June 22, 2017
NEW ORLEANS - The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans today elected Robert R. Barkerding Chairman. Barkerding represents Jefferson Parish and joined the Board in February of 2013 when he was appointed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal.
He succeeds Michael W. Kearney, whose term as Chairman expired this month. Kearney will continue to serve as a commissioner. In addition, the Board elected Laney T. Chouest Vice Chairman and Arnold B. Baker Secretary-Treasurer.
Barkerding is President of Admiral Security Services Inc., a maritime-focused security firm with offices in New Orleans and Mobile, AL, that works in conjunction with the U.S. government to provide armed guards to vessels and ports on the lower Mississippi River and in ports in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. He has worked in the maritime industry for more than 50 years.
"I want to thank Michael Kearney for his leadership over the past year, including overseeing the transition of ushering in our new President and CEO, Brandy D. Christian. The changes in leadership will serve us well into the future," said Barkerding. "The Port of New Orleans is one of our region's largest economic engines and an emerging leader in the global transportation industry. I am excited to work with the Board, staff, and all stakeholders and I look forward to leading the Port as it reaches its maximum potential."
Barkerding serves in numerous professional and civic capacities including director of the New Orleans Board of Trade; president emeritus of the Propeller Club of New Orleans; member of the executive committee of the International Propeller Club and vice-chairman of the World Trade Center Transportation Committee. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran and former active duty and reserve member of the New Orleans Police Department.
In April 2017, the World Trade Center of New Orleans announced Barkerding as the recipient of the 2017 C. Alvin Bertel Award. The C. Alvin Bertel Award was established in 1967 and is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the Louisiana port community.
The Board is made up of seven commissioners. They are unsalaried and serve five-year staggered terms. The Governor of Louisiana appoints members from a list of three nominees submitted by 19 local civic, labor, education and maritime groups. The Board reflects the three-parish jurisdiction, with four members from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish. Other Board members include William T. Bergeron, Tara C. Hernandez, and Darryl D. Berger.
The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world's busiest port system - Louisiana's Lower Mississippi River. Connected to major inland markets and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system, Port NOLA is the ideal gateway for containers and breakbulk cargo, as well as passenger cruises. A growing network of ocean carrier services, along with services like container-on-barge make Port NOLA the superior logistics solution.