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Kristian Sonnier

NEW ORLEANS – (March 9, 2018) – The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) has inducted key leaders in the city's tourism industry to serve on its 2018 Board of Directors. This diverse group of business leaders will provide guidance and direction for New Orleans' $7.41 billion tourism industry and will advance the interests of the more than 1,100 members of the NOCVB. Serving as chairman of the board is Gregory Rusovich, CEO of Transoceanic Development.

Gregory Rusovich joined Transoceanic Development in 1981 after receiving his Political Science degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. Mr. Rusovich served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the global company from 1989–2003, and as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2003–2005.  He devised and implemented the company’s strategy to “go global,” launching 25 international offices with a primary focus on energy and emerging markets. Subsequently, Mr. Rusovich served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the public corporation’s subsidiary, Agility Projects Logistics (Transoceanic) from 2005–2008.  In this leading executive role, he led the company’s operations as well as the company’s aggressive merger and acquisition efforts.  Mr. Rusovich now serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Transoceanic Development, a firm dedicated to global logistics and transportation. Born and raised in New Orleans, Mr. Rusovich is also very active in numerous past and present civic pursuits and has received many awards and honors for his civic endeavors. He has dedicated his civic efforts toward post-Katrina New Orleans reform and recovery issues with a focus on global trade, economic development, criminal justice and tourism.

“Under the guidance of Gregory Rusovich, we are continuing to create a strategic roadmap to increase visitation and visitor spending in New Orleans in 2018 and beyond. This year, we look forward to celebrating the Tricentennial with the world, to be a part of great new developments along the riverfront and new hotel, restaurant and business openings that help us showcase the best our city has to offer to our millions of annual visitors,” said Stephen Perry, President & CEO, New Orleans CVB.

The 2018 Board of Directors Executive Committee:

  • Gregory Rusovich, Transoceanic Development (Chairman of the Board)
  • Steve Caputo, Hotel Monteleone (Chair-Elect)
  • Michael Smith, Hyatt Regency New Orleans (Past Chair)
  • Steve Pettus, Dickie Brennan & Company (Treasurer)
  • Darryl Berger, The Berger Company (Secretary)
  • Jim Cook, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel (Assistant Secretary)

Ex Officios:

  • Justin Augustine, RTA*
  • Darryl Berger, Chairman of New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Company (NOTMC), The Berger Company
  • Brandy Christian, Port of New Orleans*
  • Kevin Dolliole, New Orleans Aviation Director at the Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY)
  • Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute
  • Stan Harris, Louisiana Restaurant Association
  • Melvin Rodrigue, Chairman of Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Galatoire’s
  • John Romano, Chairman of Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association (GNOHLA), InterContinental New Orleans
  • Doug Thornton, LSED/SMG Superdome

At Large:

  • Mickal Adler, Coleman E. Adler & Sons
  • Zeid Ammari, Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts*
  • Robert Bray, New Orleans Marriott Hotel
  • Katy Casbarian, Arnaud’s Restaurant
  • Aaron Dirks, Joieful/Limousine Livery*
  • Terry Epton, Hosts New Orleans*
  • Kathie Jacobs, Highpointe, Hotel Corporation
  • Diane Lyons, Accent on Arrangements
  • Quentin Messer, New Orleans Business Alliance
  • Frank Quinn, Outlet Collection at Riverwalk*
  • Amy Reimer, International House Hotel
  • David Teich, Windsor Court Hotel
  • Stephen Watson, National WWII Museum*
  • Charlee Williamson, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group*

*Newly appointed for 2018
Headshots available for all board members upon request.

New Orleans was named number five of Condé Nast Traveler’s “18 Best Places to Travel in 2018, one of Travel + Leisure’s “50 Best Places to Travel in 2018” and is on Fodor’s Travel’s “Go List” as one of their 52 destinations to visit in 2018.  

New Orleans’ culture, history and authentic experiences are among the reasons the destination is consistently recognized by prestigious travel publications, and are also key tools the tourism industry uses to sell, market and promote the destination. An additional selling point for 2018 is the Tricentennial celebration. The Nominating Committee received nominations from the CVB members and selected board candidates based on their industry knowledge, experience and diversity. The slate was elected by the CVB's membership at the Annual Business Meeting held on December 14, 2017.

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Columbia, SC, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 58th anniversary in 2018. For more information, please visit;;