Lawrence =Prosperity


Steve Kelly

Vice President, Economic Development & Board Secretary – EDC of Lawrence & Douglas County

Steve Kelly joined the EDC in January 2017 after over 25 years with the Kansas Department of Commerce. Steve was most recently Deputy Secretary and also served as Director of Business and Community Development for the Kansas Department of Commerce. His responsibilities at Commerce included programs and resources focused on business and community development and international trade. Steve is a graduate of Kansas State University and also holds an MBA from the University of Kansas. Steve has also served as the marketing and operations manager for a small publishing and software development firm and has also done business and loan development work for a finance organization.

Adam Handshy

Director of Programs & Business Development – The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas & EDC of Lawrence and Douglas County

Adam Handshy has been with The Chamber since 2008, serving in a number of capacities over the years, and officially joined the EDC ranks in early 2015. Espousing the theory that “everything is relationships,” he has spent his eight years with the organization developing an extensive network of business and social contacts within the community.

These invaluable relationships are brought to bear in a variety of Chamber and EDC initiatives with a focus on the EDC’s business retention and expansion program. Specifically, Adam is responsible for outreach to existing, local businesses in an effort to deepen community ties, determine what barriers exist to expansion and explore opportunities and resources available through the Chamber/EDC.

Adam is a graduate of the Heartland Economic Development Course conducted jointly by the International Economic Development Council and the University of Northern Iowa, holds a certificate in Business Retention & Expansion via the IEDC, a professional certificate in Nonprofit Fundraising through the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership and is a 2009 graduate of the Leadership Lawrence program.

Adam is a native of Lawrence and holds a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communications through the University of Kansas School of Journalism.

Larry McElwain

President/CEO – The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas

Larry has been a successful entrepreneur and community leader in Lawrence for the past 40 years.  In his current role, Larry is responsible for leading the Chamber’s strategic priorities with oversight for the Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County.  Specific areas of focus include economic development through retention and expansion of the existing business base, attraction of new businesses to Lawrence, employment growth and Chamber membership growth.

Larry has been an active member of the Lawrence community since 1972, having successfully owned and operated Warren-McElwain Mortuary.  He brings with him a wealth of business experience and a full understanding of the needs and challenges of business owners and leaders in the community.

As an active member of the Chamber since 1974, Larry has served as chairman of the Board of Directors (2003-2004), vice president of Community Affairs (1978-1979), chairman, Nominating Committee (1986-1987 and 2002-2003) and is a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Lawrence program, having served as Chairman of the program in 1999.  He holds a bachelor of arts in public personnel administration from the University of Kansas.

In addition, he has served as a member of the Bioscience Task Force, Douglas County Natural and Cultural Heritage Taskforce, Lawrence Junior Achievement Board of Directors and commissioner, Douglas County ECO2 Commission and was appointed to Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ Business Education Partnership.

Bonnie Lowe

Chief Operating Officer – The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas & EDC of Lawrence and Douglas County

Bonnie Lowe brings an extensive amount of community leadership, executive management and business development experience to the Chamber and the EDC of Lawrence-Douglas County.  She oversees strategic direction for both organizations, including day-to-day operations and financial oversight.

Prior to joining the Chamber and the EDC, Bonnie was a senior civil and financial investigator with the United States Attorney’s Office and a community bank president.  She has also served on the Lawrence City Commission, including as Mayor from 1997-1998 and on the boards for Kansas Health Insurance Association, Leadership Kansas, Bert Nash Community Health Center Governing Board, Lawrence-Douglas County Biosciences Authority and Douglas County Development Inc.

In addition, Bonnie has been active in the Lawrence Community with Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence Rotary Club, Lawrence Homebuilder’s Association, Bill Self’s Basketball Boogie Steering Committee and Partners for Lawrence Athletics and Youth (PLAY). Bonnie also serves as an ex-officio member on the EDC of Lawrence & Douglas County board. Bonnie and her husband, Jamie, were the 2016-2017 co-chairs of the United Way drive for Douglas County.

Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Fort Hays State University.