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Hilson to resign as president, CEO of Huntsville Chamber of Commerce of Commerce

Published 8:07pm Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brian Hilson, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, announced his resignation to the Chamber’s Executive Committee, Board of Directors, local elected officials and Chamber staff effective March 11.

Tommy Beason, 2004 Chairman of the Board of Directors and current Chair of the Chamber Foundation, will serve as interim President.

Hilson announced that he is being named President & CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance, a seven-county economic development organization.

“This is an opportunity that will allow me to develop capabilities and work toward results similar to what we have accomplished in Huntsville,” Hilson said. “Birmingham is a major market and I see this as an opportunity to make a difference there and for the state. I could not leave the Chamber unless I was confident that it is in great hands in terms of a dedicated board of directors, team-focused elected officials, and an outstanding professional staff that will continue to serve Huntsville, Madison and Madison County with the same professionalism and expertise that our community has come to expect,” Hilson said.

Charlie Kettle, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County Board of Directors, will lead the search committee for a new permanent President/CEO.

“Brian’s two decades of service to the this community have been greatly appreciated,” Kettle said. “We are a better community because of what Brian has contributed, and we will continue to be a strong community because of the legacy he leaves behind in the form of his professional staff.

“We all know what great things he has done for Huntsville and will do for Birmingham. He has left us in great financial condition during these tough times. Projects and activities will continue to go on. We will not miss a beat.”

Hilson said he looks forward to new opportunities with the Birmingham Business Alliance and the Blueprint Birmingham strategic plan. Hilson will begin the week of March 14 in his new role.

“I am accustomed to using teamwork and community and state leadership assets to help foster economic growth,” Hilson said. “With Blueprint Birmingham as the foundation, I am confident we have all the right ingredients for substantial growth in the Birmingham region.”

Birmingham is not a new endeavor for Hilson.  Previously he was Vice President of the Birmingham Metropolitan Development Board, and he has held economic development positions with the Birmingham and Mobile Chambers of Commerce.  He began his career in economic development 29 years ago as a graduate intern with the Development Board in Birmingham.

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