Y.E.S. to Hospitality: An Innovative Seasonal Workforce Solution

Anitra Belle Henderson

Anitra Belle Henderson
Director of Civic Engagement, City of Mobile

Anitra Belle Henderson is the Director of Civic Engagement for the City of Mobile. Her work focuses on community engagement and gap analysis including social determinants that obstruct thriving communities. Her specific focus since joining Mayor Stimpson’s administration has been with youth and workforce development. Her initiatives build relationships and communities including the Youth Empowered for Success (YES) Initiative, the first initiative to employ more than 250 young people and provide transportation for youth in Mobile County to work in Gulf Shores during the 2017 summer season. Prior to her appointment, Henderson was the Principal of SMG & Associates, a public affairs and marketing firm. She has more than 15 years experience in the public relations and marketing industry with emphasis in the areas of healthcare, nonprofit, education, government relations and corporate responsibility. She has worked with local and national clients including Mobile County Health Department, Mobile County Commission, Commonwealth National Bank, Nickelodeon and Telemundo. Recently her work has been cited in a national case study with John Snow Institute and the Center for Disease Control. She has served and continues to serve on many boards including the Alabama Association of Non Profits, VOICES for Alabama’s Children, Alabama Board of Interior, Junior League of Mobile and Public Relations Council of Alabama-Mobile Chapter. Henderson is a graduate of the University of South Alabama. She is married and a mother of three girls.

Blake Phelps

Blake Phelps
Economic Development Coordinator, City of Gulf Shores

Blake Phelps serves as the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Gulf Shores. In this role, Blake develops citywide business retention and expansion programs, identifies community development strategies to stimulate private investment, and actively recruits targeted new businesses to sustainably grow the local economy. Under his leadership, Gulf Shores earned the distinction of Google’s Digital Capital of Alabama, the Gulf Shores Business and Aviation Park achieved EDPA AdvantageSite certification and Auburn University announced the establishment of a new education complex in the city. Blake also manages special projects, facilitates community and governmental relations activities, and implements other critical initiatives to advance the city’s strategic plan. Blake is a native of Troy, AL and a graduate of Troy University. He and his wife Liana have two children, Kinley and Fletcher.