New Orleans, La. – Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), the public-private partnership charged with economic development for the city of New Orleans, confirmed today that the Board has voted to hire Quentin L. Messer, Jr. to lead NOLABA into its next phase of growth. Messer will lead the organization as President and CEO as of July 1, 2015. He has most recently served as Assistant Secretary at Louisiana Economic Development (LED).

“Since taking office, one of my top priorities has been to create better-paying jobs and economic opportunity  for more New Orleanians, particularly through public-private partnerships,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “As a result, we have launched a strategic plan, increased retail and commercial development, relocated high-growth tech companies to New Orleans, and created over 9,100 jobs over the last five years. We still have challenges, but we’re making incredible progress and we must continue to ensure that all New Orleanians share in that progress. I am proud to welcome Quentin Messer to NOLABA, whose extensive experience will strengthen our economic development efforts and better position New Orleans as the best place in the world to do business.”

Messer, whose background includes leadership posts in government and business (both family-owned and venture-backed), joined LED as Director of State Economic Competitiveness in 2012. He then rose to Assistant Secretary a year later.

“In addition to his knowledge of and passion for thoughtful economic growth in Louisiana, Mr. Messer brings an extraordinary combination of private sector, public policy and foundation experience that was unparalleled among candidates we assessed for the post,” said NOLABA Board Chairman Henry L. Coaxum, Jr. “A public-private partnership like NOLABA requires an unusual set of skills. We needed a candidate with the nuts and bolts knowledge of economic development, along with intimate understanding of business, government and nonprofit environments. We also needed someone who could really maximize the exceptional team we have in place.”

Prior to LED, Messer held C-level leadership posts in education, business consulting and nonprofit environments. His earlier career was marked by several years working in K-12 education reform including operating leadership roles with two national educational management organizations, including a Broad Residency in Urban Education, a highly competitive and prestigious mid-career leadership development program.  Messer also served as a senior management consultant for BCG (The Boston Consulting Group) and practiced law as a corporate transactions attorney.  A member of the Council for a Better Louisiana’s Leadership Louisiana 2014, he was selected by Grambling State University as a 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award recipient of the Fannie Lou Hammer Community Service and Leadership Award.

“I am excited and honored to be joining the New Orleans Business Alliance team,” said Messer. “I look forward to working with Mayor Landrieu, his team and the Business Alliance’s tremendous board of directors to accelerate the organization’s trajectory. When we do our work well, we will transform the lives of New Orleanians by providing more on-ramps to opportunities and ensuring a stable, sustainable economic future for us all.”

With the arrival of Mr. Messer, Melissa Ehlinger, who served as Interim President and CEO, returns to her role as Senior Vice President and will continue to lead strategy, business development and implementation of NOLABA initiatives.