Category Archives: Blog

New Member Spotlight: Food Shack

Serving up tasty food with a unique North Louisiana flare for over 10 years, Food Shack recently opened up a Bossier location in March 2018. They wanted to bring their southern home-cooked classics to the people of Bossier.

“We wanted to offer another location to serve our fabulous Southern food,” said Renee Meadows, Office Administrator for Food Shack.

This new Chamber member hopes to expand to other locations and grow their catering/food truck business in the future. So if you’re ever craving classic Louisiana dishes such as gumbo, po-boys and jambalaya, then Food Shack is the perfect spot for you to check out! You can find them in Bossier at 4200 Airline Drive Suite #800 or on Facebook.

NWLA Legislative Summit Speakers give fiscal, economic development updates

On Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. at CenturyLink Center business professionals from the region attended the Northwest Louisiana Legislative Summit. This year’s event featured four guest speakers including Mark Cooper, Chief of Staff, Gov. John Bel Edwards office; Don Pierson, Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development; Kimberly Robinson, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Revenue and U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson. The speakers each gave an update on the state and regional fiscal and economic matters, pointing towards economic growth for the state.

The address was hosted by the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, along with Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce, as well as GBEDF (Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation) and NLEP (North Louisiana Economic Partnership). It was sponsored by CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health and Mike McSwain Architect.

All four speakers were given some time to present their talking points. Here’s what they each discussed:

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson

• Low unemployment nationally
• Soaring economy
• Commitment to civility

Mark Cooper, Chief of Staff, Gov. John Bel Edwards office

• Proud of his Bossier roots
• Louisiana’s economy is seeing a lot of growth
• Louisiana grew faster than 35 other states in the first quarter of 2018

Don Pierson, Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development

• How to build a vibrant economy
• Build connections with regional and economic development partners
• Cultivate and provide for small businesses

Kimberly Robinson, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Revenue

• Progress made with tax reform
• Internet sales tax collections
• Sports betting

For a full recap of the event, you can watch the Facebook Live Stream of the summit and hear what these officials had to say about the state of our region’s economy. Also, check out our photo gallery on Facebook.

New Member Spotlight: Gina Marie’s Antiques, Oddities and Curiosities

Stephen and Gina Masson opened their shop, Gina Marie’s Antiques, Oddities and Curiosities on June 22. The unique shop is family owned and run with the help of their daughter, Josie. The couple got the inspiration for their store by their passion for odd antiques.

“There is no other shop like this within 100 miles,” Stephen Masson says.

This specialty retail of unusual and many one-of-a-kind items is your place to go for interesting and odd finds. In the future they hope to expand and carry a clothing line. Until then, stop by and experience all that is Gina Marie’s Antiques, Oddities and Curiosities.

LED Plans Emergency Disaster Response Training for Local Agencies

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has released the dates for their training opportunities on how to respond to an emergency/disaster. Their goal is to provide local agencies that own roads and bridges with tools and resources to conduct damage assessment and apply for emergency disaster funding through FEMA or FHWA. In their training, they will teach local agencies how to properly manage and document the process of emergency work and permanent repairs, Identify roads, bridges and other assets according to eligibility for FEMA or FHWA emergency funding among other objectives.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Local agency and emergency operations personnel who have responsibilities related to transportation infrastructure that include:
-Pre-event inventory and condition documentation.
-Damage assessment and documentation after disasters.
-Gather information and provide documentation to prepare FEMA Project Worksheet or FHWA
-Detailed Damage Inspection Reports (DDIR).
-Provide liaison activity to the Federal and State ER personnel.
-Public works, engineers and road management personnel.
-Parish OEP Directors and local disaster recovery specialists. Administrative and Financial officers with emergency response/recovery related duties.
-Individual(s) responsible for their disaster reimbursement programs.
• Elected officials
• Others with emergency preparedness, response and recovery responsibilities.

For the full training schedule, click here.

Learn More About Our Guest Speakers for the 2018 Legislative Summit

On Aug. 22 at 11:30 a.m., we will be hosting a federal as well as State of the State update at our Legislative Summit. Over the next couple of days we will be posting about our guest speakers so you can get to know each of them before the big event.

The first guest speaker we are highlighting is Mark Cooper, Chief of Staff for Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper, formerly of Bossier City, serves as the Chief of Staff for Gov. John Bel Edwards. He previously served as head of Louisiana’s disaster management agency; worked in California on response to Los Angeles riots, earthquakes and wildfires; and most recently was the senior director of global emergency management for Wal-Mart. In 2006, Cooper was named LSU Distinguished Alumni of the Year for the E.J. Ourso School of Business and Public Administration. He has also been recognized in Los Angeles County for his emergency management contributions including the 2000 Inaugural Award of Excellence in Emergency Management. He and his wife, Sandra, have four children, Sarah, Sam, Seth, and Sophie.

The next guest speaker we are highlighting is Kimberly Lewis Robinson.  She is the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

Kimberly Lewis Robinson

Kimberly Lewis Robinson serves in the Edwards administration as the Secretary of the Department of Revenue. Prior to this, she was a partner at Jones Walker in Baton Rouge, focusing primarily on state and local tax matters. Robinson previously worked for six years in the Louisiana Department of Revenue, serving as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Legal Affairs and Confidential Assistant to the Secretary.

Our third guest speaker is Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Don Pierson.

Don Pierson

Don Pierson brings more than 27 years of economic development experience into his role as Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development under Governor Edwards. Prior to taking over as Secretary, he served as the Senior Director of Business Development LED and as Assistant Secretary and Chief Marketing Officer for the agency since January 2005. Before coming to LED, Pierson served for 17 years in the Shreveport/Bossier community as Executive Director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation and VP of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

Our final guest speaker is Congressman Mike Johnson.

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson

Congressman Mike Johnson is a Republican member of Congress proudly serving Louisiana’s Fourth District. He represents the nearly 760,000 residents of 15 parishes in the northwest and western regions of the state. Mike was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on December 10, 2016, by the largest margin of victory in his region in more than 50 years. Mike is a dedicated husband and father of four, as well as a constitutional law attorney who has devoted his life and career to fighting for the fundamental freedoms and traditional values that have always been a priority to the people of Louisiana. From 2015 to January 2017, Johnson served as a representative in the Louisiana House of Representatives for district 8 in Bossier Parish.

Want to hear from these amazing guest speakers? Buy your tickets for the 2018 Legislative Summit here and check out it out on our events calendar here.

Member Spotlight: Lazarus Design Studio, LLC

Jenny Lazarus, owner of Lazarus Design Studio, LLC, began her company in October 2012 and in September of 2017 took the step to be fully self-employed with her company. Since then, she has received great growth and added two interns to her team.

“I am a small business and like to give my clients one-on-one attention during their project to make sure things are done quickly and correctly.” Lazarus says.

She provides brand and print collateral such as logos, printed and digital design, print services, interior planning, decorating and other creative services. Lazarus Design Studio, LLC was the designer of the 2018 Annual Manual. Stop by the Chamber to pick up your copy or follow her Etsy page to see Jenny Lazarus’s work in action!

Public asked to nominate deserving Patriots for Patriot Awards

We are asking YOU to help us find our top first responders in Caddo and Bossier – our 2018 Patriots. Do you know a local first responder that goes above and beyond in the line of duty? Nominate them and tell us why you think they deserve recognition.

The Patriot Awards will be held on Sep. 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Bossier Civic Center. We will accept nominations until Aug. 17. It is presented by Willis Knighton with Shreveport Communications serving as award sponsor. Special thanks to our platinum sponsors Citizens National Bank, Eagle Distributing and Life Air Rescue.

Nominate today!!

Connect your business leaders to our local military leaders at the Commanders Forum

The Military Leadership Forum was created to increase community awareness about a bout all of the major happenings in our military community and gain insight on the day-to-day operations for Air Force Global Strike Command, 8th Air Force, 2nd Bomb Wing and 307th Bomb Wing, Bossier and Shreveport National Guard, Army, Marine Corps and Navy reserve units.

The forum will be held on Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Boomtown, 300 Riverside Drive, Bossier City.

“Our goal is to cultivate awareness of our military’s mission and how our community can enhance support for the men and women of Barksdale Air Force Base and our local reserve and guard units,” says Kattie Hollay, Bossier Chamber of Commerce Military Relations Liaison.

If you are interested in attending, purchase your tickets today!

Qualifiers for the November election

In Bossier Parish, Police Juror District 4 (a special election to permanently fill Sonny Cook’s seat) as well as School Board Districts 2, 4, and 9 have multiple candidates. The other school board districts have candidates who are running unopposed. The Town of Plain Dealing has four candidates for mayor and Districts 1 and 3 have multiple candidates.

Full list of Bossier Parish candidates and Nov. ballot

The big races of 2018 are happening in Caddo Parish, where the Mayor (of Shreveport and other municipalities), City Council and School Board are on the ballot. There are 10 candidates running for Mayor of Shreveport and all Councilman Districts except Jerry Bowman Jr. in District G have opponents.

Full list of Caddo Parish candidates and Nov. ballot