Peter Ricchiuti

Host of Out to Lunch / Executive Council

Peter Ricchiuti is the finance professor you wish you had back in college! He is the Assistant Dean at Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business, and his insight and humor have twice made him the School's top professor. After a successful career on Wall Street, Ricchiuti served for five years as Assistant State Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer for the State of Louisiana. There he skillfully managed the State's $3 billion investment portfolio.

In 1993, Ricchiuti founded the Burkenroad Reports investment research program, where he leads a team of more than 160 business students in search of the investment "skinny" on undervalued stocks in six southern states. Ricchiuti and the Burkenroad Reports have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, The Washington Post, CNN and CNBC.

Ricchiuti is a frequent contributor in financial and business media, including Marketplace, the nationally broadcast public radio program. He is a popular speaker at meetings and conferences throughout the United States and in Europe. His unique presentation style puts him in front of a wide variety of audiences, including his selection by the NFL to teach investment workshops to the New Orleans Saints.

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.

It's New Orleans

    

There's an old saying about how to be successful in business —- "Build a better mousetrap." Meaning, find a product everybody wants and do it better. Peter's guests on Out to Lunch today have come up with new variations of products that enjoy massive worldwide popularity. Soft drinks and coffee.

Geoffrey Meeker has a little yellow truck you might have seen around town delivering his French Truck Coffee.

And Roy Nelson has a truck that he drives around town delivering his Fest Cola.

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.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

New Orleans is a beautiful city. But very little of that beauty is natural. Even our magnificent parks and tree lined avenues are planned and planted. Mostly, when we talk about the beauty of New Orleans, we're talking about buildings.

Almost every commercial building has some sort of artwork on it. We don't typically refer to it as "art" — we more often call it a "sign" — and many commercial buildings have branding artwork inside too. Peter Ricchiuti's guests on Out to Lunch are responsible for some of the city's notable pieces of graphic art.

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