OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
When we talk about emergency services we think of the three types of first responders, police, fire, and medical, as equals. Although they are indeed equal in their vital function of saving lives, they're not equal financially. When a police car or a fire engine shows up, the vehicles and the people in them are funded principally by taxes. Most ambulances and EMS workers are not. They’re independently owned and operated companies.
The biggest ambulance and EMS service here in Acadiana is Acadian Ambulance.
In 1971 Richard Zuschlag was one of the founders of Acadian Ambulance. Today Richard is the CEO and chairman of the company, and Acadian is one of the country's biggest rural EMS services with over 4,000 employees, 400 ambulances, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
Local aviation company PHI Inc started out as Petroleum Helicopters. That was back in 1949. The company had to add the letter “I” for international when they started growing. Over the past 66 years PHI have been active in over 40 countries around the world, including the first civilian aviation company flying in Antarctica.
The President and Chief Operating Officer of PHI, Inc. is Lance Bospflug. Locally, PHI is an integral part of the oil and gas industry, flying to and from oil rigs in the Gulf - but oil workers are only some of the more than 1.3 million passengers PHI carries every year.
On this edition of Out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti's Entrepreneur du Jour is Arun Lakhotia.
Arun is on sabattical from his teaching positiom at UL where he is known for many interesting student projects but none perhaps as exciting as the unmanned military vehicle, CajunBot.