The Jackson County Economic Development Authority has hired the head of an economic development group in Mississippi to help recruit and grown industry in Northeast Alabama.
Gary Chandler, currently president and chief operating officer of The Alliance of chambers of commerce and economic development groups in Corinth, Miss., will become president and CEO of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority on Oct. 3. He succeeds the retiring Goodrich "Dus" Rogers.
A native of Tupelo, Miss., Chandler is a graduate of the University of North Alabama and has completed the New South Economic Development Course at the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute and TVA's Rural Leadership Institute. Chandler previously worked for U.S Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Ala., for eight years as special assistant and field representative in the Muscle Shoals and Huntsville district offices.
"JCEDA board members know how very important this job is to Jackson County and we conducted a region-wide search to fill the position," said David Campbell, chairman of the 7-member Jackson County Economic Development Authority board. "We were very impressed with Mr. Chandler from the very beginning."
Chandler serves on the board of directors for the Mississippi Economic Development Council, the Steering Committee for the Commission on the Future of Alcorn County, and the CREATE Foundation's Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Corinth and Alcorn County.
In his current job, Chandler helped to save 200 jobs from the former ACT Electronics Company as Ayrshire Electronics came to Corinth. He also oversaw additional expansions with Ayrshire Electronics and then KeyTronicEMS in 2010, 2014 and 2015, adding 150 new jobs.
Recent expansions with Caterpillar were coordinated through Chandler including their consolidated logistics center, Remanufacturing Division's C175 engine project, and their 3500 engine project for a total of 1,000 jobs saved, 190 new jobs created, and capital investment of $79.3 million.
"I am truly excited to join the Jackson County Economic Development Authority in early October," Chandler said. "It is a terrific opportunity."