Rita Benson LeBlanc

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Rita M. LeBlanc
Ritabensonleblanc.jpg
Rita LeBlanc, March 2010
Photo by NawlinWiki
Born Rita Mae LeBlanc
(1977-01-11) January 11, 1977 (age 38)
Houma, Louisiana, United States
Residence Texas
Nationality American
Other names Rita Benson LeBlanc
Alma mater Texas A&M University (B.S, Agribusiness, 2001)
Occupation
Years active ca. 2002 -- 2015
Known for Adoptive granddaughter of Tom Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans
Parents Russell LeBlanc (father)
Renee Benson (mother)
Website
Rita Benson LeBlanc on Twitter

Rita Mae LeBlanc, also known as Rita Benson LeBlanc, (born January 11, 1977)[2] is the adoptive granddaughter of Tom Benson, the principal owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.[3]

She was Vice Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Rita Mae LeBlanc is the daughter of Russell LeBlanc and Renee Benson, the adoptive daughter of Tom Benson and his first wife Shirley.[6]

She has a brother, Ryan LeBlanc.[7][8]

Born in Houma, Louisiana[9] when her family lived in nearby Cut Off,[10] she was raised on a ranch near Johnson City, Texas, where she attended Lyndon B. Johnson High School[2] before receiving a bachelor of science degree in agribusiness at Texas A&M University in 2001.[11]

Career[edit]

LeBlanc began interning for the Saints and in various league offices while still in high school, and went to work for the Saints after college.[10][12] In 2003, she took over management of the New Orleans VooDoo, the Arena Football League team also owned by Benson, and was named the indoor league's top executive.[9] (The VooDoo ceased operations in 2008.)[13] In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she began to take on a more public role and greater responsibilities in the management of the Saints.[12]

She chairs the NFL Employee Benefits Committee,[4] and was previously identified as Tom Benson's intended successor as principal owner of the team.[14][15] LeBlanc is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.[16]

In 2012, Tom Benson suspended LeBlanc from her jobs on account of her "sense of entitlement."[17][18][19]

Lawsuit against adoptive grandfather[edit]

It was announced on January 21st, 2015, by current Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson that Rita Benson Leblanc was no longer in consideration for future ownership of either franchise.[20] She then sued him for control of his companies, claiming he is "incompetent." Tom Benson calls the lawsuit meritless and false.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ WWLTV.com (January 22, 2015). "Tom Benson removes granddaughter as Saints heir". WWL-TV. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Owner Tom Benson has pulled his granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc, from the Saints vice chairman of the board position and removed her as the future heir to the organization. 
  2. ^ a b Maria C. Montoya, "The Saints' heir apparent Rita Benson LeBlanc has a nose for books, a passion for her BlackBerry, and an admitted grumpy streak", Times-Picayune, July 26, 2009.
  3. ^ Granddaughter of Saints’ Boss Is Getting Ready to Call the Plays - New York Times
  4. ^ a b New Orleans Saints - Rita Benson LeBlanc at New Orleans Saints official website (accessed April 1, 2010).
  5. ^ Jason La Canfora (January 21, 2015). "Rita Benson LeBlanc out as Saints owner/ vice chairman". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Nick Underhill (January 24, 2015). "Tom Benson's new Saints, Pelicans succession plan has 'unequivocal support' from GM Mickey Loomis". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Renee Benson, who was adopted by Tom Benson and his first wife, Shirley, and her son, Ryan, are also no longer associated with the teams. 
  7. ^ Brian Solomon (April 23, 2012). "Billionaire Tom Benson Benches Granddaughter, Presumed Heir, For Her "Sense Of Entitlement"". Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  8. ^ Jeff Duncan (April 22, 2012). "Rita Benson LeBlanc's conspicuous absence at high-profile events leaves some wondering about her future with N.O.'s sports franchises". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Franz Lidz, "Rita's Hail Mary Pass"[dead link], Portfolio, September 17, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Sue Stachan, "Persona: Rita Benson LeBlanc", New Orleans Magazine, September 2007.
  11. ^ Franz Lidz (September 17, 2007). "Rita's Hail Mary Pass". Upstart Business Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2015. In 2001, after graduating from Texas A&M with a degree in agribusiness, she started working for the Saints… 
  12. ^ a b Tom Orsborn, "LeBlanc works her way up Saints’ ladder"[dead link], San Antonio Express-News, February 6, 2010.
  13. ^ "Arena Football League's VooDoo folding", Associated Press in USA Today, October 13, 2008.
  14. ^ James O'Byrne, "Rita Benson LeBlanc is climbing to the top of the Saints roster with hard work, not just pedigree", Times-Picayune, July 26, 2009.
  15. ^ Jeff Duncan (April 22, 2012). "Rita Benson LeBlanc's conspicuous absence at high-profile events leaves some wondering about her future with N.O.'s sports franchises". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ http://www.jeffersonawards.org/about/#our-selectors
  17. ^ Jason La Canfora (January 21, 2015). "Rita Benson LeBlanc out as Saints owner/ vice chairman". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Benson LeBlanc has had a tumultuous relationship with her grandfather and with many key figures within the team's hierarchy, and was suspended by Tom Benson for three months in 2012. 
  18. ^ Brian Solomon (April 23, 2012). "Billionaire Tom Benson Benches Granddaughter, Presumed Heir, For Her "Sense Of Entitlement"". Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  19. ^ Jeff Duncan (April 22, 2012). "Rita Benson LeBlanc's conspicuous absence at high-profile events leaves some wondering about her future with N.O.'s sports franchises". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  20. ^ Jason La Canfora (January 21, 2015). "Rita Benson LeBlanc out as Saints owner/ vice chairman". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  21. ^ Jeff Duncan (January 21, 2015). "New Orleans Saints, Pelicans ownership shocker: wife Gayle, not granddaughter Rita, will control empire after Tom Benson dies". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Rita Benson LeBlanc, Renee LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc were removed from the Saints' staff directory Wednesday night; Rita also had the title of vice chairman of the board with both franchises.…. Renee and Ryan Benson also have been shut out from Benson's operations. Their offices at the team's facility on Airline Drive have been closed. 
  22. ^ Mike Triplett (January 23, 2015). "Controversial ownership decision intended to bring stability to Saints, Pelicans". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Multiple sources within the two sports franchises, both on and off the record, applauded the move. Many believe the transition will be much smoother if Gayle Benson becomes owner instead of Tom Benson’s adopted daughter, Renee Benson, and grandchildren Rita Benson LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc. 
  23. ^ Brett Martel, Associated Press (January 22, 2015). "Tom Benson’s relatives sue over their ouster from ownership positions with Saints, Pelicans". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  24. ^ Darin Gantt (January 23, 2015). "Tom Benson says he feels “Great, just like a 50-year-old”". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Benson created a stir when he announced that he was taking away future control of his assets from his daughter and grandchildren and transferring them to his current wife. They in turn sued him, claiming he wasn’t competent to do so, in a bizarre suit that claims his Gayle Benson is manipulating him, including the claim that she’s feeding him mainly candy, ice cream soda and red wine. He in turn issued a statement saying he was perfectly capable of handling his own affairs, and that he’d fight the lawsuit. 
  25. ^ Mike Triplett (January 23, 2015). "Bensons at odds over businesses". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 24, 2015. Benson, 87, announced Wednesday that he plans to hand over control of the franchises to his wife, Gayle, in the event of his death. But Benson's adopted daughter, Renee Benson, and grandchildren Rita Benson LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming he should not be allowed to do so because his "health and mental capacity have significantly declined" and he has "fallen under the undue influence" of Gayle, whom Benson married in 2004. 
  26. ^ NOLA.com (January 22, 2015). "Rita Benson LeBlanc, family file suit claiming Tom Benson incompetent to control New Orleans Saints, Pelicans". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  27. ^ NOLA.com (January 22, 2015). "Read the complete Rita Benson LeBlanc family lawsuit against Tom and Gayle Benson". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2015. The suit was filed one day after Tom Benson unexpectedly announced plans to transfer future ownership of the clubs to wife, Gayle, cutting off his daughter, Renee LeBlanc, and his two grandchildren, Ryan LeBlanc and Rita Benson LeBlanc, who until recently had been designated as the heir apparent. 
  28. ^ Larry Holder (January 23, 2015). "Given Rita Benson LeBlanc's volatility, Tom Benson's wife Gayle best option to take reins: Larry Holder". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  29. ^ Gabe Hiatt (January 22, 2015). "Spurned daughter, grandchildren sue Saints owner for writing them out of will". The Washington Post blog. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]