Week in Review, Feb. 7-11: Tetlow to Fordham, Power Plant Sold

NEW ORLEANS — Here are the week’s top business stories:

Loyola University New Orleans President Tania Tetlow has accepted a new role as president of Fordham University in New York City. Fr. Justin Daffron, S.J., Loyola’s Vice President of Mission and Identity, will serve as interim president next year and work with the board and the rest of the university’s leadership team during the time of transition to maintain the momentum of transformation built over the past four years. Tetlow, who was the first woman and layperson to lead Loyola in the university’s 110-year history, will also be the first woman and layperson to serve as president of Fordham, a Catholic university that is ranked 68th among national universities and enrolls about 15,000 students. Tetlow has been Loyola’s president since 2018.

Lauricella Land Company, Brian Gibbs Development and Cypress Equities announced that they have closed on a deal to invest in the historic New Orleans Market Street Power Plant building and surrounding acreage. Lauricella, Gibbs and Cypress are also part of The River District team that recently won the bid to develop the vacant land that sits between the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Market Street Power Plant. “Acquiring and developing the Market Street Power Plant site is an important piece of our overall vision for the riverfront that runs upriver from the Convention Center,” said Louis Lauricella, managing member of the Lauricella Land Company, in a press release. “This project will allow continuity for an incredible expanse of land dovetailing nicely with the overall master development plan of The River District.” The power plant was originally constructed in 1902 and consists of seven separate buildings with over 160,000-square-feet of developable floor space plus additional vacant land. The partners will focus on renovating the existing structure, while preserving the historic nature of the building and its surrounding acreage.

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Children’s Hospital New Orleans is celebrating the opening of its Child Life Center, one component of a $300 million campus transformation. Funded by donations from the Krewe of Tucks, Spirit of Children, the Maureen and Whit Huguley Family Fund and others, the Child Life Center provides a “spacious and engaging environment for children to thrive and find joy while receiving care in the hospital,” said a spokesperson. “An integral part of clinical care that sets a children’s hospital apart is its Child Life Program,” said Rene Guilbeau, the hospital’s director of child life and creative therapies, in a press release. “Child Life Specialists make all the difference when it comes to attending to emotional safety and ensuring best practice for infants, kids and teens. I am thrilled that our team now has a space that matches the level of care they provide.” The center features a new child playroom, a teen lounge, a sensory room for those with special needs, and a dedicated space for children to gather for music, play, art, activities, games and more. 

As part of a Gulf Coast expansion, discount grocery chain Aldi opened its first Louisiana location on Feb. 10 at 4518 Ambassador Caffery Parkway in Lafayette. The 22,000-square-foot store is one of several locations that the grocer plans to open throughout the state in the following year, said Corporate Realty’s Jonathan Fawer, who along with Richard Weber Jr. has been helping the company with site selections throughout Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. “We are pleased to be working with Aldi,” said Fawer. “This is an exciting opportunity to represent a company that provides quality products, from food to household essentials, at low prices.” The retailer announced plans to open approximately 20 new stores this year across Alabama, Mississippi, the Florida Panhandle and Louisiana as part of a larger national expansion. Additionally, a new Aldi distribution center is under construction in Loxley, Alabama. A company representative said the center will ultimately serve approximately 100 stores throughout the region.

General Informatics, an IT managed services provider and network infrastructure company, has announced the acquisition of CMS IP Technologies. CMS is a managed IT provider in Texas, Louisiana and Colorado. “We are very excited to begin working with the team at CMS and continue to grow our geography and services portfolio.” said Don Monistere, CEO and president of General Informatics. “With offices in Beaumont, Lufkin, Livingston, and Pueblo, we will have a much broader reach to service the Texas and Colorado markets.”

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Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

After 30 years without any changes, Entergy has unveiled a “refreshed” logo along with a new corporate brand that reflects the company’s “aspiration to become the premier electric utility and deliver a cleaner, brighter and more sustainable future for everyone,” according to a press release. “At Entergy, we’ve had the privilege of providing safe, affordable and reliable energy that has powered millions of lives for more than a century,” said Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and CEO. “But we’re not resting there. We are proactively transforming our company to meet new opportunities. We’re evolving to ensure Entergy becomes a driving force for innovation and cutting-edge products and services. And we are accelerating our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, while partnering with our customers to support their own environmental goals, leading to a cleaner and better future for all our stakeholders.”

The board of directors of Metairie Bank and Trust Co. announced that John P. LeBlanc will become the community bank’s new CEO and Michael A. Gennaro will become its new president. The announcement comes after the death of former president and CEO Ron E. Samford Jr. on Jan. 31. “Mike and I are following in the footsteps of a great leader and mentor,” said LeBlanc. “Together with the entire Metairie Bank team, we will do Ron proud. The future of this 75-year-old community bank begins now.” LeBlanc most recently served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hibernia Bank. Prior to that, he spent four years as Metairie Bank’s senior vice president, chief financial officer. Before joining Metairie Bank, he served as executive vice president, chief financial officer for Bank of New Orleans and Louisiana Bancorp for 14 years.

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