City Employee #4 Peggy Smith Goes Out At Number 1

by | Aug 18, 2017 | Alabama News, Business, City News, Community, County News, Cullman, Cullman City, Images, People, Videos

A small gathering of people attended a retirement party for Peggy Smith at TP Country Club Wednesday evening.

Smith is the former Director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency.

She spent a few years in that role mainly attracting a little industrial development and economic growth into Cullman. She also spent some time mentoring Dale Greer who is now the Director.

This retirement party was a simple, intimate get together with a few friends and family members.

Somehow though, a handful of random folks heard about Peggy’s going away party. They decided to stop by and pay their respects. This group included:

  • The entire Cullman City Council
  • Most of Cullman’s legislative delegation
  • U.S. Congressman Robert Aderholt
  • The bulk of the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce
  • All personnel from the Cullman Economic Development Agency
  • Several dozens top business, civic, educational & political leaders from around Cullman (and the State of Alabama).

There was some food served along with a few cool summer beverages. The party lasted a couple of hours. The gathering was primarily a chance for a few people who worked with Peggy at CEDA to bid her a gracious retirement farewell.

And except for a few people who insisted upon getting up and giving speeches, making toasts, presenting gifts, and overwhelming the humble, Taoist master Smith, the gathering remained as she hoped it would: calm, intimate and quiet with a minimum of accolades directed at her:

According to Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs, during his preparation for his evening’s remarks, he learned that Smith is Employee Number 4 in the City of Cullman’s personnel records. That is, she is listed as the fourth person ever logged into the City of Cullman’s personnel system. Jacobs says that as of 2017, there have been over 3,300 employees added since Smith hired on.

While she is retiring from CEDA, she is far from ‘retired.’ She has a three-year consulting contract with the City of Cullman Industrial Development Board. She has also taken a position with the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce where she will truly get back to her roots as a community activist focusing on the Chamber’s ambitious 5-year Converging For Success initiative.

It all seemed like the perfect farewell party for someone who is going away, but is by no means gone.

The following folks were the ones that insisted on getting up and speaking about Peggy’s legacy and impact on Cullman and the State of Alabama:

Dale Greer – Cullman Economic Development Agency

Greg Canfield – Alabama Secretary of Commerce

Albert von Pelser – Plant Manager REHAU Incorporated

Brad Pepper – Director Topre America Corporation

Woody Jabobs – Mayor, City of Cullman

Garlan Gudger – President Pro Tem Cullman City Council

Mark Bussman – City Industrial Development Board

Raymond Williams – County Industrial Development Board

While Peggy Smith may be City Employee #4, Mayor Jacobs and the speakers above made it obvious that she was Number 1.

Rightly so for the leading female pioneer in the field of economic development who started her career back in 1975 and has since brought hundreds of millions of dollars of industrial development, economic prosperity, and countless opportunities to thousands of Cullman residents during her time as Director.

Simply stated, Peggy Smith put Cullman on her back in 1975 and turned it into one of the most remarkable economic success stories ever told in any American city … of any size, ever.

As Secretary Canfield said, “Peggy Smith … she’s a Legend.”

 

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Cullman Economic Development Agency

City Employee #4 Peggy Smith Goes Out At Number 1

Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.