Is political corruption rampant here?

Between 2003-2006 five CFO’s of HealthSouth were convicted of fraud.

Would it be appropriate to assume all CFO’s in the Birmingham area are crooked?

I think we can agree there was something in the corporate culture or structure at HealthSouth that created such blatant fraud. Continue reading Is political corruption rampant here?

Is racism the problem with Birmingham?

Birmingham during the early '60's

I hear it regularly, “The problem with Birmingham is racism.”

One of my first blogs, Let’s move to the suburbs and attack the city, quickly attracted two comments.  One was from (I assume) an African American blaming Birmingham’s problems on whites, “The racism is so obvious and so thick you can cut it with a knife.” Continue reading Is racism the problem with Birmingham?

Let’s spend $125 million stealing from one another

Birmingham Steel Mills 1910-1919--Birmingham was known as the Pittsburgh of the South

Birmingham has always been known as a “steel” town.  Now we should be known as the “steal” town.

While our peer cities are recruiting companies from other regions, we steal businesses from each another. Continue reading Let’s spend $125 million stealing from one another

Your local 911 call could kill you

Our government structure puts your life at risk

Will your 911 cell phone call save you in an emergency?

Maybe not if you’re calling from within our region.

I have a friend who witnessed a wreck near Blue Lake Road off of Hwy 280. He immediately dialed 911 but ran into a geographic overlap. Continue reading Your local 911 call could kill you

Birmingham is in the center of my heart

The Hess Camellia Garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The year 1999 was painful for me and my family.  My wife, Ina-Mae, was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Fortunately the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is located here in Birmingham.  And I’m absolutely convinced Ina-Mae would not have survived without UAB.

Patients come from all over the world to visit UAB.  When Ina-Mae registered with doctors at Kirklin Clinic, nurses seemed genuinely surprised we lived almost in walking distance. Continue reading Birmingham is in the center of my heart

Convoluted government brings us to our knees

St. Louis and Birmingham surprisingly have a lot in common

 

The year was 2002.  Dave Adkisson, the then Birmingham Chamber of Commerce President, and I were in St. Louis jogging early one morning when we struck up a conversation with a local runner.

He asked where we were from and why we were visiting St. Louis.  We told him we were with a group of about 100 business leaders and politicians from Birmingham who had come to St. Louis to learn about his city’s successes.

His response was one of disbelief.  “Why in the world would anyone think there was anything good to learn about St. Louis?” Continue reading Convoluted government brings us to our knees

How can we have UAB and suck?

 

UAB has an annual  economic impact of  $4.6 billion

When our Chamber of Commerce (BBA) visited Charlotte in 2004, we were greeted by the President of the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Charlotte’s a city on fire, but the first words out the President’s mouth were, “We don’t have anything like UAB.”

Can you believe a great city like Charlotte is jealous of us? Continue reading How can we have UAB and suck?

Does Birmingham have poor corporate leadership?

Alabama Ballet performs Nutcracker--corporate leaders have made Birmingham an arts powerhouse

 

I had the opportunity to talk with a new corporate CEO who moved to Birmingham from Nashville a few years back.

I asked, “So what do you think of Birmingham?”  Then I looked down at my shoes waiting to hear how much Nashville had outpaced Birmingham.

Continue reading Does Birmingham have poor corporate leadership?

BBJ Readers support unified metro government–two to one

 

I was dumbfounded when I saw the results.

The Birmingham Business Journal ran a poll the week of February 29, 2012.

Readers were asked, “Would you be in favor of a unified metro area government for Birmingham?”

The response was more than two to one in favor. Continue reading BBJ Readers support unified metro government–two to one

Who’s the mayor of our region?

Mayor Petelos & Mayor Bell at launch of BBA Blueprint Birmingham

 

We know it’s not the mayor of Birmingham.

The City of Birmingham represents only 19% of the population of the metro area.

And Mayor Bell, who I strongly believe understands the importance of regionalism, has said on numerous occasions, “I was not elected mayor of the region.”

Continue reading Who’s the mayor of our region?

To begin a conversation about a better Birmingham