Women of Influence: Kay Ivey

Kay Ivey3
[Photo Credit: Office of Gov. Kay Ivey]

With 100 days officially under her belt in the governor’s office, Kay Ivey is doing something her predecessor failed miserably at in recent years — winning the approval of the Yellowhammer State.

In this short time, Ivey, the state’s second female governor and first Republican female governor, has established herself as a formidable governor who’s ready to tackle the state’s toughest challenges.

For those who have followed her career, that should as no surprise.

Growing up in the small town of Camden, in Wilcox County, Ivey worked on her father’s farm and learned the value hard work and living within one’s means at very early age. During her impressionable, youthful years her parents instilled values of faith, family and community — tenets she still holds to this day.

She went on to gradate from Auburn University in 1967, and then worked as a high school teacher and a bank officer. She later served as Reading Clerk of the Alabama House of Representatives under Speaker Joseph C. McCorquodale and Assistant Director of the Alabama Development Office, where she worked to spur job creation and economic development across the State.

In 2002, Ivey shifted from working behind the scenes of state government to being ones of its many faces when she became the first Republican elected State Treasurer since Reconstruction. In 2006, she was re-elected to the position, where she was committed to making the office more open, transparent and efficient.

She set another “first” in 2010, when she was elected Lieutenant Governor, becoming the first Republican woman to hold the office in Alabama’s history. She made history yet again in 2014, by becoming the first Republican Lieutenant Governor re-elected to the office.

In her role as Lt. Governor, Ivey presided over legislative proceedings of the upper house as President of the Senate.

One of her first actions in office was to lead the Commission on Improving State Government, which was tasked with exploring ways to reduce government spending and find efficiencies in State government. Many of the Commission’s recommendations were implemented, laying the groundwork for Alabama to successfully complete The Road to Saving $1 Billion in December 2013.

In addition, Ivey has taken on several initiatives to grow jobs, address child hunger, and increase STEM education. As Chair of the Military Stability Commission, she is leading the first statewide coordinated effort to secure and strengthen Alabama’s military assets ahead of any potential base or force realignments. She also serves as national chair of the Aerospace States Association.

On April 10, 2017, Ivey was catapulted to the governorship when her predecessor former Gov. Robert Bentley suddenly resigned amid an impeachment investigation following allegations he used state resources to cover up an affair he was having with one of his former aides.

As the 54th Governor of the State of Alabama, there’s no denying Ivey’s been hard at work the past three and half months. From rescheduling the special U.S. Senate election to be more in-line with state law, to making an appointment to the Alabama Supreme Court, to disbanding several Bentley-era commissions, task forces, councils, she’s had her hand in fixing problems statewide.

Ivey is undeniably a “woman of influence” in every sense of the phrase.

Her service to the State of Alabama has earned her numerous honors and awards, including the 2015 ALFA Service to Agriculture Award, Newmax’s 50 Most Influential Female Republican in the country and, most recently, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2016 Public Service Award.