Vol. 25: One of the Great Turnarounds in American History


One of the Great Turnarounds in American History

Last month, Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard gave the keynote address at the GNO, Inc. Annual Meeting – Greater New Orleans at the Inflection Point. Here, Rich reprises some of his key points in a Q&A interview with GNO, Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht:

Michael Hecht: How would you assess the recovery of Greater New Orleans and Louisiana?
Rich Karlgaard: It is one of the great turnarounds in American history, rivaling Chicago after the fire in the 1870s and IBM after its brush with bankruptcy in the 1990s.

MH: What are the areas of greatest improvement?
RK: Greater New Orleans is beginning to be perceived as a place where entrepreneurs and outsiders with vision can put down stakes and not be crushed by New Orleans legacy businesses and customs.

MH: What do you perceive as the greatest remaining challenges?
RK: The national perception of New Orleans is catching up to the positive reality, but still lags a bit.

MH: What is most surprising about the recovery?
RK: Its speed. And that it is being led, in part, by fresh faces like Louisiana Gov. Jindal.

MH: What are the other cities, regions, and states that you see as good comparisons for the experience in New Orleans and Louisiana?
RK: In different ways, Atlanta, Charleston, and Seattle. Atlanta became the symbol of the New South. Charleston is a vibrant mix of new and old. Seattle’s recovery from its beaten down status in the 1970s is spectacular.

MH: What is necessary in order to ensure that these results “stick” – that New Orleans and Louisiana are reaching a new plateau, and will not regress after funding and energy attenuate?
RK: Clean government. Reasonable taxes and regulations. Entrepreneurship. Access to capital. A healthy mix of legacy industries like oil and shipping, along with new industries in telecom, IT and health care. More promotion of the kind that Greater New Orleans does so well.

MH: What was the perception of New Orleans and Louisiana before Katrina?
RK: Best captured by a famous Wall Street Journal article that showed the region inflicted by a sense of fatalism.

MH: How has that perception changed since Katrina?
RK: That New Orleans and Louisiana are not fatalistic, but are in fact resilient and vibrant.

MH: What is your vision for Greater New Orleans in 2015 – 10 years after Katrina?
RK: That Greater New Orleans becomes one of the great coastal cities of the world, and not just for tourism. It becomes the Western Hemisphere’s version of Singapore.

Michael Hecht
President and CEO
Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Economic Development News

Green industry opportunities in NOLA
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Perception Not Reality: Study Shows Public Opinion Gaps Exist For Louisiana and Greater New Orleans
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Think Tank: Garland Robinette with Bruce Greenstein and Michael Hecht
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BBC Business Daily: The Deepwater Horizon disaster (BP oil spill) – One year on
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One year after spill, some signs of life emerge in the Gulf
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Greater New Orleans at the Inflection Point Video
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Download the GNOi App
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Around the Region

Announcements and Events

April 27, 2011
St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce Luncheon
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April 27, 2011
Tulane Family Business Center Wealth Management Seminar
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April 29-30, 2011
Sync Up Conference
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May 2-3, 2011
Second Line Conference
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May 4-5, 2011
Launch Fest
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May 6-7, 2011
Sync Up Conference
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Do you have news or events that you would like to share in our upcoming editions? Let us know…
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New Investors and Funders (Since March 30, 2011)

Thank you to our new investors and funders.

Durr Heavy Construction, LLC

Fowler Rodriguez Valdes-Fauli

Goldring Family Foundation

Woldenberg Foundation

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