We are indeed, NOLAbound
Life is interesting.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved science and technology. At age 8, I was the only kid who owned a full rack of test tubes, a reflux condenser and several Florence flasks. Oh, and a Bunsen burner. Today, you’d think I was running a crystal meth lab. But science was my world, and has been ever since. Over the last 30 years – 20 as an independent consultant – I have really learned this business, and yet, I know I’ve only scratched the surface. There are so many brilliant people in this space; I am constantly amazed. But even brilliant people need fresh ideas, a different point of view and a voice of reason, especially if they go into the business of science. I’m proud of the work I’ve done in the world of life science, even though, at times, I go against the grain and speak my mind when the politically correct thing would be to keep my mouth shut (which is why I am forever unemployable).
So being invited to New Orleans to discover how the city is doing with their life science research and business infrastructure plans and dreams is wild; I am so excited to bring my point of view to a city who is excited about what they’re doing and where they’re headed. So here’s a shout out to all VCs holding a term sheet in their hands, science professors with an idea for a company, entrepreneurs with an itch, politicians with a cause and ordinary folks who want one more thing to be proud of… my colleagues and I are coming to town this week, so let’s chat. We promise to keep an open mind if you promise to be open to great conversations and new ideas. If we can all be real with each other this beNOLAbound experiment will be successful and possibly a model for other cities to study. I believe in grand thoughts. Why not, right?
I’ve been to NOLA about a half dozen times before but have always gone the convention – Bourbon Street route; I have seen little else. And I have not been back since Katrina hit. So I can’t wait to visit a city that has the courage to ask complete strangers – publicly – to come and assess their strengths and weaknesses in the arts, digital media, biosciences and sustainable industries. I’m so proud to be a part of this and I do plan to serve you, the city and people of New Orleans, to the best of my ability.
I came from a French family; my mother is from Paris and my father from Angers. My first language was French and I hold dual citizenship, and am very proud of my heritage. So heading to New Orleans is a little like coming home. I’ve had a chance to read up on NOLA and its history (thanks to Paul Marasco, my son-in-law, for providing the books!) and I find the culture, strength and persistence of its people inspiring. At 57 years of age (one of the older NOLAbounders!), besides marrying my high school sweetheart, having three great kids and 3.5 grandchildren, this promising journey to NOLA is one of the highlights of my life. So thank you for inviting me.
We are indeed NOLAbound, and look forward to crossing paths with great people from a wonderful city.
posted: March 12, 2012