First Economic Development Academy graduates 129 municipal leaders


Nearly 130 municipal officials from across Alabama who have dedicated time to studying how to strengthen economic development in their communities have graduated from the first Economic Development Academy (EDA) of the League of Alabama Municipalities (ALM ) on Tuesday, November 8. A ceremony celebrating their completion was held at the SU Municipal Leadership Institute at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach.

The inaugural class consists of 129 city officials from across the state of Alabama and 27 communities. Each graduate received a municipal economic development certificate from the League and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).

Developed in conjunction with the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and supported by an advisory board of industry leaders, the League’s EDA engages local leaders to help them better understand their critical role in the development process. economic. The Academy is specifically designed to educate and engage municipal officials and designated community business leaders on best practices and strategies for successful economic and community development. Additionally, the Academy focuses on the role of elected officials regarding discount assessment, legal processes and their implications, proper community marketing, assessing community expectations, workforce development work as well as other key aspects of the development process.

The Academy took place over a full year and consisted of orientation and four one-day sessions including community service, which were conducted at 16 of Alabama’s 24 community and technical colleges. To graduate, participants were required to complete a community economic vitality survey, complete a community assessment/project, and attend all sessions.

“The more partnerships you can have in a community, the better off you are because more people are involved in helping to move the community forward, and there often isn’t a better partner with such a broad reach than the community colleges of Alabama,” Neil Wade said. , consultant to the League. Wade facilitated the Academy across the state.

“EDA was not superficial. He started at the heart of communities – their local leaders – and studied in depth their economic vitality and their ability to strengthen their economic DNA. They figured out what they needed to learn more about and how to leverage resources to get where they wanted to be. It is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had to see local government at work in the academy to improve their communities.

Academy participants spoke with community college presidents across the state to learn more about how to collaborate on workforce and economic development in the future.

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“Every aspect of what we do as a community college system comes back to the community — from the programs we create to the opportunities we create for every person in Alabama to succeed through their local community college. The Economic Development Academy is an example of how working with partners already in the community can yield great results,” said Jimmy H. Baker, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System and keynote speaker at opening of graduation ceremonies. “I’m excited for what the future holds as the leaders of dozens of communities who participated in the Academy bring to life the projects they conceptualized during the training.”

Bryan Parker, the league’s director of government affairs, said the EDA was a vision of league executive director Greg Cochran to put more emphasis on economic development for the 464 municipalities the league represents.

“We constantly ask our members what’s important to them, and most of the feedback we get is about economic development. Through the EDA, we have created a team atmosphere that allows communities to focus on economic vitality, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to use their communities’ resources, such as their community college, to achieve maximum success,” Parker said.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the colleges on this project. It was great for municipalities to learn about all the things colleges do in terms of workforce and economic development.

The graduates of the first Economic Development Academy, as well as the municipalities they represent, are listed below:

Region 1

Mike Ashburn, Scottsboro

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Richard Bailey, Scottsboro

Nathan Lee, Scottsboro

Roy Light, Scottsboro

Jim McCamy, Scottsboro

Matt LeDukeGuin

Mineo Lindsey, Guin

Phil SegravesGuin

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Virginie Alexandre, Hartselle

Ken Doss, Hartselle

Randy Garrison, Hartselle

Jeremy Griffith, Hartselle

Jeff Johnson, Hartselle

Anita Bedwell, Rainbow City

Clark Hopper, Rainbow City

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Jeff PrinceRainbow City

Joe Taylor, Rainbow City

Allie Allcorn, Oneonta

Sherry Pierce, Oneonta

Bekah Phillips, Oneonta

Jerry Bartlett, Town of Good Hope

Christie Chamblee, City of Good Hope

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Susan Eller, City of Good Hope

Corey Harbison, Town of Good Hope

Eric Phillips, City of Good Hope

Terry Shabel, City of Good Hope

Brad Williams, Cullman Co Ed/
City of Good Hope

Region 2

Tiffany BittnerChelsea

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Chris Grace, Chelsea

Casey Morris, Chelsea

Tony Picklesimer, Chelsea

Scott Weygand, Chelsea

Melody Whitten, Chelsea

Jesse MatthewsBessemer

Donna Thigpen, Bessemer

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Lisa Baker, Tarrant

Veronica Freeman, Tarrant

Boyfriend Aydelette, Center Point

DM Collins, center point

Ebonee Copeland, center point

Bobby Scott, center point

Glenn Williams, center point

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Tonja Baldwin, Town of Lipscomb

Christine Burrell, Town of Lipscomb

Barbara Moore, Town of Lipscomb

Lakendria Poellnitz, town of Lipscomb

Michelle Proctor, Town of Lipscomb

Vanessa Reed, Town of Lipscomb

Cindy CuellarIrondale

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James Saucier, Irondale

Aaron Sims, Irondale

James Stewart Jr., Irondale

Lisa Bright, Trussville

Buddy Choat, Trussville

June Mathews, Trussville

Alan Taylor, Trusville

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Kent Back, Gadsden

David Hooks, Gadsden

Kenneth Kirkland, Gadsden

Kathy Murphy, Gadsden

Deverick Williams, Gadsden

Region 3

Kim King, Colombian

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David Mitchell, Columbiana

Ashley Phillips, Columbiana

Charlene Tucker, Columbiana

Danielle Wooten, Selma

Clay Carmichael, Selma

Lesia James, Selma

Susan Youngblood, Selma

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Billy Young, Selma

James Perkins, Jr., Selma

Sheryl Smedley, Selma

Johnny Ford, Tuskegee

Tony Haygood, Tuskegee

Derrick Swanson, Tuskegee

Liz Craig, Pike Road

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Doug Fuhrman, Pike Road

BoBo Giplin, Pike Road

Rob Steindorff, Pike Road

Gordon Stone, Pike Road

Chris Myers, Pike Road

Don Mack, Downtown

Mike Nichols, Centerville

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Mike Oakley, Centerville

Woody Baird, Town of Alexander

Scott Hardy, Town of Alexander

Al Jones, Town of Alexander

Stamps Romy, City of Alexander

Audrey “Buffy” Colvin, Town of Alexander

Region 4

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Charles Andrews, Monroeville

Tameika Hunt, Monroeville

Kenneth Ruffin, Monroeville

Al Brewton, Monroeville

Stanley Finallyger, Ozark

Mark Blankenship, Ozark

Lea Harlow, Ozark

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Winston Jackson, Ozark

The Peraults, Ozark

Holle Smith, Ozark

Sheldon Day, Thomasville

Alexandria Huckabee, Thomasville

Roy Madison, Thomasville

Nathan Reid Smith, Thomasville

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Rosalyn Sales, Thomasville

Daniel Coleman, Geneva

Kim Gillespie, Geneva

David Hayes, Geneva

Lisa Johnson, Geneva

Ryan Tidwell, Geneva

Jeff Gray, Geneva

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Annie Latham, Coffeeville

Jenny Pope, Coffeeville

Bessie Thomas, Coffeeville

Dwight Pugh, Coffeeville

Becky Bracke, opp

Rick Clifton, opp

Lavaughn Hines, Opp

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Charlotte Hunt, op.

Gary Strickland, opp

Tom Maddox, City of Elba

Amy Giles, City of Elba

G. Wise, City of Elba

Laurie Chapman, Elba

Hannah Pendleton, Elba

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Jacob Pendleton, Elba

William Cooper, Company

Scotty Johnson, Enterprise

Greg Padgett, Enterprise

Turner Townsend, Company

Jonathan Tullos, Company


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