NORLI opens, BRAC meets, LED starts small business for flood victims, Louisiana Coastal Recovery
Written by  // Tuesday, 22 March 2016 13:43 // News//
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BATON ROUGE SKYLouisiana organization news:  New Orleans Regional Leadership (NORLI) accepting applications, Louisiana Economic Development announces a small business recovery center due to the recent floods, Baton Rouge Chamber speaker event, Coastal Recovery and more


The New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) is now accepting applications for the 2016-17 NORLI class. All business, civic and public-sector leaders in the ten-parish region are encouraged to apply by visiting, http://norli.org/application/2017-application/. The deadline for applications is Monday, May 16, 2016, and there is a $35 non-refundable application fee.

NORLI is a nine-month program designed to enhance personal leadership skills and examine issues central to the advancement of the Greater New Orleans region. Through a competitive application process, the class brings together forty business, civic, and community leaders representing all races, genders, industries and communities in the ten parish region with a mission to promote regional collaboration by providing a forum for the exchange of diverse viewpoints and a network of relationships.

The NORLI curriculum will examine public policy, education, workforce development, diversity, criminal justice, public safety, environment and sustainability and will focus on how all of these issues affect economic development and quality of life. The NORLI program consists of two overnight retreats and seven full-day sessions beginning September 14, 2016 and ending May 18, 2017. The non-refundable tuition fee is $2,750, which covers all program costs and materials, including meals, as well as all the expenses associated with the retreats. For more information on the commitments and class of 2016 - 17 program dates, please visit http://norli.org/commitment-class-of-2017-program-dates/.

For more information about NORLI, please visit http://norli.org/ or contact Nicole P. Woolfolk at 504.527.6922 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Connect with NORLI on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NORegionalLeadershipInstitute?ref=ts.


This is the 21st year for CRCL’s Coastal Stewardship Awards, which honors individuals and organizations who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the coast and have made significant contributions to the restoration and conservation of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

CRCL will honor these coastal champions at the 21st Annual Stewardship Awards Banquet on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. Tickets are $60 and available at crcl.org.

We are also honored to announce that this year’s keynote speaker will be the Governor’s newly appointed Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities and Chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Johnny Bradberry.

The 2016 winners fall into four categories: Distinguished Service, Coastal Stewardship, Friends of the Coalition and Volunteer of the Year.

Distinguished Service/Sue Hawes Memorial Award

Mike Carloss – Carloss is a native of Vermilion Parish who has a long history of conservation engagement in Coastal Louisiana, including more than 20 years with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He has also worked for Louisiana Office of State Parks, USDA National Resources Conservation Service, and as an adjunct instructor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He currently works with Ducks Unlimited, where he oversees the waterfowl habitat conservation in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and the Gulf Coast. Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, he worked tirelessly on wildlife rescue response and his work was documented in HBO’s “Saving Pelican 895.” He has also been instrumental in planning, designing, and constructing several CWPPRA projects.

Coastal Stewardship Award

Earl Armstrong – Armstrong has lived and worked along the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish for more than 70 years. He has been a tireless advocate for the importance of sediment diversions to rebuild Coastal Louisiana. He was instrumental in preventing the closure of the West Bay diversion. As a member of the Plaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Advisory Committee, his knowledge of the River and Coastal Louisiana has been invaluable. His lifelong understanding of the Mississippi River Delta is vital to Plaquemines Parish and the health of our coastal wetlands.

Allyse M. Ferrara, PhD – Dr. Ferrara is an internationally renowned biology professor and researcher at Nicholls State University. She has made substantial contributions to Coastal Louisiana by giving students first-hand experience as stewards of the coast. Each year she helps to coordinate cleanup days on Bayou Lafourche in Thibodaux, along the beaches of Grand Isle, Elmer’s Island, and Port Fourchon. She has also become one of the leading “boots on the ground” researchers focusing on the stabilization of Louisiana shorelines by planting coastal vegetation. Her work is unique in that it combines innovative teaching with the muscle of young students to make a tangible impact to our coast.

Veni and Hansel Harlan – The Harlans are conservationists and dog-enthusiasts-turned-entrepreneurs. They have taken their compassion for animals and their concern for Louisiana’s wetlands and made it into a business that serves both a need and a mission. Their company, Marsh Dog, LLC, is a Baton Rouge-based company that uses wild nutria meat as the main ingredient in nutritious dog treats. This brother and sister team recognized a need to eradicate the invasive population of nutria and their innovative solution is proving to be a “win-win” for dogs and Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands. They are tireless advocates for coastal restoration and work to educate people across Louisiana and beyond about the importance of protecting and conserving our coast.

Edward “Ed” G. Perrin, Sr. – Perrin is a life-long resident of Lafitte and is a distinguished educator, historian, and ambassador for coastal protection and restoration. He went above and beyond as a long time science teacher at Fisher School in Lafitte teaching generations of Lafitte’s youth the importance of conserving and protecting our natural resources. He is a founding member of the Sixth Ward Association for Progress, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing awareness of the coastal restoration needs of the Sixth Ward of Jefferson parish. His incredible understanding of the Lafitte culture, history, and environment makes him an invaluable resource.

Steve Wilson – Wilson has dedicated himself to Coastal Louisiana both in his position with Shell Motiva and through his service on various state and local boards and commissions. He has served as President of the Pontchartrain Levee District for 11 years, on the board of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) for 10 years, President of the Association of Levee Boards of Louisiana for 5 years, and has served on the Framework Development team for the CPRA master plans. Wilson is a stalwart defender of the Louisiana Coast. He has been instrumental in forming partnerships between public and private entities to make real progress for Coastal Louisiana.

Maura Wood – Wood has been a champion for coastal restoration and protection for decades, first working on environmental policy and advocacy for the Sierra Club and now for the National Wildlife Federation. Her skill as a collaborator and her understanding of the complex issues surrounding coastal restoration helped her build a network of contacts among citizens, organizations, agency personnel, and state decision makers that she has been able to mobilize for real and measured progress on our coast. In 2006, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed her to serve on the Louisiana Recovery Authority Environmental Task Force. She has an unyielding dedication to Louisiana’s coast and its communities.

Friends of the Coalition

Orvis – Baton Rouge

Ashley Porter – Porter Lyons

Volunteer of the Year

Libby Nehrbass


The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced that Claire Babineaux-Fontenot will be the guest speaker at its May 3 Signature Speaker event sponsored by ExxonMobil and Jones Walker. Babineaux-Fontenot is Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and will center her discussion on diversity in the workplace.

“Claire is a Louisiana native, and we are thrilled to have her back in town to share her unique perspective on the business case for diversity and inclusion,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “Wal-Mart has long been an advocate for diversity, and Claire’s distinguished career, in addition to her personal commitment to the issue, will leave guests with a deeper appreciation for the importance of diversity in building a successful organization.”

Her presentation, titled “Authenticity and Humility: The Cornerstones of Inclusion,” will focus on three areas: the diversity and inclusion imperative, the quest for self-awareness and acceptance, and hiring for your gaps.

Babineaux-Fontenot is a past recipient of the Dave Jackson Trailblazer Award, has been named a Diversity Champion by Diversity Edge magazine, and was added to the “Women Worth Watching” list by Diversity Journal.

Signature Speaker sponsored by ExxonMobil and Jones Walker will be held at the Cook Hotel and Conference Center at LSU from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Registration for the event is $35 for BRAC investors and $45 for non-investors. More information and registration can be found at brac.org/events.


The U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network announced the opening of five Business Recovery Centers to assist businesses impacted by severe storms and flooding that began March 8 in Louisiana. The centers will openWednesday, March 23 in Bossier, Ouachita, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.

LED spearheaded this partnership with SBA, our Small Business Development Centers and our regional economic development partners,”LED Don Secretary Pierson said. “These highly trained and experienced teams of consultants will be available to provide business consulting services designed to help these business owners re-establish their operations and plan for their future.”

SBA customer service representatives will be available at each recovery center to meet individually with business owners to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. Louisiana Small Business Development Center consultants will provide counseling to help small business owners with a range of recovery issues. Services include assessing business economic injury, evaluating the business’s strength, cash flow projections and a review of all options to ensure each business makes appropriate decisions for its situation. 

“These centers will provide a single one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help,” said Michael Ricks, SBA’s Louisiana District Director. “No appointment is necessary, and all services are provided free of charge. We can answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application.”  

Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. These loans cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries. 

Business owners may also apply online using SBA’s secure website at
https://disasterloan.sba.gov/elaor get help from SBA representatives at any Disaster Recovery Center in Louisiana. Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling(800) 659-2955or emailingThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">[email protected]gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call(800) 877-8339. For more disaster assistance information, or to download applications, visithttp://www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Business Recovery Centers will open at the times and locations below:

Monroe (Ouachita Parish)

University of Louisiana at Monroe
University Advancement Building
3601 DeSiard Street
Monroe LA 71209
Opens:Wednesday, March 23 at 8 a.m.
Mondays through Fridays:8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bossier City (Bossier Parish)
Knights of Columbus
5400 E. Texas Street
Bossier City LA 71111
Opens:Wednesday, March 23 – 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mondays and Tuesdays:9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesdays:9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Thursdays and Fridays:9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hammond (Tangipahoa Parish)
Hammond Chamber of Commerce
400 NW Railroad Avenue
Hammond LA 70401
Opens:Wednesday, March 23 at 9 a.m.
Mondays through Fridays:9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Closed:Friday, March 25)

Covington (St. Tammany Parish)
Greater Covington Center
317 North Jefferson Avenue
Covington LA 70433
Opens:Wednesday, March 23 at 9 a.m.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays:9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Closed:Friday, March 25)

Bogalusa (Washington Parish)
411 Avenue B
Bogalusa LA 70427
Opens:Thursday, March 24 at 9 a.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays:9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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