La. gets magazine’s Silver Shovel Award

Area Development magazine awarded Louisiana a 2016 Silver Shovel Award for posting one of the best economic development performances in the U.S. during the past year, based on the state’s most significant economic investments.

Louisiana’s economic development projects merited a 2016 Silver Shovel Award in the category for states of 3 million to 5 million people, an honor it shared with Alabama and Kentucky. Six states won Gold Shovel Awards — California, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, Nevada and Utah.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Louisiana has won Area Development’s Silver Shovel Award, following previous awards in 2010 through 2015. The magazine evaluates states, giving weighted scores for jobs per capita, the amount of investment, the number of new facilities and industry diversity.

Louisiana’s projects included two industry announcements with large capital investment and job creation components. They were Formosa Petrochemical Corp.’s $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish and a $3 billion ethane cracker and monethylene glycol manufacturing project by Axiall and Lotte Chemical in Lake Charles.

Group gets grant to aid paralysis patients

Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network is receiving a $75,000 grant that will be used to purchase assisted-standing equipment and accessories that will be provided on a loaner basis to people with spinal cord injuries.

The grant is being provided by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center.

The “Stand Up, Louisiana” project also will educate those in the paralysis and caregiving communities on the health benefits of standing and will work to help people access permanent standers.

“As we continually shift into the advancing digital age, we felt that funding projects that focused on assistive technology and durable medical equipment would continue to fulfill our namesakes’ vision of allowing those living with paralysis to have more independence,” said Maggie Goldberg, vice president of policy and programs for the foundation.

La. Master Farmer training planned

The Louisiana Master Farmer Program will offer its Phase I training June 28 at the Rice Research Station in Crowley.

The classroom session will be in the station conference room from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No registration fee or pre-registration is required.

The second phase of the program, attending a conservation-based field day or workshop, will be the next day at 7:15 a.m.

The final step of becoming certified as a Master Farmer is development and implementation of a comprehensive conservation plan for a farming operation.

For information, contact Ernest Girouard or Allen Hogan, both at (337) 788-7547.

Angel network invests $1 million in 4 startups

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Members of the NO/LA Angel Network recently invested more than $1 million in four Louisiana startups.

They are CyberReef Solutions, a cybersecurity firm in Shreveport; MobileQubes, a New Orleans company with automated kiosks that provide cordless, rent-and-return mobile device chargers; Bioceptive, a New Orleans women’s health company developing innovative medical devices for gynecological procedures; and SmartPak, which designs and provides packaging solutions for the beverage industry.

Since its first investment in October 2014, network members have made 11 investments in six companies for a total of $3.2 million. The aggregate amount of the investments, including incoming and outgoing syndication deals, in which the network has participated totals $8.0 million. The 120-member network also is evaluating two others companies for potential investments.

Two angel investing organizations have recently become part of the NO/LA Angel Network — the Lagniappe Angels in New Orleans, formerly The South Coast Angel Fund, and the Lafayette-based Acadiana Angels.

AST Marketing relocating office

AST Marketing Group is relocating July 1 to 7909 Wrenwood Blvd. off Jefferson Highway in the Bocage area.

AST distributes co-branded corporate apparel and merchandise and is undertaking its third office expansion in two years.

“This new office location is reflective of AST’s rapid establishment of itself as the Gulf Coast’s most unique corporate merchandising model, as well as acts as a precursor to exciting staff expansion announcements,” said Carey Guglielmo, president and owner.

Fish Window Cleaning opens BR franchise

A Fish Window Cleaning franchise has opened at 9432 Common St. in Baton Rouge, serving commercial and residential customers in Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Prairieville and Sorrento.

The location is owned by Bryan Wynn, who was in the oil industry.

The website is and phone is (225) 227-2823.

Fish Window Cleaning, founded in 1978, has more than 250 franchise territories in 43 states and is headquartered in St. Louis.

Business ethics luncheon scheduled

Christ in the City is holding an “Ethics First (Again!)” business luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday in the De La Ronde Hall ballroom at 320 Third St. in downtown Baton Rouge.

The featured speaker on business ethics is Richard White Jr., dean of the E.J. Ourso College of Business at LSU.

Tickets are $50 apiece or $750 for a table. Contact the Rev. David Melville at (225) 397-6393 or