HCIA Announces Name Change, Installation Of 2016-2017 WBIA Executive Board

HARVEY, LA – Reps for the Harvey Canal Industrial Association (HCIA) said they have been the voice of the business community along the Harvey Canal Corridor since 1946, and have dedicated more than 70 years to the improvement of the business climate and the surrounding communities.

         Over the years, their membership grew to include the businesses that service the corridor, and Wednesday the group announced their new name, The Westbank Business & Industry Association (WBIA) to reflect that inclusion.

         Reps said their organization will open their doors to all business and industry on the Westbank allowing their association’s voice to get louder, stronger and more focused.

         2015-16 HCIA President, Chris Breaux, Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments, will step down as president and be a part of the new WBIA Executive Board Advisory Committee.

         A special meeting was held in April, where members deemed the geographic name Westbank more in keeping with the growth and potential growth of membership outside of the levees and parameters of the Harvey Canal waterway. Many of the current members are located throughout the Westbank with a small percentage of the early member companies residing on the Harvey Canal proper.

         “Although we will be dropping the “Harvey Canal” portion of our name, members voted to respect the history and founders of our association by trying to including the HCIA crest with our new logo,” Chris Breaux said. “Companies along the Harvey Canal and our present member companies remain important to us. They are a great asset to our community and many have pledged to help us welcome new companies to our ranks.”

         Charles Frederick, Boomtown Casino & Hotel, will be sworn in as the first WBIA President. Frederick has been involved with HCIA for over 15 years and said the name, “Westbank,” is simply a clarification of where the group will focus their attention as a board. “My job as President is to surround myself with committee chair people that share my passion and pride for being located on the Westbank. If I can accomplish that, the rest will take care of itself.”

         According to Lisa Jennings, Executive Director of the HCIA, the board is excited to formally unveil the new name and logo. “In changing our name, we will continue to expand our scope to include more businesses and industries throughout the neighboring communities,” Jennings said. “Of course, we will continue to welcome East Bank companies doing business with members on the Westbank.” 

         Reps said the WBIA will be the sound voice of the business community for the next 70 years. 

         “The change of the name to WBIA makes the organization reflective of the area encompassing 3 parishes of which it serves,” Chris Roberts, Jefferson Parish Councilman at-Large, Division A, said. “With a common interest on economic development this is an exciting time to bring everyone together as we plan and execute initiatives for the long term growth and betterment of the West Bank.“

         “I am extremely happy with the idea of expanding the focus of the HCIA to include all business on the Westbank of the Mississippi River,” Belinda Constant, Mayor, City of Gretna, said. “There are many reasons why an experienced organization such as this can be an asset to the hundreds of businesses on the Westbank.”

         “I’m extremely excited to learn of WBIA being organized,” Senator John Alario, Jr., said. “This will allow all business on the West Bank to speak with one voice for economic benefit and general wellbeing of our area. I look forward to working with them.”

         On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at the Boomtown Hotel, a Wine & Cheese Reception for WBIA will begin at 6:00 p.m.. 

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