Brandy D. Christian serves as the CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Corp., the short-line connecting railroad and subsidiary of the Port that manages $30 million in revenues and 180 employees.
Christian also serves as President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, a public agency that manages revenues exceeding $65 million, nearly 300 employees and $200 million in capital projects. In this role, Christian oversees all cargo, cruise and industrial real estate operations.
Christian serves on the Green Marine Board of Directors, Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank Trade and Transportation Advisory Council, Louisiana Board of International Commerce, the World Trade Center of New Orleans Board of Directors, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and as the Cruise Committee Chair for the American Association of Port Authorities.
Before joining Port NOLA, Christian served 14 years with the Port of San Diego as vice president of strategy and business development.
Douglas D. Campbell is the General Manager of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, having been promoted to the post on June 12, 2017, following a six-month term as Interim Chief Executive Officer.
Prior to his appointment as Interim Chief Executive Officer, Campbell served as Vice President of Engineering before being promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager. Before joining NOPB in May of 2013, Doug was the Director of Engineering and Maintenance at South Carolina Public Railways, where his areas of responsibility included track maintenance and construction, bridges, right-of-way, locomotive and on-track equipment maintenance and facilities. He started as a Trackman and quickly rose through the ranks in both engineering and transportation. Campbell is a certified locomotive engineer and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Charleston. He has over 20 years of experience in the railroad industry.
As General Manager of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, Campbell is a member of the Regional Planning Commission of New Orleans (Transportation Policy Committee Member), the New Orleans Board of Trade, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the World Trade Center (Transportation Committee Member), the International Freight Forwarders & Custom Brokers Association of New Orleans, Inc., the Louisiana Railroad Association and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Thomas Louis Colletta, Jr., Executive Counsel, serves NOPB and the Port of New Orleans as chief legal officer. Colletta attended Tulane School of Law, has served as law clerk for the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal and as executive assistant in Louisiana’s seventh congressional district during and after college. In private practice, Colletta specialized in general casualty and commercial litigation. He later served as Assistant General Counsel and Director of Security for the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District, the 11th largest Port in the United States with over 56 million tons of cargo moved annually. Working within the railroad practice area, Colletta also handles mass tort, class action, insurance and transportation litigation for both Class I and short-line railroads. He has successfully defended freight rail carriers in a wide range of cases, including cases involving the Federal Employer’s Liability Act. He also handles complex commercial cases, including lease and contract disputes.
Bobby Franklin is the New Orleans Public Belt’s Chief Transportation Officer. As CTO, Franklin champions the safety program while ensuring the highest service standards for Class 1 and local customers. Franklin joined NOPB in 2017 as Superintendent. Before joining NOPB, Franklin was the Superintendent of CSX’s Boyles Yard in Birmingham, Alabama. He also served CSX as Terminal Manager in Montgomery, Alabama and performed other supervisory roles across the CSX system. He began his rail career in 2002, as Yardmaster in Pensacola, Florida. Franklin holds an Associate’s Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Business Leadership School.
Carl Kocur is the New Orleans Public Belt’s Chief Engineer. Kocur joined NOPB’s management team in November, 2014, coming from Palmetto Railways where he served as Director of Engineering and Maintenance. Kocur began his railroad career over 15 years ago as trackman and has also held the positions of equipment operator, regulator operator, tamper operator, track inspector and Roadmaster. He continued to expand his knowledge through several years spent working for a rail contractor building industry track in the Midwest. Prior to his career in the railroad industry, he worked as a safety instructor teaching OSHA courses. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Butler University.
Dennis Lafont is New Orleans Public Belt’s Chief Financial Officer. As the head of Finance, Lafont oversees the accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, treasury and information systems functions at NOPB. Lafont joined the railroad’s executive team in January, 2014, and has worked closely with senior management to streamline NOPB’s processes and modernize its information systems.
Lafont has over 35 years of experience in auditing and consulting including financial system conversions, acquisitions, and operations. Lafont came to NOPB from Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, CPAs and Advisors, where he provided services to a variety of clients. Prior to his role at Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, Lafont held a variety of positions at Stewart Enterprises, Inc. over a 19-year period. Lafont holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Louisiana State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Michael McMillan is the Chief Mechanical Officer of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. McMillan began his rail career in June of 1997 as a Shop Foreman at Trinity Mobile Rail Car Repair in Bogalusa, Louisiana. He joined New Orleans Public Belt in January 1999 as a Carman. McMillan earned a position as Car Shop Foreman in 2006 and was promoted to management in 2008 as the Superintendent of Mechanical and Car Department. In 2011, McMillan was named Chief Mechanical Officer for the railroad.
As Chief Mechanical Officer, he is responsible for a force of 20 employees who repair an average of 7,000 railcars annually in the Public Belt’s railcar repair shop, and an additional seven Machinists who maintain the railroad’s 11 locomotives.
Christian D. Bonura, Director of Industrial Development, managed the Port of New Orleans’ acquisition of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, which closed in February 2018. Bonura now focuses on business planning to unlock the strategic value of the new synergy. Bonura formerly served as Director of Marine Rail Integration at the Port of New Orleans, where he began his maritime career in 2004. He led Port NOLA’s corporate communications efforts for eight years and managed its industrial real estate portfolio for five years. Previously, Bonura worked as a journalist and public relations professional. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University and an MBA from Tulane University. Bonura is the chairman of the New Orleans Regional Business Park, a past chairman of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni and a board member of the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Council.
Ailsa "Elsa" von Dobeneck is the Director of External Affairs for the New Orleans Public Belt. She assumed her role with the transition of the Railroad to the Port of New Orleans in February 2018, where she was serving as a Public Affairs consultant. As Director of External Affairs, von Dobeneck oversees community and public relations, government affairs, and corporate communications. She previously served as Government Relations Manager for Norfolk Southern Railway in Washington D.C. She began her career in Singapore and Panama City, Panama, where she worked in the maritime industry. She holds a Masters in International Relations from King's College London and a BA International Relations and a BA German from the University of Georgia.
Carla Gendusa is New Orleans Public Belt’s Director of
Safety and Training. In her role, Carla is responsible for company-wide safety
and training initiatives, and regulatory
compliance. Prior to joining the Public Belt in 2016, she worked for City
Councilmember Stacy Head, in policy research and implementation. Gendusa also
worked for the first Inspector General of New Orleans, investigating and
evaluating city-funded programs. During her time with the Inspector General,
she graduated from the Slidell Regional Police Academy and began teaching
classes as an adjunct instructor. Carla is an attorney and holds a degree from
Loyola Law School of New Orleans.
Ike McPherson serves as New Orleans Public Belt’s Superintendent of Transportation. McPherson began his rail career in 1998 as a switchman. He was then promoted to yardmaster, trainmaster, and Superintendent, a role he began in 2015. As Superintendent, McPherson manages operations and transportation needs for Downtown New Orleans as well as local customer business across the network. Prior to joining the New Orleans Public Belt, McPherson served as a Police Officer in Jefferson Parish.
Adrienne Moore serves as Director of Finance for the New Orleans Public Belt. She brings fifteen years of accounting experience, including roles in the audit department of Postlethwaite and Netterville CPA firm, government accounting with New Orleans City Park, and most recently, the role of Controller at B&G Crane Service. She is a CPA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Our Lady of Holy Cross College and a Master of Science in Accounting from the University of New Orleans
Scott Richoux serves as Director of Special Projects for the New Orleans Public Belt. In his role, he works across all departmental lines and works closely with a number of city, state and federal agencies, serving as emergency and public services liaison. He also serves as the project lead for new technology programs, working with outside vendors and facilitating implementation. Richoux began his career at NOPB in 2003 and has served as NOPB’s Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs, Manager of Revenue and Car Accounting, Manager of Labor Relations, and Vice President of Transportation. In his 15-year career at NOPB, Richoux has developed a unique and diverse skillset with experience in a number of transportation and logistics disciplines. Richoux holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans.
Jared Sleeth is New Orleans Public Belt’s Director of Network Planning. Sleeth serves as the primary contact for local customers and Class 1 railroads and helps to bring new facilities online. He also analyzes volume trends and works with the Port of New Orleans Commercial team to market the Gateway and cultivate sustainable growth throughout the region. Sleeth joined NOPB as a Trainmaster in 2015, then served as Director of Business Development. Sleeth formerly worked for Union Pacific Railroad as Manager of Yard Operations in Parsons, Kansas, and New Orleans. He also has extensive business development experience in both the trucking and construction sectors. He holds a B.S. in Business Management from Clemson University.
Rachel Zimmerle was appointed Director of Human Resources at New Orleans Public Belt Railroad in March 2015. She has companywide responsibility for the human resource function including compensation, recruitment, new hire onboarding, recordkeeping, and personnel policy development and administration.Zimmerle joined the company in February 2000 and has served in leadership roles in accounting and internal audit. Prior to arriving at NOPB, she held a variety of positions in both public accounting and private industry over the course of seven years.
Zimmerle graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting, from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in 1993. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Louisiana and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants. Zimmerle holds the Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) credential and is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management.