Since January 2014, Spencer has led the Chamber’s highly successful economic development initiatives, including retail recruitment and commercial development. He has also coordinated the Chamber’s local, state, and federal public policy and advocacy efforts.
“Al has been an invaluable member of the Chamber’s executive leadership team. His professionalism, intellect, broad economic development experience and keen political acumen have truly helped take this great organization to the next level,” said Chamber President and CEO Jim Page.
Spencer, who will retire from the Chamber on Jan. 31, brought strong leadership and public service experience to the Chamber. After serving 21 years as an active duty Air Force officer, he spent four years in the private sector with a software development company, working as lead consultant on the federal government’s largest electronic business initiative. Spencer also served 12 years as Chief of Staff to former United States Congressmen Sonny Callahan and Jo Bonner, where he advised on all major economic development initiatives, including the successful recruitment of Airbus and ThyssenKrupp. He also coordinated disaster response efforts following Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, as well as the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Spencer is a graduate of The University of Alabama (BS, Commerce and Business Administration), Webster University (MA, Public Administration) and continued his education in residency programs, including a management and development program at Harvard Business School.
Spencer has been recognized with an impressive list of honors and awards. He received former Vice President Al Gore’s Hammer Award for Reinventing Government, the David Packard Award for Program Management Excellence and the Air Force Systems Command Personnel Manager of the Year Award. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit Medal, the Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, among others.
“Al’s breadth of experience across many areas has substantially benefitted Chamber members and the Chamber’s executive leadership team over the past five years. His daily presence will, without doubt, be sorely missed, but Chamber leadership will unquestionably continue to call on him in retirement to share his skills with us whenever possible,” said Blake A. Madison, 2018 Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chamber.
Spencer will continue to serve as an adjunct instructor in the Honors College at The University of Alabama, as he has done for the past two years. He and his wife, Leanne, also plan to pursue their longtime passion of travel.
“It has truly been the capstone of my professional career to work for such a vibrant, relevant organization in my adopted hometown. I believe in the Chamber, I believe in Tuscaloosa and I believe the best is yet to come for this community.”
The Chamber will immediately begin an extensive search process to fill the position of Vice President for Economic Development. Details about the job description and application process will soon be available on the Chamber’s website.