Morrison leaving Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
by Laura Nation-Atchison
He’s been the “go to guy” for Honda Manufacturing of Alabama since 2001, but Mark Morrison is now on a different course.

Monday morning is Morrison’s first official day as manager of regional communications for Honda North American Corporate Affairs and Communications based in Marysville, Ohio, where Honda started its United States operations 30 years ago.

In his new position, Morrison will lead and coordinate communications for Honda’s 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America.

His position includes handling internal communications for the company as well as providing information for the public and media for the company.

The position is a new one, Morrison said, and he was recruited for the job.

“This is a very exciting time in my life,” he said. “My wife, Sarah, and I are looking at this as a positive career move and it will open my eyes to a whole new area.”

But being a native of Alabama, specifically of Weaver, Morrison said the move north was a big consideration.

His time with Honda Manufacturing of Alabama has availed him to much in the way of personal gratification, from actual on the job details to just getting to know the Honda associates who all work together so successfully, he said.

While there have been a number of aspects of his job that Morrison tells fond memories of, most of them are about the Honda associates and what they represent, the people in the community that surrounds the company and making sure that people within the community are kept informed about what is happening at the plant.

And of course, there’s the pride in the products that the company produces, he said.

“Being with Honda Manufacturing of Alabama has been a great experience,” Morrison said. “One of the things I think I’ve enjoyed the most is learning about our associates; we have fantastic people.”

The people factor is a large part of what makes Honda Manufacturing of Alabama the company it is, Morrison said.

“You can’t have Honda Manufacturing of Alabama without the associates,” he said.

Morrison is proud of many things about the company, and one in particular is the high level of local people who have become Honda associates.

“Overall, I would say 98 to 99 percent of our associates are from Alabama,” he said.

Further, Morrison said at least 92 percent of the associates are from an immediate five county area that includes Talladega, St. Clair, Etowah, Calhoun and Jefferson counties.

Ted Pratt, who has worked in the HMA Communications Department since 2002, will assume Morrison’s former position as department manager of corporate affairs and communication.

“In this role, Ted serves as the company spokesperson and is responsible for media relations, governmental relations, community relations and charitable giving,” Morrison said.

Before joining Honda, Morrison served as vice president of communications for the Safe America Foundation in Atlanta, a national nonprofit organization that develops and manages cause-related safety marketing programs for national companies that include Honda, Delta Airlines, BellSouth, Coca-Cola, Verizon and Publix Supermarkets.

He has also worked as the manager of marketing communications for Gulf State Paper Corporation in Tuscaloosa, as publications director for Alfa Insurance Companies and the Alabama Farmers’ Federation, assistant publications director for the University of Alabama’s National Alumni Association and as a reporter and copy editor for The Tuscaloosa News and The Anniston Star.

He has served on the board of directors for the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Foundation, the Talladega County Economic Development Authority and the Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrian Foundation.

Morrison said his association with AIDB has been especially rewarding.

“Miracles take place there every day,” he said.

Morrison majored in journalism at the University of Alabama, and said he knew by the time he was in high school he was drawn to writing.

Though he made the transition from actual newspaper work to public relations, Morrison said he still has that connection in his field of work by working to provide information for newspapers and other media.

"Mark has played a critical role in building the foundation for our associate communications and community relations,” said Ray Perez, HMA division manager of legal and corporate services. “We wish him all the best in his new assignment and look forward to his further development of Honda's commitment to being a company that society wants to exist."

Contact Laura Nation-Atchison at lnation@dailyhome.com.

© 2013