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Board of Directors Louisiana Seafood
Louisiana Seafood

LSPMB October 2015 Minutes

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board
Regular Meeting Minutes

October 22, 2015
1:00 p.m.
Capitol Park Welcome Center
702 N. River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Members present:
Sal Sunseri, Chairman
Chef Tenney Flynn
Alan Gibson
Jakov Jurisic
David Maginnis
Troy Parria
Chef Peter Sclafani
Pete Tortorich

Introduction of Guests:

Caroline Lagneaux, Associated Grocers
Carrie Esposito, Associated Grocers
Chris Brooks, Launch Media
Julie Samson, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Scott Couvillon, Trumpet 
Julie Falgout, Louisiana Sea Grant
Vito Zuppardo, Miles Media
Caitlin Switzer, The Ehrhardt Group
John Fallon, Audubon Institute 
Jacques Berry, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Caroline Downer, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Damon Morris, LA Wildlife and Fisheries 

*NOTE. It was determined afterward that a quorum was not present and that all actions will have to be reapproved at the December board meeting.

I. Call to order. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Sunseri. 

II. Roll call and introduction of guests. Ms. Hess began roll call. It was noted that a quorum was not currently present, but Mr. Flynn was expected to arrive shortly, and therefore, confirming a quorum. Guests introduced themselves.

III. Adoption of the agenda. Once a quorum was confirmed, a motion to adopt the agenda was made by Mr. Sclafani and was seconded by Mr. Parria. There being no discussion or public comment, the motion carried unanimously.

IV. Adoption of minutes from the August Board Meeting. Once a quorum was confirmed, a motion was made by Mr. Jurisic to adopt the August minutes, and the motion was seconded by Mr. Flynn. There being no discussion or public comment, the motion carried unanimously.

V. Reports 

A. Committee Reports 
i. Executive – Mr. Sunseri noted that the upcoming election for Lieutenant Governor presents the opportunity for the board to develop an even stronger position in making decisions and executing board strategies. He commended Lt. Governor Dardenne and his team for the work done during the transition from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and wants to build on that success. The board should be clear on the role it wants to play under the new administration and present those thoughts to the new Lt. Governor. He then gave an update on the following species: crab season is decent, lower prices than last year, issues with origin labels; he’s heard that crabs are being labeled as product of Louisiana, but are actually from the East Coast. This issue can be addressed at the Walk the Hill event in January. Shrimp: no change, a lot of inventory, still competing with imports. Oyster season opened Monday, unsure of quantity, and not sure of pricing yet, but hopes to get this information soon. Mr. Jurisic noted that some waters were closed and there is nothing to be harvested. In some bays, there is no sign of oyster growth. Other areas are doing well, but not sure how long this will last. Finfish: Mr. Sunseri discussed with Mr. Maginnis the fish update. Mr. Maginnis noted that he’s heard experts say that BP oil spill is still affecting yellowfin tuna, but he disagrees. This is a strong El Niño year, creating a great population of fish in pacific and Caribbean. We’re getting the summer run of fish now. Red snapper is in great supply and abundance, as well as amberjack and drum. 

Mr. Flynn arrived to the meeting; therefore creating a quorum.
ii. Finance – In Mr. Davis and Mr. Delaune’s absence, Mrs. Profita gave the financial report. Mrs. Profita noted the statutory dedicated funds amount is around $200,000. She encouraged the board to review the proposed budget; and asked the board to consider if we want to continue hosting the Legislative Reception in April. 

A motion was made by Mr. Sclafani and seconded by Mr. Parria to accept the financial report and budget. There being no discussion or public comment, the motion carried unanimously.

iii. Legislative – Mr. Tortorich stated there is nothing new to report. He would like to have a meeting in November.
iv. Education – Mr. Parria gave the following update: he, along with Mr. Sunseri and Mr. Delaune, presented at the Southern University Law Maritime Society on oysters and coastal restoration. They discussed all aspects of LSPMB and the species it supports. Great interest and turnout with around 70 students. They have invited us to come back. Food was provided by Louisiana Fish Fry, P& J Oysters and Tony’s Seafood.
v. Marketing – Mr. Flynn gave the following report: the Marketing Committee met in September and held a follow-up call earlier this month. Marketing, social media and video items the committee supports will be reported later in this meeting. Discussion was held on Grocery Co-Marketing program, and committee members asked that we create standards to ensure stores are purchasing Louisiana product; they will look at product and processing. Discussed wholesaler focused campaign to run in Atlanta. The committee decided against using $100,000 for this campaign. It was suggested to create protocol with Trumpet so industry has access to LSPMB seafood images for their marketing efforts.

B. Executive Director’s Report 

i. Review of Completed and Upcoming Events. Mrs. Profita gave an update on the following events:
1. CIA Flavor, Quality and American Menus. She and Mr. Flynn attended the event in Napa, CA and the trip went well. Mr. Flynn’s industry experience allowed him to connect well with the chefs in attendance. There were several contacts that have expressed interest in Louisiana seafood and those contacts will be shared. 
2. Food Network Canada. The board was invited by Mr. Sclafani to his restaurant in Lafayette for the taping of Night Shift. Mrs. Profita thanked Mr. Sclafani for including the board in the taping of this program for Food Network Canada.
3. James Beard House. Chefs Cody and Samantha Carroll were invited to cook at James Beard House in New York City. The meal has received great reviews. LSPMB assisted with the seafood for the dinner and with getting assistance from Southwest Airlines. Mr. Sunseri commented that this was a good thing to help them.
4. Austin Restaurant Takeovers. Louisiana Office of Tourism, in partnership with Texas Monthly, did restaurant takeovers in Austin. LSPMB has a buy with Texas Monthly, so this was also an opportunity to see how they did with events. Louisiana seafood got excellent exposure at the pre-event that Mrs. Profita attended, as well as the next evening at the dinners. She also noted that the restaurant hosting Chef Ryan Andre cancelled reservations, and therefore he was unable to serve patrons on the takeover night. Texas Monthly has been great about this mishap and is working with us to provide some added value as a make good.
5. NOLA’s Backyard. Best event we’ve ever done! Former editor of Food Arts Magazine created this 2.5 day event and brought several corporate restaurant chefs together. There were excellent contacts at the event and the first evening several expressed interest in adding Louisiana seafood to their menus. There were several stops around the southern part of the state, including John Folse’s White Oak Plantation, Tony’s Seafood, Poche’s Market, Dooky Chase and other locations. LSPMB sponsored a seafood dinner held at Houmas House. Mrs. Profita noted that she would send leads to board members and suppliers. The Oyster Bed was also at the seafood dinner, and one chain is interested in ordering 500 units.
6. Chefs to Watch Dinner. Sponsorship with Hoffman Media. In trade for GASCO sponsorship, we were named one of the sponsors of this dinner. The dinner was held at Sac A Lait Restaurant in New Orleans. Mrs. Profita noted that Hoffman did not give as much recognition to LSPMB for sponsorship as we would have liked. Trumpet is working with them on make goods because of this. Hoffman is working on content for an oyster story.
7. Star Chefs/ICC in New York. In late October, along with Wild American Shrimp, we are participating in this event, held for over 2,000 chefs. LSPMB will be in the domestic seafood tent with Barton Seaver. 
8. Global Culinary Innovators Association. Conference will be held in New Orleans on November 8-10. This is an event for corporate chefs. We are still working on details, but their plans include a visit to P&J Oysters and to GW Fins. Mr. Flynn said he will be doing a taste comparison of Louisiana shrimp versus imported. LSPMB will provide the Louisiana shrimp.
9. Ole Miss vs. LSU Tailgate. Our Mississippi counterparts have invited us to join them at a tailgate for the November 21 game in Oxford. We will have a friendly competition and are looking at means to involve the fans with social media and an opportunity to win seafood. There should be several opportunities to generate publicity regionally and possibly nationally.
10. Walk the Hill January 18-22, 2016. Last year, Mrs. Profita went along with Mr. Sunseri representing oyster and Mr. Gibson representing shrimp. Mr. Sunseri will still be board chair at this time and should go once again to represent oyster. It is unclear whether shrimp will be participating again this year, but if so, we will possibly bring another board member.

ii. Assistant Executive Director Report 

Ms. Manda gave an update on Grass Roots/Health Fairs campaign. She noted that LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center created healthy Louisiana seafood recipes to be served at these events. 

Ms. Manda went to Dow Chemical in Plaquemine in September and noted that sampling at this event was low because the event was tied to the plant’s jambalaya cook off. The Louisiana seafood table got lost amongst all the jambalaya. Chef Troy Deano prepared and served the Pennington recipe for amberjack fish tacos, and noted the few who did try it liked the recipe. 

In Ms. Manda’s absence, Ms. Hess went to the Shell plant in Geismar in October for a 2 day health and wellness fair to promote Louisiana seafood. Around 100 plant employees attended and sampled fish tacos prepared by Chef Troy Deano. Both Ms. Hess and Ms. Manda noted that many participants at both Dow and Shell had not tried fish tacos before and enjoyed the dish.

Ms. Manda noted that the next Health Fair is scheduled at BASF plant in Geismar on November 5th. She will also visit Syngenta, and will host a “Lunch and Learn.” We will provide samples of healthy holiday recipes, also created by Pennington. 

Ms. Manda asked for suggestions from the board on future events/plants/businesses to hold this type of event. Mr. Maginnis noted that amberjack season has closed, and suggested using tuna or swordfish in the coming months. Mr. Tortorich said he would like information on holding one at Associated Grocers Corporate office. 

Mrs. Profita noted that Ms. Manda did a good job organizing these events and that it is important to have a chef who is knowledgeable about Louisiana seafood attend these events as well. Mrs. Profita also stated that we will work with Pennington to get additional healthy recipes. 

iii. Plans and proposals

Mrs. Profita presented sponsorship of the following items:
• Barton Seaver is an author, chef, Harvard instructor and food editor for Coastal Living magazine, as well as past GASCO judge. In November, he will be traveling across the south, including stops in Louisiana, where he will be researching material for a new book he is writing on American seafood. He will be traveling with a photographer. He is asking for $5,500 to assist with his researching Louisiana seafood for the book. After discussion, it was suggested that we negotiate certain deliverables, which might include recognition in the book as a sponsor, creation and use of some content for LSPMB, recognition of Louisiana in particular, not just Gulf seafood in the book, use of photos, etc.

A motion was made by Mr. Flynn and seconded by Mr. Tortorich in support of Mr. Seaver’s book sponsorship for $5,500. There being no discussion or public comment, the motion carried unanimously. 

• World Record Gumbo. We have been asked to sponsor this event held on November 7th in LaRose, LA either financially and/or in kind with Louisiana seafood. The sponsorship levels are $10,000, $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000. After discussion, it was decided this would not be good exposure and very little value for LSPMB. The board suggested we not support this event.

• Atlanta Wine and Food Festival. The Louisiana Office of Tourism approached us about partnering in a sponsorship of the event for $35,000 in a combination of cash and in kind contribution. After discussion, the board suggested we not participate in this sponsorship. It was suggested that we look at the event in the future when we are more active in Atlanta. For this year, we could consider providing seafood for some participating chefs as a means to get exposure in the market. Mr. Sclafani also mentioned that he would prefer we consider participation in the Atlanta Inland Seafood Show instead. Mr. Flynn and Mrs. Profita will get more information on when the Inland show will take place and how to participate.

• Knock Knock Children’s Museum. Proposal was presented by Caroline Lagneaux of Associated Grocers. The grocery area is being sponsored by Associated Grocers. They are identifying sponsors such as LSPMB for elements within the space. LSPMB has an opportunity to sponsor the seafood case. Trumpet suggested our POS Ice Table may work for the space and has offered to work with the Knock, Knock design team on the concept. Discussion was also held that certain deliverables/criteria be established before agreeing to the sponsorship.

A motion was made by Mr. Maginnis and seconded by Mr. Parria in support of the $20,000 sponsorship of Knock Knock Children’s Museum. Mr. Couvillon, of Trumpet, suggested our POS ice table may work for the space and offered to work with the Knock Knock design team on the concept. There being no further discussion or public comment, the motion carried unanimously. 

VI. Old Business

A. Ethics Reminder. Ms. Hess reminded board members to complete ethics training 
online. She will send an email reminder about this to board members who still need to complete training by December 31, 2015.

B. Launch Media. Mr. Brooks gave an update on GASCO videos and showed several video clips. He commented that GASCO was a great event and they had a great time working with the chefs and staff. The videos featuring chefs and judges focus on why domestic seafood, how it affects the bottom line, and how to prepare it. There are also videos of individual chef interviews, and a judges’ roundtable discussion. The videos are meant to be shared with our counterparts across the country.

C. Ehrhardt. Ms. Switzer gave the following update:

The Ehrhardt Group is actively pitching feature story angles on behalf of LSPMB in an effort to secure consistent positive media coverage, especially in time between events. The Ehrhardt Group works with Trumpet and Miles Media to ensure consistency in message, and is targeting both trade and consumer publication in key acquisition markets. All secured media will be distributed to team for review.

D. Trumpet Update. Mr. Couvillon gave an update on the Grocery Co-Marketing campaign. So far Hannaford is the only grocery to commit to the campaign. Hannaford is a grocery chain in New England. Hannaford is the first grocery store to commit to the program. Louisiana shrimp is being sold and is the only shrimp product in their stores. They are running ads on social media; and have ice picks and signage in stores. They are very excited to participate in the program.

Kroger is interested in participating in the program, and has stores in Houston and Dallas. They hope to have the program up and running by Christmas.

VII. New Business

A. Trumpet New Campaign. Mr. Couvillon presented the ideas for the new consumer campaign. Domestic is better than imported is the new message, and will focus on getting consumers to eat domestic seafood vs. imported. New materials will focus on the tag line “Know better, eat better.” This tag line will launch before the holidays. 

Lead Generation campaign (for Restaurant and Grocery Buyers) will create display ads and banner ads. He noted that we were able to get 600 leads from the last campaign to amass a database of contacts (suppliers, buyers, consumers, etc.) and we will email these contacts to launch the new campaign.

A motion was made by Mr. Sclafani and seconded by Mr. Maginnis to accept Trumpet’s report and in support of the new campaign. There being no further discussion or public comment, the motion carried unanimously. 

B. Mr. Sunseri proposed creating a Nominating Committee for open board seats for next year. He noted that the following board members are rotating off the board, term ending December 31, 2015: Mr. Gibson, Mr. Maginnis and Mr. Sunseri. The Alligator seat term expires in December as well, and suggested waiting until January 2016 to fill the seat. Mr. Sunseri asked the board to contact him directly if interested in joining the Nominating Committee.

Public Comment: Ms. Falgout of Louisiana Sea Grant noted that the website, is up and running. There are new videos, best practices for the industry, fact sheets, and other useful information.

VIII. The next Regular Board Meeting is scheduled on December 9, 2015.

IX. Adjourn. The motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Parria and seconded by Mr. Jurisic. There being no discussion or public comment, the motion carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned by Mr. Sunseri.