Staff Directory

Executive Leadership

Michael Hecht

President & CEO
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Email Michael

Robin Barnes

Executive Vice President and COO
Email Robin

Senior Staff

Grady Fitzpatrick

Senior Vice President, Business Development
Grady leads the Business Development team responsible for increasing jobs and investment throughout the 10-parish region of Greater New Orleans. The team focuses on retention and expansion of existing industry, as well as business recruitment of our key industry clusters.
Email Grady

Rachel Shields

Chief of Staff
Rachel is a member of the senior strategy team, and manages the activities of the organization’s Boards and Committees including the Executive Board of Directors, the NextGen Council, and the SoLA Super Region Committee. As well, Rachel produces the organization’s major events including the Annual Luncheon which draws well over 1,000 attendees, international business missions and the Emerge Summit Young Professionals Conference.
Email Rachel

Jeff Teague

Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Email Jeff

Caitlin Berni

Vice President, Policy and Communications
Caitlin is responsible for directing the organization’s policy work at the federal and state level, both developing policy and advocacy strategies to implement them. She also directs the organization’s communications team, which focuses on communicating why Greater New Orleans is the logical choice to live, work, and raise a family. Caitlin also directs the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI), a national effort initiated by GNO, Inc. to keep flood insurance offered through the National Flood Insurance Program sustainable and affordable.
Email Caitlin

Jessica Foreman

Director of Corporate Relations
Jessica works closely with State and Regional Partners, businesses and corporate executives in assisting with retention, expansions, and relocation to the region.
Email Me

Lacy McManus

Director of Program Development
Lacy is responsible for relationships and coordination between product and business development, positioning the organization’s workforce, environmental and resilience initiatives as catalysts for wealth generation in Southeast Louisiana. In this role, Lacy acts as a liaison between GNO, Inc. and private philanthropies, business community stakeholders, government agencies, and non-profit partners to ensure GNO, Inc.’s programs create a thriving regional economy
Email Lacy

Matt Wolfe

Director of Brand and Marketing
Matt oversees the branding of the Greater New Orleans region as a business-friendly location to hundreds of companies targeted for relocation. These duties include design of print and web products such as recruitment books, informational posters, and the management and development websites such as WorkNOLA or Destination GNO. His work also positions the organization as a major asset for the region’s economic growth. In addition to these marketing tasks, Matt has direct involvement with business development activities that technology sector growth, including key involvement with the Digital Media Alliance, Collision, and the recruitment of companies into the market.
Email Matt

Professional Team

Harrison Crabtree

Research and Policy Analyst
Harrison oversees GNO, Inc.’s research efforts. He is responsible for the interpretation of demographic and market research along with the management of GNO, Inc. research based reports including the State of the Sector reports. His work also includes public-policy based research and analysis related to key policy issues. In addition to his research and policy tasks, Harrison assists the communications team with social media initiatives.
Email Harrison

NaShawn Johnson

Program Assistant
As a part of the Business Ecosystem team, NaShawn works to support Greater New Orleans, Inc.’s workforce development efforts by identifying opportunities to connect local business and industry to regional academic institutions. In her role, she supports projects and initiatives that highlight high-wage, high-demand workforce opportunities in the regional economy.
Email NaShawn

Evie Poitevent

Human Capital Manager
Evie provides orientation “concierge services” for new companies and relocating executives, including quality of life and “trailing spouse” assistance; neighborhood driving tours; schools support; and more. She assists local and new, incoming talent with career-related resources and connections, and supports regional companies with connections to local talent. Additionally, Evie facilitates relationship building with and amongst regional higher education institutions, the nonprofit community & regional business partners through outreach and support efforts.
Email Evie

Gary Silbert

Business Development Manager
Gary works closely with State and Regional Partners, Site Selectors, business owners, and corporate executives in assisting industrial prospects with expansions and relocations including: Site selection, State and local incentives, infrastructure, permitting and other related issues. Additionally, Gary focuses on the military missions based in southeast Louisiana.
Email Gary

Brandon Williams

Manager of Finance and Compliance
Brandon is responsible for fiscal matters including grants management, invoicing, processing payments, and ensuring compliance with organizational reporting requirements.
Email Brandon

Administrative Team

Dawn Hickey Greatrex

Executive Assistant
Dawn serves as the Executive Assistant to Policy, Finance, and Corporate Relations.
Email Dawn

Denise Washington

Executive Assistant
Denise Washington serves as the Executive Assistant to Business Development Team and Executive Assistant to Chief of Staff, Rachel Shields.
Email Denise