The Norman Economic Development Coalition has named Dan Schemm as Interim Executive Director.
Schemm, who also serves as executive director of VisitNorman, was appointed to the position following a board meeting Aug.26. Schemm steps into the position after Maureen Hammond departed for an executive director position in Paris, TX earlier this summer.
Schemm said there is clearly overlap between the two positions, as VisitNorman brings economic development through tourism, which equips him well for the position as both work to bring new dollars into the community.
“VisitNorman does this through tourism and travel, so those visitors come and leave their dollars here by eating at our restaurants and shopping at shops,” Schemm said. “The way NEDC does this is through retaining and creating jobs, which means employees spend their dollars here.”
Schemm said they are complimentary, because if this is a community that someone wants to visit, then it’s probably a community in which they want to live.
“If it’s a community where they want to live, then they want to work here too,” Schemm said. “If it’s a company where they work, then there are companies that will want to locate their businesses here.”
As more companies locate their businesses here, Schemm said the demand for amenities such as restaurants and attractions increases. He said an increase in restaurants and attractions also increases the amount of visitors to the city in a cyclical process.
“What both entities work to achieve is done through having a quality community with a great quality of life,” Schemm said. “I think I bring a perspective of being a long-time Norman resident, with roots here and a love for the community that will hopefully help both entities grow and succeed.”
Schemm, an Edmond native, earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering in Environmental Sciences, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He came back to Norman in 2014 after serving as the director of destination sales and services for Go Wichita Convention in Wichita, Kansas.
"The NEDC Board is very pleased that Dan Schemm has accepted the interim role of Executive Director." said Patrick Grace, chairman of NEDC in a news release. “Dan's background and experience, as well as his familiarity with Norman, are much needed during our leadership transition.”
Grace said although the pandemic has greatly impacted NEDC’s ability to expeditiously transition, Schemm’s leadership will guarantee NEDC continues to fulfill their core mission of improving the quality of life of Norman residents through both the creation and retention of jobs.
“I am excited to be able to guide NEDC during this time of finding the best person to lead their organization,” Schemm said.
Follow me @JeffElkins12