• UWA Center for Business and Economic Services honors ADECA’s Bea Forniss

    Posted: May 29, 2013

    Author: Betsy Compton

     The University of West Alabama Center for Business and Economic Services presented its 2013 Director’s Award to Beatrice M. “Bea” Forniss during a ceremony in Montgomery on May 21. Presented at the headquarters of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), the award honors those who have demonstrated commitment to the region’s development.

    The CBES Director’s Award is presented annually to an individual who provides leadership for community and economic development in Alabama’s Black Belt region.

    “Bea Forniss has dedicated her time and work to service in the Black Belt. Her lifetime of service to the region and to Alabama make her a most worthy honoree,” said UWA President Richard D. Holland. “Our institution shares as part of its mission the initiative of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to better the opportunities and quality of life in the Black Belt region of Alabama.”

    CBES Director J. William “Billy” McFarland, Jr. said that he is pleased to have the opportunity to honor Forniss for her service to the region.

    “Bea Forniss is a civic leader and public servant whose life has been dedicated to improving our region and state,” McFarland remarked. “She joins past award recipients Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, each of whom have made lasting impacts in service to Alabama.”

    Forniss, a native of Mobile, Ala., currently serves as Economic and Community Development Division Chief of ADECA. In this capacity, Forniss supervises the Renewal Communities Program, the Enterprise Zone Community Program, the Delta Regional Authority Program, the Minority Business Program, Housing Opportunities for people with AIDS, and she provides technical assistance for community and economic development projects in distressed areas.

    Previously serving as director of REAP, the Governor’s Resources and Economic Assistance Programs for ADECA, Forniss holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and library science from Alabama State University and a master’s degree in counseling from ASU.

    As an educator, Forniss taught for several years and served as a school counselor in the Lowndes County and Montgomery Public School systems before beginning work with the State of Alabama as ADECA’s special projects coordinator.

    Forniss is a member of several professional and community organizations including the Civil Justice Foundation, the Volunteer and Information Board, Leadership Montgomery, Montgomery Area United Way Board of Directors, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and is President of the ASU Foundation. She also serves as president of the ASU National Alumni Association.

    For her dedicated service and volunteer work, Forniss has been awarded a host of honors. She has received the Bishop Barron State Employee Public Service Award, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Community Service Award, the Outstanding Women Award from the Montgomery Advertiser Journal, the Commerce Young Woman Leadership Award, and the 2013 Alabama State University Tullibody Award.

    She is married to Leon Forniss; they have two daughters, Dana F. Holmes and Taryn Francis, and two grandchildren. She is a member of First Congregational Christian Church.

    The Center for Business and Economic Services is a division of the University of West Alabama College of Business. For more information on CBES, visitwww.uwa.edu/cbes.aspx or call 205-652-5522.

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    PHOTO: Beatrice M. "Bea" Forniss was awarded the Director's Award from the Center for Business and Economic Services at the University of West Alabama. The award was presented to Forniss at ADECA headquarters in Montgomery by CBES Director J. William "Billy" McFarland.
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