Rep. Corley Ellis receives leadership award from statewide development organization

Published 2:43 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022

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MONTGOMERY – State Representative Corley Ellis, R-Columbiana, has been recognized as the 2021 House Leader of the Year by the Alabama Association of Resource, Conservation and Development (AARCD) Councils.

The award is given each year for showing strong leadership and dedication to supporting the conservation of natural resources while promoting economic and community development in Alabama.

The award was recently presented by AARCD and Cawaco RC&D at the Shelby County Arts Council in Columbiana. Cawaco RC&D is one of nine RC&D Councils, which covers Shelby, Jefferson, Blount, Walker and Chilton counties.

Ellis has served his constituents as a Shelby County Commissioner and State Representative for over 16 years. Throughout his service, Ellis has participated on numerous professional and non-profit boards including, the Board of Directors for Cawaco RC&D.

Ellis is a respected member of the Alabama legislature, and currently has eight committee assignments, one of which he serves as vice-chair of the insurance committee.

Ellis also serves as a member of education policy, fiscal responsibility, state parks, joint transportation, reapportionment, Shelby County, and the powerful Ways and Means Education (W&ME) committees.

W&ME is the committee tasked with appropriating funds for education-related expenses across the state, including K-12 and Higher Education.

Shelby County Commission Board Chair and Cawaco RC&D Board member Kevin Morris reflected on Ellis’s success and explained how that starts with family and giving back to the community, including the way he treats other people with honor and respect.

“I am thankful for Ellis’s time serving our state and county,” said Morris. “Most of us realize that we have to have grounded people with common sense, who understand what their decisions do every day and I thank Corley for not losing focus on that.”

Ellis expressed his gratitude for the award, the Cawaco RC&D staff and the RC&D partnership with the Legislature. He further stated the importance of organizations, like RC&D, that bring tax dollars back home to Shelby County.

“There are so many worthwhile projects going on in Shelby County, and I’ve always been a big supporter of what RC&D does,” said Ellis. “Finding resources for programs like the Hope Garden and many others is important to me while I am working for my legislative district in Montgomery.”

The RC&D program was established by the Agriculture Act of 1962 to provide a program that empowers rural people to help themselves. RC&D areas include adjacent counties that have substantial natural resources to use for economic improvement and community betterment.

There are nine RC&D councils throughout the state. RC&D Councils in Alabama are non-profit, tax-exempt organizations within the state that are designated 501(c) (3) entities by the Internal Revenue Service.

RC&D Councils are made up of citizens in an RC&D area who want a better life for themselves, their children and future generations. RC&D Council representatives and alternates are volunteers who assist RC&D.

For more information about the program, visit