ALLAN HARRY BISSINGER, the president of Electrical Sales Corporation, a telecommunications business headquartered in Metairie, and one of the key community leaders credited with leading the recovery from the devastation and ruin from Hurricane Katrina, died from pancreatic cancer yesterday, June 27, 2019. He was 66 years old.
Born into one of the more respected and connected local Jewish families, Bissinger was a New Orleans native and lifelong resident of the city. That commitment led he and his family to create the Roger Bissinger Memorial Award, presented annually since 2005 at the annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. The award honors a single Jewish community member whose lifelong impact is considered outstanding and critical. Bissinger was selected in 2007 as the recipient of the award named for his father of blessed memory, who received the first such award posthumously.
Bissinger graduated from De La Salle High School before earning his bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University. Following graduation, he joined Electrical Sales Corporation, the business his father had started in 1949.
It was after his father’s passing that Allan assumed the presidency of the company, a position he transitioned to his son Brandon recently.
Bissinger was an outstanding father, who enjoyed being with his children, serving as a cheerleader and mentor as they grew into adulthood. He is remembered for gently guiding them to learn from their disappointments and sharing good times with them as they celebrated their accomplishments and achievements. He led by example and helped them grow into caring, successful and respected adults. He was served well by his spirited sense of humor and a deep-seated desire to live his life by the Jewish tent of tikkun olam (“repairing the world”)
He worked tirelessly to bring peace, freedom, and justice to all people and his strong moral compass guided him to become a gifted and respected volunteer leader in both the Jewish and Greater New Orleans communities.
An alumnus of the UJA National Young Leadership Cabinet and a graduate of the Lemann-Stern Leadership Development Program Class of 1979-1980, Bissinger seemed to be a natural Jewish community leader. He was a part of the Federation’s Campaign Cabinet for decades and chaired the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign in 2004, the year before he assumed the role of Jewish Federation president in September of 2005. Bissinger was also actively involved with Jewish Family Service and was a leading member of Touro Synagogue.
In addition to his critical work as president of Federation, he was also a former president of the Jewish Community Center board and served the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana (JEF) for many years in many capacities including his roles as Grants Committee chair and as its vice president at the time of his death. Along with his family, he received JEF’s Tzedakah Award in 2011. Previously, he had served as chairman of the Board of Touro Infirmary and was a proud leader of the Touro Infirmary Foundation, receiving its 2018 Judah Touro Society Award. Bissinger was also the vice chair of Children’s Hospital and a member of the governing boards of the Anti-Defamation League, LCMC Health, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, Inc. (PAR); and and the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club.
He was an active member of many other organizations and received numerous awards for his quiet and effective leadership.
Bissinger was an avid tennis player, but also enjoyed fly fishing with “his guys.” He particularly enjoyed traveling with family and friends and, when not occupied with volunteering to help others, might be found riding his Kubota tractor or fishing on his family farm in Poplarville, Mississippi.
He is survived by his mother Marjorie Bissinger, his wife Nancy and his children Brook, Brett and Brandon (Rachel) as well as a sister, Nancy Bissinger Timm (Steve).
A memorial service at Touro Synagogue was held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, and a celebration of his life followed at 3:o0 p.m. at the Uptown Jewish Community Center until 5:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to the Allan Bissinger Memorial Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Endowment Foundation at 1 Galleria Blvd, Suite 1040, Metairie, LA 70001, are preferred.