Oct. 30, 2017 — Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin announced new co-chairs of his transition team in a Monday morning press conference at the Alabama Workforce Training Center.
Perry Ward and Fred McCallum will serve as co-chairs of his Education and Workforce Committee, while Tracey Morant Adams and Josh Carpenter will lead the Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Committee.
Before introducing the new co-chairs, Woodfin spoke on the importance of holistic education and workforce development in the city, calling for investment in education opportunities that occur outside of the typical public school day.
“When we talk about education and the workforce, I think it’s really important that we acknowledge on the education front our superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring, and our nine school board members,” said Woodfin, himself a former president of the Board of Education. “The 10 of them alone are not responsible for the education of our children. Anyone who has that notion or mindset, it’s not fair, and it’s wrong. We as an entire city have to commit to our entire school system … . That will require all hands on deck.”
Entities such as the Alabama Workforce Training Center, Woodfin said, were proof that “workforce training can work throughout our entire city.”
Ward, one of the co-chairs of the Education and Workforce Committee, is the president of Lawson State Community College. Ward also is a member of the board of trustees for Leadership Birmingham, a nonpartisan community leadership organization. Woodfin introduced Ward as “one of Alabama’s most respected educators” and “at the frontline of developing workforce development efforts.”
McCallum, the other co-chair, is a former president of AT&T, described by Woodfin as “one of Alabama’s top corporate leaders.” McCallum retired from the company in July, after having served as its president since 2008. He has served as a board member for the Business Council of Alabama, the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Birmingham Education Foundation, United Way of Central Alabama and PARCA.
Woodfin introduced the co-chairs of his Entrepreneurship and Economic Development committee by arguing that city government “can’t take a backseat” to organizations such as REV Birmingham and the Birmingham Business Alliance when it comes to economic development in the city.
Co-Chair Tracey Morant Adams is an executive president of Renasant Bank. She served as director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development from 2008 to 2013, under Mayors Larry Langford and William Bell. Woodfin said she was selected because she was “deeply involved in all aspects of our city,” particularly neighborhoods — a focus of Woodfin’s administration.
Woodfin described Adams’ co-chair, Josh Carpenter, as being “at the forefront of all things at UAB and Birmingham.” Carpenter is director of external affairs at UAB. He served as an intern in the Office of Presidential Correspondence under President Barack Obama in 2011, and as co-founder and president of Bama Covered, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating “a platform for civic engagement among young people.”
Woodfin’s transition team is being led by former Birmingham-Southern College President and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak and former Alabama Power Vice President Bobbie Knight, and coordinated by Ed Fields, Woodfin’s former campaign manager.
Previously announced transition committee co-chairs include Herschell Hamilton and Ralph Patterson, Neighborhood Revitalization and Public Safety Committee; Nancy Dunlap and Richard Rice, Social Justice Committee; and Daniel Coleman and Annie Allen, Transparency and Efficient Government Committee.
Citizens interested in participating in the transition process are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.