Port of New Orleans and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Boards Elects Chairwoman

Tara C. Hernandez

NEW ORLEANS — During a Sep. 26 board meeting, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans selected new officers with the election of Tara C. Hernandez as chair, Darryl D. Berger as vice chairman and William H. Langenstein, III, as secretary-treasurer. Details were shared in a press release.

With the Port’s acquisition of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) effective Feb. 1, 2018, Port Commissioners also serve as directors of the NOPB Board. Hernandez will serve as chair of NOPB’s Board of Directors, Berger as vice chairman and Langenstein as secretary-treasurer.

Hernandez joined the Board in July 2016 when she was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. She succeeds Arnold B. Baker whose term as chairman expired this month. Baker will continue to serve on the Board as a commissioner until his five-year term ends in April 2020.

“I would like to thank Commissioner Baker for his service and leadership on this Board, and I am honored to take the baton as Chair,” said Hernandez. “I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow commissioners, Port leadership and our stakeholders as we take bold, strategic action to create opportunities on and off Port property and help drive a secure, sustainable future for our jurisdiction and the state of Louisiana.”

She brings a wealth of experience in real estate development and entrepreneurial endeavors to the Boards and is a respected leader within the Greater New Orleans business community.

Hernandez is president of New Orleans-based JCH Properties+, a boutique urban real estate development firm that specializes in the conversion of underutilized real estate into residential, commercial and mixed-use redevelopment projects.

Hernandez is the past chair of the Board of Directors for Greater New Orleans Inc., the region’s foremost economic development agency. She also serves on the Executive Board of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation and is a member of the Ochsner Health Foundation Board.

Hernandez was also chair of the Urban Land Institute’s National Hines Competition Jury and served on the Executive Board of the Idea Village. She has received local awards from the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans and New Orleans Business Alliance.

The Port NOLA and NOPB Boards consist of seven members. They are unsalaried and serve five-year staggered terms. The Governor of Louisiana appoints members from a list of three nominations submitted by local civic, labor, education and maritime groups. The Board reflects the Port’s three-parish jurisdiction, with two members from Jefferson, four from Orleans and one from St. Bernard. Commissioners Jack C. Jensen, Jr. and Joseph F. Toomy represent Jefferson Parish; chair Hernandez, vice chairman Berger, secretary-treasurer Langenstein and commissioner Baker represent Orleans Parish; and commissioner Charles H. Ponstein represents St. Bernard Parish.

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