New ADO leader ready to take field
12:05 AM, Jul. 7, 2011 |
A Vestavia Hills Republican will be the new Alabama Development Office director -- a job he said "wasn't on his radar screen."
"But when the opportunity presented itself, it was too great an opportunity," said Rep. Greg Canfield, R-Vestavia Hills. "You're creating industry, creating jobs."
Canfield, in his second term in the House, chairs the House Committee on Commerce and Small Business. He owned an insurance business from 1993 to 2008.
"Greg is a salesman at heart and will be a tremendous asset to the Alabama Development Office," Gov. Robert Bentley said in a statement. "He knows both large and small business."
Canfield will start "on or before Aug. 1," according to a release. The new director said he was approached by the Bentley administration last week, with an agreement settled on Tuesday.
In his new position, Canfield said he wants to continue Alabama's success recruiting large industries from around the world.
"We're going to concentrate on bringing an improved working environment on all levels of the economic development players," he said. "From the local level and county economic development groups, all the way up to the state."
Landing those firms, such as Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and ThyssenKrupp, has often required the state to get into bidding wars with other states over ever-larger tax incentive packages.
Canfield said he hopes to become less dependent on them, "but realistically, we have to have them in the toolbox."