President & CEO
Michael Hecht is President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., the economic development agency for southeast Louisiana. The mission of GNO, Inc. is to create a region where our kids and grandkids can choose to stay. This means both excellent economic opportunity, and excellent quality of life. Under Michael’s leadership, GNO, Inc. was recently named a “Top Ten Economic Development Organization in the United States,” and was awarded a Silver Medal for the #2 economic development deal in America for 2017 (DXC Technology).
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, 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”).