Our Team - NOLABA
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Executive Team

Quentin L. Messer, Jr.

Quentin L. Messer, Jr. was selected to lead the New Orleans Business Alliance in July 2015, having spent the previous three years at Louisiana Economic Development (LED), most recently as Assistant Secretary.  At New Orleans Business Alliance, Quentin leads initiatives and programs related to business intelligence, economic competitiveness, small business services, business attraction and retention, including the Bioinnovation and Health Sciences cluster, and has overall responsibility for executing the Business Alliance’s ProsperityNOLA strategy.

Filling a similar role at LED, where as a member of the executive management team, Quentin was President of the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation (LEDC); Secretary’s designate to the Research Park Corporation board, where he is the Board Treasurer and Chairperson, Audit Committee; staff lead for the Louisiana Innovation Council (LIC); and the agency’s representative on ratings agency calls related to the State’s General Obligation and other indebtedness.

Quentin was selected as a 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award recipient of the Fannie Lou Hamer Community Service and Leadership Award by Grambling State University.  He is member of the Council for a Better Louisiana’s (CABL) Leadership Louisiana class of 2014.  He is a member of the fifth class of the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation’s Broad Residency in Urban Education (2007-09).

A native of Jacksonville, FL, Quentin is a former corporate transactions attorney, public charter school operating executive, and strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Quentin is excited daily by the opportunity to work on better leveraging New Orleans’s human capital, infrastructure and economic assets to transform the life trajectories of more Crescent City residents.

The father of two daughters – one a Corporal in the U.S. Marines — and a son, Quentin is married to Kenya LeNoir Messer, Ed.D, Associate Vice Provost, Office of Diversity, Office of Academic Affairs at LSU.  He holds an AB, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from Princeton University and JD/MBA from Columbia University’s Law and Business Schools, respectively.

Timothy Hemphill

Tim Hemphill is a goal-oriented leader and finance professional with successful outcomes and strong experience in strategic organization, fiscal policy and process management. He is respected for his team leadership approach to organizational development and in raising the bar of success while focusing on results that provide the highest return on investment to stakeholders. With over 12 years of experience, he has honed his skills in providing transparent and accountable reporting mechanisms to make smarter business decisions, creating value-added proactive business strategies and risk mitigation techniques, and implementing corporate strategy to achieve short term and long term organizational goals.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Louisiana and New York, as well as a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Society of Louisiana CPAs and New York State Society of CPAs. In 2013, he received a New Orleans CityBusiness Money Makers award recognizing his financial leadership at NOLABA.

Abhay Patel

Abhay Patel currently serves as the Vice President of Business Development for the New Orleans Business Alliance, where he is responsible for corporate retention, expansion and attraction activities.  Prior to joining NOLABA, Abhay spent most of his professional career working as an investment banker, including seven years with Deutsche Bank in New York.  While there, he focused on providing capital markets, mergers and acquisitions advisory services for companies across a number of sectors, including automotive, building products, clean technology, diversified industrial, healthcare, telecommunications and transportation.

During his career, Abhay helped raise over $30 billion of debt and equity capital and worked on several notable advisory transactions, including Hertz’ acquisition of Dollar Thrifty and Landis + Gyr’s sale to Toshiba Corporation.

Abhay earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from LSU and his Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law.

Brenda Canada

Brenda started her retail career handling site selection for all Gap concepts in the Southwest and parts of Texas including Gap, Gapkids, Banana Republic, Old Navy, babyGap and Gap Outlet.  From there, she led Viacom Retail Group’s real estate department, selecting sites for a nationwide roll-out of Nickelodeon stores in upscale malls.  A licensed real estate agent, Brenda also leased shopping center developments – new and established – across New Mexico. She represented a number of national tenants as they expanded into that market including The Limited, Hancock Fabrics, Curves, Sunflower Markets, David’s Bridal and Pier 1.

After falling in love with New Orleans during her first visit in 1970, she returned frequently, including annual visits after Katrina to support the city. Brenda now works with national, regional and local retailers, developers and brokers to expand the retail options across New Orleans.

Under her leadership, the New Orleans real estate community has developed a consistent model and message for communicating with retail prospects, and she actively seeks out ways to coordinate the city’s divergent neighborhood, governmental and civic groups to promote retail growth. She also serves as the Public Sector Co-Chair of the Louisiana chapter of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

New Orleans projects that have flourished under Brenda’s involvement include Costco, New Era Cap Co, Algiers Plaza, Big Lots in New Orleans East, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, South Market District, CVS, Wildlife Reserve, Faubourg Wines in The Marigny, and Magnolia Marketplace.

Emilie Tenenbaum

Emilie directs all aspects of the development and implementation of fundraising strategies for NOLABA. She also works with key organizations throughout the community to develop strategic partnerships to ensure alignment with NOLABA’s work.

Prior to NOLABA, Emilie served as the director of development for St. Bernard Project (SBP) where she oversaw the fundraising and communications efforts for the local non-profit disaster rebuilding organization, raising more than $4 million and managing a network of 5,000+ donors and more than 30,000 volunteers.  Originally from Vermont, Emilie came to New Orleans in 2007 to work for Senator Landrieu as the state campaign finance director. More recently, she served as national campaign finance director for former Congressman Charlie Melancon in his 2010 U.S. Senate bid.  She has also served as an independent consultant for public-sector clients, including for James Carville.

Emilie’s community involvement spans the gamut, including volunteering her time as a certified yoga instructor for Yoga Power Play, which offers yoga to local youth; consultant to Propeller’s Social Innovators Accelerator Program, providing direct support to participants; and on the ground providing disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the 2007 typhoon in the Phillippines. She was also among Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Emerging Leaders inaugural class.

Emilie holds a degree in political science from the University of Delaware.

Amy Ferguson

Amy brings 25 years of communications strategy development and project management experience, especially in the areas of public affairs, issues management and community relations, for a wide range of economic development, government, public health, academic and arts clients to her role as Public Relations Manager at NOLABA.

Amy’s career has been characterized by challenging issues, highly charged environments and hard-to-reach audiences. She has achieved notable success developing and executing communications strategies and issues management efforts for clients such as the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an NBA basketball team and numerous public health initiatives.

She was a vital member of the marketing communications team charged with re-branding the state, and South Louisiana in particular, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For more than a year, she routinely handled as many as a dozen in-depth media calls daily. Amy provided expert communications counsel to the Secretary of Economic Development, developed announcement strategy for major projects and acted as primary strategist and publicist for LED’s entertainment office. She has achieved strategic local, regional and national media placements and developed internal and external communications materials for a variety of clients from a start-up entrepreneurial group to a major Fortune 200 corporation.

Amy earned a B.A. from Texas A&M University and a Master’s degree from Emerson College in Boston.

Team Members

Louis David