Economic Development Legends - Spring 2023

As part of SB&D’s 30th anniversary year, we bring you what we believe are legends in economic development in the South based on their success over the past 30 years - from 1993 to 2023. Following are the legends of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia.

Alabama Legends

Gov. Bob RileyNeal Wade

Gov. Jim Folsom, Jr.

Neal Wade Alabama Department of Commerce

Greg Canfield Alabama Department of CommerceGreg Canfield

Ed Castile AIDT

Peggy Smith Cullman County, Ala. Economic Development

Lamar Smith Spire Energy

Randy George Montgomery, Ala. Area ChamberRandy George

Ellen McNair Montgomery, Ala. Area Chamber

Jimmy Lyons Alabama State Port Authority

Dara Longgrear Tuscaloosa County, Ala. EDA

Calvin Miller Talladega County EDA

Al Cook City of Opelika

Forrest Wright Shoals, Ala. EDA

Seth Hammett Alabama Department of Commerce

Bill Taylor Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

Ted vonCannon Metropolitan Development Board, Birmingham, Ala.


David Echols Alabama Department of Commerce

Linda Swann Alabama Department of CommerceLinda Swann

Elmer Harris Alabama Power

Anthony Topazi Alabama Power

Mike McCain Gadsden-Etowah County, Ala. IDA


Arkansas Legends

Gov. Bill Clinton

Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Gov. Mike Beebe

Gov. Mike Huckabee

Sue McGowan Paragould, Ark. Regional Chamber

Kirkley Thomas Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas

Dr. Glen Fenter Marion, Ark. SchoolsDr. Glen Fenter and Clif Chitwood

Jay Chesshir Little Rock ChamberJay Chessir

Clif Chitwood Great River EDF, Mississippi County, Ark.

Randy Zook Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce


Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller 

Maria Haley Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Ernie Faucett Arkansas Electric Cooperatives

Jim Pickens Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Paul Latture, Sr. Port of Little Rock


Florida Legends

Gov. Jeb Bush

Gov. Bob Graham

Steve Mayberry Florida Department of Commerce

Roger Miller Enterprise Florida

Gray Swoope Enterprise FloridaGray Swoope

Dr. Bob Rohrlack Tampa Chamber

Ed Schons University of Central Florida

Lynn Pitts FP&LLynn Pitts

Cathy Chambers FP&L

Crystal Stiles FP&L

Bob Swindell Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance

Steve ScruggsSteve Scruggs Lakeland EDC

Brett Wattles Ocala/Marion County, Fla. EDC

Pete Tesch EDC of St. Lucie County, Fla.

Lynda Weatherman EDC of Florida’s Space Coast

Jerry Mallot JAXUSA Partnership

Stuart Litvin City of Hollywood

Ed Schons University of Central Florida

Bob Goforth Leak-GoforthBob Goforth


Melissa Medley Enterprise FloridaMelissa Medley

Gov. Lawton Chiles


Georgia Legends

Pat Wilson Georgia Department of Economic Development

Chris Clark Georgia Department of Economic Development

Chris Carr Georgia Department of Economic Development

Dennis Chastain GEMC, Atlanta, Ga.

Joe Riley GEMC, Atlanta, Ga.

Daryl Ingram Electric Cities of Georgia

Jonathan Sangster Georgia Power

Anna Chafin Development Authority of Bryan County, Ga.

Trip Tollison Savannah, Ga. EDA

J. Mac Holladay Georgia Governor’s Development Council

Randy Cardoza Georgia Department of Economic Development

Glenn Cornell Bank of America

Billy Payne Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games

Charlie Gatlin Georgia Department of Economic Development

Peggy Chapman Development Authority of Bulloch County, Ga.

Jane FryerJane Fryer Development Authority of LaGrange, Ga.

Willie Paulk Dublin-Laurens County, Ga. DA

Gene Stinson Southern Economic Development Council


Bob Cassell Southern Economic Development Council

McKinley “Mac” Conway Conway Data

Mike Lott Bank of America

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