NEW ORLEANS – David Kerstein, president and chief executive officer of The Helis Interests in New Orleans, including Helis Oil & Gas Company, L.L.C., has been named chairman of the Business Council of New Orleans & the River Region.
His two-year term began on January 1, 2016.
Kerstein, a long-time member of the Business Council, replaces Paul H. Flower, who served as chair for the 2014-2016 term.
Kerstein has been associated with Helis Oil since 1968 and has served as chief executive officer since 1988. During his tenure, Helis Oil has grown to become one of the nation’s most recognized independent oil and gas companies, with a reputation for safe and environmentally sound operating standards.
In addition to the Business Council, Kerstein’s other community involvement includes serving as a member of the President’s Council of Tulane University, The Arts Council of New Orleans, the Bureau of Governmental Research, the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, and The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., Advisory Board.
According to Coleman D. Ridley, Jr., managing director of the Business Council, “David is a recognized leader both professionally and in the community. He has worked tirelessly to advance the mission of the Business Council, especially as it relates to identifying and advocating for sound policies and practices that enable effective use of limited criminal justice system resources. We look forward to his leadership.”
“I am honored to be chosen as the next leader of the Business Council during this time of unprecedented growth and development of New Orleans,” Kerstein said. “I look forward to continuing the Business Council’s practice of working in partnership with Mayor Landrieu, other elected officials, and neighborhood, civic, and business organizations to enhance and shape policy that strengthens the quality of life and helps ensure future prosperity for all New Orleanians.”
Along with Kerstein, the 2016 Business Council’s Executive Committee includes Paul Flower; Vanessa Brown Claiborne; David Darragh; Charles L. Rice, Jr.; Henry Coaxum; Lee Anne Sciambra; James (Jim) Cook; Karen DeBlieux; L. Ronald (Ron) Forman; David Gallo; Lee Jackson; Merritt Lane; Dennis Lauscha; James (Jay) M. Lapeyre, Jr.; Mark Mayer (ex-officio); Suzanne T. Mestayer; Alden J. McDonald, Jr.; Gregory Rusovich; Mike Siegel; Gary Solomon, and Bruce Thompson.
Founded in 1985, the Business Council of New Orleans & the River Region is a collaborative effort of engaged business leaders who believe New Orleans is a rewarding place in which to live and work. The Business Council focuses on public policy issues that affect New Orleans’ quality of life and prospects for the future.