Week in Review, June 20-24: GDIT, Sazerac, Habitat for Humanity and More

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NEW ORLEANS — General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics, has announced the opening of its new office at The Beach at University of New Orleans. Company leaders said the facility will initially support 50 new jobs with additional positions expected as operations expand in the region. GDIT will also use the new space to collaborate with university partners and develop IT solutions for the U.S. Navy. Currently, GDIT is partnering with the Navy on the Navy Enterprise Service Desk, a four-year, $136 million “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” contract to modernize and consolidate existing IT help desks. 

“New Orleans has served as the strategic hub for the naval community for more than 50 years,” said Brian Sheridan, GDIT’s senior vice president for defense. “We see a great opportunity to continue our support for the Navy’s mission and grow our footprint and impact in the region. Our investment in the community will also strengthen our partnership with the University of New Orleans to drive innovation.”

Here are more of the week’s top business stories:

The Sazerac Company has purchased Hazelwood Demesne Limited, owner of the Ireland’s Lough Gill Distillery. One of the world’s largest distilled spirits companies, Sazerac is headquartered in Metairie although its principal offices are in Louisville. Its brands include Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Paddy Irish Whiskey, Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and Southern Comfort. 

The New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity said it will help rebuild more than 40 to 60 homes in Lafitte, La., where more than 90% of houses were damaged by Hurricane Ida on Aug. 29, 2021. The $4.5 million rebuilding effort is a two-year long undertaking in which the New Orleans-based nonprofit will establish a warehouse, construction center and satellite operations base in Jean Lafitte. NOAHH will partner with the homeowners to design, build and fund the homes, which will be new construction on the same land where their previous homes stood. The first NOAHH home in Jean Lafitte will be two bedrooms, two baths with front and back porches. It is expected to be complete and move-in ready on Aug. 29.

Urban South Brewery’s craft beers can now be found in almost every county in the state of Mississippi, thanks to a new partnership with Southern Beverage. A variety of Urban South’s core beers are now available in bars, restaurants and stores throughout the state, including both the Jackson and Hattiesburg metro areas. “Mississippi was the first state outside of Louisiana that we chose to expand Urban South’s distribution footprint, and it was a very intentional choice,” said Kyle Huling, co-founder of Urban South Brewery. “Demand has been high from our fans in Mississippi as so many Mississippians have fond memories of time spent in New Orleans. We are very excited about this new partnership with Southern Beverage and look forward to sharing our favorite beers with new fans across the state.” 

Team Title, a full-service title agency based in Louisiana, announced it will relocate its corporate headquarters from Covington to Mandeville as part of an expansion of its operations in Louisiana and Mississippi. Since 2018, the agency has expanded from a small, single-office title agency to a regional company serving borrowers and home buyers across Louisiana and Mississippi. In 2022, Team Title opened five new locations — two in Louisiana and three in Mississippi — while growing its team to more than 50 title and closing professionals. The company’s eight locations are in Covington, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Diamondhead, Biloxi, Picayune, Hattiesburg and Brookhaven.

The owner of seven Louisiana nursing homes who sent more than 800 of his elderly residents to a crowded, ill-equipped warehouse to ride out Hurricane Ida last year was arrested Wednesday on fraud and cruelty charges arising from the squalid conditions. Bob Glynn Dean Jr., 68, had already lost state licenses and federal funding for crowding his residents into a facility in the town of Independence, roughly 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of New Orleans. There, authorities said they found ill and elderly bedridden people on mattresses on the wet floor, some crying for help, some lying in their own waste. Some had arrived without their medicine, according to one doctor. Civil suits against Dean’s corporation said the ceiling leaked, toilets overflowed at the sweltering warehouse and there was too little food and water.

Dillard has announced plans to offer a Master of Science in Nursing in its College of Nursing. The degree will be offered in the fall 2023 semester pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Once approved, the MSN will be the first master’s degree in Dillard’s 153 year history. “Our nursing program is … synonymous with Dillard,” said Dr. Yolanda W. Page, the school’s vice president for academic affairs. “When I returned to Dillard in 2013, the nursing program was struggling. Now, nine years later, we are poised to offer a master’s degree in nursing.”

Odd Birds, a Florida-based restaurant and bar, opened a location on May 16 inside the Selina Catahoula hotel at 914 Union Street. The business is owned by Cesar Diaz, Asdrubal Martinez and Shane McFarland, who continue to operate two locations in St. Augustine and are planning more growth. The new spot features Latin-inspired food and two Instagram-worthy settings: a rooftop space and a downstairs bar with black-and-white flooring and lots of natural light. Rum and mezcal cocktails will be the focus.

Categories: A Week In Review, Today’s Business News