President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Michael Hecht is President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., the economic development organization for southeast Louisiana. GNO, Inc.’s mission falls broadly into two categories: business development – attracting and growing businesses – and product development – creating better business conditions. Under Michael’s leadership, GNO, Inc. was recently named the #2 economic development organization in the United States by Business Facilities magazine.
Before coming to GNO, Inc. Michael led the quarter-‐billion dollar Katrina Small Business Recovery Program for the State. Previous to coming home to Louisiana, Michael worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City as an Assistant and Deputy Commissioner, running the post-‐9/11 small business program.
Michael’s entrepreneurial experience includes co-‐founding a conglomerate of restaurant ventures, including “Foreign Cinema,” named Restaurant of the Year 2000 in San Francisco. He began his career as a strategic management consultant in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.
Michael holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an undergraduate degree from Yale.
Recently Michael has been recognized as “One of the Ten People Who Made a Difference in the South,” “One of the 25 Most Powerful People in the 10/12 Corridor,” and “One of the Top 50 Economic Developers in North America.”
With family roots in Louisiana back to the 1830s, Michael now lives in New Orleans with his wife, Marlene, an ESL professor at Delgado, and his two sons, Dexter and Kaj (“Kī”).