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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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IberiaBank doubling its authorized shares of common stock

Lafayette-based IberiaBank Corp. is bulking up for more potential bank acquisitions. Shareholders approved its plan Tuesday to increase its shares of common stock to 100 million from 50 million shares. Stock often is used in making acquisitions. IberiaBank, which has grown to be the largest bank headquartered in Louisiana, has averaged at least two acquisitions… Continue reading →

Strong performances in East Baton Rouge, Livingston help drive rise in area home sales

Home sales in metro Baton Rouge increased by 4.8 percent in February, thanks to strong performances in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes. There were 636 home sales that closed in February in the nine-parish area, according to figures released Tuesday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. That… Continue reading →

All Star Toyota to renovate showroom

All Star Toyota of Baton Rouge will begin work on an extensive remodeling of its showroom in the next “three or four weeks,” a project that will take about six months to complete. The final dollar amount for the work at the Airline Highway dealership is still being determined, said Matt McKay, president of All Star Automotive… Continue reading →

Louisiana Realtors delay plans for office addition

Louisiana Realtors, which is renovating a downtown home for its new offices, is temporarily delaying a 5,000-square-foot addition. Instead of building the addition to the home at 821 Main St., Louisiana Realtors will add a covered courtyard with landscaping and a fountain, said Rowan Knight, a spokeswoman for the organization. Louisiana Realtors will look to build the… Continue reading →

Small business lender Accion changing name to LiftFund

Officials of a giant among the nation’s micro- and small-business lenders, Accion Texas, appeared Monday in Baton Rouge to announce they’re providing the same services under a new name — LiftFund. “After 20 years of having the same name … we believe the name LiftFund describes what we do,” said Janie Barrera, who founded the nonprofit organization… Continue reading →

Ochsner researchers offer new care model for chronically ill

Photo provided by Fitbit-- The Fitbit Surge tracks the steps you take, calories you burn and other measurements of activity. It also displays your heart rate, which can be helpful for those who want to monitor their exertion level.

Apps and wearables could play a key role in treating the rapidly increasing number of people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart and kidney disease, according to two Ochsner Clinical School researchers. The current delivery model is poorly constructed to manage the epidemic of chronic disease, which now accounts for 75 percent… Continue reading →

People in Business for March 29, 2015

Christel Slaughter, SSA Consultants

Christel Slaughter, a partner with SSA Consultants, has been elected chairwoman of Woman’s Hospital’s board of directors. Other officers are Dr. Edward Schwartzenburg, an OB-GYN with Schwartzenburg, Lafranca, Guidry & Chapman, chairman-elect; and Tom Hawkins Jr., secretary/treasurer. Newly elected to the board is Patrick Seiter, a partner at Taylor,… Continue reading →

Business Honors for March 22, 2015

Tony Clayton, of Clayton and Fruge

Antonio “Tony” Clayton, Russell Jones and Johnnie L. Matthews will be inducted into the 2015 Southern University Law Center Alumni Hall of Fame. Clayton is senior partner in the law firm of Clayton and Frugé in Port Allen. Jones is SULC’s vice chancellor for academic affairs. Matthews is senior partner of… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for March 29, 2015

A training course on developing or expanding an export business is being offered to Louisiana companies in Lafayette from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 7 and April 8 at the Lafayette International Center at 735 Jefferson St. The program, organized by the Louisiana District Export… Continue reading →

Sasol starts construction on $8 billion ethane cracker in Calcasieu Parish

Sasol has started construction on it $8.1 billion ethane cracker complex in Calcasieu Parish. The ethane cracker complex will include six chemical manufacturing plants, to be built near Sasol’s existing Westlake facilities. The project will roughly triple Sasol’s chemical production capacity in the United States. Site preparation and civil construction work have been underway since 2014.… Continue reading →

Breaux to take over as Associated Grocers CEO

Emile Breaux, Associated Grocers Inc.

Emile R. Breaux will become president and CEO of Associated Grocers on June 1, completing a management transition that started more than a year ago. At the end of Associated Grocers’ current fiscal year, Breaux will take over from J.H. “Jay” Campbell Jr., who has been president and CEO since February 1995. Campbell will remain with Associated… Continue reading →

$500 million pipeline system to link Motiva refineries in Norco, Convent

Motiva Enterprises said Thursday it will connect its refineries in Norco and Convent to create the Louisiana Refining System. The first step will be to build a Maurepas pipeline system — three pipelines that will connect the refineries and link the existing LOCAP terminal in St. James to Norco. The pipeline system will cost $500 million to… Continue reading →

Waffle House near College Drive, Corporate Boulevard in Baton Rouge set to undergo major renovations

The Waffle House restaurant near College Drive and Corporate Boulevard will undergo a major facelift. The city-parish Department of Public Works Inspection Division issued a permit to remodel the restaurant at 2363 College Drive. The value of the work is listed at $450,000 and will involve removing and replacing interior walls, doors, seats, equipment and windows.… Continue reading →

Raising Cane’s to open its first overseas restaurant in Kuwait City

Advocate photo by John McCusker -- Raising Cane's, which has grown to about 210 restaurants in the U.S., plans to open its first overseas franchise location in a mall in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

One love is going international. Raising Cane’s will open its first overseas location this summer with a restaurant in The Avenues mall in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The restaurant should be open by mid-July, said Todd Graves, Cane’s co-founder and CEO. “We’ll see how our franchise partners operate, then we’ll go from there,”… Continue reading →

St. James Place retirement community refinances debt

St. James Place, a retirement community on Lee Drive, has issued $63.3 million in bond debt and will use the money for a number of purposes, including to retire a 2007 bond issue, two bank loans and terminate an interest rate swap, according to investment banker Ziegler. St. James issued two sets of bonds: $56.7 million in… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge-based duo designs iPhone case with crank to charge phones

Two former LSU students have designed an iPhone case that allows users to charge their phones by cranking a handle on the back.

Two former LSU students have designed an iPhone case that allows users to charge their phones by cranking a handle on the back. Mark Gabriel and Erik Durr, co-founders of Baton Rouge-based Ampware, say the inspiration for the CrankCase came from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Both men relied solely on their cellphones to stay connected to friends… Continue reading →

Setpoint opening $400,000 product showroom at Baton Rouge HQ

Automation provider Setpoint Integrated Solutions will open a $400,000 interactive, industrial process showroom at its headquarters in Baton Rouge. The April 16 opening of the Integrated Technology Center will coincide with a grand opening for Setpoint’s new 113,000-square-foot U.S. operations headquarters at 19151 Highland Road. Setpoint is a subsidiary of PON Holdings B.V. of the Netherlands.… Continue reading →

LSU institute helps train Cyber Defense team

The LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute is helping train Louisiana National Guard members as part of a cyber security initiative. The institute has trained 40 Guard members — part of the state’s new CDIRT or Cyber Defense Incident Response Team — at a newly constructed joint “Cyber Range” in Baton Rouge. The partnership with the… Continue reading →

Insurance company owner allegedly looted assets

Louisiana’s Insurance Department, along with those in Delaware and Texas, allowed a 20-something private-equity investor to buy two insurance companies in 2013 even though he had little experience in the industry. The investor, Alexander Chatfield Burns, allegedly replaced hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock and bonds with nonpublicly traded or worthless assets, Continue reading →

Report: Baton Rouge Mid City ER closure a warning to other states following Louisiana's path

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Emergency Room signs at Baton Rouge General Mid City have been taken down and replaced with smaller temporary signs until the Hospital's Emergency Room closes at the end of March.

Baton Rouge General's decision to close its Mid City Emergency Room is an early warning to states that rejected federal funding to expand Medicaid, according to a Bloomberg News report. The story says the closure is "a real- world ripple effect of the ideological clash over President Barack Obama's health-care law." Nationwide,… Continue reading →

Teachers Retirement System invests $50 million with tech fund experts

The Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana is among the early backers of the latest venture capital fund by New Enterprise Associates, an early backer of Buzzfeed Inc. and Groupon Inc. The teachers committed $50 million to the fund earlier this month. Investors have committed roughly $2.6 billion to the new fund, according to Bloomberg News. NEA oversees… Continue reading →

Sternbergs start leadership transition at Starmount, AlwaysCare

Hans Sternberg, Starmount Life Insurance Co. and AlwaysCare Benefits Inc.

Starmount Life Insurance Co. and sister Baton Rouge company AlwaysCare Benefits Inc. have started a transition in leadership to the next generation for the family owned companies. The companies have named Erich Sternberg as chief executive officer and Deborah Sternberg as president. Erich Sternberg will share the CEO and chairman roles with the companies’ founder,… Continue reading →

Zachary shopping center sold for $2.3 million

A Zachary shopping center has been sold for nearly $2.3 million to a group of investors from Natchez, Mississippi. Vidal Davis and Geronimo Hardwood Timber LLC purchased the Lake Pointe Center at 19900 Old Scenic Highway, said Randy Herring, an agent with Mike Falgoust & Associates Commercial Real Estate. Herring represented the buyers and the seller, Victoria… Continue reading →

Weekly jobless claims decrease in Louisiana

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending March 14 decreased to 2,520 from the previous week’s total of 2,782. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,232, the state labor department said. Manufacturing had the highest over-the-week decrease in initial claims, followed by mining, which employs oil and gas exploration… Continue reading →

EuroChem, Louisiana officials dispute Iberville plant delay or considering Russia

EuroChem Group AG and state officials are disputing a report that the company has delayed a $1.5 billion plant planned for Iberville Parish and is considering options outside the U.S. for ammonia and urea production. The officials said late Monday the report contained a mistaken translation of a statement written in Russian. Construction… Continue reading →

Options being reviewed for AEP barge transportation company

American Electric Power is exploring “strategic alternatives” for AEP River Operations LLC, a major barge transportation subsidiary that moves dry bulk commodities, coal and liquids on the Mississippi and other U.S. rivers. The St. Louis-based company has offices in New Orleans and operations in Convent, according to its website. Strategic alternatives generally include every available option,… Continue reading →

Mary Bird, Lake, Woman’s partner on new cancer treatment center

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG --  A Center for Breast and GYN Cancer will be built on the Woman’s Hospital campus on Airline Highway near Pecue Lane in partnership with Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.

Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Woman’s Hospital plan to build the Center for Breast and GYN Cancer on Woman’s campus under an agreement announced Monday. The affiliation will promote a higher degree of physician collaboration, coordination and disease management for patients with breast and gynecologic cancers, according to the health… Continue reading →

Blue Cross program for chronically ill could change care, cut insurance costs for patients, doctors in La.

A program designed to improve care for people with chronic conditions, like high blood pressure and heart disease, is expected to slash costs for patients, employers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. But Quality Blue Primary Care may also transform the way doctors statewide care for those patients. “Blue Cross is such… Continue reading →

BR advertising group presents Addy awards

Jeff Wright, of Wright Feigley Communications

The American Advertising Federation-Baton Rouge announced the winners of its annual American Advertising Awards recognizing outstanding creativity in advertising. It also honored two members and a corporation for their service. The E.A. “Pete” Goldsby Silver Medal Award went posthumously to Jeff Wright, of Wright Feigley Communications, for contributions to the betterment of advertising and to the community.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for March 22, 2015

Turner Industries’ Marathon Petroleum HCU Revamp/Turnaround project in Garyville was selected as the 2014 Associated Builders and Contractors National Eagle level winner in the Excellence in Construction Awards competition for the general contractor industrial $15 million to $25 million award category. Turner served as the major mechanical contractor. Turner Industries also received an… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for March 22, 2015

The Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists will hold its third Annual Scholarship Luncheon to benefit future journalists from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 23 at Boudreaux’s, 2647 Government St., in Baton Rouge. Guest speaker is Rachel Emanuel, the director of communications and development support for Southern… Continue reading →

U.S. oil and natural gas rig count drops by 56; Louisiana down 18

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. tumbled by 56 this week to 1,069 amid slumping oil prices. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 825 rigs were seeking oil and 242 exploring for natural gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A… Continue reading →

Six of Louisiana’s nine metro areas gain jobs

Six of Louisiana’s nine metro areas added nonfarm jobs in the 12-month period through January. Gains were posted in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria and Hammond, the state’s newest designated metro area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday in preliminary numbers not adjusted for seasonal factors. The Houma-Thibodaux area lost 700… Continue reading →