Monday, 22 October 2012 22:01

Louisiana Organizations: Mark Lewis, GNO Inc, Future Pac, SBA, Santas

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NGOToday's edition of Louisiana Organization (formerly called Louisiana NGO) features GNO Inc, Louisiana businesses, LED, Mark Lewis, LTC, SBA Recovery Centers, Running of he Santas and more.  Here are their press releases



GNO Inc. and Louisiana Economic Development

This from the desk of Michael Hecht President and CEO of the GNO Inc.

Leading economic development magazine Area Development has just released its 2012 "Best States for Doing Business" survey of national site selectors, and Louisiana has posted its best showing ever:

#1 in Cooperative State Government (best of 50 states in the USA)

#2 in Incentives Programs

#2 in Economic Recovery

#3 in Leading Workforce Development Programs

#3 in Speed of Permitting

#4 in Overall Business Environment

#4 in Cost of Doing Business

#5 in Labor Climate

#6 Best State for Doing Business

This is a remarkable set of top-10 votes for Louisiana from national economic development consultants; you can see the full report here


The 2012 “Running of the Santas,” a national event to raise funds for military families, will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2012, from Noon to Midnight in the city’s popular Warehouse District.

“Running of the Santas” started in Philadelphia 13 years ago and is now held in 22 cities across the country. The event featuring a day-long festival and “fun run” attracted more than 1,000 participants in New Orleans last year for its inaugural event. On the day of the run, participants dressed in full Santa Claus and other holiday costumes fill the streets and local establishments. Among the Santas are always plenty of Mrs. Clauses and the occasional Elf.

New Orleans’ day-long “Running of the Santas” festival begins at most warehouse district bars at Noon with Drink Specials. The action moves to the “South Pole” located at Lucy’s Surfer Bar at 701 Tchoupitoulas Street at 3 pm followed by a fun run at 6 pm from “Lucy’s” to the “North Pole” set up at Generations Hall at 310 Andrew Higgins Drive. “Category 6”, a national rock band, will provide the entertainment at Generations Hall till midnight.

Event sponsors are planning to hold a “Cutest Mrs. Claus” contest and the “Best Holiday Costume” contest, sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue at 7:30 pm on the night of the event on stage at Generations Hall.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at or by visiting the “Running of the Santas” website at

A portion of the proceeds will benefit “That Others May Live Foundation”.

Mark Lewis, LTC gets new Exec. Director

Mark Lewis, the former executive director of the Louisiana Technology council has moved onto Simmons & White

Here is an announcement from the Louisiana Technology Council

The Board of Directors for the Louisiana Technology Council (LTC), a member organization dedicated to advancing economic development through technology, is proud to announce that Lindsey Hamlin has accepted the position of Executive Director of the LTC.

Prior to being selected as the Executive Director, Lindsey was the Director of Distance and Non-credit Learning at the University of New Orleans. Under her leadership, distance and non-credit learning was propelled to the forefront of the university’s overall strategic plan; the number of online programs approved for delivery increased substantially; and a successful model for professional development certificates was developed and implemented. Her professional endeavors within academia and industry have allowed her to facilitate communication, forge partnerships, and act as a liaison between essential stakeholders.

As a western Massachusetts native, Lindsey graduated magna cum laude from Bay Path College with a Bachelor of Science in Executive Management. In addition, she received a MBA from Florida Atlantic University. Lindsey taught strategic management and finance in Webster University’s graduate program. Both courses employed innovative business simulations to apply theoretical concepts to real-world challenges. She is married to Bradley Robinson, an IT professional, and they are happy to call New Orleans home.

"The LTC is happy to bring Lindsey Hamlin on board as our Executive Director to take the LTC statewide as a technology organization with relevancy in all business sectors” stated Michael Olivier, LTC Chair. The LTC has over 1500 members statewide with over 260 corporate members. The vision of the Louisiana Technology Council is to be the premier advocate for the advancement of both existing and emerging technologies across all industry sectors in the state of Louisiana.

Daily Dime

The anticipated expiration of the payroll tax reduction at the end of 2012 will increase taxes for a typical worker by $1,000 per year. Democrats and Republicans are hesitant to stop the expiration since payroll taxes fund Social Security. In addition, groups like AARP are heavily lobbying for the tax holiday’s expiration, noting that the measure hasn’t boosted the U.S. economy.

A report highlighted on Oct. 17 showed Social Security decreases the percent of Louisiana’s elderly living in poverty from 50.3 percent to 15 percent.

The Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) believes LSU officials should adopt a multiyear phase-out of the health-care system’s 10 hospitals. PAR believes its plan allows private hospitals to adequately prepare for LSU patients once some public hospitals are closed. State officials claim PAR’s recommendation will not work due to the need for immediate cuts to bring the state’s fiscal-year budget in balance.

Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway wants the state to cap the number of solar energy tax credits it approves each year. Speaking before the Revenue Study Commission, Holloway said, “I think it could go to hundreds of millions of dollars as time goes on.” Supporters of the credit claim it has helped create jobs and grow the industry from five solar companies to 192 licensed companies.

The Revenue Study Commission is a blue ribbon committee of legislators tasked with reviewing the state’s 468 tax exemptions, which cost taxpayers $4.8 billion. LBP’s relevant reports on Louisiana’s tax exemptions are listed here for your convenience.

Louisiana’s public schools increased their scores between last year and this year. The number of schools earning an A rating increased by 66 percent, while more than one in three schools earned an A, B, or C rating. The number of schools earning D and F scores decreased by 44 percent. This year’s results are not related to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s overhaul of the state’s education system during the last legislative session.

Finally, early voting begins today and continues through Oct. 30. Voting locations will be open from 8:30am until 6:00pm, excluding Sunday, Oct. 28.

Future Pac

FuturePAC, the political action committee of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC), announced today its support for school board term limits in the upcoming election. This measure will allow school board members to serve three consecutive four-year terms. The election will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

“Voting yes to this measure ensures that new leaders with new ideas are given an opportunity to serve the children and parents of our region,” said Scott Wester, chair of the FuturePAC board of directors. “This is the right move for public education in our region.”

About FuturePAC

FuturePAC, a political action committee affiliated with BRAC, actively supports candidates and issues that promote economic development and improve the business climate in the Capital Region.

SBA and recovery centers

The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) and the Louisiana Small Business Development Centers (LSBDCs) today announced that SBA will close its Belle Chasse, Mandeville and New Orleans Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) on the days and times indicated. Until then, SBA customer service representatives and counselors from the LSBDCs will continue to provide one-on-one service to those businesses affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Business Recovery Centers Closing:

Orleans Parish

JOB 1 Business and Career Solution Center
Goodwill Building, 3400 Tulane Avenue, Suite 2400, New Orleans, LA 70119
Mondays through Fridays; 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Closes Tuesday, October 23 at 5:00 pm
(This location will remain open as a SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center)

Plaquemines Parish

Seedco Financial
Fisheries Assistance Center, 8018 Hwy 23 (Regions Bank Building), Belle Chasse, LA 70037
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays; 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Closes Friday, October 26 at 4:00 pm
(After this center closes, you may visit the Disaster Recovery Center at the Belle Chasse Auditorium)

St. Tammany Parish

St. Tammany EDF, 21489 Koop Drive, Mandeville, LA 70471
Mondays & Tuesdays; 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Closes Tuesday, October 23 at 4:00 pm
(After this center closes, you may visit SBA’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Mandeville Public Works Department)

“SBA and our partners at the LED and the LSBDCs began opening business recovery centers on September 7 to meet with business owners who suffered property damage and economic losses as a result of Hurricane Isaac,” said Michael W. Ricks, Director of SBA’s Louisiana District Office. “Looking at the success of the BRCs, we have concluded that this partnership has successfully met the needs of the business community and are no longer necessary in these three locations,” he added. “Business owners may still seek personal assistance by visiting SBA at the remaining two open BRCs in Metairie and Terrytown or any Disaster Recovery Center or SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center,” Ricks added.

“From the beginning, counselors from the LSBDCs were available at each center to provide post-disaster free counseling on how to best overcome the effects of the disaster, a variety of management, financial and marketing assistance, including how to adapt a business model to post-disaster changes in markets, supplier relationships, employee sources and other key factors,” said LSBDC State Director Mary Lynn Wilkerson. “Our partnership with the SBA has proven to be a valuable tool in helping our business community get on their feet after this terrible disaster,” she said.

“SBA customer service representatives and LSBDC counselors will continue to be available at the following two Business Recovery Centers to meet one-on-one with owners of businesses that have been affected by the disaster, answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, issue loan applications, explain the application process, help each business owner complete their application and close their approved loans,” Ricks continued. “Business owners can meet with SBA representatives and LSBDC counselors on the days and times indicated. No appointment is necessary,” he added.

Business Recovery Centers Remaining Open:

Jefferson Parish

UNO Jefferson Center, 3330 North Causeway Boulevard, Suite 422 (at the rear door of the building), Metairie, LA 70002
Mondays through Fridays; 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Until further notice

Jefferson Parish

Coastal Communities Consulting
Hong Kong Shopping Center, 925 Behrman Highway, Suite 17, Terrytown, LA 70056
Mondays through Fridays;9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Until further notice

“SBA’s low-interest, Federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non profit organizations to repair or replace their property damaged or destroyed by the disaster. So far, SBA has approved more than $86 million in low interest disaster loans to individuals and businesses. SBA has approved 2,434 loans to Louisiana homeowners and renters for $79.7 million and 166 loans to businesses for $6.5 million,” Ricks said.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at

Disaster loan information, application forms and a list of locations are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, e-mailing [email protected] or visiting SBA’s Web site at Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

SBA Field Operations Center - West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841

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