By Jamal Thomas
Montgomery, AL- The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 150th Annual Meeting at the Renaissance Hotel. Over 700 business leaders, community leaders, and elected officials gathered to celebrate this milestone for the city of Montgomery which includes a record-setting year and a new vision for the future.
Over this year, the Chamber has used and integrative approach to economic development. “We have focused on tourism, talent recruitment, and business recruitment” said Cedric T. Campbell, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce 2022 Chairman of the Board and Regional Vice President for Goodwyn Mills & Cawood.
Highlights for the year include 23 major projects totaling $1.7 billion in capital investment and over 1,500 announced new jobs, the scheduled arrival of the F-35 Red Tails for the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard, The Lab on Dexter entrepreneurial hub on historic Dexter Avenue, extensive growth in tourism, plans for revitalization of the I-65 Corridor, and revealed plans for Maxwell Gateway which includes Montgomery Whitewater.
Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Melvin Brown shared that he was excited about his partnership with the Chamber. “We can solve problems by creating opportunities. Strong schools mean strong communities and vice versa.”
City of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed expressed that he is looking forward to 2023, and that the city must continue to strive and not become complacent with current successes.
Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman, founding partner of Manna Capital Partners, was the keynote speaker for the meeting. He shared his personal story on how he got started with his business ventures in the restaurant industry and the events that led him to purchase Ebony and Jet magazines. He also shared why he chose Montgomery for the $600 Million Manna Beverages &Ventures project. Bridgeman also talked about community engagement and stated that we must educate our youth. “We must change their attitude. We must change the narrative with the younger generation.”
The gavel was passed to LaBarron Boone, Principal with the Beasley Allen Law Firm, to serve as the 2023 Chairman of the Board. “We live is a city that changed the world” Boone shared. “Our past is historical, our present is inspiring, and our future is momentous.
For more information about the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce visit www.montgomerychamber.com
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