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ADO executive director to speak in Demopolis

Neal Wade, a veteran industrial recruiter and the director of the Alabama Development Office, will speak in Demopolis on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Rooster Hall. The event is by invitation only and is not open to the public.

“I spoke with him shortly before I came to Marengo County,” said Debra M. Fox, executive director of the Marengo County Economic Development Agency. “He said he wanted to speak to Marengo Countians about economic development.”

Wade, a graduate of Samford University, was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley as director of the state’s lead economic development organization. He was actively involved in many of the state’s most successful economic development efforts, including the location of ThyssenKrupp to Alabama, National Railcar to the Shoals area and the $40-billion Air Force tanker refueling project awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp./EADS.

Prior to taking the reins of the Alabama Development Office (ADO), Wade served as the vice president for economic development of the Florida-based St. Joe Company, a real estate operating company and the state’s largest private landowner.

In Alabama, Wade served for nine years as president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, a private consortium of the state’s leading companies dedicated to economic development.

During Riley’s administration, ADO was twice named as the top state economic development agency in the United States. Alabama’s economy has been named the best in the Southeast for five straight years.