BIRMINGHAM, Alabama. November 11, 2020 (Biz Republic) — The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce is losing its first Black chief executive after only five months on the job. The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) announced Friday Kenneth E. Coleman has resigned as CEO to become a senior executive for a Texas utility. Coleman took over the position in July after spending most of his career with the Southern Co. and subsidiaries including Alabama Power. His resignation takes effect Nov. 16.
Coleman had replaced interim president and chief executive Fred McCallum, who is returning on a temporary basis. In this role, Kenny was responsible for developing collaborative efforts between the BBA and its community partners to lead economic growth and expansion for the seven-county Birmingham region, in addition to spearheading the day-to-day operations of the BBA.
Kenny has a 25-year career in economic development as a senior executive, and previously served as Interim President and CEO for the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce in Metro Atlanta. Before that, Kenny had a longstanding career with Southern Company and its subsidiaries Georgia Power, Alabama Power, Mississippi Power and Southern Company Gas, where his work yielded significant accomplishments in stakeholder engagement, regulatory and legislative affairs, public policy, brand identity and economic development.
Kenny earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from the University of New Haven in New Haven, Conn., and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Alabama. He is a former professional baseball player for the Birmingham Barons and previously worked in business development for the Metropolitan Development Board, a predecessor organization to the BBA.
He started with Southern Company in 1999 and held numerous senior executive roles during his time with the company. Among his many accomplishments, Kenny points to positioning Georgia Power as a leader in solar generation; developing a successful Smart Cities partnership between Georgia Power and the City of Atlanta; and serving as chairman of a $1 billion community-wide economic development program in Montgomery, which led to more than 10,000 new jobs and over $2 billion in new capital investment.
The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce represents 1,700 business members in the Birmingham region. The Chamber’s vision is that of a region recognized locally, nationally and internationally for its strong and vibrant economy and high quality of life. The Chamber’s mission is to be an effective advocate and resource for our members’ business interests.
The Birmingham Business Alliance is the lead industrial recruitment organization for the Birmingham metro area, which includes Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby and Walker counties. Birmingham, Alabama, is the centerpiece of a thriving region and state that embraces the spirit of innovation, progress and growth. It is a community known for its unique quality of life, where strategic partnerships are forged and jobs are created, bolstering the region’s competitiveness as a desirable location for businesses to grow and prosper.
The Birmingham Business Alliance works to increase job growth and capital investment within the seven-county region, attracting and retaining top talent from around the world. They leverage Birmingham’s greatest assets, including innovation engines Southern Research, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Innovation Depot, to create a destination for entrepreneurs and companies looking to grow their business in a welcoming environment.
The Birmingham region’s legacy is built on iron and steel. Founded on a culture of entrepreneurship and resiliency, Birmingham is home to a diverse and dynamic range of companies and communities. From multi-national corporations manufacturing next-generation vehicles to start-ups developing ground-breaking technologies, today’s Birmingham continues to boast a diverse community of innovators.