Johnson tapped for Leadership HOF

Published 1:32 am Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Will be inducted during Thursday night’s Chamber banquet

Earl Johnson will join the distinguished list of members included in Andalusia’s Leadership Hall of Fame when he is inducted at the Chamber of Commerce banquet Thursday night.

Johnson is serving his fourth term as mayor of Andalusia, and leading his hometown through what many have described as a renaissance. During his tenure, hundreds of millions of dollars in private, corporate and government funding have been invested in the city’s infrastructure and businesses.

Johnson has worked hard to preserve the history of Andalusia, beginning in his first term with the renovation and repurposing of the beloved East Three Notch Elementary School as Andalusia City Hall. The preservation continued when, in a public-private venture, the Church Street Elementary School was renovated to become the Church Street Cultural Arts Center.

The formula was used again to preserve the former corporate headquarters of AlaTex as the home of the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce.

More recently – and again through public-private partnerships – Andalusia’s downtown historic buildings were preserved and renovated to become Big Mike’s and Milky Moo’s, and the downtown home of Clark Theatres was upgraded to a state-of-the-art facility.

Johnson believes that first impressions count, and, with the support of the city council and numerous grants, has led the effort to improve East Three Notch, River Falls and South Three Notch streets, adding sidewalks and decorative lighting.

The son of a World War II veteran, Johnson also was instrumental in the development of the Veterans Memorial Park, where twice each year events pay tribute to those who have served in the military.

Mayor Johnson has worked with the education community to secure funding to enhance local education services and upgrade facilities, including the addition of a sixth grade wing at Andalusia Elementary; construction of the new Andalusia Junior High School, an indoor practice facility at Andalusia High School, and the ongoing renovations of the AHS stadium and auditorium.

During his tenure, quality of life for local residents also has been improved by continual investment in parks and recreation. Johnson Park was completely renovated, Kirkpatrick Park was added, and the city acquired historic Springdale, establishing its grounds as an additional park.

Long before he was an elected official, as a private pilot, Johnson was an advocate for the South Alabama Regional Airport, serving on its governing board. He has continued to push for infrastructure expansion there as mayor.

The Andalusia Industrial Park was improved and expanded during his tenure, and the city partnered with SaeHaeSung to build a state-of-the-art facility for the company.

He played an instrumental role in Shaw Industries’ decision to invest $250 million to upgrade its local facilities.

Even as he was leading these projects in Andalusia, he also was working to advance his collegiate alma mater, Troy University. He is a member of the Troy University Board of Trustees, and has served in many alumni roles. He was the founding president of the Troy Shield Society, the originator and chairman of the Quad Revitalization Committee, is member and general counsel of the Troy University National Alumni Association of Directors.

Mayor Johnson also is a graduate of the Cumberland School of Law and Samford University, where he earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1974. He was admitted to the Alabama State Bar later that year, and has been continuously engaged in private practice in Andalusia since that time.

He serves on the board of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

He has been involved in the civic life of Andalusia through membership on the Andalusia Industrial Development Board, Covington County Economic Development Commission, Andalusia Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Andalusia Rotary Club, Andalusia Lions Club, United Fund, Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, LBW Community College Foundation, and the Covington Arts Council.

He received the Andalusia High School Outstanding Graduate Award in 2012, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Troy University in 2008.

He and his wife, Sylvia, are the parents of two daughters, and the grandparents of three granddaughters and one grandson.