New Focus


For years people have been saying we need to stop the brain drain and keep our children and grandchildren here in Louisiana. We need to create opportunities for them and future generations so we do not become an exit state but a place where people see and have opportunity to stay home.

I have focused on doing this for my children for over 30 years, trying to create a place for them to call home and not have to go elsewhere and I am fortunate to have two of my daughters here in New Orleans and establishing roots. My third daughter is in a military marriage and is traveling the country from Navy base to base with new assignments every few years. So many of my friends have children moving away, mostly to Texas, all with the desire for them to come home.

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On April 13, at 4:14 p.m., I switched my focus.

That focus is now on grandchildren and future opportunities. Little Penelope Jane was born and I am now a proud grandparent.

I heard Michael Hecht speak a few weeks ago about the U-Haul index — the measurement of how many one-way moving rentals are leaving Louisiana. This index needs to change and I am onboard to see that happen, because 20 years from now, Penelope, and everyone else, need to have opportunities here at home.

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My daughter, son-in-law and new baby girl are doing great, starting their family. I am so proud of them. Yes, I will have all the great fun of being a grandfather, but my commitment and dedication to them is the same as it was 30 years ago — focused on the future, Louisiana and our children.


Todd Matherne

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