A Texas native, Maurine Hammond, will assume executive director duties Aug. 3 with the Paris Economic Development Corp.
Friday afternoon, the economic engine’s directors approved a $125,000 contract, which also includes travel and phone allowances, along with health and retirement benefits.
Hammond grew up in Grove, Texas, near Beaumont and graduated in 1995 from Thomas Jefferson High School. She moved to Oklahoma in 2003 and took a position with the Norman Economic Development Corp.
While working full time, Hammond completed undergraduate work in psychology and earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Oklahoma.
“I came to a moment of realization that I was already fulfilling my desire to help people by creating jobs, and a light bulb went off,” Hammond said about a decision she made to stay in the economic development field.
“I am passionate about helping with job creation and retention,” Hammond said. “During 17 years of working with the Coalition, I have had the privilege of helping to retain or create over 1,000 jobs.”
Hammond said she is determined to put her past experience to work in Paris.
“Paris has a very strong employer base with companies like Campbell Soup and Kimberly Clark, and I think that demonstrates you have a strong, solid workforce,” she said. “Add a robust healthcare system, available land and water, and Cox Field — all incredible assets we can leverage.”
With experience in helping expand the Norman airport, Hammond said she is excited about the opportunities at Cox Field, which she termed “an incredible asset.”
“But for me, it really came down to the people,” Hammond said about making a commitment to Paris.
“The PEDC board is composed of some remarkable people. They are all so passionate about marketing Paris, growing jobs and working toward a bright future for Paris. And that’s what really excited me. When you get people who are passionate and have a vision, great things can happen.”