Few people in New Orleans have had a more colorful background than New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation's (NOTMC) President and CEO, Mark Romig. From the 1984 World's Fair to La Fete, the office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation in Washington DC, home to New Orleans for a stint as President of Peter Mayer Advertising Public Relations Division, then to the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and finally to his present position at NOTMC – Mark has seen New Orleans and its environs from many sides.
He’s also glimpsed another side of New Orleans through his service on non-profit boards such as the Audubon Nature Institute, Xavier University, Covenant House and many more. Last but not least, Mark is keeping up a family tradition as the Voice of the New Orleans Saints following his legendary dad, the late Jerry Romig into the announcer’s booth.
For the past few years, Mark’s added The Pro Bono Project’s Justice For All Ball (JFAB) to his many places and faces, serving as the evening’s Emcee to keep the night moving along for Ball-goers, and helping staff and volunteers to keep the parade of fun on time and in rhythm. Keeping our eyes on the upcoming 30th Annual JFAB, we asked Mark to give us 5 in 5.
You’re a pretty busy guy as the President of NOTMC and the voice of the Saints among other things, what made you say yes to helping out at the Justice For All Ball (JFAB) for the last several years as Emcee?
I respect and value the mission of The Pro Bono Project to serve people in our city and region who need legal representation, and am glad to be able to support The Project in my own way as the Justice For All Ball’s emcee.
What’s your fondest remembrance of the last several Ball’s you’ve attended/emceed at?
Being a music lover, the Ball always has some of the best New Orleans-based music performing. I particularly enjoyed the year that the Bucktown All-Stars played and the excitement they bring and encourage among attendees. Oh, and I have to mention the food – some of the best of the best all in one place.
The JFAB has been around for 30 years, and we've had some of New Orleans' finest restaurants, and bars donate food and drinks for the evening - what's been one of your favorite dishes or drinks consumed at the Ball and why?
It is hard to pinpoint one dish or one drink – we are, after all, in New Orleans. In truth, as emcee, I usually wait until after I finish my work to dive into some of New Orleans’ finest!
Rockin’ Dopsie Jr & The Zydeco Twisters are playing this year for the JFAB's 30th Anniversary - what's the one song you absolutely feel they must play to commemorate this particular year in the JFAB's history and why?
I hope to hear Dopsie’s “Walkin to New Orleans” – he performed at the 2015 French Quarter Festival to a raucous crowd, like the one to expect at this year’s JFAB! And, with Fats Domino passing away this year – it would be a great tribute and treat for the JFAB crowd.
What do you want people to know about you that you haven’t already told them in about a thousand other interviews you’ve done?
I am a closet Zydeco performer and two-stepper.
Thanks, Mark for sharing your thoughts and sense of humor in support of The Project and JFAB!!
For sponsorships and tickets to the 30th Annual Justice For All Ball, check out JFAB 2018 or call the JFAB Hotline at 504.581.3480.