I Have No Regrets – Local Leaders Leading Lady Casie McMurray

Casie McMurray sits down with Local Leaders: The Podcast Host Jim Chapman in Season 4 Episode 18

Casie McMurray has 25+ years’ experience in communications, marketing and public relations.

A champion for local business, Casie has marketed events, products and services for hundreds of local businesses, nonprofits and government entities. Her passion for small business began early on in her career as a producer at Ascension Parish Television (APTV).

Highlighting community events and marketing small business was the financial foundation for the station’s programming. Casie has written content for all types of media and has worked in advertising sales for print, digital, television and radio.

Connect with Casie McMurray

Video Transcript (Beta)

it’s mardi gras season and premiere credit is ready to throw you some cash any loan any reason and fast for more information call 225-667-8100 or apply online at premierecredit.com premiere credit a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast um all right miss casey mcmurray how are you i am great jim how are you i’m doing good thank you very much for asking now i will say this about you when i looked over your questionnaire while prepping one thing jumped out casey mac and that is i definitely need to cut your story into like nine parts because it is quite long but that’s a good thing that means you’ve achieved a lot in your life and you’ve experienced a lot of things right yes so we’re going to just kind of go from the beginning here and we’ll give people a taste a little taste of casey mcmurray they can’t have the whole they can’t handle the whole casey matter oh no no no we’re not giving them that in one sitting trust me so um let’s just start at the beginning let’s let’s talk about where you were born and raised and a little about your family okay um i feel like this is the jerk i was born and raised in bedrooms no i was born in baton rouge i have two older brothers and they both played baseball we lived in denham springs on carolyn avenue and then we moved out to what we called the country off of juven road because they were going to build an interstate exit there and that was in 1974 so wow and i think when did we get the interstate exit only a few years ago only a few years ago so um and that pretty much says where i was born and raised i went to school in denham springs i went to seventh ward elementary south side junior high denim springs high school so you’re an lp gal yes all the way yes and uh you’re interesting about you is you’re actually third generation lp gal yes both of my parents dads were from livingston parish my dad’s dad was from live oak and my mom’s dad was from springfield both my grandmothers were from baton rouge and west baton rouge parish but my parents graduated from dental springs high school my brothers and my kids so yes livingston parish dental springs through and through yes indeed now uh you attended denim high i did go jackets go jackets and uh after high school you attended southeastern louisiana university and you were on the 10-year plan or whatever i was on the four-year plan but i didn’t i had too much fun too much responsibility i didn’t know how to handle at 18 so took me six years to really get out i took a year off but i went to southeastern that was not my intended plan i had planned to dance at a school in mississippi but i honestly did not want to leave home i last minute got cold feet and just stayed at southeastern and i love it i went to school to be a teacher and i fell in love with public speaking in a public relations class so excellent and you graduated in communications i did awesome that suits you pretty good here at local leaders the podcast would you agree it does yes i thought so too perfect fit so tell us uh you have kind of a funny story with your significant other mark and it relates to how y’all met so kind of tell us about that yes so um i both mark and i were single and we met at the ball field our boys noah and blaine were 10 at the time they are about to be 19 so we were all at the ballpark we sat with our ex-spouses and our families and i kind of felt like he was interested but he kept just asking me could noah come over and play with blaine you know the old oh yeah excuse and then um one day i mentioned that my dryer was broken he goes oh i can fix your dryer so he’s coming by my house fixing my dryer dropping off noah bringing noah home i mean constant and finally we were sitting at practice one day and his ex-wife was like maybe we should go have drinks one day i’m like oh that would be fun and then two days later mark asked me to bring noah over and then i was like okay what is going on i said because are you interested in me or are we or am i going out for drinks with your ex-wife because i feel like um i’m in the middle of both y’all right now yeah that’s kind of kind of it was very strange excuse me allergies my eyes are watering um so but anyway it turned out good we were all very close we spend holidays together do vacations i mean the boys grew up they’re not about to be 19 now so um what may be odd is normal for us so just kind of kind of weird kind of funny but and how long have you all been together now since 2013 huh yes so eight years yes wow okay yep all right he has two grown children who have kids and then we have olivia who’s 22. yeah and then um she’s at southeastern and then noah and blaine knows that southeastern blaine is a senior at denham high so we’ve got kids from literally two months grandkids from two months old up to 36 year old son so we have run the gamut of kids we go to the beach we have a camp at the river in springfield and so we’re just all about family and yes

very good very good wait till you see it if y’all would have less time with those kids running around and come out to the river it won’t be long casey i’m sorry it won’t be long uh so as we discussed you’re a third generation lp resident and uh and went to southeastern and then shortly after you graduated from southeastern you’re out in the world right so i want to talk a little bit about your experience just getting out of college but before that i want to back up because you uh you said something in your bio that you filled out that i found interesting and i kind of wanted to talk to you about that and what it was was your influence in your life so i asked uh what person has been an influence in your life and why and you want to kind of tell me about that okay so i thought i would say something very inspiring different because everyone comes on your show and says my parents yes you know what it reminds me of it reminds me of when people say who would you want to meet and everybody always says god and of course everybody wants to meet god not right now right right not today but you know at some point um front row seat yeah exactly exactly and and so that’s the obvious um so i think with parents but people legitimately mean that i think it’s a little different than when you say you want to meet jesus if you know would be the person you’d want to sit down and talk to if you could absolutely um tell me about that from humble beginnings in 1989 big mike’s has long been a place for friends and family to gather for lunch dinner and drinks big mike jocelyn and their friendly staff invite you to come in and relax in one of their spacious dining areas or watch a game on one of the big screen tvs big mics is a place to meet old friends or make new ones big mikes offers daily and nightly specials and they specialize in serving up delicious and fresh menu items big mics offers a catering menu for large groups and has private party rooms for up to 100 guests whether you’re planning a quick lunch or a large family dinner or just a night out with friends big mike welcomes you to experience a great time and don’t forget to grab some t-shirts caps or koozies in the gift shop oh or a bottle of big mike’s honey dijon it’s delicious big mike sports bar and grill we’re kind of a big deal

it’s my parents um they’re

they’re amazing they’re amazing people they got married my mom was 15 and my dad was 18. i mean who does that yeah um they kept a secret for a year and i don’t even know how the word got out but so here they are she’s in high school he graduated high school and they’re married and they had several friends that did the same thing um so they moved out because grandparents weren’t going to let them live at home like that so they moved out and

my mom graduated high school my dad worked i mean they they just were always each other’s number one fan and always there for each other and my mom had my oldest brother at 18. she had just graduated high school but i mean she was already an adult she was already a married woman for three years and so my dad worked my mom stayed home they traveled my dad did surveying and engineering work and they went all over louisiana for different pipeline jobs and he did some interstate projects sorry but i mean through it all they were just always put their family first they made it look easy i think i remember twice that they ever had a disagreement and my mom just got mad and slammed the door and left and came back within an hour so so for us for two people to be in a household who really supported each other loved each other had their back and i was the youngest i didn’t see how to resolve that that conflict because they made it look so easy yeah so um and they just are awesome they’ve always they worked hard they’re loyal they don’t judge people that now they don’t hold their tongue either they have an opinion but um and they’ve given back to their community over 40 years they’ve taught or played tennis and they have been a one of the reasons why the tennis has grown out here in livingston parish so um they’re just amazing people and they’re they’re awesome i’m at a loss for words you know you talk about something so someone some people who are so dear to your heart you kind of just become speechless and that’s where i am no that’s the best that’s the best way you can put it and and uh yeah tennis tennis uh stars in their own right and uh your dad’s in great shape for his age i mean i’ve seen seen him on facebook and those sorts of things bob yes yes uh didn’t he do some teaching tennis teaching at denham high they yes both my parents have been tennis coaches at denham high they i think they did walker and live oak um a couple of years too but they teach all the schools they have central walker live oak and denim students right now so um they called my kids yeah so here’s the question why are you not like steffi graf right now what did you not take to tennis or what no they would take me out there rocky and brock would be at baseball and they would take me out to north park well i had to sit out there and watch them hit the ball so i would shag the balls which is go grab the balls and put them in the basket well they wanted me to learn how to play tennis because it was a great exercise it was a great sport and i was terrible at baseball softball and all i like to do is dance and act and act silly and tell jokes so when we’d go out there they were like okay you have to learn how to play well i’d get out there and they would um also say pitch the ball and they would serve the ball to me and it would just go right past me

well we’re we’re not gonna stay on the subject but i am blind in my left eye so you need two eyes to see something coming at you there’s something to do with depth perception so yeah but you know these are people who they faced every obstacle not by addressing it and and feeling bad about it and covering up they’re just like there’s nothing wrong with you you could hit that ball and i’m sitting there like i can’t see the ball yeah so anyway there was a lots of um of parental

strong words told to me out on the tennis court so i was terrible so i didn’t play both my kids play and they’re great so awesome yeah awesome well you couldn’t see the ball casey we can’t hold that camera no couldn’t see the ball coming no no no so

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but so we did everything um worked on local political campaigns we had somewhat a couple of people who we applied for patents and wrote their marketing plan for home shopping network awesome i was hugely pregnant chasing car wrecks for the having to report traffic wrecks for ascension parish and um during that time we were also planning a five city tour of the united states for 50 russian businessman and we needed 50 million dollar insurance policy for those guys because there are russians and this is not politically correct now but they were like russians are drunks you have to have vodka for them in every city and so they each had to have a million dollar policy to cover any incidentals so it was like washington dc la it was crazy and i was hugely pregnant like it was ridiculous so i think i was 20 months pregnant and with olivia but um very interesting job i got my feet wet and everything um yeah and that’s that’s one thing i wanted to ask you is is the learning experience from that first job out of college i mean i’m sure you uh you know you’re getting your feet wet kinda in in your field and and um he started out at a firm that was pretty busy i mean it was uh it wasn’t like they were standing around trying to figure out things to do right no right and i didn’t need i only knew how to check my email um windows had just come out really and people were really using an office so i had to teach myself word excel access publisher back then we used coreldraw graphic design program and that was so complex and to learn and teach yourself that i mean yeah it’s it’s tough i had the brain power back then maybe that’s why i don’t remember where i left my drink you know you know it’s uh it’s interesting and i would say you kind of i’m also self-taught on all the programs that i use and and all of those sorts of things and it’s interesting that um when you teach yourself i think you learn a little better because you’re you’re learning through trial and error so when someone teaches you they’re they’re teaching you the correct way to do something you don’t ever make a mistake because they’re showing you the right way well when you’re learning on your own it’s a lot of that ain’t right oh that ain’t right and through that you kind of you know it almost hammers down that learning process better just my opinion but uh regardless of that you learned those programs through some trial and error and self-taught uh and then next you went to the gambit gambit yeah out of new orleans came to baton rouge for about two or three years yeah it was a very liberal publication um i felt it was time i needed to do something else and um olivia was about i didn’t go back to work until olivia was about two so went worked for the gambit weekly selling ads i thought that was good that was so fun i actually worked with vanessa the louisiana mermaid there vanessa lewis she lives here in dental springs she’s a mermaid she’s a louisiana mermaid but she’s a graphic designer and she was you know amazing then amazing now um so i sold ads i went and visited with small businesses and i was like this is so cool to sit and talk to these businesses and you know if they wanted to buy an ad that’s great if they didn’t i’d still go by and visit them and so i wasn’t that good at sales but i really enjoyed the visiting part put a lot of miles on my car yeah and it just didn’t work that paper just did not work out in baton rouge baton rouge still very conservative um it was a cool little paper and it’s still huge in new orleans yes i met i met edwin edwards um during that time at a luncheon um some of the people who run baton rouge area foundation just a lot of business contacts were made during that time so that was it was it was a great experience too it’s just another layer on top of the learning experience

absolutely

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absolutely and then from there at some point you ended up at spectrum fitness club as the marketing director i did tell me about that that was a very uh life altering job probably who would have figured that well because so much happened during that time yeah i think olivia was three when i started there three or four um three days after i started that job 9 11 happened and um 10 months later noah was born we started with i think three spectrum fitness club locations we had just opened the fourth and then we were up to seven at that time um working with troy artra and donnie gyro amazing you know when you work with people at health clubs everyone has good energy and then orphans everybody’s happy so you know it was a fun place to work not that i worked in the gyms but i worked within the gyms i went to all of them um and that’s a good point you bring up great i loved it well and you just brought up a good point and that is uh the energy there was good and it made you feel good and i was in shape too jim i worked out regularly that makes you feel good too and that gets your endorphins going that’s right but you know the the positive work environment matters and that’s uh you know there’s a lot of people out there casey they’re going into jobs and and for whatever reason maybe there’s a negative work environment there and so it becomes i don’t want to go to work today you know it’s that kind of attitude where you were in a positive work environment and probably looked forward to going there you know so that’s that’s fantastic so you you were the marketing director kind of i love it so you were the marketing director there and so what what was your primary job you would just basically promote spectrum my primary job is oh these allergies i’m sorry sorry um primary job was to manage all of the ads and media marketing so i want to say the budget was like 250 000 a year and so that was 20 years ago print was the big deal radio television was so expensive um and then each club had its own neighborhood that we would have to market to so i handled all the events and worked with the individual sales managers at you know each club

wore many hats i have not had one job that i had one duty it’s always been like a lot of different things but self-taught graphic design because i’m one of these people i would send it to a graphic designer but i really you can understand this because you’re like this too you i had to draw it out for myself and like it first and then send it to the professional and make them look pretty yeah so i would maybe draw a stick figure and then start working on corel or photoshop right and then i didn’t know how to do the layers and everything like i want to be able to do so i would send it to the graphic designer and they would make the magic happen yeah the technology yeah there was no camera and that’s interesting i do want to you know this was back in 2001. so this is kind of i mean facebook existed but it was not used for business during that point people hadn’t figured that out yet uh instagram was non-existent twitter myspace in 2001 to about 2000 yeah myspace was a bigger format back then uh and then of course everybody got on the facebook bandwagon but the the point is it there was no market your business on the internet type of attitude i mean if you had a website that was your marketing on the internet google was nowhere near as big as it is now as a matter of fact yahoo was probably dominating them at that point uh so an interesting time uh compared to had you had that job now versus then you know totally different way of marketing that facility anybody could do it i mean i don’t mean anybody but any kid today who has 300 followers or more can can handle a marketing plan that’s they can follow a marketing plan now you can’t maybe create it because you’re not a creative person yeah but the technology that’s there now our kids our kids can do anything sure they can and there’s you know there’s something to be said so there’s in my opinion there’s influencers and there’s marketers and influencers are you know that’s anybody with 300 followers that listen people listen to and that’s an influencer and then there’s a marketer who actually has they come up with the idea so so that’s the big difference an influencer would just kind of put something out there where a marketer is going to have an actual plan and uh and so you had a positive work environment there you were working out every day and and uh you know say that yeah i had to embarrass my children um so during this time every year in january that’s the big year for health clubs to get memberships so my kids were the new year new rear babies so noah’s hiney was on like 12 billboards every year and it was the cutest so yes yeah so now you couldn’t do that you could not put a baby’s behind no on a billboard no you could not so i’m just saying all righty then so if you remember that billboard that was his behind on the back yeah on that billboard so we’re gonna move on from that uh so after that you got involved with alvin fairburne and associates as a grants manager yes so um alvin faber and associates is a survey in an engineering firm and they did a lot of civil work a lot of the work that is done government-wise is done through grants and matching grants so when alvin had found out that i had done grants previously with my job my very first job with young communications yeah he’s like how can i make that work for the give back in the community because there were different projects that they were already working on for grants like the lcdbg grants which are for interstate exits for infrastructure um water whales and and and different just different infrastructure projects through the state and national programs but alvin wanted to take it a step further and use that department to grow and give back to the community at the time terry his sister was working with him his i think his dad had passed away and they had moved to the new location and they were growing just by leaps and bounds of the business that they had and they wanted to give back to the community and so they were both heavily involved in the chamber commerce um louisiana surveyors association terry was a member of pilot club and i believe still is but there were so many different community projects um livingston um keep livingston beautiful yeah there were just several different projects so what i did besides assist the engineers in writing the grants and finding the grants and you know working with the municipalities i would work with the non-profits and help them organize their information so that they could apply for grants we did apply for them on their behalf but the whole goal was to help them be able to do it on their own and be able to fi use us as a resource for that and so one of the projects that we worked with was the pilot club of denham springs went in a cooperative endeavor with the city of denham springs and they stored it started kids corner play land and so just through my resources and contacts and the fundraising efforts of the pilot club it was like a five hundred thousand dollar playground well i procured i think it was a hundred and twenty thousand from a local investor that i knew that had a child whose siblings and and she could benefit from this playground just one of those things knowing people being resourceful and having that vast network and that’s what they were looking for in you know in that particular job was to was to go out and and work in the community and figure out who can be beneficial to these projects and how can that help our community yeah so that was just one project which is still there the city maintains the grounds of the kids corner and the pilot club does fundraising ongoing for new equipment and things like that excellent so and let me tell you from someone that that knows a little bit about grants through my affiliation with leadership livingston it is no easy process to apply for grants and really just the process of finding the grants of course with the internet it’s gotten a lot easier i mean can you imagine before the internet people trying to find grants oh impossible crazy yeah so um so the internet’s made it a lot easier but it is really hard to write them to find them because you’re not the only one applying for these grants and and uh so that kind of speaks to your talent and uh your brain power there casey because that’s that’s a tough task in my you know having like i say experience that now um jim we’re swamped with these podcasts and i’m in the mood for some local barbecue for lunch barbecue casey the problem with barbecue is the speed that would take forever not at buddy’s barbecue with the drive-through line they can get us fed fast in that sauce yum it is right in the heart of denim springs do they have specials yes they have plate lunch specials every day jim and i bet you didn’t know they offer some of the best catfish plates you’ve ever tasted on fridays and on saturdays they have smoked rib eyes they are as flavorful as you can find anywhere okay i’m hungry what’s the number i’ll call it in no just go online and place your order by the time you’re finished i can head that way that is convenient and really smart yep just like me a local business and you know what i always say oh yes jim chapman loves local correct and that makes me smart oh please if you’re in the mood for barbecue go see buddies barbecue at 105 florida avenue southeast right in the heart of denham springs they’re a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast you you worked with alvin fairburner associates and then at some point you came up with kind of a brainstorming idea and that was to launch something called hot denim yes tell me about hot denim so um well i guess we’ll talk about this a little bit later but through the ups and downs of my life and career let me tell you from working with casey personally um in you know close quarters over here at uh the home office of local leaguers and podcasts um you know casey um is casey and uh yep she you know one thing i make sure and i try to impress on casey is how much i need her because i see a pattern of her swapping jobs here pretty quick but if you look at what casey does casey has always kind of improved her position i guess on what she’s doing but casey is someone that also that i’ve kind of discovered um she’s kind of the total opposite of a lot of people in that what she’s doing kind of matters to her it’s not all about like say the money you know it’s it’s uh it can’t be

right so so what she’s doing matters and and that’s actually a insanely good quality for someone to have so um so i just want to say that before we get into your your hot denim and and i want you to kind of tell me about that tell me how that idea came to fruition and what it was okay so um there was a time in 2011 maybe 2010.

um alvin fairburne went through a huge layoff it went in

in waves and i was going through a divorce a tough time it was i wasn’t doing my job basically because i couldn’t function because life’s hard sometimes so um i was let go and with that i was like what am i going to do i have i have experience and i have passion for my community and my family my kids were 10 and 8 at the time and i never wanted to not be at any events that they had so i was talking to troy archer who i worked with at spectrum fitness and he used me for various projects throughout the years he and his brother and he and donnie had different business endeavors restaurants he does baton rouge uh paddle board um all kind of different things anyway we were talking one day and he said so i have this thing that i found out about through my brother it’s a guy in florida he started these mobile apps well i had just had an iphone for maybe a year and was still not really impressed by all the things it could do you know right i mean it was a what a three or four back then yeah okay so um i was like i don’t really even know what a mobile app is but i had started doing email marketing when i was with spectrum which was the big thing then and then it becomes spam and then you know so troy’s like no he said this is the big thing coming he said so they promote events and restaurants and businesses

and i’m like i don’t understand so so we did a conference call which was similar you know what they did before zoom you didn’t have the the video so we’re on conference call with this guy and he’s trying to

infiltrate our computer so he can move the mouse around on his website and show us what it does it was very strange i was just like oh wow this was in 2010. yeah so um he said so we promote events we promote anything going on in 30a so have you ever seen the bumper stickers when you’re in florida orange beach and they say 30a so it was town wizards website uh town wizard community and so they started 30a and there was another name and they were selling the franchises so troy said you help me do baton rouge and i’ll take care of whichever one you want want to do so he you know paid my franchise fees so we started baton rouge venue and i wanted a cool catchy name so i started hot denim and i started a facebook page for it i started teasing with little events that was going on um and saying livingston parish’s first mobile app for everything fun to do with your family and friends and so that’s how it began and i sold ads to small businesses my heart and soul bread and butter and they kept me feeding my family for 10 years awesome awesome and then 2016 hit and you kind of went on hiatus with that so you know it was always up and down it’s hard to keep it’s ad sales it’s hard to get small businesses to budget for marketing every dollar counts agreed and this was very cool concept we needed it in this parish we were starting to get daiquiri shops and live music events and fairs and festivals we had kind of opened up as a not a sleepy town anymore we had our own gigs going on and so i needed the small business community to sponsor and sometimes i had 30 advertisers a month sometimes i had 10. yeah half of them were on trade you know i ate out everywhere all over town it probably looked like i was real flashy and had my car wrapped with hot denim and all that my kids had trade cards going all over the place but because i was paid in trade a lot but paid my bills it kept me to where i could at three o’clock shut it down go pick my kids up watch my daughter cheer watch noah play tennis watch olivia play tennis run them around go to the football games basketball games and all that so i mean it was

it was a good thing um the flood came and i got water up to my roof i’m not crying i really have allergies um and all but one of my sponsors i had about 60 sponsors total throughout the up until that point six of the till the six years that um was there and only one of them didn’t flood yeah at home or at work i had big mike flooded at home and at work sport and center flooded at home and at work you know um amber told a cafe flooded at home and at work it was everywhere several businesses didn’t survive so i had to do other things so yeah and so let’s get into that um you also worked various consulting jobs you did things for the livingston assessor’s office the louisiana board of realtors primtac uh you were you know kind of like jobs during that time period were available and and you used your talents for those you also did a lot with non-profits you did some things with mighty moms uh denim denim springs main street uh you did some things with louisiana housing corporation and spotlight theater as well um and we’re going to kind of get into that a little bit because you have kind of a special relationship with spotlight so we will talk about that but i do want to kind of get into your real estate side of what you do and uh you got your real estate license kind of take me through your thought process of okay i want to go sell houses now so um before the flood i had done some marketing for um kayla johnson um and then

i worked for the board of realtors for about a year i think um another one of those things that just you know didn’t work out for whatever reason i am you know i like my own schedule gym so um but that being said i love the real estate business i loved doing kayla’s marketing i loved um kayla’s daughter worked for me at one time i loved um the company of real estate agents i felt like that was my people and maybe because we’re all kind of we like to make our own schedule we’re all a little eclectic but um yeah but you know

hthg tv makes everything look easy my ex-husband and i had flipped some houses i thought it was easy i was so wrong yeah you know it’s work it is working absolutely but um so in 2018 i’m like what what really do i want to do

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and i was just like why haven’t i got my real estate license people had told me that for years that i should do that but i really didn’t want to go sit in a classroom for two weeks and sit still that long i mean i spent a lot of time in elementary school outside the classroom because i couldn’t sit still right so i did not want to do that well now you can go to class online so that was my thing got my real estate license i had known a lot of the brokers in the area so i kind of interviewed with my i guess my my top choices um because there are a lot of great brokers out there there’s a lot of great agents out there but i chose covington associates because basically

all of the people that i have ultimate respect for work there i have ultimate respect for lawson he is we actually graduated together i’ve known him probably since we were 11 or something like that but um just one of those people very christian man and i needed boundaries but i also need to be um allowed to work under my own schedule and flexibility i don’t want someone to tell me i need to be cold-calling people yeah because ultimately we are our own business we you know we’re we are uh contract employees absolutely yeah you are now technically you know sometimes when you look at real estate you say you work by the customer schedule well absolutely but i um to go into the office every day for me every day yeah is pure torture and yeah i get real antsy real anxious you know it you know it um um i have to go make a walmart run or go run i’m gonna run an errand real quick i just you know they didn’t diagnose that as a issue when you i was a kid they just sent you out in the hall yeah you were just bad i was just bad talk too much every every progress talks too much wants to teach the class you know yeah all of that but um well i’ll say this um you picked kind of the right broker for you and the reason i say that is when i think of covington and associates i think of livingston parish and you’re a livingston parish gal always have been when i think of you i think of livingston parish so there’s something to that you know some nothing against any other brokerage but the ties that coming covington has to this community is what i respect and so you’re kind of the perfect place for you with that brokerage in my opinion independent brokerage lots of experience he’s a really a legacy no one handed lost in anything but you know his dad was a broker before but lawson had his own coldwell banker brokerage for several years until you know he stepped out and decided to do his own thing and took back basically the kind of a um a retro logo of his dad’s old cub covington sign and it’s covington and associates so it’s got a lot of roots in it and um we’re right there on range we’re in the old alvin fairburn building which is you know very sentimental and feels like home to me excellent excellent now um one thing i wanted to quote from you that i thought was uh just an awesome quote from you uh is your why statement um so i’m gonna quote this word for word the reason why i do anything is for my children i was fortunate enough to have hard-working parents and they both were still able to be at all school school events and sporting events i never wanted to miss those functions and launches of the school it has been a challenge financially uh but worth it i didn’t miss anything and for that i have zero regrets that’s huge you know um

it’s crazy to be able to look back at things and say i have no regrets because i know there were times especially when you were a single mother that you struggled right i mean it wasn’t always um eminems and ggbs no absolutely but yeah you have zero regrets that’s pretty awesome that speaks to who you are as a person uh now you make it really legit though that’s that’s uh it’s rare you come across people like that usually they’ll say you know well i could have taken this job or i could have done this yes it would have cost me time with my family but think of the money you know and and you have none of that that’s that’s uh that speaks to your character and i i really respect that about you um so i’m never doing your show against him i’m trying not to look at you gonna make me cry so um after that um at some point you came to work for me at local leaders the podcast and i couldn’t be happier about that um the fourth best decision i ever made the fourth best decision remember i’m in the top five in a great relationship yes so i love it so you’re my fourth favorite thing i ever did well i’ll tell you um for me personally to let the people know out there you know when i started doing this podcast and it kind of take took off and and i realized that the only way uh it was going to grow is if i started scaling it and part of that scale is is you need someone there with you helping you um and that for if anybody knows me i’m an ultra micro manager and i have a major major issue developing trust with people and not trust in general but trust in my business that that i can trust them to to handle so anything really um you know there was really only one person for me that was a fit here you know casey mcmurray was my first thought and casey mcmurray was really my only thought as a matter of fact if casey would not have kind of joined me in this journey i would not i would not have had anybody um i still would be uh you know trying to handle a million things by myself and so it was you know it’s it’s really been a great thing for me uh to be surrounded by somebody that number one with her experience i can try i can bounce things off with casey and kind of trust her answers a lot a lot of times tell the the truth she does not color code cut it with me she has no filter no filter no filter but what a great person uh that is just a perfect fit here so thank you for that miss casey mack thank you

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i do want to say also that you are a spotlight theater player and i was there when you did your still magnolia’s uh debut and you you know kind of take me through that because you didn’t have like a small part you were a major character in that yeah i didn’t know it was going to become what it was um so i am this year i’m the president of spotlight theater players um about probably 2010 or 11 robert reynolds the founder of spotlight theater players asked me to um because i was working for album fair burn and i did do different graphics for people he asked me to make a poster for them and so it was kind of a um

world war ii music festival thing and so i had started making the posters for them then and he said hey look we’ve been trying to put together this players group that we actually do community theater they’ve had groups in the past we’re trying to put this all together and i’m like that’s awesome you know count me in i want to be a part of it i had done theater in college and i loved it um i’ve always written stuff so so anyway storytelling was always my in my wheelhouse i guess you say so um so let’s see probably four years ago was after the flood roberts started hosting these little impromptu acting classes with dinah tubes

she’s been in the community forever she lives up north now but she’s um done a lot of community theater she’s written plays and she used to do this improv classes so i went to that and he said and robert told me said you know we’re putting together still magnolias and i think you should be in it and i think his first thing was weezer which i could totally see because i’m yeah i’m not an old lady yet i’m getting there but i’m not yet so um but something happened and he’s like no you’re millin you’re millin and and so i was like i don’t know if i can do that because the story is about these women who are very close-knit and melin is the mother of the daughter who dies and right you know my daughter’s about the same age you know i didn’t know if i wanted to get into that and honestly that was four months of rehearsal and it was very emotional mark probably thought i was crazy the kids thought i was nuts because i was like come home and just be very solemn yeah because i had to you stayed in gear yes so whatever that method of acting is that’s what i am it’s interesting that even even major actors you know some of them have issues uh yeah i’ve read somewhere i can’t remember the actor but world famous actor and and uh he played a mob role that was a pretty major role and he it took him months to get back to who he was i mean you kind of you must have to lose yourself in that character to perform that character correctly in your case a very emotional yeah a very emotional character and a very a very emotional role and i will tell you i was there i saw um yes you are i saw you and was absolutely just blown away you did uh an amazing amazing performance and and it’s weird when you go and you watch friends do it in your mind you know you’re like gosh i hope they do good you know it’s it’s almost like watching yeah and it’s almost like watching your kids when they’re doing something and you’re like i hope they don’t fall and right in front of everybody it’s i hope she doesn’t forget her lines you almost feel pressure for your friend you know and and uh let me tell you i did not expect that you know that was like great acting and uh i thought you were perfect for that role i thought you did an excellent job it blew my mind that that was all memorization right so you weren’t reading off a teleprompter no yes and there was a lot of dialogue in that play and um you know everybody worked everyone had a full-time job sure doing that doing that that was a lot of time a lot of effort you know there’s we say we’re spotlight theater players we might be five of us that are actually really active because everybody else has other things that they have to do you know so so we’re always looking for members anyone want to um i might would like to be a little spotlight theater and look it’s not just the acting it’s lights and sound which you know um oh no i want to do the acting i’m pop popcorn we clean toilets you know we we are all in for a production it’s not glamorous you know we break down the stage the next day sure um yeah so it’s a little work but it’s fun and i miss my people i miss that i’m so glad we’re going to get to do a production this year because i miss my people i miss working with them whether it’s on stage or behind the stage absolutely yeah and a great uh a great organization to support uh in this community so check them out spotlight players on facebook and you can get all the information you need on following them

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uh so shout out to you speaking of your real estate career you won you were a gold producer i guess you could call it for covington and associates for 2020. you got recognized recently for that so i did want to mention that so she’s so excited a lady of many talents here miss casey murray uh now i want to do another quote here that that i really enjoyed from you and i asked you kind of what you thought your secret to your success was and you said never giving up i’ve had plenty of ups and downs and i’ve had disappointments as well as handed out disappointments but i would be sad mad angry and then stop regroup and move forward it’s really a key to me uh and i agree with that 100 you can’t just stay in that hole right you’ve got to get up at some point my grandfather used to say the sun’s going to come up tomorrow just like it did today whether you wanted to or not that’s right and uh so you you know you’re either sitting still or you’re moving forward uh and everybody no matter who you are your status in life we’ve all been knocked down we’ve all had disappointments and it’s hard it’s not easy it’s absorbed and it’s life casey it’s you know it doesn’t have to even be professionally related sometimes something personal can affect you professionally and uh and you know it’s it’s all a part of this crazy life we live right it’s it’s i love that quote very good always get back up well you know what the difference like with covid and the flood we’re all in it together right we’re not alone in that so it’s easy to commer commiserate with that but whenever you lose a parent or a sibling or going through divorce or you know you have maybe substance abuse problems in your house you got uh credit issues financial issues you feel like you’re so alone and it’s so hard to move forward yes so with covid and the flood we were all in it together so it makes it somewhat attainable you know it does intolerable yeah that’s the word i meant look i’m trying

you can attain it too but uh i’ll tell you this and it’s interesting you said that because i can remember um i’ve said many times you know the flood was horrible um but we were all in it together yep and that actually had some solace with it of course you you don’t wish anybody else was in it but had had not so many people been in it together i don’t know if it would have been as tolerable a situation so wearing the same shorts and a tank top and flip-flops every day because that’s the only thing you have but guess what your neighbors are in the same boat that’s right that’s right also asked you what advice you have to give another business owner you also said something that i thought was key you said when you tell someone you’re gonna do something do it that’s right probably the best of business advice you could ever give a business owner in my opinion um when i started selling paint many many years ago the owner of the company told me the best advice i can give you is if you tell someone you’re going to do something do it yep so he agrees with you 100 and said someone invites you to a bni meeting show up someone invites you to a chamber meeting show up any fellow business person who’s trying to help you build your business make it a point because they’ve been there they know what you’re going through they know how important it is for you to talk about your business so you know that’s just an example of you say gonna do something yeah yeah i’ll go i’ll show up and you know they never show up right so be the one that shows up and does what they say they’re gonna do you will turn out a hundred percent on your side i agree and you would uh you know you would separate yourself from probably 90 of the people out there to be honest because unfortunately that’s where a lot of people drop the ball is is is with follow-up or with uh you know telling someone you’re going to do something and and then not doing it which reflects as if you don’t care you know whether you do or not so great advice there now i also asked you what characteristic do you think a leader should possess and you said resiliency look at the big words with casey now i know that word jim i think i use that in many papers through college and no but it’s true resiliency if you can’t bounce back from adversity or obstacles you’re just going to lay in the dust and you’re going to watch everybody pass you up which goes back to what we were talking about earlier with getting up when you fall down right so so very uh very true now you self-described yourself a little bit in this bio and um it was it was funny i have to just read these off you said i’m spirited sassy unapologetic obnoxious self-motivated fiercely loyal filter-free opinionated and loud i agree with every single one of those i wouldn’t say you were necessarily obnoxious i wouldn’t you know that’s almost a negative maybe that could be induced when the yeah during a happy hour somewhere yeah i’ve been called obnoxious a time or two by people who mean well so yeah and maybe by people who don’t mean well yeah exactly and you also admit you’re you’re totally uh spoiled by your parents yes yes yes probably mark and everybody else in your life yeah so i would agree with that as well uh political campaigns you worked on i found this interesting so we’ll just you know rogers pope leighton rex jeff taylor mert smiley at ascension parish uh johnny bertholot uh so some pretty pretty well-known names there that you’ve done some political work for over the years so she is much more than just melin and a realtor and a local leader is a podcast uh executive producer she has done pretty much the gamut of things in life and uh you know your passion oh that’s right that’s right now you know we do fun facts on here which is your favorite part of the show and i wanted to do some on you like i did i did with tiffany c carb where i just said fun facts on casey mcmurray okay so for all you listeners and viewers out there you’re going to learn even more than you already know about casey mac right now so get ready your first job was in the north park concession stand yeah with mr and mrs horn i’m sure a lot of the people listening remember them they used to run all the concessions at north park

imagine this so people were getting pepsis when they ordered root beers and everything else or you got it no we didn’t sell pepsi this is south louisiana oh yeah that’s a good one you had ice and you had the little coca-cola cup yeah yeah wasn’t that sam’s club pickups nachos and hot dogs and m m’s yeah oh goodness gracious popcorn first job loved it it was hot yeah and i didn’t really like sweating so um but i like to make food and eat it and i was real skinny back then because i was dancing yeah you know we didn’t even talk about that but but so i could eat anything back then of course i was 15 years old but um you know hamburgers with a hot dog on it and some nacho cheese and chili and yeah and a diet coke i’m sure that’s not the love right so you always wanted to write a bug always i have like probably 30 to 60 unfinished beginnings middles or ends of different things um i get started and there’s a butterfly yeah yeah so one of these days one of these days you wanted to be a stand-up comedian when you were a child i did um so i’m the youngest in my family my brothers were both athletic and they were great and so really i had to entertain the family um go to my grandmother’s house on the weekends and she had like six sisters i believe they would all come over and have coffee and i’d be like okay it’s happy hour with casey in the living room and so would tell jokes and um just entertain everyone yeah excellent actually look and you’re funny anybody that knows you would say you’re hilarious and and uh you know you keep people laughing there’s no doubt about it in a good way i don’t know if they’re laughing with me or at me but probably a little about yeah we’re gonna go with that we’re gonna go with that indeed so you were a jacket and uh and people how was that experience it was fun i mean i loved and look another obstacle in life i danced my from five years old till till 18 19 years old i tried out my dance all through school went to all the jacket clinics got the gold danced at the basketball games blah blah blah tried out for jackets my first year did not make it totally devastated tried out again made it got all kind of accolades at camp that summer so i mean sometimes things just happen that’s right you know it doesn’t mean you didn’t don’t give up you got to keep moving forward so love jackets it was fun we had a reunion the year before coveted we were hoping to do another one it was the right thing i was there i saw it that was so fun i was so out of shape and so afraid i was gonna blow my knee out but that was so much fun yeah yeah and it’s funny how things come back to you you know people would be surprised to know you and i sing cheers right here in the studio sometimes yes yes we do for some reason i know a lot of cheers from back then i just remember them and it’s funny because they don’t change from school to school the only thing that changes is the mascot so right so just everyone out there think about being in junior high and you’re on the bus to go to the basketball game and the town across you know 10 miles down the road and you’re singing those little silly chants yeah so yep that’s what jim and i do whenever we’re playing in podcasts indeed so now march is a woman’s history month and in honor of this local leaders of the podcast has selected five of the top female leaders in the community to recognize for their community leadership both inside and outside of their business uh it’s our honor miss casey mcmurray to present you with this plaque and i’m gonna grab normally you’re doing this but i’m gonna grab this plaque and this recognizes you as a 2021 local leaders leading lady she’s going to show that to the camera right there so everybody can see it uh thank you for all you do for the livingston parish community now if anybody deserves that award it’s you you uh you love livingston parish do you know i do i do yeah it shows and you are uh livingston parish you’re a staple here uh i couldn’t imagine the parish without you um you’re a you’re a great representative of how you should love your community give back to your community and all those sorts of things so it’s really my honor to give you that has nothing to do with the fact that you work here it really does it really doesn’t i would have uh i would have given that to you anyway so um you earned it i want to thank casey mcmurray for all she does is her role as executive producer of local leaders swelling yeah yeah we might need to get you some bigger headphones yeah uh for her role as executive producer of local leaders of podcast she’s invaluable to our success i want to thank everyone out there for viewing and listening to local leaders the podcast please continue to like comment subscribe and share local leaders on all your social media platforms as we strive to shine a spotlight on all of our local businesses in the livingston parish area thank you to all our sponsors including premier credit corporation tricia johnston realtor big mike’s born grill william waldrop of twfg insurance sport and center black sheep creative sr enterprise painting elisa verret interiors and custom workroom geats plumbing tiffany c card of honky mortgage buddies barbecue denim springs and i trade exchange we could not do any of this without all of you until next time i’m jim chapman reminding you to love your community support local business and keep leading

good job casey mac nice appreciate you

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