March 30, 2024 | From City of New Orleans

City of New Orleans Announces Retirement of French Market Corporation (FMC) Executive Director Leslie Alley

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today announced the retirement of tenured public servant and French Market Corporation (FMC) Executive Director Leslie Alley. Ms. Alley submitted a letter of resignation on Jan. 18 and her retirement will become effective March 30. 

"Today we celebrate the retirement of a lifelong public servant who has worked alongside my administration to enhance the central spirit of culture, community and commerce for our historic French Market properties that are assets for the City of New Orleans," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "Leslie has been instrumental in keeping with the vision of positioning the French Market District as the passageway to experiencing our city's truly unique and authentic hospitality, and the inclusiveness of small business owners to support them and foster the growth of our tourism industry. She has elevated the level of investment it takes to preserve and restore the district and we are grateful for her dedication and commitment to public service."

Ms. Alley has worked with the City Administration to achieve numerous successful outcomes including the recently signed $8 million Cooperative Endeavor Agreement that promises to be a transformative economic driver for the historic Pontalba building. Alley worked with the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services and Strategy to develop the proposal approved this year, to request a $500,000 allocation from the French Quarter Management District taxation to provide additional resources for the unhoused population. Director Alley's accomplishments include the development of the French Market Corporation Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2026 which was developed with substantial community and stakeholder engagement to enhance and provide a successful public district.  Alley has served the City of New Orleans for over 20 years, holding executive positions as Deputy Director for the City Planning Commission and Zoning Administrator for the Department of Safety and Permits.  

"Leslie Alley's retirement signals the close of a remarkable chapter of service to our city, highlighted by her impactful tenure as the Executive Director of the French Market Corporation," said Councilmember Freddie King III. "As we celebrate Leslie's contributions, I extend my deepest congratulations and look forward to seeing the enduring impact of her work in the fabric of our community."

“I would like to congratulate Leslie Alley on her decades of service to the City of New Orleans. Being a public servant comes with many hats and one must be truly committed to the serve, "said Councilmember Oliver M. Thomas, Jr. "I had the opportunity to work with Leslie when I first served on the City Council, so I have watched and admired her dedication to this city. As a current Councilmember Leslie still represents the very best of Public Service. It’s an honor to not only know her but serve with her on the French Market Board.  Leslie thank you for always putting our community first. We will miss your leadership and dedication.”

“I would like to thank Leslie for all of her hard work and dedication to making the City of New Orleans a better place, and especially all of her efforts leading the FMC through the pandemic and getting FMC back to pre-pandemic sales,” said FMC Board President Anna Tusa.  “Leslie has navigated the FMC through some difficult times in recent years (the pandemic, hurricanes, and major renovations) and has done so without having the French Market miss a beat.” 

“Leslie was an indispensable part of the COC staff during her 20+ years with the Commission,” said Robert D. Rivers, Executive Director of the City Planning Commission. “For many, she was the face of the Commission - the go-to person for information and advice. Leslie’s tenure with the CPC was notable for her encyclopedic institutional knowledge, her commitment to producing high-quality work, and the highest levels of integrity; one may not have always liked the answer she gave, but you always knew it was the right one. We wish her all the best during her well-deserved retirement.” 

Katherine Guidry has been recommended to become the next FMC Executive Director pending the review and voting process by the FMC Board.


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