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franklin county times

27th Leadership Alabama includes Roger Bedford

Roger Bedford
Roger Bedford

Leadership Alabama, a “statewide program of Alabama leaders engaged in creating a network for positive change,” is gearing up for its 2016-2017 class, and a local man has been selected to be part of this year’s program.

Roger Bedford, attorney and former state senator, will join about 60 other leaders from myriad fields for quarterly presentations and group discussions designed around presenting opportunities for leadership and growth and the state of Alabama.

Bedford said he was invited to participate last year, but with one of the mandatory quarterly meetings falling during the same time he and his wife would be celebrating their anniversary in Greece, he was forced to decline. This year, however, he is eager to participate.

“I’m honored to be selected,” Bedford said. “I’m interested in learning more about what’s going on around the state in other areas, such as industrial development, agriculture and infrastructure improvements needed in our state.”

Bedford will have the opportunity with leaders who are esteemed in their communities, from university representatives to judges, attorneys and businessmen.

“It’s a broad diverse group of people who are already involved in their communities coming together to develop solutions to the problems facing us,” Bedford said. “I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Since 1989, Leadership Alabama has given established leaders across Alabama exposure to the broader fabric of the state. It develops a network of relationships and provides a structure for this network to seek mutual understanding of problems and priorities for Alabama’s future. Leadership Alabama encourages its members to act individually and in concert to move forward to help the state reach its full potential.

During the program year, class members will meet in October, January, March and May in Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville and Birmingham.

“Leadership Alabama is a lifelong experience, and as members these leaders will continue to impact positive change in their communities,” asserts a press release about the program.

Seth Hammett, 2016-2017 Leadership Alabama board chairman, said, “Leadership Alabama is an assembly of our state’s best and brightest men and women who share a commitment to make Alabama the best place to live and work. They will spend the next year deepening their knowledge and understanding of our people and the issues and challenges we face. I’m confident this exceptionally talented class will craft creative solutions to move Alabama forward.”

According to executive director Barbara Larson, the program has two goals: education and networking. “By examining topics such as education, politics, economic development and diversity, Leadership Alabama increases the number of effective leaders having a sound understanding of the broad spectrum of issues affecting our state,” said Larson. “The success of the program is apparent when members respond and take action, becoming vital contributors to progress for Alabama.”

Bedford said he is eager to use the opportunity to make connections and share with people the wonderful assets Northwest Alabama brings to the table.

“From the lakes to the industry we have here, and with the completion now of I22 and Highway 24, I think we’re going to be in a good positon to see future growth continue here in Northwest Alabama,” he said.

Leadership opportunities are nothing new for Bedford. For the past ten years he has been a part of the David Matthews Center for Civic Life, a similarly non-partisan group that unites leaders from across the state in the name of problem-solving.

“I had the privilege for 30-something years to serve in the state senate and deal with problems from a legislative perspective,” Bedford said, “and this will be another opportunity learn and share and define the issues that face our state” – and work out solutions.

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