Leadership Alabama welcomes 2020 with gusto!

On behalf of the board of directors and regional council chairs, it is my pleasure to share an update about Leadership Alabama's recent events and announcements.
Nominations for Class XXXI
Nominations for Class XXXI opened on Monday, January 6, and will remain open until Friday,
January 31.

Click here for nomination guidelines. The Class XXXI Nomination Form is the light blue link following the retreat dates.

Please nominate qualified candidates and note that you can nominate people from anywhere in the state; they do not have to be from your region. Plus, you may nominate more than one person. After the close of nominations, a master list, by region, will be created for review by the regional councils and board of directors.    
Reconstituting of Regional Councils
"Leadership Alabama is a lifelong experience."
Leadership Alabama’s regional councils were created in order to encourage members to embrace the concept of continued engagement with LA and other members and to establish leadership at the regional level. Many fellow members, having faithfully served since the regional councils were created, elected to “roll off” as of December 31, 2019. As we look to the future, we established a policy enlarging the size of the councils, thus offering more members the opportunity to be actively involved. As some members’ terms were concluding, many new people accepted the invitation from their regional chair(s) to serve and were added to their prospective regional council. We wholeheartedly thank those who served in the past, and we enthusiastically welcome those whose terms began January 1, 2020.    Please click here for a complete listing of the regional councils as of January 15, 2020.
30th Anniversary Celebration -
Great speakers, fabulous band, wonderful fellowship!
We are thrilled to share that we have an excellent line-up of speakers and activities for the 30 th anniversary celebration on June 12 – 14, 2020 at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL.

Visit the celebration website www.leadershipalabama30years.com for an up-to-the-minute update about the schedule of events, speakers, the over-the-top band for Saturday evening, the list of attendees (thus far!) and a sneak peek at the plans for Sunday morning. As of today, 223 members/guests have registered to attend, so don’t wait! The 25 th anniversary event sold out, and we would hate for you to miss this wonderful opportunity to engage with so many statewide friends.
2019 - 2020 Dues/Contributions
Leadership Alabama’s fiscal year is July 1 – June 30, so if you haven’t had a chance to submit your $175 annual dues, yet, please do so. You may pay securely online via the LA website or mail a check to LA, P.O. Box 631, Montgomery, AL 36101. Your annual dues is THE backbone of Leadership Alabama, and we are very grateful for your support. As of today, 614 members have paid dues, and we offer a HUGE thank you and note of gratitude, for each and every dollar truly makes a difference.   
LA Class XXX's Mobile Retreat
Class XXX’s Mobile retreat just concluded this past weekend, and based on the feedback from class members, it was chock-full of incredible presentations and VIP site visits. Prior to the start of the retreat on Thursday, class members joined local LA members for a field trip to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians community, and it was a remarkable experience. Tribal Chair & CEO Stephanie Bryan ( Class XXVIII ) graciously welcomed everyone, after which we heard about the heritage, rich culture and history of Alabama’s first people and toured the state-of-art community center, where we learned about the many community, educational and children’s initiatives it provides. Vice Chair Robbie McGhee ( Class XXX ) highlighted the many services – health clinic, assisted living facility, recreation center, senior housing area – provided by the Tribe, and the day concluded with a lovely reception.
On Thursday afternoon, the class had the remarkable opportunity of meeting at Airbus, where LA board treasurer, Melissa Morrissette ( Class XXI ), welcomed everyone. Class member Daryl Taylor, VP & general manager, presented information about Airbus, including an exceptionally innovative workforce development program for high school students, and its economic impact on Mobile and the surrounding communities. Afterwards, the class participated in a VIP instructional tour of the facility, stopping at four stations to learn about the intricacies of the assembly/delivery process. Additionally, Greg Canfield, Alabama’s secretary of commerce, presented an overview of the Commerce Department, noted its recruitment successes/impact on the state and outlined the department’s goals and targeted industries moving forward. The Honorable Sandy Stimpson ( Class II ), Mobile’s mayor, joined the class and offered an “official” welcome to Mobile.      
On Friday morning, the class journeyed to AUSTAL USA, where it was greeted by a host of AUSTAL team members who shared the history of its entry into Mobile and Alabama and the incredible mark, especially concerning employment and workforce development, it has had on thousands of Alabamian’s lives. Once again, the class enjoyed a VIP tour of the facility, which included an up-close look at the ships currently being built.

On the way to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), the class stopped at Bellingrath Gardens for a plated lunch and brief visit and was greeted by Dr. Bill Barrick, executive director emeritus ( Class XIX ). Afterwards at DISL, we focused on Alabama’s environment and natural resources, and the afternoon included presentations and hands-on engagements with DISL’s Helene Hassell ( Class XXIV and LA board member), Dr. John Valentine ( Class XXIII ) and Mendel Graeber, as well as conservationist Bill Finch, Dr. Bill Walton, a professor with Auburn’s School of Fisheries, and Chris Blankenship, Alabama’s commissioner of conservation and natural resources.       

Unfortunately, due to dangerous weather predictions for Saturday, the retreat ended on Friday night after another fabulous, fun-filled dinner at the Blue Gill restaurant, where area LA members joined the festivities. We regret not being able to experience Alabama’s Port through the lens of Jimmy Lyons ( Class XIII ) and Judy Adams ( Class XIX ), and the presentation about Alabama’s Opportunity Zones with Alex Flachsbart ( ALI Class III ) will be rescheduled for an upcoming retreat.  
Leadership Alabama looks forward to another exciting year!

Gordon G. Martin
Chair, Board of Directors
Leadership Alabama