Forum highlights post-pandemic resurgence

Tulane Business Forum logo

For the 43rd annual Tulane Business Forum, a distinguished group of top business leaders will discuss how their companies and industries are faring in the post-pandemic era.

“Open for Business: Celebrating the Economic Momentum of the Gulf South” will take place on Friday, Oct.14, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The Tulane Business Forum is sponsored by the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA) and underwritten by BXS Insurance/Cadence Insurance and Entergy Corp.

Jose Cil
José Cil
Ray Jeandron
Ray Jeandron

This year’s luncheon keynote speaker is José E. Cil (A&S ’91), CEO of Restaurant Brands International Inc., parent company of Tim Hortons, Burger King, Popeyes and Firehouse Subs. Cil will discuss the importance of purpose-led brands that make a positive impact in the communities they serve. He will share the company’s “Big Dream” values and detail key investments the company is making in people and to improve the overall guest experience.

Serving as morning keynote speaker is Ray Jeandron, partner of LongueVue Capital, who will describe the rapid growth and significant change in the private equity industry post-COVID as well as the effects of those changes on business owners, management teams and advisors in the Gulf Coast’s native industries and beyond.

Other presenters will include Gregory M. Bowser, president and CEO of the Louisiana Chemical Association & Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance, who will discuss green energy and provide insight on Louisiana’s chemical facilities and their commitment to creating a sustainable future.

Laura Wilt, system vice president and CIO of Ochsner Health, and Kristy Nichols, system vice president of partnerships and integration at Ochsner Health, will highlight innovations in health care and building a healthier region.

Randy Giveans (MBA ’09), executive vice president of Navigator Gas US, will talk about U.S. Gulf exports of various commodities and the recent rebound following the pandemic.

Tulane University’s new Innovation Institute will be the focus of a fireside chat featuring Kimberly Gramm, the institute’s chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer, Michael A. Fitts, president of Tulane University, and Christopher K. Ralston, partner with of Phelps Dunbar. The speakers will discuss the goal of building an innovation district in downtown New Orleans, including President Fitts’ innovation and development strategy, details of the institute’s mission and development, and the regulatory mechanisms and legal considerations in today’s business climate.

Louis David, vice president of industry attraction and retention for the New Orleans Business Alliance, will facilitate a panel discussion on the post-pandemic hospitality and tourism industry. The presentation will address issues such as increased taxes, rental fees, stricter contracts and dwindling workforce across the industries, and the impacts on the regional economy. Panelists will include Mali Carow, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences; Stan Harris, president and CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association; and Emily M. Madero, president and CEO of French Quarter Festivals Inc.

The Tulane Business Forum is an annual presentation of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA), which represents over 20,000 alumni of Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business. Each year, the forum presents national and international speakers addressing a variety of timely and relevant business topics.

Forum registration, which includes continental breakfast and lunch, is $275 for the general public and $200 for Tulane alumni. Accountants can earn 5.0 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits; engineers can earn 5.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH) credits; and attorneys can earn 3.0 general Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits by joining the forum.

For more information on how to register or participate virtually, visit or email

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