Mayor Earl Johnson on Thursday introduced Larry Avery as the newest member of the Andalusia Leadership Hall of Fame. The award was presented during the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.
“Our honoree came to Andalusia as a young engineer, likely expecting this to be another step in his career path. But he put down roots and got to work not just at his job, but also in our community,” Johnson said. “Andalusia is a better place, thanks to the leadership of Larry Avery.”
A native of Brent, Alabama, Avery served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and in the Coast Guard Reserves before beginning his engineering career at Central Power and Light in Corpus Christi, Texas. He also worked for Alabama Power.
In 1977, he joined AEC – now known as PowerSouth - as a distribution engineer. He also has served as superintendent of power transmission, operating services manager, E and O Division Manager, Vice President of Engineering and Operations, and Vice President of Power Delivery.
“Larry established a culture of improving reliability during the time he was transmission superintendent by focusing on preventive maintenance of transmission assets to improve transmission reliability.
“Upon his retirement, PowerSouth named its headquarters building for Larry. PowerSouth President and CEO Gary Smith said at the time, ‘Naming the building after Larry is an honor that speaks to his impact on PowerSouth and our community. He has had a tremendous and long-lasting influence on both engineering and operations, while guiding the Power Delivery Division with strong leadership for 30 years.’
“Larry’s impact in our community begins with his 40-plus year, dedicated membership in the Andalusia Kiwanis Club, where he led many charitable endeavors,” the mayor said in his introduction. “Larry has at times been a member of the Kiwanis Club Board of Directors, the Kiwanis Fair Association Board of Directors and the Kiwanis Foundation Board of Directors. In each position Larry has used his considerable leadership skills in piloting the club to invest in the lives of children in the Covington County area and in helping administer its regular club duties.
“The club has recognized him both as a Kiwanis Member of the Year, and, in 2012, with the club’s highest prize for community involvement, naming him the 2012 Citizen of the Year.
“Larry’s name also is synonymous with Community Christmas, which provides Christmas gifts for hundreds of underprivileged children each year,” Johnson said. “He was the founding president in 2003, and continued in that role until early 2019.
“Larry has served as president of the LBW Community College Foundation; chaired the hospital board; chaired the city’s Board of Zoning Adjustments; served on the city’s Recreation Board and its Events and Hospitality Committee.
“He is a deacon and active member of First Baptist Church of Andalusia, where he also is a Sunday School teacher. He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of two children and the grandparents of five grandchildren.
“Please join me in congratulating my friend Larry Avery as the newest member of the Andalusia Leadership Hall of Fame,” the mayor said.