FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact: Mary Nash Wood, Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Caddo schools commended for student growth amid tougher grading system
Five schools increase by a letter grade while district sets Top Gains record
Schools across Caddo Parish earned significant accolades for gains made in student performance according to information released Thursday by the Louisiana Department of Education.
The annual release of school performance scores shows five schools improved performance by a letter grade with more than 40 schools maintaining their letter grades in a year of great changes in the state accountability system. Additionally, 16 schools garnered the highest recognition from DOE, the Top Gains distinction – a substantial increase from four in 2017 and an all-time district record.
Despite the absence of a major statewide race this term, 2018 is still a busy election season. Here are EIGHT local and statewide amendments that will be on the ballot, as well as the Chamber’s position on each.
The 2018 Parks Millage Renewal. The Chamber believes that this millage provides essential services that not only speak to the quality of life in our community, but that provide the kind of baseline services that are expected of a community like ours. Given that this is a renewal, it also does not represent an increase in local taxes. Chamber Position: SUPPORT
Amendment # 1 Convicted Felons Running for Office: This amendment would prohibit a person convicted of a felony from running for elective office or being appointed to certain public offices for a period of five years after completion of their sentence. The five-year prohibition in this amendment seems an appropriate limitation that recognizes the need for enhanced trust while emphasizing that individuals who have paid their debt to society should not be punished in perpetuity. Chamber Recommendation: SUPPORT
Amendment # 2 Unanimous Juries: This amendment would require a unanimous jury vote for a criminal conviction or acquittal. Louisiana is one of only two states that allow non-unanimous jury verdicts in serious criminal cases. Clearly Louisiana is out of step with other states and the federal government, and a vote of support for this amendment will help Louisiana step into the legal mainstream. Chamber Recommendation: SUPPORT
Amendment # 3 Donating or Loaning Public Property: This amendment would allow certain governmental entities to loan each other equipment or personnel without compensation. The Louisiana Constitution currently prohibits municipalities from donating or loaning anything of value to a public or private entity without compensation, but many local governments see equipment sharing as a cost sharing measure or more efficient use of public funds. Passage of this amendment would provide greater flexibility for public entities to cooperate. Chamber Recommendation: SUPPORT
Amendment #4 Use of Revenues in the Transportation Trust Fund: This amendment would prohibit the State Police from receiving any revenues from gasoline or other fuel taxes for traffic control purposes. Currently the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) dollars can be expended for activities other than road construction. Given the current deteriorating state of Louisiana’s road infrastructure, the Chamber believes that the dollars in the TTF should be allocated specifically to infrastructure improvement. Chamber Recommendation: SUPPORT
Amendment # 5 Additional Property Tax Exemptions: This amendment would extend special property tax exemptions already given to homeowners age 65 or older; military veterans with a 100% disability or their surviving spouses; and surviving spouses of members of the military, law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical responders who were killed in the line of duty if their property is placed in a trust. Chamber Recommendation: SUPPORT
Amendment # 6 Phase In of Property Taxes When Assessments Spike: This amendment says that if the assessed value of a homestead increases by more than 50%, the tax collector will phase in the collection of the additional tax liability over a four-year period. This amendment is designed to protect citizens from meteoric rises by requiring a four-year phase-in and eases the sticker shock of unexpected property increases. Chamber Recommendation: SUPPORT
The Chamber has yet to take a vote on the Sports Betting amendment. This post will be edited to reflect that decision at a later date.
t's loud. It's in your face and you'll be dancing on the ceiling!
This is not your average, boring dial-a-thon. Over a three-day period (December 4-6th) over 100 volunteers will work against the clock and against each other to on-board new members and create greater community awareness of the unique and vital role of the Chamber of Commerce. This 80’s-themed Membership Event brings together business leaders from across our community in a high energy, totally rad, out-of-the-box, fun way and you can expand your sales and marketing opportunities while joining in the fun at the same time!
Opportunities are available for you at all levels of participation; you can volunteer and be part of the fun, sponsor the event financially, or donate food, drink, party décor and old cassette tapes!
You’ll be invited to the Totally Tubular, Mega Awesome, 80’s Wrap-Up Party and Chamber Open House on Thursday, December 6th. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take part in the loudest, wackiest, craziest fun event of the Chamber year! So tease up your hair, dig out those hi-tops, and join us for the Totally Awesome Back-to-the-80’s Membership Event.
Call Carole at 318-677-2500 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce announces the 28th Annual ATHENA Leadership Award Honorees
Sixteen professionals to be honored for their leadership, civic commitments
The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Business Development Connection honors a select group of local individuals each year at the ATHENA Leadership Awards Luncheon. The prestigious International ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman or man, who is honored for attaining professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their achievement of professional excellence and leadership skills.
This year’s 16 honorees are as follows:
Sheena B. Bryant
Rhonda D. Butler, CPA, CGMA
Dr. Rosaline M. Caldwell
Kelli S. Dauphin
Sarah R. Giglio
Verni W. Howard
Angelita B. Jackson
Robin N. Jones
Susannah W. Poljak
*(Headshots of each honoree can be found here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmtsnVxn)
Join us in celebrating and honoring these outstanding business professionals from our community at the upcoming 28th Annual ATHENA Leadership Awards Luncheon. At the event, one of the aforementioned honorees will be named the 2018 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient.
The ATHENA Leadership Awards Luncheon will be held November 8th at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino and registration begins promptly at 11:15 A.M. Tickets are $45 for Chamber members; after October 22nd, ticket prices increase. Nonmembers are welcome to attend. To register for the event, visit http://web.shreveportchamber.org/events/28th-Annual-ATHENA-Leadership-Award-Luncheon-415/details.
Since the program’s inception in 1982, more than 8,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, Unite Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.
PTAC Day is a national campaign designed to celebrate the contracting success of thousands of small businesses who have benefitted from training and technical assistance delivered by their local PTACs. The first annual PTAC Day will take place on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
The Northwest Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, a member of APTAC, is a cooperative agreement between the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) under the auspices of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. Since 1987, the NWLA PTAC has played a vital role in the economic growth and development of Northwest Louisiana by assisting small, disadvantaged, woman, minority, and veteran owned businesses. The primary mission of the PTAC is to increase the number of government contract dollars being awarded to businesses located in our region of the state, thereby creating and retaining jobs in the area. The NWLA PTAC clients reported over $97 million dollars in contract award dollars in 2017, equating to almost 2,000 job created and/or retained.
National PTAC Day will unite the ninety-five Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) in all 50 states (plus Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) and the 48,000 clients they serve by celebrating the significant economic impact that PTAC clients have created within their communities. This special day will be celebrated with social media campaigns, public relations initiatives, online and in-person events and more.
“We want to spotlight the impact that PTACs are having across the country,” says Tiffany Scroggs, President of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC). “By helping businesses, PTACs stimulate the creation of new jobs and economic growth in their communities. And, just as importantly, PTAC clients often are new suppliers that provide products and services critically needed by the armed services and all units of government. Whether it’s connecting disaster or wildfire responders with agencies in times of crisis or helping train small contractors on new government requirements, PTACs are always there to help. The success stories of PTAC clients are as diverse as our country itself, and we’re glad for this opportunity to tell them,” she adds.
The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the Northwest Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center for thirty years.
To learn more about what your local PTAC is doing, locate them on the second floor of the Chamber. www.nwlaptac.org.
Since 2010, the 307th Bomb Wing from Barksdale Air Force Base has sent a B52 to participate in a multi-country air show, called NATO Days, held in Ostrava, Czech Republic. (https://www.natodays.cz/news).
The participation by the 307th is in part as a recognition of the assistance provided to downed B52 pilots by the people of Ostrava during WWII.
In 2012, 2013 and 2015 delegations from Ostrava visited Shreveport and in 2015, Shreveport and Ostrava became Sister Cities.
This year, Chamber President, Dr. Tim Magner is accompanying the 307th to Ostrava, representing Shreveport and bringing a proclamation from Mayor Ollie Tyler.
To see more from the trip, check out Tim's photos on our Facebook page.
On September 23rd, Chamber executives from all across the state will be visiting Shreveport-Bossier for the annual Louisiana Association of Chamber Executives conference. We're putting together 70 bags with information about our local businesses.
Want to be included? Email Carole at email@example.com to coordinate pickup or drop off of your items for the bags.
Chamber’s J. Pat Beaird Industry and Top Businesses of the Year Awards to honor Metro Aviation and host Commander Kirk Lippold of the USS Cole
Each year the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce hosts the J. Pat Beaird Industry and Top Businesses of the Year awards, with the support of our sponsors, the Forum, Chase Bank and the J. Pat Beaird Memorial Fund.
“The Chamber is proud to announce that our Industry of the Year Award recipient this year will be Metro Aviation,” affirmed Dr. Timothy Magner, Shreveport Chamber president. “Metro Aviation is one of our city’s hidden gems. They are the largest air medical completion center not just in Louisiana, not just in the US, but in the world as well as the largest traditional air medical provider. We are excited to honor Mike Stanberry and the rest of the Metro family for their industry leadership and their contribution to our community.”
In addition to honoring Metro Aviation and select small businesses, the awards luncheon will also play host to a recognized authority on leadership and crisis management, former Naval Commander Kirk Lippold. CDR Lippold was in command of the USS Cole when it was targeted by a deadly al Qaeda terrorist attack in 2000, 11 months before 9/11. His team training prior to the attack and unflappable leadership after, galvanized his crew to action, resulting in lives and the ship being saved. A compelling storyteller, CDR Lippold draws upon his Five Pillars of Leadership to offer strategies he learned and applied to instill integrity into his team members and mitigate crises throughout his naval career. With takeaways for organizations on assessing their own successes and failures to prepare for what the future may hold, his lessons learned can make the difference when it matters most.
This year’s J. Pat Beaird Industry and Top Businesses of the Year Awards Luncheon will be held at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino on September 20th at 11:30. Tickets are for sale online at www.shreveportchamber.org. Prices are $45 for members and $75 for nonmembers until September 4th. Table and event sponsorships are also available.
For more information on the J. Pat Beaird Awards or any of the other Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce initiatives, contact Erin Smith, Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations for the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-677-2500.
Since its founding in 1910, the mission of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce (GSCC) has been to promote economic prosperity, serve as a business advocate, and celebrate the achievements of the Shreveport- Bossier region. With over 1700 members, the GSCC is designated as a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the US Chamber of Commerce, one of less than 2% of Chambers across the country honored with this distinction.
"Your Shreveport. Your Vote." is all about you, the every day citizen in Shreveport who wants what's best for our city. We at the Chamber want you to be able to make the most informed decision this fall when you're selecting who will be the next leaders of our city and parish.
Last week, we told you about the video interviews that we'll be conducting with each mayoral, city council and school board candidate who has opposition this fall. Our plan is to have those completed and posted for your review by October 1st.
To dig deeper with each candidate, we'll also be hosting not one, not two, but THREE mayoral forums on consecutive nights beginning Tuesday, October 16th. We'll be partnering with LSUS, Centenary College and SUSLA, as well as the three largest TV stations in our area. Each night will center around a different topic: operations and administration, leadership and finances. We want the candidates to be able to tell us more about their specific plans for our city, which is why we are splitting the forums up.
These forums will be free to attend but registration is required, as seating is limited. To reserve your seats now, visit our website and select which night you'd like to attend.
If you'd like to submit a question for consideration at one of the forums, you can do so via email to Dr. Magner at email@example.com, or submit a video question via Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin by setting the submission to public and using the hashtag #shvraces2018 or tagging the Chamber @shreveportchamber.
One of the ongoing efforts of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce is to enable the voting public to be informed and able to base their voting decisions on information provided directly from the candidates. Therefore, as we have in the past, the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce will be undertaking a series of events that comprise our Election Education Initiative.
The first of these events will be individual video interviews with each candidate. During the individual interviews, a panel of Chamber leaders will discuss issues of importance to our membership, the business community and the citizens of the City of Shreveport and/or Parish of Caddo. These responses will be recorded and shared with our members and the public. You can see examples from past elections, on our YouTube channel.
These interviews will be conducted at the Chamber offices and will be done one at a time. The questions will be drawn directly from those submitted by our members. Each candidate will be asked the exact same questions and in the same manner. Once filming is complete, we will upload these interviews to YouTube, Facebook and our website. The videos will be showcased in two ways; one set of each candidate answering the same question; and the second set of videos will be of each candidate, answering every question in order.
The second element of the initiative will be a series of forums. We are currently finalizing the timing and details for each forum and will announce those in the coming weeks.