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Port People: Albany, Montreal New Orleans

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Georgette Steffens Appointed Albany Port Commission Chair

Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID), has been named chairwoman of the Albany Port District Commission. A port commissioner since 2012, as chair she succeeds Robert F. Cross, who remains on the board.

The BID, as explained on its website, works "to restore, promote and maintain the character and vitality of downtown Albany and improve the quality of life for everyone in the heart of the Capital District. Before becoming its executive director in September  2009, Commissioner Steffens served as director of operations for Triad Consulting Group, Inc. in Cambridge (BA) and before that worked for worked for the city of Albany as director of the Albany Home Store, a city agency tasked with stabilizing and strengthening Albany neighborhoods by increasing homeownership.  

Additionally, she held positions as economic developer in the city’s department of planning and development and coordinator for the Center for Economic Growth. She graduated from Johnson State College in Vermont with a BA degree. 

The five-member commission oversees operations at the Port of Albany, which operates in a 300-acre district on the Albany and Rensselaer sides of the Hudson River. Four are nominated by the mayor of Albany and one by the mayor of Rensselaer and appointed to three year terms by the governor of New York. 

The other commissioners are Leo Dean, Dominick Tagliento, and Joseph E. Coffey, Jr.

Chair Georgette Steffens
Photo/Port of Albany

Eric Simard Appointed to the Board of Directors of the Montreal Port Authority

The City of Montreal has appointed Eric Simard to the board of directors of the Montreal Port Authority for a three-year term ending March 23, 2018. He replaces Claude J. Melançon, who had served as the city’s representative on the board since March 24, 2012. 

Mr. Simard is a partner with the law firm Fasken Martineau, where he is co-president of the commercial litigation section and also leads the construction practice group. He practices law as a civil and commercial litigant.  He frequently lectures and has published numerous articles. He is a member of the Québec Bar, the Canadian Bar Association and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

The port authority board consists of seven members – one each representing the municipal, provincial and federal governments and four representing port users.

The other board members are:  Chairman Michel M. Lessard, Vice President Anik Trudel, Marc Y. Bruneau, Marie-Claude Boisvert, and Germain Thibault.

Eric Simard
Photo/Montreal Port Authority

Arnold B. Baker Appointed to Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans

New Orleans businessman Arnold B. Baker on April 16 took his seat as the newest member of the board of commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. He Baker succeeds Daniel F. Packer as one of four Orleans Parish representatives on the seven-member board.

Mr. Baker is owner and founder of New Orleans-based Baker Ready Mix and Building Materials, which operates three plants in the area, a fleet of mixer trucks and employs 40 local drivers, technicians and industry professionals.

He serves on the boards of the New Orleans Board of Trade, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, Kate Middleton Elementary School, and the Bayou District Foundation.

He is a former board member of the New Orleans Business Council, GNO Inc., New Orleans Bureau of Governmental Research and the Louisiana Airport Commission.

Mr. Baker is an honors graduate and a former athlete of the Texas State University where he earned a degree in marketing and business administration. He also earned advanced marketing director certifications from the International Council of Shopping Center’s Management Institute. 

Prior to founding Baker Ready Mix in 2003, he served as managing member of Centergy Development Group – a consultancy created to implement redevelopment strategies for distressed commercial real estate – from 1999 until 2003. He also served as assistant to the mayor of New Orleans for policy, planning and development from 1996 until 1999, and prior to that was a field executive for several of the nation’s largest mall development and management firms.

Port board members are unsalaried, serve five-year staggered terms, and are appointed by the governor of Louisiana to terms of five years from lists of three nominees submitted by 19 local business, civic, labor, education and maritime groups. Four members are selected from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish.

The other members are Chairman Scott H. Cooper, Vice Chairman William T. Bergeron, Secretary-Treasurer Michael W. Kearney, Robert "Rusty" Barkerding, Gregory R. Rusovich, and Laney J. Chouest.

Arnold B. Baker
Photo/Port of New Orleans

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