Co-hosted by Thrive New Orleans as part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)

A special Climate Resilience: Our Future Depends On It panel will take place where a panel of local and national leaders convene to speak on successfully coping with and managing the impacts of climate change.

These experts will speak to how we can make our environment less susceptible to the impacts of climate change and discuss economic opportunities associated with climate mitigation.

Panelists include  Dr. Janell Hills, Director of Workforce Programs at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC),  Diane Jones, Program Director of Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington, Mary Kincaid, Director of Stormwater and Green Infrastructure at City of New Orleans, Victoria Phipps, Vice President, Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase, and Sunae Villavaso, Director of Workforce Development at City of New Orleans.


Co-hosted by Thrive New Orleans as part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)

The Water Challenge 2024 is part of a key investment into blue-green infrastructure and coastal restoration in Louisiana, providing pathways to contracts and business expansion opportunities for local small businesses in the water economy, and a stage to work together to tackle the critical water challenges faced by our region.


Wednesday, March 13

1:45pm – 3:00 pm

As part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

This year’s entrepreneur showcase will feature presentations by seven BIPOC, growth-oriented entrepreneurs whose businesses focus on innovation in the coastal and green infrastructure industries. Panelists and judges for the Water Challenge will feature executives from Louisiana’s anchor institutions and local government agencies as well as national  institutions, including host Mike Scott, Senior Vice President/Community Development Manager at Regions Bank, Brenda Breaux, Executive Director for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), Diane Jones, Program Director of Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington, Mary Kincaid, Director of Stormwater and Green Infrastructure at City of New Orleans, and  Elisa Speranza, President, Seventh Ward Strategies, LLC.

New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week (NOEW) is a 6-day entrepreneurial fest where startup founders, business leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors, and leaders come together to celebrate, learn, and network at the intersection of innovation and culture.

Learn more about the growth water entrepreneurs:

Jaieres Bright, Owner of Bright Loyal Group
Bright Loyal Group, LLC is owned and operated by Jaieres Bright of Convent, Louisiana. Our focus is to provide great, quality lawn care and maintenance to cemeteries in the surrounding area, referred to as “Cancer Alley”. Because of the area’s known exposure to toxic chemicals, Bright Loyal Group, LLC prides themselves on utilizing battery powered equipment. 

Denero Dunbar, Owner of 3DependableBrothers
3DependableBrothers Lawn Maintenance & Landscaping(3DBLandscaping) is a full-service Landscape Company specializing in Residential & Commercial Lawn Maintenance & Landscape services. As professional Landscapers, we assist clients in matters of all varieties. Our Lawn Maintenance service is  provide weekly  according to the season’s demand.Over the years, we have mastered the most important, popular, complex, and in-demand landscaping task. Whether you need us to detach your Lawn, install an irrigation system,turf installation,outdoor living spaces or laying paver footpaths, we can help you.Rest assured, we have all the Landscape & Lawn Maintenance  services you need.3DBLandscaping is committed to providing the highest quality customer service while using the highest quality products and equipment.

Tajma Johnson, Owner of Xavior Estates
Xavior Estates, LLC. aims to provide affordable housing and to solve the low-income housing crisis in New Orleans and surrounding areas. Tajma Johnson has been working in the housing industry in New Orleans for the past four years as a low income, renovation to rental, housing developer. Utilizing his understanding of the affordable housing industry, NOFA interpretation, governmental funding programs, LIHTCs, and relationships with organizations such as HANO, LHC, and the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center, Tajma has been able to successfully navigate providing exclusive affordable housing units while maintaining a profitable portfolio.

Alonzo McDaniel, Owner of McFaith Lawncare

McFaith Lawn Care LLC is a premier lawn care company located in New Orleans, LA, that is dedicated to handling lawncare, lead clean up, trash removal, landscape maintenance, bush hogging, hydroseeding, and dumpster removal with great care and expertise. McFaith Lawncare is a full-service company that provides quick, efficient, and superior quality landscape and lawn care.

Trevor Monnie, Owner of Big Shane’s Lawncare LLC
Big Shane’s Landscaping and Lawn Care’s Mission is to design, build, and maintain beautiful, fictional landscapes that turn dreams into reality. Big Shane’s Lawncare is a professional lawn and landscape maintenance company that has been servicing and manicuring lawns in the Greater New Orleans Area for over 10 years. Trevor Monnie is an emerging landscape professional who has been trained by master gardeners with over 40 years in the industry. He studied horticulture and landscape design at Delgado Community College. Trevor is a graduate of Launch NOLA Green, where he specialized in Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Management.

Victor Ward, Owner of Extra Ordinary LLC
Extra Ordinary LLC is a locally owned and operated landscaping and tree service company based in the vibrant city of New Orleans. Our passion lies in enhancing the green infrastructure and natural beauty of Louisiana’s lush landscapes. With a team of skilled professionals, we offer tailored solutions that transform outdoor spaces into inviting havens, while providing top-notch services to both residential and commercial clients.

Timothy Washington, Owner of TLC Sharping
TLC Sharping is a landscaping and yard maintenance company offering comprehensive services such as lawn mowing, edging, hedge trimming, water pooling, tree trimming and removal also mulching, fertilization, and yard cleanup as well as maintenance. What sets us apart from competitors is our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional quality and ensuring customer satisfaction. Our team of skilled professionals takes a meticulous approach, paying attention to every detail in our work. We pride ourselves on providing personalized service, tailoring solutions to meet the specific needs, preferences, and budget constraints of each client.