Business Briefs for Jan. 12

Speaker to discuss early-education benefits

Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, will discuss the economic benefits of quality early childhood education as part of the Academic Distinction Fund’s Distinguished Speaker Series on Jan. 23 at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd.

The free lecture is open to teachers, parents and grandparents, child care educators, administrators and others interested in the economic benefits of early childhood education.

Check-in is from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the presentation is from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Barnett’s speech is based on his research in the areas of economics of early care and education, the effects of preschool programs on children’s learning and development, and the distribution of educational opportunities. Barnett has authored or co-authored more than 180 publications.

Preregistration can be made by email at or by calling (225) 293-3345.

Business disaster workshop planned

A free workshop for the retail industry regarding emergency preparedness and business continuity and recovery after a disaster will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 21 at the Louisiana State Emergency Operations Center, 7667 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge.

The deadline for reservations, at, is Jan. 15.

The workshop, titled “Retail Resilience: Getting Back to Business,” is hosted by the Louisiana Retailers Association and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Topics include the Small Business/Big Business Partnership-Mentoring Program, small-business procurement contracting with the state, continuity of operations planning; business power restoration, disaster business security; Louisiana State Police statewide credentialing data system and local/parish re-entry placard systems, alternate contact solutions and overviews of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center.

SophistOccasions now Backbeat Productions

SophistOccasions LLC has changed its name to Backbeat Productions.

Brandi Monjure had previously acquired the business from Christi Domingue-Rangel.

The business has been an event planning, social media marketing and public relations company. Monjure said the company will decrease its emphasis on public relations and media buying to dedicate time to special event clients, graphic design and social media marketing.

The company’s website is, and the phone number is (985) 502-9550.