Bentley Names More to Staff

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA - - Governor-elect Robert J. Bentley has named former Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Seth Hammett as Director of the Alabama Development Office (ADO). Hammett is currently vice president of business development for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative headquartered in Andalusia, Alabama.

Hammett, of Andalusia, served 32 years in the Alabama House of Representatives, the last 12 years as Speaker, elected by members of the House.

“Seth Hammett has played a key role in every major economic development project in Alabama in the past 20 years including Honda, Hyundai, ThyssenKrupp and the EADS Tanker Project,” said Governor-elect Bentley. “Not only does he know economic development, he has the leadership skills and experience to keep Alabama at the forefront in attracting new business and helping our existing businesses grow and prosper,” Bentley said.

Hammett was a founder and served as the first president of the First National Bank of Andalusia, now Wells Fargo, and was president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia.
In 2004, he joined PowerSouth Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative providing wholesale electricity in central and south Alabama and northwest Florida, as director of economic development. Hammett will serve as a loaned executive during his tenure at ADO.

He is a native of Covington County, Alabama and holds bachelors and masters degrees from Auburn University.

During his legislative career, Hammett received numerous awards including Legislator of the Year, Visionary Leadership Award, Meritorious Service Award and Guardian of Small Business Award. He is past chair of the 16-state Southern Legislative Conference, past president of the National Speakers Conference and is a member of the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama.

He and his wife, Nancy, live in Andalusia and have two adult children and two grandchildren.

Taylor to Head Creation of Economic Development Strategic Plan

In addition to Hammett’s appointment, Governor-elect Bentley has asked Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) President Bill Taylor to chair a project to create a statewide strategic plan for aligning Alabama’s economic development and job creating assets.

“Alabama must focus on sustaining our excellence in new project recruitment while giving more attention to the growth of existing businesses that create the majority of new Alabama jobs. That’s our bottom line goal,” said Governor-elect Bentley. “Bill Taylor’s leadership at Mercedes and his experience at EDPA will serve him well as we work to develop the state’s first integrated strategic plan focusing on maintaining, expanding and recruiting quality jobs for the people of Alabama,” Bentley said.

Taylor was named president of EDPA in 2009. EDPA is a private, non-profit organization that provides services to companies considering location in Alabama, encourages emerging business development and assists companies and communities who desire to improve their competitive edge.

Prior to becoming CEO of Mercedes Benz International, Taylor played a key role in the startup of the Mercedes plant in the early 1990’s and led production at the plant for five years before being named president in 1999. Taylor was instrumental in the establishment of the Mercedes Production System, which is now utilized as a standard for all Mercedes Benz plants in improving quality and efficiency.

Prior to joining MBUSI, Taylor was employed at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada where he held positions of increasing responsibility including general manager and vice president.

Under Taylor’s leadership at EDPA, the organization has developed new programs to help existing businesses increase competitiveness and assist Alabama communities to become more successful in their economic development efforts.

Taylor serves on the University of Alabama International Advisory Board, the Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama, the Rural Action Commission and the Incumbent Workers Committee of the Alabama Office of Workforce Development.

Taylor has two adult children and two grandchildren. He and his wife, Andrea, live in the Birmingham area.

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