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Big Deal Challenge Meetup

Posted on: April 21st, 2015 by Laurie Suire No Comments

innov8-blog-crowley

Recruitment Meetup: Crowley Opera House

Where: 505 N Parkerson Ave, Crowley, LA 70526
When: May 13, 2015, Time TBD

Innov8 will be conducting a regional tour to find the best ideas and startups to participate in our first annual Big Deal Challenge. The Big Deal Challenge is a shark-tank style series of events that will give new entrepreneurs the chance to take their business to the next level. Finalists will recieve an all expense paid trip to New Orleans and have the opportunity to pitch in front of big money investors at New Orleans Entrepreneur week in March 2016.

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OneAcadia to Host OneRESOURCE 2-13-15

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Laurie Suire No Comments

As part of their Partner Education series, OneAcadia will host their second “power lunch” this Friday, February 13 at the Rice Palace in Crowley.  Named OneRESOURCE, the event features information on opportunities and resources that can help local businesses enhance their competitive edge.

 

“We are excited to have Ryan LaGrange from the Lafayette Economic Development Authority present on Workforce Development opportunities for our parish employers,” says Pat Bordes, Chairman of the One Acadia Board.  “Some of our own board members have utilized these state programs and found them to be very beneficial. Yet we’ve also learned that many of our partners, some who employ a significant number, are unaware of them.”

 

LaGrange has been the Manager of Workforce Development with LEDA since April 2008 serving as an advisor to the Acadiana business community regarding workforce issues including employee recruitment efforts, retention of existing employees, and acquiring funds to help offset training expenses. Ryan joined the staff at LEDA after working for the Louisiana Workforce Commission (previously Department of Labor) for more than seven years.

 

In addition to workforce development resources, LaGrange will share about growing industries and talent in the region. Business leaders and partners who attend will gain insight they can use not only to increase their own business, but also to affect their bottom line.

 

“The early topics we’ve selected can help a business stretch their dollars,” says Laurie Suire, President/CEO of OneAcadia.  “It’s part of our mission to help existing businesses thrive, and sharing resources they may not be aware of through this series is just one way we can have an impact.”

 

The noon February 13th OneRESOURCE event is being sponsored by Acadia General Hospital, the largest private employer in the parish. The lunch is free for OneAcadia partners and $20 for non-partners. Registration by February 12th is required.  Call 337-789-5244 or email info@OneAcadia.com for more information.

OneAcadia Launches New Website and Partner Drive

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

home page

The parish-wide business alliance launches a full-service website as they begin their Partner Drive for 2015.  OneAcadia, closing on their first year of serving as the parish economic development leader, is moving forward in 2015 armed with a published Program of Work, OnePLAN, and the vision for progressive economic growth in Acadia Parish.

Chairman Pat Bordes expresses his thanks to Charter Partners and stresses the need for support of the mission to continue.  “Gaining the enthusiastic support of more than ninety partners from throughout Acadiana in our first year confirmed that this group is something our parish has wanted for a long time.  We are still in our infancy, and continued partnerships along with new partnerships is critical for OneAcadia to perpetuate.”

Bordes continues, “Partnership is an investment in the future of Acadia Parish.”

In reflecting on the organization’s first year, Bordes says they are off to a strong start. “Our Partners have made it possible for us to make some important headway in creating a state of economic readiness for Acadia Parish.  We’ve established a rapport with leaders that paves the way for greater achievements which will be wins for the parish.”

One of those wins is the roll-out of the OneAcadia website, created to be a comprehensive source for Acadia Parish information.  The enhanced online presence created with the new website is a big coup for OneAcadia and Acadia Parish as a whole, shares OneAcadia Board member Chris LeBas.

“The site offers a phenomenal amount of information about Acadia – showcasing each municipality, an extensive list of business resources, and likely the most exhaustive list of Louisiana Business Incentives on any site,” says LeBas.  “Acadia Parish is open for business, and this online kiosk has an abundance of market information for industry looking to expand.”

Laurie Suire, OneAcadia President/CEO shares that the new site is also full-service for Partners.  “Charter partners as well as those interested in becoming partners may complete their application online and pay using a credit card or Paypal.”

Suire explains that partners will also be able to update their own feature listing in the developing Partner Directory, keeping it current with the most accurate information that can include their logo, contact information, website if they have one, and even a map to their business location.

Partner Enrollment for new and renewing partners is Dec. 1-31st.  For more information on Partnership visit the new website www.OneAcadia.com or call 337-789-5244.

Rapid Pitch Night Announced

Posted on: November 6th, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

Ready. Set. Pitch! The Opportunity Machine, in collaboration with Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE), UL Lafayette and OneAcadia, is hosting Rapid Pitch— an event for Acadiana entrepreneurs to pitch their concept to a live audience. The event will take place on Friday, November 21, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., at LITE, 537 Cajundome Blvd. in Lafayette.

 

While pitch events are not new, the format for this event is a little different. Rapid Pitch is formatted for budding entrepreneurs to share their concept in three minutes to potential investors, partners and customers.

 

“The three-minute limit not only allows for more presenters at the single event, but also forces those pitching to really drill down to the three or four key elements they feel makes their idea a stand-out opportunity,” says Zachary Barker, Executive Director of the Opportunity Machine.

 

To attract a broad spectrum of applicants to Rapid Pitch the host partners are reaching out to entrepreneurs throughout Acadiana. “The entrepreneurial spirit should be celebrated, and our goal in participating in Rapid Pitch is to encourage that spirit,” says Laurie Suire, President/CEO of OneAcadia, an Acadia Parish economic development business alliance. “By cultivating a network of entrepreneurs in our region, we have the opportunity to identify some truly viable businesses that will impact our economy.”

 

Fourteen entrepreneurs will be selected to present for Rapid Pitch. Those interested in participating should apply online at rapidpitch.org by November 13. The slate of participants will be selected from the applicants. The Opportunity Machine staff will provide feedback and assistance on their presentations prior to the event.

 

The audience is just as important as the presenters according to Barker. “Having a broad cross-section of audience members is imperative for pitch events. Those who are pitching are not always in need of financial capital. Often, they need a partner with a specific skill set that can catapult a good idea into an outstanding and marketable product.”

 

Those who would like to be in the audience for the event can also register at rapidpitch.org.

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OneAcadia Hosts Parish CEOs

Posted on: October 14th, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

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CEOs of OneAcadia Platinum level partners were invited to attend the parish-wide business alliance’s first OneCEO Roundtable on October 8th. The lunch event, held at Chef Roy’s in Rayne and sponsored by Southwind Healthcare & Rehabilitation and Encore Healthcare & Rehabilitation, brought together twenty-five leaders for candid discussion on the challenges and opportunities in Acadia Parish. Prior to the occasion, each CEO completed a survey to gauge the economic climate of the parish. The CEOs at this inaugural event spent a lot of time getting to know one another, discussing the results of the survey, and laying important groundwork for what will become a regular meeting of these influential Chiefs.

 

During introductions, CEOs were asked to share what the best advice they had received. Among those responses were “Hire good people and get out of their way”; “Be an example”; and “Being kind costs you nothing”.

 

President/CEO of OneAcadia Laurie Suire says the feedback OneAcadia has received about the gathering has been very positive. “One hundred percent of our attendees said they see value in the event and would attend a future such event. This is an influential group of leaders that really has a pulse on what is going on economically in the parish.”

 

One CEO said this caliber of networking is an opportunity he doesn’t get often and was excited to get to interact with other CEOs he had heard of but had never gotten the chance to meet.

 

Chairman of the OneAcadia Board, Pat Bordes, expressed his excitement about the opportunity to have such a concentration of leaders in one room. “Having open conversations with these business leaders, hearing about positive programs they’ve implemented in their workplace, and learning about what they see as challenges will help give our Board greater direction on creating opportunities for economic change.”

 

The lunch was facilitated by Mr. Lee Lawrence of Crowley who is a former CEO in the healthcare industry. “He did a great job, keeping things on point, offering light-hearted commentary, and even came prepared with a referee flag,” says Suire.

 

The OneCEO Roundtable event is by invitation only to the CEOs of Platinum Partners of OneAcadia and will be held regularly. For information on joining OneAcadia contact Laurie Suire at 337-789-5244 or email Info@OneAcadia.com.

 

 

Picture Caption

Laurie Suire welcomes Platinum Level CEOs to the lunch facilitated by Lee Lawrence.

 

Free National Alert System Promoted

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

The Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office is making a concerted effort to register as many parish residents as possible for the NIXLE system. A technology based alert-system, Nixle provides real-time messages via email, text and/or voice notification of information that is geographically relevant to its subscribers.

Nixle sign up pic

Maxine Trahan, Public Information Officer with the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office, who issues the advisories for the Sheriff’s Department, has made it a personal mission to spread the word about this free service. “This may be the last line of communication between us and residents in the event of an emergency like a hurricane,” says Trahan.

 

“The service is available at no cost to both the recipients and the agencies who sign up to use it. At this time, most local law enforcement agencies utilize it, but schools and businesses can use it as well to communicate with parents and employees,” Trahan shares.

 

Trahan with Rachel Trahan from the Crowley Police Department was at Wal-Mart in Crowley on Wednesday, October 1st and then with Brandon Dupuis from the Rayne Police Department at Walgreen’s in Rayne on Thursday, October 2nd to generate public awareness for the service.

 

Laurie Suire, Executive Director of OneAcadia, was on hand at Wal-Mart as well helping to register new Nixle users. “As part of our community building outreach and public safety mission we want to support our local law enforcement agencies. The Nixle system is timely and relevant and incredibly easy to sign up for.”

 

One lady at Wal-Mart shared she was already on it, and had not only signed up for her local alerts but also for the zip codes of her grown children who live far away. “It’s another way I can be connected to them,” she said.

 

“You can sign up to receive information for multiple areas. Signing up for the zip code in which you work would be helpful,” says Suire.

 

So just how easy is it to sign up? The fastest way is to begin a new text message to 888777, then enter your zip code as the message and send. You can also tailor your notifications by signing up on the internet. Go to Nixle.com, create an account (no charge) and select the agencies you’d like to receive alerts from. You can specify the types of notifications you want to receive – alerts, advisories, community notifications, Amber alerts and National notices. You can also select how you’d like to receive those messages – text (SMS), email, and/or voice messages.

 

For more information on the Nixle system, go to Nixle.com or call Maxine Trahan at 788-8788.

Laurie Suire

337-789-5244

OneAcadia Hosts “Power Lunch” for Partners

Posted on: September 3rd, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

OneRESOURCE: Capital Resources is inaugural event

Education Committee Event  OneResource Photo 9-14 smalljpg

It was quite by chance that OneAcadia came to know of the South Central Planning & Development Commission and the resources they provide to areas like Acadia Parish.

Laurie Suire, Executive Director of OneAcadia tells how the parish-wide business alliance was introduced to the SCPDC. “It was just some friends getting together when one of our partners overheard Monique Boulet speak of an organization she had just begun to work for. I love this story because it shines a light on how we can truly come together to build a meaningful organization for all of us….sharing resources and opportunities.”

Members of the OneAcadia Board later met with Boulet and Cullen Curole of the SCPDC and discovered that their organization, supported through a federal program under the Delta Regional Authority, offers an abundance of resources to our region including multiple federal loans. Upon hearing that there is more than $3 million available to qualified businesses, Suire knew this was a group they wanted to introduce to their partners.

“Community banks are the backbone of economic development. The additional funding opportunities that the SCPDC brings to the table in partnership with our financial institutions makes for a greater pool of capital resources for start-ups, business expansion and retention in our parish.”

It was around this concept that OneAcadia centered its first OneRESOURCE topic.

Suire welcomed the thirty-five partners attending the Wednesday luncheon at the Rice Palace emphasizing the goal of the parish-wide business alliance and expressing how OneRESOURCE is a pertinent partner benefit. “OneAcadia’s mission is to foster an environment for economic development in our parish, and sharing resources available to you for success is among one of the best ways we believe we can support that mission.”

 

After recognizing six of the eight OneAcadia partner financial institutions in attendance, Laurie introduced Cullen Curole who shared about the SCPDC, its role as a quasi-government agency linking communities with federal resources, and the federal loan programs for which Acadia Parish specifically qualifies. The largest pool of funds, Cullen shared, comes from “Katrina money” appropriated by the federal government to be loaned at a low interest rate for subsidizing growth in the affected areas.

 

Curole emphasized that their position is to work with community banks to grant these types of loans. “We are not in competition with banks. Instead we are an opportunity for them to service their customers by providing another avenue for them to find funding for projects they may not be able to otherwise fully support. We want to work with you to help entrepreneurs and businesses realize the growth they seek.”

 

OneRESOURCE is an educational series for OneAcadia partners designed to equip them with knowledge and tools for business.

 

To date, OneAcadia has more than eighty-five partners. Businesses interested in joining may call 337-789-5244 or visit the organization’s web site www.OneAcadia.com.

Rayne Chief Hosts OneBreakfast

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

Untitled-12OneAcadia board members met with parish law enforcement leaders during their quarterly OneBreakfast on Thursday, August 28. Parish leaders learned about UCR (Uniform Crime Record) ratings from the chiefs and sheriff present and about Nixle, a free alert service for public safety agencies and residents, from Maxine Trahan. This OneBreakfast was hosted by Rayne Chief of Police Carol Stelly. In attendance were Laurie Suire, OneAcadia Executive Director; Danny Nugier, OneAcadia Board Member; Bryan Francis, OneAcadia Board member and Public Safety Chairman; Maxine Trahan, APSO; Pat Bordes, OneAcadia Chairman of the Board; Chief KP Gibson, Crowley; Chief Carol Stelly, Rayne; Acadia Parish Sheriff Wayne Melancon; Keith Latiolai, APSO; Kim Bernard, OneAcadia Board Member; and Eddie Ware, OneAcadia Advisory Board.

Letter to The Editor

Posted on: July 17th, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

Dear Editor,

Economic Development is a phrase that goes far beyond business and industry. It includes all aspects of a region that impact its residents and businesses – current and potential. It includes education, quality of life, and public policy. These are the areas of focus for OneAcadia.

 

We just completed a parish-wide circuit to share the message of OneAcadia: “What’s good for part of the parish is good for all of the parish.” We would like to thank Crowley, Rayne, Iota, and Church Point for their hospitality and support during our “tour” and for embracing the theme of unity.

 

“Love your community more than it deserves. You will get the community you deserve.” This idea shared by a leader in Acadiana resonated with our board as the fundamental reason we are building OneAcadia. The concept is unifying – and it’s what brought a handful of business and community leaders together more than two years ago to begin creating OneAcadia.

 

The leader who spoke of “romancing your parish,” Nathan Norris, has an extensive background in community building and urban development, having traveled the country for more than a decade for that expressed purpose. Essentially, he is well-versed in designs and opportunities that make a region attractive.

 

Not from this area, Norris shares an enthusiasm for Acadia that a life-long resident might. His assessment of Acadia is an intelligent one based on experience and exposure to so many other parts of the world.

 

If you believe in Acadia Parish and its potential as we do, you are not alone. “Acadia parish is a gem,” Norris says. He complements our compact communities, our preservation of agricultural land that lines the Interstate, our diversity, and our “sexy block size” and road grid system.

 

This “outsider’s” excitement for our parish – what it is and what it can become – is contagious, reminding us that we should be the best Acadia Parish we can be. With a clear vision we can become more – playing to our strengths and offering a home for residents and businesses that is uniquely ours.

 

We are in an enviable position: having diversity in culture and industry; offering a genuine atmosphere of community – both in our individual municipalities and as a united region; hosting coveted transportation features including roadways like I-10 and Highway 90, waterways and railways; and providing a choice to live in “Mayberry” communities with easy access to the hustle and bustle of larger cities. Residents and businesses who call Acadia Parish home have much to be proud of.

 

OneAcadia endeavors to be a driving force behind economic development opportunities and a parish-wide vision that will strengthen our position in the developing Acadiana “super region.”

 

Our search for partners who believe in this mission is ongoing. Designed as a business-alliance, OneAcadia welcomes partnerships with individuals as well. Partnership information is available at www.OneAcadia.com as well as on OneAcadia’s Facebook page.   Thank you to those 70 plus businesses and individuals who have become charter partners to date!

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

 

Laurie Suire

Executive Director, OneAcadia

 

OneAcadia

PO Box 1582

Crowley, LA 70527-1582

337-789-5244

OneAcadia Announces Guest Presenter for OneCOMMITTEE

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by Laurie Suire No Comments

Nathan-Norris

OneAcadia will host its second OneCOMMITTEE Event at The Bank in Rayne this Thursday, June 26, from 4 to 6 pm. The event brings together business and community leaders from across the parish for round-table committee discussions and action.

Attendees can expect an exciting addition to the program. “We’ve invited Nathan Norris, CEO of Downtown Lafayette Development Authority, to share his message of vision and community partnership. Sustainability, economic development, and community building are among his many areas of expertise,” Executive Director, Laurie Suire shares.

“A visionary and activist, Nathan created an urban-development advisory company nearly twelve years ago building a team of designers, marketers, and advocates whose focus was empowering the civic-minded to create stronger communities. We are fortunate to have him in Acadiana now and thrilled to have him share is message with our partners. No doubt his presentation will spark round-table discussions that follow.”

Danny Nugier, Board member of OneAcadia explains that this event will be the last that is “open” to those who have not yet joined OneAcadia in partnership. “We’ve given this access so that leaders can witness the value of OneAcadia and to build partnerships to grow and sustain the organization. Partnering with OneAcadia is smart – for the partner and for the parish. Opportunities like this are only one of the many benefits.”

 

Check-in for OneCOMMITTEE is at 4 p.m. Norris will speak from 4:15-4:45 with Committee Round-Tables following until 5:45. The event wraps up with networking until 6pm. To register for OneCOMMITTEE or for more information on partnering with OneAcadia, email LMSuire@gmail.com or call 337-789-5244.

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