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GNO, Inc. William A. “Bill” Oliver Fellowship Program

Honoring the legacy of mentorship and community leadership of

Bill Oliver, GNO, Inc. 2008 Chairman and longtime supporter

Bill Oliver was an inspiration to the Board and staff of Greater New Orleans, Inc., providing leadership and mentorship during the critical years that followed Hurricane Katrina in Southeast Louisiana. Moreover, Bill was the first Chairman for President & CEO Michael Hecht, helping to set the governance structure and results-driven tone that would characterize the revitalized GNO, Inc. Simply put, the remarkable economic recovery of the region would not have been possible without Bill, and fellow business leaders, stepping up to provide guidance, financial support and unwavering encouragement.

As a reflection of Bill’s legacy, mentorship is now ingrained into the fabric of GNO, Inc. Further, GNO, Inc. is fortunate to have a diverse range of young leaders who, like Bill, want to give back to the Greater New Orleans region and be a part of a brighter future.

To honor Bill’s legacy, and meaningfully engage this talent, GNO, Inc. has built a formal program — the William A. Oliver “Economic Developer in Training” Fellowship — to develop and mentor aspiring economic development professionals and community leaders.

Fellowship Structure

Modeled after regional and national best practices, key elements of the William A. Oliver “Economic Developer in Training” Fellowship will include:

  • Specific Project Focus: Project(s) will be integral to the GNO, Inc. strategic plan, and fellows will focus on a key effort or initiative with clearly outlined benchmarks and deliverables. A few examples of past projects include: Urban Water Infrastructure Strategic Planning, Costal Restoration Research, and Workforce Development Ecosystem Mapping.
  • Structured Mentorship: In addition to an assigned GNO, Inc. supervisor/mentor, introductions and meetings will be set up for participants with community leaders in the region, as well as other mentorship opportunities
  • Timing: The Fellowship will last 3 months max. The fellow will work 20 hours a week on an agreed-upon schedule.  The fellowship is not remote, and the fellow is required to come into the office.
  • Compensation: Fellows will receive a competitive hourly wage
  • Participant Selection: Rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors; graduate students; recent college graduates (2 years post-graduation); and community college students with an interest in pursuing a career in economic/workforce development, marketing, advocacy/policy, and economics.
  • Interview Process: Applicants will go through two rounds of interviews.  One on Zoom and the other in-person.

Fellowship Program Application

Applications are open and will close on January 19, 2024.  Interviews will be conducted in the two weeks following the closing date. The official start date will be worked out between the chosen applicant and GNO, Inc. staff with the hopes to begin in February.