The week marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the storm that flooded 80% of our beloved city of New Orleans, took the lives of 1,833 of its devoted citizens, and caused $151 billion in damage to our region. There was a time (a long time) when all the stories surrounding this catastrophic event were stories of loss, hardship, and destruction. But there was a turning point sometime in the past 11 years where the stories of recovery turned to rediscovery, when people who once talked of surviving began thriving, and those who lost were poised to gain. It’s safe to say that New Orleans HAS indeed made a come back, and a proud one at that. Since Katrina, our economy has grown in the face of a nationwide recession, we’ve won a Super Bowl, and we’ve had a steady growing population, just to name a few achievements. While we still have our issues, namely an unacceptable crime rate and many families still displaced from the storm, our city is definitely transforming for the better. Since the storm, there has been an influx of young people resolute on calling New Orleans home. This expanding population consists of volunteers rebuilding houses, entrepreneurs starting businesses, and natives coming home to start families. All of these individuals have collectively put the Crescent City back on its feet. In 2014, we had nearly 10 million visitors spend over $6.8 billion, the most tourism dollars recorded in the city’s history! That’s something we can be proud of and we are thankful to our local communities and visitors alike for the success we’ve achieved.