Written by The Independent Staff Wednesday, 28 April 2010
The Ind’s most recent luncheon program explored Lafayette’s fiber network as a boon for economic development, if community innovators seize the day.
Keynote speakers from two of the most progressive cities in the country could hardly curb their enthusiasm for Lafayette’s prowess in broadband connectivity as they offered remarks during last week’s FiberFête technology lecture. Champing at the bit for a similar network in their own communities, the technology leaders from San Francisco and Seattle were downright envious as they shared ideas that are within reach for our city but, for the most part, only dreams for their own.
Streamed in via the Internet utilizing LUS Fiber, San Francisco Chief Information Officer Chris Vein took the audience on a virtual tour of the variety of municipal services his city is offering residents using his city’s limited fiber loop. Seattle CIO Bill Schrier then leapt to the stage and, ticking off the many assets that Lafayette offers, queried: “Is it OK if I move here?” Schrier, whose boss, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, was recently elected on a platform that included a pledge to build a fiber network for Seattle, then ticked through a variety of economic development ideas to jump-start Lafayette entrepreneurs and innovators.
The luncheon, which drew almost 250 attendees, was part of the annual lecture series, sponsored by IberiaBank.
The presentation from San Francisco was webcast via LUS fiber
Seattle CIO Bill Schrier
Frank Neuner and Elaine Abell
Bill Schrier, Magdy Bayoumi (in background) and Bill Fenstermaker
IberiaBank’s Pete Yuan and the Chamber’s Rob Guidry
Geoff Daily, who coordinated FiberFete with David Isenberg, chatting with a luncheon guest.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.