Whit Armstrong has seen a lot during nearly 37 years on the board of directors of Alabama Power – from tremendous technological advances, to the evolution of Alabama’s economy, to the tragedies and recovery following some of the state’s most devastating natural disasters.
It certainly hasn’t always been easy. But as he steps down from the company’s governing board and looks back on the journey, there is tremendous appreciation – and gratitude.
“I’ve enjoyed it every step of the way,” the longtime banker from Enterprise said in a recent interview. “I have great respect for the leadership of the company over time, the executive officers and the board members.”
And he’s known more than a few of them. During his tenure on the board – he officially retired earlier this spring – Armstrong worked with four Alabama Power CEOs and their leadership teams, not to mention the dozens of board members (past and present) he interacted with while on the company’s governing panel.
“Whit brought tremendous value to Alabama Power and our board,” said Mark Crosswhite, the company’s current CEO. “His judgment, knowledge and wisdom have benefited our customers, our company and our state.”
Armstrong joined the board in 1982, just as the company was adjusting to the state Public Service Commission’s adoption of Rate Stabilization and Equalization, a regulatory framework that has helped keep Alabama Power’s total retail price below the national average for decades.
Armstrong was on the board when Alabama drew international headlines for luring Mercedes-Benz to build its first U.S. plant in Alabama Power territory, east of Tuscaloosa. Alabama Power was closely involved in recruiting the automaker, which led to other global automotive companies and suppliers locating in the state. The victory also put the state on the radar for attracting other industries and manufacturers, from aerospace to data centers.
“That victory transformed manufacturing in the state of Alabama,” Armstrong said.
He also served on the board during a period when the state experienced some of the most destructive natural disasters in its history. The storms, which affected many Alabama Power customers, included the blizzard of 1993, hurricanes Ivan and Katrina and the deadly tornado outbreak of 2011.
And he was on the board in 2006 when the company celebrated its centennial of serving customers and the state.
Armstrong said Alabama Power’s successes, and its strong reputation, can be linked to the early days of the company and one of its founders, Montgomery lawyer Tom Martin. From its close connection to the state’s economic development to the longtime involvement of Alabama Power employees in local communities, the company’s mission of service can be traced to Martin’s words and actions, Armstrong said.
“Go back and look at the history, the things Mr. Martin said – you see it in what the company and its employees do every day.”
While he’s reluctant to talk about it, Armstrong is responsible for his own positive impacts on the state.
The managing member of Creeke Capital Investments LLC, based in Enterprise, Armstrong previously served as president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of The Citizens Bank in Enterprise and its holding company, Enterprise Capital Corporation Inc.
His more than 30 years’ experience in the banking industry included serving on the Alabama State Banking Board. He also is a former chairman of the Alabama Ethics Commission and currently serves as chairman of the Industrial Development Board for the city of Enterprise.
He also serves or has served as a member of the Troy University Foundation, Enterprise State Community College Foundation, E.L. Gibson Foundation and Friends of Fort Rucker, among many other corporate, civic and community organizations and institutions.
A past president of the Alabama-Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Armstrong is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award for Outstanding Service to the Boy Scouts. He received the 1975 Alabama Jaycees’ “Outstanding Young Man of Alabama” award, as well as many more recognitions for his civic and community work.
His deep experience in the financial industry provided great value to Alabama Power’s board through his service on the panel’s Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and, most recently, as chairman of the Controls and Compliance Committee.
A native of Montgomery, Armstrong earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance, with a major in banking, from the University of Alabama. He is an active member of First United Methodist Church of Enterprise and is married to Dr. Rebecca Brown Armstrong, a retired professor at Enterprise State Community College. The couple have a son and four grandchildren.
“Whit’s integrity and high standards of conduct served as an example to the entire board and leadership of Alabama Power – and still do,” Crosswhite added.