Out To Lunch

Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. and Fridays at 6:30 p.m.

When you tune in to Out to Lunch, you'll find economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant.

Each week Peter invites guests from the new world of the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc. magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the U.S. to be an entrepreneur, and Out to Lunch is at the forefront of the new New Orleans.

Out to Lunch is also available on the It's New Orleans website.

Major support for Out to Lunch comes from Jones Walker and IBERIABANK. Additional support comes from LUBA Workers' Comp, and Fidelity Bank.

Rick Lineberger

When you launch a new business, you have no way of knowing whether you're going to make a billion dollars, or make a bunch of decisions that add up to little more than a valuable lesson.

When a small group of New Orleans guys started hosting pop-up foodie dinners in deserted buildings, few could have predicted Dinner Lab would turn out to be a multi-million dollar nationwide business.

Dinner Lab Co-founder Paco Robert joins Peter on this edition of Out to Lunch today, along with Jason Navarro.

Chet Overall / It's New Orleans

“Green” used to be just a color. Now it’s a way of life. Everything from household trash to billion-dollar industrial plants can be “green” — meaning we undertake an activity mindful of the impact we’re having on our environment.

We use the word “green” because it’s the most ubiquitous color in nature. In cities we’ve coined a term for urban nature — Green Space.

Chet Overall / It's New Orleans

If you spend any time driving, you probably know the name “Lamar.” You've no doubt seen it on a billboard. But Lamar is not a product — it’s the name of the company that owns the billboard. In fact Lamar owns more interstate billboards and outdoor advertising than just about anybody in America. And they're based in Baton Rouge.

The CEO of Lamar Advertising, Sean Reilly, is Peter's guest on Out to Lunch.

So is Susan Taylor. Susan has some outdoor artworks too. They’re in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

Chet Overall / It's New Orleans

In business, as in everything else, each generation finds a way to separate itself from the past. One of the interesting current generational shifts is the use of new technology to adapt and carry forward skills developed by previous generations. This group of folks call themselves “Makers.”

Eric Bernstein is a local proponent of the Maker movement and founder of a company called Werkly. And on this show Peter welcomes back one of the grandfathers of the New Orleans economic boom, CEO of the Idea Village, Tim Williamson.

Chet Overall / It's New Orleans

In 1814 it was the British who were "runnin' down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico." Today, ships of almost every nationality are steaming down the river to the Gulf. 54 of them belong to International Shipholding. Their fleet of cargo vessels ply international trade from their current headquarters in Mobile, Alabama but they're set to return soon to their original home in New Orleans.

Grant Morris / It's New Orleans

One of the questions people in the business community have been asking is, what's happens when the post-Katrina economic rejuvenation gets old? Are the next generation of innovators going to go someplace else?

Peter's guests on today's show answer that question with a resounding "no." They both head up new and growing businesses that have been born out of New Orleans' revolution in education.

Libby Fischer is CEO of Whetstone Education, a ground-breaking teacher evaluation system founded in New Orleans and spreading across the country.

Grant Morris / It's New Orleans

Everybody knows right from wrong. Everybody knows numbers don't lie. Nobody wants to spend time in prison. Why, then, would a person lie about corporate profits, knowing there's a high probability they're going to get caught and end up behind bars?

Peter's guest on Out to Lunch wrote the book on business ethics, and it's not theoretical. Aaron Beam went to federal prison for his part in a multi-billion dollar fraud, and now teaches others how to make better decisions.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

When we get up and go to work each day, most of us assume that everyone else going to work is a decent person like ourselves. Even if we have competitors, our basic assumption is that they’re okay people — after all, they’re doing the same thing we are.

That’s not what going to work is like for Peter's guests on today’s Out to Lunch. For both of them, their daily occupation is all about bad or misguided people.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

When it comes to business, we all agree on one thing: we all want to succeed. Typically we measure success numerically — the more profit we make, the better we're doing. Sure, we'd all like to make billions, but the reality is most of us are not going to turn our businesses into Facebook or Apple. For many people in business, just keeping the doors open and the lights on is succeeding.

Peter Ricchiuti's guests on Out to Lunch take whatever your definition of success is — whether it's making a fortune or just making it 'till Friday — and help you get there.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Everybody likes to think they're important, but here in Louisiana we really are. Two sectors of our local economy are major components of the national, and global, economy: oil and gas, and renewable energy.

Outside of the oil companies who physically drill for oil, there is a huge industry of companies who do everything else — from building oil rigs to delivering groceries to the men and women who work on them.

One of the biggest offshore support companies in the world is headquartered here in New Orleans. Tidewater.

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