Friday, September 30, 2011

Living a Life's Motto.

Julie Calzone is talking here. A motto I live by is "Trust God. Clean House. Help Others." It is inspired by a painted sign I found at Festival International de Louisiane (a Festival I helped found). That I found the sign at an event that I have poured by heart, soul and resources into was not lost on me.

Someone once told me that you can try to deflect what's going to happen to you, but you are going to end up where you are supposed to be. That's the story of my life and career. I go down a path and watch doors shut and people exit. I learn from it. I know that it's about trusting the process, cleaning out whatever you need to (or it gets done for you) and helping others even when you don't feel like you can or want to.

It's much too long story for this blog, but one of my horses led me to some people who led me to Angola Prison that led me to their horse program. I learned that redemption comes in many forms and that everyone is redeemable - everyone. Warden Burl Cain had a dream that his horses would make excellent show horses - jumpers, dressage horses and great sport and recreation horses. He and the public system just couldn't find a way to do it and keep within the confines of the state bid process. But, it was exactly what I knew how to do and it is done. And, now it's time for the second annual sale. Making a vision a reality.

The 2011 Angola Prison Horse Sale is set for October 15, 2011. Some of the finest horses bred and raised at Angola Prison will be offered for sale.

Monday, September 26, 2011

“Boxing: Louisiana's Forgotten Sport" Has A Local Connection

Media Advisory

Media Contact:
Julie Calzone
(337) 235-2924 ext. 18

Event Contact:
Jay Owen
(337) 234-5600

“Boxing: Louisiana's Forgotten Sport" Has A Local Connection
Book Launch for Don Landry’s Chronicle of Louisiana’s High School and College Boxing History

(Lafayette, La.) - A book launch is set for Wednesday, September 28 for Don Landry's book "Boxing: Louisiana's Forgotten Sport." This book chronicles Louisiana's rich high school and college boxing history up until 1958. High school and college boxing was one of the most prominent sports on any campus at that time. In many cases it was the number one sport or second only to football. By the end of the 50's it had all but disappeared from the schools. Don is a former Nicholls State basketball coach and athletic director. He is recognized as the founder of the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches and went on to become the commissioner of the Southland and Sunshine State Conferences. He was the Texas Rangers’ Director of Special Projects and was responsible for planning Nolan Ryan’s retirement activities and the opening of the Ballpark in Arlington.

Local residents and siblings, CeCe Stuller and Jay Owen, are hosting the event because of their father, Coach J.T. Owen, was the head boxing team coach at LSU from 1946 to 1956, and coached the 1949 National Championship team and some of the greatest boxers of that era. He went on to coach the 1952 Olympic Boxing Team in Helsinki, Finland that was one of the greatest US teams ever fielded and produced such greats as future Heavyweight Champion of the world Floyd Patterson.

WHAT: Book launch for Don Landry and Boxing: Louisiana's Forgotten Sport

WHEN: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: a la Carte Restaurant
301 Heymann Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70503.

The public is invited. For more information or to RSVP call (337) 234-5600.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Big Changes to Facebook: A New Future for Social Apps

At Facebook’s yearly “f8” event y, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced dramatic platform changes for the world’s largest social network. Zuckerberg’s keynote at the company’s developer conference has brought news of hugely influential updates in the past, and yesterday’s unveiling ranks near the top in terms of significance. These new features promise to markedly transform both the aesthetics and functionality of the site, as well as its relationship with marketers and content partners.

“Timeline”- A new feature that preserves and highlights important events in users’ lives, as captured on Facebook. This “digital scrapbook” will allow users to scroll back chronologically through all the photos, posts, and life events they have shared since joining.
Updated “Open Graph”- Facebook’s move to become the online hub for all of its users’ activities. Zuckerberg declared Facebook’s intention to be the social platform of the web, hosting third-party apps that allow users to consume and discover content without leaving He announced partnerships with an impressive list of businesses, including Netflix, Hulu, the Washington Post, and the music-streaming service Spotify.

Other recent changes to Facebook include “Friend Lists” to ease privacy and selectivity of sharing (reminiscent of Google+’s “circles”), a “Subscribe button” to allow one-way, asymmetric relationships (reminiscent of Twitter “follows”), and “Ticker,” a real-time stream of all friends’ activities. These past several days have been truly historic for the social network and highlight two interesting themes to consider moving forward.

(1) Facebook’s “Platform Play” and Increased Competition with Apple
A major driver of the success of the iPhone and iPad has been the thriving app marketplace. Each new App created for Apple’s operating system that delights a user makes the experience of owning an iPhone a little bit better—and Apple doesn’t have to pay those developers a dime upfront. Apple effectively outsources much of its software R&D and risk-taking at zero cost, and then it takes 30% of all sales of those apps through its closed-wall app store. It is a beautiful business model.

The cycle then builds on itself. Apple earned a huge lead over its competitors in terms of smartphone (now tablet) market share while fostering a prolific App ecosystem. Consumers see all the wonderful apps their friends can download for $.99 (or free) and decide to buy an iPhone. Future app developers see all the adopters of iOS and choose to develop for that platform because they want the largest potential market for their products. The cycle repeats. The power of positive externalities is clear.

Enter Facebook. Facebook already has a user base of 800 million, dwarfing Apple’s. By positioning itself as a platform for social apps, and not merely a website that directs traffic to other domains, Facebook creates a similar “walled-garden” scenario. Apple monetizes the value of its platform through sales of connected devices and hardware; Facebook monetizes indirectly through advertising. The more of your online time (and data) that goes to Facebook, the more advertising revenue increases for the social giant.

(2) Continued Google Rivalry for Content Discovery Online
While the Facebook-Apple competition is only now emerging, much has been written of Facebook’s challenge to Google’s supremacy as the discovery engine of the web. Google helps people find content through an algorithm-driven search engine that gauges the quality and relevance of websites largely by the number of hyperlinks directed to those pages. Facebook, on the other hand, harnesses peer recommendations and knowledge to answer questions. If hyperlinks were the currency of the web during the reign of Google, social connections may be supplanting them with the ascent of Facebook.

Facebook’s new features revolve partly on the notion of removing the friction involved in sharing content. If a user listens to a song through a Facebook-hosted app, for example, her friends can be notified automatically, without her having to click “like” every few minutes. Every time someone discovers a new song, movies, game, news articles, or website through Facebook instead of a Google search, Google loses the opportunity to generate a related set of ads, the lifeblood of the business. Google is clearly taking this risk seriously, with its investment in Google+ ample and incorporation of social signals into search as ample proof.

The struggle between Facebook, Google, and Apple will be a fascinating drama to follow in the coming months and years.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Engagement Is The (Not So) Secret Ingredient

Let's talk about a couple of facts. Consumers don't like being told what they want. Consumers also don't like being spoken at. That's because they're people who want to have a say in what they consume and feel engaged in the process of creating and using their products. Don't deny it. You love being able to ask your favorite cereal maker, cruise line or hotel a question on Facebook and have an answer waiting for you the next time you log in. Honestly, those companies love it, too. Engagement via social media let's them help you have a better experience.

We took notice of this and chose to engage all our fans in this year's EatLafayette campaign. We shared our personal experiences and had many conversations on Facebook. After taking into consideration what many of our fans reacted to, we decided to try something new - Follow the Louisiana Hot Sauce Bottle.

First thing's first: The 12-foot tall hot sauce bottle. That thing is HUGE! There's absolutely no way to miss it. One of our sponsors, Bruce Foods, was very excited to be part of such a fun promotion that highlighted a few of our fantastic restaurants.

Here's how it all went down: a couple times a week toward the end of the campaign, the 12-foot tall Louisiana Hot Sauce Bottle traveled to one of its favorite restaurants. Everywhere it went, the amazing deals followed. One day there was a $5.95 shrimp poboy from Olde Tyme, another day there were $.99 hot dogs with award-winning chili from Ton's in Broussard, another day Gator Cove offered a free cup of shrimp gumbo with a purchase of $10 or more, and the list goes on.

A lot of people showed up and many of our restaurants who weren't involved yet wanted to be. The restaurants the Louisiana Hot Sauce Bottle visited received a large number of visitors and many happy customers cashed in on fantastic deals with full bellies. Win-win.

We were able to successfully pull off this promotion because we listened to the customers; interested diners wanted deals and great food. We decided to give them both, plus a dash of fun with a huge hot sauce bottle.

Making the news.

Equine Motorcoach™ U.S. manufacturing launch...RV Daily Report.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What A Good Move.


(Lafayette and New Iberia, La.) - Richard Hurst is taking on his grandfather’s legacy one “snowball” at a time. Starting with a snowball stand in 1932 in Lafayette until today with two full-service restaurants, one in Lafayette, and one in New Iberia, the Hurst family has prospered in the Acadiana area. The beginning – a hand-pushed snowball wagon and $1.30 investment in sugar and flavoring in the middle of the Depression with an enterprising country boy from Youngsville named Hulo Landry. Originally a baker by trade, Hulo developed an allergy to flour and by necessity became an entrepreneur.

From snowballs to hamburgers to famed “Poor Boy” sandwiches, Hulo’s business expanded and prospered. With input from his wife, Eugenia, and relatives and friends, the menu grew to include seafood and steaks.

In 1939, he moved to a beautiful site overlooking the Vermilion Bayou at Pinhook Bridge. Then disaster struck. Many believed that the devastating flood of 1940, which swamped the restaurant, ruining building and equipment, would mean the end of “Poor Boy’s”, but three months later found Hulo Landry back in business. In 1946, he opened the first completely air-conditioned restaurant in Lafayette and enjoyed continuous success until his death in 1958. Still Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn endured.

Upon his death in 1958, his son-in-law and only daughter, Larry and Kathlyn Hurst, took over the management of Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn, and prospered on the same premise that brought success and respect from the community to Hulo - quality in food and perfection in service.

In 1977, Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn moved to its present site where the Hursts began to groom two of their four children to manage the restaurant. In 1985, under the guidance and watchful eye of their parents, Richard and Elaine took over the operation of the restaurant. Richard and Elaine made an outstanding brother/sister team, and along with their loyal staff continued the family tradition of consistent quality in food and service.

In 1988, Richard and Elaine opened their second restaurant, Little River Inn. Now located in the old Trappey’s building at 833 East Main in New Iberia, the dining area looks out on the old Trappey Oak estimated to have been planted in 1630. Richard supervised the kitchen while his wife, Lori, managed the front of the house operations.

Now the year 2011, Elaine is going to follow the footsteps of her father, Larry, and retire early and Richard is going to follow the footsteps of his mother, Kathlyn, and keep the family tradition going forever! Making this the second time Richard has bought the restaurant in one form or another, he and his wife, Lori, plan to live up to Hulo’s dream, and as a dynamic husband/wife team will continue the Hurst family tradition.

Both locations have seen Acadiana grow and prosper. If windows and doors could talk, what tales they could tell! Birthday celebrations, business deals, proposals, reunions, parties of all kinds have taken place at both of our locations. Couples who held their wedding receptions here return again and again to celebrate their anniversaries with us. And now Richard and Lori are looking forward to more stories to fill the pages with.

The Hursts would like to thank you for the opportunity of serving you and Richard and Lori hope that in their food and service you find a bit of the love and intense pride that has gone into the creation of Little River Inn and Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn!