As Louisiana tries to grow its workforce we hear a lot about the energy industry, healthcare, and the food and hospitality sectors for which the state is so well known. Today we’re visiting with two guests who are creating opportunities in two other areas – tech startups and film acting – helping budding entrepreneurs and aspiring actors create companies and film careers. It might not sound like these pursuits have much in common. You might be surprised.
Stephen Loy is Executive Director of Nexus Louisiana, parent company of the Louisiana Tech Park, which is located in the old Bon Marche shopping center on Florida Boulevard. The tech park was created more than 20 years ago to drive economic development and job creation by providing tech startups with resources to bring their products and services to market faster and more effectively.
Stephen has been executive director of the tech park since 2011 and has been with the organization since 2004, when he was hired as their Director of Communications. Today he oversees day to day operations, develops strategies to attract early stage companies, and manages one of Nexus’ signature programs : Tech Park Academy.
While Nexus Louisiana is growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Jency Hogan is helping to grow the local cultural economy through the drama school she and her husband, Aaron Hogan, founded and run. It’s called Love Acting and it’s specifically focuses on teaching film acting, as opposed to stage acting. The Hogans are both professional actors, who founded the school on returning to Jency’s native Baton Rouge after eight years in Los Angeles. Jency has produced short films, co-directed a western epic, was on the producer team of a biopic directed by Ethan Hawke, and is currently a recurring character named Vera Minder on the TNT hit Claws.