BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Yellowhammer Multimedia announced program details for the inaugural Alabama Economic Growth Summit, a two-day event that will celebrate Alabama’s recent economic development successes and spur the state toward being the country’s most attractive state for business.
The summit, which will take place at The Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Hoover on Feb. 18 and 19, will assemble the state’s top leaders in government, business, economic development and academia.
The Alabama Department of Commerce is among the event’s sponsors. Click here to get full program details and information about tickets.
The summit kicks off with a celebration of Alabama’s selection as “State of the Year” by Business Facilities magazine at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. Ross Bridge’s culinary staff will prepare a buffet dinner, and Act of Congress will play live music.
Day 2 of the event begins with a breakfast hosted by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, followed by a series of panel discussions that feature top state business leaders and national economic development experts. (A full list is below.)
Best-selling author and noted speaker Andy Andrews, an Alabama native, will deliver the keynote address on Friday, Feb. 19. Lunch will feature a conversation with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, facilitated by Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO Cliff Sims.
Seating for the event is limited. Additional questions, including sponsorship inquiries, can be directed to Yellowhammer Multimedia COO Ryan Boggus. Summit attendees wanting to stay the night at the 4-star Renaissance Ross Bridge can do so at a discounted rate while rooms remain available.
Here is a breakdown of the panel discussions:
PANEL: Perspectives of the Business Community: An Interview with Alabama Business Leaders
Moderator: John D. Johns, Chairman & CEO, Protective Life Corporation
- Michael Kemp, president and CEO, Kemp Management Solutions
- Ruffner Page, president and director, McWane Inc.
- Jimmy Parnell, president and CEO, Alfa
- James W. Rane, president and CEO, Great Southern Wood Preserving
PANEL: Site Selection Experts: National Economic Trends and Emerging Industries
Moderator: Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce
- Jason Hickey, president, Hickey & Associates
- Mike Mullis, president and CEO, J.M. Mullis Inc.
- Hartley Powell, principal and national leader of Global Expansion & Relocations Services, KPMG
- Ron Starner, executive vice president of Conway Inc. and Site Selection magazine, an international corporate real estate publication based in Atlanta
PANEL: Alabama’s Workforce Strengths: Capitalizing on Public-Private Partnerships
Moderator: Zeke Smith, executive vice president of external affairs, Alabama Power Co.
- Ed Castile, director of AIDT and deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce
- Mark Heinrich, chancellor, Alabama Community College System
- Jennifer Himburg, Young Farmers Director, Alfa; Workforce Structure & Alignment, Alabama Workforce Council
- Fitzgerald Washington, commissioner, Alabama Department of Labor
PANEL: Planning for the Future: Industries Poised for Economic Growth in Alabama
Moderator: Mary Johnson, director of News Services, Alfa
- Brian Hardin, director of Governmental Affairs and Agriculture Programs, Alfa
- Arthur J. Tipton, president and CEO, Southern Research
- Carter Wells, vice president of economic development, HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology; chairman, BioAlabama
PANEL: The Politics of the Right-to-Work Movement in the Southeast
Moderator: Jim McLaughlin, President, McLaughlin & Associates
- Billy Canary, president and CEO, Business Council of Alabama
- Catherine Glover, president, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce
- Ted Pitts, president and CEO, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce