Biz TalksDec 05, 2023
Episode 177: River District Rises
On this week’s podcast, real estate developer Louis Lauricella talks about his team’s vision for the $1 billion River District neighborhood, which he says may be the “largest, private, non-energy project in the history of our state.”
Episode 176: City Park CEO Seeks Public Input on Master Plan
Approaching her third year on the job, New Orleans City Park CEO Cara Lambright oversees more than 300 employees and a $30 million dollar annual budget to maintain a 1,350-acre green space that’s 50 percent bigger than Central Park in New York City. The 170-year-old park is home to the largest collection of old live oaks in the world.
On this week’s podcast, Lambright talks about the park’s ongoing master plan project and the importance of collecting community input about the future of the treasured green space. The next public meeting is scheduled for Dec. 6 at Warren Easton Charter High School.
Episode 175: A Pain Killer Without the Problems
Pain affects more than 30% of adults around the world, and yet the only current options to deal with it either can harm your liver or be highly addictive. This is why it’s big news that local company South Rampart Pharma just finished Phase 1 trials on a pain killer that has shown neither of these issues. The company’s co-founder and John Ochsner Endowed Professor of Surgery in Innovation, Dr. Hernan Bazan, talks more about this exciting opportunity and what’s next in getting his drug to market.
Episode 174: E.J. Lagasse Presides Over a Reimagined Emeril’s
After closing this summer for a major renovation and redesign, one of the city’s most iconic restaurants is back in business with a new look, a new format and a new Lagasse at the helm. On today’s podcast, Emeril Lagasse’s 20-year-old son E.J. talks about how he prepared for his leadership role, his boldest menu updates and his vision for the future of fine dining.
Episode 173: The Latest from the Convention Center
President and General Manager of the New Orleans Ernest N Morial Convention Center Michael Sawaya joins us on this week’s podcast to discuss the latest in the $557 million in renovations taking place — a result of which has recently been the receipt of three awards for sustainability and equity. He also shares an update on the anticipated mixed-use development River District, reception of the new Civil Rights Museum and the highlights from this year’s convention bookings.
Episode 172: Can Offshore Wind Help Save the Coast?
Simone Maloz, campaign director of Restore the Mississippi River Delta, talks about the growth potential for the offshore wind industry in the Gulf of Mexico — and how future wind energy revenue could help power the state’s coastal restoration efforts.
Episode 171: The Saltwater Wedge – News from S&WB
We know it’s coming, but should we be concerned? What is S&WB doing to protect the city’s water supply now, and in the future from this threat and others? S&WB Executive Director Ghassan Korban shares the latest details, including how the national attention we’ve been receiving for this issue is going to help protect New Orleans in the future.
Episode 170: LABI’s New Leader
This week’s episode features Will Green, incoming president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. One of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the state, LABI represents more than 2,000 Louisiana businesses. Green comes to the post after filling the top job at the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association.
Episode 169: Childcare and the Upcoming Elections
The pandemic relief program for childcare just expired Sept. 30, which means 3.2 million children around the country are expected to lose access to care in the coming months and 70,000 childcare programs are likely to close. How will this affect Louisiana and what can be done to meet this critical need? Find out in this week’s podcast with Libbie Sonnier, executive director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children.
Episode 168: Revelry Develops Tech Talent Through Apprenticeship Program
This week’s episode features Jennifer Baldwin, chief operations officer at Revelry, a New Orleans-based software development company. She explains how Revelry’s apprenticeship program has trained more than 50% of its permanent, full-time employees, and she talks about why Revelry is committed to growing Louisiana’s technology community — and economy overall.
Episode 167: Celebrating Women in Business
This week, Sept. 20 and 21, the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South) will host their annual WE Summit Awards and Scholarship Gala at the Roosevelt Hotel. Who is the WBEC South and why should women owned businesses get certified with them? President and CEO Phala Mire shares all the details and benefits on this week’s podcast.
Episode 166: Metronome Accelerator Sets Tempo for Music Business Startups
Sean Mulligan, program and events coordinator for the Idea Village, talks about the nonprofit’s new music business accelerator, designed to support entrepreneurs seeking to solve problems or create new opportunities in the music industry.
Episode 165: The Disaster Business
With Louisiana facing more than 600 wildfires just in August, Biz talks with disaster recovery company First Onsite Property Restoration general manager Steven Latham about the business of disasters. What are the biggest threats facing Louisiana businesses near these fires and what can a company like this do to help?
Episode 164: Pickleball - Speed Dating with a Paddle
That’s how owner Renee Melchiode describes the experience at Exchange Pickleball & Bar, which opened August 8 behind the Walmart on Tchoupitoulas Street. In this week's episode, hear the story of how they city's only marriage of the fastest growing sport in the nation with food and beverage offerings came to be in New Orleans.
Episode 163: Can Coastal Restoration Lower Insurance Rates?
Hurricane protection and coastal restoration projects are lowering Louisiana residents’ risks, yet the state continues to see premiums rise. Chip Kline, former chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, says the opposite should be happening. On this week’s episode, he talks about the connection between insurance and the environment. Kline will be one of the featured speakers at the annual Economic & Real Estate Forecast Symposium hosted by the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors on Oct. 5. At the event, experts in real estate, insurance and finance will tackle the theme “Adapting to Unpredictability.”
Episode 162: Superdome Renovations Designed to Improve Fan Experience
Last week, Caesars Superdome officials unveiled a portion of the major renovations planned for the Caesars Superdome in advance of Super Bowl LIX in 2025. Mike Hoss, media relations manager for the project, talks about how the changes in the Dome will make game day more convenient and entertaining for fans. Since he’s also the Saints radio play-by-play announcer, he shares his thoughts on the upcoming season.
Episode 161: The United Way Offers Black-owned Businesses a Boost
The United Way of Southeast Louisiana has just introduced a new program that aims to be a game-changer for the African-American small business community in Southeast Louisiana. Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative (TAASB) seeks to boost the profit potential and resilience of Black-owned businesses and help close the racial wealth gap in the region. For all the details, Biz talks to Chiquita Lattimore, senior VP of community impact and financial capability.
Episode 160: New President Transforming Dillard into a 'Communiversity'
Dillard University President Dr. Rochelle Ford’s first-year achievements include infrastructure improvements, a fundraising boost and changes designed to support faculty and staff culture. Now she’s overseeing the construction of a $40 million residence hall near campus. It’s part of her plan to transform the iconic HBCU into a “living, learning, serving communiversity.”
Episode 159: Looking to Make a Career Change?
There’s a lot going on at Tulane’s School of Professional Advancement, including two big new master’s degree opportunities and a new partnership with another local university. Ilianna Kwaske, associate dean for academic affairs and senior professor practice, shares all the details on this week’s podcast.
Episode 158: Geoffrey Meeker Has Turned a Little Yellow Truck into a Big Success
This week's guest is Geoffrey Meeker, founder and owner of French Truck Coffee. The business began in 2009 in his laundry room and it has now grown to encompass 10 shops with two more on the way. Over the last decade and a half, Meeker has had to become a coffee expert and a pro at scaling and managing a business through extreme weather events, the pandemic and all the challenges that come with life in New Orleans.
Episode 157: How’s the Quality of Life in Jefferson Parish?
This spring, leaders in Jefferson Parish completed a first-ever quality of life survey for the parish called Jefferson Now. In this week’s podcast, we chat with Jefferson Business Council Chairman Philip Rebowe about what residents feel are the parish’s strong points, and where there’s room for improvement.
Episode 156: Financial Freedom for All with Becky Gustafson
This week, Becky Gustafson, financial advisor with Gustafson Wealth Management in Metairie, discusses the actions individuals in the LGBTQ+ community can take to build a strong retirement plan and feel confident in their financial future.
Episode 155: Stephen Waguespack Makes His Case for Governor
On this week’s episode, the longtime leader of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry talks about his plans to build the state’s economy and stop neighboring states from “gobbling up our people, families and businesses.”
Episode 154: Cybersecurity and Small Businesses: Expert Theresa Jones on What You Need to Know
Theresa Jones is the CEO of EVALV IQ, the first woman and minority-owned, full-service cybersecurity firm in Louisiana. Since launching in 2019, the firm has grown both nationally and internationally, with clients including the Port of South Louisiana. This week, Jones shares the latest cybersecurity trends and looks at the explosion of cybercrime since the pandemic and what business owners should be doing.
Episode 153: Troy Henry Plans to Bring Family Fun to Former Six Flags Site
The site of the former Six Flags, and the future of the location, has been the talk of the community for years. Businessman and real estate developer Troy Henry hopes to convert the former theme park site. In this week's episode, he shares his plans of a youth sports complex combined with indoor/outdoor waterpark, hotel, retail and more.
Episode 152: Industry Advocates Say Friendlier Laws, Stronger Construction Will Help Solve Homeowners Insurance Crisis
This week’s episode features Jeff and Ben Albright, the father-and-son team that leads the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana. The Albrights represent independent agents and brokers in their interactions with government, the industry and consumers. They’ve got a front-row seat for — and many thoughts about — the current homeowners’ insurance crisis in Louisiana.
Episode 151: ‘Sweet Success’ for N.O.-Based Maker of Bitters, Syrups and Mixers
El Guapo CEO Christa Cotton continues to build out and scale up her company’s Gravier Street headquarters as three of her products hit the shelves of a national supermarket chain. In this week's episode, she talks about the success of her young enterprise — which makes cocktail bitters, syrups and mixers — and her love of the city that inspired it.
Episode 150: Using Tech to Support Teachers
During National Teacher Appreciation Week, we talk to Courtney Williams, the CEO of Torsh, a tech company that works with area schools and teachers in multiple ways to help increase teacher satisfaction and retention. How does Torsh work and what has it meant to area schools? Find out on this week’s BizTalks.
Episode 149: Anyone Can Be a Philanthropist on GiveNOLA Day
This week’s guest is Andy Kopplin, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. The philanthropic institution is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year — and, on May 2, it will host its 10th annual GiveNOLA Day, an annual online event that’s designed to raise millions for nearly 1,000 participating nonprofits.
Episode 148: Restaurateur Shares His Best Practices for Workforce Challenges
Having just broken ground on their fourth location in New Orleans and first in Jefferson Parish, Felipe’s Taqueria continues to build upon its success. Co-owner Pike Howard says the family-run business continues to meet the challenges of hiring and retention, in part by using technology. In this week’s episode, he shares some of his top recommendations.
Episode 147: Jay Cicero’s Team Prepares to Host 2025 Super Bowl
This week’s guest is Jay Cicero, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. His team is leading the preparations for New Orleans to host the Super Bowl on Feb. 9, 2025. It will be the 11th Super Bowl in New Orleans and the eighth in the Superdome.
Episode 146: French Quarter Fest Turns 40 This Weekend
FQFI CEO Emily Madero shares her thoughts and best tips for festing this weekend, from the return of some big fan favorites to brand new offerings designed to celebrate the exciting past four decades of this enormous free festival and what it means to New Orleans.
Episode 145: Children’s Museum CEO Begins Her Tenure By Hosting International Event
Tifferney White, the dynamic new leader of the Louisiana Children’s Museum, is still moving into her office and learning her way around town. First up on the to-do list: host nearly a thousand museum professionals later this month for the national Association of Children’s Museum’s conference.
Episode 144: Health Care Tech Company Tackles Medical Personnel Shortage
How do you make healthcare settings safer while also addressing an industry facing major workforce issues? Local company Performance Health Partners helps tackle both with its proprietary software. This week, CEO Heidi Raines talks about the power of anonymous reporting and her new book, "Shared Voices," ahead of her appearance at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
Episode 143: Commander’s Palace Turns 130
For this week’s episode, there are two “Brennans on Duty”: Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin, co-proprietors of Commander’s Palace. The first cousins discuss the past, present and future of their family’s beloved Creole restaurant, which debuted way back in 1893 before being purchased and revived by the Brennan family in the late 1960s. The Commander's team has planned a year's worth of celebrations, programs, promotions and collaborations to mark the occasion.
Episode 142: The Bean Queen
On its 105th year in business, Blue Runner Foods has just welcomed a new CEO, Katie Bautsch, the first woman to lead the company in its history. In this week’s episode, Bautsch shares the changes that lay ahead for this local staple as it looks to capture the hearts, and stomachs, of a new generation.
Episode 141: New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Keeps Getting Bigger… Just Like the City’s Startup Scene
Liz Maxwell is director of community and communications at the Idea Village, which produces the annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. On this week's podcast, she talks about how the event is growing and changing in tandem with the city’s flourishing entrepreneurial community.
Episode 140: CEO of Nola Gold Rugby Shares Plans for Growth
Feb 17 marked the start of the sixth season of Nola Gold Rugby — one of 12 major league teams in the country. If you're not yet a fan, new CEO Chase Langdon explains why it's time you give rugby a "try."
Episode 139: Climate change scholar Rob Verchick explains how south Louisiana can stay viable
Loyola University New Orleans Environmental Law Chair Rob Verchick, a former EPA official in the Obama administration, is the author of the new book “The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience.” On this week’s episode, he’ll discuss ways south Louisiana can protect itself from increasingly extreme threats from wind and water.
Episode 138: To the Moon, Michoud!
After leading a team of over 1,000 to help build the most powerful rocket ever launched last fall, 2022 Executive of the Year Jennifer Boland-Masterson, director of manufacturing and site leader for the Boeing Space and Launch program, shares the road that led her to the space program, what she’s doing to diversify its workforce, and what her team is up to now.
Episode 137: Dan Mills Says Stronger Roofs Could Bring Back Insurers
On this week’s episode, the CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans says the vast majority of insurance claims during recent Louisiana hurricanes were caused by roof failures that could be prevented by improved installation techniques. So, getting some of the region's roofs up to code could be the key to solving the current residential insurance crisis.
Episode 136: NOLA-based Snack Company Hits Shark Tank Touting Benefits of Little-Known Superfood
Aaron Gailmor is the CEO (Chief Eats Officer) of Brass Roots, a snack food company whose plant-based products use organic Sacha Inchi Seeds, nicknamed “the Incan peanut.” Launched in 2019, the company has quickly grabbed national attention, which amplified last Friday, Jan. 20, with Gailmor’s appearance on the ABC hit TV show Shark Tank.
Episode 135: Host CEO Adam Anderson Sees Bright Future for Avondale Global Gateway
On this week’s episode, T. Parker Host Chairman and CEO Adam Anderson talks about a his company's $445 million deal to sell Avondale Global Gateway to the Port of South Louisiana — and his vision for how the 254-acre site will contribute to the future of south Louisiana river commerce.
Episode 134: Investment Expert Shepard Buckman Charts a Course for 2023
The S&P 500 hit its high mark on the first trading day of 2022 and never came close to that number again for the rest of the year. This week, senior investment management consultant Shepard Buckman of Equitas Capital Advisors talks about what contributed to the rough year for retirement accounts in 2022 and his strategies for recovery in 2023.
Episode 133: Tackling Workforce Shortages with Claire Jecklin, CEO of New Orleans Career Center
In the words of this week’s guest, “New Orleans’s future workforce is not going to prepare itself.” As such, New Orleans Career Center has been working since its opening in 2018 to prepare area young people and adults for a wide variety of high-wage, high-demand local careers. The organization’s CEO, Claire Jecklin, shares how the organization is partnering with local industries and the details of NOCC’s incredible new 143,000-square-foot space.
Episode 132: Top 10 Business Stories of 2022
Each December, Biz New Orleans magazine finishes out the year highlighting the top stories that made headlines. For the past 12 months, those stories included crime, tech and insurance issues - among others. In our final episode of the year, Biz New Orleans editor (and "Biz Talks" co-host) Kim Singletary counts down the most consequential deals and developments of 2022.
Episode 131: Ronald McDonald Has a New House
Just in time for the holidays, Children’s Hospital welcomed a new addition with the grand opening Dec. 8 of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana’s new house. In this week’s podcast, Grace McIntosh, executive director at RMHC-SLA, shares all the exciting features of the new home, how it finally came to be, and how businesses and individuals can make a real difference for families of children in need of medical care.
Episode 130: Linda Thurman and Ed Poole Talk About the ‘Power of Posters’
This week’s podcast features Linda Thurman and Ed Poole of Movie Poster Archives, a nonprofit that operates a brand-new gallery and store at 605 Lapalco Boulevard in Gretna. Their new venture features an exhibition space, research center, gift shop and screening room. They talk about the importance of movie posters and other film accessories and how JEDCO helped make their new retail location a reality.
Episode 129: Lafreniere Lights Bigger Than Ever
More than 10 million lights are on display now at Lafreniere Park, with almost all of the creations custom made. Park Director Tripp Rabalais discusses this year's exciting big addition, as well as how the park fared during the pandemic and what the future holds.
Episode 128: NOLA Boards Owner Encourages Gift Givers to 'Shop Local'
This week’s guest is Mandy Simpson, owner of NOLA Boards, a New Orleans-based maker of handcrafted cutting boards, countertops, furniture and more. She talks about how celebrity chef Rachael Ray helped boost her business, the importance of supporting local retailers during the holiday shopping season — and her big plans to take her business on the road.