(a) The commissioner may appoint a director who, under the supervision of the commissioner, shall administer this article. The director shall receive a salary to be fixed as provided in Section 36-6-6, payable in installments in the same manner as the salaries of other state employees are paid, and shall be allowed the same travel expenses in the performance of his or her duties as are allowed to other state employees as provided by law. The director, with the approval of the commissioner and subject to the state Merit System, shall appoint all necessary clerks, stenographers, inspectors, and other employees to administer this article. The director shall act as manager, secretary, and custodian of all records unless the commissioner shall otherwise direct. In addition to those duties already described, the director's duties shall include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Directing the overall planning, development, and administration of promotional or assistive services or programs of the authority.
(2) Directing the development and implementation of departmental planning and budget issues.
(3) Directing compliance activities at farmers' markets and in programs administered by the authority.
(4) Directing promotional activities of the authority.
(5) Managing real property and other assets of the authority.
(6) Representing the authority to the public and to federal, state, and local governments.
(7) Managing the personnel of the authority.
(8) Managing the fiscal affairs of the authority.
(9) Writing grant proposals.
(10) Negotiating and administering contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements.
(b) The director, with the approval of the commissioner, shall fix the duties of all employees of the authority. The director shall be at the time of his or her appointment a resident of the State of Alabama.