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Ivey appoints new members to Port Authority board of directors

Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday appointed three new members to the Alabama State Port Authority’s board of directors, charging each with being good stewards of taxpayer money and steering Alabama’s seaport through particularly important times.

Ivey appointed Tony Cochran and Patricia Sims to represent both northern region seats and Carl Jemison to represent the central region. Alvin Hope was reappointed to a second term representing the southern region.

All appointees will need to be confirmed by the State Senate under the rules set forth by the Alabama Constitution, but each will be allowed to take their seats this month.

“I’ve appointed individuals that have consistently demonstrated the necessary knowledge and leadership skills critical to economic expansion in Alabama,” Ivey said on making the appointments. “The success of our port is fundamental to Alabama businesses and jobs, and I’m confident these folks will contribute to the great work being done under John Driscoll and the board.”

The nine-member board of directors holds fiscal and policy oversight for the deep-water port facilities at the Port of Mobile, one of the nation’s largest seaports. Alabama’s port will soon undergo a significant transition as the Army Corps of Engineers has approved a major $274 million dredging project that will deepen and widen the shipping channel from the Gulf of Mexico to the state docks in Mobile. U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and longtime Port Authority Director Jimmy Lyons have called the project “transformative” in adding economic value for the state of Alabama.

Current Port Authority Director John Driscoll, who succeeded Lyons this year, welcomed Ivey’s appointments, saying their experience in economic development would serve the port well.

“Both my management team and I look forward to working with our new members and leveraging their diverse skill set to advance Alabama’s seaport for economic development and jobs growth,” Driscoll said.

Tony Cochran is the owner and managing partner of CK Business Solutions, PC, with more than 40 years in business management consulting and accounting experience. He holds leadership positions on numerous boards and commissions, including the Albertville Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Alabama, the National Acoustic Neuroma Association, and his recent appointment as chair of the Alabama Small Business Commission.

Dr. Patricia Sims is President of Drake State Community & Technical College in Huntsville, Ala. Sims holds more than 20 years of teaching and academic leadership experience and has authored a number of publications and presentations on college accreditation, workforce development, foundation planning, and partnerships in education.

Carl Jamison is a shareholder and chair of the executive committee for the firm JamisonMoneyFarmer, PC in Tuscaloosa, Ala.  He is past chair and currently serves on the executive committee for the Business Council of Alabama, and is past chair and current board member for the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority and Progress PAC.

Alvin Hope is an attorney and shareholder of Maynard Cooper Gale, and has served on the Port Authority’s board since August 2015.  Mr. Hope’s legal practice includes economic development and incentives, public financing, health care, and labor and employment.  Recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the Area of Economic Development. Hope serves on the board of trustees for the Alabama Center for Real Estate and is a member of the State Bar in both Alabama and Georgia.

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