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  • ADOR Tightens Tax-Exempt Procedure

    The Alabama Department of Revenue has issued a change on Sept. 8 to the procedure for the Sales and Use Tax exemption, which became effective Jan. 1 of this year, according to a release from Bradley Arant.

    The new notice reads: “Exemption Certificates will be issued as of the project start date or the received date of the application. If, upon receipt of the application, the project has already commenced, the certificate will be issued as of the received date of the application. Any purchases made prior to the issuance of a certificate will not be exempt.”

    The release from Bradley Arant noted that “in the past, the ADOR person signing the exemption certificate would (at least in some circumstances) back-date the certificate to a date that corresponded with the start date of the project if the project had already commenced. Thus, the exemption was made retroactive to a date earlier than the date the application was submitted to, or approved by, the ADOR.”

    The release continued: “Please be aware of this new but low-profile guidance issued by the ADOR in case you are in the process of bidding for a tax-exempt project or applying for one of these exemption certificates. This will certainly encourage contractors to file the exemption application expeditiously, even if they lack some of the information requested on the application form or by ADOR personnel.”


  • It’s Been Quite a Year

    billy norrell at deskQ&A with Alabama AGC CEO Billy Norrell

    At what point in your career did you first start thinking about the potential opportunity to be a chief executive? Was that a lifelong aspiration of yours, or did you see an opportunity later in your career? I really began to understand what associations did for their members when I moved to Washington, DC right after graduation from Auburn University.  Working for Congressmen Bill Dickinson and Sonny Callahan I was exposed to the different constituencies represented by all types of associations.  That gave me a real appreciation for what they did.  When I moved back to Montgomery in 1994, I began lobbying at the statehouse and became even more aware of the role associations play in getting things done on behalf of their members.  I was contacted about the position at the Alabama Road Builders Association in 1997.  I had always been aware of ARBA because of our family business (G. W. Norrell Contracting Co., Inc.) and the role my grandfather and father had in the organization as past presidents – I grew up attending ARBA conventions.  I got to know many well-respected association executives in Montgomery and honestly never expected to be offered an opportunity like that at such a young age, but I got lucky and stayed almost 16 years with ARBA.  While I had never identified this as a lifelong career goal, it has been great so far because I like interacting with people and I grew up appreciating the construction industry, and this position gives you the best of both of those worlds.

    What is the most exciting part of your job? Interacting with the members.  I enjoy the face to face involvement with this industry and the families and individuals that keep it going.  It truly is a very social and friendly industry.

    What is the most surprising part of your job?   The unity within the industry.  Even though there is intense competition for work, the AGC family ultimately pulls together for what is best for everyone.  I think that is a very unique trait for such a diverse group of companies, but shows that everyone is on the same team.

    What are your top priorities for the organization?   We plan to continue expanding the reach of our CompTrustAGC program.  Providing our members with this service is vital.  We offer the best and most stable product available to our industry.  I also expect us to continue to recruit every company who wants to be a part of the oldest and most respected construction association in Alabama.  With thousands of registered contractors in Alabama, we have a great opportunity to expand the work of Alabama AGC.

    Where do you see Alabama AGC, and yourself, in 10 years?   For Alabama AGC, I expect us to have more members, a stronger stable of resources for our members and a continuation and expansion of the services that we provide.  For myself, I hope to have at least two of my three boys out of college.

    How do you prioritize both large and small-scale initiatives?   I am relying on the years of experience that the staff at Alabama AGC brings.  We have a tremendous team here and are blessed in that regard.  We all work together on initiatives that impact our membership.

    Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.   I was fortunate to be a part of numerous successful efforts in the Legislature while with the Alabama Road Builders Association – from increasing liability protection for transportation contractors to successful funding initiatives to help grow the program.  But the thing I have been most proud of was having a bridge in Georgiana named for my father for his 80th birthday. It was just a simple joint resolution, but it meant a lot.

    Any important processes you’ve implemented since assuming your position?We’ve really dedicated ourselves to rebranding Alabama AGC and telling our story on a larger scale.  We do tremendous things here and we need to make sure people know about what all we offer and can do for them.

    Discuss the importance of the construction industry to the state of Alabama.  We make the economic engine turn in Alabama.  From the people we employ to the dollars we inject into the local households and businesses, construction makes it all happen.  And Alabama has the reputation of being one of the best nationally in getting quality work done on time and on budget.

    Tell us about your background. What was your first job out of school?  I grew up in Greenville in Butler County, went to Fort Dale Academy and started work for Bates’ House of Turkey when I was 15.  It was a great opportunity and I am thankful for the Bates family for letting me be a part of their team.  The job taught me a lot about responsibility and doing things the right way.

    How would you categorize your leadership style? Do you rely heavily on your management team to keep the wheels turning, or are you more hands-on on a day-to-day basis?   I like to be in the middle of everything and know what’s going on, but also prefer leave everyone to do their own things their own way.  I’ll offer thoughts and suggestions, but the products that our folks produce are great ones.  The staff here is unbelievable with so much institutional knowledge, and our members really need to know how fortunate they are to have such dedication and experience working for them.  It makes this organization very unique and allows us to stand out in our field.  I’m confident we will be showing how much more we can accomplish in the coming years by really promoting Alabama AGC to our membership as well as those we hope to join the team.

    Favorite TV show?   Don’t really have one.  Fishing shows, concerts.

    Favorite band/music?  I’m a Metalhead at heart – KISS, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc.  But I also enjoy Son Volt, Ryan Adams, Frank Zappa, The Jayhawks, The Smiths, Jamey Johnson, Drive-by Truckers, Steely Dan.

    What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?  Music, tennis and fly fishing.  I spend a lot of time with my family (George, William and Walton) and Stephanie and I like to travel with them.  I coached them in everything I could and their sports, school and activities are a major part of our daily lives.  Lake Martin is a favorite spot, and the North Carolina mountains.


  • What Our Members Are Saying

    What our members say about us is everything. If the Alabama AGC is doing its job well, their jobs get easier. That’s because we have a simple philosophy: Alabama AGC members set policy and the staff implements it.

    So, we regularly ask-for and listen closely-to their feedback. Here are some recent comments:

    “I was active in the AGC. The AGC set me on the path. It is a good fraternity of people. When I came up the AGC was very involved in labor negotiations at that time. We were all union contractors. The AGC led the negotiations through all those turbulent, difficult years. I was on the committee that hired (former AGC CEO Henry T. Hagood, Jr.). He was just a young insurance salesman. At the time, the AGC probably had a net worth of $50,000. The great thing he did was set the stage for this organization and all the contractors to benefit from it.  I’m comfortable now that (the strength of the AGC) will be handled appropriately, (that we will) keep this organization strong indefinitely.”– Miller Gorrie, chairman of Brasfield & Gorrie in Birmingham and 1972 Alabama AGC president

    “Being a member of AGC has been an invaluable experience for me. A member of AGC gains access to an experienced staff knowledgeable about the industry and our government.  This staff does a phenomenal job in providing classes on the latest technology, ie: BIM, that is required in our industry to stay on the cutting edge.  AGC has brought enormous benefits to our company: Building new relationships on a local and national level, numerous resources at our fingertips to move our organization to the next level, working with general contractors, other subcontractors and the state Licensing Board for General Contractors on new legislation. I would recommend for everyone in our industry to be a member of AGC.”—Mark Harry, secretary-treasurer, Marathon Electrical Contractors, Birmingham

    “A small construction company can make no better investment than joining AGC. The information available through AGC allows its members to stay abreast of regulations, trends, changes of law and accounting rules before they happen. By combining our voices under one banner we can be heard. Joining AGC in the early 1970s and becoming active in the organization is the best business decision Whaley Construction ever made.”– Alex Whaley, chairman, Whaley Construction Co. in Troy and 2008 Alabama AGC president

    “The benefits of being a member of Alabama AGC are numerous. AGC’s education programs, insurance, and affinity programs, as well as its advocacy and political clout on the state and the local level has been invaluable. One of the biggest added benefits to membership in Alabama AGC is access to AGC of America and its vast resources on the national and international level. AGC of America maintains excellent relationships with all the Federal agencies with which Caddell does business, giving us access to the key decision makers within each agency. In addition, our legislative voice on a national level is greatly enhanced by the clout of knowledgeable construction activists who understand our business and are well known and respected on the Hill.”– B.E. Stewart, president and CEO, Caddell Construction Co., Montgomery, and 2006 Alabama AGC president

    “Being a member of AGC over the past 40-plus years has been of immeasurable benefit to our company. It has given us the ability to stay up on constantly changing government regulations, given us a political voice both nationally and statewide, and provided us with a network of outstanding subcontractors and suppliers which we can rely on. Ultimately, the overall goal in business is to make money. Through AGC’s educational programs and insurance program we save approximately $20,000 per year. It is the nation’s leading trade organization, and I am proud to say I am a member of AGC.”– Ricky Saliba, president, Saliba Construction, Dothan, and 1998 Alabama AGC president

    “BL Harbert is very proud to have been a decades-long member of AGC and what this organization represents. As an individual contractor, it would be difficult for our voice to be heard, but working with AGC enables the combined voices of contractors throughout the state to tackle major issues impacting our industry and the state as a whole. The greatest challenge facing our industry is workforce development and lack of skilled workers. AGC has been and remains at the forefront of leading the construction industry’s workforce training efforts, through actual hands-on instruction programs, as well as spearheading legislative efforts to obtain public/private funding.”– Gary W. Savage, president, BL Harbert International’s U.S. Group in Birmingham and 2014 Alabama AGC treasurer

    “A set dollar amount cannot be placed on membership in AGC.  Tangible benefits include savings on insurance products as well as services of companies that AGC partners with on products such as FedEx and BP.  Intangible benefits include the ability to network with other companies both locally and nationally in a non-competitive environment and the ability to learn from others who perform the same type of work.  The biggest benefit is the legislative work that AGC does at both the national and state levels.  No member has time to watch every bill that comes through the legislative process or every new potential regulation from government agencies, but the staff at AGC does an excellent job doing just that. AGC membership has benefitted our company in the following ways: allowed us to team up on projects with other AGC contractors, introduced us to cutting edge technology and processes at AGC conventions and seminars, introduced us to companies from other areas of the country that call us now when they do work in Huntsville, allowed us to establish a relationship and comfort level with other prime contractors and subcontractors before those relationships are needed when bidding new work.”–Algernon Stanley, PE, vice president project management, Stanley Construction Company, Inc., and 2009 Alabama AGC president


  • Construction Votes 2014

    09.16.2014 More
  • CompTrustAGC: The Best in the Industry

    09.03.2014 More
  • An Hour with Miller Gorrie

    09.03.2014 More
  • The AGC Health Insurance Alternative

    08.18.2014 More
  • 2014 BuildSouth Awards dinner set for January 16, 2015

    07.31.2014 More
  • Governor, Lt. Governor Join Members At Alabama AGC Chapter Convention

    06.30.2014 More
  • AGC Can Help Control Your Retirement Plan Costs

    06.10.2014 More