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FEB 2021

Sponsored by

COVER STORY: STILL A SMART PLACE, page 20

U.S. PARALYMPICS CYCLING OPEN, page 32 THANK YOU, HEALTHCARE WORKERS, pages 34-35


DEEP ROOTS. WIDE REACH.

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Since first putting down roots in Alabama more than 150 years ago, Bradley has grown to serve our clients’ changing needs. With more than 550 attorneys in 10 offices, Bradley is strategically located across the highest economic growth region of the United States – so we can provide timely and cost-effective services wherever needed. As a national law firm with a global perspective, Bradley provides clients in Huntsville, North Alabama, the United States and around the world with critical legal capabilities in a broad range of industries. Our clients count on us for responsiveness, innovation and results – and our Huntsville attorneys go above and beyond expectations to help our clients achieve their goals.

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Represent six of the 10 largest banks and 16 of the 20 largest mortgage servicers in the U.S.

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Handled economic development projects that invested $25 billion and created 30,000+ jobs in 30+ states

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Ranked the 12th largest healthcare law firm in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare

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Attorneys from across all offices listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for 2021

bradley.com | BIRMINGHAM | CHARLOTTE | DALLAS | HOUSTON | HUNTSVILLE | JACKSON | MONTGOMERY | NASHVILLE | TAMPA | WASHINGTON, D.C. 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, Esq., 256.517.5142, fcaprio@bradley.com, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, 200 Clinton Avenue West, Suite 900, Huntsville, AL 35801. ©2021


NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED for HEART CARE — again. We put our hearts into providing quality care ... and it shows.


new chamber members HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER

Joined in November 2020 Bartley Bridge, Inc. Blue Water Industries Bocar US Inc. CNI Solutions CrossTek Construction Danmark Communications & Security Deaf Access, Inc ESSNOVA Solutions, Inc. J-Max Logistics, Inc. Monkee’s of Huntsville Nterspec Technologies LLC Paladin Group LLC Retcon Energy, LLC Sarah S. Shepard, LLC Seleno at Bridge Street Xerox Business Solutions Southeast LLC ZenBusiness

Joined in December 2020 106 Jefferson Huntsville Downtown, Curio by Hilton 1st Edge

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 ■ Listing in the online Membership Directory ■ Specially designed professional development programs to grow

your talent and strengthen your business ■ Attract talent to your business with complimentary listings of

your company’s job opportunities on asmartplace.com ■ 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

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 Donna McCrary, Membership Retention Manager: 256-535-2027 or dmccrary@hsvchamber.org.

Ardent Preschool and Daycare of Redstone Avalon Family Care BSI EH3S Services and Solutions Inc Carter Express, Inc. Designer’s Station Doe Run Farms Educational and Community Strategies Henry House at Clift Farm Apartments Log Cabin Schoolhouse Palladian at Promenade SPARC Test Prep Special Aerospace Services

Promote Your Restaurant / Retail Business MEMBERS: Please check out getyourgifton.org – a website to support gift card purchases through our local restaurants and retail stores. It is FREE to list your business there. The link to add is at the very top of the site, as well as a link to set up gift cards if you don’t currently offer these. Also consider visiting and buying a gift card.

The Joint Chiropractic Clift Farm

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initiatives feb 2021

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


hregi investors HUNTSVILLE REGIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH INITIATIVE

DEVELOPMENT PARTNER

AS OF JANUARY 28, 2021

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

BBVA ■ Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) ■ Crestwood Medical Center ■ Dynetics, Inc. ■ General Atomics Electromagnetics ■ Lockheed Martin Corporation ■ Northrop Grumman Corporation ■ Raytheon Technologies ■ SAIC ■ SES Science and Engineering Services, LLC ■ Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. ■ Yulista

CHAMBER TRUSTEES

CHAIRMAN’S COUNCIL

PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE

Akima, LLC ■ Bill Penney Toyota/Mitsubishi ■ BlueHalo ■ Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. ■ Facebook Data Center ■ Five Stones Research Corporation ■ Intrepid ■ Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation ■ Jerry Damson Honda Acura ■ KBR ■ Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep ■ Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. ■ PARSONS ■ S3, Inc. ■ Sealy Management Company, Inc. ■ SportsMED Orthopaedic Surgery & Spine Center ■ Synovus ■ Torch Technologies ■ Turner Construction Company

PROGRESS PARTNERS Ability Plus, Inc. ■ Aerojet Rocketdyne ■ Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, P.C. ■ ASRC Federal ■ Baron Services, Inc. ■ BASF Corporation ■ BB&T, now Truist ■ Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP ■ Brown Precision, Inc. ■ CenterState Bank ■ Colliers International ■ Connected Logistics (LogC2) ■ Davidson ■ Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. ■ IBERIABANK ■ Keel Point, LLC ■ L3Harris ■ 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. ■ Robins & Morton ■ RUAG Space USA Inc. ■ Steak-Out (Rosie’s Restaurants, Inc., & Right Way Restaurants, Inc.) ■ Verizon ■ Wells Fargo Bank ■ Woody Anderson Ford

REGIONAL PARTNERS

PROGRESS INVESTORS Air Essentials, Inc. ■ Alpha Beta Technologies, Inc. ■ Amanda Howard | Sotheby’s International Realty ■ Averbuch Realty / Enterprises ■ Bailey-Harris Construction ■ BancorpSouth ■ Bell Textron Inc. ■ BID DESIGNS, LLC ■ BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc. ■ Bryant Bank ■ Cadence Bank ■ Canvas, Inc. ■ CB&S Bank - Huntsville Downtown ■ Century Automotive ■ CFD Research Corporation ■ CGI Federal ■ Coast Personnel Services ■ DC BLOX, Inc. ■ deciBel Research ■ DESE Research, Inc. ■ Express Employment Professionals ■ FITE Building Company ■ FLS Translation

LEADERSHIP FORUM

& Interpreting ■ Fountain, Parker, Harbarger & Associates, LLC ■ Freedom Real Estate & Capital, LLC ■ Garver, LLC ■ Hexagon US Federal ■ HEMSI ■ Hiley Automotive Group ■ Huntsville Botanical Garden ■ Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau ■ INTERFUZE Corporation ■ Investor’s Resource ■ IronMountain Solutions ■ Legend Realty – Jim Hoekenschneider ■ The Lioce Group, Inc. ■ MSB Analytics, Inc. ■ nLogic, LLC ■ PALCO ■ PHOENIX ■ Pinnacle Solutions, Inc. ■ PROJECTXYZ, Inc. ■ QTEC Aerospace ■ Quadrus Corporation ■ Renasant Bank ■ RJ Young Company ■ Rosenblum Realty, Inc. ■ S&ME, Inc. ■ Schoel Engineering Company, Inc. ■ ServisFirst Bank ■ Sigmatech, Inc. ■ Signalink, Inc. ■ Snelling ■ Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. ■ TriVector Services, Inc. ■ Troy 7, Inc. ■ TTL, Inc. ■ ValleyMLS.com ■ Valor Communities ■ Van Valkenburgh & Wilkinson Properties, Inc. ■ Venturi, LLC ■ Volkert, Inc. ■ Warren Averett, LLC ■ Wilmer & Lee, P.A.

For more information, contact Kristy Drake, HREGI & ChamberON Director: 256-535-2036 or kdrake@hsvchamber.org.

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

feb 2021 initiatives

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table of contents INITIATIVES MAGAZINE – FEB 2021

Mission: To prepare, develop and promote our community for economic growth.

COVER STORY

HSVchamber.org

STILL A SMART PLACE

HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA:

(see staff listing on page 38)

pages 20-24

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

■ ■ ■ ■

Before, During, and After the Pandemic ASmartPlace Update Addressing Childcare Challenges Automotive Hiring | Mazda Toyota Manufacturing

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

Katelyn Sides Baker Lucia Cape, CCE Lucy Berry DeButy Amber Greenwood Lydia Pennington Kristen Pepper Deborah Storey Mike Ward, CCE

advertising Kristy Drake

feature stories 10

GROWING & ADAPTING |

11 WORKING TOGETHER |

A Look Back with 2020 Board Chair Kevin Byrnes

Moving Forward with 2021 Board Chair Jeff Gronberg

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

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NASA UPDATE

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RAISE YOUR HAND |

28

GROWING EXPONENTIALLY |

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STAYING ON THEIR TOES |

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U.S. PARALYMPICS CYCLING OPEN |

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FIRST-RATE FITNESS |

Seeking to increase local National Board Certified Teachers Sentar: 2020 Small Business Award Winner profile

Huntsville Ballet: 2020 Small Business Award Winner profile Public invited to watch in CRP – April 17-18

City's new state-of-the-art rec center in north Huntsville

kdrake@hsvchamber.org

Richard Bigoney rbigoney@hsvchamber.org

Tina Blankenship tblankenship@hsvchamber.org

more for you 4 NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS | BECOMING A MEMBER | GET YOUR GIFT ON 5 HREGI INVESTORS

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.

8 MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT | BOARD LISTING 16

2021 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE & BOARD OF DIRECTORS in pictures

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COMMUNITY PROFILE

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THANKS! to the 2020 ChamberON Volunteers – in pictures

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CHAMBER FOUNDATION BOARD in pictures | INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

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HREGI PROFILE: Huntsville Tractor & Equipment with Brett Crain

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2021 LEADERSHIP: Women's Business Council with Alice Lessmann

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THANKS! to Our Awesome Healthcare Workers – in pictures

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GET TO KNOW OUR LEADS: Ambassador & Emissary Programs

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CHAMBER STAFF | ASSOCIATED ORGS

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

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER

a message from chip cherry

Executive Committee & Board of Directors 2021

HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER

Executive Committee

Dear Chamber Investors, Community Leaders, and Friends:

Jeff Gronberg, Board Chair – deciBel Research, Inc. Greg Brown, Chair-elect – Brown Precision, Inc. Kevin Byrnes, Immediate Past Chair – Navigator International, LLC Ron Poteat, President, Chamber Foundation – Regions Bank Jeff Samz, Secretary/Treasurer – Huntsville Hospital Dr. Karockas Watkins, Vice Chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Ability Plus, Inc.

The key to the Chamber’s success is the passion and engagement of our volunteers, partners and staff. We collaborate to address challenges, seize upon opportunities, and build a strong, more vibrant regional economy. These efforts are led by our volunteers – the tip of the spear being our Chair, followed by our Board of Directors and Officers. We are thankful to Kevin Byrnes for his leadership during challenging times, and we look forward to Jeff Gronberg serving as our Chair this year. They say that a crisis will show your true character. The foundation of our community is Team Work, and it showed as the Pandemic impacted our community and the region. The public, healthcare, and private sectors worked to identify ways we could engage and support one another through the crisis. The value of sharing resources and information coupled with consistent messaging has made and continues to make a difference. We are stronger and more effective when we work together! We cannot say thank you enough to our essential and healthcare workers, and our educators. One of the positive byproducts of COVID is we appreciate even more those who play a vital role in our community. On pages 34-35, we honor our healthcare workers with a collage of our neighbors who are caring for us through the Pandemic. You will notice in one of the pictures a healthcare worker holding a tablet so that a patient can talk with a loved one. These are extraordinary times, and our healthcare workers are going the extra mile to get us through it. Thank You! Our community will host an elite group of athletes in April for the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open. This event will take place in CRP April 17-18 and will feature some of the country’s premier athletes. Read more about this exciting event on pages 32-33. There will be plenty of locations in the Park where you can watch the event live while socially distanced. I hope you can join us for this great event. We were all hoping that the Pandemic would be abating by now. The good news is that the vaccines, masking, and social distancing are making a difference. I encourage you to stay the course and remain vigilant. We will all get through this – Together. Stay well, and I look forward to when we can meet together in person again!

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

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Lynn Troy, Vice Chair, Economic Development & Workforce – Troy 7, Inc. Craig Naudain, Vice Chair, Government & Public Affairs – SAIC Sameer Singhal, Vice Chair, HREGI – CFD Research Corporation McKinley James, Vice Chair, Marketing & Communications – Polaris Industries, Inc.

Jim Rogers, Vice Chair, Membership – Lockheed Martin Corporation Jami Peyton, Vice Chair, Small Business & Events – Canvas, Inc. Joe Ritch, Vice Chair, Tennessee Valley BRAC – Sirote & Permutt, PC April Mason, Chair-Appointed – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc. Alicia Ryan, Chair-Appointed – LSINC Corporation Frank Williams, Chair-Appointed – Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep

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 Blake Bentley, SportsMED Orthopaedic Surgery and Spine Center David Bier, Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, P.C. Penny Billings, BancorpSouth - Huntsville Thomas Busby, CenterState Bank Katie Comer, Facebook Data Center Tom Conard, The Boeing Conpany Brett Crain, Huntsville Tractor & Equipment Inc. Melissa Davis, MTA, Inc. Mike Dewitz, PARSONS John Eagan, BB&T, now Truist Kevin Fernandez, Fernandez Financial Group Owen Franklin, Franklin Creative Solutions Joni Green, Five Stones Research Corporation Ginger Harper, IBERIABANK Josh Herren, Yulista Lee Holland, Freedom Real Estate and Capital, LLC Tharon Honeycutt, MSB Analytics, Inc. Amanda Howard, Amanda Howard | Sotheby’s International Realty Laura Huckabee-Jennings, Transcend, The Fearless Co. Lincoln Hudson, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Tyce Hudson, Turner Construction Company Hank Isenberg, IronMountain Solutions Lauren Johannesmeyer, Google Fiber, Huntsville Michelle Jordan, TARCOG Sean Kelly, Regions Bank Clint Kirkland, Progress Bank Todd May, KBR Bob McCaleb, Northrop Grumman Corporation Kevin McCombs, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. Alana Parker, Rocket City Drywall & Supply, Inc. Zack Penney, Bill Penney Toyota/Mitsubishi Chris Russell, Cadence Bank Beth Sippel, Synovus Wayne Sisco, Redstone Federal Credit Union Tom Stanton, ADTRAN, Inc. Sandra Stephens, Keel Point, LLC Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Technologies 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


Growing & Adapting

Kevin Byrnes shares perspectives as last year’s board chair

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orth Alabama’s business climate grew at a “pretty good pace” in the challenging year of 2020, said the outgoing head of the Huntsville/ Madison County Chamber’s Board of Directors. Kevin Byrnes, vice president of Strategic Consulting Services at Navigator International LLC, served as board chair in a difficult year – to say the least. But it wasn’t all bad. “We’ve got over 30 projects going on in the Huntsville area right now,” said Byrnes. “Half are new interests in locating businesses in Huntsville. We also have approximately 50 people moving into Huntsville every day.” Industry and government site selection groups look at talent, land availability, infrastructure sufficiency, quality of life and the job spectrum in evaluating where to locate. “If you look at what we have to offer and our portfolio, we have much to offer and we’re well balanced,” Byrnes added. Business leaders realized in February 2020 that COVID would “make us think about new ways of doing business,” Byrnes said. Communicating via technologies like Zoom and strategies like working offsite are probably here to stay, he said. The key to adapting to the crisis has been working together. “When help was needed, no one said ‘No’ to any request to help us

NOW LOCATED at Highway 72/Providence.

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initiatives feb 2021

get the word out or help us gather personal protective equipment, or any initiative where we were gathering resources to contribute to the community,” he said. Byrnes, who now serves as immediate past chair on the Executive Committee, advises his successor to continue communicating with local, state, and federal officials and health care experts, and have a planning horizon that extends five, 10 and 15 years. A 2019 Chamber study found two areas that could pose challenges for the existing area workforce: transportation and childcare. The Chamber has created a childcare task force (see page 21) and is working with area groups to discuss transportation solutions. “We’re not sitting idly by. Elected leaders, business leaders, community leaders, and the Chamber communicate well and work together for the betterment of the community. I’ve worked with many different communities in the past, and none compare to the magic we have here in Huntsville,” Byrnes said. “That’s why we continue to hit home runs, whether it’s best place to grow a small business or best place for millennials, we’ve received many accolades,” he added. “It’s largely because of the way we pull together.” – Deborah Storey, contributor

DAMSON.COM

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


Working Together

Jeff Gronberg strategizes to keep momentum in 2021

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untsville native Jeff Gronberg, president/CEO of deciBel Research, follows Byrnes as chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors for 2021. The coming year should see ribbon cuttings and promised job growth come to fruition, he said. “We have a lot of things to hopefully celebrate in ’21. As we come out of COVID, we can start doing a lot of those things in person,” Gronberg said. Community leaders, businesses and the Chamber staff have done a great job adapting to COVID, he said. “We just need to keep the momentum going. The primary goal is to get on the other side of this and get to whatever normalcy is. Trying to come out of COVID better than we went into it would be my goal,” he said. One challenge for local business leaders will be navigating a different political landscape. “We have a change in (presidential) administration. We have a change in control of the Senate. We have to make sure that we’re telling the Huntsville story,” said Gronberg. “When it really comes down to it, federal spending is still the lion’s share of our economy. “We haven’t slowed down in our need and our efforts to attract workforce. We still have to attract, retain, train, and educate our workforce,” he said.

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

He emphasized that one new Chamber focus is invigorating diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. “Huntsville is an international city and has residents and visitors from all over the world. We must be a welcoming and inclusive community to realize our planned growth.” The 2021 Board of Directors (see pages 16-17) is comprised of local business leaders. Their insights will be relied upon as the Chamber navigates the various challenges that face us in the new year. “I’m so impressed with the caliber of the board and look forward to leveraging their skills and business perspectives from across so many industries such as healthcare, defense, finance, law, retail, and hospitality to name just a few,” said Gronberg. “These various points of view will inform our decision-making process and lead to better outcomes.” Leaders of other communities always want to know Huntsville’s strategy for success, Gronberg said. “The only secret sauce that we have is that we actually work together instead of against each other from a regional standpoint to make sure we’re attracting the things here we need to,” said Gronberg. “I look forward to continuing that regional cooperation. I’m so honored to be a native of Madison County and to have the ability to contribute to our future success. I’m looking forward to a great 2021 and beyond.” – Deborah Storey, contributor

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economic development highlights COMPILED BY CLAIRE AIELLO

Air Force selects Redstone Arsenal for U.S. Space Command HQ We learned great news on January 13, when the U.S. Air Force announced it has selected Huntsville as the preferred location to host U.S. Space Command Headquarters. The Air Force conducted virtual and on-site visits with six candidate locations to determine which would be best suited for the Headquarters, based on factors related to mission, regional capacity, community support, and costs to the Department of Defense. We now look ahead to confirmation of the selection, pending the results of the required environmental impact analysis. The Redstone Regional Alliance was designated by Mayor Tommy Battle and Governor Kay Ivey to respond to the Space Command HQ site selection process. We are confident the Air Force has made the correct decision. The Redstone site offers the Department of Defense the lowest cost option with superior regional capabilities, capacity, and quality of life. We look forward to working with Space Command to make this transition as seamless as possible. Our region has successfully executed similar moves on several previous occasions following BRAC 1995 and 2005, and that experience will greatly inform our efforts. We greatly appreciate the support that U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, U.S. Senator Doug Jones, Governor Ivey, Mayor Battle, and their staffs have provided, as well as the efforts of the regional team members who have provided their critical support.

Space Command and Space Force: There’s a Difference The Space Force is the sixth and newest branch of the U.S. military. It is just like the other military service branches – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. The same way that the Marines are a part of the Navy, the Space Force is a component of the Air Force. The military services are responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the service members. The Space Force will be headquartered at the Pentagon, just as all the services are headquartered at the Pentagon. U.S. Space Command is one of 11 Combatant Commands, or COCOMS, which are the military entities that protect our interests, execute our engagements, and conduct strategic deterrence in various regions (or theaters) around the globe or in domains. They are not tied to a specific service – the leadership of these COCOMS rotates among the various services. COCOMS use all of the capabilities of the services to execute their mission. Seven COCOMS are tied to regions (like Africa Command, which protects and defends U.S. interests in African nations.) Space Command is one of these regional/geographic commands, and will be responsible for defending our interests in space. Four are “functional” COCOMs, like Cyber Command, which is responsible for the cyber domain.

Lockheed Martin announces plans to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne Lockheed Martin Corporation announced December 20 it will acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. for $4.4 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021. Both companies have a large presence in Huntsville. It’s not clear yet what impact, if any, the acquisition will have here. “Acquiring Aerojet Rocketdyne will preserve and strengthen an essential component of the domestic defense industrial base and reduce costs for our customers and the American taxpayer,” said James Taiclet, Lockheed Martin president and CEO. “This transaction enhances Lockheed Mar12

initiatives feb 2021

tin’s support of critical U.S. and allied security missions and retains national leadership in space and hypersonic technology. We look forward to welcoming their talented team and expanding Lockheed Martin’s position as the leading provider of 21st century warfare solutions.” With 2019 revenue of approximately $2 billion, nearly 5,000 employees, and 15 primary operations sites across the U.S., Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense rocket engine manufacturer. Aerojet Rocketdyne has deep customer relationships and significant demand for its innovative technologies. The proposed acquisition adds substantial expertise in propulsion to Lockheed Martin’s portfolio and expands on the solid foundation built by Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne over many years. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s propulsion systems are already a key component of Lockheed Martin’s supply chain and several advanced systems across its Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control, and Space business areas.

SAIC donates $100,000 to UAH’s College of Business Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) gifted $100,000 to The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Business on January 8. It is part of a continuing effort to support various programs that benefit students and help them prepare for careers in our local companies. “We are incredibly grateful to SAIC for their continued generosity and the opportunities their gift creates for our business students,” says Dr. Jason Greene, Dean of the UAH College of Business. “This donation provides critical resources that enable us to feature SAP in our curriculum so that our students gain hands-on experience with relevant business tools as they earn their degrees. SAIC continues to be a key partner with the UAH College of Business, and we appreciate their important role in helping us launch the careers of our students to meet the workforce needs of corporations and federal agencies, such as NASA and the Army.”

This continuing support has proved vital to the growth, versatility, and quality of the UAH COB curriculum. Significant progress has been made to design, develop, and provide new courses and programs that include SAP, the most popular and comprehensive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software in industry. SAP has been integrated into 12 different course curricula in support of the College’s SAP and IS programs. In 2020 alone, approximately 600 students registered in various courses that include SAP instruction. The funding helps bring world-leading SAP Enterprise Resource Planning to the University’s business majors and ensures that the College’s curriculum stays current with industry standards. SAIC, a technology integrator with over 25,000 employees, is a longtime supporter of the College’s SAP program. In 2006, after receiving a grant from SAP University Alliances to access the software, UAH reached out to SAIC for additional assistance to train faculty to develop and teach courses with SAP content. SAIC immediately recognized the benefit of partnering with UAH to help grow a local workforce of trained SAP professionals. SAIC supports both NASA and Army missions at nearby Redstone Arsenal. A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


North Alabama Homebuilding Academy & Drake State announce construction certification program The North Alabama Homebuilding Academy (NAHA) announced January 21 that it will partner with Drake State Community & Technical College to provide students with the opportunity to advance their skills and earn college credit for their experience and training. NAHA recently marked its one-year anniversary, and to date, nearly 100 graduates have completed the eight-week training course. Through the new partnership with Drake State, those students and future students who complete the initial course can apply to the college and receive college credit for the material they previously learned in the NAHA course. For students who do not meet admission requirements at Drake State, the college’s Adult Education Services will provide free additional training to help them gain admission. “We are extremely excited about this partnership,” said Barry Oxley, executive officer of the Huntsville/Madison County Homebuilders Association. “Our primary goal since the beginning has always been workforce development. This partnership will help us further that goal and better train the next generation of tomorrow’s skilled workers.” “This partnership gives students the chance to build on technical training and propel themselves forward in their chosen careers by converting work training and experience to college credits,” said Dr. Patricia Sims, president of Drake State. “We see it as a way to help develop the workforce in our community and provide more career pathways for students.” For students to be eligible to attend NAHA classes, they must be 18 years old, submit and pass a drug screening, and be legally authorized to work in the U.S. If you are interested in becoming a student, call 256-536-2602 or visit gobuildyourfuture.com.

Ignite celebrates 20-year anniversary serving aerospace and defense service industry Ignite, a local aero-defense service firm, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Ignite, formed in 2001, is a CMMI Services Level III and an ISO 9001:2015 certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business headquartered in Huntsville. The 49% Employee-Owned company has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 fastest growing aero-defense service firms. Ignite provides professional services to customers in the federal, state, and commercial industries. “Ignite is proud to celebrate 20 years of service built on a tradition of exemplary performance for our customers,” said Clayton Hinchman, chairman and CEO. “Our success is only derived from the success of our customers as every Igniter aims to solve impossible problems. We are honored to call Huntsville and North Alabama our home and look forward to another 20 years!” “Our future growth is grounded in our team’s superior past performance, unique technical abilities and sound financial management,” said Trent Poff, vice chairman and CFO. “As our team grows organically, Ignite is also pursuing strategic acquisitions and new business opportunities to expand our brand’s value.” A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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NASA Update

Looking back on 2020 and to the year ahead

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eading into 2021, it’s time to reflect on the year that just passed and take a look at what lies ahead in the year to come. In many ways, 2020 was historic for NASA, with steady progress on several fronts. Work on assembling the core stage of the Space Launch System was completed and the rocket completed seven of eight “Green Run” tests of the new system. Likewise, significant Artemis II and III mission hardware (tanks, skirt, LVSA, Intertank, boosters, and ICPS) were completed. NASA also named astronauts to the Artemis Team, and identified science priorities and activities for the Artemis III mission to land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface in 2024. The U.S. launched humans to the International Space Station from American soil for the first time since 2011 under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Roughly 100 engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville support the Commercial Crew Program. Thanks to Senator Richard Shelby’s leadership on the Appropriations Committee, NASA received $23.271 billion in the FY 2021 appropriation bill, an increase of $582 million over FY 2020. Although there is broad bipartisan support for returning humans to the Moon, the Trump Administration’s 2024 lunar landing deadline garnered little support in Congress. Consequently, hardest hit was the Human Landing System (HLS) account, which received only one quarter of the request – $850 million instead of the $3.4 billion requested. Still, that is more than HLS received in FY 2020 ($600 million) underscoring that the problem is the schedule, not the goal. Earth and space sci-

ence programs fared well as did the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft. MSFC continued important work on two critical technologies – cryogenic fluid management and thermonuclear propulsion. Mike Kynard is leading local efforts to develop the nuclear propulsion systems that could shave critical time off of transit times between the Earth and other planets in our solar system. MSFC is the tech lead on the cryofluid management effort that would make servicing satellites and other space craft in orbit possible. Funding for both the On-orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing (OSAM) 1 mission and thermal nuclear propulsion was provided above the agency’s request. The greatest unknown as we enter 2021 is what impact a Biden Administration might have on NASA and its plans. Fortunately, space exploration has been a bipartisan pursuit since NASA was first created. The Biden campaign didn’t telegraph much concerning its space policy interests prior to the election, but the consensus among the space policy industry analysts was that President Biden would likely stay the course on the big programs like SLS, Orion, and the Artemis missions. All of that is good news for Huntsville and the MSFC. Boeing is expected to launch its Starliner crew vehicle by the end of the first quarter of 2021 and SpaceX is expected to launch its second crewed mission at about the same time. The prospects for 2021 being a good year in space exploration are looking bright indeed. – Mike Ward, cce

IMAGE CREDIT: NASA/ROBERT MARKOWITZ

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a scheduled 8-minute duration hot fire test, Jan. 16, 2021, at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for a little more than one minute and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. The hot fire is the final test of the Green Run test series, a comprehensive assessment of the Space Launch System’s core stage prior to launching the Artemis I mission to the Moon.

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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2021 executive committee HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER

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Jeff Gronberg

Greg Brown

Kevin Byrnes

Ron Poteat

Jeff Samz

President/CEO, deciBel Research, Inc.

CFO/Co-CEO, Brown Precision, Inc.

VP, Strategic Consulting Services, Navigator International, LLC

Head of Customer Experience, Regions Bank

BOARD CHAIR

CHAIR-ELECT

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR

CHAMBER FOUNDATION PRESIDENT

Executive VP & COO, Business Development, Huntsville Hospital

SECRETARY/TREASURER

initiatives feb 2021

Dr. Karockas Watkins

Lynn Troy

Craig Naudain

Sameer Singhal

McKinley James

CEO/President/Executive Director, Ability Plus, Inc.

CEO, Troy 7, Inc.

President & CEO, CFD Research Corporation

Plant Director, Polaris Industries, Inc.

VICE CHAIR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

VICE CHAIR Economic Development & Workforce

VP / Operations Manager, SAIC

VICE CHAIR Government & Public Affairs

VICE CHAIR HREGI

VICE CHAIR Marketing & Communications

Jim Rogers

Jami Peyton

Joe Ritch

April Mason

Alicia Ryan

VP, Army Programs Integration, Lockheed Martin Corporation

CEO, Canvas, Inc.

Shareholder, Sirote & Permutt, PC

CEO, LSINC Corporation

VICE CHAIR Membership

VICE CHAIR Small Business & Events

VICE CHAIR Tennessee Valley BRAC

GM Administration, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama

CHAIR-APPOINTED

CHAIR-APPOINTED

Frank Williams

Tommy Battle

Paul Finley

Dale Strong

Chip Cherry, CCE

Owner-Operator, Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep

Mayor, City of Huntsville

Mayor, City of Madison

Chairman, Madison County Commission

CHAIR-APPOINTED

EX-OFFICIO MEMBER

EX-OFFICIO MEMBER

EX-OFFICIO MEMBER

President & CEO, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


2021 board of directors HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER

Blake Bentley

David Bier

Penny Billings

Thomas Busby

Katie Comer

Tom Conard

SportsMED Orthopaedic Surgery & Spine Center

Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, P.C.

BancorpSouth - Huntsville

CenterState Bank

Facebook Data Center

The Boeing Conpany

Brett Crain

Melissa Davis

Mike Dewitz

John Eagan

Kevin Fernandez

Owen Franklin

Joni Green

Huntsville Tractor & Equipment Inc.

MTA, Inc.

PARSONS

BB&T, now Truist

Fernandez Financial Group

Franklin Creative Solutions

Five Stones Research Corporation

Ginger Harper

Josh Herren

Lee Holland

Tharon Honeycutt

Amanda Howard

IBERIABANK

Yulista

Freedom Real Estate and Capital, LLC

MSB Analytics, Inc.

Amanda Howard | Sotheby’s International Realty

Laura HuckabeeJennings

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

Transcend, The Fearless Co.

Lauren Johannesmeyer

Michelle Jordan

Sean Kelly

Clint Kirkland

Todd May

TARCOG

Regions Bank

Progress Bank

KBR

Tyce Hudson

Hank Isenberg

Turner Construction Company

IronMountain Solutions

Lincoln Hudson

Google Fiber, Huntsville

Bob McCaleb

Kevin McCombs

Alana Parker

Zack Penney

Chris Russell

Beth Sippel

Wayne Sisco

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.

Rocket City Drywall & Supply, Inc.

Bill Penney Toyota/Mitsubishi

Cadence Bank

Synovus

Redstone Federal Credit Union

Tom Stanton

Sandra Stephens

Dr. Mitch Stevison

Nilmini Thompson

Mark Vaporis

Mike Watkins

John Watson

ADTRAN, Inc.

Keel Point, LLC

Raytheon Technologies

Systems Products and Solutions, Inc.

Intrepid

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

Torch Technologies

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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Raise Your Hand

Local campaign seeks to increase number of National Board Certified Teachers

T

here are many things Huntsville is known for – for putting man on the moon, for being a city of high achievers. Some might use the term “competitive,” always punching above our weight class. Above all else, though, it’s safe to say that Huntsville is known for making the seemingly impossible… possible. And that’s exactly what the Raise Your Hand initiative aims to do. Raise Your Hand is a local campaign, backed by the Huntsville Committee of 100 and The Schools Foundation, to add 500 new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) to Huntsville City, Madison City, and Madison County schools over the next five years. And while this is clearly an admirable mission for the local education system, truthfully the scope is much wider than that – this is a business opportunity, a chance to position our community as a leader in public education; the crucial first building block to longer-term economic success and workforce development.

So, as a business owner, as a member of the local workforce, or simply someone part of the Huntsville/Madison County community – why invest in Raise Your Hand? It’s good for business. Huntsville is a STEM city and our collective love language is data. Looking at the numbers for NBCT, they speak for themselves. Research shows that for every $1 invested in NBCTs, the community saves $31 on remedial education that isn’t needed when students meet learning standards. NBCTs also increase the present value of student lifetime income by $48,000, making it more likely for those students to develop into working professionals who invest back in our community. NBCTs themselves earn an annual pay supplement of $5,000 per year, not to mention the fact that

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NBCTs who teach in certain subject areas and in one of Alabama’s 351 eligible schools can earn up to an additional $5,000 each year. This stipend increases teacher retention and injects up to $3.5 million into our local economy. “The data is clear surrounding NBCTs’ return on investment and achievement gains in the classroom,” said John Allen, CEO of the Committee of 100. “We are unique and different in Huntsville/Madison County and the work we do sets us apart in many different aspects of industry, education and leadership. Let’s continue to be different.” It’s not just a numbers game, though. Investing in NBCTs is good PR, and in effect, essential for workforce recruitment. Huntsville has gained a reputation worldwide as a hub for innovation, a crossroads community where a flourishing job market meets affordable living and a high quality of life. Recognized as one the top 15 places to live in the country by U.S. News & World Report, a top city for STEM jobs by Forbes, and countless other accolades, everyone from college graduates to seasoned professionals is looking to Huntsville as the “it” city for their next job opportunity. By the City of Huntsville’s own census projections, we’re set to be Alabama’s largest city by 2025. In order to adequately support that growth and continue attracting working families, investing in NBCTs and high-quality education isn’t just an option – it’s fundamental. Investing in education is in our city’s DNA. It was Dr. Wernher von Braun himself, the “Father of the American Space Program,” who served as the catalyst for the University of Alabama in Huntsville to expand into the epicenter of research and engineering that it is today. A visionary before his time, von Braun understood clearly the value of prioritizing education and its role in creating both a highly skilled workforce and a thriving community in the Rocket City. “Public education is at the heart and soul of the strength of our community and investing in education is pivotal to our continued success,” added Allen. “Our students of today are the future workforce and leaders of tomorrow and participating in the success of all students is a focus the business community has always supported.” In all that we do, Huntsville seeks to do it best. If we as a business community support the Raise Your Hand goal of adding 500 new NBCTs to our local schools, we will have successfully claimed the mantle of the highest concentration of NBCTs among peer cities nationwide. And for a community that carries the slogan of being “a smart city,” it might be the Rocket City’s own Dr. Kisha Tolbert Simmons, NBCT, who said it best: “NBCT should be the norm – not the exception.” – Kristen Pepper, contributor A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


COURTESY OF TOYOTA (TMMAL)

Huntsville, Alabama:

ASmartPlace Before, During, and After the Pandemic With a history of leading space exploration and cutting edge research, Huntsville/Madison County continues to be A Smart Place to live, work, play, and raise a family.

Lucia Cape, cce Katelyn Sides Baker Lydia Pennington

In March 2020, the Huntsville Metro economy was booming. After several years of new jobs and investment, the unemployment rate was at 2.5 percent for a labor force of 229,035, meaning fewer than 6,000 people who wanted to work were unemployed. Enter COVID. By April 2020, that number more than quadrupled to 23,531, putting our unemployment rate above 10 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7 percent, the highest on record dating back to 1948. The Huntsville Metro was well positioned to weather the pandemic and is projected to recover more quickly than other communities across the country. As of this writing, the local unemployment rate was back down to 3.1 percent, representing 7,150 people in the labor force without jobs, and our labor force had increased by more than 100 people.* While our hard-hit sectors of leisure/hospitality and education/ health services are still struggling, Moody’s Analytics reports that several local industries have exceeded pre-pandemic employment numbers. Construction, retail, transportation, and professional/business services all reported higher numbers in November 2020 than in March 2020. According to Business Insider, 41.5 percent of workers in Huntsville were able to work from home during the pandemic, a higher percentage than most metros. Safety protocols allowed our manufacturers who could not implement remote work to keep most of their production employees on the job. And more than 1,000 new jobs were added to the Huntsville Metro economy in 2020. Our outlook for the future is strong as well. Business Insider ranked Huntsville #13 in the nation and #1 in the Southeast for places to live post-pandemic. CompTIA ranked us #9 among resilient tech towns in the United States. And Moody’s projects that our GDP will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 and employment will return in 2022, a year ahead of the national projections for both measures. Even during a pandemic, the Huntsville Metro is ASmartPlaceŽ to live, work, and play. If you or someone you know is unemployed but willing to work, check out the job opportunities at asmartplace.com.

*

Based on November preliminary data.


ASmartPlace Update

Addressing Childcare Challenges

Things are taking off for ASmartPlace this year, and we have already scheduled several virtual ASmartPlace on the Road recruiting events over the next few months. We will be hosting a virtual recruiting event with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families on February 24th. If you want to hire veterans or their spouses, this would be a perfect opportunity for you. We are also hosting a virtual recruiting event with our local colleges and universities on February 23. We will be partnering with Oakwood University, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Calhoun Community College, Drake State Community and Technical College, Athens State University, and Alabama A&M University. These events are free to Chamber member companies and free to job seekers. These are great ways to promote your company and fill your jobs with college students and veterans. Make sure you follow @ASmartPlace on our social media pages to stay up to date on all of our virtual recruiting events. We are also starting a new video series called ASmartMove to ASmartPlace. In this video series, we will speak with people who relocated to Huntsville for an exciting career opportunity. We will be asking them about the overall transition process, what surprised them about the Huntsville region, what is one of their favorite things about our community, what is their favorite thing to do, and much more. If there is someone at your company who would be a great fit, please reach out to Katelyn Sides Baker at kbaker@hsvchamber.org.

In the fall of 2019, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber and our regional economic development partners hired Deloitte to conduct a Labor Market Analysis for the North Alabama Region. The conclusion, after nearly 100 interviews with employers, was that the region would need to fill 25,000 jobs by 2023. COVID did not slow our economy significantly, so we are still working toward that workforce recruitment and development goal. One of the recommendations raised in the study was to eliminate obstacles to employment, such as access to affordable childcare, particularly for parents working non-traditional hours. Just weeks after the Deloitte study was released, the Chamber partnered with the Alabama Partnership for Children to host a Childcare Summit. More than 100 people representing employers, childcare providers, and community organizations participated. We reviewed the lack of access in our region – almost 50 percent more demand than supply – and the potentially negative impact our growing economy could have on that access. Following the Summit, the Chamber organized a Childcare Taskforce to identify best practices and recommend solutions for the Huntsville Metro. Our work was redirected in March when COVID caused most childcare centers to close or reduce their capacity for safety reasons. We shifted to supporting parents with remote learning supervision for their school-age children when schools opened virtually. We also participated in a Shark Tank process to share our concept of Smart Space, a childcare and workforce training center that would increase local capacity by 300 spots. In January, the Chamber hired a contractor to lead the final activities of the taskforce. Scheduled for completion in April, the result will provide information and resources to help employers implement policies and programs that support their workers with young children while enabling parents to find quality, affordable childcare. Look for the final report in May. For more information, please contact Lucia Cape at lcape@hsvchamber.org.

continued on page 22

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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Automotive Hiring The North Alabama automotive industry is booming! Longtime employer Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama is hiring Skilled Maintenance Team Members as it expands its production facility off Pulaski Pike in north Huntsville. Visit toyota.com/careers to apply. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) has launched a massive hiring effort as it constructs its $2.3 billion facility in Huntsville/Limestone County. Overall, the production plant is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs and will have the capacity to assemble up to 300,000 vehicles a year. It is moving closer to coming online later this year, and we asked MTM for specific details to share with people who are interested. Please share this with a job seeker you know!

What does your hiring plan look like? ■ Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) will hire up to 4,000 employees. ■ Production Team Members represent approximately 75% of the MTM team and are a vital component to our success. ■ Hiring for our production team members will happen in a phased approach as part of our commitment to thoroughly review every application received. ■ Phases will consist of a period of time during which: • Applications may be submitted • Interviews and assessments take place • Job offers are extended • Training and onboarding for new employees ■ Hiring will continue to pause and resume in phases, based on volume and requirements, from now through 2022. ■ Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early and check MazdaToyota.com often for opportunities to join our team.

What type of candidates are you looking for? ■ Skills specifically for Mazda Toyota Manufacturing Production Team Member positions include applied learning, positive attitude, quality focus, problem solving, safety, teamwork, work ethic/tempo, attention to detail. ■ We can teach you many of the skills you need to be successful at MTM, so attitude and willingness is critical. ■ MTM is committed to hiring a diverse workforce that represents our hometown community including women, people of color and veterans.

What qualifications do you require? The job demands different skill sets such as use of various hand tools, welding, painting, material handling, machine operations, and quality inspections. ■ Physically demanding manufacturing duties will be required: • Repetitive motion • Moderate lifting • Use of machinery • Prolonged standing ■ Requirements: • 18+ years of age at time of application • Positive attitude and good communication skills • Able to perform essential job functions of varying manufacturing positions • Willing to work daily and weekly overtime • Able to work rotating shifts defined as working a day shift then an evening/night shift set on a rotating schedule

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A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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What can applicants expect from the process? The hiring process can take three months or more for Production Team Member candidates and consists of: 1. Online application 2. Onsite Interview: The interview process is fairly traditional. Candidates have the opportunity to discuss their experience and interest in joining the company with a member of the MTM team and it gives us an opportunity to share more about our company. Hands-on “day of work” assessment: • The day of work assessment is a hands-on assessment that allows our team to evaluate the skills and capabilities of candidates who have applied. It also provides candidates with exposure to the kind of work that can be expected as a Production Team Member at MTM. • The total time for the interview and day of work assessment is approximately 6 hours. 3. Drug screen, background check and physical.

Who are the MTM suppliers and what do they do? DNUS – Plastic Injection, Paint, Assembly YKTA – Stamping, Weld Assembly, E-Coat Sanoh – Tube Bending, Assembly Vuteq – Plastic injection, assembly, logistics Magnolia – Tire and wheel assembly Green Metals – Scrap recycling and waste removal Madison Metals – Blanking, steel coils handling Nippon Express – Automotive Logistics Penstone (Ishizaki Honten) – Glass assembly TBAKI – Seat frame welding/assembly SAIA – Seat assembly and shipment Toyota Boshoku Mississippi – Door lining and shipment Carter Logistics – Internal logistics Aldez - Warehouse

■ Interested candidates are encouraged to apply at our website, MazdaToyota.com ■ A series of virtual meetings for members of our community interested in learning more about production team member opportunities at MTM will be offered in partnership with the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. ■ MTM will hire for a range of positions to support our team. If production team member or any of the other available positions currently listed on our website are not a fit for your career interest at this time, you may sign up for our talent community to be the first to know when additional career opportunities are available by email at kellyrpo.avature.net/JoinMTMUS.

What compensation and benefits do you offer? ■ Culture of Mendomi – “treating our people like family” ■ There are many positive aspects of Manufacturing Careers at MTM: • High demand, growing industry, high-tech and forward-thinking industry • Opportunities for career growth, development, and advancement • Excellent benefits package that starts on day one • Training opportunities ■ MTM Production Team Member positions are permanent, direct hire positions on our team • Starting wage for production team members is $17/hour with a top grow in wage of $23/hour plus shift premium. • MTM Production Team Members are provided benefits on their first day of employment including paid time off, vehicle buy/lease program, and medical/dental/vision. • Eligibility to participate in MTM’s 401K with 6% employer match begins just 60 days after employment providing a pathway toward retirement savings.

CREDIT: MARTY SELLERS / SELLERSPHOTO.COM

You can visit the suppliers’ individual websites to apply for jobs at each of these companies. We’ve posted more information on hsvchamber.org.

How can candidates engage further with you?

Aerial view of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing Plant in Greenbrier – January 17, 2021.

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A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


POPULATION

Madison County

City of Huntsville

City of Madison

Huntsville Metro Area

community profile

2010 Census

334,811

180,105

42,938

417,593

HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER

2019 Census est.

372,909

200,574

51,593

471,824

11.4%

11.4%

20.2%

13.0%

% Growth HOUSEHOLDS & INCOME # of Households

155,878

88,930

18,591

187,898

Avg. Household Income

$88,904

$76,947

$115,813

$87,996

Per Capita Income

$37,221

$34,274

$45,299

$35,357

As of January 2021

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov), 2019 American Community Survey Estimates

Top 10 Employers: Huntsville & Madison County Redstone Arsenal* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38,000* Huntsville Hospital System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,352 NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,500 Huntsville City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000 The Boeing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,900 Dynetics, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,900 SAIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,746 Madison County Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,389 City of Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,206 ADTRAN, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,925 Source: Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

*includes on-site contractors

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 44,000 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 For more information, visit:

hsvchamber.org

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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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TO OUR

2020 ChamberON Volunteers!

Katie Bosarge

Lynn Troy Troy 7, Inc.

2020 VICE CHAIR Membership

Abby Lee Harmon

Davidson

Lisa Abbott

Alabama Media Group

ChamberON volunteer

Cadence Bank

Camille Gardner

ChamberON volunteer

BlueHalo

ChamberON volunteer

Clint Kirkland Progress Bank

ChamberON volunteer

ChamberON volunteer

Michelle Omenski Leslie McGill Synovus

Joe Knoch

Keller Williams Realty

Patti Walker

ChamberON volunteer

ChamberON volunteer

First National Bank

Chris Russell

Air Essentials, Inc.

Cadence Bank

ChamberON volunteer

ChamberON volunteer

2021 campaign: march 12–june 30

ChamberON volunteer

David Whitaker RiVidium, Inc.

ChamberON volunteer

fortifying the future

bit.ly/ChamberONhsv Kristy Drake Director, HREGI & ChamberON Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

256-535-2036 • kdrake@hsvchamber.org

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A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


WHERE THE FUTURE WORKS

redstonegateway.com


Growing Exponentially

Sentar: 2020 Government Contracting – Professional Services Business of the Year

O

ur Small Business Awards were held virtually last October, and local company Sentar, Inc. won the Government Contracting – Professional Services Business of the Year Award jointly with Cepeda Systems & Software Analysis. To qualify as a contender, the business must provide 75 percent or more of professional services that require professional licenses/certifications to federal contracts or other government agencies. Sentar was established in 1990, and won the award during its 30th year in business. “Being recognized among your peers is always a tremendous honor, especially when you consider all of the high-performing small businesses in Huntsville,” said Darren Kraabel, Sentar’s president. “This award was earned by our amazing team members who contribute daily to protecting our national security and our way of life. As a company, we are incredibly proud of that work and our support to the Huntsville community.” Sentar has become one of the fastest-growing cyber intelligence companies serving the National Security sector. In 2009, Sentar expanded its view, leveraging its reputation for innovation as a differentiator among intense competition. “We have a long history of innovation,” said Kraabel. “Our initial focus was on applied technology solutions to help our National Security clients solve challenges in command and control, software development, knowledge management, and cybersecurity.” The company has grown more than 1,500 percent and built a team

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of more than 250 cybersecurity, analytics, intelligence, and systems engineering experts. Kraabel said it’s a point of pride for Sentar that this growth was achieved organically, without acquisitions. “Our greatest achievement has been maintaining our values and who we are despite our most recent growth,” said Kraabel. “Companies our size sometimes lose sight of their original goal as they continue to grow and their priorities shift, but the driving force of Sentar has not changed since our founding. Our team strives to offer consistent results to every customer and, in the process, truly exemplifies Sentar’s values in their actions.” Sentar focuses on the full cyber domain, not just cybersecurity. It works with several government and commercial clients, including Missile Defense Agency, United States Army, the Defense Health Agency, and others. “We help clients take advantage of the power of digital technologies deployed in cyberspace while minimizing the risks and vulnerabilities inherent in today’s connected systems,” said Kraabel. “Our solutions are focused on helping you protect your data and critical infrastructure; understand your cyber risks; identify and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities; find bad actors already within or those seeking to penetrate your ecosystem; develop and deploy secure, integrated systems that automate operations and improve mission effectiveness; and enhance resiliency to a cyber attack.” Sentar has remained resilient through the pandemic, with a significant portion of its staff already teleworking and being considered mission essential by clients. “Our greatest challenge continues to be finding the cyber domain talent we need to support our growth, here in Huntsville and across the nation. We are continually looking for cybersecurity experts, software developers, data analysts, systems engineers, and intelligence professionals to take on new, exciting challenges supporting our national security,” Kraabel added. We congratulate Sentar, Inc. on winning the Government Contracting – Professional Services Business of the Year Award in 2020, and we congratulate all of our recent Small Business Award winners. Look for more profiles in upcoming issues. – Claire Aiello A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


Staying On Their Toes

Huntsville Ballet named 2020 Nonprofit of the Year untsville Ballet won Nonprofit of the Year in the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber’s 2020 Small Business Awards. If you have seen any of the Ballet’s performances over the years, you know this is an organization that brings a high level of culture and art to north Alabama, in addition to the many ways it inspires future dancers through community outreach. Huntsville Ballet is one of our community’s oldest arts organizations, dating back to 1964. Each year, it delights audiences with the family favorite, The Nutcracker, accompanied by Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, as well as romantic classics like Romeo and Juliet, The Firebird, and Cinderella, the cutting-edge choreography featured in the Unplugged series, and most recently, the HBC Off-Stage series. It was recently recognized as “The Premier Dance Company” by the City of Huntsville and has earned a reputation throughout the state and country as an upand-coming professional ballet company and school that is respected nationwide. In addition, Huntsville Ballet also participates in a variety of outreach work, using dance to teach academic subjects in partnership with local schools and underserved community organizations. The annual Military Night performance of The Nutcracker is performed with a live orchestra, and 1,800 military personnel and their families are invited to this free presentation, which includes a reception for Gold Star military families. Like many organizations that rely on events and ticket revenue though, the last year has been very tough on the organization financially. “The coronavirus pandemic forced us to cancel all of our performances,” said Phillip Otto, artistic director. “Keeping our professional dancers and safely reopening the school were the biggest challenges. Many of our dancers teach in the Huntsville Ballet School, but with A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

classes canceled during the lockdown, they had to take extra hours at their second jobs to survive financially.” Under the careful guidance of School Director Rachel Butler, classes were slowly brought back first via Zoom, then in person with limited class sizes and mask and distance policies in place. From October through December, Huntsville Ballet introduced a “Private Performances” series in its largest studio. “This intimate setting gave small audiences an up-close view of the strength, precision, and grace every single movement demands of our dancers. These ‘Private Performances’ were extremely well received and supported by the citizens of Huntsville – so much so that we were asked to continue them in the future,” said Otto. Huntsville Ballet is looking ahead to the next 10 years. Otto says the team has several goals, but would like to expand and relocate the school from its current location on Regal Drive to the downtown Huntsville area, and work towards building new studios with a performance space built in. Otto offers this advice for other small businesses, especially nonprofits. “Be committed to your mission, have a strong support team, and don’t be afraid to try new things,” he said. “We were surprised by and grateful for the overwhelming support for our Private Performances, something we have never done before. As a nonprofit organization, we depend on support from our community to help us keep the doors open. We believe our supporters know that we are 100% committed to our mission: To inspire a love of dance in children and adults throughout the Tennessee Valley region through school classes, Huntsville Ballet Company performances and educational programs for all ages and to present world-class professional dance performances to the Tennessee Valley. As a nonprofit performing arts organization, Huntsville Ballet directly reflects the creative and enterprising spirit of the growing city of Huntsville.” CREDIT: JIM KENDALL PHOTOGRAPHY & HUNTSVILLE BALLET

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– Claire Aiello feb 2021 initiatives

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2021 board of directors HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER FOUNDATION

Ron Poteat Head of Customer Experience, Regions Bank

Gary Bolton

Tony Dillon

Graham Foster

Michelle Jordan

President & CEO, Fiber Broadband Association

Project General Manager, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing

Director, Strategic Development, Davidson

Executive Director, TARCOG

PRESIDENT

Dani Latham

Elise Taylor

Joe Taylor

Tina Watts

Human Resources, Turner Construction Company

Director, Corporate University, Huntsville Hospital

Operations Manager, PPG

Community Investor, The Boeing Company

Kevin Byrnes

Jennifer Carden

Elizabeth Fleming

Chip Cherry, cce

VP, Strategic Consulting Services, Navigator International, LLC

Public Outreach Lead, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

Executive Director, The Schools Foundation

Presient & CEO, Huntsville/ Madison County Chamber

EX-OFFICIO

EX-OFFICIO

EX-OFFICIO

SECRETARY

L bit.ly/IndustryInsights-videos

ike most things in 2020, the Chamber Foundation’s Industry Insights program had to make some modifications for COVID-19. Instead of offering educators a day-long field-trip experience with our leading industries, we created a virtual experience that can be accessed at any time. These videos include an industry introduction, an overview of the Huntsville/Madison County economy, and conversations with employers and training providers about high-growth, high-demand careers. The segments can be viewed independently or played in sequence for a more immersive effect. Thanks to our sponsor, Turner Construction Company, for making these possible.

sponsored by

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING

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BIOTECH & HEALTHCARE

CONSTRUCTION

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


INVESTOR PROFILE

Brett Crain, President Huntsville Tractor & Equipment

Tell us about your business... Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. was started by my father in 1972. We began in a small Quonset hut on Clinton Avenue. As the business grew, we moved to our current location on Research Park Boulevard. My two brothers and I have now owned the business since 2013. We have 30 employees, many of which have been with us for over 18 years. We focus on a few markets including construction, sun down farmer which includes many professionals, and homeowners.

Many companies had challenges in 2020, for different reasons. Did your company face any issues, or, opportunities you didn’t expect? 2020 caused much anxiety for us all. At the time COVID became apparent, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to stay open. Fortunately, we remained open and were able to service all of our customers, especially in the construction and homebuilding business. It has been a very unusual year considering all the negative news we heard every day. But it seems the positive outcome our business had this year outweighed the negative.

What has our community’s growth meant for you? We are very fortunate to live and have a business in Huntsville/ Madison County. Our growth has run parallel with the growth that we have experienced in this area. The growth that we have experienced in the last 15 years can be directly tied to the decisions that our Huntsville and Madison County leaders have made.

We believe small businesses deserve big benefits. The challenges of managing a small business today are anything but small. That’s why at Synovus we offer a complete range of products and services specifically designed to address your unique needs. Unlike some banks, small is large in our book. Find out how we can help you. 1-888-SYNOVUS | synovus.com

What would you say to other businesses considering an investment in the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber? We were asked to become an investor in the Chamber in 2002. We did not hesitate because we felt we knew something special was happening in our community. The money we gave to the Chamber is probably one of our best investments we have ever made and will continue doing so. A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

Synovus Bank, Member FDIC.

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U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open

Public invited to watch athletes compete in Cummings Research Park

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PHOTOS: CASEY B. GIBSON, U.S. PARALYMPICS CYCLING

he Huntsville/Madison County community is excited to host the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open in Cummings Research Park this spring. This will be the first opportunity for the athletes to compete since the pandemic, as they work to qualify for the Summer Games in Tokyo. This is expected to be one of the largest domestic events of the year for the Paralympics team – approximately 150 para-athletes are expected to come to the Rocket City to compete. The events will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18, in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the nation and fourth largest in the world. Time trials will be held on Saturday, and road races will be held on Sunday. These races are open to the public, and more details will be shared on hsvchamber.org and cummingsresearchpark.com in the coming weeks, including the course, schedule, and suggested spots to watch the athletes compete. “Huntsville is honored to host a world-class event for the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open in 2021,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “We’re a City that embraces a competitive spirit in all that we do, and the Paralympics adds another dimension to a community that respects and admires high performance. We’re excited for the opportunity to experience the skill, determination, and athletic prowess of these outstanding athletes and for all those who dare to dream and excel.” The athletes will compete in three different types of road cycling events including the men’s and women’s road race, individual time trial, and handcycling team relay. Learn more about U.S. Paralympics Cycling: Teamusa.org/USParaCycling

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A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


Opposite page, counterclockwise: Oz Sanchez, Ryan Boyle, Shawn Morelli At right: Director Ian Lawless, Oksana Masters

Nationally, Toyota is proud to partner with U.S. Paralympics Cycling, and the company will also sponsor the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open in Huntsville. Additional local sponsors will be announced in the future. “We are thrilled that the City of Huntsville is hosting the 2021 U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open Presented by Toyota,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, Olympic and Paralympic marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “Huntsville means a lot to us at Toyota, so it’s great to see that the city will play such an important role by hosting this event. As a proud partner of Team USA and U.S. Paralympics Cycling, we look forward to extending Toyota hospitality to the athletes and event staff. I know our exceptional Team Members at Toyota Alabama are excited for such an important event for Team USA to take place in their city.” Cummings Research Park has been the site of several events for runners and cyclists over the years. We look forward to welcoming these world-class athletes and seeing you there in April! – Claire Aiello

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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2021 Leadership:

Women’s Business Council A

lice Lessmann is the 2021 Chair of the Women’s Business Council (WBC), a group within the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber that advocates for women-owned businesses. Lessmann is a Huntsville native and CEO of Signalink. She has an extensive background, with communications, logistics, maintenance, and medical experience. Lessmann served 21 years in the military and also earned her master’s degree in nursing, working as a Neurosurgical Nurse Practitioner for Huntsville Hospital and the Spine & Neurosurgery Center. Lessmann supported and encouraged her husband Steve to start Signalink in 2005, a dream he had always envisioned. She worked in different areas of Signalink over the next several years, remaining in the National Guard and maintaining her Nurse Practitioner license. She later stepped up her role in the company. Alice and Steve have two children, Leah and Ben, who attend Bob Jones High School. Alice serves in a number of organizations, including Leadership Greater Huntsville, the Women’s Economic Development Council, Women in Defense, and others. She was also appointed to the Madison Board of Education in November.

WBC’s Theme for 2021: Make It Happen

■ May 5 – Make It Happen: a collection of local businesswomen discussing successes and failures, and giving advice on how to move on and make it happen ■ August 19 – Wine Down with Women Who Lead ■ November – WBC Presents: A Portrait of Success “We’re looking forward to shaking things up and moving past 2020. We have a few plans in the works, of course, with everything being either virtual or small with social distancing,” said Lessmann. “We’re wanting to show that it’s not just about us, and our businesses, we want to be thinking about everyone in the community and seeing what we can all do together to move forward and what we all want to make happen this year.” – Claire Aiello

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initiatives feb 2021

CREDITS: HUNTSVILLE HOSPITAL (ERIC SCHULTZ/REDSTONE ROCKET) & CRESTWOOD MEDICAL CENTER

The WBC creates dynamic programming and networking opportunities in an effort to support women in business, and our community’s economic well-being. Lessmann said she is excited about this year’s theme, “Make It Happen.” “With all that has gone on in this past year, we decided to start this year strong with a theme that captures any and every goal we want to accomplish,” Lessmann said. “Whether it’s overcoming setbacks, continuing to grow, creating something new, or even just remaining strong in this state of flux: the WBC is here to support each other, and you, so whatever needs to be done, we’re going to make it happen.” The WBC has a number of events planned for 2021. These are currently scheduled to be virtual, but that could change:

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


Healthcare workers: your jobs are difficult and often thankless, but you make a real difference in our lives – especially in our hour of need. We are truly grateful!

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

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Get to Know Our Leads

Patti Walker

Scott Hulgan

LaKeysha Brown

Chamber Ambassador & Emissary Programs

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he Ambassador and Emissary programs play a vital role in the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. Ambassadors are volunteers who come together to network, grow through professional development, and learn more about the Chamber and the community. They are also the volunteers who come out and help celebrate member groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings; however, with the pandemic, these in-person events are on hold. Emissaries have shown a strong sense of commitment and dependability by being outstanding Chamber members and volunteers. Emissaries are invited to adopt certain members to ensure a strong connection between the member and the Chamber. We are thrilled to announce the return of our 2020 Leads who will continue to guide the group through the pandemic and back to a normal work environment. Read on and enjoy learning more about our awesome Leads! – Amber Greenwood

Lead Emissary: Patti Walker ■ Where are you from? Born and raised in Florence, Ala., and graduated from The University of North Alabama. ■ How long have you lived in Huntsville/North Alabama Region? 14 years. My in-laws offered us land next to them in Hazel Green so that we (mainly the grandbabies) could be very close. ■ Where do you work, and what is your job? I’m a community banker with First National Bank of Pulaski (Huntsville office.) ■ What do you like best about your job? That it is always changing and evolving and that I get to help people every day. Everyone I work with is dedicated to the mission of providing superior customer service. We have a family environment, while maintaining integrity and professionalism to help improve the quality of life for the citizens of our communities. ■ Why are you an Emissary? For me it is an honor and a privilege to represent and promote the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. It allows me the opportunity to get further involved in the community, as well as promote my bank to other companies I meet. It’s a great feeling to be an advocate - we have the best Chamber in the Country. ■ Alabama or Auburn? Roll Tide! I have a picture of myself with Coach Saban on my desk. ■ Favorite band? I was a major band groupie in my younger days. It’s hard to choose but still love Journey, Cheap Trick, and Fleetwood Mac. ■ How many countries have you been to? Three – favorite place is Costa Rica! ■ What do you like best about Huntsville? Moving from Florence to Huntsville was a big city move to me. It is growing constantly and an affordable place with lots of things to do. There are many job opportunities, great schools, amazing views, sports, arts, space exploration, high tech... very cool place.

Lead Emissary: Scott Hulgan ■ Where are you from? Born and raised in Guntersville, Alabama. ■ How long have you lived in Huntsville/North Alabama Region? 18 years, moved to

Huntsville with my banking career in 2003 with AmSouth Bank. ■ Where do you work and what is your job? I am a cluster branch leader for Truist Financial (formerly BB&T). I run three retail financial centers in Huntsville including retail operations and small business operations that include 14 employees, all aspects of lending to retail clients and businesses less than $2.5 million in revenue. ■ What do you like best about your job? I enjoy working with businesses in my community the most. Nothing is more satisfying than for a client to establish and meet a goal under my guidance based upon an agreed strategy. ■ Why are you an Emissary? I am an Emissary because I believe the relationship between the community and businesses is extremely important. As an Emissary, I can help connect the two using my passion and experience. ■ Alabama or Auburn? I was born and raised an Alabama fan. What is this Auburn you speak of? ■ What was your favorite vacation spot? Assuming the Pandemic did not annihilate my favorite spot, there is nothing better than the beach from Gulf Shores to Perdido Beach. ■ If you could have a superpower what would it be? Invincibility, of course ■ What is your favorite local spot? My favorite local spot is 1892 in Five Points because they have great food, drinks, and people working there. Plus, it is close to my house.

Lead Ambassador: LaKeysha Brown ■ Where are you from? I was born in San Diego, California but have lived in Huntsville longer than anywhere else. I came in 1996 to attend college and never left. I’m a Southern California Bama Girl. ■ How long have you lived in Huntsville/North Alabama Region? 24 years and have seen major growth in the city. ■ Where do you work and what is your job? I am employed at The Westin & Element Hotel as the business travel sales manager. I build relationships with a variety of companies that have a need for sleeping rooms in Huntsville, and I offer them a discount for their loyalty. ■ What do you like best about your job? The best part of my job is the relationships I am able to build with business contacts and co-workers. ■ Why are you an Ambassador? It is an honor to be a part of an elite group of Chamber volunteers called Ambassadors who are the movers and shakers of our city. This ambassadorship gives me the opportunity to grow my passion for building and growing business relationships in our ever-expanding Huntsville Community, plus it’s very motivating. ■ Alabama or Auburn? I Roll with the Tide!! ■ Beach or Mountains? It’s the beach for me. Sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, and soaking up the sun is very relaxing to me. ■ What was the last concert you attended? The last concert I went to was November 2018 with my daughter and nieces to see Queen Naija. (She is an upcoming artist & a big YouTuber) ■ If you were taking newcomers or tourists around, what would you show them? This is hard because there is so much I love about our city. We will need more than a day so I can give them the grand tour – a few would be the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Campus 805, Stovehouse, and The Camp. Also, I would show them some of our beautiful homes and neighborhoods, then brag on our cost of living.

For more information about the Ambassador and Emissary programs, contact Donna McCrary at 256-535-2027 or dmccrary@hsvchamber.org.

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A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


PHOTOS COURTESY OF CITY OF HUNTSVILLE

First-Rate Fitness

Jumpstart your health at the City's new state-of-the-art rec center

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ohnson Legacy Center is not your average rec center. The 41,695-square-foot facility of firsts, located on the campus of the former J.O. Johnson High School, is the City’s only membership-based recreation center in North Huntsville. With the first Cityrun indoor rock climbing wall and the ability to adjust courts for both volleyball and futsal, Johnson Legacy Center truly offers something for everyone. Despite opening in the middle of a global health pandemic, JLC Fitness Center Supervisor Kevin Ready said his 2021 goal is to continue to spread the word and get more citizens to commit to their fitness this year.

“I definitely look forward to more people learning about the facility and more people coming by to use it,” he said. “We’re here to serve the citizens of Huntsville, and we want them to see this great asset – this great resource – that’s available to them.” From the Jaguar Community Room that features memorabilia from Johnson High School’s storied past to the hues of blue and gold that don the facility, the Jaguar spirit is strong throughout the school gymnasium turned state-of-the-art rec center. The JLC features group exercise classes and a cardio and strength training room with machines spaced at least 6 feet apart to promote social distancing. High-touch areas are cleaned frequently, room A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION

capacity is strictly monitored, and health signage is widely accessible to promote COVID safety. Need a meeting space for your business or a personal gathering? Anyone can rent a court for just $30 per hour. Both small and extra-large rooms are also available and range from $15 to $30 an hour. Want to practice COVID-safe team-building with your staff? JLC has that, too. “Any group or organization that wants to improve communication and improve their team dynamic, our class will be the right fit for them,” Ready said. Fitness membership for the Johnson Legacy Center begins at $15 per month with options to include indoor rock climbing at just $30 per month. Information on amenities and membership options can be found on HuntsvilleAL. gov/JohnsonLegacyCenter. Compared to other fitness centers, JLC offers an incredible bargain for anyone looking to make their health a priority in the new year. “Our prices are very inexpensive,” Ready said. “They allow anyone in the community to get nice equipment and nice facilities at a very reasonable cost. That’s important because people want nice, clean, well-kept facilities with good customer service, and that’s what we do here.” Since before the very first shovel of dirt, JLC has been referred to as transformational for North Huntsville. “We are so proud to have this facility here,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “It not only honors the incredible legacy of the J.O. Johnson Jaguars, it creates a quality-of-life draw that spurs economic development in this area for many years to come.” Located on 6000 Cecil Fain Drive, the JLC’s mission is to help residents achieve, elevate, and recharge. By engaging in regular exercise and movement, Ready said JLC members can enjoy decreased anxiety, improved mood, and better long-term health. Certified staff are also eager to help members start or continue their fitness journey in a professional, non-judgmental manner at the JLC. “If they have no experience, there is no worry,” Ready said. “We offer an orientation appointment for people to get started so they’re not on their own. They’re going to get a good start here.” Want to try before you buy? No problem! We believe you’ll love the JLC so much, your first visit is on us. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your family to give the rock climbing wall a chance, attend one of our group exercise classes, or get in a few reps at the fitness center before committing to a membership. Call 256-213-4JLC to get started. – Lucy Berry DeButy, contributor feb 2021 initiatives

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chamber staff HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER

Executive Staff | also Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chip Cherry, CCE, president & CEO Meghan Nazario, executive assistant

Economic Development & Workforce Lucia Cape, CCE, senior vice president Erin Koshut, executive director, Cummings Research Park Katelyn Sides Baker, workforce recruitment director & social media coordinator Lydia Pennington, workforce development director John Roberts, business retention & expansion director Ken Smith, research & information services director

Finance & Administration Mary McNairy, vice president Meghan Nazario, accounting specialist – payables Kim Weeks, accounting specialist – receivables Joe Watson, facilities supervisor Tiffany Boyd, resource desk coordinator

Government & Public Affairs Mike Ward, CCE, senior vice president Amberly Kimbrough, events coordinator

Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative (HREGI) Kristy Drake, director, HREGI & ChamberON

Marketing & Communications Claire Aiello, vice president Hiroko Sedensky, web designer Kristi Sherrard, graphic designer

Membership Amber Greenwood, vice president, investor relations Kristy Drake, director, HREGI & ChamberON Donna McCrary, retention manager Richard Bigoney, account executive Tina Blankenship, account executive

Small Business & Events Pammie Jimmar, IOM, vice president Amberly Kimbrough, events coordinator

ASSOCIATED ORGANIZATIONS

theschoolsfoundation.org

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uah.edu/sbdc

A HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER PUBLICATION


26,000

13,500

320

240

employees

students

companies

65

+

retail shops

1

apartments

25

+

eateries

4

hotels & lakes

of the top genomic sequencing centers in the U.S., Tier-1 research university, and community college

Beyond An Office Park.

cummingsresearchpark.com


Profile for Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

Initiatives - February 2021  

Initiatives - February 2021