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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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Home Bank converts from thrift to national bank

Lafayette-based Home Bank has converted from a federal savings bank charter to a national bank charter. The bank’s legal name is now Home Bank, National Association. Home Bancorp is still the holding company. President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Bordelon said Home Bank converted to a national bank charter because that better aligns with the… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Chamber says President Obama's proposed ozone standards would harm economy

All but two of the nation’s top performing metropolitan area economies -- including Baton Rouge -- wouldn’t meet ozone limits if the Obama administration moves forward with proposed air quality standards, according to a new report from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. And the economies for all those areas are likely to suffer as a result,… Continue reading →

Carnival bringing larger cruise ship to New Orleans; the name may be familiar

Photo from Carnival Cruise Line -- Carnival Triumph

Carnival Cruise Lines announced Monday that it is increasing its cruise capacity in New Orleans by replacing the smaller Carnival Elation ship with the Carnival Triumph. Carnival Triumph will shift from Galveston to New Orleans to launch year-round four- and five-day cruises to Mexico beginning April 4, 2016. On this route, four-day “long weekend” cruises depart… Continue reading →

Patient tracking takes a techy turn at Ochsner

Photo provided by Ochsner Health System -- Ochsner Health System recently became one of the first health care providers in the U.S. to begin testing Apple HealthKit, a service developed by technology giant Apple Inc. that enables doctors to remotely monitor patients who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

As fitness-crazed consumers embrace wearable activity trackers that record their every move, Ochsner Health System is among the first medical providers in the country to test the potential for similar technology to substantially change how doctors assess the health of chronically ill patients and deliver basic care. Ochsner recently became one of the first health care providers… Continue reading →

People in Business for March 1, 2015

Jared Tees, LAuberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge

L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge has named Jared Tees as executive chef and Kerry Fontenot as vice president of casino operations. Tees has worked in kitchens at Commander’s Palace, Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, Lüke, Besh Steak and Manning’s. Fontenot, a Lafayette native, was with L’Auberge sister property Ameristar… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for March 1, 2015

BUSINESS NETWORK OF BATON ROUGE WHEN: Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. WHERE: Bocage Racquet Club, 7600 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge SPEAKER: Lester Lemoine, of Lemoine’s Heating & Air RESERVATIONS: Joey Duggan, (225) 252-3619… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge, New Orleans rank high in ag, chemical bioscience jobs

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Nicole Baute Honorée, assistant vice chancellor of economic development and strategic initiatives with LSU Health New Orleans, left, and  Gus Kousoulas, associate vice chancellor for research and economic development at LSU, right, listen as James Greenwood, president and CEO of the Washington D.C.-based Biotechnology Industry Organization addresses a Focus on Biotechnology audience on the LSU campus Friday.

Bioscience jobs in the United States grew seven times faster than those in the rest of the economy from 2001 through 2012, with Baton Rouge and New Orleans ranking high in one category. The Baton Rouge area ranked second among the nation’s largest metros in 2012 for concentration of bioscience jobs within agricultural feedstock and chemicals, at… Continue reading →

Shareholders approve selling Pineville-based utility company Cleco Corp.

Cleco Corp. shareholders have approved selling the the Pineville-based utility company to a North American-led investor group for about $3.4 billion. The new owners also will assume about $1.3 billion of debt for a total transaction valued at $4.7 billion. The deal was announced in October with an investor group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count drops 43; Louisiana decreases 7

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 43 this week to 1,267 amid depressed oil prices. The Houston-based company said Friday in its weekly report that 86 rigs were exploring for oil and 280 for gas. One was… Continue reading →

Riverboat passengers get a taste of Baton Rouge, and there are more coming

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --The American Queen riverboat docks in Baton Rouge for an afternoon of touring.

The American Queen riverboat docked in Baton Rouge Thursday, the first of an expanded 84 scheduled visits that paddle-wheel cruise boats are set to make to the city over the next 11 months. While officials with Visit Baton Rouge didn’t have hard numbers on the economic impact the riverboats have on the… Continue reading →

Louisiana reaches export record of $65.1 billion

Merchandise exports from Louisiana climbed 2.8 percent to a record $65.1 billion in 2014, and new trade agreements could boost those totals in the coming years, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Wednesday. The 2014 gain marked the sixth consecutive year of export growth for the state, up from $63.3 billion in 2013, the World Trade Center… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge-area industries expect to maintain employment, spending

Most of the Baton Rouge area’s major industrial employers expect spending and employment at the plants to remain the same or expand during the next six months, according to a survey by the Greater Baton Rouge Industrial Alliance. The group represents more than 57 petrochemical, energy, paper, pharmaceutical, pipeline, storage terminal and other industrial facilities in the… Continue reading →

Four engineering and contracting firms combine under Bernhard

Advocate Staff Photo by Bill Feig -- Jim Bernhard Jr., chairman of holding company Bernhard and former CEO of The Shaw Group

A holding company chaired by former Shaw Group executive Jim Bernhard Jr. has aligned four businesses to provide design-and-build energy infrastructure services similar to the company that acquired Shaw two years ago in a $3 billion deal. CB&I, which bought Baton Rouge-based Shaw Group in February 2013, describes itself as “the most complete energy infrastructure-focused company in… Continue reading →

IberiaBank progressing on three acquisitions

IberiaBank Corp. has received regulatory approvals for its three previously announced pending bank acquisitions and shareholder approvals for two of the transactions. IberiaBank obtained regulator and shareholder approvals for Florida Bank Group in Tampa and Old Florida Bancshares Inc. in Orlando. It expects to complete the Florida Bank Group acquisition on Feb. 28 and the Old Florida… Continue reading →

Closures, severance lower LHC earnings

LHC Group Inc., a Lafayette-based home health provider, reported its fourth-quarter profit grew to $5.5 million, or 32 cents per share, compared to $5.0 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago. For the year, LHC’s earnings slipped to $21.8 million, or $1.26 per share, compared to $22.3 million, or $1.30 per share, in 2013.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising's profits skyrocket in fourth quarter

A solar panel sits atop a Lamar Advertising billboard in Florida, the first state where the company has converted to solar power. (Photo provided by Lamar Advertising)

Lamar Advertising Co., a Baton Rouge-based outdoor advertising giant, reported its fourth-quarter profit rocketed to $207.9 million, or $2.18 per share, roughly 20 times the $10.1 million, or 11 cents per share, reported a year ago. The results were boosted by a $120.1 million, one-time gain related to the company’s conversion to a real estate investment trust.… Continue reading →

Blue Cross Louisiana CEO Reitz retiring mid-2016

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING    Mike Reitz, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, is retiring in mid-2016.

Mike Reitz, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, plans to retire in mid-2016 after 40 years with the state’s largest insurer. The company’s board will conduct a nationwide search for Reitz’s successor, said Blue Cross board Chairman Dan S. Borné. “For all things, there is a season, and my time… Continue reading →

U.S. oil exporter's success draws rivals, anger and federal investigation

Last year, Houston pipeline company Enterprise Products Partners LP became the envy of the oil industry by finding a loophole in the federal ban on exporting U.S.-produced oil. But now other oil companies, including BP plc, have complained to regulators that Enterprise is trying to prevent others from cashing in on the lucrative export market. The… Continue reading →

State Farm will use drones to inspect roofs; Lamar earnings soar

The Federal Aviation Administration has given State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. permission to use drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, to inspect customers’ roofs. State Farm was one of several companies, including Chevron USA Inc., that received exemptions to the federal regulations governing the commercial use of drones. State Farm plans to use the drones to… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge’s Mezzo Technologies looking beyond racecar tracks to space

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Mezzo Technologies President Kevin W. Kelly, left, watches as Jaymon Miller, center, and Gary Murray run tests on microtubes, making sure they don't leak. NASA officials were given a tour of Mezzo Technologies' Baton Rouge  facilities and equipment Tuesday.

Mezzo Technologies in Baton Rouge is looking to the moon and beyond. The 15-year-old company, which has produced advanced radiators and oil coolers for professional race car teams since 2007, now has an opportunity to work for NASA by developing its microtube heat exchanger for use on the space agency’s planned Orion spacecraft. “NASA has a… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge-area home sales drop 2%; Ascension inventory tight

The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge was down 2 percent in January when compared with figures from the year before because of a drop in activity in Ascension Parish, due to a dwindling inventory of homes for sale in the parish. There were 511 homes sold in January in the nine-parish area, according to… Continue reading →

Agency inspecting CBI work on S.C. reactor

A special inspection is underway after there was damage to a nuclear reactor that Chicago Bridge & Iron is building in South Carolina, federal regulators said Monday. The damage to the reactor is another blow to CBI, which got into the nuclear project after acquiring The Shaw Group Inc., of Baton Rouge,… Continue reading →

CC’s Coffee House entering Mississippi

CC’s Coffee House is entering the Mississippi market by licensing GL Coffee LLC for a location in the old Madison County Tax Assessor’s building in Ridgeland, Mississippi. The Baton Rouge company said expanding its coffee house concept to Mississippi is strategically aligned with its continued growth. The shop’s investors are Bobby Gill and Kirk… Continue reading →

Refineries strike could soon mean higher gasoline prices

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Strikers walk the picket line Sunday near the La. 70 operations and delivery entrance to the Motiva refinery in Convent.

Gasoline prices have yet to show the impact of an expanding refinery strike, but that could change within the next few days. “By the end of this week, if we still see the strike, we’re going to see prices rise a little bit faster,” said Carl Larry, director of oil and gas for global consultants… Continue reading →

Louisiana entrepreneurs get crowdfunding for novel ideas

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Melodie McMath, owner of Evolve, stands next to a cooler filled with some of her freshly squeezed juices at Bibi's Patisserie. Lafayette-based Evolve used Kickstarter to raise funds for an upcoming move to a larger storefront location.

Which of these would you invest a few bucks in: A guitar hanger? A sculpture filled with fluid that moves to music? An organic fruit and vegetable juicery? A table-top game that uses miniature tiles? Handcrafted syrups for cocktails and sodas? Well, each one of those ideas from entrepreneurs around south Louisiana attracted people willing to… Continue reading →

People in Business for Feb. 22, 2015

Jill Roshto, Cancer Services

Jill Roshto has been named chief executive officer of Cancer Services. She was director of development for the LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences and previously director of development and marketing at LSU’s Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Feb. 22, 2015

Katie Pritchett, Capital Area United Way

Katie Pritchett, vice president of community impact at Capital Area United Way, has been selected for the United Way Worldwide Advanced Leaders Program. The 10-month program is designed to build United Way senior leaders as future CEOs.… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Feb. 22, 2015

Global Safety Management has opened a training center at 232 Jared Drive in Broussard. The additional training center seats up to 60 students in different settings for training in various subjects. It has 8,000 square feet under roof and over 5,000 square feet of outside area.… Continue reading →

United Steelworkers issue strike notices in Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by Hilary Scheinuk -- Strikers walk the picket line Sunday near  the Motiva refinery in Convent. United Steelworkers members struck at midnight, citing staffing levels, overworked employees, health and safety issues and health care.

The United Steelworkers union has issued a strike notice in south Louisiana to two refineries and a chemical plant, with union workers set to go out at midnight Saturday. Several hundred workers at Motiva refineries in Convent and Norco and at a Shell Chemical plant in Norco will join workers striking at other refineries around the… Continue reading →

Renovation planned for Baton Rouge’s Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market in Towne Center in Baton Rouge (Advocate photo by TALISHA DUNN-SQUARE)

A $1 million renovation of the Baton Rouge Whole Foods Market is set to begin Monday. Specific details of what will be done at the grocery store at 7529 Corporate Blvd. were not disclosed. But Kristina Bradford, a spokeswoman for the grocery store chain, said the work will take an estimated 12 weeks. “The store… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count decreases 48; Louisiana gains 1

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 48 this week to 1,310 amid depressed oil prices. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,019 rigs were exploring for oil and 289 for gas. Two were listed… Continue reading →

Initial claims for unemployment fall in Louisiana

The state labor department says first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Feb. 14 decreased to 2,522 from the previous week’s total of 2,939. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 1,993 initial claims, officials said Friday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, decreased to 2,667, from the previous… Continue reading →

$2.4 billion metals mill planned in central Louisiana

American Specialty Alloys Inc. will develop a $2.4 billion aluminum mill and campus in central Louisiana to serve the automotive and aerospace industries, officials said Friday. Work is expected to begin this year in Pineville on a 3,000-acre Red River campus that will carry an annual payroll of more than $100 million, according to corporate and state… Continue reading →

Kleinpeter Dairy exiting ice cream business

Advocate staff file photo -- Kleinpeter Farms Dairy has decided to exit the ice cream business, which it started in 2008. The dairy halted production in December and was considering outsourcing manufacturing.

Kleinpeter Farms Dairy is getting out of the ice cream business. The Baton Rouge company said Friday it would not resume production of its ice cream, which was halted in December. Ice cream accounted for 3 percent of Kleinpeter’s sales. Kenneth P. Kleinpeter Sr., general manager of the family-owned dairy, said the company… Continue reading →

Cruise line bringing another riverboat to New Orleans, to offer cruises up, down Mississippi River

American Cruise Lines said it will bring a second riverboat to New Orleans later this month, offering Mississippi River cruises to Memphis, Tennessee. Among its stops are Oak Alley, Baton Rouge and St. Francisville. The American Eagle is a 305-foot-long vessel that can hold 150 passengers. The ship will join the Queen… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge casinos’ winnings increase in January

Winnings at Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos rose in January, going up by 8.6 percent from what they brought in during January 2014. The riverboats brought in $23.1 million in January, compared with almost $21.3 million in January 2014, according to figures released Thursday by State Police. This is the second month in a row… Continue reading →

Ex-Shaw Group executive, brother-in-law face insider trading allegations

A former Shaw Group vice president and his brother-in-law were accused of insider trading Thursday by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged frauds totaling nearly $1 million. Also on Thursday, the brother-in-law, Jesse H. Roberts III, identified as a dentist in Ruston, was indicted in Baton Rouge on federal conspiracy and securities-fraud charges. The… Continue reading →