Lawrence E. Westerlund
Lawrence joined Coleman & Horowitt, LLP in 2013. While maintaining his relationship with the law firm which he joined in 2013, he served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Fresno, California from 2014 to 2019. During that time, he was responsible for business attraction and expansion for scores of businesses resulting in over 5,000 newly created jobs in Fresno. His efforts helped drive Fresno’s unemployment rate to historically low levels.
During his tenure as Director of Economic Development, he successfully brought three major business attraction projects to Fresno: Ulta Beauty, Amazon and the Gap expansion. Prior to these projects, the last major business attraction project successfully completed in Fresno was in 1999. He successfully negotiated the $30 million incentive agreement and navigated through the development process the Amazon fulfillment center with an investment exceeding $500 million. He successfully negotiated a $20 million incentive agreement and navigated through the development process the Ulta Beauty West Coast distribution and fulfillment center for an investment of nearly $200 million. He also successfully negotiated the Gap e-commerce expansion project in Fresno that brought an additional 500 new jobs to the existing distribution center.
While Director of Economic Development, Lawrence was recognized in the Los Angeles Times as proposing the smartest and most innovative idea for the Amazon HQ2 project. Link to copy of column.
He also conceived the California economic development electrical energy tariff know as the Enhanced Economic Development Industrial Rate that provides a 25% reduction in electrical energy pricing for industrial projects in areas of PG&E with chronic high unemployment. The tariff has been used by hundreds of companies in the Central Valley to expand their business.
When asked why she hired former City Council Member Lawrence Westerlund to be the Director of Economic Development, Mayor Ashley Swearengin replied that “Larry is a creative problem solver and finds ways to solve problems when all the easy answers have failed.”
- Fresno City Council president in 2010.
- Board member of the Central Valley Veterans Home Support Foundation.
- Founder and Chair of the San Joaquin Valley Gubernatorial Forum.
- Instrumental in negotiating placement of Cal Pine Containers Manufacturing Print Facility in Fresno.
- Negotiated the consolidation of Jain Irrigation Manufacturing from southern California to Fresno.
Honors & Awards
Department of Defense Joint Commendation Medal Second Award
Navy Commendation Medal
Navy Achievement Medal