BBA Celebrates Innovation, Announces New Officers

BBA Chairman's Luncheon 2016

Bruce Katz

The Birmingham Business Alliance 2016 Chairman’s Luncheon focused on the central component of growth in most cities today:  innovation. Bruce Katz, a Brookings Institution Centennial Scholar, delivered an address centered on how Birmingham is already moving in an innovative direction and provided insight to how city leaders can keep this surge going.

Katz commented on why projects like Innovate Birmingham are crucial to the innovative growth in the city. “Birmingham can be one of the leading magnets of talent in the southeast within the major global economy if there is financial support and confidence it can happen,” said Katz.

BBA Chairman's Luncheon 2016

At the VIP Reception, sponsored by AT&T Alabama

During the meeting, Dr. Ray Watts, president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, announced he will serve a second term as chairman of the BBA to continue the progress of Innovate Birmingham.

Watts also announced the following were elected BBA officers for the new year: Lee Smith Jr. of BBVA Compass to serve as BBA’s Chairman-elect; Mike Thompson of Thompson Tractor will serve as Vice Chairman of Public Policy; Leigh Collier of Wells Fargo will serve as Vice Chairwoman of Finance; Don Logan of the Birmingham Barons will serve as Vice Chairman of Communications; Dr. George French of Miles College will serve as Vice Chairman of Workforce Development; and Bing Edwards will remain as Corporate Secretary.

New Executive Committee members include: Nelson Bean of First Commercial Bank; Stan Blanton of Balch & Bingham; Brian Bucher of

BBA Chairman's Luncheon 2016

Johnny Johns introducing Bruce Katz

PNC Bank; Todd Carlisle of Sirote & Permutt; Greg Curran of Maynard Cooper & Gale; Beau Grenier with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings; Devon Laney of Innovation Depot; Joel McMahon of Ligon Industries; Hatton Smith of Royal Cup Coffee; Ken Smith of Alagasco; Jimmie Stephens with the Jefferson County Commission; Mark Tarr of HealthSouth Corporation; Lee Thuston of Burr & Forman; and Mike Tracy of Drummond Co.

New Members of the Board of Directors are: Ed Aldag of Medical Properties Trust; Bill Connor with America’s First Credit Union; Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith of Birmingham-Southern College; Grant Hanes of Ernst & Young; Brian Heslop of Cadence Bank; Robert Smith of Charter Communications; and Fernando Valentin of Trinity Design Group.

To read more about the BBA Chairman’s Luncheon and Katz remarks, click here.


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