Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
“Big business can make laws as easily as it can break them—and with as little impunity.”
“‘How About Friday?’ My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my boss, he said she died so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, ‘That would be better for me.’”
Anonymous shipping executive, FTD Florists
“Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy.”
The trappings of the rich and famous capture our attention on a daily basis. Mortals (and Kindred) who enter the corporate sector can speak the language of money and investments. They peruse the Wall Street Journal with all the interest another person lends to a riveting novel. Influential financiers know where to find capital; they can access banks, mega-corporations and the truly wealthy of the world. Characters with clout in this industry influence CEOs, executives, bankers, financiers, technical officers, stock brokers, managers, loan agents, secretaries, bank tellers, cubicle drones, and other white-collar corporate yes-men.
|Background Dots||Level of Influence|
|•||Contractor or new hire|
|••••||Executive or board member|
|•••••||Board chairman or CEO (non-MNC),
executive or board member (MNC)
|••••• •||Board chairman or CEO (MNC),
executive or board member (gigantic MNC)
|••••• ••||Board chairman or CEO (gigantic MNC)|
Corporate Influence •••••
Family: Boggs Clan
Status: Textron •••••
Notable Boggs patriarch, Vietnam War criminal, and military-industrial board member of Textron.
Family: The Dyers
Status: Saints •••••
Owner of the Saints football team and the richest man in Louisiana, with a net worth of approximately $3.1 billion. Father to Vera Malveaux and father-in-law to Matthew Malveaux.
Family: The Malveauxes
Status: Malveaux Oil •••••
CEO and board chairman of Malveaux Oil and a man of tremendous wealth and means. Rumors abound about his business practices, but nothing has ever been made to stick to the middle Malveaux brother. From Matthew flows the lion’s share of the family’s wealth. Though most of the family members have multi-million dollar trusts that could sustain them in comfort for the rest of their lives before they reach maturity, Matthew provides the vast sums of spending money that the next generation of Malveauxes blow through regularly, and also helped fund his brother Nathan’s congressional bid against other powerful state politicians in the last election. Matthew is a shrewd businessman that has steadily grown the family’s business interests in his time. Known to make a habit of buying an expensive new sports car every year, gifting older models to favorite nieces and nephews: it’s possible to identify who has his favor by who gets the most recent car. Encourages relatively responsible spending by the family as a whole. Matt himself is one of the only two Forbes-listed billionaires to reside in Louisiana, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion.
Corporate Influence ••••
Cedric B. McGinn
Status: Excelsior Real Estate ••••
One of the city’s most successful real estate developers, who describes his business as “land is ma business,” Cedric has the aristocracy and entitlement of old money and the drive and ambition of new money. He can trace his family tree to the Antebellum and is eminently proud of the fact that the McGinns are one of the few families to retain their wealth from that period—after losing it all during the Civil War, and then earning it back during Reconstruction. He owns a significant number of properties throughout the city and sits on several corporate boards. He generally prefers to conduct his business dealings through subordinates, but rarely fails to get what he wants when he’s personally involved. Proud officer in the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) with ties to the Ku Klux Klan and Dixie Mafia, and not above leveraging those ties to intimidate and even murder those who get in his way. Married to Cordelia Seyrès-McGinn, the owner of Gallery Seyrès. Loves to smoke and is rarely seen without a cigar.
Family: Boggs Clan
Status: Textron ••••
Boggs “black sheep” who graduated from both high school and college and is a Certified Public and Management Accountant. Currently works as the de facto CFO for Textron and is the Boggs Clan’s reluctant book-cooker.
Lyman B. Whitney
Family: The Whitneys
Status: Whitney Hancock Bank ••••
Former chairman and CEO of Whitney National Bank (and descendant of the principal founder of the eponymous bank back in 1883). Publicly, he retired from his position after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, when his company almost went bankrupt. Privately, he was forced out by the board because he was going slowly but steadily mad. Currently lives in the clock tower-turned-penthouse atop the main branch of ‘his’ bank on St. Charles Avenue in the CBD. Has a psychotic obsession with clocks and time, including his penchant for collecting pictures of people’s watches and for tracking the specific day, hour, minute, and second of every birth and death in NOLA. Thus far, Whitney’s family and board members appease Lyman’s lunacies in hopes of keeping his otherwise scandalous madness a secret.
Deceased: 2008 (age 59)
Family: The Stines
Status: Malveaux Oil ••••
Director of Malveaux Oil’s sprawling legal department, Mark Stines cuts a dashing and charismatic figure. A brilliant legal mind, Mark might be a better business manager. A devoted husband and father, he’s a true believer in the ‘good’ of industry, and truly hates environmental activists and others that regularly try to shut down or stymie his business. A former JAG officer, he treats lawsuits like battles and the ongoing struggle against environmentalists and liberals like a war. His lawyers are his officers, his paralegals and assistants are his soldiers, and for his enemies there is no mercy. This militant attitude has built a fierce camaraderie within the department and generated a highly competitive—and successful—environment. Originally from Texas, Mark’s father was an oil field worker, and it was his bull-nose attitude and experience with the industry deep down to his bones that led Matthew Malveaux to bring Mark on board. His life would otherwise be perfect if he weren’t gay and deeply closeted. He’s only rarely been with other men, always discretely, and almost never for anything longer than a one-night stand. Deceased as of 2007 in a highly publicized murder.
Deceased: 2016 (age 60)
Status: Fidelity Bank ••••
Paul is a senior director at Fidelity Bank who most of his associates find a thoroughly banal man. He shares nothing about his personal life beyond “two ex-wives, no kids,” gives no indication of having any hobbies or outside interests, and rarely talks about anything besides work. He never yells or raises his voice, but most of his subordinates are afraid to do a bad job around him, though they’d be hard-pressed to say why. Their instincts are not wrong. In reality, Paul is a predator with sexual appetites utterly beyond the pale of what any bank teller or middle manager could conceive. Even seasoned escorts are hard-pressed to think of fetishes he hasn’t indulged, and Christina Roberts refuses to hire her girls out to him: she thinks they’d come back too damaged, or just never come back at all. The girls who’ve survived Paul’s attentions think their pain, fear, and humiliation is what gets him off, more than anything else, but none of them feel as if they really know what goes on inside his head. Sometimes all he asks for is blowjobs and missionary. Other times, he attends sex parties with other rich degenerates and human predators who share his appetites, and whose guest list is smaller after the party is over. Deceased as of 2016 in a drug overdose.
Rajendra “Raj” Pavaghi
Family: The Pavaghis
Status: Pavaghi Holdings ••••
The oldest son of the Pavaghi family, Raj is his father’s heir apparent and endeavors to present a sleeker, more tasteful face for the family in the 21st century. He’s been at the forefront of the Pavaghis’ latest, higher-end real estate projects (such as the development of the Giani Building) and is seemingly more interested in gentrifying poor neighborhoods than being a slumlord in them. How much this represents a shift in ethos from his father versus a PR exercise is unclear; he and Rich work together closely and haven’t had any known disputes. Still, he was his respect-craving mother’s favorite son until Fred got elected governor, and is probably her favorite again now.
Rosalyn Kelly (née Dyer)
Family: The Dyers, the Kellys
Status: Whitney Hancock Bank ••••
An executive at Whitney Hancock Bank and Dyer Financial, Rosalyn grew up in the shadow of her uncle’s takeover of the Dyer family and has never been able to take its wealth for granted: John made clear he hated his siblings and was willing to cut off their children if they displeased him. Rosalyn’s spent much of her life earning the old man’s favor, and has been the most successful of her generation to do so. She was a driving force behind the 1996 sale of Dyer Financial to Whitney Hancock and has led an active career on both financial institutions. She’s worth over $100 million, but that’s only a pittance next to her uncle’s $3.1 billion fortune—which, to her chagrin, he’s refused to name her (or anyone) the principle heir to. Marrying Bob Kelly was supposed to be a step towards that by tying the Dyer line to a political dynasty, but it clearly hasn’t been enough for John. Rosalyn’s marriage has also soured over the years, as she’s grown increasingly irked by her husband’s lack of drive and would-be spendthrift ways. She regards the prenuptial agreement she made him sign as one of the wisest decisions of her life, as it’s given her control over their marriage—Bob can’t bear to live without her money. She’s carried on discrete affairs with other men he’s seen little alternative but to accept (the news would also damage his career more than hers), and which has only made her lose even more respect for him. Outside of work, she spends much of her time devising new schemes to inherit her aged uncle’s wealth or at least discredit his other would-be heirs. Friends with Thalia Ocampo.
Corporate Influence •••
Deceased: 1997 (age 53)
Family: The Flores
Status: Flores Realty Group •••
Father of Maxen Flores. Founded the real estate firm inherited by his son and also served in the state senate. He and his wife died in a car accident that resulted from drunk driving after a party. They left everything in their will to Maxen, which his siblings Jason and Mary were chagrined to discover.
Status: Canal@Camp Apartments LLC •••
The distant descendant of architect Thomas Sully, Ernest Phimlee is the public face of Canal@Camp Apartments LLC, the “owner” of the Giani Building. He handles all public functions associated with the building—and a number of other properties owned by Rishu “Rich” Pavaghi. In that role he is given relatively wide authority over the day-to-day administration of the company—an authority that Caroline Malveaux-Devillers has been quick to exploit to her own advantage by “making his life easier.”
Daniel “Dan” Merinelli
Family: The Merinellis
Status: Aerospace company •••
Aerospace engineer, husband to Eveline Merinelli, and brother-in-law to Emmett Delacroix. He is facing some amount of financial hardship after his wife’s arrest, conviction as an accessory to Emmett’s murders, and subsequent job loss.
Family: The Andrews
Status: New Orleans Chamber of Commerce •••
Finance director for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. Proud of his family’s heritage, which he can trace back to the Antebellum, although the Underwoods have long since fallen out of their plantation-era wealth (thanks to the Civil War) and are now “merely” upper-middle-class. Sometime participant in a local Civil War reenactment group.
Family: The Montobons
Status: Assorted businesses •••
Heir to the Montobon fortune, Joseph is young, ambitious, and confident that he can restore a once-vast manufacturing empire gutted by NAFTA. A one-time suitor to Savannah Malveaux, the two drifted apart after their college years as they became increasingly embroiled in their family’s businesses. Joseph is as much a slave to his job as Savannah is, and recent rumors connect him to the city’s Mafia just as many of his business ventures are beginning to show signs of life. Whether that’s only a coincidence, or rumors spread by jealous rivals, none can say for certain. What is certain is that Joseph’s star, and the Montobons’, is on the rise for the first time in a generation.
Kasey and Kerri Smart
Status: Malveaux Oil •••
Ms. Smart has been Matthew Malveaux’s personal assistant for nearly a decade, joining him right out of college in her “dream job.” Clever, personable, and with a firm will that keeps the riffraff away from her boss, she’s thrived in her role as gatekeeper and schedule keeper, and in so doing been able to travel the world at his side. There was a time when Vera viewed the younger woman as a threat, but a legion of P.I’s spent almost three months following her around and ensuring she was not alone with her husband, and so put those fears to bed. What very few, including her investigators realized, was that there are, indeed, two Ms. Smarts, both employed in the same role, and both smitten with Matthew. Each night one returns to her home, hotel room, or suite, and the other goes to join him. For now the twins are content to be his mistresses, enjoying a life of high society beside him without suspicion, though how long that will persist none can say.
Lucas grew up on movies such as The Matrix, Swordfish, and Untraceable. He was fascinated by cybersecurity, infrastructure technology, and hacking—both as a fictional fantasy, and the reality of hacking.
By age twelve, he’d already begun trading Gameboy modifications for extra lunch money, and by sixteen he was working part time at iDigital repairing game consoles that had unfortunate encounters with petulant children. Lucas graduated L.B. Landry High School in the top five percent of his class, a feat capable—according to teachers at the bar—“by anyone who tried.”
Lucas’ trying got him into Loyola University in pursuit of a B.S. in Cybersecurity in fall of 2007, funded in part by a number of qualifying scholarships for low-income and race, supplemented the rest of the way by his having income from such a young age.
In the winter of 2007, Lucas fell into short-term fling with an elder master’s student, Sylvia St. George, who pushed him to look for opportunities outside school even in his first year. Over the break, Lucas was accepted to an opportunity with the budding company, Ryde, learning from some of the best and brightest in the industry on how security works “in the real world.”a Despite adversity in both his age (internships were usually for juniors and above) and race (most of the company is white), Lucas was successful.
Unfortunately for Lucas, fate weaves its sours in with its sweets. Upon his return to Loyola in the spring of 2008, he found Sylvia in-coitus with a member of the Loyola basketball team. He claims to this day that she cheated. She claims to this day that they were never exclusive. Their relationship has been somewhat bitter since, mostly on Lucas’ side, but the pair share a meal here and there and maintain some level of friendly politeness.
Today, Lucas works full-time for Ryde as a Principal Cybersecurity Analyst, though he has dreams of moving on unless given a much-deserved promotion.
Family: The Malveauxes
Status: Malveaux Oil •••
The oldest of Caroline Malveaux-Devillers’ siblings (though junior to her), Luke is an Ivy League graduate with an eye towards business who is already sunk hip-deep in the family’s oil company. Tall, handsome, and well-spoken, Luke fully looks the part of the well-groomed and well-bred heir to the family fortune. He has a knack for drumming up foreign capital that has put him in contention with his cousin Savannah as next in line for the family business. He’s particularly close to several Saudi princes, having roomed with one in college, and has heavily drawn upon them to raise his profile within the company and in his uncle’s eyes. Matthew is intrigued, but the connection also makes him nervous at the prospect of a foreign takeover should Luke gain power. Oil has long been the foundation for the Malveaux fortune, and introducing foreign elements to it is… unsettling.
Prudence Bellamy (née Underwood)
Family: The Bellamys, the Underwoods
Status: New Orleans & Company •••
Executive at New Orleans & Company, a marketing organization that promotes tourism in New Orleans. She and her husband Norland have an unhappy marriage and have long since fallen out of love, but since they’re Catholics, they won’t divorce and continue to live in the same house essentially as roommates.
Family: The Malveauxes
Status: Malveaux Oil •••
The oldest daughter of Matthew Malveaux, Savannah is a successful Stanford graduate looking to break the traditionally male-dominated family’s glass ceiling by succeeding her father as CEO and board chairperson of the family oil business. Savannah publicly eschews being a feminist, but privately sees no reason why she should not be viewed as the heir apparent to the company. While her cousin Luke is a charming face good at drumming up capital, Savannah is quite the opposite. Cold, severe, and utterly professional, Savannah has succeeded because she has a nose for the oil business. She can almost smell promising fields, and understands the particularities of the field work like few dedicated rig techs ever do. She is currently additional offshore options and working closely with her uncle Nathaniel to get additional fields opened up in the Gulf of Mexico. She has a long-term personal assistant, Emilia Rosa, with whom she is very close.
Status: Evergreen Plantation •••
The right hand of Leon Gressau, a French Quarter club owner and influence broker, Victoria functions as a combination business manager and personal secretary who takes care of all the day-to-day operations of his holdings. She’s also an independent businesswoman with investments in a variety of fields and absolutely cutthroat in her practices, with a reputation as a “cast-iron bitch and a half” even among Gressau’s people. Transplant from Boston who came to the city after Katrina, sensing opportunity to make a killing in the rebuilding.
Family: The Montobons
Deceased: 2010 (age 51)
Status: Manufacturing company •••
The former patriarch of the Montobon family, Walter presided over the decline of a once-great manufacturing empire due to outsourcing, deindustrialization, and New Orleans’ declining economic relevance. He tried for years to keep the family business afloat and took out a large amount of debt. The Great Recession proved an apparent knockout blow to his ambitions and he committed suicide with a firearm in his office.
Corporate Influence ••
Family: The Stines
Status: Malveaux Oil ••
Married to her college boyfriend but career-focused, Caitlin works in personnel and human resources at Malveaux Oil and has enjoyed a great deal of success since she graduated from Tulane four years ago, rising to middle management in her department despite her relative youth. Rigidly professional at work to the point where many of her subordinates describe her as “that bitch” or “that cunt,” but much more laid back outside of it. Majored in organizational communication in college and a former sorority head heavily involved in extracurricular activities at the school. Still goes out semi-regularly with girls from her sorority, with whom she has remained close. Comes from an upper-middle class background. Does want children “eventually,” but not a priority right now. Makes significantly more money than her husband at present, which is creating some conflict in their marriage. Ambitious, with a reputation for being able to get things done when under pressure and being capable of playing the political game at work at a high level. The rumor is part of her rise to power is because she has some kind of dirt on someone higher up in the company.
Family: The Watts
Status: OrthoSynthetics ••
Long-time accountant at OrthoSynthetics, a Metairie-based dental practice management firm, and little-known father of Samantha Watts. Despite many attempts to reach out to his daughter, she considers him a banal, ambitionless man emblematic of the equally banal suburban life she left behind, and is utterly uninterested in him. The two haven’t spoken for close to a decade.
Status: Malveaux Oil ••
An anchor baby for her impoverished Mexican parents, Emilia has risen far in the world behind good looks, intellect, and force of personality. Personal assistant (and some whisper more—though they do so quietly indeed) to Savannah Malveaux, Emilia is the charming public face who the antisocial Malveaux heiress puts forward in her place. In fact, Emilia attends most of the meetings on behalf of her boss, standing in her place and reporting back to her. Another Stanford grad, she’s followed Savannah’s course since they attended business school together, and has significant influence on her decision-making. Matthew Malveaux tolerates Emilia only for so long as she shields his daughter from public (and private) scrutiny. He looks down on her humble origins, and the backroom whispers as to the nature of her relationship with his daughter may soon see her banished from the company if they reach him. Emilia grew up in the United States and speaks without an accent, but has a distinctly spicy tint with rolled r’s that she sometimes uses to ply her charms.
Status: PR company ••
One of Caroline Malveaux-Devillers’ few friends from high school in Baton Rouge. Formerly on the debate team, she now works as a PR consultant.
Robert “Robby” Brant
Status: Accounting firm ••, HEMA ••
Relatively recent college graduate, corporate accountant, and prominent member of the local HEMA chapter. Bright but nerdy and socially awkward, Robby got into swordsmanship as a teen in part due to his love of fantasy, and in part due to his love of history. He continued through college and recently, on his return to New Orleans, established himself as one of the most experienced and skilled members of HEMA in the region. Humble and shy, he’s frequently underestimated right up until the moment he picks up a sword for a bout, at which point his lanky awkwardness tends to disappear. Prefers to fight sword and buckler, but is relatively well rounded across the board. Teaches open classes three times a week at a local gym that HEMA leases space from in the evening. Two other nights he runs Dungeons & Dragons and World of Shadow games for many of those same HEMA attendees. Very tall (6’8"), thin, and lanky, with unruly hair and glasses. Avowed atheist who rarely speaks of it, but feels passionately against religion when pressed, citing all the historic misery it’s caused.
Corporate Influence •
Family: The Borges
Status: Personal assistant agency •
Personal assistant to Cécilia Devillers. True to her name, Harmony is a demure and pleasantly agreeable young woman who’s good at anticipating her employer’s every want, though she maintains that Cecilia is a very easy boss to work for who’d probably be happy with any PA—and would make any PA happy to work for her. Born to poverty as one of many illegitimate children of Martin Borges, Harmony’s mother never got any child support from New Orleans’ now-mayor, but did get her daughter into a decent college through a reference letter (“the one thing he was ever good for”). Harmony feels she’s worked hard to get where she is and desperately doesn’t want to go back to her old life.
Status: Malveaux Oil •
A recent college graduate from Tulane formerly associated with the campus’ College Republicans, Evelyn, Evelyn “leveraged” her relationship with the chapter’s then-president, Caroline Malveaux-Devillers, to land a job as a front desk worker at the Malveaux Oil main office in downtown New Orleans, but hopes to rise much further in time. Very much a people person, Evelyn knows well the value of social networking and actively uses her position to build a relationships with all manner of incoming workers each day. Also highly organized, keeping detailed records of her daily activities in the form of journals and planners. From a lower-middle-class background and deeply desires stability she did not always have as a child. Conservative and Catholic, though she doesn’t attend services as often as she used to in college, or would like.
Extralocal Corporate Figures
Corporate Influence •••
Families: The Jonases
Status: Clemonte Etiquette •••
Mother of Emil Kane and senior etiquette instructor at Clemonte Etiquette, a Los Angeles-based etiquette consultation company. She has vigilantly severed all ties to her former life in New Orleans.
Families: The Underwoods
Status: Engineering company •••
Engineer who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Lifelong bachelor who never married or had children, but has a long-term girlfriend. Brother to Prudence Bellamy and Diana Flores. On relatively good terms with all members of his family, but living out of state means they don’t see him often.