Laurence J. Payne

Larry Payne has over 30 years of experience in public service, not-for-profit, education and religious leadership. Recognized from Houston’s City Hall to the White House, city, state and national leaders actively seek his counsel in leadership, diversity, organization design and strategic planning. In addition to his leadership roles within Desir Group, Larry serves as president of the Educational Excellence Resource Group.

Larry’s love for service extends into leadership roles within the Roman Catholic Church, including executive director of the Office of Social Development for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul, vicar of Urban Affairs for the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois, and director of community relations for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Larry was also selected by his alma mater, the University of St. Thomas, as their Alumni of the Year for 2007. In 2014, Larry published his first book, “The Heart of HoUSton, Lessons in Servant Leadership.”

With a major in theology and a minor in sociology, Larry obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. He followed that with a master’s in theological studies from Seabury Western/Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

Larry participates in various community organizations, such as the American Leadership Forum, the Institute for Spirituality and Health, the Greater Houston Women’s Foundation, Houston Works, Children at Risk, NAACP, Interfaith Ministries, Community Health Charities, Leadership Houston, Rice University, Center for Houston’s Future, Teach for America and the University of St. Thomas.


Vice President