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Member News

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Named a "Top Workplace" for 2nd Consecutive Year by The Times-Picayune and

Search Influence announced the hiring of a new manager of technology and development.
Casey Duplantis brings over 20 years of experience with small business and enterprise IT across multiple industries.

Casey Duplantis HeadshotSearch Influence, an internet marketing company based in New Orleans, announced the hiring of Casey Duplantis as the manager of technology and development. Duplantis previously worked at Capital One as a senior manager and solution architect of card servicing.

"It's no secret that digital marketing is growing exponentially as brands compete to be found online by more customers," said Jeremy Brown, director of operations at Search Influence. "With Casey and other key leaders in place, along with our own proprietary software, we're better equipped to continually improve our online marketing techniques. This one-two punch makes Search Influence highly efficient and able to deliver results to our clients."

A native of south Louisiana, Duplantis started on Monday, April 25, 2016, bringing over 20 years of small business and enterprise IT experience in the healthcare, logistics and financial industries. At Nicholls State University, Duplantis studied both computer information systems and music education, and he continues to enjoy playing music in his free time.

As Search Influence continues to grow beyond its tenth anniversary, the company has taken on clients across the United States and Canada. While the ongoing training and development of employees is a high priority of Search Influence, recent external hires have demonstrated even a young company can benefit from years of outside experience in related fields. The manager of technology and development position allows the company to better serve clients with advanced technological solutions, both for client websites and internally developed software to enhance internal operations.

Optimistic about the opportunity to work with the rapidly growing business, Duplantis said, "I'm pleased to join an organization whose leadership promotes a culture of innovation and excellence. Our developers are delivering solutions to support a winning digital strategy that helps our customers achieve their goals in a continually changing business environment. It's an exciting time to be a part of SI."

For more information about Search Influence and its employees, visit or contact the company at 504-208-3900. Interested parties can also visit the office in person at 935 Gravier St. #1300, New Orleans, La. 70112.

About Search Influence
A national internet marketing company based in New Orleans, Search Influence specializes in helping small businesses succeed online. Whether working directly with customers or with publisher partners, Search influence focuses on customer return on investment. Search Influence offers local SEO, social media marketing and a full range of online marketing services, including in-house production services.

La Belle Esplanade has been ranked the #1 B&B and Inn in New Orleans, and in all of Louisiana by Trip Advisor for Twenty-Five Straight Months

As of May 1, for twenty-five straight months Trip Advisor has ranked La Belle Esplanade the #1 B&B and Inn in New Orleans, and in all of Louisiana. La Belle Esplanade, at 2216 Esplanade Avenue, is a five-suite inn that offers a boutique experience outside the French Quarter and off the usual tourist map.

More than a bed and breakfast, La Belle Esplanade offers a whimsical immersive experience that introduces guests to what it means to love New Orleans. From an exhibit of bayou squid captured in the Florida Avenue Canal, to what is reported to be Sandra Bullock's discarded air conditioner coils, to The Thing From Outer Space, La Belle Esplanade's lobby is an eccentric museum of locally scrounged curiosities. Every suite is likewise full of delightful surprises and details. Ceilings throughout the inn are twelve and half feet tall and every room is a different bouyant color.

Earning kudos in every review is the daily breakfast sourced from local vendors and farmers and the salon conversations and history lessons that unfold over the New Orleans fare and the chicory coffee. Neither Matthew nor Melanie had professional hospitality experience when they opened their inn in September 2012, but they enjoy serving as goodwill ambassadors for the city they call home.

THNOC publication "Henry Howard: Louisiana's Architect" captures award

Henry Howard Book CoverThe Historic New Orleans Collection is pleased to announce that its publication "Henry Howard: Louisiana's Architect," which was co-published by the Princeton Architectural Press, has received the Victorian Society in America's Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award.
This honor reflects author and photographer Robert S. Brantley's decades-long effort to document the work of one of Louisiana's most prolific architects of the 19th century with the help of his late wife, Jan White Brantley, and the late Victor McGee, a direct descendant of the book's subject. The volume provides a comprehensive survey of Howard's career, lavishly illustrated with photographs both new and historical, and interspersed with archival drawings and plans.
"I am grateful for all the hard work and astuteness of The Collection's editors and for the untiring effort and knowledge of the editors of Princeton Architectural Press, who have helped make this work on Henry Howard a success," said Brantley. "Mostly, I am forever in the debt of my beloved wife, Jan, for her unwavering support and talents in both research and photography and to my friend Victor McGee for keeping the memory of Henry Howard alive and for all his insightful thoughts and work in the writing of this book. Lastly, to Henry Howard, without whose genius this work would not need to exist."
Given annually, the Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award is one of three book awards that the Victorian Society in America (VSA) presents to works "that best advance an understanding or appreciation of the decorative arts or architecture of the 19th century." This particular prize honors works "centered on architecture or the decorative arts," including biographies of designers or architects.
"We are thrilled to see Howard's contribution to 19th-century architecture acknowledged by such a significant organization as the Victorian Society in America," said Dorothy Ball, senior editor at THNOC who headed the project, "We congratulate Robert Brantley, along with Jan and Victor McGee, for the phenomenal effort they expended in bringing this unsung story to light."
The Victorian Society in America, which has a sister organization in the United Kingdom, was founded in 1966 and is committed to historic preservation and the protection, understanding, education and enjoyment of 19th-century heritage. The society's 15 chapters across the country host a wide range of local events and lectures that help promote its enrichment and publication work. "Old House Journal" identified the founding of the society as one of the 25 most significant milestones in American preservation.
The award will be presented at The Victorian Society in America's annual meeting this year on April 30 in Los Angeles.

CATAHOULA HOTEL/CAFE/ BAR Officially open to public

The Catahoula Hotel, a 35-room boutique hotel nestled in the Central Business District, is officially open . The café and bar will be open between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. daily for coffee, cocktails and a full menu.

The Catahoula is a former Creole Townhouse which now resides amongst skyscrapers in downtown New Orleans. A Peruvian-inspired cafe/bar is at street level, 35 hotel rooms above, and tropical courtyards, balconies and terraces throughout. Rooms start at $129.

Click here for the full press release.

Michelle Linton Joins the FestiGals Team
Marketing & Event Director on Board for July 28-30 New Orleans Girlfriend Weekend

Michelle Linton Headshot
FestiGals, Inc. the nonprofit organization that produces the New Orleans Original Girlfriend Getaway Weekend, is pleased to announce Michelle Linton as Marketing & Events Director. She will play a pivotal role in planning the New Orleans Women's Conference within the FestiGals, Inc. weekend.

Linton holds an impressive track record with over 10 years of experience in marketing and event planning. She joins FestiGals following a seven-year stint as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Women's Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South), an organization that is dedicated to uniting women-owned businesses and connecting them with opportunities to expand their companies.

Click here for the full press release.

Jody Halter Named President of Skål International New Orleans
ACCENT-DMC VP Selected to Lead Tourism Organization

Jody Halter HeadshotACCENT-DMC, a DMC Network Company is pleased to announce that its vice-president, Jody Halter, has been elected president of Skål International New Orleans.

Halter has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years and joined the ACCENT team in 2003. Her leadership skills and experience producing special events and guest programs for association, corporate and incentive meetings for ACCENT-DMC will be of great benefit to Skål, particularly as the organization joins local and state tourism agencies to host the U.S. Travel Association's IPW meeting in New Orleans this June. IPW is the travel industry's premier internationals marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S.

Click here for the full press release.

The Historic New Orleans Collection Opened a new exhibition titled Money, Money, Money!

Tuesday, May 17 - through Saturday, October 29
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street in the French Quarter.

The Historic New Orleans Collection wants you to follow the money into Louisiana's past. The museum, research center and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Louisiana has just opened a new exhibition titled Money, Money, Money! Currency Holdings from The Historic New Orleans Collection at its Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street in the French Quarter. The display includes more than 200 objects illustrating the many-and sometimes bizarre-incarnations of money that existed before US currency was codified.


Concerts in the Courtyard, The Historic New Orleans Collection's popular outdoor music series

Now in its ninth year, Concerts in the Courtyard offers a fun, affordable way to kick off the weekend. In addition to the Colin Lake Band, the spring series will include shows by Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars (Friday, April 15), Walter "Wolfman" Washington and the Roadmasters (Friday, May 20), and Sweet Crude (Friday, June 17).

All concerts this season will offer white wine and beer. Admission is $10, free for THNOC members and includes three beverages. Shows are held at 533 Royal St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the concerts are 6:00-8:00 p.m. THNOC's museum shop and first-floor exhibition galleries will offer extended hours during the event.

Ever wonder how to roll the perfect dolmades? Come find out at the New Orleans Greek Festival! This year's theme is Dolmades! That's how the Greeks Roll!

In its 43rd year, the festival continues to be a family favorite at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on the banks of Bayou St. John every Memorial Day Weekend! The fun kicks off Friday, May 27 with the annual Greek Festival 5K Run/Walk.

Since we are celebrating dolmades, festival-goers can experience cooking demonstrations and the secret to rolling that perfectly tight, grape leaf wrapped delight. Packed with rice and other flavors, these grape leaves will be available for everyone to enjoy. From the traditional dinner dolma to a variety of savory and sweet samples in the Greek Grocery, the dolma is a staple of Greek cuisine. Vegetarian options are available as well!

"Year-to-year, our volunteers spend thousands of man hours preparing traditional Greek Festival favorites, including sweet pastries the famous Baklava Sunday, authentic Greek dinners, calamari dishes, gyros and souvlaki plates, and lamb, lamb, lamb," says Executive Director Ginny Zissis. "We are so lucky and proud to have our community and our generous volunteers step up to the plate, literally, to hand-make most of our dishes," Zissis says.

The Hellenic Dancers also spend the whole year training for the live performances. This year, we welcome The Alpha Omega Sound Band from Atlanta that will be playing on the Bayou throughout the festival! Tour the beautiful Cathedral while the kids play in the Athenian Playground. And get all your Hellenic shopping done in the Greek grocery with delectable cheeses, dips, spices, and much more.

There is road construction around the area and the Wisner Bridge is closed. But there are many alternate routes.

For more on the festival and up-to-date information on road construction, parking and shuttle schedules, go to or call Laila Morcos Zissis at 504-615-2388 or email at

New Orleans Artists Organize 8th Annual Douglas Redd Cultural Summit
Taking Action: Working Together for the New Orleans Tri-Centennial and Beyond

June 11, 2016
10am - 3pm
Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

Inspired by the legacy of Douglas Redd, iconic visual artist and cofounder of Ashé Cultural Arts Center, local cultural workers and artists in all disciplines are gathering for the 8th Annual Douglas Redd Cultural Summit. The Summit will be held on Saturday June 11, 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., and admission is free.

The event promises networking and organizing designed to stimulate workforce development, capacity building, and professional development among artists and organizations, relative to their cultural events leading up to New Orleans' Tri-centennial in 2018. Further, it will focus on a collaborative effort to organize Afro-Orleanians in the art & cultural community in ways that will make a powerful impact on New Orleans in 2018 and beyond!

Visit for more information.


The Ogden Museum of Southern Art will celebrate the opening of its three newest exhibitions on Thursday, June 16, 2016. Opening reception festivities for Top Mob: A History of New Orleans Graffiti, /'pāpər/ and In Time We Shall Know Ourselves: Photographs by Raymond Smith will commence at 5:00 p.m. and last until 8:00 p.m.

Highlights of the evening include remarks by photographer Raymond Smith and remarks by members of the Top Mob graffiti collective. Music will be provided in the Patrick F. Taylor Library by DJ Alfa Leone and DJ Quickie Mart, both affiliated with Top Mob.

Top Mob: A History of New Orleans Graffiti sponsored by Mo's Art Supply
June 4 - November 6, 2016

June 11 - November 6, 2016

In Time We Shall Know Ourselves: Photographs by Raymond Smith
June 12 - September 18, 2016

For more information on the exhibits visit

The Historic New Orleans Collection to Host a Culinary Symposium entitled "Rum, Rhum, Ron! A History of Rum in the New World

Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25

The Historic New Orleans Collection will host a culinary symposium to examine the history, production and consumption of the most widely produced liquor in Louisiana - rum! Entitled "Rum, Rhum, Ron! A History of Rum in the New World," the symposium will take place on Friday, June 24 & Saturday, June 25. The event will include an evening happy hour at Palace Café's rum-focused Black Duck Bar on Friday, and presentations by various culinary and rum experts at THNOC's Williams Research Center on Saturday, followed by a rum tasting at the Hotel Monteleone.

Registration is required, and reservations can be made online at or by phone at (504) 523-4662.