On January 1st, Brandy Christian took the helm of the Port of New Orleans as the new president and CEO after serving as the port’s COO since 2015. Before Christian arrived in Louisiana she served as the Vice President of strategy and business development for the Port of San Diego.
In a recent article from buisnessreport.com, it was revealed that one of Christian’s primary objectives in San Diego was to salvage the port’s cruise ship business in the midst of the downturn resulting from the increased crime at the various Mexican Riviera ports of called visited by ships sailing from Southern California. During this time, Christian’s focus was to lure Disney Cruise Line to the port.
As we all know, Disney has been using San Diego as a homeport since May 2014 before and after the Disney Wonder’s Alaskan cruise season.
“Customer service was a big thing. For a line such as Disney, that’s very important,” Christian says. “A lot went into getting feedback from them and from other lines about how we could improve our service and the customer experience, then following up by making those improvements in the facility, our staffing, our partnerships, etc.” – Brandy Christian via buisnessreport.com
With feet firmly planted in New Orleans, Christian’s focus is now on Port NOLA 2025, the ports master plan:
PORT NOLA 2025 VISION STATEMENT
The Port of New Orleans, together with our partners, will be the premier Gulf Coast cargo hub, with unsurpassed connections to global and U.S. inland markets, and uniquely positioned as a vibrant cruise experience.
Goals and Objectives:
- Operate Efficiently: Optimize use of unsurpassed connectivity to efficiently move global cargos by supporting diverse business lines and land uses capable of adapting to constantly changing market trends.
- Capitalize on geography and history: Further establish our place as the premier Gulf Coast hub with strategic investments in infrastructure, access and development to capture new markets and expand cargo capacity, while enhancing New Orleans as a vibrant experience for cruise and tourism.
- Develop Sustainably: Together with our stakeholders and the community, be a proactive and responsible organization ever striving for balance while enhancing the economy, society and environment.
Ok, you may be asking what does this have to do with DCL. Well, in 2013 it was revealed the Port of New Orleans was courting Disney Cruise Line. The years have past and there have been on and off again rumors, but ultimately nothing substantial. This really could come down coincidence, but there is some merit to making mention of Christian’s promotion with her previous connection to DCL while in San Diego and Port NOLA’s master plan which fits within the time line of DCL’s feet expansion, planned for 2021 and 2023.
For more you can check out the press release announcing the Port of New Orleans’ new leadership.