The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA), a trade group representing companies in the dynamic and fast-growing industry, named Governor Kay Ivey to its Hall of Fame at a Thursday night dinner in Birmingham.
Ron Davis, the AAMA’s president and chairman, praised Governor Ivey for her steadfast commitment to facilitating the growth of Alabama’s auto industry and her many contributions to the overall mission of the organization.
“Governor Ivey has been an extraordinary champion for this strategically important industry and has been consistently engaged with AAMA over many years,” said AAMA President and Chairman Ron Davis. “I will wave her flag high because she has been fantastic to work with as Alabama’s auto industry evolves and continues to thrive.”
Governor Ivey said she was humbled to be honored by the AAMA at its Annual Appreciation Dinner, held at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham — The Wynfrey Hotel.
“This recognition means a lot to me because I know the auto industry has been the primary driver of economic growth across Alabama for over two decades, providing high-paying careers for our citizens and first-class workplaces for our communities,” said Governor Ivey. “The industry’s impact on Alabama has been massive, but what really excites me is how its future is going to be even brighter in our state.”
The AAMA Board of Directors, composed of key industry figures, selects new members for the organization’s Hall of Fame.
Launched five years ago, the AAMA Hall of Fame includes Bill Taylor, who led Mercedes-Benz U.S. International; Ed Castile, director of AIDT and deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce; and Dr. Bernard Schroer, a UAH professor who served in a leadership role in the organization’s early days.
Castile, an AAMA board member, congratulated Governor Ivey on her Hall of Fame selection.
“Governor Ivey has been a long-time supporter of the automotive industry in Alabama and in her many previous roles as a state leader she has left her mark on the growth of our automotive economy,” said Castile. “As our governor, she has ‘amped up’ her enthusiasm and determination to succeed as she led us through the mirky waters of the pandemic.
“Today, as we turn our focus on electric vehicle production, Governor Ivey is laser focused on continued growth by her unwavering support of many workforce initiatives that will help Alabama realize the goals we seek,” he added.
State Sen. Gerald Allen was also named to the organization’s Hall of Fame in recognition for his support of an AAMA scholarship program that, in collaboration with the Alabama Community College System, is building a pipeline of workers for the state’s auto industry.
The AAMA was formed in 2001 to support the success of current and future Alabama automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, with a goal of ensuring the state is recognized as a global leader in the automotive world. It promotes continuous education, improvement and the growth of Alabama’s auto manufacturing industry.
The organization recognized other individuals and companies at its Appreciation Dinner. “Supplier of the Year” awards went to Mobis Alabama (large manufacturer), T&C Stamping Inc. (small manufacturer) and AIDT’s Alabama Robotics Technology Park (service provider).
Winners of the AAMA’s “Impact Award,” recognizing excellent contributions to the industry, are:
• Clinton Bourgeois, media producer, Alabama Community College System
• Hugh Thomas, managing partner, The Onin Group
• Kevin Taylor, assistant director — Prospect Recruitment & Training, AIDT
• Scott Russo, senior manager of Regional Talent Development, Toyota Motor North America, TBMNC, North American Production Support Center
• Tom Shoupe, former executive vice president, Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc
• Beverly Hilderbrand, scholarship liaison, AAMA