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.
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