Newly-formed business council focuses on membership, networking

Published 4:35 pm Friday, August 30, 2013

The Demopolis Area Business Council has grown to 30 members since being officially formed and electing officers last month.

The council’s leaders say membership growth has been a top priority as well as meeting with representatives from various economic development entities to see what holes they might can help fill.

Those entities include the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce, the Industrial Development Board, the Economic Development Authority and the University of West Alabama’s College of Business.

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“The purpose of these meetings was to see where we could fit in among these groups that are striving to meet the same goals we are,” said Jay Reynolds, the council’s secretary and owner of Marengo Insurance Agency.

The Demopolis Area Business Council’s mission is to increase the economic opportunities for the people of the West Alabama Region by acting to create an environment for business expansion, retention and recruitment that will result in jobs and tax base growth.

“Everyone sees greater potential in Demopolis and everyone wants us to achieve and exceed that,” said Tyler Windham, the council’s president and owner of Windham Motor Company.

Peter Michael “Pete” Reynolds, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Robertson Banking Company, said almost every business leader the group has approached has joined the council.

“I say the people I’ve talked to like the energy of the group,” said Pete Reynolds. “They think this can make a difference in Demopolis.”

As the group goes forward, three main goals will be to nurture current businesses, promote the city and area to new businesses and be a united voice on issues of public concern.

“We want to create an environment where businesses can thrive and be successful,” said Jay Reynolds.

The council will also soon start monthly membership meetings. They are also discussing a campaign to educate people about how important it is to shop locally.

The DABC held its first meeting in late April and then signed their articles in July. Founding members and officers are Tyler Windham, president; Rob Fleming, vice president; Harrison Coleman; Jay Reynolds, secretary; Kayte Randall; Rob Pearson, treasurer; Pete Reynolds; Jason Windham; and Lee Pritchett.

The council’s officers stressed they welcome members doing business in the area as a whole, not just Demopolis. They also said while they have visited many business leaders, they haven’t gotten to everyone they would have liked to due to working at their own jobs.

Anyone interested in joining the council can contact Jay Reynolds at 289-0828 or email Members must be individuals who are a business owner, executive, partner, decision maker or senior sales representative doing business in the Demopolis area.