By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Business Council of Alabama has named Katie Boyd Britt as its new president.
The group’s board met on Friday and voted to approve hiring Britt, who becomes the first woman to lead the state’s premiere business advocacy group. She will begin January 2, 2019.
Britt is currently Chief of Staff for Sen. Richard Shelby in his Washington, D.C. office. Prior to that, she worked government and corporate relations for the Butler Snow law firm in Montgomery and was a BCA board member.
“We are excited to welcome Katie as the BCA’s new president,” said Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite, who chairs BCA’s executive committee.
“As the top staff member for Senator Shelby, she has worked daily with businesses and elected officials from around Alabama and the country. She also has a special ability to work with and unite people from all walks of life. She has all of the tools we were looking for to support the business growth across the state that will drive our economy in the years ahead.”
Britt said her focus upon assuming the reins of BCA would be developing a long-term strategic plan, building bridges with other organizations that share the group’s priorities, and bringing a “fresh approach” to working with local, state and federal officials to advance the BCA’s pro-growth agenda.
“My heart is in Alabama,” Britt said. “Our state has made significant progress in recent years, and I am honored to have been chosen to lead BCA during this time of growth. I look forward to building on that momentum through collective efforts with our BCA members, elected officials, and business allies across the state – identifying opportunities every day in which we can provide and advance real, tangible solutions.
“BCA’s successes are Alabama’s successes, and our unique ability to take on big challenges and deliver strategic results will advance our economy and best serve the men and women who make up the backbone of our state.”
Shelby congratulated his top adviser on the new job and wished her well, though he said he would be “disappointed to see her go.”
“She has been invaluable as my chief of staff over the last several years,” Shelby said. “I know that my loss is BCA’s gain.
“Katie understands the intersection of business and politics. I have no doubt that her experience in Alabama and the Senate will establish her as an asset to BCA.”
Britt is a native of Enterprise and attended the University of Alabama, where she was elected president of the Student Government Association. She is married to Wesley Britt, a corporate economic developer who football fans will remember from his career as an All-SEC tackle for the University of Alabama and later the New England Patriots. The couple have two children.
BCA has been in a leadership transition since July, when longtime President and CEO Billy Canary stepped down and accepted a position with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In August, BCA reconstituted its governance structure to include leaders from some of the state’s largest employers, such as Alabama Power, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Regions Bank, and Protective Life insurance company.
Alabama Daily News reported in October that Britt had been selected to lead the organization, but the hire was not official until approved by the board Friday.
BCA is one of Alabama’s most influential political organizations, pooling resources from the state’s business community to support its endorsed candidates for office and lobby the Alabama Legislature for business-friendly policies.
Gov. Kay Ivey alluded to BCA’s transition during her speech at the group’s governmental affairs conference in Point Clear in August.
“Let our experience as a state serve as a reminder to all of you at BCA, that in a time of transition, you are given an opportunity,” Ivey said. “When you are given the chance to start anew, choose to make the very most out of it.”