Baton Rouge Area Chamber hosts 2015 Shareholders’ Meeting / The Times Picayune

The Baton Rouge business community is “jazzed” about entrepreneurship in the region after the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting held at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel on March 24.

The “All That Jazz”-themed evening’s guest speaker Dr. John Elstrott, chairman of the board for Whole Foods Market, serial entrepreneur and an emeritus executive director at Tulane University in New Orleans, fired up the crowd sharing what he’s learned during 40 years of entrepreneurship.

BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp gave the region’s record-setting highlights for¬†2014, which included advancing business development, sparking more innovation and entrepreneurship with more funds and organizations¬†geared toward first and second-stage companies, globally branding the Baton Rouge area through international publications and rankings, and crossing the 400,000 job mark for the first time ever.

“Not only did the region cross 400,000 non-farm jobs in December,” Knapp said, “We’ve also continued diversifying our fields here.”

The region is entering the final year of the Chamber’s 5-year plan with 5,706 direct jobs, $321 million in annual payroll, $7.2 billion in investment and 55 new project announcements.

Looking ahead into 2015, Knapp said the Chamber will continue its focus on jobs in the region, transportation solutions, air credits and ozone, commercial property, regional Gubernatorial agenda and creating a new 5-year plan.

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