Lawton Industrial Foundation hires president

Published Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6:00 am

Lawton, Oklahoma: Oct. 17, 2011 – An extensive national search has resulted in the naming of Barry Albrecht as the first president of the newly restructured Lawton Industrial Foundation (LIF). Albrecht is an 18-year economic development veteran from Arizona, and is presently the CEO of the Central Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation (CAREDF).

CAREDF is a multi-city and county sponsored regional organization with over 100 members located in the “Sun Corridor” of Pinal County, Arizona. As the CEO of CAREDF, Albrecht has been involved in a wide variety of new industry locates, to include Monsanto R&D Lab, Republic Plastics and Mid States distribution. Additionally, he is the Co-Chair of the Arizona Center of Excellence (Aerospace and Defense), which focuses on working with the Department of Defense and Arizona industries in expanding the business base in Arizona.

Albrecht says he is excited about his move to Lawton Fort Sill. “I am truly grateful for this opportunity,” said Albrecht. “It is very clear that the Lawton Fort Sill community and the state of Oklahoma are committed to economic development, but what really stands out is the cooperative spirit among the cities and economic development agencies.”

Albrecht comes with experience in dealing with numerous high-tech and defense companies, which accounted for thousands of new high-tech and Homeland Security-related jobs for Arizona. Projects he worked on involved TRW, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, ISIS Corp., Lockheed Martin and many unmanned aerial vehicle programs. He has also been involved in national committees and local organizations that served in protecting military organizations in Arizona from closure and assisted in expanding military missions in the state.

Phil Kennedy, chairman of LIF, believes Albrecht’s experience will be an asset to the foundation. “The board is very excited to have Barry on our team,” he said. “His experience building economic development organizations and leveraging and supporting our military missions fits perfectly in the directions of the Lawton Industrial Foundation.”

Several other local community leaders have expressed their excitement about Albrecht’s coming leadership, including Lawton Mayor Fred Fitch, Maj. Gen. (R) Toney Stricklin and Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Debra Burch.

“The Lawton Industrial Foundation represents a fundamental shift in the city’s approach to economic development,” said Fitch. “The Foundation is a model of a community-based approach that emphasizes our region’s unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each community sector to participate in developing our future economy in job creation. We are excited about having someone with Mr. Albrecht’s credentials leading this effort."

“His long successful history working with aerospace and defense companies will be a great asset for the city of Lawton and the great state of Oklahoma,” said retired Maj. Gen. Toney Stricklin.

Burch said, “Barry Albrecht’s successful experience in economic development should provide enormous benefits to our community as he leads the Lawton Industrial Foundation forward.”

Also speaking out on the announcement were state leaders Dave Lopez, the Oklahoma secretary of commerce and retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Dave Wagie, PhD, the director of aerospace economic development for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Lopez said, “Like Oklahoma, Lawton has made significant gains in economic growth in recent years. We know that a person of Mr. Albrecht qualities will continue to expand this growth for Lawton Fort Sill, and our state. We are excited to have Barry as a partner in moving forward the economy of our state.”

“We in the Oklahoma Department of Commerce are thrilled to have Barry Albrecht join the Oklahoma and Lawton team,” said Wagie. “Barry brings us a wealth of experience in economic development, and especially strong knowledge of the aerospace and defense industry.”

For more information on the Lawton Industrial Foundation and its staff, please contact the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce at 355.3541.