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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce hopes to have new CEO by late September - Huntsville Times
Governor's ADO choice is thoughtful, level-headed (editorial)... - Press Register
Meetings begin for long-term recovery from tornadoes - Gadsden Times
New ADO leader ready to take field
Childersburg Industrial Park Site receives AdvantageSite designation - Release

Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce hopes to have new CEO by late September or early October

Published: Thursday, July 07, 2011, 8:24 AM Updated: Thursday, July 07, 2011, 8:31 AM
By Marian Accardi, The Huntsville Times The Huntsville Times
Group hopes to have new president in place this fall

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce's board of directors has retained an executive search firm to help find the chamber's next president and CEO.

Board Chair Charlie Kettle, who's heading a 12-member search committee, said the group hopes to have a new president in place by the end of September or early October.

Brian Hilson, the former president and CEO, left in March to become president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance, a seven-county economic development organization.

"We're looking forward to getting a new CEO in place," said Kettle, though "we haven't missed a beat" in economic development during the transition. 





Huntsville Times 



Governor's ADO choice is thoughtful, level-headed (editorial)


Published: Friday, July 08, 2011, 6:00 AM

By Press-Register Editorial Board Press-Register


Rep. Greg Canfield, R-Vestavia Hills, is the new director of the Alabama Development Office.


WE REMEMBER state Rep. Greg Canfield, R-Vestavia Hills, as the man who sponsored the bill that revolutionized the way Alabama budgets its education dollars. Considering the level-headed, persistent way he pursued that worthy endeavor, we consider him a good choice to run the Alabama Development Office.


Indeed, he will have big shoes to fill.


Former Speaker of the House Seth Hammett, who agreed to lead the economic development agency for a short time, was a widely recognized and respected industrial recruiter.


Mr. Hammett was also charged with charting a new course for economic development in Alabama. He worked to realign the state's industry-hunting organizations - an effort that produced a new statewide alliance, then drew concern that local economic developers had been excluded.


Perhaps Rep. Canfield's work on the local level in Birmingham will soothe such complaints. Along with his legislative job, he is a member of the governmental affairs committee for the Birmingham Business Alliance and has held board and president positions at the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce. He works for J.H. Berry Insurance Co. in Birmingham.


It goes without saying that the ADO director is one of the most important positions in the state, especially now that Alabama is clawing its way back to economic normalcy. It's crucial that Gov. Robert Bentley gather the latest and best thinking on economic development trends.






Press Register 









Meetings begin for long-term recovery from tornadoes


By Dana Beyerle

Times Montgomery Bureau


Published: Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 7:45 p.m.


Last Modified: Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 7:45 p.m.


MONTGOMERY - Local disaster recovery task forces began meeting on Thursday to start dealing with long-term recovery from the April tornadoes across Alabama.


Gov. Robert Bentley created six community recovery task forces after the disastrous tornadoes that hit April 15 and April 27, killing nearly 250 people and destroying or damaging more than 20,000 homes.


The six task forces are infrastructure, economic development, health and social services, housing, community planning and capacity building, and natural and cultural resources.


Task force members and federal partners introduced themselves and gave update on long-term recovery activities. A rough timeline of four to five years for recovery was a sobering announcement.


The scope of the damage and what will be needed for recovery are ongoing and there were more questions than answers.









Gadsden Times 






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." 





Montgomery Advertiser  







Childersburg Industrial Park Site receives AdvantageSite designation


BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 7 - A 115-acre site in Childersburg Industrial Park has received an Alabama


AdvantageSite designation.


The AdvantageSite program requires that community economic development organizations provide


documentation specific to a proposed industrial site, including a set of standard data related to ownership/


control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size,


zoning and accessibility requirements.


"The information generated and documented in the certification process will greatly help in the effort to


bring industry to Alabama and Talladega County," said Calvin Miller, executive director of the Talladega


County Economic Development Authority. "We are thankful to those partners who made their time and


resources available to reach the AdvantageSite designation."


"We commend the City of Childersburg and the Talladega Economic Development Authority for pursuing


AdvantageSite designation for the Childersburg Industrial Park Site," said Greg Knighton, Economic


Development Partnership of Alabama vice president and director of business information. "This designation


demonstrates that key site information is documented and available for prospective industry."


AdvantageSite is a voluntary industrial site preparedness program created in order to make the state more


competitive for companies considering a location in Alabama.


The program is jointly sponsored by the Alabama Development Office, Alabama Gas Corporation, Alabama


Power Company, EDPA, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association and PowerSouth Energy




For more information on the AdvantageSite program, please visit









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Wendy Wallace Johnson
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