Hernandez Appointed To Port Of New Orleans’ Board Of Commissioners

NEW ORLEANS — Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Tara C. Hernandez to the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. Hernandez, who was sworn in during July’s Board meeting, will serve a five-year term, succeeding Gregory R. Rusovich, one of four Orleans Parish representatives on the seven-member regional Board.

         “We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Hernandez aboard,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “Ms. Hernandez brings a wealth of experience in real estate development and entrepreneurial endeavors to the Board and is a respected leader within the Greater New Orleans business community.”

         Hernandez is President of New Orleans-based JCH Development, a boutique urban real estate development firm that specializes in the conversion of underutilized real estate into residential, commercial, and mixed-use redevelopment projects. She has led or participated in the development of residential, mixed-use, mixed-income and commercial development projects in Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri, often involving public-private partnerships.

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         “I am truly honored and look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners, Port leadership, and staff to continue the growth of economic opportunities for our regional businesses and our State,” Hernandez said.

         A graduate of Loyola University (New Orleans) with a degree in finance, Hernandez earned a master’s of science degree in real estate development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is very active on several national and local industry and not-for-profit boards, including serving as chair-elect of the board of directors for Greater New Orleans Inc. – the region’s foremost economic development agency. Hernandez also serves on the executive boards of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation and Idea Village.

         She was the recent chair of the 2016 Urban Land Institute’s National Hines Competition Jury and has received awards locally from the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans and New Orleans Business Alliance.

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         The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans consists of seven commissioners, who are unsalaried and serve five-year staggered terms. The Governor of Louisiana appoints members from a list of three nominees submitted by 19 local business, civic, labor, education and maritime groups. Four members are selected from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish.

         Current members include Chairman William T. Bergeron, Vice Chairman Michael W. Kearney, Secretary-Treasurer Robert R. Barkerding Jr., Laney J. Chouest, Arnold B. Baker and Scott H. Cooper.

         The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world’s busiest port system — Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Connected to major inland markets and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system, the Port is the ideal gateway for steel, project cargo, containers, coffee, natural rubber, chemicals, forest products, manufactured goods and cruising, Port reps said. An extensive network of ocean carrier services, along with added-value services like transloading of bulk into containers, make the Port of New Orleans the superior logistics solution for many types of cargo. To stay ahead of market demand, the Port has invested more than $100 million in capital-improvement projects since 2012 and has a Master Plan to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.

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Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court swears in Tara C. Hernandez Thursday, July 28, 2016, as the latest appointment to the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. The ceremony took place during the Board’s regular monthly meeting at the Port’s auditorium.



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