Mickey Edwards, the former eight-term Republican congressman from Oklahoma, spoked to a packed crowd at the Cajundome Convention Center Dec. 19 during an IND Lecture Series luncheon.

AbizSceneThose who have long supported turning UL’s Horse Farm property into a public park gathered on the lawn of the Johnston Street property for Moonlight on the Meadow, a late October fundraising and appreciation event. Members of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra performed, along with Cupid and Marc Broussard, under chandeliers strung from the giant oak trees. City-Parish President Joey Durel, who spearheaded Lafayette Consolidated Government’s purchase of the acreage and organized the event, says final figures are still being tallied. But Durel estimates about $400,000 was raised, thanks to businessman Wayne Elmore, who chaired the fundraising effort. Though a big success, Moonlight on the Meadow is only the beginning of what will be needed to begin the process of turning the Horse Farm into Lafayette’s central park. At press time, LCG was still working through the details of a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Community Foundation of Acadiana, which will be responsible for raising funds needed for the design, build-out and perpetual maintenance of the property as a passive park. “We’re close,” Durel says of the agreement. “We’re very close.”


1. City-Parish President Joey Durel, Wayne Elmore and UL President Joseph Savoie
2. Kermit and Debbie Bouillion, State Rep. Stephen Ortego and Patrick Gandy
3. Donna and Pat McDonald and Leslie Turk
4. Bill Ham and Tressie Cox
5. Nicole Hebert, Lauren Poche and Christina Hurley
6. Lisa Pizzolatto and Jamie Norton
7. Avery Silar and Andrea Owens
8. Adrian Fulton
9. Mark and Junalyne Cunningham
10. Jennifer and Ryan Marine, and Stuart and Colleen Ottinger
11. Angie Hargett, Kackie Lerille and Rachel Patin

BizScene1The economic recoveries under way nationally and here in Acadiana are far different creatures. That was the message the morning of Oct. 11 from leading economic expert Dr. Loren Scott, who delivered his 2013 Economic Outlook for Louisiana and Acadiana to hundreds of local business and industry leaders gathered inside the Cajundome Convention Center for the ninth annual Entrée to Business Breakfast — an ABiz production.

Scott says since the “Great Recession” hit in 2007, the nation’s economic recovery has moved at a snail’s pace. The “culprit,” he says, is poor economic policy-making. And though Scott warns that state economies are vulnerable to national policy, Louisiana, and especially Acadiana, are poised for continued above-the-bar growth in the coming years. “We believe [Acadiana] will be the fastest growing part of the state,” says Scott, noting the region is experiencing an average 3.5 percent annual rate of growth and is expected to add an extra 11,000 jobs in the next few years.

But the region is not immune to negatives, the economist says, pointing to the recent loss of Transcomm and a U.S. Postal Service announcement earlier this year that its Lafayette distribution center is one of eight slated for closure.

Fortunately, according to Scott’s forecasts, the positives for Louisiana’s economic future seem to outweigh the negatives. He says the Gulf of Mexico “is back,” and with the price of oil up and likely to stay that way, that means drilling. The number of deepwater rigs is finally approaching pre-BP spill numbers, and despite a more complex application process, the issuance of permits also is on the rise.

Sponsors for the annual event were MidSouth Bank and Dwight Andrus Insurance, with Cane River Pecans and The Acadiana Economic Development Council serving as supporting sponsors and Vidox Motion Imagery the digital media sponsor.

Cochon hosted the double-event Lache Pas, a fundraiser for CODOFIL, where party-goers filled themselves with a four-course brunch that morning and danced to the sounds of Chubby Carrier, Feufollet and dozens of other musicians that evening. Distinguished guests included former Govs. Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards and State Reps. Vincent Pierre, Stephen Ortego and Mike Huval. Cochon provided the brunch and was one of the evening’s vendors, along with Saint Street Inn, French Press and Blackpot Festival.

1) Bob Barras and Rusty Cloutier
2) Loren Scott
3) Warren Shepherd, Mike Pharr and James Wallace
4) Cathy Webre and Steve Oats
5) Kevin Simoneaux, Toby Thimmesch, Harry Patin and James Wallace
6) Ceci Thomassie and Dwight Kaufman

1) Mary Arton and Toby Rodriguez
2) Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Raymond Blanco
3) Gov. Edwin Edwards and Trina Scott Edwards
4) Susan Hu, Judd Jeansonne, Famee Jeansonne and Blaise Bourdin
5) Thomas Murphy and Michele Dore

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