FOLEY - Foley is an ACE city, or an Alabama Community of Excellence. ACE is a group of partners working together to provide Alabama communities the community development programs and tools needed to ensure their long-term success. ACE uses a three-phase approach to help with community growth: assessment, leadership development and strategic planning, and implementation and comprehensive planning. Once the three phases have been completed, the community is designated as an ACE.
In order to make the program a success, many local individuals must work closely with ACE officials, both before and after designation. The ACE Star Awards recognize individuals who have gone to great lengths to ensure the ACE Program’s success and that the cities which they serve prosper.
For 2019, Miriam Boutwell, Community Development Director for the City of Foley, received the ACE Star Award Outstanding ACE Local Coordinator due to all of her efforts to keep Foley moving forward in the right direction.
“Miriam has coordinated the ACE Program for our city since its inception,” wrote Mayor John Koniar in his letter of recommendation for Boutwell. “Without her efforts, our program would not be as highly thought of as it is. She brings expertise and skill to her position and that expertise also provides important knowledge to the ACE Program and other coordinators that she interacts with.”
Yo Johnson with the University of Alabama and a Business Advisor for Alabama’s Small Business Development Center presented Boutwell with the award during the first October council meeting, stating that in 2018 10% of all the new businesses developed were in Baldwin County. In Johnson’s letter of recommendation, she stated Boutwell submits a semi-annual report averaging over 500 pages of planning, leadership, and community development.
“Planning is part of who she is,” Johnson said. “She has orchestrated the city’s budget process to include three years so that plans are made and everyone can see the ‘Big Picture’ … She works hard, keeps the end in mind, gets things done, shares with others and is humble.”
Foley has been an ACE designee since 2012. Since then, Boutwell has been instrumental in establishing the Foley Main Street designation, managing the Historic Preservation Commission, and forming the Planning Lower Alabama Network group.
“I just wanted to say that the success that all the employees have is because of the mayor and council, and the support we get from them. If they didn’t support our endeavors to make Foley everything that it can be we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Boutwell said.
To learn more about what’s going on in Foley, check out their website at https://cityoffoley.org.