The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) is thrilled to announce the appointment of the organization’s new executive director. After serving JEDCO for more than 12 years in various capacities, Jerry Bologna accepted the top leadership position on Wednesday during the Jefferson Parish Council meeting.
Before accepting the new role, Jerry was the organization’s Deputy Director, overseeing the JEDCO Business Innovation Center, Marketing, Financing and Economic Development Services which includes the parish’s Business Retention and Expansion Program. That program garnered international acclaim in 2004 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
A certified Economic Developer, Jerry has played a vital role in some of Jefferson Parish’s most exciting business announcements in recent years. Jerry was actively involved in the retention of PeoplesHealth in Jefferson Parish, keeping 600 jobs in the region and creating an additional 125. Jerry was also influential in the launch of NOLA Motorsports Park, a $70 million development that includes some of the longest karting and road courses in the United States. Most recently, Jerry partnered with local, regional and state agencies to bring Smoothie King’s international headquarters back to Jefferson Parish.
Not only has Jerry played an important role in bringing new business to the region, but he has also been recognized by both business and political leadership for his contributions to business recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He was invited by the Business Civic Leadership Center of the US Chamber of Commerce and the IEDC to assist in the development of a business and economic recovery plan for Galveston, Texas following Hurricane Ike.
“I am honored to have been chosen for this position,” Jerry says. “For more than a decade, I have been committed to improving the economic landscape of Jefferson parish. Together, with a dedicated staff and Board of Commissioners, I welcome the challenge of making Jefferson the preferred location for business and job growth.”
“In his new role, Jerry will be an enormous asset to this organization,” says JEDCO Chairman Jim Garvey. “It is exciting to have a bright young economic development mind to lead JEDCO moving forward.”
Jerry is a graduate of the University of New Orleans, having received a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration with a Major in Management. In addition to his work at JEDCO, Jerry serves on the boards of the Jefferson Chamber, Greater New Orleans, Inc., and Café Hope. In 2004, he was named by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of the “Top 40 Under Forty.” In 2011, Jerry won IEDC’s New Economic Development Professional of the year.
Jerry replaces Lucien Gunter, who will retire at the end of 2012. Gunter served as the JEDCO executive director for seven years.