Holidays with Hearing Loss

Money & Career 26-37 Cover section:


Style & Beauty

38 The Ritz Academy 40 Facial Rollers 42 Purple Shampoo




Home & Family

44 ‘Tis the Season for Redecorating 48 Self-Storage for the Holidays 50 Thanksgiving Trivia 52 Babymoons

Places & Faces 54-57


of Southwest Louisiana 58-61 In Search of Grapes and Grains: Touring the Wineries and Breweries of SETX 62 Take A Walk After the Thanksgiving Feast

@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 • November 2019

58 Managing Editor Angie Kay Dilmore Editors and Publishers Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Creative Director Barbara VanGossen Design and Layout Sarah Bercier Business Manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Submissions

“Avail is, in one word… amazing.” Barbara Dugas Happy patient

When Barbara Dugas came down with a severe headache and nausea, she went to her primary care physician – and was disappointed when she left without the answers she needed. Barbara’s daughter recommended she go to Avail Hospital where doctors were able to identify and treat her issue the first day. “There is no other place like Avail. The facility is extremely clean and doesn’t even smell like a hospital. More importantly, I got the answers I needed. I even went back later for an infection, and Avail came through for me again.”

“They are like my family – just wonderful!” At Avail Hospital, our patients are seen within five minutes of arrival. But don’t take our word for it; ask a friend like Barbara who has been here.

337.656.7700 | | 3730 Nelson Rd. | Lake Charles


Wining & Dining

Thanksgiving MEA L


Leave it to the Pros by Gena Latrell

Thanksgiving is just around the corner; a time when we take stock of where we are and what we are grateful for. Family, friends – it’s a time of celebration! It is also a time time to celebrate food – turkey, dressing, ham, cakes, pies, and a banquet of delectable dishes. It’s a feast that results from hours and hours of preparation: stuffing the turkey, glazing the ham, preparing sides, baking the pies . . . this holiday can cause a lot of stress in the kitchen! Unless it doesn’t. Ever consider having your Thanksgiving meal catered? Several local establishments stand ready to do the work for you.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Honey-B-Ham & Deli

This traditional go-to offers its signature Bone-In SpiralCut Half Hams with a sweet, crunchy glaze and Turkey Breasts with roasted turkey gravy. Sides include the Loaded Smashed Potatoes, Potatoes Au Gratin, Creamy Russet Mashed Potatoes, Tuscan-Style Broccoli, Country Cornbread Stuffing, Double Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese, and Green Bean Casserole. For desserts, choose from Baked Cinnamon Apples and Maple Sweet Potato Souffle. They’re all available for pickup. Honey B Ham WILL be open on Thanksgiving Day. 506 E. Prien Lake Road, 337-478-3354

Prime Butcher & Brasserie

Known for their steaks, po’ boys, burgers, salads, and plate lunches, Prime Butcher and Brasserie will add a special Thanksgiving menu this time of year. Items from this seasonal menu will be available for pickup, as well. The restaurant will NOT be open on Thanksgiving Day. 3505 Country Club Road, 337-475-2459 or find them on Facebook.

The Bekery

The Bekery makes an irresistible selection of baked dishes daily – scones, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon roll bread pudding, among others. They also serve sandwiches, salads, soup, quiche, and gelato. If you have a specialty or large order for their baked goods, call 48 hours before pickup. And if there’s a pie or baked dish that you would like that they don’t usually make, with a special request, they just might make it for you for Thanksgiving! The Bekery will NOT be open on Thanksgiving Day. 206 W. 11th Street, 337-564-6132.


Wining & Dining

Great Harvest Bread Co.

A bastion of baked perfection with baskets full of seasonal favorites like Pumpkin OH! (pumpkin cream cheese roll), Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins or loaves, Cranberry Orange Bread (also available in rolls or bread pudding), Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread, and the Autumn Apple Pecan muffins or loaves. Cinnamon Burst Bread Pudding is one of their best sellers over the holidays, baked in a pan that serves 12-16. Rolls are also a holiday favorite. Any of their breads except sourdough can be made into a dinner roll. Try their Virginia Rolls – a buttery potato yeast roll, made even better with their homemade cinnamon or vanilla honey butter. Or try the Cheddar Garlic or Bayou Herb roll – a savory onion dill bread that pairs well with their homemade garlic herb spread. We strongly recommend you pre-order early! Pre-order deadline is Nov. 23 and orders must be picked up by Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1:00 p.m. Open until 2:00 p.m., Wed., Nov. 27. Closed ThursdaySaturday for Thanksgiving. 4112 Lake St #100, Lake Charles 337-477-3033.

Big Easy Foods

Big Easy Foods offers a plethora of prepared foods to make your Thanksgiving Day easier. They offer a Cajun Holiday Dream Box. You’ll take home a 4 lb. Turducken Roll, 1 lb. Crawfish Casserole, 14.oz Crawfish Boudin, and 14. oz Pork Boudin for $59.99. Call or see their website for more holiday deals., 337-477-9296 3935 Ryan St, Lake Charles.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Non-traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

Then there’s the option of a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Opt for a meal from your favorite restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. Several establishments will be open on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Simply order on Tuesday, pick up on Wednesday, and eat on Thursday! Or consider dining out on Thanksgiving. If you prefer not to cook, heat up a catered meal, or be a guest at a family member or friend’s gathering, some area restaurants will be open for business on Thanksgiving Day. LA Star Asian Buffet, Sushi, Hibachi Grill & Chinese Food will be open. This restaurant will offer its signature buffet, as well as turkey on Thanksgiving Day. 3539 Ryan Street, 337-602-6070. Golden Nugget, L’Auberge Casino Resort, and Isle of Capri will be open. Each of their buffets will offer special Thanksgiving menus. Eating out? Heating up? Cooking in your kitchen? There are many options for your Thanksgiving meal; the key is to enjoy and embrace this day your way. Here’s hoping your feast will be bountiful and delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey L


ooking for a fun, unique activity to help teach kids about gratitude? This adorable knit turkey comes with paper feathers on which family members can write down things they are thankful for until the turkey is “fully dressed” and ready for display. It makes an interesting centerpiece (perfect for the kids table!), and you can even let the kids dress up your turkey with fun accessories. The kit comes with a book that teaches children about what it means to be grateful. With each turkey purchased, Turkey on the Table gives back 10 meals to the one in seven people in the U.S. who are food insecure through its partnership with Feeding America. To-date they have donated over one million meals.






We’re now available on Waitr & Gubers!

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

Purchase online at $40


All! We love working with kids! We provide pediatric physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy in an uplifting atmosphere.


1727 Imperial Blvd, Bldg 3 | 478-5880


Wining & Dining


During the Holidays

The holiday season is a festive time but can present unique challenges for those with food allergies—whether you are a host or guest – as many of the top food allergens appear throughout the meal. “Some common allergens found in traditional holiday food items are gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts,” said Dr. Bridget Loehn, ENT and Allergy Specialist with Imperial Health. She added that most people would be surprised by how many traditional holiday favorites contain these allergens, such as:

• • • • • •


Self-Basting Turkey: soy, gluten, dairy Green Bean Casserole: dairy, gluten Sauces and Salad Dressings: fish, shellfish, eggs Sweet Potato Casserole: dairy, nuts Pies: dairy, gluten, nuts Holiday Cookies: gluten, nuts, dairy, eggs

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

by Haley Tarasiewicz

To alleviate worry and make this season’s holiday feasts fun and safe from allergies for everyone, Dr. Loehn offers the following suggestions: Communication is key: Communicate in advance with those attending gatherings to find out if anyone has a food allergy and alter the menu accordingly. If you are sending out evites or printed invitations, consider including an option to allow guests to list any food allergies and sensitivities they may have. RSVP—ASAP: Be a great guest by contacting the host as soon as possible to discuss your concerns about food allergens and how you can best create a safe environment. Prepare food safely: When cooking, prepare and store allergy-friendly meals separately from the rest of the dishes. Before beginning food preparation, clean all equipment and utensils to remove any allergen trace. To prevent cross contamination, use separate cooking utensils and have separate cooking areas for each dish.

Allow those with food allergies to go first: Before opening the serving line or passing around serving dishes, allow guests with food allergies to fix their plates first. This helps prevent cross contamination. Throw a potluck: As a host, it might be overwhelming to try to cater to everyone’s dietary needs. An easy solution is to ask each guest to bring their favorite dish to the party. This ensures every guest will be able to eat at least one dish. Encourage guests to display their recipe next to their dish so other guests can inspect the ingredients. This is a fun way to identify allergens without drawing attention to those who have food sensitivities. Plan a non-food party: Consider mixing things up and inviting friends and family to an outing, such as going to see a holiday movie. Those with food allergies might be more comfortable at these types of events because they can eat beforehand. Also, drinks are often allergy friendly as you can purchase a variety of alternative options such as soy, coconut, gluten and dairy free options. Bring medication: For those with a prescription for an epinephrine injection for anaphylaxis, always have it with you and let others know how to administer it should you have an allergy attack. For more information about managing food allergies, call Dr. Loehn to schedule an appointment at (337) 419-1960.

Little people can have big sleep problems. From sleep walking to night terrors, we can diagnose and treat pediatric sleep disorders. Call us today so your little one can rest easy.

Dr. Phillip Conner


Phillip Conner, MD | Michelle Zimmerman, NP

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



Honey-B Ham

Your Holiday Tradition The cooler weather is finally here! That means the holidays will soon be upon us, and we will be gathering with friends and family, making new memories to cherish in the years to come. Wouldn’t you rather spend more time with your loved ones instead of being stuck in the kitchen? Honey-B-Ham can make that happen. Pick up a delicious pre-planned meal—including dessert—and you’ll get so much more out of your holiday season! Honey-B Ham has been a Lake Charles institution since 1996, serving up thousands of hams and turkeys between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, which is their busiest time of year! “Along with families, we also cater to local business owners, who give them as gifts to clients and employees,” says franchise owner Joe Heinen. Their honey-glazed ham is the topseller. Hickory smoked, spiral sliced and baked with a thick, rich honey and spice glaze, it comes ready for the table. Just keep refrigerated until two to three hours before serving. You don’t even have to light your oven, as it tastes better served at room


temperature rather than heated. If you have leftovers, they can remain in the fridge for five to seven days or be frozen for up to 45 days. If you would prefer something else for your holiday meal, Honey-B Ham offers smoked or Cajun whole turkeys and spiral sliced, honeyglazed turkey breast. Try their brisket, which is slow-cooked for 16 hours. You can also get sandwich, meat and cheese trays. Side dishes include sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing, cheese broccoli rice and green bean casserole. For tempting desserts, there are pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato and apple pies, along with delicious homemade fudge. Honey-B Ham also offers catering services, specializing in business catering that provides meals for parties, company lunches, conferences, and crawfish boils. You can choose from the traditional main courses and sides, or opt for the popular deli, meat and cheese trays. Don’t forget them on Super Bowl Sunday, or during Mardi Gras for your balls! No need to spend all that time preparing food when HoneyB-Ham takes care of everything!

506 E Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles • (337) 477-8335

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Of course, Honey-B Ham is also a restaurant offering lunch daily. Along with brisket, sausage, they offer boudin, boudin balls, deli sandwiches, soups, and salads. Gumbo is on the menu every Friday, so when the colder weather has you craving a gumbo on your lunch hour swing by and grab a bowl to dine-in or drive-thru and bring it back to the office. Why not make your coworkers mouths water from your lunch aroma while you savor the taste, or you could just bring them a bowl as well … or at least your boss? Another season that will soon be upon us is crawfish

season, and Honey-B Ham is the place to go for these spicy crustaceans! Stop by and take a sack home, either live or boiled and don’t forget that they cater crawfish boils. Check their FB page as the season nears or give them a call to find out when they will be available. You will come back for more! Honey-B Ham is located at 506 E Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles. Hours 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday – Sunday (though the end the of year). To place an order, call (337) 477-8335. For more information, see their website, or find them on Facebook.


Wining & Dining

Common Grou Relax and savor the sensory experience at

Coffee, conversation, and great customer service. These are the hallmarks of Michelle Williams' newlyopened Common Grounds Sit and Chill Coffee Shop.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

n unds

story and photos by Angie Kay Dilmore


In 2018, after 28 years with Southwest Airlines, Michelle Williams left a lucrative job as a flight attendant and made her long-time dream come true by owning and operating a coffee shop. She initially opened Common Grounds in August last year in a historic building along Hwy 171 in Gillis. It quickly became apparent that maintenance issues in the rented structure were interfering with her success – the roof leaked, the AC was unreliable, a customer’s chair went through the buildings’ 114-year-old floorboards. At her wit’s end, Williams patiently relied on her faith to carry her through that difficult time. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. “When you ask God for something, you need to be very particular about what you ask him for. I prayed for God to give me a new location, a stronger building.” In May of this year, she received a call from Jerome Karam, a local property owner. He had a space in the Berdon-Campbell Building in Downtown Lake Charles where he envisioned a coffee shop and wondered if she’d be interested. The site suited William’s needs perfectly, and she opened for business on Sept. 18. Adjacent to the Karam Lofts lobby, the shop radiates warmth and hospitality. Williams strives to greet each customer personally, engaging in conversation and finding that “common ground.” There’s a prayer request basket, a chalkboard for sharing positive thoughts, and a cozy side room that can be reserved for meetings, book clubs, or small private parties.

And of course, there is also great food and coffee drinks. On the menu, customers find a wide variety of coffee options including seasonal flavors, lattes, café au lait, cappuccino, iced coffee, cold brew, frappes, and bulletproof keto coffee. Other drinks include fruit and specialty smoothies and a Raspberry Mango Slush. For breakfast, try shrimp and grits, eggs and rice, and breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and bagels. Try irresistible house-made baked goods such as platter-sized pecan cinnamon rolls, bread pudding, and her specialty – warm peach cobbler pie (her mama’s secret recipe.) Lunch items include a nice selection of sandwiches, salads, and more. Off-menu, Williams makes an occasional gumbo, chili, or Cajun pasta. Being a small business owner, she understands the importance of supporting small local businesses. She sources her coffee from Acadian Coffee Roasters and her meats come from the Gillis Meat Market. “Small business owners work harder and do everything with love,” she says. Though Williams is just getting re-started, she has big plans for Common Grounds. Through her coffee shop, she hopes to make a positive difference in people’s lives. “I want to reach out to the deaf community and to people with autism. I want to host sign language classes, music lessons, and a mentoring program.” She also wants to connect with her neighbors on Ryan Street. Located less than a block from the low-income housing Chateau du Lac, Michelle sees this as an

outreach opportunity. She instructs her staff to never throw good food away, but to give it to the residents. Open less than two months, Common Grounds already has quite a following. Williams is grateful to both God and the community. “I kept my faith, and God kept His word. This shop is above and beyond what I could ever have imagined.” Located at 619 Ryan St. Hours: Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For more information, call 337-602-094 or find her on Facebook.


Wining & Dining

The Who Do from Nina P's


local contenders in the great

fried Chicken Sandwich war by Kristian Bland


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019


The world might have survived The Great Fried Chicken Sandwich War of 2019, but we will carry the battle scars with us for the rest of our days. Bitter words were spoken, pitting brother against brother, cousin against cousin, that one friend from high school who won’t stop selling essential oils on Facebook against that other friend from high school with a cosmetics side hustle. It wasn’t pretty, but we got through it. Whether you think Popeyes has the best chicken sandwich or Chick-fil-A is the poultry king, it’s all just fast food. Sure, it might be tasty, but it doesn’t matter how well either of them market their sandwiches. At the end of the day, fast food is still fast food. We live in Louisiana, where the only thing better than our food is nothing. Why limit ourselves to whatever the national chains are offering the rest of the country? Nothing will ever be better than what our local chefs cook up when they’re bored and looking for something to do. Or, you know, when they’re tired of hearing about which drive-thru chicken joint has the best sandwich. The real winners of The Great Fried Chicken Sandwich War were the people of Southwest Louisiana, who now have better options than ever before. While everyone else wasted gasoline in long drive-thru lines, several local restaurants got busy in their kitchens and created culinary masterpieces. Some are fancier than others, with complex flavor profiles and sophisticated ingredients, while others are simpler and prepared in a down-home style where the chicken is the star of the show.

First up, we have the

1910 (949 Ryan Street) tossed its hat into the fried chicken sandwich ring with a simple, delicious sandwich featuring brown butter and Tabasco buffalo sauce with Nuke’s bacon, gorgonzola cheese, and house-made pickles. Bonus: you can order it through Waitr.

Who Do Chicken Sandwich at Nina P’s Cafe (1600 W. McNeese Street). A fried chicken breast is served on a toasted sesame seed bun, topped with bacon, pepper jack cheese, and dressed with jalapeño mayo, pepper jelly mayo, and lettuce.

Calla (1400 Market Street) entered the arena with a sandwich featuring a massive buttermilk fried chicken breast topped with blood orange/Thai-chili chicken fat mayo, pickles, and chicken-chili oil. Unfortunately, it was only available during lunch on Thursdays and has since been discontinued. You snooze, you lose.

If it helps, rumor has it The Creole Spoon (2502 Broad Street) has also developed a mean chicken sandwich; PG’s Diner (3048 Gerstner Memorial) has one; and there are more local chicken sandwiches out there, just waiting to rescue all of us from the tyranny of the two-party chicken system of Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.

We’re better than that.

Top 20 Local Patio Dining

We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s available in Lake Charles alone. With a little exploring, you’re bound to find even more delicious options all across Southwest Louisiana. Give it a try. Heed the call of adventure and go wherever the road takes you, even if you end up in Southeast Texas. If you can’t find a good chicken sandwich over there, you can at least grab some decent barbecue.

Family Scratch (911 N. Shattuck Street) scrapped the white meat of the traditional chicken breast in favor of the moister thigh. It’s battered in their special batter blend, deep-fried, and served on brioche toast with whatever toppings you want. They also offer a ton of sauces with names like Baby Bacc BBQ, Shapoppin Pineapple, Bussin Buffalo, and house-made jalapeño mayo. Basically, they’ll do the sandwich up any way you like.

Good food is where you find it, after all.

Come Try

The Who Do Chicken Sandwich

Best Gumbo & Spuds Fully Stocked Bar

Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm

Your taste


s New Orlean arles! h C e in k e a r e L h t h rig

1600 West McNeese Street, Lake Charles • (337) 474-6462 •


Mind & Body

Listening to Your Body E AR LY


by Lauren Morris

One of the trickiest things about diabetes is that many patients aren’t diagnosed until the disease has progressed far enough to begin causing serious symptoms. It’s estimated that 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, but one in four aren’t aware. These statistics are scary, but learning the early signs and symptoms of this dangerous disease can help us detect it earlier and manage it better.


any health professionals refer to diabetes as a “silent killer” because of its propensity to show minimal to no symptoms before it becomes serious. “Considering that the potential dangers of this disease include blindness, kidney failure, amputation of a toe or foot or a leg, heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke, we should make a diligent effort to understand this disease and look out for it in ourselves and our children,” says Dr. Andrew Bradberry of Imperial Health. “A big part of prevention and early detection includes having regular health exams with your primary care physician. Dr. Bradberry says if you are at risk for diabetes, some of the earliest warning signs that should be on your radar are hunger and fatigue. You might be thinking, “Well, I feel hungry and tired nearly every day,” as pretty much everyone experiences these things often, but the key is to look out for a significant change in these everyday states of being. Once they cross the line of what you know as “regular,” that’s when you should pay attention. If you feel that you can’t satisfy your hunger, or that it’s impossible to fill your energy tank, consider that it could mean that your body is trying to say something. If the increase in intensity lasts more than a couple weeks, you should seek the advice of your family doctor. The average person’s bladder needs to be emptied four to seven times a day. If you find yourself taking extra bathroom breaks and feeling very thirsty, this could be another sign of possible diabetes. This in turn will cause dry mouth and itchiness of the skin. According to Dr. Bradberry, if you’re diabetic, your body will not be able to take back in all the extra glucose that it’s producing, so it 18

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

will make more urine to counteract this effect. Because that requires fluids, you will become dehydrated. “This is your body’s way of getting rid of the extra sugar in your blood, and it’s a telltale sign of being diabetic or prediabetic.” Because your body is expelling the extra glucose so often, you may actually lose weight. While it is a good thing for diabetics to purposely lose weight, it becomes a concern when it’s happening on its own. Over a long period of time, high levels of glucose in your blood will begin to cause damage to the blood vessels in your eyes, and this can lead to permanent damage to your vision. However, changes in your vision can be an early symptom of diabetes as well. “In addition to causing things like dehydration and fatigue, the extra fluid in your body will affect your eyes, too, causing the lens of your eye to swell and change shape, which stops you from being able to fully focus your eyes,” says Dr. Bradberry. An eye examination done by an ophthalmologist will tell you if your blurred vision is an indicator of diabetes. It should also be noted that pregnant women should get an eye exam as a precaution for gestational diabetes. Other symptoms of diabetes include tingling in the extremities, slow-healing cuts and bruises, redness and pain in your gums, and yeast infections. “These symptoms tend to reveal themselves a little further into the progression of the disease,” explains Dr. Bradberry, “but if you happen to miss the early symptoms, be on the lookout for these, because the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and prevent complications.”

In most cases, diabetes is relatively straightforward in its treatment and maintenance. However, Dr. Bradberry says it requires self-regulation, lifestyle changes, and awareness of diet and medication timing. Though it may not ultimately be as isolating as some other health issues, that doesn’t make it easy. “The main takeaway here is that we listen to what our bodies have to say,” stresses Dr. Bradberry. “In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy for us to get caught up in taking care of the kids, work and friends, and lose focus on our own health. If your body is talking to you, don’t take it for granted; it could mean the difference between keeping the life you have and having to completely change your day-to-day routine.” To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bradberrry, call (337) 433-1212.

HEAR for Christmas!

Nominate Someone to Win the Gift of Hearing

Give the gift of better hearing to someone you love for the holidays with a little help from Acadian Hearing. This Christmas, Acadian Hearing is giving away a set of hearing aids with the most advanced technology available to one lucky winner. Nominate someone special by sharing their story and the reason they should win a free pair of premium hearing aid at*

Help someone hear the sounds of the season with Acadian Hearing. FOR DEADLIN E N S IS IO S IS M SUB FR IDAY, 22. NOVE M BE R

d conditions. complete terms an * Visit website for ns can also be submitted Nominatio office. in writing at our

555 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., Ste. 104 Lake Charles


Mind & Body


Reclaim your Body after Pregnancy by Katherine Prevost


regnancy can be a wonderful experience for some, and for others it can be a long, drawn out, difficult process. Whatever your pregnancy was like, most mothers will agree that after nine months of expecting a baby, you’re ready to be yourself again and jump back into “normal life.” But what happens if your body doesn’t feel quite right? You may notice things are happening “down there” that haven’t happened before and you may feel frustrated because you thought everything would return to “normal,” especially after being released from your doctor. This is a common situation many women find themselves in after having a baby and it’s to be expected. Babies are, after all, beautiful, brand new — angelic, even. But bringing them into this world is hard work, sometimes requiring major surgery, and mothers need just as much attention after the birthing process as during. No matter how you had your baby – whether a vaginal or cesarean birth – many changes happened in your body while your tiny human grew in utero. Your muscles, skin, fascia, and organs all stretched out while you were pregnant and may have experienced trauma during delivery. To expect you’ll be back to “normal” or ready to hit the gym soon after birth like you did prior to pregnancy is a bit unrealistic. When we think of giving birth as the lifechanging event that it is, we can begin to understand why some women struggle with signs of pelvic floor weakness and other postpartum problems. Pelvic floor weakness is not limited to only those who gave birth vaginally. If you had a C-Section, you were still pregnant for nine months and had pressure on your pelvic floor from your baby. 20

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Below is a list of some common postpartum pelvic floor issues: Prolapse takes place when the pelvic organs protrude or fall into the vaginal canal. This can happen to any of the organs in the pelvic cavity, but the most common are the bladder, uterus, and rectum. If you feel pressure in your pelvis or see/feel a bulge in your vagina, you may be experiencing a prolapse, which can occur during the pushing phase of delivery or from the extra pressure of the baby during pregnancy. Diastasis Recti means the rectus abdominis muscles (six-pack muscles) in your abdomen have separated during pregnancy, leaving a gap that may make your belly pooch out. Many women who have this feel like they still “look” pregnant months or years following pregnancy. Difficulties with sexual intercourse include pain with sex, an inability to achieve orgasm, or decreased sensation “down there.” These are all signs and symptoms of pelvic floor trauma either during pregnancy or during delivery. Women who have tearing or an episiotomy during delivery may be more prone to have these symptoms. Urinary Incontinence is a common complaint from women who have given birth. There are two types of urinary incontinence: stress and urge. Stress incontinence is when you experience urinary leaking when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or exercise. Urge incontinence is when you feel a sudden urge to urinate and may or may not be able to make it to the bathroom on time.

Muscle/Joint Pain in your upper and lower back is common following pregnancy, especially if you have returned to doing strenuous activities too early. Many of the physical changes in your body that can cause lower back pain during pregnancy may also contribute to an achy back following pregnancy. During pregnancy your expanding uterus stretched and weakened your abdominal muscles and altered your posture, putting strain on your back. Extra weight during (and after) pregnancy can cause more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints. Hormonal changes are also occurring during pregnancy that cause your joints and ligaments to loosen. Unfortunately, all these changes don’t necessarily go away as soon as you give birth. Once you are postpartum, you are always postpartum and may continue to experience these symptoms. However, there is hope. Postpartum rehabilitation, a type of physical therapy, can help improve your pelvic floor and core function. Everyone has a different birth story with their own experiences, therefore therapy may look different for each person, but the overall goal of rehabilitation following childbirth is to help you return to the activities you love without the need for surgery or medications and to help you regain confidence in your body! Katherine Prevost is a physical therapist and coowner of Thrive Physical Therapy at 4150 Nelson Rd., Lake Charles. For more information or to make an appointment, call 337-990-5621.

Babies are, after all, beautiful, brand new--angelic even. But bringing them into this world is hard work, sometimes requiring major surgery, and mothers need just as much attention after the birthing process as during.” – Katherine Stewart, Physical Therapist and Co-Owner

Give us a call today for a FREE 20-Minute Discovery Session to find out if PT is right for you! 4150 Nelson Road Building C, Suite 12 Lake Charles • (337) 990-5621


Mind & Body

Can Unsightly Veins BE PREVENTED?

You probably don’t think much about vein problems unless you have them, but a little knowledge may help you take steps to minimize your chances of getting them. VARICOSE VEINS are enlarged veins that can be flesh colored, dark purple or blue. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They are swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are commonly found on the backs of the calves or on the inside of the leg. Symptoms can include swelling in the foot and ankle area, as well as fullness, heaviness, aching, tiredness and pain in the legs.

SPIDER VEINS are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller and are usually not painful. They are often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short jagged lines. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face. They can cover a very small or very large area of skin. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body. Arteries carry blood from the heart towards the body parts. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood from the body back to the heart.

by Kristy Como Armand

According to Dr. Carl Fastabend, medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, the squeezing of leg muscles pumps blood back to the heart from the lower body. Veins have valves that act as oneway flaps. These valves prevent the blood from flowing backwards as it moves up the legs. “If the one-way valves become weak, blood can leak back into the vein and collect there. This problem is called venous insufficiency,” says Dr. Fastabend. “Pooled blood enlarges the vein and it becomes varicose. Spider veins can also be caused by the backup of blood. Hormonal changes, inherited factors, working on your feet and exposure to the sun can also cause spider veins.”

Protect your heart. Trust the experts. Make your appointment today.

337.388.6200 No Referrals Necessary.



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Karen Golla, NP

Avinash Murthy, md

Fernando Ruiz, MD

Unfortunately, not all varicose and spider veins can be prevented. But some things can reduce your chances of developing these. Dr. Fastabend suggests the following tips for both prevention and to help ease discomfort from the ones you already have. •

Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.

Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.

Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.

Wear elastic support/compression stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin or legs.

Do not cross your legs when sitting.

Do not stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.

Eat a low-salt diet rich in highfiber foods. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation which can contribute to varicose veins. High fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating too much salt can cause you to retain water or swell.

Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.




If you do have varicose or spider veins, Dr. Fastabend recommends getting these evaluated, since both could indicate a more serious vascular condition. The Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana offers state-ofthe-art non-surgical outpatient treatment options for varicose and spider vein patients. Learn more at www. or call (337) 312-VEIN.


701 Cypress Street, Sulphur


Mind & Body

Handling the Holidays with

Hearing Loss by Kristy Como Armand


he holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and reconnecting, but for someone with hearing loss, it can also be a time of incredible stress and isolation. Large, noisy holiday parties and family get-togethers can be frustrating when you struggle to follow the conversation. Multiple conversations can be difficult to understand and it can be uncomfortable to ask people to repeat themselves too often. “It’s easy to feel left out of what should be the ideal opportunity to catch up with family and friends during the holidays, “says Dr. Heidi Sorrells, with Acadian Hearing Services. “Family members can also become frustrated by trying to include someone with a hearing problem in the conversation.” Dr. Sorrells says even someone who has a hearing device can experience problems when in a crowded gathering if background noise interferes with an older model hearing aid. More than 48 million Americans have hearing loss – that’s one out of every eight people. And it’s not only seniors who experience hearing loss. Sixty-five percent of all people with hearing difficulties are younger than retirement age. Hearing loss impacts almost every family, with at least one person around the dinner table struggling to engage in conversations, missing the punchline of the joke, and feeling lonely in the middle of a happy group of people they care about. 24

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

If you or a loved one has hearing difficulties, Dr. Sorrells says getting it checked out now, before the holidays are in full swing, is a good idea. “Once it’s determined that a hearing aid would be helpful, it can take several office visits to complete the fitting and checking, as well as having the patient become fully accustomed to hearing clearly again.” Being hesitant to see an audiologist for help with hearing loss is understandable, but once the problem is resolved with hearing aids, Dr. Sorrells says the response is lifechanging and overwhelmingly positive. “We’ve had patients say they feel like they have their life back now that they can fully participate in conversations, family gatherings, and social events.” Many people assume that hearing aids will be unattractive, uncomfortable or burdensome, but Dr. Sorrells explains that today’s hearing aids offer huge advancements in technology packaged in a very small, discreet package. “Many styles can only be detected if you are looking for them, and remember, a hearing aid is always less noticeable than someone who is sitting on the sidelines of their life due to hearing loss.” Now is the time to schedule a hearing screening to make sure you don’t miss the sounds of the holidays. For more information, Call Acadian Hearing at 337-436-3277 or visit

Executive Medical Clinic would like to welcome our newest team member, Nurse Practitioner Kristin Paige Harris!


Paige has been in the nursing field for over a decade, and has practiced as a Nurse Practitioner for 7 years. She is a graduate of McNeese State University & Southeastern University. She is also dual board certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and American Nurses Credentialing Center.

for Christmas Giveaway


his Christmas, Acadian Hearing is giving away a set of advanced technology hearing aids to one lucky winner. If you have a friend or loved one who you believe would benefit from hearing aids, nominate them by completing the form online at by November 22. Forms are also available in the office located at 555 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr., Suite 104, Lake Charles. The winner will be invited to have a comprehensive hearing assessment and be fitted with premium hearing aid technology to ensure they experience the beautiful sounds of the Christmas season.

Paige has worked in a variety of fields! She is seasoned in Emergency and hospital Medicine. She also has experience in Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Hematology/Oncology, and Primary Medicine.

We are so happy she has joined our care team & we look forward to practicing with her! • 337-210-1260

2002 W. Walnut St., Suite 1A Lake Charles, LA 70601

Meet the Newest Member of our Physician Team,

Dr. Andrew Bradberry, Family Medicine Physician

Imperial Health is proud to welcome Andrew Bradberry, DO, to our medical staff. Dr. Bradberry is board certified in family medicine. Originally from Lake Charles, Dr. Bradberry earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from McNeese State University with a concentration in pre-med, before earning a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from William Carey College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Dr. Bradberry completed a Family Medicine Residency at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital as a part of the Louisiana State University Health Science Center Family Medicine Residency Program. To schedule an appointment, call (337) 433-1212.

771 Bayou Pines East | Lake Charles | 337 433-1212


Money & Career


Ladies IN


“Leadership goes beyond a job title and a respectable annual salary; it is determined by the impact one makes on the lives of others,” says Abbie Myers, Administrative Loan Assistant with First National Bank DeRidder and nominator of one of this year’s Leading Ladies in Business. Indeed, our 2019 Leading Ladies have collectively impacted the lives of countless people, through their professions, families, and their community volunteer efforts. They work hard and set the bar high on the measure of success. This year’s list of Leading Ladies work in a wide variety of occupations – banking and finance, healthcare, law, marketing, petro-chemical industry, and non-profit. Read on for inspiration and advice from these exceptional women.

Sponsored by


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

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

Why Join the Chamber?

construction and $65 billion in projects pending, bringing the total new investment in our region to $109 billion. Over the past seven years, 9,491 new, permanent jobs have been added in our five-parish region as a result of our Chamber’s relentless support of job growth which, means customer growth and stability for our members.


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

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



Stay informed about the latest news and opportunities within our community.

Raise your reputation through membership.

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

Mission Statement: The Chamber SWLA is Mission Statement: The Chamber SWLA is the Louisiana business thevoice voiceof ofSouthwest the Southwest Louisiana busicommunity and promotes ongoing regional ness community and promotes ongoing development to cultivate atohighter quality of life regional development cultivate a higher forquality all citizens Beauregard, of lifeof forAllen, all citizens of Allen,Calcasieu, BeaureCameron, and JeffersonCameron, Davis Parishes. gard, Calcasieu, and Jefferson Davis Parishes.

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

DISCOUNTS: Increase your purchasing power through members-only discounts and perks.

EXPOSURE: Stand out and get noticed in the community.

For more information about Chamber SWLA membership, contact Paula Ramsey at or (337) 433-3632


Money & Career |




Karen n e r a t KDrewett t e w e Dr LOAN OFFICER F I R S T N AT I O N A L B A N K D E R I D D E R

aren Drewett has over 30 years of experience in the banking field. She earned an accounting degree from McNeese State University, earned her CPA, and has worked for several banking institutions – large and small, local and national – in various roles over the years, as well as a short stint as a controller/ business manager. She started her career in the back office doing accounting, auditing, and compliance, and since has worked as both a credit and lending officer. “I am currently at FNBD, a community bank, where we can give personal service to all our clients. I can lend to them personally and for their business needs. We have a team approach—one team, one mission. My profession



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

allows me to do a variety of things and that is the main part I enjoy about banking. I have the opportunity to form relationships with my clients. I enjoy helping them with personal and business needs, whether it is helping them start their small business and watching it grow or helping them send their children I have watched grown up to college. Banking is forever changing, and I love change and the challenges change brings. I also love learning new things and this profession allows me to do that. In the community banking profession, we help people proceed and that truly drives me to excel and exceed in my position.” Karen has volunteered for an extensive list of community organizations in a variety of capacities over the years, be it member, board member, chair, regent, or president – Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Foundation, Kiwanis, United Way, Deaf Action Council, Rotary Club, Catholic Daughters of America, the Louisiana Women’s Commission, the Junior League of Lake Charles, and the Lake Charles Symphony, not to mention

professional organizations. Currently, she serves on the finance council of the Diocese of Lake Charles, the finance council for St. Margaret Catholic School, the board of the Calcasieu Community Clinic, and the board of the Memorial Medical Group for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. INSPIRING WOMAN: Marie Curie was a brilliant female scientist and the first woman to win the Noble Prize in both physics and chemistry. Rosa Parks is my second historical figure that I look up to. Her simple act of courage changed history for women forever and I truly look up to her for that. ON FINDING BALANCE: Everyone handles this balance differently. I personally believe that you and your spouse share the load. It is never 50/50 and some days it is 80/20. It is definitely not easy and takes two people to make this work. BEST ADVICE: My advice is to network and meet other people and get out of your comfort zone. Join diverse organizations and volunteer so you can learn and grow from diverse groups. Stay educated and be willing to learn new things in order to be successful.


y t s i r K d n a m o r m o C A


risty Como Armand majored in Mass Communications, first at LSU and then McNeese, and took graduate level courses in public relations/advertising from NLU in Monroe. She began her career as a marketing assistant at the Monroe mall. Later, she returned to SWLA to work as a publication editor at Memorial Hospital, eventually becoming Marketing Director. “I had a great team and I learned a lot during those years.” While there, Kristy started doing consulting work for several medical groups and was hired as a Marketing Director for two groups, planting the seeds for her own business. In 2002, Kristy partnered with a colleague to start Healthy Image Marketing. “I kept my other job and worked on this new business in the evenings and at lunch. We didn’t have an office for several years; we worked out of our homes. We kept growing and in 2006, I started working full time at Healthy Image. It’s been non-stop growth ever since.” Kristy attributes her success to being a selfprofessed people-pleaser. “I always wanted to make my parents proud, my teachers proud, my coaches proud, and now I work hard to ensure my clients are happy. My employees also motivate me. My decisions affect them and I want them to succeed. But my greatest motivation is my children. I knew they were depending on me and watching how I handled what life threw at me. I taught them to work hard for what you want, and I’ve always tried to be their example for how to celebrate accomplishments, handle challenges and failures, all with grace, humility and perseverance.”

Kristy is currently Chamber SWLA chair-elect and has served on the Chamber board for several years. She participates in SWLA Women’s Business Network and SWLA PROS. In 2018, she completed LED CEO Roundtable; 2014, McNeese State University Notable Alumnus; 2013, Chamber Women’s Business Leader. Healthy Image Marketing has won numerous awards, including 2016 Small Business of the Week during National Women’s Small Business Month by the U.S. Congress, and 2013 U.S. Chamber Top 100 Small Business of the Year. INSPIRING WOMAN: My second grade teacher opened my world when she allowed me to read “big” books and I discovered biographies of famous American women who inspired me. But I’m inspired by women around me who accomplish great things in their careers and in our community. I believe you become what you surround yourself with. I try to surround myself with people who possess the qualities I aspire to.

ON FINDING BALANCE: I’m not sure I always did, but I sure tried. My children always knew they came first. I was fortunate to have jobs that allowed flexibility, and I also had a great support system in my parents. The key is to focus on what matters most to you and then do the best you can without being too hard on yourself. BEST ADVICE: Be flexible. A job that may not be your dream job could lead you to your dream job. Never stop learning – boredom will show in your work. Work hard and give back to your community.


Money & Career |




Ashley Foret Dees A


shley discovered a love for the Spanish language and culture during her high school Spanish classes. At Vanderbilt University, she doubled majored in English Creative Writing and Spanish Literature. After college, she spent a gap year in Madrid, Spain to further her immersion, then attended LSU Law School. An interest in immigration law stemmed from her experiences. “People can come to us in dire situations and it’s very rewarding to help them build a better life for themselves. Not every case has a happy ending, but it is still rewarding to help guide someone to understand the immigration legal reality in which they live. We also assist employers in hiring foreign national workers and seeing those businesses and their foreign employees thrive is extremely rewarding and it’s beneficial to the Louisiana economy, as well.” Ashley is passionate about educating the public on what immigration law entails. “Many Americans do not understand the challenges of immigration law and how that law is applied. They may be compassionate with an immigrant they know, yet they’re unable to have compassion for the entire immigration population. Giving people that knowledge on how to support the immigrant population in our country while helping my clients drives me to excel.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Ashley has been recognized as a top attorney in her field and currently serves on a national committee for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She founded the Louisiana State Bar Association’s immigration law section to help grow the practice of immigration law within our state. In the community, she supports the Literacy Council and is member of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society. Currently, she’s renovating a 100+ year old building in downtown Lake Charles. Her firm takes on a degree of free and pro-bono legal work, particularly detained clients seeking asylum, and of course, that is volunteer effort as well! INSPIRING WOMAN: Ruth Bader Ginsburg has to be at the top of the list considering the paths she paved for women in business and women in law. ON FINDING BALANCE: It’s difficult to find daily balance as a working mom. Some days I’m a great boss and other days I’m a great mom. It’s important to be honest with yourself, your partner, and family about when and where you need help – being in a balanced and equal partnership at home has helped me tremendously. It’s also been critical

to my life to have friends and colleagues who share similar ideals. I seek advice from those women often. BEST ADVICE: Fight hard if you are in a male-dominated profession and don’t let the cynics say you cannot succeed. As the boss, I can be pretty flexible on my work hours (which include early mornings and late nights!) For example, I attend a workout class in the middle of the day. Once, early on in my career, someone asked me, “Do you ever work,” when she saw me exercising around 11:00 a.m., and I thought, she would never have said that to a man golfing during the day. Now I brush comments off and keep moving forward. Don’t let the world’s prejudices get you down!




Michael “Jeb” Richard

Stephanie Buehler

E X P E R I E N C E M AT T E R S . The attorneys at Ashley Foret Dees, LLC have the experience to help you. Our practice includes IMMIGRATION LAW. No one will work harder for you. With over 30 years combined experience, you have never been in better hands. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation.

~ Se Habla Espanol.

-Ashley Foret Dees

AFDEES.COM • 3 3 7 . 2 1 4 . 0 3 5 4 517 Broad Street Lake Charles, LA 70601

There’s No Time Like the Present

Your Future to plan for

For over 18 years, Denise Rau, CFP®, and the staff of Rau Financial Group have been fully invested in helping clients pursue their financial dreams. Whether its getting started with investing, saving for college, defending your family from financial uncertainty, preparing for retirement, arranging your

estate, supporting an aging parent, or all of these, we’ll listen to your goals and dreams first. Then we’ll develop a sound strategy and customized financial plan to help you pursue them.

Call us today.

Denise Rau


(337) 480-3835 Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Goss Advisors, a registered investment advisor. Goss Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.



Money & Career |


Denise Rau LEADING




hen Denise Rau entered the financial field, women were few and far between in the industry. In 2005, after 20 years of working her way up to the top levels of management at several financial institutions, Rau decided to form her own company, and Rau Financial Group opened its doors. Denise is originally from Lake Charles and received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of Texas. She is a Certified Financial Planner and holds a variety of other certifications and licenses for insurance and securities. As President of Rau Financial, Denise combines her love for community and passion for helping others through financial planning. Her approach to wealth management includes “putting your money where your heart is,” a concept she finds successful in helping clients pursue and prioritize what they value most. “It’s very rewarding to help people find peace about their financial security. My heart convinces me daily that my work enhances the lives of my clients. That is all the reward I need,” she said. Denise loves the teaching aspect of her profession. “I love to learn, and I love to teach. Being a financial advisor requires an ongoing commitment to both, so I love it. Community involvement is an important part of Denise’s life. She volunteers for a number of organizations, including the Junior League of Lake Charles, McNeese State University, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, while also serving on various boards, such as the Chamber SWLA, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital’s Board of Trustees and the Chennault International Airport Authority Board of Commissioners. Rau Financial Group has grown steadily since its beginning, and Denise credits this to hard work and positive outlook. “I simply commit every day to strive for the best version of myself, and the success takes care of itself.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

INSPIRING WOMAN: All women who exhibit exceptional courage inspire me. The Bible’s Queen Esther springs to mind. I also greatly admire Helen Keller, who said, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” I like women who just go for it! ON FINDING BALANCE: There is no easy answer. Any effort to “balance” requires intense focus on what is most important from moment to moment, year to year. A life coach once taught me a powerful strategy to stay true to myself when making tough choices. She said to view myself as a 95-year-old woman looking back on my life, and ask myself which decision I would regret most. That strategy really centers your perspective, and I constantly fall back on it. BEST ADVICE: Find your own special gifts and do whatever it takes to fully develop those gifts. Be a lifelong learner and be willing to work as hard as you must to be your best you. Denis

e Rau,


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left, w

ith he

r team


Jennifer Spees

ennifer Spees works for Louisiana Mortgage Associates (LMA) as a Residential Mortgage Loan Originator. She says she “fell ass backwards” into mortgage lending. “It was a complete accident and there was no way anyone would have ever intended this to happen. I should be the poster girl for unintentional 10.0 landings and the ‘you can do anything you want to do’ movement.” Jennifer first experienced real estate with her parents, who attended “every open house, every weekend.” But she was never good at math, and never imagined she’d work in real estate. She attended McNeese State University and studied education briefly but says she “mostly majored in ADPi.” She soon realized college wasn’t her “thing” but she’s proof that one need not always have letters after one’s name to be successful.


She started working with Lake Charles Realty doing property management. A few years later, she took a position as an administrative assistant with Hibernia Bank, a fulltime job with benefits and a 401k. “I stayed with Hibernia for eight years learning everything possible about the mortgage lending process, guidelines, and paperwork.” Through that last year at Hibernia, she thought of making a change. Though it seemed “crazy” at the time to leave a secure job at a big company for a small locally owned business, Keith Wimberly with LMA convinced her to join their staff. “A few months after I left the bank, Hibernia and Capital One merged and they closed the local mortgage departments.”

Jennifer has been LMA’s Top Producing Loan Officer in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2018! She describes her profession as fun and incredibly challenging. “I still love going to work every day. I absolutely love helping people buy their own home. Especially those who thought for some reason or another that they couldn’t!” Jennifer has served on boards and been involved with numerous organizations in Southwest Louisiana, including the Louisiana Mortgage Cares Foundation, a 501C3 that her company started in 2009. “Since then, we have given thousands of dollars in gifts and food to families less fortunate at Christmas.” INSPIRING WOMAN: Currently, my most inspiring female role model is Lizzo. Watch one of her live performances. It is like church for those who need to hear her message of self-acceptance and survival. ON FINDING BALANCE: My son is 20 years old. But I remember waking up in the mornings when he was an infant and praying that he didn’t have a fever so that he could go to daycare and I could go to work. He experienced ear infections and three sets of tubes. I had only been at Hibernia six months when I found out I was pregnant. So I didn’t have much sick time. Just telling this story still gives me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. BEST ADVICE: Do what you want to do. If someone says you can’t or shouldn’t . . . even more reason to do it!


Money & Career |





rin Davison’s resume reads like a typical person who wants to help people, change the world, and is open to a wide variety of career experiences. She earned a BS degree in Sociology and a minor in Social Work from Lamar University in 1996. Since then, she’s been employed as a behavioral health caseworker, training and grant coordinator, nurse recruiter, morning radio co-host, and fitness instructor (CliffNotes version). Erin currently serves as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana (BBBS). “I always wanted to work in nonprofit management, where my love of business and mission work would meld together,” she says. “I love researching, finding out what makes people unique and how social systems work in different environments.” In 2013, Erin earned her Master’s in Business Administration in order to advance her career in the non-profit sector. Her diverse experience led her to her role at BBBS. “It combines my love of business and feeds my entrepreneurial spirit, as well as my desire to give back to the community.” Through her role at BBBS, Erin realizes that what she does everyday changes the trajectory of a child’s future. “We see in real time the positive impact our mentors make on the youth we serve. We strive to provide exemplary customer service and we’re good stewards of our mission with the youth we serve, and the dollars invested into our mission from our community partners. The ultimate reward is seeing a Little’s smile when he or she is matched with their Big Brother or Big Sister!”



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Being a middle child, Erin says striving to succeed is in her DNA. “I am tasked with the responsibility to uphold the integrity of our mentoring mission, accountable to our funders, families who entrust their Littles in our mentors care, schools who rely on our mentors to provide educational assistance, my staff and board who rely on me to be better and do better each day. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and God placed me here for a reason.” Erin has earned several awards and recognitions for her contributions to the business community and is a member of several professional organizations. In addition to her challenging career, she is also an active volunteer, serving with Kiwanis, board member with Imperial Calcasieu Society for Human Resources Management (ICSHRM), Arts and Humanities Council, and others. INSPIRING WOMAN: Michelle Obama is an example of a modernday woman with career/family/hopes and dreams, heartache and a strong spirit. Regardless of political beliefs (I am a Republican), I admire her spirit and grace.

Erin s


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ith a "L


ON FINDING BALANCE: Balance, what is that?! I have a committed husband who is a true partner. I work long hours sometimes, with events and meetings. My husband cooks, cleans, does yard work, and helps keep the house decent. Plus, he doesn’t mind when I often bring work home. Find a partner who truly shares life. BEST ADVICE: Learn everything you can about everything you can. Even if isn’t your direct job, shadow and ask questions. A more diverse, wellrounded employee is an asset.

Meet the Newest Member of our Physician Team,

Dr. Nirmala Tumarada,

Neurologist & Neuromuscular Medicine Specialist Imperial Health proudly welcomes Nirmla Tumarada, M.S., M.D., Neurologist and Neuromuscular Medicine Specialist, to our medical staff. Dr. Tumarada earned her Medical Degree from Guntar Medical College in her native India. She attended graduate school at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience. She then completed a Neurology Residency at LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans before completing a Fellowship in Neuromuscular Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Tumarada is board certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry. She diagnoses and manages all general neurologic conditions, including migraine, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinsonism, tremor, spasticity, dystonia and multiple sclerosis, along with neuromuscular disorders. To schedule an appointment, call (337) 312-8730.

501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Dr. | Lake Charles | (337) 312-8730


Money & Career |




Nicole crief Mon


icole was the first in her family to attend college. She earned an undergraduate degree from UL Monroe in Social Work with a minor in Sociology and then a master’s degree from Grambling State University in Human Resources. Over the past two decades, she has worked in various human resources positions at several local organizations, including CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital, Player’s Casino, the City of Lake Charles, Harrah’s Casino, Home Depot, and Sowela Technical Community College. Currently, she serves as Human Resources Manager for Sasol North America. “I enjoy assisting employees with career development and career planning, providing them with the tools they need to succeed. It is rewarding to see individuals thrive and realize their professional purpose. My passion for helping employees has led me to areas across the state where I facilitate workshops that help individuals develop strategic career plans with attainable goals.”



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Nicole says she is intrinsically motivated to be the best she can be. “I operate according to a high set of standards and consider myself blessed to have the drive and energy to fulfill my commitments. Overall, my goal is to set a positive example for the youth of our area, inspiring them to do their best for the greater good of our community.” Nicole is a 2016 “Leadership Louisiana” graduate, a 2018 “Emerge Louisiana” graduate, and the recipient of the “2018 Top Ladies of Distinction Award” for her community service. She’s a founder of the Nellie Lutcher Cultural District Neighborhood Alliance and founder/director of What Works (a 501c3 organization), a board member at Christian Baptist Church and Lake Charles Education Collaboration, LLC (a 501c3 organization), and an Ambassador for the Black Heritage Gallery of Southwest Louisiana.

INSPIRING WOMAN: I draw my inspiration from my mother, the late LouAnna Guillory Jean. My mother, a single mom with a tenth-grade education, taught me the importance of a strong work ethic and she stressed the importance of faith. She instilled in me the desire and drive to pursue higher education, and she always stressed the importance of financial management. Her wisdom guides me to this day, and her legacy of helping the less fortunate lives on in my work. ON FINDING BALANCE: Finding balance between one’s work life and personal life is difficult – I see it every day in my profession. For me, remaining focused on what is most important is key. I believe in working hard, but also value and understand the importance of devoting time for prayer, travel, and enjoying family. BEST ADVICE: I am a firm believer in life-long learning. To stay relevant in your chosen profession, you must commit to expanding your knowledge base by learning new techniques and staying abreast of new trends. I also believe it is vital for women to encourage and help other women in the workplace excel and realize their full potential through mentoring. We must lift each other up and serve as a resource for future generations of female leaders.


a s s i l e M . r D n u r B e L


r. Melissa LeBrun is in the business of healthcare. She started her career in healthcare at age 15 as an admissions clerk in an Emergency Department. “I knew at an early age that I wanted to help others and be involved in the medical field in some capacity.” Melissa obtained a BS degree in Biological Sciences from LSU, a nursing degree from Our Lady of the Lake College/Tulane Hospital, a Master’s in Nursing from Loyola, and eventually her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa. “I’ve always gravitated towards leadership roles,” she says. “I was Lead Nurse Practitioner at CHRISTUS Lake Area for over five years in the Emergency Department and then transitioned into starting my own family practice. I currently co-own Executive Medical Clinic of Lake Charles with Mary Dahlen, FNP-C and Jessica Sonnier, MD. My main goal for this business was to develop a Family Practice where patients were given the attention and preventative measures they need to better their health. Then I developed a family practice membership plan where patients with high deductible plans or no insurance could access healthcare and be managed appropriately. I also own Medication Management where I develop medication plans for patients and have board-certified nurses who attend to all medication needs of patients within a home setting.”

Melissa is also an Assistant Professor at Loyola University and a visiting lecturer at McNeese in their Nurse Practitioner Graduate program. And she is recently an author of a children’s book about a child who sees a nurse practitioner for an injury, inspired by her twins, Caleb and Isabella. “We are donating a portion of book profits to local childhood medical charities.” Melissa has been recognized by numerous honor and collegiate societies, has won several awards, and is a member of numerous professional associations.

I want to be an example for my children and show them that hard work does pay off. I have worked for everything I have achieved, and I want my children to find joy in that as well. My family always comes first.

INSPIRING WOMAN: Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, has authored over 15 books. Her ambition and drive for business is phenomenal. She’s been named one Time magazine’s Most Influential Women. She is also a mother and that is what inspires me the most.

-Simon Sinek

BEST ADVICE: Never give up. Take risks because without risk, we can’t achieve great things. Value integrity and honesty and build your business that way. A little quote that I love: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.”

ON FINDING BALANCE: Women often feel guilty about work while being a mother. I try to find a good balance at home by completing my work while my kids are at school and when they go to bed at night, and devote my time to them when they’re home.


Style & Beauty

The Ritz Academy

There's a New Beauty School in Town

by Stefanie Powers

A new beauty school will open its doors early 2020. Melinda Tilley, owner of The Ritz Salon on Lake St., recently announced that The Ritz Academy, located at 5000 Common Street, is currently under construction.

“If you have ever lived with me, are related to me, worked with me or visited the salon, you know that I love my job,” Tilley says. “I have been fortunate enough to have attended advanced education classes, worked alongside amazingly talented women, win salon awards, and serve on the cosmetology board. And, I have the best clients ever."


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

In 2017, Tilley realized it was time to give back to both the industry and the community that has given her so much. The dream of a cosmetology academy was born. “The last two years have been spent creating partnerships and researching the best brands and curriculums available,” she explains. “We are beyond happy to say that in January 2020, The Ritz Academy, an Aveda Concept/Sassoon Partnered Cosmetology and Esthetics school, will open.” The school will offer two courses: esthetics and cosmetology. Tilley wants to keep the classes smaller to spend quality time with each student. “We will have a maximum of ten esthetics students and 15 cosmetology students per class.” There are other beauty schools in the area, but Tilley feels that several factors will set The Ritz Academy apart from the others. “The first is our instructors’ resumes,” she says. “They have spent many years behind the chair building a clientele, have traveled across the United States for continuing education, and have perfected their craft. Amanda Katchur has been at The Ritz for 19 years and Amber Frazer has been in the industry nine years – five of those at The Ritz. And I’ve been here since 1987!” Tilley says she also wants local talent to share their knowledge with her students. “We want to bring our local cosmetologists and estheticians together to support each other and to learn and grow together through advanced training classes.” After much research, Tilley is confident that she has partnered with best brand and curriculum. “Aveda continues to support their salons and schools through education using the most up-to-date techniques. They also offer business classes for every aspect of this industry to ensure success beyond cosmetology school. Sassoon cutting and coloring techniques are used by almost every platform artist in this industry. We believe that giving our students these techniques as their foundation will give them an advantage starting their careers.” The 1,500-hour cosmetology course includes hairstyling, skincare, manicure/ pedicure, and non-permanent hair removal.

Tilley says the public is welcome to come in for discounted services in a school atmosphere that feels like a high-end salon. Services include styling, braiding, cutting, botanical conditioning treatments, color, all highlighting techniques, permanent waves, relaxers, keratin smoothing treatments, VoMor extensions, make-up application, and facial waxing. Esthiology is a 750-hour course that includes training in skin care, make-up application, non-permanent hair removal, and body treatments. Services to the public include facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, waxing for face, underarms, legs, back, chest and bikini; lash and brow tints, lash extensions, and make-up applications.

If you’re interested in a career in beauty, Tilley and her staff are ready to meet with you. “We currently schedule appointments on Sunday afternoons at The Ritz salon to meet prospective students. We want to answer any questions they may have and let them put down a deposit to secure their spot in the class of their choice.” For more information, call the Ritz Salon, 4303 Lake St., Lake Charles, (337) 474-4606.


Style & Beauty

FACIAL ROLLERS by Emily Alford

Facial rollers are the hot “new” beauty tool that has actually been around for centuries. Jade is a common material used for facial rolling. First used in ancient China, jade is thought to be a calming stone that can help soothe irritated skin, especially the delicate area beneath the eyes, which is incredibly susceptible to discoloration and puffiness. And while jade has many other purposes and has been used in other cultures for centuries, Western beauty enthusiasts have only recently caught on to the myriad uses for jade rollers in skincare routines. Here are a few things to know before you start shopping for your own jade roller:

WHAT IS A JADE ROLLER? Jade rollers are small, handheld apparatuses that look a little bit like paint rollers. The “rolling” part is traditionally made of jade. Proponents of the jade roller say the material is important, as it is a nonporous stone that resists collecting bacteria and stays nice and cool (especially if you store your jade roller in the refrigerator). However, rollers also come in other materials as well, including rose quartz.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

HOW DOES IT WORK? Some proponents of jade rollers claim they can do just about anything, from healing eczema to decreasing under eye puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles. However, most dermatologists agree that while there are many benefits to jade rollers, they are not a magic cure-all for every skin issue. In reality, jade rollers are simply a highly effective facial massage system. They can help decrease puffiness by helping to decongest fluid built up just under the surface of skin. Jade rollers can also increase blood circulation, which causes skin to look brighter and temporarily firmer. But jade rollers are not a cure for skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, which still require the care of a physician. And they probably will not solve issues like wrinkles long-term. But for short-term issues, like winter dullness or simply lack of sleep, jade rollers are an excellent quick fix that feels really good.

Email or Text Notification when your RX is ready!


A NOTE OF CAUTION While a cool jade roller is great against tired, puffy skin, experts warn that you should avoid pressing too hard or using your roller for longer than a few minutes at a time. Pressing too hard for too long can irritate acne or cause other irritation. Also, while jade is bacteriaresistant, that does not mean you shouldn’t clean your jade roller with anti-bacterial cleanser after each use, especially if it is not made of real jade. There are many different jade rollers on the market, from lower-cost versions on Amazon to pricier models at stores like Sephora and Ulta. And while jade has historically been the material of choice, it is not actually the stone that matters—it is the coldness of the material and the light pressure that ultimately helps circulation and decreases puffiness. So if you are looking for a quick, cool fix to tired skin, get rolling!


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Style & Beauty

PURPLE SHAMPOO by Emily Alford

Could this be the hair rescue you’ve been waiting for? Ever fall in love with your salon-blonde shade only to become pretty bummed when brassy yellow tones creep in to ruin your fun a few weeks later? Well, there is actually a shampoo for that! Purple shampoo looks a little scary but can actually be a life-extender for many different hair colors. Here are a few purple shampoo facts.

WHO SHOULD USE IT? For anyone who has blonde hair, whether natural or from a salon, purple shampoo is a real game-changer. For those who dye their hair blonde, stylists usually use a toner to give strands a good mix of warm and cool tones without looking too yellow or orange. For platinum blondes, it is even more important to keep those brassy tones out, as they can cause hair to look dull or even dirty. As toner fades, those unwanted, yellowish shades become more noticeable, but using purple shampoo at home can keep color looking fresher for longer. Even natural blondes can sometimes suffer from a bad case of brassiness. Sun, hard water, and ultra-hot hair tools can all cause blonde hair to have yellowish or even reddish undertones. Purple shampoo can help banish those unwanted tones for all towheads, be they salonpurchased or blonde from birth. But purple shampoo is not only for blondes. Anyone who lightens their hair, whether they add subtle highlights to brunette hair or do a full bleach job before adding a wild color like turquoise want to keep those brassy tones from creeping in and dulling all your hard (and expensive) work to get the perfect salon shade.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

WHY PURPLE? Remember high school art class? Yellow is opposite purple on the color wheel. So adding purple neutralizes yellowish tones in hair. Purple shampoo includes a tiny bit of temporary dye formulated to stay on the surface of the hair in order to work against brassiness without stripping hair of other color. And while purple shampoo looks ultra bright, don’t worry. It does not contain “dye” of the strength hairstylists use. Your hair will simply look brighter instead of lilac. DOES IT HAVE TO COME FROM THE SALON? While there are many high-end varieties of purple shampoo, it does not have to cost a fortune. There are many options for purple shampoo available in beauty supply stores, and even more on Amazon, where reviews can help you find the best products. However, if it is really important to keep your blond vivid for a while, talk to your stylist about which products are right for you. Some stylists mix up custom shampoos and conditioners right in the salon for your specific hair color and type.

WAIT IT OUT If you’re used to scrubbing in some shampoo and simply rinsing it right out, switching to purple shampoo might take some getting used to. Warmer shades of blonde and brunettes should let the shampoo sit for about five minutes before rinsing, while cooler blonde should probably let their shampoo rest for as long as 15 minutes. Also, folks with thicker hair should probably let their shampoo sit for longer than those with baby fine strands.

Not sure if you should start using purple shampoo? It never hurts to ask your stylist.

Our team is so thankful for ALL of our amazing clients.

Come by the salon in November to receive a complimentary gift!


Home & Family ‘T I S T H E S E A S O N

for Redecorating! by Stefanie Powers

photo by Lance Thomas


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Summer has passed, the holidays are coming, and our homes could use a lift! Whether you’ve just moved into your dream home or are looking to make some changes for the festive season ahead, several local designers have some great ideas.

If you’re in your new home and don’t know where to begin, Lana Schafer, owner of Changing Spaces in Lake Charles, can help. “Begin to create a ‘style file,’” she advises. “A collection of photos, paint chips, style numbers, measurements, etc., of spaces and things you love. Sources of inspiration might include web searches (Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, Google), furniture and paint stores, flea markets, catalogs, movies, a favorite place, or a piece of art. The possibilities are endless!” Schafer suggests you understand the purpose of each room. “Ask yourself: What do I use the space for? Who uses the space? What type of seating is needed? What about a rug?” Determine a budget. “Jot down what items you think you’ll need and what price you would feel comfortable paying for each item,” Schafer continues. “This will give you a general idea of what the room design will cost overall. It may be more than you expected. But remember, your room will evolve over time. Don’t think you have to do it all at once.” Measuring is key. “Become friends with your tape measure!” Schafer says. “Draw out your space on paper or use one of the many online floor plan tools to plot out your space. Know the measurements of each wall and your ceiling height. Add the floor plan and your budget worksheet to your style file and you will be prepared when it’s time to shop.” Caitlyn Downs Akers owns The Farmhouse Company in Sulphur. “My top tip is to not get caught up in a set style. My store, for example, is The Farmhouse Company. That doesn’t mean I can only have items that are specific to that theme. It simply means warm, natural, effortless, comfortable, etc. It’s better to have items you love and that mean something to you than to try and fit a style you’ve seen.” Akers says it’s best to start with pieces you own. “Once you’ve figured out the spaces that need attention, choose a color scheme and determine the pieces that you already have that will fit, so you’re not overwhelmed when you go shopping.” There should be a central piece in every room, whether it’s furniture or art. “Once that is decided, start choosing objects that compliment and highlight it,” Akers says. “The room will then take shape rather quickly.” Looking for a holiday refresh? Drew Hoffpauir and Lance Thomas, the design duo behind Room Service, have put together a Holiday Refresh Guide to help get our homes into tip-top holiday shape, based on how much time and money you wish to commit.


Home & Family LESS TIME + LESS MONEY Swap mirrors for art and vice versa, along with swapping accent pillows and accessories from room to room. If you have less time and less money, look into repurposing old holiday decor. Try an old wreath as a tabletop centerpiece base or place old ornaments in vases and kitchen fruit bowls. MORE TIME + LESS MONEY Rearrange the furniture. Change the layout of your living or bedroom or swap draperies and rugs from room to room. Play musical chairs by relocating accent seating, too! Simplify and clean up the bookshelves. Clean out guest closets and your attic. There may be more hidden treasures and fresh decor ideas underneath piles of boxes. LESS TIME + MORE MONEY Buy new pillows and bedding to change up your color story (use the old pillows and bedding to update a guest room) and get art and family photos enlarged and reframed. Try decorating a smaller tree in a guest bedroom corner. Additionally, you can use new ambient lighting such as nightstand lamps. For an hourly fee, there are several fantastic decorators in the Lake Charles area. A fresh pair of eyes can see hidden potential in often-overlooked statement pieces. In just an hour or two, you can have a whole new space with minimal effort!

photo by Chris Brennan

photo by Chris Brennan

photo by Lance Thomas

MORE TIME + MORE MONEY Convert the office into a bedroom as daybeds and pullout sofas have come a long way. Keep the desk for year-round use, but a fresh coat of paint, a custom pullout couch, and some side table/ nightstands and you’ve got a fresh new room!

Changing Spaces 2202 Ryan St., Lake Charles, 337-313-0444

The Farmhouse Company Reopening in November at 2732 Maplewood Dr., Sulphur

Room Service 131 W. 11th St., Lake Charles 337-274-4755 Find them all on Facebook!


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

photo by Lance Thomas


Home & Family


S T OR AGE by Haley Tarasiewicz



t’s time to get into the holiday spirit! For most, this means decorating your home, preparing for guests and buying gifts. As you deck the halls – inside and out – you may come across a few things that you need to get out of your way temporarily. Or you may want to make room for guests. Maybe you just need a good hiding place for gifts so as not to ruin a surprise. Whatever the reason, consider taking advantage of self-storage options to decrease stress and clutter during the holidays. “We welcome customers during the holiday season,” said Jennifer Watts, manager of Neighborhood Mini Storage. “Many people use storage units for summer clothing and outdoor items like pool toys and floats.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

When you’re bringing in the tree and other décor, a storage unit is an ideal place for storing furniture you need to move out of the way. What better place to hide gifts? After the holidays, consider a storage unit for all your holiday decorations. It’s much easier to walk in than to haul everything up into an attic crawl space. Your items will stay safe and secure while not in use, and as seasons and holidays change, you can easily swap out the items you need from storage for the items you no longer need in your home.” Although a self-storage unit is one of the safest places to keep your treasures, it’s important to pack, label and stack properly if you want items to be easily accessible and in good condition the next time you need them.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS FROM WATTS FOR GENERAL SELF-STORAGE: MIND MATERIALS: Make sure you use boxes that are going to stand up to the test of time. Grabbing those free boxes from the local grocery store is not going to cut it. Those are designed to break down quickly and often have food odors and residue in them, attracting pests. Instead, consider purchasing boxes or totes that will not buckle or sag. PACK PROPERLY: Be sure to properly pack and wrap your items to prevent them from being damaged. Small objects should be boxed away, and large items like furniture need to be covered with cloths or moving pads. Use packing paper to protect your fragile items and store them tightly so they can’t move around. LABEL EVERYTHING: Label all boxes and totes so you can quickly find what you are looking for without having to open every box. At a minimum, label at least two sides. For seasonal items, consider color-coding by using a specific color for each season’s containers. This will help you to quickly identify which bins you need at the start of each season and avoid going through several containers. STAY ORGANIZED: Strategy is everything when it comes to packing your storage unit. Most units are about eight feet tall, so using that vertical space is a smart move. Stack your items to make the most of the space, putting the

Light it up-

heavier items towards the bottom. Think about what items you won’t need between seasons and put those farthest out of reach. You never know if or when you’ll need to access your unit, so organize everything in a way that makes it easy – just in case. As you take items out, be sure to rotate everything by placing the items for the season that just ended in the back and moving everything else to the front. It may seem like a pain to do this each time, but it will be much easier than just shoving items in there.


• • • • • • •

Lights—wrap them around a piece of cardboard in single file, or fold them in a circle and secure them with clips or wire ties. Candles—insert them into old socks to prevent scratches. Ornaments—for small ones you can use an egg crate, for larger ones use an ornament organizer. Trees—remove all decorations, including icicles and garland. Wreaths—place in an oversized box with plenty of soft packing material or a container designed specifically for wreaths. Dishes—wrap holiday dishes in bubble wrap and place in a sturdy container or box. Paper goods—store wrapping paper, books and cards flat in a waterproof container

Neighborhood Mini Storage has locations in Lake Charles, Sulphur and Moss Bluff. Visit for more information.



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Home & Family

Did you Know . . . ?

THANKGIVING TRIVIA Before your food coma sets in, we’re here to get you up to speed with answers to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Turkey Day.

What is the origin of Thanksgiving? The feast between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians that people commonly refer to as the first Thanksgiving was in 1621, but it wasn’t repeated the following year, so it’s hard to consider it the beginning of a tradition. America’s Continental Congress suggested a yearly holiday during the American Revolution, and New York was the first to adopt an annual Thanksgiving, which it did in 1817. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln denoted the last Thursday of November as the national holiday.

Did you know that we owe TV dinners to Thanksgiving? In 1953, Swanson found themselves with a 260-ton surplus of turkey, so a salesman named Gerry Thomas ordered 5,000 trays and put together a small army of workers to portion the turkey into the trays – with helpings of corn, peas and sweet potatoes, of course. Boom, history made.

When did the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begin? 1924. The route is 2.5 miles long. Who invented green bean casserole? Campbell’s. The soup company created the recipe with the Associated Press’s longtime food editor Cecily Brownstone about 50 years ago, most likely to beef up the demand for their cream of mushroom soup.

How many turkeys do we eat every year?

46 million

According to an estimate from the National Turkey Federation. Heaviest turkey on record?

86 lbs Did we always eat turkey? Fowl would have been part of the menu at the first feast, though no official records exist of what exactly the pilgrims ate at the historic gathering. But given what they were hunting in the area, turkey is likely. The Wampanoag also brought deer, and lobster, seal and swan. Missing: Pies or any desserts, because the pilgrims were short on sugar by 1621 and also had no ovens.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

According to Guinness Book of World Records. Who do I call if I have questions about turkey preparation? Butterball has a dedicated Turkey Talk-Line that answers questions about turkeys at


It started in 1981 with just six people on the line, though they’re likely to answer in excess of 100,000 calls this year.

Is Thanksgiving a popular drinking holiday? Yes, surprisingly, more alcohol is consumed on Thanksgiving than any other holiday of the year. Be careful on the roads! Is turkey (and its inherent tryptophan) the real reason I feel sleepy after the Thanksgiving Day meal? Tryptophan could make you sleepy, but it is more likely that you feel drowsy as a result of overconsumption of alcohol and food, especially desserts.


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Why is football associated with Thanksgiving? Football on Thanksgiving dates back to 1876 when the American Intercollegiate Football Association held its first championship game. In under a decade, over 5,000 club, college, and high school football teams began playing on the holiday, with Princeton and Yale’s mythic rivalry drawing on average about 40,000-plus fans. The Detroit Lions have played every Thanksgiving since 1934, except when the team was serving in World War II.

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Do any other countries celebrate Thanksgiving? Yes, several, but on different days of the year: Germany, Grenada, Japan, South Korea, and Liberia.



credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and is an Equal Opportunity Housing Lender. This credit unionThis is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and is an Equal Opportunity Housing Lender. This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and is an Equal Opportunity Housing Lender.


Home & Family

Out of this World


only a car ride away...

by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

Much planning goes along with preparing for a tiny bundle of joy, and pregnancy can be stressful. Many couples take a break from the stress by embarking on a babymoon – a vacation before the stork arrives with its most precious gift. It’s a great way to get in some couple time before your nights become sleepless and all you can think about are things like, “How did rice cereal and formula get on the front of my shirt and I didn’t even notice until I got to work?” However, sometimes it’s difficult to take a major excursion to a tropical location for reasons like cost, time, and an expectant mother’s ability to take a flight. Fortunately, there are great places to enjoy a babymoon within driving distance of Southwest Louisiana.


Let your hair down as you stroll along the sandy beaches of Galveston. In town, quaint shops await on The Strand and you’ll want to pick up a few items for your pending little one, but don’t forget to indulge in a little self-care shopping, too. Unplug from technology in the Galveston Bookshop. Indulge in the scent of actual books as you wander through this two-story book and vinyl record haven. Of course, a babymoon shopping spree would not be complete without a visit to Gracie’s, also located in The Strand. This charming shop is known for having a large collection of baby and children’s toys and gifts. Galveston has delightful restaurants that will please the palate during your babymoon, like Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood. Located inside of the Pelican Rest Marina, you can enjoy your artisanal dinner with sweeping water views. Interested in a more laid-back, budget friendly dining experience? Check out the bohemian vibe of The Gypsy Joint. Located on Market Street, this is a great place to grab a burger or a vegetarian-friendly meal and relax. If you’re looking for relaxation, both Spa San Luis at Moody Gardens Hotel and the spa at Hotel Galvez offer prenatal massage. 52

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019


For history buffs in search of a side of beach and privacy, Fort Morgan, Alabama might be a perfect place to spend your babymoon. The fort is a historical tourist attraction. For more action-packed fun with a challenge, take on the “Espionage at Mobile Point” Escape Room located at the fort. Contact the hosts to register for your Civil War-themed escape experience. Nature enthusiasts can hike along four different six-mile trails at the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge. Your adventure begins at the Visitor Center of the wildlife refuge located on Fort Morgan Road. Helpful staff will provide you with maps, brochures, and checklists. Look for alligators, bobcats, and over 370 species of birds. The beaches of Fort Morgan share the same coastline as Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, but they’re a little more secluded, with only a handful of hotels dotting their shoreline. The Kiva Dunes Beach Club is a wonderful place to stay and relax on a private beach with a spa, a saltwater pool, a golf course, and Kiva Grill. Or book a stay at Fort Morgan Beach Club Resort and Spa. They offer a wide variety of dining options that include food trucks, an ice-cream shop, and on-site shopping.


If the beach isn’t your thing, take a glimpse into the past while awaiting a new future for your family with a babymoon visit to St. Francisville, Louisiana. It’s the oldest town in the Florida Parishes, and with the rise of the steamboat, nearby Bayou Sara became one of the largest cotton ports on the river. Today, St. Francisville is known for its small-town charm, slow pace, and history. The town is home to six plantation homes are open to the public for guided tours; and don’t miss Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge. Barrow House Inn bed and breakfast is filled with antiques and old-world charm. It offers luxury accommodations in the heart of the historic district. If you wish to stay at a plantation home, The Myrtles offers overnight accommodations in the main house filled with beautiful furniture, a rich history, and possibly ghosts! You can also stay in one of several cottages on the grounds, and enjoy an evening mystery tour if you’re in the mood for suspense. Restaurant 1796, located at The Myrtles Plantation, boasts a gourmet menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The Francis Southern Table and Bar, located on Highway 61 close to Rosedown Plantation, serves American, Seafood, and Cajun fare. Peruse the pages at Conundrum, a charming book and puzzle store. You can also rent a bicycle to tour this historical town.

If you do plan a babymoon, no matter where you go, remember that the most important things are to rest, take time for some self-pampering, and spend good quality time with your partner.


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders


Although many people know New Orleans for the nightlife, it is a city rich with culture, history, and plenty of exciting things to do. This makes it an ideal getaway for a babymoon. A stay at the Hotel Monteleone will usher you into the luxury and opulence that New Orleans is known for. It is centrally located in the French Quarter and steps away from endless options of mouthwatering cuisine and a plethora of things to enjoy during your stay. Relax at the hotel’s Spa Aria and dine at the Criollo restaurant. A tour of the Ursuline Convent and the Beauregard-Keyes House are places that should not be missed if you love French gardens cultivated in the 1800’s and tales of the Civil War. NOLA Kids carries baby books, shoes, toys, and apparel – an ideal stop to indulge a little retail therapy before baby arrives. If you happen to be near Royal Street, a trip to French Antique Shop is a perfect way to spend some time daydreaming and perusing fine Parisian antiques.

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years

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



Places & Faces

n any community, there are those humble souls who take the notion of the Good Samaritan to a higher level. With extraordinary love and care for those in need, they give of themselves quietly, tirelessly, and expect nothing in return. In this season of gratitude, Thrive magazine honors four individuals in Calcasieu Parish who exemplify these commendable character traits, in hopes their stories will encourage and inspire our readers to find their own ways to serve and show kindness to others.

GSOOD AMARITANS of Southwest Louisiana

by Angie Kay Dilmore


Registered Nurse and Community Activist


mily Ashworth earned AS (2000) and BS (2010) degrees from McNeese State University and her Master’s in Nursing Education (2019) from Walden University, then explored various areas of nursing over the years. In 2015, she joined the City of Lake Charles as the Wellness Nurse Coordinator and earlier this year, Emily accepted the position of Director of Nursing with SWLA Center for Health Services. She leads the nursing and medical assistant staff for sites in Lake Charles, Crowley, Oberlin, and Lafayette. “In this role I have the ability to affect change to the care delivered to the patients of SWLA and continue to work in the community.” Last year, she organized a massive community-wide health event called Remote Area Medical: Operation Healing and Restoration, where over 500 residents received free medical, dental, and vision care. Emily volunteers extensively through her church, Mount Calvary Baptist. “Spreading the Word of God and helping to build a biblical foundation is my primary work,” she says. She serves as a Deaconess, Sunday school teacher, assistant director of the youth department (lead by her husband), vacation bible school teacher, nurse educator for the Health Awareness Team, and Director of Health and Wellness for the youth division for Louisiana Home and Foreign Mission.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Serving the community as a member of the National Association of University Women, Region 5 STD/HIV Task Force, and Healthier Southwest Louisiana Executive Board gives her an opportunity to work with like-minded people helping to bring attention and change to the inequalities in the underserved and impoverished areas of our community. She also volunteers on boards like Big Brother’s Big Sister and Family and Youth Counseling Agency, among many others. Her husband and two children often join her in her volunteer efforts. “These opportunities allow me to contribute to the building of programs, share valuable insight, and be an integral part of the growth of our great city and state.” Emily says that possessing a love for people is the most important element of volunteering.

“I really believe that is my energy, the force that wakes me up early on Saturday mornings when I want to sleep in, and pushes me to continue to serve my people and my community. I encourage everyone to volunteer in some capacity. It can be as small as helping a neighbor, but that small task can mean so much to the person you are helping.”



eWanna Tarver and her husband Phillip grew up in community-minded homes. They learned about altruism and have passed those values on to their sons and grandkids. She opened DeWanna’s Closet in 2017 after she became aware that local teachers often buy school supplies, clothing, shoes, coats, even underwear for their students in need. “For so long these educators were meeting these needs themselves; not because we were an uncaring community but because we didn’t know the need was there,” says DeWanna. “Now, when a teacher in our public school system sees a child in need of such items, they just send us an email and we deliver the items to the school, new and free of charge. Now there is no reason for any student in our public schools to attend school with pants that don’t fit, holes in their shirts, or shoes that are too small. We want to remove the distraction of looking different from a student’s school life.”

DeWanna is involved in many philanthropic efforts in the community through her family’s business, Lake Charles Toyota, but children have her heart. Since its inception, she has dedicated her energy into making DeWanna’s Closet functional. “When Phillip and I decided we wanted to start a program like this in our area we researched throughout the United States for one to pattern ours after. How do they fund it, fill orders, make deliveries, etc. After much searching we realized there was nothing out there like what we wanted to do. The others used secondhand clothes, were open to the public, or open only for a specific school. We wanted to serve over 30,000 students with all new inventory!” DeWanna adds that she couldn’t make it happen without her team of volunteers.

In just the first ten weeks of this school year, DeWanna’s Closet provided 4,617 articles of clothing and shoes. They shop for bargains, but even at $5 per item, that adds up to $23,000 “It takes a lot of money to do what we are doing!” DeWanna says. She welcomes contributions from the community. Financial donations can be made on their website, www.dewannascloset. com. New items can be dropped off at 4428 Ihles Rd. or Lake Charles Toyota, 3905 Gerstner Memorial Dr., Lake Charles, La.

Last month, DeWanna won the Women’s Commission of SWLA Jack V. Doland Award for her service. She says we all can serve in some capacity. “Find yours. Don’t let it go to waste.”


Places & Faces

CYNDI MEREO Guiding Light Ministries


fter her youngest child went to college, Cyndi Mereo wanted to serve the Sulphur area in a positive way. “I felt a strong desire, and a very clear nudge from God, to “make a difference” in our community,” she says. “Not knowing what that would look like, I spent a lot of time in prayer and researched what was lacking in our area regarding teens or young moms. With the support of my church family at Maplewood First Baptist Church, SC3 (Sulphur Christian Community Coalition), and several other community resources, Guiding Light Ministries was born. Guiding Light teams up young moms (ages 24 and under) with women of faith who volunteer their time to mentor, walk through trials, and celebrate victories of pregnancy/ motherhood with them. We just celebrated our first college grad two weeks ago!”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Cyndi amidst a group of girls helped by Guiding Light

Guiding Light offers a wide array of activities and classes: parenting, cooking, crafts, infant water safety and toddler swimming lessons, car maintenance, and Bible study. At their meetings, volunteers speak on topics such as safe sleep for babies, postpartum depression, signs of abusive relationships, etc. The girls in the program earn points for each class/activity they attend and use them to purchase items from the Guiding Light Baby Boutique. They also receive a pack of diapers or wipes each time they attend. Childcare is provided during the events and there is no cost to the girls for any activities. In addition, Cyndi and other local ministry leaders have joined to form Lake Area Women’s Ministries Coalition to share resources and determine how best to serve area women who need support. This coalition includes ABC Pregnancy Resource Center, Almost Home Ministries, Guiding Light Ministries, Pink Life, and SC3.

Cyndi is also the GED teacher at Sulphur High School. “Between teaching full time, being a grandma, and coordinating Guiding Light, my plate is pretty full! Yet serving the community is a priority for me because I believe it’s what God calls us to do. We may serve Him in different ways as we go through various seasons of our lives, but the call is always the same – love Him and love others. His purpose for my life in this season is to love young moms and help them grow to be even better.” Want to help? You can volunteer as a mentor or speaker with Guiding Light. They also appreciate monetary donations, baby items, and gift cards. 337-263-0348,


Registered Nurse & Community Activist

ean Kamla grew up learning the importance of community service. When her children were young, she was involved in the PTO, serving as president for many years. When her brother, Ben Mount, a non-smoker, learned he had lung cancer, Jean determined she would do everything she could to help him. This led her to become a lung cancer advocate in the community. She initiated the Free to Breathe 5K in Lake Charles in 2008. “That first event raised over $150,000. We had set a goal to raise one million dollars for lung cancer research. It took us eight years to achieve our goal.” During this time, Jean was asked to serve on the National Lung Cancer Board which allowed her to stay abreast of the latest clinical trials and treatments, and to sit on the scientific board that reviewed grants from both a nurse’s and caregiver’s perspective. “I have helped many people in the area when faced with a cancer diagnosis—just to navigate the process. It’s always an honor and humbling experience to help someone.” Once the lung cancer research goal was achieved, Jean felt the nudge to serve in a different way but was unsure of the details. “I prayed for God to lead me in the right direction and for me to hear that direction.” As a result, she and other members of her church, First United Methodist, partnered with Combre Fondell Elementary School. Initially, they commited to sponsor school supplies through DeWanna’s Closet. But the project has grown exponentially. Now in their second year, they eat lunch with students twice a month; provide lunch for the teachers several times throughout the year; assist teachers in the classroom, read with students, and sponsor holiday parties. Jean also takes the youth of her church on the road to feed the homeless once a month. She serves on the SWLA Committee to Address Homelessness Steering Committee. “It is my hope that one day our city will have a comprehensive center for the homeless, a place where they can receive mail, wash clothes, apply for jobs, and receive other services.”

Jean Kamla, left, Willie Mount, Jean's sister-in-law, right

Jean is the clinic coordinator for the Calcasieu Community Clinic, a part-time position that further allows her to help the disadvantaged. “We serve people who work but cannot afford health insurance.” She encourages everyone to find ways to give back that bring them personal satisfaction. “You always receive way more than you give!”

Jean Kamla, RN – Clinic Coordinator

If you’re working without insurance, call (337) 478-8650 to see if you qualify for free health care services! 550 Sale Road Lake Charles, LA


Places & Faces


Grapes & GRains


Fall is the perfect season for a road trip! If you’re looking for a unique Southeast Texas adventure, take a tour of their local wineries and breweries. COT TON CR EEK W INERY

6755 Phelan Blvd. Suite 10 Beaumont, TX

Cotton Creek offers a tasting room with an extensive wine list. Consider pairing the wines with cold plates. In addition to charcuterie, Cotton Creek provides hot appetizers and flat bread pizzas when their kitchen is open (Tues-Thurs, 6:00-8:30 p.m. and Fri-Sat, 6:00-9:00 p.m.) Cotton Creek is a perfect venue for private events – wedding receptions, showers, birthday parties. Choose your own caterer and food, and/or have the winery “arrange for gourmet cheese, meat and sandwich platters.” Enjoy the Italian rustic ambience of Cotton Creek. 409-861-0400 or 58

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

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Free State Cellars is a well-aged business; they’ve grown grapes and made wine for over 35 years. Their vineyard sprawls over seven acres and includes over 1,000 vines. Free State Cellars specializes in Noble Black (red) and Magnolia Bronze (white) muscadine grapes. They also offer wine selections with chocolate notes and fruity aromas such as Moscatos, Spanish Tempranillos, and French Viogniers. Visit their spacious tasting room where you can browse and sip from an extensive wine collection. Espresso, cheese and charcuterie are also available. Meander through the vines, explore the scenic bayou, or relax on the scenic patio.

Lake Charles 474.8800 | 210 West Sale Rd. Sulphur 626.0000 | 460 Post Oak Rd. Moss Bluff 855.3000 | 716 Sam Houston Jones Pkwy.

409-221-7232 or


Places & Faces


1108 Port Neches Ave Port Neches, TX Located in downtown Port Neches, this brewing company offers over 70 beers, with 20 taps and beers from around the country. Some are brewed on location like their Belgian Honey Blonde, Buenas Neches Jalapeno, and Dreamcatcher IPA. In addition to beer, Neches Brewing offers a range of activities and live entertainment. They have Tuesday trivia nights, Brew Yoga on Saturdays, Bingo on Sundays and live music Thurs-Sat. 409-237-5700.


585 Wall St. Beaumont, TX At newly-opened Pour Brothers Brewery, each beer on tap tells a story. Its Patty B is a Belgian Blonde Ale inspired by the way Belgian monks used to brew their ales -- light enough so that they can fulfill their holy duties. The CardinAle, inspired by the Lamar University cardinals, is made with kilned malts and roasted barley that give the drink its cardinal color. Lastly, the Fuggley brown ale is named after fuggle hops. Two food trucks – Boss Burgers and Tacos Don Guicho – are often found on location. In the beer garden, visitors can play yard games (Jenga, horseshoes, and cornhole) or watch the big game on TV. And feel free to bring Fido! Pour Brothers is dogfriendly. Tours available. 409-363-5006 or


2140 Calder Ave Beaumont, TX

Struggle Street Brewing Company opened in 2018. They also offer a mix of house, Texas and around-the-country beers. Their house beers include the Cherry Cheesecake Struggle Tart, a sour Berliner-Weisse; Red Headed Stranger, a brown ale; and Struggle Free Seltzer (which also comes in raspberry), a hard seltzer. In state, they carry Tiki Wheat from Galveston, Gorgeous Ladies of B52 from Conroe, a Blood Orange cider from Austin, and more. Nationally, look for Dale’s Pale Ale, CO; Mango Kolsch, Boston; Hoptimum riple IPA, CA. Televised sports and food trucks available. 409-363-5006 or


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Women Who Mean Business. For 70 years, First Federal Bank of Louisiana has been a partner to the business community, helping to strengthen our local economy. We’re proud to support women in business throughout our organization, as they provide guidance and financial support for our customers to succeed in this rapidly changing marketplace. Join with us in celebrating women in business across Southwest Louisiana.

(337) 433-3611


Places & Faces

Take a Walk on Thanksgiving Day

Reasons to get up and move after the feast and a list of great places to stroll After the main event on Thanksgiving Day, when you worry you might not be able to push away from the table and you just want to curl up in the recliner and watch the big games, here’s an alternative. Take a walk! Here’s why: When you eat a heavy meal, it can often make you feel sluggish afterward and even disrupt sleep. But getting up and taking a short walk after eating can help combat this. Not only is walking a great lowimpact activity to help you stay healthy overall, it can specifically aid digestion and control blood sugar levels — preventing crashes in energy. Research shows that evening walks are particularly beneficial for digestion and controlling blood sugar. While walking any time of the day can have positive effects on health, taking a stroll after a meal may be especially effective for managing blood sugar levels.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Individuals suffering from digestion problems and discomfort may also see some benefits from walking. A small 2008 study found walking increased the rate at which food moved through the stomach. Other research has found that walking after a meal may improve gastric emptying in patients with longstanding diabetes, where food may typically take longer to digest and empty from the stomach. Walking can also unite family and friends in a fun activity. It is one of the most studied forms of exercise, with research demonstrating it’s an ideal activity for improving health and longevity. So try taking a walk on Thanksgiving Day (or any day!).

Sam Houston Jones State Park

Where to Walk We are fortunate here in Southwest Louisiana that there are countless places to take a pleasant walk. And the slower pace of walking allows you to see more detail than if you merely zipped past in a car. •

Explore the hiking trails at Sam Houston Jones State Park.

Stroll along Lake Charles’ pristine Lakefront or the walking path at Prien Lake Park (both great places to watch the sun set).

Enjoy a walking tour of the Historic Charpentier District.

Riverside Park and Tuten Park each have a walking trail.

If you’re into bird watching or alligator hunting, visit a nature preserve, for example Pinhook, and others along Creole Nature Trail.

In Sulphur, The Grove at Heritage Square and Kyle Street Park offer walking tracks.



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In Westlake, walk through Pinederosa Park.


Places & Faces

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

Lake Area Industry Alliance Announces New Executive Director Jim Rock has been named the new Executive Director of the Lake Area Industry Alliance upon the retirement Jim Rock of the inaugural director, Larry DeRoussel. Rock has extensive industrial experience. He was the former Executive Director with Lotte Chemical USA, Vice President of operational excellence with Axiall and held a variety of positions within engineering, maintenance, operations and management in the over 30 years he worked at PPG Industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama and graduated from Louisiana State University’s School of Business Executive Program. LAIA was founded in 2000 as an umbrella organization to represent industries in Southwest Louisiana. For more information about LAIA, visit

Memorial Medical Group Welcomes Orthopedic Hand Surgeon Matthew McCarley, MD Memorial Medical Group welcomes Matthew McCarley, MD, a fellowshiptrained orthopedic Matthew McCarley, MD hand surgeon to its staff. Dr. McCarley joins fellow orthopedic surgeons Jeffery Balazsy, MD, Brett Casco, MD, Nathan Cohen, MD and Kim Poludnianyk, MD. Dr. McCarley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin. He received his medical degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Lubbock. His post-graduate training includes an orthopedic residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a fellowship in hand surgery at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. McCarley is a candidate member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. His office is located inside Lake Charles Memorial Hospital at 1717 Oak Park Boulevard, 3rd Floor. For more information, call (337) 494-4900.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Roland Terrell Achieves Prestigious Top of the Table MDRT Qualification Roland Terrell of Terrell and Associates in Lake Charles has qualified for Top of the Table, Roland Terrell a coveted milestone achievement for his membership in the MDRT. Roland’s membership equips him with tools and resources to better serve the local community. Top of the Table is an internationally recognized mark of excellence reserved for the most successful in the financial services industry. This places Roland among the top professionals in the intensely competitive global life insurance and financial services industries. For more information, call (337) 474-4025.

Chad Miller Named CEO of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union Chad Miller has been named CEO of the not-for-profit Southwest Louisiana Credit Union, taking over from Ronaldo Chad Miller Hardy, who recently accepted a position at Credit Union Strategic Planning. Miller, a Sulphur native and graduate of Sulphur High School, was formerly Chief Operations Officer for the credit union. He studied at LSU Eunice and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, earning several degrees, including an MBA. He’s also a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) and a Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE). For more information, visit

There’s strength in our numbers.

We’re proud to be the region’s largest, independent musculoskeletal group. Our experienced specialists work together to provide our patients with the type of care they expect and deserve—personalized, attentive, respectful, and of the highest quality. And when it comes to technology, we’re bringing the latest advances to Southwest Louisiana so you won’t have to leave home to get the care you need. Our team of doctors includes these specialties: orthopaedic surgery physical medicine and rehabilitation foot and ankle care/surgery primary care sports medicine

interventional pain management hand surgery neurosurgery

Whatever your musculoskeletal concern, we’ve got you covered from head to toe.

Lake Charles | Sulphur



Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to Host 150th Anniversary Gala The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles is celebrating its Sesquicentennial. To commemorate this 150th anniversary, a special Gala is planned for Saturday, November 16, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Historic Calcasieu Marine National Building, located at 844 Ryan Street in Downtown Lake Charles. An array of local performers will be featured throughout the evening. Dinner and cocktails will be served. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at the Cathedral Office, located at 935 Bilbo Street, or on-line at www. For more information, call (337) 436-7251. Shots for Tots November Dates Announced West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will offer Shots for Tots on several dates in November. On Saturday, November 9, the clinic will be held in Sulphur and Vinton. The Sulphur clinic will be at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital near the Cypress Street entrance from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Walk-ins are welcome, sign-in ends at 11:30 a.m. The Vinton clinic will be at the Vinton Medical Clinic from 2 4 p.m. by appointment only. Call (337) 527-4361 to schedule. On Thursday, November 21, the clinic will be held in Moss Bluff at Dynamic Dimensions East from 4-7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, sign-in ends at 6:30 p.m. 66

Shots for Tots offers immunizations for children six weeks of age through 18 years of age who are uninsured, underinsured, or have Medicaid, or are American Indian/Alaskan native. The cost is $10 per person. Tips to Prevent Recurrence of Breast Cancer is Topic for Meeting The upcoming Pink Crusade Breast Cancer Support Group of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will be held on Thursday, November 14 at 6 p.m. Guest speaker is Lacey Whatley Stickell, MSN, AOCNP, to discuss diet and lifestyle modifications that can be made to help prevent recurrence of breast cancer. The group meets in the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital cafeteria conference room. The meeting is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call (337) 528-7320. West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital to Host Diabetes Management Seminar On Tuesday, November 12 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its annual Diabetes Management: Tips for Healthy Living seminar. It will be held at Dynamic Dimensions in Sulphur, located at 545 Cypress Street. Lunch will be provided but seating is limited. There is no charge to attend the seminar and lunch. Pre-register by calling (337) 527-4282.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Hosts November Class for Delivery and Breastfeeding West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host a class on Tuesday, November 19 from 6 - 8 p.m. on preparing for delivery and breastfeeding. The cost is $10 per participant and will be held in the North Conference Room at the Cypress Street entrance. Class space is limited, and pre-registration is required. A childbirth educator as well as a certified lactation counselor will lead the discussion and will be available for one-on-one questions. To register, call (337) 527-4361. Acton Children’s Business Fair On December 7, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., the 1st annual Acton Children’s Business Fair will host young entrepreneurs at Oak Crossing. This event is free and open to the public. Kids create a product or service, develop a brand, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at this one-day marketplace. The children are responsible for the setup, sales, and interacting with customers, and any parent seen selling to the customer or promoting the child’s product will result in disqualification from the competition. This event is sponsored by Acton Academy, the Acton School of Business, and the generous support of our donors and volunteers, who all believe that principled entrepreneurs are heroes and role models for the next generation. Awards will be presented in each of the four age groups (6-7, 8-10, 11-12, and 13-14) for “Most Business Potential,”“Most Creative Idea,” and “Most Impressive Presentation.” Both adult sponsors and shockingly articulate kids are available for interviews on camera or off. For more information, call (337) 309-1396. 2019 Cowboy Classic Car Show KBYS, your McNeese State University radio station, will host the 2019 Cowboy Classic Car Show on Saturday November 9, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., in the Cowboy Stadium Main Lot, 700 E. McNeese Street. Free admission to view classic cars, hot rods, and motorcycles. There will be live auctions, split-the-pot raffle, celebrity judges, great Rock and Roll music and much more. ALL proceeds go to the McNeese Foundation for student scholarships.

Veterans Breakfast Scheduled The Sons of the American Legion would like to invite all veterans to a Veterans Breakfast on Monday, November 11. Breakfast to be served from 7-10 a.m. A special complimentary breakfast for all veterans and their spouses will be served on Veterans Day at the American Legion Hall on Hwy 112. This annual breakfast event is hosted by the Sons of the American Legion. Reservations are not required but are appreciated. For more information, call (337) 463-7984. Memorial Moving Wal coming to DeRidder On November 7 at 4p.m., The Moving WallTM will arrive in DeRidder with a brief opening ceremony. It will be on display through Veterans Day, November 11th at the ballfield beside the War Memorial Civic Center located at 250 West Seventh Street. Lake Area Ballet Theatre 2018-2019 Season Announced The Lake Area Ballet Theatre (LABT) is proud to announce its 2018-2019 season of local ballet performances. Under the direction of Colleen Canon Benoit, LABT is a newly formed nonprofit organization that was created to carry on the legacy of local icon Ida Winter Clarke’s Lake Charles Ballet Society for Ballet Joyeux. LABT will present the full-length Nutcracker in the Rosa Hart Theatre on November 15 - 17. The production will feature a cast of over 150 local dancers, as well as returning guest artist Ramon Gaitan. Mr. Gaitan, originally from Nicaragua, has danced professionally with many professional companies, such as Dayton Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, and Richmond Ballet. School performances will take place at 9 a.m. on Thursday and Friday. Evening performances will take place on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. LABT will also present “Spring Gala 2019” with musical guests on March 30th at 7 p.m. in the Rosa Hart Theatre. The mixed repertoire will feature “Swan Lake Act II” staged by prima ballerina Soili Arvola. Also featured will be “Spring Echo” by choreographer Libby Tete-Looney, “Enchanted” a new work by guest teacher and choreographer Jennifer Boren, and for a third season, another original piece choreographed by KaLinda LeJune and accompanied by the McNeese Ragtime Band, under the direction

of Dr. Lonny Benoit. The Lake Area Ballet Theatre will also perform at the Arts Fest sponsored by the Arts Council. Tickets for Nutcracker and Spring Gala 2019 will be available soon through the Lake Charles Civic Center Box Office. Additional information about the company, as well as sponsorship opportunities ca be found on or the Lake Area Ballet Theatre’s Facebook page.

varied program showcases musical representations of space from the past century, as well as older music that was re-envisioned as humanity turned its sights toward the stars. All of this dramatic music is choreographed to photos and video footage from NASA, which will be displayed on a large screen behind the orchestra as the music plays. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; a Discovery Talk with guest conductor Carl Topilow will start at 2 p.m., and the concert will begin at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $40 and sponsorships are also available. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the symphony office at 337-433-1611, or go to www.

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Lake Charles Symphony Winter Pops: A Space Spectacular The Lake Charles Symphony takes the stage at the Rosa Hart Theatre under the direction of guest conductor Carl Topilow for Winter Pops: A Space Spectacular on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. This intergalactic experience will feature out-of-this-world footage from NASA for the inaugural Winter Pops concert. The performance features music from a number of popular space-themed films, as well as classical composers' best imaginings of the cosmos. The

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• Class “A” office space • 6-story parking garage for tenants plus ample • Class visitor “A” officeparking space • 6-story parking • Affordable lease ratesgarage for tenants plus ample visitor parking • Direct access to I-10 • Affordable lease rates • Prominent location • Direct access to I-10 • On-site security location Prominent • Class• “A” office space •5On-site security • •Level Salon, Lakeshore • Class “A” office space 6-story parking garage forCafé, tenants • Level 5 Salon, Lakeshore Black Tie Drycleaning pickup • 6-story parking garage for tenants plus ample visitor parking Café, Black Tie Drycleaning pickup delivery plus ample visitor parking •and Affordable lease rates and delivery • Class “A” office space • •Beautifully Landscaped • Affordable lease rates Direct access to Landscaped I-10 • Beautifully • Class “A” office space • 6-story parking garage for•tenants Flexible office design • 6-story garage for tenantsto I-10 • Flexible office design • parking Direct access location plus ample visitor parking • Prominent plus ample visitor parking • •On-site professional management • On-site professional management • Class office Affordable leasespace rates On-site security •“A”Prominent location • Affordable lease rates • 6-story parking garage for tenants Direct access to I-10 • Overnight delivery stations • •Overnight delivery dropdrop stations • Class “A” office space visitor parking Level 5 Salon, Lakeshore Café, •ampleOn-site security • plus Prominent location • Direct access to I-10 •• Affordable lease rates • Nightly cleaning services On-site security • 6-story parking garage for tenants Black Tie Drycleaning pickup • Nightly cleaning services •• Direct toLakeshore I-105 Salon, Level Lakeshore Café, Level•5access Salon, Café, • Prominent location plus ample visitor parkingTypical • Prominent location pickup and delivery floor plan Black Tie Drycleaning Black Tie Drycleaning pickup and delivery • On-site security Typical floor plan • On-site security • Beautifully Landscaped • Affordable lease rates Beautifully Landscaped •• Level 5 Salon, Lakeshore Café, and delivery • Level 5 Salon, Lakeshore Café, • Black Flexible design TieLoffice Drycleaning pickup e a s i n g i n f o r m at i o n : MFlexible a r koffice p Odesign litz, CpM® • • Direct access to I-10 • and On-site professional management ® •delivery Beautifully Landscaped Black Tie iDrycleaning pickup L e a s i n g i n f o r m at o n : M a r k p O l i t z , C p M •• Beautifully Landscaped Overnight delivery drop stations 3 3 7 4 3 7 1 1 4 2 | M a r k @ h e r t z g r O u p. C O M • On-site professional management • Prominent location •• Flexible office design delivery • cleaning Flexible design Nightly servicesofficeand On-site drop • On-site security 3 3 7 - 4 -delivery 4estations 2s•hBeautifully |r emanagement MDLandscaped a rOvernight tz rdelivery Orul ep. O• 3 n7eprofessional l1a1kmanagement O r irvk e @|h el•a k eg Ch a sC , stations lO aM7 0 6 2 9 Typical floor plan • On-site • Overnight dropprofessional • Nightly cleaning services 67 Nightly cleaning Salon, Lakeshore Café, L• e aLevel s i n g5iO n fo rm atl i oa n :kM a• rs kh pO l i tr zservices ,eC p M • rFlexible office design n e e O D i v e | l a k e Charles, la 70629 • Overnight delivery drop stations Typical floor plan Black Tie Drycleaning pickup 8 6 9 S A M H O U S T O N J O N E S PA R K W AY, M O S S B L U F F, L A 7 0 6 1 1 ( 3 3 7 ) 9 0 5 - V A P E ( 8 2 7 3 } • W W W . B AY O U S W A M P J U I C E . C O M

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Port Arthur CVB wins web categories at travel industry Idea Fair Port Arthur Convention & Visitors Bureau won first place for its newly-designed mobile web page at the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau Idea Fair. Port Arthur CVB also earned second place for its web page,, designed to inform visitors, potential visitors and locals about the city and area’s attractions, restaurants and lodging. Categories are based on city size and budget. Images of Port Arthur’s colorful birds, tempting flavors, waterside views at Pleasure Island and Sea Rim State Park and popular culture at Museum of the Gulf Coast fill the sites and provide information for those who come to Port Arthur for work and pleasure. Local blogs highlight seasonal and fun aspects of the area. For more information, visit this award-winning site at West Calcasieu High Schoolers Participated to the New “Master Your Future” Conference The West Calcasieu Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the American Job Center, launched a new student conference on Wednesday, September 25. The “Master Your Future” conference was created to help West Calcasieu area graduating high schoolers prepare themselves for their immediate post-high school goals. The conference addressed common pitfalls and provided practical information to help students achieve success in the first year following graduation, whether that be in continued education or entry into the work force. The conference was made possible free of charge to students through generous donations by Tellurian, the City of Sulphur, and CSE Federal Credit Union and the support of the Calcasieu Parish School Board. Participating students were able to attend three workshops and a lunch with motivational keynote speaker, Cedrick LaFleur, Chief Executive of the LaFleur Leadership Institute. Workshops focused on common challenges related to financial aid availability, time and budget management, and


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

professional etiquette. Students were also able to engage with a Peer Panel of recent graduates from their career paths who provided their secrets to success and the top ten things they wish someone had told them before graduating. Taylor Porter Announces Opening of Lake Charles Office Taylor Porter announces the addition of Special Counsel Rick Norman and Associates Joe Norman and Jud Norman from the Lake Charles-based Norman Business Law Center. Rick Norman, founding member of the Norman Business Law Center, will head Taylor Porter’s Lake Charles office where he and his associates will continue their practice supported by Taylor Porter’s full spectrum of legal services. Norman has represented the Lake Charles business and industrial community since 1985 in commercial transactions, litigation, employment, construction and industry, and healthcare matters. With the addition of Rick, Joe Norman, and Jud Norman, Taylor Porter has expanded its attorney base by nine attorneys over the last year. Taylor Porter has strengthened its estate planning and tax practice by adding three attorneys: Rebecca Hinton, Justin Mannino, and Ryan Gonzales. Taylor Porter has also added commercial law and transactions attorney Jess Frey. Attorneys Will Patrick and Michael Grace have been added to the firm’s general commercial litigation practice. For more information, visit Investar Bank Expanding Lake Charles Market Footprint Investar Bank, National Association (“Investar”) has finalized a transaction for the acquisition of a branch location in Westlake at 2215 Sampson Street. This branch will give Investar its initial step toward their full-service expansion into the SWLA market. More importantly it will focus on and address the immediate needs of the West Calcasieu customer base. By opening this branch, it will give Investar the ability to service the numerous companies that work with and support the local Petrochemical industry. Renovations of the Westlake location will begin soon with an

anticipated opening date during the fourth quarter of this year; pending regulatory approval. In the fall of 2018, Investar opened its first Interactive Teller Machine/ATM on Country Club Road in Lake Charles. This location is currently under construction and will house the second full-service branch located in the SWLA market. Construction is currently underway with an estimated completion date and opening slated for the second quarter of 2020; pending regulatory approval. When utilizing the ITM, community members can interact with an Investar banker Monday through Friday during the business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and use the machine as an ATM 24/7. This was Investar’s original entry into the SWLA market prior to the hiring of Kevin Lacy and Steve Lacy, who both joined in April of this year. For more information, call (337) 656-6193. Lake Charles Memorial Receives Nation’s First TAVR Certification Lake Charles Memorial’s Heart & Vascular team is leading the nation once again by becoming the first, out of 645 programs nationwide, to receive the prestigious certification by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). The TAVR procedure is a less invasive option to replace diseased aortic valves without open heart surgery. Memorial’s TAVR team – led by Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgeon J. Gregory Lugo, MD and Interventional Cardiologists Edward Bergen, DO and Christopher Thompson, MD – received the certification by implementing best practices and achieving quality outcomes. The ACC validated that Memorial meets set standards for multidisciplinary teams, formalized training, shared decision-making and registry performance. Hospitals that achieve Transcatheter Valve Certification will have access to best practices to support decision-making in the care of individual patients and to track data to identify opportunities for improvement. While being the first certified program in the nation was not the goal, achieving the best patient outcomes is, and will continue to be, the Heart & Vascular team’s priority. For more information, call (337) 494-4759.


Solutions for Life


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

Hello – Are You With Me?!? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Depressed? Have I got a tip for you! It’s time to learn to be “in the moment.” A common symptom of all the above-named issues is a lack of focus and concentration. I hear it all the time – “I go into rooms and I can’t remember why I’m there.” “I think of three things I need to do, and I loose the last two before I finish the first.” “I have so much work to do, but I can’t seem to stay on track.” In fact, we have a term for it in the workplace – “presenteeism.” It means employees who are at work physically, but not mentally. The reason we find it difficult to focus when we’re feeling less than tip-top is because we’re thinking more about our situation than the present. The problem is the more we think about the problem, the worse we feel. We all have situations arise in our lives that seem insurmountable and bigger than us. It is during those times that I want you to focus on being “in the moment.” What does “in the moment” mean? It means that you think only about where you are and what you are doing at that time. Have you ever driven home from work and couldn’t remember the trip? That’s because you weren’t “in the moment.” Your mind was elsewhere and your body was on autopilot. Being in the moment means a full awareness of your surroundings – sights, smells, and sounds. It means tuning in to the person who’s talking to you so you don’t have to keep asking them to repeat what they just said. It means staying focused on the task at hand so you can make some headway.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • November 2019

Why does staying “in the moment” help? Here are some reasons: BREATHE! The fastest/easiest way to get “in the moment” is to take a deep breath. (I’ll wait while you do that now.) Breathe in through your nose, extend your diaphragm (not your chest/ shoulders), and breathe out very slowly. Listen to the sound of the breath. Feel your heartbeat. Slow down. One of the typical responses to stress is we begin to take shallow breaths from the chest area. This only increases our heart rate, which causes us to feel even more stressed. TAKING A MENTAL BREAK Sometimes when things aren’t going so great in our lives, we find that all we do is think about the problem. How did the problem happen? What’s going to happen next? Will the problem ever be resolved? Many times it feels as if the issue will go on forever, and we can’t see anything beyond it. It is helpful to take a break from thinking about and worrying about the situation. An easy way to do this is to focus on the here and now – what do you see? What do you hear? SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT When so much is going wrong, it is helpful to feel like you are doing something right. When you can have a focused conversation with your child instead of numbly saying “uh-huh,” you know you did at least one thing right

today. When you have a huge, overwhelming task ahead of you, staying focused long enough to do the easiest baby step of the task still helps you feel like you’re on your way. FEELING IN CONTROL As with most things in life, the real problem we are usually experiencing is a feeling of lack of control (not whatever we think the issue is). We don’t like it when we are not the masters of our own destinies. Learning to be wholly present instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow will reinforce that you really are in control of much of your life. You are particularly in control of the amount of time and energy you are going to spend thinking about situations that may be causing you to feel stressed. Remember, the only thing you really have is right here, right now. Yesterday is gone, no matter how great or horrible it was. Tomorrow is not here, so we can’t bank on that either. Get focused on the only time guarantee you have – this moment.

The Foundation Of Our Business Lies In Louisiana’s Growing Workforce. That’s why we’ve supported our members since 1989 with the tools they need to protect workers, along with the added value of seminars and programs to help strengthen their businesses. Sure, it’s our 30th anniversary, but we celebrate our members because the future is in their hands. :: 985-612-1230



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