Business Person of the Month: Dave Tullier

Dave Tullier


Dave’s Bicycle Repair


Dave Tullier, owner of Dave's Bicycle Repair, with fully loaded touring bicycle

After 27 years of repairing bicycles, and many more years of serious bicycle riding, I still enjoy what I do for a living. I repair your bike as if it were my own.  — Dave Tullier

Since 1956, May has been designated as National Bicycle Month. Why not join hundreds of thousands of folks across the country in commemorating this spectacular event? Call Dave’s Bicycle Repair to ensure that your bicycle is in excellent repair and that you are absolutely ready to roll!

One of Baton Rouge’s most unique services, Dave’s Bicycle Repair is a mobile business which offers free pickup and delivery directly to your door, by appointment. Dave performs expert & economical repair on all brands; sells new & reconditioned bicycles (Adult Trikes, Commercial Bicycles & Trikes, Tandems, Recumbents, Bike Trailers & Trail-A-Bikes); provides quality bike parts, tires & tubes, tools & lubricants, and accessories—everything from the proper clothing to first aid products, from sun block to energy bars. “Call me for a price on building wheels or building a bike. Whether it’s a tune-up, a complete overhaul or up-grading parts and accessories, I’ll be happy to help.”

Truly committed to getting everyone on a bike, Dave also builds special needs bicycles and can craft customized fittings for children and adults with disabilities who enjoy bicycling and look forward to the freedom of being outdoors and completely mobile. “I enjoy encouraging people of all ages to get on a bicycle and ride,” he says, “And I especially have enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to meet folks over age 50 who have ridden across the country on a bicycle.” A Marine Veteran who served in Vietnam, Dave also enjoys meeting the numerous veterans who travel to Baton Rouge.

A graduate of Schwinn Factory School and the Adventure Cycling Leadership School, Dave is very down-to-earth and quite approachable even for novices who may be intimidated by the prospect of bike shopping. One of his regular customers, a 68-year old man who just started cycling in 2004, should serve as an inspiration to everyone who thinks they cannot ride a bike. The man rides 30+ miles per day in Baton Rouge and has figured out a way to ride Airline Highway all the way down to the bridge and back. Dave realizes that, “People ride bicycles for all sorts of reasons, from better health to saving money on fuel, or as an alternative to driving to work.” Whether you are a commuter, a competitive cyclist, an adventure tourist, or simply enjoy riding in the neighborhood after work, he has the equipment you need. With memberships in Baton Rouge Bicycle Club, League of American Cyclist, and Adventure Cycling Association, he also has the information and resources to help plan anything from a cross-continent trek to a day’s outing to the Tammany Trace.

A native of Alexandria, LA, Dave attended ULM (Monroe) where he earned a degree in Education with a specialty to teach social studies and English. He taught high school history for 5 years before he realized his calling was not to be in the classroom, but to be outdoors and encouraging others to be outdoors. Dave’s uncle had owned a Schwinn shop in Lake Charles where he spent many of his teen years after his father died, so the bike business seemed a good fit for him. He owned and managed two bicycle shops for several years before becoming self-employed with his mobile bike repair service business in 1991.

Dave would like to see the face of tourism in Louisiana include not only the French Quarter, French Music, and Cajun culture, but also cycling. After all, Louisiana offers mild weather and fair terrain to enjoy cycling nearly all year round. St. Francisville, 31 miles north of Baton Rouge, is a major crossroads for cross-country cyclists from all over the world. Louisiana citizens probably are not aware of just how many world-wide touring cyclists actually fly in to BR Metro Airport on a regular basis. Listed with the Adventure Cycling Association as a sort of local touring ambassador, Dave is the person they contact to make arrangements to ship their bicycles here. He will pick up cycling tourists from the BR airport and assist them to arrive at their destination and overnight accommodations, usually in St. Francisville.

“I would like to see more tourism in Baton Rouge devoted to outdoor recreational activities along the river (such as cycling on the levee) as opposed to more gambling along the river.” On a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most bike friendly, Dave gives Baton Rouge only a 4. He supports the idea of a bike trail on the levee between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The levee should be beautified to create green spaces and bicycle pedestrian paths – places where individuals and families would be able to spend their time together outdoors safely away from road traffic. Small businesses laced along the river would be able to cater to the people along that trail. Currently the Mississippi River Trail ( bypasses Baton Rouge completely, crossing by ferry from St Francisville to New Roads and continuing down the west bank of the river to New Orleans. Dave thinks such a levee path will not only bring in cycling tourism to our city, but also provide safe riding for shorter distances for families in the small towns and communities along the river.

Besides cycling, Dave enjoys camping, canoeing, and backpacking with his wife Cindy, another Alexandria native whom he met and married several years ago. He has two grown daughters and three grandchildren. One daughter is an avid cyclist who is planning an adventure cycling tour with her dad and her children. When he finds spare time to read, his taste runs mostly to westerns and fictional books about the Marine Corps during the WWII and Vietnam wars. His favorite magazines include Bicycling Magazine and Mountain Biking. Dave expressed appreciation for the local library system which he used extensively to learn about the art of bicycle maintenance when he was working in his first bike shop.

Dave Tullier is that most lucky of men—one who has found a way to turn his avocation into his vocation. Few are able to make a living from their hobbies, sports or leisure activities. But one can plainly see from Dave’s quote at the beginning of this profile, he’s still enjoying his work (and play) after twenty-seven years.

Business Person of the Month Archive

Small Business Workshops – Summer 2007

Looking for small business workshops to attend in the Baton Rouge area? The Louisiana Small Business Development Center may have just the one for you. Here is a list of workshops being offered in Baton Rouge.

Business Boot Camp for Startups-The Basics
Saturday, June 2, 2007
8:00 AM to 2:30 PM
1109 CEBA Building
1200 Nicholson Dr. Ext.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

“Basics of starting a small businesses, exploring entrepreneurship, researching and analyzing the market, setting financial goals, building the organization and team, local resources and assistance for entrepreneurs, and war stories from entrepreneurs who starting businesses and survived the process to tell about it.”

Patent & Trademark Workshop
Saturday, June 9, 2007
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Louisiana State University
Middleton Library
Dalrymple Dr. and Tower Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

“Basic information on patent and trademarks, Search techniques, General interest information useful to inventors and researchers, and Patent Attorney will be on hand to answer questions concerning patents and trademarks.”

Additional workshops will be held in New Orleans, Hammond, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Monroe. Click here to view the complete schedule, details, and registration info.

Asian Nation

Asian Nation
Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month by visiting Asian Nation. This site offers a good concise introduction to Asian culture. The site’s author is Dr. C.N. Le, Director of the Asian and Asian American Certificate Program and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Le discusses the history of Asian Americans and contemporary issues in Asian culture today. He refers to his site as “Asian Americans 101.” The site also has a sections for related links, a discussion forum, and message board.

Take time this month to learn about another ingredient in the culture gumbo that is Baton Rouge.


May is “Get Caught Reading Month;” and here at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library we are ready to help you find that next great book. Try using our online database Novelist. Novelist is a database of fiction with access to subjects, reviews, and annotations for over 135,000 titles. In addition Novelist provides reading group guides, read- a- like recommendations, author biographies and book talks.

Novelist is updated monthly from sources such as Booklist, Kirks, School Library Journal, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Over 9,000 titles are added to Novelist annually, including descriptions when available.

You can browse through your favorite genres, or search for a specific title or author. If you enjoyed a particular book, look up other similar books. Novelist offers titles for adults, young adults, and children.

Find that next great read with Novelist (accessible through our Online Databases).

Business Person of the Month:Martha Breckenridge

Martha Breckenridge


Bugs Away: The Outdoor Misting Insect Control System, LLC


Martha Breckenridge

“Live by principle and treat others how you’d like to be treated”  —Author Unknown

BugsAway offers home, camp and business owners a system to provide relief from mosquitoes and many other annoying pests, which allows them to enjoy their outdoor spaces. “Once this insect control system is installed around the perimeter of the chosen sites and begins misting our water-based insecticide, clients are able to reclaim their outdoor surroundings.”

Breckenridge heard about this system in May 2005 but didn’t start looking into it for her own personal use until February 2006. “I heard about this system, investigated it and took a leap of faith.” She formed her own company, BugsAway, The Outdoor Misting Insect Control System, LLC., in May 2006. Breckenridge feels that mosquitoes are a real problem especially for the Southern states of our nation. Our home state of Louisiana breeds mosquitoes like no other because of its warm and moist climate. We are now experiencing several new breeds of mosquitoes; some that are even resistant to cold weather. What was once a seasonal mosquito problem is rapidly becoming a year round problem.

Breckenridge was a stay-at-home mom for about sixteen years. When she returned to the workforce her first job was working for a local fine jewelry retailer. Before now, she has never worked an outdoors job. “I like working in the quiet outdoors and offering a product which really works to improve the quality of life for those who enjoy the outdoors.” Breckenridge is involved in every phase of the business. She manages the business and does whatever is necessary to get the system installed right. “I am even capable of installing and maintaining the system myself if my workers need a helping hand.”

Breckenridge is a gardener. In her spare time, she likes to do yard work and work on her house. Her favorite magazines include Louisiana Home and Garden and Southern Living. Books about gardening and interior design interest her, but she also likes to read spiritual books, self-help, biographies, mysteries, business and finance books and even the occasional John Grisham. She enjoys sports, cookouts, super bargain shopping, and most of all spending time with her three children and her recently born grandson.

A native of Baton Rouge, she would like to see our city progress to a point where both citizens and tourists can see how our tax dollars are spent. Our public servants should be well-paid and more of a presence in town. We need great public schools, parks and libraries, and clean and maintained surroundings. Breckenridge is in favor of severe littering penalties. “I see our city of Baton Rouge rapidly changing, and it would be nice to see people change their old bad habits of littering. A cleaner Baton Rouge would be more inviting and prettier and might become an example for other cities to follow.”

Breckenridge believes libraries are essential to our personal growth which in turn benefits our community. Our fine library system should continue to improve services and build on its successes. “I’m close friends with a couple of librarians and they are awesome.” Librarians, with their personal knowledge about many subjects, can direct us in our reading. “We must always have an open mind ready to learn something new, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem.”

The personal quote Breckenridge chose for the beginning of this profile is a compilation. “I heard a famous leader mention he worked by principle and it stuck with me.” The second half of the quote is a variation of the Golden Rule, which she learned at church as a child. Breckenridge says the two together just make good sense as a rule for living, and she tries to apply them in her personal life and her business.

Business Person of the Month Archive


New Business Titles

April 15 – 21 is National Library Week, time to roundup and list the latest small business titles in our collection.

Titles listed above are linked to the Library’s online catalog so you can see title locations and status. Once you’re in the catalog, click on the picture of the book cover for a synopsis and other information.

Looking at Jazz – National Website

Looking at Jazz – National Website

Jazz is America’s indigenous music — born in New Orleans, developed in American cities, and exported throughout the world.

This website, provides not only an outline for our six month series on jazz, but through film clips and narration, provides a great overview of jazz history and the influence of jazz on our American culture.

Baton Rouge All That’s Jazz

Baton Rouge:  All That’s Jazz

Baton Rouge: All That’s Jazz  is our new 6 month series on the history of jazz and jazz in Baton Rouge.  This exciting series will provide monthly jazz documentary films and discussions, live jazz performances and DJ’d listening sessions. We will have two scholars well versed in jazz history to lead the film viewing and discussions. Our live performances will feature traditional jazz, big band, bebop and latin jazz forms. Local musicians, music writers and jazz radio personalities will share the jazz recordings that most influenced them in our listening sessions, “My Favorite” Things.”

Join us for all these great programs and support America’s music — Jazz!

National Women’s History Month

Celebrate National Women’s History Month by visiting the Literary Reference Center to research your favorite women historians, thinkers, poets, and writers.  Literary Reference Center is an intuitively designed research database with hundreds of reference works, periodicals, and scholarly journals as well as thousands of literary works and information on authors. More than just articles, Literacy Reference Center delivers the following:

  • Literary Criticism

  • Masterplots

  • Reviews

  • Interviews

  • Reference Books

  • Poems and Stories

You’ll be able to quickly sort its impressive breadth of content, as its search results are organized under tabs by resource type (e.g., Biographies, Reviews, Poems/Stories) and can be sorted by Relevance, Title, Date, Source, or Author. You’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to find information! For this month’s search hint, we’ll explore the life and contributions of bell hooks—who spells her name without capitals—a prolific feminist writer and one of America’s leading intellectual figures.

    • Click “Online Databases” on the left navigation menu of our home page.

    • Click “Enter” (remote users will be asked to enter library card number).

    • From the Statewide Databases list, click “EBSCO“; select Literary Reference Center.

    • On the Literary Reference Center home page, type the search term “hooks, bell” then click search.

    • Notice that results are organized under tabs, with the default tab “All Results” showing a total of 79.

    • Click the “Biographies” tab to display biographical essays about bell hooks; note that results include an author biography, while others are book reviews, a book analysis or perhaps even in the form of an interview.

    • If you are strictly interested in reading interviews with bell hooks; click the “Interviews” tab.  Click either HTML Full Text or PDF to read.

    • HINT:  Curious about the visual search function?  Visual Search allows you to search efficiently across broad subjects, and then returns a visual map of results, organized by topic.  Click Visual Search, then click Take Our Tour on the visual search page to learn the basics of how its done!

Business Person of the Month:Tara Askins

Tara Askins

Real Estate Consultant

Keller Williams Realty/ Red Stick Plus




Tara Askins - Real Estate Consultant

“If you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail.”  —Author Unknown

Red Stick Plus is a local affiliate of Keller Williams Realty, a full service international real estate company; each office is independently owned and operated. After researching other companies, Tara Askins chose Keller Williams because of the “Awesome training the company offers…for new agents and experienced agents, the training is like no other company’s.” She feels the core values and business ethics the company demands of its agents and affiliates have made Keller Williams one of the most respected real estate companies in the nation. “The home buying process is one of the major purchases in a person’s life. To help my clients make the right decision for them is a wonderful experience which connects me with them forever,” Askins said.

Askins started a career in banking in 1989 and worked in the banking industry until her switch to real estate. She got her start in real estate first as an investor. “My husband and I started buying investment property because we wanted some residual income.” Their own foray into the real estate world opened their eyes to a need to help others for foreclosure situations. They started a company called 4Closure Solutions, LLC which is still going strong. “When Katrina hit, the foreclosures slowed down, but now more and more people are losing their home to foreclosure.”

Born and raised in St Francisville, Askins has lived in Zachary since her marriage to Maurice in 1993. She continued working full time even after their two children were born. When asked how she managed to juggle the responsibilities of family and career, Askins said, “With a husband who’s willing to bathe the kids and wash the dishes.” When her two children started school, she began thinking about working from home or part time.

They were doing so well, so Askins decided to get her real estate license and coaxed her husband into going for it, too. Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission in 2005 she worked part time at first, but in 2006 it became too much to continue the full time job and work real estate, on top of a husband and two small kids. “I had to make a decision of what to keep and since I liked the husband and the kids I gave up the full time job.” The nine to five job didn’t leave her enough flexibility to devote the time she wanted to family. In real estate she has to take into account the homebuyers’ work schedules. She may have to work sometimes on nights or weekends, but she also can make her own schedule, working it around the kids going to school, field trips, special programs, etc. “I guard the time I set to be with the children. Once you tell them you are going to do something with them you have no choice but to do just that. I try not to work on Sunday afternoons. I take that as family time—a day to worship together and then to rest and get ready for the next week.

The children, now ages ten and six, sometimes have had to accompany their mother to show a house “I tell them they are being trained to be realtors when they grow up.” Her husband still has his full time job, but because he is a licensed agent he can show houses if needed. He mostly helps on his day off or when she has a scheduling conflict with the children. “I call real estate his ‘honey do’ job.” Working with the person you live with has its rewards as well as challenges. Since he is in real estate, he understands how difficult her job can be, i.e., all the things realtors have to coordinate—buyers, sellers, the financing, the closing and sometimes even helping the client move! The main challenge is to keep the work and home separate. Askins said they were talking too much about business and she makes a conscious effort now to turn the real estate off after hours and concentrate on family.

Hurricane Katrina did impact the real estate market in the Baton Rouge area. Finding the right home became a little bit more difficult because of the number of people brought to the area by the evacuation. “Clients had to have all their ducks in a row as far as financing, closing costs, etc. because they might be competing against three or four other buyers.” After Katrina, the housing prices went up but they have stabilized somewhat. Askins thinks the market should hold steady for the next couple of years, especially with the major companies moving into the area and the growth of the Zachary, Central, and adjoining parishes of Livingston and Ascension. She still sees lots of people looking for housing. Buyers can take advantage of Bond Money or First Time Homebuyers Programs, which assist with closing costs and down payment. “Now is always the best time to invest in real estate because statistics show the fastest way to build wealth is through real estate.

Asked to comment on the future of Baton Rouge, Askins said, “I’d like to see Baton Rouge concentrate more on our youth in the form of education and programs that will give them a sense of self and hopefully alleviate some of the crime that Baton Rouge is experiencing among its youth.

This busy working mom has little spare time. She likes playing board games with the kids and going to movies. She also likes to relax with a book by her favorite author, Mary Higgins Clark. “I like her books because they are suspenseful and also they are clean-cut.” She also loves reading inspirational books, business books and anything dealing with family life and kids. She used to belong to an expensive book club, but decided to use the library more. On Sunday afternoons she takes the kids to the library and they come home with armloads of books. “Libraries are a very important part of my life. I love the summer reading program; my kids look forward to it each year.” They visit different libraries around the city and Askins said, “The newer buildings are just beautiful.

For career inspiration she rereads The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller at least once a year. Askins didn’t remember where she first heard her favorite quote (at the top of this profile), but it stuck with her. It’s a popular saying on business and marketing websites. She lives by that creed and credits her success to planning ahead and following through with those plans.

Business Person of the Month Archive