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Norman E. Barnum, IV Named President & CEO of New Orleans Business Alliance

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) Board of Directors announced Norman E. Barnum, IV, as permanent President and CEO of the organization after having served in the role in an interim capacity since July 1, 2021, and as Chief Financial Officer starting in May of 2018. 
In his role as Interim President and CEO, Mr. Barnum has led NOLABA to a new level of engagement and outreach through a vast array of public and private partners, including local community organizations. Under his leadership, NOLABA also secured several federal and philanthropic grants to aid in furthering its vision to grow the New Orleans economy in an equitable fashion.
Barnum has always approached his leadership role with a “boots on the ground” mindset to economic development, acknowledging that NOLABA works with the people of New Orleans for the people of New Orleans – ensuring all its efforts are laser-focused on closing the extreme wealth, health, and environmental disparities they face.
“I am immensely proud of what my team has accomplished since I took the helm of NOLABA as Interim President and CEO last year,” said Barnum. “With this vote of confidence from the Board of Directors, I look forward to continuing the work we’ve started by creating initiatives and supporting infrastructure changes that will generate prosperity for all those who live or work in New Orleans – but especially those who contribute to our rich culture. This is my hometown, and it has made me who I am today. There is no one more passionate about seeing our people and our businesses succeed than me, and it is my great honor to be able to work toward that goal every day that I step through these doors.”
“The unanimous decision to appoint Norman to permanent President and CEO of NOLABA speaks to the confidence that the board has for Norman’s leadership,” said Gilbert Montaño, Chairman of NOLABA’s Board of Directors and CAO of the City of New Orleans. “The work that Norman and his team have delivered has been outstanding. He has made a difference in the level of community engagement the organization provides, and his commitment and dedication are providing real change for the City of New Orleans.”
Since being appointed Interim President and CEO in July 2021 to present, Barnum and the current team at NOLABA have facilitated significant wins for the people of New Orleans, including:

  • Continued support for local BIPOC-owned small businesses with various initiatives, including but not limited to the Resilient Corridors Initiative, InvestNOLA program, and the “Homegrown Holidays” partnership with MasterCard
  • $1.4M EDA Grant to build Wet Lab Facility at UNO
  • $400K EDA Grant to create a Community Economic Development Fund centered on investing in Orleans Parish projects and small businesses
  • Colorado Springs’ Catalyst Campus courtship with the vision of creating a Catalyst Campus in New Orleans East in partnership with assets such as NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility, STEM Global Action, and more
  • Launched the New Orleans East Public Art Project with a series of youth-led murals in Joe Brown Park
  • 1.5M Kellogg Grant to fund operational support for NOLABA’s mission

“This is a well-deserved appointment,” said Krista Pouncy-Dyson, Founder of Performance First Digital. “Norman has had an unwavering approach to optimizing economic development in New Orleans. My business is a testament to him reaching back and making sure minority-owned businesses share in the resources and contracting opportunities in the New Orleans economic ecosystem.” 
“Throughout his professional career, Norman has exemplified fearless leadership and an unwavering commitment to influencing equitable solutions to the community that he serves,” said Jon L. Renthrope, ED of NORBCC, CEO of Cajun Fire Brewing Company, and COO of NOECH. “I am esteemed that he is recognized in his role as President/CEO of the NOLABA, an organization that I hold dear, and I look forward to the future impacts this will have on the quality of life for the city at large.”
Barnum will assume the role of permanent President and CEO effective immediately. 


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