Initiatives - August 2022

Page 1

AUG 2022

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If you want to make a valuable investment in your business and the community, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber is the place to start. Contact Crystal Baker, Membership Retention Specialist: 256-535-2039 or

Joined in May A Perfect Start Learning Center Accurx Infusion Center Apple Bus Company Expo Displays - Method One EyeCare Associates Foundation 1781 Interweave Technologies Jeff White Photographer Keller Williams Realty - Andrew Driver Madison County Extension Office Mark Construction Group LLC Mr. Naked Taco Neon Power Washing Offset Strategic Services LLC Orbital Assembly Corporation Peak U Peterman and Sons (P&S) Solutions, LLC Quadrus Advanced Manufacturing, LLC Sady Zayas-Visser Agency - Farmers Insurance Staffing By Trinity, LLC Storage Solutions Inc. The ALS Association Alabama TreeHouse Children’s Dentistry Walls 2 Walls Commercial Cleaning Wholesale Natural Body Care, Inc Wilson’s Office Supply

Become a Chamber Member In addition to investing in the economic growth of the entire region, as a Chamber member, you receive a variety of important benefits: ■ Build business relationships, create partnerships, and grow your business

Joined in June 3-GIS, LLC Ace Handyman Services AcqCentric, LLC Alabama Seal & Packing AMG Engineering & Machining, Inc. Audio Video Excellence (AVX) Battelle Memorial Institute Charlie Hamm State Farm CityCentre Residential LLC (Eclipse Apartment Residences) GoldBelt, Inc. Hville Blast L2 Mindset Lamica Realty Magnolia Soap and Bath Company Max Health Midsommer Living Morris Builders, LLC Nippon Express USA, Inc. Paradise Cleaning Service Premier Urgent Care Inc & Family Medicine, Inc. Protection Strategies, Incorporated RE/MAX Unlimited River Bank & Trust Scooter’s Coffee Sinequa Straight to Ale Strategic Alliance Business Group LLC (SABG) The Platinum Koi Tattoo Studio Tiramisu Paperie VSC Fire & Security, Inc.

■ Listing in the online Membership Directory ■ Specially designed professional development programs to grow your talent and strengthen your business ■ Brand exposure through the Chamber’s multimedia platforms to fellow member companies and the region’s business community ■ Priority communications to keep you updated on the latest business news and information impacting your business


initiatives aug 2022

MEMBERS: Check out to support gift card purchases through our local restaurants and retail stores. It is FREE to list your business there.




AS OF JULY 15, 2022



Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) ■ Crestwood Medical Center Dynetics, Inc. ■ Lockheed Martin Corporation PNC Bank ■ Raytheon Technologies ■ SAIC Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. ■ Torch Technologies ■ Yulista

CHAMBER TRUSTEES Akima, LLC ■ Bill Penney Toyota/Mitsubishi ■ Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Five Stones Research Corporation ■ Intrepid ■ Jerry Damson Honda Acura ■ KBR Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram ■ Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. Parsons ■ S3, Inc. ■ Science and Engineering Services, LLC (SES) Sealy Management Company, Inc. ■ SportsMED Orthopaedic Surgery & Spine Center Synovus ■ Turner Construction Company


PROGRESS PARTNERS Ability Plus, Inc. ■ Aerojet Rocketdyne ■ Amazon ■ Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, P.C. ■ ASRC Federal ■ B.L. Harbert International, LLC ■ Baron Weather, Inc. ■ BASF Corporation ■ Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP ■ Brown Precision, Inc. ■ Beyond Gravity ■ CFD Research Corporation ■ Colliers International ■ Corporate Tax Advisors Inc. ■ Davidson ■ First Horizon ■ Freedom Real Estate & Capital, LLC ■ Huntsville Botanical Garden ■ Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. ■ Integration Innovation, Inc. (i3) ■ IronMountain Solutions


■ Keel Point, LLC ■ Leonardo Electronics US Inc. ■ LSINC Corporation ■ Marsh & McLennan Agency, locally known as J. Smith Lanier & Co. ■ The Orthopaedic Center (TOC) ■ Progress Bank ■ Radiance Technologies, Inc. ■ RE/MAX Alliance ■ Robins & Morton ■ ServisFirst Bank ■ SouthState Bank ■ Steak-Out (Rosie’s Restaurants, Inc., & Right Way Restaurants, Inc.) ■ Truist Bank ■ Venturi, LLC ■ Woody Anderson Ford

PROGRESS INVESTORS Accenture Federal Services ■ Air Essentials, Inc. ■ Alpha Beta Technologies, Inc. ■ Amanda Howard | Sotheby’s


International Realty ■ Avion Solutions ■ Averbuch Realty / Enterprises ■ Bailey-Harris Construction ■ Bell Textron Inc. ■ BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc. ■ Bryant Bank ■ Cadence Bank ■ Canvas, Inc. ■ CB&S Bank ■ Century Automotive ■ CGI Federal ■ Coast Personnel Services ■ Corvid Technologies LLC ■ deciBel Research ■ Deloitte ■ DESE Research, Inc. ■ Express Employment Professionals ■ FITE Building Company ■ FLS Translation & Interpreting ■ Fountain, Parker, Harbarger & Associates, LLC ■ Garver, LLC ■ GTEC, LLC ■ Hexagon US Federal ■ HEMSI ■ Hiley Automotive Group ■ Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau ■ INTERFUZE Corporation ■ Investor’s Resource ■ KODA Technologies Inc. ■ L3Harris ■ The Lioce Group, Inc. ■ MSB Analytics, Inc. ■ nLogic, LLC ■ PALCO ■ PHOENIX ■ PROJECTXYZ, Inc. ■ QTEC Aerospace ■ Quadrus Corporation ■ Renasant Bank ■ RJ Young Company ■ Rosenblum Realty, Inc. ■ Schoel Engineering Company, Inc. ■ Sigmatech, Inc. ■ Signalink, Inc. ■ Snelling ■ Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. ■ Transcend, The Fearless Company ■ TriVector Services, Inc. ■ Troy 7, Inc. ■ TTL, Inc. ■ ■ Valor Communities ■ Van Valkenburgh & Wilkinson Properties, Inc. ■ Volkert, Inc. ■ Warren Averett, LLC ■ Wilmer & Lee, P.A.

For more information, contact Kristy Drake, Vice President, Investor Relations: 256-535-2036 or


aug 2022 initiatives


table of contents INITIATIVES MAGAZINE – AUG 2022

Mission: To prepare, develop, and promote our community for economic growth. (see staff listing on page 30)



Chamber members: You are encouraged to contribute ideas for our publications. Please send items to The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber maintains editorial control.

pages 16-19 Mazda Toyota Manufacturing hosts grand opening

on the cover L-R: Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and Mazda President/CEO Akira Marumoto at the MTM event. Photo by Jeff White Photography

feature stories 11





















Kristy Drake



editorial staff publisher Chip Cherry, CCE editor Claire Aiello editorial designer Kristi Sherrard contributing writers

Kayla Brown Lucia Cape, CCE Erin Koshut Jerome Saintjones Mike Ward, CCE

Artemis ready for late Summer launch

Alka Bhargav, 2022 WBC Chair, and more

Dr. Jimmy Hodges appointed president of Calhoun

Municipal Elections in August, then November General Election

Book Your Appointment: Deadline approaching for Alabama Bishop’s Flowers, PPT Solutions

Cummings Research Park: 60 years and counting…

Commander makes largest single donation in Rocket Center history Has your company taken the survey yet?

Jamie Russell

HUNTSVILLE MADISON COUNTY ALABAMA Military, space, telecommunications, biotechnology, diversified manufacturing, and a variety of emerging specialties provide challenging work in delightful surroundings. The area enjoys a favorable cost of living and quality of life. Mountains, lakes, woodlands, and the Tennessee River accommodate numerous recreational activities. A temperate climate enhances the season for outdoor sports, including world-class golf, hiking, biking, and fishing. Major concerts, Broadway and symphony performances, extensive permanent collections, and traveling exhibitions contribute to a wonderful way of life.

more for you 4











ANNUAL DC TRIP information




BEST PLACES TO WORK AWARDS event information

Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Inc. 225 Church St NW, Huntsville, AL 35801 • 256-535-2000


aug 2022 initiatives


a message from chip cherry

Executive Committee & Board of Directors 2022


Executive Committee

Dear Chamber Investors, Community Leaders, and Friends: The Mazda Toyota Manufacturing Team deftly navigated the challenges of making the concept of a world class automotive manufacturing facility a reality. The fact that they did it during a pandemic makes it even more impressive. Congratulations, MTM! Our community has a unique connection to space, having been the epicenter of developing the systems that would get man to the Moon and back safely. As we work to build SLS and return to the Moon, the roles of Marshall Space Flight Center and the contractors in the region are in the spotlight once again. We are looking forward to the first Artemis launch later this year. Exploration is one aspect of the role our region plays in space, and the other is National Defense. This summer we moved one step closer to playing an even more important role in space with the release of the environmental assessment of the location for U.S. Space Command HQ at Redstone. We are honored to be the preferred location for the Command, and we look forward to working with them as they ramp up operations at Redstone! SLS and Space Command are two examples of how our region is a vital part of the Nation’s space ecosystem. When I joined the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber over 10 years ago, one of the goals the volunteer leadership and our public sector partners articulated was the need to diversify our economy. The goal was for the Chamber to support the region’s growth and ensure there was a good balance among the sectors in the economy and job opportunities throughout the socioeconomic spectrum. Working in concert with our partners, we have made a great deal of progress. As we work through the process of updating our Strategic Plan, we will take a fresh look at our target markets to ensure they are aligned with the vision for the future. If you are interested in learning more about our target market segments, I encourage you to visit We will be sharing more about the strategic plan in upcoming issues. Lastly, in our business we have what we call “Chamber School.” The formal name is Institute of Organizational Management (IOM). We have two members of our Team who graduated from the four-year program this summer. Congratulations to Claire Aiello, VP of Marketing & Communications, and Kristy Drake, VP of Investor Relations! A shout out to Pammie Jimmar, president of the Greater Limestone County Chamber, who served as Chair of the Southeastern IOM Board in Athens, Georgia this year. Well done, Pammie! I look forward to seeing you at a Chamber event soon.

Chip Cherry, CCE President & CEO Huntsville/Madison County Chamber



initiatives aug 2022

Greg Brown, Board Chair – Brown Precision, Inc. Lynn Troy, Chair-elect – Troy 7, Inc. Jeff Gronberg, Immediate Past Chair – deciBel Research, Inc. Ron Poteat, President, Chamber Foundation – Regions Bank Jeff Samz, Secretary/Treasurer – Huntsville Hospital Michelle Jordan, Vice Chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – TARCOG Sameer Singhal, Vice Chair, Economic Development & Workforce – CFD Research Corporation

Ronnie Chronister, Vice Chair, Government & Public Affairs – Dynetics, Inc.

Dr. Karockas Watkins, Vice Chair, HREGI – Ability Plus, Inc. Blake Bentley, Vice Chair, Investor Relations – SportsMED Jim Rogers, Vice Chair, Marketing & Communications – Lockheed Martin Joe Ritch, Vice Chair, Redstone Regional Alliance – Dentons Sirote PC Jami Peyton, Vice Chair, Small Business – Canvas, Inc. Sean Kelly, Chair-Appointed – Regions Bank Jason Puckett, Chair-Appointed – Toyota Alabama Frank Williams, Chair-Appointed – Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

Mayor Tommy Battle, Ex-officio Member – City of Huntsville Mayor Paul Finley, Ex-officio Member – City of Madison Chairman Dale Strong, Ex-officio Member – Madison Co. Commission Chip Cherry, CCE, President & CEO, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

Elected board Ted Baudendistel, INTERFUZE Corporation David Bier, Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, P.C. Penny Billings, Cadence Bank G.W. Boon, Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI) Thomas Busby, SouthState Bank Katie Comer, Meta Platforms, Inc. Brett Crain, Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. Dr. Patti Dare, Raytheon Technologies Melissa Davis, MTA, Inc. Kevin Fernandez, L2 Mindset Greg Fortier, SAIC Owen Franklin, Blue Summit Supplies Greg Gaddy, Five Stones Research Corporation Scott Hall, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. Ginger Harper, First Horizon Josh Herren, Yulista Tharon Honeycutt, MSB Analytics, Inc. Laura Huckabee-Jennings, Transcend, The Fearless Company Lincoln Hudson, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Tyce Hudson, Freedom Real Estate and Capital, LLC Hank Isenberg, IronMountain Solutions Clint Kirkland, Progress Bank Rich Kretzschmar, Integration Innovation, Inc. (i3) James Lackey, Parsons Todd May, KBR Bob McCaleb, Northrop Grumman Corporation Chrystal Morgan, The Boeing Company Craig Naudain, The Naudain Group, LLC Nadia Niakossary, RCP Companies Alana Parker, Rocket City Drywall & Supply, Inc. Meredith Payne, Davidson Zack Penney, Bill Penney Toyota/Mitsubishi Chris Russell, Linscomb & Williams Alicia Ryan, LSINC Corporation Beth Sippel, Synovus Wayne Sisco, Redstone Federal Credit Union Tom Stanton, ADTRAN, Inc. Sandra Stephens, Keel Point, LLC Mitch Stevison, Mercury Systems, Inc. Nilmini Thompson, Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. Mark Vaporis, Intrepid Mike Watkins, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama John Watson, Torch Technologies A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

Minutes still matter in an


Don’t delay

health care. Chest pain, severe abdominal pain, headache, high Chest pain, severe abdominal pain, headache, high fever and other symptoms often need fast medical care, fever and other symptoms often need fast medical care, so please don’t delay getting care in an emergency. With so please don’t delay getting care in an emergency. With screening for everyone, enhanced cleaning, masking and screening for everyone, enhanced cleaning, masking and social distancing, we are taking extra precautions to help keep social distancing, we are taking extra precautions to help keep our safe – and ready to care for for our emergency emergencyrooms rooms safe – and ready to care

Learn more at Learn more at emergency. or call 911 in an or call 911 in an emergency.

Unstoppable starts here in Huntsville

Your unstoppable spirit keeps you focused on the future. At First Horizon Bank, our financial guidance helps point the way forward so you’re ready to make it happen without hesitation.

©2022 First Horizon Bank. Member FDIC.

Eyes on the Sky

Artemis ready for late Summer launch


ollowing the successful “wet dress” test in June, NASA is preparing to launch Artemis I to the Moon later this month or in early September. The latest test involved fueling the SLS vehicle and conducting a pre-launch countdown that stopped just 29 seconds prior to launch. The test was originally scheduled to stop just nine seconds prior to engine ignition, but a leaky seal on the quick disconnect of the tail service mast umbilical caused the test to be terminated early. Following the test, the rocket was moved back to the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB), where teams replaced the seal to fix the liquid hydrogen leak detected during the rehearsal. As of print time, NASA is currently considering these Artemis 1 launch windows: DATE



Aug. 23

6:26 AM EDT (1026 GMT)

42 minutes

Aug. 24

6:40 AM EDT (1040 GMT)

65 minutes

Aug. 25

7:05 AM EDT (1105 GMT)

120 minutes

Aug. 26

7:13 AM EDT (1113 GMT)

120 minutes

Aug. 27

7:27 AM EDT (1127 GMT)

120 minutes

Aug. 28

7:51 AM EDT (1151 GMT)

120 minutes

Aug. 29

8:33 AM EDT (1233 GMT)

120 minutes

Sept. 2

12:48 PM EDT (1648 GMT)

120 minutes

Sept. 3

2:17 PM EDT (1817 GMT)

120 minutes

Sept. 4

3:44 PM EDT (1944 GMT)

120 minutes

Sept. 5

5:12 PM EDT (2112 GMT)

90 minutes

Sept. 6

6:57 PM EDT (2257 GMT)

24 minutes

There are four primary factors that dictate launch availability within these periods. The launch day must account for the Moon’s position in its lunar cycle so that the SLS rocket’s upper stage can time the trans-lunar injection burn with enough performance to successfully initiate the lunar distant retrograde orbit. The Orion capsule must not be in darkness for more than 90 minutes at a time so that the solar array wings can receive and convert sunlight to electricity, and the spacecraft can maintain an optimal temperature range. Mission planners eliminate potential launch A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


dates that would send Orion into extended eclipses during the flight. The launch date must support a trajectory that allows for the entry technique planned during Orion’s return to Earth. A “skip entry” is a maneuver in which the spacecraft dips into the upper part of Earth’s atmosphere and uses that atmosphere, along with the lift of the capsule, to simultaneously slow down and skip back out of the atmosphere, then reenter for final descent and splashdown. The launch date must support daylight conditions for Orion’s splashdown to initially assist recovery personnel when they locate, secure, and retrieve the spacecraft from the Pacific Ocean. In addition, there are also operational launch constraints driven by infrastructure at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The tanks used to store cryogenic liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellant at the launch pad can only supply a limited number of launch attempts. Should the launch be called off after the propellant is loaded, there is a minimum of 48 hours until a second launch attempt can be made. There is then a 72-hour minimum before a third attempt can be made, due to the need to resupply the cryogenic storage tank with more propellant from nearby sources. In any given week, no more than three launch attempts that include core stage tanking can occur. –Mike Ward, cce aug 2022 initiatives


Armed Forces Celebration June/July 2022


e had a wonderful week celebrating our Armed Forces and the men and women who support them through Team Redstone! The week of June 27–July 1 featured several events, including the annual Proclamation Signing, Concert in the Park complete with fireworks, a Community Softball Game, the Armed Forces Celebration Luncheon, and the Iron Mike Golf Tournament hosted by AUSA. Thank you to all who attended and participated in the events! We’re definitely looking forward to next year.

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initiatives aug 2022



aug 2022 initiatives


community highlights COMPILED BY CLAIRE AIELLO

AAMU Event Center taking shape

– Jerome Saintjones

As of late June, construction on Alabama A&M University’s new Event Center was about 80 percent complete, according to Brian Shipp, director of university facilities, noting that the building is 100 percent dried-in. This indicates that the shell of the Event Center has been completed to such a stage that wind, rain or other weather won’t pose a problem to its more weather-sensitive areas.

The Mission Innovate joint venture is led by Jamie Miller, Mission Multiplier CEO, and Phil Monkress, All Points CEO.

Yulista acquires Troy7, Inc. Yulista, a global leader in rapid response aerospace and defense solutions, announced on June 27 the acquisition of Troy7, Inc. a Woman-Owned Small Business specializing in missile and aerospace engineering solutions. Troy7 brings a legacy of support to more than 350 missile defense and space flight missions for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), Naval Air Warfare Center, NASA, and other DOD groups. “Lynn and John Troy built an incredible organization in Troy7, Inc, full of passionate professionals supporting our national defense programs. Yulista is humbled to bring this fine group of engineers and professionals into our organization,” said Yulista President & CEO Josh Herren. “Troy7 will remain Troy7, and we couldn’t be more excited to integrate their strong team and immense capabilities into our technical services group, extending our reach in missile defense, hypersonic systems, directed energy, launch support engineering, and development of new, cutting-edge space launch systems.”

Drywall is complete and painting was ongoing, with HVAC systems installed, permanent electrical power complete, and scoreboards installed. The 6,000-seat facility will be the venue for a wide range of sporting events, University ceremonies and numerous activities offered by the campus and community.

Update on child care initiatives

– Lucia Cape, cce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a kickoff meeting of the Early Childhood and Business Advisory Council on June 17 in Washington, D.C. The Council is made up of representatives from eight states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana and South Dakota) and two cities (Huntsville and Austin) to share best practices and find solutions for child care in the US. The Council will continue to convene virtually, and a press release about the initiative will be shared soon.

T-Minus Fest at Orion raises $20,000 for Space Camp scholarships Yellowhammer hosted the T-Minus Music Fest on June 18 with a concert at The Orion Amphitheater. The event featured performances by Old Crow Medicine Show, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Jamie Wyatt, and Little & The Giants. Over the past four years, sales from Yellowhammer’s T-Minus Tangerine Kolsch have raised $70,000 for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation. This year’s concert raised another $20,000. This money helps pay for kids to go to Space Camp on scholarship. Way to go!

All Points joins Leidos to provide NASA IT solutions & support Mission Innovate, LLC in Huntsville, a Joint Venture of Mission Multiplier Consulting, LLC and All Points Logistics, LLC, announced their partnership in June with Leidos for NASA’s AEGIS contract. The Advanced Enterprise Global Information Technology Solutions (AEGIS) contract continues NASA’s communications transformation through deployment of network technologies enabling highly secure “Zero Trust” solution deployments and advanced network automation and segmentation to improve security and reduce operational costs. This contract enables NASA to seamlessly collaborate with its commercial, educational, and International Partners. The work is managed for NASA by Marshall Space Flight Center as an enterprise-wide contract with work at every NASA Center. Through the course of this $2.5 billion contract, this partnership will provide telecommunications, cloud, and data center services over a 10-year period of performance if all options and award terms are exercised. It is expected to provide roughly 800 jobs across all the participating team members. 14

initiatives aug 2022

Fractal Brewing wins top prize at CRP Summer Sip & Stroll On June 11, we hosted the Summer Sip and Stroll around Lake 4 in Cummings Research Park. People tasted beers from 10 local brewers and voted for their favorite. Fractal Brewing’s Guava Mango won bragging rights, and the trophy — the Radiance Cup. It is now on display at the brewery. Thank you to all who attended and supported the event! We also thank Free The Hops volunteers who manned the different booths and shared information about the various beers with attendees. A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


Madison County

City of Huntsville

City of Madison

Huntsville Metro Area

community profile

2010 Census






2021 Census









% Growth HOUSEHOLDS & INCOME # of Households





Avg. Household Income





Per Capita Income





As of July 2022

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (, American Community Survey Estimates

Aerospace & Defense Huntsville/Madison County is home to the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center which combine to drive a thriving aerospace and defense technology industry. Currently, 44,000 people work at Redstone Arsenal and NASA, managing some of the country’s most important and sophisticated technology programs.

Research & Technology Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park (CRP) has earned a reputation as a global leader in technology development. The second-largest science and technology research park in the U.S., CRP is home to 320 companies and 26,500 people involved in technology research and development.

Top 15 Employers: Huntsville & Madison County U.S. Army/Redstone Arsenal* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38,000 * Huntsville Hospital System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,352 NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000 Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,700 The Boeing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,048 Hexagon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000 Huntsville City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000 Dynetics, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,946 SAIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,746 Madison County Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,389 Northrop Grumman Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,266 City of Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,206 University of Alabama in Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,979 Polaris Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,849 Toyota Alabama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,800 Source: Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

For more information, visit:

*includes on-site contractors

100% Online | In-person | Mix



11:14 AM aug3/10/22 2022 initiatives

































L-R: MTM’s Janette Hostettler, Masashi Aihara, and Hironori Kagohashi.


initiatives aug 2022



It was in 2018 when we had the pleasure of announcing the newest large manufacturing plant joining us in the Rocket City. This new tenant would be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for not only north Alabama, but for the companies teaming up to create it. Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation revealed they would be joining forces for the first time on U.S. soil. Since that initial announcement, the two manufacturers have created something very special in the community.

continued on page 18


aug 2022 initiatives



e’ve worked very hard – the team here has worked very hard together including Limestone County, the City of Madison, Athens. This is not only Huntsville’s success, but their success too,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. To date, more than 3,700 people have been hired in Alabama since the start of this unique collaboration, and that number continues to grow. At the end of June, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) welcomed team members and invited guests to celebrate the long journey to the official opening day. Through the pandemic, this business venture still managed to hire thousands of local people and unveil two brand new, Huntsville-built vehicles: the Mazda CX-50 and the Toyota Corolla Cross, both of which are currently being produced and shipped to dealerships across the country. Once in full production, the $2.311 billion facility will have the capacity to assemble up to 300,000 SUVs per year. In attendance during the June 30 event was Toyota Motor Corporation CEO Akio Toyoda. He made it a point to come to Huntsville as part of his first overseas visit since the beginning of the pandemic. While celebrating the official opening of MTM, he said, “Despite the enormous challenge brought on by COVID, I have the greatest respect for all of you. We know how fortunate we are to be here, and we will never take this community for granted.” Over the last four years, the team members and leadership at MTM have worked diligently to create a sustainable working environment for north Alabamians in search of jobs. It is thanks to the innovative minds like Akio Toyoda and Mazda Motor Corporation President/ CEO Akira Marumoto that this type of project is even possible.

Learning from the Competitor One of the more intriguing aspects of MTM has been the collaboration between two very large motor corporations, which both stand tall on their own. Teaming up to create a new type of business was an idea that was intended to teach both corporations a little bit more about their own craft. “From an engineering perspective, there’s a lot of new technology. Mazda gets to learn about new technology from Toyota, and Toyota gets to learn about new technology from Mazda. This also gives us a lot more leeway to share between the two – share our team members, share our strengths, and also get through some of the ups and downs that Hostettler we go through,” said Janette Hostettler, senior vice president of manufacturing at MTM. Huntsville is the first U.S. location for a Mazda Motor Corporation vehicle production plant. Besides gaining experience on U.S. operations, Marumoto said his team is learning a lot and is working together with the team at Toyota to achieve the very best. “I know we are ready for blast off!,” he said.

Boosting Our Economy The plant hasn’t just brought a large number of jobs. MTM demonstrated giving back to the community in other ways. During the June event, MTM awarded $180,000 to 10 local nonprofits through its inaugural Mazda Toyota Manufacturing Grant Fund. MTM’s grant fund opened for applicants in March 2022 with its partner, The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, and offers support to local and regional organizations that serve their community through education, economic impact and quality of life programming. MTM Grant Fund recipients included Huntsville Hospital Foundation, Agape of North Alabama, the United Way of Madison County, Drake State Technical College, Limestone County Career


initiatives aug 2022


Technical Center, Madison County Career Tech Center, Madison City Schools, Athens State University Foundation, the Cap and Gown Project, and KTECH. “They are so fully invested in this community. A few months ago MTM approached us as a partner in this effort,” said Melissa Thompson, president and CEO of The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. “This grant money will be used for opportunities for technical training, opportunities for really just a deep dive into our quality of life, such as transitional care from the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.” Thompson These grants provide an excellent way for the community to be involved in the work that goes on at MTM, and expand Team ONE. Team ONE is the name given to MTM and its partners. ONE stands for On-Site, Near Site, and Everyone, representing both suppliers and the broader community as partners in their long term success. “When Mazda and Toyota announced plans for their joint venture assembly plant in Huntsville back in 2018, we cheered because we knew the facility would have a massive economic impact on north Alabama. At the same time, we were excited because we knew the automakers would be great community partners. With the generous commuCanfield nity gifts being announced by Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, it’s clear that excitement was justified,” said Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield.

What’s Next? This joint venture plans to continue innovating not only its products, but the world around it too. MTM is looking to hire 300 additional employees throughout 2022, with hopes to grow Team ONE even more. To apply for open positions, visit “Having two rivals like Toyota and Mazda work together side by side and build up both brands will hopefully inspire others to put their differences aside and work together,” added Akio Toyoda. “If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that the world is a much smaller place than we realize.” – Kayla Brown


aug 2022 initiatives



Josh McFall CEO

Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS and

Tell us about yourself and your organization. I have served as CEO of the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® and for more than six years. Our mission at HAAR is to inform, influence and empower a thriving real estate market by focusing on education, advocacy and connections. aims to help thousands of real estate professionals in north Alabama to continue their work as community advocates and defenders of the American Dream of homeownership. fosters a marketplace of cooperation and competition among brokerages that creates the best possible playing field for consumers. If you’re in the housing market, be sure to make your destination for all of the most accurate and comprehensive real estate data.

We have an incredibly hot housing market, like many other cities right now. Any predictions on how long this will go on? We can’t predict the future any better than the regular Joe, but the trends we see show a strong market that won’t change any time soon. We release weekly reports, monthly stats, and quarterly economic deep-dives which are available to the public at our website, While the market will inevitably slow its pace from last year, we’re not seeing the contributing factors that led to the 2008 housing crash, and we are thankful for that.

A lot of our companies are bringing new people in, and we’ve heard it can be very difficult for home buyers. Any advice? The best advice I can give you is to hire a Realtor®. Buying a home at any stage in your life is likely to be the largest investment you’ve made to date. It’s important that a professional is alongside you every step of the way. With more than 4,300 professional agents ready to assist you in your buying and selling process, there’s never been a better time to list your home on

What would you say to other companies considering an investment in HREGI? HREGI’s work has positioned our region as a national leader in growth and development. It’s not enough to attract diverse businesses and new neighbors who enrich our community, we have to have the resources to welcome them. HREGI has helped set a path to a brighter future for our community every day, and is proud to support the initiative.


initiatives aug 2022


Women’s Business Council

Profile on Alka Bhargav, 2022 WBC Chair, plus council nominations & events


he Women’s Business Council (WBC) advocates for and promotes Women-Owned Small Businesses in the Huntsville/Madison County area. The WBC is quite active, hosting a number of events each year to help women network and grow their companies. Alka Bhargav is the 2022 Chair. Under her leadership, as well as other recent chairs including Bonnie Powers in 2020 and Alice Lessmann in 2021, the WBC has hosted and promoted activities that have brought positive attention and raised awareness about women in business. “Our focus has been to really raise awareness of the presence and impact of business women, because of the contributions Women-Owned Businesses (WOB) have made to our economy,” said Bhargav. Alabama has about 154,000 WOB’s, putting us at 15th among all states in the U.S. Bhargav “That’s why we made a visit to the Governor’s office on Women-Owned Business Day this past spring. We requested a proclamation signing to bring attention to WOB’s and their particular challenges. That’s one of the purposes of the WBC, to bring focus on Women-Owned Businesses and provide support and networking opportunities, and to elevate,” Bhargav explained. To be a member of the WBC, women must have 51 percent ownership of their company, and they need to have been in business for two


initiatives aug 2022

years. “It needs to be your primary job, not a side hustle,” said Bhargav.

AUM Foundation Bhargav is the founder and president of AUM Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to empowering under-resourced girls in gaining insight and understanding. AUM Foundation does this through mentoring, workforce development, and classes that help girls with conflict resolution, budgeting, finance, communication, emotional intelligence, and other topics. AUM has classes in Madison and Morgan counties, and has recently expanded to Selma, Ala.

Upcoming WBC Programs ■ Aug. 8: Women Working in Missile Defense – “United for the Mission: Huntsville Women of Space & Missile Defense” with Raytheon Technologies ■ Aug. 23: Council Interest Meet & Greet at the Chamber ■ Oct.: Wine Down with Women Who Lead ■ Nov.: WBC Presents: A Portrait of Success: Conversation with the 2022 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Learn more about the WBC at – nominations for new members are open through August 26. – Claire Aiello


Continuing to Lead

Dr. Jimmy Hodges appointed president of Calhoun


n July 13, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Board of Trustees approved Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker’s recommendation to appoint Dr. Jimmy Hodges as president of Calhoun Community College. Hodges has served as interim president at the College since June 2021. “Madison, Morgan, and Limestone counties are exploding in economic development, which means the residents and businesses there need to know now more than ever that a dynamic leader like Jimmy is at Calhoun Community College to ensure accessible, affordable and flexible education is right there to meet the needs of the community,” Baker said. Calhoun Community College is Alabama’s largest two-year institution offering more than 100 associate degrees and certificates. The main campus Hodges is located just north of the Tennessee River in Decatur, the Alabama Center for the Arts campus is in downtown Decatur, and the Huntsville campus is located in Cummings Research Park across from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Hodges’ 40 years of experience span higher education administration, manufacturing, and drafting and design technology. He began his career as a machinist and served in various manufacturing industry roles for the better part of 20 years. In 2000, he utilized his experi-


ence to begin training the next generation as a drafting instructor at the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology. He then joined the faculty at Wallace State as Drafting Department chair and instructor and was later promoted to Dean of Applied Technologies. Hodges earned a Diploma in Machine Shop Technology from Wallace State and an Associate of Applied Science in Machine Tool Technology from Calhoun. Hodges holds a B.S. in Career and Technical Education and a B.S. in Management of Technology from Athens State University. He also earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama. “For decades, Calhoun Community College has been at the helm of workforce development in north Alabama, and I consider it a huge blessing to be able to lead such an excellent group of students, faculty, and staff in continuing to enhance our current strategies and promote future growth,” Hodges said. “Our communities are what make us. This is the fastest-growing area of the state, and I am grateful to Chancellor Jimmy Baker and the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to serve as interim president over the past year,” he added. “I appreciate Calhoun employees who have welcomed me, and I look forward to continuing what we’ve started in meeting the needs of our students and the community.”

aug 2022 initiatives


Bryant Bank Feb 2022.pdf



1:25 PM

Election Update

Municipal Elections in August, then November General Election


he polls will be open a few more times the rest of this year. We have Municipal Elections later this month on August 23, and the General Election on November 8 for federal, state and county races. Please share this information with your co-workers and neighbors to encourage civic engagement.

Municipal Elections In Huntsville, City Council and School Board seats for Districts 2, 3, and 4 will be on the ballot. Many smaller towns and municipalities will also hold elections on August 23.

General Election The General Election will be held on November 8. Republican and Democratic Party nominees for Congressional, state, and county offices will be on the ballot. Here are the races you’ll see:






■ U.S. Senate (1 seat - Sen. Shelby’s term is expiring and he is not running for re-election) ■ U.S. House of Representatives (7 Alabama seats – Huntsville is in the 5th Congressional District)





STATE ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Governor Lieutenant Governor Attorney General Auditor Secretary of State Treasurer Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Alabama State Senate Alabama State House Alabama Supreme Court (Places 5 and 6) Public Service Commission (Places 1 and 2) State Board of Education (Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8) Circuit Court Judges (various seats) District Court Judges (various seats)

COUNTY ■ Various County Offices The voter registration deadline is October 24, and that’s the same deadline to update your information if you’ve moved since you last voted. You can do this on You can also visit for more detailed information and sample ballots. – Claire Aiello


initiatives aug 2022



Book Your Appointment: Deadline approaching for Alabama


o your employees fly domestically? If they don’t have a current passport, they will need a REAL ID compliant license (STAR ID) by May 3, 2023. They will also need this to access military bases and certain regulated federal facilities. STAR ID is a step beyond an ordinary Alabama driver’s license or non-driver identification card and meets all the requirements of federal law. It requires a few extra documents, though, and you can only get it at Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License exam offices. If you already have a STAR ID, you can renew your license at county-operated license offices, or renew online. In order to be issued a STAR ID, you must present four documents to verify identity/date of birth, Social Security number and address of principal residence. These are outlined on, and we encourage you to read up on these items closely before you go to your appointment to make sure you have everything covered. C



– Claire Aiello CM






aug 2022 initiatives


Remaining Flexible

Bishop’s Flowers named 2021 Retailer of the Year


ishop’s Flowers in Huntsville has stayed quite busy this year. For one, weddings have looked a lot different, according to the shop’s co-owner, Leigh Cella. “With COVID not being as prevalent, people were able to have more of a wedding and not be so restricted,” she explained. “We were very appreciative of all our brides.” Bishop’s Flowers won Retailer of the Year at the 2021 Small Business Awards. Cella co-owns the store with Jerry Williamson, and the two accepted the award together on stage. Williamson has been in the floral business for about 30 years, but Cella is newer to the trade. She was formerly a paralegal, then worked with an event planner, and found her way to this about seven years ago. “I love interacting with people, being able to make them smile with flowers,” Cella said. “Letting someone’s vision come to life is really what I love about it.”

There are seven employees, and Cella said the team is very adaptive. “They’re always willing to go the extra step.” Supply chain issues have been prevalent all year, and Cella said most customers are understanding. Price increases have been another challenge – everything is more expensive. “Everything is tough to get right now. Name a flower, and it’s tough to get,” said Cella. “We’re still dealing with supply chain issues and with unrest in Ecuador, we’ll order certain flowers and not know if we’re going to get them or not. We appreciate our customers trusting us and being flexible with all that is going on in the new world.” – Claire Aiello

Making a Positive Difference

PPT Solutions: Government Contracting – Technology Business of the Year


ast year, PPT Solutions, Inc. took home the Small Business Award for Government Contracting – Technology Business of the Year. PPT Solutions provides systems and software engineering support to the U.S. Army’s aviation fleet, as well as providing Independent Test Agent support to the Department of Homeland Security. Their primary areas of support are aviation system airworthiness/safety, software evaluation and test, software development, and configuration management. The company said it chose to participate in the Chamber’s Small Business Awards because it was a great way for them to evaluate how well they have done over the previous year. “It is a great time for us to realize our own strengths and weaknesses. The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber Small Business Awards program also offers a way for us to evaluate ourselves against our peers,” said Jim Reeb, president of PPT Solutions. Reeb said that they like to focus on keeping their employees motivated. How does he do that? He said there are several ways such as lunches, staff recognition, performance bonuses, and special event rewards. “We value the work-life balance and are very flexible to meet our staff needs,” he said. “We started PPT Solutions so that we could


initiatives aug 2022

help make a positive difference in our communities and in the lives of our employees. We try to treat our staff like we expect to be treated.” That mindset was extremely helpful in their participation of SBA. Since winning their award, Reeb said they have been able to reconnect with the community – something that was difficult to do over the last couple of years. – Kayla Brown A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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initiatives aug 2022

Celebration Time Cummings Research Park: 60 years and counting…


t’s hard to believe that we are more than halfway through 2022! We’ve been celebrating CRP’s 60th anniversary all year – from food truck fests to popsicle parties to special ribbon cuttings and the CRP 60th Summer Sip & Stroll event in June. It’s been a fun ride so far, but it’s not over yet. Just behind Redstone Arsenal, Cummings Research Park has the second largest economic impact in our community – it would be difficult to imagine what our community would be like without it – so let’s continue celebrating this important and impactful milestone to our broader community. As we head into the fall, you’ll see even more festivities to continue celebrating our 60th. Here’s some of what we have in store for the rest of the year. By the time this article is published, we’ll have our first of two new CRP videos. The first video is about CRP’s history and development – really telling the story of how the Park began and how it grew along with the companies and entities in the Park. The second video will debut later this fall and showcases the 60 years of innovation and collaboration that makes CRP the place to be – whether you’re a company in the Park, looking to locate in the Park, or a professional interested in working for one of our Park companies. Also in the fall, we’ll celebrate a Family Fun Day on October 22 with a community festival around Lake 4 with exhibits, hands-on activities, remote control boat races, candy experiences, food trucks, and music. We’ll cap off the day with a drive-in movie at MidCity. Mark your calendars for this fun-filled family experience in the Park! In November, we’ll close out our birthday celebrations with the big CRP 60th Celebration Luncheon at the Westin Huntsville. This luncheon will celebrate all that CRP has been, continues to be but most importantly, the opportunity for what it will be in the future! From an accomplished keynote speaker to special announcements, this luncheon is not to be missed. There are a couple of other 60th Pop-Ups we will be dropping in the fall and we’re excited to have fun with those. And all of the above doesn’t even include company expansions and related announcements that might come our way – construction in the Park will be hopping. If you are not on the CRP email list or don’t follow us on one of our social platforms, you should. That’s where we will announce all the details for the rest of the year. You can sign up for the email distribution on our website at and you can find us @CRPHSV on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. See you in the Park this Fall! – Erin Koshut A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


Commander makes largest single donation in Rocket Center history


n a drive through the parking lot during Space Camp pickup day, you see license plates from all over the United States: Tennessee, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Ohio, and Michigan to name a few. Students fly in as well, and after the week at camp, they walk away with new focus. “Students come here and their entire outlook on life is changed,” said Jared Isaacman, Shift4 Founder and CEO who attended Aviation Challenge at age 12. “The more kids that can come and get that high impact on their life can tell others about Huntsville.” On June 17, U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) CEO Dr. Kimberly Robinson announced a $10 million gift from Isaacman for a new Inspiration4 Skills Training Center at the USSRC to support Space Camp programs. This gift is the largest single donation in the Rocket Center’s history. The planned concept is a 40,000-square-foot, hangar-style building that will include space and aviation simulators, an indoor pool, a netted drone space, classrooms, and a challenge course for training the next generation of astronauts, pilots, and engineers. Isaacman’s donation will also include an L-39 Black Diamond plane. “What a national treasure Space Camp is, here in Huntsville, Alabama,” added Isaacman. “The ideas coming in to the industry now – we’re seeing things we never thought were possible. Companies should be going out of their way to put their exhibits here, so campers can interact with them.”


Isaacman is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, accomplished civilian pilot, and commercial astronaut. He holds several world records and has flown in more than 100 air shows. In September 2021, Isaacman commanded Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit, spending three days aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, announces a $10 million gift from Jared Isaacman, to her left, for a new Inspiration4 Skills Training Center at the Rocket Center to support Space Camp programs. Pictured next to Isaacman: Hayley Arceneaux, a physician’s assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Dr. Sian Proctor, a geoscience professor; and Chris Sembroski, a senior analytics engineer for Lockheed Martin. The four comprise the crew of Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit.

aug 2022 initiatives



Executive Staff | also Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chip Cherry, CCE, president & CEO Meghan Chambliss, business administration specialist

Economic Development & Workforce Lucia Cape, CCE, senior vice president Erin Koshut, executive director, Cummings Research Park Lyndsay Ferguson, vice president, workforce Ken Smith, senior director, research & information services Annie Davis, director of talent initiatives

Finance & Administration Mary McNairy, IOM, vice president Joe Watson, facilities supervisor Kim Weeks, accounting specialist – receivables Diana Baccus, director of event management Jennifer Prewitt, event coordinator Stefanie Davis, resource desk coordinator

Government & Public Affairs Mike Ward, CCE, senior vice president

Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative (HREGI) Kristy Drake, IOM, vice president, investor relations

Investor Relations Kristy Drake, IOM, vice president, investor relations Richard Bigoney, membership account executive Tara Van Winkle, membership account executive Jamie Russell, investor relations support & program specialist Crystal Baker, retention specialist

Marketing & Communications Claire Aiello, IOM, vice president Hiroko Sedensky, web designer Kristi Sherrard, graphic designer Kayla Brown, communications & social media specialist

Small Business Ashley Engles-Ross, vice president



initiatives aug 2022


Best Places for Working Parents W

e recently launched the Best Place for Working Parents® program in the Huntsville market. We are thrilled to announce 64 companies earned the designation as of July 5 and are listed below. You can take this first of its kind business self-assessment at today.

Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, P.C. A-P-T Research Avion Solutions Brinker International Canvas Cepeda Systems & Software Analysis CFD Research Cimarron Software Services, Inc. Corporate Tax Advisors Crossflow Technologies, Inc. Davidson Technologies Inc. deciBel Research, Inc. DESE Research, Inc. Five Stones Research Corporation Future Designs, Inc. Green Mountain Research Inc. GTEC Hill Technical Solutions (HTS) Huntsville Area Association of Realtors Huntsville Botanical Garden Huntsville Career Center - Alabama Department of Labor

Huntsville Hospital Huntsville Madison County Builders Association Huntsville/Madison County Chamber IERUS Technologies Integration Innovation, Inc. Invariant Corporation IronMountain Solutions, Inc. JS Solutions LLC Kelly Services Kids to Love KODA Technologies LaunchTech, LLC MDW Associates Mission Driven Research MJLM Modern Technology Solutions New Beginnings Family Law Noetic Strategies, Inc. NTA, Inc. OAR QTEC Aerospace

R2C Inc. Radiance Technologies Redstone Federal Credit Union ReLogic Research Rheumatology Associates of North Alabama RippleWorx Rocket City HR Consulting Rocket City Mom Schoel Engineering Company, Inc. Signalink, Inc. Simulation Technologies, Inc. (SimTech) Strata-G Solutions Systems Technology & Research, Inc. Transcend, The Fearless Company Trideum Corporation TriVector Services, Inc. Turner Construction United Way of Madison County Victory Solutions Von Braun Center Willbrook Solutions Wilson Lumber

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