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Arnold B. Baker Appointed to Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans

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Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed New Orleans businessman Arnold B. Baker to the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans this week. Baker, who was sworn in during today’s monthly Board meeting, will serve a five-year term, succeeding Daniel F. Packer, as one of four Orleans Parish representatives on the seven-member regional Board that governs Port operations in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.

Baker is owner and founder of New Orleans-based Baker Ready Mix and Building Materials, which operates three plants in the area, a fleet of mixer trucks and employs 40 local drivers, technicians and industry professionals.

“The strategic visioning and implementation processes of the Port of New Orleans Board, Directors and management team have been second to none, creating one of the nation's greatest economic engines,” Baker said. “As the US maintains its position as a leading and stabilizing force in global commerce and trade, the Port of New Orleans has a critical role in assisting in the fulfillment of that responsibility. I am honored to have an opportunity to participate, and will commit my industry, government and national organizational experience towards the commission’s continued success.”

Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange said Baker’s industry experience and leadership within the business community will serve the Port well.

“I am excited to welcome Arnold Baker aboard,” LaGrange said. “His leadership in civic, industry and philanthropic organizations within the New Orleans area is vital to sustaining the success the Port has realized. I look forward to working closely with him to build upon his vision and ideas.”

Baker currently serves on the boards of the New Orleans Board of Trade, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, Kate Middleton Elementary School, and the Bayou District Foundation.

He is a former board member of the New Orleans Business Council, GNO Inc., New Orleans Bureau of Governmental Research and the Louisiana Airport Commission.
A marketing and business administration graduate and former athlete with honors at Texas State University, Baker also earned advanced marketing director certifications from the International Council of Shopping Center’s Management Institute.
Prior to founding Baker Ready Mix in 2003, Baker served as Managing Member of Centergy Development Group – a consultancy created to implement redevelopment strategies for distressed commercial real estate – from 1999 until 2003. He also served as Assistant to the Mayor of New Orleans for Policy, Planning and Development from 1996 until 1999, and prior to that was a field executive for several of the nation’s largest mall development and management firms.

Baker grew up in a military family moving frequently throughout the United State and Europe. He chose New Orleans as his “hometown,” where he has resided since 1992. He is married to Tracee Dundas, the producer of New Orleans Fashion Week and owner of Aboutfaces Model & Talent Management.

The seven-member Port Board is unsalaried and members serve five-year staggered terms. The governor of Louisiana appoints members from a list of three nominees submitted by 19 local business, civic, labor, education and maritime groups. Four members are selected from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish.

Other current members include Chairman Scott H. Cooper, Vice Chairman William T. Bergeron, Secretary-Treasurer Michael W. Kearney, Robert “Rusty” Barkerding, Gregory R. Rusovich, and Laney J. Chouest.