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.
President and CEO
Rodrick T. Miller is the president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, the official economic development organization responsible for driving the long-term economic vitality of the City of New Orleans. Miller arrives at the NOLA Business Alliance, after having served as the Executive Vice President of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. In that role, he managed the day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and coordinated efforts for the firm’s $20M capital campaign. Previously, Miller was Vice President of International Economic Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) where he lead international economic development activities which encompassed foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction, deepening relationships with foreign markets, and increasing international competitiveness of the region. Miller was instrumental in crafting the Arizona Global Network, a statewide collaboration of economic development organizations. Through his development of GPEC’s action plan, Miller delivered 9,600 jobs in just two years through his leadership in the areas of competitiveness practice and public policy efforts. Before GPEC, Rod held a myriad of positions in the public and private sectors with the City of Glendale, Infrastructure Management Group, Ernst & Young, and CEMEX.Rodrick holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BSc. 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 there. Rodrick was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a Fellow at the International Career Advancement Program at the Aspen Institute. Miller was recognized by Ebony Magazine as a rising young leader under 30, the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the “Forty Leaders in Arizona under 40″, The Phoenix Business Journal as a “Global Power Player” and the Arizona Republic as the “Executive of the Week”. In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano, singing, and exploring the New Orleans music scene.