It's Baton Rouge: Out to LunchIt's Baton Rouge: Out to Lunch

Where Am I, Exactly?

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It’s no secret that Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes are home to some of the largest petrochemical plants in the world. We’re also a hub of activity when it comes to climate and resilience because of our sinking coastline and rising seas in an era of climate change. The intersection of these vast and important fields create some interesting opportunities for companies that also are based here and training young people to work in those companies in the future.

 Mark Fallon is CEO of APTIM, a Baton Rouge-based company that provides engineering, program management, environmental services, disaster recovery, complex facility maintenance, and construction services to clients in in the energy sector, as well as governments and the military.

APTIM was spun off several years ago from CB&I, which, many in Baton Rouge may remember, bought The Shaw Group in 2013. Mark has been at the helm of the company since April 2020, which was, no doubt, an interesting time to start a new big challenge. But he came armed with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Prior to joining APTIM, Mark was president and CEO of sister companies – Envirocon, a national remediation and deocmmisioning contractor, and Modern Machinery, a distributor of heavy construction and minig equipment. He also worked at CH2M and started his career in the US Department of Energy under President Bill Clinton. 

Fran Harvey is Director of the Global Geospatial Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Innovation Park at LSU that teaches students to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and display all kinds of spatial or geographical data using the only GIS Industry based certification program in the country.

Are you wondering, "What exactly is GIS?" Well, you're not alone. Most people  - and that certainly includes most highschool students - don't realize they are using GIS data every time they pick up their smart phone and open the map app or check the location of the Uber they’re waiting on to pick them up or the Door Dash guy who is delivering their order. But GIS is everywhere and the Global Geospatial Institute believes that if young people can learn the skills that go into GIS they will be better prepared to enter today’s workforce.

Fran was introduced to GIS technology while working as an environmental scientist. She spent several years in disaster response and recovery as a senior GIS analyst and decided to go back to school for an advanced degree in the technology.

She spent more than a decade at the La Dept of Environmental Quality as an environmental scientist and GIS analyst and went on to use her expertise in as a GIS specialist in the aftermaths of several gulf coast hurricanes. In 2014, Fran and her husband founded the Global Geospatial Institute. 

Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard. You can photos from this show by Brian Pavlich  at

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OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journ 
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