The President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, Stephen Perry, announced today that Walt Leger, III will become Senior Vice President for Strategic Affairs and General Counsel for New Orleans & Company beginning Monday, October 14, 2019.
“We are laying the groundwork that will ensure future growth and prosperity and deep community commitment for the entire hospitality industry, our 1,100 member companies and tens of thousands of hospitality workers,” Perry said. “ The hospitality and tourism industry is New Orleans most important economic driver, largest employer and most significant revenue generator for the city’s budget. Acquiring talent for the future is critical for our company in leading this key industry. Our bedrock, core values require an unwavering deep commitment to our city, its culture, our political leadership, our assets, our neighborhoods and our residents. These coming years will require great partnership with our city and city council, with all business organizations, neighborhood organizations and our major cultural assets and non-profits. Walt has an unparalleled career representing New Orleans’ interests in the legislature and at the local level as well. He joins a newly crafted senior team that includes Cheryl Teamer, Senior Vice President of Public and Community Affairs, and Mark Romig, coming in January, as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. This newly assembled team on the legal, community, governmental affairs, and marketing front, share a resolute commitment to a progressive, socially active New Orleans & Company and ensures that the values and needs of New Orleans’ neighborhoods, assets, and citizens are at the forefront of our industry thinking and practices. Joining with Kim Priez and Stephanie Turner, Senior Vice Presidents of Tourism and Convention Sales respectively, and Kristian Sonnier over Public Relations and Communications and Jeff Anding over External Industry Relations, along with other senior managers and a diverse dedicated staff, New Orleans & Company now will have the single finest destination marketing organization team in the United States.”
In the Legislature, Walt Leger, III was elected by acclamation in 2012 and again in 2016 to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives, the youngest member to ever serve in this 2nd highest ranking position in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He was first elected to be the State Representative for District 91 with 65% of the vote in the fall of 2007 and re-elected without opposition in 2011 and 2015. Leger represents parts of Uptown, Central City, the Lower Garden District, the Irish Channel, Broadmoor, Marleyville Gert Town and Hollygrove in New Orleans.
For twelve years, Walt has carried many of the significant pieces of legislation, advancing the tourism industry and driving the growth of the New Orleans economy. Leger has been widely recognized and acclaimed as a problem solver, a consensus builder and someone who gets results. Since 2008, Leger has passed over one-hundred pieces of legislation. His support for tax, revenue and budget reform and stabilization, strategic infrastructure investments particularly for our ports, rail and multi-modal facilities, criminal justice reform and reinvestment, early childhood care and education, education reform and economic development have been recognized nationally and across the state with dozens of awards naming him a legislative champion, legislator of the year and advocate of the year.
Walt is a senior member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, as well as the House Education Committee, House Executive Committee, House Select Committee on Homeland Security, The Energy Council, the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, Multimodal Commerce Advisory Commission, Executive Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference of State Governments, and the Council of State Governments Governing Board for 2017-2018. In October 2012, Leger was elected to the Chairmanship of the Southern Rail Commission, formerly known as the Southern High Speed Rail Commission. In 2015 he was awarded a Rodel Fellowship of Public Leadership at the Aspen Institute, which seeks to enhance our democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation’s most promising young political leaders to explore, through study and conversation, the underlying values and principles of western democracy, the relationship between individuals and their community, and the responsibilities of public leadership; to support and inspire political leaders committed to sustaining the vision of a political system based on thoughtful and civil bipartisan dialogue; and to help America’s brightest young leaders achieve their fullest potential in public service.
Walt Leger is well-known in the state of Louisiana as a strategic thinker and fierce advocate for the hospitality industry and for citizens. First as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans and later as an attorney with the law firm of Leger & Shaw, Walt has been a zealous advocate for his clients and victims of violent crime. For over 15 years, Walt has achieved excellent results for his clients and earned a reputation for integrity and the highest caliber of legal excellence and ethical standards, as recognized by his AV rating by Martindale-Hubbel, the highest level attainable. Just out of law school, Walt served the people of the City of New Orleans as an Assistant District Attorney specializing in the prosecution of violent offenders and drug traffickers. He tried countless cases before Judges and Juries and earned the respect of his peers and opponents as aggressive, fair and just.
Walt is a proud graduate of Louisiana State University (LSU). In 2018, he was inducted into the LSU Hall of Distinction and chosen as the Young Alumnus of the Year, acknowledging the prominence he has garnered while still under 40 years of age, and celebrating the honor he brings to the LSU community as an alumnus, and for his commitment to the arts, the sciences, education, government and the practice of law. After graduating from Louisiana State University with numerous honors, Leger attended Tulane Law School, earning a certificate of specialization in Admiralty & Maritime Law and his Juris Doctor. At Tulane, Leger served as the Business Editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, the Editor-in-Chief of the Tulane Environmental Law Newsletter, 1L Class President, and Student Bar Association Vice-President. He currently serves on the Tulane University President’s Council.
Walt is regularly called upon to lecture at Continuing Legal Education programs for lawyers and Judges through the Louisiana State Bar Association, the New Orleans Bar Association and other organizations. Walt is a founding board member and Vice President of the Louisiana Institute for Children in Families, which focuses on foster youth and adoption as a method for ensuring every child in Louisiana is loved and cared for. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Judicial College, and has lectured regularly over the years at Tulane University School of Law, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, LSU Law School, Tulane University, the Loyola University Institute of Politics, and at conferences around the country for organizations like the National Conference of State Legislators, the Southern Legislative Conference, and the Council of State Governments, Justice Center among others. Walt is also an adjunct professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law.
Leger currently resides in New Orleans with his wife, Danielle and daughters Cate and Caroline.
Honors and Awards include:
2019 Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, Legislative Champion
2019 Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, Triple Crown Award
2019 Friend of the Hospitality Industry Award
2019 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2018 Louisiana State University, Hall of Distinction, Young Alumnus of the Year,
2018 Public Service Award, Louisiana Association for Justice,
2018 Rural Jobs Coalition , Louisiana Legislator of the Year,
2018 Regional Policy Award for Coastal Restoration, Ecological Society of America,
2018 National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Champion of Music;
2018 Louisiana Budget Project, Legislative Leadership Award
2018 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2017 Life and Liberty Award, Louisiana Family Forum for achievement in Criminal Justice Reform, 2017 Champion for Children, Childcare Association of Louisiana,
2017 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,2017 The National Trial Lawyers, Top 40 Under 40, Civil Litigation,
2016 Outstanding National Achievement in State Tax Reform by The Tax Foundation,
2016 United Way Louisiana Public Policy Champion,
2016 Champion of Community Healthcare Award, 504Health Network,2016 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2015 Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship,
2015 Champion for Children, Childcare Association of Louisiana,
2015 Whole Child Champion, Childhood & Family Learning Foundation,
2015 Legislative Champion, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association,
2015 Outstanding Legislator, LSU Health Sciences Center Foundation,
2015 LSU Greek Excellence Award,
2015 Education Choice Champion by Louisiana Federation for Children,
2015 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2014 Legislative Champion of the Year, Louisiana Primary Care Association,
2014 Vocational Rehabilitation Champion, Louisiana Rehabilitation Council,
2014 Legislative Champion, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association,
2014 Transit Champion, Ride New Orleans,
2014 Legislator of the Year, Childcare Association of Louisiana,
2014 Legislative Leadership Award, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans,
2014 Preservation Partner by Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation,
2014 Champion of the Coast Award by the Meraux Foundation,
2014 Mondale-Brooke Award for Fair Housing Leadership and Civic Participation by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center,
2014 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2013 Libby Milton Champion for Children Award,
2013 Legislative Champion by Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association,
2013 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2013 Champion of Small Business by National Coalition for Capital,
2013 Legislator of the Year, Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Community Development Awards, 2012 Louey Award for Legislative Leadership by the Louisiana Tourism Industry and the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association,
2012 Outstanding Legislator Award presented by Victims & Citizens Against Crime Inc.,
2012 Advocate of the Year by the Louisiana Restaurant Association,
2012 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2011 Legislator of the Year by the Alliance for Good Government of New Orleans,
2011 Crimestoppers Champion Award,
2011 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2010 Legislative Champion Award by the Louisiana Council of YMCA’s,
2010 National Award for Leadership in Juvenile Justice Reform from the National Juvenile Justice Network,
2010 Nurse-Family Partnership Champions Award,
2010 Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Legis-gator Business Champion,
2009 Legislator of the Year Award by the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families
New Orleans & Company is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. New Orleans & Company and its members and partners influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding, visitor services and local advocacy initiatives at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Columbia, SC, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five destination marketing organizations in the country, New Orleans & Company celebrates its 59th anniversary in 2019. For more information, please visit NewOrleans.com/about.