Phenix City's Dexter Walden named Allstate Premier Agency for 2014

As a business leader and involved citizen in the Phenix City area, Allstate exclusive agency owner Dexter Walden has been designated an Allstate Premier Agency for 2014.

The Allstate Premier Agency designation is bestowed on less than 48 percent of Allstate's nearly 10,000 agency owners across the country. The designation was presented to Walden for his outstanding business performance and commitment to putting customers at the center of his agency's work, Allstate said.

"These awards are not just about successful business results," said Bob Holden, field senior vice president. "They also demonstrate Dexter's commitment to being accessible to customers and leveraging his own expertise to help ensure customers have the insurance solutions they need to protect themselves and their family."

The Dexter Walden Agency is located at 1418 14th Street in Phenix City. Phone: 334-291-0825.

Chamber's Bill Murphy completes Development Authority training

William P. "Bill" Murphy recently completed Development Authority training provided by the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government for local leaders who have been appointed or reappointed to an authority.

Murphy is executive vice president of economic development with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the Valley Partnership Joint Development Authority, based in Columbus.

Participants in the day-long training courses learn about their responsibilities as members of development authority boards and the role that development authorities serve in the local economic development process. Topics include legal issues, ethics, conflicts of interest, open records and open meetings requirements.

In addition, participants learn the basics of development authority operations, financing, incentives and bonds.

"Development authorities are a key tool in every county's economic development process, and our training offers valuable resources for board members as they implement development plans," said course instructor Rob Gordon, who coordinates the Institute of Government's economic development efforts.

"These courses help authority members strengthen their practical knowledge about economic development projects," said Institute of Government director Laura Meadows. "The better they understand their roles, the more impact they can have on their community's growth."

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a Public Service and Outreach unit of the University of Georgia that conducts training, technical assistance and applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and effectively and provide improved service to the public.