Ellis named to statewide top 20 local leaders list

Published 9:23 am Monday, June 18, 2012

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Shelby County Commissioner Corley Ellis has been named to the popular political blog, Yellowhammer’s Top 20 List of local leaders.

Political genes run deep in the Ellis family. Commissioner Corley Ellis with son, Jamison. (contributed)

The list recognizes local leaders who are qualified, capable and may be interested in running for future office. (It does not include those already elected to statewide office such as legislators.) There were 150 recommendations statewide and Ellis placed number 12 on the list of 20.

Ellis said it is an honor to be on the list and that his interest in politics dates back to watching his father, a former state senator, work through the legislative process years ago.

“It sparked an interest in me that has stayed with me,” Ellis said.

It should be no surprise that Corley Ellis would make a Top 20 list of up and coming leaders. After all, it is in his blood – three generations of it. It goes all the way back to 1943-1947 when his great grandfather, Handy Ellis, served as Alabama’s 15th lieutenant governor.

The next generation brought Corley’s father, Butch Ellis, a former state senator and now Shelby County’s attorney.

This generation brought Corley into politics when Gov. Bob Riley appointed him in 2006 to the County Commission. He then ran and won office in 2008. His constituents obviously think he is doing a good job because he is unopposed in this year’s election.

While politics is part of his genetic make-up, it is much more that has contributed to his outstanding leadership and success. Corley has worked hard to get where he is. He has been involved in all aspects of the county: Leadership Shelby County, board chairman for the Court Appointed Special Advocates, board member of Shelby County Arts Council, American Cancer Society for Jefferson-Shelby Counties, Cahaba, Warrior and Coosa River RC&D and Relay for Life Chairman for multiple years.

Corley owns Ellis Properties Inc. He and wife, Julie, have a 6-month old son named Jamison. Time will tell just how far politics run in the Ellis’ genetic make-up. It could be Jamison Ellis for Governor in 2062.


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.