New and Notables: Harrison Crabtree
Director | World Trade Center of New Orleans
In 2022, GNO Inc. formed an operational partnership with the World Trade Center of New Orleans (WTCNO), an organization whose roots go back 80 years to the International House and International Trade Mart. The union’s goal is maximizing resources from each organization to promote international trade and development more effectively for the region. Harrison Crabtree, named director of the WTCNO in January, is leading the charge.
Crabtree’s passion for international business bloomed while studying abroad as an undergraduate, followed by graduate school in Brussels. The New Orleans native returned home to pursue a career fostering trade-focused economic growth and development, spending over six years at GNO Inc., where he tackled policy, marketing, business development and research.
Crabtree’s priorities include strengthening the GNO Inc. partnership and broadening the organization’s focus from primarily promoting exports from Louisiana to also attracting foreign direct investment. Strategies involve hosting delegations from other countries, like French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit, along with trade missions, including last year’s to Israel that created the “Innovation Embassy,” an incubator for startup technologies related to trade and logistics.
According to Crabtree, trade supports over half a million jobs in Louisiana – jobs paying an average of 16% more than those in non-trade dependent industries. He sees opportunities in “nearshoring” as companies move manufacturing facilities closer to the U.S. (and potentially supply chain lines through New Orleans) and foreign companies interested in Louisiana’s expanding offshore wind and hydrogen sectors.
“Building an economy that has strong growth and strong wage jobs…” said Crabtree, “to have that impact at ground level is really something that motivates me.”