Sharing a laugh: Tim Wood, left, speaks with Wayne Vardaman, Centre for Commerce President and EDA Executive Director after hearing speaker Mark Peterson talk about his vision for Selma becoming an aviation hub in Alabama at the annual Selma and Dallas County Centre for Commerce meeting.
Sharing a laugh: Tim Wood, left, speaks with Wayne Vardaman, Centre for Commerce President and EDA Executive Director after hearing speaker Mark Peterson talk about his vision for Selma becoming an aviation hub in Alabama at the annual Selma and Dallas County Centre for Commerce meeting.

Centre touts successful 2012 and bright future ahead

Published 11:15pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More than 200 people packed into the banquet room of the St. James Hotel for the annual Centre for Commerce meeting Monday night.

Despite the heavy rains and lightening flashing outside, Selma leaders spoke about how to help Selma look to the future with economic development opportunities and not dwell on a negative moments of its history.

It was announced that in the last year the chamber has seen 15 new members, making 301 total members. Gail Lovelady, chairman for the chamber of commerce, said there were 13 ribbon cuttings in 2012, “and with economy like it is, how exciting is that for Selma,” Lovelady said.

She went on to praise chamber member Bob Kelly with Tally-Ho restaurant, who was nominated for restaurateur of the year in Alabama and Mark’s Mart was nominated for Retailer of the Year by the Alabama Retailer’s Association. She said for the last several years at least one retailer in Selma has been nominated for this achievement.

Ed Livingston, chairman of the EDA, spoke about the new industries that arrived in Selma and Dallas County in 2012 including Eovations, Zilkha Biomass and Castle Rock Industries. It was announced last week that ALGIX would arrive as well.

Speaker for the night, Mark Peterson spoke about turning Selma from a city that dwells on events in its past into a city that could revolve around the aviation industry at Craig Field and might one day even have a skyscraper skyline popping out from behind the Edmund Pettus Bridge along the river.

Peterson’s message was centered around a quote from President Kennedy “Those who look to the past are certain to miss the future.”

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