Published on April 9, 2021 by Morgan Black
On Thursday, April 8, Katie Boyd Britt, president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), addressed Cumberland School of Law students during its annual Cordell Hull Speakers Forum.
Britt began by sharing her pride in her hometown of Enterprise, Alabama. She emphasized the value of hard work, having grown up in a family of small business owners, the value of our military and a life of service, and the value of diversity and making sure everyone had a seat at the table.
She then explained the purpose of the BCA is to create “good working environments for hard working Alabamians. It is our goal to make sure that the laws that are made and the regulations put in place [in Washington, D.C., and Montgomery] will allow small, medium and large size businesses to flourish.” Britt expanded on the goals of the BCA, the initiatives they’ve addressed during the pandemic, and upcoming state laws and bills that will help push Alabama forward, as well as how future lawyers can play a part in helping advance economic growth in the state.
“I would encourage you that there’s a bright future ahead,” she said. “We have a lot of wonderful things happening and even better people. We have a lot of hard-working Alabamians that are doing innovative things that are cutting edge.”
She then encouraged the law students for their careers ahead. She said, “Take your seat at the table…if there’s not a seat there, pull one up! We need you.”
Britt went on to emphasize the importance of trust and respect once they are in the workforce. “The most important thing that you have is not your ACT, SAT or LSAT score. It’s not your address or what your parents do. It’s how you treat people. It’s about relationships. And those are built on two things: trust and respect. Keep your word…and that will pay dividends, not only for you, but for whoever you’re working with, and ultimately for your community, the state and the country.”
“It was an honor to host Mrs. Britt on campus for this year’s Cordell Hull Speakers Forum,” said third-year student and 2021 forum chair Brock Hendon. “She offered valuable perspective regarding her expertise practicing law and advocating for businesses in Alabama. We appreciate her taking to the time to join us for this year’s forum.”
Britt received her undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor from The University of Alabama. Britt has served as Senator Richard Shelby’s deputy press secretary and later press secretary, at only age 23, and then special assistant to former University of Alabama President Robert Witt. After obtaining her law degree, she practiced law with Butler Snow LLP. In 2015, she took a leave of absence to serve as Senator Shelby’s deputy campaign manager and communications director before rejoining his Washington, D.C., team as chief of staff in 2016. She was named president and chief executive officer of the BCA in December 2018.
Named for Cordell Hull, the longest-serving U.S. Secretary of State under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and an 1891 graduate of Cumberland School of Law, the Cordell Hull Speakers Forum is one of the many outstanding voices on campus. It is an organization responsible for educating the student body in a variety of areas through its guest speakers. In the past, the forum has included such renowned figures as former Presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, Attorney General Janet Reno, Alabama Governor Bob Riley, and author John Grisham.