Archived Story

Lake Martin Agencies that Assist Businesses

Published 3:42pm Friday, April 1, 2011

Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance

The Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance, which is known locally as the “EDA,” was founded in May of 1998 to bring new industry to Tallapoosa and Coosa counties.

“We deal primarily with manufacturing and industry,” said Don McClellan, executive director. “Our mission is to attract companies and jobs to the area.”

The organization is staffed by three people, McClellan, a  former mayor of Alexander City; assistant director Sandra Fuller; and office manager Denise Walls.

The EDA is funded by four local governments and 19 private partners. The governments are the Tallapoosa and Coosa county commissions and the cities of Dadeville and Alexander City. Each contributor has a seat on the board of directors.

“We’re the marketing agency for the cities and the industrial parks,” McClellan said. “We work with Alabama Development Office and all the state agencies in trying to attract those companies.”

The EDA takes an active approach, marketing, traveling and building relationships that can lead to job growth in the community.

“We don’t sit and wait for companies … we’re very proactive,” McClellan said. “As an example, after SL Alabama located here, because of the relationship we developed with that company, we had a good story to tell other companies. We have since brought in two more Korean tier one auto suppliers.”

The EDA staff also works as hosts and facilitators to meet the needs of each individual industry as they go about the process of moving to the Lake Martin area.

A total of 13 industries have moved to the Lake Martin area since the Alliance was created, and the EDA has had first contact with each one and worked with them through their move.

“That represents close to 2,000 new jobs,” McClellan said.

The EDA office is located in the Betty Carol Graham Technology Center on the Alexander City campus of Central Alabama Community College.

Don McClellan, executive director

Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance Directors

Todd Adams
Coosa County Commission
Seung Ahn
SJA (Sej’n America)
T.C. Coley
Tallapoosa County Commission
Chris Champion
Fruit of the Loom/
Russell Corporation
Tony Diemel
Constellation Energy
Dr. Steven Franks
Central Alabama
Community College
Marshall Griffin
Alabama Power
Mayor Mike Ingram
City of Dadeville
Tom Lamberth
Russell Lands
Richard Langford
City of Alexander City Council
Judge Terry Mitchell
Coosa County Probate
Jim Peace
Russell Medical Center
Les Sellers
Lake Martin Industrial
Development Authority
Judge Gloria Sinclair
Tallapoosa County Probate
Wayne Stark
Larry Uptain
Aliant Bank
Marvin Wagoner
Alexander City
Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Yoon
KwangSung America
Mayor Barbara Young
City of Alexander City

Lake Martin Area Industrial Development Directors

Mary Bennett
Coosa County
Laeman Butcher
Tallapoosa County
Gene Davenport
Tallapoosa County
Hugh Neighbors
Tallapoosa County
Les Sellers
Coosa County
Greg Tuck
Coosa County

The Alexander City Chamber of Commerce

The Alexander City Chamber of Commerce is a multi-faceted, service-oriented, not-for-profit business association supported by businesses, industry, professionals, civic clubs, churches, and citizens to accomplish its mission to initiate, develop, market, promote, and sustain quality economic and community development for the Alexander City and Lake Martin areas. Founded by Benjamin Russell in 1910, the Chamber has been a member of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce since 1921, and is currently an active member of the Business Council of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.

In addition to promoting and developing the areas of quality of life, tourism and retiree relocation, retail and small business development is a Chamber focus. The Chamber accomplishes its mission through the efforts of various committees including Governmental Affairs, Community Development, Workforce Development, Education, Marketing and Publicity, Tourism, Membership, Retail, Special Events, and Professional Development Summit. Each committee establishes a comprehensive annual Program of Work to guide the efforts of the Chamber.

Along with the annual Program of Work, the Alexander City Chamber sponsors Leadership Lake Martin, a program designed to inform, inspire, and develop community leaders.  To promote economic, workforce, and educational development, the Chamber Foundation administers the Gateway to Education Scholarship Assistance Program which provides up to 64 credit hours of free college tuition at Central Alabama Community College to Benjamin Russell High School graduating seniors. Also to promote business development, the Chamber is an Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network site providing assistance to individuals who wish to start their own business.

Marvin Wagoner, President and CEO

Alexander City Chamber of Commerce Directors

Mark Lamborne, Chairman

Bill’s Electric

Dan Meeks, 1st Vice-Chairman
AmTech, LLC
Robert Gunn, 2nd Vice-Chairman
Russell Lands On Lake Martin
Susan Foy, Immediate Past Chairman
Russell Medical Center
Cam Caldwell
Caldwell Electronics
Chris Champion
Russell Brands/
Fruit of the Loom
Katie Cole
Tallapoosa Publishers/
The Outlook
Mike Densmore
Duncan United Methodist Church
Fred Dobbs
Darwin Dobbs Company
Dr. Steve Franks
Central Alabama Community College
Ralph Holley
Holley’s Home Furnishings
Patsy Hollis
Regions Bank
Tammy Jackson
Children’s Harbor
Sherlene Leonard
Leonard Printing
Jim Sizemore
Attorney at Law
Jim Spann
Town & Country Cleaners & Shoe Repair
Wanda Toland
Aliant Bank
Theresa Young
THY Enterprise

Ex-Officio Members

Barbara Young, Mayor
City of Alexander City
Mark Tuggle, State Rep.
Alabama House District 81
Richard Wagoner, Director
MainStreet Alexander City

The Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce

The Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce functions to promote the best interests of local business and industry. The chamber has more than 230 members. It serves as a networking and information resource for businesses and visitors to the Lake Martin area and takes a pro-business stance on legislative issues.

The chamber also hosts major events in the Dadeville area, including Christmas Pageant and Candlelight Christmas, the Taste of Dadeville and Annual Chamber Business and Awards Dinner.

Larry Whitfield, president

Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce Directors

Larry Whitfield, Karen White, Virginia Fuller, Carla Berry, Toni Adcock, Arch Hodges, Dale Liesch, Rhonda Gaskins, Oskar Albertson, Sharon Vanoy, Mindy Fisher, Cay Weaver, Reid Davenport, Stacey Linn, Kenny Dean and Michael Carter

MainStreet Alexander City

MainStreet Alexander City is an organization dedicated to improving the local economy by focusing on the city’s historic downtown. MainStreet has more than 225 members. The organization has worked with the City of Alexander City and others on various projects such attracting businesses to the downtown area, improving the downtown streetscape with plantings and street furniture, working to preserve the downtown’s circa-1900 commercial architecture and hosting community events.

MainStreet Alexander City authored the enabling ordinance establishing the Preservation Commission to protect the historical downtown district in Alexander City. MainStreet Alexander City is also the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the Alabama Historical Commission for contributions to the state’s efforts to perserve significant historic buildings and sites for their cultural and economic benefits.

MainStreet Alexander City also manages the popular Downtown Market, where area farmers sell their products each Saturday from June through October on Broad Street.

Richard Wagoner, executive director

MainStreet Alexander City Directors

Larkin Radney, President, Jamie Dark, Vice President, Walter Coley, Treasurer, Larry Tuggle, Dave Young, Sue Walker, Karen Jennings, Brooks Lamberth, Bob Howard, Ralph Frohsin, Mandi Durr, Jeff Spears, Virgil Roberts, Lee Barnett, Barbara Barnes, Mary Shockley, Jake Mixon, Willa Alford