Louisiana Business: GNO Inc, Swamp Fest, New Orleans Oysters, League Of Women Voters, Donelon
Written by  // Monday, 14 February 2011 15:05 //

IPhone App.

Last week,  Greater New Orleans, Inc. launched the Coastal Vitality iPhone App, an application specifically designed to provide the workers, businesses, and communities impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill with mobile access to the resources and opportunities available to them. The application was released as part of the Coastal Vitality Project, an initiative launched in August 2010 by GNO, Inc. and Chevron to mitigate the economic impact of the oil spill on the regional workforce and business communities.

"As our communities and economies continue to recover from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, a lack of access to information and resources can inhibit this process," said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. "We foresee this app being a very useful tool for coastal residents and the non-profit workers assisting them."  

The Coastal Vitality iPhone app serves as an easily accessible extension of CoastalVitalityProject.org which was launched in October 2010 with funding assistance from Capital One Bank and Chevron.  Both the website and mobile application help to facilitate business and job retention/transition by promoting access to timely information and links to key services, resources, and opportunities.  

Resources include:

Detailed information on Workforce Training and Worker Support Programs available to fisheries

Referrals to available employment opportunities for the diverse populations impacted by the oil spill

Access to resources and services for small businesses

Detailed information on accessing GCCF Claims

"While the oil spill may not be in the national spotlight, its complex economic impacts continue to evolve and present challenges to our workers and businesses as well as the non-profit organizations providing critical services," said Robin A. Barnes, Executive Vice President of GNO, Inc.  "Using the app to deliver up-to-date information on resources and opportunities, we intend to help our regional communities meet these challenges on the road to economic prosperity and a renewed coast."  

The iPhone App provides a mobile interface for the GNO, Inc./Chevron Coastal Vitality Project . Launched in August, the Coastal Vitality Project is a proactive response to address the economic impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster.  Serving as an umbrella program, the initiative provides a broad set of services – including regional marketing, small business capacity-building, and workforce development – to help businesses and communities impacted by the disaster. 

Developed by local digital firm Touch Studios, the Coastal Vitality iPhone App can be downloaded at Apple’s App Store or by visiting the Coastal Vitality Project website’s homepage. The app will be constantly updated with information on current events and relevant resources.  For more details on the Coastal Vitality Project and how to access its services, please visit www.coastalvitalityproject.org

Swamp Stomp Festival

Ready for the third annual Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival – a musical celebration of south Louisiana culture slated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 18-20, at Nicholls State University.

The festival will take place in the parking lot adjacent to John L. Guidry Stadium (Family Day Site). Admission is $10 per day or $25 for the weekend – free for children 11 and under. Tickets will be available at the gate. The festival gates will open to the public at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday.


“Beginning with our hugely successful inaugural festival in 2009, Swamp Stomp is quickly becoming a Thibodaux tradition,” said Brenda Haskins, festival committee co-chair and director of auxiliary services at Nicholls. “It’s a festival specifically dedicated to Cajun culture, and we believe the people of the Bayou Region recognize the value of that. Swamp Stomp is a great entertainment venue for anyone who loves Cajun and Zydeco music, local foods, locally made art and crafts, and south Louisiana culture.”


Musical talents scheduled to perform include Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble; the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band; Grammy-nominated Feufollet; Foret Tradition; Grammy-nominated Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole; Ryan Brunet and the Malfecteurs; Lost Bayou Ramblers; Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys; Tab Benoit and Waylon Thibodeaux; Grammy-nominated Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band; T’Canaille; Grammy-nominated The Pine Leaf Boys; and Geno Delafose and the French Rockn’ Boogie. Free Zydeco Cajun dance lessons will be offered an hour before the first band starts playing on each day.


The Public University System leaders will serve as a panelists for the League of Women Voters of Baton Rouge's monthly Lunch with the League meeting at noon next Friday, 2/18/11 at Drusilla Place in Baton Rouge and provide the "Best Solutions to the Challenges before Higher Education.".
    Dr. Joe May, President, LA Community and Technical Colleges system, Dr. Michael Martin, Chancellor, LSU System, and Dr. Randy Moffett, President, University of Louisiana system will be on the panel.
Dr. Ronald Mason, President Southern University System or the Chancellor will represent the Southern University System.Funding for Higher Education takes place this spring during the regular
Legislative session.

    The luncheon will be held Friday, February 18, at Drusilla Seafood, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge.  Doors open at 11:30 and the program begins at Noon.  Reservations are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as last August on this issue was "SOLD OUT."
    Tickets for the luncheon may be purchased online with a credit card at WWW.LWVBR.ORG/LWL.html and going to  "Pay for Lunch Here". Reservations may be made by  calling (225) 927-2255 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Cash or checks are accepted at the door.

New Orleans Oyster Festival

The Louisiana Gulf Oyster Industry is proud to again host the New Orleans Oyster Festival, June 4-5, 2011, in the French Quarter by the Mississippi River at Berger Parking Lot Z (Decatur Street, between Jax Brewery and Hard Rock Café).

Last year’s inaugural Oyster Festival was held less than two months after the Gulf Oil Spill as a way to highlight the benefits of the Louisiana Gulf Oyster, as well as honor and celebrate the restaurateurs and oyster farmers who have solidified New Orleans’ position as the "Oyster Capital of America."


“All odds were against us but we were able to host a successful event that showcased the importance of the Louisiana oyster industry,” said Lucien Gunter, New Orleans Oyster Festival board member. “Because of the tremendous participation and support of last year’s event, the New Orleans Oyster Festival board was able to donate $20,000 to coastal restoration.”

Louisiana Insurance

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced today that the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) aided Louisiana insurance consumers in receiving over $9.6 million in insurance payments from consumer complaints last year. This is an additional $1.4 million over the amount of funds recovered in 2009.

The recovered funds result from insurance claims disputes in which LDI was able to work with insurance companies and consumers to recover monies above what the insurance companies originally offered the consumers to settle their claims. Funds recovered are from formal complaints regarding property and casualty, health insurance, life and annuities, and consumer advocacy claims. 

“Our staff works diligently to see that Louisiana’s insurance consumers are being treated fairly by the insurance companies they pay to protect them and their property,” Donelon said.  “The Department of Insurance’s role as consumer watchdog is reaping nice rewards as evident with this large additional sum of insurance payments for our citizens.”

On Thursday, February 17, 2011, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, will hold a hearing to discuss a comprehensive reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technical Transfer (STTR) Programs.


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