MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Feb. 21, 2017) – The Business Council of Alabama on Tuesday conducted its winter board of directors meeting and welcomed 21 new board of directors’ members who heard remarks by Louise Blais, consul general of Canada in Atlanta, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who is a past BCA chairman, and U.S. Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery.
BCA 2017 Chairman Jeff Coleman of Coleman Worldwide Moving in Dothan presided over the winter board of directors meeting at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. He briefed the board about the BCA’s legislative activities in 2016.
“We accomplished a lot,” Coleman said. “Right-to-work was huge for us. It took a lot of hard work.”
The BCA-supported right-to-work constitutional amendment that Alabama voters approved in November enshrines Alabama’s right-to-work status in the constitution, making it difficult to change. The right-to-work is a powerful job attraction and retention tool for economic developers.
“Now we will build on our success and move on with our initiatives,” Coleman said. One of the initiatives is rebuilding Alabama’s infrastructure, which is an important tool for economic development.
Watson Donald, director of external affairs for Southern Research in Birmingham and co-chair of the BCA Federal Affairs Committee, introduced the BCA’s 2017 Federal Action Agenda that was approved by the board of directors.
The BCA’s state partners were highlighted and gave briefings: The Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama/Business Council of Alabama, the Business Education Alliance, Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructure, the Alabama Aerospace Industry Association, and the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association.
The BCA’s federal partners are the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both are exclusively represented in Alabama by the BCA.
Consul General Blais, who spoke to the BCA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Point Clear last summer, spoke of the trade connections between the United States, Alabama, and Canada.
She said Canada is waiting to hear about the new administration’s trade policy. “We will do whatever we can to build relationships,” she said.
Mayor Stimpson, the 2010 BCA chairman, spoke briefly about Mobile and meeting challenges and opportunities.
Representative Roby, R-Montgomery, who represents the 2nd Congressional District consisting of most of Montgomery and counties to the southeast, announced that she has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee in addition to her other committees.
Following the meeting, the annual Saluting Leaders of State Government reception was held for more than 250 BCA members, legislators, state officials, and association members.