Greater New Orleans Inc. Partnering with World Trade Center New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – The boards of the World Trade Center New Orleans (WTCNO) and Greater New Orleans Inc. (GNO Inc.) have approved an operational partnership that means the WTCNO will move its operations from Canal Place into GNO Inc.’s Energy Centre offices later this spring.

“The formation of ‘The World Trade Center at Greater New Orleans Inc.’ is a strong signal to the world that Greater New Orleans and Louisiana are doubling down on international trade,” said Michael Hecht, GNO Inc. president and CEO, in a press release. “Our combined organizations will be more robust and impactful than before – and at the same time more efficient. I would like to offer my gratitude to the many committed board members of both organizations who worked to make this organizational vision a reality.”

Founded more than 75 years ago, WTCNO is one of more than 300 World Trade Center organizations across the globe. It has hosted many dignitaries and heads of state over the years as part of its mission to promote diplomacy and free trade. GNO Inc., meanwhile, has received multiple economic development awards as it focuses on attracting companies, jobs and wealth — and creating a better environment for business investment. 

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“The operational partnership between our two organizations is a game changer and a win-win-win,” said Paul Aucoin, president and chairman of the WTCNO. “I applaud both boards for their determination and selflessness to make the right decision in the right direction for our respective organizations.”

GNO Inc. plans to support and enhance WTCNO programs, including business development, business missions, trade policy, trade committees and promotions. It will help produce and promote the Eugene Schreiber Awards and Louisiana International Trade Week.

The partnership is based on other successful models. In Houston, for instance, the World Trade Center is housed at the Greater Houston Partnership. For WTCNO, the collaboration is designed to create efficiencies, enhance relevance and impact, and preserve and grow its legacy. GNO Inc. hopes to grow its international trade capacity, drive additional jobs and wealth, and ensure the sustainability of a key institution in the trade ecosystem.  

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“The World Trade Center at Greater New Orleans Inc. will coordinate and drive international economic development in our state and region,” said Ed Webb, WTCNO CEO. “Our decision provides both organizations with access to talent and scale while making Louisiana’s economic outlook stronger and its future brighter.”

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