Demopolis native wins Soul of the South award

Published 12:42 am Friday, December 15, 2023

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By Anna Kathryn Fitch, SoulGrown

Special to The Demopolis Times

Freddy Padilla, a Demopolis native, was honored at the 2023 Soul of the South Awards as the winner of the  Sports & Outdoors category.  Recipients of the award are people who love the land, curate spaces, and take care of other people.

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Padilla is the Federal Affairs Manager at Alabama Power Company. His primary responsibilities are the company’s federal governmental relations efforts in Washington and throughout the state. Padilla has worked for Alabama Power for over 12 years. He began his career in Western Division, headquartered in Tuscaloosa, where he was responsible for relationships with elected officials, civic organizations, and local media while supporting business office managers in communities throughout West Alabama.

While with the company’s Public Relations department, he supported a variety of departments including Economic Development, Generation, Marketing, Customer Service, Corporate Real Estate, Power Delivery and Environmental Affairs. He also was a company spokesperson on the media relations team. Padilla has served in areas of increasing responsibility in Governmental & Corporate Affairs.

As an avid outdoorsman, Padilla attended The University of West Alabama and The University of Alabama, where he received a B.A. in Public Relations. Padilla serves on the Board of Directors for Alabama Black Belt Adventures and is an active member of The Alabama Wildlife Federation. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of The ZeroZero Foundation and The Alabama Business Coalition in Washington, D.C. He is a past United Way Loaned Executive and chaired Alabama Power’s company-wide campaign for the United Way of Central Alabama.

Padilla decided early on in his career that working for an industry like Alabama Power was what he wanted to do long-term.

“In my role at Alabama Power, I work everyday toward our mission of making our state the best it can be. The people make our company, and I realized very early that I wanted to be a part of it,” Padilla said. “We cover a lot of ground, but our commitment to conservation and stewardship helps support our beautiful natural resources and promote eco-tourism.”

Padilla attributes his work ethic and determination to his parents, who showed him the value of hard work.

“I looked up to my parents, and had a front-row seat to two of the hardest working people I know,” Padilla said. “You would never know if my dad was having a bad day. He treats everyone the same, no matter who they are. I try to live up to his example in everything I do.”

Padilla said that what motivates him and keeps him going is his desire for future generations to enjoy the outdoors just as he does.

“I want future generations to enjoy the outdoors, have the access to a quality education and healthcare, and work and raise their families here. It seems simple, but we must evolve and be open to new ideas to leave our state even better than we found it,” Padilla said.

Padilla said that as far as his career goes, he always tries to be the best he can be where he is, where he is at work or at home.

“In my current role as Federal Affairs Manager, I get to work with our Congressional Delegation and colleagues to move our state forward. I am proud to represent our state and Alabama Power in Washington, D.C. and at home,” Padilla said.

The one thing Padilla wants to see more of in Alabama is collaboration.

“Our world is changing, and we need diverse voices at the table. We must meet potential partners where they are and listen to what they have to say. It doesn’t matter the magnitude or the forces of a project. This will allow us to lean into innovation and move our state forward,” Padilla said.

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