Montgomery, AL – On December 12, 2023, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce concluded its 151st Annual Meeting, a signature event for the region's business community and elected leadership that celebrates the power of partnerships.
This year's meeting highlighted an unprecedented era of momentum from 2019 through 2023 that has added new businesses, new jobs, and record-breaking investment in Montgomery: 122 major projects totaling $3.6 billion in capital investment and 4,641 announced new jobs from 2019 through 2023.
“Today we look back not only on the successes of this year, but also on the substantial cumulative growth the region has seen in recent years. This growth and success have helped The Chamber and our partners to build economic momentum for Montgomery and the surrounding region,” said Anna Buckalew, Montgomery Chamber President & CEO. “Elected leaders, business leaders, and community leaders partnered together to drive growth and progress in Montgomery and the capital region.
“It is easy to see why Governor Kay Ivey earlier this year referred to Montgomery’s recent economic development results as “staggering,” calling the capital city “one of Alabama’s brightest stars.”
LaBarron Boone, 2023 Chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and Principal, Beasley Allen Law Firm, said that 2023 has been a momentous year. “It’s also been an extraordinary time of growing momentum for Montgomery, said Chairman Boone. “We believe in Montgomery. And we will do everything in our power to make it even better,” Boone continued. “All of us are optimistic about this year, next year and decades to come. We are living in a record-breaking era, and we have the confidence that Montgomery’s growth will continue.
The meeting’s keynote was from Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). He spoke of his evolving identity as a Montgomery citizen, and how that influences his work at EJI and the Legacy Sites he and his team have built. “I am now deeply committed to this city. I believe this city can be higher ground in America. I believe our city can represent something that the world desperately needs to see,” he said. “We have a difficult and challenging history – and that just positions us to do something extraordinary as that history evolves.”
“Hope is our superpower,” Stevenson said.
Caryn Hughes, Market President, ServisFirst Bank, took the gavel as 2024 Chairman for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and will begin her term in January. “I am deeply honored to have been elected to serve as The Montgomery Chamber’s Chairman in 2024. I look forward to working alongside our public and private sector partners to make 2024 another momentous year,” said Hughes.
Major outcomes highlighted in the 2023 year in review video revealed today include the following evidence of ongoing momentum from 2019 - 2023:
- 122 major projects totaling $3.6 billion in capital investment and 4,641 announced new jobs from 2019 through 2023.
- In 2023, F-35s have begun arriving in Montgomery, marking the final stage of a 7-year project to home the advanced fighter jet.
- In 2023, Montgomery Whitewater, a multi-year project to build the most advanced engineered whitewater facility in the United States, opened in July 2023.
- In 2023, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama (HMMA) announced a $290 million investment in retooling for the redesigned Santa Fe and two other models.
- In 2023, HMMA also launched manufacturing of the electrified Genesis GV70 in Montgomery.
- In 2023, Montgomery and the River Region was named a Great American Defense Community, one of only five cities to win this designation in 2023.
- In 2023, Premier Tech opened its signature $33 million Montgomery technology hub and United States headquarters for its tech and automation division.
- In 2023, The “Game Plan” package of bills supporting economic development in Montgomery was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.
- In 2023, Montgomery County was recognized as #1 in Alabama for jobs creation, with 1,491 announced in 2022.
- In 2023, Montgomery County was recognized as #2 in Alabama for capital investment, with $1.7 billion in 2022.
- The Montgomery Chamber’s economic development team has won multiple industry awards, including being cited for the Top Economic Development Organization two years in a row.
- MH139 Grey Wolf helicopters will begin arriving in Montgomery in early 2024. Training for the Grey Wolf mission has already begun.
- The $65 million Inland Port, in partnership with the Alabama Port Authority, and the centerpiece of Montgomery’s logistics strategy and revitalization of the I-65 corridor, is proceeding on schedule for its 2025 planned opening. The Inland Port will allow cargo to move by CSX train from the Port of Mobile to Montgomery, bringing shipments closer to industries in the region and beyond.
- An elevated tourism experience continues to be an economic engine for Montgomery and Central Alabama:
- 1.6 million yearly visitors
- $1.1 billion spent in Montgomery County by visitors annually.
- The Department of the Air Force Information Technology and Cyber Conference (DAFITC) returned with 5,000+ registrants, totaling more than 6,000 room nights and $7 million economic impact, bringing global Air Force and tech leaders to Montgomery.
With a shared vision for prosperity, we eagerly anticipate the year ahead, united in purpose and driven to achieve new milestones together. Stay updated on future opportunities to engage on https://www.montgomerychamber.com/
Editor’s Note: High-Res Photos from the Event
ABOUT THE MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
With a mission to create jobs and a better quality of life in Montgomery and the River Region, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce is a full-spectrum economic development corporation representing 1,700 organizations and business and more than 100,000 employees throughout Montgomery and the River Region. The Montgomery Chamber is an innovative, consolidated organization that addresses destination tourism, economic development, business development, workforce development, and community strategies under one umbrella, linking the public and private sector around a shared vision and providing tremendous value to its investors.
Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce