Hilson elected 2015 CCAA Chairman at Annual Meeting

Hilson elected 2015 CCAA Chairman at Annual Meeting

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 5, 2014 –  Brian Hilson, President and CEO, Birmingham Business Alliance,  was elected Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama (CCAA) for 2015.  In addition, five other chamber executives were elected as Board of Director members during the association’s annual meeting today at the Harbert Center.

The Annual Meeting was held as a joint meeting with the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and CCAA.  The Annual Meeting marked the beginning of the 11th anniversary of the historic creation of The Partnership between the BCA and CCAA.

Other CCAA officers elected for 2015 were Morri Yancy, President, Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce, as chairwoman-elect, Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, as vice-chair for financial affairs; and, Ann Rye, President & CEO, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce,  as vice-chair for programs.

Board members elected to three-year terms were Sisson; Crystal Brown, Director of Business Development, Decatur/Morgan County Chamber of Commerce; Anna Buckalew, Chief of Staff, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce; Linda Hearn, Chamber Manager, Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce; and, Thereasa Hulgan, Executive Director, Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.

Jim Page, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, was elected past chairman and CCAA President and CEO Jeremy Arthur was elected secretary. “We have accomplished so much during this year and our association has many things for which to be thankful,” said Page. “We continued the great work that was done last year, hosted a number of successful events, strengthened our advocacy efforts, grew our membership and positioned our association for even greater things ahead.”

Hilson presented Page with the Past Chairman’s Recognition. “Together with the board members that were just nominated and elected to serve with me, our mission will truly be ‘driving prosperity through stronger Chambers of Commerce in Alabama’,” Hilson said.

Kirk Mancer, president and CEO of the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, presented the Jamie Wallace Award to former Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Darrelyn Bender. The Jamie Wallace Award is named for a long-time Alabama chamber of commerce executive and is presented only in years in which an individual meets the strict stated criteria of “a chamber professional who has displayed outstanding attributes in their daily vocation.”

Bender led the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce for more than 18 years before stepping down in 2013. During her tenure, the organization enjoyed a number of ‘firsts’ including chamber of commerce accreditation, forming a unique chamber environmental committee, creating a youth leadership program, establishing a chamber community foundation and many other accomplishments.  In addition, Bender is a Past Chairwoman of the CCAA Board of Directors.

In addition, Billy Canary, president and CEO, Business Council of Alabama, presented the Thompsonian Leadership Award to former CCAA Chairman John Seymour. “John’s leadership helped initiate the formal partnership between the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and the Business Council of Alabama, along with former BCA Chairman Mike Thompson, for whom the award is named,”  Canary said.

Rich Galen columnist and Former Press-secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich, was the keynote speaker.

Since March 1998, when Galen assumed the position of Executive Director of GOPAC, he has written an online political column – mullings.com – which reaches some 400,000 people per month and is considered required reading by senior reporters and political operatives around the country.