Friday, November 1, 2013

Two-Step into a shopping (dining) paradise.

EatLafayette™ and ShopLafayette™ this Holiday Season.
We know you love EatLafayette™ by LafayetteTravel and with the holiday season approaching, it’s time to ShopLafayette! We’d like to introduce you to ShopLafayette™ by LafayetteTravel. The campaign promotes our fabulous shopping, warm and welcoming overnight stays and unique events for travelers and shoppers to enjoy.
Visit ShopLafayette website at: and on social media to get lots of shopping ideas from hundreds of merchants and businesses.
Explore our helpful interactive map to find businesses near you. You can even use it to map your Black Friday adventure ahead of time!
Where else would you rather be other than in the Heart of Cajun Country with your family and friends this Holiday Season?
Allons boutique, Lafayette! Let’s Shop!
Special thanks to our ShopLafayette by Lafayette Travel Sponsors.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2012 Louisiana Sales Graduate Entered in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

For Immediate Release
LTBA Contact:
Roger Heitzmann
(800) 772-1195
Media Contact:
Julie Calzone
(337) 235-2924 ext. 18
2012 Louisiana Sales Graduate Entered in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
Owner Dedicates Race to Father Who Will Be 96 in January
(New Orleans, La.) –The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association has already earned bragging rights in this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup. 2012 Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana graduate, Designer Legs, is entered in the Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park in Los Angeles, California, November 1 and 2.
Designer Legs will be running in the Grade I $2 million mile and one sixteenth race set for two year-old fillies.
“The thoroughbred industry in Louisiana has grown to become one of the state's top industries,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana executive director.  “Through the Association’s efforts and the implementation of the breeding incentive program, Louisiana-breds have flourished. Designer Legs’ appearance in the Breeders’ Cup is proof that our horses are competitive anywhere.”
Murray Valene, a 40-year supporter of the Louisiana bred program, purchased Designer Legs at the 2012 sale. “She was a stand out,” said Valene. “She had the ‘look’ and was a big, strong yearling.”
Designer Legs broke her maiden in her first start at Canterbury Park. Less than a month later she won the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes.
The Graeme Hall daughter won the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga. She entered the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes off her win and managed a fifth place finish. The filly then traveled to Keeneland Racecourse in Kentucky where she finished sixth in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes.
Designer Legs won her first two races at Canterbury and Prairie Meadows with trainer Gary Scherer before being turned over to trainer Dallas Stewart by owner Murray Valene to point for the Adirondack. She is still currently in training with Stewart.
Valene feels that Louisiana breds have helped him build a successful program. “Louisiana breds can run anywhere in the U.S.,” said Valene. “They are competitive at any racetrack and the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association program is the best one out there. It’s my favorite program.”
Designer Legs is proving her owner right with her entry in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies this weekend. “She is real,” said Valene. “She has the class and the points to get there. She will try the entire race and this is all for my dad who will be 96 in January.”
Valene reported that the filly is doing extremely well at Santa Anita. “She’s got a pretty good shot because any filly can win this race,” said Valene. “It is a level playing field.”
Two Year-Old Championship entrants shall not have medications, or any other substances administered within 24 hours of post time including authorized bleeder medications otherwise permitted by state regulation.
Valene Farms is ranked as a Graded Stakes Winning Owner with six Top 100 rankings since 2000.  Valene Farms has 69 starts in 2013 with 12 firsts, six thirds, and earning of $420,474. Total earning for Valene Farms are listed at nearly $10 million.
Stewart is a multiple Graded Stakes winning trainer. He was second in the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Golden Soul and second in the 2008 Preakness with Macho Again. He has been in the Top 100 Rankings nine times since 2000.
What began as a one day, 7-race event has grown into a two-day, $27 million extravaganza attracting the best horses, trainers, and owners from across the globe. It has also become the unofficial end and culmination of the thoroughbred-racing season, often with the Breeders’ Cup Classic being the deciding factor in Horse of the Year.
For more information call (504) 947-4676 or visit


Monday, August 19, 2013

Signing up ShopLafayette by LafayetteTravel Sponsors.

ShopLafayette™ by LafayetteTravel
Sponsorship Packages

What is ShopLafayette?
ShopLafayette by LafayetteTravel is a campaign to promote shopping at Lafayette Parish businesses along with increasing overnight stays at hotels and motels. The campaign is intended to increase top of mind awareness for Lafayette as a travel destination.

What is the purpose?
The primary purpose is to increase retail sales and hotel/motel occupancy while promoting Lafayette as a place to shop and stay. Individuals, groups and families most likely include a shopping excursion when they travel of out town. The ShopLafayette campaign promotes the diversity of retail, overnight and events during the holiday season.

How will it work?
ShopLafayette by Lafayette.Travel is the marketing engine for promoting what already exists: retail outlets, overnight accommodations and events. All of these are reasons for people to come to Lafayette, especially during the holiday shopping season.

Promotional events and opportunities will be the foundation for media, PR, social media marketing and other campaign drivers.

Kick off promotion period in September including IND Style Show and related fashion/trunk shows.
Holiday Events (Cajun/Creole Christmas)
Holiday Shopping (November)
Black Friday
Last Minute Shopping (December)

Unlike EatLafayette™, which the campaign is modeled after, a store/outlet participation fee is not part of the process. The process would be very difficult with hundreds, if not thousands, of retailers.

Revenue to fund the campaign needs to come from single sources: shopping districts, organizations and other businesses that benefit from the effort.

Who can participate?

All merchants, retailers, restaurants and hotels in Lafayette Parish are included. Website listings and social media mentions are FREE. The campaign is NOT limited to locally-owned establishments.

Who will it target?

The campaign will target out of market media to encourage new dollars and overnight stays, especially during the weekends when hotel/motel occupancy is at its lowest.

This year’s promotional campaign dates are September 15 – December 31, 2013.

How is it marketed?

Paid media: television, print, radio, outdoor and online advertising
Social media: all platforms
Direct marketing: eNewsletters
Promotions: In store, social media, media and direct marketing giveaways, specials and others
Website: shopping districts and interactive map – <> .

How is it funded?

Lafayette Travel provided seed funding in 2012 and will continue as a major sponsor. Lafayette Travel also cycles in ShopLafayette ad into its current in and out of market media schedules. This provides a good base of marketing, but it alone is not enough to sustain the campaign.

Media and business sponsorships available are:
• $10,000 title sponsorship
• $5,000
• $2,500
• $1,000

ShopLafayette Sponsor benefits:

* Sponsor brand will appear on all advertising (TV and print as well as mentioned in radio spots), logo/link on the website and mention in all press releases. The sponsor has the opportunity to develop a promotion using the ShopLafayette theme and logo.
* Social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest are leveraged to increase visibility for the sponsor and the campaign. Sponsors can send multiple messages, videos and photos to be posted on all social media.
* The website and all social media are maintained all year long. Posts encourage friends/fans to engage in ShopLafayette by supporting the restaurants and sponsors.
* Opportunity to script special messages on the weekly eNewsletter that has a database of over 10,000+ qualified emails.
* Shopping Centers and Malls sponsorships are only eligible at the $5,000 and above level, although all sponsorship offers will be considered during the inaugural year. Tagged and promotional support will be evaluated as well.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013 EatLafayette Campaign Continues With AT&T Support

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Julie Calzone
(337) 235-2924 ext 18

Lafayette Travel
Kelly Strenge
(337) 232-3737

2013 EatLafayette Campaign Continues With AT&T Support

(Lafayette, La.) - AT&T, a leading provider of worldwide telecommunications services, renewed its sponsorship for the 2013 EatLafayette™ by Lafayette Travel campaign. AT&T has supported the campaign for multiple years. The campaign that promotes Lafayette, Louisiana’s locally owned restaurants runs through September 2 and touts the Fly Lafayette Club as its title sponsor.
“Lafayette’s culture and our corporate culture can be traced back for decades,” said Donna Byrne, regional director for AT&T Louisiana. “The EatLafayette campaign highlights how special this area is through its cuisine. The culture and the history of the community are what make the food so special. Many of the recipes in our restaurants are generations old.”

AT&T’s history is so rich that one can trace its roots back to the first man who invented the first practical telephone in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell. AT&T is responsible for the first transatlantic phone call in 1927. Other creations that AT&T scientists are credited for are the first transistor, the solar cell, and the C++ programming language.

AT&T builds technical innovations for the benefit of its customers. It implements next-generation technologies and network advancements. AT&T’s creates and designs new global networks, processes, and service platforms that allow the best performance for its customers.

With the nation’s largest 4G network covering over 292 million people, AT&T provides an abundant amount of services, from its revolutionary smartphones to its next-generation TV services.

“Want to tell your friends about this year’s EatLafayette campaign?” said Byrne. “Use your smartphone and computer through our network to share the website or stay connected through social media. This really helps promote the restaurants.”

“EatLafayette and AT&T share long-standing core values: not only do they support the community they reside in, but they consider themselves to be members of the community as well,” said Byrne. “As a philanthropic company, it only makes sense for AT&T to sponsor a campaign that supports locally-owned restaurants.”

EatLafayette by Lafayette Travel brought to you by the Fly Lafayette Club, has celebrated Lafayette’s cuisine for nine years. This year’s edition of the campaign markets Lafayette, Louisiana’s one-of-a-kind locally owned restaurants signed up 73 participants, a record number.

It began a simple concept of helping locally owned eateries attract customers that grew to a multi-media campaign that now spans 11 weeks. The campaign is funded by sponsorships, registration fees, Lafayette Travel and support by local media groups. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Proactive Solutions to Keep Your Data Systems Up To Date

News | Calzone and Associates, Inc.

Maintenance Agreements: Proactive Solutions to Keep Your Data Systems Up To Date

For Immediate Release

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

Total Network Technologies Contact:
Lee Knott
(337) 232-2525

Maintenance Agreements: Proactive Solutions to Keep Your Data Systems Up To Date

(Lafayette, La.) - Total Network Technologies offers an array of maintenance agreements to help businesses' data systems run at their top potential.

Preventative Maintenance

One of Total Network Technologies' skilled technicians will ensure that each covered system has all of the necessary software updates, perform periodical hardware and software health checks, and verify that your systems and data are properly protected in the event of virus attacks or hardware failure.

Remedial Maintenance

Total Network Technologies technicians are always on the look out to prevent downtime causing issues before they happen to make sure you stay up and running. If during the course of their preventative maintenance an issue is noticed, they will work to resolve it quickly before you even have to notice it might become an issue.

Problem Resolution

Sometimes the unexpected happens and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. When that happens, Total Network Technologies technicians are ready to find resolutions to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

Reduced Rates and Priority Support

Total Network Technologies' goal is to make sure that you receive fast, quality service for great prices. Their commitment to providing excellent customer service is only exceeded by their commitment to quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What systems will this agreement cover?

Total Network Technologies' standard agreements can include computers, servers, virtual machines, network devices, network printers, and phone systems. If it connects to your network, it will probably be covered.

How often will Total Network Technologies maintain these systems?

One of Total Network Technologies' representatives will work with you directly to find a schedule that is suited best for your company. They understand that no two companies are exactly the same, so each of their maintenance agreements is custom fit for each company's needs. Total Network Technologies will set up recurring scheduled day(s) for their technicians to come out to your site and perform the necessary tasks. This way, you know when to expect maintenance and Total Network Technologies can work to limit the interruptions to your staff and daily tasks.

What happens if something happens outside of my scheduled maintenance day?

Included in your agreement is a predetermined pool of service hours which you can use at any time outside of your scheduled day. Total Network Technologies staff will be more than happy to work with you to schedule technicians to quickly resolve priority issues as they arise.

What if an issue arises that isn't covered or I have a large project coming up?

Total Network Technologies is always willing to assist with your needs, no matter what. In the event that a situation doesn't fit within the covered maintenance agreeent, Total Network Technologies will work with you to find a suitable solution, such as discounted service rates or prepaid block time. Total Network Technologies' goal is to make sure your company keeps running smoothly and will do whatever it takes to help you.

How much does it cost?

This is entirely dependent on the number of systems that you want covered. Total Network Technologies can even send out a technician to inventory your site and provide you with a number of systems eligible for coverage and provide you with estimated pricing per item. That way you can decide exactly which items you want us to worry about for you.

For more information, call 337-232-2525 or email


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

During an Emergency or Crisis, Use Your Network for Reach and Your Website for Credibility

From Social Media Today: 

Crisis Communications in the Network Age

Crisis management is just part of the reputation and community management we execute on a regular basis.

Emergency preparedness has been on our minds lately with the 2013 Hurricane Season already experiencing its third named storm.

It's important not only to prepare internally, but also to prepare your staff for any external questions and customer service.

Here's what we suggest you do:
  1. Let your clients know how they can get in touch with you in case of an emergency BEFORE they need that information.
  2. Inform your clients as to where they can find your company updates.
  3. Social media sites can be hacked very easily. For your company updates, make the home for your updates be your website. This lends credibility. Plan to use your social media networks to reach your customers and fans and spread your message.
  4. The space on your website for emergency updates should be easily accessible and user-friendly.
  5. Make sure all of your employees know answers to common customer service questions and know where to direct customers if they receive a more complex question.
    • During recent events and emergencies, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites have proven to be the place where people go first for updates. In the event of a company emergency, it is important that your all employees can monitor complaints and stay informed and knowledgeable to contain the possibility of chaos. You want your company to be a source of peace of mind and factual, relevant information. Employee preparation will make this happen.
  6. Make sure your employees know where your emergency updates will be posted and who will be posting them.
  7. Put someone in charge of going through your social media account to halt and/or reschedule ALL of your scheduled posts. If you have clients or sponsors whose scheduled posts or releases were scheduled during the emergency period, that person needs to alert your clients about the change and inform them of the rescheduled deployment date and time.
There are many more things you can do that best fit your business model, industry, and community culture.

Calzone can help you create your community management plan. Call us at 337-235-2924 ext. 0.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Scholarship opportunity.

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Will Award Scholarships at Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino
For Immediate Release
LTBA Contact:
Roger Heitzmann
(504) 947-4676
Media Contact:
Julie Calzone
(337) 235- 2924 ext. 18
(New Orleans, La.) – Louisiana Legends Night will take place on July 6, 2013 at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino in Opelousas, Louisiana. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association has evolved from a small group of horsemen who united in 1963 to the top thoroughbred breeding program in the United States. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two (2) scholarships each valued at $1,000 at the upcoming Louisiana Legends Night on July 6, 2013. The winners will be announced after the fifth race and photographs will be taken with the winners. The races begin at 5:40 p.m. and the student must be there to register between 4:40 p.m. and 5:40 p.m. at the designated booth.
The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
• Must be a college student that will be enrolled full time for Fall 2013.
• Must be in good standing with the college.
• Must be present to win.
The scholarship will be deposited directly to the student's account at the college. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
"The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is pleased to make an investment in the future of our state by investing in the education process," said Roger Heitzmann, secretary-treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
Registration time: 4:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m. CT
Drawing time: Approximately 7:40 p.m.
For more information please call 1-800-772-1195 or visit

Monday, June 24, 2013

KLFY TV is Louisiana Media Partner for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

KLFY played a key role in making this honor possible for Father Louis Richard for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. They are the Louisiana Media Partner for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, and they open a nomination process each spring, asking viewers to submit nominations of people in the Acadiana community who have made the area a better place to live.  They receive hundreds of nominations each year, and the process of choosing a single local winner is a difficult one.

Blue Rolfes is KLFY’s coordinator of the Jefferson Awards; she choose the nominee based on the nomination letter, and the impact that the nominee has had on the community.  The Jefferson Awards recognizes individuals who have identified a previously unmet need in their community, frequently because of a personal or family tragedy, and who then build an infrastructure to meet that need and an accompanying 501(c)3 organization to provide the service that solves the problem.  Past Acadiana nominees have included Marcel Citron, founder of FoodNet;  Dr. Chuck Wyatt, who created the Community Bystander CPR program “Heartstarter” and Hank and Debbie Perret, who created the Miles Perret Cancer Services Center in memory of their son Miles, who lost his life to brain cancer. 

KLFY's annual Media Partner dues underwrite the entire cost of round-trip airfare for the nominee to Washington, DC for the national ceremonies, all meals, hotel accomodations and spending money to underwrite expenses such as taxis and tips. 

Thank you for sharing all of this and this role model to follow.

"We took on this project many years ago because we felt it would be an effective way to encourage volunteer service in our community, and to provide much-deserved recognition to the many 'unsung heroes' who devote their lives to helping others.   Please help us help everyone in our community recognize the critically important role our volunteer activists play in making Lafayette, and Acadiana, the greatest place on earth to live."
--Blue Rolfes

Hospice of Acadiana Founder Receives National Jefferson Award

Acceptance Speech to talk about Hospice of Acadiana at the 2013 Jefferson Awards in Washington D.C.
 Incredible visit with Professor Elie Wiesel who shared his reflections on life and peace at the Jefferson Awards in Washington D.C.  This was a moving event.
 Joyce and Father Louis.
Receiving the 2013 Jefferson Award in Washington, D.C. for Community Service in helping to found Hospice of Acadiana 30 years ago.  This program has been a real gift to our community, serving now over 18,000 people.

It all began with the death of a beloved grandmother.  On the day of his graduation from college in 1977, Fr. Louis Richard’s grandmother was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.  Seven months later, she succumbed to this illness, while he was away in Belgium, having begun his graduate theological studies for the priesthood. 

The following month in Belgium, Fr. Richard attended a symposium on “Death and Dying” by a British physician named Dr. Ciceley Saunders, who is the founder of the modern day Hospice movement and a contemporary of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.  Dr. Saunders invited Fr. Richard to come spend his next summer working at St. Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham, a London suburb.   Dr. Saunders said that so often when people are diagnosed with a terminal disease, they are “given up on” since there is nothing to cure them.  She says that is when “care must truly take over”.

Working at St. Christopher’s was the experience that galvanized Fr. Richard’s commitment to care for the dying.  He resolved to return to the States and upon ordination work with others to establish a similar program in the Lafayette community.  Meeting with other community volunteers, Fr. Richard helped to found Hospice of Acadiana in 1983.  It’s philosophy and mission has not wavered in these past thirty years: all dying people and those close to them should have access to appropriate and highly professional care and support, when they need it, wherever they need it and whoever they are.  While there are many other for-profit programs in the country today, Hospice of Acadiana remains the oldest program in Louisiana and one of only two non-profit programs that accept all patients, regardless of ability to pay.

Fr. Louis Richard, a Roman Catholic priest, is currently pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Broussard, La.  He also serves as Chancellor of St. Thomas More Catholic High School and St. Cecilia School.  Among his other volunteer activities, he has been the chaplain for Acadian Ambulance Service for 30 years.

He recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive the 2013 Jefferson Award for Public Service, going there as Louisiana’s ambassador for community involvement, in recognition of his efforts to help found Hospice of Acadiana.

Permission to use any of the pictures from the Awards Ceremony-Fr. Richard’s Facebook account.  Better quality pictures are available:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We made a foodie city.

Lafayette highlights 73 restaurants in eat local push

The city of Lafayette has launched its eat local campaign. EatLafayette is in its ninth year of promoting the mom-and-pop restaurants that have put Lafayette on the map as a foodie town. Ben Berthelot, executive director of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, has found that over the years more and more local restaurants have pulled together for this campaign.
Credit Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission
“We went from 19 restaurants in a two-week campaign nine years ago, to this year we have basically a three-month campaign and 73 restaurants participating," Berthelot said.
Berthelot said his tourism bureau spent about $150,000 on advertising it last year, and the reach will extend even farther outside the region this year. Lafayette was recently recognized as a top 10 "Foodie City" in company with the likes of Madison, Wis., and Berkeley, Calif. Berthelot said it’s Acadiana’s locally-owned restaurants that earned them this distinction, and they deserve support.
“From a [restaurant's] manpower standpoint sometimes it’s a challenge. Meeting their bottom line – they have very small margins," Berthelot said. "Anything that we can do to help our locally-owned restaurants be successful and help us to continue our great reputation as a 'Foodie City' I think is important, and that’s what EatLafayette is all about.”
A Taste of Lafayette kick-off event will be held tomorrow night. The EatLafayette campaign runs through Sept. 2, and organizers will give away a four-day cruise as part of the promotion.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Third Time Is The Charm for EatLafayette by Lafayette Travel and Fly Lafayette Club

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Julie Calzone
Lafayette Travel Contact:
Kelly Strenge
(Lafayette, La.) – It is year nine for EatLafayette™ by Lafayette Travel and year three for title sponsor Fly Lafayette Club. This year’s edition of the campaign that celebrates and markets Lafayette, Louisiana’s one-of-a-kind locally owned restaurants signed up 71 participants, a record number.
It was a simple concept of helping locally owned eateries attract customers that has grown to a multi-media campaign that now spans 11 weeks beginning June 17. The campaign is funded by sponsorships, registration fees, Lafayette Travel and support by local media groups.
Past campaigns have been touted as the reason why summer months that are typically the slowest in the restaurant business are now some of the busiest months for participants.
The Fly Lafayette Club is the Lafayette Regional Airport’s way of thanking travelers for using the airport for their flights. Members have the opportunity to win great rewards from sponsors. Gifts include free meals from some of the EatLafayette restaurants, merchandise, gift certificates from local merchants and more.
“We have thousands of Fly Lafayette Club members,” said Greg Roberts, director of aviation for the Lafayette Regional Airport. “Every year we sign up hundreds of new fans through EatLafayette events. It is a great combination of programs that have people who are passionate about all things ‘Lafayette’.”

“It is really partnership of three organizations (Lafayette Travel, Fly Lafayette Club and EatLafayette) that market the best of what Lafayette has to offer to the community and travelers.” Said Ben Berthelot, executive director for the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission. “Lafayette is the heart of Louisiana's Cajun Country and home to Cajun and Creole music, food and culture. Our locally owned restaurants and airport are gateways to the amazing flavors and experiences of our community. It is what sets us apart.”
Lafayette is known for its distinct culinary identity that is a combination of generations old restaurants and creations by new, young chefs who are creating a town of “foodies.”
“With raising costs and shrinking margins it becomes a challenge to bring customers in without deep discounts,” said Tim Metcalf, president of Dean-O’s Pizza. “EatLafayette is the perfect opportunity to bring in new faces without huge costs. By encouraging locals to keep their hard earned dollars local and visit Lafayette’s best restaurants it’s a cost effective marketing plan. Dean-O’s uses EatLafayette as the centerpiece of their summer ad campaign. In simple terms ‘It Works’.”
For more information, contact the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission at 337.232.3737 or visit the EatLafayette website at

Friday, May 31, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

The best references are when it really does work for the businesses and people we serve.

With raising costs and shrinking margins it becomes a challenge to bring customers in without deep discounts. EatLafayette is the perfect opportunity to bring in new faces without huge costs. By encouraging locals to keep their hard earned dollars local and visit Lafayette’s best restaurants it’s a cost effective marketing plan. Dean-O’s uses EatLafayette as the centerpiece of their summer ad campaign. In simple terms ‘It Works’.” 
Tim Metcalf 
Dean-O’s Pizza 

“EatLafayette is what keeps our Cajun culture alive! What a wonderful program to educate our locals about the importance of keeping the local mom and pops in business – we are both innovators and the keepers of the traditional Cajun cuisine we all enjoy and love. EatLafayette reminds people about their wonderful culinary heritage. Love the program!” 
Richard & Lori Hurst 
Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn & Little River Inn 

“The Taste of Lafayette Kick-Off event alone was worth the cost for us – especially since it took place just a few weeks before we opened our doors for business! It was a great way to get in front of people who really appreciate local, quality restaurants without any risk to them” 
Tom and Pam Peters 
The Lab Handcrafted Coffee and Comforts 

Monday, April 22, 2013

The devil is in the details.

I preach about being detail oriented every day. Maybe now people will understand why it is so important to quadruple check everything. This is such a good example of a poor excuse for a mistake.

Store ad along side a story about the recipe for a pressure cooker bomb.

Festival International Founding.

From a response to a newspaper story. I am posting it because true beginnings should be remembered so history gets it right, no matter who tells the story.

Thank you for writing a very informative article about Festival International de Louisiane and its impact upon our city, region and state in today's Daily Advertiser.

However, a key component of your story is missing. Where did the idea for staging an annual visual and performing arts festival come from? As Founding President of Festival International de Louisiane, I have observed over the years that a landmark exhibition of paintings from Senegal West Africa presented by the University Art Museum of the University of Southwestern Louisiana in the spring of 1985 is almost always overlooked as a key component in the birth of Festival International. The following statement from your article illustrates how easy it is to forget the actual events that led to the creation of Festival.

[Gustin and community leaders met to discuss ways to attract more people to hear the music of the Francophone countries that had partnered with Lafayette.

“Somebody just said, ‘Let’s put all of our resources together and make it a one-time event, and focus all resources and time and money on that one event,” Gustin said.

And Festival was born.]

The 1985 Senegalese exhibition was complimented by a one week residency of Senegalese musicians Arfan and Kinda Diabate Kouyate who performed griot music in the museum, in Lafayette Parish public schools, at Southern University in Baton Rouge, and on the television program "Folks" which was aired statewide by Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The Senegalese musicians spoke French, not English, since Senegal, like Louisiana, had once been a French colony. I was amazed that I was able to speak with the Senegalese musicians using my native Cajun French, and realized we shared a Francophone heritage.

In the summer of 1985, I traveled to Amman, Jordan where I visited nine ancient village sites throughout the Jordan River Valley, working with USL architecture major Ammar Khammash on an international traveling exhibition and publication documenting these ancient sites. This project was funded by Queen Noor and the Royal Endowment for Culture and Education of Jordan, in response to a grant proposal I had submitted to the Queen. My total immersion in the desert environment and culture of Jordan was transformative. I realized how fortunate I was to have experienced within a six month period, the cultures of Senegal and Jordan, and I began to wonder about the possibility of organizing an arts festival in Lafayette, similar to the world renowned Spoletto Festival in Charleston, South Carliona, that could introduce the citizens of Lafayette to various world cultures.

I decided to take advantage of my return flight to Lafayette from Amman which made stops in Amsterdam and New York City to visit major art museums in those two world capitols. My first visit to Amsterdam included the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum as well as a concert of Indian sitar music at the largest concert hall in Amsterdam, part of a summer long India Festival being celebrated in several European capitols. In New York I visited the city's major art museums and attended several concerts.

When I returned to Lafayette in August 1985, I reflected upon the fact that within the first eight months of that year, I had experienced the finest cultural expressions of Senegal, Jordan, Holland, India, and New York City, and my interest in establishing an arts festival in Lafayette was stronger than ever. In the fall of 1985, I
approached representatives of Lafayette city and parish governments, Downtown Development Authority, Lafayette Parish Convention and Visitor Bureau, CODOFIL and the Délégation du Quebec en Louisiane with the arts festival concept. At a time when the local economy was faltering and citizens were feeling pessimistic about the region’s future, cultural tourism was seen as an economic development tool that had the potential to help turn the economy around and lift the spirits of area residents. Simultaneously, Lafayette's Department of Community Development and the Downtown Development Authority were already at work on plans to revitalize our city's center that had deteriorated as businesses and residents relocated to the suburbs surrounding Lafayette.

Jean Goyer, head of the Quebec Delegation's Lafayette office, shared information with our loosely organized ad hoc committee, about the Festival d'été de Quebec, an international francophone festival held every summer in the city of Quebec. In 1986 Mr. Goyer worked with our committee and Quebec officials to organize a fact finding mission to three summer Canadian festivals: the International Folklore Festival in Drummondville, Quebec, the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Festival d'été in the city of Quebec which was staging its 19th festival that year. Our committee, composed of representatives of Lafayette city and parish governments, CODOFIL, and the Downtown Development Authority, met with organizers of the three festivals, and was given detailed information about the organization of world class festivals including programming, production, public relations and marketing, fundraising and sponsorships, hospitality, and transportation.

Our committee returned to Lafayette and after holding a number of meetings with community representatives, decided to organize an international visual and performing arts festival in downtown Lafayette that would focus upon the French speaking countries of the world. A 501C3 non-profit organization was formed, led by a 35 member board of directors and a 12 member executive committee. The July 4th weekend of 1987 was selected for staging the first Festival to coincide with a special event - La Semaine Chantante International - a francophone choral convention of 500 singers meeting in the United States for the very first time. Sponsorships of the first festival came from state and local governments, corporate sponsors, the Quebec Delegation, French Cultural Services and the Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique headquartered in Paris.

When the citizens of Lafayette heard the magnificent syncopated drumming beats of the Master Drummers of Rwanda on opening night, it was clear our city had crossed the threshold of global awareness, and the idea of staging an annual international festival in Lafayette was both feasible and highly desirable.

The dedication of Festival's founders can never be overlooked, for it was their dedication, determination, perseverance and belief in the vision of Festival that witnessed an unprecedented commitment of time, energy, expertise and financial resources. Without that commitment, there would be no Festival today.

Through the years, Lafayette has embraced Festival’s mission to enrich our community by organizing a celebration of native cultures, stimulate interest in Francophone cultures around the world, and develop cultural tourism and enhance economic development by expanding Lafayette’s reputation as an arts center and destination for cultural events.

I thank you once again for writing about Festival today, and hope you will find an opportunity to share a more complete story of the birth of Festival International de Louisiane with the readers of the Daily Advertiser and the citizens of Lafayette.

Herman Mhire
Founding President
Festival International de Louisiane
President of the Board 1986 - 1989

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cafe Vermilionville: Incredible food, worth the drive

Cafe Vermilionville in Lafayette exudes a rich ambiance from the inviting big front porch of the historic two-story building to the newer dining room added to the back of the original structure. Once you are seated, the wall of differently shaped, architecturally interesting windows draws the eye to the beautifully landscaped patio area and the wonderful muted music hits just the right note. As the sun sets, lights appear in the garden and candles are lit on the white-clothed tables.
The service at the restaurant was top notch. Our waiter was charming, answered all of our questions knowledgeably and the wait staff anticipated every need without being intrusive.
And then there was the food. From the appetizers to the desserts the food was incredible. The menu is divided into two pages. The first page has the starters, soups, salads and entrees our waiter said their customers won’t let them change, and the second page has newer creations from the kitchen, along with seasonal fare. We ordered from both pages but leaned more on the side of the favorites. We could see why customers won’t let them go.
We really liked the cafe sampler for two ($14), a bite-sized combination of crawfish beignets sitting on a wonderful mustard aioli, bacon wrapped garlic shrimp, fried alligator tenderloin, battered and fried pickles, and sliced grilled Cajun sausage. Everything was delicious and presented in a pleasing minimalist fashion. Our other appetizer was the black-eyed pea cake ($12). While delicious, this dish is dense and the two burger sized cakes should be shared or eaten as an entree. The well cooked peas were perfectly seasoned with wonderful bits of smoky tasso, shaped into cakes, fried and topped with a sweet and spicy green tomato jam.
The two soups we tried were a big hit, in fact, the sweet, rich and creamy roasted corn and crab bisque ($7) was one person’s favorite dish. The deep dark brown smoked turkey and andouille gumbo ($7) was smoky and good and a great combination of complex flavors and spices.
The steak Louis XIII ($38) featured a six-ounce perfectly cooked filet mignon finished with a wild mushroom demi-glace and crawfish mornay sauce. The demi-glace, which our waiter said is reduced over two days, was so delicious almost anything would taste good topped with it, not to mention a delicious piece of tender steak. The crawfish tails and mornay were also quite good. This plate came with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
The 16-ounce grilled ribeye royale ($36) was also perfectly cooked. This large, tender, juicy steak came with roasted red potatoes and asparagus.
We also loved the gulf fish Acadien ($30), again from the traditional side of the menu. A wonderful plate of pan-seared black drum, fresh lump crab meat, roasted corn and peppers, parmesan risotto and a lemon dill beurre blanc. Mixing these layers of tastes together in one bite was a wonderful combination of just-right flavors and textures. This also came with steamed asparagus.
We agree with the customers who would not let Cafe Vermilionville take these items off the menu, but the roasted quail ($27) from page two probably isn’t going anywhere either. The two tender quail were stuffed with mashed sweet potatoes and lavender and served with honey braised mustard greens seasoned with pancetta and finished with a rosemary citrus vinaigrette and seated on a cornbread round. You could really taste the lavender in the meat but it wasn’t overpowering — just enough to give it a wonderful fresh flavor. The greens and cornbread were the perfect partner.
When our waiter brought the dessert cart he said the restaurant’s desserts were all made in-house by the same person for more than 20 years, which reinforces the adage that practice makes perfect. The white chocolate bread pudding ($6.95) was warm and wonderful. The bananas Foster cheesecake ($6.25) was a delicious version of the traditional dessert, and we loved the fresh bananas mixed in with the rich cake.
Our desserts were a great ending to a delightful meal and well worth the drive across the Atchafalaya Basin.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Horse Racing Legends Chris McCarron and Dave Johnson Help Kickoff the 2013 Thoroughbred Racing Program at Evangeline Downs

For Immediate Release

Evangeline Downs Contact:
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino
Anthony Breaux
(337) 594-3138

Public Relations Contact:
Calzone & Associates
Julie Calzone
(337) 235 2924 ext. 3

(Opelousas, La.) - The 2013 Evangeline Downs Thoroughbred-racing season begins Wednesday, April 17. The 84-day meet runs through September 7, 2013.

This will be the first racing season for Evangeline under the ownership of Boyd Gaming, which purchased the track and casino late last year. Boyd Gaming also owns Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel in Vinton, La.

As a part of the season opening activities, Hall of Fame jockey, Chris McCarron, and Dave Johnson, nationally known track announcer, will be on hand to meet horse racing fans on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20. They will also broadcast two live radio shows from Evangeline Downs on Saturday, April 20.

Chris McCarron, elected into horse racing's Hall of Fame in 1989, had one of racing's most successful careers, highlighted by two Kentucky Derby wins and five Breeders' Cup Classic wins. He has won every major horse race the sport has to offer. He was the first jockey to win more than 1,000 races in a two-year period.

For more than 40 years, Dave Johnson has been a famous personality in the Thoroughbred and Standardbred horseracing industry. Dave was the Voice of the Triple Crown for ABC Sports. He has called all of the sport's biggest races. Dave is best known for his signature race call "And Down The Stretch They Come!"

On Saturday, April 20, Dave Johnson and his co-host, award-winning writer Bill Finley, will host two Sirius XM shows live from Evangeline Downs Racetrack. They will first broadcast their weekly, "Down The Stretch" show from 8am - 11am CST.

From 4pm-5pm CST, they will broadcast a special "Kentucky Derby Preview Show" with special guest, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron.

Both shows will air on Sirius channel 93 and XM channel 209.

In addition to the excitement around these racing legends, this year Evangeline Downs is hosting events and promotions all season long in their Clubhouse, paddock area and trackside, said Steve Darbonne, Director of Racing Operations. All the action kicks off April 17 and continues through September 7 with racing Wednesdays through Saturdays; first post time of the night is at 5:40pm.

A total of 23 events worth 1.7 million dollars make up this year's stakes schedule.

As usual, Louisiana Legends Night, slated for July 6, will be one of the highlights of the meet. The Legends card will feature a total of eight races restricted to Louisiana-breds worth a total of $775,000.

Also in July are two divisions of the rich D.S. "Shine" Young Futurity. Trials for the futurity will be run on July 3 and July 4, with the finals, estimated to be worth $120,000 each, set for July 27.

The meet's richest event will once again be the Evangeline Mile. The Mile is for 3-year-olds and up and will be contested on August 10.

The Opelousas, Louisiana-based facility has evolved to the entertainment destination that was the vision when the facility was built in 2003 as a casino, live horse racing facility, and simulcast off-track betting facility. Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino features a state-of-the-art facility with a one-mile oval, 7/8-mile turf course, a 1 1/8-mile chute and nearly 1,000 stalls on the backside. The entire property consists of nearly 750 acres.

The live action of racing has deep roots in the Cajun culture along with a party atmosphere for people of all ages. Louisiana has the most successful racing and breeding incentive program in North America, said Darbonne. We believe our racing program is one of the best entertainment values and something the whole family can enjoy.

Click here to download a copy of the 2013 Thoroughbred Racing Calendar.

• Clubhouse admission is free with a minimum purchase of food and beverage.*
• Free valet and general parking
• Looking for directions, click here.

*Proper attire in clubhouse, reservations recommended. Group Rates are available.
*No age too young or old to attend the races. (Must be 18 or older to bet.)

For more information call (337) 594-3000 or go to


Friday, April 5, 2013

Behind The Scenes Done Right

Jurassic Park is re-released today in 3D - most of us can't wait to catch it in theaters! We found this video this week - how the Tyrannosaurus Rex was constructed from beginning to end - and even though it is 10 minutes long, which is pretty long for recreational internet viewing, we couldn't miss one second.

The content here is so informative and transparent that we couldn't stop watching - we wanted to know more!

This is a great behind the scenes video. The content is so rich that they didn't need to do anything fancy at all and we really don't mind.

We're big fans of beautiful marketing products - who isn't? But when it comes down to the heart of the matter, it's about the content.

If you have something to say, don't worry about how professional it looks or if it has pretty graphics and music. All that comes later, and anyone can do that. What makes our clients special is what they have to say, what they can contribute and share. What is it that you do that sets you apart?

That's where we bring the most value to your company. We help determine your message and give you the confidence to yell it from the rooftops (in your target market, of course). We prompt you about what's important to you, what your product or service is about. We help you figure out the big picture and then zoom in on what's important to your customers so we can help you sell it. That's what we do. That's what's important to us.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013