Gov. Edwards Appoints Joseph Toomy to Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans
August 22, 2019 — Gov. John Bel Edwards reappointed Joseph F. Toomy to the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. Toomy was sworn in during today’s monthly board meeting and will serve a five-year term succeeding Laney J. Chouest as one of two Jefferson Parish representatives on the seven-member regional board. He previously served on the Board of Commissioners from 2009 to 2014 and served as chairman in 2013.
With the Port’s acquisition of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad effective Feb. 1, 2018, Port Commissioners also serve as directors of the New Orleans Public Belt (NOPB) board, and Toomy will become NOPB’s newest director with this appointment.
“Joseph Toomy is a welcome addition to our Board of Commissioners,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO. “He brings a wealth of knowledge through previous service on the board as well as an incredible track record of public service for the state of Louisiana and Jefferson Parish that will benefit both the Port and Public Belt Railroad. This is a particularly exciting time for the Port and NOPB as we are investing significantly to fortify the region’s economic prosperity and grow our economic impact throughout the state and beyond.”
A veteran lawmaker, Toomy represented Dist. 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 from 1990 to 1992.
An insurance broker from 2000 until 2016, Toomy also served in several administrative capacities with Delgado Community College beginning in 1981 and most recently served as vice chancellor for administrative affairs from 1992 until 2000. He also recently served as a member of the Algiers Development District Board from 2014 to 2018 and 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.
“My personal experiences with the maritime community as well my service as a state representative has given me a keen awareness of the business and economic interests regarding the Port of New Orleans,” said Toomy. “I am humbled to have the honor to serve on the Board of Commissioners for the Port of New Orleans for a second time. I look forward to growing business opportunities and helping to shape economic development in the region.”
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 Department, of which he is a lifetime member, as well as the Jefferson Historical Society. He is also a member of PACE Greater New Orleans Finance Committee and the Gretna Historical Society.
The Alliance for Good Government, Raintree Children & Family Services, Louisiana Municipal Association and Louisiana State Fireman’s Association each honored Toomy as Legislator of the Year at varying times.
The Port of New Orleans Board consists of seven commissioners. 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 three-parish jurisdiction, with four members from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish. Commissioners Toomy and Jack C. Jensen Jr. represent Jefferson Parish; Commissioner Charles H. Ponstein represents St. Bernard Parish; Chairman Arnold B. Baker, Vice-Chair Tara C. Hernandez, Secretary-Treasurer Darryl D. Berger and Commissioner William H. Langenstein represent Orleans Parish.