(COVINGTON, La.) – On Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2016, through the conjunctive efforts of the SPS Social Studies and SPS Business and Law departments, Netchex CEO Will Boudreaux presented his business model to a group of St. Paul’s students in an effort to encourage entrepreneurial incentive throughout the school.
This talk was part of a string of business-related seminars that have been organized by senior Christian Evans, his father Scott, and Entrepreneurship teacher Brian Logarbo.
“Christian came to me with the idea of getting local CEOs to speak,” Logarbo said. “We started with Dr. Tom Lavin, and it was just a wonderful experience. We also had (CEO of PoolCorp) Mr. Manny Perez De La Mesa and had a great response.”
Evans has taken other business classes with Logarbo, and he conceived the idea at the end of the 2015-16 school year.
“We started coming up with the idea right as school ended,” Evans said. “Me and my dad were talking for a while about ways to get kids involved and learn about the business world.”
Evans is now a student in Logarbo’s Entrepreneurship class, where he spends hours working on the project.
“Besides studying my introductions at home,” Evans said, “that’s where I get all of my work done. We set everything up in Entrepreneurship.”
The talks are held in the oldest building on the St. Paul’s campus, the Alumni Memorial Theatre. Here, interested students, and sometimes entire classes, fill up the seats listening to the business moguls. The seminars usually last around an hour and consist of personal stories and business model explanations followed by a question and answer forum. The Q&A forum consistently lasts longer than any other segment, as students bring up several other aspects of the conversation.
“The thing that’s really cool about these presentations is not so much the biography of the presenter,” Logarbo said. “It’s the questions and answers, and that’s really where the rubber meets the road and where the real education comes in.”
The seminars are expected to progress throughout this school year and into the next. Ambitious about upcoming seminars, Evans is in the process of securing Todd Graves, the founder of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant, to speak at St. Paul’s. Also, Evans hopes to later secure Smoothie King Founder Steve Kuhnau.
With the seats in the theater at the last two seminars nearly filled to capacity, these events are likely to only grow more popular as more and more distinguished persons come to speak.
“I think we have this thing that when we get out of college that we’re all ready to go run CitiBank or Chase Manhattan Bank,” Logarbo said. “Then we realize we really don’t have the experience. We tend to see people now that are very successful… hearing what that had to give up, or hearing what they had to do to get to that point, (and) I think it’s very sobering.”