Lora McClendon serves as Director of Military and Federal Strategies at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce where she works with national, state, and local governmental, business, and military leadership to protect and expand the military and defense sectors of the Montgomery regional economy. In this project-focused role, Lora manages a federal government affairs portfolio while pursuing and progressing government-based economic development projects. Recently, she celebrated the Air Force announcement that 18 to 24 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will be based at Dannelly Field Air Guard Station, home of the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama National Guard beginning in 2023.
Prior to her work with the Montgomery Chamber, she spent five years in Washington, DC as a congressional staffer for Representative Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-01). During her time on Capitol Hill, Lora’s legislative portfolio consisted of healthcare, education, financial services, energy, environmental, and labor policy while she managed memberships on the House Committees on Rules; Natural Resources; and Education and the Workforce. After moving to Montgomery in 2016, she served as the Executive Director of the Alabama Military Stability Foundation, an organization chartered and chaired by then-Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey. In this role, Lora oversaw a budget of over $1.5 million dollars to grow the defense industry base in the State of Alabama and to advocate for federal defense programs on behalf of Alabama’s defense communities.
Lora earned her BA in Political Science from the University of South Carolina in 2011. She currently serves as a board member for the Montgomery Education Foundation which advocates for local governments, businesses, individuals, and philanthropic foundations to become actively engaged as volunteers and/or investors in Montgomery’s public schools. She also serves her alma mater in an advisory capacity on the University of South Carolina College of Arts & Sciences DC Alumni Council. She enjoys running, travelling, is an avid reader, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Brooks and their German Shorthaired Pointer, Penny.