As the economic evolution of New Orleans continues, I in turn, continue to be amazed by all of the advances made by the hard working men and women that make up this community. The video above (made by local firm Deltree) was made for GNO, Inc. (Greater New Orleans) for their annual board meeting to show the shareholders the main economic drivers of New Orleans and highlight the community. (Yes I do make an appearance myself at the 2:40 minute mark). What’s incredible is how each person here is not just working for themselves and their families, but for the community at large. That’s a hard couple of tasks to juggle.
The debate continues. After all, if we (and I’m using we, but it’s more of a THEM or YOU as I’m still so new here) travel and leave New Orleans, we’re evangelizing but we’re not here adding to the day-to-day life. If we’re here, than the insular attitude of New Orleans continues. Being “the best kept secret for starting your business” isn’t where anyone wants to be anymore.
For a prime example of a company defining the future of New Orleans, look no further than FSC Interactive (disclosure: I work here part-time). The women-owned and women-operated boutique firm received two PRSA awards last year and is growing at an accelerated and impressive rate. Founder McKenzie Coco, along with being a member of the local EO chapter and frequent speaker on online marketing was just named CMO of Idea Village’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence program, which in turn is leading this week’s Entrepreneur Week, an initiative to bring entrepreneur’s and top MBA programs to New Orleans to learn from each other and showcase the entrepreneurial eco-system happening in New Orleans. Many local companies are helping to make the week a success, including the superstars at Bond PR who are spearheading all communications for Entrepreneur Week (no small feat and yet they make it look seamless).
Other FSC highlights include Tiffany Starnes, who founded the local chapter of Social Media Club and co-founded TribeCon, an annual conference happening in New Orleans over Halloween weekend (and held on Voodoo Festival grounds) to bring together tribes from around the country in the growing trend of boutique and smaller conferences.
Adele Tiblier co-masterminded the local NetSquared chapter, Net2No, to get sponsored by local businesses and economic development agencies to attend SXSW, where they had a house they all stayed in, a panel, a booth in the exhibit hall and a party. No other city came to SXSW together the way New Orleans does to not only highlight local businesses but the city as a whole. Adele also assisted the local community, and in particular Andrew Larimer and Barrett Conrad for New Orleans’ Google Fiber application, to which New Orleans is in the running to receive ultra high-speed broadband internet through fiber from Google.
Sidebar: You can join NOLA Fiber too!
Even the junior member of FSC’s team is a rising star. Andy Kutcher, the in-house Facebook expert, coaches local volleyball and is an active member of the young professional community in New Orleans.
Each of these women is proud to be a New Orleanian. They work hard for each other and, in turn, for their families and the community at large.
So I look around, intellectual immigrant me. Me, who a year ago knew NONE of these people and was just arriving from SXSW ready to have my socks knocked off. I look around and go !WOW! something special is happening here. I can see it, I can feel it, I know it’s happening all around me. Some of it I’m a part of, some of it I’m just watching happen and some of it I haven’t a clue. But it’s all happening and a profile like this one of FSC Interactive would hold true for a number of companies in New Orleans. And that’s something most worthy of the attention and the accolades that come with bring great and at the top of your game for what you do.