Bradley Byrne named Mobile Chamber president and CEO

Staff Report
Posted 6/22/22

Bradley Byrne has been named the next president and chief executive officer of the Mobile Chamber."After an extensive, nationwide search, we are excited to share that native Mobilian, former state …

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Bradley Byrne named Mobile Chamber president and CEO

Melanie LeCroy / Gulf Coast Media

Bradley Byrne has been named the next president and chief executive officer of the Mobile Chamber.

"After an extensive, nationwide search, we are excited to share that native Mobilian, former state Senator, former Chancellor of Alabama's Community College System and former Congressman Bradley Byrne will become the next president and CEO of the Mobile Chamber," said Terry Harbin, who has led the Chamber's search committee. "We had many outstanding applicants for this top-level leadership position, and the committee invested much time and due diligence in finding the next leader of the Mobile Chamber."

As president and CEO, Byrne will lead the Mobile Chamber's 1,800+ members in advancing its mission of aggressively championing free enterprise, economic competitiveness and growth for the benefit of southwest Alabama.

"I am excited to be selected as president and CEO of the Mobile Chamber and to have the opportunity to lead this organization into the future," said Byrne. "I am eager to get started and am grateful to be surrounded by a supportive board and community partners with a vision for creating, growing and attracting businesses and quality jobs. The Mobile Chamber's reputation is second to none, and we will continue to build on this foundation of excellence and be a champion for business growth and economic development."

Byrne served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2014-2021 and was a member of the House Rules, Education and Labor, and Armed Services Committees. In 2007, he was named chancellor of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education during a time of institutional crisis, and he restructured the system to make it more accountable. From 2002-2007, Byrne was a member of the Alabama State Senate, and prior to that he served on the Alabama State Board of Education for two terms.

"We are thrilled to welcome Bradley as the Chamber's new president and CEO," said Chamber Chairman Matt White of White-Spunner Realty. "Throughout the state and in Washington, Bradley is recognized as a leader who knows how to get things done. He has all the tools we were looking for to support the business growth that will drive our economy in the years ahead."

"Today's announcement is a slam dunk for the Chamber of Commerce and Mobile," said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

"Bradley has a proven track record in the areas of education, government, politics and law. He brings a wealth of knowledge and relationships to the table, and I can't think of a more distinguished leader to take on this critical role and help continue moving Mobile forward."

"Having someone with Congressman Byrne's experience, relationships and reputation – along with his passion and lifelong commitment to helping grow Mobile and south Alabama – is a grand slam, not only for our Chamber, but for Mobile's place as a leader throughout the Gulf Coast and the Southeastern United States," said Jo Bonner, president of the University of South Alabama. "Bradley knows Montgomery, he knows Washington and perhaps more importantly, people who know him and have worked with him throughout the years and understand he is a consummate professional and will be a tremendous asset in this new role. My hat is off to the Chamber for finding the best person to help position Mobile to continue to grow, prosper and lead."

A 10-member search team comprised of former Chamber chairs as well as area elected and business leaders led the effort and unanimously recommended Byrne for the position of president and CEO. The committee members included Brent Barkin, Shoe Carnival; Liz Freeman, Long's Human Resource Services; Terry Harbin, Affordable Homes Gulf Coast LLC; Abe Harper, Harper Technologies LLC; Frank Lott, Heritage Homes; Merceria Ludgood, Mobile County Commission; Harris Morrissette, China Doll Rice and Beans Inc.; Patrick Murphy, Alabama Power Co.; Richard Stimpson, Leavell Investment Management Inc.; and Matt White, White-Spunner Realty Inc.

Byrne is an attorney and currently serves as of counsel for Adams and Reese, LLP, a position he will retain while devoting his full-time efforts to the Mobile Chamber.

He earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Duke University, and a juris doctorate from the University of Alabama.

Byrne will succeed Bill Sisson who resigned his position last fall to pursue other opportunities. Bob Chappelle has been serving as interim president and CEO since Sisson's departure in October and will resume his role as chief operating officer.

"On behalf of the board of directors, I extend our sincere appreciation to Bob for his efforts over the last seven months," said White. "Bob helped ensure a smooth transition. The Chamber continued its program of work and never missed a beat."

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