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Regions taps Rabren senior VP

Regions Financial Corp. recently named Andalusia native Jeff Rabren senior vice president of state government and economic development.

Rabren

Rabren

“It’s kind of a dual role,” Rabren explained recently. “For example, right now, I have my government affairs hat on in Mississippi, where we are getting ready for the next session of Mississippi legislature. We are looking at anticipated legislation that might affect the bank or our customers.”

Rabren already was in charge of government affairs across Regions’ 16-state footprint. The economic development side of his new responsibilities was announced earlier this month.

“The bank has been involved, and partnered with public and private industries, in recruitment for several years,” he said. “We see Alabama as a potential place to do business. Companies like Alabama Power Co. and PowerSouth are actively involved in economic development.

We are partnered with state, local, regional efforts at recruitment.”

As the state’s largest employer, with 8,000 employees and locations across the state, the bank believes, “If it’s good for Alabama, it’s good for us,” Rabren said.

A new tool Regions is using to spur economic development is a $1 billion loan pool the company created earlier this year to provide economic development capital and spur business growth in Alabama.

An attorney by training, Rabren said when he set out to pursue a law degree, he thought he would specialize in tax law.

Law school?

“I had an undergraduate degree in accounting, and I understood the tax side better than auditing side,” he said. “But I always had an interest in politics and government. As I got further in law school, I found I was deeply interested in government.

His first job out of law school was working with then-Congressman Terry Everett as his legislative counsel. Later, he served six years on Gov. Bob Riley’s staff before moving to Regions in 2010 to manage governmental affairs.

He said he spends a fair amount of time traveling across the 16 states in which Regions operates. Outside of work, he spends as much time as possible with his 18-month-old daughter, and enjoys golf.