Last week, we had the incredible honor of hosting ten top-level executives from diverse industries during the ESSENCE® Music Festival. As one of New
Orleans’ most important and nationally recognized festivals, ESSENCE® provided a perfect backdrop to showcase New Orleans at its best for visiting
executives interested in expanding and/or investing in our market. From our vibrant culture to our economic growth and innovative ecosystem, the energy in
New Orleans is electric. For those of you who were unable to attend the 2012 Executive Leadership Tour events, read on for some highlights of the week.
Thursday, July 5th
The guest executives and a select group of local business leaders gathered at the Hyatt Regency to hear more about opportunities in New Orleans and receive
a warm welcome from Keynote Speaker Rita Benson LeBlanc.
We launched our first annual NOLABA Business Leadership and Community Impact Awards by honoring three women for their incredible contributions to New
Orleans. We presented awards to CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien, NewCorp President and CEO Vaughn Fauria, and JCH Development President Tara Carter Hernandez
during an evening reception at Harrah’s® New Orleans Casino & Hotel. This is the first annual Business Achievement Award.
Friday, July 6th
One of the cornerstones of the Executive Leadership Tour was to familiarize our invited guests with the business and investment opportunities that exist in
Orleans Parish. Executive guests joined local business leaders and NOLABA staff on one of three tours of New Orleans focusing on opportunities in specific
industries in the City.
The Innovation Ecosystem tour
visited locations such as Second Line Stages, the Receivables Exchange, and the Idea Village to gain a better understanding of the City’s existing
innovation ecosystem that includes the incredible start up community and the film and digital media industries.
The Manufacturing tour
visited industrial sites at Michoud Assembly Facility and the Port of New Orleans, allowing guests to discover the City’s unparalleled infrastructure for
manufacturing and industrial enterprises. They discovered the value-added manufacturing, trade and logistics opportunities associated with our port, and
the advantages our geographic location will offer once the Panama Canal opens.
The Real Estate tour
showcased opportunities for new development in New Orleans East, Gentilly and in the Central Business District-especially along Canal Street and in the Bio
Business Roundtable Panel Luncheon:
To provide deeper insights into the opportunities for business investment in New Orleans, Soledad O’Brien moderated a roundtable panel discussion featuring
local business leaders and our executive guests. Justin Augustine, President of RTA and Michelle Craig, Partner at Adams & Reese lent their local
insights while Angela Benton, founder and CEO of NewMe Accelerator and Eric Kyereme, Managing Director of Sika Capital Management shared their impressions
as guests in New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered remarks and pronounced New Orleans officially the “City of YES” and Joy Collins, General Manager
of Essence Communications, Inc., shared her excitement about the ESSENCE® festival’s preferred home in New Orleans.
Last week’s events were a great success and we are so thankful for everyone who worked so diligently to ensure our executive guests enjoyed their time in
New Orleans and had valuable exposure to the opportunities for locating businesses and/or investing in our market.
Special thanks to our sponsors: ESSENCE® Music Festival, CNN, Harrah’s® New Orleans Casino & Hotel, Capital One, The Kennedy Financial Group,
Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, Adams & Reese, Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald, and P.S. Creative.
Hats off to our Host Committee for the Executive Leadership Tour: Michelle Craig (Co-Chair) — Adams & Reese Partner, Ronald Burns (Co-chair) — BMG
Enterprises’ Owner, Victoria Adams — The Idea Village’s Network Relations Manager, Mark Boucree — Capital One Bank’s Vice President of Community
Development Banking, Tracee Dundas — the New Orleans Magazine’s Fashion Editor, Patricia Hightower (NOLABA Board Member) — Bayou Equity Mortgage’s
President and CEO, Chadrick Kennedy — The Kennedy Financial Group’s Senior Vice President, Virginia Miller — Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald’s Co-Owner, Jade
Russell — Caesars Entertainment’s Counsel of Regional Operations, and Toni Rice — the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network’s President.
News Clips from 2012 Executive Leadership Tour: