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Brandy Christian stepping down as Port of New Orleans CEO

Brandy Christian has provided 'exemplary leadership,' according to Walter Leger Jr., chairman of the Port NOLA board of commissioners
Port of New Orleans President/CEO Brandy Christian will be leaving in mid-June to pursue a private-sector opportunity.

She has led Port NOLA since January 2017. During this time the port increased operating revenues by 70%.

'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. 'Under Christian's guidance, Port NOLA has navigated through profound challenges and achieved remarkable successes.'

Transformational economic development project

Chief among those, he said, is the leadership team she assembled. Also, Christian has positioned the port for a transformational economic development project, raising nearly all the funding for the $1.8b Louisiana International Terminal, a new container facility with construction set to begin in 2025.

She also led the acquisition of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad in 2018 and served as its CEO since then. Christian had joined the port as chief operating officer in 2015.

Cruise numbers rebound

In February, Port NOLA announced its cruise numbers were back to pre-pandemic levels, and recently Christian helped Carnival Cruise Line ring in its 30th year of sailing from New Orleans

Christian said she will be departing with 'immense gratitude for the dedicated team and supportive community who have made Port NOLA a beacon of innovation and efficiency.'


Port NOLA EVP and CFO Ronald Wendel Jr. will assume acting leadership of the port and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad


CFO Ronald Wendel to become acting leader

Port NOLA EVP and CFO Ronald Wendel Jr. will assume acting leadership of Port NOLA and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad following Christian’s departure. Wendel, who also joined the port in 2015, brings a wealth of experience. 

He spearheaded an improvement in Port NOLA’s bond rating while financing more than $260m in public and private placement bonds to fund the Capital Investment Program, including the $140m expansion of the Napoleon Avenue container terminal. Wendel has also been a key figure in securing $800m in commitments from future private Louisiana International Terminal operators Ports America and TIL, and he has been a mainstay in commercial negotiations across Port NOLA and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad's lines of business.