August Luncheon 2023
August Luncheon 2023
Wednesday, August 2, 2023 (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) (CDT)
The Chamber's monthly business luncheon provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to showcase their businesses, promote products, and let others know how you can serve their business needs, all while enjoying a delicious lunch, prepared by a local caterer and a spectacular speaker!
Speaker: Jo Bonner is the fourth president of the University of South Alabama.
Previously, Bonner served as chief of staff to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. He joined the Ivey Administration in December 2018, as Senior Advisor to the Governor. Before joining the Governor’s Office, he served as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at The University of Alabama System (UAS) from 2013 to 2018. During his final year at UAS, he was an executive on loan, serving as Interim Executive Director of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority.
For more than a decade, he represented Alabama’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was first elected to the 108th Congress in November 2002 and was reelected to five additional terms. As a student at The University of Alabama, he worked on Capitol Hill as an intern for Congressman Jack Edwards. After graduation, he returned to Washington as press secretary and later chief of staff to Congressman Sonny Callahan.
In Congress, he earned a reputation as a respected and influential voice of reason in both Alabama and Washington. He was a member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he served on three key subcommittees, and chaired the House Ethics Committee. Widely respected on both sides of the aisle, he was selected by House Speaker John Boehner to serve as chairman of Ethics during the 112th Congress. His crowning Congressional accomplishment came in 2012 when Airbus announced plans to build its first U.S. Final Assembly Line in Mobile. Over the years, Congressman Bonner developed friendships and strategic partnerships with the top corporate leaders at Airbus, one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies. Airbus has invested more than $1 billion in Alabama, creating thousands of new jobs in the aerospace industry. This puts Mobile on track to become the fourth largest commercial aviation city in the world.
President Bonner has received numerous awards and honors, including a 2021 induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor; the Academy is the state’s premiere recognition of 100 living Alabamians for their outstanding accomplishments and service. In 2016, the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) created the inaugural Congressman Jo Bonner Spirit of Leadership Award and honored Bonner as its first recipient. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor the U.S. Navy bestows on a civilian. He also received the 2012 Governor Bob Riley Building a Better Alabama Award by the BCA.
Bonner earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from The University of Alabama in 1982. He is married to the former Janée Lambert, of Mobile, and they are the parents of a daughter, Lee, and a son, Robins.
Sponsor: Keesler Federal Credit Union
With over 75 years of stellar service under our belt, Keesler Federal is not only the largest Mississippi-based credit union, but also one of the largest credit unions in the Southeast.
From a modest beginning in 1947, the founding members of Keesler Federal Credit Union had a shared vision. A vision of unity and the common good. Of building a cooperative financial partnership that would pool funds for the benefit of all members. An enduring vision of People Helping People. Fast forward seven decades and that guiding vision remains as crystal clear as it was then.
Our service footprint has broadened beyond the Mississippi Gulf Coast to include the Hattiesburg and Jackson metro areas, St. Tammany and Orleans parishes in Louisiana and the Mobile, AL area. As we welcome more members to the Keesler Federal family, add more products and services, refine technologies, and embrace innovation, we will never lose the relationship-based, local focus that is an essential part of the credit union experience.
Caterer: Naman’s Catering has been the Premier Caterer for the Gulf Coast for over 30 years. Naman’s Catering specializes in full-service catering and event management for corporate events, galas, fundraisers, and weddings. “Throughout our expansion, we have kept to the exceptional standards that have distinguished our company since we began. We bring this outstanding service and presentation to many venues across the Gulf Coast.”
Business of the Month: Bryant Bank
The details, exceptional customer service, personal relationships, and customer success — Bryant Bank cares because those things matter.
To be legendary, we put care into action and work hard each day so that every Alabamian can experience a financially stable future. While banking will change and communities will grow, our traditional culture will remain consistent as we embrace innovation and change together.
We will do everything with exceptional ethics and integrity in mind. We will offer sound advice and honest evaluations, always. Our relationships will be built on trust and communication.
We care because family is at the heart of what matters most. And, in doing so, our customers reach their full potential, businesses excel, and Alabama thrives.
Founded in 2005, Bryant Bank proudly operates 18 branches located in five of the six largest metropolitan markets in the state of Alabama: Huntsville, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Mobile, and Baldwin County. We offer personal, business, and mortgage banking services as well as Treasury Management Services, Correspondent Banking, and Capital Markets.