Republican State Representative Kyle South will step down from his seat in the Alabama House of Representatives to become the next leader of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

The Chamber's Board of Directors voted to hire South during a Thursday morning meeting.

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South is a native of Fayette, Alabama and earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce & Business Administration from the University of Alabama in 2004.

For the next 15 years, South was President and General Manager of his family's West Alabama TV Cable Company, which they sold in 2019.

South first ran for office in 2014 and is serving his third term as the State Representative for District 16, which includes parts of Fayette, Jefferson, Lamar and Tuscaloosa counties.

"Since the sale of the company and the transition into new ownership, I have been patiently waiting for the right opportunity that allows me to bridge my past work experiences, my love for community, and the ability to affect public policy," South said in his application for the Chamber job. "I feel that the Chamber position presents that opportunity, and my political experience is a unique qualifier."

South will step down from his seat before he takes the helm at the Chamber later this year, but with a tentative July start date, he'll serve out the rest of the 2023 legislative session before vacating the office.

He is succeeding Jim Page, the Chamber's longtime president and CEO, who resigned earlier this year after a decade in those roles to take another job in Huntsville.

“Today’s announcement is a strategic move for the Chamber,” said board chairperson Michele Coley. “Kyle has the business acumen and existing relationships already in place to continue the important role this organization plays in West Alabama to promote economic prosperity and growth. His abilities to tackle tough issues and seek solutions are qualities that will build upon the solid foundation already in place at the Chamber.”

“The opportunity to lead a 120-year-old business advocacy organization is a challenge that I feel my business experiences and serving as an elected official have prepared me for,” South said in a press release. “The Chamber has a solid reputation for serving businesses by collaborating with national, state, regional, and local government entities. I want to continue to build upon those successes with the team in place at the Chamber and the volunteer network of leaders who recognize what we have here in terms of resources and opportunities.”

For updates on this hire and more from the Chamber and South as the situation progresses, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

Editor's note: earlier versions of this report referred to South as a Congressman instead of Representative or legislator - those semantic errors have been corrected. 

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