Business Briefs for April 20

Mentoring event set for entrepreneurs over 50

A speed mentoring event targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50 is being held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Main Library at 7711 Goodwood Blvd. in Baton Rouge.

The event is being held by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Louisiana District Office and AARP.

Participants will meet with mentors and entrepreneurs as well as city, state and federal resource partners to share information during one-on-one counseling sessions. Lenders will also be available to discuss small business loan programs.

“AARP knows that many older Americans pursue entrepreneurship as a way to generate income and strengthen financial security,” said Debbie Banda, AARP interim vice president, financial security. “And for many of these workers, it is also a way to turn a hobby or passion into a paycheck.”

For more information on the event, call (866) 448-3620 or visit to register online.

INNOV8 holding collaborative sessions

INNOV8 Lafayette, an entrepreneurship festival, has added a series of meet-and-greet sessions to its events over the next two weekS targeting the local creative community.

The stART series spans three days of INNOV8 Lafayette.

The sessions allow musicians, dancers, actors, writers, designers, teachers, visual, video and digital artists and stage craft specialists to meet and collaborate on existing and upcoming projects.

All three sessions will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Acadiana Center for the Arts at 101 W. Vermilion St., Lafayette.

The events are Creative Courting, on April 23 for participants to meet and potentially collaborate on a unique idea or project; Make a Market on April 28, when participants will hear success stories from local artists; and First Date on April 30, to look back at INNOV8 2014 and discuss opportunities, resources and obstacles that have emerged since the first workshop.

INNOV8 Lafayette was founded and led by volunteers of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Lafayette. For an event schedule and more information, visit

Virginia College opens culinary program

Virginia College in Baton Rouge has opened Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, 9501 Cortana Place.

Culinard students can pursue a diploma in culinary arts or pastry arts, both of which can be completed in 36 weeks. Culinard also offers an online associate degree.

Culinard also has programs in Birmingham and Mobile, Ala.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Greenville, S.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; and Chattanooga, Tenn. They have trained more than 1,000 chefs.

Signature Speaker to address chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber will hold the first of two Signature Speaker events on May 6, featuring Roberta Zenn Phillips, executive director from the Center for Women in Business at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Phillips will discuss research by the U.S. Chamber on best practices of Fortune 1,000 companies and their advancement of women.

The luncheon will be held at the Manship Theatre in The Shaw Center.

Registration will begin at 10:15 a.m., lunch at 11 and the presentation from noon to 1:15 p.m.

The event also will feature a panel of regional women business leaders including Del Dugas, refinery business planner, ExxonMobil; Teri Fontenot, CEO, Women’s Hospital; Kimberly Robinson, partner, Jones Walker; Terrie Sterling, chief operating officer, Our Lady of the Lake; and Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas, CEO, Center for Planning Excellence.

Tickets are $35 for BRAC investors and $45 for non-investors. Details and registration can be found at

Landscape architect office opens downtown

Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects has opened a downtown Baton Rouge location at 200 Government St., Suite 20.

It has an office in Alexandria.

Shannon Blakeman has been named director of the Baton Rouge office.

The additional location allows the firm to expand its services and accessibility to Baton Rouge, New Orleans and the surrounding communities.

BNI chapters holding two visitors events

BNI Louisiana, a networking organization specializing in business referrals among members, is hosting two Visitors Days for chapters in the Baton Rouge area this month.

The BNI BR Better Business Builders meeting is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. April 29 at the American Red Cross, 4655 Sherwood Common Blvd., second foor, Baton Rouge. Contact Sarah Thigpen at (225) 769-5032.

BNI BR Livingston Leaders meeting is from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. April 30 in Papi’s Fajita Factory, 35055 La. 16, Denham Springs. Contact Scott Dufrene at (225) 304-0614.

Health care reform conference planned

A conference on health care reform and health disparities will be held April 25-27 at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans on Canal Street.

The New Orleans Medical Association, Louisiana Medical Association and the National Medical Association Region V are hosting the event.

The theme is “The Necessary Paradigm Shift in Healthcare: Innovation, Integration, and Collaboration.”

The conference brings together health care providers, academia, researchers and key stakeholders to focus on challenges and opportunities in the new reformed health care system. It will include research in health care operations, analytics, a cross-cultural view of health care systems and the impact it has on health disparities.

Some of the educational tracts include health policy, EMR & ICD-10, women’s health promotion and disease prevention, and lipids and cardiovascular risk management in minority populations.

For additional information on the conference, contact the NMA Region V Conference Coordinator at

LSU Flores MBA group plans training event

The LSU Flores MBA Alumni Association will host its annual Spring Training Event from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. May 14 in the Distinguished Leaders Lecture Hall of the Business Education Complex.

The lecture hall is on the first floor of The Auditorium as Room 1510.

The event features three presentations on the Affordable Care Act, the four distinctly different generations in today’s workforce and how to navigate and use social media as a competitive advantage.

The event is free for LSU Flores MBAAA. The early-bird cost for non-members by May 1 is $30 and $50 after that.

Register online at Cash and check payments will be accepted at the door.