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Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville

Jackson Center Conference Room

Cotton Row Restaurant

Humphrey’s Bar & Grill

Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria



U.S. Space & Rocket Center


Did you know? In 2014 travel and tourism generated over $1 billion in positive economic impact to our community! Let’s grow that impact together. We have a lot to offer:

6,700+ hotel rooms 9 direct flight cities 500+ restaurants 10 + attractions for off-site events

170,000+ sq. ft. of meeting space at the Von Braun Center

Access to CVB Team to assist with planning

Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau

500 Church Street NW, Huntsville, AL 35801 1-800-SPACE-4-U | |

Huntsville International Airport

table of contents

2016 Guide To

HUNTSVILLE Madison County, Alabama

This publication was produced by Advance Central Services Alabama on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/ Madison County whose outstanding cooperation we gratefully acknowledge.

Chamber Executive Committee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chamber Board of Directors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

EDITOR Terry Schrimscher, Advance Central Services Alabama

Chamber News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ADVERTISING SALES Carl Bates Advance Central Services Alabama For more information about this publication Advance Central Services Alabama 1731 First Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203 205-325-2237 For membership information, contact: Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County 225 Church Street Huntsville, AL 35801 256.535.2000 phone 256.535.2015 fax The Discover Huntsville/Madison County magazine is published annually and distributed free of charge to members of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County and to various businesses and individuals who are engaged in business or who reside in Huntsville/ Madison County, Alabama. The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County also uses the Discover Huntsville/Madison County magazine as a marketing resource to provide to individuals and businesses requesting more information about moving their business or residence to Huntsville/Madison County. CopyrightŠ2015 The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. All photos provided by Alabama Media Group unless otherwise noted.


Letter from the Chairman of the Board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Editorial and advertising offices located at 200 Westside Square, Suite 100 Huntsville, AL 35801

ART DIRECTOR Elizabeth Chick Advance Central Services Alabama


7 8 10 12 14 20 26 32 42 48 58 62 68 72 76 86 90

Chamber Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Huntsville/Madison County by the Numbers. . . . . . . . . . Economic Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huntsville/Madison County Arts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huntsville/Madison County Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huntsville/Madison County Real Estate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huntsville/Madison County Community. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huntsville/Madison County Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Life Sciences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Things To Do in Huntsville/Madison County. . . . . . . . Dining & Recreation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sustainability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


STAFF Chip Cherry, CCE, president & CEO Amy Locke, executive assistant Amy Tubb, resource desk coordinator

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & INDUSTRY RELATIONS Lucia Cape, vice president Ken Smith, research & information services director Erin Koshut, Cummings Research Park director


Kristy Drake, engagement specialist

Carrie Rice, director Kristi Sherrard, graphic designer Hiroko Sedensky, web designer


GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC AFFAIRS Mike Ward, senior vice president Tina Leopold, assistant

FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION Christy Nalley, director Jamie Gallien, IT manager Mary McNairy, accounting specialist | human resources Joe Watson, facilities supervisor

Elizabeth Saba, economic development specialist


WORKFORCE & EDUCATION Lucia Cape, vice president

Alexandra Gonzalez, event coordinator Beverly Pike, small business coordinator

ASSOCIATED ORGANIZATIONS The Community Foundation of Huntsville/ Madison County ( The Schools Foundation (

Lori Warner, accounting specialist

Will West, economic development specialist | project manager

Karessa Acosta, economic development assistant

Pammie Jimmar, director

Donna McCrary, membership retention manager Tiffany Jordan, membership representative Tina Blankenship, membership representative

Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County 225 Church Street NW Huntsville, AL 35801 phone 256-535-2000 fax 256-535-2015

Discover Huntsville 2015 •


chairman letter

Dear Friend of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, This 2015-2016 edition of the Chamber Guide to Huntsville/ Madison County will provide you with a wealth of information on the people, events and places that drive our local economy and make the Huntsville Metropolitan Area a Smart Place to Live, Work and Play. Whether you are new to the area or are a lifelong resident, this guide will show you many exciting and innovative aspects of our great region. Our area continues to be a magnet to new and diverse talent from across the nation because of our high paying jobs, excellent career opportunities, great quality of life, low cost of living and our thriving arts and recreation community. This guide is filled with examples of what has made our economy strong and prosperous and highlights technology as the driving force in our business community. You will read about amazing places such as NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Redstone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park. Huntsville/Madison County also is the home to the number one tourist attraction in Alabama, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. In addition, our community has been very successful in nurturing small businesses and unique start-ups, including award-winning craft beer breweries that are gaining national recognition. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Huntsville Metropolitan Statistical Area surged in growth to become Alabama’s second largest metro. That growth continues to be fueled by a vast array of industry, including aerospace, defense, biotechnology, computer science and advanced manufacturing. The Chamber of Commerce is the lead economic development organization for Huntsville and Madison County. We promote growth in the community by attracting new employers and helping existing industries expand. These efforts are made possible with the help of Chamber members and public partners investing in the Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative (HREGI). This allows us to promote the community’s image on a national and global level, work with our local universities and colleges for economic and workforce development, and continue to create a platform of economic diversity. The Chamber of Commerce is here to provide you with information and personalized service to meet your needs. For more information, please contact us at 256-535-2000 or visit our website at When it comes to business and career opportunities, The sky is NOT the limit®, in Huntsville and Madison County! Warm Regards, Rey AlmodÓvar 2015 Chair of the Board Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County



chamber executive committee

Rey Almodóvar chief executive officer, Intuitive Research & Technology Corporation

Board Chair

Cynthia Streams

Joe Newberry

Rose Allen

Robert Mayes

principal, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Chair-Elect

chief executive officer, BlueCreek Investment Partners Immediate Past Chair

Jim Rogers

Gary Bolton

vice president, army and missile defense programs, Lockheed Martin Vice Chair – Government & Public Affairs

vice President, global marketing, ADTRAN, Inc. Vice Chair – Membership

general manager, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama Vice Chair – Workforce & Education

Penny Billings

Tommy Battle

Mark Curran

vice president, finance / treasurer, Domino’s Pizza (Valley Pizza, Inc.) Secretary/Treasurer

president/ceo, Redstone Federal Credit Union ViceChair–EconomicDevelopment & Industry Relations

Tharon Honeycutt

Kim Lewis

president, MSB Analytics Vice Chair –Small Business & Events

chief executive officer, PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Vice Chair – Marketing & Communications

division president, BancorpSouth ViceChair–MemberEngagement

Trip Ferguson

Dale Strong

general manager, Remington Outdoor Company Chair-Appointed

Chairman, Madison County Commission Chair-Appointed

10 •

Ron Poteat north alabama area executive, Regions Bank Chamber of Commerce Foundation Chair

Emily Lauder

Mayor, City of Huntsville Chair-Appointed

vice president, army programs/ huntsville operations, L-3 Communications Corporation Chair-Appointed

Troy Trulock

Danny Windham

Chip Cherry,CCE

Mayor, City of Madison Chair-Appointed

chief executive officer, Digium, Inc. Chair-Appointed

President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

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chamber board of directors

Dr. Robert Altenkirch

Bob Baron

Dr. Marc Bendickson

Miranda Bouldin

Greg Bragg

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Baron Services, Inc.

Dynetics, Inc.


Consolidated Construction Co.

Greg Brown

Janet Brown

Micah Bullard

Kevin Byrnes

Frank Caprio

Brown Precision, Inc.


Turner Construction

Raytheon Company

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP

Michael Cox

Angel Crespo

Dorothy Davidson

Gene Goldman

Jeff Gronberg


Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility

Davidson Technologies, Inc.

Aerojet Rocketdyne

deciBel Research, Inc.

Mike Gullion

John Gully

Jan Hess

Steve Hill

Dr. Pam Hudson

SCI Technology, Inc. – a Sanmina company


Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.

AEgis Technologies Group

Crestwood Medical Center

12 •

chamber board of directors

Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr.

Jeremiah Knight

Janice Migliore

Johnny Van Osborn

Jim Owens

Alabama A&M University

JXC Consulting Group

PALCO Telecom Service, Inc.

J. Smith Lanier & Co.


Alicia Ryan

Dr. Gurmej Sandhu

Charlie Sealy

Andrew Shambarger

Crystal Shell


Sigmatech, Inc.

Sealy Management Company


WILL Technology, Inc.

E.J. Sinclair

Dr. Ashok Singhal

David Spillers

Mike Stanfield

Science & Engineering Services, LLC

CFD Research Corporation

Huntsville Hospital


Nilmini Thompson

Tim Thornton

Frank Williams

SPS, Inc.

nLogic, Inc.

Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 13


Long-time Chamber staff reflect on the growth that has made Huntsville



ine Chamber of Commerce of Hunstville/Madison County staff members will celebrate a tenure with the city of ten years or greater come fall 2016. As they look back at the developments the city has seen in big technologies, small business, the arts, retail, restaurants, Chamber benefits and more, these valuable Chamber staff share exactly what makes our city the dynamic business community it is today. MIKE WARD Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs Chamber Staff Member Since 1991

How have you seen the city of Huntsville change since you began working at the chamber? Things have changed a lot since I started at the Chamber in 1991. I-565 was under construction, so we weren’t connected to the Interstate system. The only Saturn V we had was the one lying on its side outdoors behind the Space and Rocket Center. Most of the larger and newer buildings in the Cummings Research Park West hadn’t been built. The “newest” building on Redstone Arsenal had been built in the 1960s. We hadn’t experienced the booms of the 1995 BRAC that brought us the aviation programs or the even bigger boom of the 2005 BRAC that brought us nearly 5,000 new jobs and lots of new military commands.

What have been some of your favorite city improvements or additions since you began working at the chamber? Today there are lots of great places to eat out and lots of fun venues to get together with friends. The greenway system is marvelous. The Von Braun Center and the Art Museum are radically improved, as is the entire area around Big Spring Park. The Adtran and HudsonAlpha buildings in CRP are some of the most attractive business buildings I’ve ever seen. Barron’s Bluff and the “new” lodge at Monte Sano State Park are some of the prettiest buildings in the city. What makes Huntsville a great city to settle down and make a living or raise a family? I think we’re in the “Goldilocks” zone—not too big and not too small—we’re just the right size in many ways. Our quality of life is great, disposable income is high, cost of living is low, education attainment is high, the population is growing steadily, but commuting time is still short. Why is it important to be a member of the chamber of commerce and become involved in the community? The Chamber’s mission is to prepare, develop and promote our community for economic growth. We serve as a clearinghouse for community thought and action. It’s the place where businesses can rally to help the region grow. It’s also the best place for business to go for resources to help them grow— whether it’s networking opportunities with other businesses or opportunities to participate in events that bring business and elected leaders together to share ideas. Favorite place to get outdoors? The greenways; the Flint River; local golf courses; state, county and city parks; the Land Trust properties; Ditto Landing; and the Tennessee River are all my favorites. Do you have a favorite or most memorable small business startup you saw embraced successfully by the city? We started the Biztech, the small business incubator, in the mid-1990s and continued on page 16

14 •

We believe in growth—that’s why we are establishing roots in the Huntsville community. We believe in partnerships—that’s why we are establishing relationships with the businesses of Madison County. We believe in Common Sense Banking—that’s why we are here.

We are establishing roots for Common Sense Growth. Come grow with us! Huntsville 4800 Whitesburg Drive Suite 43 256 | 382.1490

ALABAMA | Anniston | Auburn | Birmingham | Huntsville | Opelika | Sylacauga GEORGIA | Carrollton | Columbus Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

chamber continued from page 14

that was pretty exciting. The BRAC decisions of 1995 and 2005 were the biggest economic development milestones for the community. Landing the Toyota engine factory and watching it expand over the last 15 years has been amazing. Which local facility should we keep an eye on for amazing new technologies and research over the coming years? Our space, aviation, and missile research and development activities will always be world-class. We’re growing a biotech/genomics research capability that will be second to none. We also have great capabilities in materials science, optics, astrophysics, 3-D printing, advanced manufacturing, telecommunications technology, gaming, and modeling and simulation.

DONNA MCCRARY Membership Retention Manager

Chamber Staff Member Since 2000

Name one moment in the city’s history that made you most proud. Since I moved here in 1959, I am so proud that we are the city that built the rocket that put a man on the moon. We are the ones that did that. Growing up with my dad, he worked on the arsenal, and just about everybody I went to school with—their parents worked on the arsenal. They were all involved in that, and we took such great pride in that. And very few people that I went to high school with were actually from Alabama. We are such a melting pot. It’s great to be from a place that is so diverse but that is so unique that we put a man on the moon. Favorite restaurant/meal that can be found within Huntsville city limits? Pane e Vino’s gluten free pizza Favorite place to get outdoors? We love to go up on Monte Sano and go hiking. We have seven grandkids, and two of them live here in Huntsville, so we take the grandkids up there a lot. How have you seen Chamber member services and benefits evolve over the last decade? Since Chip Cherry, our President & CEO, came on board in 2011, we have really upped the services for the small business whether it’s training seminars or free tax seminars. We’ve got the small business development center now housed in the Chamber building. We really gear a lot of our events toward the small business owner now. And many of them cannot afford to buy the huge sponsorships that we sell for the events, but we’ve listened to the small business owners needs and so now we offer many sponsorships that fit their need and also their wallet. 16 •

What makes Huntsville a great place to open a small business? That’s near and dear to my heart. There’s always the factor of doing business with the government, especially if you’re a small aerospace defense contractor start-up trying to become known by some of the prime contractors. We have seen a lot of those companies grow from very small size—say from a three-person company—and then all of a sudden 10 years later you have 1,000 employees and a huge corporation is coming in to buy you out. We’ve seen a lot of millionaires made in this town because of that. It’s really uplifting to know that you can do it. You can go from rags to riches in this town by doing business.

TINA LEOPOLD Government & Public Affairs Assistant

Chamber Staff Member Since 2001

What makes Huntsville a great city to settle down and make a living or raise a family? I didn’t choose Huntsville. The Army chose Huntsville for me and my family. We had moved over 15 times in 20 years during my husband’s Army career. But now Huntsville has become home. It is friendly and safe, but still vibrant and optimistic. It is a great combination! What have been some of your favorite city improvements or additions since you began working at the Chamber? The Village of Providence has been a game changer as well as the growth and influence of HudsonAlpha. I have also enjoyed watching the flourish out at Lowe Mill and the food truck invasion that has spread from downtown to the Arsenal and other parts of Huntsville. How would you choose to spend an evening enjoying Huntsville arts? The Art Museum. I have a degree in Art History! What makes Huntsville a great place to open a small business? There is an attitude of no limits and optimism here in Huntsville. People see other successful entrepreneurs and figure, if they can do, so can I! Why is it important to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce and become involved in the community? One of our members puts it this way: Rising water lifts all boats. Everything is interconnected and no one exists in a vacuum. Sound educational practices improve your workforce. A strong and diverse workforce encourages economic development. Good jobs attract great people. Great people make a city a wonderful place to live.

Favorite restaurant/meal within Huntsville city limits? Nick’s Ristorante Favorite place to get outdoors? The Aldridge Creek Greenway If you had to name one moment in the city’s history that made you most proud since you began at the Chamber, what would that be? During the 2011 April tornadoes. We personally suffered no damage (other than no power for a week!). My neighbors and people everywhere worked together and stayed calm. I saw acts of bravery and kindness from the most unexpected people. I was proud to be from Huntsville.


Chamber Staff Member Since 2000

How have you seen Internet services change the way the Chamber operates over the years? When I joined the Chamber, every day was a blizzard of paper. We printed and collated and bound and stapled hundreds of pages of publications and announcements and invitations, and then everything was mailed to our members. Now the Chamber uses the latest technology to contact our members and keep them informed. Of course, many of our members are cutting edge technology companies, so they expect us to be advancing in our communications, whether it is via email, our website, social media or some other resource. Our social media effort now is huge, but when I joined the Chamber, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, flickr, ISSUU—none of them even existed! Since revamping the Chamber’s website in early 2013, we’ve been continuously updating and improving the content to give our visitors accurate, timely and interesting information. What have been some of your favorite city improvements/additions since you began working at the Chamber? Probably my favorite is the Bridge Street shopping complex. And since I live in Madison and commute every day, I have to add that the County Line Road Exit on I-565 has made things so much easier for me. It gets me to Bridge Street much quicker! Favorite restaurant/meal that can be found within Huntsville city limits? 1892 East Restaurant; I Love Sushi; and any of the restaurants run by James Boyce, my favorite being Pane e Vino. Favorite place to shop? Even though I tend to shop mostly online, I love


clothes shopping at the Bridge Street. For grocery shopping, I love to shop at Fresh Market, Earth Fare and Sprouts. I’m glad that the city’s efforts to bring in those upscale stores was successful, and I look forward to shopping at Whole Foods when it opens. When we finally get a Trader Joe’s, I’ll have all my grocery needs covered. How would you choose to spend an evening enjoying Huntsville arts? I love the arts, but if I had to choose one of them, I’d say the symphony. I love listening to classical music at concert halls, and especially with the recent renovations, the VBC concert hall is now a totally different experience. As the oldest symphony orchestra in Alabama, HSO has a great series with a variety of programs and talented soloists. For example, 2015-2016 season “Journey” features music from around the world with emphasis on Eastern European programs, thanks to the current music director, Hungarianborn Gregory Vajda. If you had to name one moment in the city’s history that made you most proud since you began at the Chamber, what would that be? Soon after moving here from Japan (after a few years in London and New York), I was given the opportunity to work for the Chamber, and I’ve been so fortunate to be involved in the economic development project that brought Toyota to our community. I was more than thrilled when the company announced their plant in 2001, the first plant outside of Japan to produce V8 engines. This announcement had a significant meaning to me, which anyone should be proud of. I think that because of manufacturing companies like Toyota that continue to expand and have a willingness to invest in and support our community, it encourages other international companies, and domestic companies too, to join the Huntsville business community. That keeps the city dynamic and makes the community more diverse.

KRISTI SHERRARD Graphic Designer Chamber Staff Member Since 2003 How have you seen the city of Huntsville change since you began working at the Chamber? I grew up in Huntsville. Between my college years and later moving back to Huntsville, I lived in four other southern states. All were great, but I was glad to come back home. The city has changed a great deal since my childhood days, but it still feels like home. I think that’s one of the perks of the Huntsville area. Exciting things to do are being added all the time, big and small businesses are coming in, more people are moving here—but there’s still a homey feel to the place.

What makes Huntsville a great place to open a small business? Huntsville is its own melting pot. Businesses that might not succeed in other areas across the state have a better chance here. We are open to “out of the box” businesses and products. How have you seen Chamber member services and benefits evolve over the last decade? The classes/training offered by the Chamber for members—especially for small businesses—have grown tremendously. We have to keep up with the changes in what business owners need/want to keep them current, so variety is key. But we do cater to businesses of all sizes—trying to help any member company or organization better their business and give them opportunities to network and expand their clientele. Favorite restaurant/meal that can be found within Huntsville city limits? Little Rosie’s and Dreamland Bar-B-Que Favorite place to get outdoors? I enjoy walking at both Monte Sano as well as Ditto Landing. Another great spot is the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Which local facility should we keep an eye on for amazing new technologies and research over the coming years? I was working at the Chamber when the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology was introduced, and it continues to make breakthrough strides in the biosciences. It will always be an entity to watch for positive changes.

KEN SMITH Research & Information Services Director

Chamber Staff Member Since 1993

What does Research & Information Services look like on a daily or monthly basis at the Chamber? Economic development is a team sport with everyone doing their part. Companies, both big and small, need information to help make business decisions. As director of Research and Information Services, I am responsible for analyzing, interpreting and presenting local market data to help new and expanding companies make informed decisions on investing in the Huntsville economy. I help companies every day with their information needs including explaining the local economy, our strengths and advantages, and working to build a case for that company to grow and expand in our market.

Do you have a favorite or most memorable small business start-up you saw embraced successfully by the city? Working at the Chamber, we have been involved in the growth numerous technology companies. It is always great to see a success story, and one of the biggest successes has been Adtran. To watch a company grow from small beginnings to being a centerpiece of one of the largest research parks in the country, it is great knowing you had a small part in helping companies like that grow and create jobs in the community. How have you seen the city of Huntsville change since you began working at the Chamber? The Huntsville community has grown rapidly over the last 20 years including new industrial growth along the interstate in Limestone County and new residential and retail developments. The quality of our schools and educational infrastructure has also been impressive and has helped make us a progressive community. I really like the energy and efforts being made to transform downtown into a vibrant destination for both young professionals and families. What have been some of your favorite city improvements/additions since you began working at the Chamber? What makes a city great is its sense of community, and there have been so many impressive additions to the landscape including the new Huntsville Museum of Art, Lowe Mill and BridgeStreet. Places where people can gather and get a feel for the vibe of the community really help make a sense of place and create a uniqueness where people feel they belong. Favorite place to get outdoors? I love how the Huntsville and Tennessee Valley area is such an active community with lots of opportunities for hiking, biking and getting out on the water. The greenway system is growing and is a key selling point for active families to get outside. My favorite is Monte Sano mountain, and I like to take my dog up to the trails for hiking or trail running with friends. I also like to go cycling and there are plenty of opportunities with local riding groups giving the community a reputation as a hot spot for outdoor recreation. If you had to name one moment in the city’s history that made you most proud since you began at the Chamber, what would that be? There have been many turning point events in our community where the Chamber has played a role, and it is a good feeling to have participated in some small way to help make those events happen, including the growth of new companies like Target, Toyota, Remington and Polaris, key announcements such as the BRAC relocations and new developments such as BridgeStreet and Parkway Place Mall. Any time you see the results Discover Huntsville 2015 • 17


of your efforts and know that the hard work of the Chamber team is helping to create jobs and make the area a better place to live it is a good day and makes me proud to be part of this team and this community.

LUCIA CAPE Senior Vice President, Economic Development, Industry Relations & Workforce

Chamber Staff Member Since 2006

Why is it important to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce and become involved in the community? The Chamber is important to the whole community because in addition to being a membershipbased organization, we are the community’s economic development organization, with contracts with the City of Huntsville, the City of Madison and Madison County. If you would invest in advertising to reach potential customers, you should also invest in the Chamber to increase the overall number of potential customers through increased population. We also strive to improve the quality of life for our community, which means more disposable income to spend on retail and dining. What makes Huntsville a great city to settle down and make a living or raise a family? I’ve lived in several “big” cities—Atlanta, Nashville, New Orleans—and what makes Huntsville so great to me is the combination of “big city” assets with less traffic and a greater sense of community. I love running into people I know at one of our local theater productions or sitting next to friends unexpectedly at one of our great local restaurants. I was at a show at Straight to Ale recently, and I think I knew half the people there—and many of them, like me, aren’t “from” Huntsville. What have been some of your favorite improvements/additions since you began working at the Chamber? I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made in diversifying our economy, both on the Arsenal and in the private sector. The growth of the FBI has been exciting—more smart people who work on really cool things—and the announcements of Remington and Polaris will have a positive impact on the advanced manufacturing opportunities for people across the region. They are both great companies that will add to our corporate culture. Favorite place to get outside? There are so many outdoor options in Madison County! My family loves to bike on the Aldridge Creek Greenway to Ditto Landing for picnics, or I’ll take a book and a blanket to the Botani18 •

cal Garden and read in the shade while my kids explore the Children’s Garden. We spend most weekends during the summer at Monte Sano pool, and we camp at least once a year at Monte Sano state park. And there are so many activities in downtown Huntsville now thanks to Downtown Huntsville Inc. We did Slide the City this summer and have enjoyed the putt putt trail and pop-up parks. Concerts in the Park at the art museum and Big Spring Park run through the summer, and the Burritt Museum’s City Lights & Stars series combines great music with a fantastic view from the top of Monte Sano mountain.

this city is amazing. The changes are almost a blur at this point in my career.

If you had to name one moment in the city’s history that made you most proud, what would that be? It’s not a single moment—it happens often. I hear from employers who have moved to the area with new or expanding operations that the best recruitment tool they have are employees who have already moved here from other parts of the country. These “advance team” members become enthusiastic advocates for our community. They cite the easy commutes, the arts and recreation, the great public education and the friendly people. As a resident who moved here from somewhere else as an adult, I share their enthusiasm. And as an ambassador for our community, I am so very proud to learn that we are making newcomers feel welcome and that they are glad they came.

Favorite place to get outdoors? Big Spring Park or Green Mountain

AMY LOCKE Executive Assistant to Chip Cherry, CCE, President & CEO

Chamber Staff Member Since 1997

How have you seen the city of Huntsville change since you began working with the Chamber? Huntsville has grown and changed so much since 1997 that I can’t find the words to quantify it. It has become a place with more options for everyone; most notably in dining, shopping and entertainment. The technology abounding from

Favorite restaurant/meal that can be found within Huntsville city limits? I love a lot of venues, locally-owned and otherwise, but Rosie’s Cantina is my go-to “happy place.” Most everyone knows us there! And if you want a great local burger, you can’t go wrong with 1892 East Restaurant. Favorite place to shop? SteinMart, Target

How would you choose to spend an evening enjoying Huntsville arts? I grew up with the arts, mainly being involved in music; however, I would choose an evening at Lowe Mill.

JOE WATSON Facilities Supervisor

Chamber Staff Member Since 2005

What is your favorite improvement the Chamber of Commerce facility has implemented in recent years? As to this particular facility (the Chamber), I am seeing the transition of incandescent and fluorescent lighting to LED lighting. This allows for a longer lasting bulb, less power consumption and eliminates the mercury content contained in some bulbs. This project is in work here at the Chamber building and we look forward to revamping as much of the building as we can over the next year. Favorite restaurant/meal that can be found within Huntsville city limits? Surin of Thailand, Ol Heidelberg, and Bonefish Grill.


Huntsville/Madison County by the numbers MADISON COUNTY




2010 Census





2014 Census









# of Households





Average Household Income





Per Capita Income






% Growth


Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (, 2013 American Community Survey

TOP TEN EMPLOYERS Redstone Arsenal*


Huntsville Hospital System


NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center*


Huntsville City Schools


The Boeing Company


Huntsville Municipal Building Street Address: 308 Fountain Circle Huntsville, AL 35801 Mayor’s office 256-427-5000 mayor Police 256-427-7001

Madison County Schools 2,389

Fire 256-722-7120

SAIC 2,229

Municipal Court 256-427-7810 municipalcourt

City of Huntsville


The University of Alabama in Huntsville




Source: Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/ Madison County *includes on-site contractors

20 •

Animal Control 256-883-3782 animal

Operations Office mayor/city_admin.php Public Works 256-883-3944 Engineering 256-427-5300 engineering Inspection Services 256-427-5336 inspection Development Office 256-427-5400 comdev Parks and Recreation 256-564-8026 recreation Revenue 256-427-5067

Finance 256-427-5080 finance City Clerk 256-427-5088 Human Resources 256-427-5240 Library 256-532-5940 Garbage Pickup 256-883-3964 PWO/GrbgTrsh.php IT/Support Services 256-427-6700

Dr. Wally Kirkpatrick CEO

Technical Excellence and Innovation

Mr. Michael Kirkpatrick President

Established in 1982, DESE Research Inc. has established an experienced and distinguished team of scientists and engineers which constitute the corporate core capabilities. National and Regional core competencies are depicted on the pictures below. Systems engineering projects have addressed Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) and Theater Missile Defense (TMD) systems including, threat assessment, mission analysis, concept definition, effectiveness analysis, and Battle Management/Command, Control, and Communications (BM/C3). The core team has more than two centuries of experience in Integration and analysis activities. Our experience in integrating weapon system models ranges from small-scale, cutting edge technology solutions to large-scale, disparate systems. The breadth of our experience encompasses a range of software models, HWIL (hardware-the-loop), databases and Enterprise Architecture tools applied over a wide variety of NASA programs and DOD weapons programs from ground combat to short-range tactical missiles; ballistic missile defense, to space-based systems to installation infrastructure. Our integration expertise extends beyond integrating existing tools – DESE has developed large-scale simulation architectures for engineering design and collaboration. DESE experience includes IV&V of simulations, systems engineering, design, analysis, and integration for a variety of military systems. Model and data base integration is accomplished with a DESE developed DIGITAL GLUE product which permits integration without changes to source code or database structure. Core capabilities also include cyber security and supply chain risk management.

Core Products and Services Systems Engineering

Requirements Determination Enterprise Architecture

Threat Assessment

Software Engineering

Modeling &Simulation

Supply Chain Risk Management

Cyber Security



Huntsville Pathways to Success

A multidimensional support initiative designed to provide support to small businesses and entrepreneurs. By Melissa Gerrish


he Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/ Madison County offers Pathways to Success, a multidimensional support initiative designed to provide support to small businesses and entrepreneurs. “The Pathways to Success program was developed from listening to members requesting a road map to help them chart their pathway through programming “The Chamber is commit- and events offered by the Chamber,” said Small Business and ted to continue to create Events Director Pammie Jimmar. Inspired by the membership’s and guide a pathway for the changing needs for business members who wish to grow education, the Chamber devela strong viable business,” oped Pathways to Success to help support the business longevity - Small Business and Events Director of members, and throughout the Pammie Jimmar Tennessee Valley, according to 22 •

Jimmar. The initiative has three platforms that operate independently: Chamber U, Strategic Innovations, and Business Coaching. When used as a suite of services, these three platforms provide solid business planning and development to help guide small businesses and entrepreneurs on their paths. Within the Chamber U there are three tracs that include introductory classes, advanced level and a master education level to help elevate careers. The strategic innovations platform focuses on critical issues for small business owners. “These tools help improve profits, make your business more successful, and grow professionally,” Jimmar said. Free, confidential small business coaching is also available for Chamber Members and the community is available by appointment. “We’ve partnered with UAH Small Business Development


Chamber U offers classes monthly (1-2 hours each). Classes range from $5 to $25 (excluding the NxLeveL® Program).

Center (SBDC) and UAH Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to provide valuable, practical advice and guidance,” said Jimmar. This coaching is done onsite at the Chamber.

“The Chamber is committed to continue to create and guide a pathway for the members who wish to grow a strong viable business,” said Jimmar.

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Introductory classes are designed to provide the best business foundation possible for successful entrepreneurship. Classes include focused theory sessions and guided practice to help perfect your skills.

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This platform focuses on critical issues for small business professionals. These sessions provide tools to help improve profits, make your business more successful, and grow professionally.

FREE, confidential small business coaching for Chamber members and the community, by appointment. We’ve partnered with UAH Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and UAH Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to provide valuable, practical advice and guidance. Coaching is done onsite at the Chamber.

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Discover Huntsville 2015 • 23


Chamber celebrates 30 years of local small businesses By Melissa Gerrish


he Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/ Madison County celebrated 30 years of supporting and recognizing local small businesses, nonprofits and young professionals during its 2015 Small Business Awards ceremony. The awards have ten categories, and are one of the Chamber’s LarryandKimLewis,ownersofPROJECTXYZ,winnerofthe2015Small largest member events. The celebration brought BusinessoftheYear,Businesseswith51-250Employeescategory.Photo courtesyof ChamberofCommerceofHuntsville/MadisonCounty. together nearly 500 of the community’s leading small businesses, entrepreneurs, young professionals and nonprofits, as well as the leadership of Huntsville/Madison County. Some would ask, how important it is to celebrate small businesses, said Tharon Honeycutt, President of MSB Analytics Inc. in Huntsville. “Just ask any of the 500 attendees at the Chamber’s 30th Annual Small Business Awards Celebration,” said Honeycutt, who also serves as vice chairman of Small Business and Events. “It was a very special night, where the accomplishments of the area’s small business community were recognized.” “The ambience was just right as we were able to celebrate with them all of their successes, the event was a black tie event with plenty of bling where a 22foot chandelier hung over the stage creating the wow factor during the event,” said Small Business and Events Director Pammie Jimmar. “The Silvery Moon Band played jazz and big band tunes all night; they even had dancers dancing the swing.” Honeycutt said the winners were revealed on big screens to much fanfare. “What a pleasure it was to see these outstanding businesses, along with recipients from past years, receive recognition for overcoming challenges in the pursuit of their passions, building a great business, investing in their talented workforces, and delivering excellent quality products and services to their customers,” he said. “As a small business owner myself, it has been my honor to represent the membership of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County as vice chair of Small Business and Events,” said Honeycutt. “In this role I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk to many fellow small business owners along with the pleasure of supporting the planning and production of this year’s 30th Annual Small Business Awards Celebration.” “Small businesses are the economic engine that drives our economy and what an exciting way to be able to celebrate with them their successes,” Jimmar said. “It takes a lot of sacrifice and hard work to be able to be a successful business owner wearing so many hats to just to keep the business viable in this economy.” 24 •

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economic development

A promising outlook for

Huntsville The Huntsville metropolitan area’s economic indicators aren’t just steadily growing but they are outperforming other major metro areas with an equally promising outlook. By Anna Thibodeaux


ccording to Moody’s Kyle Hillman, “Huntsville is poised for above-average growth. High-value-added manufacturing and technical services will power the expansion.,” Hillman also states, “Huntsville will remain an aboveaverage performer.” The metro area’s economic drivers are defense, high tech and federal government non-defense. Companies like Polaris and Huntsville’s 17 percent Remington Outdoor Co. have job growth in 2015 contributed to the community’s outperformed the United 9,000 job gain in the past three years, and Huntsville has been States’ growth of 6 percent rated the fastest growing major and Alabama at 2 percent. metro areas in Alabama. The growth is expected to continue with a five-year projection of 9 26 •

percent growth, according to Moody’s. Moody’s 2015 economic forecast also notes the area’s strengths of a highly educated and skilled workforce, high per capita earnings due to specialized manufacturing and research, and strong population growth among younger workers. Huntsville ranked 10th among Southeast metro areas in population growth with an increase of 5.6 percent, according to the 2010-14 U.S. Census Bureau figures. Huntsville’s GDP growth from 2011 to 2013 placed it second in the South at 53 percent and seventh in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In this same period, Huntsville accounted for 25 percent or $7.5 billion of Alabama’s GDP, outperforming Birmingham’s $5 billion and Mobile’s $3.5 billion. Huntsville’s 17 percent job growth in 2015

economic development

and displayed at this year’s NRA annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. “We are up and running,” said George Kollitides, chairman and CEO of Remington’s parent company the Freedom Group. “We started producing rifles and pistols about a month ago [March] and now we’re ramping that production up. We’re looking

An architectural rendering of the new Polaris plant in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County. Photo Courtesy of T.W. Frierson Contracting.

outperformed the United States’ growth of 6 percent and Alabama at 2 percent. It put Huntsville with the 10th highest labor growth in the South. One of the companies contributing to the area’s impressive job growth is Minesota-based Polaris Industries, which has started construction of its 600,000-squarefoot plant to make off-road vehicles. It will employ 1,700 at full capacity, a number that could reach 2,000 by 2020. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle called the move “a strong endorsement for Huntsville”, and the state’s top economic developments announced last year the Rocket City took the second top spot with a 450 job announcement from Science and Engineering Services. “These historic wins validate our competitiveness and promis-

ing future as a leading economic driver and destination of choice for successful business.” According to Polaris, the company chose Huntsville for its $142 million manufacturing facility because of its skilled workforce, history of technology and innovation, existing utility infrastructure, and strong local and state support for economic development. Plans call for plant completion by second quarter of 2016. Up to 2,000 jobs also are planned with the new $110 million Remington Outdoor Co. plant in Huntsville. The Remington RM380 was the first TheRemingtonRM380,firstguntobemadebythecompanyinitsnewHuntsvilleplantis displayedatthe2015NRAannualmeetinginNasvhille,Tenn.ARemingtonemployeepointsto gun made at the plant the “Huntsville” engraved on the side.

28 •


to continue to hire and grow that business.” Kollitides also praised the quality of the workforce that’s been hired for the gun and ammunition manufacturer, which occupied the former Chrysler building near Huntsville International Airport. His comments came shortly after the company announced plans to relocate its Bushmaster and R1 handgun lines from New York to Huntsville. Celebrated by cutting a digital ribbon on tablets, Boeing’s $6 million state-ofthe-art research center was hailed “as the beginning of the next 100 years.”

economic development

The new Boeing Research and Technology Center.

The Boeing Research & TechnologyAlabama center opened in June as a collaborative hub spanning 80,000-square-feet at Redstone Gateway and Jetplex Industrial Park. Some 220 engineers, technicians and other staff have been hired with total employment expected to reach 300 jobs. Mayor Battle said Boeing’s involvement in Huntsville contributes to the city’s reputation as a “smart place to live, work and play.” Boeing employs 2,650 people in Alabama. Further job growth could come if studies show that it is feasible to land the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser at Huntsville International Airport. According to Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems, “Dream Chaser is poised to lead

the commercial space industry in reusable, low-Earth orbital flight.” A dramatic increase in the number of applicants requesting spaceport licenses domestically and internationally is driving interest in landing on runways that already support commercial aircraft. The Louisville, Colo.-based company announced the launch of its new program in September in which SNC will work with spaceports and commercial airports to become a designated landing site for the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Marking Huntsville’s longstanding relationship with the business community, Panalpina celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Luxembourg to Huntsville route, called “Dixie.” Established in 1990 with regular transatlantic flights, the air freight service has

deployed cargo-aircraft between Europe and the United States. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Panalpina expanded operations with flights from Huntsville to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Hong Kong. The air carrier also expanded its partnership with the Port of Huntsville this year with an additional flight to Brazil mostly for companies that manufacture and ship heavy machines and equipment. “We are connecting the world from one continent to the other through right here in Huntsville, Ala.,” said Matthias Frey, Panalpina’s senior vice president and head of air freight. Huntsville is also connecting to the world through its cyber initiative. In 2010, Mayor Battle started the conversation among government, industry and academic leaders about utilizing Huntsville’s technical expertise and leadership to help with the local, regional and national cyber challenge. Later that year, Cyber Huntsville was created to advocate for the Tennessee Valley Region to be known as a Cyber Center of Excellence. Cyber Huntsville coordinates and integrates community cyber activities, shares cyber information across the Tennessee Valley Region, provides the catalyst to initiate and build a world-class cyber workforce, and supports cyber resiliency in the area. Examples of the organization’s success

Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser.

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 29

economic development

Ascreenshotofpopularonlinerole-playinggameWorldofWarcraft.Curse,avideo-gaminginformationcompanythatisrelocating itsheadquarterstoHuntsville,offersanonlineportalforgamersusingcommunitysites,tools,databases,videos,guides,live streaming and eSports teams.

include the recent Southeastern Cyber Security Summit, and the increase of cyber jobs in the Tennessee Valley. Cyber security extends from government installations and department to power grids, computer systems or telecommunications systems. With its numerous and diversified components, Huntsville has been highlighted as one of “The Unlikely Cities That will Power the U.S. Economy” by Bloomberg Business.

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

30 •

It was profiled for its growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce, which included the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Redstone Arsenal. The story shows 16.7 percent (34,900) workers with a job in the STEM field as of May 2014, making Huntsville the third most tech-friendly workforce in the United States. STEM workers average $92,380 a year in salary. Ac-

cording to Bloomberg Business, Huntsville is one of a growing number of small U.S. cities attempting to replace disappearing factory jobs with tech jobs – and the competition is on. Huntsville’s high quality of living and low housing costs helped convince Curse, a video-gaming startup, to choose the Rocket City over Las Vegas and Boulder when it relocated from San Francisco in 2013. The global multimedia and technology company employs 80 workers, a number expected to grow by 50 this year. According to Donovan Duncan, Curse’s vice president of marketing, “This area is really a great place for us to pull from because there’s so many smart people in the Tennessee Valley.”

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Tennessee Valley’s ‘economic engine’

Redstone Arsenal

By Anna Thibodeaux


stimated to generate $12.7 billion in economic impact annually or equivalent to 7 percent of Alabama’s Gross Domestic Product, the Redstone Arsenal is considered the “economic engine” in the Tennessee Valley. Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center are the region’s top employers. Behind the gates of the arsenal are 37,500 workers, although it’s rollover effect is estimated at 66,500 indirect jobs that is projected to reach 104,000 jobs regionally, according to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. “The Arsenal is the mainstay of our economy, at the foundation mark,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Estimated to generate $12.7 Battle. While its mission is billion in economic impact complex, the installation is a annually or equivalent to 7 federal city supporting five key operations that include logispercent of Alabama’s Gross tics services; space operations Domestic Product... and missile defense; intelligence and homeland defense; research, development, test

AerialviewofRedstoneArsenal. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

32 •

and evaluation, and sustaining Arsenal activities to maintain the 38,125-acre installation. The arsenal includes four major zones: Residential zone with housing areas, recreation, shopping and other qualify of life services; the city center with a city downtown, recreation, professional office/lab space and future temporary lodging; professional zone with the organizational headquarters, office complexes and research laboratories and highest concentration of the workforce, and industrial zone with industrial and explosive operations, test areas, warehousing and ammunition storage, Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and river recreation areas. The workforce is highly educated with 68 percent or more with a bachelor’s degree or higher with major career fields in science and engineering, and logistics management, acquisition and contracting. The average annual salary of an Arsenal employee is $87,000. Of the 72 tenants on post, some 28 of them are considered major tenants. “Almost every one of our tenants has a global continued on page 34


The FBI Hazardous Devices School By Anna Thibodeaux

The Hazardous Devices School (HDS) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., is the only location in the United States for training and advanced training as a bomb technician. A joint effort between the FBI and the U.S Army, HDS certifies Public Safety Agency officers. Bomb technician students participate in a six-week basic school and a multi-week advanced school to become certified bomb technicians and must be re-certified every three years. Jeff Warren, who was named the school’s FBI program administrator in November of last year, received his bomb certification from the school in 2004. “For me, to be able to be a better FBI agent, being a bomb technician would assist in that,” said Warren. “The bomb technician profession for me took on a life of its own, and I got to the point where that was my focus, especially after going to Afghanistan. I wanted to do nothing but work counter IED and work with other bomb technicians and explosive matters. To me this is the dream job.” Since 1971, the FBI has managed the nation’s only facility to train and certify public safety bomb technicians to render safe hazardous devices. The school is often referred to as the National Academy for bomb technicians. HDS has provided training to over 20,000 state and local first responders. National standards published by the FBI for training state and local bomb squads provides

the foundation for an effective response to federal crimes involving hazardous devices, terrorist bombing campaigns or use of a weapon of mass destruction. Warren called his position a dream job. Warren first entered law enforcement as a street police officer in a Chicago suburb. He later went on to work for a railroad police department until he joined the FBI in 1996. “I’ve learned that our state and local partners are extremely important to our mission,” he said. “The FBI enforces federal laws, and of course after 9/11 have the lead in investigating terrorist acts against the U.S., but without our state and local partners we couldn’t do the things we do. Together, we’re much stronger.” In his 11 years as a bomb technician, Warren recounted one of his most memorable calls in Illinois where he was able to resolve a situation with a man who had taped pipe bombs to himself and threatened to blow himself up. While in Afghani-

stan, he and his fellow technicians often responded to several IED calls daily. Warren said HDS provides the training that helped deal with these calls. As program administrator, he ensures training continues to provide bomb technicians nationwide with the tools they need to succeed and safeguard the communities they protect. Warren’s responsibilities include overseeing budgets and training, as well as working with Army and FBI staff to deliver the best training possible to bomb technicians. HDS equipment includes a remote controlled robot, portable X-ray machines, small CCTV cameras, PAN (Percussion Actuated Non-electric) disrupter, protective suit and helmet, and other devices. Several live detonations of explosives were executed to show the difference in types of explosives, as well as a PAN demonstration against a “suspicious” briefcase. The PAN can shoot a slug of water at speeds from 1,200 to 1,900 feet per second aimed at a specific spot on the brief case to disrupt the firing mechanism after its specific location is determined by X-rays. This technique is used to disarm IEDs (improvised explosive devices) across the country by local PSA bomb technicians. Students practice disarming simulated IEDs in these replica buildings, image operating the remote controlled robot in the close confines of a church building, in between the desks in a school, or in a bus station to render the IED inert or extricate it. “When you have the right training and what you consider to be a skill set, when the real call comes you’re just focused and driven to get the mission accomplished,” Warren said. “You know how to do what you have to do and you just get it done.”

HazardousDevicesSchoolinstructorgetssuited upinabombdisposalsuitwithhelpfromother instructors.

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 33


Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser. Photo courtesy of NASA. continued from page 32

reach or a national impact or a homeland mission,” said Garrison Commander Col. Bill Marks. While tenants such as the Army Materiel Command, the Army Contracting Command and the Aviation and Missile Command focus on sustaining the “soldier in the field,” the Garrison is focused on supporting the mission as the integrator of infrastructure services, Marks said. Outside the arsenal gates, Team Redstone partners provide the quality of life that attracts and maintains a quality workforce required by the installation’s mission. Team Redstone is much larger than the installation boundaries and more comprehensive than the activities and agencies operating on Redstone Arsenal. It spans across state borders and includes every community in between. It is comprised of people, organizations, buildings, land and a philosophy that Redstone Arsenal and all surrounding communities are ir34 •

revocably intertwined. It recognizes the mission successes on Redstone Arsenal rely on the support and dedication of local communities, industry and corporate partners, education systems, elected officials, chambers of commerce, entrepreneurs, civic organizations and a workforce that comes from 15 different area counties. Rose Allen, Chair-Elect for the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, said arsenal-based commands and agencies are responsible for more than $50 million in federal spending a year. “The arsenal has been experiencing a period of unparalleled growth these last 10 years, as we have added new commands and federal agencies,” Allen said. “The

RoseAllen,Chair-ElectoftheChamberofCommerce,speaksas HuntsvilleleadersannouncethatHuntsvillewillstudyfeasibility oflandingtheSierraNevadaCorporation’sDreamChaserspacecraft at Huntsville International Airport.

growth has propelled the regional economy. Roughly half of the local economy is a function of Redstone’s aerospace and defense spending, and we are grateful for the opportunities that Redstone brings our way.”


NASA Space Launch System (SLS)

By Anna Thibodeaux


ASA is on track to test its Space Launch System (SLS), the nation’s most powerful rocket, in 2017. As America’s new deep space exploration rocket, it now has an engine or the completed assembly of RS-25, according to NASA. It will power the core state of the SLS, the launch vehicle taking humans and cargo on deep space missions that NASA says could include an asteroid and, ultimately, Mars. This more powerful rocket will be able to literally take humans where none have gone before in deep space. The SLS will be NASA’s first exploration-class vehicle since the Saturn V took American astronauts to the moon more than 40 This more powerful rocket years ago and will expand the nation’s reach in the will be able to literally take solar system, launching humans where none have crews of up to four astronauts aboard the new Orion gone before in deep space. spacecraft to deep space

NASA’sSpaceLaunchSystem Design‘Right on Track’for Journey to Mars. Photo courtesy of NASA.

36 •

destinations. It will be one of four RS-25s used to power Exploration Mission 2, the second SLS launch targeted for 2021. Testing these four engines will begin later this year as work accelerates on NASA’s newest launch vehicle. Fourteen of the 16 RS-25 engines in the SLS inventory are veterans of several space shuttle missions. Four RS-25 liquid propellant engines will power the SLS for the eight-minute climb to orbit with the help of two solid propellant boosters – both flight qualified components of the Space Shuttle Program and now essential to SLS’s unmatched payload capability. “Completion of this engine is a significant accomplishment, considering it’s been nearly five years since the last RS-25 was assembled,” said Jim Paulsen, vice president of Program Execution Advanced Space & Launch Programs Aerojet Rocketdyne. “It’s been a great opportunity for the team’s SSME veterans to get reacquainted with this engine.


For new members of the team, it’s been an invaluable introduction to this dependable engine.” As progress continues on NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), the solid rocket boosters team successfully completed its critical design review in August. This is an important milestone for the program, as it verifies the boosters are ready to move forward with qualification testing. “Our team has worked extremely hard and we are moving forward with building this rocket,” said John Honeycutt, SLS program manager. “We are qualifying hardware, building structural test articles and making real progress.” More than 330 experts from various NASA centers and ATK of Brigham City, Utah - prime contractor for the boosters - were a part of the process that reviewed about 1,200 documents at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Marshall manages the SLS Program for the agency. The first flight test of the SLS in 2017 will be configured for a 70-metric-ton (77ton) lift capacity and carry an unmanned Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. As the SLS evolves, it will be the most powerful rocket ever built and provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions

even farther into our solar system. In 2013, NASA completed the SLS preliminary design and started production of the launch vehicle. In addition to making human exploration missions possible, NASA says the SLS offers major benefits for potential robotic science missions and other payloads. According to NASA, “It’s lift capability enables the launch of larger payloads than any other rocket; it’s high performance decreases the time it takes for robotic spacecraft to travel through the solar system, and by extension, cost and risk; and its ability to carry larger payload fairings than other rockets provides volume to fly unique space missions that art too large to fly on commercial rockets. (above)ArtistconceptofNASA’sSpaceLaunchSystem(SLS)solid rocketboostersfiringtheirseparationrocketsandpushingaway from the core stage. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 37


CUMMINGS RESEARCH PARK Investing in the future HudsonAlphaInstitutefor Biotechnology.

By Kimberly Ballard


n 1960, two Huntsville visionaries purchased 80 acres of cotton fields located along an unpaved stretch of Sparkman Drive to build their corporate offices. With the funding approved, Brown Engineering President Milton K. Cummings asked his colleague Joe Moquin to find a new site for their business with enough acreage for other companies to buy from him at cost. Moquin chose a cotton field across from University of Alabama Huntsville Graduate Center, later the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the park was born. IBM and Lockheed Martin joined what is now Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) to co-anchor Huntsville Research Park renamed Cummings Research Park (CRP) in a prime in 1973. Today it is the second research park in the position to “Power the U.S. largest U.S., and the fourth largest Economy” in the coming in the world, employing over employees. years. 29,000 Home to over 300 Fortune 500 companies; aerospace and - Bloomberg Business defense companies; successful 38 •

technology companies; entrepreneurial start-ups; and international corporations; Bloomberg Business says Huntsville, albeit one of the most unsuspecting cities to do so, is in a prime position to “Power the U.S. Economy” in the coming years. Located 10 minutes from Huntsville International Airport, CRP is largely responsible for Huntsville’s substantial economic growth and expansion over the past five decades. In 2008, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology introduced a whole new industry to the North Alabama region when they opened their 152-acre Biotech Campus in CRP; and since 2011, have continued to expand, introducing dozens of biotech firms into its midst. Between 8,000 and 10,000 enrolled college students from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a major research institution, live and learn just around the corner from the most innovative engineering and technology companies in the world. Only a handful of U.S. college programs have the kind of direct access to technological analysis, testing, research, and development as UAH. New ideas and academic ingenuity are born and raised at CRP.








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Nursing Building

Charger Union

Robert “Bud” Cramer Research Hall

Technical Micronics Controls


Roberts Hall/Roberts Recital Hall

Salmon Library

Shelby Center for Science & Technology

Teledyne Brown Engineering

Northrop Grumman

Spragins Hall

University Center/ Exhibit Hall Amphitheater

Chan Auditorium Business Administrative Building

SWIRLL (Severe Weather Institute Research and Lightning Laboratory)

Willbrook Solutions

KRS, LLC Redstone Federal Credit Union

Bevill Center Central Campus Residence Hall

Wilson Hall/ Wilson Theatre


4975 Bradford

Union Grove Gallery & Meeting Hall

Lockheed Martin

306 Wynn Drive Amtec

Frank Franz Hall

Morton Hall

DESE Research / SENTAR MBDA / Titertek Instruments


Rainbow Daycare

Cummings Research Park

10.91 AC

8.64 AC


6.2 AC

Eagle Drive 9.67 AC

Northrop Grumman

14 AC

11.02 AC


Synapse Wireless / Leidos

7 AC

Technology Service Corporation

8.7 AC

10.14 AC

Driv e

Patriot Center at Research Center Aranea Solutions / Gleason Research Associates / INTUITIVE

Dynamic Concepts / SRA Park Place Booz Allen Hamilton / Geocent

11.1 AC

8.78 AC

6.08 AC


18 AC

SAIC / FPMI ASRC Federal / DynCorp Aviagen


11.06 AC

6.22 AC

9.86 AC

9.78 AC

Raytheon/ The SI / Trimble / Telephonics

AEgis Technologies

8.4 AC 8.1 AC

11.32 AC

8.04 AC

ath D Bob He

18.12 AC

6.56 AC


5.21 AC

Northrop Grumman

12.3 AC

Explorer Boulevard

6.24 AC

12.4 AC

6.8 AC

co ve ry


11.3 AC

Future Development

PEO Aviation Office


7.35 AC

Lake 2


19.23 AC

6.4 AC

11.3 AC

18.35 AC

43.92 AC

Lake 3


6.23 AC

6 AC

8.40 AC

10 AC


6.41 AC

6.88 AC

7.71 AC

8.20 AC

5 AC

76 AC


uin D


955 Explorer Blvd.

6.16 AC

5.91 AC

9.22 AC

Lake 1

30 AC

5.64 AC

5 AC 5 AC

BAE Systems / Orbital ATK


Jackson Center


Quantum Research


51.95 AC

12 AC

ABC-PSO Fixed Wing

10.76 AC 19.69 AC

10 AC


6.17 AC Davidson 7.19 AC Technologies 7.59 AC


7.7 AC

5 AC

Engility / 635 Discovery AMTEC

Aerojet Rocketdyne

iv e

7.8 AC

Farrow Road

5.35 AC

10.63 AC

Colonial Center at Lakeside

Rolls Royce / CenturyLink SDI

8.14 AC

9.6 AC

5 AC

Ben Graves Drive

3.2 AC

10.34 AC

e riv

9.2 AC

7.82 AC

8.47 AC

15.47 AC

990 Explorer Yulista S3, Inc.

North Campus Residence Hall

Shearer & Associates

Ben Grav es D rive

Future Development

Camber Corporation

Huntsville Utilities

Dr ive

Un ive rs ity

AT Solution / Decisive Analytics SESI / KLO EADS Corporate Office Park Stratolaunch / Johnson Controls / Corporate Drive MSSI Moog / Red Hat IRS Sigmatech / PeopleTec Faulkner Emerson Victory Solutions / Technology Center University BRC Social Security Strayer University Lockheed Administration Chugach Baron Martin Garver Kratos Services Yulista A-P-T Defense & Research / Qualitest Wynn Security 401 Radiance Cummings Aerospace Drive SEAC Solutions Technologies, Inc. Research Drive OMI TVA


University Greenway

10.6 AC

D ith . Sm kC Mar

6.57 AC

10.75 AC

12.71 AC


9.67 AC

7.61 AC

Columbia High School

6.72 AC

7.97 AC

Voyager Way

12.38 AC

8.9 AC

rd va ule Bo rer plo Ex

10.09 AC

8.75 AC

Sparkman Drive


7.3 AC


Madison Square Mall

6.5 AC

Bldg. 2 Future Research Bldg. 1 Camber URS / Siemens / M3 i3 / MCR Superior Solutions 11 AC Qualis Bldg. 3 Discovery Place ManTech / T&W Operations / 24 AC Trideum / NetWorx 13.26 AC MacB 6 AC Delta Research

18 AC

10.64 AC

John Wright Drive


Alabama Supercomputer / 5 AC Alabama Research & Miltec-Ducomm / Education MTA / Complex IQ Gideon / Network CSC 7 AC 10 AC

Macro Industries

Wynn Dri ve

Dynetics Dynetics

sus ga Pe


9 AC

10.23 AC

26.79 AC

14 AC

21 AC

Research Park Boulevard



11.96 AC

Enterprise Way


Old Madison Pike Technology Pointe

Catholic High School

The Bridges

Research Park Office Center


Huntsville Hospital

305 Quality Circle

Highland Office Park

Lake 5 Hampton Inn & Suites Home2 Suites by Hilton

s West

Park West Center Crystal Mountain Water

Progress Center

Gov er nor



Quality Circle

18 AC


Defense Acquisition University


Diamond Drive

UAHuntsville Foundation (Zoned CRP West)

CRP Applications

Huntsville Hospital ARSA, P.C.

Thornton Research Park

NeXolve / Graham & Co.

Verizon Wireless

University of Alabama in Huntsville Foundation



n Hu



In 2005, Huntsville won the U.S. Army’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) consolidations contract and it made the 3,800-acre business park an attractive location for the international movers and shakers of the technology industry. Since then, CRP has received a $300 million dollar commercial development in Bridge Street Town Centre with 2 million square feet of retail, restaurant, entertainment, office, and hotel space at its heart. CRP has also experienced a contemporary blending of residential lifestyles with workplace convenience in the past decade. With the new Columbia High School and a burst in residential housing on the northern and western edge of the park, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County and the City of Huntsville are dedicated partners in reshaping CRP’s future. “Even after fifty years, we foresee a vibrant and successful future for CRP,” says Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “However, we recognize that we can’t sit on our laurels and assume that what worked yesterday will work tomorrow. To keep 40 •



ti na





U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Established in 1962, Cummings Research Park (CRP) is one of the largest and most-respected research parks in the world. Since its inception CRP has grown to become the second-largest science and technology park in the U.S. and fourth-largest in the world.

CRP West Land Prices Per Acre

CRP, as shown here, encompasses 3,843 acres and includes nearly 12 million square feet of administration, laboratory, research and development, classroom and manufacturing space.

Interior Lots:


Approx. 450 acres of land are available for development in CRP West. In order to stimulate economic development and investment, the price of land per acre in CRP is significantly lower than adjacent property, providing an attractive incentive for new and expanding companies.

Boulevard Non-Access Lots:


Land parcels in CRP West range from five acres (minimum) to 18 acres, but may also be reconfigured to meet company requirements. For each parcel, the City of Huntsville will complete basic site preparation including road access, curbing, drainage, telecommunications, and utilities to the site. For more information contact Erin Koshut at 256.535.2086 or Or visit us at

CRP on the innovative forefront, we are investing in a new Master Plan to ensure that Huntsville’s premier park relates to the wants and needs of 21st century workers.” According to Erin Koshut, Director of CRP for the Chamber of Commerce, implementing the new Master Plan in 2016 is the key to CRP’s future growth. “In many ways, CRP grew so quickly that from a zoning standpoint, we were unable to keep up,” she explains. “Today, companies expect more amenities for their employees than they did in 1962 when CRP began expanding. That has continued over the past twenty years as the west side of the park developed. We realize that perhaps some 1960s zoning ordinances and deed restrictions will hamper future growth if we don’t move quickly.” “Since the 1960s, zoning policy across the country focused on separating commercial and residential uses,” says Mayor Battle. “Planners now realize the limitations of that thinking and are going back to incorporate mixed uses in our zoning codes. Contemporary parks want more flexibility to provide a mix of uses includ-

(Lots that do not front Park boulevards, and must be accessed via non-boulevard roads)

(Lots that have property frontage on boulevards, but are accessed from non-boulevard roads)

Boulevard Access Lots:


(Lots that have property frontage on and are directly accessible via boulevards)

Lakeside Lots:

Scale in Miles






August 2015

ing some smaller offices with residential, retail, and entertainment. The new master plan will address those desires and help CRP broaden its ability to attract businesses for the 21st century.” “We have nearly 450 acres of land still available for development,” Koshut says. “Our new Master Plan will help loosen old restrictions so we can allow for more social and family activities to support park employees and students. We hope to develop more landscaped bike paths and greenways, create more directional signage, and we are opening up the park to family-friendly festivals and services like the popular food trucks that have so revitalized downtown. Until late 2015, they had been prohibited at CRP.” This is important since Huntsville’s central theme is A Great Place to Live, Work, and Play. “These new models allow for live, work, learn, and play environments, and they help cut transportation costs and transit times, provide smarter land use, and promote healthier living by offering opportunities to walk and bike,” adds Battle.


The Legacy of

Lowe Mill The nation’s largest privately owned art facility shines in Huntsville By Camille Platt


uilt in 1900 by Arthur H. Lowe, the historic textile mill that is now Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment originally operated 25,000 spindles that turned locally grown cotton into cloth. After future stints as a cotton warehouse and a shoe factory that supplied boots to U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, the “We are taking art out of building was purchased by Huntsville’s Jim Hudson to give that sacred place, where you area artists a place to model his and the cannot touch the art or see passion—collaboration sharing of information among the artist or meet the artist, creative minds. For Executive Director and people have access Marcia Freeland, the no matter what your conversion of Lowe Mill into a working space for local education, no matter what artists in 2001 also gives the your lease in life is.” public access to an imaginative industry that once kept its - Executive Director Marcia Freeland “maker’s space” behind closed doors. 42 •

“We are taking art out of that sacred place, where you cannot touch the art or see the artist or meet the artist, and people have access no matter what your education, no matter what your lease in life is,” she says. “This is open four days a week so that the public can come in and have access to art and artists.” On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6:00 p.m. and on Fridays from noon to 8:00 p.m., anyone can walk through Lowe Mill’s 128 working studios to watch area artists transform their creative ideas into visual, culinary and performance arts. At Studio WT2, Romanian native and sculptor Mirceau Lacatus carefully chips away at stones with a hammer and chisel. At Nickel Cigar Box Guitars in Studio 106, John Nickel makes three-string guitars, dulcimers and amps out of cigar boxes and sells kits to teach his fans how to build one for themselves. At Squeaking Tribe Studios, life-long puppeteer Anna Sue Courtney collects and builds shadow puppets and marionettes.


Freeland explains that for the more than 200 artists on site, Lowe Mill is not a retail mall but a maker’s space. While some of the artists have wares for sale, the primary function of the converted mill is artist studio. And you never know what artistsponsored classes or event will pop up next. Lowe Mill’s calendar of events is constantly changing with opportunities for classes in wheel throwing, letterpress, comic book art and illustration, digital painting, soap making and swing dancing.

Every Saturday, Flying Monkey Arts hosts an Artist’s Market from noon to 4:00 p.m., giving area artists the chance to set up a booth and sell their creations. Concerts on the Dock offers free spring and fall concert series on the lawn. The third Wednesday of each month, Out Loud! is an open mic opportunity for poets and speakers hosted by spoken-word powerhouse Kimberly Casey. On Aug. 1, 2015, Lowe Mill hosted Good Night, an end-of-summer night of camp-style games for grown ups with

rowdy round of human hungry hippos, retro video games, a poker room, a roller derby grand prix and a black light water balloon fight. Lowe Mill renovated 30,000 square feet of the north floor, adding 28 studios in 2014. Today the facility totals 128 working studios and seven art galleries rotated every six weeks. For more information and for detailed profiles of each artist on site, visit

Below:AnarthistorymajorattheUniversityofAlabamaatHuntsville,Alexis Haddock’sinternshipatLoweMillin2015resultedinacompletehistoryofthe building’smovefromindustrialtextilemilltoartsandentertainmentcultural center.Thetwo-inchbindersincludethenamesandnicknamesof500children whoworkedonsitefrom1908to1912andareavailabletothepublicatLoweMill and at the Huntsville public library.

Belowandright:GuadalupeLanningRobinsoncreates ceramicpotsandquiltsalongsideherpetbirdsinRailroadCar1atLoweMillArts&EntertainmentCenter.

44 •



highlights in Huntsville/ Madison County

LOWE MILL The upstart in the city’s arts community, this historic textile mill at 2211 Seminole Drive houses more than 100 working artisans and small businesses. Art shows, classes and free concerts on the back dock are fixtures on its annual calendar. During public hours visitors can see artists blowing glass, making fine jewelry, printing posters and more. HUNTSVILLE MUSEUM OF ART

“An average of 300 arts activities is a typical month.” - Arts Council Executive Director Allison Dillon-Jauken

It claims one of the most impressive locations in the city at 300 Church St. in Big Spring International Park downtown. Thirteen galleries showcase exhibits all year, and the permanent collection includes more than 3,000 pieces. Popular touring exhibits have included “A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum” and “Land of the Winged Horsemen: Art in Poland.” The museum also offers art classes, programs and lectures. HUNTSVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This professional group can trace its origins to the arrival of the German rocket team around 1950. Many of them loved music and joined other local enthusiasts to organize a symphony in 1954, with the first rehearsals to come a year later. Now the oldest continually operating professional orchestra in Alabama, HSO provides education programs as well as a popular concert series.

46 •

TheHuntsvilleSymphonyOrchestrahoststheCanadianBrassGroupin March of 2016

COMMUNITY BALLET ASSOCIATION The resident company offers training for professional dance. The umbrella organization includes Huntsville Ballet Company, Huntsville Ballet School and the Women’s Guild of Huntsville Ballet. CBA provides education and outreach programs and at least four productions each year. Community-Ballet-Association-Of-Huntsville


HUNTSVILLE ART LEAGUE Since 1957, this group has promoted interest in the visual arts. It thrives today with its own gallery space, classes, mentor program, juried competition, peer critiques and more. THE ARTS COUNCIL INC. Core programs include Concerts in the Park each summer downtown, galleries, education, the Create Huntsville community cultural plan and arts assembly support. The Panoply Arts Festival began in 1982 and continues to attract crowds to Big Spring International Park each spring.

SPACES In 2010, the Arts Council developed SPACES as a biennial sculpture installation. Madison joined the movement in 2012. SPACES Sculpture Trail project became a public art display that now includes 36 sculptures at locations throughout Huntsville and Madison. BROADWAY THEATRE LEAGUE This venerable organization dates to 1959. Shows presented at the Von Braun Center reflect a wide range of interests, such as Hello, Dolly!, Flashdance–The Musical and Green Day’s American Idiot. Some BTL patrons have been subscribers for decades.

TheWorldPremierofHuntsville’sCommunityBallet Association’s Peter Pan , April 2016

SPACES SculptureTrail - UAHuntsville. Valence by Michael Cottrell Discover Huntsville 2015 • of Jacksonville, FL.



Higher education

that packs a punch Heavy Impact on Workforce Development By Kimberly Ballard


ccording to the American Institute for Economic Research, Huntsville is one of the nation’s best towns for college students. Named one of the nation’s top engineering cities according to NerdWallet, Huntsville is one of the 2015 Best Places for STEM Grads and among the top 10 Promising U.S. Tech North Alabama colleges Most Hubs according to have launched new Six major colleges and universities in and around workforce initiatives to Huntsville have long accommodate growing implemented workforce development programs that technical fields. increase the percentage of college graduates, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); advanced manufacturing; programming and software development; and computer science, going directly into jobs in their professions. Even more exciting, North Alabama colleges 48 •

have launched new workforce initiatives to accommodate growing technical fields like cyber security and global logistics, while new trends like craft beer brewing are inspiring certification programs for undergraduates and business professionals. High school sophomores can begin their college education through dual enrollment and skip the first year or two of junior college. Scheduling flexibility and online classes make it convenient for traditional and nontraditional students to get bachelor degrees in highly technical fields, and for working people to pursue Masters-level degrees that improve their chances at advancement. Civic, corporate, and academic leadership throughout Madison County has helped institutes of higher learning meet the challenges of the 21st century and to impact economic development across the Tennessee Valley in a way that has WalletHub naming Huntsville one of the nation’s Most Educated Cities!

education CYBER SECURITY & MATERIEL ENGINEERING NEW AT ALABAMA A&M Already renowned for their Master’s program in computer science and physics, Alabama A&M’s (AAMU) new graduate degree in materiel engineering is tailored for people currently in the workforce looking to take their skills to the next level, or increase their chances at advancement where they work. “AAMU’s computer science graduate program has been completely online for several years and is one of our largest and most successful,” says Dr. Chance Glenn, dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, & Physical Sciences. “We are duplicating its success and adding night classes to the materiel engineering Master’s program to make it convenient for working people.” AAMU is also offering a new certification program in cyber security, available to 4-year undergraduates or anyone in the community interested in pursuing a job in that field. “Cyber is growing in popularity and has strong ties to technology nationally and locally,” says Glenn. “We are taking steps to get more involved on the academic side as well as the research and development (R&D) side.” Over the past year, AAMU has reconstituted their Board of Advisors to broaden their search for more internship and education-work opportunities, and to track and follow-up on defenserelated work referrals. Glenn launched the AAMU-RISE (Research, Innovation, Science, and Engineering) Foundation in 2014 to enhance technology transfers, faculty research, and contractual opportunities in the STEM areas, while providing educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. An extension of AAMU’s scientific impact on the Huntsville community, Glenn, who is its president and executive director, says, “Through the Foundation, we can act swiftly on opportunities with private industry, government, and academic organizations to perform needed R&D activities.” AAMU strengthened their relationships with NASA and Huntsville

prime contractors like Jacobs Technology, Stinger, Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT), and Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE); while allying with Calibre to augment core capabilities, provide greater geographic reach, and expand contractual venues that leverage student skills and experience. On a national level, AAMU is partnering with Google in their $150 million Diversity Core program.

According to an article in Wired, Google will embed engineers in historically black colleges (HBCU) like AAMU to help rethink computer science curriculums and recruit more black interns in their efforts to diversify their workforce, which is currently only 2 percent African American.

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 49


Calhoun Community College’s FAME Program for Advanced Manufacturing In October 2014, Calhoun Community College (CCC) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (TMMA) launched the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program designed to provide an innovative manufacturing degree earned over five semesters of classroom instruction with paid, handson manufacturing experience. Students receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in advanced manufacturing upon completion. Comprised of nine North Alabama companies, AMT is just one of several education-work initiatives under the Alabama Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) umbrella. According to FAME program coordinator Collis Sims, “AMT is a very selective program. To be accepted, students must meet high academic standards, pass a placement and entrance exam, but ultimately, go through a job interview process not unlike that of any standard employee.” Students work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the first four semesters making $13.55 an hour, and go to classes on Tuesday and Thursday. In the fifth semester, they go to class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and work Tuesday and Thursday. In AMT’s first year, CCC had 45 applicants. In 2015, they had 110, and with a maximum of 15, they accepted 13.

“These companies need industry maintenance technicians who want to work and learn while they are in school,” says Sims. “Students must perform as expected and can be fired if they don’t. They are at the top of the list for consideration for a permanent position when the five semesters are up, but they are not guaranteed a job. The cool thing about AMT is that they may be discussing something specific in class, and then at work, they are actually doing it in the real world.” Athens State & Faulkner University Add Logistics & Supply Chain Management Programs Both Athens State University and Faulkner University are unique institutions of higher learning that have developed their curriculum and degree programs around the special needs of the

of Public Relations, Marketing and Publications, ASU is one of only a handful of colleges that offer only junior- and senior-level college curricula. “Athens State is the very antithesis of a two-year community college,” says McClure. “The majority of our students are returning to school after getting their Associates degree, or they are already in the workforce and have careers and families. Because our students require flexibility, our blended curriculum of classroom learning, night classes, and online classes provide that workability and as a result, our students often share with us what they are experiencing in the workplace.” According to Thomas Pieplow, Associate Professor in the College of Business at ASU, “Our new Master’s program in Logistics & Supply Chain Management (L&SCM) is the result of numerous requests for this curriculum.”

“The cool thing about AMT is that they may be discussing something specific in class, and then at work, they are actually doing it in the real world.”

50 •

nontraditional, working adult student. Athens State University (ASU) is one of Alabama’s oldest college institutions dating to 1822. Today it is one of the most distinctive colleges in the country. According to Guy McClure, director

ASU will see its first L&SCM class intake in January 2016 and will begin classes in the spring. “Our students are looking at this advanced degree from a business perspective,” says Pieplow. “A bachelor’s degree used to be sufficient for a good management job, but today, a Master’s is often required to move up in a host of technology fields. People see it as a means for professional advancement.” The new Master’s program in L&SCM consists of two to three years,


or 30 to 35 hours of advanced macro and microeconomics, international finance, national security, statistics, logistical strategy, etc., primarily focused on acquisitions, distribution, and warehousing. “We don’t want to duplicate other L&SCM programs out there, but fill needs that aren’t available. We structure the program so it is in-demand. Because of our affiliation with Redstone Arsenal (RSA) and government contractors, we will continue to come up with a consensus of needs as we move forward,” says Pieplow. Faulkner University is a Christian university based out of Montgomery, AL with a satellite campus in Huntsville. Their average student is the working adult seeking a flexible means for attaining a 4-year business degree specializing in healthcare administration, human resource management, website perspectives, business information systems, and finance, with an MBA available in Business Administration.

Started in 2014, Faulkner’s new undergraduate degree in Logistics Management targets working people looking for executive and professional level advancement through a college degree. UAH’s SWAP Puts Students to Work In 1990, Gary Maddux, Ph.D. was an entry-level programming instructor teaching Cobalt at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Cobalt was the center of the computer universe at the time and Maddux asked permission from UAH to hire one of his exceptional young programming students part-time, to help him with a project. One programmer became two, two programmers became four engineering students, and that is how the popular Students Working with the Army in Parallel (SWAP) program began in the Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP) at UAH. Shortly afterward, BRAC was coming to Huntsville. Maddux says everyone from

the Mayor on down were asking where Huntsville was going to find all these bright young engineers and logisticians needed to support the economic growth. “I spoke up and said I didn’t think there was a problem finding smart young talent, and then set about cherrypicking the very best we had for what I considered a six-month job interview with a homework assignment,” says Maddux. “Most of them were my students, so I knew their commitment, their work ethic, their ability, and their personality.” SWAP is part of local economic development. They began fulfilling the demands of the Army with very good students looking for opportunities to get their foot in the door and gain experience. The Army recently recognized Maddux’s first student for a program he developed while working on a simple R&D project on RSA. Now thousands of people in the U.S. Army use it daily. Maddux, who is now principal director at SMAP says SWAP is thrilled

Success is a

story start building yours here.

For more information on these Success Stories and how you can start building yours visit:

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 51


UAH Morton Hall

when the Army or defense contractor hires his people away. “That is the function we serve. Unlike an internship which is a co-op for hours but no money, SWAP students are UAH employees and UAH is paid by the contractor or entity (usually the Army) needing the part-time or entry-level employee. One of our very best students came from Drake but is now an undergrad at Alabama A&M. He is on an internship at BMW in South Carolina this summer but will come back to work for us when he returns this fall,” says Maddux. “I tell the kids when I’m interviewing them that I am going to make them very competitive in the workplace,” says Tom Ingram, Principal Research Scientist at SMAP who does all of the interviewing for available positions. “Whether you are competing for a job with the Federal government or one of the local defense contractors, you are going to walk out of any of the colleges we service, and be viable in the workforce. It gives the kid studying engineering, a chance to work in engineering to see if they truly love it; and gives the organization a chance to see if that kid has the work ethic they are looking for to build a long-term relationship.” SWAP doesn’t just service UAH. They take qualified students from Alabama A&M, Athens State, Calhoun CC, Wallace State CC, and JF Drake State Technical College; and they hire a great deal of entry-level folks from Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, and Mississippi State.

“If you qualify and can commute to Redstone Arsenal to go to work, we can help you,” says Ingram. JF Drake State Technical College’s Craft Brewery Certification With the burgeoning craft beer industry taking hold in Huntsville, Dr. Mary Jane Caylor, dean of Workforce Development at Drake TC, partnered with Downtown Huntsville, Inc. last spring to hold a level 1 Introduction to the Craft Beer Brewery Industry class that focused on the significant economic impact breweries have on the City and its importance to tourism. Held at the Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology, Caylor invited a panel of nine representatives involved in the implementation of the craft beer industry in Huntsville whom she immediately pegged as instructors and subject matter experts (SME) for a certification program

state legislation to raise the alcohol-byvolume limits from 6 percent to 13.9 percent for beer; to permit breweries the ability to operate outside the brewpub restrictions so they could hold beer-tasting events and allow guests to take beer off the premises; and to increase container size limits to exceed 16 oz. Working with Partain and Dan Roberts, executive director of the Alabama Brewers Guild, Caylor is creating a classroom syllabus for her 29-hour Craft Beer Brewery Certification curriculum at Drake State. It includes things like understanding the Alabama brewery laws; how to brew craft beer; understanding the fermentation process; how to choose

flavors and ingredients and where to buy them; the biology behind beer’s effects on the human body; how to write a business plan for a brewery business; and how to

Beginning summer 2016, Mary Jane Caylor, dean of Workforce Development at Drake, hopes to have a fully accredited Craft Beer Brewery Certification class for ages 21 to 75.

52 •

she planned to bring to Drake State. In March and October 2015, she filled two classes with 30 people and joined with Carie Partain, vice president of Free the Hops, a grass-roots nonprofit organization who lobbied and won three legislative challenges to Alabama’s alcohol laws, to learn what it would take to add an educational component to the craft beer business locally. Free the Hops successfully changed

pair craft beers with food selections. Beginning summer 2016, Caylor hopes to have a fully accredited Craft Beer Brewery Certification class for ages 21 to 75. She also plans to hold at least two 2½ hour non-credit seminars per year like those she held at Hudson Alpha that are open to the community. Is it any wonder that the Washington Post ranked Huntsville one of the Most Happy Cities in the country?

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 53


Huntsville Madison County Schools (Above)HuntsvilleCity Schoolsgaveanopening ceremonyatformerEd White Middle School thatwillnowbehometo AcademyofAcademics & Art. The $18 million projectnearlydoubles studentcapacitythisyear.

Building a Technology-Driven Workforce One Child at a Time By Kimberly Ballard

Across the country, data reflects a “less than flattering portrait” of the educational system in the U.S. In the Huntsville City School System (HCS) however, leadership at the top has put education on the same trajectory as industry. Huntsville’s approach to educating its children is a major economic driver and a powerful workforce development tool. It is also a model for hundreds of school districts nationwide in how to engage young people in the learning In the Huntsville City School process in a 21st Century digital System, leadership at the environment. counselors, and top has put education on the localTeachers, business and civic leaders same trajectory as industry. with the Madison County School System (MCSS) have found ways to pinpoint leadership qualities in young people, regardless of income or at-risk factors. Through mentorship and personal engagement, students are advocating for their own education. Huntsville provides a unique learning ground for children. Fostered from an early age in basic

54 •

programming comprised of applied mathematics; in cyber security driven by a life of perpetual connectivity; and in advanced manufacturing and 3D gaming backed by science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); students make fresh pickings for the thousands of technology companies offering good paying jobs in Huntsville. HUNTSVILLE CITY SCHOOLS Since Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski took over in June 2011, graduation rates are up 22 percent; ACT scores are four times the state average; Career Readiness Certifications have increased by over 1,000 percent; and scholarship levels are up from $30 million to nearly $50 million. “Those are big gains and we see them in every measurable area, in every grade, at every school, including those located in lower income areas and tougher neighborhoods where the educational experience is harder,” says Wardynski. “Huntsville is a model school system, drawing over 800 educators nationwide from school districts in Delaware, Utah,


California, Texas, Missouri, and others, who come here to see how we do it.” The Huntsville City School System is extraordinary in many ways beginning with their financial stability and successful rezoning, building, and recommissioning of new and old schools. “When I came four years ago, the system was $19 million in debt. Currently, we are $40 million in the black with $300 million worth of new schools under construction,” says Wardynski. “When we are finished in 2018, we will have 36 schools with about one-third of them brand-new including two new high schools — Grissom in South Huntsville and Jemison in North Huntsville.” HCS sold ten old schools and some have been repurposed into much needed private schools; businesses such as grocery stores, breweries, and incubators; and numerous civic facilities like police precincts; training facilities for firefighters and law enforcement; community parks; recreational centers, ballfields, gyms, community theat-

ers, and libraries. “Rather than leaving them empty, we put them back on the tax rolls providing resources for the community,” he says. “We made about $10 to $12 million off the sales, which goes back into building new schools. We removed about 2,000,000 square feet of old school space, which is about a third of our square footage, and built back about 1,200,000 square feet of new school space.”

HuntsvilleMayorTommyBattletookhisjoyofreadingtoRidgecrestElementarySchoolwhere heandhiswife,Eula,sharedtheDr.Seussclassic,“GreenEggsandHam”withpre-kindergarten throughfirstgraders.ThereadingwaspartofabookdistributioneventwithMayorBattle’sBook Clubthatisnowinitsfifthyear.Inthepastweek,the2015bookprogramdistributedabout 9,400bookstostudentsinHuntsville’s10Title1elementaryschools.(PhotoscontributedbyCity of Huntsville)

MADISON CITY SCHOOLS Madison is an affluent suburban community linked to Huntsville via Cummings Research Park (CRP) where the vast

majority of residents work in highly skilled technical jobs. Nearly 70 percent of Madison residents hold bachelors or advanced

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degrees, so they demand excellence in education for their children. Test scores on national standardized tests (ACT) are the highest in the state averaging 23.2 in 2015 compared to the national average of 21 and the state average of 19.1. Also in 2015, Madison City Schools produced more National Merit semi-finalists (35) than any of the 128 school districts in Alabama, regardless of size. Furthermore, 57 percent of 2015 graduates earned college scholarships averaging $37,000 each. The Madison City School system is one of the fastest growing in the state serving nearly 10,000 students. After separating from the Madison County School System in 1998, it has an operating budget of $73 million and consists of two high schools, two middle schools, seven elementary schools, and a new Pre-K Center.

ment of Madison County Elementary. “Where we lack funding, we make up for it by being strategic in how we invest in and empower our teachers, which we think are the best of the best. We encourage and promote innovation in our classrooms. As a result, we have developed a number of programs that have received regional and national attention. Some of those programs are now serving as a benchmark for other school districts across the region,” Massey says.

even programs for troubled teens. Most of Madison County’s private school environments provide secure learning environments that require limited access to modern, high-tech facilities, and administer standardized testing programs such as the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching and curriculum. Most also require statecertified teachers and are accredited by the Alabama Board of Education.

EMBRACING A DIGITAL EDUCATION The HCS system is the largest digital school system in the U.S., its success attributed to blanket interconnectivity and a cloud-based learning management system called SchoolNet. “Going digital is more than one-to-one, which puts all the emphasis on a static device rather than on the students; or Bring Your Own MADISON COUNTY Device in which you have ten to twenty different devices SCHOOLS in every classroom,” says Elected SuperintenWardynski. “We give every dent over the Madison child a Lenovo ThinkPad, County School System in KatieBumbickaandJesseCowart,botheight-gradersatChallengerMiddleSchool,showtheirRubeGoldberg which is about half the January 2015, Matt Masexperimentasstudentsandparentsgotachanceforhands-onexperiencesinscience,technology,engineering weight of other notebooks. sey had been an itinerant andmathasChallengerMiddleSchoolhostsaSTEMFaironTuesday,February17,2015inHuntsville,Ala.Many It has a solid-state hard drive teacher, working in nearly ofthestudentsrecentlycompetedinthestateCyberPatriotaward,andtheChallengerstudentswon1st,2nd, and touchscreens so students all of the County middle and and 3rd place in Alabama. can interact with their fingers, high schools where he had a which is helpful in workhands-on perspective of the challenges facing the County School district. MADISON COUNTY PRIVATE SCHOOLS ing mathematical equations and easier for “There are nine large school systems in There are currently 57 private schools the little kids when they move up from the Alabama with more than 17,000 students of varying grade levels and curriculum in iPad.” and there is a big gap between number nine Madison County serving nearly 9,500 stuSchoolNet facilitates student collaboraand number ten, so we compare ourselves dents. According to the Huntsville/Madison tion; upgrades and updates the curriculum to the big nine,” says Massey. “We are the County Private School Association that rep- automatically; and lets teachers see students eighth largest in the state and based on last resents over 20 private, religiously affiliated, as they do their homework or take tests year’s Aspire scores, we are number one in or independent schools in Huntsville and in real time so they can provide online twenty one out of twenty four categories Madison, private schools provide a variety resources if they get stuck like a video of the among grades three through eight. In spite of education alternatives, including day care, lesson, textbooks, and even an online tutor. of a funding gap due to how Alabama funds pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten through It makes learning more engaging, fun, and education, we are doing well.” grade 12. promotes adaptive learning, that is, the lesUsing Base Realignment and Closure Private schools offer smaller class sizes sons get progressively harder as they get the (BRAC) funding along with backing from to ensure a greater degree of individual answers correct. the Madison County Commission, Madison attention; they demand a higher level of “For years, school had boredom down County Schools have three recent buildacademic performance; and they usually to a science for many kids,” Wardynski ing and refurbishment projects: the new promote moral values and discipline in a continues. “We bring real-world applicaMoore’s Mill Intermediate School; the new strict atmosphere. Many address learning tion, competition, and fun into the school Monrovia High School; and the refurbishdisabilities; faith-based preferences; and curriculum and we see it working here in 56 •


AgroupofchildrenplaywitharobotSaturday,Jan.10,2015,atamagnetfairheldat LeeHighSchoolinHuntsville.TherobotwaspartoftheAcademyofScienceandForeign Language’sboothatthefair,whichgaveparentsandstudentsalookatHuntsville’s seven magnet programs.

Huntsville.” All school buses have Wi-Fi and the schools work with the City to provide hotspots at all community parks, recreational centers, and public libraries. “It cuts down on disciplinary problems by 75 percent so bus drivers love it, and teachers can score tests and assignments immediately, making them better facilitators of education,” says Wardynski. “It also enables English language learning, capable of delivering assignments in a variety of languages, which helps with diverse populations.” The Madison County School System has adopted an advanced learning management system called Canvas they implemented in 2015. “We partnered with Adtran to help us continue our Canvas roll out and to build our own student network,” says Massey. “The Internet and cloud connectivity is part of life for kids today. We are one of the first K through 12 school systems to use Canvas, and by 2017, we will have filled a big technology gap that has needed to be filled for several years.” SUMMER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY In lieu of summer school, Madison County Schools invested in their students. By focusing on those who show signs of accomplishment, but who may be considered “at-risk” based on chronic absenteeism, boredom, or other factors, the Huntsville City Schools Greenpower Exhibition Race at Grissom High School.

County puts them through a leadership program with Leadership Huntsville that turns them into advocates for their own education,” says Massey. “So far it has spread to five schools affecting about 500 kids and we have been very successful changing the outcomes for students with all the indicators for dropping out of school. We had one student who was absent 40 times last year and after going through Leadership Academy, was absent less than five days this entire year and his test scores are up.”

SPECIALIZED CURRICULA Between Mayor Tommy Battle’s Cyber Initiative and Redstone Arsenal’s dependency on cyber security, Wardynski saw an opportunity to give Huntsville’s insignificant high school cyber team a little love. “We resourced it and blew it out with student/ teacher ideas and the result is that Grissom High School’s CyberSloths won the CyberPatriot VII National Finals Competition in Washington, D.C. in March 2015. They had to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor in the Network Security Master Challenge. They also completed a Digital Forensics Challenge, a Digital Crime Scene Challenge, and a Cisco Networking Challenge. Huntsville’s New Century Technology High School’s Alpha team also competed in the Cyberpatriot’s All Service Division for ROTC.” Based on the strength of HCS’ Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing curriculum, the GreenPower Team USA designed and built a batterypowered car from scratch that

finished 8th in the national time trials, and qualifies for the GreenPower Racing competition in England in October 2015. Twenty students from the GreenPower Team made the trip. Beginning in elementary school, the GreenPower elective teaches students how to design, build, market, and race an actual racecar, cast in carbon fiber using a $300,000 autoclave; and built using an $800,000 plastic and metal 3D printer. Encompassing all the STEM areas and more, the cars top out at 40 to 45 mph, but are designed more for endurance than speed. “Schools are built with football fields so the football team can compete, and gymnasiums are built so the gymnastics teams can compete,” says Wardynski. “All of our new schools have race tracks so our mechanical engineering students can compete.” Another popular area of study pertinent to Huntsville is gaming technology. Starting in elementary school, little kids learn programming, which requires a high level of literacy in mathematics. “They have to code little bumblebees to navigate through a maze. By the time they’re in high school, they know how to create 3D games, almost guaranteeing a good paying job in Huntsville since 3D gaming, modeling, and simulation are a $700 million industry in Huntsville.”

real estate

Huntsville is THE place to live! From timeless, slow-paced, front-porch living to charm, character, rich history, and convenience, Huntsville is the place to be By Melissa Gerrish


rom timeless, slow-paced, front-porch living to charm, character, rich history, and convenience, Huntsville is the place to be. The city has a population of 188,226, and has a home ownership rate of 60 percent, according to the United States Census Bureau. “Having lived all over the country, Huntsville has all the convenience and most of the amenities of a big city, but has a small town charm about it that has been the best of both worlds for me and my wife,” said Kipp Cooper, Chief Executive “When it comes to home Officer at Huntsville Area Association of Realtors.” The quality of ownership, Huntsville is a life in Huntsville is its best kept ” smart place to call home.” secret. Accessibility is key. “Many who visit – and many who leave – - Kip Cooper, Chief Executive Officer at are in shock that we are so close to Huntsville Area Association of Realtors everything and the engineering of

Above:Gardendesigned byBillNance.111Calhoun St. Huntsville

58 •

the roads flow so easily,” said Amanda Howard, founder and CEO of Amanda Howard Real Estate. “It only takes 30 minutes to get from the furthest east side of Huntsville to the furthest west side of Madison.” “Interstate 565 makes jumping to anywhere a breeze,” Howard said. “Nashville and Chattanooga are frequent quick day trips for locals.” “We also have Craft breweries that are all the rage and fun festivals that are popping up everywhere. We have plenty of free family entertainment, beautiful parks and trails – an easy/casual


Henson Hills 140’s - $190’s



180’s - $260’s


Sq Ft: 1500 to 2400

Sq Ft: 1500 to 3200

Mt. Carmel

250’s - $350’s Sq Ft: 2000 to 3200


Riverside Landing

200’s - $400’s Sq Ft: 2000 to 4000


Whitworth Farms

320’s - $400’s Sq Ft: 2700 to 4000


Concert in the Park at Big Springs.

lifestyle but with ‘down the street’ access to fine dining, shopping and nightlife,” said Howard. Cooper says Huntsville has an exceptionally good, affordable and balanced housing market. Howard agrees. “You get more house for your dollar,” she said. “We have a healthy selection of housing types and styles at almost every price point. Combine this with low utility rates and low property taxes and it is no wonder that when it comes to homeownership, Huntsville is a smart place to call home,” said Cooper. Schools are also a plus. The Huntsville City School District contains seven high schools. The district contains two schools – Grissom High School and New Century Technology High School – that received gold, silver or bronze medals in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings. “We really do have great schools, with a lot of community opinion and involvement,” Howard said. “You will find it’s a constant topic here. And when you see schools focused on, that means they are in constant states of improvement. This community really cares.”


ur locations offer convenience to work,

school, and recreation,

and our dedication to quality

workmanship means that you can live in the comfort and contentment that you deserve. Mark Harris has been building homes since 1984 in Huntsville/ Madison County. Mark Harris Homes, LLC, is dedicated to quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We listen to what our customers want and we go the extra mile to make sure that you’ll be happy with your home for many years to come.



Discover Huntsville 2015 • 59

real estate


the avenue

By Melissa Gerrish


he Avenue is the latest addition to the growing downtown Huntsville scene. The collection of 197 loft apartments (studio, one, two, and three bedrooms) and 21,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space will offer an urban living experience that’s unique to Huntsville. The Avenue, is the result of a vision for loftstyle, urban living shared by husband and wife team, Charlie and Sasha Sealy. The Avenue is slated to open in summer of 2016. Located in historic “Today, ...with the downtown Huntsconstruction of The Avenue, ville at the corner of the block will return to its Jefferson Street and Avenue, The Avoriginal incarnation complete Holmes enue is walking distance to with both residential and the square, Big Spring Park, commercial space.” and many other downtown attractions. - Developers Charlie and Sasha Sealy “There will be 197 loft apartments with each being

Anarchitect’srendering ofTheAvenue,Charlie Sealy III’s proposed $30millionmixed-use development at the cornerofHolmesAvenue andJeffersonStreetin downtownHuntsville. Courtesy Nola | Van Peursem Architects

60 •

real estate

unique,” Charlie said. “Some of the floor plans will feature 9-, 10-, 14- or 15-foot ceilings as well as concrete floors, urban plank flooring, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in the kitchens and bathrooms, and either a terrace, walk-out balcony, or Juliette balcony,” he said. The Avenue will also be home to three or four restaurants. “Currently, I am not able to disclose the names; however, at least two will be new to the Huntsville market; the others will be local,” said Charlie. The Sealys hope to attract shops and businesses that will be a complement to the development and the surrounding area. “The shops will primarily be smaller, local boutiques,” Charlie said. “The Avenue is affirmation that there’s a desire and a renewed interest in downtown living,” said Charlie.

“People of all ages and stages of life seek the urban lifestyle; being in the middle of, the walkability, and convenience.”

Left: Charlie Sealy III and Sasha Sealy

“For my wife and I, this project is a very personal one as we are excited to see the block upon which we are developing The Avenue come full circle,” Charlie said. “The block has a long and storied history: home to Easley’s Hotel, apartments, grocery stores, bakeries, and Huntsville’s iconic Harrison Brothers Hardware, which operated on this block prior to moving to its current location on the South Side Square in 1897.” “Then in the 1970s, when suburban developments were springing up, many of these businesses migrated from the downtown commercial district. As a result, many buildings were vacated and eventually the block was demolished,” Charlie said. “Today, however, with the construction of The Avenue, the block will return to its original incarnation complete with both residential and commercial space.”

Systems Engineering & Integration Modeling and Simulation Software Development


Information Assurance


Algorithm Development Interoperability Test and Evaluation






Discover Huntsville 2015 • 61



revitalization By Melissa Gerrish SlidetheCitydowntown Huntsville.Giantthree lane slip & slide set up onChurchStreetinBig Spring Park.


owntown Huntsville Inc. is responsible for the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville through unique events, interesting promotions, and dynamic new and redeveloped properties. Some of the downtown uniqueness includes: DOWNTOWN BOOK BOXES

The Downtown Book Boxes are filled with books provided by Friends of the Library. Members of the public can borrow a book from any box and return it, or Downtown Huntsville leave another book in its place. Inc. is responsible for the When the stock of books runs low in any box, the FOL will revitalization of Downtown replenish it. Locations for The DownHuntsville through unique town Book Boxes include: events, interesting promotions, Southside Square, Northside and dynamic new and Square, 200 Westside Square, redeveloped properties. Belk Hudson Lofts, Big Spring Park East near the YMCA, 62 •

and in the upcoming pocket park behind Downtown Huntsville Inc. offices at 127 Washington St. SLIDE THE CITY Slides range from 600 to 1,000 feet – that’s almost three city blocks long. The slide length is determined by city specifications. Huntsville’s event includes bands and food. The slide is open to both adults and children five and older or taller than 46 inches. All participants must sign a waiver and are required to use an inflatable tube on the slide for speed and safety reasons. This event is already being talked about again for 2016. HUMAN FOOSBALL The game takes place at Big Spring Park East. Here’s how it works: people act like the foosball “players” you see on the table game. They can’t let go of bars they’re holding that are set up in a line. Instead, they use their bodies and feet to move a ball toward


The lighthouse at the end of the Tinsel Trail during New Year’s Eve festivities in Big Spring International Park.

WilletteBattle,oneofsixartistschosentomaketheirmarkon downtown,standsnexttoherbookboxartpiece.TheArtsCouncil,DowntownHuntsvilleInc.andtheHuntsville-MadisonCounty PublicLibrarypartnereduptounveilDowntownBookBoxes,the latestartinstallationsthatwilladdalittlecolortothesidewalks of downtown Huntsville.

goals on either side of the field. It’s an effort from Downtown Huntsville Inc. and the Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy. For them, the event is a fun display of human energy to promote their cause. The center wants to see clean and sustainable energy throughout the state. This event is already

being talked about again for 2016. POP UP PARKS The Pop Up Park experience in Downtown Huntsville is where for 10 days we move out the cars and bring in the people, according to Amy Jones, Director of Special Events for Downtown Huntsville Inc. Each year, sponsors create unique “parks” within a parking space. This event is sponsored by Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group. TINSEL TRAIL Tinsel Trail features more than 200 beautifully lit Christmas trees, decorated by area businesses and non-profits. Tinsel Trail continues to grow, not only in size, but in becoming one of North Alabama’s premier holiday experiences. Visit for more information.

Pop Up Park

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 63


Huntsville/Madison county’s abundance of



esearch abounds on the benefits of parks and “greenspace.” The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence has research to prove parks draw visitors who spend money. Proximity to parks increases home values and increases tax revenue. Greenspaces capture rainwater and runoff and reduce stormwater management costs. Plant life helps clean the air and reduce pollution costs. But citizens benefit most from having a park nearby. In a time when obesity rates are on the rise, having nearby greenspace can help promote physical and mental well-being. Finding a park is not a problem for those who live in Huntsville and Madison. Between the two cities, there are more than 80 areas to play, relax or get away from it all just minutes from most homes. Huntsville has devoted more than 3,000 acres to parks and greenspace. From big city recreation facilities to neighborhood parks, there is plenty to choose from in both Huntsville and Madison. HUNTSVILLE CITY PARKS

Between the two cities there are more than 80 areas to play and relax Archer Park

Aldridge Creek Greenway

1100 Mt. Gap Road, 35803 103.55 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Walking trail. Jogging, bicycling and rollerblading are allowed. Pets on leash only.

3315 Archer Drive, 35805 3.62 acres Amenities: Tennis courts, playground, softball field, pavilion

64 •

Beirne Avenue Park

330 Beirne Ave., 35801 1.68 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, playground

Bell Mountain Park

2560 Redstone Road, 35803 30.05 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Soccer, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, playground, restrooms and concessions, pavilion

Bicentennial Park

315 Fountain Circle, 35801 0.3 acres Contact: Parks and Recreation 256-564-8023 Amenities: Passive greenspace, splash pad

Big Cove Creek Greenway

Old Highway 431, 35763 53.4 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Walking trail, outdoor exercise equipment

Big Spring Park

200 Church St., 35801 17.96 acres Contact: Eric Enchelmayer 256-883-3296 Amenities: Passive greenspace

Brahan Spring Park

500 Drake Ave., 35801 169.62 acres Contact: Ralph Battle 256-883-3736 Amenities: Soccer, softball and baseball fields, volleyball, tennis and horseshoe courts, disc golf, splash pad, playground, restrooms, concessions, pavilion


Buchanan Park

10044 Fielding Drive, 35803 3.97 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer fields, multipurpose fields, playground, pavilion

California Street Park

Chelsea Park

2851 Chelsea Lane, 35805 3.5 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Softball field, outdoor basketball court, pavilion, playground

Cove Park

708 California St., 35801 2 acres Contact: Paul Jensen 256-883-3754 Amenities: Outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, playground, restrooms, pavilion

834 Old Highway 431, 35763 98.04 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Baseball, softball and soccer fields, multipurpose field, concessions, pavilion, playground, restrooms

Capshaw Road (proposed)

Creekwood Park

63 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Passive walking trail

Calvary Hill Park

2800 Poplar Ave., 35816 6.91 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Baseball, softball and football fields, concessions, pavilion

Chaney Thompson Property Park

(under development) 15935 Chaney Thompson Road 52 acres

360A Harvestwood Ct, 35758 71.88 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Passive greenspace, restrooms, pavilions, playgound

Cross Country Running Park Jaycee Way, 35801 Contact: Eric Enchelmayer 256-883-3296 Amenities: Outdoor exercise equipment, restrooms

Dog Spot

200 Cleveland Ave., 35801 1.5 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Passive greenspace

Dr. Richard Showers Sr. Park 4600 Blue Spring Road 35810 17.7 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Baseball and softball fields, playground, restrooms, concessions, pavilion

Everybody Can Play Playground and Splash Pad 3771 Ivy Ave. Southwest Contact: Ralph Battle 256-883-3736 Amenities: Pavilion, playground, restrooms, splash pad

Fern Bell/Fern Gully Park

6900 Whitesburg Drive, 35802 14.2 acres Contact: Paul Jensen 256-883-3754 Amenities: Baseball, soccer and softball fields, multipurpose fields, concessions, pavilion, playground, restrooms

Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary

Taylor and Terry Drake Roads 375.70 acres Contact: Denise Taylor 256-427-5116 Amenities: Passive greenspace

Halsey Park

435 White St., 35801 0.20 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Passive greenspace

Hastings Park

2801 Hastings Road, 35801 0.34 acres Contact: Paul Jensen 256-883-3754 Amenities: Playground

Hays Nature Preserve

7153 Highway 431 S., 35763 552.35 acres Contact: Denise Taylor 256-427-5116 Amenities: Walking trail, restrooms

Hermitage Park

915 Kennamer Drive, 35801 4.11 acres Contact: Paul Jensen 256-883-3754 Amenities: Tennis courts, pavilion, playground

Hillendale Park

2811 Holmes Ave., 35816 0.39 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Playground, pavilion

Holmes Avenue Park

2910 Holmes Ave., 35816 2.59 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Softball field, outdoor basketball court, pavilion, playground

Big Spring International Park downtown Huntsville with cherry trees in bloom. Left: Everybody Can Play Splash Pad at Brahan Spring Park

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 65


Indian Creek Greenway Slaughter Road, 35758

Kiwanis Soccer Park

61.68 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Walking trail

4201 Bob Wallace Ave., 35805 6.39 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Soccer fields

James C. Crawford Park

Knox Creek Park

3915 Melody Lane, 35811 8.33 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Baseball field, outdoor basketball court, pavilion, playground, restrooms

Jim Marek Park

Merrimack Mill Village 1 acres 256-564-8024 Amenities: Pavilion, playground

John Hunt Park

2151 Airport Road, 35801 428.01 acres Contact: Paul Jensen 256-883-3754 Amenities: Baseball, softball and soccer fields, multipurpose field, concessions, restrooms, walking trail, outdoor exercise equipment

Jones Farm Park

Carl T. Jones Drive, 35802 33 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Walking trail, pavilions

Ken Johnston Park

1100 Mt. Gap Road, 35803 18.36 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Playground, pavilion, restrooms, outdoor exercise equipment

Kent Robertson Park

180 Greenbank Drive, 35757 26.76 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Outdoor basketball courts, pavilion, playground

Lakewood Park

2225 York Road, 35810 32.45 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Baseball and softball fields, multipurpose field, tennis courts, concessions, pavilion, playground, restrooms, walking trail

Lewter Park

1501 Wellman Ave., 35801 0.52 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Outdoor basketball courts, playground

Maple Hill Park

1351 McClung Ave., 35801 8.64 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Pavilion, playground, softball field

Maplewood Park

4943 North Memorial Pkwy, 35810 9.5 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Softball field, pavilion, playground, restroom

7620 Logan Drive, 35802 13.68 acres Contact: Paul Jensen 256-883-3754 Amenities: Soccer and softball fields, outdoor basketball courts, multipurpose fields, tennis courts, pavilion, playground, restrooms, disc golf

Mastin Lake Park

Kids’ Space

Mayfair Park

2100 Airport Road, 35801 Contact: Eric Enchelmayer 256-883-3296 Amenities: Playground, pavilion, restrooms

66 •

3315 Watson Drive, 35810 31.73 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Baseball and soccer fields, outdoor basketball court, tennis courts, concessions, playground, pavilion, restrooms 550 Thornton Ave., 35801 8.88 acres Contact: Paul Jensen 256-883-3754 Amenities: Baseball and soccer fields, concessions, pavilions, playgrounds

McGucken Park

13020 Bailey Cove, 35803 37.10 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Baseball, soccer, football and softball fields, outdoor basketball court, multipurpose fields, tennis courts, concessions, pavilions, playground, restrooms

Meadow Hill Park

Medaris Road, 35810 1.06 acres Amenities: Soccer and softball fields, playground, pavilion

Merrimack Park

3501 Triana Blvd. SW, 35805 46.80 acres Contact: Herbert Tamale 256-883-3903 Amenities: Soccer fields, concessions, pavilions, playground, restroom

Oak Park

2250 Oakwood Ave., 35810 9.30 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Baseball and softball fields, outdoor basketball courts, concessions, pavilion, playground, restrooms

Oakmont Park

2224 Euclid, 35810 3.72 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Playground

Ogden Martin Park

5251 Triana Blvd., 35805 2.50 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Softball and multipurpose fields, playground

Optimist Park

703 Oakwood Ave., 35811 8.50 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Baseball field, concessions, pavilion, playground, restroom

Philpot Park

1211 Philpot Ave., 35811 4 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Outdoor basketball court, tennis courts, pavilion, playground

Pine Park

3951 Pine Ave., 35805 2.34 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Playground

Robert E. “Bud” Cramer Jr. Park

600 Meridian St. SE, 35801 2.80 acres Contact: Tony Hughes 256-883-3291 Amenities: Playground, walking trail

Sandhurst Park

2928 Green Cove Road SW, 35803 17.10 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Baseball, soccer and softball fields, outdoor basketball court, concessions, pavilions, playground, restroom

Scenic Overlook

2251 Governors Drive SE, 35801 4.50 acres Amenities: Passive greenspace

Scenic View Park

2705 Scenic View Drive, 35810 5.10 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Softball and soccer fields, pavilion, playground

Sherwood Park

325 Town & Country Dr., 35806 5 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Softball and soccer fields, pavilion, playground, walking trail, outdoor exercise equipment

Skate Park

200 Cleveland Ave., 35801 0.66 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514


Stoner Park

3715 Bragg St., 35810 67.62 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Baseball, softball, football and soccer fields, multipurpose field, tennis courts, concessions, pavilions, playgrounds, restrooms

University Park

4419 Saundra Lane, 35805 10.74 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Baseball and softball fields, concessions, pavilions, playgrounds, restrooms, tennis courts

Veterans Park

200 Monroe St., 35801 2.64 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Passive greenspace

Wade Mountain Preserve

9500 Spragins Hollow Road NW, 35810 559 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Passive greenspace

Willow Park

1928 Aftonbrae Drive, 35803 9.34 acres Contact: Jay Cloys 256-883-3292 Amenities: Softball fields, multipurpose fields, tennis courts, pavilion, playground, restrooms, walking trail

Windsor Manor Park

6500 Pisgah Drive, 35810 7.99 acres Contact: Brian Wilson 256-883-3290 Amenities: Softball field, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, pavilion, playground

Zierdt Road Park (proposed) Zierdt Road 52 acres Contact: David DeLisser 256-882-7514 Amenities: Passive greenspace


135 Manningham Drive, 35758 1.52 acres Amenities: Pavilions, picnic area, playground, volleyball

Ashley Park

(two entrances) 214 Ashley Way, or 121 Wellington Drive, 35758 3.2 acres Amenities: Basketball, picnic area, playground

Brass Oak Park

122 Jay Drive, 35758 3.1 acres Amenities: Playground

Cambridge Park

Governors Park

481 Mose Chapel Road, 35758 2.5 acres Amenities: Basketball, open space, playground, soccer

Hardiman Place Park

Rollingwood Park

113 Beerli Road, 35758 0.5 acres

Home Place Park

130 Shorter St., 35758 2.26 acres Amenities: Grill, playground, soccer field

Joe Phillips Park

154 Joe Phillips Road, 35758 0.5 acres Amenities: Open space

Leathertree Park 2

696 Cambridge Drive, 35758 0.5 acres Amenities: Picnic area

25 Gillespie Road, 35758 5.07 acres Amenities: Grill, open space, picnic area, playground

Carter Park

Madison Point Park

450 Carter Drive, 35758 2.53 acres Amenities: Grill, picnic area, playground

Cedars Park

121 Shadow Ridge Drive, 35758 1.48 acres Amenities: Playground

Chadrick Park

521 Brenda Drive, 35758 4.3 acres Amenities: Basketball, picnic area, playground

Collinwood Park

139 Whisperwood Lane, 35758 2.32 acres Amenities: Picnic area, playground

Madison Trace Park

127 Progress Lane, 35758 0.91 acres Amenities: Playground

Mandolin Park

208 Thomas Drive, 35758 0.525 acres Amenities: Open space

Mill Creek Park

232 Jarrett Drive, 35758 1 acre Amenities: Open space

141 Teal Park Lane, 35758 2.75 acres Amenities: Basketball, open space, playground

Dublin Memorial Park

Mill Creek Dog Park

8324 Madison Pike, 35758 60 acres Contact: 256-772-9300 Amenities: indoor basketball, volleyball, indoor and outdoor pools, walking trail, soccer fields, disc golf course, tennis courts, playground, concessions, fishing, restrooms

Fieldcrest Park

102 Brandon Drive, 35758 4 acres Amenities: Picnic area, playground

Rickwood Park

101 Bibb Dr., 35758 4 acres Amenities: Picnic area, playground

38 Balch Road, 35758 1.43 acres Amenities: Open space

Palmer Park

574 Palmer Road, 35758 Contact: 256-772-9300 Amenities: Baseball, softball, football and soccer fields, concessions, restrooms, pavilions, playground

163 Liberty Drive, 35758 1.71 acres Amenities: Open space, pavilions, picnic area

Shelton Park

1025 Shelton Road, 35758 2.98 acres Amenities: Open space, pavilions, picnic area, playground

Silver Creek Park

108 Donash Circle, 35758 2.77 acres Amenities: Open space

Stavemill Park

786 Sienna Vista Drive, 35758 4.98 acres Amenities: Open space, picnic area, playground, soccer

Stewart Park

100 Stewart St., 35758 0.22 acres Amenities: Basketball, grill, picnic area, playground

Stoneridge Park

190 Stoneway Trail, 35758 65 acres plus Amenities: Playground, walking trails

Sweetbriar Park

144 Steele Drive, 35758 3.96 acres Amenities: Open space

West Highlands Park Gooch Lane, 35758 2.5 acres Amenities: Picnic area

Westgate Park

276 Pine Ridge Drive, 35758 3.05 acres Amenities: Picnic area, playground

Windsor Parke

Amsterdam Place, 35758 0.5 acres Amenities: Playground

Rainbow Mountain Park 250 Carter Road, 35758 1.52 acres Amenities: Walking trails

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 67


Growth & Technology lead the way in Huntsville


By Kimberly Ballard


ccording to the Cost of Living Index, healthcare costs in Huntsville are lower than the national average by 4.5 percentage points and lower than that of four out of five comparable U.S. technology communities including Austin, TX; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; and Richmond, VA. With three comprehensive healthcare facilities including Huntsville Hospital, Crestwood Medical Center, and Clearview Cancer Institute, Huntsville offers a wide variety of specialized medical and health-related programs, facilities, and practices. From alternative and preventative medicine to weight-loss, anti-aging, and treatment for addiction, behavioral and mental health issues; to obstetrics, gynecology, and orthopedic/sports medicine, Huntsville provides quality multidisciplinary healthcare to all ages from women and children to geriatrics. Residents will also find advanced family and aesthetic dentistry; advanced technology in hearing and vision loss, hip knee replacement; sleep According to the Cost of and disorders; and the finest in Living Index, healthcare costs post-surgical rehabilitation and physical therapy.

in Huntsville are lower than the national average by 4.5 percentage points and lower than that of four out of five comparable U.S. technology communities.

68 •

THE HUNTSVILLE HOSPITAL HEALTH SYSTEM Established in 1895 for charitable purposes by a concerned group of women, Huntsville Hospital (HH) is the second largest hospital in

Alabama, serving hundreds of thousands of patients as the major referral center for North Alabama and Southern Tennessee. Throughout its 120-year history, HH has been community-owned. Accredited by The Joint Commission, today, the Health Care Authority of the City of Huntsville provides volunteer governance of the 941-bed hospital. More than 7,500 staff members serve patients and families at its hospital facilities in Madison County, including the main campus, Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, and Madison Hospital. In more recent years the development of Huntsville Hospital Health System (HHHS) has extended the hospital’s service throughout the Tennessee Valley with affiliate hospitals located in Athens, Decatur, Sheffield, Red Bay, Moulton, Russellville, Winfield, and Haleyville. Combined, the Health System represents more than 2,000 hospital beds, 12,000 staff members, and 1,100 physicians. HHHS was ranked the third largest publicly owned hospital system in the nation by Modern Healthcare magazine in June 2015. At the heart of HH’s services is the region’s most experienced team of healthcare professionals providing a very advanced level of care. Led by nearly 3,000 nurses who support the work of 750 medical staff members, together they provide the Tennessee Valley with the region’s only Level One Trauma program and advanced surgical services including neurosurgical, orthopedic, and spinal care surgery, making them the only hospital in Alabama to be included in Healthgrades’ Top 100 Hospitals for Spine Surgery in 2015.


ties. Everyone wants that. However, our primary reason for being here is to serve our patients with quality care. Healthcare is often complicated and confusing, but in the end, it’s a people-business. We could not do what we do without a great team of physicians, nurses and other hospital staff.”

DavidSpillershasbeenCEOoftheHuntsvilleHospitalHealthSystemsinceMarch2006. CourtesyHuntsvilleHospital

They also have North Alabama’s first HH also has Comprehensive Outcomprehensive joint replacement propatient Services located throughout the gram, known as Joint Camp; they have the community. region’s only Pediatric ER and Pediatric HH serves as the teaching facility ICU; a Certified Primary Stroke Center; for UAB’s Family Practice and Internal and advanced imaging services, including Medicine residency programs. The hospital 256-slice CT and MRI. has earned quality recognitions from Blue HH also had the premier cardiovasCross Blue Shield, Healthgrades, U.S. News cular program for the region with state-of- & World Report, American Heart and the-art diagnostic and treatment services, Stroke Associations, and others. providing electrophysiology (heart rhythm David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville care), TAVR, minimally invasive proceHospital Health System, is proudest of dures and other advanced cardiac care. the service that his team provides to They are the only hospital in Alabama patients and their families. “We exist for ranked in Healthgrades’ Top 50 Hospitals one reason---to serve our community,” he for Cardiac Surgery in 2015. says. “We do our best to provide advanced They have one of three dedicated chilequipment and clean, up-to-date facilidren’s hospitals in Alabama with dozens of pediatric subspecialty physicians; and Alabama’s largest mother/baby program with the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a MaternalFetal Medicine Unit for highrisk mothers. Huntsville Hospital Heart Center. Courtesy Huntsville Hospital.

GROWTH AND EXPANSION AT CRESTWOOD MEDICAL CENTER Conveniently located in the heart of Huntsville’s busiest commercial and residential neighborhoods, Crestwood Medical Center is a 150-bed investor-owned hospital, servicing central and south Huntsville. According to Veronica Carter, director of guest relations and volunteer services, “Our strategy at Crestwood is to look at new services and service lines needed by the public, and to determine what we can provide from an industry standpoint, and where those services can best be utilized, while staying on the cutting edge of constantly changing technology.” Crestwood recently upgraded, renovated, and expanded their services in four major areas in the past couple of years. Beginning with the hospital’s $5.5 million Emergency Room expansion that grew the ER from 19 to 28 beds, the first phase of the expansion required restructuring the physician’s parking lot so they could extend the lobby and waiting room and create a more inviting environment with new plate-glass windows and decorative hardwood floors. According to Rhonda Buckley, director of clinical care, “The expansion gave us room for nine more beds, a much-needed family consultation room, and a second triage. We also expanded our two-person nurse’s desk into a centrally located, 32foot corner wrap with satellite stations and extra utility and storage rooms.” Better for patients, visitors, doctors, and nurses, the new ER welcomed a new blood-draw system so lab work can already be in progress while a patient is having tests run or being admitted. They also purchased new computers, two new Glidescopes for intubation procedures; a third EKG machine; additional monitors; and a Hoyer patient lift. Discover Huntsville 2015 • 69


LEVEL III TRAUMA DESIGNATION & CHEST PAIN CENTER OF EXCELLENCE Crestwood’s ER has a Level III trauma designation, meaning they have the ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care, and stabilization for injured patients and emergency operations. Recently re-accredited with Chest Pain Center of Excellence for the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), Crestwood is an accredited Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). “We are very proud of our cardiac care,” Buckley says. “An EKG is the gold standard for telling whether a patient is having a heart attack and local EMS can transmit electronically, readings from the ambulance to the hospital while en route, so that we are prepared and waiting for them when they get here.” NEW ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY & CATH LABS Anise Black, manager of cardiovascular services and her staff of 18 cardiotrained nurses welcome their new electrophysiology lab and their expanded cardiac catheterization (cath) lab at Crestwood. The cath labs have four rooms and a dedicated hybrid Operating Room (OR) lab. The brand new electrophysiology (EP) lab is top of the line with an integrated St. Jude’s lab. They are also equipped with a new GE Innova IGS 520 floor-mounted 70 •

image-guided system for cardiovascular and electrophysiology procedures; and an Innova 530 image guided system with an optimal panel for cardiovascular and interventional imaging. “We now have phenomenal technology at our fingertips where everything in the room talks to each other,” says Black. “We can look anywhere in the body and see the entire circulatory system and how everything runs through the heart and pumps back out, giving us the ability to intervene when we see blockages and clots.” Electrophysiology (EP) is the study of the electrical system of the heart. Patients with irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmia, especially benefit from EP studies. “In the EP lab, we insert catheters and stimulate the heart in many different ways to get it really ticking, all while the catheters are constructing 3-D maps we can see on a monitor that let us look at every single beat, showing us what is going on in the patient’s heart. If one of those electrical circuits is aberrant, we can go straight to it and either burn it or freeze it to make it go away permanently.”

those areas and have put off replacement until the pain has become intolerable. “Normally, by the time a patient has a knee replacement, they have been seeing an orthopedic or sports med doctor and treated the pain and swelling with injections and physical therapies that have bought them time,” says Bies who is also director of Crestwood’s inpatient unit. “Tolerance builds up over time but eventually the cartilage will deteriorate and they have bone rubbing against bone. They are never going to reverse that damage and replacement is the best alternative.” Today, people in their forties and fifties are having elective hip and knee replacements primarily because the implants last longer, 20 to 25 years, compared to original replacements that lasted ten to 15 years. “If you are 50 and your knee is hurting, you used to withstand the pain for as long as you could, hoping to live past age 65 when you may have to have it replaced again. Today at age 50, that replacement will get you to 75 or 80 and that’s more realistic,” says Bies. Not only have the knee and hip replacement devices vastly improved, but other technologies surrounding the procedure have as well. “We want you home by the fourth day with a ‘coach’ who will help you, encourage you, and inspire you during recovery,” she says. “In one

JOINT JOURNEY TO KNEE & HIP REPLACEMENTS Crestwood Medical Center’s comprehensive total knee and total hip replacement program known as Joint Journey follows the patient’s journey from debilitating pain back to a normal, active life. According to Donna Bies, associate director of medical and surgical services, the Joint Journey program is an interdisciplinary medical procedure and follow-up physical therapy plan designed for the patient who has lived with pain for many years. “People who have played sports HallwayofthenewemergencycenteratCrestwoodMedicalCenterinHuntsville,Alabama. or suffered injuries Photo courtesy of Crestwood Medical Centeri. to their knees tend to develop arthritis in


month, you can drive a car. In four months with regular physical therapy, you are fully recovered and can live a normal life with no side effects!” CLEARVIEW CANCER INSTITUTE Huntsville’s esteemed Clearview Cancer Institute (CCI) with its influential research facilities and highly successful Phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials, offers virtually every cancer support service and amenity possible in a contemporary, nonclinical outpatient setting. From radiation therapy to chemotherapy, Clearview has an independent laboratory and imaging center, a full service pharmacy, genetic counseling, lung cancer screenings, a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation (PBSCT) program, and a variety of outpatient therapy services. Over 150 oncology professionals make up the CCI team including Board-certified oncology nurses, dosimetrists, radiation physicists and therapists; and highly qualified, pharmacists, research and transplant coordinators, genetic counselors, and social workers. Built on a 900-acre plantation known in 1816 as “Russel Hill”, CCI is home to the Russel Hill Foundation started in 2006 by a group of oncologists, local researchers, and interested citizens, led by Board certified internal medicine and oncology specialist Dr. Marshall Schreeder. The Russel Hill Cancer Foundation is a public nonprofit charter to the community, supported by CCI with a mission to keep investigative treatments in the Madison County community. All donations and contributions to the Russel Hill Foundation go towards cancer research, cancer education, and patient assistance, and the money remains here in Huntsville, even though CCI is a regional research facility. FAMOUS FOR CLINICAL TRIALS According to Emily Pauli, director of research, 85 percent of cancer patients are treated in a community oncology clinic, but very few community oncology centers offer all phases of clinical trials, exposing patients to potentially life-saving therapy. “Clinical trials offer patients opportunities to receive promising, new treatments called investigational new drugs (INDs)

that are not yet available for market,” Pauli says. “In cancer research, clinical trials seek new ways to detect, treat, and prevent cancers; improve the management of side effects from the disease or from treatments; and to gain a better understanding of disease and treatment on a patient’s quality of life.”

Over 35 revolutionizing FDA-approved drugs have been tested in clinical trials at CCI, including Herceptin® for breast cancer, Rituxan® and Gazyva® for leukemias and lymphomas; Avastin® for colon and lung cancer; and Gemzar ® and Abraxane® for pancreatic cancer.

ated near Conveniently loc nal and se Ar Redstone Research Park

Take a Video Tour

1501 Old Monrovia Road Huntsville, AL 35806


Prime Location • Beautiful Amenities • Peaceful Setting • • • • • •

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Discover Huntsville 2015 • 71

North Alabama’s corporate health programs a benefit

life sciences

By Sherry Kughn


ne of the welcomed trends in the evolution of the healthcare industry is the increasing importance of wellness and preventive health initiatives. Though certainly not a new concept, employers are today aggressively pursuing ways to keep their employees healthier. The benefit to the employee is obvious, but companies are rewarded as well with lower worker absenteeism, reduced healthcare costs and improved productivity. Fortune magazine reported in its April 2015 edition that successful corporate health programs not only help companies retain employees, they also promote a more satisfied and engaged employee. With these goals in mind, healthcare organizations in our region, including Huntsville Hospital Health System, offer an array of an array of excellent corporate health programs. Huntsville’s Corporate Wellness division is prepared to assist employers of all sizes to deliver health and wellness services that fit your company’s needs. Huntsville Hospital’s comprehensive services for employers include: • • • • • • • • •

Biometric health screenings and appraisals, including pre-hire services Ongoing safety and health courses, such as smoking-cessation On site healthcare services, including establishment of a clinic Mobile Medical Unit which travels throughout the area Occupational Health services for injured workers (3 clinic sites) Workers Compensation program HealthWorks program to help engage employees in improvement efforts Events and activities to promote wellness, such as walking programs Disease management programs for chronic conditions, such as diabetes

“Getting employees to take ownership of their health is obviously critical,” says Heather Whorton, director of Huntsville’s HealthWorks program. “When employers show that they are committed by providing wellness opportunities and incentives, that’s when you really begin seeing positive results.” For more information on Huntsville Hospital Health System’s Corporate Wellness services, call 256-265-0068. At Athens-Limestone Hospital (ALH), the newly established WellnessWorks program is already serving local employers. Ryan Guthrie, corporate health consultant at ALH, said there is no cost to employers for enrolling in WellnessWorks, which is also available to employees’ dependents. “WellnessWorks is designed to work hand-in-hand with helping local employers with their many employee health “WellnessWorks is designed to needs,” said Guthrie. The four basic components that make work hand-in-hand with helping up the WellnessWorks program are Occupational Services, Compensation Services, Preventative Health-Welllocal employers with their many Workers’ ness Services, and Group Health Services. The program will employee health needs.” provide on-going communication and easy access to health care services.” - Ryan Guthrie, corporate health consultant at ALH Throughout North Alabama, hospitals are engaged in community health activities for employers and residents. From community races to free CPR classes to exercise and weight loss programs and more, hospitals in North Alabama provide a wide range of options for employers and opportunities for residents to improve their health.

72 •

The medical care you need, right here at home. As a full-service community hospital, Crestwood offers a wide range of services, including outpatient surgery, emergency care, cardiology, women’s services and much more. It is our mission to serve by providing quality patient care and excellent service for patients and their families who choose Crestwood. Ask your doctor about Crestwood. • Bariatric Surgery Center • Behavioral Health Sciences • Cardiology • Emergency Department • Gastroenterology • Maternity Center & Women’s Services • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit • Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging • Outpatient/Inpatient Surgery • Pediatrics • Robotic-Assisted Surgery

• Sleep Center • Spine Surgery Center • Therapy Services • Total Hip & Knee Center • Vascular Lab • Vein Center • Women’s Center with 3D Digital Mammography • Wound Care • 150 Private Patient Rooms

One Hospital Drive • Huntsville, AL 35801 256-429-4000

Crestwood Medical Center is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that proudly includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital’s medical staff.

life sciences

Dr. Howard Jacob: Changing Medicine, Changing Lives Flowcell,aglassslideusedforsequencingDNAsamplesinHiSeqXatHudsonAlphaInsituteforBiotechnology.Eachmachinecan sequence DNA to produce16 individual human genomes in 3 days.

By Theresa Shadrix


r. Howard Jacob has always been a fan of science. Long before he was the executive vice president for medical genomics and chief medical genomics officer at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, he was a small boy in Topeka, Kansas who dreamed of one day becoming a marine biologist. His journey did not lead him to oceans, but to a laboratory. Jacob, 53, received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa in 1989 and his extensive knowledge of genome research dates back to 1989 during his work with Dr. Eric Lander at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research on the first Human Genome Project. A genome, Jacob said, is simply the blueprint for a human. Jacob is humble about his work with DNA and has an urgency to not only change 74 •

medicine, but change lives. It was at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) that Jacob and his colleagues made international headlines. In 2009, the team read the DNA of Nicholas Volker, a young boy with an undiagnosed disease. For the first time in history, they sequenced Volker’s DNA and found the mutation responsible for the mysterious illness, XIAP, and saved Volker’s life. Jacob’s first official day at HudsonAlpha was Aug. 1, 2015. Jacob said that at HudsonAlpha, there is the ambition to focus on genomic medicine, as well as being a catalyst for new jobs. Along with his team, he is working full force to open a clinic in early winter 2015 with a primary goal to sequence a person’s entire DNA. While the clinic will not treat those will the illnesses, it will provide services to sequence a person’s genetic code in order to offer possible diagnoses. “Let’s read people’s DNA to generate knowledge and use that knowledge to fix people,” Jacob said. “We also have formed a new company

that will bring genomic medicine into clinics across the country,” Jacob said. At this new company, Jacob hopes to work with people who have rare or undiagnosed diseases and find answers. Although it is too soon to tell when new job opportunities will open, the goal is to eventually hire at least 300 people. Investment in Huntsville is something that Jacob hopes to make beyond HudsonAlpha. With their families, his team from MCW also has made the area their home. As new residents of Huntsville, Jacob and his wife are already enjoying the variety of restaurants and outdoor activities, like biking. While he is becoming acclimated to the southern town, Howard is looking forward to HudsonAlpha establishing the first clinic in the world solely for the practice of genomic medicine. He dreams of the possibility of a local county, like Madison, having every resident sequenced. And, he believes Huntsville is a prime area for worldwide attention. “It’s important for people to pay attention to this area,” he said.

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10 things to do in Huntsville/Madison

U.S. SPACE & ROCKET CENTER Home to Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge® Camp, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is the most comprehensive U.S. manned spaceflight hardware museum in the world. From America’s first satellite, Explorer I, to next generation space vehicles like Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser, the museum showcases the past, present and future of human spaceflight. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center serves as the Official NASA Visitor Center for Marshall Space Flight Center and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The USSRC is more than just artifacts! Experience the physics of astronaut training like never before in simulators like Space ShotTM and G-Force. The Spacedome IMAX® Theater transports you to different worlds with amazing documentary films like Hubble, and live demonstrations in the Discovery Theater will have you seeing space science in a whole new light.



Apollo 16 Space Camp

Fireworks at the Space and Rocket Center

76 •

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10 things to do in Huntsville/Madison

Huntsville Botanical Garden Wade Wharton Sculpture Trail



78 •



Huntsville Botanical Garden is open year-round and features the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house, a picture-perfect aquatic garden, spectacular nature trails, numerous specialty gardens—including an interactive children’s garden—and a variety of plant collections. The garden is home to five distinct festivals each year: Beaks & Barks, Huntsville Blooms, Summer Butterfly House, Fall Scarecrow Trail and Holiday Galaxy of Lights. You’ll soon see why they say “There’s always something growing on at Huntsville Botanical Garden.”

The Veterans Memorial Museum The Veterans Memorial Museum displays more than 30 historical military vehicles from World War I to the present, as well as tableaus, artifacts, and other memorabilia dating back to the Revolutionary War.

10 things to do in Huntsville/Madison

Burritt on the Mountain Burritt on the Mountain has been referred to as a “Jewel on the Mountain.” Start with Dr. William Henry Burritt’s eclectic mansion, add a historic park with restored 19th century houses including barnyard and animals, and finally throw in the artistic side with concerts, plays and exhibits, and you have a delightful mixture of old and new for young and old!

4 Burritt mansion/museum

Hiking trails connect the Monte Sano State Park as well as the Land Trust of Huntsville and North Alabama.

# Families spent a fun filled Saturday at Burritt on the Mountain for a special 4th of July event

Concert at Baron Bluff Lodge at Burritt on the Mountain. Discover Huntsville 2015 • 79

10 things to do in Huntsville/Madison

Big Springs Park



80 •



The crown jewel of downtown and is centered around a spring-fed lagoon fed by the same spring that John Hunt used when he settled among the native American Indians in 1805. Big Springs Grotto is a must-see in Downtown Huntsville. The park is also notable as the venue for the Panoply Arts Festival, held the last full weekend in April.

Monte Sano State Park Monte Sano State Park is located near Huntsville in northeast Alabama. In Spanish, Monte Sano means “Mountain of Health.” In the late 1800s, visitors from across the United States came for “the season” to experience and enjoy Monte Sano’s fresh air, spectacular views and mineral springs.



10 things to do in Huntsville/Madison

The EarlyWorks Family of museums—one incredible Museums Three adventure! Civil War soldiers, a Talking Tree, and whimmy diddles—see them all at the EarlyWorks Family of Museums: Alabama Constitution Village, the Huntsville Depot and Museum, and EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum. These three museums in the heart of historic downtown Huntsville will take you on a journey back in time. Experience history in unique settings such as a 46-foot keel boat, an 1860’s era depot or the cabinet shop where delegates met to discuss and draft the constitution for statehood in 1819. The Huntsville Depot and Museum

Alabama Constitution Village

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 81

10 things to do in Huntsville/Madison

Sci-Quest Hands-On Science Center



Sci-Quest Hands-on Science Center is the perfect place to ignite a child’s imagination. With a wide variety of hands-on exhibits and experiences, many exclusive to Sci-Quest, learning is made fun through hands-on activities. Whether you want to predict the local forecast on a real TV weather station and green screen or take a wild trip through the human body with Grossology, Sci-Quest has something for everyone.

Bubblepalooza at Sci-Quest



Von Braun Center The Von Braun Center is a multipurpose facility located in downtown Huntsville. The VBC offers multiple venues for presenting cultural, educational, entertainment, sporting and social events.

(above) UAH Carmine Guerriero, a preseason AllAmerican. Photo by Doug Eagan

82 •



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10 things to do in Huntsville/Madison

Madison County Nature Trail



Located atop Green Mountain in southeast Huntsville, high above the noise of the city, a mood of quiet tranquility envelopes the 72 acre park. Open free to the public each day from seven in the morning until thirty minutes prior to sunset, this convenient escape from urban life encompasses Sky Lake, a 1.5 mile walking trail, pavilion, chapel, picnic tables, covered bridge and accessible restrooms. 84 •

OUR GRADUATES WORK Drake State coordinates customized training programs with local business and industry for the training/re-training of employees. We are a national training site for several employers, military-friendly and offer ready-towork programs for your Alabama workforce. Drake State is a community and technical college with an expanding campus and downtown Huntsville instructional site. Our technology is cutting edge, our instructors inspire, our curriculum is relevant, our students are diverse and most importantly, our graduates work.

Meridian Street and Downtown Huntsville



dining & retail

Gotta eat, need to shop! Huntsville & Madison have

got the goods!

Anarchitect’srenderingofthe plannedCityCentreatBigSpring developmentindowntown Huntsville.Earmarkedforthe former Holiday Inn site, the $80millionmixeduseproject willinclude230apartments and 150-room hotel, along with multiple restaurants, shopsandprofessionaloffice space.CourtesyoftheCityof Huntsville.

Huntsville is embracing the convenience and diversity of a modern, urban lifestyle. By Kimberly Ballard


echnology and innovation may be Huntsville’s leading economic driver, but Huntsville’s retail sector is a willing and enthusiastic beneficiary of a highly skilled and diverse workforce. The City’s physical growth and burgeoning population is demanding the highest quality products and services for their families. A smart city requires safe and luxurious living spaces; an active and healthy atmosphere in which For a City once thought to to raise children; a rich and inviting be a sleepy little Southern environment for making friends and getting involved in the community; town, Huntsville is and disparate choices in food, clothchurch, sports, arts, music, and now the target for new ing, entertainment. All over Huntsville and in hisconcepts in contemporary toric downtown Madison, lifestyleupscale living and a oriented retail developments are magnet for retail ‘firsts’. providing big-box stores, boutique shops, elegant indoor dining, casual

86 •

sidewalk cafes, and mixed-use office and residential spaces. Many are located in convenient, pedestrianfriendly settings. Huntsville is embracing the convenience and diversity of a modern, urban lifestyle. Craft beer breweries are providing trendy new outlets for exploring new tastes while providing easy access to outdoor festivals, concerts, and glorious nature. For a City once thought to be a sleepy little Southern town, Huntsville is now the leader for new concepts in contemporary upscale living and a magnet for retail ‘firsts’. THE FIRST WHOLE FOODS IN NORTH ALABAMA The first Whole Foods Grocery Market in North Alabama opens in Huntsville winter 2015 and anchors the new Shops at Merchants Walk, a 135,000 square-foot up-scale shopping and polished casual dining development located at the corner of

dining & retail

RenderingofthenewWholeFoods-anchoredShopsatMerchantsWalkunderconstructioninHuntsville.CourtesyoftheCityof Huntsville

Bob Wallace Avenue and South Memorial Parkway, directly adjacent to Parkway Place Mall. Reporting $14 billion in sales in 2014 and ranked as one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, the 42,000-square foot Whole Foods store employs about 200 people and specializes in natural foods free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives and hydrogenated fats. SHOPS AT MERCHANT WALK & MERCHANTS WALK SQUARE

Phase II construction begins summer 2016 on Merchants Walk Square, intended to reawaken the south corner of Bob Wallace Avenue with a slew of new retail shops and restaurants, including Huntsville’s ‘first’ Maki Fresh Casual Asian Dining. Additional tenants will be opening at Merchants Walk throughout 2016 and 2017.

rate, the new 82,000 square-foot Huntsville Cabela’s, which opened fall 2015, is not only the ‘first’ physical store in the state of Alabama, but it is one of 14 retail locations the outfitter opened in 2015. “Cabela’s began in 1961 with the Cabela brothers Dick and Jim creating fly-fishing lures from their kitchen table and selling them in through a catalog,” Borowski says. “The family later added Internet sales to their catalog operation and is today, a $4 billion company. We have carefully used sales data from catalog and internet sales to determine the best cities for opening new stores, and Huntsville is one of those locations.” Below:WindowdisplayatthenewCabela’sinHuntsville.

THE ‘FIRST’ CABELA’S IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA According to Nathan Borowski, communications specialist with Cabela’s Corpo-

Agrass-fedburgerwitharugula,pickledbeetsandgoatcheese atFarmBurger.ThechainselectedHuntsvilletoopenthefirst ofitsplannedAlabamalocations.Courtesy/AntoinetteBruno,

Among the healthy-living retailers leasing space at the new Shops at Merchants Walk are the ‘first’ Orangetheory Fitness in North Alabama; Farm Burger with their ‘first’ Alabama location; and Atlanta-based Spa Sydell opened their ‘first out-of-state’ true luxury day spa.

The new Cabela’s in Huntsville.

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 87

dining & retail

MADISON SQUARE MALL BECOMES MIDCITY HUNTSVILLE According to Lindsay Harper, director of Public Relations for RCP Companies who is developing the Shops at Merchants Walk; Merchants Square; and CityCenter at Big Spring has plans beginning in 2016 to revitalize the aging Madison Square Mall off University Drive in West Huntsville. “We have renamed it MidCity Huntsville,” Harper says. “RCP has hired contemporary architects Urban Design Associates based out of Pittsburgh, PA to redesign the traditional mall and the area surrounding it, into a more expensive, mixed-use lifestyle center where people can live, work, play, and stay.” CITYCENTER AT BIG SPRING

outdoor dining and entertainment. “Two-thirds of CityCenter will be food and entertainment-related venues,” says Harper. “Residents and visitors can catch a show or a concert at the VBC; stop and have dinner before the show; have drinks or listen to music after the show; or just go for a stroll in the park without having to drive a car or fight for parking.” Phase II will bring additional living and office space and will eventually connect everything via a scenic walkway. CAMPUS NO. 805

mance plaza, food truck area, and public parking lot located between Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer. The terraced outdoor amphitheater serves as a common area for festivals and outdoor musical events where people bring their own lawn chairs. According to Campus manager Joyce Skinner, the unique 13-acre campus welcomes a number of new and expanding Huntsville businesses like the Lone Goose Saloon, Bubba’s Silver Spoon Catering, and Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza. There is over 17,000 square feet of retail space available for mixed-use purposes.


Stone Event Rental provides rental equipment for the 7,700 square-foot event hall, 2,000 square-foot auditorium, and 1,000 square-foot boardroom available for leasing to individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to hold special events, parties, and meetings. Campus No. 805 opens Fall 2015.


CityCenter at Big Spring promises to bring “retail galore” to the corner of Monroe and Williams Streets in Downtown Huntsville. Late in 2015, RCP Companies demolished the old Holiday Inn where the new Downtown Gateway road connects Governors Drive with Big Spring Park to make way for the groundbreaking in early 2016, for a mixed-use pedestrian-style development that will link Twickenham Square with Big Spring Park. On the slate are a new hotel, luxury apartments, and plenty of 88 •

Having purchased the old Stone Middle School on Clinton Ave, Huntsville developer Randy Schrimsher has converted it into Campus No. 805, an entertainment complex anchored by Huntsville’s new Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer breweries. Straight To Ale is subletting some of their 40,000 square-foot space to Wish You Were Beer with their more than two dozen craft beer taps. The City of Huntsville purchased a little over two acres to build a grassy perfor-

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN MADISON Established in 1856 as a railroad depot town shortly after the completion of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, historic downtown Madison is located on the west side of Cummings Research Park, less than five miles from Huntsville International Airport and minutes from Downtown Huntsville. Due to the influx of professionals preferring a suburban lifestyle, Madison too has expanded retail-shopping space to accommodate economic growth. Main Street with its landmark octagonal “Roundhouse” features the popular Main Street Café located in the original Madison City Hall building. Twenty thousand square-feet of newly remodeled retail

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dining & retail

By Melissa Gerrish

RocketRepublicBrewingCo.launchesitsfirstbrick-and-mortar brewhouseandtaproomon289ProductionAve.inPutnam Industrial Park in Madison.

space faces Main Street and is home to dozens of new tenants including Old Black Bear Brewing Company, Whistlestop Sweet Shop, The Cotton Gin Women’s Boutique, Sady’s Bistro, Bananas Parties and Boutique Presents, Madison Station Antiques, Murphy Homes and Pure Barre Physical Fitness. Approving a significant rezoning plan along Martin Road that will transform residential properties into commercial development space, the City of Madison begins Phase III of the downtown revitalization in 2016. MIDTOWN MARKETPLACE & MORE The 114,000-square-foot shopping center at the corner of Browns Ferry Road and Wall Triana Highway is anchored by a brand new 102,000-square-foot Kroger grocery store, with 12,000 additional square feet of retail space and three outparcels. Jumping on the craft beer craze, Rocket Republic Brewing opened a taproom on Production Avenue, across Interstate 565 from the airport, and Blue Pants Brewery & Tap Room opened on Lanier Road. Along Highway 72, east of the new Madison Hospital is a busy new shopping plaza featuring Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, Pizza 120, and Beleza SalonSpa. Just west along County Line Road is the colorful Village Shoppes of Madison with King’s Olive Oil based out of Gadsden, AL; Grounded Coffee, Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt, Vape On, Cork & Crust, and Picasso’s Grill. For the kids, Insanity Skate Park on Hughes Road at the corner of Mill Road has become a hotspot for young people and an exciting new venue for charity events and parties.


f you’re looking for artisan truffles and confections with unconventional flavors and pairings, then Pizzelle’s Confections at historic Lowe Mill is the place for Huntsville chocolate lovers. Sisters Michelle Novosel and Caitlin Lyon bring their lifelong love of fine chocolate, candies, and art to every creation. “We’ve been in Huntsville for 29 years now, so it’s really our hometown,” Novosel said. “Being able to have our dream shop here and have it be successful is pretty much the best.” Huntsville loves to shop local. “When we first opened, we thought we would carry some other high-end chocolate bars to complement our truffle selection, but they didn’t sell,” said Novosel. “Customers wanted what we made, so that’s what we focus on.” “Our customers are also great about supporting the various fundraisers we’ve done. Just this year, we raised $400 for Friends of Rescue and $700 for the Food Bank of North Alabama through special events and raffling off some of our chocolates,” Novosel said. Pizzelle’s is an eclectic mix of edible art, culinary exploration, and quirkiness. Every confection is handcrafted on the premises in small batches using fair-trade chocolate and quality ingredients. “We love big flavor profiles and bold decorations. Experimenting in the kitchen might be our favorite part of the job, and if the experiment works, it comes out as a new truffle or bar,” said Novosel. The Chamber even took some of Pizelle’s truffles to Japan. “They took some of our truffles to Japan, and even had little cards made with the truffle descriptions translated into Japanese. We saved a few of those cards – that was a first,” Novosel said. Pizzelle’s has been open since 2013. “Lowe Mill really is a community,” said Novosel. “We have so much support and many opportunities to collaborate with other artists. Just walking around Lowe Mill can inspire us to work on a new truffle recipe or new truffle decorations.” The shop is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., and Fridays noon to 8 p.m. Discover Huntsville 2015 • 89


on Sustainability Six Huntsville businesses push toward a more energy efficient future By Camille Platt

I Above: Avion Solutions has improved its energy efficiency on Research Drive by optimizing its HVAC unit, upgrading to LED lighting in the parking lot and installing a 50-kilowatt solar system.

n 2011, Mayor Tommy Battle shared his vision for collaboration among Huntsville’s leading minds and technologies to make the city a hub for clean energy. The goal: develop sustainable energy projects and, in turn, new jobs. Dubbed the Energy Huntsville Initiative, the program aims to make Rocket city “a center of excellence in the energy field.” Huntsville-based businesses and city leaders have made sustainability a priority since. And as Initiative-borne planning lowers energy bills and the city’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources, the city’s future looks brighter than ever.

The Energy Huntsville Initiative aims to make the Rocket City a “center of excellence in the energy field.” 90 •

AVION SOLUTIONS A small business that has been providing engineering, logistics and software solutions to the U.S. Army for more than 20 years, Avion Solutions made major gains in energy

efficiency by improving its ENERGY STAR score from two out of 100 to 54. Disappointed by how his power bills and energy consumption compared to similar buildings, Director of Research and Development Randy Buckner realized Avion’s HVAC system ran continuously all day, every day. After calculating the energy per square foot per year with a free Portfolio Manager available from the Department of Energy, he researched and amended his HVAC issues, resulting in a 41.3 percent in


annual savings. Awarded the Nexus Energy Center Small Business Champion of Energy Award in 2014, Avion also worked with Southern Solar Systems and Lime Green Lighting to upgrade lighting in the parking lot to LED lighting and install a 50kW solar photovoltaic system. The solar panels qualify the company for a federal tax credit, a Tennessee Valley Authority rebate and the chance to sell solar energy to the grid above retail cost for 10 years. BETTER BUILDINGS CHALLENGE Early in 2015, the Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy (ALCSE), Energy Huntsville and Avion Solutions announced the formation of the Huntsville Better Buildings Challenge (HBBC) to reduce energy consumption in participating commercial buildings across Huntsville. Hundreds of buildings are participating in the challenge, including The Clearview Cancer Institute, Huntsville City Schools and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Founder and CEO of ALCSE Daniel Tait, hopes to create a more sustainable footprint citywide while freeing up capital. The HBBC goal: improve participating buildings’ energy performance by a minimum of 20 percent by 2020. “Really what the challenge is about is finding out where you are,” says Tait. “Kind of putting the building or the operations on the scale to find out how well you are

doing in relation to other companies like you around the country.” After a baseline evaluation performed by ALCSE and Avion Solutions, participating business owners can participate in an energy audit with Huntsville Utilities and/or TVA for recommendations on which energy upgrades would best meet their goals. TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING OF ALABAMA Celebrating the production of its 4 millionth engine in September 2015, Toyota Manufacturing Alabama is one of the largest engine plants in the world. The only Toyota plant to produce the 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engine under one roof, it is also one of only two “model sustainable plants” in North America. Winning its 11th consecutive Energy Star Partner of the Year award in 2015, it has reduced 14 billion kilowatt hours of energy and cut CO2 emissions by 40 percent per vehicle since 2002. From 2003 to 2014, the plant saw a 30 percent net reduction of energy per unit. By reusing compressor condensate water in the cooling tower (which accounts for almost 50 percent of the facility’s water use), the plant has saved 300,000 gallons of water a year. The plant also recently switched to higher-efficiency motors, which compress air more efficiently, and installed LED lighting, solar lights and daylighting to reduce purchased electricity.

PROJECTXYZ One of the leading small business energy companies in Huntsville, PROJECTXYZ is a developer and investor in solar projects, recently putting 50kW of solar power on the 20,832-squarefoot BizTech building across from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The company has also partnered with ALCSE and Energy Huntsville to form an energy incubator. “Basically it is to promote energy efficiency and energy-saving technologies for start-up companies and entrepreneurs that have an interest in going into that field,” says PROJECTXYZ President Larry Lewis. “For instance, we have the 50kW on top of our building, so if an entrepreneur wanted to write a software program to monitor solar systems, or when we upgrade our facility, if we have IP-addressable lights or HVAC systems and someone wanted to write a software program to monitor it, then they could do their experimentation and research and development within the energy incubator at BizTech.” GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY ENERGY PRIZE Showcasing itself as one of the leading hubs for energy efficiency in the nation, Huntsville is competing with 49 other communities for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a $5 million incentive challenging local government

Toyota in Huntsville harvests rainwater to be used in manufacturing processes. Photo courtesy of Toyota.

Discover Huntsville 2015 • 91


to work with utilities, schools and residents to reduce energy consumption from natural gas and electricity in residential homes and municipal properties. Reflecting on benchmark years in 2013 and 2014, Huntsville Utilities has partnered with the City of Huntsville (Operation Green Team) and Huntsville City Schools to implement a citywide energy efficiency and upgrade plan between now and the competition’s end in December 2016. Harry L. Hobbs, Public and Governmental Affairs Liason, Huntsville Utilities, says in addition to adding smart meters to the HVAC and lighting systems in area schools and municipal buildings, Huntsville Utilities has asked the public to participate in a Cold Water Wash Campaign. One load of laundry washed with hot water can cost ten times as much as one washed with cold. Using cold water

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is one of hundreds of commercial buildings participating in the Huntsville Better Buildings Challenge (HBBC) to reduce energy consumption across Huntsville.

92 •

alone also reduces carbon emissions, eliminating about 1,600-lb. of carbon dioxide emissions a year. HUNTSVILLE EXTREME ENERGY MAKEOVERS Huntsville Utilities also received an $11.7 million in grant funding from the TVA’s Smarter Communities program for the Huntsville Extreme Energy Makeovers project to improve the energy efficiency for lower income residents throughout Madison County, aiming to increase each home’s energy efficiency by 25 percent. Qualifying applicants will receive an energy audit and applicable energy saving measures such as weatherization, insulation, improved lighting, new windows and doors, and new HVAC systems. The goal is to improve the energy efficiency of at least 1,104 singlefamily homes by 2017.

Huntsville City Schools’ Academy for Academics and Art is part of Huntsville’s initiative in competing for the Georgetown University $5 million energy prize


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Discover Huntsville 2016  
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