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CrowdRelief expands Cajun Navy efforts to digital community

At New Orleans Entrepreneur Week this year, NolaVie talked to CrowdRelief creator Rob Gaudet as part of a series on entrepreneurs and their business cards. Gaudet was one of the behind-the-scenes organizers of the Cajun Navy, a grassroots boat rescue effort that revved up in response to the 2016 Louisiana flooding, then returned to duty after Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and is now poised to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida.

CrowdRelief expands the Cajun Navy’s on-the-ground efforts into the digital community, by allowing everyday people to help with the recovery work. Learn more at www.crowdrelief.net.

Here’s the quick take on the app via our interview with Gaudet in March:

Crowd Relief creator Rob Gaudet (photo: Renee Peck)

The entrepreneur: Rob Gaudet

The card: OK, I’ll be honest. Rob was out of cards when I talked. But his awesome t-shirt sported a circular logo that’s part storm/part labyrinth, conveying at once a sense of both disaster and peace.

The backstory: After last year’s flooding in Baton Rouge, Rob got involved with the Cajun Navy, a grassroots volunteer group that mounted a massive recovery effort for victims. It inspired him to launch Crowd Relief as a digital platform that connects individual flood victims with people who want to help. It’s a sort of disaster registry, with lists of specific items that any particular flood victim needs. Users can sign up to buy whatever they can afford and want to give. And they can read the backstories of the people they are buying for.

The logo: “It’s disaster, so it’s a storm, but it also represents people gathering together.” It has motion, and “a little bit of fear.” A marketing executive and owner of Gaudet Media, Rob created the logo in-house. Flood recovery is ongoing, he says, and although rebuilding involves “a thousand shades of gray,” he picked a bright blue just because he likes it. And, yes, that water thing. But mostly blue is just a feel-good color.

Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at renee@nolavie.com.