New Orleans Economic Development Ambassadorship Program Kicks Off March 29

ambassadorshipNew Orleans Economic Development Ambassadorship Program is the singular program in New Orleans providing in-depth insight into the work of growing and diversifying the city’s economy. Given that economic development is a cross-cutting issue affecting businesses in every industry and the economic security of all New Orleanians, through this program, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) brings together through this program experienced, mid-career professionals from a variety of sectors who desire to become better informed ambassadors for the city.

In the five sessions, NOLA Economic Ambassadors will learn about what is unique to economic development in New Orleans, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the city’s performance, assets and strategies. Key NOLABA staff members will present their areas of expertise, guide discussion and direct participants toward resources for further enrichment and opportunities to connect their professional work with these strategies.

Session 1: Economic Development 101
Sponsored by ERG Enterprises

NOLABA Speakers: Quentin L. Messer, Jr., President and CEO; Amy Ferguson, Director of Communications; Katy Dupre, Manager of Economic Competitiveness

Session 2: Small Business Development

NOLABA Speaker: Lynnette White-Colin, Director of Small Business Ecosystem Development

Session 3: Retail Attraction

NOLABA Speaker: Brenda Canada, Vice President of Retail Attraction Development & Strategy

Session 4: Business Retention & Attraction, Emerging Industries: Creative Digital Media and BioInnovation

NOLABA Speakers: Louis David, Vice President of Business Development & Strategy; Amritha Appaswami, Director of Business Development and Strategy, Bio and Health Services Innovation

Session 5: Talent Attraction & Retention, Workforce Development

NOLABA Speakers: Alejandra Guzman, Vice President of Program Development and Strategy; Mary Matthews, Executive Director of 504ward

In addition to becoming economic ambassadors for their community, participants will build a strong network of peers who share a common passion for making our city’s economy as globally recognizable as its culture.

The inaugural class will run Wednesday evenings March 29, 2017 – April 26, 2017 from 5:30 – 8:00.

Dinner is included. Sessions 1-4 will be held at the NOLABA office, 935 Gravier Street, Suite 2020. Session 5 will conclude with a graduation reception (location TBA).

Fees for 5 session course including dinner:

Early bird deadline: Applications received by 5 pm Friday, February 17, 2017: $150

Final deadline: Applications received after February 17 and before 5 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017: $200


To be eligible, candidates must

  • be 23 – 50 years old
  • have demonstrated a commitment to New Orleans’ future.

Participants may apply by completing the application and returning it to by the early bird deadline Friday, February 17. For applications received after February 17 and before the final deadline of March 1, the participation fee increases to $200. If you would like to recommend a candidate, please reach out to Applicants will be notified of their selection status no later than Friday, March 10.


Sponsorship provides a unique opportunity to connect with rising leaders across New Orleans’ business community. See details here.


Questions concerning the program or sponsorship may be directed to Mary Matthews at or 504-934-4571.


Thank you to our generous sponsor

ERG Enterprises


About the New Orleans Business Alliance:
A partnership between the business community and city government, NOLABA serves as the lead economic development organization for the city of New Orleans. NOLABA’s goal is to create a diverse, sustainable New Orleans economy by building the business community. Its 17-member Board comprises a cross-section of New Orleans leaders, including Mayor Mitch Landrieu and business professionals from varied industries.

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1250 Poydras St., Suite 2150
New Orleans, LA 70113 | 504.934.4500