NEW ORLEANS — Today the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) selected new officers with the election of Joseph F. Toomy to serve as Board Chairman, Walter J. Leger Jr. as Vice Chairman, and James J. Carter Jr. as Secretary-Treasurer for the nine-month term. With the alignment of the Port of New Orleans and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, Port Commissioners and officers also serve on the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission.
Toomy succeeds Jack C. Jensen Jr., whose nine-month term as Chairman and five-year term as commissioner ended this month. Jensen will continue to serve on the Board as a commissioner until his replacement is appointed.
“We thank Jack Jensen for his strong leadership and dedicated service as Chairman of our Board,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port NOLA President and CEO and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission (NOPB). “Under his leadership, the Port of New Orleans finished a $140 million expansion of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal with the addition of four new 100-foot gauge cranes, and made significant progress on the Port’s second container terminal project—the new $1.8 billion state-of-the art Louisiana International Terminal.”
During his time as Chairman, a historic public-private partnership between the State of Louisiana, the Port of New Orleans, and two global maritime industry leaders was reached. New Jersey-based Ports America, North America’s largest marine terminal operator, and Geneva, Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, through its terminal development and investment arm Terminal Investment Limited (TiL) committed $800 million to the Louisiana International Terminal project.
Jensen also played a pivotal role in guiding future maritime and infrastructure investments in St. Bernard Parish. That includes securing Capital Outlay funding for the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor.
Toomy joined the Board in August 2019 when he was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. He previously served a first term on the Board of Commissioners from 2009 to 2014 and first served as Board Chairman in 2013.
“Joseph Toomy has brought decades of invaluable experience and knowledge to this board,” said Christian. “We look forward to his contributions as Chairman as we continue our work on vital infrastructure projects critical to the future growth of the New Orleans global gateway.”
A veteran lawmaker, Toomy represented District 85 in the Louisiana State Legislature from 1984 until 2008. During his legislative tenure, he served as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee from 1992 until 2008 and Vice Chairman of Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee from 1990 to 1992.
An insurance broker from 2000 until 2016, Toomy served in several administrative capacities with Delgado Community College beginning in 1981 including serving as Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs from 1992 until 2000. He was a member of the Algiers Development District Board from 2014 to 2018 and served as the Chairman of the Gretna Redevelopment Committee from 2017 to 2018.
A long-time resident of Gretna, Toomy earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Tulane University in 1971 and a Master of Business Administration from Tulane in 1973. He began his political career as a Delegate to the 1973 Louisiana Constitutional Convention, before being elected to the Jefferson Parish School Board in 1974 – serving as President in 1977.
“I look forward to the opportunity to once again serve as Board Chairman for the Port of New Orleans and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad,” said Toomy. “We will continue the important work of creating more jobs and opportunity for our citizens and making sure Louisiana remains competitive in international commerce.”
Toomy is extensively involved in community and civic activities, having served as the president of the Friends of the Louisiana State Fire Museum and the David Crockett Volunteer Fire Company, of which he is a lifetime member, as well as the Jefferson Historical Society. He is also a member of the PACE Greater New Orleans Finance Committee, the Gretna Historical Society, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Gretna Italian Irish Parade Committee.
The Port NOLA and NOPB Commission Boards consist of seven members. They are unsalaried and serve five-year staggered terms. The Governor of Louisiana appoints members from a list of three nominations submitted by local civic, labor, education and maritime groups. The Board reflects the Port’s three-parish jurisdiction, with two members from Jefferson, four from Orleans and one from St. Bernard.
Chairman Joseph F. Toomy and Commissioner Jack C. Jensen Jr. represent Jefferson Parish; Vice Chairman Walter J. Leger Jr., Secretary-Treasurer James J. Carter Jr., Commissioner Sharonda R. Williams and Commissioner Darryl D. Berger represent Orleans Parish; and Commissioner Jeanne E. Ferrer represents St. Bernard Parish.