In a significant announcement by Governor Kay Ivey, Ellen McNair, a prominent figure in the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, has been appointed as the next Alabama Secretary of Commerce.

As a photographer hired to document her retirement reception from the Chamber of Commerce and her transition to this esteemed position, I had the honor of capturing this pivotal moment in Alabama's history.

Ellen McNair's appointment comes as Greg Canfield, who served as Secretary of Commerce for 12 years, steps down from his role. Governor Ivey commended Canfield for his invaluable contributions to Alabama's economic growth, highlighting his instrumental role in securing over $42 billion in new investments and creating 78,000 jobs during his tenure.

As McNair prepares to assume the mantle of Secretary of Commerce, Governor Ivey expressed confidence in her ability to continue driving economic development statewide. With a distinguished career spanning 40 years in economic development, McNair's track record speaks for itself. Her tenure as chief economic development officer at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce saw the implementation of numerous projects, including the landmark Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

McNair's appointment marks a significant milestone, not only for her but also for the state of Alabama. As the first female project manager at the Alabama Department of Commerce and the first woman Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) in Alabama, McNair's achievements pave the way for future generations of female leaders in economic development.

As McNair embarks on this new chapter, the Montgomery community bids her a fond farewell while eagerly anticipating the impact of her leadership on a statewide level. Her commitment to smart and strategic economic development, coupled with her passion for improving the lives of Alabama families, ensures that she is well-equipped to lead the state towards continued prosperity.

As a photographer tasked with documenting this momentous occasion, I am humbled to play a small role in preserving this piece of Alabama's history. From capturing the heartfelt farewells at McNair's retirement reception to documenting her inauguration as Alabama Secretary of Commerce, these images serve as a testament to the dedication, leadership, and vision of Ellen McNair and the transformative impact she will undoubtedly have on our state.

Location: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center

Client: Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Camera: Canon 5D Mark IV

Lenses: Canon EF 24–105, Canon EF 70-200

Lens Harness: Think Tank Photo Pixel Racing Harness