FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2018 – MONTGOMERY - When Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill took office in 2015, one of his top priorities was to eliminate any waiting period for citizens of Alabama who filed forms to create, amend or dissolve new business entities.
At the time, the processing for paperwork and payment required to form a new business was seven to nine months behind. On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, Secretary Merrill recognized the employees of the Business Entities and Uniform Commercial Code Divisions for two years and three months of consecutive same-day processing of those requests.
“When I was elected as Alabama’s 53rd Secretary of State, people came to me and said not to bother trying to change the way things were done in Business Services, despite the fact these payments were being held so long,” Secretary Merrill said. “But it was totally unacceptable to me the operation was months behind – we wouldn’t accept that in any other type of commercial business, and we should never accept that in state government.”
Under Secretary Merrill’s leadership, new accountability measures were put in place, and now the staff operates with 25 percent fewer employees but with exponentially better efficiency.
“Through our restructuring efforts, and thanks to our outstanding employees, we can now proudly say we have been at ‘same-day speed’ every day for the past 117 weeks.”
Secretary Merrill honored those employees for their service by awarding them a National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion, the highest honor his office can bestow. The award ceremony was held in the old state archives room in the State Capitol in Montgomery.
The employees so honored included Renae Barron, Jim Brasher, Lovetta Churchill, Melissa Giddens, Stephanie Keithahn, Monica Messer, Tamara Moore, MeMe Mulcahy, Brianna Smith, Diane Starks, Elaine Swearengin, Christina Vandiver, Sharranda Emmerson, Beth Hall, Beth Jensen, Shirleen Moncrief and Alfreda Watts.
“Our team does a great job meeting our expectations of excellent service to the people of Alabama,” Secretary Merrill said. “We are no longer operating at the speed of government; we operate at the speed of business. That should be the type of service you demand from all state departments and elected officials. Today I was proud to honor these hard-working individuals for their service to our state.”
For a high-resolution photo of Secretary Merrill, please click here.
For more information or interview requests, please contact:
John Bennett, Deputy Chief of Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Houston, Communications Director, email@example.com