By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, Macon County Economic Development Authority Secretary-Treasurer Harold Powell died in Italy during a trip to lure Leonardo Aircraft to build a new manufacturing plant in Macon County.
“It is with great sorrow that I learned today of the passing of Harold Powell Jr. while representing the State of Alabama and Macon County on an economic development mission to Italy,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), who was traveling in Italy with Mr. Powell said in a statement.
“Harold was a leader in Macon County and the Town of Shorter,” Gov. Ivey said. “He was working to position his community to become the home of a Leonardo aircraft manufacturing facility. I send my condolences to Harold’s mother, Shorter Mayor Wille Mae Powell, his father, Harold Powell Sr., his entire family and his many friends.”
Powell also served as town clerk in Shorter and was the secretary-treasurer of the Macon County Economic Development Authority.
Macon County commissioner Robert Berry told the Opelika Auburn News that he and Powell were “very good friends” and remarked about how Powell “was really on top of economic growth for the county, and he really put Shorter on the map.”
“I heard he passed away over there in Italy during the night,” Berry said. “I was advised that he was found dead this morning. It’s a great loss to Macon County because he was so instrumental in economic development. He was one of the key leaders in in economic development in Macon County, and he meant so much to this county. He’s a tragic loss to the Shorter community and the whole Macon County.”
Economic Development expert Nicole Jones said that Powell was traveling with the governor, the Alabama Department of Commerce and other Macon County officials to tour the Leonardo plant.
“If the Air Force chooses the T-100 as the next trainer aircraft, Tuskegee may be selected for a new Leonardo plant.” Nicole Jones said. Nicole said that if Powell and Ivey could land the plant it would mean an estimated 700 jobs for the Tuskegee area. “It will be of great benefit to the Tuskegee folks to land this project.”