John Lovorn is founder of The PACE Group, with over 30 years of experience in economic development, management and targeted executive search.He is currently the chairman and talent recruiter. Over his career, John has lived in Virginia, Chicago and Mississippi working for hundreds of clients in more than 42 different states and over 600 communities – and he’s worked with scores of private-sector clients, as well, including such Fortune 500 giants as Whirlpool, Cooper Tire, Progress Energy and Ashland. He is a sought after public speaker, and is best known for his hundreds of presentations on community and economic development and addresses to more than 20 different State Press Associations on the important role of newspapers in their communities.After a career as Vice President and a Principal of PHH Fantus Group in Chicago, where he founded the executive search profit center at the nation’s oldest and largest site selection, economic development and executive search firm, John founded The PACE Group in 1993, after PHH Fantus was sold to Deloitte Touche.
Since its inception, The PACE Group has emerged as a leading executive search firm in the United States, with clients in 42 different states.
A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management at the University of Georgia and Southern Methodist University, John started his career with hands-on experience from the ground up, working in the economic development field and running community Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development organizations.
As a result, John’s marketing and prospecting classes for many years at the nationally recognized Economic Development Institute earned top ratings. He was the youngest president of both the Southern Economic Development Council and Mississippi Economic Development Council and is a past vice-chair of the International Economic Development Council – and currently serves on the Southern Growth Policy Board.
John also is a member of the Board of Governors of the Mississippi Economic Council (State Chamber of Commerce) and on the board of directors for the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation. In his hometown of Tupelo, MS, he serves as a board member of the nationally recognized Community Development Foundation and has served two terms on the Antone Tannahill Good Samaritan Free Clinic Board and continues to be active with this organization in various committees. He is active with the Sanctuary Hospice House and Touched by an Angel Ministries. He is a former administrative board member of the First United Methodist Church, where he is an active parishioner. John served on the Board of Directors and is a stockholder of Brick and Mortar, a creative services company.
John and his wife, Elaine, have two grown children – Barrett and Carley. He is an avid swimmer, walker, gardener, hunter and Tennessee Titans football fan.