Ivey brings folksy charm to keynote speech

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, January 14, 2009

During her keynote speech at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet Tuesday night, Alabama Treasurer Kay Ivey encouraged local residents to check unclaimed property lists, save for their children’s education and to network.

Ivey, a two-term Republican treasurer who is considering a run for governor in 2010, charmed the audience by working humorous anecdotes and colloquial language into her speech.

“There are 3,200 names on the unclaimed property list from Covington County and there is $967,000 waiting for you to claim,” she said. “Get on the Internet and go to (www.treasury.state.al.us) and look for your name. If it’s there, you’ve got at least $25 waiting for you.”

The treasurer’s office also administers the state’s two college savings programs, the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) program, and the state’s 529 Fund, she said, adding that Andalusia’s Ricky Jones serves as vice president of the state board for college savings programs.

“There are 160 students in Covington County enrolled in the PACT program,” Ivey said. “Y’all have got mo’ chil’en than that,” she said, asking those present to encourage parents and grandparents to participate in the program.

She said college graduates tend to be good citizens who are active in civic organizations, active in churches, and who support charities.

She said she believes the “people’s money is the people’s business,” and that her office now posts online the state’s banking business, detailing monies received and disbursed.

Ivey closed with her rules of thumb for networking.

“Your new president has said he wants the Chamber to have more opportunities for networking,” she said. “N is for name tags.

“Wear them on your right shoulder where we can read them,” she said. “You don’t want to be looking all over a person’s anatomy for his name.

“E is for eye contact and education,” she said. “Know something about the organization if you’re going to go to their meeting. When you meet someone, look them in the eye.

“T is for thank you,” she said. “Drop a note, tell someone it was good meeting you. You reinforce the connection.

“W is for work the room,” she said. “I used to barrel race. You start out at one end of the arena, circle around a barrel and then go to the other side and circle another barrel. You make a cloverleaf. When you go somewhere, head straight to get a plate of food and then start making you a big old cloverleaf, greeting people as you go.

“O is for outfit,” she said. “Whatever you put on your body, do not let it be the topic of conversation when you leave.”

Ivey said she often sees young ladies and thinks, “That skirt was too short,” or young men with dropping pants and thinks, “How can you hold down a job if you can’t hold up your britches.”

“R is for rolodex,” she said. “I know you’ve got addresses on your phone, your cell phone and in your computer. But start you a leadership rolodex of people you’re going back to.

“And for you young people, I’m on Facebook and I want to be your friend,” she said.

She also encouraged the use of calling cards.

“Nobody ever said you had to have a job to have a calling card,” she said. “Yours can say, ‘not hired, not fired, just retired’ if you want to.”

“K is for the four keys of success,” she said. “There are four things you should do each week and success is yours: Drink, swear, steal and lie.

“Drink from the fountain of friendship; swear to do a better job tomorrow than you did today,” she said. “Steal a few moments to do a good deed for others. Lie down at night and give thanks to God for all of your blessings.”