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.
On this edition of Out to Lunch, Aileen Bennett sorts out the complex web of economic development organizations in Acadiana. Well, more or less.
Aileen says there are so many of these business-boosting organizations that, "If I just read out a list of all the economic development and business support organizations in Acadiana and gave you a one-sentence description of what they do, I would still be reading by the time you got so bored you turned me off. So, I’m going to limit myself to two. One Acadiana, which used to be known as the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. And Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce."
If you’re not from Acadiana, you’re already confused. So here's an attempt at an explanation. One Acadiana is a business support organization that encompasses all the parishes of Acadiana. It’s designed to give businesses a voice and to cultivate economic growth throughout the region. One Acadiana has 950 members.
The CEO and President of One Acadiana is Troy Wayman.
And that brings us to the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce. Acadia Parish includes Crowley, Rayne, Iota, and Duson. If you’re from outside of Acadiana, you need to know one thing: here, size doesn’t matter. Crowley calls itself The Rice Capital of The World. Rayne calls itself The Frog Capital of the World. There’s a lot of cattle, soybeans, crawfish, and rice in Acadia parish. In fact, there is so much, mostly agricultural-based business going on in Acadia Parish that the Acadia Parish Chamber has over 300 members.
The President and CEO of the Acadia parish Chamber of Commerce is Amy Thibodeaux.
Whether it’s in Acadia Parish or any of the parishes under the umbrella of One Acadiana, all kinds of businesses depend on all kinds of economic development. And our towns and cities depend on these economic development partnerships to attract and retain businesses.
Photos over lunch at Marcello's Wine Market Cafe in Lafayette.