Under Stephen Perry’s direction for more than sixteen years, New Orleans & Company, formerly the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB), has routinely been ranked as one of the top five CVBs in the country, won multiple national awards for excellence in sales, marketing, public relations, branding, customer service and corporate relations, and expanded across the globe with offices in three American cities and five foreign countries. New Orleans & Company is the largest private economic development corporation in Louisiana, driving $8 billion in visitor spend annually, closing nearly $2 billion a year in contracted, executed sales. The organization also carries responsibility for brand management, marketing and sales that help sustain and enhance the nearly 90,000 jobs in the industry.
Stephen Perry led the rebuilding of tourism in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill and with its PAC and lobbying team is a consistent, strong force in the Louisiana Legislature for business growth.
Perry has served as international Chairman for Destination International, was appointed by both Presidents Bush and Obama to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, has served for fifteen years on the board of the U.S. Travel Association, and continues to serve on the boards of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), Audubon Nature Institute, and currently, Perry serves on the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors where he was acting Chairman for 2017/2018. Through his participation on these major tourism boards, the New Orleans brand is placed front and center in American tourism.
Perry served as a Chief of Staff to Governor M.J. Foster from the time of his election in November 1995 until August 2002. As Chief of Staff to the Governor in Foster’s Administration, Perry was responsible for direct management oversight of all state departments and agencies. All cabinet secretaries and heads of agencies reported directly to Perry and ultimately to the Governor. Finally, Perry served as the lead architect of public policy for the Foster administration and drove the design and implementation of many far-reaching policy and education management reforms.
Perry was the primary driver of the state’s efforts and lead negotiator in the 2001 ten-year retention negotiations with the New Orleans Saints, the recruitment, attraction and relocation of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans NBA team, and the building of the PGA Tour Tournament Players Club in Greater New Orleans, the current site of the Zurich Classic on the PGA Tour. He also led the state efforts to build the Smoothie King Arena, phase three of the Morial Convention Center and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
Perry holds a B.A. degree in Russian and French History from LSU, studied twice in the Soviet Union, received an M.A. in Anthropology from LSU and completed the Senior Executives Program in State and Local Government offered by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.