Dr. John A. Johnson has been named Interim Executive Director of Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance (CGEDA) by the CGEDA Board of Directors, effective July 15. The position became vacant after former Executive Director Jim Searcy stepped down. Searcy took a position as Executive Director of The Economic Development Association of Alabama.



"On behalf of Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance, it is my pleasure to announce that Dr. John Johnson has been selected by the Board of Directors to serve as the Interim Executive Director for the Alliance," said Larry Woods, Chairman of the CGEDA. "He has the necessary economic development experience and knowledge of the region to lead the organization," said Woods.


Johnson said he would move forward with the projects the alliance has been working on and seek solutions and newopportunities. "I wish to express my gratitude to the Board of Directors of the Alliance for allowing me this opportunity to grow jobs for the Coastal Gateway region," said Johnson. "Over the coming days, I will continue to recruit the projects which we are currently working and visit members of our existing industry. I am delighted to have another opportunity to spend my days working to make the region a better place to live and work."


Johnson, Director of consulting group North Star Associates, LLC. , was founding Executive Director of the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority. Also, he currently serves as Vice President and Alabama Director of Community and Economic Development at The Montgomery Institute, a private, non-profit organization committed to upbuilding the region of West Alabama and East Mississippi.


Dr. Johnson serves on the Board of Directors of CGEDA, representing George F. Landegger and Parsons and Whittemore, Inc., and also serves on the Board of Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC).


Dr. Johnson currently serves as Secretary of the CGEDA board and previously served as Vice-Chair. Dr. Johnson has chaired the executive director search committee, initiated Coastal Gateway as an EDPA Community Partner, and advocated for establishment of a regionwide, existing industry program coordinated with local economic development agencies. Dr. Johnson was President of Alabama Southern Community College for 20 years, leading it to be recognized as one of the premier community colleges in the nation, ranking in the top 20 of over 1200 community colleges.


The job announcement and search process for the new Executive Director will be announced at the next CGEDA board meeting on July 24.

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