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Gov. Kay Ivey is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

The most important duty of a lieutenant governor is to be ready to become governor.

Judging by the significant accomplishments in Kay Ivey’s nearly 11 months as Alabama’s 54th governor, she has proven herself ready by successfully steadying what she called “the ship of state” and then steering Alabama into strong economic waters.

Yellowhammer News is proud to announce that Gov. Ivey is a 2018 Woman of Impact because as Alabama’s second female governor, she is a trailblazer who restored our state government’s image when we needed strong, dignified, unifying leadership the most.

Gov. Ivey has presided over accomplishments that should make all Alabamians proud, including:

— Record low unemployment (3.5 percent in December).
— Record exports of Alabama goods and services in 2017.
— More than $6 billion in new direct investments committed in the state that will create 13,000 jobs.
— A conservative, fiscally responsible state budget.
— Launch of the “Strong Start, Strong Finish” education initiative that prioritizes early childhood education, computer science in middle and high school, and workforce preparedness.
— Attraction of major businesses to Alabama, including the coming Toyota-Mazda plant in Huntsville that will provide an estimated 4,000 jobs.
Ivey enjoys the 3rd highest approval rating of governors nationwide, according to a recent Morning Consult poll, and her political history includes several interesting firsts:

First female student government vice president at Auburn University.
First Alabama Girls State alumna elected to a statewide office.
First Republican to be elected state treasurer since Reconstruction.
First Republican woman to hold the office of lieutenant governor.
First Republican lieutenant governor re-elected to the office.
First Republican female governor.
Gov. Ivey grew up an only child in small-town Camden, Alabama, in Wilcox County and worked on the family farm where the Iveys raised horses, grew timber and farmed cattle. Her father served in World War II as an army major in the field artillery and her mother’s work included time as vice president at Camden Bank.

Gov. Ivey has worked as a high school teacher and a banker and has long advocated for women in government through her work with Alabama Girls State — beginning her own career in public service when then-Governor Fob James appointed her to the state cabinet in 1979.

War Eagle, Madam Governor, and thank you for rising to an unexpected challenge … and for knocking it out of the park.

Join Governor Ivey and special guests from across the state for a Birmingham awards event March 29 honoring the 20 Yellowhammer Women of Impact whose powerful contributions advance Alabama. Details and registration may be found here.

(Image: Governor’s Office, Hal Yeager)

Rachel Blackmon Bryars is managing editor of Yellowhammer News.