(NEW ORLEANS) — Brandy Christian, Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) president and CEO and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB), received the 2020 C. Alvin Bertel Award at the annual World Trade Center award ceremony and luncheon Wednesday.
The C. Alvin Bertel Award was established in 1967 and is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the Louisiana port and maritime community. Christian oversees all cargo, cruise and industrial real estate operations at Port NOLA. As the CEO of NOPB, she sets strategic direction and oversees all rail holdings.
“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition among my distinguished peers. Every day, I am humbled by the hard work and commitment of our transportation and trade community,” said Christian. “At Port NOLA we are focused on meeting demand as a vital economic engine for the state and the region. Receiving the Bertel Award is a validation of our collective efforts to strengthen the Port NOLA gateway and drive Louisiana forward.”
The Bertel Award is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Greater New Orleans port area, with the recipient chosen by 11 international trade, transportation and economic development organizations that make up the selection committee.
“The World Trade Center New Orleans is extremely pleased with the selection of Brandy Christian as the 2020 Bertel Award recipient. Brandy’s leadership and vision have elevated the Port of New Orleans to a new level of excellence, and her efforts have helped our region serve as a global catalyst for international trade,” said Stephen Hanemann, World Trade Center board chairman. “New Orleans and Louisiana are fortunate to have Brandy at the helm of one our State’s key domestic and international ports.”
Under Christian’s leadership, Port NOLA has increased the state’s competitive advantage and strengthened the region’s supply chain options with the strategic alignment of NOPB and investment plans designed to meet current and future demand. In 2018, the port established a strategic master plan that it continues to execute throughout the port’s jurisdiction.
Port NOLA is now an international brand that reaches 60 ports directly and an additional 450 ports via transshipment. Trade volumes have been increasing dramatically, doubling over the past 10 years and with double-digit growth in container volumes in 2018 and 2019.
Despite COVID-19 disruptions, Port NOLA’s operations remained vital, and the port has operated uninterrupted providing an essential service for the community, region and the global supply chain. Through it all Port NOLA remains focused on planning for the future to help drive a stable economy for the region and state.
“To get there, we are doubling down – with a $100 million investment that will add four new 100-gauge ship-to-shore cranes at our current terminals. We are also doubling down on the development of a state-of-the-art, big ship ready, container terminal downriver,” said Christian. “With 50-plus feet of water draft, no air draft restrictions, protected by the $14 billion investments in flood protection and offering unmatched rail, barge and road service from day one – we will be the only port in the Gulf that is big rail, big ship and big river ready.”
Christian has worked in the maritime industry for nearly two decades. After 14 years with the Port of San Diego where she ultimately served as vice president of business development and strategy, the Port NOLA Board of Commissioners recruited Christian to become chief operating officer of the Port in 2015. She was named president and CEO of the port.
Christian 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, the New Orleans & Company Board of Directors and on the Cruise Committee for the American Association of Port Authorities.
– Port NOLA