Fayette Mayor Ray Nelson recently announced the appointment of Bobby Avant as local coordinator for the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Program. Avant replaces longtime ACE coordinator Larry Pinkerton of the Turner Insurance Agency.
The ACE program uses a comprehensive, three-phase approach to assist participating communities in planning and preparing for a more vibrant future. Throughout each of these phases, ACE partners from the private sector, government agencies and universities work with each community to successfully achieve its goals.
Created in 2002 as a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of utilizing the collective expertise of its partner organizations, ACE provides participants with community development programs and tools needed to insure long term success found through one organization.
To participate in the ACE program, communities must first submit a completed application and be selected as a participant. At the beginning of each selection process, applications are mailed to the mayors of those communities having the qualifying population of 2,000 to 18,000. The application process for Fayette began in 2003. Fayette was admitted to the 2005 class of applicants, designated an ACE community in 2007, and recertified in 2011. Mayor Nelson expressed his strong appreciation to Pinkerton for his leadership over the years in the City’s acquiring and renewing its ACE certification.
The main criteria used in selecting ACE participants are: 1) the level of local commitment to the ACE program, 2) the community’s capacity to support the ACE program, and 3) the provision of complete and accurate information in the application. Avant cited Nelson’s strong commitment to the ACE Program as being a key factor in Fayette’s successful involvement with the Program.
In 2013 Avant chaired a committee to participate in an ACE Tourism Survey. Detailed information on 10 regular events and 10 local attractions was submitted and can be viewed on the ACE Web site.
Avant’s first task as ACE coordinator will be to submit updated information, required semiannually by the program. Avant commented that this is an upbeat way to begin, as he can report on progress in services such as the Fayette Aquatic Center and the City’s new Web site, industrial development successes like the opening of Fayette Fabrication, and improvements such as infrastructure upgrades. He said he is looking forward to working with newly-appointed ACE Executive Director Sidney Hoover.