Rolfe McCollister of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report reflects on how the business newspaper started 25 years ago as part of its 25th anniversary edition.
McCollister wrote, “There were those in 1982 who told us Baton Rouge didnâ€™t need another publication. Others told us we would run out of business stories to cover. But there were some who encouraged and supported us from our first issue and first yearâ€”and we are grateful they took a chance.
“I remember going to see the late Chuck McCoy, CEO of Louisiana National Bank (which became Premier Bank, then Bank One and now Chase Bank). I wanted to tell him about the idea and get his feedback. As a young man, sitting in front of this powerful executive, a pillar in the community, I nervously explained the new concept. He loved it. McCoy was an innovator and a risk-taker. He told me he would make sure all of his managers read the new Business Report.
“His encouragement fueled this young entrepreneur and made me realize, ‘This isnâ€™t a crazy idea. It can work.’ About a year before he passed away, I had the pleasure of taking Mr. McCoy to lunch to recount that story and thank him again for his encouragement.”