Business Person of the Month:Brian Ter Haar

Brian Ter Haar

The MailBag/Goals & Poles Sport Court of South Louisiana

7575 Jefferson Hwy
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Brian Ter Haar - Owner of The MailBag, Goals & Poles,, & Sport Court of South Louisiana

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein 

Brian Ter Haar graduated from Louisiana State University in 1982 with a degree in Business/Marketing. Brian Ter Haar is a deacon at University Baptist Church. He is one the board and the CFO of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, an organization that raises awareness, money, and research for the disease Alopecia Areata, an auto immune disease which cause partial or complete hair loss is children and adults. His is a small business owner of four operational enterprises – The MailBag, Goals & Poles,, and Sport Court of South Louisiana.

The MailBag was established in 1982 and is located at 7575 Jefferson Hwy in Baton Rouge. It is a full service mail and parcel center offering UPS, Fed Ex., DHL, and USPS shipping service. They are one of the top private shippers for UPS in the country. The MailBag also offers black and white and color copies and packaging service, Post Office box rental, and a free parcel pick up service, as well as full service direct mail department along with personalized mailing lists.

Goals & Poles was established in 1981. It is the largest installer of residential basketball goals in the state of Louisiana with over 5,000 installations. They also sell and install commercial basketball and volleyball systems to schools and parks. is an online site that sells residential and commercial basketball and volleyball equipment.

Sport Court of South Louisiana provides installation of backyard basketball, tennis and volleyball courts. They also sell and install Sport Court modular floors for schools, community centers, and churches.

I started the Mail Bag and Goals & Poles about the time I graduated from LSU in 1982. I saw a need for both services and I went out to fill that need. Sport Court is an extension of the products that we offer with Goals & Poles.” says Brian Ter Haar. “I enjoy the opportunity to meet and provide a service to people in the Baton Rouge area. With Sport Court we custom design their courts, which gives us a great opportunity to work closely with families and greatly enhance their quality of life.”

In his spare time, Brian Ter Haar enjoys spending time with his family. They frequent the library for the extensive resources offered. “I have two children – four and thirteen – so we are constantly using the numerous resources the library has to offer. My four year old is just starting to read, and almost every book he reads now is from our local library. My 13 year old uses the library for research and her summer reading list. My wife and I use the library for research and of course to check out our favorite books,” says Brian Ter Haar. “My favorite books are the ones I check out with my four year old and biographies I check out for myself. My favorite magazines are Forbes, Consumer Reports, and Sports Illustrated.”

“As for Baton Rouge, Brian Ter Haar believes that Baton Rouge’s economy and future are as strong as anywhere in the country. “With leadership for Mayor Holden I am very optimistic about our future.” 

Business Person of the Month Archive

Business Person of the Month: Charles Elliot

Charles Elliot

Little Wars, Inc.

7517 Jefferson Hwy
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Charles Elliot - President of Little Wars, Inc.

“Don’t tell me about the law. I have a sword.” – Lucius Cornelius Sulla. 

Charles N. Elliot is president of Little Wars, Inc., a nationally recognized premiere game shop since 1988. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University, as well as took graduate studies in English Literature, and later, received his Master’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. Elliot belongs to the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and professional historical organizations.

Little Wars offers historical, fantasy and board gaming in a bright, clean, pleasant and safe environment. The business keeps in-stock a broad, deep and rich array of books, games, miniatures, paints and dice, while providing free in-store and late-night table-top gaming. Little Wars hosts the Baton Rouge Society of Ancients as well as a varied and constant cycle of war gaming campaigns and tournaments.

In 1972, Elliot’s Book Shop, the parent company of Little Wars, began selling war games and military miniatures as a profitable sideline at its initial South Baton Rouge location in Southdowns Shopping Center on Perkins Road. Moving to Village Square on College Drive in 1976, Elliot’s linked this war gaming sideline to an extensive science fiction and fantasy book section. Building on the incredible popularity of early Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons fantasy role-playing, Elliot’s reputedly became the first store nationally to sell individual gaming figures broken out of the standard multi-packs. For the Christmas Season of 1988, Elliot’s spun off an independent full-service game shop, Little Wars, named after H.G. Wells’ classic war gaming book of 1913 and managed by long-time employee Shane Petersen. With the ‘Wal-marting’ of Village Square, Little Wars moved to Jefferson Plaza Shopping Center in 2003, right across from the new and spectacularly successful Whole Foods extravaganza at Cedar Lodge Shopping Center at Jefferson Highway and Corporate Boulevard.

Elliot has been a military history enthusiast since childhood. “I’ve always wanted to know how generals and soldiers thought and fought, how battles, campaigns and wars really worked. Replicating and re-enacting battles in miniature can get you in the shield-wall or front-rank without the bother of personally charging about and getting wounded or killed. You can certainly recreate particular campaigns to see if your favorite general can actually win Hastings, Waterloo or Gettysburg, but you can also see the curious strategical, logistical, and tactical glitches leading to glorious victory or tragic defeat. You can also take some measure of yourself, seeing if you keep your head under stress, can respond quickly to a sudden change of fate (or dice roll) and if you really can play well with others! You can be, for an evening or a weekend, Caesar, Napoleon, Bedford Forest or Gandalf the Gray. And if your army or player-character loses, you can paint up a replacement and soldier on,” says Elliot.

Elliot believes that the East Baton Rouge Parish Library system opened up the world of history and military history to him. “I can well remember checking out Little Wars, Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, and that wonderful Confederate Arms, as well as a host of others, from the old downtown library when I was a kid. I used the Middleton Library when I was an undergraduate, Hill Memorial as a graduate student, and now Simms Library at Southeastern where I teach Louisiana History, but I still am a fan of the parish library system and I do have a library card (and paid all fines). I use the Main Library as my local, even teach LEA Louisiana History programs out of it as well as the Bluebonnet and Jones Creek branches. Public libraries provide a grand public service of offering such a selection of books, for every age, taste and interest, under the guidance of professional and personable librarians.

I read extensively and selectively for my academic life and eclectically for my private. I read multiples of books at one time, just finished books on pirates, Palestinian poetry, birch bark canoes, and North Renaissance art. Favorites are hard to call; I’d have to say Tolkien’s Hobbit, Dumas’ Three Musketeers, Renault’s The King Must Die, Feuchtwanger’s Power, Dickens’ Christmas Carol (the best book in the world), all the Flashman novels, and my childhood favorite, Bailey’s Old Man Rabbit’s Dinner Party. Of course, there’s Jane Austen and Thackeray, Ernst Juenger, Hans Christian Anderson, Tony Hillerman. Ah! So many books, so little time! I’ve read most of Shogun over the last three nights and eyeing this new biography of Louis XIV.”

I’m a National Geographic, Chronicles, and Vanity Fair kind-a-guy,” says Elliot.

Besides reading, Elliot’s hobbies include “trying to watch each and every segment of Law and Order, traveling to Munich (my favorite place in the world) and Northern Italy, and people-watching at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning.” 

Eliott sees the future of Baton Rouge as “continuing to grow at the expense of New Orleans, keeping the best, enduring the worst, while (hopefully) remaining the friendly small southern town it is underneath all our big city pretenses.” 

I’d like to see more trees, more statues, some memorial to the late Emerson Bell, and the simultaneous commemoration of Iberville’s landing here in 1699 that’s not drowned in all that green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Throughout its history, Baton Rouge has always been described as green (as in trees, not beer) and I fear we are losing our sublime natural setting.” 

Business Person of the Month Archive

Business Person of the Month:Brad Pope

Brad Pope

The Compact Disc Store

684 Jefferson Hwy

Baton Rouge, LA 70806


Brad Pope - Owner of the Compact Disc StoreBrad Pope is the owner of The Compact Disc Store located at 684 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge. The store specializes in compact discs from all musical fields: pop, jazz, blues, classical, country, kids, Cajun, alternative, folk, soundtracks, shows, world music, etc. and music DVDs.

Pope graduated from Louisiana State University in 1969 with a degree in Speech Corrections. He went back to do graduate work in Fine Arts with an emphasis on painting, though he never completed the degree. In 1984, he visited a friend who managed the classical record room of the Metronome, a record store in New Orleans. Besides traditional albums and singles, the store carried Compact Discs – the newest technology in musical recording at that time.  The difference in sound was so startling; he knew there would be a great market for this product.

Determined to open a CD shop in Baton Rouge, Pope started in 1985 with 2 or 3 bins of CDs in a small space in Goodwood Village. The industry was so new; he had trouble getting suppliers at first and CDs were mostly jazz and classical.  In the same shopping center was Art Colley’s Audio Specialties. Colley loaned him equipment that allowed people to listen to CDs and appreciate the huge difference in sound. Many who purchased CDs went next door to buy Colley’s CD players.

Pope opened the Compact Disc Store in 1985 with a simple business philosophy — “getting the art to the people“.  Still in business 21 years later, he credits his success to giving his customers something they do not get at other places: the assistance of people who know music. His staff consists of music lovers with a willingness to find answers for customers. “There is so little personal interaction in the acquisition of stuff nowadays; people are used to just walking up to the counter and paying for it”, Pope says. He considers the human connection with his customers one of his shop’s distinguishing features.

Having a musical family background – he began playing the organ at the age of 12 and has been the organist at St Alban’s Chapel on LSU’s campus since 1970 – Pope claims he cannot think of a more interesting retail business.

He believes in libraries and remembers fondly of the library in the town where he grew up. He feels the best part of his education at LSU was wandering through the library, pulling books from the shelves, and sitting on the floor to read what interested him.

After being in the business several years, Pope remembered that he had daydreamed as a teenager of opening a record store. “I’m doing what I always wanted to do,” he says, “Not many people have that satisfaction.”

Business Person of the Month Archive

Business Person of the Month: Elizabeth “Liz” Walker

Elizabeth “Liz” Walker

Elizabethan Gallery

680 Jefferson Hwy
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Elizabeth Walker - Owner & Manager of the Elizabethan GalleryElizabeth “Liz” Walker is the owner and manager of the Elizabethan Gallery, which is located in Mid City at 680 Jefferson Highway, between Goodwood Boulevard and Government Street.

The Gallery is dedicated to promoting the works of established and emerging artists in the area and is recognized for its collection of original art and custom framing. It is home to an impressive collection of watercolors, acrylic and oil paintings, professional photography, antique prints, lithographs, serigraphs, and graphic posters.

Walker attended Louisiana State University and Nichols State University and majored in marketing. She began working in Thibodaux as a marketing director for a family owned office supply business that had a small merchandising section of art supplies and ready made frames. When she returned to Baton Rouge in 1988, it was a natural fit for her to open a gallery and frame shop.

Walker’s community involvement includes:

  • Mid City Merchants Association
  • Professional Picture Framers Association
  • Photo Marketing Association
  • Associated Women in the Arts
  • Greater Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  • Louisiana Arts Science Museum
  • Baton Rouge Little Theatre
  • Baton Rouge Gallery
  • Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Baton Rouge Irish Club

Business Person of the Month Archive

Business Person of the Month: John Schneider

John Schneider

Cyntreniks, LLC.

406 N. 4th St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

John Schneider - President of Cyntreniks LLCJohn Schneider is the president of Cyntreniks LLC, an organization providing strategic consulting for business and government.

Schneider has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana, Lafayette) and a Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University Law School.

He keeps up-to-date in the business world by reading the book The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, Forbes magazine, and the New York Times. In his leisure time, Schneider enjoys browsing the Men’s Journal.

Schneider’s vision for the future of East Baton Rouge Parish is:

  • A vibrant, eclectic, pedestrian downtown that capitalized on its riverfront locale and is the focal point of the capital area and the daily gathering point for citizens and tourists alike.
  • A progressive leadership hub that is the voice of good government and fiscal responsibility local, regionally and statewide.
  • An economic development magnet for nationally and internationally, leading-edge technological, health and service-oriented businesses that has transformed the entire capital area into a thriving mecca.
  • A public education system that is an example for not only the rest of the state but nationally and interanationally.
  • A higher education environment that is the home of two nationally and internationally – recognized centers for academic excellence hub – Southern and L.S.U.
  • A compassionate, understanding, proactive parish that has recognized, responded, and addressed that needs of its less fortunate residents.

He was the treasurer of the Patrons of the Public Library, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s friends group, in 2005.

His favorite quote is “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high acheivement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory or defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt – “Citizenship in the Republic” Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.

Business Person of the Month Archive

Business Person of the Month: Eric B. Lewis

Eric B. Lewis

Ephod Business Solutions

18316 Keystone Ave
Greenwell Springs, LA 70739

Eric B. Lewis - President of Ephod Business Solutions“At Ephod Business Solutions, we strive to provide management and consulting services to the small business owner that will allow their firm to reach its full potential. Through this effor, we believe we encourage economic development within the community.” – Eric B. Lewis

Eric B. Lewis is the President of Ephod Business Solutions, a business management consulting firm providing services in the areas of business development, project management, and technology consulting, based in Baton Rouge with a second office in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ephod Business Solutions is a subsidiary of Ephod Company, L.L.C., a holding company.

Lewis has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern University and a Master’s degree from Louisiana State University. He keeps up-to-date in the business world by reading Black Enterprise, The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, and biographies of successful CEO’s. In his leisure time, Lewis reads The Advocate. His favorite recreational book is Cane River by Lalita Tademy.

Lewis has a vision for the future development of East Baton Rouge Parish. “I believe East Baton Rouge Parish has the capacity to become the center of a major metropolitan area. If we can take full advantage of some of the existing resources, such as the airport, the interstate, and Mississippi River as well as Southern University, LSU, and BRCC, we will be able to develop the foundation for long-term growth. Over the next few years, emerging industries such as software technologies, video gaming, and entertainment should really begin to strenghthen our local economy. Once this occurs, Baton Rouge will become an attractive community for those desiring to live in the southern region of our country,” states Lewis.

He is a member of the Baton Rouge Black Chamber of Commerce, Forum 35, NAACP, and the LSU Dean’s Advisory Committee. His favorite quote is “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.”

Business Person of the Month Archive

Business Person of the Month: Trina Prejean

Trina Prejean

Don-Lyn Florist

4348 Hwy 19
Zachary, LA 70791

Trina Prejean - Owner & Manager of Don-Lyn Florist“My little summer time job turned into my lifetime career.” – Trina Prejean

Since 1997, Trina Prejean, a licensed horticulturist, has been the owner and manager for Don-Lyn Florist and gift shop in Zachary, Louisiana. During the summer before her senior year of high school, at the age of 16, Prejean began working for her mentor Earline Durio at The Greenery, a florist shop in Denham Springs, Louisiana. Little did she know that her experience there would lead to her success 26 years later.

Providing beautiful floral arrangements for weddings, funerals, holidays, and other occasions such as the Zachary and Pride-Chaneyville Branch Library grand openings, Don-Lyn Florist has been a thriving business in the Zachary area. “Zachary’s growth is booming! The new library branches that have opened in the Zachary and Pride-Chaneyville are wonderful and I am so excited for our community.”

Prejean is an active member of the Zachary Chamber of Commerce. She keeps up-to-date in the business world by reading Florist Review, Flowers&, and The Florist Magazine, all of which offer the latest tips on merchandise, decorating work/show rooms, and care of flowers. The magazines also provide lists of new vendors and companies with available products.

During her leisure time, Prejean enjoys reading the works of Jeffery Deaver and Nicholas Sparks. Although two totally different genres, Prejean finds an interest and a balance in each of these authors.

Business Person of the Month Archive

Business Person of the Month: Dwight Brashear

Dwight Brashear

Chief Executive Officer/General Manager

Capital Area Transit System

 2250 Florida Boulevard
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
225.389.8282 (Customer Service, Route, and Schedule Inquiries)
225.929.7740 (CATS On Demand)
225.389.8920 (Office)

Dwight Brashear - CEO of Capital Area Transit System“We all have a sacred obligation in all that we do to leave things better than when we found them.” – Dwight Brashear

Dwight Brashear is the Chief Executive Officer for the Capital Area Transit System (CATS) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Management from Azusa Pacific University. Brashear is a Board Member for the Young Leaders Academy and the Clean Cities Coalition. He speaks at numerous civic association meetings and is actively involved with local churches.

My vision for East Baton Rouge Parish is tied directly to those issues that drive our quality of life,” says Brashear. “I envision a time when quality of life issues are given top priority.” He continues, “There must be a a conscious decision to invest heavily in mass transit, libraries, parks, primary education, the arts…”

Brashear keeps up-to-date in the professional world by reading The Baton Rouge Business Report, Good to Great, and Thriving on Chaos.

Back to Business Person Archive