Paris Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) today announced Maureen Hammond as its new executive director. Hammond will help drive economic growth in Paris, Texas through retaining and attracting businesses, workforce development and expanded employment opportunities.
Hammond previously worked for 17 years at the Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC), most recently as interim president and CEO. While at the NEDC, she oversaw all aspects of the economic development program. Hammond worked collaboratively with the public and private sectors, Oklahoma City Partnership, Oklahoma Department of Commerce and the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team to enhance NEDC’s statewide and nationwide presence.
“I am excited to say the entire board agrees that Maureen is the best fit to be our next executive director,” said PEDC Chairman Tim Hernandez. “She has demonstrated great success in creating jobs while in Norman and I strongly believe she will do anexcellent job for Paris. I am very excited to see her begin work.”
The PEDC’s mission is to promote business interests in the city of Paris and Lamar County. Paris’s largest employers include Campbell’s Soup, Kimberly-Clark and the Paris Regional Medical Center. In recent years, the PEDC has focused economic development efforts on workforce, infrastructure, real estate and education.
“I am honored to have been selected by the board to lead the PEDC and look forward to working hard on the community’s behalf to strengthen and grow the Paris economy,” said Hammond. “I am eager to visit with community leaders, citizens and businesses to explore partnerships and opportunities for growth as we carry the PEDC’s core mission of job retention and creation forward.”
Hammond added: “The community has a number of assets that will drive new growth, including a strong employer and workforce base, available sites, a robust healthcare system, Paris Junior College and Cox Field Airport. But a community’s best asset is its people – it is clear that the PEDC board and Paris leadership are passionate about building on the great work and foundation that has been laid by the PEDC and developing a strategy that will expand the competitive position of Paris as a regional draw for quality jobs and industry.”
The PEDC partnered with The PACE Group, a leading economic development executive search firm, to conduct the national search for a new executive director. The PACE Group has established relationships with economic developers, community leaders and board members across the country.
“The PACE Group did an excellent job selecting a wide variety of candidates for our executive director opening,” said PEDC Board Treasurer Mihir Pankaj. “All of the candidates were very qualified and had great attributes to bring to the table, but ultimately Maureen pulled away to be the clear choice to fill the vacancy.”
Hammond has served on several boards, including the Oklahoma Venture Forum, Oklahoma Business Incubator Association, Moore Norman Technology Center Aerospace Advisory Board, Association for Central Oklahoma Government’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Advisory Committee, Norman Chamber of Commerce, Visit Norman and WildCare Foundation. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Oklahoma. She also completed the OU Economic Development Institute program.
Hammond replaces Michael Paris, who left the organization earlier this year.
For more information about the PEDC, please visit: parisedc.com.