Thursday, 31 May 2012 13:26

Louisiana Business: New Orleans Hotels, Blue Cross, Treasurer Kennedy, Hurricane Season

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louisianaLouisiana Business news of the day: New Orleans Hotels, Blue Cross, Treasurer Kennedy, Hurricane Season

In a move that recognizes the flourishing popularity of a recent addition to the New Orleans festival schedule, the organizers of the “San Fermin in Nueva Orleans” festival - better known as the “Running of the Bulls” - have announced a partnership with the New Orleans Hotel Collection.

The Running of the Bulls started just six years ago and is an event that mimics the festival on the same dates that has taken place for centuries in the town of Pamplona, Spain. Each year has seen phenomenal growth in the activities and participation, and this year, to assist visitors in finding comfortable, nearby accommodations, Nola Bulls, LLC has named the New Orleans Hotel Collection hotels as official and exclusive hotel sponsors.

The seven hotels of the collection: Bourbon Orleans, Dauphine Orleans, Audubon Cottages, Hotel Mazarin, Hotel Le Marais, Wyndham Riverfront and Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport, are all in a locations that provide superb and easy access to the events of the festival. Special negotiated rates are available to the general public who wish to attend, and reservations can be made directly online at The New Orleans Hotel Collection is also the official host for the “Rollerbulls” who are making their way to the festival from around the country.

Taking place July 12-15, 2012, this year’s festival offers visitors and locals a full cadre of events, including the centerpiece Saturday morning run with more than 300 “rollerbulls” from leagues in Baton Rouge, Houston, Jacksonville Fl, and other areas. Visit for festival information and a complete schedule.

The uniqueness of this event begins with the unusual aspect of the “rollerbulls.” These roller derby women from leagues across the country don “bull” outfits, and chase the red-sashed contestants through the streets of the old town, much like the real bulls in Pamplona. The event however is considerably safer, as no one is ever really gored! As in Pamplona, this is a “run at your own risk” event, with attendance expected to exceed 8,000 this year.

The events also include a new addition to the schedule this year: on Thursday July 12, a special Spanish wine dinner is planned at 7 on Fulton, located at the Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans Hotel. For an inclusive price of $95, guests will enjoy a traditional Spanish themed tasting menu, and fine wines produced by Marques de Caceres from Rioja, Spain. Details and bookings for the dinner are being taken online at the festivals website. Festival events continue in the evening of the run with the Fiesta de Pantalones (Pants Party) and the following morning’s Pobre de Mi (Poor Me) at noon. A Hemingway contest is also planned.

Nola Bulls, LLC was founded in 2007 and is a provider and promoter of entertainment and cultural events in New Orleans. A portion of the proceeds from the festival will go to Animal Rescue New Orleans, an organization dedicated to the rescue of abandoned and homeless animals.

Blue Cross

Blue Cross executive Christy Oliver Reeves has been named one of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report's 2012 Influential Women in Business. Since 2007, Reeves has served as the director of Community Relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. She is also the executive director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, the company’s charitable subsidiary.

“All of us at Blue Cross are proud of Christy Reeves for this well-deserved honor,” said Mike Reitz, Blue Cross president and CEO. “Christy is a valuable member of our executive team whose vision, dedication and drive benefit not only our company, but also the people of our state who are helped by the efforts of the Foundation under her leadership.”

Each year, the Business Report honors women from the Baton Rouge area who have had a noticeable impact in their business or industry and who have a clear vision for the future that they communicate to their staff and demonstrate themselves. Honorees come from various fields, including healthcare, technology, retail and education, and are selected from a group of nominees by a committee of community leaders and the Business Report. The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report is one of the area's premier business magazines, delivering news that focuses on local business and the economy.

In her role at Blue Cross, Reeves oversees all community outreach programs and partnerships, the operation of the Foundation’s strategic grantmaking and philanthropy budget, and signature programs such as the Angel Award®, Smart Bodies® and the recently initiated Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana grant program.

In its inaugural year, the Foundation’s Challenge Grant program received 49 grant applications from across the state representing $110 million in projects. The program is a partnership with Pennington Biomedical Research Center that aims to reduce the rising obesity rate across Louisiana by providing financial support to innovative programs that promote healthy eating and active living. 

Under Reeves’ leadership, Blue Cross increased its United Way workplace giving campaign by 150 percent in employee participation and more than 50 percent in financial contributions over previous years. She served as the 2010 Capital Area United Way campaign chair, raising more than $10 million in the Capital Area Region. 

Prior to joining Blue Cross, Reeves had significant experience in the nonprofit sector, including positions with the Audubon Girl Scouts, the State Library of Louisiana, the Louisiana Library Association and the St. Charles Library. 

Reeves received a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from Louisiana State University and holds master’s degrees in both business administration and library and information science. 

Back to the Beach

Back to the Beach Festival is celebrating its 23rd year starting on Saturday, June 2nd  (3:30 PM –11:00 PM) & Sunday, June 3rd (10:00 AM – 9:00 PM). The Festival will be held on Lake Pontchartrain in Laketown (end of Williams Blvd. in Kenner). 

As the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF)’s primary fundraiser, it offers the best of New Orleans bands, arts & crafts, fabulous food and fun for the whole family!  Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students with ID and $4 for children under 12. Parking is available in the Pontchartrain Center and shuttle service will be provided by the Treasure Chest Casino.  LIMITED on-site parking is also available for $5.  Festival goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. However, tents, coolers and pets are not allowed.  

This event offers many activities for the whole family to enjoy.

1.  Run/Walk

2.  Bikes at the Beach

3.  Fishing Rodeo

4.  Car Show

5.  Music

1.  On Saturday, June 2nd, the 8th Annual Back to the Beach Walk/Run will take place with the support of New Orleans Running Systems. The sunset ½ mile and 2 mile run/walk begins at 6:30 PM. Participants receive entrance into the Festival and refreshments.  Registration is $20 for adults and $15 for youth by May 26th and $25 for adults and $20 for youth after May 26th thru day of race.  To register call NOLArunning at (504) 468-1488 or visit

2.  On Saturday, June 2nd, the 4th Annual Bikes at the Beach is scheduled.

For more information, call (504) 836-SAVE or visit our website at

John Kennedy

A bill designed to help recover millions of dollars owed to the State of Louisiana passed the Senate today and is headed to Governor Jindal for his signature.  HB 741 by Rep. Christopher Broadwater allows for the sale and securitization of the over $1.3 billion in long-term delinquent accounts and other debts owed to the state.

"The time is past due that we establish an action plan to collect this money owed to the state instead of letting it wither on the vine," says Treasurer John Kennedy, who championed a similar proposal as a member of the Commission on Streamlining Government.  "In tight budget times like these, taxpayers expect us to exhaust every option to bring in every dollar owed to the state."

The bill requires the administration to develop a comprehensive policy for collecting outstanding debts to be used by all state agencies, subject to approval by the Cash Management Review Board on which Treasurer Kennedy serves.  Every year the administration must identify up to 25% of accounts receivables to sell to private collection companies for up-front cash and report the results of any such sale to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

Treasurer Kennedy initially proposed the idea as a member of the Commission on Streamlining Government in 2009.  His proposal, as adopted by the commission, recommended that jurisdiction for the collection of all receivables owed to the state be placed under the Cash Management Review Board and that a report on the amount of outstanding receivables be published every quarter.

Over $1.3 billion in accounts receivable is owed to the state.  Of that amount, nearly $580 million is under 180 days past due and $736 is over 180 days past due.  The bill provides the Commissioner of Administration and the Attorney General the authority to determine which monies owed the state are ultimately uncollectable.

Hurricane Ready

Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the launch of, a critical new City resource providing citizens a single-source information destination to prepare for hurricane season. The new website features a suite of upgraded, world-class technology that will directly impact the safety and lives of every New Orleans citizen. 

“Successful evacuation and preparation drive successful response and recovery,” said Mayor Landrieu. “We must be ready – ready to protect our family, our homes, our businesses, our neighbors, and our loved ones.  Preparedness must start with each and every one of us who live in and love New Orleans.  Our team works 365 days a year to ensure our city government is prepared and ready for any kind of disaster.  But we cannot do this alone. is our call to action. We must all work together to get NOLA ready.”

The City’s “Are You Ready?” campaign housed at will ask citizens to get personally prepared by offering critical step-by-step information needed to get individuals and their families, homes, businesses and loved ones prepared for hurricane season, as well as disasters and emergencies of all kinds.  Information includes supplies citizens should have on hand, how to form an emergency plan, what to include in an emergency kit and to-go bag, how to get out of town, resources for pet-owners and business owners, including the placard re-entry system, and the City’s cornerstone of commitment, the NOLA Ready pledge, which citizens can sign after they have made a plan for themselves and their families. Businesses are encouraged to register now in order to apply for re-entry status and receive 2012 re-entry placards.

Landrieu continued, “Are YOU ready?  Is your family? Your home? Your business?  Your children?  The time is now.  We’ve got to get NOLA ready.  So go to Make a plan. Pack an emergency kit. Know how you’ll protect yourself and your loved ones if you are stuck in your home without power or water, or if you have to evacuate.  And when you are prepared, I ask each and every one of you to show your fellow New Orleanians and those across the country and the world that New Orleans refuses to be complacent: to join me in signing the NOLA Ready Pledge. Let’s let the world know: New Orleans citizens are ready and together we are prepared to thrive and survive.”

by Bayoubuzz Staff

The new “Are You Ready?” public preparedness campaign and  the creation of puts New Orleans at the forefront of disaster preparedness. 

“We saw a vital need for accessible information for our citizens, and a vital need to remind people that part of living in New Orleans is being ready when disaster strikes,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed , Deputy Mayor of Public Safety.

In addition to general preparedness information, in the case of any emergency, citizens will be able to get immediate, accurate information updates on, as well as through its NOLA Ready emergency alert system, and through social media, including on Facebook and through the @NOLAReady Twitter account. will also house major City emergency technology upgrades, including an upgraded City-wide emergency alert system that will be launched in coming days, and a new City Assisted Evacuation form.

“We want to emphasize that any citizen who needs assistance during a mandatory evacuation, particularly with medical needs, must register for City Assistance, either on or by calling 311,” said Deputy Mayor Sneed.  “Working together now, we will make NOLA ready for whatever the future may bring.”

Bayoubuzz Staff

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