Under McConnell’s leadership, the industry in Louisiana flourished, experiencing its fifth consecutive year of double digit growth. The office’s holistic approach, supported by innovative programs and marketing efforts, has driven the development of an industry that creates over $1 billion of economic impact annually. In addition, McConnell spearheaded the development of a comprehensive, long-range strategic plan that has become the roadmap for the development of a sustainable entertainment economy in Louisiana (Building a Permanent Entertainment Economy).
Upon her departure McConnell will return to private consulting with a focus on creative industry development. Her new firm, Mac and Associates Consulting will launch at the end of the month.
Simultaneously with McConnell’s departure, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret named Christopher Stelly the Interim Executive Director .
Over the last four years, Stelly has served as the Director of Film and TV where he oversaw exponential growth in the state’s film incentive program, developing it into a productive, credible and stable engine for Louisiana’s entertainment industry. When Stelly joined in 2004, Louisiana’s motion picture tax incentive program saw fewer than 35 applications a year. In 2010 alone, Stelly oversaw 141 incentive applications, with more than 100 productions underway in the state that year. Based on numbers of applications, the program is already predicted to outpace 2010 this year. In addition to administering Louisiana’s progressive and innovative tax credit program, he has become an invaluable technical asset to entertainment companies seeking to produce and to establish new businesses in the state.