At its Dec. 7 Chairman’s meeting the Birmingham Business Alliance saw the gavel passed from UAB President Dr. Ray Watts to his successor, Lee Smith of BBVA Compass, and hosted a discussion about how the automotive industry is changing Alabama’s economic fortunes.
The annual meeting, held at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, highlighted job growth – nearly 3, 000 new jobs in Birmingham region for the year, nearly 20, 000 since 2011 and a goal of another 19, 000 by 2020. BBA President and CEO Brian Hilson said the economic development group hoped to see 500 thousand people employed in the region within three years.
The automotive panel, moderated by John O. Hudson III of Alabama Power Co., featured John Hackett of Kamtek, Jason Hoff of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Mike Oatridge of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, and Andrew Taitz of Autocar.
The officers of the BBA for the coming year are Chairwoman-elect Nancy Goedecke of Mayer Electric Supply; Vice Chairman of Workforce Development Sanjay Singh of Bimal LLC; Vice Chairman of Public Policy Greg Curran, Maynard Cooper & Gale; Vice Chairman of Communications Don Logan, Birmingham Barons; Vice Chairman of Finance Nelson Bean, Synovus-First Commercial Bank; Vice Chairman of Economic Development Jim Gorrie, Brasfield & Gorrie, with Bing Edwards of Edwards+Law LLC serving as Corporate Secretary, and Hilson remaining as President and CEO.
New members elected to the BBA Executive Committee include Ed Aldag of Medical Properties Trust; Tim Vines of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama; Nick Willis of PNC Bank; and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. New members elected to the BBA Board of Directors include Jason Alexander of St. Vincent’s Health System; Scott Berte of Dixon Hughes Goodman; John Coleman of Graham & Co.; Chris Cooper of AAA Cooper/Boyd Brothers; John Hackett of Kamtek; Brian Hamilton of Trillion Communications Corp.; Dr. Bruce Irwin of American Family Care; Jimmy Johnston of Autocar; Richard Murray of National Bank of Commerce; Kathy Nugent of UAB; Daniel Parker of Norfolk Southern Corp.; Andrea Smith of BBVA Compass; Bill Smith of Shipt; and Tricia Wallwork of Milo’s Tea.
Text by Nick Patterson