Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette area People in Business for June 5, 2016 _lowres

Kevin Blanchard, Southern Lifestyle Development

My Dad was a Methodist minister, so we moved around a lot – Sulphur, Kinder, Shreveport, Prairieville. I went to high school at C.E. Byrd in Shreveport. Oldest of five children. My parents taught me the value of hard work and the importance of focusing on something bigger than myself. My dad used to wake us up in the morning and ask “What are you going to do for the good of the cause today?”

I managed to make the basketball team in high school — on a team that was usually ranked high in the state — despite a lack of talent, size, speed, or agility. I worked hard, tried to out hustle everyone and be a good teammate.

I started at LSU intending on majoring in mathematics. I ended up in journalism because I figured out I could earn a little bit of money while I was in school writing for the school newspaper, and later freelancing for The Advocate. Journalism stuck for me because it gave me the ability to question and learn new things.

I went to law school at LSU when I was 32. I spent a lot of time in Baton Rouge, while my wife, Heather, was back at home in Lafayette, working full time and taking care of our three small children. I also worked as a consultant. I did well in law school, mostly by trying to show up earlier and stay later than everyone else. There were a lot of smart people there. The only way to differentiate yourself was to work harder.

I worked for the city-parish government for a little more than two years. I enjoyed being able to be involved in trying to solve issues on behalf of the larger community. The time I spent as a reporter was very helpful, as I had covered LCG for years and had gotten to meet and know a lot of great LCG employees in the past.

At SLD, we are building communities and trying to contribute to our residents’ quality of life. That’s the thread that has followed me through my career to today. In my job as chief operating officer, I am responsible for all the day-to-day activities of the company. With dozens of ongoing projects throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, that means I get to address a new challenge every day. Never a dull moment.

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Follow Adam Daigle on Twitter, @adamdaigleAdv.