Saints Owner/Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc was named one of Sports Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" Class of 2011, the publication announced Monday morning.
The award recognizes the "best and brightest that the sports industry has to offer under the age of 40" and honored individuals in sports properties, associations, agencies, sponsored partners and media. The 2011 recognition marks the third time she has been named to the class, as she was also honored in 2007 and 2008.
LeBlanc is the leader of the business operations of the Saints, with responsibilities that include overseeing all sales and marketing efforts, the club's community and youth programs, game day entertainment and stadium operations. She represents the club at NFL Ownership Meetings, where she chairs the league's Employee Benefits Committee and serves on the NFL International Committee.
In addition to her responsibilities with the Saints, LeBlanc has taken an active leadership role in tackling the economic, environmental and community challenges that face the New Orleans and the Gulf South region, serving on the boards of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region and of GNO Inc., the official economic development agency serving the 10-parish Greater New Orleans Region.
LeBlanc played a key role in securing the Super Bowl (XLVII) for New Orleans and serves on the Executive Board of the New Orleans 2013 Super Bowl Host Committee. She served on New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Economic Development Task Force, a group of business leaders that teamed to gather opinions from the public on how city government could help create jobs and facilitate economic development in the city.
Click here for Sports Business Journal's profile on LeBlanc.