Coastal Gateway hires new executive director

Published 5:54 pm Thursday, November 14, 2013

Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance made it officials Wednesday.

The group — a partnership of business and government entities in five counties — hired Dr. John A. Johnson as executive director. Johnson has served as interim director since July 5.

“John brings with him his vast knowledge of the region as well as economic development and workforce development experience due to his tenure at Alabama Southern Community College and Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority,” said Larry Woods, chairman of the CGEDA board. “Members of the CGEDA Board of Directors are extremely pleased at being able to attract a candidate of his caliber.”

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John Johnson

CGEDA is an alliance with members from Escambia, Monroe, Conecuh, Choctaw and Clarke counties.

“The Coastal Gateway region has tremendous potential,” Johnson said. “Its assets include an excellent workforce, dedicated education partners, and effective community leadership. This region is fortunate to have those and many other crucial attributes. I intend for the CGEDA to continue to be a catalyst in this process. The CGEDA board and staff are passionate and I look forward to translating that enthusiasm into results.”

Since July, Johnson has brought several new investors on board with CGEDA and is working with local developers on recruitment of new industry and with existing business.

Johnson said he wants to talk face-to-face with local leaders and businesses to get their input on the challenges and opportunities their communities face.

Johnson was founding executive director of the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority. He currently serves as vice president and Alabama director of community and economic development of The Montgomery Institute, a private, non-profit organization committed to upbuilding the region of West Alabama and East Mississippi.

Johnson previously served on the executive board of CGEDA representing George F. Landegger and Parsons and Whittemore, Inc., and also serves on the Board of Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council

Johnson was president of Alabama Southern Community College for 20 years, from 1989 to 2009.