Photo: City of Gadsden Mayor-elect Craig Ford (pictured at right) recently announced the members of his transition team. Pictured with Ford is former Hokes Bluff City councilman John Moore. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
As City of Gadsden Mayor-elect Craig Ford prepares to take office on November 7, he recently announced the appointment of a diverse coalition of advisors who will help him transition from citizen-businessman to chief executive officer of Etowah County’s largest municipality.
“While my primary advisors will always be the citizens of Gadsden, I know being mayor involves managing a complex system of resources, information and goals that requires that I am both deliberate and prepared,” said Ford. “So, I am looking to this dynamic team of experts to help make sure I have a thorough and thoughtful grasp on the most pressing needs and dreams for our city.”
The committee includes the following individuals:
- Melissa Juarez Battles, accounting specialist and former accountant for Alabama State Department of Education and Alabama Secretary of State’s Office
- Kent Haney, business consultant
- Rev. Z. Andre’ Huff, Gadsden City School Board Member (District 3), senior pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church
- Brett Johnson, Executive Director of Liberty Learning Foundation, adjunct instructor at Jacksonville State University
- Tena King, owner of King’s Olive Oil Company
- Larry Means, Mayor of the City of Attalla, former Alabama State Senator (District 10)
- Ruth Moffatt, Executive Director of United Way of Etowah County
- John Moore, local sales manager at Spectrum Reach, former Hokes Bluff city councilman
- Dr. Kathy Murphy, President of Gadsden State Community College
- Dr. Tony Reddick, Superintendent of Gadsden City Schools
- Rev. Grady E. Robinson, Jr., owner/operator at West Gadsden Funeral Home, Pastor of Mission Baptist Church of Gadsden
- Joey Statum, Etowah County Commissioner (District 1), realtor at Copperleaf Properties, Used Car Director at Tameron Honda
- Mandell Tillman, Manager of Tillman Consulting, LLC
- Harold Weaver, Chairman and CEO of Stamped Products, Inc.
- Tim Heard, Retired First Sergeant, United States Army
The committee will meet in mid-October and again in November after Ford has taken office. Individually, the members will aid Ford in the area(s) most relevant to their expertise. Some areas of focus for the transition team include setting and accomplishing short-term goals, coordination of meetings and action items, planning inaugural ceremonies and laying the groundwork for the stated long-term goals of the Ford administration.
Craig Ford is the owner of Ford Insurance Agency and The Messenger newspaper in Gadsden. He represented Etowah County in the Alabama House of Representatives for 18 years and was elected Mayor of Gadsden in September 2022.