French Market Corp. begins search for new executive director

The French Market Corp., which operates the historic French Quarter market, has launched a search for a new leader following the departure late last year of the previous executive director.

Frank Pizzolato, who ran the market for just shy of two years, resigned last December. The Times-Picayune reported at the time that Board Chairwoman Demetric Mercadel said Pizzolato did not give a reason for his departure. Pizzolato declined to explain his resignation to the newspaper.

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Ann Duplessis has filled the executive director position on an interim basis since her appointment last month.

An ad for the executive director’s position was posted on the French Market Corp. website Feb. 5. Applications will be accepted until March 21, according to the job announcement. After resumes are screened to see if they meet the job requirements, candidates with the “most relevant” qualifications will be given preliminary interviews. At that point the “most qualified” candidates will be referred to the board of directors, who will select the new executive director.

While many of the job duties are boilerplate for a management position, there are two notes that point out that applicants should have “personal integrity, ethics and honesty” and should be someone who “places the interests of the French Market above personal or professional gain and who does not personalize criticism or conflict.”

Mayor Mitch Landrieu selected Pizzolato to lead the French Market Corp. in January 2011 in the wake of the departure of his predecessor, Kenneth Ferdinand.

Ferdinand was accused of using the corporation’s credit cards to pay non-work-related items. An Orleans Parish Criminal District Court judge last fall acquitted Ferdinand of the charges.