EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:
Your company has designed several notable projects in the region over the years, including several Livingston Parish Library branches and the Greystone Country Club pavilion and clubhouse, among others. Any that you are especially proud of, and why?
While it may sound cliché, I am proud of every job where we ended up with a satisfied client. The Livingston Parish Courthouse was one of our largest and most challenging projects, given the budget and 22 elected officials as a client.
What’s your philosophy for attracting quality employees and retaining them?
There are tremendously talented people out there, but currently a somewhat limited pool to choose from. While it is important that we get people capable of doing the required task, it is more important at Labarre that we get people that fit in with the culture of our firm. Labarre has people in the firm that have been here for decades. Our corporate culture is very important to us and if we get the right people that share our cultural values, then retaining them is easy.
You’ve expanded your company through the years to include branch offices in Mississippi and Florida. What’s your advice to business owners who want to branch out and expand their business?
Make sure you have exiting work and clients to support the branch office, or the capital required to see you through what is usually a slow and expensive start.
How do you plan to have your company emerge from the flood even stronger?
After the flood, we rebuilt the entire corporate office with an emphasis on the needs of the employees. We have learned that when our employees are provided with a superior working environment the employees provide our clients with superior service. Our clients have seen that, no matter the adversity, Labarre Associates can take care of their needs. The strength of our company is based on the strength of our relationships with our clients. After the flood, our relationships are stronger than ever.
See the full Q&A write up.