Port NOLA Caps Off National Procurement Month With Roundtable
NEW ORLEANS – The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) Procurement team is hosting a virtual Procurement Roundtable on March 31 at 2 p.m. in recognition of March’s designation as National Procurement Month and to create awareness of and access to opportunities for businesses to work with the Port. The free online session is designed to educate potential and update current vendors about how to best engage with the Port and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) as well as share information about upcoming projects and bid opportunities.
The virtual session will introduce members of the Port and Belt staff, including Chanel Labat, Port NOLA’s new Director of Procurement; Tony Evett, Chief Engineer and Vice President of Engineering and Facilities; Chris Gilmore, Director of Engineering; John Guidry, Director of Maintenance; and Carl Kocur, Vice President of Engineering for NOPB. The event will be moderated by Cathy Alfonso, Port NOLA Community Engagement Manager.
“Our Procurement team works hard each day to support vendors and contractors. We want to demystify the process and share our procurement needs broadly so we attract as many interested and qualified companies as possible,” said Labat, who oversees procurement and small business contracting for the Port and NOPB. “We are dedicated to providing qualified suppliers, service providers and vendors with open and fair access to contracting opportunities and are always looking to expand our reach.”
Labat brings many years of solid professional experience in sales, servicing and buying, having previously served at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for 14 years as the Contract Manager for the Financial Reporting Division as well as Purchasing Manager. As Contract Manager, she was responsible for the expedition and negotiation of contracts as well as informing vendors of the policies and procedures of the Center.
Since 2017, Port NOLA’s Procurement team has spent over $11 million on purchases with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) and Small Business Program (SBE) businesses and has engaged with over 600 DBE/SBE vendors.
“We want to ensure our procurement process is transparent and clear so as many qualified businesses as possible have the opportunity to work with Port NOLA and NOPB,” said Brandy D. Christian, President and CEO of Port NOLA and CEO of NOPB. “The Port is inclusive of companies large and small. We value healthy competition in the marketplace and are committed to growing the capabilities and experiences of our local and small business community members.”
Companies interested in doing business with the Port can join the vendor database on portnola.com. The system is user-friendly and designed to allow users to view current and upcoming bid opportunities. Users must register and create an account to see complete project specifications and details. These users gain full access to current project specifications and they can opt to receive notifications regarding new opportunities that become available at Port NOLA.