About Us

Our History


Elected leaders were stirred to change the conditions following Hurricane Katrina to benefit the City’s youth, who had few options to engage in positive and healthy activities. An ordinance, creating the thirteen-member New Orleans Development Recreation Commission (NORD Commission) and the private 501(c)(3) New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation (NORD Foundation) to facilitate investment in its work, was approved by 74% of voters in October 2010.   



The purpose of the NORD Foundation is to facilitate investment in NORD to provide equal access to quality recreational opportunities. Our work supports NORD's mission to advance the physical, mental, and social well-being of New Orleanians by providing safe and welcoming environments for recreational, athletic, and cultural experiences. 

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A Major Milestone, Achieved!


In September 2017, NORD achieved national accreditation, the culmination of an arduous journey from post-Katrina dysfunction and achievement of an ambitious five-year goal set in our Boston Consulting Group strategic plan. Accreditation assures the public that NORD is implementing national best practices, meeting at least 151 benchmarks of quality.  Only 1% of parks and recreation agencies in the country are accredited, and NORD is the second accredited system in Louisiana, after BREC in Baton Rouge.

Truly, a Public-Private Partnership


Rebecca Conwell, NORD Foundation Executive Director

As the Executive Director, Rebecca works closely with the Foundation’s Board of Directors, the CEO and executive staff of the NORD Commission, and the private and corporate community to facilitate investment in Orleans Parish public recreation programs. 

She previously served as the Senior Advisor for Economic Development for Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City of New Orleans. Her prior experience includes serving as the member-manager of  TwentyTwo Ten, L.L.C., a consulting business. Conwell spent 14 years at Tulane University, serving as executive director of state and local governmental affairs, chief of staff for the University president and interim executive director of the Cowen Institute. Conwell has a B.B.A. in Finance from Lamar University.


Larry Barabino, Jr., NORD Commission CEO

Larry Barabino, Jr. was selected to lead the NORD Commission on December 4, 2018. His previous experience includes having served as NORD Director from 2006 to 2009, helping NORD recover from Hurricane Katrina. Under his leadership, NORD reopened 90 playgrounds and play spots and 10 swimming pools, and began 23 construction projects. Barabino returns to NORD leadership from the Housing Authority of New Orleans. He pledges to improve facilities management and upkeep, engage leaders in the community, recruit more volunteer coaches, and improve programming. He looks forward to working with the NORD Foundation to strengthen and enhance investments in Orleans Parish public recreation. Barabino, Jr. took the helm at NORD on December 17, 2018.

NORD Foundation Officers

Ernest P. Price Jr., Chairman


Entergy Corporation

Norma Jane Sabiston, Secretary


Sabiston Consultants 

Brandon T. Nelson, Treasurer


Whitney National Bank

NORD Foundation Board of Directors

Robert S. Boh


Boh Brothers

Richard F. Cortizas


Jones Walker

Karen Deblieux


Capital One

Brian Egana


Ex-Officio - Chairman, NORD Commission 

Lawrence C. Gibbs


Gibbs Construction

Mark Hatfield


Chevron Corporation 

Michael Hecht


GNO, Inc.

Cooper A. Manning


AJ Capital Partners

John W. Sibal


Eustis Commercial Mortgage

Louis Lauricella


Lauricella Land Company

Kelisha Garrett


New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce

Walter "Kango Slimm" Williams


Partners N Crime

Travis Laurendine