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State Rep. Barry Mask was named Legislative Leader of the Year by the Economic Development Association of Alabama.
Mask is chairman of the state House of Rep re sen tatives’ Committee on Economic Development and Tourism. He’s also executive director of the Elmore County Economic Development Authority (ECEDA).
The committee has already shepherded through a number of economic development bills this session. That includes two bills Mask sponsored to help attract new industries and expansions by existing businesses through a proposed constitutional amendment allowing companies to use their employees state income tax withholdings to fund expansions.
“I’m humbled to receive this award,” Mask said. “I and the members of the committee know that we have to serve our customers. The first customers are you economic development professionals, because your customers are the people out there looking for jobs.”
The award was presented at the EDAA’s annual legislative luncheon held Tuesday at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Montgomery. The event was attended by economic developers from across the state, as well as more than a dozen state senators and representatives.
Mask also thanked House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn), who upon leading state Republicans into the majority for the first time in a century, told Mask to lead “a better way” to handle economic development. In the past, Mask has said, the committee focused more on tourism and alcohol issues.
Other bills for which Mask was lauded increased incentives for movies to be shot in the state, to make the Alabama Development Office a cabinet-level agency and name its director — currently Greg Canfield — the state’s Secretary of Commerce, and to allow tax abatements for data processing centers, warehouses and storage facilities.
The luncheon was attended by ECEDA board members Lee Greer, Bart Mercer and David Sanders, as well as ECEDA staff members Leisa Finley and Lindsay Jordan and Mask’s wife, Jill.
© 2013 Elmore County Economic Development Authority. All Rights Reserved.