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REPORT: Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors South Louisiana tour
Monday, May 12, 2008

REPORT: Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors South Louisiana tour

Dear Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors:

I'm writing to give you a report from our recently-completed in-state trip to Lake Charles, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge, on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Our group consisted of Arnie Fielkow, Governor Fitzmorris (in Baton Rouge on Tuesday), Nolan Rollins, and Ruthie Frierson. On Monday, we visited Lake Charles and Lafayette, spending the night in Lafayette, and then departing for Baton Rouge on Tuesday for New Orleans Day events at the State Capital.

Here's a brief recap of our visits to each market:

Lake Charles
The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance hosted a luncheon for our group that included three mayors from regional cities, including Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, in addition to numerous police jurors (equivalent of city council members), and chamber members. We had a good discussion about hurricane recovery in both of our cities and discussed ways we could partner legislatively in support of issues important to both of our cities - especially insurance reform and disaster recovery dollars.

We had two media opportunities, which were:

-KPLC-TV Interview (the top TV station in Lake Charles)
-Lake Charles American Press Interview (Front Page article 05/13/08 - great overview of the content of our meeting), read it here:
http://epaper.americanpress.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=QW1QLzIwMDgvMDUvMTMjQXIwMDEwMQ==&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

Lafayette
The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce hosted a 5 p.m. meeting of 10 business leaders and the Lafayette City Council Leader Donald Bertrand. This was a very warm and welcoming meeting, and the discussion focused on economic development, the completion of the I-49 project, and ways in which New Orleans and Lafayette could learn from one another. The Chamber and the City Council extended invitations for the Ambassadors to present before both entities, and an education forum with some of New Orleans' top leaders sponsored by Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, the Urban League, and the Cowen Institute for Higher Learning was proposed.

Before departing Lafayette on Tuesday morning, we had an interview with a Senior Editor of The Daily Advertiser that generated the following article on 05/14/08 (Business Section front page article with photo):
http://www.theadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080514/BUSINESS/805140319

Baton Rouge
On Tuesday, we departed Lafayette for Baton Rouge, where we were joined by Governor Fitzmorris, who had preceded us in meeting with numerous legislators in support of New Orleans. We were interviewed by the Times Picayune Capital Bureau Chief Robert Travis Scott, which produced the "Jazz" recognition in today's Times Picayune's editorial page.

Afterward, House Speaker Pro Tem Karen Carter Peterson was so kind to host a luncheon for the Ambassadors, and we met with six legislators during the event. Following the luncheon, the Ambassadors were introduced before both the Senate and House of Representatives. Senate President Joel Chaisson and House Speaker Jim Tucker recognized the Ambassadors for their hard work and commitment to New Orleans.

Following the day's events at the Capital, we held an Editorial Board meeting with the Baton Rouge Advocate with five of the paper's top editors, including Executive Editor Carl Redman, Managing Editor Milford Fryer, Editorial Writer Lanny Keller, and others. There was some detectable suspicion from the editors in regards to New Orleans and its interest in building regional relationships with other cities, especially on the heels of a history that they felt was in stark contrast to this concept. However, the Ambassadors performed admirably and with conviction, and we have hope that their pending.editorial is at least "balanced". We'll see.

Regardless of the outcome of this editorial, the overall trip was very fruitful. We've only scratched the surface in state, but tangible results were produced and new relationships built. As always, it was an honor to coordinate this trip on behalf of such an outstanding initiative and the committed citizens of New Orleans.

Larry Lovell
Public Relations Account Supervisor
Peter A. Mayer Public Relations
324 Camp St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

PHONE: (504) 210-1218
FAX: (504) 581-3009
 

September 2006