SB&D had a busy summer quarter, visiting the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina. Photo 1 shows (l to r) Austin Monk, Washington County, Ala., Economic Development Manager for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce; Dale Greer, Assistant Director of the Cullman, Ala., Economic Development Agency; and Taylor Williams, Economic and Community Development Representative for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. The three Alabama-based economic developers were attending the SEDC annual conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C., this summer.
Also at SEDC were (photo 2, l to r) Mike Philpot, Executive Director of the West Tennessee Industrial Association, Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of the Lafayette, La., Economic Development Authority and Michael Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
In photo 3 are Mark Heath, President and CEO of Martinsville-Henry County, Va., Economic Development and Bob Leak, President of Winston-Salem Business Inc., at the SEDC conference.
In photo 4 are Fred Gassaway (left), Executive Vice President of the South Carolina Power Team and Fred Humes, Director of ARC:Hydrogen, a program of the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) in Aiken, S.C. Humes is also Director Emeritus of the EDP.
Photo 5 shows SB&D editor and publisher Mike Randle with Lyn Arnold, President and CEO of the Tunica County, Miss., Chamber of Commerce.
In photo 6 are Randle and Mark Young, President and CEO of the Jonesboro, Ark., Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Photo 7 is a shot Mike Randle took while visiting Arkansas. Fordyce, Ark., is the birthplace of the legendary Alabama Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant. Coach Bryant passed away on January 26, 1983, nearly 30 years ago. Check out the bottom of the sign which reads, "Fordyce Redbugs." The Bear played for the Redbugs and helped Fordyce High School win the 1930 Arkansas state football championship. Bear went on to play tight end at Alabama and won a national championship at 'Bama in 1934. That was decades before Bear won six national championships and 13 SEC conference championships at Alabama in the '60s and '70s. The Bear pledged Sigma Nu fraternity at Alabama and married Mary Harmon in his senior year. That marriage helped the Bear's legacy in Alabama as there are all kinds of Bryants and Harmons living and working in the state of Alabama.
Photo 8 shows Randle with Sue McGowan, Director of Economic Development and CEO of the Paragould, Ark., Regional Chamber of Commerce. And photo 9 shows the former Paragould Courthouse, where the Chamber operates. The building is one of the best kept historic structures we have ever seen.
In photo 10 are (l to r) Kirkley Thomas, Economic Development Manager for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas; Shawnie Carrier, President and CEO of the Arkadelphia, Ark., Regional Economic Development Alliance and Chamber; and Jeff Pipkin, President of the Arkansas Valley Alliance for Economic Development, based in Russellville. The three Arkansas economic development practitioners were enjoying the SEDC conference.
The incredibly beautiful and quaint downtown El Dorado, Ark., is featured in photo 11. Mike Randle visited Henry Florsheim, President and CEO of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce. For more information on Arkansas, turn to the special section in this edition.
Airbus has now joined Boeing with final assembly facilities of large aircraft in the South. Airbus announced this summer that it is building an A320 plant in Mobile, Ala., that is expected to house 1,000 workers. Pictured in photo 12 are Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier (left) and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.
Photos 13 and 14 show SB&D managing editor Stacy Randle as she observes first-hand from the air the numerous massive investments being made in Southwest Louisiana. We would like to thank Lake Charles Regional Airport-based Era Helicopters for their assistance in helping SB&D cover Southwest Louisiana and the Acadiana region of Louisiana. You can read more about Southwest Louisiana and Acadiana by turning to the special section in this edition.
In photo 15 are George Swift, President and CEO of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance, based in Lake Charles, La., and SB&D's Stacy Randle at the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center (SEED) that's under construction on McNeese State University property. The SEED Center in Lake Charles will serve as a hub for economic development for Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes.
Lastly, SB&D's hosts for our visit to Southwest Louisiana, George Swift (right) and Dan Loughney, Director of Marketing & Trade Development for the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, get settled in for the helicopter tour over the region in photo 16.