Michael Ferdinand, of Palacios, TX., has been named Executive Director of the Natchitoches Community Alliance (NCA), the NCA announced Tuesday.
Ferdinand, set to begin work on Monday, Feb. 22, will fill the position left open following Tony Davis’s resignation. Davis served as Executive Director for 3 years.
“When it comes to economic development, Louisiana communities often compete fiercely with Texas, and Natchitoches Parish is no exception,” Ferdinand stated. “As an economic developer, I recognize that Natchitoches Parish is uniquely positioned as a strong and diverse community having a foundation of agribusiness, manufacturing, commercial retail, regional medical resources, advanced/higher education, and tourism. I see Natchitoches Parish as having more than “potential” but a real opportunity. Having spent my high school years in central Louisiana, I look forward to bringing what I have learned back. “
Ferdinand began his career in economic development in 1993 working as the Senior International Business Consultant for the Mississippi Development Authority in Jackson, Miss. In 2001 he became the Executive Director for the Natchez-Adams County Development Authority in Natchez, Miss. Five years later, he was selected to be the CEO of Terrebonne Economic Development in Houma, La. Ferdinand was recognized as the first CEO of a new state authority tasked with the development of a new organization to fulfill a Parish-wide strategic plan.
During his tenure at Terrebonne Economic Development, Ferdinand fostered the creation of 3,008 new jobs, including a major-impact project that created 1,100 jobs with a $65 million investment. As CEO of Terrebonne Economic Development, he also created innovative solutions that aided in the recovery of the Terrebonne economy through five disasters in five years, including four hurricanes and the BP oil spill.
Ferdinand worked in emergency management from 2012- 2015 as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Office Director; and in 2016 as the Managing Director of Emergency Responder – ID Trust Network in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.
In November of 2016, Ferdinand became the Executive Director of Matagorda County Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and successfully worked with and supported the significant investments of major corporations such as Air Liquide, E-On, and LodeStar LLC. Ferdinand leaves Matagorda County with multiple manufacturing, airport, and residential projects in the works.
Ferdinand’s areas of expertise include project management, marketing and client management, entrepreneurial development, proposal development and research, coalition building, team management, and risk management.
Chairman of the NCA Board of Directors, Ryan Todtenbier, stated, “It is more important now than ever that we as a community work together to grow and prosper. The NCA is committed to working with community members and partners on our shared economic development interests, and will look to Mike to bring all the players together. Natchitoches is primed for growth, with so many factors working in our favor. We are excited to work alongside Mike to move Natchitoches forward.”
Ferdinand is looking forward to getting settled and getting to work in Natchitoches Parish and moving forward with a plan of action for Natchitoches.
Ferdinand continued, “When it comes to priorities, it is critical that we evaluate where NCA is today and how to move from laying the groundwork to an executable plan as soon as possible.”
Ferdinand will be settling in Natchitoches Parish with his wife, Carol. Carol has done sales and residential real estate, but for many years has worked as a graphic artist. They describe themselves as “almost empty-nesters” with two grown children. Their oldest, Patrick, is in the hospitality industry, and Angel is a recent graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi majoring in education. They both live in Dallas.
The Natchitoches Community Alliance (NCA) is the lead economic development agency for the city and parish of Natchitoches; providing technical assistance, information on local, state, and federal financing resources, and managing projects. The mission of the NCA is to provide leadership and support for economic development and workforce solutions in and around Natchitoches parish. Learn more about the NCA at nca-la.com.