On December 8, 2015 the class had the pleasure of being hosted by the Louis Armstrong International Airport. The Director of Aviation, Mr. Iftikhar Ahmad, got the session started with the informative presentation on the Airport, past and present. Mr. Ahmad covered all topics from revenue to myths that circulate in the community about our local airport.
Kristin Gisleson Palmer is a social entrepreneur and community activist with an emphasis on Housing and Transportation. As our second speaker for the day, she led a robust discussion on the future of transportation and what it will mean for Jefferson Parish and surrounding parishes. Her challenge to the group was to pledge support of the Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority.
Ms. Palmer passed the “speaker gavel” to Mr. Jerry Bologna, Executive Director of Jefferson Economic Development Commission (JEDCO). Jerry covered Jefferson EDGE 2020 and the major players and influencers of economic development for Jefferson Parish. He stressed the long-term strategic approach to where the parish is heading in the next five years. JEDCO engaged with approximately 150 people over 5 months to refresh the updated Jefferson EDGE 2020.
Where there is one, the other is not far behind! Mr. Michael Hecht, President & CEO of GNO, INC brought up the rear of the duo. He continued to frame the definition of economic development for the participants and created a platform for the group to write an attractive marketing blurb on Jefferson Parish.
Sayde F. Finkel, J.D. Senior Associate for Research + Special Projects with GNO, Inc. closed out our lineup of speakers with her presentation “Water Management and Emerging Environmental”. If looking for opportunities to continue this discussion check out RES/CON 2016.
To round out the day, the class took a tour of the new terminal and other areas within the airport. Kudos to Evelyn Thompson, Assistant to the Director of Aviation for spearheading every aspect of this session.