In January 2011, Gov. Robert Bentley named Jim Byard Jr. to be the new director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. At the time of his appointment, Jim was serving his third term as mayor of the City of Prattville.
When elected in 2000, he was the youngest mayor in the city’s history. He had previously been elected to the Prattville City Council at the age of 26 where he served two terms, one as council president.
During his tenure as mayor, Prattville experienced rapid growth and development with many national retailers opening stores in the city.
In 2004-2005 he served as president of the Alabama League of Municipalities, a nonpartisan association of more than 440 Alabama cities and towns.
Jim served on the board of directors of the National League of Cities. The league is the country’s oldest and largest municipal government organization, representing about 19,000 cities, towns, and villages.
Jim currently serves on the boards of directors of the Air University Foundation, the American Red Cross of Central Alabama, and the Montgomery Area Zoological Society. He is vice-chair of the Troy University Montgomery Campus Advisory Council, a member of the Auburn Montgomery Chancellor’s Advisory Committee and President of the Prattville Kiwanis Club.
His 18 years of municipal government experience gave Jim an opportunity to learn, from a local perspective, the important role ADECA plays in community development.
As the Director of ADECA, Jim oversees a staff of more than 200 and a budget of about $350 million annually. Working as an arm of the governor’s office, ADECA awards hundreds of grants each year to city and county governments and nonprofit organizations. Communities across the state depend on ADECA funding to help with economic development, job training, law enforcement, energy conservation, recreation projects, community services and much more.
Jim Byard has lived in Prattville since he was four years old, attended Autauga County public schools and graduated from Prattville High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with double minors in business and sociology from Troy University Montgomery.
He and his wife, Beverly, live in the Daniel Pratt Historic District with their three children: Marylise, James III and Richard.
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