Sam Jones was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama and is a graduate of Central High School. He then attended Florida Junior College and Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sam Jones served 9 years in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and was assigned to the Human Relations Department commanded by now U.S. Senator John McCain. Jones returned home to Mobile and was hired as Executive Director of Mobile Community Action; Mobile’s Anti-Poverty Agency and Head Start Program. Jones was elected to the Mobile County Commission and served 4 terms. While there he was elected President of the Alabama County Commission Association and served on The Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties. In 2005 Jones was elected first black mayor of the City of Mobile. As mayor, Jones created and spearheaded Mobile’s 311 system with over 1 million citizens calls in 2012. Jones guided the city through one of the nation’s most turbulent economic downturns while many cities were furloughing and laying off police officers, firefighters and city workers. Mobile steadied the course with no interruption of city services or employee benefits and maintained an A1 bond rating with Moody’s and AA with Standard and Poor Rating Agencies. Jones created eMobile an online payment system for businesses to pay their business license fees.
In a quest to create high paying jobs and provide opportunities for the citizens of Mobile, Jones was instrumental in recruiting Aerospace giant Airbus to the Port City. An acquisition that will lead to thousands of jobs at Brookley Aeroplex. In addition to Airbus, Jones leadership successfully recruited or expanded the following industries: Austal, Thyssen Krupp Steel, Mobile Aerospace, Labinal, and Berg Steel. Jones fostered relationships with and partnerships that have transformed Mobile into a global city, now home to countless global industries from France, Germany, Australia, China, Singapore and others.
Sam Jones is the person most responsible for the City/County economic development partnerships that gave Mobile a competitive edge in recruiting business and industry. Sam Jones negotiated the development agreement for McGowin Park Shopping Complex. Jones was at the forefront of every education referendum to increase funding for public education. He spearheaded a grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors to provide funding for the Mobile Area Education Foundation “Ramp Blueprint”, an initiative to cut Mobile County’s dropout rate in half in 4 years. Jones planned and accomplished the only annexations for the City of Mobile since 1956. The annexations of Theodore and Mobile terrace areas increased the population and the city’s tax base.
Throughout his years of Public Service, Jones has served on several boards and has many affiliations including:
Alabama Port Authority Board
Mobile Area Chambers of Commerce Board
Alabama Sentencing Commission
Judge, Alabama Court of the Judiciary
Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission
University of South Alabama Board of Trustees
National Association of Counties Board
1998 Campaign Chair, United Way of Southwest Alabama
Chair South Alabama Regional Planning Commission
Chair Metropolitan Planning Organization
Volunteers of America Board
Founder, Mobile County Community Development Partnership