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April 2021 | Volume 8 | Issue 12

VESTAVIAVOICE.COM

VESTAVIA HILLS’ COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE

READY, SET,

EXPLORE V

By NEAL EMBRY

estavia Hills has always had parks for residents to enjoy, but with the work of the Community Spaces Plan, there’s even more for residents to enjoy as warmer weather arrives. Brian Davis, director of the city’s Public Works Department, said that each year, city leaders hear that residents want more trails and walkability throughout the city. While some of that is available at existing facilities, the Community Spaces Plan has ensured the building of more sidewalks, as well as the improvement of and building of

New, familiar city spaces give residents a chance to get outdoors

See SPACES | page A30

Oliver Jordan, 3, and his younger sister, Grace Ann, 18 months, play on the swings as their parents, Melody and Matt, push the swings at Meadowlawn Park. Photo by Erin Nelson.

INSIDE Sponsors........... A4 News....................A6 Business.............A11 Chamber.......... A16 Schoolhouse.... A18

Events.............. A20 Sports............... A21 Spring Home & Garden Guide.... B1 Camp Guide..... B16

Spring Home & Garden Guide

Vestavia Hills alumna carries on family tradition as pianist, teacher By NEAL EMBRY

facebook.com/vestaviavoice

Find tips and tricks for your spring home and garden projects from area businesses in our 2021 Spring Home & Garden Guide.

See page B1

Dina Kasman grew up surrounded by pianists. Her father, Yakov, is a distinguished professor of piano and artist-in-residence at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her sister, Sasha, is a pianist, has degrees from both UAB and The Juilliard School and is pursuing a doctorate in music at the University of Michigan. Her mother also plays and teaches and has previously been named Alabama’s Music Teacher of the Year. So, it wasn’t surprising when Dina took up piano herself, learning, as her sister had, from

Dina Kasman, a piano major at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her father, Yakov Kasman, sit at a Steinway grand piano. Photo by Erin Nelson.

See KASMAN | page A28

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A2 • April 2021

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April 2021 • A3

It’s Complicated. Your spouse or your parent is being discharged from the hospital and needs in-home care. Your widowed Mother needs assisted living or other long-term care. You are yourself confused about what Medicare supplement plan to buy. Or how to maximize your Social Security benefits. There are a million reasons to be confused. After all, getting old is not something you’ve done before! SeniorSmart is a new local company whose mission is to help you make sense of senior services, healthcare referrals, and senior living options. We help folks just like you avoid making costly errors by creating a plan that is affordable and tailored to your family’s needs. With years of experience in senior services, finance, and healthcare management, the SeniorSmart founders have created a unique and valuable service for Birmingham families. Visit our website. It’s full of information. Or contact us today. Let us help you navigate through these tough decisions.

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A4 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

About Us Editor’s Note By Neal Embry Springtime is finally here. It’s time to head outside, pack a sack lunch and enjoy the great outdoors. This month, we’ve taken time to examine all of the outdoor spaces in the city and provide you an update on what all is available for you and your family to enjoy this summer in Vestavia Hills. We’ve also included an update on the Parks and Recreation Department’s efforts to improve its marketing, including a new website. We also have a recap on the Vestavia Hills High School wrestling team, which brought home another state championship to add to the school’s vast collection. Congratulations to the team! In this month’s other cover story, we

feature UAB professor Yakov Kasman and his daughter, Dina Kasman, Vestavia residents who are both piano professors. The younger Kasman

recently won first prize at the Gulf Coast Steinway Society Piano Competition and has begun teaching her own students as her father taught her. As we enter into a new season of the year, I am hoping we continue to see a rise in the number of vaccinations and a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, and that life can begin to move forward in a “new normal.” We may not ever go back to the “normal” we had before, but I’m hoping we can get close. Or at least just let me (safely) go to a Braves game again. I’ll settle for that.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Buds begin to open on a magnolia tree at the corner of Shades Crest Road and Montgomery Highway on March 6. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Correction

A story on page A18 of the March 2021 issue titled “Bringing North to South: Italian restaurant North Italia opening at The Summit” incorrectly

Publisher: Dan Starnes Managing Editor: Nick Patterson Community Editors: Neal Embry Jon Anderson Jesse Chambers Leah Ingram Eagle Ingrid Schnader Sports Editor: Kyle Parmley Design Editor: Melanie Viering Photo Editor: Erin Nelson Page Designers: Kristin Williams Ted Perry Account Managers: Layton Dudley Ted Perry Content Marketing Manager: Erica Brock Graphic Designer: Emily VanderMey Local Sales Manager: Senior Business Development Exec.: Business Development Exec.: Client Success Specialist: Marketing Consultants:

Gregg Gannon Michelle Salem Haynes

Don Harris Anna Bain Warren Caldwell Kentevious Forehand Stacey Hatcher Jamie Lester John Yarbrough Business Administrator: Anna Jackson

reported that Carrabba’s Italian Grill had closed. The restaurant is still open. We regret the error.

For advertising contact: ggannon@starnespublishing.com Contact Information: Vestavia Voice P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 dan@starnespublishing.com

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: nembry@starnespublishing.com P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

Published by: Starnes Publishing LLC Legals: Vestavia Voice is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Vestavia Voice is designed to inform the Vestavia community of area school, family and community events. Information in Vestavia Voice is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Vestavia Voice. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email. Please recycle this paper.

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A6 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

City

Council approves Five Oaks development By NEAL EMBRY Seventeen homes will soon be built on 18 lots at 2810 Five Oaks Lane in the Altadena neighborhood, following the approval of the annexation and rezoning of the property by the Vestavia Hills City Council on Feb. 22. The property was rezoned from Jefferson County E-2 to Vestavia Hills R-2, which is medium-density residential, at the request of Round Tree Investments. One lot will remain in the county but will be subject to the covenants and conditions of the entire subdivision and, if it is subdivided in the future, it cannot exceed a maximum of two lots compliant with its current zoning classification. The property owners and area residents have had multiple meetings during the past several months and have addressed many of the concerns originally expressed, including density, drainage and green space. The developer originally asked for permission to build 29 houses but reduced that request to 17 houses and agreed to include 2.35 acres of dedicated green space. Because of the developer’s concessions, Don Petry, a spokesperson for the neighborhood, said neighbors had no problem supporting annexation and the rezoning. However, Petry raised two concerns: the installation of a stop sign at Caldwell Mill Road and Five Oaks Lane, and a sidewalk extension on Caldwell Mill Road from Five Oaks Lane to Shady Waters Lane. Petry said the stop sign is needed to deal with speeding. He referenced a traffic study by Skipper Consulting that found at least 15% of drivers on that part of Caldwell Mill Road were traveling 39 mph in a 25 mph zone and said he and others have been struck by a car on the road. The study measured turning volumes at

The three-way stop at the intersection of Caldwell Mill Road and Acton Place in Vestavia Hills in front of a 10-acre wooded lot, where 17 homes will be built on 18 lots with 2.35 acres of dedicated green space. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Five Oaks Lane and Acton Place. City Manager Jeff Downes said in order for a stop sign to be installed, a traffic calming measure can be requested on the city’s website. Sidewalks will be installed in front of the proposed lots, and a new pedestrian bridge is proposed along Caldwell Mill Road.

Concerns with the weight-restricted bridge on Caldwell Mill have been raised, and Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons, who was present at the meeting, said the county is working to alleviate those issues and, at some point, hopes to replace that bridge. The council also passed a resolution

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approving the splitting of surplus funds between the general reserve fund and the capital projects fund, which will raise the capital fund reserves from about $4.3 million to $5.7 million, while the general fund unassigned reserves will decrease from about $5 million to $3.6 million. The council made a similar move last year, and the idea to do it again was suggested at this year’s strategic planning session. The council also approved a 1% cost-ofliving pay adjustment for all city employees, retroactive to Oct. 1, 2020, at a cost of about $235,000, Downes said. The council did not approve a cost-of-living raise in fiscal 2020. In other business, the council: ► Approved a license for the Shell station at 2485 Rocky Ridge Road to sell alcoholic beverages. ► Annexed property at 2537 Tyler Road and rezoned it from a Jefferson County R-1 residential district, which requires lots of at least 12,500 square feet (if on sewer) and houses of at least 1,000 square feet, to a Vestavia Hills R-2 residential district, which requires lots of at least 15,000 square feet and houses of at least 1,600 square feet. ► Annexed property at 2519 Dolly Ridge Road and rezoned it from a Jefferson County E-2 estate district, which requires lots of at least 20,000 square feet and houses of at least 1,200 square feet, to a Vestavia Hills R-1 residential district, which requires lots of at least 20,000 square feet and houses of at least 2,000 square feet. ► Annexed property at 3642 Altadena Drive and rezoned it from a Jefferson County E-1 estate district, which requires lots of at least 1 acre and houses of at least 1,400 square feet, to a Vestavia Hills E-2 estate district, which requires lots of at least 1 acre and houses of at least 2,000 square feet.

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A facility of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the result of a public/private partnership between the City of Birmingham and the nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a mission-driven membership organization that seeks to protect, nurture, and share the wonders of the Gardens.


VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A7

Manda Luccasen sells Vestavia like no other.

Residents whose trash was being picked up on Wednesdays and Saturdays now will have their trash picked up on either Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays, according to City Manager Jeff Downes. Stock photo.

Weekend garbage routes ending By NEAL EMBRY Amwaste will no longer pick up trash on Saturdays in Vestavia Hills, City Manager Jeff Downes said. Residents whose trash was being picked up on Wednesdays and Saturdays now will have their trash picked up on either Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays, he said. Some residents had complained about the noise of pickups early on Saturday mornings or forgetting to set their trash out on Saturdays, so city officials decided to end the weekend pickups, Downes said. Nothing else is changing regarding the routes. Amwaste still is asking residents to put their recycling items in their second days’ pickup. Residents should contact the city if they have any questions about their service. Information about new routes was expected to be

delivered to affected residents in mid-March, Downes said at the March 8 City Council meeting. The only items the council needed to debate at the meeting were the special license for the annual Wing Dings event, allowing the sale of alcohol at the event, which will be held during the last week of April, and a resolution allowing Downes to declare three police vehicles as surplus. Both items were approved. Councilwoman Kimberly Cook announced an upcoming vacancy on the Vestavia Hills Board of Education, which is a five-year term. The application period opened March 9 and closes April 12. Interviews will be conducted either April 15 or 16, and the council plans to vote on a new board member April 26 at the regularly scheduled council meeting. The term of current school board President Lisa Baker is set to expire at the end of May.

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A8 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Online sales skyrocket during pandemic City’s revenue from online purchases up 108% in FY2020

VESTAVIA HILLS ONLINE SALES TAX REVENUES FROM STATE*

FY2020

FY2021

$200,000

$160K

By NEAL EMBRY Seventy-seven percent of people who responded to a survey conducted by the city of Vestavia Hills said they shop online either much more frequently or somewhat more frequently since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The amount of money the city receives from the state’s simplified sellers use tax (SSUT), which is a system for collecting sales taxes from online purchases, increased 108% in fiscal 2020 to $1.3 million. SSUT revenues in fiscal 2021 are on pace to beat that amount by 56%, City Manager Jeff Downes said. In January 2021, the city received about $160,000 from the SSUT, compared to about $20,000 in January 2017, Downes said. The SSUT, created by the Alabama Legislature, allows online retailers to charge an 8% sales tax on each purchase rather than trying to figure out exactly in which county and/or municipality the buyer lives. The retailer sends that tax money to the state. The state keeps 4%, and the other 4% is split among cities and counties. Some retailers like to opt into the SSUT program because they don’t have to track the location of purchases and the 8% amount is less than the average sales tax rate, which is typically between 8.5% and 10%, Downes said. But some retailers, such as Apple, Target and Walmart, don’t use the SSUT system and pay the actual rates in whatever jurisdiction the purchases were made or items delivered. Some city officials say the SSUT system is unfair because sales taxes collected on purchase made in Vestavia Hills are making their way all over the state instead of staying in Vestavia, Downes said. City leaders must constantly watch legislation to see if there are

$150,000

$138K

$140K

$138K

$100K

$100,000

$82K

$80K

$82K

$50,000

October

November

December

*Revenues from simplified sellers use tax

any changes, and while he appreciates online sales, he said it’s also important to continue supporting brick-and-mortar businesses. Brick-and-mortar businesses offer more than just a product; they offer an experience, Downes said. “You pay for the experience,” he said. “There is a uniqueness that some retailers can make to help that.”

January SOURCE: CITY OF VESTAVIA HILLS

Sales tax numbers from businesses physically located in Vestavia Hills are doing well, too, despite the pandemic, Downes said. For the first four months of fiscal 2021 — October through January, sales tax revenues from brickand-mortar businesses are up about 17%, he said. Having entertainment districts in the city also helps, Downes said, and having an online presence in addition to a physical store can

Thank you...

also help. The businesses that can do that well will succeed, he said. Online sales won’t disappear after the pandemic ends. “We’ve got to realize that online sales have continued to grow, and in this COVID-19 and post-COVID age, these numbers are going to be larger than that [what they currently are],” Downes said.

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April 2021 • A9

City sees positive results with ‘Human TraffickingFree Zone’ Barbara Fowler with the Child Trafficking Solutions Project and Christie Peters with the Junior League of Birmingham receive a declaration naming January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January 2020. Photo by Neal Embry.

By NEAL EMBRY In February 2020, Vestavia Hills police were able to rescue four children from trafficking and arrest the man suspected of trafficking them. Capt. Johnny Evans with the Vestavia Hills Police Department said without the training they received as part of being named a “Human TraffickingFree Zone” in November 2019, they might not have been able to spot what was happening. As the city continues to train its employees on how to spot and prevent human trafficking, the Police Department is seeing success in cracking down on these cases. “Our officers now, when they’re dealing with people, know to look for certain things,” Evans said. “We’ve really been able to notice more of the signs.” Becoming a “Human TraffickingFree Zone” is part of the Child Trafficking Solutions Project, formed in response to the passage of the state’s Safe Harbor Act, created by former state Rep. Jack Williams from Vestavia Hills. The program is managed at the local level by the project but is an initiative of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. In order to be designated as such a zone, there are three steps the city must take: passing a proclamation declaring the city to be a Human TraffickingFree Zone, undergoing training for city personnel (in particular first responders) and businesses in the city, and lastly, a zero tolerance policy for city employees caught purchasing sex at work. City Manager Jeff Downes previously said that policy is already in place, and any city employee found to have done so would be fired. Barbara Fowler has been involved in anti-trafficking efforts since 2017 and also works with the project. Fowler, who made the award-winning short film on human trafficking, “Hidden Gems,” said Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry has been a “great advocate” in the fight against human trafficking. “Even through COVID-19, the city is doing

online training,” Fowler said. Fowler said it’s vital not just to train city staff, but to also offer training to those in the school system and in the community so that the city as a whole is committed to watching for signs of human trafficking and making sure it doesn’t happen in Vestavia. “It really is a hidden problem,” Fowler said. “I hope people will see it in a different light.” Due to being a “Human TraffickingFree Zone” and going through the subsequent training, it raises the chances that if someone sees something that looks wrong, they’ll say something, Fowler said. Curry said Vestavia has been successful in making these changes because of the buy-in

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from its residents. “Everyone is on board,” Curry said. “When you don’t have buy-in, you aren’t going to get anywhere.” Curry said he is proud that Vestavia was the first city in the state to be declared a “Human TraffickingFree Zone” and said it shows residents are behind the effort and committed to stopping the problem. Curry was inspired to take the lead on this issue because of his more than 25 years in law enforcement, where he witnessed the dangers and horrors of human trafficking firsthand. “It’s just disgusting to me that children can be trafficked,” Curry said. The internet clearly plays a large role in the

crime, Evans said. But while online contact of children is up during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s put a halt on traveling because of restrictions due to the virus, Evans said. There also are concerns during large events like the Super Bowl, Olympics and the World Games, which are coming to Birmingham in 2022. Those large gatherings provide cover and opportunity for traffickers to engage in their crimes, Evans said. The training, however, is making a difference, Evans said, at large events like the World Games and races at Talladega Superspeedway, and on a daily basis in Vestavia. “People are going to quit coming to this area because they know they’re going to be caught,” Evans said.


A10 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Mayor’s Minute By Ashley Curry This month is National Volunteer Appreciation month. April became National Volunteer Month as part of President George H. W. Bush’s “1,000 Points of Light” campaign in 1991. Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. They pick a cause and make a difference in their communities or someone’s life. Sometimes the difference is a drop in the bucket; other times it creates a tidal wave of change. Most recently we saw many volunteers assisting the city of Fultondale in the aftermath of a tornado and volunteers delivering bottled water to numerous cities in north Alabama that lost their water supplies. From the anonymous volunteers who donate their resources to those whose efforts are part of larger national organizations like Boy and Girl Scouts of America or American Red Cross or a local grassroots group, their missions provide valuable support to communities. In addition to our volunteers, I want to recognize two of our elected officials who assisted our city on several important issues. One of our outstanding citizens and public servants is state Sen. J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner. Jabo has lived in Vestavia Hills over 50 years. And, if you were not aware, he has served in the Alabama Legislature equally as long. In fact, he has served longer than anyone in our state’s history. In the past few months I sought his assistance on a very important issue involving our city. A bill being considered by the Alabama Legislature, referred to as the “Fireworks” bill, as originally written, would have overridden a city’s authority to control the sale of fireworks. Vestavia Hills has a fireworks ordinance, passed in 1958, that prohibits the sale of fireworks in our city. This bill would have removed our authority to have such an ordinance. As this is a “local” issue, I believe that our local elected officials

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should make that decision and not the state of Alabama. Sen. Waggoner was instrumental in directing legislators to amend the bill so that individual cities can preserve their authority to pass local ordinances regarding fireworks. At the time I am writing this, the bill has not been passed, but I am optimistic that our city will maintain our right to decide this issue. Secondly, I would like to recognize Congressman Gary Palmer. Congressman Palmer, along with Sen. Waggoner, was instrumental in helping me advocate for some of our senior citizens residing in an independent living facility. These seniors were not able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, even though other, less priority groups were able to be vaccinated. There were a number of reasons that contributed to this group of seniors being overlooked. There were county, state and federal programs that covered some assisted living facilities but not independent living. With the assistance of Congressman Palmer and Sen. Waggoner, we were able to draw attention to the plight of these seniors, and they have been designated to receive the vaccine. Thank you, Sen. Waggoner, and thank you, Congressman Palmer. I thank the many volunteers who make a positive difference in our community by donating their time and talents to worthy causes. “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – Author Unknown

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VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A11

Business National steel company puts headquarters near Vestavia Hills By NEAL EMBRY For four years, Ralph Parrish drove by a piece of vacant property at 2101 Old Columbiana Road. When he realized he needed to move the offices for his company, North Alabama Fabricating Company (NAFCO), from north Birmingham to a new home, he realized the property would be a perfect spot for the steel fabrication business. The property, which will be called the Steel Ridge Center, is a stone’s throw away from Vestavia Hills city limits but sits in Jefferson County. NAFCO is a nationally recognized steel company and has offices in Chicago and plants in several Alabama cities. In addition to many other projects, the company has performed the steel work at both Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and the new Protective Stadium in Birmingham, which will soon host the UAB football team. Parrish is a second-generation owner, and his children are also involved in the family business. While his business previously was in north Birmingham, Parrish is a longtime resident of Vestavia. NAFCO will be on the fourth floor of the building and take up about 10,000 square feet. Another 2½ floors and roughly 24,000 square feet are available for leasing through Cushman & Wakefield/EGS Commercial Real Estate. While no other tenants have been announced yet, those who do move into the building will be working in a “high-end” building, said Brad Jones, senior vice president at EGS. The second floor will be all glass, and NAFCO is featuring a good bit of exposed steel. Metal panels on the outside will give a warm feeling to those working in the building, and the group tried to use as much of the natural terrain that surrounds the property as possible,

The new headquarters of the North Alabama Fabricating Company (NAFCO) steel company under construction on Old Columbiana Road. The property, which will be called the Steel Ridge Center, is literally a stone’s throw away from Vestavia Hills city limits but sits in Jefferson County. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Parrish said. “It was a complicated site,” Parrish said. “It was a lot of site prep to try and maintain the natural area as much as possible.” The group left some boulders and trees to give the building a more natural feel, Parrish said. Jones said he hopes it will lead to other businesses wanting to locate in the building

and said he hopes to have it leased in six to 10 months. While the business won’t be in Vestavia, Parrish said his team, during construction, alleviated the flooding issues that are common around the site, which will help nearby Vestavia residents who drive on those roads. The group also built more than the required number of

parking spaces and conducted a traffic study that showed there would be no major impact on traffic in the area, Parrish said. The plan was for Parrish and NAFCO to move into the building in early March, but the timing was still uncertain. For more information on NAFCO, visit nafcofab.com.

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A12 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

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VestaviaVoice.com

Now Open Connect Pediatric Speech-Language Services, 2017 Canyon Road, Suite 45, in Vestavia Village, is now open. Launched by speech-language pathologist Courtney Hamilton, the clinic offers several services for children in the Birmingham metro area. 205-968-1348, connectgroupal.com

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Agent Creg Leggett recently opened Hapbridge Insurance Agency, 2081 Columbiana Road. “With 27 years in the insurance industry, I made the decision to branch out and start my own agency with the intention of providing more options to my clients. I have long dreamed of owning my own agency and am very proud to be joining the small business owner community here in Vestavia Hills,” Leggett said. 205-536-9151

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Coming Soon Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery recently announced it will move its offices to 3127 Blue Lake Drive in Vestavia Hills in the fall of 2021. The project was designed by Williams Blackstock Architects, and construction will be completed by Rives Construction. Inspired by the architecture style of Alys Beach, this beautiful, approximately 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art medical facility will have an operating room, dedicated med-spa, consult and exam rooms, along with administrative offices. The facility will have two waiting rooms — one for our consult and

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April 2021 • A13 post-op patients and another for the families of surgical patients. All visitors can take advantage of our outdoor courtyard. The operating suite features an operating room, pre- and post-op rooms and a family waiting room. The operating suite will have its own private exit and patient pick-up area. The med-spa features a skin care consultation room with a retail area, two spa treatment rooms and a room dedicated to procedures. Each room in the med-spa is equipped to take advantage of current specific treatments and procedures such as BBL, Cellfina, Coolsculpting and Morpheus8. 205-930-1600, grottingcohnplasticsurgery. com

Relocations and Renovations Sassy Peacock is relocating its Vestavia Hills boutique at 2114 Columbiana Road to 6099 McAshan Drive in McCalla and plans to open its new shop in the fall of 2021. It is offering a moving sale through May or until everything is sold. 205-747-2275, sassy-peacock.com

4

News and Accomplishments

Personnel Moves Andrew Nix will join Regions as chief governance officer, advising the Regions Financial Corp. board of directors and executive management on a wide range of corporate governance best practices while serving as a liaison to external stakeholders, including institutional stockholders, regarding corporate governance matters. Nix will report to Tara Plimpton, chief legal officer for the bank. Regions has local branches at 3390 Morgan Drive, 529 Montgomery Highway and 3172 Heights Village. regions.com

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Anniversaries Led by David Emory and wife Roxanne, RE/MAX in Vestavia Hills, 903 Montgomery Highway, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The couple founded the business in the heart of Vestavia Hills and are still in the same building today. At the RE/MAX Regional Awards Ceremony last month, RE/ MAX Southern Homes was awarded the No. 1 RE/MAX organization in Alabama for highest number of transactions (1,387) and the second highest in the state for sales volume, over $427.6 million sold in 2020. RE/MAX Southern Homes has grown exponentially in the last 20 years. They have two locations and more than 100 agents in the Birmingham Metro area. 205-979-8500, southernhomesrealestate.com

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Business news Business news to share? 950

Vestavia Hills residents John and Sarah Wright have developed the Coolbus app, which helps parents share the load with other parents in finding their kids rides for school and activities. Coolbus can be found on

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app stores. coolbus.com

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Business news to share?

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Share your business news with us cremationcenterofbirmingham.net Share your business news with us at vestaviavoice.com/about-us at vestaviavoice.com/about-us

If you have news to share with the community about your brick-and-mortar business in Vestavia Hills, let us know!

Share your business news with us at vestaviavoice.com/about-us

The older I get, the more I realize how much there is to learn. Lifelong learning with OLLI friends has exponentially added to my quality of life. Beth White, Curriculum VP

You Belong With OLLI OLLI is a member-led community of lifelong learners in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Gadsden. Members enjoy learning new things, meeting peers with similar interests and traveling together. OLLI offers accessible, interactive and fun courses completely online that provide members opportunities to stay connected, even when they are apart. Registration for the summer semester begins May 4th. Visit olli.ua.edu/bhm or call 1-855-424-0909.


A14 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice Guests enjoy lunch March 9 at Satterfield’s in Cahaba Heights, with a wall of family photographs seen in the background. “They all tell a story,” Milyn Satterfield Little said of the photos. “It’s where we all evolved.” The restaurant recently underwent renovations with the interior decor, the addition of a private dining room and patio seating. Photos by Erin Nelson.

‘Breaking bread with the community’ Left: Milyn Satterfield Little, of Creative Design Properties and R. Little Construction, back left, holds her 10-month-old daughter Lola Little as she stands beside Jessica Mackin of Nadeau Birmingham, Becky Satterfield, owner, seated at left, and Leah Harrigan, general manager of the restaurant, at Satterfield’s patio. Below: A cabinet in the bar displays the name Satterfield’s.

Satterfield’s reopens after remodel, offers new lunch options By NEAL EMBRY At Satterfield’s, family is in the design. The Satterfield family plays a leading role at the restaurant, owned by Becky Satterfield. Her daughter, Milyn Satterfield Little, along with Little’s husband, Ricky, also help. And now, after a remodel last year, family photos adorn the wall of the dining establishment in the heart of Cahaba Heights. Satterfield’s stepfather, Dude Hennessey, a former assistant coach for University of Alabama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant, is in a photo on the wall. Chef Chris Harrigan and his wife Leah, who is the restaurant’s general manager, have their wedding photo hanging along with dozens of other photos telling the story of the Satterfield’s family, both biological and chosen, including the Harrigans and Jessica Mackin, who helped renovate the restaurant’s interior as part of her job with Nadeau Birmingham. Becky Satterfield’s numerous awards also line part of the wall, but it is family that plays a key role, because it is family that has kept the restaurant going, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is family that led Satterfield to a love of cooking that has led to such a successful career. “I was cooking when I was standing in a chair,” Satterfield said. The interior remodel came about when the family realized there was a need to go in a different direction when it came to art. With Little’s background in filmmaking, she saw the value in using old black and white photographs. “They all tell a story,” Little said of the photos. “It’s where we all evolved.” The photographs have been a hit with customers. For one customer in particular, the picture with Dude Hennessy was especially meaningful. The 1961 photograph shows Alabama coaches Hennessy, Howard

Schnellenberger, Charley Laslie, head of the Alabama Highway Patrol Joe Smelley and a former Alabama player, Steve Allen, celebrating the Tide’s first win over the University of Tennessee since 1954, a dominant 34-3 performance that was the largest margin of victory over Tennessee since their 51-0 win in 1906. When the customer saw the picture, she recognized her father, Allen. She had never seen the photo before. Doing the renovations was a family affair as well. It took all hands on deck to swap out not just the artwork, but to redesign the lighting, change the entry space, install partitions at the bar, install other COVID-19 precautions and more. That was especially true in the several weeks the restaurant was closed for renovations. “We basically lived here in January,” Little said. “It was just a group effort.” One of the other key changes is the installation of the new bar in the lounge area. It’s made of metallic gold that was featured in Architectural Digest and on HGTV, Little said. The group also installed a

“selfie wall” for people to be able to take pictures and remember their trip to the restaurant. Little and Mackin helped come up with the design, with Ricky helping execute that vision with his construction company, R. Little Construction. After many months and “thousands of texts,” the restaurant reopened in January 2021. Work isn’t completely done. The group continues trying to make Satterfield’s the best it can be. Little said the patio will be revamped, and

they’ll have café lights, raise the height of the wall and place greenery on the wall to create a more intimate feel and allow guests to dine at night. In addition to changing the look of the restaurant, Satterfield’s also has begun offering a new lunch and dinner menu, changing to a meatand-three at lunch to go along with their traditional fine dining options at dinner. The restaurant also eventually will offer delivery within a 5-mile radius, Satterfield said. When the restaurant reopened, it

was like welcoming back old friends, Satterfield said. “A lot of people hadn’t been here in years,” she said. The decision to offer a meat-andthree menu stemmed from a community desire for one, something that Cahaba Heights hadn’t had since the closing of Heights Café years ago. “Overwhelmingly, people want a meat-and-three,” Satterfield said. Satterfield, who also owns El Zun Zun in Cahaba Heights, said people have referred to their lunch offering as an “elevated meat-and-three.” The Harrigans, along with sous chef Liz Brody, came on board after the remodel and brought decades of experience with them. The new dinner menu focuses on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients and includes items such as  winter squash cappellacci pasta with maitake mushroom confit, porcini jus, parmesan and crispy sage;  char grilled octopus  served atop avocado toast with black garlic, chorizo, watercress and Spanish sherry vinaigrette;  Southern fried Ashley Farms chicken livers-n-onions with crispy tobacco onions and spicy aioli; and blood orange, almond and endive salad  with shaved fennel, ricotta salata cheese, toasted almonds and citrus vinaigrette. Lunch, offered Tuesday through Saturday, offers more of a rotating menu. Leah Harrigan said it depends on what’s fresh and available that day. Menu items include soups and salads, grilled teres major steak,  chicken scallopini,  sauteed Gulf shrimp,  house burger,  fish of the day and more. Diners can choose from sides such as pinto beans with smoked peppers, fried green tomatoes and Cajun aioli, squash casserole, McEwen & Son’s corn grits and much more, the restaurant said in a release at the time of reopening. While family plays a key role in the leadership of Satterfield’s, family is also a value Satterfield wants to share with the Cahaba Heights community as a whole as they prepare food for them. “We’re breaking bread with the community,” Satterfield said. For more information, visit satterfieldsrestaurant.com.


VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A15

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A16 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Chamber Shipt CEO talks about adapting to pandemic, increasing diversity Kelly Caruso, the CEO of Shipt in Birmingham, spoke during a virtual luncheon for the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce on March 9. Photo courtesy of Shipt.

By NEAL EMBRY When the pandemic hit, it was “chaos” at Shipt in downtown Birmingham, CEO Kelly Caruso said. Despite the challenges, Caruso said the business takes pride in being able to provide those in the Birmingham area a way to have groceries delivered safely, and to provide some income to Shipt shoppers who may have lost income as a result of the pandemic. “We are a people-centric community,” Caruso said at a virtual luncheon for the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce on March 9. Shipt occupies one of the tallest buildings in the city of Birmingham and has consistently grown since launching in 2014. Target bought the business in 2017, but Shipt still operates independently from its owner, Caruso said. Caruso joined Shipt after the acquisition, replacing founder Bill Smith. Caruso formerly worked for two decades as the president of Target’s global sourcing business before joining Shipt in 2019 upon Smith’s departure. Despite moving from the much colder North, Caruso said her family has adjusted well to life in the South, and her children especially love it. One of her sons is going to the University of Alabama next year and said he doesn’t want to leave the South. When the pandemic hit, Shipt enabled contactless delivery, provided protective equipment for shoppers, provided pay to shoppers who were diagnosed with COVID-19 or unable to work due to mandatory quarantines, provided incentive pay on individual orders and sent multiple rounds of bonuses for the most active shoppers, Caruso said. Shoppers work on average about 10 hours a week, Caruso said. However, in an effort to attract

quality talent, only three out of 10 people who apply to be a Shipt shopper are accepted, she said. Caruso spends her time developing the company’s purpose and values, molding a long-term strategy and developing and nurturing talent, she said. Since joining the company, she said she’s realized how many great people work at Shipt. “I’ve got some amazing talent to work with, and I’m amazed every day when I come into work,” Caruso said. The talent at Shipt is diverse, Caruso said.

Six out of nine executives are women, and half of all leaders, which includes directors and above, are women. Forty percent of the executive team is diverse, and 31% of the product and tech team is female, she said. Shipt wants to give back to the Birmingham community and to the technology sector in general, Caruso said. The company owns Birmingham Bound, which helps recruit tech companies to the city, and nurtures existing ones. It also partners with Innovation Depot. On the nonprofit side, Shipt supports Feeding America, a hunger relief organization.

The company also has future plans for growth, including growing its footprint and increasing accessibility to Shipt’s services, Caruso said. The company also plans to add more retailers and become a one-stop shop. Caruso said while the business won’t get into delivering hot food, it may expand to other categories such as baby supplies, office supplies and more. Shipt is also working to enhance its app, as well as growing the company and increasing diversity, Caruso said. For more information, visit shipt.com.

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VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A17

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A18 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Schoolhouse Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Neal Embry at nembry@starnespublishing.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

Dobnikar named Liberty Park Middle School principal By NEAL EMBRY Longtime Vestavia Hills educator Roger Dobnikar has been named the principal at Liberty Park Middle School, elevated from his interim status, which he has held since August. The Vestavia Hills Board of Education approved the hire at its Feb. 22 meeting. Dobnikar spent 14 years working as an English teacher at Pizitz Middle School before joining Liberty Park Middle as an assistant principal in 2008, a position he held until he was named interim principal in August, when then-principal Tonya Rozell was named principal at Vestavia Hills High School. “Liberty Park Middle has a rich history, and I feel very blessed to get to take the helm and continue building on their tradition of excellence,” Dobnikar said in a statement. Vestavia Hills City Schools Superintendent Todd Freeman praised Dobnikar’s work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Mr. Dobnikar has served as the interim principal at Liberty Park Middle School with a steady and consistent vision during this challenging school year,” Freeman said in a statement. “He is committed to providing the very best learning experiences for students and working alongside his team of exceptional educators.” Dobnikar holds two bachelor’s

Longtime educator Roger Dobnikar has been named the principal at Liberty Park Middle School, elevated from his interim status, which he has held since August. Photo courtesy of Vestavia Hills City Schools.

degrees in English and specialized ministries from Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma, as well as master’s and educational specialist degrees from Samford University. In addition to hiring Dobnikar, the board approved bids for library renovations at Vestavia Hills Elementary

2726 Cahaba Rd. Mountain Brook Village

Dolly Ridge, Vestavia Hills Elementary East and Vestavia Hills Elementary West. Assistant Superintendent Patrick Martin gave the board details on each project: ► Dolly Ridge: The school board will pay Wyatt General Contractor roughly $244,000 to merge the library with the fine arts center at

205.871.6747

the campus, as well as perform other upgrades. ► East: The school board will pay Duncan and Thompson Construction Services roughly $196,000 for upgrades and renovations to the library. ► West: The school board will pay David Acton Building Corp.

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roughly $176,000 for upgrades and renovations. Freeman also gave the board an update on attendance data related to the pandemic. While the number of students who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 increased from 85 on Jan. 19 to 135 on Feb. 5, numbers decreased since that day, with 29 students testing positive Feb. 19. The total percentage of students who have tested positive at some point during the school year is about 7%, with an estimated less than 0.5% of students testing positive after having close contact with a positive case at school. The school system also began vaccinating teachers, with about 800 vaccinations provided in February by school nurses. In other business, the school board: ► Approved a budget amendment that increases the expected amount of revenues over expenditures by about $308,000, which should lead to a $7.3 million fund balance at the end of the fiscal year. ► Approved an update to the job description for the director of assessment and accountability. ► Approved the parent-student handbook for the 2021-22 school year. ► Approved several out-of-state trips. However, Freeman said those trips are not overnight trips because those have not yet been cleared due to the pandemic.

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VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A19

Should I change my investment strategy due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19?

This time last year the terms “Coronavirus” and “COVID-19” were foreign to most of us. Then in mid-March economic activity around the world came to a screeching halt as the S&P 500 dropped 34% in a 5 week period, erasing 3 years of gains. Fortunately the journey from record highs to a bear market and back to new records only took 126 days… another record, as the average time to get back to new highs coming out of a bear market is 1500 days. About six years. So much has changed in the past 12 months, leaving many investors wondering what this means for their investment strategy and overall financial plan. Here are a few things you should do:

Revisit your retirement goals and objectives and develop a strategy

One of the foundations of a solid financial plan is to consider what you need and/or want to accomplish with your plan. Having written strategies for saving, investing, debt management and knowing what it takes to balance your personal budget are key components to a successful plan.

Make sure your portfolio risk is properly aligned with your financial plan

Let’s talk about your retirement. (205) 874-1804

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Your time horizon, personal risk tolerance, and your intended use for each investment and savings account should dictate the amount of risk you are taking in each of those accounts. You can take more risk with money that can stay invested for the next ten years, but money that you may need in the next 12 months needs to be very conservatively invested.

RiverpeakPartners@RaymondJames.com

Know what you own, and why you own it

The coronavirus has changed consumer behavior. Some companies that were thriving before COVID-19 may have an extinct business model or be in for a long-recovery, and other companies may now be thriving in this “new economy”. The bottom line is that stock prices are traditionally tied to a company’s ability to produce and grow earnings. Now is the time to look at what you own in your portfolios and examine what changes you need to make. If you have any questions or would like to talk with us individually, please call our office at 205-874-1804, email us at RiverpeakPartners@RaymondJames.com.

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A20 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Events Easter egg-stravaganza part of Vestavia library events By NEAL EMBRY Easter is going virtual, too. The Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest is hosting an all-day online “Easter egg-stravaganza” April 2 on the library’s website, vestavialibrary.org. Children can go to the website and search for hidden Easter eggs, and when they find where they were hidden, they can come by the library to pick up their prize. There will also be a craft and a coupon to print out and bring to the library for a free edible treat. Earth Day is also being celebrated each week in April. On April 6, a virtual tour of the auroras will take place at noon online, followed by a virtual tour of rafting the Colorado River at the same time April 13. On April 20, participants can tour the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, followed The Easter bunny poses with a family at the Vestavia Hills by a tour April 27 of Earth Library in the Forest. Photo courtesy of Eden Pfaff. as viewed from space. The last tour is a development of NASA and con- Saturday with curbside service available from sists of 26 chapters that reveal locations on 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visits will remain limited to one hour and patrons are required to wear face the planet that form an alphabet from space. The library’s hours have also changed, coverings and practice physical distancing. For a complete listing of library events, visit beginning in late March. The library’s hours are now 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through the library website at vestavialibrary.org.

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Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights hosted its Taste of the Heights fundraising event in 2019. It featured an art show, silent auction, book fair and food sampling from local vendors. Staff photo.

Cahaba Heights school to show students’ work this month By NEAL EMBRY During the week of April 26, Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights will honor students and their work throughout the school year with a special event called “Highlighting our Heroes.” The event takes the place of the annual “Taste of the Heights” event, which combined an art show and food from local restaurants. Due to restaurants not being able to come to the school this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was reworked and renamed. This year, the all-virtual event will give students a chance to take their parents on a virtual tour on what their day at school looks like and

show them how they’ve grown academically throughout the year. That virtual tour will also include an art show, which will showcase one piece of artwork by each student, chosen by art teacher Katie Hicks. Hicks said the show will be held with the help of an Atlanta-based art company called Artome, whose website will host the artwork. The company has previously framed student’s artwork, Hicks said. The event will be a great way for parents to see what their kids’ work and gives the students something of which to be proud, Hicks said. “I think this will really be a celebration,” Hicks said. “They are really proud to get to show their skills.”


VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A21

Sports

Rebels capture 16th wrestling state title The Vestavia Hills High School team, led by Coach Tee Adams, won the AHSAA Class 7A state wrestling tournament. Photo courtesy of Dawn Harrison.

By KYLE PARMLEY The Vestavia Hills High School wrestling team knocked the three-time defending champion off its pedestal. The Rebels reclaimed their throne in February, winning the AHSAA Class 7A state wrestling tournament for a state-record 16th time. It was their first state title since 2017, as Thompson entered the season the three-time reigning champs. Vestavia Hills scored 277.5 points to secure victory over the Warriors, which finished with 240.5 points. The top two teams were the class of the field, as Hewitt-Trussville’s 150 points was good enough for third. In the event, the Rebels had four individual champions. Zach Flurry capped off a perfect season to win the 113-pound weight class, John Edwards won at 170 pounds, Bryce Littleton took home the 220-pound title and Dawson Ray won at 285 pounds. It was the second straight state title for Edwards, who took home the 160-pound title last year and won his final in a 12-8 decision over Florence’s Joseph Grijalva. Edwards capped off the season with a 20-3 mark. In the 113-pound final, Flurry finished off his 21-0 season with a 6-4 decision victory over Thomas Giere of Thompson. Littleton finished the season 25-1. He admitting to wrestling tentatively in the final but still emerged with a 2-1 decision win over Kyle Watson from Smiths Station. Ray (17-2) defeated Bob Jones’ Drew Lawson 3-2 in a tiebreaker. On his way to the title, Flurry defeated Jaden Sanford (Smiths Station), Logan Odom (Baker), Zachary McFarland (Enterprise) leading up to the final. Edwards took down Sammy Gambino (Fairhope), Evan Warren (Hoover)

and Will Conlon (Spain Park). Littleton defeated Sky Niblett (Hoover), Kobe Thornton (Florence) and Chris Hawkins (Hewitt-Trussville). Ray beat Bryheim Russell (Florence), Tate Campbell (Sparkman) and Cameron Reese (Auburn). Carson Farris (126), Christopher Hays (132) and Jack Lamey (160) each finished second in their weight classes. Farris (16-4) beat Max Morrow (Huntsville), Broc Metcalf (Hoover) and Cedric Abney (Baker) before falling to Yanni Vines (Thompson) in the final. Hays (18-3) took down Riely Weyrowske (Baker), Seth Hall (Hewitt-Trussville) and Nathan Tate (Prattville) before coming up short against Devin Stone (Smiths Station) in the final.

Lamey (25-4) beat Hunter Crane (Huntsville) and Kenan Mills (Sparkman) and Sebastian Davis (James Clemens) before falling to Will Miller (Thompson) in the final. Four other Vestavia Hills wrestlers advanced to the semifinals, with Mac Chandler (106), Hastings Roberts (120), Clay Johnston (138) and Andrew Sykes (195) all coming a match shy of the final. Chandler defeated Timothy Luttrell (Smiths Station) and Kiowa Vines (Thompson) before falling to Bradley Williams (Spain Park) in the semifinals. Chandler then defeated Joseph Soto (Central-Phenix City) and Ty Sisson (Hoover) to finish third in his class. Roberts took down Jonah Shaver (Bob Jones) and Dalton Zimmerman (Hewitt-Trussville) before losing to Nick Dempsey (Thompson). He

also fell in both of his consolation matches to finish sixth. Johnston finished up fourth in his class. He beat Jacob Handy (Grissom) and Jonas Cardamone (Sparkman) before falling to Zander Fields (Huntsville). He defeated Shawn McGowin (Auburn) but lost to Wilson Kennedy (Thompson) in the third-place match. Sykes wound up third. He took down Kamron Gray (Grissom) and Jeremiah Coney (Thompson) to move into the semifinal, where he lost to Hunter Jones (Hewitt-Trussville). He then defeated Shawn Sellers (Sparkman) and Jeremiah Coney (Thompson). Leighton Reese, who finished off an 18-5 season, placed fourth in the 145-pound class. Harris Mitchell (19-4) finished third at 152 pounds.

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A22 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Vestavia Hills’ Win Miller (0) takes the ball to the goal while being guarded by Hewitt-Trussville’s Tyler Pickett (23) during the first half of a Jan. 8 game at Hewitt-Trussville High School. Miller was named to the boys first team of the All-South Metro teams. Photos by Erin Nelson.

All-South Metro Basketball Vestavia Hills’ Emma Smith (3) shoots a layup while being guarded by a Huntsville defender during a Feb. 19 girls Class 7A regional semifinal game at BraaschHatchett Court at Vestavia Hills High School. Smith was named to the girls first team of the All-South Metro teams.

Rebels’ Smith, Miller named to 1st team By KYLE PARMLEY The 2020-21 high school basketball season was a banner one for the Starnes Media coverage area. Six programs advanced to the state final four, with three of them lifting a blue map as state champions when all was said and done. Mountain Brook’s boys won their sixth state title in the last nine years, led by first-year head coach Tyler Davis and forward Rayven Turner. As a result, Davis earns Starnes Media’s All-South Metro Coach of the Year honors, while Turner is the Player of the Year. For the second time in three years, Hoover’s girls beat Hewitt-Trussville in the Class 7A state championship game. Three first-team players were featured in that game, including Player of the Year Amiya Payne from Hewitt. Oak Mountain’s boys won the 7A title for the first time in program history as well. Jason Harlow is Coach of the Year on the girls side after leading Chelsea to the state final four for the first time in school history. Here is the entirety of the AllSouth Metro team.

BOYS 3RD TEAM

► Guard: Jo Jo James, Pinson Valley; had a breakout senior season, going for 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per night. ► Guard: Isiah Daniel, ClayChalkville; scored 13.7 points per game for the Cougars, including 30 points in the regional semifinals. ► Guard: Bo Barber, Mountain Brook; as the Spartans’ point guard, averaged 10 points and 4.2 assists per game. ► Forward: Chip Culpepper, Hoover; capped off a great career with 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He also blocked 28 shots and picked up 29 steals in the year. ► Center: Christian Thompson, Homewood; averaged 15 points and nine rebounds over the final eight games of the season.

BOYS HONORABLE MENTION

BOYS 1ST TEAM

► Guard: Win Miller, Vestavia Hills; led the Rebels with 16.6 points per game as a sophomore. The 6-foot-3 guard has already amassed 872 career points. ► Guard: DJ Fairley, Hoover; the Alabama A&M signee posted 16.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for a Bucs team that advanced to the

rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest. ► Guard: Landon Nuyt, Briarwood; paced the Lions offense with 17 points per game. He scored 25 points or more in seven games. ► Guard: Donovan Shangase, Clay-Chalkville; led the Cougars to the program’s best season, registering 14.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. ► Forward: Noah Young, Oak Mountain; the North Alabama football signee did it all for the Eagles, going for 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. ► Center: Colin Turner, Spain Park; went for 10.8 points and 5.1 boards per game and blocked 45 shots.

regional final. ► Guard: Cam Crawford, Spain Park; capped off his career with 15.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while leading the Jags back to the final four. ► Forward: Rayven Turner, Mountain Brook; led the way for

the Spartans’ title, going for 16.4 points and 6.1 boards per game in his senior season. ► Center: Will Shaver, Oak Mountain; the 6-foot-11 post player posted 14.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He was a force at the rim, blocking 50

shots and altering many more.

BOYS 2ND TEAM

► Guard: Greedy Williams, Pinson Valley; put together a stellar senior season after transferring to Pinson, posting 14.9 points, 4.3

► Guard: Paul Lanzi, Chelsea; Jude Cleary, Vestavia Hills; Colby Carter, Hoover; Riley Edmiston, Chelsea; Evan Smith, Oak Mountain; Paulson Wright, Mountain Brook; Josh Harrington, Spain Park; JR Lambert, Spain Park; Blake Floyd, Spain Park; Holton Smith, Chelsea; Aden Malpass, John Carroll; O’Neal Merchant, John Carroll; Grant


VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A23

Left: Vestavia Hills’ Jude Cleary (1) passes the ball in a Nov. 12 game against Chelsea at Chelsea High School. Cleary was named to the boys honorable mention All-South Metro team. Right: Vestavia Hills’ Alison Stubbs (21) looks to make a play as she’s guarded by the Huntsville defense during a Feb. 19 girls Class 7A regional semifinal game at Braasch-Hatchett Court at Vestavia Hills High School. Stubbs was named to the girls second team of the All-South Metro teams.

Uldrich, Vestavia Hills ► Forward: Carter Hollis, Hewitt-Trussville; Tyler Pickett, Hewitt-Trussville; John Elliott, Briarwood; Mac Swoger, Mountain Brook

BOYS AWARDS

► Player of the Year: Rayven Turner, Mountain Brook ► Coach of the Year: Tyler Davis, Mountain Brook

GIRLS 1ST TEAM

► Guard: Amiya Payne, Hewitt-Trussville; led the area in scoring with 21.4 points per game, while pulling down 7.4 rebounds. The Middle Tennessee signee finished with a school record 2,420 points in her career. ► Guard: Reniya Kelly, Hoover; led the Lady Bucs to the state title as a sophomore, putting up 15.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and three rebounds

per game. ► Guard: Emma Smith, Vestavia Hills; led the Lady Rebels to a 30-win season, as she went for 15 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. ► Guard: Ellen Fleming, Chelsea; led the Lady Hornets in scoring with 10.7 points per game as they went to the state final four for the first time. ► Forward: Aniya Hubbard, Hoover; scored 14.4 points and 6.9 rebounds after recovering from a knee injury suffered in the 2020 playoffs.

GIRLS 2ND TEAM

► Guard: Jada Knight, Hoover; as the floor general for the Lady Bucs, she posted 10 points per game. ► Guard: Jordan Hunter, Hewitt-Trussville; the freshman filled up the stat sheet regularly, finishing the year with 10.1 points, 4.3 assists

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and 4.3 rebounds per game. She also picked up 68 steals on the season. ► Guard: Emma Stearns, Mountain Brook; led the Lady Spartans with 10.4 points per game. ► Guard: Alison Stubbs, Vestavia Hills; capped off her career with 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. ► Forward: Charity Shaw, Oak Mountain; led the Lady Eagles offense, posting 9.1 points and seven rebounds a game.

Chelsea; led the Lady Hornets in rebounds and steals, with 5.1 rebounds per game and 62 steals for the season. ► Guard: Bryanna Williams, Pinson Valley; posted 16.2 points and six rebounds per game. ► Forward: Yari Sigler, Pinson Valley; led the Lady Indians with 17.4 points and seven boards per game.

GIRLS 3RD TEAM

► Guard: Maddie Vaughn, Briarwood; Anna Grace Gibbons, Homewood; April Hooks, Hewitt-Trussville; Sydney Schwallie, Chelsea; Raegan Whitaker, Oak Mountain; Michelle Jones, ClayChalkville; Abby Gordon, Oak Mountain; Avery Masdon, Spain Park ► Forward: Kristen McMillan,

► Guard: Tamyia Muse, ClayChalkville; nearly averaged double figures for the Cougars, going for 9.9 points and six boards per game. ► Guard: Camille Chase, Spain Park; averaged 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Jags after recovering from a knee injury. ► Guard: Sophia Brown,

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GIRLS HONORABLE MENTION

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Hoover; Emily Straughn, Mountain Brook; Josie Edwards, Vestavia Hills; Mackenzie Titus, Chelsea; Cheyenne Pearson, Clay-Chalkville

GIRLS AWARDS

► Player of the Year: Amiya Payne, Hewitt-Trussville ► Coach of the Year: Jason Harlow, Chelsea Starnes Media produces seven monthly publications (280 Living, Hoover Sun, Village Living, The Homewood Star, Vestavia Voice, Cahaba Sun and Iron City Ink). Its sports coverage consists primarily of high school athletics at Briarwood, Chelsea, Oak Mountain, Westminster-Oak Mountain, Spain Park, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Homewood, John Carroll, Hewitt-Trussville, Clay-Chalkville and Pinson Valley.

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A24 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Vestavia Hills’ Emma Smith (3) passes the ball as she’s guarded by Hewitt-Trussville’s Audre Benson (1) in the AHSAA Class 7A Northeast Regional final at Pete Matthews Coliseum at Jacksonville State University on Feb. 24. The Huskies defeated the Rebels 48-46 to advance to the Class 7A state semifinal. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Rebels basketball teams have stellar seasons By KYLE PARMLEY The Vestavia Hills High School basketball teams finished the 202021 season a little sooner than they hoped for, but the boys and girls teams put together spectacular seasons worth remembering. In the second year under John David Smelser, the girls program won 30 games, the Class 7A, Area 6 championship and advanced to the Northeast Regional final. In that regional final, the Lady Rebels lost to eventual state runner-up Hewitt-Trussville on a buzzer beater. Hewitt-Trussville scored the final five points of the third quarter and retook the lead in that contest with 3:44 to play. In a back-and-forth final few minutes, Ally Smith nailed a 3-pointer for Vestavia Hills to tie the game at 46-46 with 1:36 to play. Hewitt was able to successfully hold the ball until Amiya Payne’s final shot. “It was a tough way to end a game. Unfortunate someone had to lose that [game],” Smelser said following the game. It was the fourth time the two teams played this season, but just the first time the Lady Huskies prevailed. The previous three meetings were decided by a combined 16 points and represent three of Hewitt’s four losses on the year. The loss put an end to a phenomenal season for Vestavia Hills, which lost its four games by a combined 10 points. The Lady Rebels were ranked No. 2 in 7A much of the latter portion of the season. “If you watched this team play, you know it’s a fun group to watch,” Smelser said. “We had goals and aspirations to play in the final four, but it doesn’t take away what we’ve done all year.” Josie Edwards led Vestavia with 11 points, while Emma Smith joined her in double figures with 10 points. Both players also pulled down eight rebounds on a day in which the Lady Rebels outrebounded Hewitt 40-28. Edwards, Emma Smith and Alison Stubbs shared their gratitude for playing with a team that stayed together and won 30 games this year. “I’m so proud of them and the work they’ve put in,” Stubbs said. The Lady Rebels won 10 of their

We had goals and aspirations to play in the final four, but it doesn’t take away what we’ve done all year.

JOHN DAVID SMELSER

first 11 games this year, notching wins over the likes of Chelsea, Homewood and Oxford and only losing to Ramsay by one. After playing eventual state champion Hoover to within six points, the Lady Rebels ripped off 14 straight wins, including victories over Ramsay, Hewitt-Trussville (twice) and Spain Park. A one-point loss in the regular season area finale to Spain Park served as the Lady Rebels’ only other loss before the regional final. In the area tournament, they defeated Hewitt for the third time. They then breezed past Huntsville in the regional semifinals. The Vestavia Hills boys were the top-ranked team in 7A the last few weeks of the season. The Rebels won their first nine games of the year, winning the Sneaky Pete’s Rebel Classic and beating Oxford, Helena and Homewood in the opening stretch. A six-point loss to Hoover preceded a six-game winning streak that included impressive victories over eventual state champion Oak Mountain and Ramsay. Vestavia took care of business in Area 6 play with the exception of a blowout loss at Gadsden City, but the Rebels turned around three days later and won the area title with a 60-53 victory at Spain Park. The Rebels capped off the regular season with a win over Huffman, but losses to Spain Park in the area championship and a tough loss at Huntsville in the regional semifinals put an end to the 26-5 campaign. Joey Caiola, Nate Campbell, Charlie Hughes, MJ Newsom, Micah Roberson, Garrett Smith and Grant Uldrich capped off their Vestavia careers this year.

Left: Vestavia Hills’ Grant Uldrich (22) guards HewittTrussville’s Carter Hollis (22) as he shoots for 3 points in a Jan. 8 game at HewittTrussville High School. Below: Vestavia Hills’ Jill Gaylard (2) dribbles the ball downcourt in the AHSAA Class 7A Northeast Regional final game against HewittTrussville on Feb. 24 at Pete Matthews Coliseum at Jacksonville State University.


VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A25

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A26 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Rebels highly motivated this spring By KYLE PARMLEY The 13 seniors on the Vestavia Hills High School girls soccer team know only one thing: winning it all. So far, during their high school careers, no other team has staked claim to a Class 7A state championship. In 2018 and 2019, Vestavia took home the blue map, and the 2019 team was utterly dominant, going 23-0 on the season. Last spring, nobody took home the title after the season was shortened due to COVID-19. “Since we have so many seniors and since we’ve been playing together for so long, it’s really exciting to see how we’ve developed,” said Riley Vicinanzo, who leads the Rebels’ offensive attack. There is a desire to keep that trend going and the Rebels were off to a strong start this spring. Vestavia Hills won nine of its first 10 matches of the season, keeping seven clean sheets and only losing to a strong Huntsville team by a goal. “There’s really good leadership in our senior class,” Vestavia Hills head coach Brigid Meadow said. “We’re going to be as good as those leaders want to be.” Meadow said this year’s group gets along really well, which is essential for any team, but particularly one with such a large senior class. “Everyone wants to get better and perform for each other,” said senior forward Julia Woodruff. As has been the case for many years, the defense has been the backbone of the Rebels. Grace Ellis, Cristina Hernandez and Madeline Bunch have served as the starting backline for each of the last two years and went five straight matches after the Huntsville loss without allowing a goal. Sophomore Annie Gilleland has done strong work in goal so far as well. “Defense has always been our strong suit,” Ellis said. Ellis has signed to play college soccer at North Alabama and midfielder Kaylee

Vestavia’s Sarah Francis Gilroy (2) kicks the ball toward the goal in a game against Southside on Feb. 22 at Thomas Reynolds Stadium. The Rebels defeated Southside 6-0. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Dressback is heading to Houston to continue her playing career. Vicinanzo is looking to play in college, but has yet to decide on a school. After the 2019 team, the Rebels graduated nearly all of its offensive attack. It took the Rebels some time last spring to find their footing, but that gained experience has carried over into this season. “Last year was important because it taught us how to do that,” Vicinanzo said. “Now we finish better and have better opportunities.”

The team mantra this season is having a relentless spirit, a repeat of previous teams. Meadow was hesitant about the choice at first, but after seeing her team develop its personality on the field, she believes it fits well. “They’re very aggressive,” she said. “No ball is going to go untouched. They’re not going to give up on anything. You have to embody that. Everything has to count and you have to live it.” Vestavia Hills competes in an area with Spain

Park, Hewitt-Trussville and Gadsden City. The state playoffs begin the last week of April. Vestavia Hills was on a 43-match win streak before getting beat by Oak Mountain in the final match of the abbreviated 2020 season. That lit a fire that has yet to be extinguished for this year’s squad. “There was no state championship last year,” Meadow said. “[This year’s team] didn’t win anything last year, so they have a lot to prove this year coming in.”

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VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A27

Varsity Sports Calendar

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BASEBALL April 2: vs. Ooltewah. 2:30 p.m. April 6: vs. Spain Park. 4 p.m. April 8: @ Spain Park. 6 p.m. April 13: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. 6 p.m. April 15: @ Hewitt-Trussville. 6 p.m. April 20: @ Gadsden City. 6 p.m. April 22: vs. Gadsden City. 6 p.m.

SOFTBALL April 1: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. 6 p.m. April 2-3: Oxford Tournament. TBD.

SOCCER April 1: Boys vs. Homewood. 7 p.m. April 2: Girls vs. James Clemens. 7 p.m. April 6: Boys @ Spain Park. 7 p.m.

April 5: vs. Oak Mountain. 6 p.m.

April 8: vs. Gadsden City. Girls at 5 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

April 6: vs. Spain Park. 4:30 p.m.

April 9: Boys vs. Baylor. TBD.

April 8: vs. Thompson. 4:30 p.m.

April 13: Girls vs. Hewitt-Trussville. 6:30 p.m.

April 9-10: Opelika Tournament. TBD. April 12: vs. Springville. 4:30 p.m. April 13: vs. Sumiton Christian. 4:30 p.m. April 15: @ Leeds. 4:30 p.m. April 20: @ Hewitt-Trussville. 4:30 p.m.

April 13: Boys @ Hewitt-Trussville. 7 p.m. April 16: Boys @ Christian Brothers. TBD. April 16: Girls @ Spain Park. 6 p.m.

April 22: @ Chelsea. 4:30 p.m.

April 20: Girls @ Mountain Brook. 6:30 p.m.

April 23-24: Slocomb Tournament. TBD.

April 20: Boys @ Indian Springs. 7 p.m.

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A28 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Left: Dina Kasman, a piano major at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, plays a Steinway grand piano. Photo by Erin Nelson. Right: Tatiana Kasman stands beside her daughters, Sasha and Dina, and her husband, Yakov. Having a family full of pianists is like having an “infinite support system,” Dina said. Photo courtesy of the Kasman family.

KASMAN

CONTINUED from page A1 her father. Piano, she said, is a passion. “Being surrounded by music, it was impossible not to fall in love with it,” Dina said. Her father said when something is “yours,” you love it. For those who love piano, it presents a lot of creative possibilities for the musician, he said. “It’s an orchestra under your fingers.” Dina said piano is a way for her to express her emotions. “To get to do it through very beautiful music was like killing two birds with one stone,” she said. Now, as she continues her studies at UAB, Dina has found success both in competitions and as a teacher, as she is following in her father’s footsteps and teaching others how to play piano. “It’s been amazing,” she said. “I think because I watched my parents teach for so long, I wanted to pass ideas to other people.” She also recently won first prize in the 2021 Gulf Coast Steinway Society Collegiate Piano Solo Competition, which she said was “unreal” because she got to compete in person — something she wasn’t able to do for a while due to

the COVID-19 pandemic. The competition was in Mobile, and Dina said she learned how much she missed playing in person and that the competition reminded her that life would one day be normal again. “You never know how much you love something until you lose it,” she said. “It felt unreal but also made me feel so much hope.” Dina has won many competitions and also performs as a soloist, something she began doing at the age of 13. She has performed with the orchestra of the Southern Adventist University and twice with the National Symphony of Ukraine, playing concertos by Beethoven, Liszt and Rachmaninoff. Dina isn’t the only one racking up the awards, though. Her students have also won prizes at local, state and regional competitions. A 2018 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School, Dina said she enjoyed her time in the school system and learned much from it. “I had many teachers who deeply influenced who I am now as a person,” she said. “My former French teacher, Mrs. Casey Harlan, was always one of my biggest fans at school. Her passion for teaching, love for her students and relentless desire to help was always inspiring.” Music isn’t easy, Dina said. It’s a tough

world where musicians are tempted to make comparisons to others and challenged at various competitions. But it’s important to forget about that and focus on her growth and what she needs to do to improve, she said. “If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it 300%,” Dina said. That work ethic pays off after a good performance, she said. “I love walking away form a performance knowing I poured it all out on the stage,” she said. “It’s very exhilarating.” Being able to learn from her family is also key, Dina said. “It’s very cool,” she said. “It’s really awesome to be able to share ideas.” Having a family full of pianists is like having an “infinite support system,” she said. Her dad said it’s been great to watch his daughters grow and enjoy piano. “Family tradition is a wonderful thing,” Yakov said. Yakov has been teaching at UAB for almost 20 years and said he’s had many wonderful moments. His wife, Tatiana, said she started, like the rest of her family, learning piano from an early age — around 5 or 6 years old — when she was growing up in Russia. After coming to the United States, she began teaching and

now teaches some students at UAB and some outside the university, she said. Yakov said he’s proud of his daughters because he knows how difficult piano can be. “It’s a lot of hard work,” he said. “From a professor’s view, I’m very pleased. They’re wonderful kids.” In addition to her parents, Dina also learned from Sasha, who said it would have been more “unnatural” for her to not take up music. “When I could sit up at the piano, I started to press keys and pick out melodies by ear,” Sasha said. Sasha said, like her sister, she learned a lot from her parents and has been honored to share the stage with her father. Sasha said she’s proud of Dina, who has a “boatload of natural talent.” “Even when she was 5 years old, she was already playing with a combination of accuracy and enthusiasm that was advanced beyond her years,” Sasha said. Dina said her next steps include graduating from UAB and, like Sasha, obtaining both a master’s degree and a doctorate degree. In addition to hopefully helping create festivals and competitions, Dina said she wants to continue to follow in her father’s footsteps in another way. “I want to be a professor like my dad.”


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VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A29

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A30 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Above: Tyler Barnett walks his dogs Odie, a golden retriever and great Pyrenees mix, and Buttercup, also a Pyrenees mix, at McCallum Park. Below: Noah Robinson, 4, makes his way down a slide as he plays at Meadowlawn Park with his father, Nolen Robinson. Photos by Erin Nelson.

SPACES

CONTINUED from page A1 city parks with walking trails, he said. There are existing trails at McCallum Park, with a trail that circles at the back of Buckhead Drive, as well as another large trail system near the bridge that runs near Vestavia Hills High School. Altadena Valley Park, a former golf course, also has “ready-made walking,” Davis said, and there are plans to enhance the trail system and amenities at that park in the future. Other trail systems and walking paths can be found at the Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex and Boulder Canyon Trail at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. The “tremendous” walking path at Wald Park is now open, Davis said, and residents can walk all the way around the large park. Other parks and facilities include the new aquatic complex, which is scheduled to open this year during Memorial Day weekend, Cahaba Heights Park and Meadowlawn Park. Smaller parks include Byrd Park, which has a playground and is adjacent to Vestavia Hills Elementary East, and Shallowford Park. As the Community Spaces Plan wraps up, Davis said one of the city’s goals is to create more activities, especially at parks such as Wald Park, Cahaba Heights and the parks in Liberty Park. The city doesn’t want to just rent the facilities to others, though that will certainly still happen, he said. Potential activities could include concerts, farmer’s markets, movies on the lawn and more, especially at Wald Park, which will feature a large lawn for residents to enjoy. “Those are the things we want to start hosting and offering to our citizens,” Davis said. Having parks and other amenities that residents can enjoy helps improve the quality of life for Vestavia residents, Davis said. “We don’t want our citizens having to go to other communities to have fun,” Davis said. “It’s a reason to be proud.” City amenities are also an “economic driver,” Davis said, as visitors to the city will undoubtedly get gas, food and possibly shop in the city while they enjoy the amenities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, city staff members are working to sanitize public surfaces and keep the parks as clean as possible to keep residents safe, said the city’s communications director, Cinnamon McCulley. In addition to new facilities and renovated facilities coming online, the Parks and

Recreation Department is getting a facelift, as McCulley and others work to rebrand the department and improve its marketing. On April 1, McCulley said residents can register online for events and sports if they are facilitated through the department. They will do that on a new, stand-alone Parks and Recreation website, vhalparksandrec.org. The website will have an expanded event calendar, an ability for residents to submit information about events to the city, information about all city facilities and amenities, and video tours. The city is also hiring a new employee to be a marketing coordinator for the department. The department will also put together a new activity guide for residents. “We have so many amazing facilities coming online in 2021, we want to showcase them,” McCulley said. Here’s a list of Vestavia parks and facilities, all of which can also be found on the city’s website, vhal.org: ► Aquatic Complex: 1973 Merryvale Road (located off U.S. 31 at Wald Park). The new aquatic complex opened in 2020 and is expected to open again this year during

Memorial Day weekend. The complex features a competition pool and family-style pool. ► Boulder Canyon Nature Trail: 1289 U.S. 31 (behind the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest). The trail begins at the library and includes a nature trail, bridge and waterfall. ► Byrd Park: 2109 Tyson Drive. The park features a walking track and a playground, as well as picnic areas. ► Cahaba Heights Park: 4401 Dolly Ridge Road. This new park includes, in addition to open green space, turf baseball fields and an inclusive playground, along with the New Merkel House. A dog park is slated to open later this year. ► Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex: 4851 Sicard Hollow Road. SHAC features four synthetic turf multipurpose fields with an adjacent playground. SHAC also features a splash pad, which is open from 9 a.m. to sunset, as well as futsal and pickleball courts. More information about those courts can be found online. ► Liberty Park Sports Complex: 4700 Sicard Hollow Road. The Liberty Park Sports Complex features two playgrounds, soccer

fields and softball fields. ► McCallum Park: 3332 Rosemary Lane. McCallum Park is a passive park with walking trails, open green space, pavilions, restrooms and grills on which to cook over open flames. Little Shades Creek meanders through the park and is located just off Rocky Ridge Road. ► Meadowlawn Park: 4041 Dolly Ridge Road. This park features a pavilion and walking trail, along with some playground equipment. ► Shallowford Park: 3334 Shallowford Road. This park is a small, neighborhood pocket park and playground without parking or restroom facilities. ► Wald Park: 1973 Merryvale Road (located off U.S. 31). While some of Wald Park remains under construction, the walking trail, playground and batting cages are open, and the aquatic complex is scheduled to open during Memorial Day weekend. The Great Lawn is nearing completion, and the next few items to be built include tennis courts and a dog park. Baseball fields are also completed and available for use by area teams.


VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • A31

Open the blinds or shades and let the sunshine in to naturally heat your home. For more ways to stay energy efficient when at home, visit alabamapower.com/tips. APC-EEF 02/2021


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SECTION

B

Summer Camp

into

Guide B16

SAVINGS

Metro

APRIL 2021

Roundup B20

bedzzzexpress.com

2021 Spring

Home & Garden Guide

Special Advertising Section

Gardner Landscaping 205-401-3347 • GardnerLandscapingLLC.com Refreshing your yard for the spring can seem like a daunting task, but the experts at Gardner Landscaping have perfected creating beautiful outdoor spaces in a timely manner. Since 2006, Grant Gardner and his team have been partnering with residential and commercial customers whose properties come alive with manicured landscaping. The team leans on the knowledge and experience they’ve gained over the years, and they never shy away from the newest outdoor design trends. Creating the perfect outdoor environment comes from a combination of cultivated greenery and pops of vivid color. “Our specialty is making a beautiful landscape with trees, shrubs and flowers. However, we are also very good at developing outdoor play and entertainment areas for our customers,” Gardner said.

No matter the client’s taste, Gardner and his team are ready to provide, from traditional plant materials to the unusual. “We strive to satisfy individual preferences, while advising our customers based upon several factors such as the intended purpose of the space,” Gardner said. One of the things that sets Gardner Landscaping apart from similar businesses is its full staff of licensed, insured and talented personnel. “We have the personnel and resources to get to your project in a timely manner,” Gardner said, adding that they strive to provide each client with a quote on their project within 24 hours. To find out how the team at Gardner Landscaping can liven up your outdoor space this spring, just give them a call or reach them online.

Spring is in bloom, and it’s the perfect time to plant a garden, do some cleaning or start a home renovation. Find tips and tricks from area businesses to jumpstart any project in our guide.

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Your Large Tree, Shrub and Drainage Experts CALL: 205-401-3347 EMAIL: GardnerLandscaping@gmail.com www.GardnerLandscapingLLC.com


B2 • April 2021

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

Vestavia Voice

Evans Insurance Agency – GEICO Insurance 205-824-4449 • geico.com/birmingham Rhonda Evans wants you to know that even though you might see the big “GEICO” sign on her building along Montgomery Highway in Hoover, she’s a local agent through and through. “We are local — born and raised right here and love all things Southern,” she said. Rhonda has been a part of the fabric of the Birmingham area for a long time, and she says the best part of her job as a GEICO Insurance agent is that her customers become longtime friends. “We are a part of the community, and we celebrate accomplishments with them,” she said. “New homes, new drivers, weddings — with any major life event, we normally are aware of it because it affects their insurance.” She loves what she does. And Birmingham gets the benefit of having Rhonda in town — she has been the city’s GEICO agent since the company decided to establish a local presence here in 2004. At her office, she can offer service like no one else. “You get the best of having an agent with all that GEICO has to offer with a No. 1 rated mobile app and website,” she said. With that in mind, spring is a great time to review your coverages and their costs and to see how GEICO can help you save money. Rhonda can help you with all personal lines of insurance — auto, home, renter, condo, motorcycle, boat and umbrella insurance. She enjoys helping people. That’s why she has stayed with the company as long as she has. Rhonda got her first job at GEICO’s corporate office right out of college. “I worked on the corporate side for nine years but was moving back to Alabama and

had to leave the corporate side and became an independent agent,” she said. “In 2004, GEICO was looking to have a local presence in Birmingham, and I applied and have been the local agent since.” It was a path Rhonda didn’t expect, but she’s loved every minute of it. She also loves getting involved with the local

schools, helping with school supplies and sponsoring local sports teams. “I especially like to participate in local charity programs like the Humane Society of Birmingham,” she said. “And of course I’m involved with sporting events around town, like the Mal Moore Memorial Golf Tournament.”

For Rhonda, it’s all added up to a wonderful way to spend her days helping others. “No one grows up saying they want to be an insurance agent, but I love what I do, and I am beyond thankful that I ended up selling insurance,” Rhonda said. “I enjoy talking and being with people.”


VestaviaVoice.com

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

April 2021 • B3

DSLD Land Management 205-437-1012 • dsldland.com At the beginning of spring, our homeowners are focused on creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces to enjoy with friends and family for the warm months ahead. DSLD Land Management is a family-owned, full-service landscape design and build company that has been bringing quality and value to central Alabama since 1983. They provide landscaping services, along with hardscapes and swimming pool design and construction. The team at DSLD also offers engineering services, water garden design and installation, fountains, and swimming pool and aquatic garden supplies. The company’s work has been regularly featured in Southern Living and Builder+Architect magazine. With warmer weather ahead, the team at DSLD Land Management is ready to help you make your swimming pool dreams come true. They were recently selected as central Alabama’s exclusive dealer of Desjoyaux Pools. As the world’s largest swimming pool manufacturer, Desjoyaux has honed its system into a fast and efficient process to ensure their pools can deliver on your expectations. You can choose your pool’s size, shape and design. “Our pools are built using recycled materials and a pipeless

filtration system that uses less energy than traditional pools. If you don’t like chlorine, choose a filter that doesn’t require harsh chemicals,” said Davish Sharp, owner and founder of DSLD Land Management. Desjoyaux Pools install faster and more efficiently than other

pools and are backed with unprecedented warranties. DSLD Land Management provides turn-key installation of your swimming pool, all requisite construction as well as any landscape elements. “We offer a continuum of services ranging from

consultation to planning to complete build out of any project large or small,” Sharp said. Equipped with a full staff of licensed and degreed designers, talented horticulturists, masons, engineers and landscape architects, DSLD has one of the most experienced field service

teams in the business. “We handle all aspects of a project under one roof in an effort to make the process of building a dream landscape as seamless and worry-free as possible for our clients,” said Hope Brown, a member of the staff. “We can dry out any foundation, whether home or office. We have worked with developers, city engineers, railroad companies, industries and even farmers to design solutions to water problems,” Sharp added. The DSLD team works to find the least intrusive and most economical way to solve your water problem, leaving the foundation and landscape dry and free of erosion. “We recognize that communication and timely response is important to our clients,” Sharp said, “and to that end, we employ a professional office staff to personally handle every call and inquiry.” DSLD invites you to visit their AquaScapes retail store conveniently located across from Lee Branch Shopping Center on U.S. 280, adjacent to Hanna’s Garden Shop. It carries a wide variety of fountains, bird baths, feeders, chimes, fish, pond building kits, outdoor kitchens, outdoor lighting and much more. No matter your outdoor needs, DSLD Land Management, AquaScapes and Desjoyaux Pools stand ready to serve!

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B4 • April 2021

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

Vestavia Voice

Guin Service 205-595-4846 • guinservice.com In 1958, Bill Guin, a young man of just 25, decided to go into business for himself. He had a wife and three young children at home; he had a steady job with a promising future, but he also had a burning desire that he couldn’t ignore — to start his own business. He had the drive and ambition to be successful, and a moral code to always do what’s right. Bill’s first job as a new business owner was to put the plumbing in a new house for a friend he had made during his days as a young engineer. Today his grandson, Joseph Braswell, the current owner of Guin Service, has a copy of that first invoice hanging on his wall. “I look at that invoice every morning as I walk into my office” says Joseph. “When I think about my grandfather going into business at that young age, it really motivates me to carry on his legacy.” Joseph says he operates the business under one key principle that dates back to 1958: Treat people like family. “We treat every customer and employee like they are members of our family,” he says. And that’s not just a cliché for Joseph; that principle really is what drives him to try to be the best mechanical business in the city. “When we have our staff meetings, we rarely talk about money or profits,” says Joseph. “Almost every meeting we’ve ever had is about how we can provide better service for our customers.” Those meetings always consist of discussing ways to be more efficient so we can show up on time, showcasing new software to better communicate to our customers, or giving out prizes to employees for a job well done. Joseph says that nothing makes his day more than

receiving a notification about another five-star review. “My favorite thing is to take a screen shot of the review and text it to the employee that performed the service,” he says. “I think it shows the employee that we appreciate his hard work, and it reinforces the values that guide us to do what we do. “I have an unwavering opinion that if you do the right thing, everything else

will work itself out,” Joseph continues. “If I thought that we had to do something dishonest to be profitable, I would shut the doors immediately. I think this attitude is what sets us apart.” The other thing that Joseph says sets them apart is their people. “We are blessed to have, what I believe, are the best employees in the world,” he says. “It makes my job easy knowing that every employee has bought into our company culture.”

Joseph says even though he has great employees, manpower is still his biggest challenge. “We hire on character and train on the technical aspects of our business,” he explains. “It’s a much longer process, but it always pays off in the long run.” With great people and an honest approach to business, it is no wonder Guin is continuing to thrive after 63 years in business.


Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • B5

Imagine your home, totally organized! Custom Closets, Garage Cabinets, Home Office, Pantries, Laundries Wall Beds, Wall Units, Hobby Rooms, Garage Flooring and more...

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Closets by Design 205-777-4000 • closetsbydesign.com (click “Central Alabama”) Closets by Design is all about simplifying, and there’s no better time than a changing season to begin truly simplifying and getting your closet, house and garage organized. Let Closets by Design help you set the right tone for the year to come. “We are here to help simplify our clients’ lives by giving them a quick, hassle-free design consultation to help them maximize their space,” Aly Harris, the Closets by Design office manager, said. Closets by Design specializes in designing, building and installing custom closets, garage cabinets, home offices, laundries, pantries and much more. With a wide selection of finishes, accessories and hardware, Closets We build each closet by Design makes sure that you can get the with you in mind. Our customized look you products simply offer always wanted. Customers can choose the best value in the from three types of closet industry. systems. Although the ALY HARRIS styles differ, each aim to maximize space and create a closet or area that helps organize not only your clothes or supplies, but also your life. This way, you can dedicate more time to focusing on the things and people you love. “We build each closet with you in mind,” Harris said. “Our products simply offer the best value in the industry.” Closets by Design was started in California in 1982 and has since grown to be a national company with 51 locations. Even though the company is relatively new to Alabama, they have already helped hundreds of clients design and build their dream closets and storage spaces. With a no-obligation, in-home consultation, Closets by Design continues to create custom-tailored designs with the highest quality product construction. Simplification and ease are key. Closets by Design is also a floor-based system, unlike most of their competitors, which makes their systems stronger and more stable. “We bring a fresh perspective on getting organized to Alabama,” Harris said. Part of the appeal of Closets by Design is that its team members spend time understanding and prioritizing the necessity of home office space. They’ve created a line of innovative and effective office systems in a variety of styles and finishes to match your unique needs. Attractive pantries are developed to streamline cooking and cleaning with easy-to-reach and easy-to-organize shelves. They also can help customers take their garages a step further and transform it into a workshop, garden center or arts and crafts room. Closets by Design makes sure plenty of storage space is key. “At Closets by Design, we make sure that the client has a true consulting experience, giving the customer the control over the design and the cost,” Harris said.

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Call for a free in home design consultation and estimate

(205) 827-4911 www.closetsbydesign.com Follow us

Locally owned and operated.

SPC


B6 • April 2021

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

Vestavia Voice

Brandino Brass 205-978-8900 • brandinobrass.com Brandino Brass has become a mainstay in the design, construction and home improvement industry throughout the Southeast. Located in Homewood, the family-owned hardware and lighting company has been a resource to architects, designers, contractors and homeowners alike with their extensive collection and variety of options. Brandino Brass has high-quality decorative and architectural hardware that includes everything from cabinet hardware and elegant doorknobs to fireballs, bathroom accessories and unique light fixtures. One of the best features of Brandino Brass has always been its beautiful showroom. In the showroom, clients are able to the view the hardware and lighting in person, instead of online shopping. Customers can see the actual size of each piece, feel the material, see the finish and choose the best option for their home. The company also is well known throughout the Southeast for its attention to detail and efficiency. When homeowner E.A. Montgomery began renovating her house a few years ago, she knew with which small details she wanted to start. “It was actually one of the first places we came,” she said of Brandino Brass. Her house is filled with the company’s products, including drawer pulls, doorstops and French door bolts. “It’s the best you can find in this city,” Montgomery said. “There’s nowhere else to go in Birmingham. And their customer service matches the quality of the product, which you don’t always find.” The reputation in the community is only a window into their high-quality customer service. Brandino Brass ensures that from the time you choose your

hardware to the final installation, you will receive friendly accessibility. “From your first walk in, to execution, there’s not a problem they haven’t handled with immediacy,” Montgomery said. Customers aren’t the only side of the business that Brandino Brass employees have impressed with their reliability. “Whenever you place an order and need something, it’s always a place to come if you need it quick,” contractor John Parker said. Hardware can go through several hands before reaching the installation

stage of the process, so efficiency is crucial when coordinating a customer’s order. After a customer picks out the specific hardware they want, Brandino Brass creates a list of parts for each door, window and cabinet in the house to which their hardware is being applied. Ginny Monheit of A+G Interior Design said working with Brandino Brass makes fulfilling her customers’ hardware and lighting needs much easier. “They are very knowledgeable about their product and helpful in making

selections,” Monheit said. “However, their service does not stop there. They are willing to go to our clients’ homes and count the exterior versus interior doors, cabinets, drawers, hinges and anything else the client needs. And once the product has arrived, they help with product placement and locations. They could not be more full-service.” The beautiful lighting showroom is now open to designers, homeowners or anyone who simply wants to peruse the offerings in a calm and comfortable environment.

Decorative Door and Cabinet Hardware Interior and Exterior Lighting

205.978.8900

2824 Central Avenue, Suite I00 Homewood, AL 35209 Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm Friday 8am - 1pm


VestaviaVoice.com

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

April 2021 • B7

Budget Blinds 205-824-3300 • budgetblinds.com/birmingham Need some new window coverings this spring? Steve Thackerson is ready to help you have beautiful window blinds, shutters and solar shades that you can control from anywhere. They’re easy to use and easy to afford, he said. “Motorization is a big thing now. There are ways you can tie motorized window coverings into your home’s automation system,” said Thackerson, owner of Budget Blinds of Birmingham. With a touch of your phone — even when you’re not home — you can raise or lower your window coverings, or you can tell Alexa to do it for you. Your Budget Blinds can also open or close at a pre- selected time of day or night. “We can usually tie our product into any system you might have,” Thackerson said. “We take pride in providing style and service for every budget.” At Budget Blinds — your local window covering expert — they take the time to understand you and your unique needs to deliver the best custom window covering solution designed for the way you live. They do any kind of custom window covering. As far as blinds go, they offer wood and faux wood, aluminum, vinyl, composite and vertical blinds or vertical blind alternatives. They also offer shades of all kinds: roller, Roman, cellular, bamboo, woven wood, pleated, sheer,

graphic and solar. And they can get your interior and exterior plantation shutter needs taken care of with wood, café or composite.

You can see a gallery of recent projects on their website to get a feel for what they can do for your home or office. “We install them, so anything

that’s purchased from us, we’ll custom install them and professionally install them,” Thackerson said. “We don’t subcontract that out. We control

everything from setting up the appointment to the final installation.” They also have better warranties than their competitors, he said. “Our manufacturers may also sell to our competitors, but they don’t give them the same warranties they give us. That sets us apart. We get the same products but better pricing and better warranties.” That comes with their national presence and the long relationships he and his wife have built in their more than 30 years in the business. He also has two salesmen with decades of experience. “They are veteran employees who have been with me a long time,” Thackerson said. The highly trained design consultants at Budget Blinds put their heart and soul into creating the perfect answer to your window fashion needs. They even bring their entire showroom to you with their free in-home design consultation. As a locally owned business, they’re also focused on supporting the community. Caring and giving back are in their DNA. “Our business is here in the Vestavia community, and we live here as well,” Thackerson said. “Two of our kids are grown, but we still have one in Vestavia schools. We support the local community and athletics as much as we can.”


Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

B8 • April 2021

Advanced Turf Care 205-305-7974 • AdvancedTurfCareLLC.com A beautiful lawn is essential to the curb appeal of your home and likely one of your largest investments. The professionals at Advanced Turf Care know how to help you maximize your investment with a luscious green lawn that enhances your home’s beauty. Advanced Turf Care is a full-service lawn care company that provides fertilization, lawn weed control, natural area weed control, lawn aeration, lime and ant control, as well as tree and shrub services. “We provide high quality, slow-release fertilizer that will feed your lawn all season long and keep your lawn healthy,” owner Grant Gardner said. “Others use cheap fertilizer that will give your lawn an initial green but not provide the nourishment your lawn needs. In addition, slow-release fertilizer is better

for the environment.” From their knowledge base to their attention to detail and customer care, the Advanced Turf Care team is stacked with pros who offer the assurance every customer deserves. “We have some of the best employees in the business. Give us time to make your lawn truly healthy. The best control of weeds is achieved months before they appear. You need a company that understands weed control. Don’t keep using a lawn service that provides you a cheap price and a lawn you’re not proud of.” Gardner Landscaping isn’t satisfied unless his customers are. “We want to give individualized attention to our customers that the big companies cannot. We want the customer to have an enjoyable experience when dealing with us.”

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Vestavia Voice

Bob’s Power Equipment and Preserve Paints 205-979-3488 • bobspowerequipment.com 205-783-1238 • preservepaints.com As a family-owned and operated business for the past 20 years, Bob’s Power Equipment and Preserve Paints is founded not only on excellent customer service, but also on the principles of hard work. We pride ourselves in having established a long list of satisfied customers over the years. Bob’s Power Equipment can provide you with the latest and best in outdoor power products to make your outdoor living more enjoyable. We have a large selection of Gravely, Toro, Honda and Walker mowers, plus we are an exclusive Stihl dealer in the area. We are happy to help you find the perfect outdoor power equipment or the parts you need. Our service department is

dedicated to being the best in the industry. At Bob’s, we service everything we sell and offer a pick-up and delivery service in the Birmingham metro area. Preserve Paints is your local, authorized Benjamin Moore dealer. Our paint experts are ready to help you get started with your home improvement projects. Whether you are staining the deck, reimagining an interior space, or painting the whole exterior, we have a Benjamin Moore paint or stain that fits your project. We know individuality is important, which is why we pay close attention to the interests of each customer. From the minute you walk through the door at Bob’s Power Equipment and Preserve Paints, meeting your needs is our top priority.


Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

VestaviaVoice.com

Holcombe Doors and Windows 205-991-3667 • holcombedoorandwindow.com How can I adjust the spaces in my home to fit my lifestyle better? What can I do to make it feel less confining? Along with routine home maintenance inquiries, these are some of the questions that homeowners are asking themselves as they settle into more homebound lives. Tammy Holcombe of Holcombe Doors and Windows has a few solutions. “If you’re tired of looking out the same old ugly windows during quarantine,” Holcombe said, “you can update them with the added bonus of better insulation and energy efficiency.” Holcombe Doors and Windows provides three different window lines, plus exterior and interior doors. They offer trim, stair parts, decorative beams, and door and cabinet hardware. If you need an efficient office space, “you can turn a [large] room into your office by installing interior barn doors or French

doors,” Holcombe said. Not only do interior doors add new functionality to your space, but they can also give it a unique decorative appearance. Some people may be feeling confined after working and learning from home for so many months. Holcombe suggests cleaning or replacing old windows and changing out plain doors for bi-fold or multi-slide doors to open up your home to the outside. For more tips, you can book an appointment with a Holcombe Doors and Windows sales person or visit them online at holcombedoorsandwindows.com. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for yet, you can drop by their boutique-style showroom. Everything is on full display with knowledgeable sales personnel available to guide you through making your home more quarantine friendly. And once you’ve made a decision, they’ll take care of the installation, too.

April 2021 • B9

One Man & A Toolbox 205-823-2111 • oneman-toolbox.com Since 1997, One Man & a Toolbox has been helping people with a variety of home improvement projects and repairs. “The company was started to fill a void in the market to provide professional contracting services for jobs too small for a general contractor to do. In many cases, small handyman-type projects are done by unskilled, unlicensed, uninsured people working out of their trucks going from job to job — many times not completing jobs as they go, or not standing behind jobs after they are complete,” owner Jay Moss said. One Man & a Toolbox is insured and bonded to further protect customers. “We offer carpentry, painting, minor plumbing, electrical, pressure washing, roof and gutter repair, appliance installation, drywall repair, door and

window repair and more,” he said. Spring is the perfect time to take care of home maintenance issues. One Man & a Toolbox’s affordable hourly rates can fit any budget. “We are an over 20-year-old company,” Moss said. “We have invested in technology and skill enhancement of our technicians to ensure jobs are done timely and professionally.” Their technicians are skilled and professional. They pride themselves on getting the job done well and on time. “We have multiple technicians, so if you think a job is too large for one man and a toolbox, you can have two men and more if the job requires it,” he said. They service not only Birmingham, but also Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Gadsden.

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B10 • April 2021

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

Vestavia Voice

Brewer Cabinets

Cahaba Lawn & Garden

205-942-4000 • brewercabinets.com

205-967-7091 • Facebook @cahabalawn

Jason Brewer, the owner and operator of Brewer Cabinets, is passionate about helping families create welcoming kitchen spaces. At Brewer Cabinets, they design, sell and install cabinets and countertops. Although the company does some commercial work, where they really shine is in remodeling the space where meals are served, conversations are had and families come together. “[The kitchen] is the most important room in the home for a family,” Brewer said. “I love helping families design a space that is functional.” “Collectively, [our staff has] a lot of experience,” he added. “We’re not going to sell you something you’re going to hate. We want to give you a really beautiful finished product that you’re going to be proud of.” Brewer notes the changing ways that

people are using their kitchen spaces. Over the past year, its purposes have expanded for many families with some people using kitchen tables as makeshift classrooms, office spaces and much more during the pandemic. This shift in usage has called for some big redesigns for some families. Brewer’s advice for those looking to remodel right now is to consider the future value of their home during the design process. “Whenever you think about remodeling, always start with how you plan to live in your home and how the remodel will benefit you. But you also want to think about increasing the value of your home for resale in the future.” If you’re interested in getting a project done before the summer, reach out to Brewer Cabinets soon — it allows time for them to put a schedule together that will ensure your project.

Lawn equipment takes a beating in the hot summer months. Chances are your equipment will be hard to start — if at all — after sitting idle hibernating in your garage all winter. The blade is probably dull, leaving a ragged cut rather than a crisp, clean cut for a more beautiful lawn. Joey Brocato, owner of Cahaba Lawn & Garden, recommends checking your equipment ahead of the season to get a jump on the maintenance rush in the spring. Their tune-up includes changing the oil, air filter, spark plug, sharpening the blade and checking the running gear. You want to ensure it is fully tuned up and ready to go instead of waiting until you’re ready to use it, like so many do. Starting an early maintenance schedule leads to a quicker turn-around time, getting you ready to care for your lawn. Cahaba Lawn & Garden, nestled in a quaint space in Cahaba Heights

in Vestavia Hills, offers name-brand equipment and a robust parts inventory, plus they can repair almost all brands. Cahaba Lawn has been selling and servicing Snapper brand walk mowers, riding mowers and lawn tractors since 1989, and this year they’ve added the Shindaiwa line. In addition, they now carry a full line of Echo and Shindaiwa brand chainsaws, leaf blowers, backpack blowers, line trimmers and a large variety of attachments. It’s important to note that Echo and Shindaiwa have the strongest warranty in the business: fiveyear consumer warranty and two-year commercial warranty. Joey says the success of the team’s 30-plus years in business and the reason they are enjoying third-generation customers is simple: “We’re honest, we know what we’re doing, and we apply the Golden Rule every day,” Joey said.


Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • B11

Jana Hanna – RealtySouth 205-835-6188 • janahanna.com

Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists 205-520-9777 • foundationsunlimited.com As spring rolls in, take a moment to check the overall health of your home for the warmer, wetter months. Are the gutters clogged? Windows sealed? What about your foundation? Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists can help you pinpoint problems before they worsen. Six key foundation issues to watch for: ○ Concrete raising ○ Cracks in the floors or walls ○ Cracks in your brick that look like stair steps ○ Gaps around exterior window frames and doors ○ Sagging or uneven floors ○ Separation between the wall and counters or cabinets Our foundation repair contractors can quickly identify the root cause of any problems your home may have and propose the best solution for you. Whether it’s due to poor construction, soil problems,

weight-related pressure problems or age, a professional, experienced team uses the latest techniques to handle any type of basement foundation repair. The initial meeting with a foundation expert is always free. And warranted, proven quality remains a priority to complete each project successfully and on time. “The entire staff of Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists are very professional and knowledgeable and made every effort to make sure the job was done right,” said one customer. Other customers from all around the Birmingham area have trusted Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists for great results. “We just bought a new house, and there was a sagging spot in the kitchen floor,” one customer said. “… They have just been superb and taken care of everything we needed.”

Becoming a real estate agent was an easy decision for Jana Hanna. She is able to blend her banking, finance and sales experience into a single career that she enjoys. Hanna has been an agent with RealtySouth in Vestavia Hills for more than nine years, and she believes that working within the community is vitally important. “It’s important to me to be in the Vestavia office,” she said, noting that her home, church and social life are all based in the Vestavia area. “Overall, the real estate market in Vestavia has been fabulous.” Most homes have few days on the market compared to other parts of the city. The prestigious Vestavia schools certainly benefit the market here, and Hanna believes the acquisition of Berry Middle School will bolster the market even more. One challenge Hanna has faced is the low inventory of homes for sale in the Vestavia market. Because of low inventory, buyers need to have all of their documents ready, craft an appealing offer and be ready to close in a moment’s notice when the right home comes along.

Hanna uses her skills to help qualified buyers do just that. And despite the low inventory, she is consistently a top producer with RealtySouth and is in the top 1 percent of sales in all agents in Vestavia. Having a personal touch with her clients is important to her success. “I like to handle it all myself,” she said. “I like to make the calls, and I want each customer to feel important by knowing that they can reach out to me at any time.”

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B12 • April 2021

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

Vestavia Voice

Amy Lawson – RealtySouth 205-215-0284 • alawson@realtysouth.com As a Realtor for RealtySouth, Amy Lawson provides a customized approach for each client, and her solutions are never one-size-fits-all. What makes her different from other Realtors is that she focuses on assisting a limited number of buyers and sellers at any one given time. With spring around the corner, she urges people to get their home on the market sooner rather than later and enjoys offering advice on how to get the home ready to put on the market. She said clients get worried about making the perfect choice for the unforeseen future and adds that if the home is in a good area for resale, the worst case scenario is to sell it should they find their needs have changed. “Sellers are looking for advice on the best and most economical way to get their home ready to go on the market and buyers are looking for advice on best resale,” she said. She says that return clients and referrals are the benchmark of success. “My ideal customer would purchase all of their homes during their lifetime from me,” she said. “I want return clients.” What Lawson loves most about her job is seeing her customers feel a sense

Allsteel Fence 205-942-8249 • allsteelfence.com

of accomplishment when they sell or buy a home. Her favorite experience as a Realtor was selling her daughter her first home, even after she threatened to find another Realtor when they disagreed. Lawson is involved in the community as the President of Vestavia Hills Park and Rec Foundation, serves Sunday mornings for the Shades Mountain Hand and Hand program and is Rush advisor for the University of Alabama’s Alpha Gamma Delta Chapter.

While multigenerational family businesses are rare these days, Allsteel Fence is the exception as a third generation family business. It prides itself on its deeply-rooted values of customer service and high-quality products. Founded by Bob Jones in 1964, the company has grown from a one-room office with one installation crew and salesman to now over 40 employees and two locations, one in Birmingham and one in Tuscaloosa. Allsteel fabricates their own chain-link wire, provides security gate operator systems, builds custom gates in house, and has the largest inventory of fence materials in central Alabama. They have the capability to serve all clients’ residential, commercial, and industrial fencing needs. Allsteel Fence offers chain-link, ornamental, wood, PVC, custom gates, and gate operator systems, and sells all of these products directly to the public. And if you’re looking to do-it-yourself,

Allsteel offers a better variety, a more knowledgeable sales staff, and prices that always beat the big box stores. For the past 56 years, Allsteel Fence has remained in the Jones family and is currently owned by Bob’s son, Jeff, and managed by his two sons, Jonathan and Alex. Company Vice President Jonathan Jones said Allsteel Fence is able to offer a high level of quality because it manufactures and fabricates so many of its own products. Allsteel Fence’s products provide security and curb appeal to all residential and commercial customers, Jones said. “Our residential fences are often used to provide containment or privacy for pets and children,” he said. “Our commercial fences are typically used to provide security to one’s property.” And, as the business looks to its next 56 years, it will continue to offer high-quality products and unmatched customer service that have become a family tradition.

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VestaviaVoice.com

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

April 2021 • B13

John Henley – State Farm Insurance 205-823-1343 • callhenley.com Every year, we mark the calendar for an annual physical with our general practitioner. We routinely get our cars maintenanced. And once every six months, we drag ourselves into the dentist chair to make sure our chompers are healthy. If something goes wrong with any of those things, we’re more than likely going to use insurance to cover part or all of the cost to make things right again. So why aren’t we getting an annual check-up on our insurance, too? John Henley, a local State Farm agent with more than 30 years of experience, says we should be. “An insurance check-up can not only potentially save you money,” Henley OFFICE MANAGER DEBBIE CANNOVA said, “but it also evaluates your needs to make sure AND JOHN HENLEY you have the correct coverage.” There are two main parts to an Next, you’ll want to take a good look insurance check-up: checking your at your rates to make sure you aren’t coverage and checking your rates. overpaying for the coverage you need. The first step involves working with Besides a routine yearly checkup, an insurance expert or financial planner you should review your insurance to take a holistic look at your finances, with a qualified expert whenever you making sure you’re adequately covered in experience major life changes, such as all areas of your life. marriage, having a child, changing jobs or You don’t want something to go wrong purchasing large assets. before you realize there’s a gap in your If you haven’t had an insurance checkcoverage. up in a while, give John Henley a call.

Get surprisingly great Home & Auto rates.

Bob’s Power Equipment and Preserve Paints 205-979-3488 • bobspowerequipment.com 205-783-1238 • preservepaints.com As a family-owned and operated business for the past 20 years, Bob’s Power Equipment and Preserve Paints is founded not only on excellent customer service, but also on the principles of hard work. We pride ourselves in having established a long list of satisfied customers over the years. Bob’s Power Equipment can provide you with the latest and best in outdoor power products to make your outdoor living more enjoyable. We have a large selection of Gravely, Toro, Honda and Walker mowers, plus we are an exclusive Stihl dealer in the area. We are happy to help you find the perfect outdoor power equipment or the parts you need. Our service department is

dedicated to being the best in the industry. At Bob’s, we service everything we sell and offer a pick-up and delivery service in the Birmingham metro area. Preserve Paints is your local, authorized Benjamin Moore dealer. Our paint experts are ready to help you get started with your home improvement projects. Whether you are staining the deck, reimagining an interior space, or painting the whole exterior, we have a Benjamin Moore paint or stain that fits your project. We know individuality is important, which is why we pay close attention to the interests of each customer. From the minute you walk through the door at Bob’s Power Equipment and Preserve Paints, meeting your needs is our top priority.

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Here’s the deal, our Home and Auto rates are already great. But when you combine with State Farm®, you can save even more. Call me to discover your surprisingly great rates on Home and Auto today. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® John Henley, Agent 2118 Columbiana Road Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 Bus: 205-823-1343 Cell: 205-913-1418 callhenley.com State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX

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B14 • April 2021

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

Blair Moss – Ray & Poynor Properties 205-879-3036 • raypoynor.com/agent/blair-moss Blair Moss, a real estate agent with Ray & Poynor Properties, says that the current market calls for planning and preparation for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, there’s good news and bad news. “The good news is that interest rates are extremely low,” Moss said, which gives buyers more buying power. The bad news? “Many homes in the Birmingham area are getting multiple offers — some on the first day on the market,” she said. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. According to Moss, planning ahead can be the difference between getting the home you want or having to continue your search. “You’ll want to have everything lined up before you begin actively looking at homes,” Moss said. That means knowing what your budget is, hiring the right Realtor and obtaining pre-approval from a reputable mortgage lender. “I partner with my clients and guide them through the real estate process from start to finish,” Moss said. She’ll be available to make sure her buyers have everything they need to make an offer and beat the competition. Even though it’s a seller market right now, Moss warns against listing a home

that hasn’t been properly prepared. “There are many things you can do to ensure you get the greatest value,” she said. “From staging to cleaning and organizing, details matter. “If you’re looking to buy or sell, be prepared and be organized,” she continued. “Also, don’t get discouraged if it takes a little longer to find your next home.” For more advice on how to approach the current market give Blair Moss a call or contact her online.

3760 Poe Drive

Vestavia Voice

Byars|Wright Insurance 205-690-1386 • byarswright.com Christian Underwood would like to ease your worries and help you with some of your fears as a homeowner — like “What would happen if a flood destroyed my home?” or “What if a tree falls on our home and our roof collapses?” Christian is a personal lines agent for Byars|Wright Insurance with the prestigious designation of Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance. He strives daily to protect you from potentially crushing financial losses and to become a trusted advisor. When it comes to insuring your home, whether it’s a new purchase or it’s been your beloved house for many years, Christian and the team at Byars|Wright can help you protect your investment! With experienced personal insurance experts and an excellent claims team, we’re here to ensure your property is insured and loved ones are protected. For 75 years, Byars|Wright has protected homes, businesses and, most importantly, relationships. Our family-owned independent insurance agency has five offices and 60

employees across greater Birmingham. Ranked No. 1 in Business Alabama’s Best Companies to Work For, we’re proud to have a team that feels like family. For more information about Byars|Wright and why we believe that relationships matter, visit byarswright. com. For questions about your personal or life insurance, call Christian Underwood at 205-690-1386 or email cunderwood@ byarswright.com.

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VestaviaVoice.com

Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section

Katherine Manush – RealtySouth

A happy buyer is the highest recommendation

205-533-2614 • katherinemanush.com According to Katherine Manush of RealtySouth, the real estate market is hot right now! A year of spending increased hours at home has both homeowners and apartment dwellers searching for more accommodating space. “Because the market is so hot right now, buyers are almost guaranteed to be competing with other offers,” Manush said. That means you’re going to need some expert help to secure the best home for you and your family. With 29 years of experience, Manush is more than up for the challenge. “Several years ago I was able to get a house under contract and closed days before the bank foreclosed on it,” so battling a low inventory market to find the perfect home for her clients is well within her realm of capabilities. But there are three things Manush advises buyers to do in order to be more competitive. 1. Get Pre-Approved “Getting pre-approved with a good lender is absolutely essential!” Manush said. “Sellers want to know that the offer they chose is a solid offer, financially.” 2. Sell First “Sellers are unlikely to consider offers that are contingent on the sale of a

April 2021 • B15

Katherine was absolutely fantastic!! During our out of state corporate relocation she made this very stressful process painless. She is truly your advocate during a real estate transaction, very helpful in finding out vital information to your home and talk about seamless contract negotiations and she really knows her stuff and is always looking out

current home. I know a lot of buyers are concerned with finding their next home before they sell, but that can put them at a serious disadvantage if they’re competing with other offers.”

for her clients best interest. She is also the most responsive realtor we’ve ever worked with, excellent at handling multiple calls/emails/ texts from me daily. Truly a pleasure to work with!!

3. Consider All of Your Options “If you can’t sell first, consider ways to buy without selling. There are so many options that there is no one right way to do things. That’s where I can help, too! I can help buyers (who may become sellers!) look at all of their options so they can decide on what’s best for them.”

-Susan H, Happy Buyer

Get your great home buying experience started Katherine Manush RealtySouth 205-533-2614 | katherinemanush.com

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B16 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

As days turn warmer, it’s time to start thinking about summertime at last, and no summer is complete without a camp experience. Peruse our guide to learn more about which programs best fit your child’s personality, interest, age and availability. No matter which you choose, it’s time to jump in for fun and adventure this summer.

Photo by Steven Ross

VIRGINIA SAMFORD THEATRE Is your child a young storyteller in the making? Do they enjoy harnessing their imagination to re-enact epic fights from the latest superhero movie or their favorite show? If so, then the Virginia Samford Theatre’s STARS Camp may be the perfect way to spend a week this summer. Students will get to flex their imaginations, and take a dive into the exciting world of theatre. Camp VST introduces the wide world of theatre to beginning and intermediate students, ages 7-18 of any skill level. All they need is an imagination and a love of fun. “Theatre is such an expansive art, but most students are only introduced to the acting or singing part of it,” VST Education Director Jennifer Spiegelman said. Camp VST students will cover a wide range of theatre experience with some of Birmingham’s best theatre instructors. “Our instructors are local theatre teachers and performers with a diverse range of interest and expertise,” Spiegelman said. “And camp counselors are college theatre majors,” so every interaction will be a learning experience. Students will work with counselors and

CAMP DETAILS ► One-week sessions June 1-4, June 7-11, 14-18 and June 21-25 ► $325 per one-week session For more information and to register, visit virginiasamford theatre.org/vststars/camp-vst

instructors to explore and develop their creativity, learn inter-social skills like teamwork and develop a strong sense of self-confidence. The one-week sessions begin June 1st4th, with an advanced level week. June 7-11th and 14th-18th will both be beginner level weeks. June 21st-25th will be an intermediate level week. Registration fees are $325 per one-week session. Scholarships and sibling discounts are available. For more information, call 205-251-1228, email stars@virginiasamfordtheatre.org or visit virginiasamfordtheatre.org/vststars/ camp-vst.


2021 SUMMER CAMP GUIDE - SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • B17

FRESH AIR FAMILY Crawdads, slimy salamanders and roly poly races — it’s the kind of science children love: hands-on, a bit disgusting and all taking place in the great outdoors. Our award-winning Gross Out Camp provides children a safe opportunity to explore and study their natural world. Held outdoors at McCallum Park in Vestavia, we will spend the day in the creek and on the trails. Geared for children entering first through fourth grade, with counselor-in-training opportunities for older kids, GOC runs a full day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with before- and after-care available at 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Campers hike the trails as they look for millipedes, worms, jelly-eared mushrooms and a host of flowers and bugs. To learn safety skills, we will build debris shelters. In the creek, we will evaluate the water quality determined by what critters, bugs and larvae we find. We’ll also fish — Huck Finn-style (get a stick, tackle it up …) — and learn about different fishes. A live animal show will bring in snakes, turtles, lizards and bearded dragons, all available for touching and holding (except for one really fast lizard!) Under the pavilion, science experiments rule. We will make slime, drain a leaf of color in a photosynthesis experiment and play with ingredients. Fresh Air Family also provides scholarships so that all interested children can participate. There are only 20 campers per session, a perfect size for maximum

SUMMER@SPRINGS INDIAN SPRINGS SCHOOL

CAMP DETAILS ► Two sessions: June 21-25 and July 19-23 for first through fourth graders ► 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with before- and after-care available at 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and to register, visit grossoutcamp.org

learning. Sessions are June 21-25 and July 19-23. Sign up at grossoutcamp.org. We guarantee tired, dirty children (who actually learned something)!

Share experiences. Expand horizons. Sharpen your mind in a beautiful setting this summer. Summer@Springs offers academic enrichment courses designed to be fun and adventurous for students who want to make the most of their summer breaks. Summer@Springs courses are open to the public for students entering grades eight through 12 and run weekly in June and July. Courses include Driver’s Ed, ACT Boot Camp, Study Skills, Research & Academic Writing, Algebra I & II Readiness, AP Chemistry Prep, Sign Language, First Aid, Weightlifting, Cooking and Photography. Summer@Springs is a program of Indian Springs School, an independent, coeducational day and boarding school serving a vibrant community of 300 students in grades eight through 12. Summer@Springs courses are taught by the school’s award-winning faculty on its inspiring, 350-acre campus located off Interstate 65 near Pelham. Guided by the motto “Learning through Living,” Indian Springs School fosters a love of learning and creativity, a sense of integrity and moral courage, and an ethic of participatory citizenship with respect

CAMP DETAILS ► Variety of courses for students entering eighth through 12th grades running weekly in June and July For more information and to register, visit summerat springs.org

for individuality and independent thought. Summer@Springs offers all students the opportunity to experience Indian Springs School, ranked “Best Private High School” in Alabama for eight consecutive years. For more information about Summer@ Springs and to register for courses, please visit summeratsprings.org. For more information about Indian Springs School and to apply for the 202122 school year, please visit indiansprings. org. Admission to Indian Springs School is rolling based on the availability of space for grades eight through 12.

Comes To Vestavia's McCallum Park brought to you by

Award-winning science adventure camp in the Great Outdoors. GrossOutCamp.org

Use the summer to explore! SUMMERATSPRINGS.ORG


B18 • April 2021

2021 SUMMER CAMP GUIDE - SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Vestavia Voice

ALABAMA BALLET SCHOOL CAMP DETAILS ► Junior Camp and Tutus and Tiaras scheduled for July 19-30 For more information and to register, visit alabamaballet.org

where they can learn the story of ballets such as “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” and other classical ballets. Both camps will take place July 19-30 at the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance in Birmingham. For more information, contact Alabama Ballet School Administrator Rachel Singletary at rachelsingletary@alabama ballet.org or 205-322-1874. Registration is open now at alabamaballet.org.

Art by Garland Farwell

The Alabama Ballet School is the official school of the Alabama Ballet, the state’s premiere professional ballet company. The Royal Academy of Dance certified Alabama Ballet School provides the highest quality training to aspiring artists of all ages through various summer programs including Summer Intensive, Junior Camp, and Tutus and Tiaras. Junior Camp is a two-week camp for dancers ages 8-12. Students will take age-appropriate ballet classes, learn modern dance and jazz technique, and take character and/or theatre dance classes. All students will study dance history and prepare for an end-of-session performance. Tutus and Tiaras is a one-week camp for children ages 4-7. Students will take age-appropriate ballet and tap classes, create ballet-oriented crafts and learn how ballet dancers tell stories with pantomime. Students will also have a storytime

April 23-25, 2021 Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

2021 SPONSORS: Alabama State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency Bancography • Birmingham Coca Cola Bottling Company • City of Birmingham • Event Rentals Unlimited Birmingham • Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau • Joe Piper, Inc. • Kinetic Communications Jemison Investment Company, Inc. • Unclaimed Baggage • Yarbrough Festival Foodservices MEDIA SPONSORS: AL.com • Babypalooza • Bell Media • Bham Now • Birmingham Mountain Radio 107.3fm B-Metro • EXCURSIONSgo.com • Homewood Life • Over the Mountain Journal • Starnes Media • This is Alabama WBHM Public Radio 90.3fm

www.magiccityart.com


VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • B19

A PUBLIC NOTICE FROM ALABAMA POWER E

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TREE CREWS WORKING IN VESTAVIA HILLS THROUGH SPRING 2021 Alabama Power crews are working in several Vestavia Hills neighborhoods, removing trees and other vegetation that threaten the safety and reliability of our electrical system. As part of this process, Alabama Power goes to great lengths to talk with individual property owners. Company representatives are going door to door, leaving notices at locations where work is needed. If you have any questions before crews come by your home, please call Alabama Power at 205-257-2155 and ask for someone in the Vegetation Management Group to contact you. Or you can email us at apcvm@southernco.com. Work in Vestavia and nearby areas is expected to continue through early 2021. As we work in communities to meet the needs of our customers, please maintain a safe social distance of six feet from our crews and field representatives to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Also, you can visit alpwr.co/vm for more information about these safety and reliability measures and for recommendations about planting the right tree in the right place.

Thank you for your understanding. Vegetation Management Group 205-257-2155 | apcvm@southernco.com

© 2021 Alabama Power Company.

17 K L


B20 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

Metro Roundup HOMEWOOD

Local entrepreneur starts new adventure By INGRID SCHNADER John Cassimus does it all. Not only did he help grow the original Zoë’s Kitchen into a successful franchise, but he also assisted in the growth of Maki Fresh and Jinsei Brought to Sushi; opened you by our Miss Dots sister paper: in Mountain Brook in 2015; and he opened Crazy thehomewood Cazboy’s, a star.com discount store in Homewood, in 2019, among other entrepreneurial adventures. Next up, this serial entrepreneur is in the kitchen. Cassimus was tapped to lead a 12-part cooking series, “Darn Hungry,” which is available to watch online and is hosted by SkyPoint Cameras. His love for cooking started at a young age. In 1944, Cassimus’ grandfather, John Proferis, opened a restaurant in Birmingham called John’s Restaurant. His mother and grandmother, who were both Greek, were talented chefs, and Cassimus grew up watching them in the kitchen. One night, when his mother was at a friend’s house, a 9-year-old Cassimus got a sweet tooth. He wanted cake, but there wasn’t any in the house. He called his mom and told her he wanted

John Cassimus, founder of Crazy Cazboy’s in Homewood and longtime local entrepreneur, was tapped to star in a 12-part cooking series filmed by SpyPoint Cameras. Photo courtesy of Nancy Jones.

to make a cake from scratch. She told him to grab her copy of “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma Rombauer and follow the recipe. “She came home a couple of hours later, and I had a cake sitting there,” he said. “She shook her head at me — I was only 9 years old and had made a cake, turned the oven on and everything by myself. She was impressed.” This experience ignited his love for

cooking. “Cooking is something that’s an artistic form for me,” he said. “My artistic abilities for me are that I have a pretty good eye for design. But in regards to music, painting or drawing, I have zero artistic ability. “But when it comes to food, that’s how my art comes out and my creativity is taken. Anything I want to cook, I experiment with, and I come up with things that typically taste good.”

RELAX AND FEEL BEAUTIFUL

One of his most beloved recipes is the chicken roll-up he created for Zoë’s Kitchen. He continued to develop the menu there until he sold it to a private equity fund in 2007. In addition to his entrepreneurial adventures, Cassimus also enjoys hunting, biking, photography and flying airplanes. His love for cooking pairs well with his love for the outdoors, he said.

“Typically when you hunt, you’re at someone’s house, or a lodge, or a farm, and everything’s always about fellowship and talking about the day,” he said. “In my life, I feel cheated if I don’t celebrate every day with a big meal.” The chief marketing officer for SkyPoint Cameras, which is a company that sells hunting and security cameras, met Cassimus at a trade show last year. He followed Cassimus on social media and saw that he was posting about food every night. He called Cassimus and pitched the idea to help create a cooking show. Like many other adventures in Cassimus’ life, he said yes. With “Darn Hungry,” Cassimus makes clean, simple recipes in short 10-minute videos. “I’m not making really crazy, intricate recipes where it takes process after process,” he said. “I will get crazy sometimes and do something fancy, but my cooking is basically lean proteins — fish, chicken, venison or meat — and I’m always about vegetables and salad.” At home, Cassimus is busy and has limited time to cook. So viewers can trust that his videos can accommodate a busy schedule while still delivering with nutritious, tasty recipes. To watch the episodes of Darn Hungry, visit spypoint.com or search the SkyPoint Trail Cameras account on YouTube.

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VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • B21

MOUNTAIN BROOK

Left: Cover of “The Cat Man of Aleppo.” Above: Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha, co-authors of “The Cat Man of Aleppo,” discuss the book during a booksigning at The Alabama Booksmith. Photos by Phil Free, courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter.

Birmingham authors, NYC illustrator share Caldecott for ‘The Cat Man of Aleppo’ By BOB BLALOCK, ALABAMA NEWSCENTER Stray cats wandering a city in war-torn Syria almost a decade ago led to two Birmingham writers and a New York City artist sharing one of the most prestigious awards for children’s literature this year. “The Cat Man of Aleppo,” written by Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha and illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, is one of four books chosen as a Caldecott Honor Book. Each year, the American Library Association recognizes the nation’s top picture books for children with Caldecott awards. “We are Water Protectors,” illustrated by Michaela Goade and written by Carole Lindstrom, was the Caldecott Medal winner. “The Cat Man of Aleppo” is based on the true story of Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, an

electrician in Aleppo, Syria, who Shamsi-Basha contacted Alaa, Brought to in the middle of a civil war chose “and he was thrilled and excited you by our not to flee his country. Alaa became about us doing the book.” sister paper: Shamsi-Basha, who came to the an ambulance driver and starting in United States in 1984, also was 2012 used the money he earned to feed the abandoned and stray cats “very, very thrilled” about telling in Aleppo. The media covering the Alaa’s story and how the book villageliving war took notice of Alaa’s efforts, would portray the country of his online.com leading to a Facebook page and birth. donations that allowed Alaa to “It’s such a positive humane story create a shelter for the cats. out of a war-torn country, when all The story of the book about the Cat Man you hear in the media about Islam and Arabs is began in 2016 when Latham saw a tweet about usually negative, but this is one humane bright Alaa and his work rescuing and sheltering the light in kind of a dim world,” Shamsi-Basha abandoned felines. said. “So it was amazing to do, very fulfilling.” Latham knew Shamsi-Basha, a native of Stacey Barney, the executive editor at PenSyria who is a regular contributor to Alabama guin Random House, gave the authors three NewsCenter. choices of illustrators to choose from, and “I just knew he would be a great partner for Shimizu stood out for both Shamsi-Basha this story,” she said. and Latham.

HEAR IT FROM THE FAMILY

She had done one that was published eight years ago and wasn’t sure she’d ever do another. “That takes a lot of commitment for someone who does one picture and then moves on to the next,” Shimizu said. “If I’m going to spend one year on a project it has to be meaningful, and this felt exactly right for me.” To see the book “get this recognition and to share this story with children everywhere, it’s just so hopeful and positive,” Latham said. “I hope everyone is inspired to be more kind and to do things where they are and to think about people in a different way.” “Winning this award means so many people will know the story and be exposed to the world of the unknown, and I think this is just fantastic,” Shimizu said. – This story was edited for length by Village Living.

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B22 • April 2021

Vestavia Voice

280 CORRIDOR

HOMEWOOD

The Fire at the Foothills cookoff event returns after being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. This year’s event will be at Chelsea City Hall. Staff photo.

Fire at the Foothills event returns for 10th year By LEAH INGRAM EAGLE

Runners take off at the start of the 2019 Red Shoe Run in downtown Birmingham. The 2021 event moves to downtown Homewood to start and finish on 29th Avenue. Staff photo.

Red Shoe Run moves to Homewood from Birmingham for 17th year By INGRID SCHNADER

Because the 2020 Fire at the Foothills event was canceled due to COVID-19, technically this will be the 10th year for the city of Chelsea to host the annual event. This will be the third year it will be at City Hall, and safety precautions will be in place, including mask and social distancing Brought to requirements. you by our “It’s an outside sister paper: event,” said founder/ organizer and Chelsea City Council member Scott Weygand. “We 280living.com feel like everyone can be responsible and safe, and it’s our attempt at trying to get back to normalcy.” This year’s event will feature a barbecue cookoff and dessert contest. The barbecue competition is judged and sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, and cash prizes will be given for the top three finishers for ribs, chicken and pork butt categories. “We are hoping for at least 20 barbecue teams and will have a limit of 25,” Weygand

Fire at the Foothills • WHERE: Chelsea City Hall • WHEN: April 17, 1-4 p.m. • COST: Free • WEB: cityofchelsea.com/calendar

said. “We’ve already had people sign up from all over Alabama and Mississippi. This event draws people in from all over the place.” The dessert event will include cakes and pies and also kid’s cookies. Participants must register a week before the event, which will take place Saturday, April 17, from 1-4 p.m. “It’s all free, we just ask for donations,” Weygand said. “All the funds raised [from the barbecue competition] go to the Chelsea Kiwanis Club, which helps local children’s charities. The dessert portion money raised will go to the Chelsea Fire Department’s fire education safety program that they teach in schools.” For more information or to register, visit the city of Chelsea’s website or the Fire at the Foothills Facebook page.

NOW OPEN IN VESTAVIA HILLS

FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC

The Red Shoe Run is back in its 17th year to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. And after having the race in Birmingham for the past couple of years, the Red Shoe Run is returning to Homewood on April 24. Brought to The race will start you by our and end on 29th Avenue sister paper: South in front of Dave’s Pizza. The race course will then take runners up 18th Street, down thehomewood Central Avenue, behind star.com Homewood Central Park and in a loop around Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, and then racers will return to 29th Avenue. The theme for the race is the Rockin’ 5K. This was a theme that started in 2019, and since it was a big hit then, the race has stuck to the theme, said Community Outreach Manager Stephanie Duncan. This year’s fundraising goal is $85,000, which would provide 680 nights of comfort

Red Shoe Run • WHERE: Begins and ends on 29th Avenue in front of Dave’s Pizza • WHEN: April 24; 5K starts at 8 a.m.; fun run starts at 8:30 a.m. • COST: $25 until April 16, and then price increases to $30 • WEB: runsignup.com/race/al/ birmingham/redshoerun2021

and care for Ronald McDonald House families who come to Birmingham to seek life-saving care for their critically ill children. The cost of the race is $25 for the 5K and for the 1-mile fun run until April 16, and then the price increases to $30. There are also virtual options that cost $30 (the increase is to cover shipping costs) until April 16, when the price for these options increases to $35. The race will follow COVID-19 guidelines and will have a socially distanced starting line. Masks are required for participants and spectators.

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VestaviaVoice.com

April 2021 • B23

VHYB Summer Baseball Opportunity Existing YMBA & High School team players can play baseball this summer in the American Legion League. Junior Varsity Divisions 6th & 7th grades and 8th & 9th grades Varsity Divisions 8th & 9th grades and 10th & 11th grades 19U born between 01-01-2002 - 12-31-2007

MORE INFORMATION Contact Tammy tammygjohnson@gmail.com or visit alabamaamericanlegionbaseball.com


Nick, Haleigh, and Luke Mullens take delivery of their new 2020 Yukon Denali with associate David Thomas

The Big Leagues Demand a Big SUV From Spain Park to Southern Miss to San Francisco, Nick Mullens has never lost sight of roots that run deep here in Birmingham! As a student, Nick smashed football records for the Spain Park Jaguars and Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Now, he sees regular action in the NFL leading the San Francisco 49ers offense at quarterback. Nick and his wife, Haleigh, knew they needed a big-time vehicle upgrade to make room for a bundle of joy—baby Luke! We matched them with the perfect new Yukon Denali for their big league lifestyle as parents. The same all-star service is waiting for you at Royal, where you’re always treated like Royalty!

(205) 823-3100 · www.royalbuickgmc.net 3010 Columbiana Rd · At the Corner of I-65 and Highway 31 in Vestavia

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Vestavia Voice April 2021  

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