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  • Port of New Orleans President and CEO & New Orleans Public Belt CEO Brandy D. Christian Announces Departure

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 14, 2024
    Media Contact:
    Kimberly Curth
    (504) 388-4898
    kimberly.curth@portnola.com

     
    Port of New Orleans President and CEO & New Orleans Public
    Belt CEO Brandy D. Christian Announces Departure

     
    New Orleans, LA – Today, the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) announced that its
    President and CEO Brandy D. Christian, a leading figure in the transportation industry,
    will step down mid-June 2024 to pursue an opportunity in the private sector. Christian
    has served as the President and CEO of Port NOLA since January 1, 2017 and as the
    CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) since its acquisition by Port
    NOLA on February 1, 2018, during which time Port NOLA increased operating revenues
    by 70 percent and NOPB increased operating income by 300 percent.
    "We cannot overstate the exemplary leadership that Brandy Christian has provided
    throughout her tenure," said Walter Leger, Jr., Chairman of the Port NOLA Board of
    Commissioners and the NOPB Commission. "Under Christian's guidance, Port
    NOLA has navigated through profound challenges and achieved remarkable successes.
    Chief among those successes is the leadership team that Christian has assembled and nurtured to carry Port NOLA and NOPB forward. Through her vision and leadership, Christian has positioned Port NOLA to regain its place as the premier destination within the global supply chain as we embark on a transformational economic development project in the Louisiana International Terminal. We wish Brandy all the best as she begins this new and exciting challenge."
    Brandy Christian joined Port NOLA as its Chief Operating Officer in 2015 and was
    appointed its President and CEO just two years later. Within six months of taking the
    reins, Christian led the acquisition of the NOPB by Port NOLA, connecting the rail and
    maritime supply chains across and beyond the region and positioning Port NOLA as an
    alternative gateway of choice. In 2018, she led the development of a master plan to
    align all four lines of business – cargo, cruise, real estate and rail – that provided a
    strategic roadmap for sustainable and inclusive growth. Christian has also overseen the
    beginnings of the largest economic development project in Louisiana history, raising
    nearly all of the funding to support the $1.8B Louisiana International Terminal (LIT), a

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    new container facility in St. Bernard Parish that is set to begin construction in 2025 and
    will solidify Louisiana’s position as a vital hub for global markets.
    "Reflecting on my time as President and CEO of Port NOLA and CEO of NOPB, I will be
    departing with immense gratitude for the dedicated team and supportive community
    who have made Port NOLA a beacon of innovation and efficiency,” said Brandy D.
    Christian. “Together, we have navigated challenges and embraced opportunities
    thoughtfully and strategically, propelling our port and region to new heights. As I step
    down, I am confident in Port NOLA and NOPB’s continued success under new
    leadership and look forward to witnessing their ongoing contributions to global trade and
    prosperity."
    Port NOLA also announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    Ronald Wendel, Jr., will assume acting leadership of Port NOLA and NOPB following
    Christian’s departure. Wendel, who also joined Port NOLA in 2015, brings a wealth of
    experience to lead the next phase of growth and innovation.
    Wendel spearheaded an improvement in Port NOLA’s bond rating while financing more
    than $260 million in public and private placement bonds to fund the Capital Investment
    Program, including the $140 million expansion of the Napoleon Avenue container
    terminal. Wendel has also been a key figure in securing $800 million in commitments
    from future private LIT terminal operators Ports America and TIL, and he has been a
    mainstay in commercial negotiations across Port NOLA and NOPB’s lines of business.
    About Port NOLA: The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) is a modern multimodal gateway for global commerce and an in-demand cruise port — delivering seamless,

    integrated logistics solutions between river, rail, and road. Port NOLA is a diverse deep-
    water port uniquely located on the Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico -- with access to 30-plus major inland hubs such as Dallas, Memphis, Chicago and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, 6 Class I railroads and interstate roadways. Strategic alignment with the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, a Class III connecting railroad, strengthens Port NOLA’s position as an integrated hub and supports the Port’s mission of driving regional economic prosperity.
    -End-

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