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

Workplace Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month

Workplace Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month

March 1 – 31 is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, a good time to check the workplace for hazards and obstacles that could cause eye injury.

Need help finding literature on workplace safety?

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has many posters and brochures on safety in the workplace. You can contact the Baton Rouge area office at,

9100 Bluebonnet Centre Blvd, Suite 201
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Phone 225 298-5458

Need more info?

The Wise Owl program is “a safety education program designed to promote the widespread use of approved protective eyewear that meets ANSI Z87 industrial or ASTM sports standards.” Wise Owl is a fee based membership service of Prevent Blindness America.

Wise Owl on the Internet

Workplace Eye Safety

First Aid For Eye Emergencies

National Women’s History Project

National Women’s History Project

As recently as the 1970’s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness. Why women’s history? Women’s history takes a bold new look at all that has gone before and tells the story of our shared past from a very different perspective. It does not rewrite history, but it does make very different judgments about what is important to be remembered and who the significant players were. Recognizing the achievements of women in all facets of life – science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine – has a huge impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women.

If you are a teacher, parent, or natural-born leader and want to promote women’s history this month, look no further than The National Women’s History Project (NWHP) for ideas. The NWHP is a non-profit educational organization committed to recognizing and celebrating the diverse and significant historical accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs. A visit to their site immediately orients you to organizing guides, curriculum units, posters and display sets, videos, and a range of delightful celebration supplies. Obtain quick suggestions for promoting women’s history month, brochures, as well as a National Women’s History Month press kit. And because women’s history is for all ages, so you’ll also find a student center, parent’s corner and teacher’s lounge. Visit today and test your knowledge of women’s history! – Free Online Storage—Free Online File Storage!

Ever visit your library to type a resume or complete an online job application, only to realize that you forgot your jump drive (or floppy)? When you are in a pinch, and need a quick, secure way to save your work, consider trying offers 1GB1 Free Online File Storage. Just put all of your files and folders in and you’ll have access to them wherever you go! Whether you want to move files among multiple computers or share documents and photos with friends and colleagues, is for you.  Do you blog or use MySpace? allows you to create a widget2 that you can post directly onto your blog or MySpace account.

Free account set up takes less than a minute. For complete functionality, recommends using the latest version of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari. By registering for a account, you must agree to their terms of service.

1A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, or 1,073,741,824 characters and is roughly equivalent to a thousand novels.

2A widget is short for window gadget, or the display ‘box’ that displays your selected audio, photo, or document files.

WilsonWeb Database: National Black History Month

National Black History Month is an annual observance in February, celebrating the past and present achievements of African Americans. It is also a time when students and educators, who in a mad scramble to track down elusive biographical information on the movers and shakers in Black History, need accurate and reliable information fast.

No time for a trip to the library this week?  No sweat! Overhaul your research plan and leap over to WilsonWeb, an online biographical index that’s available to you outside library walls, 24-7.  Beyond biographies, you’ll uncover obituaries, articles, and leads to additional resources about the person you are researching. For fun, let’s see how many African American musicians with Louisiana roots we can find.

  • 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 Wilson Web
  • The “Advanced Search” is selected by default, so leave it as is; choose your database by checking “Biographies Plus Illustrated“.
  • Inserting one term in each of the three text boxes provided, type “African American” and “Louisiana” and “musician”; next, select “Ethnicity” and “Place of Origin” and “Profession/Activity”, in that order, from the drop-down menus, making sure that each matches up, side-by-side, with the search terms you just typed.
  • Click “Start”.
  • Scroll through over a half-dozen results and take your pick – from Louis Armstrong to Shirley Verrett!
  • Tip:  In the event you discover more leads to related reading, be sure to consult with Newsbank and EBSCO, two additional online resources that link you to hundreds of thousands of newpaper and magazine articles.  Have fun!

Business Person of the Month:Jennifer Marie Fabre, P.T., MPT, CSCS

Jennifer Marie Fabre, P.T., MPT, CSCS


Therapeutic By Design Fitness & Wellness, LLC.

Therapeutic By Design Fitness & Wellness, LLC.

8752 Quarters Lake Road

Baton Rouge, LA 70809



Jennifer M. Fabre - Therapeutic by Design

“Live Well… Love Much… Laugh Often.”
—Bessie Anderson Stanley

“I will…discover strengths I didn’t know I had. Give less time to the fluff. Make no excuses. Have courage to change. Be calm. Focus on people-not things. Live by my priorities. Make a difference. Inspire the people around me. Enjoy being organized. Create the future I envision. Look back on this year with satisfaction. Accept no limits. Give more time to what’s important. Keep my eyes on the Goal. Not be distracted.”—Franklin-Covey

Opened in January 2004, Therapeutic By Design Fitness and Wellness, LLC offers the services of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Exercise Programming in Baton Rouge. Licensed therapists provide traditional therapy, personalized exercise programs, and also offer specialty services of Neuro-Developmental Techniques, Sport Rehabilitation, Balance Retraining, Orthopedic and Spine Rehabilitation, Healthy Aging and Functional Fitness Programming in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Fabre says, “I believe it is important for the clinician to take into consideration that therapy is not only for treating a specific physical condition or diagnosis, but it is about looking at the entire person and determining ways to alleviate the impact the physical condition has on that person’s overall well-being and quality of life.” Fabre continues by saying, “whether you are a competitive triathlete recovering from a sports injury; a person with a newly diagnosed life-altering debility; someone of an average fitness level wanting to upgrade a workout routine to achieve specific goals; or perhaps someone seeking new ways to cope with osteoarthritis, Therapeutic By Design is dedicated to helping you optimize, restore and/or maintain your overall fitness, function, and health according to your personal goals and lifestyle.”

Owner and Physical Therapist Jennifer Fabre attended the Louisiana Scholars’ College of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a concentration in scientific inquiry and minors in both biology and math. She continued her education at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, earning a Master of Physical Therapy Degree. Currently, Jennifer is in a Ph.D. program of study at LSU in the Department of Kinesiology with concentrations in exercise physiology and motor behavior. She’s conducted research in the areas of “physical function performance, balance assessments and programming, and cardiovascular measures in older adults.”

Fabre’s own experience growing up in a family with a person having a disability is what led her to the study of Physical Therapy. She cites some statistics from the 1996 report of the Surgeon General— “only 60% of Americans perform any type of physical activity and 25% say they do no exercise on a daily basis.” America’s number one killer, heart disease, can be caused by a lack of activity. Other diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, hypertension, which stem from environmental and behavioral factors, are preventable and treatable. “I want to be an asset to the community in the field of physical therapy and exercise science. Providing people the tools necessary to achieve a healthy lifestyle is an important goal for me.”

By the year 2030, the number of men and women 65 years of age and older will reach 70 million in the United States alone. Persons 85 years of age and older will be the fastest growing segment of the population. Fabre believes that musculoskeletal fitness can provide many health benefits—“reduced coronary risk factors, reduced risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density, increased flexibility and strength, improved glucose tolerance, and greater success in completion of activities of daily living.” Part of her current research deals with falls in older adults, which have an estimated $17 billion impact on health care costs per year. In hopes of promoting a national strategy for fall-risk reduction programs, Fabre is working on the early identification of those older adults likely to fall. “An overall plan for my current research is to complete validation of our newly developed falls risk screening tool and determine the efficacy of local community-wide fall risk prevention programs.”

This twenty-nine year old woman doesn’t know the meaning of the word leisure. Besides working on her Ph.D and opening her own business, Fabre is active in several community groups and four related professional organizations; attends and presents at various local, state, and national conferences; is the Healthy Athletes FUNFitness Coordinator for Louisiana Special Olympics; has been a guest lecturer at LSU’s Department of Kinesiology; and has worked as a research assistant at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She also holds copyrights as author of two exercise programs—Therapeutic Aquatic Exercise Program and Spine Rehabilitation Exercise Program and as co-author of the LAAAP Falls Risk Screening Tool. She has appeared as a co-author for articles in Journal of Gerontology, Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Southern Medical Journal and Gait & Posture.

Currently, I do not have much time for pleasure reading,” Fabre says. “I mostly spend my time reading about current research in my field of physical therapy and exercise physiology.” Her shelves are full of heavy reading such as: Merck Manual; Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy; Wilmore and Costill’s Physiology of Sport and Exercise; ACSM’s Guideline for Testing and Prescription; Lewis and Bottomley’s Geriatric Physical Therapy; Shephard’s Aging, Physical Activity, and Health; Saunders’ and Tornberlin’s Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Volumes 1 and 2; Guyton and Hall’s Human Physiology and Mechanisms of Disease; and Shumway-Cook and Woollacott’s Motor Control” Her favorite magazines are also professional journals (Physical Therapy; Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy; JAMA), but she does read 225, Prevention, Runner’s World, National Geographic, Muscle & Fitness, Louisiana Home and Garden, Black Enterprise, Essence and Self for pleasure.

Fabre’s credits her love of reading to her father, a librarian in the St. Tammany Parish School system for over 30 years. She spent afternoons and summers in the library and remembers “reading the World Book Encyclopedias (going from A to Z) and looking forward to the next issue of National Geographic (what awesome pictures).” Furthermore, Fabre states, “my Dad and Grandmother (a former teacher) were strong influences in beginning my quest for life-long learning…while Mom encouraged independence, creativity, and integrity.”

Fabre is determined to link the profession of physical therapy with the art of exercise science to encourage an integrated healthcare community. By pursuing her doctorate in Kinesiology she is equipping herself to become a proactive voice in not only the profession of physical therapy, but in the healthcare arena as a whole. “I look forward to teaching the community, other healthcare professionals, personal trainers, students of the allied health professions, and exercise science researchers and clinicians the importance of strength-training, prevention, exercise, nutrition, and wellness while also promoting the practical application of this knowledge to the gym, treatment table, and functional activities.”

Fabre keeps the Franklin-Covey quote from the beginning of this profile over her desk at home as a constant reminder. “I am a physical therapist who is both devoted to life-long learning and eager to remain loyal to my dreams.”

Business Person of the Month Archive

Official Guide to Doing Business in Louisiana

Official Guide To Doing Business In Louisiana
Is there one website that has information you need to start a business in Louisiana? Yes! The Official Guide To Doing Business In Louisiana has it all, and more. The guide is available on the Internet at

Useful features are;

  • Louisiana Overview – a snapshot of Louisiana’s economy and employment picture.
  • Help At A Glace – a one page list of contacts for everything from filing articles of incorporation to requesting wetlands determination.
  • Maps – showing major highways, airports, seaports, and areas of broadband Internet access.
  • Go Zone Information – Links to Gulf Opportunity Zone, (GO Zone) info including a GO Zone guide, and map of Louisiana GO Zone areas.
  • Links – a list of state agency and parish government websites.

Our African American Legacy

Our African American Legacy

Check out Our African American Legacy – your Library’s newest site designed especially for exploring and sharing content pertaining to the African American Legacy of East Baton Rouge Parish. This is a site we’ve put together just for you—and it’s more than just an overview of our African American community. It is one of few places where you can delve right into this rich legacy from your chair.  Peruse our historical timeline, brief biographies of important individuals and places, and check back often to view our evolving photo gallery, which includes both ours and shared collections.  We also keep you informed of the print and audio/visual resources that you can access at your library.

Use Our African American Legacy as a way to share photos, clippings, and other items from your own personal scrapbook. Have something to say? Propose relevant topics or talk about Baton Rouge African American history in our discussion forum, Talk Back. And make sure to visit the Photo Gallery, where we will continue to add photos as we receive them. In some cases we will need your help to identify the people and places pictured. So, go ahead, click on the link provided and begin exploring Our African American Legacy. It’s a great place to find out more about this wonderful parish we are all proud to call home!

EBSCO Alt HealthWatch

Does your New Year’s resolution to become better organized, healthier, and more fit take into account any stress management?  If you haven’t an answer, don’t fret.  Let EBSCO Alt Health Watch give you a fresh, new perspective on managing stress in your life. 

  • 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 EBSCOHost Web; scroll and click “Alt HealthWatch”.
  • We’ll start with a basic search.  In the blank search box, type stress reduction; click search.
  • To banish the anxiety of sorting through 755 hits, we’ll narrow our results by specifying a subject.  Notice the suggestions provided to do just this; click your choice of subjects (e.g., stress management, yoga, meditation).
  • To read an article that sparks your interest, click either the entry title or HTML or PDF Full Text.
  • Click Add (a link beside each article citation) to save articles in your personal folder; you may opt to save, print or email items in your folder once you are done browsing and collecting what you want to read.

Tax Strategy Booklist

It’s a good time to plan business tax strategies for the new year. Here is a list of new titles in the library’s collection on the subject of small business taxation.
422 Tax Deductions For Business & Self Employed Individuals /
Bell Springs Pub., c2003.
Deduct it! : Lower Your Small Business Taxes, 2nd Edition
NOLO Press, c2005.
Tax Accounting For Small Business: How To Prepare A 1040C
Small Business Advisors, Inc., c1996.
Tax Savvy For Small Business: Year-Round Tax Advice For Small Businesses, 10th Edition
NOLO Press, c2006.
Tax Smarts For Small Business
Sphinx Pub., c2004.

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.