Rodrick Miller

Henry Coaxum


Pres­i­dent, Coaxum Enter­prises, Inc.

Henry L. Coaxum, Jr. flips ham­burg­ers for a liv­ing. Lit­er­ally, as pres­i­dent of Coaxum Enter­prises, Inc., he is the owner/operator of seven McDonald’s restau­rants in the New Orleans area. His first job with the McDonald’s Cor­po­ra­tion was as a man­ager trainee at the McDonald’s restau­rant located on the I-10 Ser­vice Road and Read Boule­vard in East­ern New Orleans in 1984. His career came full cir­cle in 2002 when he became the owner/operator of that very same restau­rant. This restau­rant also has the dis­tinc­tion of being the first McDonald’s to receive the Nation Restau­rant News’ Suc­cess­ful Set­tings Award in 2003.Although three of Coaxum’s orig­i­nal restau­rants he opened in 2002 were dam­aged and closed due to Hur­ri­cane Kat­rina, he bought and reopened the St. Charles Avenue restau­rant in Feb­ru­ary 2006 – just in time for the 150th Mardi Gras cel­e­bra­tion in New Orleans. This was the first McDonald’s restau­rant to reopen on the east bank of New Orleans post Hur­ri­cane Kat­rina. In 2006, Coaxum set a restau­ra­teur record by acquir­ing and reopen­ing four closed full-service restau­rants in five months. In Decem­ber 2006, Coaxum reopened his originally-owned Read Boule­vard loca­tion, which was rebuilt to its award-winning appear­ance and décor.Coaxum helps to keep the “Golden Arches” shin­ing through his fundrais­ing efforts with: the 100 Black Men of Greater New Orleans; the Gram­bling Uni­ver­sity Ath­letic Foun­da­tion; the African Amer­i­can Her­itage Pro­gram of the Preser­va­tion Resource Cen­ter; the New Orleans African Amer­i­can Museum; the United Way of Greater New Orleans; the Louisiana Art­Works; the Amis­tad Research Center’s Achieve­ment Com­mit­tee; and the United Negro Col­lege Fund. Coaxum served as Chair of the UNCF’s Annual “Fund Run” for 2007 and 2008.He has served as a mem­ber of the boards of direc­tors of United Bank & Trust Com­pany, the Gram­bling Uni­ver­sity Ath­letic Foun­da­tion, the New Orleans East Busi­ness Asso­ci­a­tion, the New Orleans African Amer­i­can Museum; the United Way of Greater New Orleans and the Louisiana Art­Works. For two con­sec­u­tive years, Coaxum and his wife Karen served as Co-Chairs of the “Ladies in Red” an annual fundraiser of the African Amer­i­can Her­itage Pro­gram of the Preser­va­tion Resource Center.

In August 2010, Coaxum was elected as Pres­i­dent of the Great South­ern Region’s Black McDonald’s Oper­a­tors Asso­ci­a­tion. Also in August, Coaxum was appointed by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Lan­drieu as Chair­man of the NOLA Busi­ness Alliance Board, launch­ing the city’s first-ever public-private part­ner­ship for eco­nomic devel­op­ment. Also that month, he was appointed to the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers of the city’s Hos­pi­tal Ser­vice Dis­trict Board that will over­see the devel­op­ment and oper­a­tion of a full ser­vice hos­pi­tal in East­ern New Orleans.

In recog­ni­tion of their exem­plary lead­er­ship in com­mu­nity vol­un­teerism and phil­an­thropy, Coaxum and his wife were named the recip­i­ents of the United Way of the Greater New Orleans Area’s 2011 Alexis de Toc­queville Award — the high­est honor bestowed by United Way.

Coaxum’s work with the area’s youth also is being fur­thered as a McDonald’s fran­chisee. He offers two edu­ca­tion incen­tive pro­grams for his stu­dent employ­ees. For high school stu­dents, employ­ees are rewarded with pay raises for good grades. And for col­lege stu­dents, his “schol­ar­ships” help pay for books and tuition if the stu­dent employ­ees’ grades are main­tained while being employed. “Our youth need to learn that you can get rewarded if you work hard at both school and a job. Who knows, that job could end up being your career,” he says.

Rodrick Miller

Rodrick T. Miller

Pres­i­dent and CEO

Rodrick Miller is a results-oriented leader with over 10 years of expe­ri­ence in eco­nomic devel­op­ment, strate­gic plan­ning, trade and for­eign invest­ment, and project finance. He is respected for his suc­cess in lead­ing and struc­tur­ing large devel­op­ment projects and cor­po­rate relo­ca­tions. His skills as a nego­tia­tor, pol­icy expert, and cor­po­rate strate­gist have been honed in over 10 countries.

Miller is the found­ing pres­i­dent and CEO of the New Orleans Busi­ness Alliance (NOLABA), the offi­cial eco­nomic devel­op­ment orga­ni­za­tion respon­si­ble for ensur­ing the long-term eco­nomic vital­ity and dri­ving job growth for the City of New Orleans. As the chief econ­o­mist and thought leader on eco­nomic recov­ery, Miller has focused the organization’s efforts on low­er­ing bar­ri­ers to entry in the mar­ket­place, increas­ing trans­parency, and devel­op­ing strate­gies for urban eco­nomic growth. Results in their first 30 months in office include state leg­is­la­tion allow­ing for ben­e­fit cor­po­ra­tions, a pol­icy frame­work to guide the use of tax incen­tives in eco­nomic devel­op­ment, and the attrac­tion of more than $600 Mil­lion in new invest­ment and 4,500 new jobs through proac­tive attrac­tion and expan­sion of cor­po­rate projects in the New Orleans mar­ket. In June of 2013, NOLABA launched Pros­per­i­tyNOLA, the first ever eco­nomic devel­op­ment plan for the city of New Orleans. Miller led his team in craft­ing the 5 year plan with a keen eye on ensur­ing the plan would ben­e­fit all cit­i­zens of New Orleans by address­ing inequities that hin­der progress. Miller’s efforts and rep­u­ta­tion for great vision and strate­gic direc­tion gen­er­ated incred­i­ble sup­port from pri­vate and gov­ern­ment sec­tors and through­out the com­mu­nity. Going for­ward, with Miller at the helm, Pros­per­i­tyNOLA is fast becom­ing a model eco­nomic devel­op­ment plan for other cities and regions.

Pre­vi­ously, Miller served as the Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent of the Baton Rouge Area Cham­ber where he man­aged day-to-day oper­a­tions, devel­oped strate­gic ini­tia­tives, and helped deliver on the firm’s $20M cap­i­tal cam­paign. Under his lead­er­ship, the Baton Rouge mar­ket was ranked the Num­ber 1 Mid-Market for Deals in 2010 by Site Selec­tion Magazine.

Before mov­ing to Louisiana, Miller was Vice Pres­i­dent of Inter­na­tional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment for the Greater Phoenix Eco­nomic Coun­cil (GPEC) where he man­aged inter­na­tional devel­op­ment activ­i­ties which included for­eign direct invest­ment attrac­tion and increas­ing the region’s inter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness. He crafted the Ari­zona Global Net­work, a statewide col­lab­o­ra­tion of eco­nomic devel­op­ment orga­ni­za­tions respon­si­ble for mar­ket­ing the state glob­ally. He also headed the Strat­egy Prac­tice where he devel­oped the organization’s action plan which resulted in deliv­ery of nearly 10,000 jobs in just 2 years. Before GPEC, Rod held sev­eral posi­tions in the pub­lic and pri­vate sectors.

Miller holds a Mas­ter of Pub­lic Pol­icy from Har­vard University’s Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment and a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree in inter­na­tional busi­ness from St. Augustine’s Col­lege. He also gained a Grad­u­ate Diploma in Finance from the Mon­ter­rey Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (ITESM) in Mex­ico while com­plet­ing a Ful­bright Fel­low­ship. Miller is an intel­lec­tu­ally curi­ous pro­fes­sional whose inter­ests lie at the inter­sec­tion of eco­nomic devel­op­ment, inter­na­tional com­merce, inno­va­tion, and com­mu­nity action. A scholar prac­ti­tioner, he is a sought after lec­turer and con­tributes to var­i­ous pub­li­ca­tions. He enjoys play­ing the piano, read­ing, and spend­ing time with his son. Miller is flu­ent in Span­ish and pro­fi­cient in Portuguese.