New Orleans-area business briefs for April 19, 2015 _lowres

Brad Grantham, Zehnder Communications

Alternative fuels expo, conference scheduled

The Louisiana Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo will be held May 22 at the Energy, Coast & Environment Building on the LSU campus.

The conference is free and open to the public.

The event aims to educate and assist public and private fleet managers to diversify transportation fuels in their fleets using alternative fuels and taking fuel-saving measures.

The event is hosted by Louisiana Clean Fuels, in collaboration with the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership, and sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

For registration information and agenda, go to

Zehnder agency adds crisis communications

Zehnder Communications has formed a crisis communications division within its public relations department.

The agency is based in Baton Rouge, with offices in New Orleans and Nashville, Tennessee.

Brad Grantham will lead the division as senior crisis communications manager. He also will serve as chief strategist on day-to-day public relations accounts.

A former TV news director and assignment manager, Grantham was public relations account supervisor for Peter Mayer Advertising in New Orleans.

“Zehnder has seen significant growth in crisis communications as clients recognize the value of taking a more proactive and preventive approach with their reputations,” public relations director Ann Edelman said.

Zehnder Communications is an advertising agency, with services that include strategic marketing, public relations, media placement, creative services, social media, interactive design and programming.

USDA investing in watershed projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is investing $10 million this year in 27 new high-priority watersheds and 13 existing projects that will help improve water quality and strengthen agricultural operations.

Two new watersheds in Louisiana will be funded through the agency’s Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative to help farmers adopt conservation systems to improve water quality and habitat and restore wetlands. The Cane Bayou-Little Creek watershed in Richland Parish and Lake St. Joseph-Clark Bayou in Tensas Parish will utilize the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help farmers adopt conservation systems.

The investment is part of a commitment of $100 million over four years to address water quality concerns in priority watersheds while boosting rural economies.

Nominations sought for LSU fast-growing firms

Nominations are being accepted for the fifth annual LSU 100: Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses.

Nominations will close May 1 and the last day to submit an application is June 12.

The program is hosted by the LSU Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute.

Nominations and applications can be found at Anyone can nominate a company for the LSU 100. Individuals also may nominate themselves.

The nominator’s information is not made public. To be eligible companies must have been in business for five years or more; have verifiable revenue of at least $100,000 for 2011, 2012 and 2013; have a former LSU student as owner of at least 50 percent of the company or as chief executive officer, president or managing partner; and operate in a manner consistent with the mission of LSU and SEI.

The 2015 LSU 100 awards will be presented Oct. 23 at the L’Auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge. For information, visit or call (225) 578-0313.