The Decatur Morgan County Chamber of Commerce began its first community and business development strategy in 1992, when the Chamber and several area businesses and industries made an investment into the future of Morgan County and Decatur in a program called “The Cornerstone Partnership." Investors made a three financial commitment to actively create a highly-skilled available workforce, address public policy issues and improve the city to attract new industries and commercial development.
Established and maintained strong relationships with local, state and federal legislators
- Washington Fly-In and Montgomery Trips
Led the initiative for passage of several key bills positively impacting the business community
- HB620/Morgan County Tennessee River Preservation Act 2006 (Interbasin Transfer Legislation)
- HB110/SB107 Sunday Sales Legislation (2005)
- HB111/SB113 Draft Beer Legislation (2005)
- Led the city-wide campaign to allow for Seven Day Alcohol Sales. The bill passed with 63% favorable votes (2010)
- HB484 making Morgan County in its entirety part of the Fifth (5th) Congressional District (2011)
Impacted changes in transportation
- Successfully negotiated with Huntsville International Airport to add direct daily flights to Denver for the benefit of United Launch Alliance (ULA), formed by the merger of Lockheed Martin and Boeing
- Successful lobbying of $8.6 million of federal funding for Highway 20 improvements (2008)
- Widening of Beltline Road / Highway 67
- Led effort to secure $9.6 million in federal funds for I-565 West extension (2003-2006)
- Veterans Parkway
- Interbasin Transfer
- Atlanta to Memphis Highway (portion in Morgan County)
- Led the effort to raise $1,000,000 in federal funding for Pryor Field Airport improvements (2006)
Successfully recruited several new retail projects, generating millions of dollars in annual retail sales:
- The Crossings of Decatur (2006) - 262,000 square feet
- Walgreen’s (2005)
- Decatur Commons (2004) - 136,000 square feet
- English Village (2001) - 103,000 square feet
Led efforts in improving community image and attracting new residents
- A successful endeavor outlined in The Cornerstone Partnership (2001-2006) Downtown Revitalization (LDR Study), has led to discussions with Calhoun Community College for a downtown presence
- Business leaders were given the opportunity to see successful downtown redevelopment projects during intercity visits in Greenville, South Carolina and Paducah, Kentucky.
- Lead agency for Morgan County BRAC Initiative (2003 – Present)
- Led effort to secure $500,000 in federal funds for Ingalls Harbor project (2005)
Provided funding for workforce development programs
- Developed one of Alabama’s leading workforce and education initiatives, partnering with Decatur City Schools and Calhoun Community College (1991-Present)
- Invited to the U.S. Department of Labor "Summit on the 21st Century Workforce" in 2001 and recognized by Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as one of the best workforce development programs in the nation.
- Between 700-1,000 area high school students attend each annual Career and Workforce Expo, providing area businesses the opportunity to promote areas of workforce need and recruit future employees.
- The Leader in Me, a public-private venture between the Chamber, Decatur City Schools, government and business entities, will be implemented in Decatur City Elementary Schools as the first pilot project in the United States. The program was created by Franklin Covey and is patterned after the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” philosophy.
- Companies in the Classroom, which gives business professionals “face to face” time with high schools students, has been successfully implemented in West Morgan High School (2007) and Falkville High School (2008).
- Started Project Blueprint to encourage more minority Chamber members to become involved on the board of directors, committees and panels of nonprofit agencies.
- Established the Summer Welding & Electrical Technology Camp for Girls (SWeETy Camp) to provide hands-on technical experience for girls and encourage more women to choose technical professions.