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Initiatives February 2015


Once you’ve found it, you know you’re home. Banking and mortgage loans are the same way.

Who will YOU honor by wearing RED? Heart disease is the number one killer of women and more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. It affects more than 43 million women in the United States alone.

At ServisFirst Bank, we offer a range of banking and mortgage products that are as varied as our clients’ tastes in homes. Each offers a competitive rate and our exceptional service. Perhaps that’s why homeowners feel so settled in once they find us.

Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following risk factors: • Smoking • High blood pressure • Physical inactivity • High cholesterol • Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption • Diabetes • Overweight Join us in raising awareness and supporting all those with heart disease by wearing red each Friday in February.



February 2015 Initiatives

Cindy LeBlanc Vice President Mortgage Lending 256.722.7821 NMLS ID: 776271

Research Park Banking Center 1267 Enterprise Way, Suite A Huntsville, AL 35806 256.722.7880

Corporate Office & Downtown Banking Center 401 Meridian Street, Suite 100 Huntsville, AL 35801 256.722.7800 Initiatives February 2015


Thanks to Our Investors Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative

Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

Welcome New Chamber Members Joined in November 2014

Development Partner ($220,000+ annually)

City of Huntsville Development Council ($120,000+ annually)

Huntsville Utilities Chairman’s Council ($75,000+ annually)

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc. President’s Circle

($50,000+ annually)

Huntsville Hospital Madison County Commission Regions Bank Tennessee Valley Authority Leadership Forum ($25,000+ annually) ADTRAN, Inc. The Boeing Company City of Madison Emerson Network Power - Avocent Redstone Federal Credit Union Remington Outdoor Company

Executive Council ($15,000+ annually)


BB&T BBVA Compass CINRAM Crestwood Medical Center Intergraph Corporation Lockheed Martin Corporation PNC Bank Port of Huntsville Qualitest Pharmaceuticals SAIC SES - Science and Engineering Services, LLC

February 2015 Initiatives

Chamber Trustees ($10,000+ annually) AEgis Technologies Group Aerojet Rocketdyne Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. DynCorp International Dynetics, Inc. First Commercial Bank Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation Jerry Damson, Inc.

Progress Partners

L-3 Communications Corporation – Huntsville Operations Landers McLarty Corporation Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C Northrop Grumman Corporation PARSONS Raytheon Company SportsMed Orthopaedic Surgery and Spine Center Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. Wyle CAS Group

($5,000+ annually)

Ability Plus ASRC Federal Analytical Services A-P-T Research, Inc. Baron Services, Inc. BASF Corporation Beason & Nalley, Inc. Bill Penney Toyota-Mitsubishi BlueCreek Investment Partners Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP Cadence Bank Clearview Cancer Institute Coates Transportation Group Colliers International Consolidated Construction Company Davidson Technologies, Inc. ERC, Inc. Huntsville-Madison County Builders Association

iBERIABANK IronMountain Solutions J. Smith Lanier & Co. LEAN Frog Business Solutions, Inc. Logicore MJLM Engineering & Technical Services MTS, Inc. The Orthopaedic Center Progress Bank Radiance Technologies Rosie’s Restaurants, Inc., & Right Way Restaurants, Inc. (DBA Steak Out) SELEX Galileo Inc. Torch Technologies Turner Vencore, Inc. Woody Anderson Ford

Progress Investors ($2,500+ annually) 4SITE, Inc. Alpha Beta Technologies, Inc. Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong, PC Averbuch Realty Co., Inc. – Scott Averbuch Aviagen, Inc. BancorpSouth Brown Precision, Inc. Bryant Bank CB&S Bank Century Automotive CFD Research Corporation Coast Personnel Services deciBel Research Decisive Analytics Corporation Decosimo Deloitte LLP DESE Research, Inc. Digium, Inc. Ducommun Miltec Fite Building Company, Inc. Foreign Language Services Fountain, Parker, Harbarger HEMSI Hiley Cars Huntsville Huntsville Botanical Garden

Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. Investor’s Resource/Raymond James Kudzu Productions, Inc. The Lioce Group, Inc. Littlejohn Engineering Associates, Inc. Moog, Inc. National Bank of Commerce North Alabama Multiple Listing Service PALCO Telecom Service, Inc. PeopleTec, Inc. PHOENIX PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Public Financial Management, Inc. QTEC, Inc. Qualis Corporation Renasant Bank RJ Young ServisFirst Bank Sierra Lobo, Inc. Sigmatech, Inc. Synapse Wireless, Inc. Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. URS Corporation West Huntsville Land Co., Inc.

Joined in December 2014 2B Design Studio Aire Serv Advanced ObGyn, P.C. ALFA Insurance - Patrick Peveler Allergy Asthma & Clinical Immunology Specialists, P.C. Alabama Caregivers, LLC Asian Rim Belk Hudson Lofts AvaLAN Wireless Systems, Inc. Bonefish Grill #7202 Bargain Bob’s, Inc. Bravo! Cucina Italiana Bender’s Gym Brinkley & Brinkley Boudoir Boutique CDG Engineers & Associates, Inc. Cajun Steamer Huntsville, LLC Comfort Care Hospice - Huntsville Choragus Consulting FirstBank Church Street Wine Shoppe GrubSouth Cumulus Media Healthsource of Huntsville Downtown Storage, LLC Hope Prep Academy Jimmy John’s - Downtown Huntsville Dunkin Donuts - N. Memorial Pkwy. Jimmy John’s - Carl T Jones Glen Anthony Alterations and Tailor Shop Legacy at Jones Farm Label-Aid Systems, Inc. LegalShield Associate - Joni Grounds LBJ Automotive Lowe’s Home Improvement #1577 Powell & Long CPAs PC MacLellan HVAC & Mechanical Madison Behavior Therapy Randall B. Perry - Attorney at Law MEDS, Inc. (Management Enterprise Red Door Real Estate Development & Services) SafeHealth, Inc. Natural Stone Concepts Southern States Bank RCP Companies State Farm Insurance - Ken Davis SCI Technology, Inc. Scruggs Enterprises, Inc. Sterling Health and Wellness Sunrise Network Solutions, Inc. Taziki’s Mediterranean Café - Huntsville Taco Mama Taziki’s Mediterranean Café - Madison Walmart Store #5197 TriRox Waste Management of Huntsville, Inc. Williams Scotsman Which Wich Superior Sandwich - Madison Worxtime, LLC YP YouFit Health Clubs If you want to make a valuable investment in your business and the community, the Chamber is the place to start. Contact Donna McCrary, Membership Retention Manager: 256-535-2027 or Initiatives February 2015



Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

february 2015

cover story

The Way Out Huntsville Welcomes Polaris 2014 ©

beginning on page 18

The nomination period


for the 30th Annual

Small Business Awards will be February 9 - March 6. Nominate that special Chamber member online at

Government & Public Affairs Update 10 Did You Know? 12 Small Business Awards in the spotlight 16, 32 Student Assessment in Alabama 22 Economic Development Highlights 24

Huntsville/Madison County, Alabama is located in the middle of the southeastern United States, with more than four million people within a 100-mile radius. The Huntsville community is the economic hub of the northern Alabama/ southern Tennessee region. Huntsville/Madison County’s economy is one of the strongest in the nation, with low unemployment, strong job growth and income levels leading the region. Business growth and investment from U.S. and international companies have made it one of the country’s top “hot spots” for growing a business and raising a family.

including CFDRC, Boecore, Correlated Magnetics Research, Calhoun Community College, Davdison Technologies, Still Serving Veterans and Dynetics

Upward Bound Precious Mettle The Flight Test of Orion (EFT-1) Business Communications 101

HREGI Investors Listing 4 New Chamber Members 5 A Message from the President 8 Chamber Board Listing 8 Community Profile 17 Chamber Board in photos 1 4 Chamber Staff Listing 33

Winners will be anounced at the Celebration HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

in September.


The mission of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County is to prepare, develop and promote our community for economic growth.

contact Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County 225 Church Street NW, Huntsville, AL 35801 main line: 256.535.2000 fax: 256.535.2015


fyi February 2015 Initiatives

28 31 34 35



Cover photo provided by Polaris Industries

Submissions for editorial content are not accepted. Information in this and other Chamber publications is at the discretion of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. Advertising inquiries go through The Huntsville Times.

editorial staff

Publisher Chip Cherry, cce Executive Editor Carrie Rice

Editorial Designer Kristi Sherrard ontributing Writers Lucia Cape, Elizabeth Fleming, C Carrie Rice, Elizabeth Saba, Ken Smith & Mike Ward Photography Chamber of Commerce staff, publications/archive, or Shutterstock unless otherwise noted Advertising Sales Jane Katona, Alabama Media Group Initiatives February 2015


Chamber of Commerce

Executive Committee and Board of Directors 2015 Executive Committee

A Message from Chip Cherry

Rey Almodóvar, Chair, INTUITIVE Rose Allen, Chair-elect, Booz Allen Hamilton Robert Mayes, Immediate Past Chair, BlueCreek Investment Partners Ron Poteat, Chamber Foundation Chair, Regions Bank Cynthia Streams, Secretary/Treasurer, Domino’s Pizza (Valley Pizza) Joe Newberry, Vice Chair - Economic Development & Industry Relations, Redstone Federal Credit Union

Dear Chamber of Commerce Investors, Community Leaders and Friends: The lead article in the last issue of Initiatives focused on the growth of our economy. With our most recent announcement of Polaris opening an advanced manufacturing campus in Huntsville, there have been more than 5,100 new jobs announced over the past 12 months. The impact of these announcements on small business is substantial. I’d like to use the two large projects to illustrate the point that a rising economic tide helps lift the region’s economy. The first example is Remington: it is projected that Remington will reach full employment of 2,000 jobs in 2021. The second is our most recent announcement of 2,000 jobs to be created by Polaris with full employment expected to be reached in 2020. Together, these two announcements will generate more than 8,000 new jobs created in our region’s economy above and beyond the nearly 4,000 jobs being created by these great companies. These spin-off jobs will range from extra employees in local restaurants, more jobs in service industries, such as retail, while also adding more skilled trades employees to the workforce. Most of these 8,000 additional jobs created over the next seven years will be created one at a time in our region’s small businesses. A rising tide does in fact float all boats! One of the keys to economic success is to look over the horizon and anticipate the consequences of these announcements, which, left unaddressed, could negatively impact our ability to continue to grow and diversify our region’s economy. One such challenge for us will be workforce. As our economy grows, jobs opportunities in the manufacturing sector will continue to grow. Our challenge will be to share with parents, students, and educators what those opportunities are and what skills they will need to prepare for a successful career in fields where growth is occurring. We must also endeavor to be more effective partners with our colleagues in education, sharing with them the intelligence we are capturing from our interactions with business and industry. We see a broadening of opportunities for young people who select a path within industry and we must be proactive in providing the information they, and those who are advising them, need to make an informed decision. The key to our Chamber’s success and effectiveness is our volunteer leadership, men and women who invest their time and talents in the endeavor to make our community and region a great place to live and grow their businesses/organizations. We are very blessed to have a dedicated and engaged group of men and women in these key roles. Their efforts coupled with those of our talented staff have led to our being an effective partner in the growth and development of our region! Welcome to Polaris Industries – we look forward to you becoming part of the fabric of our region. I hope to see you at a Chamber event soon!

Chip Cherry, CCE

President & CEO Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County


February 2015 Initiatives

Jim Rogers, Vice Chair - Government & Public Affairs, Lockheed Martin Gary Bolton, Vice Chair - Membership, ADTRAN Emily Lauder, Vice Chair - Workforce & Education, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama

Tharon Honeycutt, Vice Chair - Small Business & Events, MSB Analytics Kim Lewis, Vice Chair - Marketing & Communications, PROJECTXYZ Penny Billings, Vice Chair - Member Engagement, BancorpSouth Mayor Tommy Battle, Chair-Appointed, City of Huntsville Mark Curran, Chair-Appointed, L-3 Communications Corp. - HSV Ops Trip Ferguson, Chair-Appointed, Remington Outdoor Company Chairman Dale Strong, Chair-Appointed, Madison County Commission Mayor Troy Trulock, Chair-Appointed, City of Madison Danny Windham, Chair-Appointed, Digium Chip Cherry, President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce Elected Board Dr. Robert Altenkirch, The University of Alabama in Huntsville Bob Baron, Baron Services Dr. Marc Bendickson, Dynetics Miranda Bouldin, LogiCore Greg Bragg, Consolidated Construction Company Greg Brown, Brown Precision Janet Brown, Belk Micah Bullard, Turner Construction Kevin Byrnes, Raytheon Company Frank Caprio, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings Michael Cox, PARSONS Angel Crespo, Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility Dorothy Davidson, Davidson Technologies Gene Goldman, Aerojet Rocketdyne Jeff Gronberg, deciBel Research Mike Gullion, SCI Technology – a Sanmina company John Gully, SAIC Jan Hess, Teledyne Brown Engineering Steve Hill, AEgis Technologies Group Dr. Pam Hudson, Crestwood Medical Center Dr. Andrew Hugine, Alabama A&M University Jeremiah Knight, JXC Consulting Group Janice Migliore, PALCO Telecom Service Jim Owens, FirstBank Alicia Ryan, LSINC Dr. Gurmej Sandhu, Sigmatech Charlie Sealy, Sealy Management Company Andrew Shambarger, BB&T Crystal Shell, WILL Technology E.J. Sinclair, SES - Science and Engineering Services Dr. Ashok Singhal, CFD Research Corporation David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital Mike Stanfield, Ducommun Miltec Nilmini Thompson, Systems Products and Solutions Tim Thornton, nLogic Frank Williams, Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Initiatives February 2015


Government & Public Affairs AUSA Symposium, Chamber Trips and Federal Funding


he year is shaping up to be a very busy one for the Chamber and our members. We will welcome the AUSA Winter Symposium back to Huntsville in 2015. Renamed the Global Force Symposium and Exposition, the event, set for March 31-April 2, will focus on the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Key Army speakers and panelists will address the capabilities outlined in the Army Operating Concept and how the force transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation for Force 2025 and beyond. Presentations will address critical points of acquisition, research and development and partnering between military and industry, and restructuring military-industrial programs. The week following the AUSA Global Force Syposium, the Chamber will host our annual Montgomery Trip, April 7-8. If you haven’t already done so, please register by going to the Chamber’s web site – hsvchamber. org. The Alabama legislative session kicks off in early March and is slated to end in early June. The Chamber trip will put us in the State Capitol as key issues are making their way to the floor for important votes. The trip itinerary will include meetings with the Governor, key members of his cabinet and various legislative leaders, and a reception honoring the Leaders in Alabama’s State Government. The Chamber’s D.C. Trip is set for April 19-21. Last year’s attendance set a new record with 180 people registering – the 2015 trip is sure to be even better! Registration is open on the Chamber’s web site, so sign up to join us for the trip TODAY! We’re looking forward to being back in the Hyatt on Capitol Hill again this year. 10

February 2015 Initiatives

The 113th Congress finished its work in a lame duck session in 2014 by passing an important CRomnibus bill, funding the operations of the federal government for 2015. That measure appropriated $18 Billion for NASA – $364 million (2%) more than FY 2014 and $550 million (3%) more than was included in the President’s funding request. The NASA funding bill included $4.4 billion for the exploration account (6% more than FY 2014 and 10% more than requested), and is intended to keep the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System on schedule. The agreement provides approximately $9 billion for missile defense programs,

than the request); $184 million for Patriot upgrades ($52 million more than requested); $58 million for Patriot product improvement and $35 million for PAC-2 missile research and development; and $5.2 B for Army Aircraft procurement. The CRomnibus provides $220 million and directs the Air Force secretary to develop a next-generation rocket propulsion system that is made in the United States, meets the requirements of the national security space community, is developed not later than 2019 using full and open competition, and is available for purchase by all space launch providers. Thanks to the members of our Congressional Delegation

Rendering of Von Braun IV provided by Redstone Garrison including $874 million for Ground-Based MiD.C.ourse Defense (GMD) research; $450 million for Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) procurement; and $620 million for cooperative programs with Israel. The agreement also appropriates $854 million for Aegis research and development and $870 million for procurement; $264 million for research and development of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, which is being co-developed with Japan; $533 million for Patriot PAC-3 interceptors ($148 million more

who do some very heavy lifting to support our community! In local construction updates, Redstone Arsenal continues to upgrade their facilities. The Missile Defense Agency is moving people into their new Von Braun phase IV facility on Redstone Arsenal. The new facility will provide office space for nearly 800 employees and support workers. A date for the ribbon cutting on the new facility was pending at the time that this article was being prepared. • Mike Ward Initiatives February 2015


Editor’s Note: Elizabeth Saba manages the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County’s business retention and expansion services. She meets with existing companies and conducts executive interviews to identify trends related to the current business climate, workforce development challenges and infrastructure needs. Information and data from these interviews help the Chamber keep the Huntsville Metro area competitive and to create and sustain a business climate conducive to the growth of the local industry base. Elizabeth will regularly share her interesting tidbits about the local industries ranging from advanced manufacturing, to aerospace/ defense, to biotechnology and beyond in Did You Know?.

Local Stories of Success

compiled by Elizabeth Saba

Baron Services

CDS-John Blue Company Agricultural roots run deep through the soil of Madison County, and so do the roots of CDS-John Blue Company. In 1886, John Blue established a business to repair cotton gins and develop efficient methods of distributing fertilizer and cottonseed. John’s goal was to revolutionize farming and make it dependent on machinery rather than manpower. In 1945, he moved the company from North Carolina to Huntsville, Alabama, in order to be close to sources of steel and coal. More than half a century later, CDS-John Blue Company remains a top pioneer of new agricultural equipment. In addition to manufacturing liquid fertilizer agricultural pumps and other products for both fertilizer application and irrigation use, the company’s newest invention is linking the iPad to tractors everywhere. CDS-John Blue’s patented Electronic Liquid Blockage Monitor System (LBMS), which allows farmers to monitor fertilizer application from the cab of their tractors, won the company an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Outstanding Innovation Award in 2014. The LBMS uses sensors to track magnetic balls that float inside flow monitor tubes that feed fertilizer hoses. It alerts farmers to specific hoses that are not flowing properly by sending a visual display and an audio alarm to an iPad located in a tractor cab. “We do not send anything to the moon, but we do help feed and clothe the population,” says Chief Operations Officer Michael Poland. “Our products help increase the yield of crops, one of which is used to make ethanol and help fuel the current fleet of automobiles.” This past year, CDS-John Blue Company relocated its facility in Huntsville to Electronics Boulevard near the Port of Huntsville and the Huntsville International Airport. The new facility will provide additional space for continued expansion of CDS-John Blue products. From its new and expanded Huntsville plant, CDS-John Blue will continue to develop innovative solutions to revolutionize farming and help farmers around the world improve their crops and profits. For more information, visit •

Electronic Liquid Blockage Monitor System (LBMS)

Shortly after moving to Huntsville, I downloaded the Saf-TNet app to my iPhone. This app was developed by Baron Services in 2013 to provide weather forecasts and critical weather alerts based on very precise locational data. It allows emergency managers to communicate weather data to residents on a neighborhood level. If a dangerous storm or tornado is moving to my neighborhood, I will know—thanks to the weather app. Headquartered in Cummings Research Park, Baron Services has worked for over 20 years to deliver critical weather information that results in actionable intelligence for the broaD.C.ast, aviation, marine, and public service sectors. During my visit to Baron Services, I learned that the company recently launched a new company brand, including a new business logo and website. “This was part of a year-long discovery process of looking internally and externally at the company to re-examine who we are,” said Kim Grantham, Communications Director at Baron Services. “What emerged was the insight that Baron Services is a company committed to saving lives and serving communities from a critical weather standpoint.” The new company logo, launched in October 2014, features a bold red box with two white, swooshing arches that form a “B” and suggest a feeling of motion and weather. The company’s website also was completely redesigned to have a more personal impact. Photography on the website communicates

new, cutting edge weather technology and solutions that will save lives. An interesting feature of the new website is the “Live Weather” tab, allowing users to see radar data and photos of live weather situations that have been submitted through the Saf-T-Net app. Baron Services devotes considerable resources to the research and development of hardware that makes weather detection quicker and more effective,” says Rob Baron Jr., Chief Products Officer at Baron Services. “Research is in our DNA.” In fact, in January 2015, Baron brought together leaders in radar meteorology for its first Weather Radar Technology Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. The free event featured a mix of industry, academia and government weather radar experts, who covered the use of weather radar to obtain and distribute critical weather intelligence to stakeholders and the general public. The Baron solution is composed of five distinct areas of capability: radars/sensors, data processing and integration, advanced modeling, displays, and distribution. Baron provides key infrastructure for the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Weather Service, among others. You can check out the new company website at •

specific signature gene segments, and 3) detection of the final diagnosis. iCubate performs all three functions automatically, in a closed system. iCubate’s proprietary core technology and differentiator is its “multiplexing” capability. Multiplexing allows for the testing of multiple pathogens from a single sample taken from a patient. “iCubate’s clinical benefit is huge,” said Dr Han. “With an accurate diagnosis, a patient can be put on the right medicine, right away. If it is a public health crisis like SARS or avian flu, we would know who should be isolated and treated; if it is a bio-threat, we would know what pathogen may be involved.”

iCubate contracted with LSINC for product development of the system, including industrial design assistance, mechanical engineering, rapid prototyping, initial production, and coordination with long-term contract manufacturing. Working closely with iCubate’s engineers, LSINC produced the iCubate’s system’s disposable cassette, its processor to analyze the samples, and its reader to scan the results. LSINC provided prototypes as well as initial production units for test and evaluation. It also assisted in the development of iCubate’s brand identity, website, marketing collateral, and trade show materials. For more information, visit, and •

LSINC | iCubate Alicia Ryan, CEO of LSINC, launched her company from her home in 2008. Alicia and her then five employees worked with business leaders to develop future-oriented company strategies. Four years later, LSINC acquired Inergi, becoming one of the few companies in the U.S. to offer both strategic consulting and concept-to-completion product development. From ideation to launch, LSINC provides support at every step along the product development life cycle, including strategy and intelligence, product development, engineering and analysis and strategic communications. During my visit to LSINC, I met with Amanda Conger, Mechanical Design Engineer at LSINC who spoke with me about products that the company has helped to develop. One proj12

February 2015 Initiatives

ect with a company based at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, iCubate, Inc., illustrates the incredible synergy between the biotech, engineering, and prototyping sectors in Huntsville. iCubate is a molecular diagnostic company with applications in human health and agriculture. A team lead by Jian Han, M.D., Ph.D., faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha and founder and Chief Scientific Officer of iCubate, worked with the LSINC engineering team to develop and launch iCubate’s flagship product, the iC-System, a revolutionary molecular diagnostic platform that allows for faster, more accurate diagnoses for improved, personalized treatments. In a typical lab, diagnoses of diseases are done in three steps: 1) extraction of DNA from cells, 2) amplification of disease-

Initiatives February 2015


Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County ~ 2015 Executive Committee

Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County ~ 2015 Board of Directors

Rey Almodóvar

chief executive officer, Intuitive Research & Technology Corporation

Board Chair

Rose Allen

principal, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Chair-Elect

Cynthia Streams

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

president/ceo, Redstone Federal Credit Union Vice Chair – Economic Development & Industry Relations

Jim Rogers

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

Ron Poteat

Immediate Past Chair

Chamber of Commerce Foundation Chair

chief executive officer, BlueCreek Investment Partners

Gary Bolton

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

Tharon Honeycutt

Kim Lewis

Penny Billings

Tommy Battle

Vice Chair – Small Business & Events

Vice Chair – Marketing & Communications

Vice Chair – Member Engagement


president, MSB Analytics

chief executive officer, PROJECTXYZ, Inc.

division president, BancorpSouth

mayor, City of Huntsville

Trip Ferguson

Dale Strong

Troy Trulock

Danny Windham





general manager, Remington Outdoor Company 14

Joe Newberry

Robert Mayes

February 2015 Initiatives

chairman, Madison County Commission

mayor, City of Madison

chief executive officer, Digium, Inc.

Dr. Robert Altenkirch

Bob Baron

Dr. Marc Bendickson

Miranda Bouldin

Greg Bragg

Greg Brown

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Baron Services, Inc.

Dynetics, Inc.


Consolidated Construction Co.

Brown Precision, Inc.

north alabama area executive, Regions Bank

Janet Brown

Micah Bullard

Kevin Byrnes

Frank Caprio

Michael Cox



Raytheon Company

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP


Angel Crespo

Dorothy Davidson

Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility

Davidson Technologies, Inc.

Emily Lauder

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

Gene Goldman

Jeff Gronberg

Mike Gullion

John Gully

Jan Hess

Aerojet Rocketdyne

deciBel Research, Inc.

SCI Technology, Inc. – a Sanmina company


Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.

Dr. Pam Hudson

Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr.

Crestwood Medical Center

Alabama A&M University

Jeremiah Knight JXC Consulting Group

Steve Hill

AEgis Technologies Group

Janice Migliore

Johnny Van Osborne

Jim Owens

Alicia Ryan

PALCO Telecom Service, Inc.

J. Smith Lanier & Co.



Mark Curran

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

Dr. Gurmej Sandhu

Charlie Sealy

Andrew Shambarger

Crystal Shell

E.J. Sinclair

Dr. Ashok Singhal

Sigmatech, Inc.

Sealy Management Company


WILL Technology, Inc.

Science & Engineering Services, LLC

CFD Research Corporation

Chip Cherry, CCE

president & chief executive officer, Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

David Spillers

Mike Stanfield

Nilmini Thompson

Tim Thornton

Frank Williams

Huntsville Hospital

Ducommun Miltec

SPS, Inc.

nLogic, Inc.

Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Initiatives February 2015


in the spotlight:

Lauren Battle

2014 Young Professional of the Year A brief history of The Lankford/ Battle Allstate Insurance Agency and your role... My mother, Carolyn Lankford, has been an Allstate agent for more than 25 years and I joined her in the agency in 2011. My primary role is new business development and marketing. I work with realtors and mortgage lenders in the community to assist their clients with all of their insurance needs. Our agency also strives to stay involved in the community and has been working to promote the Allstate X, the TXT initiative asking drivers not to text and drive.

waterhouseCoopers, LLC in New York, NY for two years immediately after college. I enjoyed living in the Big Apple but missed my friends and family here in Huntsville so I moved back home in 2008 and spent three more years in public accounting at Anglin, Reichmann, Snellgrove and Armstrong, PC. In the spring of 2011, my mother approached me about helping her continue to grow her Allstate Agency and our goal for me to become the agency owner upon her retirement.

ers for this award and I was so honored to be chosen as Young Professional of the Year. I love being involved in the community and have a passion for the nonprofits I serve as either a Board Member or through planning fundraising events. Professionally, this award helped to validate my decision to change career paths and has been great recognition for our agency.

Share your educational and professional background...


I graduated cum laude with my Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Mississippi State University in 2006 and worked for PriceFebruary 2015 Initiatives

City of Huntsville

2010 Census





2013 Census





% Growth

City of Huntsville Madison Metro Area

3.6% 3.5% 7.5% 4.3%




Avg. Household Income $78,462

$67,697 $106,973


Per Capita Income




Huntsville Hospital System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,129 NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000 Huntsville City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,079 The Boeing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,600 Madison County Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,389

Households & Income # of Households

Redstone Arsenal* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31,500*



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

SAIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,229 City of Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,206 The University of Alabama in Huntsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,675 ADTRAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,522 Source: Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County *includes on-site contractors

Aerospace & Defense Huntsville/Madison County is home to the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center which combine to drive a thriving aerospace and defense technology industry. More than 37,500 people work at Redstone Arsenal and NASA managing some of the country’s most important and sophisticated technology programs including missiles, aviation and space exploration.

Research & Technology Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park has earned a reputation as a

We are an Allstate Insurance Agency specializing in personal insurance products as well as business insurance and employee benefits. We offer auto, motorcycle, homeowners, landlord, condo, renters and life insurance in our personal lines as well as business owner policies and commercial auto insurance for our commercial customers. One type of product that sets Allstate apart from other major Property and Casualty Insurance Companies is our employee benefits. We have a Major Medical Compliment that has been very popular with small business owners and helped them save significantly on their health insurance despite all of the recent changes in healthcare.

In 2012, our Agency was recognized by Allstate with the most prestigious honor in the Company called the Agency Achiever award. We were named the top agency in our region based on agency growth, customer service and retention. In 2013 we were honored to receive the second place Agency Achiever Award for the Southeast Region. It was a wonderful experience for both my mother and myself to be able to share the success of our agency.

Madison County

What key piece of advice would you give other small businesses?

What services does your company provide?

What has been your company’s greatest achievement?

TOP 10 EMPLOYERS Population

Lauren Battle giving her acceptance speech at the 2014 Small Business Awards. Battle, director of business development with the Lankford/Battle Allstate Insurance Agency, shared these thoughts.

What are your goals for The Lankford/Battle Allstate Agency over the next 10 years? I hope to see continued growth for our agency as my mom begins her retirement and I transition into the role of agency owner. We have enjoyed working together over the last few years and I have learned so much from my mom’s experience that I hope to continue her legacy and success in the agency.

What did winning this award mean to you, personally and professionally? It was amazing to be among the list of contend-

Always keep customer service a top priority. We strive to always improve our level of service to our customers and go above and beyond to help them with claims or advice on their policies. I think that level of attention and focus on the customer has significantly helped our business through referrals and customer retention.

How has being active in the Chamber impacted you? The Chamber has provided us with many opportunities to grow our business through participating in various events as well as the ability to network with and learn from other small business leaders in our community. •

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Initiatives February 2015


t u o y a w the r o f s t c u d o r p vative


New Polaris Manufacturing Facility and 2,000 Jobs Coming to Huntsville

The New Year got off to a great start in North Alabama after Polaris announced they will be opening an advanced manufacturing facility in Huntsville, creating up to 2,000 jobs over the next seven years. Polaris, based in Medina, Minnesota, is a global leader producing off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and side-by-side vehicles.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the Polaris facility is a significant addition to North Alabama’s economic base, and according to the Alabama Department of Commerce, it is expected that Polaris will generate $206 million in new state and local tax dollars in its first 10 years – over and above the forgiven amounts. “We are excited to welcome Polaris, our new corporate partner, to Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley region,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “Polaris is bringing quality advanced manufacturing jobs that will capitalize on our highly skilled talent. The magnitude of the production facility will draw even more suppliers to the region, further diversifying our strong economic job base.” This is the city’s first major economic development project in annexed portions of Limestone County, which is emerging as the region’s growth corridor.

Polaris officials said Huntsville was an ideal pick for its 600,000-square-foot facility because of the city’s skilled workforce, a history of technology and innovation, existing utility infrastructure, local, state and regional support. “This new facility will complement our already strong and growing North American manufacturing footprint by reducing pressure on our existing facilities and enable each to remain focused on their current product lines as we continue to meet the demand for our innovative, quality products,” said Ken Pucel, Polaris executive vice president of Operations, Engineering, and Lean. “We are grateful to the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama for their support as we invest in our shared future.” Pucel added that the 453-acre site also brings Polaris closer to its key customer base in the Southeast and offers a strong logistics network for the new operation. The company will make a capital investment of approxi-

mately $142 million. The region provided $15 million of incentives consisting of land and temporary office and training facilities. Full details of the Development Agreement with Polaris will be available once it has been fully vetted with the Huntsville City Council and the Limestone County Commission. Governor Robert Bentley proudly welcomed the company’s announcement. “The Alabama workforce, our business climate and our quality of life continue to make Alabama extremely attractive to companies,” Governor Bentley said. “I am confident that Polaris will soon experience the same type of success that other companies in Alabama have already experienced.” Huntsville boasts one of the most talented and skilled workforces in the country, and the historic successes in economic development emphasize the communities’ continued on page 20

“This new facility will complement our already strong and growing North American manufacturing footprint by reducing pressure on our existing facilities and enable each to remain focused on their current product lines as we continue to meet the demand for our innovative, quality products.” 18

February 2015 Initiatives

– Ken Pucel, Polaris Industries Initiatives February 2015


The Way Out, continued from page 19 –

Above (L-R): Rey Almodóvar, Chamber Board Chair; Greg Canfiled, Alabama Department of Commerce; Chairman Mark Yarbrough, Limestone County Commission; Gov. Robert Bentley, State of Alabama; Ken Pucel, Polaris Industries; Mayor Tommy Battle, City of Huntsville; Joe Ritch, TVA Board of Directors; and State Sen. Arthur Orr. Gov. Bentley presenting the State Seal to Ken Pucel.


February 2015 Initiatives

commitment to education, quality of life, infrastructure, and a strong business climate. Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield also applauded the announcement. “At Polaris, making great products is more than just a job – it’s a creed the company lives by,” Secretary Canfield said. “That’s what we do in Alabama as well. Our workers assemble and engineer great products from automobiles to ships and rockets to aircraft. Polaris and Alabama are a perfect fit.” Nationally, Huntsville is well known for its high concentration of engineers, many of them working out at Redstone, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and Cummings Research Park. But Huntsville also boasts many advanced manufacturing companies, including Toyota, and Remington Outdoor Co., the nation’s oldest firearms manufacturer. “It’s a strong endorsement for Huntsville to have the state’s two largest economic development announcements in the past two years,” Mayor Battle said. “These historic wins validate our competitiveness and promising future as a leading economic driver and destination of choice for successful business. Polaris officials said the Huntsville manufacturing facility will feature multiple assembly lines and state-of-the-art technologies. It will support core processes including vehicle assembly, chassis and body painting, welding, fabrication, and injection molding. It will produce the Polaris RZR and RANGER vehicles. Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr said, “Polaris is a company who prides itself on its engineering prowess, so we all agree that they are a perfect fit for Huntsville.” The geographically diverse team of state and North Alabama regional economic development partners worked tirelessly together to make this project a reality. Economic Development partners for Polaris include: State of Alabama; City of Huntsville; Limestone County; City of Decatur; Morgan County; City of Athens; Limestone County Economic Development Association (LCEDA); Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Industrial Development Board of the City of Huntsville (IDB); Huntsville Utilities; Athens Utilities; Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority; AIDT; and the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. It

is possible that the list of partners will grow in the coming weeks. “As a Chamber and as a community, we’ve been pushing efforts to diversify the economy as part of the Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative,” said Chip Cherry, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. “Adding these advanced manufacturing jobs will do just that. Welcoming Polaris to Huntsville will have a positive impact on our State, our region and our community. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Polaris.” The company anticipates construction to begin in the first quarter of 2015, the manufacturing facility is projected to be producing product in mid-2016 and will be fully operational in 2017. The manufacturing plant will be the first of what is expected to be a multi building campus. Production will begin shortly thereafter. The Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) will handle receiving of applications, screening applicants, and training. “After all the dust settles, the final decision to locate or expand a facility has to do with the prospect’s confidence that the location is a place where they can become part of the fabric of community and be successful,” Cherry said. “Our region’s public and private sector leaders have worked together to create a very special place, a place that attracts quality companies like Remington and Polaris, and companies like Toyota and Boeing have the confidence to continue to create more jobs. Huntsville is a place where entrepreneurs can pursue their dreams.“ • Carrie Rice

Initiatives February 2015


Student Assessment in Alabama ACT Assessment Establishes New Baseline for Student Achievement


tudent testing has changed a lot since many of us were in school. Recently we have seen a major shift in the way that we assess student performance in Alabama and it is for the better. Alabama had a real need to move to higher-level tests that help make sure students graduate ready for life after high school – whether going on to college or straight into a career. Now, Alabama’s rigorous assessment plan provides meaningful information to teachers, parents and students that will help make sure students are on track to graduate college and career-ready.

What changed? In 2013, the Alabama State Board of Education began working with the nationally recognized ACT company to establish new college and career-ready benchmark measures. Last spring, students in Grades 3-8 took the first year of new assessments aligned to the Alabama College- & Career-Ready Standards (CCRS), the ACT Aspire assessment, in place of the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT). Among other things, the ACT Aspire focuses less on multiple-choice questions and more on open-response questions that demonstrate critical thinking. Additionally, the ACT Aspire provides teachers, parents, and students with meaningful, honest feedback to help make sure students stay on track to graduate from high school, college- and career-ready. If students score below the ACT Aspire Readiness Benchmarks, teachers and parents can intervene to help make sure a student gets on track. Dr. Casey Wardynski, Superintendent of Huntsville City Schools shared, “With the ACT accountability system, we can now have discussions on college readiness from every grade 3rd - 12th.” “ACT has been for decades one of the primary college-readiness tests trusted by students and institutions of higher education,” said A+ Education Partnership policy director, Thomas Rains. “Using ACT Aspire as a tool in 22

February 2015 Initiatives

the elementary and middle grades helps align students’ educational paths from one step to the next, giving teachers, parents, and students honest feedback about where they stand on the path toward being ready for real life after graduation.” “We know that our student’s path to success begins in the earlier grades. Through ACT Aspire, we can assess and celebrate where our students stand in elementary and middle school leading up to the ACT test taken in high school. Our entire school community has embraced the responsibility of preparing our students to be global learners who are well prepared for the workforce or additional educational opportunities,” said Dr. Dee Fowler, Superintendent of Madison City Schools. Results from the ACT Aspire cannot be compared to the ARMT results, and any attempt to do so would be irresponsible. The two assessments represent wholly different measurement systems of student achievement. Matt Massey, Superintendent of the Madison County Schools shared, “ARMT measured specific skills and ASPIRE engages students in thinking and problem solving.” The ACT Aspire measures student achievement more like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, that is given to a random sample of students nationwide every two years. NAEP questions are more in-depth than ARMT questions, and are often open-ended instead of multiple-choice. Additionally, the NAEP uses higher cut scores to determine who is deemed proficient. For example, according to the 2011 NAEP, less than 30% of Alabama fourth graders were proficient or advanced in math, while the ARMT classified nearly 80% as the equivalent (Level III or IV) in the same year. In reading, just over 30% of Alabama fourth graders were deemed proficient or advanced on the NAEP, while the ARMT said roughly 90% met those marks.

How is Alabama doing? Moving to a more rigorous set of standards does come with a challenge. When the bar is raised and the measurement changes, there will be an impact. Some may incorrectly interpret the results of the ACT Aspire as a drop in scores. It is not a decrease, but rather a shift in measurement. The State Department of Education reports that the ACT Aspire represents a significant change from how student achievement has been defined up to now and will change how student and school performance is reported in the future. Student ability is not suddenly dropping with the shift to the new tests. Instead, the expectation of what students must know and be able to do on state assessments has become more rigorous. “These results provide a new baseline for students’ achievement. The results are not

comparable to previous assessments as they are more rigorous and challenging, aligned to new standards and expectations for students,” said Dr. Tommy Bice, State Superintendent of Education, Alabama State Department of Education. “Clearly, we must own the areas in which we need improvement as it is our goal to make sure all of Alabama’s students graduate prepared for the world which awaits them after high school. We are proud of educators and students for teaching, learning, and aspiring to meet the challenges of higher academic standards.” “This is all about our kids. The better their education, the better they are able to compete for quality jobs, and that translates to an improved economy for all,” said Don Nalley, Chamber of Commerce, Education Committee. “In four years, more than three out of every four jobs in Alabama will require some type of post-secondary education, whether it’s a two or four-year degree or some type of industry certification. In order to make sure students are prepared for that, we need to make sure they get honest feedback about where they stand today.” Fowler added, “We realize that for the Huntsville Madison County area to be attractive for new business and commercial opportunities that our schools have to be strong and accountable. Those interested in the area want to know how our schools compare to other schools in the nation. The Aspire test provides that opportunity. This is the first nationally normed test given by the state since we administered the Stanford Achievement Test, many years ago.” In 2013, only one in five Alabama high school graduates were ready for college based on the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. In addition, among students who enrolled in college, one in three had to take remedial classes in math, English, or both. Numbers like this present a significant problem. “Previously, the academic expectations for students have been too low, both in Alabama and across the nation. This is the tough medicine we need to take if we’re going to make sure students are really ready to compete for tomorrow’s jobs against people from all over the world,” Bice said. “The good news is, our students and teachers can, and will rise to the occasion. Soon we will see an upward trend in the percentage of students who are truly college- and career-ready.” • Elizabeth Fleming, The Schools Foundation and Lucia Cape, Chamber of Commerce Initiatives February 2015



~ continued on page 26

CFDRC: Making Our Community a Better Place CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC), located in Cummings Research Park, has made a major investment in the community through two new gifts. The company contributed $100,000 to the Community Catalyst Fund at the Community Foundation of Huntsville/ Madison County. The Community Catalyst Fund is a new endowed fund that will provide a perpetual source of grants for improving quality of life in Huntsville and Madison County. CFDRC also contributed $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Madison County. Habitat is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing from our community and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. CFDRC develops cutting-edge technologies with highlycompetitive federal contracts and adapts and commercializes them for both defense and civil applications. It has a 27-year legacy of serving U.S. federal agencies and industry, including expert support at clients’ sites. CFDRC has received several national awards for its successes in both innovation and commercialization of the SBIR-developed technologies for aerospace, biomedical, energy, and other markets. “We love Huntsville; and, together with the leadership team and employee family of CFDRC, we were searching for a way to make a lasting impact,” said Sangeeta Singhal, co-chairperson of CFDRC. “We know that the gift to the Community Catalyst Fund will continue to support our home area for decades to come. In the same way, we know the gift we are making this year to Habitat will help change families’ lives for the long-term.” The leadership of CFDRC said that as the company grows to meet the technology and development challenges of the 21st Century, all of the employees wanted to share the company success with the community that supports them. “I am very pleased at the participation and support our employees provide to numerous charitable organizations,” said Joe Cosumano Jr., LTG(R), President and CEO of CFDRC, “It is our way of giving back.” Bob Ludwig, Chairman of the Community Foundation Board, said the community is incredibly appreciative of Dr. Ashok and Sangeeta Singhal and the CFDRC team for this gift, “This is a strategic philanthropic investment, and they have

CFD Research Corporation’s check presentation to The Community Foundation. great vision for wanting to use their charitable donation to make a sustained impact over many years.” Habitat for Humanity of Madison County will use the contribution from CFDRC to purchase lots where they will build new homes. “We are thrilled to have this generous gift that provides the groundwork for future families to reach their dreams of a better life through homeownership,” said Myra Sanderson, Executive Director. By having homeowner candidates and dedicated volunteers work together in equal partnership, Habitat builds new relationships and a sense of community, as well as new housing. Sanderson added, “Each new family approved by Habitat must complete 350 sweat equity hours that includes an extensive budgeting class and construction on their own home. That way we know we are helping families become independent and strong with bright new futures.” The Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County serves as the trustee of our community’s future, fostering philanthropy and mobilizing partners, while striving for an exceptional quality of life both today and tomorrow.

The Community Foundation, now in its sixth year of operation, has raised or managed over $13.6M in charitable donations since inception, and has distributed over $3.6M to nonprofit agencies, churches and schools in our community and elsewhere. The foundation also provides educational, networking and capacity-building services for the nonprofit organizations that benefit from our donors grants. In August 2014, Torch Technologies provided the inaugural leadership gift to initiate the Community Catalyst Fund at the Community Foundation. Torch donated $50,000 to jump-start the fund, and provided an additional $100,000 as a challenge grant to match other corporate and individual gifts to the Catalyst Fund. The Community Catalyst Fund is funded by unrestricted gifts that will empower the Community Foundation to make annual grants for the betterment of the community. For more information about the Community Foundation, the Community Catalyst Fund, or other giving programs available, please contact Stuart Obermann at 256.535.2065 or or visit •

Correlated Magnetics Research Achieves 120th Patent Milestone for Programmable Magnet Technology Correlated Magnetics Research (CMR) announced today that it has passed the milestone of 120 issued domestic and international patents for its programmable magnet technology. The six year-old company now has 121 issued patents and an additional 58 patent applications on file in the US, Europe and Asia. CMR’s process technology transforms ordinary magnets into precision-tailored magnetic systems called Polymagnets®. Unlike conventional magnets that typically have just one north and one south pole, Polymagnets have a pattern of many magnetic regions. The precisely engineered fields of Polymagnets enable a wide range of new functionality for magnets and new magnetic solutions – far beyond simple attract or repel. “I am very proud of the patenting success we’re having.” said Mark Roberts, co-founder of Correlated Magnetics and Chief Intellectual Property Officer. “It is a testament to the pioneering nature of the technology that we’ve been able to patent so many unique aspects of Polymagnets including

many extraordinary magnetic behaviors, a large variety of applications of Polymagnets, and, very importantly, fundamental systems and methods for designing and manufacturing Polymagnets in an efficient, reliable, and repeatable way. We’ve also been able to achieve this patent coverage at an incredibly rapid pace with our US patents averaging less than 17 months from filing to issuance.” Polymagnets have functions not possible with standard

magnets including magnets that precisely align and act like springs and latches. Polymagnets enable sophisticated product design with magnets – ideal for consumer and industrial applications because Polymagnet features can be combined to offer a truly unique product experience. These new features of Polymagnets can be precisely tuned for a desired mechanical response - a softer feel or snappier strength – to evoke the desired emotional response in a product’s user. CMR is the inventor of correlated magnetic systems technology for consumer and industrial applications. Their Polymagnet Catalog of advanced magnetic functions delivers unprecedented functionality for permanent magnet materials. CMR was founded in 2008 to pursue the new technology of correlated magnetics. CMR is driving global adoption of the technology by establishing a network of Polymagnet Suppliers and field sales engineers to assist in the application of innovative magnetics systems. •


MADDOX CASEY Healthcare Birmingham

SAE EVANS Healthcare Birmingham

RYAN CHAFFIN Audit Huntsville

JASON ASBURY Warren Averett Technology Group Montgomery


Warren Averett, one of the largest public accounting and business consulting firms in the Southeast, is pleased to announce new Members of the Firm.

Colorado Springs’ Boecore Boosts Huntsville Presence Boecore, Inc. has expanded their office space on West Park Loop in Huntsville. Kathy Boe, Boecore’s CEO, said “We are pleased to be growing our Huntsville presence as we continue to support the mission of our Huntsville customers.” Boecore attributes its growth to the support of the Huntsville Defense Community and its dedicated Huntsville Employees who support program efforts with the Space and Missile Defense Command and the Missile Defense Agency on Redstone Arsenal. Rick Sevigny, Boecore’s Director of Business Development, said, “We are grateful for the support this great community has shown us and are proud to be a part of Huntsville/Madison County.” • 24

February 2015 Initiatives

JEFF HELMS Warren Averett Asset Management Pensacola Alabama | Florida | Georgia

Initiatives February 2015



~ compiled by Carrie Rice

Calhoun Community College Breaks New Ground in Huntsville

Dr. Marilyn Beck (center) and other dignitaries at Calhoun’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Amidst jazz Christmas music and fanfare, Calhoun Community College broke grown on its new 90,000 square foot Math, Science and Computer Science building. U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks, Alabama Senator Arthur Orr, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Alabama State Board of Education Member Mary Scott Hunter and Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education Chancellor Dr. Mark Heinrich were among the more than 550 elected officials, business leaders and and community supporters on hand for the groundbreaking activities for Calhoun Community College’s Huntsville campus building/renovation project. The $34 million project will house state-of-the-art labs, collaborative work spaces, classrooms and faculty offices. The project also includes a major renovation of the college’s existing Huntsville campus facility. “Our architectural firm for the project, Chapman Sisson, has designed both buildings to reflect a true college environment while maintaining the high tech nature of Cummings Research Park,” said Calhoun President Dr. Marilyn Beck. “When complete, this new building along with the renovations to the building we sit in today will provide an academic environment for our students which will support the College’s vision of Success for every student,” Beck commented. The new building will be located directly in front of the existing facility on the section of Wynn Drive which currently runs in front of the campus. •

Still Serving Veterans Davidson Technologies Thanks to some generous donations and hundreds of hours of volunteers working to Still Serving Veterans has moved into its new home at 626 Clinton Names New President, COO pullAve itW,allStetogether, 200. Still Serving Veterans is dedicated to helping Veterans and their Dr. Joseph Green has been named president of Davidson Technologies Inc. (DTI). He is a retired Army Military Intelligence officer with a highly distinguished career spanning thirty-four years in senior leadership positions supporting Intelligence and Operational missions, organizational management, training, project development, and human resources development. He holds a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an MA in Organizational Management and a Ph.D. in Management. Since joining DTI two years ago, Green has served as president of the Warfighter Solutions Joint Venture and Program Manager for Davidson’s JRD.C. contract, as well as the recently awarded ICS SCADA contract supporting the Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base. He previously served as a division manager and business development manager at SAIC where he was responsible for providing advice and assistance on military, homeland defense, and ISR matters. He was also general manager for Minerva Engineering. Green also is very involved with the local community serving as the chairman of the American Freedom Foundation Concert for our Veterans here in Huntsville, chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County’s Total Resource Campaign, and a member of the Board of Directors for Burritt on the Mountain. Green Dorothy S. Davidson, chairman and CEO of Davidson Technologies, said she will remain in her current position as CEO. She said that this change at DTI will enhance the company’s future in the community, open doors to even more opportunities and help to guide the company into 2015 and beyond. Patricia (Patti) H. Dare, PhD., has been named Chief Operations Officer of DTI. She is a graduate of University of South Florida and was Vice President, Strategic Opportunities Market while at DTI. Before joining DTI, she held the position of program director at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Davidson stated, “Patti is an executive with a proven track record of delivering values to customers and providing leadership to operational elements of DTI. We believe that Patti’s operational and technical skills will enable Davidson to continue its growth trajectory and enable Davidson customers to achieve significant improvements in value and quality.” • 26

February 2015 Initiatives

families receive all the benefits and services they have earned, connecting them to other vital Veteran support resources within their community, and significantly expanding their career opportunities. They accomplish these goals through empowerment and expert, caring case management; education assistance and training; and by engaging the community to serve alongside us and our Veterans. Co-Founder and President, Col. William “Will” Webb (USA, Ret.) said, “Thanks to our wonderful donors and partners, Still Serving Veterans has been honored to significantly help our hero Veterans and their families in Alabama and beyond.” Since 2007, SSV has served over 12,000 Veterans and secured over $141 million in cumulative new benefits, services, and salaries for Veterans. The organization has earned national recognition as a center of excellence for Veteran job placement and reintegration, won a national “Seal of Distinction” Award from the Call of Duty Endowment for effective and efficient Veteran employment assistance, and was certified as a Better Business Bureau accredited Charity and Ethics Award finalist. •

L-R: John Hamilton, City of Huntsville; Will Webb, Still Serving Veterans; Alabama State Representative Howard Sanderford; and Mayor Troy Trulock, City of Madison.

Dynetics’ Role in Record Skydive


The suit was equipped with a life support system. Credit: Paragon Space Development Did you know that Alan Eustace, senior vice president of Knowledge at Google Inc., broke the world record for the highest-altitude skydive, crushing the altitude record that Felix Baumgartner set two years ago with his famous Red Bull Stratos space jump? The jump itself was a fairly well-kept secret, but the planning and development for the Eustace jump was an even bigger secret. As it turns out, Huntsville’s Dynetics helped make that jump happen. Eustace used a balloon to rise to 135,890 feet into the stratosphere above the New Mexico desert on Oct. 24, 2014. Eustace then released himself and fell at supersonic speeds. Before all of this could happen, some significant engineering and testing needed to happen. Dynetics became involved early in the design phase of the project, led by the Stratospheric Explorer (StratEx) team at Paragon Space Development Corporation. Paragon asked Dynetics to perform an aerodynamic analysis on the skydiver. The team would soon discover this was no ordinary skydive – it would be a pressurized suit at high altitude and supersonic speed descending to earth in freefall. A small team of Dynetics engineers developed a plan to characterize the flowfield surrounding the skydiver in a pressurized suit to ensure Eustace could descend in a controlled manner. The team examined the aerodynamic characteristics of the proposed pressure suit design to determine whether there could be any insurmountable problems with freefall stability and control. There was a concern that the weight distribution and shape of the large pack on the front of Eustace’s suit would cause him to tumble. Paragon wanted to understand the stability and control of the system at conventional skydiving altitudes and velocities, as well as at high-altitude, supersonic speeds. The Dynetics team examined the aerodynamic forces generated on different parts of the suit (arms/legs/helmet) at the high velocities to ensure the skydiver would not be injured. Dynetics used a NASA-developed CFD code called “USM3D,” which is employed extensively in the design of the new NASA Space Launch System, to compute the flow field around the skydiver suit in freefall. The team examined the pressures and velocities around the skydiver to determine if he would fall in a controlled manner. “Congratulations to the StratEx team on a successful mission,” said David King, Dynetics president. “From helping

people make history through fearless feats to building advanced propulsion systems to get to space, we pride ourselves on the agility of our team and our engineers’ ability to apply their skills to any project. This project allowed our engineers to have some fun working on a different type of project.” Dynetics performed the preliminary aerodynamic analysis for Paragon, the prime systems integrator for the mission. Paragon was the primary designer of the complete system of launch; tracking; and recovery, landing and support elements. For more information on the StratEx project, go to www. •

Inline Electric Supply Hours: 6:30-5:00 Monday-Friday 7:00-12:00 on Saturday 2880 Bob Wallace Avenue Huntsville, AL 35805 256-533-2851


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Initiatives February 2015


Upward Bound Economic Recovery Trending in 2015


s the U.S. economy continues to regain momentum from the national economic recession, the Huntsville community also turned the corner over the past year. With job levels returning to pre-recession levels for the first time since 2008, employment in the Huntsville Metro Area has grown to its highest level in six years. Much of this growth has occurred through pent up demand in the manufacturing and service sectors of the national economy. This effect has been seen locally as well with the addition of new manufacturing operations unrelated to government or defense and the opening of new retail and commercial centers to serve a growing consumer market. In total, local employment has grown 1.6% over the past year and nearly 5% over the past three years as the


February 2015 Initiatives

Huntsville area economy has regained what was lost during the recession. A key highlight leading this growth in 2014 was the announcement by Remington Fire Arms to establish a new manufacturing and research & development facility at the Huntsville International Airport. This stateof-the-art product development center will account for 2,000 new jobs and more than $110 million in new investment and will provide the company with its next generation of quality precision products to serve a growing market. Executives and staff from Remington have already moved to the area and production is ramping up to make the Huntsville plant the premiere manufacturing location for Remington in the U.S. Other companies also grew in 2014 adding new jobs in the local manufacturing and ser-

vice industries. SES, Inc., which refurbishes commercial and military helicopters, continues to rapidly expand at its Lowe Industrial Park facility. Since arriving in 1997, SES has steadily expanded its operations to more than 800 workers and recently announced plans to add another 450 new employees and $70 million of investment over the next three years. Verizon Wireless and West Teleservices are also both growing and combined to announce the addition of 600 new call center jobs to the Huntsville economy. This new growth continues to strengthen the local economy with new service-related jobs in the customer service industry. Additional job announcements from GE Intelligent Platforms, Curse Inc., NTS, Nektar Therapeutics and Deloitte Consulting in 2014 indicates the variety of diversified industries expanding in the local economy. New housing and retail growth also continues to expand as the community turns the corner on the economic recession with new stores and restaurants opening each week and major new retail developments on the horizon. With a strong showing in 2014, the community is poised to take advantage of its position in the coming year. According to Moody’s, the Huntsville Metro is forecast to experience strong long-term growth over the next 5 years, capitalizing on its base of government and defense activity as well as its ability to attract an educated and younger population. Diversified manufacturing will also be a key to local growth. As the economic recovery continues to trend in a positive arc for 2015 and beyond, the Huntsville/Madison County community can hope to experience a surge of new growth and economic success in the coming year. • Ken Smith

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256.824.6015 Initiatives February 2015


L-R: John Bradley, TVA Economic Development; Elizabeth Saba, Chamber of Commerce; Jeffrey Wilson, Huntsville City Schools; Harrison Diamond, City of Huntsville; Robin Cox, City of Huntsville; and Will West, Chamber of Commerce.

Balancing Act Huntsville Awarded Prestigious “Gold” Rating for Sustainable Initiatives: Supports Economic Development


untsville has been designated as a Valley Sustainable “Gold” Community in Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) economic development program. Huntsville recently completed the program sponsored by TVA and developed and administered by consultant Boyette Strategic Advisors. The gold level designation recognizes that a community has community-wide sustainability initiatives in place, with programs available to support the existing business community and promote economic development. A Valley Sustainable Gold Community is one that has taken a leadership role in implementing sustainable practices and has made a commitment to sustainability efforts focused on economic development. Huntsville’s commitment to sustainability began in the 1970s as a collective partnership with the county and the city, and in the 1980s, Huntsville created the Waste Energy Facility – and Operation Green Team was born. From those early efforts, Huntsville built more than 9,600 acres of parks and set aside greenspace in the city, and added miles of walking and biking trails. In addition, Redstone Arsenal has in place comprehensive sustainability initiatives to address energy efficiency, waste reduction, and natural resources protection. “We have been strategically working for the past six years toward becoming a sustainable community, and this designation is proof positive that we are making progress


February 2015 Initiatives

and achieving our goals,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “The Green 13 report led to the creation of Energy Huntsville and that effort generated new initiatives in government and in the community. By using our resources economically and sensibly, we are ensuring Huntsville’s environment remains viable for generations to come.” The Valley Sustainable Communities Program, now in its second year, was initiated by TVA Economic Development as part of its community preparedness offerings to assist communities in evaluating existing sustainable programs, cataloging their sustainable assets, and increasing future commitments to sustainability. The goal of the program is to document a community’s assets and increase the likelihood that they will be viewed as progressive and competitive by companies looking to invest in new or expanded locations. “As an economic development driver, we successfully balance the need for economic growth with environmental and societal accountability, and that has made us highly competitive. These efforts are a key part of our economic development, and we are finding that more and more businesses have increased their commitment to sustainability as well,” said Chip Cherry, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. Twelve communities were seeking recognition this year. Eight, including Huntsville, were awarded the gold rating, and four communities received silver. • Initiatives February 2015


Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

in the spotlight:


2014 Small Business of the Year: Technology category

A Brief Company History... More than 17 years ago, my husband James and I started F1 Solutions with a particular goal in mind. We wanted to form a true partnership with our clients, getting to know how their business works and what their pain points were so we could develop a more efficient and affective IT plan for them. Over the years this morphed into a focus on Proactive network monitoring and management. Spotting problems before they happen decreases network downtime and increases our clients productivity. Over the last several years our data security division has taken off and has been a valuable service to our clients in helping them with compliance issues. James’ vast knowledge in all things IT and my marketing and sales background make us a strong management team. Both of us bring a uniquely indept understanding of busness management as a whole to help build efficiencies within our own organization..

fessional, we decided to start F1. After many certifications and almost 20 years of advance technical networking experience, James still enjoys tackling all of the challenges that continuously changing technology provides. I love to put my sales and customer service skills to work. Building business structure is something that I have helped do for two decades and am proud to use that skill set with F1.

you to a higher level and to see those risks pay off is very rewarding. Professionally, it has increased our visability in the North Alabama market and brought us new leads. In addition to having the credibility of saying that you are a Small Buisiness of the Year award winner and all that provides, it simply adds to the confidence level that cleints and prospects have in F1.

What are your company’s greatest achievements? Having a double digit growth rate every year for the last 10 years while maintaining 97% of our client base from year to year. This means we are growing at a strong rate and still being able to service our existing clients needs. This could not be done without an incredible staff of employees that have a passion for what they do.

Share your educational and professional background... Both James and I attended college in Florida and James served a 4-year stint in the Army as a technical engineer, but we both had a strong desire to be entraprenuers. While I was working in a different industry as a sales pro32

February 2015 Initiatives

Amy Locke, executive assistant Heather Lindsey, resource desk coordinator

Economic Development & Industry Relations Lucia Cape, vice president John Southerland, Cummings Research Park director | project manager

Ken Smith, research & information services director Will West, economic development specialist | project manager

Elizabeth Saba, economic development specialist Karessa Acosta, economic development assistant

Workforce & Education Lucia Cape, vice president

Marketing & Communications 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

What does F1 Solutions do? F1 Provides IT managed services and data security services to its clients. Proactive network monitoring, offsite back-up, antivirus management, advanced Firewall management and internet content filtering. We also provide Risk Assessments and vulnerability analysis for the Healthcare, Government contractor, and financial and payment card industries, plus many other services that you can find on our website,

Chip Cherry, CCE, president & CEO

Jamie Gallien, IT manager Mary McNairy, accounting specialist | human resources

Lori Warner, accounting specialist Joe Watson, facilities supervisor


The F1 Solutions team at the post-reception for the 29th Annual Small Business Awards held last September. Jennifer VanderWier, co-founder/president (third from right), shared these thoughts.

Wendy Kirk, vice president, member engagement

What are your goals for F1 over the next 10 years?

Lisa Smith, membership representative

We want to continue to grow our core business at a mangeable growth rate and gain even more market share in North Alabama; Move into a larger location is a short term goal so we can double our current size; Focus on growing our data security division and offer more services to our cleints to protect their information; Open additional locations in other markets is a key strategy in moving forward.

What did winning this award mean to you, personally and professionally? Personally, winning this award reinforced all of the hard work and changes that F1 has made. In any business you take risks to get

What key piece of advice would you give other small businesses? Be involved in your community. Most of us are so busy running our businesses, we don’t take the time to look at what we can do better. Take that time! Listen to your staff and ask your clients how could you better serve them. Then create a plan to take action on the top two or three ideas.

How has being active in the Chamber impacted F1? Being able to tell people how great you are is one thing… but being able to say we are great, AND we are the 2014 winner of Small Business of the Year is priceless. It leaves a strong impression not only with your existing clients who are proud of you, but new clients who are trying to figure out if you all that you say you are. •

Donna McCrary, membership retention manager Tiffany Jordan, membership representative Robert Ivory, membership services assistant

Small Business & Events Pammie Jimmar, director Alexandra Gonzalez, event coordinator Beverly Pike, small business coordinator

Associated Organizations The Community Foundation of Huntsville/ Madison County ( The Schools Foundation (

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


Inline Electric Supply Hours: 7:00-5:00 Monday-Friday 7:00-12:00 on Saturday Always open at

2880 Bob Wallace Avenue Huntsville, AL 35805

256-533-2851 Initiatives February 2015




Communication Marketing Tips 01

Before you do anything, be sure to identify who your target audience is (the specific group you would like your business to communicate to).

Photo by Sharon Cobb

The Flight Test of Orion (EFT-1)

If you want to succeed in business, it is vitally important to communicate with managers, employees and the general public. Businesses often reach out to customers with specific messages regarding goods or services, but occasionally, those messages are not as laser-focused as they need to be. Businesses of all sizes need to carefully review and craft tailored messages to specific employees and consumers. There is a high chance that your business utilizes a broad range of traditional communication tools like memos, newsletters, meetings and telephone. However, in today’s digital world, smart phones, the web and a variety of social media assets have given businesses a growing number of tools to help them succeed. HTSVL-JManer-Initiatives-02a.pdf 1 7/25/14 12:52 Here are just a few basic communication tips:

Aboard a Decatur, AL built United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, NASA marked a major milestone on its journey to Mars as the Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space, traveling farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years. Orion blazed into the morning sky at 7:05 a.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Orion crew module splashed down approximately 4.5 hours later in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles southwest of San Diego. During those 4.5 hours, engineers and flight managers on the ground were able to verify that critical Orion systems performed as planned to validate the spacecraft design that will safely carry humans into deep space on future missions. “(The) flight test of Orion is a huge step for NASA and a really critical part of our work to pioneer deep space on our Journey to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “The teams did a tremendous job putting Orion through its paces in the real environment it will endure as we push the boundary of human exploration in the coming years.” During the uncrewed test, Orion traveled twice through the Van Allen belt where it experienced high periods of radiation, and reached an altitude of 3,600 miles above Earth. Orion also hit speeds of 20,000 mph and weathered temperatures approaching 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit as it entered Earth’s atmosphere. On future missions, Orion will launch on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket currently being developed at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The 70 metric-ton (77 ton) SLS will send Orion to a circumlunar trajectory around the moon on Exploration Mission-1, the first test of the fully integrated Orion and SLS system. Following some initial testing, Orion’s heat shield was removed and trucked to Marshall Space Flight Center. The center has the technical skills to prepare the shield for an upcoming ground test. •

02 03 PM

Choose the right communication tool for that target audience. For example, your target audience may be split on how they wish to be communicated with – perhaps only half may want to receive weekly eblasts, while others may prefer a quick post on social media. Once you know your target audience, and have selected the appropriate tool for that audience, really think about the message you’d like to convey to that specific group: does your message impact your identified audience, or just a handful? If the later, then rethink and retool your message to reach your broadest target audience.

Well known JOHN MANER /


Courtesy of NASA


for doing right.

Senior Vice President, Community Banking

Born and raised in Alabama with a slight detour through Texas / Graduate of North Alabama University with degree in accounting / Member of Leadership Huntsville / Supports Junior Achievement, Huntsville High School Booster Club, Boys and Girls Club and Chamber of Commerce




What qualities do you believe make a good banker? I think a good banker knows the person, not just the business. It’s so true that people really don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.




February 2015 Initiatives

Photo by Sharon Cobb

Photo by Sharon Cobb


What is something we may not know about you? I went to North Alabama to play football as a walk on. That didn’t happen so I ended up on the cheerleading squad. Things seem to have a way of working out. That’s where I met my wife.

JOHN MANER / 256-319-2507 / NMLS# 1152471


Initiatives February 2015


PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #40

“Our region has proven yet again how effective we can be when we all work together to create new jobs and attract investment. Polaris made their decision to invest in our region because they believe they can find outstanding workers here, partners to help them grow their business, and a public sector who understands what it takes for business to be successful going forward. Thanks to our partners for their dedication in making this a success.” – Chip Cherry, CCE President/CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County


February 2015 Initiatives

Initiatives magazine, February 2015  

Huntsville Welcomes Polaris with its 2,000 jobs and innovative vehicles for the way out

Initiatives magazine, February 2015  

Huntsville Welcomes Polaris with its 2,000 jobs and innovative vehicles for the way out