Like a Boss takes to the skies this month with Margaritaville General Manager Barry Regula and Lt. Col Brent Weisner, Commander 93rd bomb squadron. We’re back to talk about business and Bossier with local owners and entrepreneurs. This edition sees Barry not only talk business and Bossier, but he discusses the biggest economic engine in Bossier — Barksdale Air Force Base.
Barry is the first ever Honorary Commander of the 307th Bomb Wing and this episode was filmed only moments after he stepped out of a B52 bomber for the first time.
Brent, AKA “Weez”, said the 93rd BS has been around for 100 years finally found the right person in Barry.
Barry was a little more reserved, explaining, “This flight gives me a greater appreciation of what our Airman do and the conditions they face with in the service of our country. So, I’m actively engaged in taking what I learn on base and sharing that information with other community leaders to strengthen our military support efforts.”
In this episode you’ll hear Barry and Weez explain why Barksdale is so important to Bossier…”It’s estimated that Barksdale generates nearly a billion dollars a year in economic activity. There are over 17,000 military and civilian employs at the base with an annual payroll around half a billion dollars.”
“Barksdale plays a unique role in defending our nation, we have airmen currently deployed defending the nation. We have to remember we couldn’t do our mission if it wasn’t for our civic leaders and the community,” Lt. Col. Weisner added.
You’ll get examples of how Bossier support Barksdale, with Barry pointing out the Bossier Chamber has the Military Relations committee headed by West Anderson, the Northwest Louisiana Military Support Foundation (of which he is also a board member), and the chamber has been recognized as the most military friendly chamber by a national veterans association. Plus, Bossier has been named a top 20 Military Community.
“The community of Shreveport-Bossier bends over backwards for every airman. It’s a two-way street, we always look to see what we can do to help them. This community is second to none,” said Lt. Col. Weisner.
But Barry goes in depth to talk about his business’ own support for the military: “We were proud to do a part in helping wow the inspectors for the Commander in Chief’s Base of Excellence award that Barksdale just won this March. We were also happy to help sponsor the celebration picnic out here for the base when the award was announced. We work together with the 307th bomb wing to support charities such as the Shriners and St. Judes. We are bringing the Traveling Vietnam Memorial wall to Bossier City June 8 through Flag Day to honor our fallen servicemen from the Vietnam era. And in the fall we will be hosting the 100th anniversary of the 93rd Bomb squadron, the best squadron in the Air Force.”
Finally, you’ll find out what advantages Barksdale presents businesses here… “We have Barksdale, we have a lot of businesses that thrive because they support Barksdale and then you have other entities that come to town with the Cyber Innovation Center. So you have a foundation, this is the foundation, and then you have the ability to add other aspects that can continue to develop for years to come,” Barry said.
Join host Sean Green, publisher of northwest Louisiana’s premier business publication BIZ. Magazine, every month for a live interview with a Bossier business leader through the Bossier Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.