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“From my perspective, both at Woodward and at GNO, Inc., the greatest challenge, and the greatest opportunity, is workforce development.”

GNO Inc. 2015 Chairman William Hoffman, senior vice president of corporate planning and development for Woodward Design+Build, speaking during GNO, Inc.’s Annual Meeting on March 12.



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Sunni LeBeouf

Black History Month Spotlight This Black History Month, Cox Communications is proud to recognize Sunni LeBeouf for her prolific record of professional achievement, civic philanthropy,...




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Over 9.5 Million Tourists in 2014

New Orleans’ tourism industry saw a 2.6 percent increase in 2014 as the city welcomed 9.52 million visitors. Tourism spending amounted to $6.81 billion for the year – the highest amount in the city’s history and an increase over 2013 of 5.3 percent.

According to the 2014 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile study, the increase broke down as follows:

• Lodging – up 5.9 percent

• Entertainment – up 11.2 percent

• Shopping – up 5.7 percent

• Restaurants – up 2.9 percent

• Bars and nightclubs – up 3.9 percent

2014 Tourist Age Breakdown:

Age 65+ – 14 percent (largest percentage in 6 years)

Age 50-64 – 36 percent

Age 35-49 – 28.1 percent

Age 25-34  – 16.7 percent

Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Gala Honors two Local Professionals

On Thursday, April 16, Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business – Levy Rosenblum Institute will host the 2015 Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Gala at the Audubon Tea Room.

The by-invitation-only event will include the presentation of two awards to local business professionals. The Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year award honoree is James E. Maurin of commercial real estate company Stirling Properties. Chef John Besh, of the Besh Foundation, will receive the award for Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Small Business Looking for a Loan?

Small businesses around the nation can now be matched with a Small Business Association (SBA) lender by filling out a free, simple, 20-question online form. Businesses can connect with lenders within 48 hours through the SBA’s new online tool, LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital).

“If you have a bankable business idea backed by good credit and sound financial planning, the SBA wants to streamline the process for you to get the capital you need,” says SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

For more information, visit

Hilton riverside ranked among top hotels for meetings

Hilton New Orleans Riverside (2 Poydras St.) was named one of the “Top 100 Meeting Hotels” by Cvent (a cloud-based enterprise event-management platform). Ranked No. 22 on the list based on popularity, the hotel is now the top-ranked hotel in Louisiana. ARIA Resort and Casino in Las Vegas took the top spot in the rankings. Hilton New Orleans Riverside offers over 140,000 square feet of flexible meeting spaces and recently boosted its Wi-Fi capabilities to provide 10 times its previous capacity.

FilmWorks New Orleans

One of the region’s largest film production studios officially opened March 11. Located in New Orleans East at 3501 Jourdan Road, FilmWorks New Orleans offers 37 acres of flexible indoor and outdoor space, including a 20,000-square-foot stage, 406,000-square-foot back lot, two floors of 92,000 square feet each, extra storage and warehouse space, and acres of usable green space.

Desire Oyster Bar

Following a renovation, the Royal Sonesta New Orleans celebrated the reopening of Desire Oyster Bar at the hotel’s 300 Bourbon St. location on March 12. The restaurant is known for its shrimp and grits, New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp and award-winning Creole gumbo.

Little Pnuts Toy Shoppe

Eco-friendly toy store Little Pnuts opened its doors March 7 at 209 Harrison Ave. in Lakeview. Formerly solely a subscription-based business, Little Pnuts, run by Melissa Beese, offers sustainable, non-battery-operated toys for infants, toddlers and preschoolers geared toward reaching a child’s developmental milestones.

Recent Openings: Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza

The nation’s leading build-your-own pizza restaurant will open its first Louisiana location in The Paramount at South Market District (611 O’Keefe Ave.) on Thursday, April 9. The opening starts with a “Free Pizza Day” on Friday, April 10.

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