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Better Together At Bradley, we combine legal experience and knowledge with a sophisticated understanding of the industries that drive Huntsville. We use our talents, judgment, work ethic, and experience to come up with practical, strategic solutions specifically tailored to our clients’ business operations. We go above and beyond expectations to help our clients meet their goals. Our Huntsville attorneys leverage a broad range of perspectives to help achieve the results that we expect and our clients demand.

200 Clinton Ave. W | Suite 900 | Huntsville, AL 35801 | 256.517.5100 No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Contact: Frank M. Caprio., 256.517.5142,, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, 200 Clinton Avenue West, Suite 900, Huntsville, AL 35801. Š2018

Good health begins with good information. Healthgrades has announced that Huntsville Hospital is the only hospital in Alabama to be included in America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery for five consecutive years (2015-2019). The respected national organization also recognized Huntsville Hospital as the only one in Alabama to be among the Top 5% of hospitals in the nation for Spine Surgery for 2019. And if you’re counting stars, Healthgrades also gave a Five-Star distinction (its highest rating) to Huntsville Hospital’s Total Knee Replacement program.

Improving lives.

welcome new chamber members Joined in September 2018

Joined in October 2018

4 Mile Post Advanced Behavioral Health Berry Millsaps Properties, LLC Brindley Construction, LLC Catisfied Inn by Catisfaction Cinemark Bridgestreet and XD Commercial Landscape Service, Inc. Davis Reed Dental Eikon Research EOS Defense Systems USA, Inc. Excite! Cleaning, LLC Joe’s World Famous Pizza Knight Technical Solutions LLC Leadec Legacy Capital Advisors Lumpstick Productions LLC Madison Family Care & Wellness Center Maximum Technology Corporation Morph Local, Inc. Outpost Technologies Inc. Pearly’s Natural Food and Mercantile, LLC Point Pickup Technologies, Inc. R City Eye Care River Tree Insurance Services, Inc. Ronald Pollard Photography (in Camera Artistry) Sady Zayas-Visser Agency - Farmers Insurance Sage Wellness Studio & Boutique The Scout Guide Huntsville Sigh Photo Booth SiP Fine Spirits & Cigar Lounge South Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center SPACES Strategic Consulting Services Summit Dental Supportive Living Home Care Terracon Consultants, Inc. Total Computer Solutions, Inc. (TCSI) Wright Construction Company - Huntsville

Advanced Technical Finishing LLC AIRESERV OF HUNTSVILLE Alabama Aging Resources, Inc Alan Waggoner State Farm American Senior Assistance Programs, Inc. Apple Bridge Street Association of Fundraising Professionals AL, North Chapter Barnhart Crane & Rigging Co. Buckner Chiropractic Center Carole Foret Fine Art Clean Supreme / Heavens Best Carpet Cleaning Cornerstone Detention Products Cowart Awards The Danny Kendall Johnson Foundation DCI - Diversified Contractors, Inc. Delta Solutions & Strategies, LLC Engenix, Inc Engility Corporation EyeCare Associates FirstFruits Bakery Five Star Food Service GCS - Government Contracting Services Heritage Propane Hixson Consultants, Inc. Keller Williams - Jake Reed Limestone Hunting Preserve & Sporting Clays PMI North Alabama Polaris Sensor Technologies, Inc. ResourceTek True North Physical Therapy and Wellness Tyler Mann Injury Law, LLC Uniti Fiber Victoria’s Interiors

If you want to make a valuable investment in your business and the community, the Chamber is the place to start. Contact Donna McCrary, Membership Retention Manager: 256-535-2027 or

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EXECUTIVE COUNCIL BBVA Compass ■ Crestwood Medical Center ■ Dynetics, Inc. ■ General Atomics Electromagnetics Lockheed Martin Corporation ■ Northrop Grumman Corporation ■ PNC Bank ■ SAIC SES - Science and Engineering Services, LLC ■ Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. ■ Yulista

CHAMBER TRUSTEES AEgis Technologies Group ■ Aerojet Rocketdyne ■ Akima, LLC ■ Bailey-Harris Construction ■ Bill Penney Toyota/Mitsubishi Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama ■ Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. ■ Five Stones Research Corporation ■ Intrepid ■ INTUITIVE Jerry Damson Honda Acura ■ KBRwyle ■ Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep ■ Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. ■ PARSONS Raytheon Company ■ S3, Inc. ■ Sealy Management Company, Inc. ■ SportsMED Orthopaedic Surgery & Spine Center ■ Synovus ■ Torch Technologies

PROGRESS PARTNERS Ability Plus ■ Anglin Reichmann Armstrong ■ ASRC Federal ■ B. L. Harbert International, LLC ■ Baron Services, Inc. ■ BASF Corporation ■ BB&T ■ Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP Brown Precision, Inc. ■ Colliers International ■ Connected Logistics (LogC2) ■ Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) ■ Davidson Technologies, Inc. ■ Google Fiber Huntsville-Madison County Builders Association ■ IBERIABANK ■ J Smith Lanier & Co., a Marsh McLennan Agency LLC company ■ Keel Point, LLC ■ L3 Technologies ■ LMI ■ LogiCore The Orthopaedic Center (TOC) ■ Progress Bank ■ Radiance Technologies ■ RE/MAX Alliance ■ SCI Technology, Inc. ■ SELEX Galileo Inc. ■ ServisFirst Bank ■ Sirote & Permutt, PC Spirit Coach, LLC ■ Steak-Out (Rosie’s Restaurants, Inc., & Right Way Restaurants, Inc.) ■ Turner Construction Company ■ Wells Fargo Bank ■ Woody Anderson Ford PROGRESS INVESTORS 4SITE, Inc. ■ AECOM ■ Alpha Beta Technologies, Inc. ■ All Points Logistics, LLC ■ Amanda Howard | Sotheby’s International Realty ■ Averbuch Realty / Enterprises ■ BancorpSouth ■ BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc. Bryant Bank ■ Canvas, Inc. ■ CB&S Bank ■ Century Automotive ■ CFD Research Corporation ■ CGI Federal ■ Coast Personnel Services ■ Croy Engineering, LLC ■ DC Blox, Inc. ■ deciBel Research ■ Deloitte LLP DESE Research, Inc. ■ Digium, Inc. ■ Engineering Design Technologies/EDT-THA Architecture ■ Express Employment Professionals ■ Fernandez Financial Group ■ FITE Building Company ■ FLS Translation & Interpreting Fountain, Parker, Harbarger & Associates, LLC ■ Garver ■ HEMSI ■ Hiley Cars Huntsville ■ Huntsville Botanical Garden ■ Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau ■ Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. INTERFUZE Corporation ■ Investor’s Resource – Raymond James Financial Services ■ IronMountain Solutions ■ Legend Realty – Jim Hoekenschneider ■ LINE-X, LLC ■ The Lioce Group, Inc. ■ LSINC Corporation MAG Aerospace ■ MSB Analytics, Inc. ■ National Bank of Commerce ■ nLogic, LLC ■ North Alabama Multiple Listing Service ■ PALCO ■ PFM Financial Advisors LLC ■ PHOENIX ■ PROJECTXYZ, Inc. ■ QTEC Aerospace Ready Mix USA ■ Renasant Bank ■ RJ Young Company ■ Rosenblum Realty ■ RUAG Space USA ■ S&ME, Inc. ■ Sigmatech, Inc. ■ Snelling ■ Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. ■ Technicolor ■ TriVector Services, Inc.Troy 7, Inc. ■ U.S. Space & Rocket Center ■ Valor Communities ■ Venturi, Inc. ■ Warren Averett, LLC ■ West Huntsville Land Co., Inc. ■ Wilmer & Lee, P.A. ■ Wiregrass Construction Company ■ Worxtime an Equifax Company


dec 2018 initiatives 5


Go do what you do. We’ll take care of your banking. | #goindependent | 877.865.5050

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dec 2018

Automotive Update From the Cover: Pages 22–31

Mazda Toyota Sets the Stage and Breaks Ground for New Plant Relationships Matter Automotive Supplier Update 4






S PA C E E L E M E N T S PAGES 10–19 Why Huntsville Pursues Commercial Space Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne to Support ULA’s Massive Vulcan Rocket Being Built in North Alabama Imagining the Possibilities: A Future with Dream Chaser® IAC to take place in Washington, D.C. next year Geospatial Technology: Visualizing & Analyzing Spatial Data Rocket City Open to Aerospace U.S. Headquarters MSFC Plays Critical Role in Return to Moon and Beyond Space Apps: Inspiring Future Minds Rockets on Parade

20 IN THE PARK: Foundation to Future – A Perspective on CRP 32 STAYING COMPETITIVE: Outdoor Incentives & Business Recruitment 34 AROUND HSV: Get a Move On – Infrastructure Update 36 E.D. HIGHLIGHTS: Project Share, Trash Pandas, and more 38 ANNUAL MEETING: Networking & Negotiating – 2019 Keynote Chris Voss 39 HREGI PROFILE: Robert Smith with Booz Allen Hamilton 40


41 PUBLIC SERVICE: A Fond Farewell to Huntsville City Councilman Mark Russell 42


editorial staff publisher Chip Cherry, CCE editor

Claire Aiello editorial designer

Kristi Sherrard contributing writers

Marie Bostick, Austin Bullock, Lucia Cape, Devin Elston, Erin Koshut, Wendy Reeves ad sales Kristy Drake

Richard Bigoney

Tina Blankenship

Keith Johnson

Our mission: To prepare, develop and promote our community for economic growth. (additional contact information on page 42) Chamber members: You are encouraged to contribute ideas for our publications, including Initiatives magazine. Please send items to The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber maintains editorial control. A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

Executive Committee and Board of Directors 2018 Executive Committee Gary Bolton, Chair, ADTRAN, Inc. Kim Lewis, Chair-Elect, PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Joe Newberry, Immediate Past Chair, Redstone Federal Credit Union

A Message from

Chip Cherry

Dear Chamber Investors, Community Leaders and Friends: One of my favorite short stories is “The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono. The central character is a shepherd named Elzéard Bouffier who makes it his life’s work to repair the damage done to the land around him by planting trees. The impact of his efforts over decades is the creation of a wonderful forest and the ecosystem that it supports. This story is memorable for me because it celebrates the effectiveness of vision, passion, and perseverance – as well as what is possible if the mission is first and concern for who gets the credit is not the driving force behind the action. Our successful community and economic development have a similar heritage at their core. Success today is a result of work done over decades by elected and private sector leaders and volunteers who were driven by a belief that we can be better than we are. They collectively believed our best days are ahead of us and that, by working together, we can position our community and region for success. We are proud and grateful to carry that mission forward. The stories you read in this magazine throughout the year about success of our local companies and new industry locations are a direct result of a dynamic community that identifies opportunities and goes after them. The foundation of our success involves a broad cross-section of our community ranging from the arts and support of those facing challenges to forward-thinking investments in infrastructure and strong public/ private partnerships. Our current success has at its core a rich history of all aspects of our community working together to create a strong and dynamic economy with an outstanding quality of life. Thank you to all those who provide their time, talent, and energy to make our community and region the wonderful place I call home. You have created a community that is easy to market to those seeking to expand, establish a new location, or relocate here and become our neighbors. I will end with a question and request. When was the last time you saw the name of an internet retailer on an outfield fence, a scoreboard, an arts program, or a little league jersey? I encourage you to shop local first. Enjoy the cool weather and visit a local small business or retailer before you order online. You will be surprised with what you find, and you’ll be able to have the 3-D experience of seeing it in person. On behalf of the volunteers and staff of the Chamber, I wish you, your family, and team members a blessed holiday season and a prosperous 2019!

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

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Ron Poteat, Chamber Foundation Chair, Regions Bank Greg Brown, Secretary/Treasurer, Brown Precision, Inc. Kevin Byrnes, Vice Chair, Economic Development & Industry Relations, Raytheon Company

Alicia Ryan, Vice Chair, Government & Public Affairs, LSINC Corporation

Rose Allen, Vice Chair, HREGI, INTERFUZE Corporation Jeff Gronberg, Vice Chair, Marketing & Communications, deciBel Research, Inc.

Frank Williams, Vice Chair, Membership, Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep

Hank Isenberg, Vice Chair, Small Business & Events, IronMountain Solutions

Joe Ritch, Vice Chair, Tennessee Valley BRAC, Sirote & Permut, PC

Penny Billings, Chair-Appointed, BancorpSouth - Huntsville Mark Curran, Chair-Appointed, L3 Technologies, Inc. David Fernandes, Chair-Appointed, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc.

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 County Commission

Tracy Marion, General Counsel, Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne, P.C. Chip Cherry, President & CEO, Huntsville/Madison Co. Chamber

Elected Board Mike Alvarez, Venturi, Inc. Bill Bailey, Radiance Technologies, Inc. James Barclay, FLIR Systems, Inc. Mark Becnel, RadioBro Corporation Blake Bentley, SportsMED Orthopaedic Surgery and Spine Center David Bier, Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, P.C. Lynn Collyar, Deloitte LLP Deke Damson, Jerry Damson Honda Acura Dr. Dorothy Davidson, Davidson Technologies, Inc. John Eagan, BB&T Joe Fehrenbach, Mynaric USA Trip Ferguson, LSINC Corporation Gene Goldman, BWX Technologies, Inc. Joni Green, Five Stones Research Corporation Mike Gullion, SCI Technology – a Sanmina company John Hall, All Points Logistics, LLC Steve Hill, AEgis Technologies Group Josh Herren, Yulista Lee Holland, Turner Construction Company Tharon Honeycutt, MSB Analytics, Inc. John Jordan, KBRwyle Sean Kelly, Regions Bank David King, Dynetics, Inc. Bob McCaleb, Northrop Grumman Corporation Janice Migliore, PALCO Craig Naudain, SAIC Chris Pape, Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne, P.C. Alana Parker, Rocket City Drywall & Supply, Inc. Leigh Pegues, PNC Bank Jim Rogers, Lockheed Martin Corporation Jeff Samz, Huntsville Hospital Dr. Gurmej Sandhu, Sigmatech, Inc. Sameer Singhal, CFD Research Corporation Beth Sippel, Synovus Robert “Bob” Smith, Booz Allen Hamilton Cynthia Streams, Domino’s (Valley Pizza, Inc.) Tim Thornton, nLogic, Inc. Lynn Troy, Troy 7, Inc. Ken Tucker, The Boeing Company Dr. Karockas Watkins, Ability Plus, Inc. Mike Watkins, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama Dennis Weese, Line-X LLC Danny Windham, Digium, Inc. A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION



E.R. In a medical emergency, every minute matters. So, at Crestwood Medical Center, you’ll find faster care in the emergency room. We work diligently to have you initially seen by a medical professional with the shortest wait time possible.* And, as a full service community hospital, we can provide a lot more care if you need it.

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I have learned to use the world ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution.


– Dr. Wernher von Braun


Why Huntsville Pursues Commercial Space by Lucia Cape The global space economy is valued at $350 billion, and some reports have predicted it could grow to $1 trillion in the next 25 years. To grow Huntsville/Madison County’s place in space, we need to build on our strengths and identify new markets for our assets. A commercial space strategy commissioned in 2016 identified three areas of focus for the Chamber to pursue on behalf of the community. The first is the initiative to land Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® at Huntsville International Airport. But we don’t just want to land it – we want to develop and promote the business case for landing in Huntsville. Our 30-year legacy of space science payload integration and operation from Skylab to the International Space Station have created an ecosystem of workforce, facilities and expertise that can readily support commercialized space science operations, and the Dream Chaser vehicle is uniquely qualified to return payloads to Earth in a softer landing with faster processing. For an update on the status of the FAA permitting process and the development of the Dream Chaser, see page 12. The second area of focus taps into Huntsville/Madison County’s leadership in geospatial technology, which enables the utilization of space-based assets for Earth observation, communications, and emerging autonomous applications. For example, Teledyne Brown and DLR, the German space agency, recently announced the return of the first images from DLR’s Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS). This hyperspectral camera aboard the ISS is enabled by Teledyne’s Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES) platform. Commercial applications of the data captured through DESIS can be licensed through Teledyne. For more about this technology, see page 14. The third area of focus seeks to encourage international investment in Huntsville/Madison County through establishment of U.S. headquarters operations. To date, RUAG Space USA and Mynaric USA have established Huntsville headquarters, and the Chamber is supporting other companies as they evaluate the local market for their expansions. For more about the Chamber’s international campaign, see page 15. Though only two years underway, we are already seeing great returns on our commercial space strategy, and as we say in the Rocket City, the sky is not the limit!

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Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne to Support ULA’s Massive Vulcan Rocket Being Built in North Alabama


nited Launch Alliance (ULA) announced September 27 that it has selected Blue Origin to supply its next-generation BE-4 engine for the first stage of the massive Vulcan Centaur rocket that ULA is building at its Decatur manufacturing facility. The Vulcan Centaur rocket is a new heavy lift vehicle that will replace ULA’s Atlas V Rocket, which is set for retirement in the early 2020s. ULA says the Vulcan Centaur’s design leverages the proven success of the Delta IV and Atlas launch vehicles, while introducing advanced technologies and innovative features. ULA marked its 130th consecutive successful launch in September. “Vulcan Centaur will revolutionize spaceflight and provide affordable, reliable access to space for our current and future customers,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s President and CEO. “We are well on our way to the introduction of Vulcan Centaur – the future of U.S. rocket manufacturing. With state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing techniques, this rocket is designed specifically for low recurring cost.” The announcement by ULA clears the way for Blue Origin to build its BE-4 engine plant on 46 acres in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville. Blue Origin announced the project in June 2017, contingent on winning the ULA contract. It is expected to break ground soon on its site in the western portion of the Park, at the corner of Explorer Boulevard and Pegasus Drive. The project will be built in two phases and includes 400 new jobs for the Rocket City. ULA announced earlier this year that they had selected Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10 engine to power Vulcan’s upper stage. ULA currently uses the RL10 for its Atlas V and Delta IV rockets. The ULA Vulcan and Blue Origin’s New Glenn, both of which use the BE-4, were recently awarded development contracts by the Air Force which will increase the demand for the “made in Huntsville” rocket engine.


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Imagining the Possibilities: A Future with Dream Chaser®




ierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) continues to meet milestones in the development of its Dream Chaser® spacecraft. Earlier this year, it completed a successful Free-Flight test, producing subsonic flight and landing performance data, as well as receiving authority from NASA to proceed for a 2020 cargo mission to the International Space Station. The crew would deliver supplies and scientific research payloads and then bring other materials back to Kennedy Space Center.

petition. Our goal is to get the best and brightest around the world thinking, and specifically, thinking about Huntsville.




Currently, SNC is using a full-scale pressurized Dream Chaser spacecraft mockup at its facility in Louisville, Colorado. Engineers are using the mockup to practice loading and unloading cargo in a variety of different ways, including late loads on the launch pad.

This year’s answer came from two young students in Italy. Mattia Barbarossa and Linda Raimondo won the Year 2 competition for the European Space Agency’s Space Exploration Masters challenge sponsored by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber and Astrosat, a Scottish aerospace services company. Barbarossa is a high school student in Naples, and Raimondo is studying physics at the University of Turin. Their concept of a Meteoroid Descent Module would enable the Dream Chaser to return valuable material, such as asteroids or regolith, from space to Earth. The challenge of loading and transporting such material in space for a safe reentry and landing has yet to be addressed but could be key to tapping into space mining with a potential market in the millions of dollars. “Starting a company in aerospace is not easy, but thanks to the great boost given by ESA Space Exploration Masters and its prizes, our work is becoming more than an ambition, just in time for the beginning of this new golden era for space,” said Barbarossa.

Huntsville continues to pursue approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to land the Dream Chaser here. Phase I was completed in 2015, which examined the compatibility of the spacecraft with the existing runway and taxiways at the Airport. We are now in Phase II, which involves applying for licenses. Teledyne Brown Engineering and their subcontractors continue to work through the process, with plans to submit applications by the end of 2019. Imagine the possibilities for the Rocket City if Dream Chaser lands here one day! This is one reason we participate in global events, including the Space Exploration Masters com-

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10/30/2018 – BILBAO, SPAIN


This year’s competition attracted 132 new business ideas from 42 nations worldwide. Participation in the Space Exploration Masters is part of Huntsville, Madison & Madison County’s initiative to promote Huntsville International Airport as a landing site for the Dream Chaser. By seeking ideas for using



Dream Chaser beyond cargo transport to the International Space Station, the Chamber is able to share Huntsville’s expertise in payload integration, operations and processing. This year’s prize package once again features a trip to Huntsville and mentoring by Astrosat in its “space as a service” business model. New this year is a partnership with the University of Alabama in Huntsville School of Business and the I2C incubator, which will provide physical space and support to the winner. The winners will also meet with aerospace and biotech companies, including the leadership team at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is expanding its support to include access to additional resources, and Huntsville International Airport will again provide travel vouchers for the winners.

IAC to take place in Washington, D.C. next year The 70th annual International Astronautical Congress, hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will take place in the nation’s capital October 21-25, 2019.


Claire Aiello


IAC attracts space agencies, companies, professionals, academics, and students from around the world to discuss advancements, challenges and opportunities across the spectrum of space. #IAC2019 also comes to the United States during the 50th anniversary year of the Apollo moon landing. The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber is leading a delegation of companies to Washington to be part of this event and to showcase how work being done in the Rocket City shapes our future in space. For more information or to exhibit/register to attend, visit

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Geospatial Technology: Visualizing & Analyzing Spatial Data G

eospatial technology and applications are areas of expertise for Huntsville/Madison County companies and play a key role in our commercial space strategy. A recent announcement at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, highlighted the role of Huntsville’s Teledyne Brown Engineering. The German Aerospace Center, DLR, held a press event to share the return of the first hyperspectral images from the DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS). This sensor system is the first payload hosted on Teledyne’s Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES) platform attached to the International Space Station (ISS). It is capable of recording image data using 235 closely arranged wavelength channels across the visible to near-infrared spectra. The instrument was developed in collaboration with Teledyne Brown Engineering to maximize efficiencies and function aboard the platform on the ISS.  With continuous coverage at an altitude approximately 250 miles above the Earth, the DESIS instrument will be used to broaden our knowledge about agriculture, climate change, geology and water ecosystems. “This is such an exciting accomplishment for our team,” said Jan Hess, President of Teledyne Brown Engineering. “A tremendous effort went into the design, build, launch and installation of the MUSES platform.  Close coordination with our DLR partners resulted in first images being taken in record time.” DESIS launched on June 29, 2018 and was installed on August 27,

Satellite image, left, and hyperspectral image of Huntsville, right

2018. The system began sending images to Earth two days later. The hyperspectral images received from DESIS will be available through partnerships with DLR, NASA, the Alabama Remote Sensing Consortium and commercially available through Teledyne Brown Engineering. Data collected by this instrument will allow scientists, students and researchers to examine materials that make up the Earth and changes in its conditions.  This unique data will assist with a variety of applications for the advancement of science as well as humanitarian efforts.


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The demolding of the bonded and cured RUAG Space USA demonstration test fairing for an Atlas V-500 at the Decatur, Alabama manufacturing facility.


Rocket City Open to Aerospace U.S. Headquarters W

e know our city’s strong history with aerospace, and one of our areas of focus is to encourage companies far and wide to eye Huntsville as a potential location for their United States headquarters. RUAG Space, a Swiss-owned company, seized the opportunity, establishing its U.S. headquarters in North Alabama a few years ago. RUAG Space USA, Inc. opened in Huntsville in June 2015 and started advanced manufacturing operations at the Decatur facility in January 2017.  “This is THE Rocket City,” said Carrie Rice, Director of Communications for RUAG Space USA. “The rocket and aerospace heritage in this community was a huge driver in our decision. There is tremendous access to a talented and plentiful workforce, and many of our current partners, suppliers and potential partners are here as well.” The company’s primary client, United Launch Alliance (ULA) is indeed close. RUAG Space USA’s Decatur manufacturing facility occupies 130,000 square feet of space in ULA’s facility there.  Rice added the geographic location was helpful, too, with the Tennessee River being so close by to conveniently move flight hardware.  RUAG Space now has about 100 employees in North Alabama, and momentum has really picked up in recent months. In  September of this year, RUAG Space USA completed the bonding and curing of its first U.S.-made United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V-500 demonstration test fairing at its Decatur facility. “RUAG Space is moving full steam ahead in the U.S., and the successful demolding of our first payload fairing highlights our progress and commitment to innovation,” said Mike Morningstar, President and Country Manager of RUAG Space USA. “Space exploration continues to pique the world’s interest, and we’re pleased to be supplying the international space community with high grade parts and products to ensure missions are successful.”


In November, the Decatur team completed Manufacturing Readiness Review (MRR) and received approval to proceed into Atlas Payload Fairing flight unit production. FU33, as it is called, is scheduled to fly in late 2019. This will be the first U.S.-made flight hardware by RUAG Space – previously, all of the company’s ULA Atlas V fairings were made in Switzerland. The North Alabama facility is now manufacturing all ULA Atlas V fairings, and will also produce Vulcan fairings in the future, as well as all composite structures for Vulcan. In addition, RUAG Space is also partnering with Dynetics to build the Universal Stage Adapter for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Huntsville operations now include business systems such as business development, finance, contracts, compliance, human resources, communications and IT.  RUAG Space USA also has sites in Titusville, Florida, Denver, Colorado and Santa Clara, California.


MYNARIC USA Mynaric USA, a subsidiary of Mynaric AG, out of Gilching, Germany, made the move to Huntsville in early 2018 to establish a U.S. presence. Mynaric specializes in free-space optical communications solutions which allow for secure, high data rate and long-distance wireless communication between moving objects for airborne and space applications. Optical communications, commonly referred to as laser communications, are an enhanced option to more traditional air-to-ground technology, much like the standard radio frequency spectrum. Davis Schmitz, Chief Operating Officer, is in the process of standing up full operations here in Huntsville. He said Mynaric USA envisions a future of manufacturing as well as continuing

continued on page 16 dec 2018 initiatives 15




continued from page 15 to grow engineering service capabilities for both the U.S. commercial and government customers. “We are committed to building up full U.S. operations and to service the North American market while headquartered out of Huntsville, Alabama,” said Schmitz. Schmitz said the German parent company has been pleased with the amount of local talent and resources here. Mynaric USA hasn’t had to go far to recruit – the majority of the company’s hires have been from right here, with highly specialized skillsets. One is a recent UAH graduate. “There’s definitely opportunity for growth here. This is the perfect place to build our company,” added Schmitz. “We see a lot of potential and we’re pleased with the support we’ve gotten from the Chamber, and this area, on recruiting more aerospace business to this area.” In November, Mynaric’s parent company won a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Innovation Award. Claire Aiello



MSFC Plays Critical Role in Return to Moon and Beyond A

t NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, we are at the forefront of powering America back to the Moon. Marshall’s talented workforce is making the impossible possible through innovation in technologies and space systems that lay the groundwork for our nation’s future in space. Today at Marshall, we’re building NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the world’s most powerful rocket, built to carry astronauts and cargo deeper into space than any rocket in history. SLS’s unmatched capabilities will deliver human-rated spacecraft, habitats and science missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Throughout my 25-year career in the Space Shuttle Program, we accomplished groundbreaking missions to cement human presence in low-Earth orbit. Today, NASA is returning to the Moon and on to Mars with a sustainable campaign of exploration, while commercial enterprises continue in lowEarth orbit. SLS is a system that will fly for generations to deep space destinations, extending human presence beyond our current limits. We have a shared direction, industry and government alike – looking to the Moon with the ultimate eye on Mars. And we must continue forward with a continuity of purpose in order to maintain and further expand American leadership in space. Much like the Apollo era, this overwhelming national commitment to space exploration gives us a mandate and the momentum to push forward, with government and industry working together to deliver on our commitments. Delivering on our mission is paramount. What we learn near and on the Moon is essential for our journeys to farther destinations. It’s a proving ground for technical capabilities, resource utilization and learning about the effects of living in reduced gravity on human physiology. While the overall mission is bigger than Marshall, than

16 initiatives dec 2018

NASA, than the United States, Marshall expertise will underpin our success. Marshall’s legacy of propulsion systems and experience developing and sustaining orbiting habitat modules will make it possible for astronauts to live and work on the Moon and on other worlds. Technology drives exploration and lays the groundwork for our future in space while helping us solve terrestrial problems too. Marshall will focus on applications of technology toward deep space exploration including state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing techniques and environmental control and life support systems. Our science research at Marshall aligns with exploration by improving the design of robotic and human systems, reducing risk, and increasing overall mission effectiveness. We must continue to help others along this difficult journey – through partnerships – working side-by-side to explore for the benefit of humankind. Partnerships between government and industry will resemble a joint venture where both benefit from each other’s unique attributes. NASA has an obligation to the American people to work together with innovative companies to achieve our challenging goals. In December, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 – when three brave American astronauts became the first humans to orbit another celestial body. As we approach this historic milestone, we are ready to lead the way back to the Moon and take the next giant leap from that celestial place where we made that first small step nearly 50 years ago.

Jody Singer Director, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center


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Space Apps:

Inspiring Future Minds I

nnovation is in our blood in Huntsville, and we were thrilled to serve as the Mainstage city for NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge October 19-21. Space Apps is a global hackathon that occurs in hundreds of cities around the world, and this year, there were 200 cities in 30 countries with more than 20,000 participants and more than 48 million viewers. Here, there were more than 160 participants competing for cash prizes in the 48-hour event at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. In addition to the hackathon, Urban Engine hosted a boot camp featuring local space and technology professionals and provided mentors for the teams. The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber’s career exploration site,, was excited to serve as a Presenting Sponsor to spread the word about space and cyber careers in our community. “The brand new is the Chamber’s workforce development and recruitment initiative, focused on connecting students with smart careers and attracting smart people from around the world to be part of our dynamic and growing workforce,” said Georgina Chapman, Workforce Director at the Chamber. “We knew the NASA Space Apps Chal-

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lenge would reach the most talented and motivated coders, creators and problem solvers in the world, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach them directly.” Huntsville teams swept the competition, winning both the high school and college/professional categories and splitting $10,000 in cash prizes. A team of local Girl Scouts won the high school round with an app they coded from scratch, and a team from New Century Technology High School finished second. In the college & professional round, a team from Lojix took first place with a multi-player game they created using images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Intuitive Research’s team won second prize. Two teams advanced to the global competition. Claire Aiello


Rockets on Parade N

Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, with SLS models and a Saturn V that was previously decorated.


ext July, Huntsville will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic journey to the moon. We will also look to the future of space exploration by celebrating our next launch vehicle, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). The U.S. Space & Rocket Center encourages you to show your pride by purchasing a SLS model, decorating it and displaying it at your place of business. Rockets on Parade is a way to demonstrate Huntsville’s ongoing contributions to the space program. Rockets cost $1,500 and are available for purchase through January 21 at apollo50. Part of your purchase supports the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s rocket preservation campaign. Get your creative juices flowing to paint your rocket! Rockets will be judged on impact, creativity, subject matter and historical storytelling, and will remain on display through the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebration. If you need assistance with a design, consider commissioning a local artist. Arts Huntsville has a list – please call their office at 256-519-2787.

dec 2018 initiatives 19


Foundation to Future Perspective: Cummings Research Park


ive years ago, important questions were asked. What do companies value in location? How is recruitment changing? What do employees want in their work location? How can Cummings Research Park leverage its strengths and build on past success to adapt? These topics were at the center of discussions among the City, the Chamber, and Park executives five years ago. These are the questions we’ve been answering and addressing. Let’s take a moment to look in the Park’s rearview mirror. We won’t spend too long there, but it’s important to understand just how far we’ve come in five short years.

2013 In 2013, the Huntsville community threw a big celebration to mark CRP’s 50th birthday. Lockheed Martin celebrated 50 years in Huntsville. The success of Bridge Street Town Centre (in CRP) led to new developments like Belk, Kona Grill, and more. Wyle CAS (now KBRWyle) announced plans for an $18.75 million facility. Companies like AEgis Technologies, deciBel Research, ASI, Davidson Technologies, and Sigmatech all announced new jobs or milestones that year. And yet, questions loomed. Redstone Gateway announced its first tenant, The Boeing Company. At the time, Boeing was one of Research Park’s largest tenants and would fully move out of CRP to Gateway by the end of 2013. Many of the BRAC moves into the Park had now moved behind the fence on the Arsenal, leaving behind buildings that were not market viable. In 2013, the Park’s overall occupancy rate was a hair over 89 percent. As an example of where we were and how far we’ve been, look no further than occupancy numbers in multi-tenant occupancy in East and West. East’s multi-tenant occupancy rate five years ago was 77 percent compared to West’s at 72 percent. Thus began conversations and meetings to ensure the Park continued to attract the gold standard of companies that were supporting the Arsenal and companies on the cutting edge of technological innovations. We were preparing for change.

2014  2015 The Park continued to attract companies and grow. In 2014 and early 2015, Larry Lewis took the helm at BizTech. HudsonAlpha invested big (as in $1 million) into new gene sequencing machines, 20 initiatives dec 2018

reducing the price of screening and helping to attract 18 scientists from Wisconsin. The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) enrollment was at 7,348 and growing. Our community has always been a community of thinkers and doers, so the approach to CRP’s future was no different. Stakeholders spoke with community leaders and focus groups took a deep-dive look at the Park. The Chamber played a lead role in testing new event ideas and concepts. So, 2015 became a pivotal year. In 2015, the City of Huntsville, the Chamber, and the Industrial Development Board (IDB) led the effort for a new comprehensive master plan for the Park. In 2015, I came on board as Director of CRP. And while the position is certainly not new, the Chamber and the City doubled down on the Park and made the position solely focused on efforts within or that greatly impacted the Park.

2016  Now we fast forward a bit. After much work, the final Park master plan, design guidelines and re-brand were all completed in 2016. That same year, Kord Technologies relocated to the Park, as did LSINC, RadioBro, and others. Aerojet Rocketdyne announced relocation of their Defense Business Unit Headquarters to CRP. In 2017, Blue Origin announced their BE-4 engines would be built in the Park. The Element Hotel at Bridge Street opened, and CRP was awarded the AURP Developing Communities of Innovation Award. Now to present day as we wrap up 2018, much has happened and much is still coming. I’ll be honest – there is too much to cover in this editorial space, but some highlights include:  The Park launches a brand new integrated website, to serve as a one-stop shop for the Park;  A new viral event experience location called The Lot takes off;  LSINC grows A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


from leased space to their own building;  HudsonAlpha opens their fourth building on campus, The Paul Propst Center;  Aerojet Rocketdyne refurbishes and moves into the old Boeing facility on Explorer Blvd;  BAE Systems announces 200 jobs and a new 200,000-square-foot facility in the Park;  Radiance Technologies is also building a new facility in CRP; 8 UAH hits record enrollment for a third year in a row, sitting at 9,700+ students; and 9 One of our oldest buildings in CRP that has been vacant for many years is demolished. But maybe the best indicator of just how far we’ve come is looking at the data again. In late Spring, our occupancy rate was just over 90 percent for the first time in years. In looking at the data through November, we’re now over 91 percent occupied parkwide. In multi-tenant occupancy alone, we are 80 percent occupied in East and 91 percent occupied in West. As seen in this perspective, efforts by the City, Chamber, IDB, the County and the many stakeholders inside and outside of the Park have all worked hand-in-hand to revitalize the crown jewel known as Cummings Research Park. We are slated for additional


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growth in 2019, too – with more announcements and continued implementation of the master plan, and creating the all-important sense of place that attracts great employees and great companies to CRP. A great Alabamian once said: “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Cummings Research Park’s past, present, and future are the epitome of Helen Keller’s wise words. Erin Koshut Executive Director, CRP A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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Automotive Update

Cover Story by Claire Aiello




n a chilly but beautiful morning, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. (MTMUS) celebrated the official start of its large manufacturing plant in Huntsville/ Limestone County. This $1.6 billion investment is the largest economic development project in our state in the last decade, and it will employ 4,000 people once finished. This was a major moment in North Alabama history. Executives of Mazda and Toyota joined U.S. Senator Doug Jones, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and other area leaders to mark the official start of construction at the 2,400-acre site. Three hundred people from the community gave a very warm welcome to the company, and the speakers returned the gratitude. “When we talk about building on success and momentum, this is how it’s done. We provide companies with our unparalleled workforce, we create and provide a very positive business climate, and when companies choose to come to Alabama, to be ‘Made in Alabama’, they want to and they certainly can expect excellence,” said Governor Ivey. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle was a driving force in bringing the plant here. “Today will go down as one of the proudest moments we have,” Mayor Battle said. “Today is the day we put a shovel to dirt on Huntsville’s growth into automotive history. Today is the day we make a mark in this industry with two incredible partners, Toyota and Mazda.” Battle Mayor Battle recounted his recent visit to Japan to meet with company leaders, a trip he and others have made for several years to build and strengthen important partnerships. He also thanked the city’s economic development team for their work making the project a reality, including Shane Davis, Kathy Martin, and Zach Turner. U.S. Senator Doug Jones commended various groups for support roles in the massive project. “We truly have a wonderful team in place. You all are to be congratulated for everything that has happened here,” said Sen. Jones. He also recognized the Sewell family, in attendance, for providing the majority Jones of the land.

Let ’s get down to business. It’s time to build!



ON THE COVER: The new leadership team of Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. (L-R): Mark Brazeal, Vice President of Administration; Masashi Aihara, President; Janette Hostettler, Vice President of Production; Hironori Kagohashi, Executive Vice President; Ikuo Sugiyama, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing. BELOW: (top L-R) Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle; U.S. Senator Doug Jones; Alabama Governor Kay Ivey; Greg Canfield, Alabama Dept. of Commerce; (bottom L-R) Hironori Kagohashi; Masashi Aihara; Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor North America; Kiyotaka Shobuda, Mazda Motor Corporation; Janette Hostettler; Mark Brazeal.

Showcasing Technology After the remarks, the familiar guitar riff of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” brought applause from the crowd as a FANUC robot turned the first shovel of dirt. The robot will move to AIDT’s Robotics Technology Park in Tanner, where future employees of the plant will use it for training. AIDT will also handle hiring for the plant in the coming years. When the MTMUS plant is complete in 2021, it will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles per year. Workers will build the Toyota Corolla and Mazda’s yet-to-be revealed crossover model. “We are proud to be here with Toyota, with whom we share the bond of pride in manufacturing,” said Kiyotaka Shobuda, Mazda’s senior managing executive officer and a 36-year veteran of the company. “We are proud to be breaking ground on a new ‘home’ here in Huntsville – a city that believes in the possibilities of technology and manufacturing and has striven to realize mankind’s greatest dream.” The alliance will assure competitiveness in manufacturing, allowing both automakers to respond quickly to market changes and helping to ensure sustainable growth toward the future of mobility. “It is extremely special to have a partner like Mazda to team up with, not only to make the highest-quality cars, but also to create a plant that team members are proud to call their own,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer, Toyota Motor North America. “As we’ve seen at our Huntsville engine plant, Alabamians are a proud, talented, hard-working group. We are excited to continue our deep investment in the U.S. and Alabama and see nothing but a bright future.”

continued on page 24

Automotive Update


CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: Ron Poteat and Gary Bolton accepting for the Chamber Foundation; Huntsville City Schools' representatives accepting donation; Madison City Schools' representatives accepting donation; Madison County Schools' Matt Massey accepting donation.

Fueling the Future Workforce Company leaders made a commitment to the local community to ensure the students of today pursue careers in advanced manufacturing. With 4,000 jobs to fill, MTMUS donated $750,000 to support STEM-related programs that will encourage and motivate our future workforce. The donation includes:

∏ $500,000 to the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

Foundation to launch a new career exploration online platform,, that will help highlight careers in manufacturing to students, build skills, and connect job seekers to opportunities. The goal is to work with local school systems and promote this tool as a resource for career coaches and teachers.

∏ $250,000 to be split between six school districts to

provide support for STEM or career technical programs that align with advanced manufacturing. The school systems include Huntsville City Schools, Madison County Schools, Madison City Schools, Limestone County Schools, Decatur City Schools, and Morgan County Schools.

Governor Ivey thanked the company for the generous donations. “Not only is Mazda Toyota Manufacturing providing high-paying jobs, they are investing heavily in our future workforce. This will not only benefit them, but also other manufacturers in the area,” said Gov. Ivey. “One thing I’ve learned with Toyota being in our state is that they care for the communities where they do business – it is, after all, their home, too. And they prove it every day. We are lucky to have Mazda Toyota expanding in Alabama.” In addition to investing in workforce training, the Mazda Foundation (USA) donated $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama, $50,000 to the Food Bank of North Alabama, and $20,000 to the Greater Huntsville Humane Society. The new MTMUS leadership team was also introduced to the crowd: Masashi Aihara, President; Hironori Kagohashi, Executive Vice President; Ikuo Sugiyama, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing; Janette Hostettler, Vice President of Production; and Mark Brazeal, Vice President of Administration.

The Mazda Foundation donated to the Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama (above), the Food Bank of North Alabama (top right), and the Greater Huntsville Humane Society (right).

24 initiatives dec 2018


continued on page 26

L-R: Masahiro Moro, Mazda North American Operations, and Takashi Shinozuka, ConsulateGeneral of Japan in Atlanta.









$23 billion


$700 million


For 60 years, our team members have proudly built cars and trucks all across this great country. We are also driven by a commitment to the communities we call home.

Toyota proudly operates 10 U.S. manufacturing facilities in nine states.

Alabama California Indiana Kentucky Mississippi Missouri Tennessee Texas West Virginia

Automotive Update

After the groundbreaking ceremony, the company hosted a more intimate event at the Jackson Center for people who played a role in bringing the plant to Huntsville. Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce, has been part of the annual delegation to Japan for several years, and he was recognized. He emphasized the importance of collaboration on a federal, state, and local level. “Every one of you who are here in this room had something to do with this project, to get us to this point,” said Canfield. He also recognized three members of his team, Ed Castile, Hollie Pegg, and Vince Perez. “We will be with your team today and tomorrow,” Canfield said to MTMUS. “We are here to help this joint venture succeed both to meet its current timelines and aspirations, but also to be with you 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from today.” Castile, who is Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Director of AIDT, talked about work already happening to support the new plant. “As we begin to build our processes and develop our programming for the training that’s going to happen, our anticipation is we’re going to knock it out of the park,” said Castile. “We’re working with the colleges and universities, we’ve touched the education system just north of us in another state. It’s a regional event, and that’s where our workforce is going to come from.” Chip Cherry, President and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, said decades of preparation from many people led to this happening. “This was made possible because of the men and women who supported this project for years, working towards this. It is all a collaborative effort, the focus is always what’s best for the community and not who gets the credit,” said Cherry. Cherry and Mayor Battle also presented the MTMUS leadership team with a handcrafted platter (shown right) made of clay from the plant site. They were joined on stage by elected leaders from surrounding cities and counties.


VI P Lunch

L-R: David Fernandes, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Ala.; Chip Cherry, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber; Jim Lentz and Jim Bolte, Toyota Motor North America.

Dr. Ed Castile, AIDT

Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce

Time for Laughs There was a bit of fun worked in, too. MTMUS’ new leaders hosted an informal session to help the audience learn a little more about them that included some light-hearted moments. Hironori Kagohashi, MTMUS Executive Vice President, told people about Masashi Aihara, President. Aihara enjoys sports, especially baseball, basketball, and football. He is a big fan of the Hiroshima Carps, and of course, there was talk about our region’s new minor league team, the Rocket City Trash Pandas. He is also a family man with a wife, daughter, and two sons. Aihara shared that Kagohashi is a big fan of music, especially rock and roll. Mark Brazeal, Vice President of Administration, encouraged both gentlemen to embrace Southern fried food and claim a college football team now that they are in the South. So, Aihara said “Roll Tide” and Kagohashi let out a big “War Eagle” as different parts of the crowd piped in with their loyalties. Kagohashi also sang part of Sweet Home Alabama for the crowd, saying he enjoyed the day’s sunny weather, because he could sing “where the skies are so blue.” Brazeal offered to take him to Muscle Shoals, mentioning The Rolling Stones recorded there. "Brown Sugar!" Kagohashi exclaimed.

Claire Aiello 26 initiatives dec 2018



Relationships Matter: North Alabama delegation visits with international partners in Japan

Because We Care.


delegation from Huntsville/Madison County and the State of Alabama visited Japan in mid-October to further strengthen ties with our international partners. Our team included elected officials, Chamber leaders and company representatives of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama. During the trip, we visited with the executive teams for Toyota and Mazda. This annual trip is vital, according to Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “I can’t stress enough the importance of relationships in doing business with our overseas partners,” he said. “If we had not already established a long-standing collaborative relationship with Toyota, we would not have landed the new Mazda Toyota plant. These commitments don’t just happen in 15-minute meetings or phone calls. There is a long process of communication, listening, and work toward mutual respect before we develop a trusted business relationship.” The annual meeting of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association also fell during the trip. At the meeting, Toyota senior officer Tetsuo Ogawa said the main reason his company chose Huntsville as the site for the new Mazda joint venture was our long and successful relationship.

Members of our delegation included: Secretary Greg Canfield, Alabama Department of Commerce; Hollie Pegg, Alabama Department of Commerce; Mayor Tommy Battle, City of Huntsville; Mayor Paul Finley, City of Madison; Chairman Dale Strong, Madison County Commission; Commissioner Jason Black, Limestone County Commission District 3; Chip Cherry, President and CEO, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber; Lucia Cape, Senior VP of Economic Development, Industry Relations & Workforce, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber; Kim Lewis, 2018 ChairElect, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber; Rick Tucker, Executive Director, Port of Huntsville; David Fernandes, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama; and Kim Ogle, Corporate Communications, Toyota Motor North America. During the trip, our team also visited with GE Aviation and NGS Advanced Fibers, their Japanese partner in developing the silicon carbide for ceramic matrix composites. NGS is located in Toyama, where the delegation toured the sister facility to the one built in Huntsville. These plants are the only two in the world to mass-produce silicon carbide and ceramic matrix composite materials.

Bryant Bankers care because Alabama is our home, too. We rise by lifting others and proudly put our care into action to help fellow Alabamians invest in their full potential.



dec 2018 initiatives 27


Automotive Update

Automotive Supplier Update by Wendy Reeves


rowth is the name of the game for the automobile industry in Alabama, including the auto suppliers that keep the manufacturing plants churning out their vehicles. In the Huntsville area, auto suppliers are up to the task with some expansions and overall planning for existing customers and the future Mazda Toyota plant.

EFI Automotive EFI Automotive, also known as Electricfil Corporation, makes sensors, actuators, and smart modules for vehicles. These help improve engine performance, transmission and emission efficiency, says Kaylee Holloway, who handles human resources for the company. The company’s Limestone County plant is one of five located around the globe, including the company headquarters in France, along with facilities in Turkey, Mexico, and China. Locally, the company’s U.S. corporate office and plant operations are at 18831 Carters Circle in Elkmont. The company employs about 250 people. “The automotive industry can be very competitive and fast-paced,” Holloway said. “It is exciting that the Mazda Toyota plant is opening in the area, as it shows growth for the City of Huntsville” and hopefully the area’s existing and new auto suppliers.

Mitchell Plastics Automotive Interior supplier Mitchell Plastics is expanding its Huntsville operation on U.S. 72 East in the Chase Industrial Park. The new addition will be approximately 130,000 square feet and allow the plant to grow with 12 new injection molding machines, a new paint line, expanded assembly area, additional shipping bays, and new offices, explained Michelle Hubbard, of Mitchell Plastics. Construction began in late October, and Hubbard says the addition is expected to be complete by late Spring 2019. “We expect to see an increase in jobs with 80 combined hourly and salaried positions,” Hubbard said. The expansion will help the company supply its “wide range of customers for Mitchell Plastics, including Toyota, FCA, Ford, VW, Audi, GM, Hyundai, KIA either directly or through their suppliers.”

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Automotive Update

continued from page 28

Photos show Matsumoto’s Stream Gentle, a water chiller with transparent water tank, and Pipe Ace, an automatic orbital pipe welder.

Matsumoto Matsumoto U.S. Technologies, Inc., founded in Alabama 14 years ago, is the American subsidiary of Matsumoto & Co., Ltd., which is based in Osaka, Japan. Matsumoto U.S. Technologies has two divisions: integrator and distributor. The company’s target customer base is Japanese automotive parts suppliers located in the Southeast and Midwest United States. Locally, the company’s U.S. home office is at 180 Ray Sanderson Drive in Madison. “On the integrator side for our customers, we design, build, and install custom automated systems and components. Typical examples would be robotic welding systems or fixtures such as for customers who are making welded automotive components such as seats or mufflers,” said Evan Mazur of Matsumoto. “We have done other types of projects as well, such as laser cutting systems, robotic grinding and sanding cells, an automated die polishing system, and material handling equipment. “On the distributor side, we specialize in Japanese imported replacement parts like bearings, sensors, electrical switches, cylinders, weld consumables, machines, and other industrial items such as power tools and even grease,” Mazur added. He says the company is excited about the addition of the future Mazda Toyota plant, which he noted is only one exit down the road from Matsumoto’s Madison facility. “I attended the Southern Automotive Conference in Atlanta in October and met their vice president, Mark Brazeal, and I presented Matsumoto’s offerings,” Mazur said. That was good news to company executives. “If Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. (MTMUS) is going to be interested in our contents, it is very good for us,” said Makoto Tohmura, president of Matsumoto U.S. since 2004. He says many parts suppliers are expected to follow MTMUS into the area “and we look forward to the opportunity of doing business with them as well. We expect this to include some of our existing customers located in other territories, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them as they establish new facilities in the Huntsville area.”

Total Hose, Inc.,

a division of Air Hydro Power Air Hydro Power has grown its presence in Alabama in recent years. It is a trusted distributor of pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical automation products, hoses & fittings. The company headquarters is in Louisville, Kentucky and in the past 10 years, it has added five locations in Huntsville, Decatur, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Air Hydro Power is an industrial supplier that services manufacturers in many ways, providing products, services and people to help make plants run more safely and efficiently. In 2017, Air Hydro Power was named the AAMA (Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association) Service Provider of the Year. Tom McGuire, a co-owner, said his company loves doing business in our state because it’s so similar to their home base.  “In the Kentucky market, about 50 percent of our business is related to the automotive industry,” said McGuire. “We’re a Tier 1 supplier to Toyota Georgetown, and have been since the plant opened. We also support the other 175 Japanese plants in the state of Kentucky, many of which followed Toyota in. You’re going to be amazed in your area with how much support comes in for the new Mazda Toyota plant.” McGuire said Air Hydro Power has about 3,000 customers in Alabama, including Mercedes, Hyundai, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

30 initiatives dec 2018



Futaba Corporation Futaba Corporation of America (FCA) opened its Huntsville plant in 1989 in order to provide engineering support for Chrysler, to be a quality inspection point for Vacuum Fluorescent Displays, and warehouse inventory. In 1998, Futaba began providing contract manufacturing (CM) and original design manufacturing (ODM) services to handle customers’ demand based on Futaba’s outstanding quality. Today, the company employs 100 workers in Huntsville at two plants located at 101 Electronics Boulevard SW and 2681 Wall Triana Highway, with a combined total of 100,000 square feet. According to Julie Mathis, Futaba’s human resource manager, the company currently produces these automotive products: HVAC Controls – Futaba designs and assembles the climate control/radio interface for several different vehicles Gear Shift Selectors – Futaba assembles the gear shift selectors, with and without displays, for several different applications Power Lift Gate / Sliding Door Controls – Futaba designs and assembles power lift gate controllers and sliding door controllers for mini-van applications


dec 2018 initiatives 31



Outdoor Incentives Preserving Our Natural Beauty Improves Our Business Prospects



utting the puzzle together for workforce recruitment takes a holistic approach. More and more employers not only have to create a great work environment, but also must sell our community to prospective employees. Chad Donald, President of Avion Solutions, understands that recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce is a multifaceted task. “We’re fortunate to have a growing business with outstanding employees. However, we know that to meet the needs of our customers, we must continually attract talented, skilled workers,” said Donald. “We are not only competing locally for strong employees, but nationally. And when you market yourself nationally, the quality of life of the city you’re located in is an important consideration.” Many factors are mentioned as measures of a community’s quality of life, but one recurring aspect is the availability of nature-based outdoor activities. In North Alabama, we are fortu-

32 initiatives dec 2018

nate to have a beautiful and diverse natural landscape in which to provide those outdoor recreational opportunities. We are also fortunate to have a history of leadership that understands the importance of saving natural places for people to enjoy. Consider that just two miles from the heart of downtown Huntsville, the Land Trust of North Alabama’s 1,100-acre Monte Sano Nature Preserve adjoins the 2,400-acre Monte Sano State Park. No other city in the country can boast of such an expansive natural resource so close to its urban center. And this is just the cornerstone of our foundation – one that has us poised to be an outdoor recreation destination. The Land Trust of North Alabama offers an additional six nature preserves located throughout the county for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running. Ditto Landing on the Tennessee River has a variety of water-related recreational opportunities. Huntsville, Madison, and Madison County each have greenway systems and nature preserves offering a myriad of outdoor activities. But even with all these options, the parking lots are full and the trails are crowded. All before the reality of the thousands of new jobs arrive bringing the need for thousands of new employees. Our challenge is to continue to preserve significant natural areas and create more outdoor recreation opportunities at a pace that will allow us to remain competitive in the changing workforce environment, particularly with the younger workforce. Initiatives like the Land Trust’s River to Gap project which will connect the Tennessee River to Blevins Gap across the western face of Green Mountain, Launch 2035, the Singing River Trail project – a multi-jurisdictional greenway to connect Limestone, Madison and Morgan Counties, and the interconnected greenway systems that are being developed by Huntsville and Madison will all acknowledge the importance of embracing and highlighting the natural attributes of our community and improving our quality of life. But to meet the challenge, these must become more than initiatives, they must become reality. We must invest financially, and we must act quickly. With the rapid growth and development throughout our metro area, key lands and corridors of connectivity are being compromised. Our peer cities are making substantial investments in outdoor recreational pursuits centered around active lifestyles. As the speed of life has gotten faster, having these choices convenient and close to home has become a necessity for many. If we want to stay competitive in workforce recruitment, we must make those same investments. Marie Bostick Land Trust of North Alabama A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

is proud to support the Arts as a Sustaining Donor of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.


Getting a Move On 2018 Infrastructure Update for Huntsville’s Restore Our Roads


ngineers and road crews are paving the way for increased traffic on Huntsville streets as it moves forward to becoming the largest city in the state. “City leaders have been very diligent in keeping our transportation system in step with the growth potential within our city,” said Kathy Martin, Director of Engineering. “The city continues to explore many unique funding opportunities to make such improvements possible.”

Memorial Parkway is now easier to navigate. Access to Redstone Arsenal by Martin Road has been improved on both sides of the military installation. There’s a new route to Chase Industrial Park. Improvements are underway at US 72 and County Line Road, and North Parkway and Cecil Ashburn Drive are among roadways soon to see improvements. Many of the upgrades stem from a 2014 cost-sharing agreement between the City of Huntsville and the Alabama Department of Transportation for $250 million in road improvements in key corridors throughout the city. Mayor Tommy Battle led the Restore Our Roads initiative, made possible after the City Council in 2014 passed a 1-cent sales tax and dedicated $25 million raised from those revenues to annual road projects. The Restore Our Roads initiative included projects chosen as top regional road priorities for 2013 by the Metropoli34 initiatives dec 2018

tan Planning Organization. The group is made up of government representatives from cities and towns throughout Madison County. Huntsville leaders agreed to pay half of the $250 million for key corridors throughout its city limits. Martin noted it was an unprecedented action between a city and ALDOT partnering to get major corridors improved immediately. “We both recognized the importance of these projects as a result of current and future congestion and agreed to make efforts to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible in our city for the future,” Martin said. Road projects do not happen overnight, says Mark Huber, administrative officer for the city’s Urban Development Department. They can take as long as 10 years to complete because of authorization, design, right of way acquisition, utility relocation, and then, construction. The end result is what makes it all worthwhile. With three new overpasses on Memorial Parkway, the city’s primary north-south thoroughfare has no traffic lights through its most congested areas. Huber said it cost $64.5 million to build the South Memorial Parkway overpasses from Martin Road to Lily Flagg Road. That included the new parkway and frontage roads, and a new underpass at Martin Road for Redstone Arsenal access. The entire project, managed by ALDOT, finished ahead of schedule. As of November, the overpasses and frontage roads were open, and crews are wrapping up the final details on the new overpasses and service roads for South Parkway. Huber says other major projects completed or underway in 2018 include:

Access to Chase Industrial Park A $1 million new public road was completed for commuters from Moores Mill Road to Chase Industrial Park. It includes a traffic signal at a new intersection of Moores Mill Road near the railroad tracks, and an access road from Moores Mill Road north of the railroad tracks to PPG Industries, with a new traffic signal.

US 72 West at County Line Road Intersection On the western side of the city, a $5 million construction project will be ongoing through mid-2019 as the County Line Road and US 72 intersection will be widened to five lanes in all directions, and include .35 miles of additional lanes along US 72.

Cecil Ashburn Drive Also to come in 2019 is an estimated $20 million project to A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

widen 3.4 miles of Cecil Ashburn Drive, and add two new lanes between Old Big Cove Road and Four Mile Post Road. Huber says eight-foot shoulders along each side of the roadways will create ample space for bicycle traffic.

Rideout Road/Research Park Boulevard Estimated at $20 million, this 2019 project includes an additional lane between Old Madison Pike and US 72, and reconstruction of the Old Madison Pike bridge to include 10 feet of multi-use paths on both sides to accommodate traffic from pedestrians and cyclists.

Zierdt Road Huber says the $26 million four-phase project has been completed as right-of-way was acquired and funding was made available. It is currently in its final phase of construction. It is a multi-jurisdictional project along 3.5 miles of Zierdt Road from Madison Boulevard to Martin Road, in which the road is being widened to four lanes. The northbound lanes are complete. When the total project is finished, the roadway will include a 12-foot-wide multi-use path on the west side of the roadway. It will have seven lanes at the intersection of Martin and Zierdt roads, and six lanes at Madison Boulevard and Zierdt. Construction of the final phase began in October, and Huber anticipates it will take about two years to complete.

Martin Road Phase one of the Martin Road project began in July with an estimated cost of $12 million and includes a 1.3-mile, five-lane roadway improvement that will include sidewalks and bicycle lanes on each side of the street from Old Jim Williams Road to Zierdt Road. It should be completed by mid-2019. Phase two of the Martin Road project includes a 1.6-mile, fivelane roadway improvement from Old Jim Williams Road to Laracy Drive. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete and was expected to begin by the end of 2018 at an estimated cost of $14 million.

Church Street, Phase 1 Contractors were to be on site and ALDOT was scheduled to set up traffic control for the project in November. The goal is to widen and realign approximately one mile of Church Street to four and five lanes starting from the Pratt Avenue and Hundley Street intersection, south to Monroe. “The city remains focused on making progress to retain the level of service for our transportation network within our community,” Martin says. “Many other roadway improvement projects are currently under design to help facilitate future growth towards becoming the largest city in the state.”

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Do you know about Project Share? It’s a program offered through Huntsville Utilities to help your neighbors with utility costs. It’s easy to give – you can add just a few dollars to your monthly utility bill. Since 1988, the program has raised more than $4 million and helped 25,000 families who qualify for assistance. This year, there’s something new – you can make a special holiday donation. Say you have a friend who’s tough to shop for, or your parents insist you don’t buy them a gift – they have everything they need. How about a donation in their names to Project Share? There is no overhead cost for this program – every dollar helps someone in need. You can return the information that came with your November bill, or call Huntsville Utilities’ Customer Information Center at 256-535-1200. Visit for more details.

HCS, Auburn University & AMRDEC Partner to Provide Real-World Experience for Students Huntsville City Schools is the first K-12 school district in the nation to partner with Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) alongside the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Command (AMRDEC) to further education and workforce development in the field of additive manufacturing. The partnership will directly benefit students by providing real-world engineering experiences that will carry from high school through graduate-level training. A signing was held October 25 at Mae Jemison High School. “I am excited that our students will have new opportunities for their future. Huntsville City Schools is dedicated to providing the best educational opportunities anywhere, and our career academies are just one example of that commitment,” said Superintendent Christie Finley. “We look forward to the opportunity for our students to work on real-world projects with industry leaders and participate in collaborative research activities.” ∏

compiled by Claire Aiello

ceremony, Turner also celebrated the milestone of 70,000 safe employee hours on the project. The 136,000-square-foot industrial facility sits on 18.25 acres at the corner of Pulaski Pike and Prosperity Drive. It will be used to produce subcomponents of the AR1 rocket engines, composite cases for rocket motors, and 3D-printed rocket engine components. ∏

Reception Held to Honor Jody Singer

A reception was held on October 16 at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration to honor Jody Singer, the new director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Singer is a native of Hartselle, Ala. and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Alabama. She has worked for NASA since 1985, holding a variety of positions in engineering and management. Singer had served as acting center director since the retirement of Todd May in July. ∏

Trash Pandas: Here’s the Look! The Rocket City Trash Pandas unveiled logos and branding during a community celebration at Dublin Park in Madison on October 27. The centerpiece depicts a raccoon in an engineered rocket made out of a trash can. Brandiose of San Diego designed the look, and came here to meet with fans and learn about our community’s history and personality. The Trash Pandas will take the field in 2020! ∏

DC BLOX Opens Huntsville Data Center DC BLOX, an Atlanta-based provider of data centers, network and cloud services at the edge, opened its new data center facility in Huntsville on October 3. It is located on Diamond Drive, next to PARSONS. The pre-cast concrete building was deployed in only 22 weeks and will have 46,000 square feet of data hall space on final buildout. “The Huntsville facility will target enterprise, hyperscale cloud, Software-asa-Service, government, network and content providers,” said Jeff Uphues, the company’s CEO. ∏

Topping-out Held for Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility Turner Construction Company recently celebrated the topping-out for Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Huntsville. Construction on the facility began in March and is scheduled to be complete this month. During the 36 initiatives dec 2018


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Networking & Negotiating Annual Membership Meeting Coming in February


ooking to gain insight on how key community leaders in partnership with the Chamber have made an impact on Huntsville/Madison County? Look no further than the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting. This event is held at the beginning of each new year to celebrate the many accomplishments and successes of the previous year. Many individuals are involved in helping Huntsville/Madison County continuously grow to be a better place for its residents

to live, work, and play. The Annual Membership Meeting really focuses on acknowledging those who have contributed to this growth, and sets the tone for an even more prosperous new year. In addition to celebrating the feats of the previous year, the Chamber will also induct its new Board Chair for 2019. The Distinguished Service Award will also be given to an individual who has a track record of consistently doing great things for the community. One of the most exciting aspects of the Annual Membership Meeting is the keynote address, as attendees have the opportunity to hear words of wisdom and practical business advice from a wellknown speaker. Our speaker for 2019 will be Chris Voss, former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator and author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. Voss realized during his time completing Harvard Law School’s Winter Negotiation Course that there was so much more to his craft than he initially thought, writing in his book, “It turned out that our approach to negotiation held the keys to unlock profitable human interactions in every domain and every interaction and every relationship in life.” In turn, Voss used his many years of experience negotiating crisis situations to develop a program that explores radical Voss techniques and strategies for negotiating in both business and everyday life. This type of information is vital for both personal and professional growth. Overall, attendees should look forward to an exciting opportunity to gain beneficial business advice, learn where our community is headed, and make valuable connections with other business leaders. Cheers to a successful new year – and please make plans to join us February 6!

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38 initiatives dec 2018



Robert Smith, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton Q: What is Booz Allen’s mission? A: For more than 100 years, business, government, and military leaders have turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to solve their most complex problems. They trust us to bring together the right people: those who devote themselves to the challenge at hand, who speak with relentless candor, and who act with courage and character. We solve the most difficult management and technology challenges through a combination of consulting, analytics, digital solutions, engineering, and cyber expertise.

Q: What sets Booz Allen apart from the rest of your competitors? A: Our people and our mission set Booz Allen apart. Booz Allen pioneered management consulting over the last century and has transformed over the past few years into a technology leader, delivering differentiated, technology-focused work to the government. We know our clients inside and out and operate at the center of their missions, helping them choose the right technology and fully integrate it into their work in a lasting way. We empower people to change the world, guided by our purpose and values: unflinching courage, passionate service, ferocious integrity, collective ingenuity and champion’s heart.

Q: Why does your company support the Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative? A: As a large business and local employer, Booz Allen believes that investing in the local community brings tremendous value to Huntsville. Specifically, HREGI’s vision to establish Huntsville as a primary technology hub promotes advancements in infrastructure and creates jobs that help create a vibrant, dynamic, and growing community and a great quality of life that continue to bring new talent and opportunities to the region.

Q: Has being a member of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber helped Booz Allen? A: Civic opportunities such as the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce help Booz Allen work directly with the community to make a positive difference in our neighborhoods and, working together, achieve the visionary objectives the Chamber has set for the future. We are proud to be part of the great Huntsville success story.

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communityprofile Population

Madison City of County Huntsville

Top Ten Employers: Huntsville & Madison County Redstone Arsenal* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37,000*

City of Huntsville Madison Metro Area

Huntsville Hospital System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,730

2010 Census





NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,500

2018 Census est.





Huntsville City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000





The Boeing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,600

% Growth

Madison County Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,389

Households & Income # of Households




Avg. Household Income $81,399

$74,749 $111,800


Per Capita Income






SAIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,229 City of Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,206 The University of Alabama in Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,660 ADTRAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,549 Source: Huntsville/Madison County Chamber *includes on-site contractors

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (, 2016 American Community Survey 5-Year 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. More than 43,500 people work at Redstone Arsenal and NASA, managing some of the country’s most important and sophisticated technology programs including missiles, aviation, and space exploration.

Research & Technology Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park has earned a reputation as a global leader in technology development. The second-largest science and technology research park in the U.S., Cummings Research Park is home to nearly 300 companies and 26,500 people involved in technology research and development.

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101 Monroe Street NE | Huntsville, AL 35801 40 initiatives dec 2018



A Fond Farewell Mark Russell Ends 16 Years of Service on Huntsville City Council


ovember 5 marked the end of a long era, as Councilman Mark Russell closed out 16 years of service to District 2 and the City of Huntsville. During his tenure, he was elected council president by his fellow councilmembers 10 times, leading meetings with efficiency and grace. Aside from serving the City, Russell spends time helping several nonprofits and referees high school and youth football games. We asked him what prompted him to run for City Council many years ago. Russell said during his time in Leadership Huntsville/Madison County, he attended a city council meeting and noticed a lack of young professionals represented on the council. A supporter of education and athletics, Councilman Russell noticed a need for

decided it was time to run,” he said. Councilman Russell advises young people to run for local government. “I think the council functions best with diversity, not only in gender and race, but also in age,” said Russell. Councilman Russell said his philosophy has always been to take a holistic approach. While he represented District 2 and advocated for its needs, he also valued the needs of Huntsville as a whole. “This community works better when government leaders work together for a common goal. The city should provide the structure for businesses and the community, and then they’re able to run with it,” he said. “If we want others to step up and lead, we need to set an example.” He places great importance on being an involved member of your community while recognizing that tough decisions must sometimes be made. Of course, there are always obstacles. Councilman Russell says one obstacle was getting a hotel in downtown Huntsville. “Early on, we worked hard on a package for a hotel downtown and went out for a request for proposals and received none. As a young man, I was so proud of that package and was surprised when it failed. Later, John Q. Hammons came back, and we negotiated a deal for Embassy Suites. It seems kind of silly now, but people needed a hotel downtown near the VBC.” Russell says in 2002, it would have been hard to imagine the thriving downtown that exists today. “I’m very proud of the development of our downtown. If you go on a Saturday and walk through the park, you can see a diverse group of people from all over north Alabama enjoying the amenities.” He says we have a positive future ahead, too. “Hunts2018 Huntsville City Council members (L-R): Mark Russell; Bill Kling, Jr.; ville is doing well. Something I think every citizen can be Jennie Robinson; Will Culver; and Devyn Keith. proud of is that we can compete for different types of economic development projects with any city in the world,” he said. new school buildings, recreational activities, and equal opportuRussell said he plans to remain active and involved in the comnities for both boys and girls. In 2002, he realized he could be the munity. Thank you, Mark Russell for your leadership and service to fresh voice on the council and entered the race. “I was 38 and Huntsville. We wish you well! there was an opportunity. My children were 9 and 7 at the time. I thought that I had a good knowledge of what the city needed and Austin Bullock


dec 2018 initiatives 41

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Initiatives - December 2018  

Automotive Update: Mazda Toyota Breaks Ground for New Plant Relationships Matter Automotive Supplier Update

Initiatives - December 2018  

Automotive Update: Mazda Toyota Breaks Ground for New Plant Relationships Matter Automotive Supplier Update