Santa’s Head elf visited Cullman County today.

This Elf was not sent by Santa Claus from the North Pole. He was sent by the Santa Claus from Montgomery named Governor Kay Ivey.

Kenneth W. Boswell is her head Elf.

Mr. Boswell is the Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). He is unquestionably one of the most influential people in the state of Alabama.

Without question, he is THE most sought-after man in Alabama when it comes to the disbursement of Federal and State funds to municipalities, county governments, and economic development agencies.

His office is effectively the gateway through which public funding for Alabama’s infrastructure and economic well-being flows.

Today, Mr. Boswell and his assistant Russell Sellers visited Cullman County.

Led by Dale Greer of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, Santa’s Head Elves met with personnel from our economic development teams, county educators, state legislative delegation and the mayors from the across the entire county.

Mr. Boswell explains the nature of his visit to Cullman in this interview.

Note: His particular emphasis on the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census near the end of the exchange:

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs was created by the Legislature as an arm of the Governor’s Office in 1983. The enabling legislation for the department is codified in Title 41, Chapter 23 of the Code of Alabama, and many of ADECA’s duties are delineated in this chapter.

The ADECA Director is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and serves, along with the Deputy Director, at the pleasure of the Governor.

The Legislature established ADECA to streamline and professionalize the management of some federally-funded programs administered by the state. By consolidating numerous agencies into a single department, administrative costs were reduced while ensuring that strict federal requirements for comprehensive monitoring, reporting and auditing were implemented.

Today, ADECA is responsible for administering a broad range of state and federal programs that contribute to the department’s mission — Building Better Alabama Communities. Each year we distribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Alabama cities, counties, non-profit organizations and others. Our grants support economic development projects, infrastructure improvements, job training, energy conservation, law enforcement, traffic safety, recreation development and assistance to low-income families. We also work to monitor and protect Alabama’s water resources, and we distribute state and federal surplus property to local governments and other qualified organizations.

ADECA programs are as diverse as the people of Alabama and impact every corner of the state. The department works to assist children, the elderly, victims of crime and abuse, the disadvantaged and poor and the unemployed. Businesses, local governments, schools and non-profit organizations benefit from the hundreds of grants and contracts administered by ADECA.

About Kenneth W. Boswell

Governor Kay Ivey appointed Kenneth W. Boswell as Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs in May 2017. Boswell served as the 20th mayor of the City of Enterprise before his appointment as director.

Boswell’s leadership during his 14 years as mayor have been wide-ranging. He has gotten joy from seeing citizens benefit from new park facilities, a new civic center, repaved streets and other water system improvements to the heartbreak of seeing the city and its citizens suffer the consequences of an F4 tornado that left nine people dead and $307 million in damage.

Boswell earned a reputation as one of Alabama’s most aggressive mayors, working hard to build upon the city’s solid foundation of growth and prosperity. Thanks to his leadership, Enterprise is one of the best cities in the Wiregrass to live, work and raise a family.

Before serving as mayor, Boswell worked with Kelly Foods and later with Dorsey Trailers before beginning his service with the Alabama National Guard in 1978. He embarked upon his longtime career as an insurance agent in 1978. Boswell Insurance Agency Inc. won many awards in its 30 years of existence.

A passion for civic and community involvement, Boswell has served on a myriad of local boards and commissions during his time as mayor. His long-time support for Fort Rucker and the Army Aviation Center of Excellence led to his appointment in 2012 to the Military Stability Commission. This vital board’s mission is to protect current military jobs and enhance the federal asset base in the state of Alabama.  Also, Boswell is a member and past president of the Fort Rucker/Wiregrass Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army and is active in the Friends of Fort Rucker, a local advocacy group for the military base.

Boswell serves on the State Broadband Advisory Committee, which seeks to provide broadband access to rural areas across the state. In 2013, Boswell graduated in the 23rd class of Leadership Alabama, which puts leaders from all over Alabama together to work in concert to help move Alabama forward.

Boswell and his wife, the former Melinda K. Modlin of New Brockton, have been married for 38 years and are the proud parents of a daughter, Alane Boswell Williams, and the grandparents of 18-month-old Gavin Williams.  The Boswell’s are expecting a second grandchild to be born in the summer of 2017.

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Santa’s Head Elf Comes To Cullman: Kenneth W Boswell

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.