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At Annual Meeting, GNO Inc.’s Michael Hecht Says It’s Time to ‘Change the Game’

March 18, 2022
Rich Collins, BizNewOrleans.com

NEW ORLEANS — Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., says he wants to “change the game” in regard to economic development in southeast Louisiana.

The region’s most visible business booster delivered the message at a jam-packed “state of the region” luncheon on March 17 at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency Hotel. Approximately 1,200 attendees dined on duck confit while listening to speeches, watching a flashy video and even taking in a silly SNL-style skit designed to highlight 2021 economic development wins and lay out GNO Inc.’s priorities for the coming year. Adding to the spectacle, WWL Radio set up a live broadcast from the event. In addition to Hecht, the organization’s outgoing chair Gay Le Breton and incoming chair Richard Cortizas both took a turn at the podium.

Hecht said 2021 was the “year of exiting gracefully” thanks to sales of Lucid, Sonpro Solar, Levelset and other regional startups whose combined price tag adds up to about $2.5 billion. He estimated that, once the transactions are complete, $1 billion of that will be pumped back into the New Orleans economy to “keep the flywheel turning.”....

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