Rural Development Strategist Economic Development Association of Alabama
Brian Hilson was recently appointed Rural Development Strategist for the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA), where he will focus on helping to prepare Alabama’s rural communities to be more successful.
He began his career in economic development in Alabama in 1980. Prior to his joining the EDAA in 2019, Brian was the President and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) since 2011. Previously, he was President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. He joined the Chamber in 1992 as Senior Vice President of Economic Development and was named its President in 1997. Brian has also been a Vice President of the Birmingham Metropolitan Development Board and has held economic development positions with the Birmingham and Mobile Chambers of Commerce. Over the years he has worked with a wide variety of national and international companies’ economic development projects, such as Toyota, LG Electronics, Sterilite Corp., UPS, Delta Air Lines, Verizon and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.
A native of Huntsville, Brian is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. He is a graduate of Leadership Alabama, Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Huntsville/Madison County, and is active in state and national economic development organizations. He is past president of the Economic Development Association of Alabama, the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and the Japan-America Society of Alabama. He is a recipient of the Rainer Bauer Award from the Alabama Germany Partnership and the Samuel Ullman Award from the Japan-America Society of Alabama.
Having spent his entire career in the economic development profession, Brian is a strong believer that employment opportunities are the best way to make communities better.
Brian and his wife, Windy, have two married children. Carlton is an attorney with Burr Forman in Birmingham, and Abby is a teacher in Decatur, Ala. They also have three grandchildren.