Edmonton receives Advocacy Award
ALEXANDRIA — Kyle Edmiston, The President and CEO of Visit Lake Charles recently received the Marion “Butch” Fox Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Travel Association. This award is given to an LTA member who goes above and beyond to champion LA’s tourism industry.
Throughout his career in tourism, Edmiston has worked in legislative areas and advocated for the hospitality industry. When the wall of challenges began to close in on the tourism sector in the spring of 2020 with the pandemic, Kyle sprang into action and used his vast legislative experience to resolve the issues.
Even with the cavalcade of natural disasters that rocked Southwest Louisiana in the fall of 2020 and the Visit Lake Charles headquarters uninhabitable, Kyle never lost sight of the future of the tourism industry. . He has lobbied to advocate for the need for additional funding and the diversification of funding sources to ensure that communities across Louisiana can overcome challenges in a variety of ways to achieve optimal levels of success for the hospitality community as a whole. together.
Prior to the 2021 summer legislative session, Edmiston chaired the LACVB’s Tourism Recovery Enhancement District Task Force and was instrumental in Rep. Gaines’ passage of HB 415, including by testifying before the House Committee on Local, Municipal and Parish Affairs. Passing the TRID legislation will allow tourist boards and tourism commissions to better structure their revenue streams with the help of tourism-affected businesses in their respective parishes.
Additionally, along with Jill Kidder of LTA and Walt Leger of New Orleans and company, Edmiston helped drive the adoption of ACT 410 and the creation of the Louisiana Tourism Recovery Program which is spending $60 million in US bailout funds directly to CVBs and OGDs that had been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
At the federal level, Edmiston worked closely with U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy to ensure the tourism industry was represented and compensated for the massive losses in both CARES Act funding and in the ARP law.
Archinard appointed to the board of directors
RED STICK – Christophe D. Archinard of Lake Charles was appointed to the Louisiana Sickle Cell Commission by Governor John Bel Edwards.
The mission of the commission is to improve the delivery of sickle cell services to those affected in all Louisiana parishes by promulgating guidelines for uniformity in service delivery, submitting budget recommendations to the Legislature and Governor, and preparing and publishing an annual report on sickle cell disease. treatments and services in the State of Louisiana.
Archinard is the Executive Director of Southwest Louisiana Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc. He will act as the representative of Southwest Louisiana Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc.
Trio joins EXIT Realty
SULFUR — EXIT Realty Southern is pleased to announce that Morgan Hunter, Katy Edgerton and Megan Pego joined its growing team of dedicated real estate sales professionals.
EXIT Realty Southern, located at 2730 Maplewood Drive, Sulfur, Louisiana, is a proud member of the growing EXIT Realty of Louisiana network of independently owned and operated brokerages throughout the region.
Ardoin joins LC Memorial Health
Lake Charles Memorial Health System hosts Michael ArdoinMHA, MT (ASCP) to the management team as the new deputy administrator.
Born and raised in southwest Louisiana, the Sulfur native graduated from McNeese State University with a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. Working in the lab as a generalist, department supervisor, and director, Ardoin’s passion for leadership and improving the health care of his community inspired him to continue his education.
While remaining a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and an LSBME Certified Clinical Laboratory Scientist, he also earned his Masters in Health Care Administration at LSU Shreveport. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
The experience and skills he brings to the team will play a key role in the continued growth of the Lake Charles Memorial Health System and community services.
BBB Announces Officers and Directors
The Better Business Bureau Serving Southwest Louisiana Board of Directors has a new slate of officers for 2022.
Jennifer Istre of Iberia Bank will assume the functions of President, allen jarvis of Knight Media as Vice President, Cheyenne Boudreaux of Mission Flares and Combustion as Treasurer and Stacey Corbello of Terrell & Associates as secretary.
Ben Stine of McElveen Insurance served as President in 2021 and will now be an ex officio member this year.
The following individuals will serve as members of the Board of Directors: ryan abel of Abell & Sons, Kay Fox of Beauregard Electric, adam guinn Port Aggregates, Darrel Metoyer by Boyd Gaming, Robert Soleau by J&J Exterminating, Wendy Stine of Stine Lumber, Joe Weber of the Navarre Auto Group, Matthew Welsh West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, and Jason Williams by Pat Williams Construction.
Visit recognized Lake Charles
Visit Lake Charles was recently honored with Tourism/Country Promotion of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Association.
In the fall of 2019, Visit Lake Charles rebranded the destination as extensive research revealed that Visit Lake Charles’ brand should include more vibrant experiences, rich cultural diversity and food traditions, as well as its strong leadership in playgrounds and wide open spaces.
With this data in hand, it was time to claim the destination’s position as Louisiana’s premier resort destination by developing a new identity, channeling the true feelings, flavors and memories of past visitors, locals and partners in industry.
The new brand was only on the market for 10 weeks when COVID-19 brought travel to a halt. Mother Nature delivered devastating blow after blow, leaving Louisiana’s Playground “under construction” for 2020 and early 2021. In April 2021, the Visit Lake Charles—Louisiana’s Playground campaign was finally relaunched.
Media metrics revealed that the campaign produced 31 million impressions, 63,000 landing page views, 14,000 engaged visitors, and an engagement rate of 22.13%. Organic website traffic to Visit Lake Charles has increased 23% since the relaunch with confirmed visits (measured by in-market devices) from all 50 states. The occupancy rate increased by 39% year-on-year to reach 70.4%; demand increased by 8% and revenues increased by 35%.
Rebuilding SWLA Partner of the Year
The Rebuilding SWLA Community Coalition was recently named Community Partner of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Association. Coalition members were communications teams for Visit Lake Charles, City of Lake Charles, Community Foundation, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, City of Sulfur, Cameron Parish, United Way of Southwest Louisiana and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura in the fall of 2020, the City of Lake Charles worked alongside Visit Lake Charles, the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, and United Way of Southwest Louisiana to meet the needs of residents and businesses in southwest Louisiana.
Mayor Nic Hunter and Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of Visit Lake Charles, formalized the partnership with the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, City of Sulfur and Cameron Parish for #RebuildSWLA. Of the, Angie Manningvice president of communications, coordinated with other coalition members to formulate a communications strategy and the RebuildingSWLA.org website.
In November 2020, Visit Lake Charles officially launched a CommUNITY of Resilience initiative to share a message of unity and resilience with local stakeholders and potential visitors. A community video was created for VisitLakeCharles.org and distributed via social media on Facebook and YouTube, and via a press release to amplify people’s spirit and the rebuilding of Southwest Louisiana. Visit Lake Charles also encouraged donations for local relief efforts through community partners United Way of Southwest Louisiana and Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana.
The coalition created content for stories of resilience to feature on Rebuilding SWLA platforms, curating new content from community partners and building the Facebook page fan base. Each entity has administrative rights to the Facebook page, and communications teams work together to generate new ideas and effective ways to reach the public and visiting public regarding progress being made as well as ongoing humanitarian efforts in the region. .
In the spring of 2021, the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana worked with a local agency and members of the Rebuilding SWLA Community Coalition to produce a Community Hope “Shout It from the Rooftops” video. The video reached over 150,000 people and had over 54,000 views.
On July 27, 2021, exactly one month before the anniversary of Hurricane Laura, Mayor Hunter launched a Help SWLA Now campaign.
Christus Ochsner welcomes the team
In its ongoing efforts to expand specialty services in the region, Ochsner Christus Health Centre-St. Patrick, 401 Dr. Michael Debakey Drive, is home to a new group practice in gastroenterology, which focuses on the digestive system. In addition to accessing expertise in a critical healthcare area, patients benefit from Ochsner’s EPIC electronic medical record system, which provides seamless care across Ochsner providers.
The group’s service providers are:
Ricardo Michael McCall, MD, is a Lake Charles native and has practiced in the area for over 20 years. McCall earned an MD from LSU Medical Center-Shreveport and completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Texas at Houston. He completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Ochsner Medical Foundation in New Orleans. He is a member of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Louisiana State Medical Society, and Calcasieu Parish Medical Society.
Nisha Babu PatelMD, earned an MD from the Medical Branch of the University of Texas at Galveston. Patel completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles and a fellowship in gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
Madalyn Chaumont, NP, specializes in gastroenterology with prior experience in family medicine. She earned her nursing degree from McNeese State University and a master’s degree in nursing from Herzing University in New Orleans. Chaumont is a member of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Nurses Association.