By STEVE FLOWERS
As I observe the legislature, it occurs to me that I am getting older. A lot of the legislators and lobbyists I have known over the years have moved on.
Montgomery is no longer an “Old Boys Club.” A cursory look at a typical day at the Alabama Statehouse would surprise you. An increasing number of professional women are a major part of the lawmaking process — there are a host of brilliant women under 40 who are at the forefront and yield a great deal of influence over the process of policymaking in Alabama.
First on most lists is, of course, Katie Boyd Britt, who was recently selected as head of the Business Council of Alabama. She is not only the first female to lead the organization but by far the youngest at 37. Britt is dynamic, fierce and talented. She will be an outstanding advocate for the business community in the state. She is the former student body president of the University of Alabama as well as a graduate of the UA Law School.
Mary Margaret Carroll was the first female to join the state’s oldest governmental relations firm, Fine, Geddie and Associates. She is a brilliant superstar. Carroll is from a prominent Ozark family and possesses a temperament and professional demeanor that depicts class, character and intelligence. She has a proven combination of analytical, problem-solving, legal and communications skills. She is known for her quiet confidence and conscientious discernment. Carroll manages a broad array of interests in tech, insurance, natural resources, energy and education.
Carroll and Britt have amazingly similar backgrounds. Both are daughters of the Wiregrass. Carroll is from Ozark and Britt is from Enterprise. Both were student government presidents and were Chi Omegas at UA.
Alison Hosp, who represents the Alabama Retail Association, has proven to be one of the most effective and professional governmental relations spokespersons for several years.
Maci Martin Walker is an outstanding contract lobbyist with the Christie Group. She has worked on dozens of policy measures over the years for major corporate clients.
Katherine Green Robertson is the chief legislative liaison for the attorney general’s office. She is a native of Selma and a graduate of Auburn University and the UA Law School. Robertson previously worked for Sen. Jeff Sessions as counselor during his tenure on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Robertson was one of the few former staffers called back to Washington to advise Sessions during his confirmation process as U.S. Attorney General.
Neah Mitchell Scott represents the revered Retirement Systems of Alabama. Scott is a brilliant attorney who possesses excellent interpersonal skills that hold her in good stead representing the 800-pound gorilla that is the RSA before the legislature. Scott is a native of Montgomery and a graduate of Auburn and the UA Law School.
Holly Caraway very aptly represents the Department of Mental Health. She is a native of Trussville and earned a BA, JD and MBA from UA. She is admired because she is a passionate advocate for causes in which she believes.
Ashley McLain is an extremely talented and confident lobbyist for the Alabama Education Association.
Brittany Bryan represents the State Personnel Board. She is one of the most experienced agency liaisons on this impressive group of female policymakers.
Molly Cagle, who represented Manufacture Alabama, is a star on the rise. She was stolen away by Britt at the BCA and is a former AU homecoming queen.
Christian Becraft, who represents AU, is another superstar.
Sally Corley, who represents state employees, is one of the most well-liked young professionals in Montgomery.
All of the outstanding young governmental affairs folks in Montgomery are not all female. Two of the brightest are married to females just mentioned. Niko Corley, who represents the Medical Association of Alabama, is married to Sally Corley. R.B. Walker, who represents Alabama Power, is married to Maci Walker.
David Cole, who has been an energetic stalwart advocate for ALFA, has gone to the BCA to work with Britt. He was a key player in the recent passage of the infrastructure bill.
The University of Alabama has brought on young Charlie Taylor, who is smart and has a strong family history in Alabama politics.
William Filmore, the son of a prominent Wiregrass judge, is outstanding as the governor’s legislative liaison.
Steve Flowers served 16 years in the Alabama Legislature and may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.