LED program helps small business leaders learn from experiences of their peers
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Economic Development opened the application period today for CEO Roundtables, a popular peer program through which executives may explore business challenges with each other under the guidance of an experienced facilitator. The application period will be Feb. 1 through March 31for roundtables beginning July 2017. Interested small business executives may apply and learn more at OpportunityLouisiana.com/CEO-Roundtables.
Launched in 2014 to help established small businesses grow revenue and jobs, LED’s regional CEO Roundtables convene 15 to 18 qualified key decision-makers from the pool of applicant businesses. Participants meet 10 times for peer-to-peer learning, business networking and support in the yearlong program. Collaborative and growth-oriented, the meetings support a trusting environment in which executives explore business and personal solutions that spur business growth.
“The CEO Roundtable program is a vital part of strengthening Louisiana’s economy and creating an environment more conducive to collaboration and growth,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The roundtables offer strategic support for entrepreneurs and affirm our commitment to expand initiatives for small businesses across the state. We have so many talented and visionary business leaders in the state of Louisiana. By growing our small businesses, residents all across Louisiana will benefit, and business leaders will be able to hire more dedicated employees at an accelerated rate.”
Participants from a range of industries come together each session to discuss a designated topic determined by the interests of the group. Topics in current and past roundtables have included marketing, strategic planning, operational efficiency, organizational structure, delegation and cybersecurity.
“LED is committed to enhancing and expanding the CEO Roundtable initiative,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “I have had the privilege of personally witnessing the roundtables and their benefits to participating companies. The roundtables help ensure that our business leaders have access to the resources they need to continue growing, but at an accelerated pace. This program seeks to help successful entrepreneurs get to the next level more quickly and add additional well-paying jobs, because the strength of Louisiana’s small businesses is key to our economic growth.”
Roundtable participants typically operate high-growth companies with annual revenue of $600,000 to $50 million and employment of five to 99 people. Each yearlong roundtable consists of 10 half-day sessions moderated by an experienced facilitator. Discussions are structured to provide participants with timely advice on issues they’re facing or are preparing to face.
Roundtable settings allow peer executives to share their company experiences openly, so participants may benefit from each other’s achievements and lessons learned.
Roundtables are underway in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Ruston and Shreveport. Depending on demand, LED may expand the program in July to include Alexandria, Lake Charles and Houma.
ENTERGY $869 M capital investment
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Entergy Corporation executives broke ground on Entergy Louisiana LLC’s new 980-megawatt power station in St. Charles Parish, which will provide additional energy more efficiently for Entergy Louisiana’s more than 1 million electric customers.
Entergy Louisiana will make an $869 million capital investment in the St. Charles Power Station, with the economic impact of the plant felt statewide. The new plant will significantly reduce fuel costs for all Entergy Louisiana customers and increase reliability in the region from east of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area to the Mississippi state line and south to the Gulf of Mexico, including greater New Orleans.
At the peak of building activity, the project will generate 700 construction jobs on site and support 3,400 indirect jobs in the state. On a permanent basis, Entergy Louisiana will create 31 new direct jobs for the operation of the St. Charles Power Station, with an average annual salary of more than $72,300, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 97 permanent new indirect jobs, for a total or more than 120 new jobs in the Southeast Region and surrounding areas.
“Our economy and our way of life in Louisiana rely upon dependable, affordable electricity,” Gov. Edwards said. “Not only is Entergy one of our most important corporate employers, with headquarters in New Orleans, Entergy supplies more power to customers in the state of Louisiana than anyone. After a long, constructive process with our Public Service Commission, Entergy Louisiana is moving forward with this highly efficient power plant project that will benefit customers across the state. We’re excited to support them in providing more power to our people, in a more efficient way than ever before.”
The new combined-cycle, natural gas-fired plant in Montz will save Entergy Louisiana customers more than $1.3 billion over the anticipated 30-year life of the plant. The new St. Charles Power Station will cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 40 percent, compared with older-generation gas-fired plants.
“This state-of-the-art plant is an investment in the future of Louisiana,” said President and CEO Phillip May of Entergy Louisiana. “The St. Charles Power Station will supply the clean, reliable energy required to satisfy customer demand and continue growing the state’s economy, and it will create much-needed jobs for Louisiana residents during its construction. This project would not be possible without the foresight of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the civic and community leaders of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes, and the support of many other groups and individuals.”
Entergy currently employs approximately 800 people in St. Charles Parish, including the Waterford 3 nuclear power plant. The economic impact from construction of the plant will be felt statewide, but it will be strongest in St. Charles Parish and the adjoining St. John the Baptist Parish. The construction phase of the St. Charles Power Station will produce $973 million in new business sales and $198 million in new household earnings in the two-parish region, according to an economic impact analysis by economist Loren Scott.
“This project represents a long, positive relationship between the residents of St. Charles Parish and Entergy, and we look forward to growing that relationship with this endeavor,” said St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran. “We also look forward to the opportunities that this will provide for our local workforce.”
“Entergy continues to demonstrate their commitment to the region through investments and job creation,” said St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom. “This state-of-the-art facility is environmentally friendly and will serve as an economic driver for our area.”
Entergy Louisiana has selected CB&I as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the St. Charles Power Station. CB&I, which employs more than 7,000 Louisiana residents, will complete the project in conjunction with an Entergy management team. The launch of commercial operations for the new power plant is expected in June 2019.
“GNO Inc. is proud to support the construction of Entergy Louisiana’s St. Charles Power Plant,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “This plant will reduce costs for consumers and businesses, and make greater New Orleans a more attractive place to do business.”
TRITON STONE GROUP RELOCATION
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted the announcement by Triton Stone Group of New Orleans that it has acquired the Triton Stone brand in a $40 million deal, and is relocating the Triton Stone headquarters to the greater New Orleans region from Southaven, Mississippi, in the Memphis, Tennessee, area. A wholesale distributor of granite and natural stone products, Triton Stone will create 12 new direct jobs with the project, with an average annual salary of $75,800, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in the creation of nine new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 20 new permanent jobs in Southeast Louisiana.
As part of the project, Triton Stone Group of New Orleans, which will now operate as Triton Stone Group, will add a distribution center at the Port of New Orleans to its operations. The new distribution center will consolidate some of the company’s import activities from out-of-state to a single Louisiana location. The company is investing $700,000 in a new 22,500-square-foot center at the port. Construction of that center will break ground by the second quarter of 2017 and will result in an increase in container shipments to New Orleans. Triton Stone Group of New Orleans has imported about 1,200 containers of stone and granite into the Port of New Orleans annually, and ranked as the largest importer of stone and granite at the port. The increased activity will result in 600 more incoming containers per year in the near future, with that number expected to rise as additional retail stores come online.
“This new chapter in the history of Triton Stone Group is a testament to Louisiana’s strong business climate and unrivaled geographic resources,” Gov. Edwards said. “This project merges several importing efforts to the Port of New Orleans, providing Triton Stone Group with strengthened logistics capabilities and creating great new job opportunities for our people. We congratulate Triton Stone Group on its continued growth. This new activity is representative of strong, Louisiana-grown entrepreneurship.”
With the acquisition, Triton Stone Group of New Orleans is securing assets of Southaven’s Triton Stone Holdings, which is a wholesale and retail brand that imports high-quality stone. Triton Stone Group of New Orleans, which operated under the Triton brand name to retain better wholesale purchasing power, has operated nine retail locations until now. The acquisition of Triton Stone Holdings of Southaven includes five more retail locations. Coupled with the new distribution center at the Port of New Orleans, as well as seven independently owned and operated licensees, the consolidated operations of Triton Stone headquarters in New Orleans will oversee 22 locations across Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia.
“We are so excited about the acquisition and future growth of Triton Stone Group,” said President Katie Jensen Peralta of Triton Stone Group. “We started in New Orleans, and this city has given us so much to be thankful for. Triton is a family company with deep roots in New Orleans. We are invested in the future of our employees and the future of our company.”
In addition to Triton’s increased presence at the port, the company is expanding its existing administrative offices in Harahan to serve as the headquarters for the expanded business. An additional auxiliary office is located in Mandeville. Triton Stone Group’s new distribution operations at the port will be located on Jourdan Road.
“Triton Stone Group’s new value-added distribution facility at the Port of New Orleans is a strong addition to the real estate portfolio we offer on more than 1,000 acres along the industrial canal,” said President and CEO Brandy Christian of the Port of New Orleans. “It further positions the Port of New Orleans as a leading import and export port in this region.”
Established in 2004, Triton Stone operations include the manufacturing, cutting, shaping and finishing of granite, marble, limestone, slate and other stone for building purposes. In recent years, the company has expanded its product offerings to include kitchen and bathroom fixtures – including sinks, faucets, toilets and tubs — and Triton distributes leading brands, including Toto, Jacuzzi, Elkay and more. Triton Stone of New Orleans was established in 2006.
To secure the company’s headquarters relocation and increased distribution activity in Louisiana, LED offered Triton Stone Group a competitive incentive package that includes a $100,000 grant from the Economic Development Award Program. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs Program.
“The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission is very proud of its long history with the Jensen family and Triton Stone,” said JEDCO President Jerry Bologna. “The attraction of Triton’s corporate headquarters to Jefferson Parish, along with its associated investment and jobs, will add to the diversity of our corporate landscape and aid in the continued regionalization of the Port of New Orleans. JEDCO enthusiastically welcomes this company and looks forward to assisting Triton with their continued growth.”
“The relocation of Triton Stone Group’s headquarters coupled with the construction of a new unloading facility at the Port of New Orleans is a strong win for New Orleans and our region,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “We are proud that Triton Stone Group will be owned and operated by New Orleanians, and we look forward to the job creation and economic impact this acquisition brings.”
The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) is pleased to welcome several new faces to its Board of Commissioners in 2017. Since mid-December, JEDCO received four new appointments to the organization. Chaired by long-time JEDCO Board Member, Bruce Layburn, the JEDCO Board works closely with the JEDCO staff to achieve the organization's mission of attracting, retaining, and expanding business in Jefferson Parish. Individuals who serve on the JEDCO board represent area business organizations and parish leaders.
JEDCO'S NEW CHAIRMAN
The JEDCO Board of Commissioners appointed Bruce Layburn to serve as the 2017 Chairman of the Board. Bruce represents the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans and has served on the board for four years. He is a residential developer with more than 40 years of experience principally in southeast Louisiana. Bruce is the former director of the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the organization. He is also a member of the Jefferson Parish Citizen's Advisory Board and the Envision Jefferson 2020 Steering Committee. Bruce served as the Greater New Orleans representative of the former Louisiana Home Owner's Warranty Board. He received a degree in architecture from Louisiana Tech.
Josline Gosserand Frank represents the Greater New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce on the JEDCO Board. She is the co-owner/principal and realtor of World Properties International, Russell Frank Realty Group, LLC. Based out of Gretna, the company has been in business approximately 30 years. Before starting her own business, Frank spent 33 years educating students in the Jefferson Parish Public School System. Additionally, Josline was the first Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Director in the Louisiana. Josline is an active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Greater New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce, New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, Greater Baton Rouge Area Realtors, Louisiana Real Estate Commission, and the National Association of Realtors.
Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken appointed Thomas J. Gennaro to the JEDCO Board. He serves as the Senior Executive Director (East Bank Market) and Assistant Vice President of Corporate Financial Analysis for Peoples Health Network, where he oversees implementation and oversight of the company's strategic operating plan and strategic planning initiatives. Thomas is a 2014 graduate of the Leadership Jefferson program. He has an MBA with a concentration in accounting and a B.S. in Finance from the University of New Orleans.
The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce nominated Matthew A. Gibson to serve as its representative on the JEDCO Board. Matthew serves as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Chief Strategy Officer for East Jefferson General Hospital. He leads the strategic planning process and works closely with the clinical enterprise division to develop strategy and business development initiatives for EJGH. Matthew has spent the last 10 years managing hospital operations across the south. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds a Master's degree in health care administration and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Keith Merritt represents the Louisiana Bankers Association on the JEDCO Board. Keith is a Senior Vice President in Business Banking at IBERIABANK, managing a portfolio of business clients with a wide range of banking needs. Keith is heavily involved with the community. He is a member of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Elmwood Business Association, and St. Catherine of Siena Men's Club. Additionally, Keith devotes time to Junior Achievement, teaching financial literacy to the region's youth. He is currently a member of the Leadership Jefferson Class of 2017.
The Jefferson Parish President nominates one representative to serve on the JEDCO Board of Commissioners. The Parish Council nominates seven members and 13 board appointees represent local business organizations. Business representatives serve five years. Those board members nominated by the Parish Council and President serve for the duration of the nominator's term in office.