Business Briefs for June 30

LSU business college event scheduled

The LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business and the LSU Flores MBA Alumni Association are co-hosting Jazz & Cocktails 5:30-8 p.m. July 25 on the first floor of The Rotunda in the Business Education Complex on Nicholson Drive Extension.

The free event is open to all LSU Flores MBA Alumni and their guests, all EMBA and PMBA students and their guests, all sponsors of EMBA and PMBA students and their guests, all recruiters of MBA students, prospective LSU Flores MBA students and their guests and LSU Flores MBA faculty and staff.

College administrators will answer questions attendees have about programs at LSU.

Reservations can be made at http://business.lsu.edu/Pages/Jazz-and-Cocktails-2013.aspx.

State bar group holding seminar

The Louisiana State Bar Association will hold a Multi-Section CLE Seminar 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 8-9 at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel at 500 Canal St. in New Orleans.

Registration is $65 hourly, $275 daily, $445 for two days and for section members $50 hourly, $225 daily and $395 for two days.

For more information, call Bridget Berins at (504) 619-0137 or go to http://www.lsba.org/2007cle/seminardetail.asp?CLEID=400.

SBA issues final rules on size standards

The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued four final rules in the Federal Register increasing size standards for firms in four North American Industry Classification System sectors and one subsector.

They are agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, Sector 11; finance and insurance, Sector 52; management of companies and enterprises, Sector 55; arts, entertainment and recreation, Sector 71; and support services for mining, Subsector 213.

Size standards define the maximum size a firm can be and still be considered a small business. The revised standards reflect changes in marketplace conditions and public comments that SBA received to the proposed rules.

New size standards will enable more businesses in these sectors to obtain or retain small business status; will give federal agencies a larger pool of small businesses from which to choose for their procurement programs; and will make more small businesses eligible for SBA’s loan programs.

The four final rules will be effective July 22. To review the rules and public comments, go to www.regulations.gov.

Firm changes name to GSA Consulting

Glenn G. Shaheen & Associates Inc. has changed its name to GSA Consulting Engineers Inc.

“Most people know us by GSA, and as we celebrate our 25th anniversary the time was right for us to make the change official,” said Glenn Shaheen, president.

GSA is a civil and environmental engineering firm located in Gonzales and Baton Rouge. It specializes in water, wastewater, transportation, drainage, environmental impact studies, levee/flood protection and construction management services.

Eustis Mortgage opens in Prairieville

Eustis Mortgage Corp., a New Orleans-based mortgage banking company, has opened a branch in The Business Park at Oak Grove, Suite A-3, at 17534 Old Jefferson Highway in Prairieville .

Founded in 1956, Eustis Mortgage also has offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Metairie, Mandeville, West Monroe, Denham Springs, Lafayette, DeRidder and Biloxi, Miss.

Children’s Hospital gets agency rating

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has affirmed its AA- issuer credit rating to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

Children’s parent corporation is Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, whose entities also include Touro Infirmary and University Medical Center Management Corp., which manages the Interim LSU Hospital.

LCMC is a not-for-profit academic health care system with cash reserves in excess of $1 billion. It operates more than 620 inpatient beds with a staff of more than 5,400 employees.

A.M. Best rates Imperial Fire

A.M. Best Co. has lowered the outlook for Opelousas-based Imperial Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. to “negative” from stable, while affirming the company’s financial strength rating of B+, or good.

The negative outlook reflects Imperial’s underwriting performance, according to Best. Imperial has had pre-tax operating losses in four of the past five years, and its surplus, the cushion against unexpected losses, shrunk by 9 percent in 2011 and 11 percent in 2012.

The company had larger underwriting losses in 2011 and 2012, mainly as the result of catastrophe and other weather-related events in Louisiana and Texas. Those losses led to aggressive rate increases and the sale, announced June 3, to Southport Lane, a New York-based private equity firm.

Despite the increased access to capital from Southport Lane and rate increases, Imperial still faces “a challenging operating environment” in 2013, according to Best.

Stratos Wealth opens New Orleans office

Stratos Wealth Partners has opened an office at 322 Lafayette St. in New Orleans.

Wealth adviser Philip Garrett Jr., formerly a financial adviser with Prudential, is leading the office.

Stratos is an independent, hybrid Registered Investment Advisor firm in Solon, Ohio, with over $6.2 billion in clients assets under management in combined brokerage and advisory accounts. The firm also serves clients in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, California and Virginia. Stratos has more than 140 independent financial advisers nationwide.

Charter school group plans conference

The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools is holding its sixth annual conference, with the theme “Adjusting the Sails: Staying on Course for Success” on Sept. 13 at the Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge.

Registration has begun for educators, business leaders, parents, policy makers and students.

A meet-and-greet reception will be held 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 12 at Juban’s Restaurant.

Keynote speaker is Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade, an urban educator who will discuss the concept of hope as essential for nurturing youth.

Registration is $350 for members, $375 for non-members, with five-ticket bundle discounts.

For more information, visit lacharterschools.org or call LAPCS at (504) 274-3651.

Project management exam classes planned

Project Management Institute of the GNO is holding six-week-long project management professional exam preparation classes starting July 9 in New Orleans.

The class meets 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays at the institute’s headquarters in the Nelson Building, Room 228, at 1215 Prytania St. The cost is $400 for members and $500 for non-members. Registration is at http://www.pmigno.org. Information is avialable by emailing education@pmigno.org.

LAGCOE holding October career fair

A career fair will be held as part of the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Cajundome & Convention Center in Lafayette.

The event will be free to the public and provide an opportunity to network with representatives from various companies throughout the oil and gas industry.

“LAGCOE is very proud to offer this event in response to the oil and gas industry’s critical need for a qualified workforce,” said Angela Cring, executive director of LAGCOE. “Our goal is to provide the industry with an outlet for recruiting and facilitating networking between existing and future professionals.”

Participation details are available under the Energy Careers section of the LAGCOE website at www.LAGCOE.com.

OpenBarre boutique fitness studio to open

OpenBarre, a boutique fitness studio, will open in August at The High Grove Boutiques east of the Mall of Louisiana at 10222 The Grove Blvd.

Maryam Diaab is owner of OpenBarre.

OpenBarre will feature cardio ballet barre and aerial yoga group fitness classes. OpenBarre’s ballet barre workout incorporates pilates, yoga, ballet and ice skating through the use of ballet barres and glide boards, while aerial yoga classes involve an aerial hammock.

Thirty-minute ballet barre classes are priced at $15, while 55-minute classes are $25-$30.

The website is http://www.openbarrestudio.com.