Gary Elkins has become well acquainted with Washington red tape. Taking on a lobbying role, pro bono, for still-struggling New Orleans, he has watched while financial incentives threatened to sunset just as development started to reawaken after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast five years ago.

Since then, he’s made trips to the nation’s capital, at times meeting with the general counsel for former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to help loosen restrictions on finance tax credits. And, along with and bankers, accountants and architects from New Orleans, he persuaded members of Congress to extend the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act when key provisions of the rebuilding legislation were set to expire two years ago. “Projects were starting to come on line as the window was closing,” Elkins said.

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