Board Elects Arnold B. Baker Chairman
The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans selected a new Executive Committee with the election of Arnold B. Baker as Chairman, Tara C. Hernandez as Vice Chair and Darryl D. Berger as Secretary-Treasurer during the Dec. 20 monthly Board meeting.
Baker joined the Board in April 2015 when he was appointed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal. He succeeds Laney J. Chouest whose term as Chairman expired this month. Chouest will continue to serve as a commissioner until his five-year term ends in June 2019.
“It has been a privilege to work under the leadership of Mr. Laney Chouest and I thank him for his vision,” said Baker. “I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners, Port leadership and staff, and all stakeholders to transform the New Orleans Gateway into a world-class transportation hub that will create economic prosperity throughout our region.”
Baker, a construction industry entrepreneur, served as Managing Member of Centergy Development Group, as Assistant to the Mayor of New Orleans for Policy, Planning and Development, and as a field executive for several of the nation’s largest mall development and management firms. He is a Texas State University graduate and former athlete with honors.
Baker currently serves on the boards of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Empower A Billion Women by 2020, the New Orleans Board of Trade, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and Kate Middleton Elementary. He is also a former board member of the New Orleans Business Council, Greater New Orleans Inc., New Orleans Bureau of Governmental Research and the Louisiana Airport Commission.
The Port of New Orleans Board consists of seven commissioners. They are unsalaried and serve five-year staggered terms. The Governor of Louisiana appoints members from a list of three nominations submitted by 19 local civic, labor, education and maritime groups. The Board reflects the three-parish jurisdiction, with four members from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish. Chairman Baker, Vice Chair Hernandez, Secretary-Treasurer Berger, and William H. Langenstein represent Orleans Parish; Chouest and Jack C. Jensen Jr. represent Jefferson Parish; and Charles H. Ponstein represents St. Bernard Parish.