Knight to lead state economic development association

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David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority was recently named as president of the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA) at the organization's 2019 Summer Conference in Orange Beach. Patrick Murphy, vice president of marketing and economic development for Alabama Power, is the outgoing president and presented Knight with the gavel.

“It has been a privilege to serve as president of an organization that is focused on promoting economic growth in Alabama," Murphy said.  "The economic development community in Alabama is one of the strongest in the nation and works tirelessly to grow the state.  Representing this community through EDAA has been an aspiration of mine since I have been in economic development in Alabama.”

The Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA) is a statewide membership-based organization focused on promoting economic growth in Alabama. EDAA has over 500 members including directors and staff from local development organizations as well as individuals from companies in related fields and representatives from state government.

Knight has served on numerous regional and statewide economic development committees and boards, including the board of directors and the executive committee for EDAA. 

In 2018, Knight was awarded the Dave Echols Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service in economic development by the Alabama Department of Commerce. This award is the highest statewide recognition available to the state’s economic development professionals.

Knight said he was honored to be asked to serve as president of EDAA, an organization that he said has helped Alabama grow and prosper.

"I look forward to helping make sure EDAA continues to be a strong voice for economic development throughout the state," Knight added.

Jim Searcy, executive director of EDAA said “The organization is coming of one of the best years in recent memory with membership at an all-time high and the passage of critical economic development legislation that clarified the role of economic developers and site location consultants.”

Knight said, “2019 could be another banner year for development in the state. EDAA will continue to work closely with the Alabama Department of Commerce, local economic developers and regional allies to ensure we are well positioned for success.”

Joining the EDAA Board this year includes two additions, David Rodgers and Kevin Taylor. David Rodgers serves as the vice president of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Kevin Taylor is an assistant director for prospect recruitment and training for the state’s Alabama Industrial Development Training program.