Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting October Regular Meeting Minutes

Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board Meetings (held at Capitol Park Welcome Center, North River Road, Baton Rouge, LA):
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 1 p.m.
For any questions, please contact Tiffany Hess at thess@crt.la.gov.

Introduction of Staff and Guests:

Karen Profita, Executive Director
Lisa Manda, Assistant Executive Director
Tiffany Hess, Administrative Assistant

Cathy Berry, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Jacques Berry, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Julie Samson, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Scott Couvillon, Trumpet
Jordan Russo, Trumpet
Emily Sampson, Trumpet
Donovan Burke, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Mike Ketchum, New Orleans Fish House
John Fallon, Audubon Nature Institute
Julie Anderson, Sea Grant
Julie Falgout, Sea Grant
Emily Maung-Douglass, Sea Grant
Furken Gur, LSU

I. Call to order, roll call and introduction of guests. Karen Profita introduced new staff member, Tiffany Hess and began roll call. After confirming a quorum was present, the meeting was called to order by Chairman Alan Gibson.

II. Approval of minutes from August 13, 2014 Meeting. A motion was made by Larry Avery and was seconded by Sal Sunseri to approve and adopt the minutes from the August Board Meeting. Motion carried.

III. Financial Report. Randy Davis gave an update on the financials, detailing total funding and expenditures as of 9/26/14. He recapped for the Board expenditures to date and the remaining BP Fund balance, which is $10,165,885.81. He also discussed the $200,000 from BP used for the operating budget. He reported that the Deepwater Horizon grant still contains $175,000 which must be spent before December 31, 2014.

The motion to adopt the financial report was made by Sarah Voisin and seconded by Daniel Edgar. Motion carried.

IV. Executive Director’s Report. Karen Profita reported on the following events:

A. CIA Summit, Napa, CA. Mrs. Profita and Lisa Manda attended this event and reported that LA Seafood was well received and thinks this event is a good investment and opportunity to promote LA Seafood.
B. Hoffman Media Birmingham. Mrs. Profita attended the Restaurant Takeover event put together by Tourism and gave the following update: chefs cooked in 8 restaurants across Birmingham, spent day w/ editors, and pitched stories. Tourism’s Year of Food in 2015 was discussed and samples of their print ads by Trumpet were shared; and Mrs. Profita is working to develop similar take-over events in the future to promote Louisiana Seafood.
C. Samuels & Son Event, Philadelphia, PA. Mrs. Profita and Ms. Manda attended this event, along w/ Chef Troy Deano, and handed out new LA Seafood recipe books, with over 700 people attending. This is the kick-off of a multi-month promotion with Samuels and Son. Alaska did this same campaign with Samuels and Son, and they received an increase in sales.
D. Panama Update. Mrs. Profita will attend the event on October 12-17. Mr. Manda undertook organizing and shipping frozen and fresh seafood. Chef Aaron Burgau, the reigning King of Louisiana Seafood, is also attending and will cook. We are hosting a reception and private lunch w/ wholesalers. Mrs. Profita will meet with COPA airlines to discuss export/import; along with touring their Port system.
E. Garden & Gun Event, Dallas, TX. Mrs. Profita will attend this event in Dallas along w/ Tourism, Chef Cory Bahr, promoting Louisiana seafood on October 23-25.
F. By-Laws Update. Mrs. Profita reported that we are working with the OLG’s office to submit the approved bylaws to the Division of Administration.
G. Misc.
i. Mrs. Profita discussed the Louisiana Seafood Festival being held this weekend, and has VIP passes available for those who are interesting in attending. We are a sponsor for the festival for $75,000.
ii. Mrs. Profita discussed working with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to mail a survey to commercial fisherman to get information on their business, to build our database. We are working w/ Trumpet to build an accurate database and add to new website.

Motion to adopt the Executive Director’s Report was made by Mayor Sherbin Collette and seconded by Ms. Voisin. Motion carried.

V. Old Business
A. Marketing Committee Report
i. Campaign Materials & Regional Plan. Scott Couvillon, Trumpet, gave a presentation on the newly launched site (Beta went live on October 6) and noted that the retail marketing campaign will be in development through December 21st. Trumpet will email all board members the link to the beta version of the new website.
1. Discussion was held about sustainability of Louisiana Seafood, and how we can get involved further to help these efforts. David Maginnis reported that oysters and crabs have very low inventory right now and is concerned about promoting seafood that is not available. Mrs. Profita said we can rework some images/marketing to promote other seafood that is available.

Motion made by Peter Sclafani and Ms. Voisin to accept and adopt the Marketing plan as presented. Motion carried.

ii. Festival Grant Discussion. Per Mr. Sunseri’s request, the Staff looked into creating a grant application process and developed criteria. We will make a grant available to Louisiana seafood focused festivals, held January through June 2015. Applications will be accepted November 1-28th and will be awarded by/before December 31, 2014. Discussion was held about how the process will work, and Mrs. Profited noted that a panel of confidential judges will be formed to decide which festivals will be awarded a grant. The maximum grant award per event/festival is $10,000, with a budget of $50,000 available.

Motion made by Mayor Collette and Pete Totorich to accept and adopt the Festival Grant Application Process. Motion carried.

VI. New Business
A. Board of Ethics reminder to board members to complete Ethics training by December 31, 2014. Ms. Hess will contact those board members who still need to complete the training.
B. New board member added to represent the Alligator industry, Mr. Al Marmande.
C. The next regular Board Meeting will be held on December 10, 2014.

VII. Public Comment. Guest Emily Maung-Douglass introduced herself as new to the Sea Grant office and is an Oil Spills Specialist. She is working on the BP effort in the gulf coast and is available as a resource.

VIII. Adjourn. Board Chair Alan Gibson made a motion to adjourn the meeting, and was seconded by Daniel Edgar. Motion carried.

Next Regular Board Meeting December 10, 2014