NEW ORLEANS—June 25, 2020—The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) selected new officers with the election of Darryl D. Berger as Chairman, William H. Langenstein, III, as Vice Chairman and Charles H. Ponstein as Secretary-Treasurer during the June 25 monthly Board meeting.
Port Commissioners also serve as Directors of the New Orleans Public Belt Corporation (NOPB), a wholly owned Port NOLA subsidiary. Berger will serve as Chairman of NOPB’s Board of Directors, Langenstein as Vice Chairman and Ponstein as Secretary-Treasurer. Tara C. Hernandez, the most recent past Chair of both Port NOLA and the NOPB, will continue to serve on the Board as a commissioner until her five-year term ends in July 2021.
“Chair Hernandez has done an excellent job during her tenure as Chair, advancing many critically important initiatives for the Port,” said Berger. “I look forward to continuing her positive vision and focusing on preparing Port NOLA for future growth. Together with my fellow commissioners and Port leadership, we will also continue to successfully navigate through the challenges we face due to COVID-19 impacts.”
Berger joined the Port NOLA and NOPB boards in February 2017 when he was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. He brings a wealth of experience in real estate development, finance and entrepreneurial endeavors to the Board. He is a respected leader within the Greater New Orleans business community and the hospitality industry.
Berger is the Founder and Chairman of The Berger Company Inc. and an investor, developer and financier of real estate. His company has owned or developed in excess of $1 billion of real estate, including more than two dozen retail shopping centers, various hotels, office buildings, multi-family projects and parking facilities.
He served for nine years as Chair of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corp.; is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Trustees of Tulane University; and is an emeritus member and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University. He was also a long-term member of the Board and former Chair of Isidore Newman School. Berger also serves as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of New Orleans and Company (formerly CVB).
He has served as the inaugural Chair and founding member of the French Quarter Festival; a founding member and first Chair of the French Quarter Management District; and founding member and first Chair of the Vieux Carre Commission Foundation. He also currently serves as a member of the board of the University Medical Center (UMC) where he was a founding member and past Chair.
Berger has been the recipient of many awards and recognition for his work in the business community and in the area of human rights. He and his wife, Louellen, are native New Orleanians and lifelong residents.
The Port NOLA Board consists 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. Commissioners Jack C. Jensen Jr. and Joseph F. Toomy represent Jefferson Parish; Chairman Berger, Vice Chairman Langenstein, Commissioner Hernandez and Commissioner Baker represent Orleans Parish; and Secretary-Treasurer Charles H. Ponstein represents St. Bernard Parish.