Sunbelt Lighting to build showroom

Sunbelt Lighting, the Hattiesburg, Mississippi-based ceiling fan and lighting retailer with an office in Lafayette, will move to a new location later this year.

The company will move out of its location at 6413 Johnston St. to 111 Duhon Road by October or November, said regional manager Dan Causey. The company filed a building permit in March for $1.15 million for the new 10,000-square-foot showroom.

It’s one of seven showrooms the company has but only one of two in Louisiana with the other in Baton Rouge. The store, he noted, caters mostly to builders.

“We’ve kind of done well in the area,” Causey said. “So to give our clients a better experience, we want to offer a new experience in lighting. We’ll be putting a lot of bells and whistles in it. It’ll be the nicest store we have.”

The store will offer commercial lighting options, gas lanterns, chandeliers and other lighting options. It will also offer bathroom and door hardware. It employs eight but will add more once the move is complete.

Play N Trade to open Carencro location

Play N Trade, a locally owned video-game store, will open its second location in Carencro by the end of the month.

Owner Geoff Pearson said the store will be at 200 Hector Connoly Road, in the same shopping center as Rotolo's Pizzeria. Pearson said he has been planning to open a new location for a while but has been torn on where to locate it.

Pearson added that he hopes to open May 25 but says he might have to postpone the grand opening of the 1,200-square-foot store to June 1 at the latest. 

“Everyone was always saying I should expand to Youngsville, but the demographics and location are much better in Carencro," he said. "There's also a lot of old money in Youngsville, and old money doesn't shop for video games. There’s also been a lot of growth north of the city, and I think that people don’t want to get off the highway and drive through Lafayette to go shopping, which is something Carencro can offer.”

Pearson opened the first Play N Trade's store 11 years ago at 2668 Johnston St., Suite A3, when he was only 25 years old as a franchise of the Play N Trade corporation. The company at one time had more than 1,000 stores, but corporate collapsed four years ago and left the franchisees to become independent owners.

Pearson's store is one of 30 remaining, which he said they've outgrown. It's also six miles away from the nearest competitor, the GameStop at 3211 Louisiana Ave. 

"It's the strongest Gamestop in the area financially," he said. "So by moving where we are, we're hoping to intercept some of that traffic flow from Carencro and Opelousas."

The store will employ about six.

Ross Mortgage Corp. opening Lafayette office

Ross Mortgage Corp., a Michigan-based full-service residential mortgage lender, will open its first Louisiana office in Lafayette.

The office, at 900 S. College Road, Suite 303, will offer a full range of mortgage products and classes and education opportunities for Realtors and homebuyers. Mortgage lending expert Ashley Courville, who has 10 years of mortgage experience, will lead the office. 

Courville will be responsible for originating loans and coordinating community outreach efforts to build relationships. She leverages digital tools and social media to help her local real estate community generate leads through the Loan Officer Leads Academy and Agent Acceleration programs.

Ross Mortgage operates 17 locations in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

Chris Meaux named Gulf Coast finalist

Waitr founder and CEO Chris Meaux has been named a finalist in the Gulf Coast area for the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented by Ernst & Young LLP.

Meaux is one of only three finalists from Louisiana. Nominees were selected by a panel of independent judges, and winners will be announced June 21 in Houston.

The award recognizes entrepreneurs demonstrating excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance, risk and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

“Being nominated for such a prestigious award is significant all by itself," Meaux said. "But this is even more special to me because it focuses on the area in which I’ve lived and worked my entire professional career. It’s also a tremendous testament to the Waitr team members, who strive for excellence each day. This wouldn’t have been possible without their efforts.” 

Meaux has overseen Waitr’s rapid growth in the restaurant delivery sector since the company’s launch four years ago. Since then, the company has gone public after Tilman Fertitta’s Landcadia Holdings purchased the company and acquired Minneapolis-based Bite Squad, raising its number of employees to 1,000 nationwide.

Waitr grew revenue more than 200% in 2018 and now partners with 20,000 restaurants in 600 cities throughout the United States. It operates in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport, New Orleans, Alexandria, Monroe, Hammond, Houma and Thibodaux.

Development course on real estate planned

A real estate development and reuse course is being held June 4-5 at the Southeast Louisiana Business Center, 1514 Martens Drive, in Hammond.

The courses are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., respectively, for the two days.

Participants in the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association professional development course will learn the fundamentals of market and site analysis, financial feasibility, and the political considerations required to move a development project from conception to reality. The course also covers financing tools that are available at the local, regional and state levels, including tax increment financing, bond financing, tax credits, tax abatements, land assembly and brownfield redevelopment. Multiple in-class case studies will be used to help participants work through actual financial and regulatory problems.

Course topics also include the Louisiana Certified Sites Program; Louisiana real estate trends; understanding the land development process; infrastructure for development; land and building reuse; and downtown and neighborhood reuse.

Registration is $250 for LIDEA members and $300 for nonmembers until May 31. Register at (985) 549-3199 or

Pain Management Symposium scheduled

A Pain Management Symposium to discuss advances in non-opioid pain care is being held by Capital Area Human Services from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 30 in the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Parks Commission's Milton J. Womack Ballroom, 6201 Florida Blvd., in Baton Rouge.

The symposium is free and open to anyone in the community.

Keynote speaker is David W. Gavel, of Southern Behavioral Medicine Associates in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, describing its multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation program.

A panel of regional practitioners and group discussion will review non-opioid pain management resources and improvements in the local system of care. Panelists and topics include Dr. Lan H. Pham, Our Lady of the Lake, Hospital Medicine and Palliative Care Services, on non-opioid pharmacotherapy, interventional procedures and medical education; Claire M. Kantrow, physical therapist, on restorative movement therapies; Quyen Ho, of the Tam Bao Mindfulness Meditation Center on complementary health resources; and Nicole Falgoust, psychotherapist, on behavioral health approaches.

Chronic pain has been recognized as a national public health problem affecting 50 million U.S. adults, CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky said. “During this opioid crisis, it is critical to continue making progress toward person-centered care that reduces opioid-related harms while addressing the challenges of chronic pain.”

Capital Area Human Services provides mental health, addiction recovery and developmental disabilities services in the parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Iberville, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, and Pointe Coupee.

Registration is at