Wal-Mart official proud of
Published 12:00 am Friday, September 28, 2001
state and town he calls home
By JAINE TREADWELL
Never has the character of a community been more evident than it was in Brundidge yesterday.
And, at the same time, never has a young man been prouder of his hometown, his home county and his home state than Wiley Lott.
As the director of real estate for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Lott had the privilege of participating in the official announcement that Brundidge has been selected as the site of its newest distribution center.
The announcement translates into new jobs, more economic dollars and greater opportunities for the people of Pike and surrounding counties.
Lott joined Gov. Don Siegelman and other state and local officials in making the economic development announcement at a gathering on the lawn of the historic Bass House in Brundidge.
"It’s great to be back home in Pike County," Lott said, who was interrupted with a thunderous round of applause. "It is an honor and privilege to announce that Wal-Mart will locate its newest distribution center in Brundidge."
The audience of elected officials, dignitaries and home folk responded with a standing ovation and Lott paused before praising the vision and commitment of the state and local leaders who made it happen.
He said many things had to be considered in making a business decision of such magnitude.
Pike County had all of the right things necessary for the location of the 900,000-square-foot facility – the site, the infrastructure, the available work force, but the most important factor in the equation was the community and the people, Lott said.
"I have been working on projects like this for nine years and I can truthfully say, there
are no finer people in the country than the great people of Alabama," he said. "All one has to do is look out here today and feel the community spirit and know that we have made the right decision."
Lott said it was evident from the beginning that the people of Alabama, in general, and Pike County, specifically, work together for the good of the community.
"The Wal-Mart Distribution Center is coming to Brundidge, to Pike County, because so many people worked together as a team to improve the lives of the people of the great sovereign state of Alabama," he said. "This was a team effort and a unified effort."
Lott said during the months the project has been under consideration he could not have been prouder of the display of community and state leadership.
During meetings with leaders in Pike County, Lott said the Wal-Mart representatives were impressed with the commitment and genuiness of those who have been entrusted with the leadership of the community.
"I’m proud to be from Alabama and everyone who knows me knows that," the Troy State University graduate said. "Every chance I get, I tell people what a great state Alabama is and how great the people are. When we began looking at Pike County as a site for a distribution center, those who worked with me had an opportunity to see and know why I’m so proud to be from Alabama."
Lott said a group of executives from Wal-Mart visited Pike County and met with representatives from all apects of the community.
"We had dinner at Dr. Jack Hawkins’ and different people from the community had an opportunity to speak," he said. "Each of them talked about Pike County and what it has to offer and what it can offer. It was a good meeting and I came away very encouraged. I was very proud of our local and state leaders."
Lott said on the plane back to Arkansas all the Wal-Mart representatives gave two-thumbs up to Pike County.
when they approve a site they will only give one thumbs-up but they all gave Pike County two thumbs-up," he said. "They said they had never been around more genuine people, more positive people, more committed people. They, then, understood why I’m so proud to be from Alabama.
And, I have never been prouder than I was today. This project will go a long way in making life better for many people in this area. It will also provide good jobs and give young people an opportunity to live and work in our area. That really sums up what happened here today."