Selma’s Tuck to lead MCEDA

Published 4:22 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

Brenda Tuck, Vice President of Alford & Associates, LLC, an economic and community development firm in Selma, has agreed to become the next Director of the Marengo County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA).

Tuck finalized a three-year contract with MCEDA Friday afternoon and replaces Debra Fox who left the county’s industrial recruitment agency in January when the two sides could not agree to terms on a contract renewal.

“Her job history and her work history in this area,” MCEDA chairwoman Kathryn Friday said of the traits that made Tuck stand out over the five other interviewees. “She knows the Blackbelt of Alabama and she knows people in Montgomery that she needs to know. She’s an excellent fundraiser; very down to earth and effective.”

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Friday said Tuck, who will begin work in Marengo County April 9, will be expected to hit the ground running with several ongoing projects, including one industrial recruitment prospect that is entering late stages.

“First, she needs to meet the people in Marengo County and get to know the county,” Friday said, “but she’s going to get involved quickly.”

“I’ve always thought this place had a lot of potential,” Tuck said of industrial growth. “You’ve got access to rail, navigable waterways, air and four-lane (highway) access. There’s just a myriad of resources in this community that makes it a small goldmine.”

Ultimately, the county’s access to several time-tested modes of transportation were among the selling points Tuck said she was excited to see come together.

“You’ve got pretty much everything,” she said, “but the access to navigable waters is fantastic and so is the access to rail. As gas prices continue to climb, rail and water (transportation) are becoming more common and more important because it’s cheaper.”

A Limestone County native, Tuck is a 2002 graduate of Wallace Community College in Selma (associate’s degree in Science), a 2003 graduate of Faulkner University (bachelor’s degree in Business Administration) and a 2007 graduate of Auburn University Montgomery (master’s degree in International Relations).

“We’re excited about having her here,” Friday said. “We think she’s going to do a really good job. Everybody I talked to about her, I kept hearing the same term over and over – ‘proactive’ – and I liked that.”

Tuck, who currently lives in Valley Grande, will begin seeking a home in the county soon.

She and her husband, Shane, have one son, Austin (Stacee), and one grandson, Owen.