Industry News


Clean Fleet Awards

The Regional Planning Commission’s Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership recognized 24 fleets and organizations in the region that incorporate alternative fuels, fuel saving technologies and innovative transportation programs at the 2016 Clean Fleet Awards, held June 13. The honorees — which included the RTA, UPS and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad as top fuel consumption reducers — set new regional records last year by reducing consumptions by over 3.5 million gasoline gallons equivalent (GGEs) and preventing over 22,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. For a complete list of winners, visit


Millennial Awards

On July 15, the fifth annual Millennial Awards show — presented by The Spears Group in partnership with GNO, Inc. — celebrated the accomplishments of professionals in 18 categories. Among this year’s winners were:

Business: Brandon Rapp, principal consultant at B. Rapp and Associates, LLC

Healthcare presented by Tulane Health Systems: April Dupre, founder/wellness coach at Footprints to Fitness

Economic Development: Alejandra Guzman, vice president of program development and strategy at New Orleans Business Alliance

Financial Services: Blair DuQuesnay, principal/CIO at ThirtyNorth Investments

Hospitality & Tourism: Erin Gremillion, national sales manager at Allied PRA New Orleans

Law: Kevin Patrick Conaway, director at Unglesby & Greenberg and founder at RPM, LLC

Real Estate: Johnice Katz, advisor at Engel & Volkers

For a complete list of winners, visit

"New Orleans is the right fit for Sleep Number based on the service industry talent pool and the state’s support."

Melissa Barra, senior VP and chief  strategy and customer relationship officer for Select Comfort

Select Comfort’s new support contact center is set to open mid-August in an existing 28,000-square-foot space in Elmwood (1333 South Clearview Pkwy). It will provide support services for the company’s Sleep Number ® beds and accessory products. The opening is expected to result in 225 new direct jobs with annual salaries averaging $30,000 plus benefits, plus 104 new indirect jobs.

To secure the project, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) offered a competitive incentive package that includes a flexible, performance-based grant of up to $800,000 to reimburse the company for lease assistance, infrastructure costs and relocation expenses. Sleep Number will receive the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs Program.


Top 10 US Cities Building Websites on Mobile Devices

Today, more web traffic comes from mobile devices (52%) than from desktop computers (48%). The trend of using mobile devices to not only access websites but also build them is also growing, especially in the following cities:

St. Louis



Pompano Beach

Washington D.C.

Santa Ana




New Orleans



Tulane Awarded $12 Million to Create a Vaccine

Robert Garry, professor of microbiology and immunology in the School of Medicine, (pictured left) and James Robinson, professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine (right) are part of a team at Tulane University developing a drug to protect against both the Ebola virus and the Lassa virus — a virus that causes Lassa fever, a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic illness. Their work has just been awarded with $12 million from the National Institutes of Health. Tulane researchers have been studying Lassa in West Africa for more than 14 years. 

Tulane photo by Paula Burch-Celentano/Tulane


Ochsner Hospital for Children Ranked Among Top in Country

In its 11th annual Best Children’s Hospitals ranking, U.S. News and World Report ranked Ochsner Hospital for Children among the top 50 children’s hospitals in the country for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery specialties. The hospital grabbed the 49th spot. It is the only hospital in Louisiana and Mississippi to be recognized and offers the largest pediatric cardiology programs from Houston to Atlanta. The hospital recently opened a 12-bed Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.

Recent Openings

Orleans Coffee

Orleans Coffee opened its newest location at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., in June. The coffee house shares space with the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center. The first and only organic roaster in the area, Orleans Coffee will also be offering pastries from local bakeries.

Holiday Inn New Orleans Airport North

On July 7, Expotel Hospitality announced the opening of the Holiday Inn New Orleans Airport North at 1300 Veterans Blvd. in Kenner. The hotel features 121 guestrooms, a restaurant and bar, fitness center, outdoor pool and 1,300 square feet of meeting space.


Constructed in 1927 as the headquarters for the New Orleans Public Service Inc. (NOPSI), the city’s former utility company and transit operator, NOPSI reopened as a luxury hotel in the CBD on July 6. The nine-story brick building now features 217 guestrooms, a regionally inspired restaurant, a rooftop pool and bar and 14,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

Public Service is a casual, yet sophisticated restaurant respecting the civic spirit of the former New Orleans Public Service, Inc. Chef Dustin Brien and team prepare contemporary cuisine in an open display kitchen, highlighted by a modern raw bar and open flame rotisserie.

220 Decatur

Orleans Property, a local real estate development company, has finished construction of the expansion of one of its condo developments and the entire development is now up for sale. The addition is the adjoining building to 220 Decatur — which currently includes 16 residences and ground floor commercial. Orleans Property added 6 luxury condo units and additional commercial space.

Mullin Landscape

Mullin Landscape Associates, a comprehensive landscape design and build firm servicing the Greater New Orleans area, has opened their new business headquarters at 10356 River Rd. in St. Rose, Louisiana. The new facility combines three properties into one workplace for their staff of over 75 professionals.

Avanti Senior Living of Covington

In June, Avanti opened its first residence in Louisiana. The 77,000-square-foot, $15 million community includes 50 assisted living suites and 40 memory care suites, along with a wellness center, a dining platform with fresh meals on demand, restaurants, a salon and spa and a fully-functional art studio.

Good Counsel Apartments

After sitting vacant for 30 years, the former Our Lady of Good Counsel School at 1215 Louisiana Ave., has been converted into 22 one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 600 to 1,200 square feet through the work of Ryan Gootee General Contractors, LLC and historic preservation architects Trapolin-Peer. The project recently received the 2017 Renovator’s Award from the Garden District Association.

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