Posts tagged Blaine Kern Enterprises

Blaine Kern Loses Challenge to Keep Mardi Gras Float Empire

Blaine Kern, Rickey Jackson, Holly Kern on Superdome Floor

Blaine Kern, Rickey Jackson, Holly Kern on Superdome Floor

Once again, suing your aged dad, granted he’s under the spell of his much younger wife, never is a good idea. It doesn’t matter if you win in the Appeals Court, which the son, Barry, did. Karma works against you when you sue your dad, especially if he’s over 83 years old!

The Kerns build REX, BACCHUS, ENDYMION, MUSES, ORPHEUS, ALLA, CAESAR, and many, many other parades around the metro area, region, and world. Therefore, lots of money and responsibility come with the territory, and the Mardi Gras crowds annually depend on the Kerns via REX, etc.

A state appeals panel has upheld the court-ordered transfer of control over Blaine Kern Artists Inc. to the Mardi Gras magnate’s son, Barry Kern.

The one-sentence ruling Tuesday denied the elder Kern’s challenge to an April ruling by Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese that enforced a father-son deal convected last year. That deal was intended to quell a family rift that threatened float production for a number of the largest Carnival parades.

The deal, brokered by three prominent Carnival captains, called for Blaine Kern Sr. to sell all of his shares to his son and for the board of directors to turn over management control of the 54-year-old Mardi Gras giant to Barry Kern, 48, at a shareholders meeting. But Blaine Kern stood pat, and no such meeting or vote took place.

At issue, Barry Kern argued, was the financial stability of the company. He twice filed suit against his father during the past year, saying the 83-year-old Kern Sr. had meddled with management and sapped its cash reserves.

Barry Kern cast blame on his father’s fourth wife, Holly Brown-Kern, claiming his father’s spending on houses, cars and other luxuries had ballooned since his marriage to Brown-Kern, while his debt had mounted and he began seeking cash advances from the company.

Blaine Kern’s attorney, William Wessel, could not be reached for comment late Wednesday on the 3-0 decision by a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, finding “no error” in Reese’s ruling.

In ruling for Barry Kern in April, Reese called the need to safeguard Mardi Gras “way bigger” to the world than a father-son rift.

Under his order, the company’s four shareholders — Blaine and Barry Kern and Barry’s siblings, Brian and Blainey — met April 25 at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World to elect three directors who, in turn, named Barry Kern president.

Blaine Kern, 2010 People's Health Champion

Blaine Kern, 2010 People's Health Champion

R.I.P. Jerelyn ‘Pixie’ Naquin


I always admired Pixie. I remember when I first met her when I was interviewing Blaine Kern in the early 1980s for a Mardi Gras story on float builders.  Pixie had been with Blaine for about 20 years by that time. When I interviewed Blaine, Pixie was present, and Blaine referred to her regularly to get me this material or that file. I worked with Blaine for about 3 years at this time, and Pixie was fantastic, a real hero of Mardi Gras, and truly Blaine’s right hand woman. As his business grew in an international direction later in the 1980s, Pixie was a whiz at keeping the lid on Kern Enterprises, pacing Blaine who really needed it as he was overdoing it badly at this time. Blaine’s kids were young  and weren’t part of the company yet. She kept Kern Enterprises on a steady keel as the company grew and grew.

Kern does the float building for all the Super Krewes- Bacchus, Rex, Endymion, Orpheus, Zulu. I learned from Pixie just how Blaine acquired all those top parades, and it’s a secret I’ll have to take to my grave, because Pixie only told me if I swore I would never tell a soul.  As the business grew overseas, Pixie ran that for Blaine also.

Whatever Blaine got into, Pixie was there, always graceful when others were losing their heads due to the pressures of adding the overseas division at the same time maintaining good will and contracts with all the reigning Super Krewes.

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