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NEWORLEANS - Since the storm, New Orleans has had a lot to celebrate when it comes to business in the city.

Hundreds of the city's most influential business executives are in town for the Greater New Orleans, Inc. annual meeting.

They're in town to toast the economic success of 2011 and, what they called, a bright future ahead.

This year started off well with General Electric announcing its plans to open a new information technology office in New Orleans.

'I'm a lifelong resident of this region and I would not have believed what we have accomplished since 2005. As a region, it's the best place in this country to live,' said Dale Benoit, GNO incoming chairman.

'The main point is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That's what we've discovered at New Orleans, Inc., and that's what this meeting is really about,' said GNO, Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht.

New Orleans has received a slew of awards in the past year, including being named the most improved city in 2011 by the Wall Street Journal.

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