January 2023 Group Watch: Gulf Distributing Making a Move & Growing in Mobile

Gulf Distributing, one of the oldest beverage distributors in the Southeast, recently announced plans to relocate its operation in Mobile as part of a project that will create 25 jobs and solidify its future in the city. The company will overhaul the former Press Register Building, expand and modify the existing warehouse to suit its needs, and improve the office space, according to the Mobile Chamber. The project includes improvements to the remaining office space to lease as Class A commercial space to other tenants, making the building ideal for other headquarter operations in downtown Mobile. The $32.5 million project is expected to bring 25 new jobs and retain 220 existing jobs.

January 2023 Group Watch: Peak North American USA Creating Jobs in South AL

Peak North America USA announced plans to open a facility in Mobile County’s Irvington community that will provide equipment and services to the wood products industry. The project will create 175 jobs over the next four years, according to the announcement. As part of the project, Peak North America is acquiring fabrication firm Endurance Equipment Co. in Irvington, where it will operate a facility that focuses on serving sawmills, pellet plants and Oriented Strand Board producers. The facility is scheduled to begin operations at the site in June 2023.

December 2022 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

As Christmas fast approaches and 2022 draws to a close, some are slowing down a bit. But Governor Ivey and state lawmakers are moving full speed ahead and getting ready for 2023 and the next legislative session with multiple announcements for position appointments and an orientation to arm new legislators the details they need to get straight to work.

And, next year, all the activity in the State House will be more accessible to more Alabamians than ever before. All happenings on the House and Senate floor and even committee meetings will be recorded and available for anyone to watch online at any time. In the past, legislative sessions were live-streamed but not recorded, meaning if you missed it, you missed out. 

Find more details and other #alpolitics news below.

December 2022 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Dec 18
Happy Hanukkah!

December 2022 Group Watch: Gov Ivey Makes First Cabinet Appointment

Governor Kay Ivey announced the first cabinet appointment for her new four-year term, choosing Curtis Stewart as administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Stewart has been deputy commissioner of the Alabama Department of Revenue for the last 10 years. He will replace Mac Gipson, who is retiring after almost 12 years as ABC administrator. Stewart is a native of Greenville and holds a bachelor’s degree from the Commerce School of Washington and Lee University. He began his career with the Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, and Co., Certified Public Accountants (now KPMG), in Atlanta and worked as a sole practitioner in public accounting in the Atlanta area. He began working with the Alabama Department of Revenue in 1991 and held a variety of positions before becoming deputy commissioner, including director of the department’s Tax Policy and Research Division.

December 2022 Group Watch: House Speaker Nominee Ledbetter Announces Intentions for Committee Chairs

State Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, the Republican Caucus nominee for Speaker of the Alabama House announced persons he intends to appoint to committee leadership positions when he formally is elected in January 2023. His announcements are as follows:

  • Rep. Joe Lovvorn (Auburn) Rules chair
  • Rep. Danny Garrett (Trussville) Ways and Means Education chair
  • Rep. Rex Reynolds (Huntsville) Ways and Means General Fund chair
  • Rep. Jim Hill (Odenville) Judiciary chair
  • Rep. Randall Shedd (Fairview) Transportation, Utilities, and Infrastructure chair
  • Rep. Jim Carns (Vestavia Hills) Commerce and Small Business chair
  • Rep. Margie Wilcox (Mobile) Boards, Agencies, and Commissions chair
  • Rep. Danny Crawford (Athens) Agriculture and Forestry chair
  • Rep. Reed Ingram (Montgomery) County and Municipal Government chair
  • Rep. Ginny Shaver (Leesburg)Children and Senior Advocacy chair
  • Rep. Chris Blackshear (Phenix City) Financial Services chair
  • Rep. Matt Simpson (Daphne) Ethics and Campaign Finance chair
  • Rep. David Standridge (Hayden) Rural and Urban Development chair
  • Rep. Corley Ellis (Columbiana) Insurance chair
  • Rep. Chris Sells (Greenville) State Government chair
  • Rep. Andy Whitt (Harvest) Economic Development and Tourism chair
  • Rep. Allen Treadaway (Morris) Public Safety and Homeland Security chair 

By virtue of Republicans holding a super majority in the Alabama Legislature, their caucus nominees are assured election at the upcoming legislative organizational session.

December 2022 Group Watch: AL Legislature Meetings to Be Recored & Available to All Online

The Alabama Channel, a new project of the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund, will capture and save live video recordings of all sessions of Alabama’s State House and Senate and of legislative committee meetings. The video recordings will be available to the public online and on demand. Currently, footage of Alabama’s legislative meetings is live-streamed, but not recorded. This poses a problem for Alabama’s residents, as many of them lack the time to sit through lengthy live meetings. The Alabama Channel will allow citizens to stay informed without having to watch in real time and make it possible for them to search for and capture clips of specific information and share it. The Alabama Channel can be accessed here.

December 2022 Group Watch: Alabama’s Bioscience Sector Booming

Growth projects valued at almost $200 million are now under way in Alabama’s bioscience sector, setting the stage for robust new research funding and the recruitment of additional scientists to conduct cutting-edge projects. The growth spurt will build on new investments announced in 2021 by life science companies in the state that totaled $166 million, according to an estimate by the Alabama Department of Commerce. Theses projects are creating 574 jobs. In Alabaster, Avanti Polar Lipids, which provides lipids for the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries, is adding 67 jobs through a $16 million expansion launched last year. In Huntsville, Discovery Life Sciences is creating 140 jobs. UAB is constructing the Altec/Styslinger Genomic Medicine and Data Sciences Building for leadership in precision medicine, genomic science and biomedical research. The facility is valued at $78 million. And in Auburn, SiO2 Medical Products grabbed headlines by developing high-tech vials for COVID-19 vaccines. The project is creating 40 jobs.

December 2022 Group Watch: Freshman Legislators Get Advice from Ivey at Orientation

There are 36 brand new legislators in the Alabama House and Senate, and to ensure they’re ready to roll up their sleeves and hit the ground running when the 2023 session starts in March, they attended a training and orientation session to learn all the ins and outs of their new jobs. Governor Ivey was one of the speaker’s in the intensive two-day event and offered encouragement and some pro tips. Read more here.

December 2022 Group Watch: Great Southern Wood Expanding Operations in Mobile

Great Southern Wood plans to invest $13.7 million in an expansion project at its treatment facility in Mobile County, allowing the company to create 12 jobs and retain 78 current positions. The project will improve the facility’s traffic flow, storage and its ability to process imports and exports through the Port of Mobile. Great Southern Wood produces and distributes appearance-grade, pressure-treated lumber marketed for decks, fences and landscaping projects under YellaWood and other brands. The company plans to break ground on the expansion in January 2023 and anticipates completing the project by the end of February 2024.

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