Jady Regard embodies the spirit of Louisiana. Well-known throughout Acadiana for his chief day job as C. N. O., or Chief Nut Officer, of Cane River Pecan Company, Jady brings a sense of joie de vivre to everything he does. But don’t let this fun-loving persona mislead you; while Jady Regard’s humor can be disarming, his proven track record of success in a myriad of unrelated fields provides rich data to be mined by anyone dreaming of starting their own business.
In a recent podcast episode of Discover Lafayette, Jady and I discussed life, work, family, and his love of Lafayette. As we chronicled his various job adventures, he labeled himself “the perfect boomerang baby” referring to his many treks in and out of Louisiana before he settled down in Lafayette.
To get a better snapshot of the creative energy Jady exudes, we started with his college days working for the LSU Basketball team when Shaquille O’Neal was a star. His love of sports led him to work for the Louisiana Ice Gators and eventually the Chicago Bears.
Jady moved back to Louisiana to assume management duties of Cane River Pecan Company in 2002. The company’s roots go back to 1969 when his father and uncle acquired a pecan orchard along the Cane River in Natchitoches Parish. Today Cane River is focused on B2B, and Jady’s creative marketing tactics have led to success in the niche market of corporate gifting. Plans are in the works to open a “pie bar” which will offer up fantastic desserts made with pecans (no other nuts allowed!).
Many of you know Jady as the author of a line of successful children’s books which started with Born to Be a Tiger, and led to five other books commemorating family love of great football traditions. Jady shared that writing books has been one of the most rewarding things he’s done in life.
Other interests in Jady’s life have led to him to follow his creative bent. As a child, his father would take him to Le Petit Soldier Shop in New Orleans, which was the second oldest toy store of its kind in the U. S. As an adult, he retained his fascination with toy soldiers; while working for the Bears, he was visiting an upscale toy store and wondered, “Does anyone makes toy replicas for college marching bands?” One thing led to another and if you’re a fan of miniature collectibles, you may want to check out Jady’s Little Band Man Company. Hand sculpted in Northern England, Jady commissions tiny marching band members representing teams such as Texas A & M, LSU, Texas, USC, Michigan, Harvard, West Point, and more.
On family-owned property in Lena, Louisiana, Jady also serves as a lead guide on wild alligator hunts. Attracting visitors from around the U. S., people flock to his Bourbe Lake Hunting Club to experience a thrill-seeking hunt. Alligator hides can then be processed into beautiful gifts right here in Lafayette at the Hermes-owned RTL Tannery.
Louisiana has great story-tellers, and I can’t think of a better one than Jady Regard! As I listened to our interview again to prepare this article, I couldn’t help but feel immense pride in living right here, in what Jady described as “the most perfect sized town.” I hope you agree as you listen to his fascinating interview at discoverlafayette.net.