(NEW ORLEANS) — The Propeller Club of the U.S. Port of New Orleans honored Brandy Christian as its 2019 Maritime Person of the Year at the 86th Annual Maritime Person of the Year Gala on Wednesday at the Metairie Country Club.
Christian, who serves as president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Corp. (NOPB), is the first woman ever to be honored with this recognition from the Propeller Club of the U.S. Port of New Orleans.
“Brandy Christian is well deserving of this honor as the Propeller Club Maritime Person of the Year,” said William J. Baraldi, committee chairman for the Maritime Person of the Year, and the ex-officio of the Propeller Club of the U.S. Port of New Orleans. “She was selected for her foresight, proactive leadership, and focus on results in bringing the Port of New Orleans into the 21st century and the future.”
“The Port of New Orleans is one of the greatest economic engines for the state of Louisiana, and the country,” he added. “It is often not recognized enough for its contribution to our federal and state economy.”
Under Christian’s leadership to date, the port has acquired NOPB, which connects the oort with six Class I railroads, developed and adapted the 2018 Strategic Master Plan to guide growth throughout the port’s three parish jurisdiction, invested in a $100 million expansion plan that includes the purchase of four new 100-foot-gauge container gantry cranes that will more efficiently serve larger cargo ships, initiated a plan for the port’s 1,000-acre industrial real estate portfolio, and led the port to record-breaking cargo and cruise numbers for consecutive years.
“Being recognized by a distinguished body such as the Propeller Club is an honor and validation that we as a Port are moving forward in the right direction,” said Christian. “We are focused on continuing to build the necessary infrastructure to drive commerce and create jobs for our region. Port NOLA is a vital economic engine for the state of Louisiana, and we are focused on continued growth as we move forward.”
The two public agencies under her leadership have combined annual revenues of $100 million, nearly 500 employees and more than $200 million in capital projects. In her Port role, Christian oversees all cargo, cruise and industrial real estate operations. As the CEO of the Public Belt, she sets strategic direction and oversees all rail holdings.
Christian has received several recent accolades being named as a Louisiana Tourism Ambassador by the Lt. Governor’s Office, receiving the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Excelencia Award and being honored with the Jefferson Parish Chamber’s Community Advancement Award.
She currently serves on the Green Marine Board of Directors, Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank Trade and Transportation Advisory Council, Louisiana Board of International Commerce, the World Trade Center of New Orleans Board of Directors and the New Orleans & Company Board of Directors.
Before joining Port NOLA, Christian served 14 years with the Port of San Diego ultimately as vice president of strategy and business development.