Speakers

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Paul G. Aucoin
Executive Director, Port of South Louisiana


Brandy Christian

Brandy D. Christian
President & CEO of the Port of New Orleans and CEO of New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Corp.

Brandy D. Christian is the President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans and the CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Corp., a shortline connecting railroad and subsidiary of the Port. The two public agencies have combined revenues of $100 million, nearly 500 employees, and more than $200 million in capital projects. In her Port role, Christian oversees all cargo, cruise, and industrial real estate operations. As the CEO of the Public Belt, she sets strategic direction and oversees all rail holdings.

Christian serves on the Green Marine Board of Directors, Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank Trade and Transportation Advisory Council, Louisiana Board of International Commerce, the World Trade Center of New Orleans Board of Directors, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and as the Cruise Committee Chair for the American Association of Port Authorities.

Before joining Port NOLA, Christian served 14 years with the Port of San Diego as vice president of strategy and business development.


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George E. Duffy
President & CEO, G.Duffy Maritime Services


Sean Duffy, Sr.

Sean M. Duffy, Sr.
Executive Director, Big River Coalition

The Big River Coalition is committed to ensuring the future of navigation on the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) as one of the nation’s fundamental natural resources and true economic powerhouse. The Mississippi River and Tributaries has an estimated annual impact of $735 billion on the nation’s economy and is responsible for 2.4 million jobs (585,000 jobs on the Lower River – Cairo, IL to the Gulf of Mexico and over 1.86 million jobs on the Upper River – Lake Itasca, MN to Cairo, IL when including the IL River).

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Executive Director, Big River Coalition: 2011-Present “Advocating for a Mightier Mississippi River”

The Big River Coalition (BRC) is committed to protecting maritime commerce across the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT). The BRC focuses on maximizing efficient transportation on the deep-draft ship channel from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico. As concerns grow regarding the future management of the Mississippi River system, efforts have been increased to help reduce and/or prevent adverse impacts related to flood protection, protecting water supplies, recreational boating, fishing, invasive species, coastal restoration, and minimizing the negative impacts of runoff and pollutants. It is vitally critical to the nation’s economy that navigation remains unimpeded. The best economic estimates available indicate that the MRT has an annual impact of over $735 billion on the economy of the United States. It is imperative that as visions of the future of the MRT are shaped, navigation representatives strive to ensure that systematic approaches protect maritime trade by maintaining fully authorized channel dimensions while also updating and maintaining our navigation infrastructure, specifically the locks and dams along the MRT. The Big River Coalition’s missions are focused on securing increased funding from the Harbor Maintenance Tax and the Inland Users Fuel Tax, efforts to deepen the Lower Mississippi River to 50 feet and to increase the beneficial use of dredge material or “sediment recycling.”

The Big River Coalition is at the forefront of efforts to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet. Mr. Duffy also serves as the Executive Vice President/Maritime Advocate for the BRC’s parent company, the New Orleans Steamship Association d.b.a. Louisiana Maritime Association.

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT:

As a proponent for the local maritime industry, Mr. Duffy specializes in advocating on Capitol Hill for supplemental funds for maintenance dredging and waterway maintenance. Previous employment includes executive management positions with experience as a Boarding Agent, Deckhand, Stevedore General Superintendent and Marine Surveyor. Mr. Duffy is intimately familiar with obstacles faced by the maritime industry, both nationally and those specific to Louisiana, and has been recognized for his efforts on coastal restoration through maintenance dredging.

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS:

Appointments and Professional Representation:

Committee of 100 for Economic Development (C 100): As Louisiana’s statewide business roundtable, C 100 is an advocate for economic development, engaging our business leadership in influencing state public policy issues impacting business and economic development. Appointed February 2020.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Hydrographic Services Review Panel Federal AdvisoryCommittee

  • Louisiana’s Governor Office: Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation

  • Majority Whip Congressman Steve Scalise’s Maritime Advisory Group

  • MississippiValleyTradeandTransportCouncil:BoardofDirectors

  • National Waterways Conference: Board of Directors

  • Louisiana Transportation and Supply Chain Council

  • National Association of Maritime Organization Board of Directors [NAMO President 2008-2011, V.P. Gulf of Mexico 2011-On]

  • Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Freight Advisory Council

  • Propeller Club Port of New Orleans

  • Mississippi River Basin Stakeholder Advisory Team (USACE and Institute

    of Waterways Resources)

  • United States Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans

    Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Subcommittee Chairman

  • America’s Watershed Initiative, Steering Committee

  • Realize America’s Maritime Promise (Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund

    Fairness Coalition), Executive Committee Member

  • World Trade Center of New Orleans Transportation Committee

  • Changing Course: Navigating the Future of the Lower Mississippi River Delta’s Leadership Team

MARITIME AWARDS:

  • Global Maritime Ministries’
    2018 Crystal Lighthouse Award as Maritime Person of the Year

  •  American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s 2016 Coastal Innovator Award

HOBBIES:

  • Kayaking
  • Rugby

  • Coaching

  • Travel


Meredith Grabill

The Honorable Meredith S. Grabill
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of Louisiana and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Tulane University


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Jim Priestley
Group Vice President of North America Applications Sales, Major Accounts, Oracle


Dr. James A. Richardson

Dr. James A. Richardson
Alumni Professor of Economics and Public Administration, Louisiana State University

James A. Richardson is John Rhea Alumni Professor of Economics and Public Administration in the E. J. Ourso College of Business Administration at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Dr. Richardson has served as Director of the Public Administration Institute, Chairman of the Department of Economics, Acting Dean of the College of Business Administration, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Louisiana State University.

Dr. Richardson served from October 1987 through September 2019 as the private economist on the Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference, the panel with the constitutional authority and responsibility to provide official revenue estimates for the state.  Dr. Richardson serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Research Council and as a member of the   Council for A Better Louisiana.

Dr. Richardson was a co-founder of the Louisiana Economic Outlook starting in 1983 and continued contributing to the preparation of the economic outlook until 2015. The economic outlook focused on the labor market regions and the major industries of the state.

Dr. Richardson has recently served as a member of the Resilient Louisiana Commission, a task force assembled on behalf of the Governor of Louisiana to guide the state through the short-term recovery from COVID-19 and to build for a long-term resilient and prosperous economy.

 Dr. Richardson received his bachelors of art degree in economics from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, Texas and his Master’s degree in economics and the doctorate in economics from The University of Michigan.  Dr. Richardson specializes in regional forecasting, state and local tax policy, economic development, and energy economics.


Michael Rubenstein

Michael D. Rubenstein
Shareholder, Liskow & Lewis

James A. Richardson is John Rhea Alumni Professor of Economics and Public Administration in the E. J. Ourso College of Business Administration at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Dr. Richardson has served as Director of the Public Administration Institute, Chairman of the Department of Economics, Acting Dean of the College of Business Administration, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Louisiana State University.

Dr. Richardson served from October 1987 through September 2019 as the private economist on the Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference, the panel with the constitutional authority and responsibility to provide official revenue estimates for the state.  Dr. Richardson serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Research Council and as a member of the   Council for A Better Louisiana.

Dr. Richardson was a co-founder of the Louisiana Economic Outlook starting in 1983 and continued contributing to the preparation of the economic outlook until 2015. The economic outlook focused on the labor market regions and the major industries of the state.

Dr. Richardson has recently served as a member of the Resilient Louisiana Commission, a task force assembled on behalf of the Governor of Louisiana to guide the state through the short-term recovery from COVID-19 and to build for a long-term resilient and prosperous economy.

 Dr. Richardson received his bachelors of art degree in economics from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, Texas and his Master’s degree in economics and the doctorate in economics from The University of Michigan.  Dr. Richardson specializes in regional forecasting, state and local tax policy, economic development, and energy economics.


Ira Solomon

Ira Solomon
Dean, A. B. Freeman School of Business

Ira Solomon is serving as the 13th dean of the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University since July 1, 2011. A native of Roosevelt, N.Y., Solomon received his PhD in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and taught at the University of Arizona before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1983. Prior to his appointment at Tulane, Solomon was the R.C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business and head of the Department of Accountancy at Illinois, where he was a primary architect in creating what is widely regarded as one of the finest accountancy programs in the United States. At Tulane, Solomon is the Debra and Rick Rees Professor of Business.

Throughout a distinguished career, Solomon has published more than 40 scholarly articles, monographs and books, and his writings have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal and CFO Magazine. He has served as an associate editor and on the editorial boards of a number of prestigious scholarly journals, as a vice president of the American Accounting Association, as a member of the governing council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and as a member of the Board of Directors of AACSB. He currently serves on the Research Advisory Board of the Center for Audit Quality.

Solomon has been recognized for outstanding teaching, research and service numerous times. He received the AAA Outstanding Auditing Educator Award in 1997 and is the only scholar to be recognized by the AAA Auditing Section for Outstanding Dissertation Supervision on three occasions, in 1997, 2000 and 2003. In 2009, Solomon received the Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award from the AICPA and the Special Award of Merit from the Illinois CPA Society.  In February 2011, Solomon served as Visiting Distinguished Scholar & Lecturer at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Solomon is married to the former Susan Sharpe, and the couple has three grown children and three grandchildren. Dean and Mrs. Solomon reside in Uptown New Orleans.


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Adam F. Weissenberg
Global Transportation, Hospitality & Services Leader / National Managing Partner, Clients & Industries, Deloitte


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Kyle Widmer, M.D.
Section Chief, Infectious Diseases, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS)


Joel Wood

Joel Wood
Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers

Joel Wood is the senior vice president for government affairs (and thus the chief lobbyist) at The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Washington. The Council represents 200 firms that collectively sell more than 90 percent of all commercial property/casualty premiums, and more than 70 percent of employee benefit premiums nationally. He has been the top regulatory and government affairs officer at the association since 1993. He began his work in Washington working for a member of Congress from his home state of Tennessee in the 1980s. Over the course of his career, Wood has been deeply engaged in many issues impacting the commercial insurance brokerage industry – from health insurance reform efforts, to terrorism reinsurance, to regulatory reforms both small and large, at both the federal and state level – and has received numerous accolades as one of the top lobbyists in the financial services industry. He also oversees the association’s political action committee, which is the largest in the insurance industry. In 2000, he and his wife Dana formed the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne following the diagnosis of their son James with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the world’s most lethal childhood genetic disease. Their advocacy and charitable work has led to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of scientific research into DMD, and a corresponding decade-long increase in life expectancy for those afflicted with the disorder.


 

*As of 7/1/2020. Speakers are listed in alphabetical order. Program is subject to change