Our history

1946: Coming together

Five Businessmen came together to discuss common problems along the Harvey Canal. Their main philosophy was to look out for the betterment of the businesses and the community as a whole.

1954: First Board of Directors

Richard McGinity, President, Wallace Taylor, First VP, William Spranley, Second VP, Gene Stumpf, Secretary, Philip DeAmore, Treasurer, Melton Garrett, Joseph Boudreaux, Gene Hooper, and George Frierson, Jr became the first official board for the Westbank Business & Industry Association. A nonpolitical corporation organized to represent the men and women of the business and professional interest of the community of Harvey. To promote friendly relations and a spirit of cooperation in the solutions of all problems of mutual concern, the exchange of ideas and opinions on matters of common interest and the advancement of those things which make for a better government. To cooperate and advise with Parish and State Government toward the civic betterment of the community as a whole.

1960’s Focus Project

Expansion of Lapalco Boulevard, including the Harvey Canal Bridge.

1970’s Focus Project

Elevated Westbank Expressway

1980’s Focus Project

Unemployment and Workers Comp Task force was catalyst for change and the beginning of LWCC today.
Flood Protection Project of businesses East of the Harvey Canal.

1990’s Focus Project

Flood Control (SELA funding) and Hurricane protection projects.


2000-03 The New Millennium

The widening of Peters Road.

2005: Focus Project

The Devastation of Hurricane Katrina brought the association together daily. JEDCO helped to get businesses back up and running. Worked with parish and state, USCG, and Corps of Engineers.

2006: Focus Project

Huey P Long Bridge widening project.
Peters Road Extension Project.
West Closure Complex flood protection project.

2010: Focus Project

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

2011-12: Focus Project

Crescent City Connection Task Force to evaluate all operations under the jurisdiction of the CCCD and determine, if the tolls are NOT renewed, what resources or funding is in place to maintain and police the bridge.
Occupational License tax modifications to protect the manufacturers along the HC Corridor

Coast Guard Hurricane Evacuation Regulations.








2013: Projects

2013: Belle Chasse Tunnel & Bridge alternatives with DOTD, RPC, Plaquemines Parish

2014-2015: Projects

Continued work with Peters Road Extension to eliminate the traffic back-ups at both Manhattan and Barataria Boulevard.
Harvey Canal Revitalization task force.
Workforce initiatives to provide Louisiana’s Workforce with industry based certification.

2016: Name Change

Businesses and public officials came to HCIA and asked if it were possible to extend our membership.  The motion was made, debated, and voted on by the full body. It was overwhelmingly approved to change HCIA name to “Westbank Business & Industry Association” (WBIA), in order to best described the community we serve.

2020: Today

WBIA is the premiere business organization for the Westbank of New Orleans.  Actively involved in the community since 1946, the membership is comprised of business and industry born of the Harvey Canal Corridor. WBIA is dedicated to a collaborative effort of the business community to support, improve and protect the interests of its membership.


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"My involvement in the WBIA provided me with a wealth of understanding the business and governmental interrelationships in the South Louisiana region. It also greatly provided me with incredible networking opportunities with the members and guests. The best part of being a member of WBIA was the long lasting relationships with the individuals that I worked with during my time there."

Lionel A. Boudreaux, Past President

"WBIA has always represented the industry along the Canal.” “As an active member I developed a number of working relationships that I can trust and count on. They are the best group of people to get things done.”

Lucien Gunter, Past President, Lifetime Member