Editor’s Note

My Brees Encounter

“Well, that was completely awesome.”

That was the verdict from my best friend’s 10-year-old son William as we walked out of the cover photo shoot for this month with Stretch Zone co-owners Jason Laurzel and Drew Brees.

William’s mom is one of so many parents right now that have been struggling to cobble together childcare over the summer months, so I decided to help out and take him with me for a morning. I felt almost bad for offering, though, when I heard how nervous he was the night before at the thought of meeting one of his biggest idols.

It turns out he had no reason to be nervous.

Brees walked right in the new Stretch Zone location in the Winn-Dixie shopping center on Tchoupitoulas that morning and beelined straight for William, who was sitting on the floor, deep in an assigned summer reading book and caught completely off guard.

“Whatcha reading?” Brees asked as William scrambled to stand up and grasp what was happening.

That’s all I caught of their conversation as the photographer and I began chatting with Jason. I knew, though, that I was witnessing a young kid having a moment that he’d remember for the rest of his life.

I have to admit, I’m not a native New Orleanian and not a huge football fan (gasp!) — or fan of any professional sports, really — but I became a fan of one particular player that morning and I know I’m not alone in my happiness that he has chosen to maintain his tie to this city as a continued member of our business community working to bring new concepts to the area.

We’re excited to be telling that story this month, as well as the story of five new hotels that are embracing a focus on local business. You’ll also find contributor thoughts on the start of the Saints season, effective ideas for hiring and retention in today’s challenged marketplace, as well as local industry professionals speaking out about their experiences with supply chain issues and what business lessons they learned during the pandemic.

As always, if there’s something, or someone, you’d like to hear more about in the magazine or at BizNewOrleans.com, just send us a note at editorial@bizneworleans.com.


Happy Reading,