Leadership Tangipahoa - The 2018/2019 Year In Review

Ripple Podcast - Brian Walker, Mark Verbois, Eddie Hebert - Episode 19

Leadership Tangipahoa - The 2018/2019 Year In Review

Leadership Tangipahoa - The 2018/2019 Year In Review

Ripple Podcast - Brian Walker, Mark Verbois, Eddie Hebert - Episode 19

In this episode of The Ripple Podcast, Brian speaks with Eddie Hebert and Mark Verbois about the 2018/2019 class of Leadership Tangipahoa. The trio recently graduated from this amazing program and share their insights from each month's adventure.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode


Speaker 1: (00:01)
Welcome y'all to another episode of The Ripple Podcast where we talk about the things that matter to small business. This week we're going to be talking about Leadership Tangipahoa. I'm here with Mark Verboise and Eddie Hebert and we are graduates of the 2018/2019 class of Leadership Tangipahoa. I'll let them introduce themselves. Mark, tell us about yourself

Speaker 2: (00:23)
Um, again, my name is Mark Verbois. Um, I was part of the, my connection to Leadership Tangipahoa was the, uh, Theta XI Alumni Association. Um, I kind of found out about Leadership Tangipahoa many years back. I was formerly on the Ladies Top 28, uh, Sweet 16 changed names, uh, basketball board, Elec, GSA, basketball board here for the Hammond local board. Um, and just got involved with community and that's where I learned about it. Um, my new job, I switched positions at my current work, allowed me to opportunity to do that. And, um, like I said, I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It's been wonderful.

Speaker 3: (00:58)
All right, so Eddie, and so I'm Eddie Hebert. I'm the current kinesiology and health studies department head at Southeastern Louisiana University. Um, I knew about Leadership Tangipahoa because there's always a representative of campus. Um, that's on it. Um, I'd read the articles in the camp, in the Hammond Daily Star Newspaper. Um, and I was intrigued, um, with the program. Um, I had a friend of mine that went through it and said, and he told me, you need to do this. You're a perfect candidate for this. You're gonna really enjoy it.

Speaker 1: (01:33)
Awesome. Well, I'm Brian Walker, I'm the CO owner of 5 Stones Media, a marketing agency located in Hammond, Louisiana and I own 5 Stones with my wife Kim. And for years now I've heard Kim talk about Leadership Tangipahoa and I've known that she wanted to go to it or through it and I'm at back to it a little bit. Well, not intentionally, but, um, I serve on the Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation board and it is customary that the incoming president, um, or someone on the board goes through Leadership Tangipahoa and they asked me if I would do it and I was like, Oh boy, I'm going to get in trouble for this one. Cause Kim's been wanting to do it for years. So, um, but anyway, that's, that's why I went through and Kim was actually, uh, she just got accepted to go, uh, into the 2019/2020 year. So, well, let's just kinda talk about leadership, tangible ha and all of the things that we did. Uh, it started out with a meet and greet, right. Um, you know, and that was really my first opportunity to know who else was in the class. Did y'all know anything beforehand? I don't know of anybody.

Speaker 3: (02:43)
No. No. It was a great surprise to get there and of course see a few familiar faces. Correct. Um, but also, you know, meet some people that were gonna be part of your, of your cohort, part of your class. The great thing about the group

Speaker 2: (02:54)
stretch of [inaudible] the incoming year is it's, it's really, uh, it runs a gamut. You got very new people, fairly new bit people to the business world in the Hammond area. And then you've got seasoned professionals like Mr Eddie Hebert himself and a couple of CEOs and, uh, high ranking, um, leaders in the community. So that group, it's, that's what makes it fun. It really is.

Speaker 1: (03:19)
And I think that's a great strength of the program is the diversity of the people who are in each of the classes because there's one representative from the university and there are people who work in parish government and people who work in private business. Um, so, um, it is a great group of people who come from various careers that are all together to kind of learn the same thing. Careers, ages, all of it. Yep. That's right. I was pleasantly surprised. Um, when I got there, I felt that I was going to know most of the people that were there and found that I actually knew maybe a third of the people saying so it was a, a lot of new faces. Um, and you know, some, some young people that are coming up as leaders in the community. So I really enjoyed that. Um, and then our, so we had the meet and greet and then it was just a couple of weeks later we went to Rosaryville and we did the SimSoc.

Speaker 1: (04:13)
A Sim sock is a short for simulated society. Right. Don't want to get too much into that. Yup. Um, for those of y'all who are going to be going through leadership, tangible to, that's the experience for you to, to have on your own without us giving you cry. Yup. Um, but I will say that we had a great time at Rosary Vogue. Getting to know each other was, um, we had a very interesting way of, uh, learning each other's names. Yes. Yes. I really enjoyed that. I saw icebreaker. Yeah. And, um, and it was just a good opportunity to get to know each other. We each had a roommate, um, during that time. Um, so, so really good. But when we really got into what Leadership Tangipahoa was about was our first monthly meeting, if you want to call it that or field trip. Yep. Yep.

Speaker 1: (05:08)
And the, the very first one was the parish government. So during the parish government month, which by the way, leadership Tangipahoa it's a want them once a month outing. And we, uh, were gone pretty much for the entire day. From eight o'clock in the morning until, Gosh, sometimes as late as what, six maybe? Yeah, I think that was probably the latest was about six o'clock. But we, uh, during that day we went to the Emergency Operations Center. Uh, we visited the parish council, we visited the assessor's office. Who Clerk of court, the Registrar of Voters. Florida Parishes Event Center, the Animal Shelter and Mosquito Abatement. So what were some of the things that stood out to you that day? I'll tell you from my standpoint, it was

Speaker 2: (05:55)
like that day because it's, it's a good informational as it sets the base, kind of sets the groundwork for the, for the coming year, meaning that it sets it, you tend to be more intellectual, you get a little more, um, thought process and thinking of how things go on as the year goes on that parish government day, really the, like I said, set the day or set the year. Um, my biggest takeaway from that day, a lot of it has to do with funding and how our parish is funded and how it runs. But one thing that I took out of every one of those steps is, you know, when you get elected as a, as a politician, you're supposed to be a good steward of the citizens money. The parish has done a wonderful job at that. It seems like every one of those steps. So has found grant money, a k free money or um, a large portion funding, matching funding and every one of those steps to try to get the parish up to a standard that's exceeds every, everybody around us and for the state. Um, and every one of those starting, you know, we met that morning, will Robin Miller, the parish president. Um, and like I said, every one of them as we went through those departments generally had some statement about, hey, we found grant money and this is where we're spending it and this how we're using it and we're making improvements. So that's one of the biggest things I took away from that day.

Speaker 3: (07:09)
[inaudible] um, I think I got a real perspective on, um, how much parish government is a coordinated team effort, right? Um, and it's important for the teammates to all know one another even though they have a specific job. Um, and that you really have to feel, um, like the team has good morale and we are working towards some goals. And I really got that from that first time how much the people who work for the parish appreciate working for the parish. Um, they feel like they are on the move, feel like we are going in the right direction. Um, and as you say, setting the tone for what's going to happen. Um, I met people and saw people parish, president, assessor, clerk of court, Registrar. Um, I met those elected and appointed people. They took time out to talk to us. Um, and I went and saw things and places that I had never been in the parish even though I've lived here 20 years. Yup.

Speaker 1: (08:08)
Yeah. And, and all those people. And that, that's, that was the thing that stood out to me is that all of those people that genuinely care about what it is that they're doing, they want to help people. Um, they were the, the nicest people that there was no faking it. They genuinely just wanted to help. That's correct. Um, and uh, and I, I loved, I loved that about that day was just seeing how much all those people care about their job and care about helping the community.

Speaker 2: (08:37)
Robyn Miller said it, I mean he said it when he got elected, but he said it that day, how we've truly our Hashtag team Tangi and that's his, one of his things is he said, you know, when you call other businesses or even parishes or municipalities, whoever, when you pick up the phone that a lot of times they'll say, oh, I don't know. And they kind of hang up or they'll say, call so-and-so, his, his thing from day one. And it's like you're saying, it's like they're, they're truly a team and they really care if you pick up and you're calling the registered voters office and that you meant to call, um, animal shelter, they're not just going to, hey, just, here's the number there. They're either going to go find the answer or directly connect you. Or, Hey, this really is a number. If we get disconnected, this suited, call it like there's a, that compassion, that care that really puts team Tangi on the map.

Speaker 3: (09:27)
Yeah. Yeah. That's an amazing out of all those, I mean it's hard to pick out one thing, but you know, as we, as we look at the list of activities, you know, um, uh, the mosquito abatement program, um, you know, you go there and you think, well they're just spraying for mosquitoes but some serious science going on. Correct. Um, and they are changing the way that they do things and they are trying to be the best. And I really got that lots of times going through parish government, we want to be the best at doing this. Um, and I left there thinking I have a lot of confidence in what's going on in all these parish agencies.

Speaker 1: (10:04)
It was very cool to see that with the um, uh, mosquito abatement. We're one of the few parishes that actually have the equipment to be able to test right here for West Nile virus. Uh, whereas most of the parish agencies have to send it off, like to LSU, have it tested for them, and then by the time they get back, that's just wasted time. So, uh, I loved it. I thought the entire thing was, was really interesting. And then the animal shelter of course, right. Um, which uh, which I was over there the other day and they were actually doing an expansion on that. [inaudible] so,

Speaker 2: (10:39)
well I'll tell you the funny thing that I found and that sort of knew this, but really when you look at this whole list, most of it is like the, I hate to tell about funding and politics, but it's all funded by the 1 cent sales tax. Like are pretty much our government, our parish governments run on one sense. They'll say it's like the, the non mosquito Bateman wasn't, but a lot of stuff that all this, it was so detailed and so everything that goes into it and it's all in one sense sale stack and it's like how much they squeezed that you know, how much blood you got to turn it, they squeeze out and it's impressive. It, you know, when you talk about how well a parish is run and set us apart at emergency operation center. To me though, it's one of the coolest things, physical structures that I've seen since we've been there. The EOC, like I said, it's, that was one of those grant monies. And when you say you want to set us apart, that's set in tangible.

Speaker 3: (11:30)
Yeah, absolutely. That was extremely impressive. Not only the facility, but the people who are there and the capabilities of what they can do. Um, you know, we learned from Katrina and other disasters and we are prepared to not have, uh, disasters impact us like it has in the past. And again, uh, I left there thinking, I am so much more confident in what our parish can do than what I anticipated. Yup. Yup.

Speaker 1: (11:59)
All right. So let's move on to, uh, the second alley that we had, which was where we visited our municipalities. Uh, we started off the day of the Greater Ham and chamber of Commerce. Uh, we moved on to, uh, Hammond City Hall, uh, then to the, uh, the Hammond airport, national guard punch tool, city hall, the, uh, Hammond, so a assimilation, sewer facility and the Ham and downtown development district. Right. So what were your big takeaways from that day?

Speaker 3: (12:28)
Eddie struggled. The stuff that I was the jumps out though, those extremely impressed with is what's going on at the airport. Um, again, it was, uh, been here for 20 years. Had no idea how much traffic our airport had. Um, I knew we had a national guard, but I had no idea at the extent of what they do there that they run the facility, a beautiful facility, tall. Oh, it's spotless. Um, and that, um, you know, if you're going to fly a Black Hawk calc top helicopter for the national guard, you are coming to Hammond to train. No idea that that existed. Um, and also the potential for growth at the Hammond airport. Um, I felt, again, very much on the move, very progressive thinking. Um, you know, that was, uh, uh, mayor Hammond is Pete Pan Pinto who had this vision and just pushed this and uh, uh, again, uh, very forward moving forward thinking, thinking about our communities, what's going on at the airport.

Speaker 2: (13:30)
When you look at the airport, I kinda had heard of this prior to the tangent, literally pinch of whole class, but that the, we've got to go inside of the tower. Like to be able to like, you probably could make some phone calls and maybe as a citizen going see and tour it, but for us to get firsthand knowledge, you could see the tower. Like that's a fairly, I mean it's, it's what year two, oh, two old and I'd heard this before about how bringing business into the parish hall, we had to get this tower. Like businesses weren't going to come for the size aircraft they need for the business they had weren't going to come to. We got that. And like you're saying, it's like that's forward thinking. That's revenue. You know, they, they were, had new hangers out there, like for us as a leadership Pedro class, he get to see that and experience that.

Speaker 2: (14:11)
Like you're not going to get that every day. Like I said, we got sit inside of Black Hawk helicopter Grandwood we didn't fly them, but to sit inside and just see them like, I mean Carl Johnson who's on, who was on our, uh, on our leadership tangible hook class this year is grinning ear to ear. And he said from day one, that's the coolest thing he's ever done. I said, a black, I'll call it helicopter. But like that's all part of Hammond and tangible perish. And that set the crossroads that we always talk about as a parish all stems from that airport. So again, like I said, when you look at, at what, what we have in the parish and the things that we've got see as a class here, like we talked about the grant money being used. Um, p Pan said, hey, we have this as a funding a city. They set aside a block of money that for grant money, when the matching funds come in, they have it sitting there waiting. So I mean they're using money. Well and like I said, that's one thing I got from this class. It's like we're up and coming and we're really going to make her name for herself. I mean it's impressive.

Speaker 1: (15:08)
Will you think about that airport and the asset that it is that airport has u s customs. There's actually been discussion about that becoming an international airport at some point. Wow. To where now we're not going to have commercial flights coming in and out of there, but you think about the private flights that are coming in from other countries to be able to bypass Louie Armstrong, um, and come right here in Hammond and what that does for economic development, for the potential for businesses to come into this community and businesses that, that may have locations in other countries to be able to fly in directly into Hammond and do business right here. It's already been discussion, uh, about this with, with some, some companies and that's been a huge thing for them, is that airport becoming an international airport. So we've got US customs there, we've got the national guard there that there are a lot of, a lot of things that areas will tout as a, uh, as a, as one of their assets. But that airport is the real deal and it is just getting started.

Speaker 2: (16:15)
Well, you talking about happy accidents, and I'll say it in a happy way, but Katrina, for our area that everybody realized that were high and dry and that's now the hub for energy and some of these large companies that when we have a natural disaster, they're coming to the airport, Ham, Louisiana. So I mean, like I said, it's, uh, that, that accident of Katrina, like I said, put a focus back on us and put, put us, like I said, where we're at the forefront that we have to make improvements and we have to keep this. And it really is this gym that we had that a lot of people don't know about.

Speaker 3: (16:45)
You know, one of the things that's not on our list, but um, I think it was in that group was also the city of Hammond Rec departments after school program that's down here. Social services though that that was, well, I'm just going to put it in right there. Yeah. I mean it's one of the city of Hammond's, um, um, you know, attempts to reach out to the youth in our region. Um, um, uh, the mayor is extremely passionate about that. Um, but we were there. The, the kids got off the bus, they had big smiles in their faces. Um, they were greeted at the door, they had a snack, they got to play, they did their homework. Um, and then, um, they could stay there for an extended period of time. Uh, there's a busted that leaves and brings them home and parents can pick them up. I was just extremely impressed that the city of Hammond is pursuing that.

Speaker 2: (17:36)
The other thing I got from that day to, we're just real quick, is that I didn't understand the complexity of the Ham and downtown development district, how it's like it's a funding. And, and I grew up here and, um, you know, seeing it in high school, junior high age, like Haman was nice, but it's not that the downtown is not now, it's not what it was back then in a good way. But the expansion from that and what goes into that, there's a lot of services, like a lot of people don't realize that you can, you know, you can do these grants to improve the facade of your, uh, building these low, um, low interest loans that they have. How much things like that make improvements in the community. A lot of people don't realize what goes behind the scenes and it leads to things like you're saying like the down, like the Kennedy Center for the, for the afterschool program is centered in downtown. So I mean, those little things that happened 20, 30 years ago, somebody who's forward thinking, saying, hey, we need to make changes and how can we make improvements? How it has this ripple effect of down, you know, down line, how, how much improve was gonna come out of it.

Speaker 1: (18:33)
Well, the, the DDD Hammons, um, slogan is happening that it's happening in Hammond. Yeah. And it really is, you know, I live in downtown Hammond and just about, you know, at least at least a couple of nights a week, we walk outside and there's music play and there's people just out, you know, strolling and, and those are, those are the big nights. I mean stuff. There's, there's smaller, uh, events that are happening, you know, all, all the time. But it is happening in Hammond when you, when you go outside in the evenings, it's just a fun atmosphere. It's a cool place to live. Uh, the DDD has been doing a really great job with the, uh, the farmer's market. Then of course, you know, their premier event is hot August night, which that's always a great time. One will start in November night. Um, the uh, bruise arts festival. They've just got all kinds of cool things that are happening down here all the time.

Speaker 2: (19:31)
Well, I'll put this little seed cause punched a little start in their downtown development district. And it's not gonna be to the, to the broad scope that Hammons is, at least not at this point, but it started this year. They've recently hired somebody, so it's cured. It'd be cool to see 20 years down the line will the same effect having punctual and they did in Hammond. I'd love to see people, you know, Amy, the Kent Woods and the northern side of the parish start doing the same similar type thing and try to get some re revitalization. Hopefully it'll take off like it did here. Yeah.

Speaker 1: (19:57)
All right. So let's move on to hidden treasures day, which this was one of my absolute favorite days. Yeah. Yeah. So I'll, I'll start this one off. We, so we, we went and met with Dr Sam high at a, at southeastern, and then we went to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. Uh, we visited Cubbyrise farms. Um, we visited RA's escape rooms and then gnarly barley. Um, my, my favorite part of that day was with Dr Sam Hyde. Just learning the history of tangible ho about, you know, bloody tangent, Boho and uh, all about, um, the uh, um, oh gosh, what, what is it that Texas has got

Speaker 2: (20:39)
the Lonestar Republic. Yeah. And the um, West Florida, uh, revolt that happened on the north shore and our, uh, highway thoroughfare, how it all started, not to jump when you thing, but the, how that group of people left New Orleans and went to our area and they were essentially revolting. And of course, if you ever wonder the full store, go see Dr Hoss, cause I'm not giving this justice by any means, but the lone star of Texas started in our area, all because of these people that revolted in later on left and went to Texas. But, uh, it all started right here. So it's very cool.

Speaker 3: (21:16)
Yeah, I enjoyed that so much. Just learning about the history of those areas. It was fascinating. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (21:22)
Well, I think what's cool about this is that, uh, and you, yeah, I've done some kind of little committees and groups like this, but what I thought was cool and I don't make, maybe it's intentional the way they planned it, but the first two months were sort of business like kind of, you know, and then so we're like, okay, what's next? And then you kind of come in and like, okay, we're going to do something fun. And so like you see the saints do on a, you know, preceding, they'll come in, they're all hardworking and then show them Peyton, we'll take them, go bowling, you know, or whatever. And this was kind of one of those days where you come in like, okay, what's next? Kind of a business mindset. And it's like, it's fun, you know, you get to go see, went to the Ren fests renaissance festival that, uh, has been grown substantially the last few years.

Speaker 2: (21:58)
Um, Cubbyrise for me, like I said, I've heard about it. I'd never been out there. That is amazing life. You like the vegetables and cleanliness is the wrong word. But like how neat everything was out there. Like that was, I thought it was pretty neat myself, but I was kind of, uh, I had never done a escape room deal. And so to do the escape room, to me, it was cool for us because there was no expectation. It's kind of like, hey, you did it. Like, not that it costs money, but like, I didn't feel cheat. Like go in there, just have fun, just enjoy yourself and like learn something new. And like that is neat. Like they talked about Anthony Davis, who I know a lot of us don't care for Anthony Davis since he's left the Pelicans, but he came up there a few times. Um, and like that's, they're all coming intangible parish, you know, and it's like, and we could see that as part of this class, you know, it's like, I thought it was very, very cool. So, and of course you can't, can't forget, finish the day with a beer. Normally barley. I mean, that's pretty neat myself.

Speaker 3: (22:53)
Yeah, this is, I mean, that's the thing of hidden treasures. And all of these that we visited were really cool, unique things that happened in our parish. And then when you go there, you realize these are really first-class. I mean, the Renaissance Festival. Oh, you know, it's, it's really a great thing that happens that the locals might not participate in people coming from all over the region to go to this festival. And it is, it is wonderful. Cubbyrise was amazing, you know, again, I'd never been there, didn't know anything about it. And when you get there, you think, wow, this is in my parish. This is really, really great. You know? Um, of course the escape rooms had rise now, but the Raj has had a haunted house for, for years and people come from all over the region to go to, um, gnarly barley's, um, you know, establishing itself. Um, please enter your pin at brewer. Fastest growing brewery in Louisiana, top 50 in the country.

Speaker 2: (23:46)
Yeah. Multiple years. And they recently just expanded, just passed out. Even more expansion.

Speaker 3: (23:50)
Yeah. So, you know, first class, unique things that are in our region. Um, and I was very, very happy that I've got to experience all those. Got to go visit all those places. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (24:01)
And it's, it's, it's things that you probably would do on an afternoon, like a Saturday, Sunday afternoon, and some of these things, like I went to the renaissance fest, my inlaws are from home when they come up. And, but otherwise, I don't know that I'd say, Hey, let's go hang out. Like those are the kinds of things there that you kind of say you friends like, Hey, there's nothing going on. Like go check that out. That's pretty, that's pretty neat. You don't realize it's there. It's cool. It's very cool.

Speaker 3: (24:20)
Yeah. You would drive right by, uh, the little sign on the, on one 90 that says renaissance festival and not know that when you get there, it opens up into, you know, hundred acres of property and buildings and people in costumes and activities.

Speaker 2: (24:37)
Yeah. And it's, it's not like, uh, when you say renaissance fest and it's, when you say first-class, it really is, it's not just somebody setting up a tent. Like they've got established businesses, the wrong wording that they sell their, their goods, but they did the rod iron, the glass blowing. Um, I mean, and these are established physical buildings that are out there like, and it's when they, when they're done the festival, the buildings are still there throughout the year. It's like I said, it's not like somebody throwing up a tent. Like it's a, it's a real deal, you know,

Speaker 3: (25:05)
you know, then we talked to some of the vendors or the performers that were there and then there was a guy that's world-class glass blower and you know, and he said, this is my favorite festival. Better come to, I'll never miss this one because of the people who are here for make that make it special.

Speaker 2: (25:22)
Hammond, Hammond, Louisiana and tangible Paris.

Speaker 1: (25:25)
Well, and not only is that a place just for the people around here to go enjoy, you know, their themselves at this festival, but it has an incredibly large economic impact on our area. People come from all over for this and you know, aside from the vendors and the people that work the festival who basically come live here for, you know, six to eight weeks because it's a six week long festival. Uh, but you know, people come here and they're staying in hotels or going to restaurants. They're spending their money here, not just at that festival. You know, they, they'll leave that festival and then they're coming to Hammond, they're going to watch Tula and you know, having dinner or whatever. It's just a, it is truly a great asset. There are convenient. Don't just go to the renaissance festival for one day. Yeah. The people who come, they'd go multiple days. So yeah, there's, there's people that will go to that thing every single weekend.

Speaker 2: (26:23)
What I'll tell you about this, and a lot of people realize too, the literacy Pedro class is sponsored by the tangible Paris tourism commission. But my big thing when I look at it from a leadership and a citizen of the parish that I like to see is these tourism dollars that come in. You know, we talked about the expansion of the parish and uh, you know, residents and the, the impact on thoroughfares and um, you know, our roadways and everything. Tourism dollars is one of the best thing for our parish. Not only is it exposure, but it's, that's how we grow. You know, a lot of our things that we have here are funded by tax dollars. But when you have somebody come in, spend their money, they go to these restaurants that do all that, they don't put a lot of impact on our roads and they turn around and leave and go home.

Speaker 2: (27:04)
And we get the benefit of putting that money back into us as a citizens to be able to use on our roadways and our ditches and making these expansions. And 20 years ago, a lot of these things on this list, you know, we're gonna get in the recreation stuff and somebody saying these weren't here. That's right. So when we talk about this expansion of tourism and the impact of Tanja Tourism Commission and everything else that goes on in our area, these are the things that we're starting to grow more. And that's what really makes our parish great. You know, Robbie Miller's thing is tied to a parish move here, but I mean a lot of these tourism dollars, we'd like to have people come in and though a lot of them will stay but to come in and spend their money and then they go home and we get the impact of it.

Speaker 2: (27:42)
It's pretty cool. Right? So our next month we, uh, we visited some different social services organizations. Uh, we've visited council on aging options, our daily bread child advocacy center and the Hammond afterschool program. And this was the day that just made me absolutely proud of our community. So what were your thoughts on this day? Well, just to put in context too about this day that we usually do this around the Christmas time. So you kinda in that mindset, but these are year round organizations. Um, you know, when you look at council on Aging, uh, you know, the, they're, they're focused on our, our older citizens in our parish, but they go around, not only do they deliver food, they'll go pick 'em up. In fact, the buses that were around daily, they volunteer for us to use as literacy, have leadership Pedro Class. But like they'll take them, they come play games, they'll learn something new, maybe do some art stuff. A lot of these, um, older citizens, they may not have anybody else that their family may live out. And so the impact that that has for these citizens, quality of life, it's, it's, it's amazing. You know, w w w we had the, what was it, the exercise equipment. Previous classes have donated and other business the pairs had donated for their computer room. Right. Like to get out and see stuff. I get to, it's a big deal really.

Speaker 3: (29:02)
[inaudible] uh, oh, I was, I was very impressed with all of the agencies that we visited. Um, not only did they have good programs and good facilities, um, they were larger and more extensive than I had ever imagined. Correct. And I felt, um, that the people who work there were so passionate and caring and driven, um, with, with what they did, um, extremely impressive options. You go out and talk to the people at options and see what options does. Um, and you talk to, um, people who live in other parishes and they say, well, we don't have anything like that. Um, the extent, the extensive operation that our daily bread runs. Amazing. Yup. Amazing. I didn't know that. I'll daily bread that they cook and feed lunch two days a week to anybody who wants to walk in the door. You don't have to qualify. You just show up and you eat. The food was very, very good. And then when you got there that people who were working, you could tell that they really felt great about their job and about what they were doing. Um,

Speaker 2: (30:07)
and just to put context on again, like this wasn't ham sandwiches and an apple, like no nos. This was a great, nice meal and they gave them fruit and things to take home with them. But like this was a sit down. I don't remember what we had that day, but I mean, it's like roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, drink. Like it's, this isn't like I said, a ham sandwich.

Speaker 1: (30:26)
Yeah. We, uh, so my, my team has gone served, uh, during some of those days and, uh, and helped, you know, feed the people that are there. And there, the big thing with our daily bread is, you know, people have got this perception that the hungry people are the ones that you see on the corner. Um, you know, the homeless people, but they don't realize that often this is your elderly neighbor next door. You know, the person that's been living next to you for years and you don't realize that that person is getting one meal a day and that they're, they're hungry. Or it could be, you know, the young couple that, um, have just fallen on hard times and our daily bread is taking care of those people. And they treat them with dignity. Uh, and they, they go so far to treat them with dignity is to look for ways that they can, that they can make people, uh, you know, not feel so much like they're getting a handout.

Speaker 1: (31:20)
For example, one of the things that they had just implemented when we visited them was a, it used to be that if you would go to our daily bread and say, I need some food, it would give you a box of food. Well, they realized a couple of things about that. For one, it, it felt like a handout to people. Uh, but also whatever, whatever was in that box is what they got. So there may have been food being wasted because if they didn't like something that was there, it wasn't going to get used. So instead they basically set up a mock grocery store inside and they allow people to come in now and go shopping. So instead of it feeling like a handout, they feel like they're just going to the grocery store and they're shopping and they're only taking the things that they're actually going to use.

Speaker 1: (32:04)
Um, I love our daily bread. I love what they do in this community. All of these were amazing organizations, but uh, you already talked about it. Some, the Hammond afterschool program, um, our mayors get such a passion for that. And it's interesting when you, when you get to listen to all of the people that we heard from over the course of the year talk and when they talk about the business of things, you know, it's one thing to, to go listen American, a Pinto, talk about the businesses of city. But when you got to hear him talking about what they were with these kids and investing in these kids' lives and all that, like there's a whole different level of passion there. Oh, I was super impressed with that entire thing.

Speaker 2: (32:48)
Yeah. When you look at it, oh, the, and what people don't understand about this program and explain to somebody, it's like you're already said, it's like the buses will take them, dropped them off, they get tutored, they get a snack. They there, there is some fun, you know, get off the street aspect to it. But this isn't just a babysitting thing, like they were broken down. Okay this certain age group and they were working on their math that day or this one had an English project and like there, there is a business side to it. But like for what is involved there for what most some don't have to pay or pay very little. Like this is the top notch. Like it's, it's like them going to school, like I said, it's not, um, you know, and don't get me wrong, it's not like a junior high student come over and help, you know, be in a tutor.

Speaker 2: (33:33)
But like these are teachers that come after they leave the regular day job and putting, investing on these kids. So I mean when you see things like that, like it's involved. Like when you look at Casa, we went to Casa of one thing. People forget and Rob Carlo, who's the CEO of costs is going to kill me. But I can't remember how many pairs if it's nine or 12 or 14. But the, the hub of Casa for the southeast region is Hammond, Louisiana. I think we were the first one. Yeah. So I mean cost is so important. A lot of people don't realize what it is. I mean it's, it's an advocacy program for young children. Um, a lot of times is dealing with, you know, rape or abuse and those type things. And they work closely with the, you know, the courts, but also with the law enforcement. Um, and they've set up a, a safe zone. You know, I hate to use that word, but that's really what it is for these kids that come out and have an honest discussion of, hey, this is what happened, this is what's going on. And they're the first point of contact with those children. And that all started here and is now spread to, like I said, whatever it is, 10, 12, 14 parishes, areas and it all start right here. So,

Speaker 1: (34:37)
so from there we went on to our healthcare wealth and when we, uh, during that day we visited North Oaks health system, Cypress Point, Surgical Hospital, Oak Park village, and lolly camp.

Speaker 2: (34:53)
So my biggest thing that I took away from that, when you look at it from the top to bottom like [inaudible] and what the way they break this day down for us is you have your regular, um, I'll say regular but a public hospital. Then you cypress points more of your s your private. Um, the Oak Park village is a um, assisted living home and then lolly campus, your public, uh, what they used to call charity hospitals, but they're all interlocked really throughout the parish. But the way the PR, we have a weird dichotomy of the parish of we're a fairly poor parish and I, I think it's something like 80% of the parish is in the Medicare, um, low income assisted health care area and how all of these three kind of work together, the, the hospital was. Um, but there really is top notch care here in the parish. You know, a lot of people will talk, I think it's, they went back and forth with north oaks and somebody said the other day is the number two or number three trauma hospital in the state, like volume. And it's because of our I 12, uh, I 55 corridor, but that all comes right here through our parish. Like a lot of people don't realize that, you know,

Speaker 1: (36:04)
well, when we grew up, north oaks just had a terrible reputation. [inaudible] but it is not the same north exit. It used to be. He's correct. That was one of the things that really stood out to me was just how amazing of a a hospital they are. Um, I mean they are on the leading edge of technology. Um, the, uh, the leadership there, you can tell that they are just on a, on a different level. I was super impressed with North Hooks and actually during that time, um, I had, I had just been, you know, through probably about a three year stint on my dad being just in and out of the place and always received such good health care. Uh, same, same thing with, um, with Cypress point. He was there and you know, they always just treated him so well. But the healthcare is, is one of the big economic drivers in our parish. You know, it's one of the biggest provider of jobs. Um, and we're just good headed intangible.

Speaker 2: (37:07)
That's right. And what a lot of people don't realize too, like I was gonna say the sedan, but it comes up now one thing when, uh, at our leadership tangible graduation, I brought it up that one thing is that he's always said at the end of the day, we have these little, these little, uh, Kinda huddles. And Eddie brought it up one time and said, he always asks these questions like, tell us what you do, where are you from? And maybe realize these are, when I say this kind of sounds funny, but they're real people and these people care. Like they're not just doing a job. They, and that goes from everything of this whole leadership Fangio deal. These are people in, they really truly care and have a heart. Michelle sent, when you talk about North Oaks, Michelle Sutton said, I want to know every single quote unquote issue that may come up.

Speaker 2: (37:50)
I don't want it to go past anybody else. I want to solve it. And it's nobody rushed on the rug. And you felt that at each one of these facilities. And like I said, throughout the parish, but especially through these facilities, I mean I have some contact with north oaks health system through my work, um, and they grow leaders from within, um, people who are invested in North Oaks, not just doing this and then leaving and going somewhere else. And so I know North Oaks has, has tackled their issues and has sought to grow and become a high quality place. Um, I also didn't know because of our, uh, high percentage of Medicare patients that north oaks gathers, um, it's not a rich hospital. Um, and

Speaker 3: (38:36)
they have to squeeze every penny. Uh, we hadn't talked about Lala camp, um, went out to Lala camp. Um, talk about a place that's doing a lot with the little, yeah.

Speaker 2: (38:48)
Last, what was it? The last state funded hospital in the state that's still around. Last quote Unquote Charity Hospital is still in state. I didn't realize that.

Speaker 3: (38:57)
Did they have, you know, it's very, they're very underfunded, but when you look at the programs that they offer and they said, this is what you can do with very little bit of money, if you don't have very much money, you can come here and you can get some health care, um, their facility. Um, you can tell it's old. Um, they don't, it's not a brand new building. Um, but um, people who care. Um, and I felt like, wow, maybe I need to come over here to Lala camping and get some healthcare because, um, the things that they offer are great and varied, but I just felt like they do so much with so little money. I was very, very impressed with what was happening over there. Yup. Absolutely.

Speaker 1: (39:39)
Alright, so our next month was the education month. Uh, we started off our day according Christian school. Then we went over to turn into a pair of schools, a school system, then Hammond high magnet school where we visited prostart then to north shore technical community college and then to southeastern Louisiana University.

Speaker 2: (39:59)
This day is like my kind of a close to my heart on a Eddie's and education. But, um, my background's not in education, but when those who don't know, the Tidwell parish has a odd um, background, especially recently with some things going on with the school system and um, changes that we have in our system and just on the state level, like funding issues and different things. But when you really get down and look at it, like I've got a four year old son that's literally gonna be in Pre k this year. I'm with tangible player school system. When you look at what we have here and what's involved, it's not just going to school guys I made, it's not, but you get on a bus, like there's, it's, it's a lot like when you go to Courtney Christian school, it's one of the new private schools here. For those who don't know, kind of, um, I think it's been four or five years local.

Speaker 2: (40:48)
And they started like, from nothing. Like that was just a, that was a, you know, Ms Sue's dream, just that kind of rose from the ashes. And when you talk about people caring and you walk through a hallway, the students care, the parents cared, the teachers cared, everybody cared. And you felt it when you walked in the door. But you get that across the board. The one thing too, when we talk about the people in this, this uh, leadership Tangial committee, the other thread that went throughout this whole thing is education and how everything was connected through education.

Speaker 3: (41:21)
Yeah. And every place that we talked to, every week that we talked to talk about growth in our parish and how do we drive economic growth? How do we attract people, how do we attract business? And they all talked about public school system here in tangible parish that we have to become better. We have to be recognized as quality and that that thing impacts everything. That education, the school system impacts everything that we've visited.

Speaker 2: (41:47)
Doe CEOs want to know what [inaudible] like we have a ton of resources here. They want to know what can they do their kids and what could their employee's kids, what do they have, what do we have to offer? And I mean, I just had my 20 year class reunion this past year. What's in those schools now is not what I had 20 years ago. Oh my gosh. That prostar program, that's probably the best meal. And we all said it. That's probably the best meal we had.

Speaker 1: (42:11)
That was, I don't know that you could have bought a meal like that in some of the finest restaurants in New Orleans. That's right. That's right. Yeah. That was an amazing meal. And I enjoyed the way that the kids presented it to us. Um, it was just, you talk about a top notch program yeah. All around

Speaker 3: (42:28)
award winning award-winning culinary arts program at the high school level right there and had it. Huh? Um, yeah. We, we, we didn't get to visit very long, but the robotics program, incredible. They have a, a long history of robotics. They're, um, they're building, they're building their robot to go and compete. Um, the students were, knew what they were doing. They were, they were, they were taking the leadership again, uh, uh, charismatic faculty who really cared about this rogue the projects. Um,

Speaker 2: (42:57)
what a back up a little bit. We got to go to the school board and we met with Melissa stilly and uh, some of the administrative team, um, Dr Herz, um, Mr Genco sistant superintendents. And when they presented, like I said, what we have now compared to what I had 20 years ago like that they offer, there's a whole new mindset of these opportunities for kids to have that's not traditional quote unquote college. Right. Um, and when I say the list is extensive, like it's not just welding and plumbing and electrical, it's healthcare related. It's safety related with the plants. Um, the world, the prostart we're talking about, like I said, the culinary side of it. Yeah. The robotics, all that is the GYP programs that students decided to do and they have to be certified into graduate. It's a true program. And like I said, the list is probably, I don't know, 50 or something things and like to see the superintendent and that administration to be, um, excited about it and the opportunities they have. And they gave us a first class one-to-one. We sat down, asked any questions we wanted, and it was like, that's when we talked about this, the, this program. That's the opportunities you get in this program. You had to do part of it that you don't get otherwise. People

Speaker 3: (44:05)
who took time out of their day to meet with us. It was extremely impressive. Um, you know, at the, uh, tangible parish school system, I can't remember his name, but he's the, he's the finance guy and so he brought his spreadsheets up, put 'em up on the screen. Let's talk about some of these lines on the spreadsheet. Let me show you how much money we have. Let me show you where the money goes. I'm going to say what our financial challenges are. That's another, or if you want to ask some questions, we'll ask them. Yeah, that's, that's another organization

Speaker 1: (44:32)
that's doing a whole lot with us, right? Much.

Speaker 3: (44:35)
How about, I mean you walk away that I'll walk away as an administrator and I thought, you know, whatever job you have, how big of a production a school system is the numbers of people you employ, all the equipments. You have all the students, all the buses. Um,

Speaker 2: (44:52)
I think it's 2,800 employees. I think it's like 18,000 students.

Speaker 3: (44:55)
And how many students are going to show up every day that you are going to have to do, you know, deliver to your clients.

Speaker 2: (45:02)
So when you talk about people care and you talk about school buses, like they talked about like the, the school bus, uh, staff there, they've been short and talking about the struggles that we had. They'd been short on bus drivers. The staff left their desks and went and drove the bus cause they didn't have enough people to do it. So I mean it's like that's Karen, like that's let's get the job done and to tie it into kind of the North Shore Technical College Community College. That's it. For those that don't know it's a within, you could throw a football and hit it from Hayman high almost. Um, their partnership with the parish on this secondary trade type learning that goes on with our high school. It's again, it's top notch and people, you know, what do they say that we're not a, we're, we're not a technical college or they'll call us. Yeah, we're not vo-tech. They have opportunities there. Like I said, a lot of people don't realize that these, we always were in the mindset of let's go to college, just go to college, go to college. And Brian, your perfect example of like how successful people can be and not do a traditional college path.

Speaker 1: (46:00)
Well yeah. I mean they're there, they're teaching people how to be automotive technicians, a machinist, welders, h Vac. And the interesting thing to me is that across the board, those four that I just named, if you average it out, their salaries compared to the salaries of the kids that are getting four year degrees. The ones from the technical school, sorry for calling them a technical

Speaker 2: (46:27)

Speaker 1: (46:27)
Are going to out-earn them. That's right. They are and in the area that we live in, there is, there's such a need for skilled trades and it's become this, uh, this way of thinking for our society now that, well it has for years and it's finally starting to turn a little bit, but it was always give that four year degree, you got to go to college, you got to go to college and look nothing against college. It's like I've had the discussion with my son before when, when he's told me that he doesn't really think he wants to go to college and it's like, we'll figure out what it is that you want to do first. And if you want to do requires college, then by all means go to college. Yeah. But if it doesn't, then don't. And, and there is an alternative and MTC is just a, a great example of that alternative. They've also got nursing, they have some, uh, pharmacy tech programs, a bunch of healthcare things, um, computer, uh, like, uh, you know, where you can get all your Microsoft certifications.

Speaker 2: (47:23)
Well you talking about like the automotive side, like they were talking about how they have partnerships with local dealerships. Toyota and these different ones are like pretty much like send up keeping. Yeah. They will take everything. You can produce them quick enough. That's right. And a lot of people don't realize too, when you talk about tops has been the big deal of funding for college students in Louisiana. They now have that, I forgot the term for it, but they now have the technical trade site tops that can find your athletes top stops. That's right. That's right. That's right.

Speaker 3: (47:49)
Um, you know, the, um, one of the people that were in our, in our class works at Darth folks. Um, and he commented positively, positively about how the technical college system can respond to a workforce demands very quickly, you know, and four year institutions, you know, tend to be, you know, giant buses that are hard to turn. But, um, you know, as a, as a workforce demand occurs, the community college system is very quick to respond and develop those programs. And an example was, um, the Pharmacy Tech Program, uh, used to have a small one, uh, the, the workforce demand increased and so they have multiple pharmacy tech programs both at the NTCC site out by the airport. But also there are other satellite sites.

Speaker 2: (48:39)
The other cool thing like we don't want to dismiss this cause southeastern is so massive and so important to our area. But one of the cool things that I saw between the, when you talk about these different groups there quote unquote competing in a sense, but there you don't realize how much they work together. And I just read the article again, but like the, there's a partnership with North Shore Technical College and southeastern of these, uh, I hate to use this term, but th they used to call it remedial students at ones that they still had a, they had a developmental class. You had to get a couple more of these classes that they have a program that you can go to the [inaudible], the NTCC get your classes, but you're still on the southeastern campus and you transition over and you graduate from southeastern. And then they have the same partnership with the nursing school and that, those that want to do that, they now have another outlet as opposed to

Speaker 3: (49:27)
the LPN to RN program. Yeah. Correct. Yeah. It's, um, we, we've had, we've had a need for a community college presence on the North Shore. Um, and you know, for a while Delgado community college had a north shore campus. But I think after Katrina they closed it. Um, I'm very, very glad to see in TCC expand the kinds of things that they offer. Cause we need that for us to, again, to, to expand and to grow and to make our region better. We need a community college system.

Speaker 2: (49:54)
Well, just like southeastern and NTCC, they, they both have satellite offices that are satellite campuses that we don't realize in Bogalusa limits in Paris that the hubs are here, intangible pairs, but they branch out and they're all connected. Yeah. And before we leave, yeah. [inaudible]

Speaker 3: (50:09)
of course I work in southeast and I think we can undersell the impact of southeastern on our region. It's one point $8 billion economic impact. I recently heard, you know, um, we're the third largest school in Louisiana. Um, you know, we're, we were the fastest growing are those between us in New Orleans and Olson, baton rouge. We draw on more and more of those students. Um, I've been very fortunate to work at southeastern over 20 years. Um, we've had very, very stable management. It's a great place to work. Um, and while we have expanded, uh, in quantity of students, you know, we've grown, we're, you know, 14, 15,000 students. Our class sizes are still small. We do a lot of face to face advising. We have a lot, a lot of students who start elsewhere and come to southeastern and finished the degree. Um, and so it is a great place to, that employs a lot of people. Uh, it brings people to our region. Um, and it is a great feature. Um, that makes Hammond and Tangipahoa parish a destination.

Speaker 2: (51:08)
Well, when we talk about the leadership Tandra Hook Tangipahoa class and the exposure, you get to these, like we're sat down face to face with Dr. Crane, who's the highest person that got at southeastern. And again, he's frank and he'll tell you this things we need to work on this, the things that we're excelling at, they've done a wonderful job. When you look at the, the cuts on higher education on how well southeast, you can still bring in students. They haven't done a whole lot with tuition and they've done a lot on expansion. Like they're able to still build buildings. They're still building, um, new living facilities. You know, you're talking about the, uh, thermal, a radiant heat, um, additions that they did on a new, um, residence halls that nobody else in the, in the state has. Um, and they're thriving in this atmosphere of low funding on higher education.

Speaker 3: (51:58)
Yeah. Let's jump to Crain's background. He's an accountant, you know, and so that's what that was, is what he did. His degree was in accounting. He taught accounting. And so, um, during a decade of budget cuts, there was no one better to manage our university than someone who understand the finances of this, um, that you may think about somebody with my background or background in chemistry or something like that that's run at a university. Um, doesn't understand really how to squeeze those dollars. Um, understand the money coming in and the nature of finance. Dr. Crane was, we were very, very fortunate that he was in our presidency during this period of time.

Speaker 2: (52:35)
Well, I asked him this, this was profound when you talk about the whole thing and the, the whole entire, uh, leadership plus term, one of the most profound questions that I asked that I've got to answer from was I asked him, I said, there's a fine line of you saying to the, to the state saying, hey, we need more funding. We need more funding. And then there's a fine line. And then come back and saying, hey, y'all are doing great. Well what we're giving you, we're giving you crumbs in yellow. Just excelling like, and I told them, I said, how do you balance that line? He said, you just got to keep doing what you're doing. I said, and that's what he's saying. And he's basically saying, we need more. And if you give us more, look at what we can do with it. And like I said, to be able to ask the president of university that helped you could do that. You know what I'm saying? Him and he'd give a frank answer. He said, I know exactly what you're talking about. And he just said, hey, this is what we're doing and we're going to keep doing our best and we will keep rocking it.

Speaker 3: (53:29)
Yeah, there's a, there's a leadership program like ours that's, um, at the state level, um, for, um, educators. Um, and they visit different universities, different universities host them. And so the talking to the person when they first started this program, um, she said, I'm so happy that the first place that we're going to go that's going to host us is at Hammond because I know that Dr. Crane is going to have everything lined up and it's going to set the stage for us to be successful. It's also the, it makes you proud. Oh yeah. It makes you proud that, that, that people around our state look at southeastern and say they're doing the right thing. That's awesome.

Speaker 1: (54:09)
Perfect. Well, let's move on to the following month, which was criminal justice. And we had the opportunity to visit a judge, Blair Edwards and our district attorney, Scott [inaudible], uh, Sheriff Daniel Edwards, the Florida perishes juvenile detention center, uh, tangibly parish jail and the a fire department. And, uh, Eddie was not there for this week and I missed the first half of the day. So mark, don't you tell us about, uh, when you got to visit with, uh, with judge Edwards and Scott [inaudible] and our sheriff.

Speaker 2: (54:45)
Um, when we talk about access again, the to some of these people get, they sit down and talk to us and again answered, uh, you know, any question we had, but what a lot of people don't realize. When we had that day, it was very sobering. So those who don't know, Judge Edwards, um, she handles the juvenile sector, um, of our parish. Um, and the sobering reminder of the drug crisis in our parish and statewide, nationwide, worldwide. Um, and the effect it has on young people. Um, she sat down as a parent, as a citizen and as a judge and explained everything to us. And it's a side that you don't see. And again, we talked about the, everybody talks about they're politicians. They, these are again, they're people. They have a heart there. I truly felt as a citizen, they're doing it with their best, with the best intentions of everybody involved.

Speaker 2: (55:43)
And again, she answered any questions we had. And, um, Scott [inaudible] who was our da, now granted those who don't, again, Scott's over a three parish area trot parish area. So he's dealing with more than just tangible parish. But, um, he, he went in again, he couldn't get in some cases, but there's some high profile cases and he was like, this is what I had to think about. These are things I had to put in mind. Um, you know, we have a lot of partners that are connected to our judicial system and what they do and how they help us. Um, those are the kinds of things that, those are the questions they had and information they passed on us. Um, that a lot of people just don't realize. Um, Sheriff Daniel Edwards again took us to his facility there on club deluxe road in Hammond. Um, again, tell us, just going through the steps of how they're spending the money, the impact they're having.

Speaker 2: (56:34)
Um, again, there's always challenges that we have as a parish and dealing with crime and drugs and everything that goes with theft and everything that goes with it and how they're trying to do what they can to make an impact and make a dent on it. Um, again, he was very honest, forefront. Um, you know, we laughed throughout the year. Our class was very, we asked a lot of questions and they kind of joked about it and he, he even said that, he said, I'm impressed with the questions y'all are asking. He said, I'm happy to answer the question that I asked. Um, he again took Kinda tied everything together, talked about the Florida parish juvenile detention center and some of the things, and the, one of the things that he was very proud of is the new angel program they're having where somebody comes in and says, Hey, I have a, I have a drug problem. I have an issue. They take them and get them help. It's not a, let's slap the cuffs on them. It's like, what can we do to, to make a change? So, um, they, they, they showed us the canine program, they brought the dogs out. Um, it, there's more to the sides and what we see in the paper, in the crime section. So then putting these, their thought in their hearts into it, there really is more to it. So just, it was good to see that side of these people, you know?

Speaker 1: (57:44)
No, I made it a just in time too, for, for when y'all were getting to the Florida parishes, juvenile detention center. Um, that's, uh, it's kind of a, it's a sad thing to see, but at the same time, it's very good to see because I do truly feel like they're changing lives out there. They're taking kids that, um, just they got started on the wrong foot and they're helping them to, to change your lives. And as we met some of the kids that were out there, um, you could tell, I mean, these are good kids and they're, you know, they just, they just got into the wrong thing. Yeah. Um, what were your thoughts on that?

Speaker 2: (58:26)
I, I just thought, oh, what a lot of people don't realize too is like I said, a lot of these kids is shit. It's what you're saying. It's just they got into it. They're not repeat offenders. A lot of them, they just say, I did something wrong. Um, they need guidance. A lot of them. And what a lot of people don't realize too, like I said, when you look at this, it's not a hard jail. Like you see, you know, it's not this, um, real harsh environment and it's, it, there's a caring environment to it. Um, we were there and we all through a couple of different areas and they were sitting down, going over schoolwork and they were going over, um, the programs or have was like, how can you learn something new? Do they had a reward program? Hey, did they keep their bunk clean? Did they do their chores that day that it wasn't so much as a punishment? It was more of a reward side and a teaching and guiding environment and less of a punishment environment. How many, how many kids do they have out there who's just under 80? I believe it. Ah,

Speaker 1: (59:22)
I'd be lying if I told you like they had a capacity for about 135 and they were in the upper seventies and the age group is age ranges. So at that time it was up until 17. Yeah. But now didn't they just make a change to where it's up to 21?

Speaker 2: (59:39)
Yeah. And I don't remember the date, the dynamics of it, but there was a change going on how it was, who was going out there. But it again, like I said, the, the, the tie ins to where like, hey, when they come out, we're gonna have them prepared for things and less of like throwing them to the streets. Um, one thing that I thought was very cool and it kind of jumped back on the tangible pair of school board side. Sandra Bay Seal Simmons who is a current school board member, has been going out there for 20 years. Every Sunday. No, not ask for anything and just kind of sit with the kids. Um, talking to the kids, learning, like that's the kind of things that people don't see. You know, like there's people out there that like I said, they care and we're going to, these kids are gonna come out and come back to and in our community. So we've got to see what we can do to make a change,

Speaker 1: (01:00:25)
you know? And then from there we went to the tantra pro parish jail. That was the scary place.

Speaker 2: (01:00:33)
Yeah, I'd been there once and junior high 15, 20 years before that. And well I guess 25 years before that. And that's the punishment side. Um, there is some corrective, you know, things that they try to do, but, um, it's again, it's scary. Um, I mean it's hard to even put it into words cause like I said, it's the jail. I mean there's not much to it, but you, it's just a reminder of what we have here. Um, there's been some funding issues. I understand locally and you, it's good to see where your tax dollars are going. Um, but it, like Brian said, it is Kinda scary. Um,

Speaker 1: (01:01:11)
a lot of the ladies that went in there were that they would tell you quickly, like that was the, um, the worst thing that they saw, you know, throughout the entire program and that they couldn't wait to get out of there. Um, you know, um, I'm a guy that, you know, it was probably as big or bigger than, you know, most of the guys that are in there and I was ready to leave. That was, uh, that was not a pleasant experience. I honestly think that it's something that they should take every high school student through, uh, before they graduate. Many of the, um, our classmates when you talk to them about it. So what did you learn? And they said, I learned I do not want to go to jail. Correct.

Speaker 2: (01:01:56)
One thing that's not only when you're talking about it was you wanted to get out of there, but where we went directly after that, and I forgot it's not on this list as we went after that to nine one, one center, um, that I'd forgot about. Um, that's very cool. Like there's things to that that I didn't realize like how involved it is, what opportunities they have. They talk about the new nine one one app that I thought it was very cool and I apologize to him cause I can't remember the exact name of the app right now, but it gives them an opportunity where like when you call in, you can put all your information in this app and they know exactly where to go. You could even if it's an elderly person, they have a, a key pad on the front door for them to unlock it.

Speaker 2: (01:02:31)
You could put that in the app they had, this was called smart nine one one. That's it. That's it. And it gives the first responders the opportunity. Like I said, they can key in, they can get in the door. It tells them if you have pets there, it tells them how many kids are there. You can put your kids photos on it. So if you have, uh, you know, your kid gets out and he's down the street and it's a lost kid situation, they can pull it up in a matter of minutes versus probably 90 minutes to disseminate the information out to all available parties. Um, I thought that was very cool. Like I said, the technology that goes to that, it was neat. I thought it was very cool.

Speaker 1: (01:03:05)
And then we finished up the day at a meat fire department and that was a, that was a really cool experience as well. A, uh, they had all the equipment out for us to see. Um, we, uh, we got to, you know, hear about their response time. Uh, and, and the Amy fire department is a very well equipped department. That's right. They, I mean, I'm sure that every single fire department takes extreme pride in what they do. That's right. But this fire department, when you, when you look around at, uh, at how they've fought to get the equipment that they have and just the, the area that they take care of and some of the, uh, the scenes that they've been on, you know, there's a lot of pictures and such up in the fire station. I mean that was a, it impressed me.

Speaker 2: (01:03:59)
Well a lot of people realize when you look at the equipment and you talk about like I've got a little background of seeing some of the equipment being in the w I came from the uh, plant side. Um, but like they have a four wheeler, they have boats because these, they're, they're aspect of their geographic area that they have to have to reach that sometimes they're going back in the woods and have to get in the water and that kind of thing. But when you talk about the human aspect of them, they'd set a couple of times, like if there's somebody broke down on the road and they know about it, they're going to stop and change your tire form. And, um,

Speaker 1: (01:04:30)
yeah, they made it clear we are civil servants. Right. But we can help you call us. Yup.

Speaker 2: (01:04:34)
And that's one of those things when like I said, when you want to learn about the service and them using their money, well they spent it in the right places, but like I said, they care. They really do care. And it was very cool to see.

Speaker 1: (01:04:44)
All right, so from there we went to, what was my second favorite day? The economic development degree and economic development day. We visited Jeff Bill Sports Park, uh, where, uh, the, we heard from, uh, the, the leadership at Ja Isla, but also the Tantrika economic development foundation was there and spoke to us. Then we went and met with, uh, with Ed Hoover, who gave us a very entertaining story about the start of tangible health. Uh, then two Graham Packaging Elmers candy company.

Speaker 3: (01:05:18)
Uh, we heard from, uh, GNO Inc. We then visited, uh, let's see, we visited interlocks and we ended our day at braces nursery. That's right. That's right. What'd you think Eddie? You know, um, I was very interested in going into album's candy company just because it's not something that you ever get to see what the inside of it. Yeah. Um, I'm seriously getting hungry right now thinking about, oh, we can do and if they gave us and um, yeah, it's, it's a staggering enterprise. The amount of a of candidate produce. It's like what, it's like six of the top 10 sellers at Valentine's day or produce right there and punch to Louisiana. That's correct. Um, and so that was fun and, and an interest in, um, you know, the, all of those were very interested in places that again, you, um, you probably didn't understand or recognize, um, how much these industries are here and are growing and powerful.

Speaker 3: (01:06:21)
Right. Um, you know, I had never heard of braces nursery. Um, and then when we went out there, um, in 240 acres. Yup. Um, you know, now, um, uh, if I go to a, to buy a plant, you know, you go to a nursery somewhere, uh, you know, uh, a nursery that you not can walk in and buy. Um, I look at the tag on the plant to see if it's from braces. Um, and it is, it is. And I asked him, do you get a lot of stuff from braces? So he got like three quarters of the plants that we have here is, is, is from braces. Um, when we drove around in the buses, we stopped, um, and went into a couple of the greenhouses and I asked Mr Bracey how much square footage do you have under greenhouse? And he said 10 acres that we had 10 acres of plants under greenhouse growing 24, seven year-round. Um, we can, it's just amazing how huge that was in everything out there. So meticulous. Yeah. You stand on the end of a row and you look at those plants and they're perfectly lined though. You've got a quilt, they have the automated watering systems. Um, the entire place is just beautiful and it's out in the middle of nowhere. Right.

Speaker 2: (01:07:40)
Was strange to me. I mean, there's so much information that just thinking about this day that's running through my head. So the Chapel appeal aside when we talk about the tourism side. Yeah. That I guess I didn't realize the backstory on this. Um, the a what a lot of people realize the chap appeal of where it came from. They set up a committee I think in the early nineties to say they wanted a convention center for this area and they said, we're going to call this committee and we're gonna hire this outside consultant. Hey, what's the best way we can do for our area? What's the best thing with this convention? And they basically can't makes it, y'all are set up for sports, right? Y'All are set up. So chap appeal for those who know, a recreation district paid for the property tax and it's its own entity and the thing that they do out there, it's um, I mean it's just amazing the impact that they come in. They spend their money, they leave and they go out,

Speaker 3: (01:08:24)
but they're also run their own sports league so that it impacts the local community. And so you can go out there and play little league baseball and flag football, adult style and adults. And so there's all of these sports leagues that, that impact a local community. And then on the weekend, it is a world class, you know, travel ball site. Um, and I can't tell you the number of people who, um, who I talked to that are from Baton Rouge and New Orleans that come over here with their kids to play ball. I mean, they have so many people who are here on the weekends.

Speaker 2: (01:08:57)
They come in and they spend time, they spend the money and then they leave. Um, and like I said, it's impactful on us as the parish. And a lot of these people like sit that come in and they see things that, you know, we've talked about some of these uh, hidden treasures. They come and see those things and they come back later on and do those hidden treasure stuff. So I think it's pretty cool. And so the impact, like I said around that area with chat people is with Mr Ed Hoover and his company, there's new stuff going on. Like he's throwing warehouses up like they're going out of style because of our, our, uh, crossroads of the north shore, um, logistical standpoint that we have. Wayfair, we have folder's coffee, a lot of stuff, and it all comes out of our area and it all goes back to the airport and everything that ties in with it. And the money that is being invested here, that we're starting to reap the rewards from these things years ago. He's one of the forefront. I mean, there's more people not to throw the other one, you know, dismiss those. But the stuff that's going on there, like I said, that there's a lot of economic [inaudible] and it's not flashy stuff. These are warehouses.

Speaker 3: (01:09:58)
No, but this was, this week was almost like a hidden treasures. All, all these were hidden treasures you didn't realize. Yeah. Right. You didn't realize how big this was. And yet, ed Hoover, we, we met, um, met Ed Hoover at, uh, a warehouse that is, um, multi-story floor to ceiling of coffee cans. Yeah. But I was Graham packaging empty coffee cans. Um, and that we're gonna take all these coffee cans and we're going to get them over to [inaudible]. So don and Haman, right. Make sure that's right. Create a Kratom storm here and get them over to the Folgers facility, New Orleans gonna fill them up with coffee. Um, that again, you drive by these buildings, you don't, not sure what's going on. Um, but yeah, we've, we've heard for years about, um, the crossroads of 10 and 12, um, and our location 12 and 55 55, sorry, 12 to five. That is the crossroads that is going to be make, make us a hub for logistics, which we've heard by for 20 years. Um, and it's happening now. That's right.

Speaker 2: (01:10:59)
And when you look at, same thing with Ellmers and like I said, you are just nondescript bit buildings and the volume, like you're saying, the top six out of 10 gross sailing in the, they may even be the word, but at least in the nation come out of Ponchatoula, Louisiana. I'm pumped full of boys. I mean, it's cool to see. But the other thing, like I said, when I saw the interlock side, yeah. So I have family and friends that work out interlocks and those that don't know interlocks makes a moldable plastics as their main thing that they do, especially in Hammond, um, that they essentially, a lot of their stuff goes in and makes 'em conveyor belts that we see when we see these Amazons and these other facilities. The belts themselves are made at interlocks in Hammond and the volume, again that is coming out of Hammond and it all came after Katrina and those kinds of deals like, hey, we've got to get high and dry, we've got to get to these. Where's these hubs? And they're expanding and expanding exponentially. In Hammond, they just did the, the, the new warehouse and it's, well I think it was like 16 stories, but it's, I don't know, probably maybe 50 feet wide, but whatever it was three football fields long and it's all automated.

Speaker 1: (01:12:08)
Right. Well, and that's one of the big things going. You look at two of the companies on this list, you got interlocks and you've got Elmer Scandi company. Now these are both manufacturers, but they're not just manufacturers or high tech manufacturers. And we, we've kind of become known in this area for warehousing. And that is because we're, we're sitting here at the crossroads of the south, you know, like you said, ed at Hoover's pop it out 100,000, 150,000 square foot warehouses before they even have a tenant because they know that this area is prime for it and they're going to get that tenant. But the high tech manufacturing side of things is something that is going to explode in this area. Our parish president is big on high tech manufacturing. He wants to see more high tech manufacturers come into this area, these, these companies. When, when we walked into Elmers, the automation that is there, they said that they were, if not the, the first, they were the most high tech food manufacturing company in the United States.

Speaker 1: (01:13:15)
And then when you look at things like the, the Hammond high robotics team, you know, where they're, they're trained in these kids for essentially what could be high tech manufacturing jobs. And then you've got north shore tech, southeastern Louisiana University with the, their computer science department. Their um, uh, uh, like logistics, um, programs, all of these chain management, supply chain management, all of these things are making this area just prime for high tech manufacturing. One of the, the most obvious things that I never even thought of when we were in interlocks is that that big warehouse that you were mentioning, they don't even turn the lights on it. That's right. Robots don't need lights. And also the, the fact that they're rotating the merchandise that they're creating, not that multiple plastics really need to be, but when, when humans start stacking stuff on a pallet racks, they don't pay attention to first in, first out. But that robot just knows and nobody has to tell it to do it. It just does it.

Speaker 2: (01:14:24)
Well, here's the odd side. When you talk about the automation, that the first thing that comes to their right mind is you're taking jobs out of the community. And what Elmer said to us when growing up, I always thought of Amherst is that as this seasonal, and they are seasonal business, but they were doing stuff and you know, Valentine's was coming up and they were, they're starting to have Valentine's in October, you know, they have this, these things and he said, I forgot the percentage of it as a high percentage is there full time workers? And he said, you know this small box of chocolate when they made it, whatever, 50 1950 96 they started making it. It was a dollar. Well then 2019 2018 it's still a dollar. Right. But they're still employing these people. That is high tech is, it is the same thing when interlocks, one of the interesting things in our class, one of the guys and I, you know, I worked in a plant and we have to go to river parishes.

Speaker 2: (01:15:12)
Tadreal parish never going to be that cause we don't have a Mississippi river running through us, but we have to leave the Pearson, get some of these higher paying jobs sometimes. And this was in our backyard, essentially making comparable money that Ns, the first thing I said Robbie Miller, when I met him and we talked about him taking over, his parish president said, Robert, I said, I want a job in tangible parish and interlocks is one of these companies. And hopefully I said, it just keeps expanding that a lot of people leave in the pair for a job when we really have these opportunities in our back door and we don't realize it. You know, there's that hidden gem that a lot of people on does is there

Speaker 3: (01:15:45)
it is. It was this, all of these places where magic. That's right. Intralox was just fantastic. It was spotless, beautiful manufacturing facility. Um, walked out of there. Then guess what? That's what we drove by drive by it, not knowing what's going on in there. And then when you, when you leave you said that was amazing.

Speaker 2: (01:16:04)
And that's what we were talking about to when the other guy in the class and I were talking was that we have to go to these safety type issue plants where we're around all these chemicals. When this is the manufacturing job and it's, it's clean, it was quiet. It, you know, everything was indoor and air condition. And the crazy thing that a lot of people don't realize too about that's out there is the space that they have to expand and they're continuing to expand. Yeah. So it's still coming.

Speaker 1: (01:16:28)
All right. So moving on to our last trip and it was outside of Tantrapa parish. We went to the State Capitol and, uh, we, we got to sit in on some committee meetings. We got to meet governor John Bel Edwards. Uh, we went over to the governor's mansion where we were spoken to by his chief of staff, Mark Cooper. Uh, we visited the, uh, the House of Representatives while they were in session and, uh, and then we went over and visited lieutenant Billy. None. Guesser so what were your big takeaways?

Speaker 3: (01:17:03)
I felt like I was part of an important group. That's right. You know, here am, you know, Joe Schmoe from, you know, Tangipahoa parish. We arrive in our bus, um, and the governor took time out of his day. Governor's wife took time out of her day. Billy Nungesser was like so enthusiastic about meeting with us and talking to us, like your betters are visiting. That's right. Um, you know, I, I was just very impressed with, um, them taking time out of their day to spend time with us. Um, I also walked away feeling like, um, we are, um, well-represented in terms of the quantity of people who are working in Baton Rouge at the State Capitol for tangible pears

Speaker 2: (01:17:50)
and quality. Um, the, the, and the thing to put context on this too, this is in the middle of session, like this wasn't regular [inaudible] whatever it was Tuesday afternoon that, I mean this was in the middle of, you know, they had committee meetings going on. This is foreign vote and like you're saying, it's like both are up steep pew and um, Nikki must grow, sit down with us and I'm not talking for five minutes. Hey, how y'all doing shorthand? And they were gone, right? They spent giving them out answer questions. That's right. That's right. And, and on the floor, the House representative to stand at the podium to go in the governor's office again. Like what was half an hour? We sat there and Tulsa the governor. I mean like where else are you going to do that from a regular citizen standpoint, hey Mr Governor, we want to come hang out with you today.

Speaker 2: (01:18:37)
And that's the opportunities that leadership Tampa to hook gives you that you don't get from, like I said, regular Joe Citizen. But to get to see those things, I to me that was, I'm kind of like a history buff kind of Dion light to be able to be in those presence of not just the, the, the office of who it is, the physical office, but the office of the person, you know, to you may not agree with the politics, but to be able to, like I said, sit and Chit Chat with the governor. I tell my grandkids that

Speaker 3: (01:19:04)
though, besides going and be at those places and meeting the people, um, I was very, very happy that one of the messages that are heard consistently was that given the political climate of our country, you know, we have Democrats, we have Republicans and one doesn't like another one and it's all blocking and you have this partisan politics that, um, that we are working across the aisles that we, that that you, you, you have votes where all the Republicans don't one way and vote one way and Democrats for the other way. Um, and that, um, we're in a a, I guess a period of time that we are much more in a collaborative model and I felt very, very good about that. And yeah, I heard that throughout the day

Speaker 2: (01:19:43)
political party when you talking about the governor's mansion chief of staff, I didn't really know who the, who our chief of staff for the governor is, but a lot of people realize our governor is Democrat and he's a Republican. Like that. To me that was pretty neat. Like a lot of them. Some people may not have caught that, but I thought it was pretty neat.

Speaker 3: (01:19:56)
[inaudible] yeah, well we were fortunate here in Tangipahoa in that our governor's from Tahoe and he, uh, he's a very conservative Democrat

Speaker 1: (01:20:08)
and that, that was the biggest thing that stood out to me was this blurring between the party lines and multiple people talked about how when they were in session, uh, you know, a few years ago, just how rough it was. I mean, they were at each other's throat. Everybody was just fighting to get there and they said it's, it is a completely different atmosphere this time around. And that, just that speed of the leader speed of the team. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (01:20:40)
Well even Lieutenant Governor and Billy nuggets, you said it when we talked to him, he said, you know, he's talking about how his office is funded and he said, you know, he, he wants it where it's not either either you connect the two officers, Lieutenant Governor and the, and the governor sort of run it like a president, vice president or make them separate so there's not any conflict. Like, that's what he said. He didn't want the, he wants to officer's succeed and he wants the state to succeed. Um, and again, we talked about access. Like everybody was frank and open and didn't, it wasn't political. It was like you were sitting down having lunch with these people. And in fact we sat down and had lunch with [inaudible]. They just openly told you how we felt about it. That I agree with this. I don't agree with this is what I see going forward.

Speaker 2: (01:21:23)
And to me that was awesome. You know, and I said, you talk about the history side when we talk about lunch, we've got to go to the governor's mansion, you know, the governor's China, I mean, to the same place. I said, these are all political historical figures that we got the access to to go see. You know, it was like, to me that, that was amazing. It was amazing. And you also realize that, that people who were in baton rouge or people that's right there, they're you and I trying to do a job and I represent a group of people. I'm trying to make some good decisions. A lot of this has to do with funding. Um, you know, I need to be able to think about my local community, but also need to think about what's best for the state. Um, and we're all just people and we're, we're just like going to any other job.

Speaker 2: (01:22:05)
I'm trying to do a good job. Well, I'll say this part when you talk about the people side, like I said, I took that away from this whole experience, but, and a lot of people don't know that and I'd like to hear it to get this out publicly. Like when you, like I said, John Bel Edwards were tended to be a republican state and he's a Democrat, um, democratic governor. But a lot of people don't realize like the staff that is at the covers mansion came from Angola and they're prisoners and a lot of people don't realize it. What was it, thanksgiving or Christmas that he serves them? I believe it was thanksgiving. Yeah. And yet his families said, let them sit down and raise their to them. And they don't, they don't publicize that. It's not a political move, it's doing it because there are people, you know, and that's, I want to get that at like that's the story that you want to get out. And people like it wasn't told to us from the governor's mansion. It was told from somebody else that we knew that was from our class, but they knew the story. So to hear that is, it's sobering, you know? That's very cool.

Speaker 1: (01:23:01)
Well guys, we're bumping up on an hour and a half now and I think that's actually good

Speaker 3: (01:23:06)
considering everything that we just covered. So just a, a couple quick things here in the end. So leadership, tangible, does this class build leaders? I think it's great. Great opportunities. Um, you know, f w all of us live and work here. Um, but every week I say this, I went somewhere that I never went. Sorry. I learned something about my community that I never knew existed or if I knew a little bit about it, I learned a lot more about it. Um, I also, um, made connections and met people, you know, um, at all of these places. I've got a lot of business cards. I communicated with them about internship opportunities from our students and what can we do. Um, and then I also have, uh, a group of 25 people who are kind of in the same place that I am and are looking for opportunities to connect. Um, and for me that's what I thought it was kind of like taken me and set me on like the, the inch, the entry ramp of the wet, the highway. Like we have created this opportunity for you and we're going to turn you loose. Now

Speaker 2: (01:24:17)
what I got from it is, so I've been to some leadership classes and they sit down, they teach you how to speak as a leader and how to combine the group and everybody think together and it's very structured. This was very organic and what I th I it to me it's not a leadership training class. If somebody that thinks that here in the title, this was a foundation of to broaden your thinking and you put yourself in, it's as different as everybody in the class was. We were alike. And when we thought about how can we, everybody was thinking, how can we make everything better? You know, we, we did some stuff for the council on Aging. It was just a quick organic, hey, how could we, they, they had a need and we all threw up, you know, our ideas and we got it done.

Speaker 2: (01:25:05)
But that's what I got from it. Everybody was like, you know, we'll go back to this human side. Everybody said, how can we make it better? And nobody was competing. Nobody was, my idea is better than your idea. It's how can we do it together? That's what you get. And what it brings to me is this pride. I already had it, but it gave me such, so much more pride for our area to call it home. When you go to these other parishes, when I work out of the parish and I never was, but especially now, you're not afraid to say I'm from textual parish. You're proud of it. It's team Tangi. That's what you get from these type events. So if those who think that it's a leadership thing, it gives you foundation of knowledge. But it also gives you these side things of how to, how this, how can we be better as a group?

Speaker 2: (01:25:53)
How to be cohesive. It's not planned. It's not on a piece of paper. It's on, it's just a natural, you're with other people that you know are good people and that's what you, from these type programs. So if you're ever wondering, should I join literally tangent, Whoa, that's not really my gig. Is it worth me taking a day off a month for a year or 10 months? You'll get more out of it than just how the parish is funded. Where does, uh, where's our healthcare going? Where's our state going? It's more than that. It's way more than that. So if you ever thought that you might want to do it, take the leap, you know, that's what, this is what you get out of it. It's less of the knowledge and more of how can we make our better and the pride that you get from doing it.

Speaker 1: (01:26:36)
Brian, what'd you think? Well, when, uh, when I was asked to participate it, it sounded like something cool to do. It wasn't something that I had always dreamt of doing or had this overwhelming desire to do. Um, but I did look at it as a, a good opportunity, but coming out of it, man, I mean it, it just, it truly was a great opportunity. I thought that I knew a lot about our parish. I thought I knew a lot about the organizations that we went and visited and I realized that I didn't know anything. Um, it was a, it was such a great opportunity and you know, my advice to anyone who is thinking about, about doing it is just absolutely jump in. Um, it's not a free program. It's $1,000, a $1,000 investment. Most of the people that are there are sponsored by their employer. Right. Um, so you know, if this is something that you want to do, my advice would be go talk to your employer, uh, convince them of why this is going to or how it's going to benefit them. What should absolutely will. Um, and uh,

Speaker 2: (01:27:50)
and just to throw this out there cause I was one of them, there is a opportunity like my organization is not a true employer. So there is some opportunity for scholarships too on the individual side that if you don't have an employer that sponsors you don't let that hinder you. Um, it's not a guarantee, but there are other opportunities. So, um, but it is true, there is an investment to it, not just financially, but there is uh, a time investment. W you have to attend every um, every uh, event or make it up. But uh,

Speaker 3: (01:28:18)
do you have a ci? You got to admit this was you favorite nine days of the year. Everybody said it

Speaker 2: (01:28:23)
when you left everybody. Like when you got to the second, third time, you missed what you just left and you were already looking forward to the next one. Everybody said it.

Speaker 3: (01:28:31)
Yeah. And as an adult, you know, at my stage in life, how many opportunities do you get to say, I'm going to learn and grow and connect with a bunch of other people that I'm going to be able to be friends with, um, and, and have an opportunity to impact my community. I mean, this was just a fantastic opportunity for the individuals who were in the team. And you heard that from alumni? That's right. You know, as you encounter in alumni of, of leadership, tangible, they all say, oh my, you know,

Speaker 1: (01:29:02)
I'm jealous that you're doing this, cause this, this was such a great experience for me that, that alumni look back on this as what a wonderful year it was.

Speaker 2: (01:29:09)
That's right. When you talk, you know, we talked early about Brian's wife, Kim's going to be joining and Brian and I are, you know, we all kind of joked with her ballet. It's common, like kind of like, like she doesn't know what she's getting into. Right. But, uh, you know, and like I said, it's, it's a family. You become part of the alumni group. There's, we meet as an alumni group afterwards. And, uh, like I said, you learn more than you've ever realized and flex it a lot of times. The big thing too is the questions that you had. At least now you know where to go find them. Right. Or who to call, you know, and uh, and like I said it, I've been, I was blessed to be able to do it and I was thoroughly enjoyed it. It was awesome. All right.

Speaker 1: (01:29:47)
Yeah. Any last pieces of advice or anything that we didn't cover?

Speaker 2: (01:29:52)
Don't underestimate what you have here. Yeah. Underestimated. We have more than you had. More than you realize. People complain, they're quick to complain. You need to start celebrating what we have here. Cause we, uh, I said it in our little speech, you know, at our graduation. Don't you know, when you go to Chick-fil-a, chick-fil-a is not worried about McDonald's and about Burger King. We need to worry about us. Quit worrying about Saint Tammany and Tan and Livingston and all these other surrounding and how great they're doing. Worry about us. We have a lot here that's harvested. Let's water it. Let's grow it. We have an awesome parish. Don't forget it, you know?

Speaker 1: (01:30:29)
Yeah. I agree. Well guys, I appreciate y'all joining me. Thanks for hat honor. Yeah, yeah. Thank you. So if any, anyone who's listening to this has any questions or anything about leadership, tangible, feel free to reach out to any of us around it. We're happy to answer your questions.

Speaker 2: (01:30:45)
Yeah, excited about the new class coming in. It'll be fun. Yeah. All right, great.

Speaker 4: (01:31:03)
So where does this go?

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