Port People: New Orleans
The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans announced April 27 that President and CEO Gary LaGrange, PPM®, will retire at the end of his contract in April 2017. The board is expected to name Brandy Christian, the port’s current chief operating officer, as his successor.
"Gary LaGrange led the Port of New Orleans to great heights over the past 15 years as president and CEO," said Board Chairman William Bergeron. "The board is grateful for the many contributions he made to the port and to the maritime industry during his distinguished career in New Orleans."
Mr. LaGrange, a 40-year veteran of the maritime industry, has served as president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans since 2001. During his tenure, the port invested more than $500 million in infrastructure, opening state-of-the-art facilities including new container, intermodal, cruise and refrigerated terminals. In 2015, port revenues reached record heights for the fourth consecutive year, container traffic topped the half-million TEU mark for the first time and the port’s cruise trade crossed the 1.0 million passenger threshold for the second consecutive year.
Under Mr. LaGrange’s leadership, port operations were restored 12 days after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005.
Earlier, he served as chief executive of the Port of West St. Mary’s, the Port of South Louisiana, and the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport.
Mr. Lagrange is a past chairman of the board of the American Association of Port Authorities. He also chaired AAPA’s Cruise Committee, served on its executive committee and board of directors, and earned its Professional Port Manager (PPM®) certification. He hosted an AAPA convention in New Orleans in 2006 and will do so again this fall.
Throughout his career, he has been a tireless industry advocate touting the importance of ports and waterways to the local and national economy.
Ms. Christian joined the Port of New Orleans as COO in January 2015 after 14 years with the Port of San Diego, where she served for five years as vice president of strategy and business development. The board is expected to authorize Chairman Bergeron to negotiate a contract with Ms. Christian.
Mr. LaGrange thanked the board of commissioners, port tenants and customers, and most importantly the port’s employees for their support and hard work during his tenure in New Orleans.
"I have said it before and I’ll say it again. You will not find a better team anywhere in the maritime community than here at the Port of New Orleans," Mr. LaGrange said.
Gary LaGrange and Brandy Christian, the current and future CEOs of the Port of New Orleans
Photos/Port of New Orleans