Chamber names airport authority director Bill Sisson new president
MOBILE, Alabama – Bill Sisson, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority, will succeed retiring Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce President Win Hallett.
The chamber made the announcement Friday morning, following an eight-month search.
Chamber Chairman Mike Saxon said Sisson is “absolutely the right person for the job at the right time.”
Saxon, Sisson and Hallett are all among a group of more than 80 preparing to board flights to Hamburg, Germany, for the annual Leaders Exchange trip.
Sisson has led the airport authority since 2008, following a five-year stint as the chamber’s vice president of economic development. The airport authority operates both Mobile Regional Airport and Brookley Aeroplex where ground was only recently broken on a $600 million Airbus final assembly plant expected to transform Mobile’s economy.
“This community is poised for unprecedented growth and prosperity, and I look forward to working again at the chamber to continue the excellent economic and community development that has occurred under Win’s leadership,” Sisson said.
Prior to arriving in Mobile, Sisson served as executive director of the Center for Community and Economic Development at the University of Southern Mississippi and as both director and vice president of the Birmingham chamber’s business development division.
Hallett, who has led the Mobile chamber for 22 years, said Sisson’s first-hand knowledge of the business advocacy organization’s specific practices set him apart from other contenders.
“Bill has first-hand knowledge about so many facets of this organization – from project management in economic development, to overseeing our international trade and workforce development programs, and working with the chamber’s air service task force,” Hallett said, adding, “He brings institutional knowledge of chamber management, as well as a clear understanding on the importance of maintaining key public and private partnerships.”
Saxon, vice president for Alabama Power Co.’s Mobile division, said Sisson was the unanimous selection committee choice following an eight-month national search.
“We felt strongly that proven leadership ability was a must; and Chamber and/or economic development experience was also very important. And while not absolutely necessary, a strong local knowledge was also a plus. Bill clearly met all of these criteria,” Saxon said.
It was not immediately clear how long it will take the airport authority to hire Sisson’s replacement, but Saxon said the Hallett has agreed to remain on board “until the transition is completed, however long – within reason – that might take.”
“We have a great relationship with our friends at the Mobile Airport Authority, and we will work diligently with them to ensure a smooth transition that causes the least amount of disruption and allows us all to not just survive but thrive,” Saxon said.
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