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New Officers Elected for the 2019 ACE Program

As the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) begins its 17th year of assisting selected smaller Alabama communities reach their economic potential, we welcome the incoming 2019 officers, while at the same time expressing our gratitude and thanks to t …

Rural Resilience by Dr. Joe Sumners

Dr. Joe Sumners addresses his experience living in Creswell, Alabama and focuses on the issues surrounding rural Alabama communities. While easily, identified problems exist within these type communities, the practical solutions to solving the problems …

ACE develops a path to improve walkability in towns

  Jasper is among the Alabama cities that have worked to enhance their walkability. Until the 20th century, most city residents had to walk to take care of regular activities, such as shopping, attending church or going to work or school. So, natu …

City of Brewton: America in Bloom Award

(Columbus, OH): Top honors for the prestigious 2018 America in Bloom National Awards Program were announced at the annual symposium and awards celebration held in Lexington, KY on September 29. Brewton was the winner of the outstanding achievement awar …

UACED Partners in Walkability Workshop

UACED was a partner bringing together teams from nine small communities (with populations between 2,000 and 18,000) across Alabama for the “ACE Communities Workshop” in Montevallo, AL on July 19th. The highlight of the program was Walkable and Vibrant …

Thomasville, AL A Regional Model for Rural Success

Located 100 miles from the nearest urban center in one of Alabama’s poorest regions, Thomasville is shifting the narrative for a multi-county area within the Black Belt through collaboration, forward-thinking and steadfastly refusing to accept the status quo.

Heflin Announces Transformation of Former High School into a State of the Art Assisted Living and Memory Care Community

Heflin, AL – Heflin Main Street in conjunction with the City of Heflin Industrial and Economic Development Board is excited to announce the purchase of the former Cleburne County High School by Lathan & Coleman, LLC (L&C). L&C will begin re …

Developing Workers by Working Together

Recent ACE Reunion focused on the need for collaboration to produce more skilled labor By Cary Estes The American Village in Montevallo was an appropriate setting for July’s fourth annual Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Reunion. Community leade …

Walkable Communities Workshop 2018

ACE Communities Workshop: Walkable and Vibrant Small Towns in Montevallo, Alabama! A-Workshop-Program B-Background-on-Communities C-Benefits-and-Strategies Presentation (AW): Walking and Walkability: America Walks – http://americawalks.org Walkable 101 …

ACE Presents the 2018 Star Awards at the Annual Community Reunion

The Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) presented the 2018 ACE Star Awards at the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Annual Community Reunion July 20th in Montevallo, Alabama at the Liberty Hall Ballroom at the American Village. This was the fourth annual ACE Community Reunion, with highlights on WORKFORCE.

ACE Reunion 2018

Event Presentations Agenda – 2018 ACE Reunion 2018 – Building Workforce – The Big Picture by Dr. Joe Sumners Region 4 AlabamaWorks – Kristen O’Keefe The Opioid Epidemic in Alabama – Dr. Mark E. Wilson Region 1 AlabamaWorks – Micah Bullard Alabama Works …

Gulf Shores is an Alabama Community of Excellence adjusting to shifting sands for growth

By Cary Estes, July 18, 2018 The Alabama Communities of Excellence program is helping Gulf Shores find opportunity on and off its popular beaches. (Brittany Faush / Alabama NewsCenter) Given enough time – decades if not centuries – the steady combinati …

ACE Designates Geneva as an Alabama Community of Excellence

Rufus Lee – Geneva Mayor Pro-Tem; Tracy Delaney, ACE Team Captain; Sidney Hoover, ACE Executive Director; Geneva Mayor – Frankie Lindsey; Jonathan Tullos, ACE Team Member; Mary Shell, ACE Team Member Geneva, Alabama earned the designation of an “Alabam …

Foley uses its location to become an Alabama Communities of Excellence destination

The Centennial Park Plaza is the centerpiece of the renovations to downtown Foley that resulted from the collaboration between city officials and the Alabama Communities of Excellence program. (Brittany Faush/Alabama NewsCenter) Located in southern Bal …

Spirit of cooperation enables Fayette to flourish as an Alabama Community of Excellence

Downtown Fayette has blossomed in recent years thanks to cooperation, hard work and assistance from the ACE program. (City of Fayette) For nearly 75 years, one of Alabama’s most iconic food concoctions has been produced in the small town of Fayette. Th …

What does it take to be an Alabama Community of Excellence?

By Sidney Hoover Sidney Hoover is executive director of the Alabama Communities of Excellence. A growing number of towns are earning the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) seal of approval and seeing transformative results from the process. What i …

ACE Elects New Officers as Program Celebrates 16th Anniversary

As the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) begins its16th year of assisting selected smaller Alabama communities reach their economic potential, we cordially welcome the incoming 2018 officers, while at the same time expressing our sincere gratitud …

Leeds steers course to being an Alabama Community of Excellence

Leeds is an old railroad town, and its leaders are careful to preserve and honor that history while welcoming new businesses. (Brittany Faush / Alabama NewsCenter) By Cary Estes for @Alabama Newscenter Leeds is a mere 15 miles east of the ever-sprawlin …

Guntersville is an Alabama Community of Excellence basking in a lake-effect glow

It is easy to see the appeal of the Guntersville area. All one has to do is look around. Nestled on the edge of a picturesque 69,000-acre lake with lush tree-lined mountains in nearly every direction, Guntersville is a place that puts the “great” in the great outdoors, which is why it is one of the top tourist draws in Alabama.

Heflin is happening, thanks to Alabama Communities of Excellence

Ever since graduating from the Alabama Communities of Excellence program in 2007, Heflin officials have embraced the ACE approach of establishing connections with a variety of entities, and then collaborating toward a common goal to strengthen the town’s long-term economic success.

Montevallo puts the pieces together as an Alabama Community of Excellence

“ACE provided us with a platform to consolidate our vision as a community,” second-term Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost said. “They brought us together to develop a strategic plan, and then we had direction.”

There’s no doubting Thomasville as an Alabama Community of Excellence

The town of Thomasville sits about 100 miles away from Mobile to the south, Montgomery to the east and Tuscaloosa to the north. Some might say this places the rural community in the middle of nowhere. Longtime Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day prefers to say that the city actually is “in the center of everything.”

Haleyville answers the call as an Alabama Community of Excellence

“ACE gives you the structure of how to work on these things, then it goes through the steps of how to accomplish them,” said Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri, who was elected in 2008 and is serving his third term.

ACE 2017 Reunion

ACE Reunion 2017 Documents AGENDA 7-14-17 Reunion Digital Engagement During Uncertain Times Part I ‐ Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues for Municipalities Brandon N. Robinson 2017 ADECA Presentation by Director Kenneth Boswell Digital Engagement: Remaini …

2017 ACE Star Awards

The 2017 ACE Star Award recipients include: Ms. Tana Collins, Outstanding ACE Local Coordinator (Jasper) The Honorable Robert Joslin, Outstanding ACE Mayor (Arab) Reverend Willie Blue, Outstanding ACE Volunteer (Brewton) Mr. Brandon Bias, Outstanding ACE Ambassador (Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc.) Dr. Arturo Menefee, Exceptional ACE Leadership (Auburn University – Alabama Cooperative Extension System)

ACE Designates Three Communities as an “Alabama Community of Excellence” and Announces the 2017 Incoming Class

For more information, contact: Sidney Hoover, ACE Executive Director Sidney.Hoover@outlook.com; 205-567-3248 JASPER, ONEONTA, SPANISH FORT, BAY MINETTE, BOAZ, CENTER POINT, CHELSEA, HANCEVILLE AND TALLASSEE Three Alabama communities, Jasper, Oneonta an …

Alabama Communities of Excellence marks 15 years of boosting towns across the state

Small towns throughout Alabama may not have all of the tools for growth and development that the big cities have, but they do have Alabama Communities of Excellence. ACE has been helping towns of between 2,000 and 18,000 people for 15 years. Instead of …

Three Cities To Be Designated an Alabama Community of Excellence

Three Alabama communities, Jasper, Oneonta and Spanish Fort will be designated as an “Alabama Community of Excellence” at the Opening Session of the Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Convention to be held in Birmingham, AL on May 20, 2017. The Ma …

ACE Applications for 2017 Class Now Closed

Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) TRAINING WORKSHOP ACE NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR ITS 2017 CLASS Contact: Ms. Sidney Hoover, (205) 567-3248 – Sidney.Hoover@outlook.com The Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program has launched the comp …

Strategic Planning Session for Spanish Fort

Photos from Spanish Fort Strategic Planning Session, December 9.

ACE Elects New Officers as Program Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Contact: Ms. Sidney Hoover, (205) 567-3248 In 2017, Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) will celebrate its 15th anniversary of helping selected small Alabama communities achieve long-term economic success. Targeting communities with populations of …

ACE Towns Love Your Town Alabama

Earlier this month, the Alabama Communities of Excellence program participated in the annual Your Town Alabama workshop.

ACE Announces New Web Tool

The Alabama Communities of Excellence program announces an all new tool and a revamped website. Profiles of all 18 of our partner organizations, including information about their important connections to small towns, along with information about all AC …

ACE Reunion 2016

June 17, 2016, ACE held our 2016 ACE Town Reunion, a day-long opportunity to network with like-minded community leaders and learn specifics about how to make your ACE town better. Below are some of the materials presented along with photos from the eve …

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 Cen …

Community Capacity Building Thru a Sustaining Partnership

April 2016 ACE Meeting Presentation Rebecca B. Masic, Workforce Officer -ACCS Community Capacity Building Thru a Sustaining Partnership Workforce Division – Community Collaboration – Link to Video (click to view a pdf of the presentation)

City of Helena Designated an Alabama Community of Excellence

The City of Helena has been designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence after successfully completing the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program, a comprehensive three-phase approach to economic and community development for cities with p …

Red Bay’s ACE Assessment to enter Phase II

Vol. 64, No. 12 1 Section, 12 Pages – Wednesday, April 6, 1016 Katie Crum, Staff Writer Progress is being made in Red Bay’s attempt to become an Alabama Community of Excellence Phase two of Red Bay’s ACE Assessment will soon be underway. Phase one of t …

ACE Program Update at the EDAA Winter Conference

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION OF ALABAMA WINTER CONFERENCE – FEBRUARY 2, 2016 “Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Program Update” See the powerpoint Director Sidney Hoover provided. ACE Presentation EDAA 2-2-16

ACE and Your Town Alabama

What a great turnout for Your Town Alabama last month. Look at all the participants from ACE Towns!

ACE 2015 Star Awards Announced

AUBURN, ALABAMA- The Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) presented the 2015 ACE Star Awards at the annual Alabama Community Leadership Network (ACLN) Conference Award Luncheon, October 6, 2015 in Auburn, Alabama. The ACE Star Awards recognizes indi …

2015 ACE Star Nominations

It’s ACE Star Award time!  The opportunity to recognize the 2015 ACE “shining stars”; individuals of the ACE Program that have performed above and beyond the call of duty.  These individuals can include ACE Partners/Members, ACE Community Participants …

Five New Towns Become Alabama Communities of Excellence

Tuscaloosa, Alabama—Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) recently designated five new communities after they successfully completed the ACE three-phase approach to economic and community development for cities with populations between 2,000 and 18,0 …

Knowledge is Power: Preparing Leaders for Alabama Economic Development

Originally contributed to the EDAA Journal, Winter 2015 by Joe A. Sumners, Ph.D., director of the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), a partnership between Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Amelia H. …

Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Training Workshop Attended by Nine Alabama Communities

Mayors, City Clerks, City Council Members and other key leaders from nine Alabama communities including Abbeville, Chelsea, Geneva, Lineville, Oneonta, Orange Beach, Tallassee, Wetumpka and York participated in an Application Training Workshop held on …

ACE Communities Application Now Closed

2015 Application Process and Selection Criteria Overview Applications are disseminated to mayors of all eligible municipalities in Alabama (cities between 2,000 and 18,000 in population). The application form consists of questions designed to determine …

ACE Makes the Alabama League of Municipalities Magazine

Visit their magazine (link below) or download the two pages devoted to ACE here.    

Wrapup: Economic & Community Development Incentives: Nuts & Bolts and Small Town Perspectives

Tapping potential through taxes and partnerships, Mayor Hollie Cost, Mayor of ACE Town Montevallo Download Presentation Economic & Community Development Incentives: Nuts & Bolts, Thomas Longino, Balch & Bingham Download Presentation Thank y …

ACE 2014 Star Awards Announced

The Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) presented the 2014 ACE Star Awards at the annual Alabama Community Leadership Network (ACLN) Conference Award Luncheon on October 7, 2014 in Auburn, Alabama. The ACE Star Awards recognize those individuals who have performed above and beyond the call of duty and embody the principles of the ACE Program, which is a comprehensive development program designed to assist Alabama’s smaller communities in their efforts to plan, grow and prosper.

City of Heflin Industrial Development Board Receives Best Regional Website WebAward

Heflin, Ala. – The City of Heflin Industrial Development Board received a “Best Regional Website” award in the 2014 Web Marketing Association’s WebAwards, an international competition designed to judge top websites. Over 1,500 websites in 96 industry c …