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Panelist Bio


Sherri McConnell
Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment

Sherri McConnell serves as Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment, a division of Louisiana Economic Development. Her office administers the highly successful tax incentive programs for film, music, digital interactive media, and live performance.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon of American parents, Ms. McConnell traveled the world until settling in Louisiana in 1978, where she attended LSU and began a career in governmental relations as a consultant and association manager with the Bud Mapes Firm. In 1982 she started her own firm, continuing to represent clients before the Louisiana Legislature and related governmental agencies.

Since joining LED in January of 2007 she has used her 25-plus years of experience in Louisiana governmental and political affairs, organization management, marketing and economic development, and her passion for the creative industries, to grow one of Louisiana’s greatest natural resources and supercharge Louisiana’s Entertainment industry. Her guidance has led to industry activity in the state expanding exponentially when measured by activity in the Entertainment office. For example, Louisiana Entertainment received more applications for motion picture tax credits alone in 2010 than in the first five years of the program combined. As a result of this acceleration, the office expanded from three to twelve people (still only half the size of most states’ but shouldering twice the workload). Louisiana Entertainment now serves as the major conduit for entertainment business development in Louisiana.

Sherri spearheaded development of a long-range strategic plan to build a permanent entertainment economy in Louisiana that capitalizes on the state’s native creative culture and provides sustainable, well-paid jobs in both above-the-line and below-the-line segments of the industry. Under her leadership, Louisiana’s entertainment industry has grown to its current stature, contributing approximately $1.5 billion to the state’s economy between 2008 and 2010. The state continues to hold a leadership position in attracting new entertainment economic development projects.

Current Topic


06/15 - Louisiana After Ferguson (Encore Presentation)

Who polices the police in Louisiana?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


07/15 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?

Recent Topics


05/15 - Innovation Matters

What effect does diminishing Higher Ed funding have on Louisiana research programs?


04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?


03/15 - Cancer in Louisiana

Why is Louisiana’s cancer death rate so much higher than the rest of America?


02/15 - Dollars per Barrel: Oil Prices & Louisiana

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana from the drop in prices?

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