UAB President Dr. Ray Watts to lead Birmingham Business Alliance in 2016

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University of Alabama at Birmingham‘s President, Dr. Ray Watts has been elected Chairman of the Board of the Birmingham Business Alliance for 2016.

A Birmingham native and graduate of West End High School, Dr. Watts earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at UAB in 1976. He succeeds Mark Crosswhite, CEO of Alabama Power Co.

“I am excited and honored to be serving as Chairman of the BBA in 2016,” said Dr. Watts. “We will build on the momentum our region has seen in recent years with strategic planning and investment and I think the result will be a powerhouse of innovation and economic development throughout our region and known around the globe. The BBA and UAB will continue to work closely throughout the year with our elected leaders and economic development allies to capitalize on our strongest assets and take our region to the next level.”

“I also want to thank Mark Crosswhite for his strong support of our community and his leadership of the BBA in 2015, which has been exemplary,” Watts continued. “He has lent his wisdom and time to numerous complex regional issues and has worked hard behind the scenes to move our community forward in very positive ways.”

Also elected were members of the BBA’s 2016 Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Each serves a one-year term.

The 2015 officers are as follows:

  • Dr. Ray Watts of UAB, BBA Chairman
  • Lee Smith Jr. of BBVA Compass, BBA Chairman-Elect
  • Fred McCallum of AT&T Alabama, Vice Chairman of Public Policy
  • Craft O’Neal of O’Neal Industries, Vice Chairman of Finance
  • Mark Crosswhite of Alabama Power Co., Immediate Past Chairman
  • Brian Hilson is President and CEO of the BBA
  • Bing Edwards of Balch & Bingham, Corporate Secretary

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