It’s a philosophy that Bryant Whaley has put into practice over and over in his five years as head of the Randolph County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA), particularly in his efforts to bring businesses to Randolph County.
And now he’s put that philosophy into practice in his own career.
“If you don’t apply for something the answer’s always no,” Whaley said.
In December Whaley applied for a job as the director of the Prattville Economic Development Authority, and later this month he will leave RCEDA and accept that position.
Whaley’s departure has been in the works and mostly settled for several weeks but could not be announced because Prattville had yet to make its decision official. That changed when the Prattville City Council officially approved Whaley’s hire at their meeting Tuesday night.
“I see it as going from being a Conference USA football coach to being an SEC coach,” Whaley said. “You’re looking at the population of Randolph County is 23,000. Prattville is 38,000. It’s the 12th or 13th largest city in the state. I-65 is going through there, the median income is more, the traffic count is more, they’ve got got industries there too. The Robert Trent Jones golf course, they had the first bass trail there.
“The aspects of economic development still stay the same, it’s just a lot more resources,” Whaley said.
Whaley is a graduate of Handley High School and has spent most of his professional career in Roanoke. He plans to keep his Roanoke home and maintain those roots, but the opportunity for a new challenge and a step a forward in his career was too good to pass up.
The Prattville job came open late last year, and after doing some research on the position, he got his application in just two days before the December 28 deadline.
The process accelerated from there. He quickly earned an interview, and was able to impress the decision makers in Prattville with his track record in Randolph County.
With Whaley moving on, the RCEDA board of directors will begin the process of finding a replacement. Whaley’s last day in Randolph County will be February 17, but he admits he’ll be interested to see who is hired to replace him.
“I want to make sure they love Randolph County as much as I do,” Whaley said. “I know that sounds cliché. But I’ve got great relationships with every mayor, every commissioner, every legislator. Being from here, coming in and knowing a lot of people, that made it easier to do the job. Now it’s just going to be the next one to keep everything going.”
The RCEDA board has formed a search committee and has begun to advertise for the job. But it could be several months until a permanent replacement is identified and hired. Compensation for the RCEDA director is jointly funded by the county’s four main municipalities and the county commission, so their input will also be sought as part of the search process.
If you are interested in applying for this position, you can click on this link to review the requirements of the job: