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New Orleans Convention Center Receives Third “Best Places to Work” Honor

Authority Commissioner Melvin Rodrigue Receives Icon Award

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has been selected as one of the city’s “Best Places to Work” by New Orleans CityBusiness, a weekly business newspaper. The Convention Center earned this honor in the “Large Companies” category, which includes companies with over 50 employees. This is the second year in a row, and the third time overall that the Convention Center has received this prestigious local honor. The publication also named Melvin Rodrigue, Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Commissioner, as a recipient of the “Icon Award,” given to business leaders who have had a lasting influence on the region’s economic development.

Rodrigue, president and CEO of famed New Orleans restaurant Galatoire’s, is also the founder of The Galatoire Foundation, a non-profit organization which serves as a way for his restaurant to give back to the community. Established in 2010, the foundation facilitates numerous community activities and donation drives, including a twice-annual fundraiser that has raised more than $2.2 million for the people of New Orleans. Rodrigue has also been instrumental in shaping a transformational Five-year Capital Improvement Plan for the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This $557M plan represents the single largest reinvestment in the Convention Center’s history and is one of the largest renovation projects ever in the United States.

“This has been a very exciting day for the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Not only was our convention center recognized for being one of the best places to work in New Orleans, but Melvin Rodrigue, a current commissioner and former Chairman of the convention center’s board of commissioners, was given an honor that is befitting of the great work that he and his foundation does for our community,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President.

“Our external customers, the people who visit our facility as well as the citizens of the City of New Orleans, have come to recognize the positive impact our employees make on their stay here in this facility. That all begins by ensuring a work environment that provides an exceptional internal customer service experience for our staff,” Sawaya continued.

In July, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center embarked on an innovative and ambitious plan to upgrade an already award-winning employee culture by placing ownership of the plan referred to as The Culture Project in the hands of employees. Project leads were selected from front line employees and mid-level management positions and provides an opportunity for them to grow their skills and demonstrate ability to lead and transition into higher positions.

“After the Coronavirus Pandemic changed so much about the world and our industry, we went to the drawing board and came up with innovative ways to keep our employees engaged in critical work that was instrumental in bringing events back to our facility in 2021,” Sawaya said. “From improvements to already existing infrastructure, to brand-new ideas like the Innovation Lab (which came out of The Culture Project), I am proud to say that, thanks to the hard work of our team, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is well-positioned to remain a leader in the expositions and events industry nationally.”

New Orleans CityBusiness published a complete list of Best Workplaces and Icon Award recipients on September 20, 2021. For more information on the nomination process and a full list of honorees, visit the New Orleans CityBusiness website at

For more information about job opportunities at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, or to apply online, please visit the Careers section of our website: