After 12 years at the helm of Alabama’s Department of Commerce, Greg Canfield will retire as secretary of the department at the end of the year.
Ellen McNair, an economic development veteran, will be the new secretary of Commerce.
“Throughout my time as governor, we have proudly solidified Alabama as a top state for doing business, and no doubt, Greg has been a key part of that success,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “Together, we have secured more than $42 billion in new investments in our state, which has created 78,000 good-paying jobs. Greg will go down as one of Alabama’s best economic development heads, and he will be noted for projects like Mazda Toyota and credited for branding the Made in Alabama name worldwide.”
When he took the helm of the Alabama Development Office in 2011, Canfield reorganized it as the Department of Commerce. During his tenure, the state launched its first-ever strategic economic development plan and set records in international exports, capital investment and job creation.
“I am proud to have been a part of Governor Ivey’s cabinet, and I am proud of the team of professionals we have assembled at Commerce. I am more confident than ever that Alabama is poised for a robust era of economic expansion that will transform the trajectories of communities and families across the state,” Canfield said. “I am honored to have made a contribution to the effort to improve Alabama’s future, and I know that the momentum we’ve built will continue to grow in the capable hands of Ellen McNair.”
McNair is currently chief economic development officer with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, where she has worked on almost 600 national and international projects with a capital investment of more than $8 billion. Among those projects was bringing Hyundai to Montgomery, an effort where she served as senior project manager and a member of the negotiating team.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected by Gov. Kay Ivey for this very important role. Economic development has been a passion and focus for the governor her entire career,” McNair said. “The success of the state under Governor Ivey’s and Secretary Canfield’s leadership is unprecedented. These will certainly be big shoes to fill.”