Northshore company rebounding from rough start

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 7:22 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

COVINGTON, La. - A satellite launch in Kazakhstan two weeks ago signified a blast-off in business for Globalstar, Inc., headquartered in Covington.

It’s something that was desperately needed for operations to take-off out of a tough time.

Globalstar, Inc. Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Barbee Ponder, said, "To convince them that they can put their trust back in Global Star."

Last year, the international satellite network and satellite-based product company was facing aging equipment in space, as well as legal trouble getting replacement equipment and a second set of satellites, up and out.

Global Star had moved to Louisiana from California two years prior, with a tax-credit incentive package from the state. While it hit the required early employment goals, upcoming milestones seemed unsure. But a turnaround took effect near the end of the year, with financial growth in the last two quarters and that exclusive new generation of equipment going into orbit this month.

"We were able to actually, during this period, grow our subscriber base, year after year, by 16 percent," Ponder said.

One of those subscribers, Chris Nicholas, uses Globalstar’s products during his cross-country running and cycling charity fund-raising efforts, www.crossingtheus.com, to gain awareness and donations.

“All of these people that are following me along my journey, checking out my spot, they get a chance to be a part of the journey as I do, every single day," Nicholas said.

The company's focus now is to grow its customer base, expand sales and marketing for its products and possibly start a new venture that could expand wireless use for your cell phone.

"That's a success story we're going to continue to do," Ponder said.

More hires have already begun, but the company missed its 2013 deadline to have 200 employees. Louisiana Economic Development, which gave Globalstar, Inc., tax incentives to move to Covington did not respond with a comment by news time.

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