Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield Greg Canfield was appointed to lead the state’s economic development activity in July 2011 by Governor Robert Bentley. A former private-sector businessman and state lawmaker from Vestavia Hills, Canfield serves as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and as Secretary of Commerce for the State of Alabama. Canfield also serves as chairman of the Alabama Economic Development Alliance, an organization tasked to design and implement Accelerate Alabama, the state’s strategic growth plan first adopted in 2012 that targets 12 key sectors for economic growth. With Canfield at Commerce, economic expansion and recruitment activities in Alabama during 2012 and 2013 resulted in capital investment approaching $10 billion and 38,000 announced new jobs. Alabama also has been ranked as a top state for business by economic development-focused publications such as Site Selection and Business Facilities magazines.
As Commerce Secretary, Canfield is responsible for advancing the department’s key priorities, which include facilitating recruitment and expansion projects, expanding export opportunities for Alabama business, helping small businesses grow, and raising the state’s profile in the film and entertainment industry. Under Canfield’s leadership AIDT, the state’s highly regarded job training agency, became a division of Commerce in 2012 as part of a strategy to streamline job creation and workforce skills development. Secretary Canfield’s Department of Commerce leads the effort to align economic development and education allies across Alabama to target industrial and advanced manufacturing projects, while increasing a focus on securing high-paying knowledge-based jobs in the life sciences, research, engineering, and design fields.
Canfield graduated from Huffman High School in Birmingham and attended the University of Alabama and UAB, where he earned a finance degree in 1983. He began a career in sales with Purolator Corp., a Fortune 500 company. At Purolator, he served as Southeastern Regional Sales Manager before becoming Regional Administration Manager with responsibility for the region’s budgetary process. Canfield later served as a National Account Manager for Transus Freight Systems, overseeing territory from Alabama to New Jersey. Canfield entered the insurance and financial services field in 1990. Three years later, he opened his own business, marketing insurance services to businesses and individuals. He sold Canfield Insurance & Financial Services Inc. 15 years later in 2008 and joined J.H. Berry Insurance in Birmingham.
As president of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce, Canfield launched the organization’s Business Development Committee, which promoted the community for commercial investment. In 2000, while serving as President of the Vestavia Hills City Council, he was instrumental in the development of Vestavia’s first long-range economic development and land use plan. Canfield was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2006, serving for nearly five years. He is the author of the Rolling Reserve Budget Act, which improved the education budget process in effort to establish reserves and prevent education proration. Canfield also served as chairman of the House’s Commerce & Small Business Committee. Greg has been married to his wife Denise since April of 1983 and they are the parents of Rachel Canfield Young and John Canfield.