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OVF Member Highlight: Lawrence McKinney

February 21, 2022 8:18 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

Lawrence McKinney
President and CEO
Norman Economic Development Coalition

Lawrence McKinney is President and CEO of the Norman Economic Development Coalition in Norman, Oklahoma. He leads a team of economic and community development professionals responsible for facilitating the creation of jobs and an improved quality of life for the citizens of Norman and Cleveland County.

Born on Hill Air Force Base, Utah as the third child of Air Force veterans he has traveled throughout the world his entire life and career, affording him a unique perspective on community growth and development.

Mr. McKinney graduated from Augusta College (Georgia) with an undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance and from Georgia State University (Atlanta) with an MBA in International Business. He later earned Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) credentials from the International Economic Development Council, Organizational Management (IOM) credentials from the United States Chamber of Commerce, and Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) credentials from the American Chamber of Commerce, one of only 11 executives nationwide to simultaneously hold these prestigious credentials. He is a graduate of numerous advanced leadership programs, including the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, the Ford Fellowship program through the Ford Foundation, and the Master Economic Development Practitioner (MEDP) program hosted jointly by Clemson University, the University of New Mexico, Texas Christian University, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

His 35-year career has spanned the continent, serving as a regional Chamber of Commerce or Development Authority CEO in Augusta, Savannah, Atlanta, and Athens Georgia, as well as Daytona Beach, Florida. Prior to coming to Norman, he served as Chief Operating Officer for a national fundraising firm and as co-founder and Principal of Economic Strategy Professionals, LLC. Mr. McKinney is married to Army veteran Elizabeth Hennen McKinney, Ed. S, CEO of Economic Strategy Professionals, and they have five children and two grandchildren.


  • Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association, Washington DC
  • Certified Chamber Executive (CCE)
  • International Economic Development Council, Chicago, Illinois
  • Certified Economic Developer (CEcD)
  • Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • MBA in International Business
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
  • Institute for Organization Management (IOM)
  • Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia
  • BBA with dual majors in Economics and Finance


  • 2021 - Present, PRESIDENT AND CEO, Norman Economic Development Coalition (Norman, Oklahoma)
  • 2014 - 2020, PRINCIPAL and CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, Convergent Nonprofit Solutions (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • 2013 - 2020, PRINCIPAL and CO-FOUNDER, Economic Strategy Professionals LLC (Port Orange, Florida)
  • 2006 - 2013, PRESIDENT, Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce and EDO (Daytona Beach, Florida)
  • 2002 - 2006, PRESIDENT, Impact Athens Regional Chamber of Commerce and EDO (Athens, Georgia)
  • 1999 - 2002, PRESIDENT, Partners for Tomorrow Public/Private EDO and Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • 1995 - 1999, CEO, Meriwether County Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce (Warm Springs, Georgia)
  • 1992 - 1995, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Bryan County Development Authority, Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau (Savannah, Georgia)
  • 1990 – 1992, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (Evans, Georgia)
  • 1986 - 1992, DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce and Columbia County Development Authority (Augusta, Georgia)


“Best of the Best”, American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association

“Top 20 Best Practice for EDOs”, Georgia Tech

“Mayor’s Community Spirit Award”, Conyers, Georgia

“Most Influential Floridian”, Florida Magazine

“Businessperson of the Year”, Athens, Georgia

“Kentucky Colonel”, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin


“Does a Rising Tide Really Lift All Boats?”, August 2018, IEDC ED Now Feature

“Talent: The Currency of the 21st Century Economic Developer”, January 2019, ACCE

“How to Show Short-Term ROI to Your EDO Investors”, May 2019, IEDC ED Now Feature

“Strategic Planning for Development Authorities”, 2006, University of Georgia Fanning Institute


American Chamber of Commerce Executives

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board of Regents

Georgia and Florida Chamber Executive Associations

Daytona 500 Checkered Flag Committee, Augusta National Gallery Guards, and numerous civic clubs

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