Birmingham is quickly earning a reputation as a city ripe for development and thriving startups, so it is no wonder the nation’s economic leaders want the insights of local executives experienced in construction and economic development.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Birmingham Branch recently made two big announcements for Birmingham: Merrill Stewart, founder and president of Stewart/Perry was recently appointed to the Board of Directors, and Anoop Mishra, former REV board member, was named vice president and regional executive of the branch. These roles will allow them to ensure the voices of the Birmingham business community are heard.
The Birmingham Branch works with Atlanta and four other regional Reserve Bank branches to gather data on various markets. That economic information then goes to the district bank’s president and head office directors, who use the research in discussing monetary policy options and making interest rate recommendations.
Stewart, a REV Birmingham partner and investor, is the contractor behind Birmingham developments including 20 Midtown, 2200 Magnolia and preservation efforts at the Lyric Theatre.
“We have many fine business leaders in our city. Being nominated for this position is an honor, as I have been a student of the Federal Reserve’s actions and policy for some time,” Stewart said. “I hope to bring some grassroots knowledge of the construction industry to the table which in turn will have a positive impact for our city. We all want the same thing: stable, decent growth and acceptable unemployment numbers.”
Mishra took his new position with the Birmingham Branch in late April. He will provide strategic support for the Regional Economic Information Network throughout Alabama, working with other regional executives to provide targeted economic intelligence.
“The Atlanta Fed plays an important role in not only shaping monetary policy, but also providing thought leadership in key community and regional issues such as workforce development and affordable housing,” Mishra said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute to these efforts in making our city, state, and region stronger.”
Mishra served as Development Director from 1995 to 1998 for Operation New Birmingham, which merged with Main Street Birmingham to form REV in 2012. He was, as the chair of Main Street Birmingham, a key leader during the merger of MSB and ONB to create REV. After earning an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, he held posts at Accenture, EDPM, and WorkforceQA.
Stewart, who founded Stewart/Perry in 1984, serves on several boards within the city and beyond, giving him experience that he hopes will help him blend well with his counterparts on the board of the governors.
Magic City Match is a program that transforms lives and opens doors for Black entrepreneurs and business owners. Led by REV Birmingham and powered by Prosper, this initiative aims to create opportunities for Black-owned businesses by matching them with brick-and-mortar spaces where they can thrive. After a successful pilot program in 2022, Magic City Match is back in action and ready to empower a new wave of entrepreneurs.
One of the most legendary and storied neighborhoods of Birmingham is Woodlawn. It is a community, anchored by one of the great public high schools of Birmingham, that has produced many citizens who contributed to the life of our city and has had an impact beyond the neighborhood itself. In a short post like this true justice cannot be done to the rich heritage and legacy of Woodlawn. However, we hope that this narrative brings together many of the diverse threads that make up the fabric of the community’s historic arc in a concise piece.
Woof, woof! I’ve been having an absolute blast visiting my sister in Downtown Birmingham. I can hardly wait to share all the details with you once you return from your vacation. In the meantime, I wanted to put paw to paper and tell you all about it, with the hope of convincing you that moving Downtown could be the most wonderful decision ever.