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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Mercedes names new CEO for Tuscaloosa County plant
Governor releases lengthy to-do list for road and bridge projects statewide
Huntsville invites retail developers to bid on 25 acres at John Hunt Par
Trade Education Tour to Feature Secretary Canfield
Executive Director Economic Development Association of Alabama






Mercedes names new CEO for Tuscaloosa County plant
Staff report
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Markus Schaefer, the Mercedes-Benz executive who developed a plan to move Mercedes sedan production to Tuscaloosa County and then was named president and CEO of Vance plant, has been promoted to head of production planning for all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.


Schaefer will return to Germany and work out of the company's headquarters in Stuttgart, effective July 1.


Mercedes named Jason Hoff, 42, to succeed Schaefer as president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, the company's vehicle assembly plant in Vance.


Hoff worked for several years at the Vance plant in various capacities. His most recent position there was as vice president of logistics until November 2010.




[Tuscaloosa News













Governor releases lengthy to-do list for road and bridge projects statewide
By K.A. Turner | kturner@al.com 
on February 04, 2013

 MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Linking roads to economic development, Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday announced 302 new road projects in Alabama. 

Cumulative price tag? More than $397 million.


The projects are part of the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, or ATRIP. Bentley last year announced a plan to borrow up to $300 million annually for three years, with the bonds backed by the annual federal appropriations the state expects to receive for transportation projects.


"When companies build new facilities, they look for areas with good roads and bridges. ATRIP is giving them what they need," Bentley said in a written release announcing the projects. "The more companies that build and expand in Alabama, the more jobs we're able to create."











Huntsville invites retail developers to bid on 25 acres at John Hunt Park
By Steve Doyle | sdoyle@al.com 
on February 04, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - For sale to the highest bidder: 25 acres of prime city-owned land at one of Huntsville's busiest corners.


Last week, city officials issued a request for proposals from developers interested in buying a slice of John Hunt Park near the Memorial Parkway-Airport Road intersection. Deep pockets are a must, as Mayor Tommy Battle has set a minimum price of $7,623,000.


"This is a great opportunity to create a signature development in one of the nation's most vibrant communities," Battle said in a news release. "We are looking for a developer to create a distinctive and sustainable retail commercial development with buildings in keeping with the importance of this site and location."


The land being sold is home to several government buildings, including Huntsville Fire & Rescue Station 6, a firefighter training facility and city employee medical clinic. The city says it would build a replacement fire station about a mile away on Drake Avenue.














Trade Education Tour to Feature Secretary Canfield


Keynote Speaker;  Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce

Feb 7, 2013  9:00 am registration

 9:30 am  program begins

Alabama Robotics Technology Park

6506 U.S. Highway 31

Tanner, AL 35761

No cost to attend but registration is requested to Beau Lore   email:  beau.lore@commerce.alabama.gov or call 334-242-0450


Accelerating Alabama, the state's economic development plan, will be highlighted by Secretary Canfield with specific information on how exports create jobs for the state.  Attendees will gain knowledge of the resources available to assist in doing business overseas which will in turn help grow jobs right here in Alabama.  A tour of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park will be optional for participants at the end of the program.


Who should attend:  community leaders, elected officials, economic developers, and companies interested in expanding their business through international trade.















Executive Director

Economic Development Association of Alabama: Position Description  


The Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA) is a membership-based organization focused on promoting economic growth in Alabama. With members throughout the state, EDAA provides quality professional development opportunities to approximately 500 members. The association also engages in governmental affairs activities. The Executive Director serves as the chief executive of the association with the direction of the Board Chair. The position directs member and investor efforts to achieve the mission to educate, network and positively impact economic development in Alabama. 


Job Description:

Manage the overall operations, finance, and activities of the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA), under the general direction of the President and the Board of Directors.


  • Investor Relations:

Meet regularly with members across the State to understand opportunities and challenges, in order for EDAA to better serve the membership. Identify, recruit and maintain investors and sponsors for the organization. Work closely with investors to assure their continued realization of benefit from EDAA. Promote the mission of EDAA in key venues throughout the State to encourage awareness of economic development and the EDAA programs and initiatives.      


  • Education:

Direct and implement an agenda which will ensure the EDAA membership has access to the best and latest information and resources on economic development practices, including professional development for the full time economic developers and educational opportunities for volunteers and elected officials. 


  • Resource Development:

Develop and maintain recruitment tools, including but not limited to State and federal legislative efforts. Work in conjunction with national, State and regional organizations to develop and identify tools and resources that will provide an advantage for the economic development effort in Alabama.  



  • The successful candidate must be a fully seasoned professional, with knowledge of economic development concepts.  Proven leadership skills with successful management experience.  A minimum of five years' experience in an association, chamber of commerce, or economic development environment is required.
  • Bachelor's degree required. CEcD a plus.
  • Must be a creative problem-solver with the ability to handle multiple tasks concurrently.
  • Must have a strong knowledge of research techniques and national and state data sources.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including effective listening. 
  • Advanced knowledge in Microsoft Office and other business related computer operations required.  Experience with web design/development and social media preferred.
  • Proven team player with strong organizational skills, enthusiastic attitude and leadership ability and ability to make sound judgment calls/decisions.


Compensation is negotiable based upon experience.  Qualified candidates please send a letter of introduction and a resume (electronic submissions only) attention to: Jeremy Nails, Chairman of the EDAA Search Committee at search.chair@edaa.org.  All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.  Deadline is close of business Friday, March 1, 2013. 









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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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