Back when we first started making Out to Lunch in New Orleans, one of our earliest guests was a young woman by the name of Amy Chenevert. Amy had gone to a football game and realized that all the guys were wearing fan fashion, but there was nothing fashionable for women to wear on game day. So Amy started up a company that made gameday apparel for women sports fans. That was back in 2007. During the 2019 football season, a new piece of women’s sports apparel started popping up. If you don’t have one yourself, you’ve probably seen someone wearing it. It’s a sparkly, sequined sports jacket, in appropriate Saints, Tigers, and other team colors. That sparkly jacket marked Amy Chenevert’s return to sports fashion. After taking some time away from her business, Amy is back at the head of her company, Tru Colors Gameday. The company makes fashion items specifically for women to wear and take to the game on game day, centered on a very specific NFL women's fashion accessory, the clear bag.  Game Day Every Day the New Orleans Saints, the LSU Tigers, and every other successful sports team know how to go out on the field and win. Everybody knows their position. Everybody knows the rules. Everybody on the team knows exactly what to do. But they still have a coach. You can’t even imagine a football team without a coach. When an organization with a lot of moving parts is dependent on communication and on-the-fly decision making, it makes sense to have someone who can stand back and see the big picture. Which is why businesses have coaches too. Like Julie Couret. The companies Julie coaches are an impressive list that include GE, the Marriot, Sheraton, Entergy, Ochsner Health System, and many others. Recently the question for a lot of businesses has gone from, “When will things get back to normal?” to “How do we survive if things never go back to normal?” Julie imparts a great deal of wisdom for businesses coping with Covid in this conversation. Photos from this show by Jill Lafleur are at our website. More conversation about the future of the NFL season with Saints CFO Ed Lang is here.
"Everything is changing" is a phrase we don't get to use often about describing society. But living through 2020 we know it's pretty accurate right now. Things that were simple and fundamental, like going to the doctor and interacting with co-workers, are no longer so simple. On this edition of Out to Lunch we're looking at changes in how we visit doctors and digital distancing. Digital Distancing How’s the social distancing going? Are you managing to keep 6 feet away from everybody else? How do you figure out what 6 feet is? We’ve heard people describe it as the length of two supermarket shopping carts, or the same height as Drew Brees, if you can imagine Drew lying on the ground in front of you. If you’re looking for a more reliable measure, a Baton Rouge company, Enginuity Global, has a digital solution. It’s called the Proxxi Halo. It's a wristband that buzzes when you’re within 6 feet of someone. If you’re saying, “Wait, what?” - they’ve already sold tens of thousands of these wristbands, at $100 each. Dan Ducote is the owner and Managing Member of Enginuity Global.  if you’re working with other people in industry, in construction, on a factory floor, or even in school, it’s now become vitally important to know what six feet looks like. Getting within six feet of another person greatly increases the chances of catching or spreading Covid 19. Once someone in the workplace or at school tests positive for Covid 19, and you have no idea what parts of the building they’ve been in or who they’ve been in contact with, the whole place has to shut down while it’s cleaned, and everybody has to get tested. So it’s vital – not just for health, but for keeping businesses open – that we know what 6 feet looks like and have a contact-traceable record of where an infected person has been while contagious. And that's why the Proxxi Halo is taking the workplace market by storm. Doctors This has probably happened to you. You go to your doctor, and she refers you to another doctor. A specialist. Do you know how your doctor decides who to refer you to? You might be surprised to learn that there is no established method. It’s more or less like recommending a restaurant. When someone recommends a restaurant to you, it’s usually because they’ve been to the restaurant. But when your doctor recommends you go see a mental or behavioral health professional – like a psychiatrist or therapist - there’s a very good chance your doctor has never actually seen this person professionally herself. So, what is your doctor basing this recommendation on? Maybe the therapist is someone your doctor knows personally. Or maybe she’s heard good reports from other patients. Don’t you think there ought to be a better way for medical professionals to find and refer each other? That’s what Trevor Colhoun thought too. Trevor’s company, Trusted Provider Network, transforms medical referrals and recommendations into a more medically sound and logical system. Trusted Provider Network is not for consumer recommendations. It’s not like a medical Yelp. It’s for medical professionals only. But it’s not LinkedIn or Facebook for doctors.  There's more discussion about alternative healthcare models here. Photos from this show by Jill Lafleur are at our website.
On this edition of Out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti, Stephanie Riegel and Christiaan Mader meet at the nexus of the Latinx Hub City Pang Wangle. Okay, let's unpack that: LatinX There’s no two ways about it – this is a tough time to be in business. There is help available to get through this rough patch – in the form of business loans, and even grants. Some are through Federal agencies, some are from State agencies, and there’s money available from city governments in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. Getting a hold of this money is not easy. Typically, businesses benefit by being a member of a business alliance to help them navigate the maze of regulation and bureaucracy.  But some businesses are too small to join alliances like the Chamber of Commerce. For those small owner-operator businesses, getting access to financial expertise of any kind is challenging. You might be a great hairdresser, house painter, or plumber, but that doesn’t mean you have great – or even any – business skills. Now, imagine having the added problem of not being able to speak English. That’s the position many Latinx self-employed people find themselves in, in Louisiana. And that’s why there’s an organization called El Centro. El Centro provides business assistance for Latinx entrepreneurs. Lindsey Navarro is Executive Director of El Centro. There’s a local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, but that’s not El Centro. If there was ever an organization that truly exists to help the little guy, it’s El Centro. Pang Wangle Before a previous disaster, Hurricane Katrina, blew Stephanie Riegel and her family to Baton Rouge, Stephanie was a journalist and news anchor at WWL TV in New Orleans. One of Stephanie’s colleagues there was fellow journalist, Jennifer John. Stephanie is still a journalist but Jennifer John is not, she’s the founder and CEO of  a company with an intriguing name, Pang Wangle. The story goes that while Jen was out in the field reporting, she was so sick of getting bitten up by mosquitoes and other bugs that she created a line of bug resistant clothing for women: scarves, wraps, pants, hats, and bags that are not only stylish and lightweight for life outdoors in the South, but they’re also impregnated with a safe and long-lasting bug repellant. Things had been going pretty well since Jen launched Pang Wangle at the end of 2017. And then along came Covid 19. But, instead of decimating Jen’s business like so many others, the pandemic got Pang Wangle coverage in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, New York Lifestyles magazine, and on a coveted Buzzfeed list. Hub City Over the course of the last few months, journalists have found themselves asking what seems like an endless list of questions for which there are often no known answers. How long will this economic downturn last? What happens when your government assistance runs out? What is the future of education, of the tourist and convention business, the entertainment industry, air travel… The list goes on. But, in the midst of all this uncertainty, there is one economic question that we get a definite answer to on this edition of Out to Lunch Louisiana. And that question is – Why, during the course of this pandemic and unprecedented economic uncertainty and record unemployment – why are bicycle sales through the roof? To answer that question, we’re not turning to an economist or financial pundit, we’re turning to Meg Arcenaux, owner of Hub City Cycles in Lafayette. You can also check out other bike related conversations. Photos by Jill Lafleur at our website.
On this edition of out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti and Christiaan Mader discuss the daily ritual of deleting email, but not dog dating email. Email You Don't Want to Delete Opening this segment of Out to Lunch, Peter says, "I’m always wary of hosts of shows like this who start off a story with, “If you’re like me…”  But I’m willing to go for it right now, because I bet there is one thing we have in common. "If you’re like me, you checked your email today, and went down the list going delete, delete, delete, delete. The email from Amazon trying to sell you something you bought last week. The email from some company you can’t remember – maybe they were the people you bought those flip flops from… It’s like this every day, right?" Now picture this. A marketing email from a company that sends you information about something you’re actually interested in. Maybe it’s the flip flop company, but they’re not sending you information about flip flops, they’re telling you about an advance in Alzheimer’s research, which you actually are interested in. Or a recipe for chocolate cake, which, strangely enough, you were just thinking about baking. This would brighten your whole email experience. And on the other side of the equation, if you’re the company sending the email, your clients will actually open the email, read it, and appreciate you. That’s how the A.I-driven email marketing company works. If you’re thinking, “Well, that’s a great idea,” it’s way past the idea stage. has 20 employees and they send out 15 million emails a month. Jared Loftus is Chief Operations Officer at The secret to the success of these A.I-generated emails is their personalization. Peter says, "Suppose Christiaan and I bought the same flip flops, but I’m interested in brass bands and the oil business, and Christiaan is interested in progressive jazz and football. We both get email from the same flip flop company, but the emails we get are tailored to our specific interests." The obvious question is, “How does a flip flop company know all this about me?” Where is this information coming from that allows a company to target clients so specifically? It's a fascinating concept and a fascinating company. Almost as fascinating as dog dating. Dog Dating We’re still feeling the effects of the lockdown. There are two segments of the population that the lockdown had a big effect on: dogs, and single people who like to go on dates. If you’re a dog, the lockdown was awesome – you had company 24 hours a day. If you’re human, single, and looking for somebody to date, well, the lockdown was challenging.  In the Venn Diagram of those two populations, dogs and daters, you can add Leigh Isaacson D’Angelo. Leigh is neither a dog, nor dating – she’s a married human, with a business called DIG. DIG is a dating app for dog owners. The concept is, if you love your dog, and dogs in general, it’s good to weed out - at the very beginning of the dating process - potential partners who don’t like dogs. And DIG is big. It’s on the ground in 15 cities across the country. The biggest DIG communities are in New York and Los Angeles, and they're about to break into Europe. And breaking news! DIG is expanding into animal loving world, with Tabby, the cat person's dating app! Photos from this show by Jill Lafleur are at our website. For more conversations about dogs, check out this classic conversation about nutria dog treats, pampered pets, and prosthetics for pets.
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3 days, 19 hours