Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette area Business Briefs for May 6, 2018

The Advocate

Transportation group holding symposium

The International Freight Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of New Orleans is holding its annual International Trade Symposium from May 17-20 at the Grand Hotel Marriott in Point Clear, Alabama.

The symposium is for Gulf states-area importers, exporters and transportation industry leaders. The theme is “Solutions for the Ever Changing Transportation Industry.”

Keynote speaker is Keith Hefner, director of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, presenting information from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. May 19 on the logistics of space travel.

Information about the event is at and

I-10 corridor water summit planned

A Ten Across Water Summit is being held in Baton Rouge May 16-17 to explore water issues along the 2,400-mile Interstate 10 corridor from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida.

The inaugural invitation-only event is limited to 200 participants and being hosted by Arizona State University and The Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge, in partnership with The Baton Rouge Area Foundation and the cities of Baton Rouge and Phoenix.

The Ten Across project views the corridor as a diverse and rapidly growing cross section of the country that provides a glimpse into 21st-century challenges related to water, energy, human migration, urban development, global commerce and other issues. Water is the focus of the first Ten Across public event, looking at how climate change and other human factors fuel drought in the West and inundation in the East.

Speakers include former San Antonio mayor and U.S. HUD secretary Henry Cisneros, New York Times writer Michael Kimmelman and chief resilience officers of the cities of Paris, Mexico City and major metro areas along I-10. An agenda is at

While conditions in the Colorado and Mississippi watersheds differ in texture, officials said shared concerns include long-term resilience, multi-jurisdictional policy issues, data-rich forecasting and visualization, and the navigation of environmental, economic and societal adjustments to change.

“It’s our belief that the future is arriving early, in many senses, in the I-10 corridor. With closer observation in this area, one can see the critical issues of our time registering in both the built and natural environments,” said Wellington “Duke” Reiter, originator of the Ten Across project.

BR Marriott unveils $25 million renovation

The Baton Rouge Marriott Hotel off Corporate Boulevard has unveiled its more than $25 million renovation, capping off a year of construction.

The project included expanding and renovating its 299 guest rooms, remaking the lobby and ballrooms, and creating a modern restaurant space for Stinky’s Fishcamp, a popular oyster and wine restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Guest rooms were refurnished with modern decor and equipped with technology upgrades, including large smart TVs for streaming services. Guest bathrooms were renovated and improved.

The 21-story hotel features a 6,500-square-foot ballroom, a floor of meeting rooms for corporate events or family celebrations, and an improved pool area. The hotel has 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

AVR Realty Co., of New York, and Dimension Development Co., of Natchitoches, purchased the Baton Rouge Marriott in 2014.

BRAC seeking leadership applications

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is accepting applications until 5 p.m. May 31 for its 2019 class of the Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program.

Nominees are accepted from public and private agencies, corporations, civic and other organizations, and individual nominators. Candidates are selected by a committee of leadership program alumni on the basis of demonstrated leadership ability through career or community achievements, concern for the future of the Baton Rouge area and commitment to the program.

The program is designed to develop community leaders by providing information concerning community issues and assets, establish a communication network among the existing and emerging leaders of the community, and challenge participants to increase their involvement in community affairs.

Participants will be announced Aug. 2. The program begins with an Aug. 16-17 opening retreat; has monthly sessions from September through April; and ends with a May 2-3 closing retreat and June 4 graduation dinner.

Monthly session topics are leadership styles and diversity; K-12 education; higher education; city and state government; arts and culture; law enforcement and criminal justice; health care and social concerns; and economic development.

Information is at

BRAC accepting ‘Teacher Externships’

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is accepting applications for its fourth annual Teacher Externship program through May 9.

Participating teachers, counselors and administrators explore career opportunities in STEM fields, including construction crafts, manufacturing, health care and the tech sector. Participants will spend several days on-site at BRAC’s partner companies to shadow workers in the field, conduct skills assessments and engage in day-to-day operations.

Application are at

Starting, managing business seminar set

A starting and managing business seminar will be held by the SCORE Baton Rouge chapter from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 12 in the Bon Carre Executive Conference Center at 7249 Florida Blvd. in Baton Rouge.

Topics include introduction to the business plan; business taxes; legal aspects of business; technology for business; advertising and marketing; and insurance and banking requirements.

Registration is at

Lakeview Physicians opens two clinics

Lakeview Regional Physician Group in Covington has opened clinic locations in Franklinton and Picayune, Mississippi.

The Cardiology Clinic has opened at 810 Riverside Drive in Franklinton and at 12 Medical Plaza Blvd. in Picayune. The Franklinton phone number is (985) 892-6858. The Picayune number is (985) 641-7283.

“By expanding physician services to our outlying clinics, we are able to provide a more convenient location for our patients to receive care,” said Bret Kolman, Lakeview Regional’s chief executive officer.

Information is at

Lawn service app enters N.O. market

GreenPal, an app that the Nashville, Tennessee-based company says connects homeowners with local, vetted lawn care professionals, has launched in New Orleans.

Co-founder Gene Caballero said homeowners can list their lawns with their service date and lawn care needs. Lawn care businesses bid on the properties, based on Google street and aerial images, and any other lawn details the homeowner provides. Homeowners can then select whom they want to work with based on vendor ratings, reviews and price.

When the work is completed, the vendor sends a time-stamped photo of the completed work to the homeowner, who can pay via the app.

Among other places where GreenPal operates are Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Myers and St. Petersburg in Florida; Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Houston, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Corpus Christi in Texas; San Diego and San Jose in California; and St. Louis. The local service is at

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