No, this is not a typo.
Instead of Jeffrey Bayer, you may have expected, to read “Nick Saban edged out by Dabo Swinney.”
If you live in Birmingham and don’t know Nick Saban or Dabo Swinney, which seems implausible– Saban is the head football coach at Alabama and is a college football legend.
Swinney is the head coach at Clemson. Swinney’s team recently beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Football Championship and Coach Swinney also appears to be on his way to becoming a college football legend.
Jeffrey Bayer, on the other hand, is a local commercial real estate legend, who likes and watches football.
How did Bayer edge out Saban?
Jeffrey recently wrote a remarkable column for ComebackTown that may change the conversation and the future of our Birmingham region.
Jeffrey lamented that fewer people are employed in Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker Counties today than nearly a decade ago.
He complained that it’s difficult to convince a fast growing out of state company to invest in a stagnant Birmingham when it can deploy its people and assets in cities that are having double digit job growth like Nashville or Charlotte.
And he blames our stagnation on our inability to work together as a region.
The response to his piece has been extraordinary.
ComebackTown published an article about Nick Saban’s Birmingham connection about a year ago. The Saban piece has been read by more people than any ComebackTown column in our history–until now.
More people read Jeffrey’s piece in four days than Nick Saban’s in the past year.
Jeffrey’s vision of Birmingham and regionalism has quite literally blown up the Internet…in a positive way.
What’s going on?
Five years ago, when ComebackTown began publication, it was impossible to get two rational people to discuss regionalism. Most folks thought it was not worth their time or energy because they thought it impossible.
But as Birmingham has fallen further behind our sister cities and as younger people have grown into adulthood, the mood has changed.
Jeffrey proposes we begin a serious conversation about regionalism and/or regional cooperation.
His piece has had thousands of social media views, likes, shares, and comments—with most being positive.
- “The time is now!”
- “Count me in!”
- “Amen Amen”
- “I applaud your boldness for beginning the conversation.”
- Relationships and communication build shape and foster one’s culture.
- “Well done, Jeffery Bayer, for bringing the issue to light.
- “Agree completely. The ability to envision and see something better.”
- “It takes a bold move by someone like you to make our dream come true.”
There have even been calls for Jeffrey to run for political office.
Nick Saban may have the ‘process.’
But Jeffrey Bayer has the vision.
And we in Birmingham have the potential and 2017 will be our year.
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David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).
Invite David to speak to your group about a better Birmingham. firstname.lastname@example.org.