THE BIG STORY
Like many of us in Baton Rouge, John Graves, president of Evans-Graves Engineers, watched with interest as Hurricane Isaac approached Louisiana. But he had a lot more on his mind than maybe losing power, a few roof shingles or some trees. More...
Key to business
One of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World, Jay Adelson—best known for founding and running companies such as Digg Inc. and SimpleGeo Inc.—will serve as the keynote speaker of the Louisiana Technology and Innovation Breakfast on Oct. 10. More...
In the red
BREC gets 14.463 mills of the parish's ad valorem taxes, which last year generated some $49 million for the department. On top of that, the department collects user fees on facilities such as its golf courses, water park and zoo. So why, some may wonder, was it forced to borrow $8 million last month, just two-thirds of the way into the fiscal year? More...
Derek Gordon, who in 2006 returned to his native Baton Rouge to become CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, died Sept. 10. He was 57. More...
Despite cutbacks in higher education spending in recent years, Louisiana has spent an average of $77 more per student each year—the most of any state over the past 25 years—according to a new report from a nonprofit group tracking state funding of higher education. More...
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge is a Christian-based ministry that builds and renovates houses in partnership with the community. It provides opportunities for families in need to purchase their home, build the community and improve their lives.
RULING YEAR 1989
TOTAL ASSETS $8,743,478
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Lynn Clark
Terrilyn Hannan, president
Doze Butler, vice president
Jean Rohloff, secretary
Davis Prescott, treasurer
Donna Stuart, past president
Jim Ellis, legal counsel
Rev. Rene Brown
Rev. Fred Jeff-Smith
Is that ethical?
Your favorite customer has forgotten some important paperwork and, because he considers you a friend, he has asked you to cover for him.
“Sign here and back date; no problems,” he says.
The problem: You know it's wrong, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, but you hate to say no. More...
ON THE BEAT
Shortly after receiving good ink in both Business Report and The Advocate for the expansion of its school cafeteria and disaster relief food service division, Piccadilly Restaurants filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sept. 11. Piccadilly Restaurants CEO Tom Sandeman says the company's surprising move was the result of an attempted “hostile takeover” by New York-based Atalaya Capital Management, which acquired the Baton Rouge-based company's secured debt in April. While it was attempting to reorganize debt this year, Piccadilly retained New Orleans-based public relations firm Peter A. Mayer and Associates to promote the growth of its food service division. Sales doubled in the division in each of the last two years, and are expected to do so again in 2012, but it is still only about 10% of the overall business. After Bloomberg and Daily Report reported the Chapter 11 filing Sept. 12 Peter Mayer Public Relations Senior Account Executive Katherine LeBlanc said, “We found out today,” and gave no further comment.
LSU's ticket to ride
A new revenue-sharing pact between the LSU Athletics Department and the university at large is in line with recommendations made by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a leading national nonprofit that presses for intercollegiate athletics programs to operate within the educational mission of their respective colleges and universities. The deal will send at least $36 million of athletics department revenue to academic endeavors over the next five years. Knight Commission Executive Director Amy Perko says the deal appears to be among the first of its kind in college sports. “There are only about 22 athletics departments that consistently generate positive net revenues,” she says. “There are some programs in the high-profile conferences that have, in some cases, given back to their universities, but I don't know that I've seen anything as systematic as LSU's recent announcement.”
The planned artists community on Government Street next to the Circa 1857 complex, at the intersection of South 19th Street, is “good to go” now that a commitment for financing the project has been secured, says developer Danny McGlynn. “As soon as the New Year's fireworks are done, we're going to begin moving on construction,” says McGlynn, who owns Circa 1857 with business partner Dennis Hargroder. The plan calls for a mixed-use development comprising about 30 apartments—at least half of which would be rent-restricted for designated artists—as well as studio space and about 7,000 square feet of retail space.
Signed, sealed, and leaving
Staples, the world's largest office supply company, will be closing its $2 million call center on Highlandia Drive when its lease expires at the end of this year, if not before. Property owner Randy Poche, whose Baton Rouge-based Superior Office Products owns the building in which Staples has been leasing 20,000 square feet of space since 2007, tells Daily Report he was notified earlier this year of Staples' plans and expects the company to be out before December. A local Staples office manager says the facility was employing 200 workers until earlier this year. It currently employs 91.
The new normal
The sale of the historic Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center closed recently. Kevin Gallagher, senior vice president of Prism Hotels & Resorts, which took over management of the downtown property earlier this year, says Prism will continue to run it in partnership with the new owner, RockBridge Capital, a Columbus, Ohio, hotel investment firm. RockBridge is acquiring the hotel from Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the for-profit arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, for $40 million. Commercial Properties spent $70 million restoring the hotel. “You never look back in commercial real estate because it makes you crazy,” says Gallagher. “What was a value five years ago is not anymore. It's the new normal, but as investors we prefer to characterize it as not a drop in value but, simply, a new value.”
Senior vice president, human resources
Hometown: Waco, Texas
With more than 20 years of experience in human resources, Susan Kelliher has an impressive background, including talent acquisition and development of people. Before joining Albemarle in February, she held high-ranking positions at Hewlett-Packard and Home Depot, among others. To relax, she enjoys spending free time with her daughter and exercising.
I think Baton Rouge is charming and has enough to do and a lot of potential for more. I moved here from San Diego, so I miss sidewalks and bike lanes a lot. However, I enjoy being able to run on flat ground all the time.
Overseeing human resources for a multinational company, it is a trick to get the right balance of global consistency, while being responsive to local customs and regulatory requirements. We still need to work on expanding our U.S.-centric thinking about people, but it is great to see the number of employees at Albemarle who have had assignments out of their home country.
The greatest personal obstacle I've overcome was the time I was rejected for an internal promotion. I re-evaluated myself and identified what I needed to do differently to be successful. Six months later the fellow who got the job resigned, and I was promoted. After six months in the new role, the division vice president commented he could not imagine working without me.
For my first job I worked at my father's produce stand, until I could lie about my age and become an Avon lady.
So far, my greatest professional accomplishment happened during my tenure at Home Depot. I led all human resources mergers and acquisitions. In one year we completed 22 deals. I am most proud of one in particular: Home Depot's purchase of Chem-Dry. We bought a small private franchise business where we had no prior experience and turned it into a service add-on to our flooring sales and installation business. The result was expanded business for both enterprises. And the Chem-Dry employees felt they were treated very well in the transition and ended up growing and progressing with Home Depot.
Click here to read the complete Q&A with Kelliher.
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