Tag Archives: Birmingham Business Alliance

Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

Rickwood Field--the oldest baseball park in America
Rickwood Field–the oldest baseball park in America

Each year from 2002 to 2008 approximately 100 business and political leaders from Birmingham traveled to cities across the U.S.

The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce BIG trips were designed to discover ideas that were successful in other cities that could be implemented here in Birmingham.

Much was learned, but every year we came home and lamented Birmingham’s stroke of misfortune.

Continue reading Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

This number will scare the bejeebies out of you

Birmingham job growthDo you have bejeebies?

If you do, your bejeebies will be obliterated when you see the one  depressing statistic that best describes the economic health of metropolitan Birmingham.

Please note we’re not talking about just the City of Birmingham or Jefferson County.  We’re talking about the Birmingham Hoover Metropolitan area—defined by our seven counties: Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker.

So the folks in our suburbs are impacted by this number just as much as our local residents.

What is that statistic?

Continue reading This number will scare the bejeebies out of you

What would Birmingham look like without UAB–Anniston?

UAB To compare Birmingham with no UAB to Anniston is an unfair exaggeration and I apologize to the good citizens of Anniston.  I could have selected any mid-sized city, but I Googled “cities in Alabama” and Anniston came to the top alphabetically.

Visualize Birmingham without UAB.  Exit the Red Mountain Expressway at University Avenue (without UAB–it would be 8th Avenue South) and drive west.

What would we see in place of the 86 square blocks occupied by UAB? Continue reading What would Birmingham look like without UAB–Anniston?

Why should one Birmingham CEO have to chair four major non-profits?

Fred McCallum
Fred McCallum, President AT&T Alabama

If you were to ask my five year old Birmingham grandson what he wants to be when he grows up, he’ll tell you he wants to be a super hero.

It’s such an innocent response and kind of sad that one day he’ll find out there are no super heroes—well maybe there’s one Continue reading Why should one Birmingham CEO have to chair four major non-profits?

A challenge for the Birmingham Business Alliance

Johnny Johns, Immediate past Chairman of BBA

Let’s take one incredibly hard issue and prove we can solve it

Giant headline front page,–The Birmingham News February 28, 2012,  “Let’s take one incredibly hard issue and prove we can solve it.”

The article then quotes Johnny Johns, the then  Chairman of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA)…

 “Johnny Johns, the Protective Life Corp. Chairman, president and CEO, gave a call of arms of sorts when he said this to 28 political, business and civic leaders who had gathered at The Birmingham News to discuss how to tackle metro Birmingham’s most pressing problems.”

“…So we all stand off and we talk, talk, talk… Continue reading A challenge for the Birmingham Business Alliance

Go home and get your act together!

Senator's Shelby and Sessions are always telling Birmingham to speak with one voice

Our BBA (Chamber of Commerce) takes a trip to Washington every year to visit our Alabama Senators and Congressmen and to lobby for legislation and money.

The BBA prepares a priority agenda and typically a small group of business leaders, politicians, and staff fly to DC to make their request. Continue reading Go home and get your act together!

Convoluted government brings us to our knees

St. Louis and Birmingham surprisingly have a lot in common

 

The year was 2002.  Dave Adkisson, the then Birmingham Chamber of Commerce President, and I were in St. Louis jogging early one morning when we struck up a conversation with a local runner.

He asked where we were from and why we were visiting St. Louis.  We told him we were with a group of about 100 business leaders and politicians from Birmingham who had come to St. Louis to learn about his city’s successes.

His response was one of disbelief.  “Why in the world would anyone think there was anything good to learn about St. Louis?” Continue reading Convoluted government brings us to our knees

How can we have UAB and suck?

 

UAB has an annual  economic impact of  $4.6 billion

When our Chamber of Commerce (BBA) visited Charlotte in 2004, we were greeted by the President of the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Charlotte’s a city on fire, but the first words out the President’s mouth were, “We don’t have anything like UAB.”

Can you believe a great city like Charlotte is jealous of us? Continue reading How can we have UAB and suck?

Does Birmingham have poor corporate leadership?

Alabama Ballet performs Nutcracker--corporate leaders have made Birmingham an arts powerhouse

 

I had the opportunity to talk with a new corporate CEO who moved to Birmingham from Nashville a few years back.

I asked, “So what do you think of Birmingham?”  Then I looked down at my shoes waiting to hear how much Nashville had outpaced Birmingham.

Continue reading Does Birmingham have poor corporate leadership?

Nashville spits on Birmingham

Nashville has grown to be the fourth largest city in the Southeast

 

Up until a few years ago, our Chamber of Commerce (currently BBA), organized a trip of community leaders and politicians to visit other cities.  They were called the “BIG Trips,” and the purpose was to learn what works in other communities.

The Chamber over a seven year period visited St. Louis (2002), Baltimore (2003), Charlotte (2004), Nashville (2005), Pittsburgh (2006), Denver (2007, and Austin (2008).

We found these trips to be fascinating.  We heard about successes and we heard about failures, but it opened our eyes to the possibilities. Continue reading Nashville spits on Birmingham