C3 of Northwest Alabama was incorporated in the fall of 2010 as a cooperative marketing effort, as the cities and counties throughout Marion, Lamar and Fayette (3 counties or C3) banded together as an economic development alliance with the singular purpose of growing this area by marketing our regions advantages to new and existing businesses. Our mission is to create and promote an environment wherein businesses will choose to invest and create jobs for area residents. Jobs serve as the fuel that allows individuals and families to enjoy a better quality of life and/or higher standard of living. Stable work opportunities that enable residents to earn good wages allow each person to confidently purchase things that they want and need, which in turns builds stronger stable communities. Consider C3 as your "go-to" organization if you are a business owner or investor, a site selection consultant or entrepreneur. We will act as an extension of you and your staff, as you seek information and assistance needed to make an informed business decision (to start, relocate or expand a business). We offer confidential professional assistance at no cost or obligation. Put us to work for you today.



president David Thornell, CEcD, EDFP, IOM

Having had the opportunity to lead economic development and chamber of commerce organizations in both Alabama and Mississippi for the past 34 years, David Thornell has enjoyed success in every aspect of building and improving communities. He has created organizations from scratch, has led a local chamber through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Accreditation process and a doubling of membership, has developed and managed industrial and research parks, local industry retention-expansion programs, managed a technology business incubator, and has been directly involved in the recruitment of well over 15,000 new jobs representing in excess of $2 Billion in capital investment.

Thornell earned the designation of Certified Economic/Community Developer in 1990 and is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute held at the University of Oklahoma (1985), the University of Georgia’s Institute for Organizational Management (1992), and the National Development Council's E.D. Financing Professional Program (1987). He is also a licensed Realtor (inactive) who spent two years in the Huntsville (AL) market specializing in commercial/industrial properties.

During this period (from 2008-2010), he founded a grant-writing business, Southern Grant Solutions, where he helped both public and private clients win grant awards in excess of $17 million. In September of 2010, he was selected as President and CEO of the C3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance, a public-private “teamwork approach” promoting business opportunities in Lamar, Fayette and Marion Counties. C3 seeks to improve the region’s economy through efforts to stimulate job creation and retention, and assists entrepreneurs with new business start-ups. Unemployment rates in each County have declined every year since C3’s inception. The C3 Approach has been recognized as an ideal model for rural Alabama by State leaders and Business Alabama magazine.


Jamie Christian, Marketing & Membership Director

After graduating with a B.S. in Marketing from the University of North Alabama, Jamie served as Executive Director of the Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce in her hometown community from 1996 – 2000. She & her husband moved to Pueblo, Colorado in 2000, where she served as Membership Director of the Latino Chamber of Commerce there. She was then offered the position of Marketing Director for a tourist attraction, the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, in Pueblo, modeled after the Riverwalk in San Antonio. As a result of her experience in Chamber work and the tourism industry, Jamie worked in conjunction with several economic development entities to grow the communities in which she worked. She is a graduate of the Auburn Intensive Economic Development Training Course and the Marion County Leadership Program. She also served on the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and was very involved, including serving on the board, of numerous travel and tourism associations and charitable organizations in Alabama and Colorado.


Board of Directors

  • Chairman: Wade Nixon
  • Vice Chairman: Mark Brown
  • Treasurer: Andy Johnson
  • Bill Atkinson
  • Wayne Christian 
  • Don Cole
  • Al Elbert 
  • Banks Hattaway
  • Matt LeDuke
  • Britton Lightsey
  • David Logan
  • Heath Reed
  • Harry Unger
  • Don Waldon