Friday, 30 January 2015 14:03

Louisiana Biz: LABI, Federal City, New Orleans Chamber, BRAC, JEDCO, La Tech

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BATON-ROUGE-SKYToday's Louisiana business shorts include the upcoming Baton Rouge Area Chamber's shareholder meeting featuring the Chairman of Whole Foods John Elstrott, the new Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Federal City, Louisiana Tech and JEDCO finalists.  


The business shorts are comprised from press releases submitted to

This week, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) announced that the 2015 BRAC Shareholders’ Meeting: All That Jazz, will be held on March 24, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at L’auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge. The event will feature special guest Dr. John Elstrott, chairman of Whole Foods Market, as well as jazz music, cocktails and a seated dinner, a recap of achievements of 2014, and an awards program to recognize investors’ contributions to regional economic development. This is BRAC’s biggest annual meeting and will also include a presentation by BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp, who will speak on what’s ahead for the region and the organization over the next year. Learn more at

“2014 saw historic employment numbers and regional economic growth provided BRAC and our regional allies several opportunities to embrace progress, change, and diversification of the economy,” said Knapp. “The 2015 Shareholders’ Meeting will be a great way to celebrate with members of our business community and learn more about BRAC’s plans for the year ahead. This event is an excellent occasion to make the most of your BRAC investment, or, if you are not part of the organization, it’s a chance to get involved.”

Dr. Elstrott will share insights and experiences from his forty-year career as an entrepreneur. Elstrott serves as the chairman of board and is past chair of the audit committee for Whole Foods Market, Inc., a Fortune 300 and S&P 500 company. He is also the emeritus executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business in New Orleans. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees in economics from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge and a doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.On Tuesday, more than 1,000 business leaders attended the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) 2015 Annual Meeting presented by Cajun Industries, LLC at the Crowne Plaza Executive Conference Center in Baton Rouge. LABI is pleased to announce the 2015 officers and board of directors, representing the diversity of Louisiana’s business community in geography, company size, and industry sector.


Incoming LABI Chair Jay Lapeyre of Laitram, LLC in Harahan said, “It is an honor to be selected by my colleagues across the state to serve as chair of the LABI board in 2015. LABI is the state's most powerful champion and advocate for the principles of free enterprise,” Lapeyre said. “During this time of state budget challenges and economic growth, it is important for business leaders to unite to advance policies to create and support a strong business climate in Louisiana.”

 LABI President Stephen Waguespack echoed Chairman Lapeyre’s comments: “Louisiana’s economy is poised to break records again in 2015. The legislative session and fall elections are critical for Louisiana’s future, and LABI will be working with our new officers and board members to support policies that ensure this growth continues in 2015 and beyond.”

 2015 LABI Officers

James M. Lapeyre, Jr., Chair

President, Laitram, LLC (Harahan)

John J. Finan, Jr. , Vice Chair

President/CEO, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, Inc (Baton Rouge)

Art Favre, Secretary

President, Performance Contractors (Baton Rouge)

Tim Stine, Treasurer

CFO, Stine Lumber Company (Sulphur)

Brent Wood, Immediate Past Chair

State Government Affairs Manager, Chevron Corporation (Covington)


15 New Members on the 2015 LABI Board of Directors

Ron Ballman

Plant Manager, Sapa Extrusions, Inc. (Monroe)

Greg Bowser (Serving in the capacity of 2015 Trade Association Representative)

Executive Vice President and Director of Public Affairs, Louisiana Chemical Association/Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance (Baton Rouge)

Tony Davis

Principal, PEF Investments (Natchitoches)

Ron Erickson (Serving in the capacity of 2015 president of the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives)

Executive Director, Central Chamber of Commerce (Central)

Justin Furnace

Corporate Manager of External Affairs, Hilcorp Energy Company (Houston, TX)

Mike Hayes

Public Affairs Manager, Sasol Chemicals USA, LLC (Westlake)

Lester Hart

General Manager, Nucor Steel Louisiana LLC (Convent)

Felicia Manuel

Vice President, Ville Platte Iron Works, Inc. (Ville Platte)

Martin Mayer

President, Stirling Properties, Inc. (Covington)

Marjorie McKeithen

Partner, Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre (New Orleans)

Jessica Monroe

Director, State Government Affairs, Johnson & Jonson HCS (Baton Rouge)

John Overton (Serving in the capacity of Small Business Council representative)

Turn Key Solutions, LLC (Baton Rouge)

E. Scott Poole

Senior Vice President/COO, Roy O. Martin Lumber, LLC (Alexandria)

Ed Smith

NLA Timberlands Region Manager, Weyerhauser (Natchitoches)

Hicks Winters

Land, Environment, and Public Affairs, Lafarge North America Inc. (Mandeville)


Current Members of the 2015 LABI Board of Directors (not listed above)

Clay M. Allen

Managing Partner, Allen & Gooch, A Law Corporation (Lafayette)

Robert Angelico

Attorney, Liskow & Lewis (New Orleans)

Joe Arroyo

President, Fire Extinguisher & Supply Company, Inc. (New Orleans)

James A. Babst

Attorney, Wegmann & Babst, LLC (New Orleans)

Bobby Barousse

Chief Financial Officer, Elmer Candy Corporation (Ponchatoula)

Terry Baugh

Chief Financial Officer, D & J Construction Company, Inc.

Adrianne Baumgartner

Partner, Porteous, Hainkel & Johnson (Covington)

Andree Begneaud

Owner, Begneaud Manufacturing, Inc. (Lafayette)

C. J. Blache

Attorney, Roedel, Parsons, Koch, Blache, Balhoff & McCollister (Baton Rouge)

Boyd Boudreaux

President & CEO, Jeff Davis Bank & Trust Company (Jennings)

Ayres Bradford

Business Development Director, Lincoln Builders, Inc. (Ruston)

Jane Brown

CFO, Steel Fabricators of Monroe, LLC (Monroe)

J. S. Brown III

President, Bruce Foods Corporation (New Iberia)

Neil H. Buckingham

Government Affairs Manager, Shell Chemical LP (Baton Rouge)

James B. Bulliard

Owner, Cajun Chef Products, Inc. (Saint Martinville)

J. H. Campbell, Jr.

President/CEO, Associated Grocers, Inc. (Baton Rouge)

Karl J. Connor

Director of Government Affairs – Louisiana, BP (New Orleans)

Emile Cordaro

Government Affairs, American Electric Power (Shreveport)

Doug Curtis

President, Big Star of Tallulah, Inc. dba Doug's Market (Tallulah)

Steven H. Deist

President, Deist & Associates, Inc. (St. Gabriel)

Jaime DeLaCruz

HR Manager, Marathon Petroleum Company, LP (Garyville)

Christopher Dicharry

Partner, Kean, Miller, Hawthorne, D'Armond, McCowan & Jarman (Baton Rouge)

Maura Donahue

Executive Vice President, DonahueFavret Contractors, Inc. (Mandeville)

Eduardo DoVal

Louisiana Operations Site Director, The Dow Chemical Company (Plaquemine)

Keith P. Duet

Owner, Duet Wealth Management (Covington)

Denise Evans

CFO, Training Logic, Inc. (Ruston)

Ronald Evans

Owner, International Packaging Company, LLC (Gretna)

Dan Feibus

CEO, Zagis USA (Lafayette)

Courtney A. Fenet, Jr.

VP & Special Assistant to CEO and President, R. E. Heidt Construction Company, L.L.C. (Sulphur)

William Fenstermaker

Chairman/CEO, Fenstermaker (Lafayette)

Paul H. Flower, P.E.

President/CEO, Woodward Design+Build (New Orleans)

Wayne J. Fontana

Attorney, Fontana & Seelman, LLP (New Orleans)

Patrick Fontenot

CEO, Williams Progressive Life Insurance (Opelousas)

Todd Gregory

Vice President of South Central Group, Cintas Corporation (Mandeville)

Lane Grigsby

Chairman of the Board, Cajun Industries, LLC (Baton Rouge)

George H. Guidry, Jr.

Regional Manager, State Government Affairs, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC (Baton Rouge)

Gregory J. Hamer

President, B & G Food Enterprises, LLC (Morgan City)

Stephen J. Hamilton

Process Division Manager, ExxonMobil Chemical Company (Baton Rouge)

Robert B. Hamm

CEO, Hamm Mechanical, LLC (Shreveport)

Tom Hawkins

President, Atmos Energy (Baton Rouge)

Steve Hemperley

Southeast Louisiana Market President, Capital One Bank Louisiana (New Orleans)

Mike Huber

Manager, Environmental Remediation, Axiall Corporation (Lake Charles)

Thomas E. Iles

Director, State Public Affairs, John Deere Thibodaux, Inc. (Washington, DC)

Michael T. Johnson

Founder/Owner, Johnson Siebeneicher & Ingram, Attorneys at Law (Pineville)

John F. Jones

Vice President, Policy & Federal Legislative Affairs, CenturyLink (Monroe)

Steve M. Jordan

CEO, Central Crude, Inc. (Lake Charles)

J. William Kight

President, Euroboard, Inc. (Monroe)

Christopher M. Kinsey

CEO, Kinsey Interests, Inc. (Shreveport)

Kirk Landry

Vice President, Government Relations, Florida Marine Transporters (Mandeville)

Lenny Lemoine

CEO, The Lemoine Company (Lafayette)

Greg Luna

Senior Counsel of Legislative Affairs, CITGO Petroleum Corporation (Houston, TX)

W. M. McDonald

President, Locust Ridge Gas Company (Newellton)

William McElligott

Vice President, Macro Companies (Broussard)

Jude Melville

President, Business First Bank (Baton Rouge)

Ralph R. Miller

Vice President, Freeport-McMoRan (New Orleans)

Mike Mitternight

President, Factory Service Agency, Inc. (Metairie)

Jody Montelaro

Vice President – Louisiana Governmental Affairs & Regulatory Affairs, Entergy Corporation (Baton Rouge)

Tom O'Neal

President, O'Nealgas, Inc. (Choudrant)   

Reldon Owens

Marketing & Sales Director, Diamond B Construction LLC and Affiliated Companies (Alexandria)

Sonia Perez

President, AT&T Louisiana (Baton Rouge)

Ronald W. Petree

Senior Vice President, St. Martin Bank & Trust Co. (Jennings)

Loulan Pitre

Attorney, Kelly, Hart & Pitre, LLP (New Orleans)

E. Fredrick Preis, Jr.

Partner, Labor & Employment Law Section, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. (New Orleans)

Arthur Price

Vice President – Finance, Badger Oil Corporation (Lafayette)

Molly Quirk

Public Affairs Specialist, State Farm Insurance Company (Baton Rouge)

Robert Rieger

Partner, Adams and Reese (Baton Rouge)

Kenneth L. Ross

Managing Partner, Seale & Ross (Hammond)

Gordon E. Rountree

Senior Vice President/General Counsel, Lafayette General Medical Center (Lafayette)

Rena Roy

Area Manager, Chase Business Banking, Chase Bank Baton Rouge Market (Baton Rouge)

Joe G. Sanford, Jr.

President, Morgan City Rentals (Morgan City)

Christel C. Slaughter

Partner, SSA Consultants, Inc. (Baton Rouge)

Harrison Smith

President, Smith Management Company, Inc. (Shreveport)

Hartie Spence, Jr.

Owner, ASH Industries, Inc. (Lafayette)

Terry Spruill

General Manager of Marketing, Cleco Corporation (Pineville)

Dana Stumpf

Chief Administrative Officer, Durr Heavy Construction, LLC (Harahan)

Charles Trent

Agent, Landry, Harris & Company, Inc. (Lafayette)

Brian Verrette

Credit & Risk Manager, ArcelorMittal LaPlace (LaPlace)

Scott Viator

Complex General Manager – International Paper (Bogalusa and Lafayette)

Stephen Waguespack (ex officio)

President, LABI (Baton Rouge)

David H. Welch

President & CEO, Stone Energy Corporation (Lafayette)

John Williams

President/CEO, Zen-Noh Grain Corp (Mandeville)

Gus Zepernick

President, CEO, Marlin Energy, LLC (Lafayette)

Louisiana Tech ranks No. 8 on list of nation’s most underrated colleges

Business Insider, the Internet’s largest business news and information website, has ranked Louisiana Tech University No. 8 in its list of the “50 Most Underrated Colleges in America,” released Wednesday.

Louisiana Tech was the only higher education institution in the state to make the list.  The 50 Most Underrated Colleges in America rankings primarily used information from U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Colleges list and the latest data from’s College Salary Report rankings of both average early career and mid-career salaries.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology ranked No. 1 followed by the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Florida Institute of Technology, University of Houston and Missouri University of Science & Technology.  Other prominent research universities on the list included Texas Tech University (No. 27), University of Arizona (No. 33), Auburn University (No. 41), and Virginia Tech (No. 50).

“Louisiana Tech’s brand continues to grow nationally as does its reputation for preparing students and graduates to be valuable contributors and leaders in their fields,” said Louisiana Tech President Les Guice.  “Our entire campus community shares a commitment to providing students with an unparalleled educational experience and I am pleased to see their efforts being recognized on a national level.

“Together, we will continue to advance Louisiana Tech University on a foundation of serving the best interests of our students, our constituents and our state.”

In the two primary criteria for evaluating and ranking the most underrated colleges, Louisiana Tech had a U.S. News & World Report Tier One National University ranking of No. 201.  Tech was one of only two public universities in the State of Louisiana to earn a Tier One ranking and also ranked in the Top 40 in the nation for graduating students with the least amount of debt.  Louisiana Tech also earned a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Top 120 Public Universities in the nation.’s College Salary Report ranked Louisiana Tech No. 1 in the state in both average early career and mid-career salaries for graduates.  Early career graduates from Louisiana Tech earn an average of $49,200 annually with graduates earning average mid-career salaries of $86,500. also ranked Louisiana Tech No. 59 in the nation in median mid-career earnings among graduates from public institutions and No. 95 in the nation in median earnings for graduates from research universities.

In addition to Louisiana Tech’s ranking in their “50 Most Underrated Colleges in America” list, Business Insider ranked Tech No. 5 in the nation on its list of “The 10 Best Colleges for Math Whizzes” released in October 2013.  Louisiana Tech was the only university in Louisiana on that list as well and was also the highest ranked institution in the southern United States.

Vista Louisiana, LLC Officially Signs Contract As Master Developer For Federal City Project

On Thursday, the Algiers Development District with support from members of the New Orleans Federal City Joint Development Committee (JDC) and Vista Trust, through its related entity, Vista Louisiana, LLC, have formally signed a contract that enables Vista Louisiana, LLC, to move forward as the new Master Developer of Federal City. The contract signing was held at the West Bank YMCA facility located at Federal City.

“Now that Vista has been selected through an open and competitive process, the strategic elements of planning this important community asset can and will move forward,” said Jeff Arnold, ADD Chair. “This exciting phase will transpire over the coming months and years given the size and scope of the project, but we are gratified that the time has finally come to roll up our sleeves and get to work on Phase II of this important development project. We are committed to creating a community asset that creates economic opportunity while serving the retail, entertainment and recreational needs of Algiers and the West Bank, as well as serving as a draw for visitors.”

Vista Louisiana, LLC, a privately held real estate development company which enlisted New Orleans-based MCC Development & Real Estate and DeVere Construction of Charleston, NC, will be tasked with completing the to-be-named unsecured area (approximately 118 acres) of the Federal City Project that will be devoted to retail, residential housing, hotel accommodations, dining venues and a recreational community.

“On behalf of the Vista Louisiana team, we are privileged to have been selected as Master Developer of choice and believe all of us share a common vision that will turn the property now known as Federal City into a beautiful mixed-use development,” said Tom Miller of Vista Louisiana, LLC. “The next step is to pull together the best minds to create a new master plan. Part of that process will be to work to gather input from the residents of this great community which will be a critical component when developing our plan for this signature development.”

The Federal City property has approximately 800,000 square feet of existing, move-in ready structures available as well as significant open space for a variety of build-to-suit facilities. The project continues to represent one of the largest redevelopment investments by the State of Louisiana and City of New Orleans and holds immeasurable economic and quality of life potential.

Today’s formal signing of the agreement concludes a nearly year-long search for a Master Developer to complete Phase II of the unsecured property, which began in March 2014 with a six-month public bid process. Bill Oliver, JDC Chairman, expressed enthusiasm on behalf of both boards to begin work on Phase II, saying: “This contract agreement represents real progress, and I am confident that we are creating a project of local and national importance, hand in glove with a world class team. There is still a long road ahead and we are not wasting any time getting to work now that the selection of a Master Developer has concluded. Members of ADD and JDC are confident that our relationship with Vista Louisiana, LLC and their entire team will propel us in finishing the exciting work of the past several years,” said Oliver. “When all is said and done we recognize the magnitude of creating a community that current, and future, Greater New Orleans’ residents will enjoy.”

Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair Coming to UNO February 24-26

Approximately 400 middle and high school students from Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes will display the results of their scientific inquiry at the 59th Annual Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (GNOSEF), February 24-26  at the UNO Human Performance Center. Student exhibits will be on display to the public on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Admission is free and open to the community. The schedule of events is as follows:


Greater New Orleans Science & Engineering Fair:

Tuesday, February 24                     Noon – 5:30pm                 Load-in of student exhibits

Wednesday, February 25             9:00AM – 2:30PM            Judging of student exhibits

Wednesday, February 25             3:30PM – 5:30PM             Public viewing

Thursday, February 26                   9:00AM – Noon                Public viewing

Thursday, February 26                   5:00PM – 7:30PM             Awards Ceremony in the UNO Ballroom


GNOSEF encourages independent student research in science, technology, engineering and math. The Fair is open to any student nominated by their middle or high school within the designated parishes. Entrants fall into two divisions: Junior Division, comprised of middle school students (grades 6-8) and Senior Division, comprised of high school students (grades 9-12).

More than $50,000 in cash/non-cash awards, prizes, grants and scholarships will be awarded to GNOSEF 2014-2015 winners/teachers and schools, including a trip for four students and two teachers to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), which draws over 1,600 students from 70 countries with more than $4 million in cash awards and prizes. Selected category winners at the GNOSEF in New Orleans are also eligible to compete for state honors at the Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair (LSEF) held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, March 23-25, 2015, with those winners going on to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) to be held May 10-15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Last year’s GNOSEF Senior Division winners were:  Helene Lovett, Lusher Charter School; Caitlyn Kelly, Benjamin Franklin High School; Paris Evans, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy; and Pedro Rivera, Holy Cross School. Winners in the Junior Division were:  Matthew Perniciaro, John Curtis Christian; and David Moses and Donovan Carney, Benjamin Franklin Elementary.

Throughout the three-day event, students will be able to participate in social media contests featuring trivia questions and Instagram photos/videos of their GNOSEF experiences, making them eligible to win their very own Drone or other great prizes.

“This annual gathering of smart, curious students and dedicated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers serves as an educational platform for building a brighter future for everyone in our community,” said Annette Oertling, Ph.D., GNOSEF Fair Director.

The Greater New Orleans Science & Engineering Fair is hosted by Tulane University, University of New Orleans, and the non-profit Greater New Orleans Science & Engineering Fair, Inc.  Additionally, it is supported by local industries, foundations and individuals, including major donors H. Britton Sanderford, Jr. and the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.

According to Sanderford, "As sponsors of the Greater New Orleans Science & Engineering Fair, we are committed to supporting this event because what the students learn from this, and their school science fairs, is extremely important to developing the skills they will need in their future education and careers.”

For more information about the Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair on February 24, 25 and 26 at UNO,


Member Orientation offers new and existing members a chance to learn about Chamber membership and each of the programs and tools we offer.  Likewise, it offers Chamber staff the opportunity to hear more about your business and how we can better assist YOU!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Registration & Networking - 8:00 am

Program - 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

New Orleans Chamber Office Building

1515 Poydras St., 5th floor conference room

(click address for map)

Please bring plenty of business cards/marketing materials as attendees are able to network with one another by introducing themselves and their business to other members.

Parking Options

Parking is available in the building for $6.00 (entrance on Freret St.) or there is meter parking on the street.

Seating is limited so please RSVP!


The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and First NBC Bank, in partnership with the Jefferson Chamber, are pleased to introduce the five companies scheduled to compete in the third annual Jefferson Parish-based pitch competition during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) presented by IBERIABANK, which is produced by The Idea Village.

JEDCO received over 30 applications for the JEDCO Challenge, powered by First NBC Bank, from entrepreneurs with ties to Jefferson Parish. Through a rigorous review process, a selection committee of business leaders chose five companies to participate in the live pitch event. The JEDCO Challenge features a diverse group of companies with backgrounds in a variety of industries in Jefferson Parish.


AxoSim Technologies

Pioneered by J. Lowry Curley, PhD and Michael J. Moore, PhD, AxoSim's advanced "nerve-on-a-chip" technology can determine the level of neurological safety and effectiveness of a new drug early in its development. The company developed a 3D cell-based model that acts and functions like a nerve, which serves as an alternative to costly animal testing or less effective cell models.  This "nerve-on-a-chip"  gives pharmaceutical companies access to high content data faster, earlier and at a lower cost than currently possible, which increases the chance of clinical success and prevents harmful drugs from reaching vulnerable patients. AxoSim's ultimate goal is to accelerate medical breakthroughs and improve people's health. Learn more on AxoSim's website:

Cook Me Somethin' Mister

The Jambalaya Girl's locally owned family business, Cook Me Somethin' Mister, is bringing an authentic taste of Greater New Orleans to the world, starting with the company's easy to prepare jambalaya and gumbo made with the finest ingredients in the region. Drawing from her upbringing in the New Orleans cooking scene and her creation of a nationwide tailgating fundraiser following Hurricane Katrina, owner Kristen Preau, (Jambalaya Girl) created Cook Me Somethin' Mister from her Dad's jambalaya recipe. All products are packaged for retail and foodservice with more recipes to come.  Distribution is rapidly growing nationally and internationally, as products are currently available in more than 100 grocery stores, 10 Sam's Clubs, 10 major food service distributors and can be ordered online and on Amazon Prime. Learn more on Cook Me Somethin' Mister's website:     

InnoGenomics Technologies

InnoGenomics Technologies is dedicated to the development of innovative genetic testing solutions that solve crimes and save lives. The company's patented technology has multiple applied science applications, including the ability to enable forensic scientists to unlock answers from the most challenging DNA evidence. Currently, the company is developing a liquid biopsy method to detect and monitor cancer through a minimally invasive blood test. InnoGenomics' scientific team has in-depth expertise in molecular biology, forensic genetics and molecular diagnostics; and the company's management team has over 85 combined years of experience in successful biotechnology commercialization. InnoGenomics is focused on harnessing the power of genomics to transform healthcare and forensic investigations.  Learn more on the InnoGenomics website:

myMix Nutrition

myMix Nutrition is an e-commerce store that allows individuals and organizations to formulate, and purchase their own custom protein powder products. Created by husband and wife team, Crutcher and Sarah Reiss, myMix Nutrition enlisted the assistance of registered dieticians, licensed nutritionists and internal medicine doctors to review the business plan, ingredient offerings and dosage control systems to ensure product safety. myMix's menu of available ingredients to mix spans the gamut to fit the needs of any and all health and fitness enthusiasts. myMix is wholly dedicated to delivering the highest quality products, creating transparency and comfort, and tailoring each mix to their customers' exact needs. Learn more on myMix Nutrition's website:

Sock Spot (Pleasantree, LLC)

A family of four loses over 60 pairs of socks a year! Sock Spot is the educational solution to that household problem. Sock Spot is a book and toy combo packaged together to include an organizing toy rack with colorful character sock clips and an illustrated storybook. The Sock Spot installs horizontally or vertically on your washer/dryer or anywhere in your laundry room with kid-friendly suction cups. The book tells an adventure of a boy and his lost sock, which incorporates the same characters found on the toy and a jingle to help kids remember what to do with that single unpaired sock. Sock Spot teaches children order and tidiness, while saving time and money. Each purchase helps to fund autism research and family support. Learn more on Sock Spot's website:

"Jefferson Parish is fortunate to have such a dynamic entrepreneurial community and this competition helps to recognize those companies," says Jerry Bologna, JEDCO's Executive Director. "This year's finalists represent a wide range of industries and talent which showcase the diversity and quality of our startup community."

"The JEDCO Challenge provides a wonderful platform for the companies participating," says First NBC Bank President & CEO Ashton Ryan. "Not only does it connect these entrepreneurs with businessmen and women who can help them grow and achieve success in Jefferson Parish, but it also gives our community a real opportunity to see the true talent, energy and creativity present in our community right now."

The finalists will compete during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on March 23rd at Southport Hall. The event starts at 2:00 p.m. Each company will have seven minutes to present a live pitch in front of a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders. Entrepreneurs will be scored based upon the live pitch, a condensed business plan submitted in advance of the competition and crowd vote. JEDCO will give the crowd an opportunity to choose their favorite pitch. A small number of points will be awarded to the crowd favorite and added to the overall score. The entrepreneur with the winning pitch will receive a growing prize package of in-kind business services and direct capital.

JEDCO created  the Challenge in 2013 to identify, engage with and assist our up-and-coming innovators. The goal of the competition is to elevate opportunities for local entrepreneurs in the area through direct capital, business services, increased visibility and mentorship.

Visit the JEDCO Challenge website for continued updates on our finalists, our judge's panel and our growing prize package.

This event would not be possible without assistance from our Jefferson Parish businesses and organizations. We would like to thank the following for their sponsorship and support of the JEDCO Challenge: First NBC Bank, Ardyn Thriffily and Associates, Business Innovation Center at Churchill,Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC, Cox Communications, Gambel Communications, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, LSBDC GNOR and Sandler Training.

We would also like to thank our supporting partners: The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Idea Village, Elmwood Business Association, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Greater New Orleans, Inc., Jefferson Parish, New Orleans BioInnovation Center and Propeller.


Bayoubuzz Staff

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