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.
How well is the state’s public school system really performing?
One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.
The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee
LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.
“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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