Krystal Hardison Director of Southeastern Livingston Center is a Leading Lady!

Local Leaders: The Podcast Presents – Krystal Hardison Director of Southeastern Livingston Center

Krystal Hardison is director of the Southeastern Livingston Center in Walker, LA.

Throughout her life in higher education she has had the opportunity to mentor many of our young people and her passion for it comes out the very first second you meet her.

When Local Leaders: The Podcast sat down with Krystal to discuss not only her career with Southeastern Louisiana University we knew we would discover so much about the Walker, Louisiana facility that bears the Southeastern name. What we did not anticipate was the amazing person that would sit down in front of us, filling this hour long podcast with such worthwhile advice and knowledge.

In this Season 4 Episode 14 edition of Local Leaders: The Podcast, Jim Chapman goes in depth with Krystal on everything from here early lessons in family business she learned working for her grandparents who owned the local Tastee Freeze franchise to her rise in higher education that eventually led to her current position as director of the Livingston Technology Center.

It is an episode you are not going to want to miss!

She is the first recipient in 2021 of the Local Leaders: Leading Ladies award!

Visit The Southeastern Livingston Center Online

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Check out Southeastern Louisiana University on the web at:

Video Transcript (Beta)

hi this is crystal hardison from southeastern livingston center i’m the director and you are listening to local leaders the podcast

at what age do you recommend wendy because i want to go ahead and get into breast cancer um you are obviously uh someone who is extremely experienced in this field at what age do you recommend ladies start to get a mammogram we recommend people have mammograms a baseline at least between the ages of 35 and 40. after age 40 we recommend you have one once a year so and that was going to be my next question it was should this be done annually and yes once a year you should should get a mammogram now now is this only if you’re seeing a problem or you feel like you have a lump or is this period you need to get it check it out okay so can you get breast cancer at an earlier age than that such as your 20s and 30s yes you can actually um so that’s a different situation um what happens when you are younger number one you most people have you will notice something if you’ll have a lump or you will have breast pain that’s the number that’s the biggest things young girls come in for it is very recommended that you get that checked out as soon as you notice that we have seen people extremely young probably 18’s probably been our youngest that we have seen with breast cancer um you know so so not as common necessarily but uh days is a lot different nowadays it’s a lot different you do see them a lot younger the key point to that is you need to get it checked out once you’re feeling something once you’re noticing something different you also have the other end of first degree family like your mother had breast cancer your sister your brother your father a lot of them recommend having a mammogram when those people were diagnosed at a young age they recommend you say 10 years prior you should be starting earlier so if you have a family history of breast cancer it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and maybe in your 20s you know get your first mammogram and and discuss it with your doctor yes go see a breast surgeon even you know just to get on the right track especially if you’re noticing differences and for your family of history reasons i gotcha and so we talked about some of the warning signs that you should look for especially if you’re in the younger generation where you’re not necessarily at the time in your life where you’re thinking about a mammogram but if you start noticing as you said breast pain yes okay uh lumps there’s lumps there is breast pain there is maybe uh having a red area on the breast um maybe it feels hot maybe that breast is swollen um there’s also what we look for also is brown and bloody discharge that can always denote problems um you have dimpling of the skin you have what we call pota orange where the just a part of the skin can look like an actual orange peel on the outside got you any of those and you know you definitely want to get those checked out especially if you’re in that younger generation and you’re you just don’t have your mind on mammograms at 25 years old but if you start noticing some issues there it doesn’t hurt to take a look sometimes it’s absolutely nothing most times probably it’s you know more often than not it’s it’s nothing but nowadays you just don’t ever know and breast pain you know lots of people have breast pain breast pain can come from lots of things that’s a majority of the problems people come in with but breast pain can come from a number of different things it majority of it comes from caffeine too much coke tea coffee eating a lot of chocolate the type of breast tissue you have what we most we see most times the vibracisticness it interacts the caffeine interacts with it and causes a lot of this problem

you also could be drinking energy drinks you could be certain vitamins different things cause different issues with breast pain some people do everything right and they still have the breast pain so you know but it’s best to always check that out absolutely now let me ask you and you talk about pain uh you know there’s hesitation sometimes for people uh for ladies they’re they’re nervous about getting breast cancer screenings because they’re nervous that it’s gonna hurt you know a whole lot it’s a painful procedure tell us about uh the pain associated with breast cancer screens we try not to hurt you number one very good uh you know people certain people have bad experiences and i understand that but it’s still an important thing to do you know some people think they only can go to the one place that gives them the problem of pain try somebody else out your insurance goes to different facilities different people do mammograms a different way honestly it’s not that bad and most people i get they say at the end i was scared for nothing it’s really not that bad you know we try to make it as comfortable as possible granted is not the most comfortable thing to do but at the same time there was this one saying i can’t really remember exactly word for word how it went but say a pinch today is worth a whole lifetime of being saved and not having any kind of issues you know right it makes a lot of sense i mean the whole the whole point of the matter is uh you know uh being uncomfortable for say five minutes ten minutes is a lot better than being uh diagnosed with something that is treatable and those people go through a whole lot and it’s not just uh you know a couple of week deal it is you know we’re talking years they have to you know months of depending if they got chemo radiation you go through you have your surgeries to go through this is a long process the earlier you catch something the better

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miss kelly webster i want to discuss how you first arrived at business ownership with al workshop so tell us a little bit about the company and uh and how you came to find this franchise well i um lived in atlanta for about 20 years moved over there in 2000 and just recently moved back this year and we’ll get into that i’m sure a little bit later but um so i lived in atlanta for a while there’s about five of these around the atlanta area and a friend of mine went to a class for team building with her business and um she made a pet bed loved it showed it to me got a brochure i loved it when did a class and really just fell in love with it and kind of you know forgot about it for a minute um and then about a year later um it kind of came around again she had her son’s birthday party there i think it was and um it came around again and then jimmy and i started talking about it and i was like you know what let i’m just gonna investigate it just for fun let me just see i love the concept i love the products it’s stuff that i would actually put in my house let’s just investigate it just for fun and um that was on a i think a thursday and then by that sunday i was like i think we should do this and he was like let’s do it and then we decided we decided to move back home you know what do you think about this and i was like again just on the surface obviously and you know me i mean i’m you know she investigates she’s analytical she’s looking you know and i’m just looking at the service let’s go where we gonna do it let’s do it that’s it let’s yeah sounds great let’s go

that’s what i needed because i mean and what but really once i kind of decided i wanted to do it i knew right we were going to do it yeah yeah along the way that you know the obstacles like anything else you’re trying to create or you’re trying to open a business or trying to uh you know uh you know with with goals you know and there’s always obstacles and not everybody’s meant to have a business not everybody’s meant to run a business and uh you know or anything else for that matter you know what i’m saying when you’re trying to do something at that level and these obstacles start coming and then you face a few and then if you don’t move forward then you aren’t meant to have it you know right and then that’s how a lot of the process kind of weeds people out yeah and so in this whole process regardless of the covet thing or just moving and all there’s not been one thing she has faced all kind of hurdles but she is overcome she’s adapted she’s improvised she’s done whatever she’s had but nothing has stopped the process nothing never stopped the process and that’s how we kind of knew that it was meant to be so kelly how how uh you know with business one thing i noticed is that when you someone told me a long time ago if you got to think that hard about something it’s probably not the right decision that’s uh that’s pretty much a key and it seems like you kind of knew pretty quickly that this is something you wanted to pursue that is really a way that i just live my life in general with most decisions i just decide i feel like i follow my instincts follow my gut and um i did that and but really the more i investigated it the more i found out about it you know talk to the ownership and you know a lot of the folks at corporate and just everything that i found out was positive and you know was one more step toward you know i think this is something we could do that we would be the first one in louisiana like you know it just gave us an opportunity to both move back to our hometown and bring this to baton rouge it was like there’s really not any signs telling us not to do this again this started probably um october of you know a couple of years ago so i mean it’s been about a year and a half ago i would say i mean it feels like it was forever before we actually got you know to this point but um well you know and there was a lot of uh a lot of sort of speed bumps along the way and those sorts of things that really would would uh would would kind of slow you down but i in doing my research for uh ar workshop which you know the from the first time i saw it i thought what a concept what a great idea uh the the business owners of ar workshop are two females yes these are incredible like powerhouse females they’re dynamites yeah and the interesting thing about these females is they they had an etsy shop and they basically uh would make items they were designers they would make items and they would put them on their etsy shop it became one of the most popular etsy shops uh probably in the world um and they also had a blog it was a do-it-yourself blog and uh and so they built that they started somewhere and then they scaled it and then it became hmm we you know i wonder what would happen if we opened a store and and uh wow three years later three years 150 plus locations that just goes to show you as far as their intensity their attitude and what they and just they are just yeah full-on just let’s do it they’re dying yeah they’re dynamite but they’re dynamite they really are but it’s it’s but but they also keep it at a at a level that’s you know it’s uh it’s it’s manageable manageable without a doubt yeah and that’s where the name comes from it’s not from a gun

or the last names of the owners ar workshop is is obviously the first letter of those last names but it’s funny because when you when i first saw it and i have a friend who owns a pawn shop when he first saw it he’s like oh man they got a place to repair

they’ve had several people i’ve seen it online yeah say oh i thought it was yeah i thought it was a new gun shopper we come do it do it yourself uh yeah yeah self-assault rifles there you go well you can put the name on

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the point you must have decided you know i think i want to open up my own firm and do my own thing and you chose livingston parish to do this uh take me through that decision process how did that come about the decision to open up my own firm or the decision to come to livingston both okay because there are two different reasons i want to hear both okay uh well the decision to open up my own office was unemployment so uh that’ll do it it’s a great motivator you start finding new resources um it was um 2009 and the market is in the tank and the firm i was with let all of their new associates go um so you know just apply for jobs apply for jobs apply for jobs nobody’s hiring because the market’s not doing great and uh it was aaron actually he’s like well you’re gonna have to do something so i guess you’re hanging out shingle yeah and i was like no all they did in law school say that was the worst thing you could possibly do what are you talking about and he’s like too bad this is what you’re doing i’m surprised he didn’t say either that or you go up a light pole and you no cause i’m not allowed to do that yeah you’d have been lying okay that’s fine give me some hooks i can figure this out that’s it um but the the choice for livingston parish was one of those aha moments of wait i don’t have to drive to baton rouge i don’t have to drive to hammond i don’t have to drive an hour every day i could just be in my backyard and i was like that sounds wonderful yeah and uh dimko at the time had the incubator program um and took full advantage of that uh really it was it was such a valuable opportunity to just because your overhead costs are so low so you really can try when you’re not making any money in the beginning to survive and i’m still very grateful for that opportunity what take us through what is the incubator burger for those who may not know sure well i’m i don’t i actually don’t know if it’s still around because it was at the demco office that flooded and is torn down and what what they offered there was you could come in and use their uh you could rent an office you could rent an office i think it was 300 a month and you had a full i mean you didn’t have a full service of everything but you know if you had clients come in they came into a nice lobby you just came out and got them or they’d go down the hall they’d find your office um they worked with

or no it’s an organization that’s still in baton rouge that’s retired business folk people uh that’s a pretty good program who um offer mentorships so you could you could you know they’d come in help you write business plans or make sure i know quite a few folks that they took a lot longer to open their businesses but they are still very successful today that that spent a lot of time with those mentors to really build up their business problem uh business model and make sure that their cost analysis and they could be profitable when they were ready to open so wow that’s a great program and you know most businesses fail uh the first couple of years so when you have a program like that and in those the overhead costs are low it kind of enables you the ability to have a chance and so that’s a great program i was not familiar with so shout out to demco go demco great job um so fantastic you started out you were doing that program and uh went in on your own and you chose livingston parish because you know hey who wants to drive in baton rouge every day this is great and i totally relate to that um now let me ask you you so you focus on family law that’s what you do that’s your um that’s your expertise i guess of course you do other things let’s talk about some of the other things uh you do what the law office is about sure um i also do uh succession work uh estate planning some i i do special needs trust for and then uh continuing tutorships for folks with special needs who have children with special needs um i do wills and power of attorneys and that sort of thing so the the kind of joke with family law and succession work is i try to get them going and coming you know yeah excuse me successions are are very important um unfortunately i’ve had uh a few situations people close to me um who’s who have had relatives or whatever that past past and and uh the successions if they’re not in place the wills especially another thing that if they’re not in place nobody wants to think about death and they don’t want to think about that final stage in life but if you don’t have these things straight it can it can really cause a lot of chaos after you’re already going through some things the last thing you want is is uh your kids fight never will or you don’t have successions in place and and everything you know things are uh going to the wrong people maybe maybe have property that that is not um you know assigned correctly or whatever to the right person um so those are very important nobody wants to think about them but those are services you offer yes yes the there’s a lot of bad information out there about successions and the process once a person dies um because they and there’s a lot of bad information out there because people are making money off of it um and so if they can scare you into something because nothing sells better than fear if they can scare you into something then they’ll get you to buy their widget and and there’s this thought process that successions are scary and terrible and they should be avoided at all costs and whatever i have to do to make sure this doesn’t happen that’s what i need to do the succession process is literally a legal document that transfers assets from the deceased to the living because the government wants its taxes and you can’t tax the debt that’s really all it is what the succession process is difficult is if you haven’t put if you haven’t organized your information then your family doesn’t know what to go look for and that’s what’s difficult you’ve already lost a loved one and now you’re tearing up their house trying to figure out what do i need to worry about and what’s relevant and what’s not and that’s what’s complicated yeah it really is and everybody’s under a lot of stress as it is and that’s that’s why it’s so very important that if if uh if you have a need that you contact the law office of ivy graham and she can she can really lead you in the right direction and uh and you know she’s great at what she does so she can really get you uh get you what you need on that area um now you’re running your practice everything’s going you know great and and uh you realize wait a minute i’ve got like an hour left in each day and i think i’m i think i want to run for state representative now yes and uh boy did you pick a packed race to do that it did it did apparently god called a lot of people that year yeah indeed um actually there were five candidates in that in that race and it was a very competitive race as a matter of fact four of those uh five candidates split 55 of that vote and only three percent of the votes separated the those four people so you talk about competitive and uh and in a good uh a good sideboard of that considering we have an election coming up uh uh you know we’ll have a new president hopefully or not a new president but we’ll have a a president chosen uh pretty pretty soon and uh and so in that respect um go out and vote because this is a good example of where every vote counted and uh and why voting is so important when you have three percent separating four different people for a runoff seat that’s uh that’s that tells you right there i mean that’s a couple hundred votes one way or the other now i uh i i saw i saw you a lot during this election and uh you were going and going and going was was running for election as grueling as you thought it would be um there were parts of it that were more grueling than i thought they would be and then there was parts of it that i expected to be more grueling that weren’t interesting um a lot of the speaking engagements and and that sort of thing and having a clear message and stuff i had focused so much on that and it’s the lawyer in me every position or or statement i would make i would argue the other side of it and going like well this is what everybody’s going to say i can see you doing that in a room right i’m like okay well wait if i say this and they’re going to say that and and that didn’t happen so i spent a lot of time worrying about how my message was conveyed that that wasn’t as necessary for me to spend my time there um versus the physical demands of just having to be everywhere and and and always on and just this constant go-go-go um there was a really tiny part of me that was a little relieved when i lost because i slept for a week it was exhausting so you know for me that was uh one of them that was an opportunity for me to see kind of the inside of it and what surprised me personally the most was number one the cost to run for local election i did not realize was as much as it is um and you have there is no favors you can do all of it’s got to be reported to the state um all of it has to be accounted for you have to spend every dollar you earn uh so no paper bags with right million dollars in cash no no you have to you have to account for all of that during the election

yeah so uh so you’re right and and you do you have to account for all that stuff um it’s it it’s very tough and it’s it it’s like i say it surprised me the amount of money that something like that takes you would think from a local level i mean it wouldn’t be that expensive but it is and and uh even on a very small area yeah just the mailers you know or it shocked me how much it costs to mail out the little mailers that we all look at we’re like what do you mean

trust me um so from that respect that surprised me and also the grueling schedule that i saw you go through and look this is someone that when you know ivy she is full totally full of energy and so it you almost couldn’t tell it you had to really kind of know her to know that she was tired um but she never showed it uh you had some really good platforms there with the gas tax you know it was a big thing with you um uh and uh and like i say it’s you know everybody go out and vote for any election because you never know when it how tight those things are going to be and how and it’s very important and every vote counts always always every vote counts now you were trying to run a business obviously in the middle of this too was that hard to balance yes

tell me how you really feel it was very difficult

i would meet with people and they’d make the follow-up appointments like oh yeah we discussed this this and this and i have no memory of it now it’s all in my notes so i’m like okay clearly we did talk about it wrote it down so this definitely happened and and you know i didn’t i stayed on top of everything but yes there was there was just at the end of the day there was only so many brain cells left and they were just yeah it was it was pretty quite an experience it’s quite an experience

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it’s interesting that wallpaper went away for a little while and now it’s coming back paper is hot hot hot is that not i thought i would never see that day well you know when i when i started at our store when we first started back up doing and doing the decorating wallpaper was the first thing that i really added and i sold lots of wallpaper yeah and then it died yeah but um now uh the wallpapers yes and they’re like tebow and all some of the really traditional um imperial they’re bringing it back a lot of the traditional wallpapers and then we’ve got a lot of modern uh textured things that are just absolutely gorgeous yes and it’s interesting you go back and these antebellum homes and a lot of people are buying these now and they’ll they’ll tear out she rock or something they’ll find a beautiful wallpaper behind it that’s right and you know what’s so great with that they can take that take a picture and they can reproduce it now and it’s so much cheaper back when i first started 30 years ago to have a custom wallpaper redone i would have to go to the archives over most everything’s in new york or in england or in france and you’d have to find that print yeah and then um then it was major expense to have that redone we’ve done that a few times in new orleans but now with the printing capabilities we could have a wallpaper redone for just a fraction of the cost of what it would have cost years ago yeah then no doubt and and like you said it’s an exact replica well just the other day i saw one of the designers um on one of the hgtv channels we’re gonna talk about that a little bit yeah but she took some wallpaper the child’s art and had wallpaper made for the child’s room and it was just awesome if you’re in the market to purchase a home or sell your home then tricia johnston of latter and bloom realty can assist with over a decade of experience in the area trish’s vast knowledge of real estate makes her the perfect realtor to represent you for more information trisha can be reached at area code 225-754-2000 or via her website at tricia tricia johnston building a strong foundation of trust one home at a time


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