Category Archives: Member News

EAP announces university pitch competition winners

Students at three North Louisiana universities competed for prizes and startup assistance at BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program’s (EAP) Grand Prix, a series of university business plan competitions held in November and designed to support student innovation. The top five participants –– individuals or teams –– at Northwestern State University (NSU), Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS) and Grambling State University (GSU) each pitched their business idea to a panel of judges made up of representatives from sponsors, university faculty, and the local business community.

“One of EAP’s objectives is to foster entrepreneurial education at the university level,” said Dave Smith, Executive Director of EAP. “We think the best way to grow an entrepreneurial-minded ecosystem is to expose students to an environment that celebrates their innovation. Through EAP’s Grand Prix college business plan competitions, we are guiding students and young entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, taking them from concept to reality.”
The top three finalists at each competition were awarded cash prizes, scholarships to the Louisiana Startup Prize 2019 and the Patent Academy, plus professional services from EAP. The grand prize winner of each competition received $3,000, while second and third place received $1,000 and $500, respectively.

The winners of NSU’s Inferno Pitch were Alba Maloff Johnson and Matthew Broekman for their idea to place a bio-sensor in vehicles that could detect drunk driving. “This competition gave us insight to how it would be to do this ourselves,” said Johnson. “I didn’t consider myself an entrepreneur before, but I do now!”

Tafadzwa Mariga won LSUS’ Pilot Pitch for his idea to target drip coffee, specialty coffee and whole bean coffee enthusiasts at various events. 
The team of Jarrid Richards, Kerwan Antoine and Casey Henry won GSU’s Golden Pitch with their idea LimeLight, which allows students to seamlessly submit college applications to several institutions.

This is the second year EAP has hosted university business plan competitions. After a successful first year at LSUS, the program expanded to NSU and GSU in 2018. The competition is expected to expand to more North Louisiana universities in the future. EAP’s Grand Prix is sponsored by BRF, The Committee of One Hundred, Business First Bank, ANECA Federal Credit Union, NSU, LSUS and GSU.

EAP, an initiative of BRF, is a public/private partnership between BRF, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential. Since EAP began in July 2014, the program has screened more than 690 startups and provided services to more than 220 companies.  

Montes Nabs First Team All- Louisiana Women’s Soccer Accolades

HAMMOND, La. – Junior Centenary Ladies Soccer player and Shreveport native Kyra Montes added to her award haul. Released Saturday night, December 8, Montes received First Team All-Louisiana accolades by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Montes becomes the first Ladies soccer player since Katie Valdez in 2009 to receive this honor.

Prior to the start of the 2018 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, Montes became only the second player in school history to be named First Team All-Conference in back-to-back seasons. She finished 2018 second in the SCAC in game-winning goals (six) and third in the conference in both goals (14) and points (33) – breaking the goals mark and ranking second in both game-winning goals and points in the Ladies Division III single-season record book.

In addition, Montes received SCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors each of the first two weeks of the season. She scored a goal in each of the first six games in helping Centenary tie its best start in program history (6-0-0).

Montes also tallied a pair of hat tricks – becoming the first Ladies soccer player in 18 years to accomplish that feat. On September 9 against Schreiner, she scored all three goals in helping Centenary rally from two goals down in the second half to win 3-2 in overtime. At Pelican State rival Louisiana College, she netted her third goal of the game – and the game-winner – in the 87th minute of the Ladies 3-2 victory October 2.

In only two seasons, Montes already owns the Centenary NCAA Division III career record for goals (17), points (41), and game-winning goals (eight).

Centenary finished the season 9-6 overall and 6-5 in conference play to earn the fourth seed in the SCAC Tournament for the second straight season. The six conference wins is the most ever for a season in SCAC play while the .667 winning percentage for the Ladies is the best since become an NCAA Division III institution.


Bossier Parish Community College has received the annual merit award from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) for achieving at least a 90% pass rate on the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination for the cycle of August 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018. Graduates obtaining national certification as a CST demonstrate by examination understanding of the basic competencies for safe patient care in the operating room.

The CST is widely recognized in the health care community as the foremost credential for surgical technologists in the nation. The CST is required for employment within many local, state and national health care organizations.

According to NBSTSA Chief Executive Officer Ben Price, the NBSTSA has a 40-year history in CST examination development. The CST examination is a fully accredited examination by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for surgical technologists. NCCA accreditation assures that the CST examination meets stringent standards of examination development and administration. Certification as a surgical technologist exhibits professional pride, the desire to be recognized for mastery of surgical competencies, and most importantly an ongoing commitment to quality patient care.

There are criteria that a surgical technologist must meet in order to qualify to take the CST examination. For more information on the CST examination or about the NBSTSA, go to the NBSTSA website at, email or call 1-800-707-0057.

For more information on BPCC’s Surgical Tech program, visit

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar Welcomes Football Fans to 43rd Annual Independence Bowl

Shreveport, La. – Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a leading full-service family sports bar that provides gourmet takes on game day favorites, announced its second year as the title sponsor for this year’s Independence Bowl and welcomes football fans nationwide to join the rivalry and festivities. The post-season National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) –sanctioned Division I college football bowl game will host the Duke Blue Devils and the Temple Owls as they face off on Thursday, Dec. 27 at Independence Stadium.

“Walk-On’s is ecstatic to be the title sponsor of the Independence Bowl for the second year running,” said Brandon Landry, Founder of Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. “As a former walk-on for Louisiana State University’s basketball team, collegiate sports hold a significant place in my heart. When I embarked upon opening a restaurant brand that celebrated the spirit of university-level athletics, it was important that it supported the responsibility and character that these sports foster; the Independence Bowl embraced these aspects and was a clear, perfect partnership.”

Walk-On’s will host multiple free, open to the public pre-game events, in partnership with the Independence Bowl Foundation. The events will kick off the night prior to the big game, at 5 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Dec. 26. The night’s events include the following:

5:00 p.m. CST -Pub Crawl (downtown Shreveport/Red River District).

6:00 p.m. CST – Mardi Gras Preview Parade with chef John Folse as grand marshal (Louisiana Boardwalk/Red River District/Texas Street).

7:30 p.m. CST – Block Party with Battle of the Bands and Pep Rally, followed by free concert ft. up-and-coming country band Parish County Line (Red River District).

To kick off game day on Thursday, Dec. 27, the sports-driven family-friendly restaurant will also help host a slew of free events as part of “Fan Fest” to pump up fans and locals alike. Elements of game day events include:

9:00 a.m. CST – Fan Fest tailgate opens.

9:30 a.m. CST – Sales will begin for The World’s Largest Pot of Gumbo, which will be served to guests by Walk-On’s in partnership with world-renowned Louisiana Cajun and Creole chef, John Folse. All guests may purchase a bowl of gumbo for a $5 donation.

Please note, all proceeds from sales will benefit the Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization providing a “home away from home” for military families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.

10:30 a.m. CST – Independence Stadium gates open.

12:30 p.m. CST – Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Game begins.

TBD – Half Time Check Presentation to the Fisher House Foundation. (Total to be determined by gumbo sales).

4:00 p.m. CST – After Party at Great Raft Brewing.

4:00 p.m. CST – Free Postgame Ice Skating at George’s Pond, with Walk-On’s Independence Bowl ticket stub (family friendly).

“The Independence Bowl would not have reached the heights it has without Walk-On’s continued, generous support,” said Missy Setters, Executive Director of the Independence Bowl. “We are honored to host them as the title sponsor for the second year in a row and we’re excited for fans to experience the game day pandemonium.”

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar is the title sponsor of the Independence Bowl for the second year running. Walk-On’s engages its sports centered background to empower collegiate athletes to achieve their goals and in-turn use that go-getter spirit as a pillar for giving back. To learn how you can buy tickets to the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl visit: and for a full schedule of this year’s events visit:

For more information on Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, please visit


Bossier Parish Community College will hold its 80th commencement ceremonies on Friday, December 7, at the College’s Health & Physical Education complex, 6220 E. Texas St., Bossier City, LA.

BPCC Foundation Board Member Dr. Markey W. Pierre and BPCC Foundation President David “Rocky” Rockett are slated to give the commencement addresses at the graduation ceremonies.

Dr. Pierre will address graduates at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony for the Division of Science, Nursing & Allied Health and the Division of Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Rockett will address graduates at 2:00 p.m. for the divisions of Behavioral-Social Sciences; Business; Communication and Performing Arts; and Liberal Arts.

At the afternoon ceremony, students from BPCC’s College Transition Programs, who have completed requirements for the Louisiana high school diploma, will receive their certificates. The College Transition Programs include Middle College (High School Equivalency Program), English as a Second Language, and High School Equivalency in Spanish. These programs help students identify a plan for their lives beyond a high school diploma.

In observance of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (Dec 7), we will also be recognizing veterans from World War II during the graduation ceremonies.

For graduates’ friends and family who cannot attend the commencement ceremonies on Friday, both programs will be streamed LIVE online at


THURSDAY, DEC 6 – Pinning & Nursing Honor Society Ceremony for Fall 2018 Nursing Class

BPCC will hold the pinning ceremony for its fall graduating class of nursing students at 6:00 pm on Thursday, December 6 in the Health & Physical Education Complex (GYM) on the BPCC campus, 6220 E. Texas St., Bossier City, LA.

“The pinning ceremony is a time-honored tradition in nursing,” says BPCC Nursing Program Administrator Sharon Turley, MSN, RN. “Its history can be traced back to the Crusades of the 12th century when the Maltese cross was adopted by Crusaders to wear on their habits as a symbol of service. Throughout the years, the symbol was modified and eventually was given by the hospital school of nursing to students to identify them as nurses who were educated to serve the health needs of society.”

During the pinning ceremony, the Beta Zeta chapter of the Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society at BPCC will induct its new members. In order to qualify for induction, these prospective members had to complete a capstone project as well as maintain an overall B GPA average and a B in all nursing classes.

The fall 2018 class of registered nurses will graduate from the College on Friday, Dec 7, 2018.

The Bossier Night Market and Bossier Parish’s 175th Anniversary Celebration

This will be the largest one day vendor event in the Ark-La-Tex!

Over 200+ Vendors and Dozens of Food Trucks. Free Admission-Free Parking

The Bossier Night Market is December 15th from 3-9 p.m! FOOD TRUCKS & 200+ Vendors selling their unique wares.

FREE Admission, FREE Family Fun, 100,000+ Twinkling Lights, and Live Music.
•Market Goods, Unique Food, Free Samples, Holiday Shopping, Wood Crafts, Jewelry, Art, Jams, Fall Gifts, Jelly, Salsa, Clothing, Vintage, Ceramics, Tamales, Accessories, Spice and Seasoning Blends, 12+ Food Trucks, Metal and Stone Craft, Wreaths, Kettle Corn, Furniture, Fruits, Vegetables, Paintings, Retail, Decor, Skin Care, Baked Goods, Candy, Handcrafted Soap, Candles, Crochet, Home Decor, Honey, Coffee, Cocoa, Lemonade, BBQ, Asian, Cajun Cuisine, Free Kids Activities & Much More!

*Free Parking and Pet Friendly*

Temple to Match Up Against Duke in 2018 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl

Shreveport, LA – The 43rd edition of the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl will feature a match-up of two first-time Independence Bowl participants, the Temple Owls of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and Duke Blue Devils of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Temple (8-4, 7-1 AAC), led by second-year head coach Geoff Collins, are making their fourth consecutive appearance in a bowl game with the 2018 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl. They are the second American Athletic Conference representative in Independence Bowl history, with Tulsa playing Virginia Tech in the 2015 Independence Bowl.

The Owls defeated Maryland Terrapins in the third week of the season, and their lone defeat in conference play came against the eighth-ranked Central Florida Knights. The Temple roster boasts six players who were selected to the AAC’s All-Conference First Team and the AAC Special Teams Player of the Year, Isaiah Wright.

Duke (7-5, 3-5 ACC) is led by head coach David Cutcliffe, who is making his fourth appearance in the Independence Bowl. Cutcliffe’s Ole Miss teams is won all three games in 1998, 1999 and 2002, and he is a member of the Independence Bowl Foundation Hall of Honor.

The Blue Devils earned three strong out-of-conference victories against bowl-eligible teams, defeating the Army Black Knights, Northwestern Wildcats and Baylor Bears in the first three weeks of the season. Duke also earned victories over the bowl-eligible Miami Hurricanes and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this season.

The 2018 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl will be the first ever match up of Temple and Duke.

Tickets to the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl can be purchased through Ticketmaster by going to, or by calling the Bowl office at (318) 221-0712 or toll free at (888) 414-BOWL.

This year, fans with a ticket to the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl who are in attendance have an opportunity to win a new Ford F-150 through the Ticket to Drive promotion, courtesy of Gateway Tire & Service Centers and Yokohama Tires.

The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl’s game week will once again be full of events for the public to attend. The schedule of public events is listed below:

  • December 23 at 5:30 PM (Shreveport Municipal Auditorium): “Big Game Show” presented by Mike and Judy McCarthy
  • December 24 at 7:30 AM (Shreveport Convention Center): Fellowship of Christian Athletes Breakfast
  • December 26 at 5:00 PM (Red River District and Downtown Shreveport): Pub Crawl
  • December 26 at 6:00 PM (Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets, Downtown and Red River District): Mardi Gras Preview Parade
  • December 26 at 7:30 PM (Red River District): Pep Rally and Block Party featuring Parish County Line Concert
  • December 27 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (State Fair Grounds): Coca-Cola Fan Fest and World’s Largest Pot of Gumbo


The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl is the 11th-oldest bowl game, set to play the 43rd edition of the game on December 27, 2018 at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl enjoys primary conference agreements with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Southeastern Conference (SEC), as well as backup agreements with the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and Conference USA (C-USA). The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl and Independence Bowl Foundation are prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance the economic impact and growth of our community. For more information, visit or follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @IndyBowl.

CHRISTUS Physician Group To Host Toy Drive for Cara Center

(Shreveport, La.) Local CHRISTUS Physician Group practices along with the three Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Centers will host a toy drive for the Cara Center. The drive is from Dec. 3-14, and the community is asked to donate new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages (newborn through upper teens).

The Cara Center is one of the 17 Children’s Miracle Network Hospital programs at CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System. The center provides medical examinations for children when abuse, either physical or sexual, or neglect, is suspected. Serving ten parishes in NWLA and in partnership with LSU Health Shreveport, Cara Center provides compassionate medical care and aftercare in the diagnosis, management and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

“CHRISTUS Physician Group is proud to support the Cara Center toy drive,” said Lisa Britt, Vice President of Physician Operations for CHRISTUS Physician Group Shreveport-Bossier. “Our physicians, extenders, and Associates really love to give back during the holidays. The children at the Cara Center have seen the darkest of days, and we hope we can provide some joy to them this Christmas season.”

Each child at the Cara Center receives a toy after the examination. The center is also in need of interactive toys for the waiting area.

“Children who have endured a medical examination because of suspected abuse need a moment to simply be a kid, to have joy and happiness and the ability to be in control of something during a difficult time,” said Amy Heron, Director of CHRISTUS Foundation Shreveport-Bossier. “Providing an age-appropriate toy to the Cara Center is one small way the Cara Center team helps children during the holiday season. We are grateful for the support and commitment from our community to help children this Christmas.”

Cara Center Toy Drive Locations:

CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates – Shreveport Bossier
1549 E. 70th Street
Shreveport, Louisiana 71105

CHRISTUS Primary Care – Shreveport
9091 Ellerbe Road
Shreveport, Louisiana 71106

CHRISTUS Primary Care – South Bossier
1701 Jimmie Davis Highway
Bossier City, Louisiana 71112

CHRISTUS Primary Care Associates – Shreveport Bossier
1460 East Bert Kouns
Shreveport, Louisiana 71105

CHRISTUS Primary Care Partners – Shreveport Bossier
9220 Ellerbe Road
Shreveport, Louisiana 71106

Velocity Care – Bossier City
2151 Airline Drive
Bossier City, Louisiana 71111

Velocity Care – Kings Crossing
7045 Youree Drive
Shreveport, Louisiana 71105

Velocity Care – Mansfield Road
9300 Mansfield Road
Shreveport, Louisiana 71118

Bossier Schools Takes On Caddo In 5th Annual Red Kettle Challenge

Bells will be ringing and children singing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, December
1 as Bossier Schools spreads holiday cheer while engaging in some friendly
competition during the fifth annual Red Kettle Challenge versus Caddo Parish

This has fast become a favorite tradition among employees, their families and students
throughout Bossier Parish and it keeps getting bigger. Bossier Schools will be at seven
locations this year staffing the iconic red kettles, ringing bells and asking shoppers to
donate to help The Salvation Army “Do the Most Good.”

Across the Red River, Caddo Schools will be doing the same. The school district
collecting the most money during the Red Kettle Challenge will be named the
following week by The Salvation Army. Last year, the two school districts’ collection
efforts amounted to nearly $10,000 in a single day. The competition was close;
Bossier Schools raised $4,959.94 and Caddo, $4,550.94.
Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith will kick off the Red Kettle Challenge at
10 a.m. at Walmart (home side doors) at 2536 Airline Drive in Bossier. He will be
joined by the Principal and Assistant Principal at Legacy Elementary. Different
individuals and school groups will be staffing each hour at all seven locations and the
media is invited to stop by during any shift.

The public is also encouraged to visit any one of Bossier Schools’ seven kettle sites
and give generously as the district pays it forward in an effort to help others less
fortunate enjoy the holiday season.

Locations being staffed in Bossier Parish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. include:
*Walmart at 2536 Airline Drive (both doors)
*Kroger at 1050 George Dement Blvd
*Kroger at 4100 Barksdale Blvd
*Walmart Neighborhood Market at 4000 Barksdale Blvd
*Brookshire’s at 6280 LA 3 in Benton
*Brookshire’s at 1125 Hwy 80 East, Haughton
*Bass Pro at the Louisiana Boardwalk (new location)

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl to Feature Improved Rally on the Red Festivities, Including Parish County Line Concert

Shreveport, LA – The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl is hosting the second annual Rally on the Red in 2018, featuring three unique, upgraded and entirely-free events.

Rally on the Red will be hosted the day before the game, Wednesday, December 26, and the festivities will kick off at 5:00 pm with the Pub Crawl. This year’s edition of the Pub Crawl will highlight 12 unique bars and restaurants throughout downtown Shreveport. Check-in will be in the Red River District, where attendees will receive a credential and list of locations. Special prizes will be awarded to different participants throughout the Pub Crawl. The final list of locations will be released at a later date, and up to date information can be found at and official Walk-On’s Independence Bowl social media accounts.

As the Pub Crawl is making it’s way through downtown Shreveport, the much-improved Mardi Gras Preview Parade will start at 6:00 pm at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets. The parade, which will feature the two school’s marching bands, over 15 Mardi Gras floats and more, will then make its way over the Texas Street Bridge and into downtown Shreveport. It will continue through downtown Shreveport and end in the Red River District. The 2018 Mardi Gras Preview Parade will feature at least 10 area Mardi Gras Krewes and will be televised live on KTBS.

After the conclusion of the Mardi Gras Preview Parade, the festivities will conclude with a trio of events in the Red River District. Following the parade, the two school bands will conduct a pep rally and battle of the bands at approximately 7:30 PM. The Pep Rally and Battle of the Bands will be followed by the final event of the night, a free concert from the Baton Rouge-based country band Parish County Line. Beer and wine will be for sale in the outdoor area of the Red River District, with other offerings available in the surrounding businesses.

Parish County Line is a country music band based in Baton Rouge, LA. They formed in 2012 when Derek Shipley of Centreville, MS met Travis Hood of Denham Springs, LA and decided they wanted to bring 90’s Country Music back to South Louisiana. It wasn’t but a few days later they formed Parish County Line. Shortly after forming, they were joined by Ross Pilcher (St. Francisville, LA) on lead guitar, and they added Trent Ciaccio (Baton Rouge, LA) on drums in 2015. At the end of 2017, they added Zach Stephens (Watson, LA) on steel guitar to really complete the “True Country” sound they had always been looking for.

Their first EP was released in the summer of 2017, and the group has since taken the Baton Rouge music scene by storm, including winning DIG Magazine’s Greatest Local Band for the second year in a row. Things changed drastically for PCL after signing their first Official Sponsorship with Bud Light in 2017, and the future seems very bright for the boys. PCL has recently shared the stage with the likes of Diamond Rio, Tracy Lawrence, Dylann Scott and Kane Brown.

The last few months the group has been focused on writing new songs and building an unforgettable on-stage performance. They are set to release their second EP in the late spring of 2019.

For up-to-date information on Rally on the Red, stay tuned to and the official Walk-On’s Independence Bowl social media accounts.


The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl is the 11th-oldest bowl game, set to play the 43rd edition of the game on December 27, 2018 at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl enjoys primary conference agreements with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Southeastern Conference (SEC), as well as backup agreements with the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and Conference USA (C-USA). The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl and Independence Bowl Foundation are prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance the economic impact and growth of our community. For more information, visit or follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @IndyBowl.