Sidney D. Torres, IV is a prominent and successful global businessman and serial entrepreneur. From renovating houses to creating an innovative trash company (SDT Waste and Debris Services, which cleaned up the famous French Quarter in New Orleans and changed the way the trash removal industry works after Hurricane Katrina); from upmarket boutique hotel ownership to his most recent creation of The Cove, a $100 million world-class resort in the Bahamas; Torres focuses on making communities better through business. He currently manages 25 limited liability corporations and employs 150 people.
While he was growing up in New Orleans, Torres' grandmother co-signed a loan so he could renovate his first shotgun houses at 20-years-old.
Torres began transforming historic buildings into elegant, small hotels offering the quintessential New Orleans charm and easygoing style. Building up his holdings from a single guesthouse with eight rooms in 1999, he later sold a portfolio of boutique hotels with approximately 150 rooms. In the last 15 years, Torres has developed over $250 million in commercial and residential real estate. In every project, he focuses on getting results that make clients happy. In 2012, he purchased luxury resort The Cove in the Bahamas. Torres invested nearly $20 million on the island, building 75 villas and two restaurants and re-opened the 40-acre property in 2013.
After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, people were desperate for basic services. From a hotel room in Florida, Torres got his trucks back up and running and moved quickly to get housing in good shape. By September 2005, Torres' properties were housing U.S. Government special agents, U.S. Marshals, and employees of local sheriffs' offices. His company then built mobile trailer parks for government officials in surrounding parishes. Because of the storm, New Orleans was strewn with debris and garbage and the waste removal contractor left the city stranded. Torres bought new equipment, secured the contract, and SDT Waste and Debris Services was born. Their work was picked up by national media outlets as the first "green shoots" of promise that New Orleans was coming back, and prompted the New Orleans City Council and the Louisiana House of Representatives to pass resolutions commending Torres for the success in cleaning up the French Quarter, jump-starting recovery, and changing the national conversation about New Orleans.
In early 2015, as a fresh wave of crime was striking the heart of a whole state's tourism industry–the New Orleans French Quarter–Torres created an app called The FQ Task Force and an accountability process that is revolutionizing policing and most importantly reducing crime. The FQ Task Force app works by crowdsourcing information on crimes in progress and suspicious activity, and then equipping rapid-response teams with the latest GPS technology. In the first month of operations, the app was downloaded over 7,500 times, generated 600 calls, 50 arrests, and took five guns off the street. Described by NBC Nightly News as "the Uber of policing"—The FQ Task Force has drastically reduced crime in the New Orleans French Quarter by 45%, and generated greater safety and confidence for tourists and residents.
Torres tries to make communities better through business. To extend the effort, he has created IV Capital, a venture-capital firm that has invested more than $75 million in Gulf Coast & Caribbean businesses. In addition, he gives back through donations; not only monetarily but also donations of passion. He has a heart for helping children and is a proud member of the board of governors for Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, which empowers over 22,000 students every year to take control of their economic future through work-readiness, financial literacy, and experiential learning. When the earthquake hit in Haiti, Torres chartered three cargo planes and shipped over $300,000 of medical supplies.
Torres' work ethic and track record of success have not gone unnoticed. He has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine and has appeared on CNBC, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC. He was appointed a Fleur-de-lis Ambassador by the City of New Orleans to help promote the city around the country and the French Quarter Business Alliance made SDT grand marshal of a Mardi Gras parade. Both the Young Leadership Council and Junior Achievement named him a "Role Model." Torres received a Changing Faces award from EboNetworks, was named one of the Innovators of the Year by CityBusiness in 2007, and became an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2011.
Torres currently resides in New Orleans.
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