OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
If you're driving down the highway almost anywhere in this country you're likely going to see a Lamar Billboard. And while you may know that Lamar is one of Baton Rouge's biggest companies, you might not realize it's also one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the U.S. Lamar has more than 144-thousand billboards in the US, Canada and Peurto Rico and more than $1.8 billion last year in revenue, and it all started out as a little family business in the deep south.
The 4th generation of the Lamar family business, Sean Reilly, is the company's CEO.
Stephen St. Cyr, also knows a thing or two about the sign business. Any time you walk into a Circle K and see a big lifesize cutout propped up on a cardboard frame, it's an image that likely rolled off a large format printer at St. Cyr's print shop Vivid Ink Graphics. The company has been growing exponentially in the past three years and recently move into the old Circuit City building on airline highway because it needed more space.
Stephanie's special guest on this episode of Out to Lunch is Billy Tamm, one of the last neon sign repairmen in the area. Billy has produced neon for everything from small beer signs to the billboard of Shamu at Sea World in Orlando to the neon Coca Cola Bottle at the new plant here in Baton Rouge, which, by the way, is one of just two neon coke bottles in the whole world.