Tuesday, 25 November 2014 17:48

Louisiana Business: BRAC, Community Coffee, ADHD, Prospect New Orleans

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BATON-ROUGE-SKYBayoubuzz business news for November 25:

BRAC (Baton Rouge Area Chamber) introduces an updated business guide;  The State of Louisiana through its Department of Health and Hospitals  is hosting a “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” symposium, a condition not only affecting our children but adults in the workplace;  Community Coffee announced the enhancement of its digital operations;  Prospect New Orleans continues its 3rd iteration of art and culture



Here are the press releases


The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released an updated business guide on its website to serve as a tool for startups and small businesses seeking to grow.  BRAC’s Business Guide is separated into three books – Getting Started, Growing Your Business, and Resources.  The complete guide is available online at www.brac.org/bbg.  

“Small businesses make up 99 percent of Baton Rouge Area establishments, and are a vital driver of the region’s rapidly expanding economy. BRAC’s Business Guide connects entrepreneurs and small business owners to knowledge and resources to expand their market presence, finance capital purchases, find training for employees, and more – information that can make all the difference for a small business,” said Flynn Foster, president and CEO of Guaranty Corporation and head of BRAC’s Small Business Council.

BRAC urges Baton Rouge Area residents to participate in Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 29, by visiting locally owned retailers in the Capital Region.  Residents can also support this cause by spreading the word to family, friends, and co-workers.  BRAC is a supporter of small business and fully endorses this initiative.

Additionally, small businesses in the region are encouraged to participate through increased incentives to customers, such as free gift wrapping, food tastings, product samplings, giveaways, and more.  Businesses located near each other are also encouraged to work together on this day through group incentives or activities.

“BRAC’s Business Guide serves as an important resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Where to start, what to do next, and what resources are available are questions businesses ask constantly in the early stages and throughout their growth.  This guide serves as a comprehensive resource for answers to those questions,” said Adam Knapp, President and CEO of BRAC.  “BRAC released this updated tool as part of its initiative to support small businesses in the region in anticipation of one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year and specifically, Small Business Saturday.  The organization encourages shoppers to support local, growing businesses this Saturday as part of their holiday shopping and throughout the upcoming year.”

Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 by American Express to support small businesses and keep communities thriving.  The goal is to help small businesses increase their exposure during the post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend, one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.


The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) will host a free symposium on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Louisiana on Dec. 9, 2014. The symposium, which is open to parents, teachers, health care professionals and other stakeholders, will address the frequency of diagnosis, medication rates, and proper use of ADHD medications.

The symposium hopes to bring attention to and develop solutions for the alarming rate of ADHD medication utilization in Louisiana. This past spring - Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy issued a report highlighting Louisiana's high rates of ADHD medication use. 

Louisiana has the second highest state ADHD prescription rate in the United States at 4.7 percent for the population as a whole and for boys ages 12 to 18 the rate is 13.6 percent. ADHD medication use has risen 35.5 percent from 2008 to 2012; young adult use has nearly doubled. Louisiana also has the highest treatment rate for girls ages 12-18 and women 19-25. In response, the state legislature called on DHH to study how to ensure the proper utilization of ADHD medication in the state.

"With the alarming rate of ADHD medication use in Louisiana, we see an urgent need to gather doctors, parents, teachers, and members of the community to explore this issue and develop recommendations to curb these troubling trends," said DHH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert, "The symposium is designed to foster a productive discussion and develop solutions regarding the practices for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in Louisiana, and I'm looking forward to the dialogue."

Topics that will be discussed at the symposium include state and national data, trends in diagnosing and prescribing ADHD medication, best practices for diagnosing and treating ADHD, and effective ways the state can address the rising use of ADHD medication in Louisiana.

Secretary Kliebert will open the general session of the symposium. Other presenters include Dr. Susanna Visser, Lead Epidemiologist of the Child Development Studies Team in the Division of Human Development and Disability at the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities; Ryan Bilbo, GIS Manager at DHH; Jeff Capobianco, PhD, Director of Practice Improvement at National Council for Behavioral Health; and Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason, pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist and Director for Tulane Infant Mental Health Services.

To register for the symposium visit http://www.dhh.la.gov/ADHD.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.


Community Coffee Company focuses on enhanced digital experience while growing the Digital Sales Department with the promotion of Bonnie Armstrong to Senior Director of Business Development and hiring Greg Pontillo as Director of Digital Sales.

Community Coffee Company launched its newly-designed website (CommunityCoffee.com). The focus of the project was to ensure that customers have a premium experience on the site and learn about the rich, smooth taste of Community® coffee through unique story-telling.  The site features improved functionality so customers have an easy-to-use checkout experience that complements the innovative, mobile-friendly design.

“Community Coffee Company has experienced explosive growth,” said Bonnie Armstrong, who has recently been promoted to Senior Director of Business Development at Community Coffee   Company. “And our focus on the rapidly-transforming digital stage will help ensure our continued success as we evolve our brand and online experience.” At Community, she occupied several progressive positions within the Finance department and later led the Human Resources Total Rewards team.

She began her career in the oil and gas industry and advanced to a leadership position in Bakersfield, California.  She returned to Louisiana and joined a notable oil and gas business where she served as the Oil and Gas Analysis Manager for eight years. Moving into the banking industry, she advanced to Vice President of Retail Banking before joining Community Coffee Company.  Armstrong has a bachelor’s of science in Accounting from Southeastern Louisiana State University.  In her new role, Armstrong will lead new business development efforts while assuming senior management responsibilities over Digital Sales.

“Both Digital Sales and new business development play pivotal roles in the future success of the company,” said David Belanger, President & CEO of Community Coffee Company.  “The hiring and promoting of strategic leadership, such as Bonnie and Greg, will ensure synergies across the organization and the continued development of Community Coffee’s online presence.”

Greg Pontillo was hired as the Director of Digital Sales. Pontillo attended High Point University in Winston-Salem, NC where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. Pontillo began his career with a Fortune 500 clothing manufacturer, working his way up to Wholesale E-Business Senior Manager before leaving the company. Pontillo continued his career working for a fabric, manufacturing, and package solutions company as the Director of E-commerce and Business Development. He later worked for a recycled paperboard solutions company as the Director of E-business before joining Community Coffee Company to lead its Digital Sales and Customer Care departments.


The third iteration of the international contemporary art biennial, Prospect.3: Notes for Now (P.3) will continue its three-month run with several community-based events, including Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art & Philosophy: Thirty Years of Meaning and Influence, a two-day conference organized in conjunction with Basquiat and the Bayou Presented by The Helis Foundation, at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The event will take place on Thursday, December 11 and Friday, December 12, and celebrates the 30th anniversary of the publishing of Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy by Robert Farris Thompson, the celebrated art historian.

  • Originally published in 1983, Flash of the Spirit has enjoyed a popularity and influence far beyond the academic arena, making it one of the most important texts in the African-Atlantic world, as well as in art historical scholarship. The unique conference will accompany the P.3 exhibit of paintings at the museum by Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was greatly influenced by Thompson’s text. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
  •              The conference schedule of events includes: Thursday, December 11
  •              Conference: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  •              Greetings by Ogden Museum of Southern Art Executive Director William Andrews and Prospect New Orleans Executive Director Brooke Davis Anderson. Remarks will be given by Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans.
  •   Session 1: Dr. Kellie Jones
  •          The Influence of Flash of the Spirit in the world of academia, scholarship and art history.
  •          Panelists: Alinta Sara, Henry John Drewal, Jessica N. Bell, Cheryl Finley, Charles Ian White, andTobias Wofford.
  •   Session 2: Dr. Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz
  •          The international impact of Flash of the Spirit with a focus on the geographic areas discussed in the text.
  •          Panelists: Donald Cosentino, Duane Deterville, Michelle Eistrup, Yuko Miki, Polly Roberts, andRael Jero Salley.
  •    Reception: 5 – 6 p.m.
  •    Ogden After Hours: 6 – 8 p.m.
  •          Friday, December 12
  •    Conference: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  •   Greetings by Conference Director, C. Daniel Dawson
  •   Session 3: Dr. Grey Gundaker
  •          The influence of Flash of the Spirit in reconstructing how we define art or redefine objects in a cultural context
  •          Panelists: Willie Birch, David Doris, Leslie King Hammond, Judith McWillie, Lyneise Williams,and Freddi Williams Evans.


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