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 P. O. Box 1589
400 West 19th Street
Jasper, AL 35501
Phone 205-221-2100

JIDB hires new executive director

By JAMES PHILLIPS
Daily Mountain Eagle

The Jasper Industrial Development Board recently hired a new executive director of economic development
.Michael A. Ferdinand of Palacios, Texas, started in the Jasper position on July 12.Ferdinand comes to Jasper with more than 28 years of experience in project management, business consultations, executive leader-ship, and a host of executive economic development experience.

“I’m excited to be in Jasper,” Ferdinand said in a recent interview with the Daily Mountain Eagle. “Jasper has been very welcoming to me in the little time I have been here. I like the community aspect of the city. Great things have happened and continue to happen in Jasper.

”Ferdinand has previously served as executive director of economic development in Bay City, Texas; Natchez, Mississippi and Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation in Louisiana. “I enjoy small towns,” Ferdinand said. “Most of my work has been in small to medium size cities. I feel as confident about the success we can have in Jasper as I have any other place that I’ve been.
”While in Bay City he completed or supported retail, tourism, hotel, manufacturing, energy, and warehouse projects exceeding $200 million and identified and worked over $6 billion in projects being considered for incentives or having applied for abatements. Jasper Mayor David O’Mary, speaking during a city council work session last week, said hiring Ferdinand was a “home run” for Jasper.

“Mike Ferdinand is going to be a hiring by the JIDB that will bring us much success in this city; I have no doubt about that,” O’Mary said. “He has a wealth of experience working on major projects, and that is going to be vital for our city moving for ward.
”O’Mary also emphasized Ferdinand was hired by and an employee of the JIDB, not the city.
“The JIDB set up a search committee and worked with a group called Next Move to locate candidates, and Mike Ferdinand was the best of the best.

Other accomplishments from Ferdinand include serving as chief executive officer for Terrebonne Economic Development in Louisiana where he fostered the creation of 3,008 new jobs and recruited a $16 million civic hotel.
The JIDB had previously contracted with David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority, to do its economic and industrial recruiting, but that contract was not renewed in June. Ferdinand said it is his hope that he and Knight can work together for the betterment of Jasper and Walker County. “I haven’t had a chance to meet Mr. Knight yet, but that is at the top of my list of things to do,” he said. “We need a total team approach, and that is vital for us to move forward and have success.
”Ferdinand has a bachelor of science from LSU and has completed the Economic Development Institute Program at the University of Oklahoma.

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