NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The King of Carnival is Michael W. Kearney. Kearney is CEO of Kearney Companies Inc. He is a graduate of Tulane University and De La Salle High School.
It's not unusual to see Kearney surveying cargo on the river. His business, Kearney Companies Inc., works hand-in-hand with the Port of New Orleans.
"We're in the logistics business helping customers get product from point A to point B," he said.
On Fat Tuesday, getting from point A to point B will be easy for Kearney. He'll ride on a throne as King of Carnival. He found out months ago when a fellow Rex member took him to a meeting.
"He took me in the board room and opened the door and there was the executive committee. My voice started cracking and I couldn't believe it!"
Kearney delights in the fact that his reign comes at a time when New Orleans is on the rise.
"The port, like the city, has rebounded from Katrina beyond our furthest dreams, and of course our most recent is that the port is getting Chikita bananas after a 40-year hiatus of no bananas. Now we got bananas!" he said.
Kearney has served on the board of the New Orleans Business Alliance for six years, and said it's fun to see retail expansion taking place in the city.
"It used to be if you wanted to buy something you'd go to Jefferson Parish."
The guru of cargo deliveries delivers a mean serve. He relaxes on the court.
"I play tennis six days a week. I play at 6:30 in the morning," he said.
On Mardi Gras he takes his place as the ceremonial leader of New Orleans. He is determined to have a good time and wants revelers to do the same.
"The psyche of New Orleanians makes Mardi Gras possible. Other cities can't pull it off because people won't tear someone apart to get a worthless piece of bead. We understand it," he said.