A Conversation with Daniel Dennis, 2019 Chamber Chair
The Business View – March 2019 / Cover Story
‘Jobs Are the Cornerstone of Our Mission’
The business of selling Mobile never sleeps, and sometimes that means reminding the very people who make the Port City’s economy hum that dreaming big starts at home.
Daniel Dennis, incoming chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber, believes nurturing the region’s talent pipeline while making entrepreneurship a part of every conversation – from the breakfast table to the board room – will be critical to maintaining Mobile’s positive economic development momentum throughout 2019.
“Obviously, jobs are the cornerstone of our mission, and that’s why we have to create an environment and a culture where people can grow, companies can grow. In a very short amount of time, Mobile has established itself as an aerospace hub, but the truth is our economy is incredibly diverse. The chemical sector is strong.
Our manufacturing sector is booming. Our service sector continues to grow, and our attractiveness as a home for corporate headquarters is only increasing,” said Dennis, president of Roberts Brothers.
“When you have this influx of job growth and activity, obviously we’ve got to do things we’ve never done in the past to prepare our population to maintain the growth we’re seeing on the recruiting front, and I’m confident in our potential,” he said.
The Chamber, he believes, sits poised to not only facilitate workforce development conversations between such players as AIDT, Flight Works Alabama and an arsenal of university partners, but to then amplify those conversations and engage the broader business community.
“(The Chamber) facilitates communication, so once we realize we’re all working toward the same goal – of producing and nurturing the most qualified, trained group we can find – we can truly promote change,” he said.
Longer-range, however, Mobile’s economic prosperity hinges on the Chamber’s ability to educate the local community about the true value of entrepreneurship, which he considers an “organic form of economic development.”
Whether it’s showcasing the city’s burgeoning technology centered incubator, Innovation PortAL, or continuing to support mentoring programs such as 1702, entrepreneurship “will be a big part of our future,” Dennis said.
A Mobile native, Dennis earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Auburn University and a juris doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He also holds a master of laws degree in real property development from the University of Miami School of Law. Since 2010, he has been responsible for strategic planning and the operation of Roberts Brothers’ 285 sales associates and staff in five offices.
In addition to his new role with the Chamber, Dennis serves on the board of directors for both Visit Mobile and the Downtown Mobile Alliance. He also serves on the advisory boards for Regions Bank, The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama and the University of South Alabama’s Center for Real Estate Studies & Economic Development.
About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.