ACE 2016 Star Awards Announced

CLANTON, ALABAMA. The Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) presented the 2016 ACE Star Awards at the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Annual Community Reunion June 17th in Clanton, Alabama at the Alabama Power Company – Clanton Conference Center.

The ACE Star Awards recognizes individuals who have performed above and beyond the call of duty and embody the principles of the ACE Program, a comprehensive development program designed to assist Alabama’s smaller communities in their efforts to plan, grow and prosper.

The 2016ACE Star Award recipients are:

  • Herman Lehman, Outstanding ACE Local Coordinator (Montevallo)
  • The Honorable Yancey E. Lovelace, Outstanding ACE Mayor (Brewton)
  • Carrie Banks, Outstanding ACE Volunteer (Alabama League of Municipalities)
  • Nathan Willingham, Outstanding ACE Team Captain (Northwest AL Council of Local Governments)
  • Mike Easterwood, Exceptional ACE Leadership (Auburn University – Government and Economic Development Institute)


These “rising stars” bring outstanding leadership and a passion for small-town Alabama to all that they do. They are recognized for their commitment to making their communities better places and for their support of the ACE process. ACE offers communities a “one stop shopping” experience by centralizing community development programs and tools in one organization.

Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) is a nonprofit organization created in 2002 for the purpose of utilizing the collective expertise of its partner organizations. Throughout the ACE process, ACE Partners work with each community to successfully achieve specific goals. The ACE Program would not be possible without the funding, hard work and participation of the ACE Partner organizations.

ACE Partner organizations include: Alabama Association of RC&D Councils; Alabama Association of Regional Councils, Alabama Department of Commerce; Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Alabama League of Municipalities; Alabama Municipal Electric Authority; Alabama Power Company; Auburn University – Government and Economic Development Institute; Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc.; Information Transport Solutions, Inc.; Jackson Thornton and Company; PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Regions Bank; Southeast Alabama Gas District; The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and The University of West Alabama.

Thirty-two communities have previously been certified as Alabama Communities of Excellence and are located throughout Alabama. (Southeast Alabama): Eufaula, Evergreen, Headland, Alexander City and Valley; (Southwest Alabama): Atmore, Brewton, Demopolis, Elba, Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores, Jackson, Livingston, Monroeville, Saraland and Thomasville; (Central Alabama): Childersburg, Graysville, Helena, Millbrook, Leeds, and Montevallo; (North Alabama): Arab, Fayette, Guin, Guntersville, Haleyville, Hartselle, Heflin, Jacksonville and Rainsville. Currently, six additional communities are working through the process of becoming certified as ACE communities: Abbeville, Geneva, Jasper, Oneonta, Red Bay and Spanish Fort.