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Alabama’s ONLY T P 50 Heart Hospital




Exceptional care. Exceptionally close. feb-march 2016 initiatives


welcome new chamber members Joined in November 2015 ACR SERVICE, INC. Allstate Insurance Company - James F. Smith Archer Sparrow Batter Up Cake Bakery Big Oh’s Churchill Mortgage DSLD Homes, LLC

Joined in December 2015

Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza Edward Jones - Jonathan Bierer, Financial Advisor First Partners Bank Flint River Dental Grateful Recovery Green Pea Press Harrison Resources, Inc. HomeWell Senior Care of Northern Alabama Manna Food Creative Consulting MGHorneck, LLC Mission Multiplier Consulting

B-K Manufacturing Co., Inc. Belmont Hill Apartments BrookeMD CBRE Chupper Time Catering DMS - Digital Marketing Services, Inc. Fairwind Corp. Fulfilled Resources Recovery Professionals Karen Goins - Ind. Representative of World Ventures

Nest Decor

Lifestyle Strategies


Lisa Philippart LPC

Polaris Quail Creek Resort, Golf & Conference Center Real Floors, Inc. Reliable Labor Specs of Madison (Florence Eye Center, Inc.) Tech Assurance INC. Thrive Senior Living/Thrive at Jones Farm Tru-Klean Professional Cleaning Services Vintage Fairy Tales

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 4

A-One Cleaning Services, Inc.

initiatives feb-march 2016

LTS, Inc Party Life, LLC Restorative Health Rotary Club of Greater Huntsville Ryan Blank Media, LLC The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, LLC The Wine Cellar TherapySouth Huntsville Walmart Neighborhood Market Store #5716


Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative Development Partner

Development Council

Chairman’s Council



Huntsville Hospital

ADTRAN, Inc. • The Boeing Company City of Madison Emerson Network Power - Avocent Port of Huntsville Redstone Federal Credit Union Remington Outdoor Company

Madison County Commission Regions Bank Tennessee Valley Authority



PNC Bank


SES - Science and Engineering Services, LLC

Crestwood Medical Center

Lockheed Martin Corporation •


CHAMBER TRUSTEES 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. • Landers McLarty Corporation Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. • Northrop Grumman Corporation • PARSONS • Raytheon Company • S3 Sealy Management Company, Inc. • Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. • Torch Technologies • Wyle CAS Group

PROGRESS PARTNERS ASRC Federal Analytical Services • Baron Services, Inc. • BASF Corporation • BB&T • Beason & Nalley, Inc. Bill Penney Toyota, Scion & Mitsubishi • Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP • Coates Transportation Group • Colliers International Connected Logistics • Consolidated Construction Company • Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) • Davidson Technologies, Inc. Huntsville-Madison County Builders Association • iBERIABANK • IronMountain Solutions • J. Smith Lanier & Co. • Keel Point, LLC LEAN Frog Business Solutions, Inc. • Logicore • MTS, Inc. • The Orthopaedic Center • Progress Bank • Radiance Technologies Rosie’s Restaurants & Right Way Restaurants • SELEX Galileo Inc. • Turner • Vencore, Inc. • Wells Fargo Bank • Woody Anderson Ford

PROGRESS INVESTORS 4SITE, Inc. • AECOM • Alpha Beta Technologies, Inc. • Amanda Howard Real Estate • Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong, PC • Averbuch Realty Co., Inc. – Scott Averbuch • BancorpSouth • Brown Precision, Inc. • Bryant Bank • CB&S Bank • Century Automotive • CFD Research Corporation • Coast Personnel Services • deciBel Research • Decisive Analytics Corporation • Deloitte LLP • DESE Research, Inc. • Digium, Inc. • Ducommun Miltec • Elliott Davis Decosimo • 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 • L-3 Communications Corp. – HSV Operations The Lioce Group, Inc. • Littlejohn Engineering Associates, Inc. • MSB Analytics, Inc. • National Bank of Commerce North Alabama Multiple Listing Service • PALCO Telecom Service, Inc. • PHOENIX • PROJECTXYZ, Inc. • Public Financial Management, Inc. • QTEC Renasant Bank • RJ Young • ServisFirst Bank • Sierra Lobo, Inc. • Sigmatech, Inc. • Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. • Venturi, Inc. • West Huntsville Land Co., Inc. dec feb-march 2015-jan 2016 initiatives


Meet Our Huntsville Lending Team

Will Alexander Business Development

DeMarco McClain Vice President

Barry Bryan Senior Vice President

256-533-7834 | | Member FDIC


initiatives feb-march 2016

Tim Singleton Madison County Area President

feb-march 2016



Field of Dreams

23 20 12 18 11 27

brementrip cummingsresearchpark DIDYOUKNOW? economicdevelopmenthighlights educationupdate government&publicaffairs 4 5 8 10 26 28

Welcome New Chamber Members HREGI Investors Message from the President | Board of Directors Community Profile Chamber Staff | Associated Organizations Best Places to Work速 Awards

editorial staff publisher Chip Cherry, CCE executive editor

Carrie Rice editorial designer

Kristi Sherrard contributing writers

Lyndsay Ferguson Dr. John Horack Erin Koshut Mike Ward Emma Williams The mission of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County is to prepare, develop and promote our community for economic growth.

advertising sales

Eddie Graves email:

(additional contact information on page 26)

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 (contact at right). feb-march 2016 initiatives


Chamber of Commerce

Executive Committee and Board of Directors 2016 Executive Committee Rose Allen, Chair, InterFuze Corporation Joe Newberry, Chair-Elect, Redstone Federal Credit Union Rey Almodóvar, Immediate Past Chair, INTUITIVE Ron Poteat, Chamber Foundation Chair, Regions Bank Kim Lewis, Secretary/Treasurer, PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Gary Bolton, Vice Chair, Economic Development & Industry Relations, ADTRAN, Inc.

Kevin Byrnes, Vice Chair, Government & Public Affairs, Raytheon Company

Penny Billings, Vice Chair, Membership, BancorpSouth Greg Brown, Vice Chair, Workforce & Education,

A Message from

Chip Cherry

Brown Precision, Inc.

Jeff Gronberg, Vice Chair, Small Business & Events, deciBel Research, Inc.

Danny Windham, Vice Chair, Marketing & Communications, Digium, Inc.

Dear Chamber of Commerce Investors, Community Leaders and Friends: A number of powerful sectors of the economy are overshadowed when we have a string of economic development announcements. I’d like to recognize two of these sectors; Small Business and Healthcare. Small Business is the life blood of our community. Nationally they create 80 percent of all new jobs. The men and women who own them have in most cases invested their life saving in their companies. They have a vested interest in the success of both their companies and our community. Look at the backs of t-shirts on the little leaguers or the sponsor boards of various civic events, and you will see that the majority of the sponsors are small companies. We are blessed with a vibrant Small Business sector, and my hat is off to you! Remember to trade local whenever possible and support Small Business. When we sell the Huntsville market to prospects and employees we are helping companies recruit, one of our best selling points is the quality of our healthcare systems. Our clients are impressed with the capabilities we have in our market and the national ranking of both Huntsville Hospital System and Crestwood Medical Center. As residents, we often don’t appreciate how fortunate we are to have world class healthcare right here in Huntsville. Additionally, the effectiveness of the Chamber is a direct result of the talent that our volunteer leaders bring to the process of decision making and implementation. Our volunteers serve without compensation with the goal of enhancing the economy and improving the quality of life of the Huntsville Region. We owe these men and women a debt of thanks for empowering us to be an effective partner in the growth of our community. I look forward to seeing you at a Chamber event soon!

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


initiatives feb-march 2016

Tharon Honeycutt, Vice Chair, Member Engagement, MSB Analytics, Inc.

Mayor Tommy Battle, Chair-Appointed, City of Huntsville Mark Curran, Chair-Appointed, L-3 Communications - HSV Ops Bryan Dodson, Chair-Appointed, PHOENIX Beth Sippel, Chair-Appointed, First Commercial Bank Chairman Dale Strong, Chair-Appointed, Madison County Commission

Mayor Troy Trulock, Chair-Appointed, City of Madison Tracy Marion, General Counsel, Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne, P.C. Chip Cherry, President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce

Elected Board Bill Bailey, Radiance Technologies, Inc. Kristina Barbee, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Bob Baron, Baron Services, Inc. Janet Brown, Belk Kevin Campbell, Northrop Grumman Corporation Frank Caprio, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP Lynn Collyar, Deloitte LLP Michael Cox, PARSONS Deke Damson, Jerry Damson Honda Acura Dorothy Davidson, Davidson Technologies, Inc. John Eagan, BB&T Joe Fehrenbach, Intergraph Corporation Trip Ferguson, U.S. Space & Rocket Center Gene Goldman, Aerojet Rocketdyne Mike Gullion, SCI Technology – a Sanmina company John Gully, SAIC Jan Hess, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. Steve Hill, AEgis Technologies Group Dr. Pam Hudson, Crestwood Medical Center Dr. Andrew Hugine, Alabama A&M University Hank Isenberg, IronMountain Solutions John Jordan, Wyle CAS Group David King, Dynetics, Inc. Brian Magerkurth, Par Pharmaceutical Janice Migliore, PALCO Telecom Service, Inc. Leigh Pegues, PNC Bank Jim Rogers, Lockheed Martin Corporation Jeff Samz, Huntsville Hospital Dr. Gurmej Sandhu, Sigmatech, Inc. Charlie Sealy, Sealy Management Company E.J. Sinclair, SES - Science and Engineering Services, LLC Mike Stanfield, Ducommun Miltec Cynthia Streams, Domino’s Pizza (Valley Pizza, Inc.) Nilmini Thompson, Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. Tim Thornton, nLogic, Inc. Lynn Troy, Troy 7, Inc. Ken Tucker, The Boeing Company Frank Williams, Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep

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

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.


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

feb-march 2016 initiatives


communityprofile Population

Madison City of County Huntsville

City of Huntsville Madison Metro Area

Top Ten Employers Redstone Arsenal* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35,866* Huntsville Hospital System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,129

2010 Census





NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000

2014 Census





Huntsville City Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,079





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

% Growth

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

Households & Income # of Households




Avg. Household Income $79,837

$71,903 $112,609


Per Capita Income






Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (, 2014 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 41,000 people work at Redstone Arsenal and NASA managing some of the country’s most important and sophisticated technology programs including missiles, aviation and space exploration.

Research & Technology Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park has earned a reputation as a global leader in technology development. The second-largest science and

For more information, visit:

technology park in the U.S., Cummings Research Park is home to more


than 300 companies and 29,000 people involved in technology research and

Need More Exposure? To market your business




and reach a quality


audience, contact

Eddie Graves 205.999.7315 for more information about getting your message into



initiatives feb-march 2016

Initiatives magazine.



Transforming Public Education S

ay the word “Alabama” and most people outside the state would immediately think college football or “Sweet Home…” But bold, visionary leaders and industry partnerships are transforming public education in Alabama, positioning the state to be known nationwide for its public education system, particularly here in the Huntsville area of North Alabama. Huntsville is called The Rocket City for its role in putting man on the moon with the Saturn V, developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Huntsville has maintained its intellectual capital, having the highest concentration of engineers in the nation and ranking in the top five nationally for computer, IT and STEM professions. Named one of the world’s 10 smartest cities in 2010, Huntsville ranks in the top 15% nationally for adult education levels, and in Madison County, more than 90 percent of K-12 students attend public schools. In 2010, the Alabama State Board of Education adopted new, rigorous standards aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Teacher training on the new standards began in 2011. Math was implemented in the classroom in 2012. Last year’s third-grade class is among the first to exhibit the benefits of the increased rigor on assessments. And in Madison County, the data is telling a story of success! The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County has been supporting the new standards since 2011 with the backing of our membership, heavily influenced by aerospace, defense and technology companies with ties to Redstone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park, the second-largest research park in the nation with 300 companies and 26,000 workers. The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County works closely with the three public school systems in our service area: Huntsville City Schools (201516 enrollment 22,764; 41% free & reduced), Madison County Schools (2015-16 enrollment 18,911; 37% free & reduced) and Madison City Schools (2015-16 enrollment 9,855; 21% free & reduced). The three systems are very different in many regards but are the same in one important area – all are showing remarkable progress in students meeting benchmark scores on the nationally normed ASPIRE tests which predict for the ACT. In the spring 2015 assessments, math proficiency rose 21 points for Huntsville City’s third graders when compared to 11th graders in the district – from 39 percent for 11th graders to 60 percent for third graders – and Madison County increased a whopping 41 points, from 25 percent in 11th graders to 66 in third graders. The data from Madison City is especially astonishing. A smaller system with

a lower percentage of free and reduced lunch students, Madison City had a proficiency in math of 53 percent for its 11th graders, and that jumped 33 points to 86 percent for third graders. Movement at the top of the proficiency charts is usually harder to effect. While the standards are the backbone of education improvements in Alabama in recent years, they are working in concert with other initiatives statewide and in the local systems. In 2012, the Alabama State Superintendent introduced a new strategic plan called Plan 2020, a comprehensive approach with measurable quality goals that has resonated with educators and the business community. Plan 2020 calls for every student to graduate college and career ready. With a 90-percent graduation rate target for 2020, the state is ahead of schedule, achieving an 86-percent graduation rate in 2013-14. The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama has estimated that reaching the 90-percent graduation rate will result in an additional $430 million per year in the state’s economy. But graduation alone is not enough. Graduates must be proficient, something that Alabama had seriously misreported in prior years. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation study found Alabama to have a serious discrepancy between state-reported proficiency and results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card. The state-specific Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT) measured student proficiency in reading and math at levels that were 55 to 59 points higher than the NAEP. The state has since switched to the nationally normed ACT ASPIRE tests, and proficiency levels in 2014-15 were within 9 points of those reported by the NAEP – a huge leap in accountability that earned Alabama a top-ten recognition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for closing the “honesty gap.” Accountability is the first step to improvement, and the new assessments allow the state to capture and report the truth about student proficiency. While overall achievement is still a work in progress, recent assessments show that the state’s approach combined with local innovation is working. Using proficiency benchmarks of the ASPIRE for third graders – who have had the benefit of the College and Career Ready standards for most of their education – compared to the proficiency benchmarks for 11th graders, the gains are promising. In addition, in 2013-14 Alabama became one of only 15 states in which 90 percent or more of graduating students take the ACT, rather than just those who intend to pursue four-year post-secondary education. • Lyndsay Ferguson feb-march 2016 initiatives



Jenoptik T

he last time I thought about lenses, I was upgrading my cell phone, and even then it was a cursory thought as I read a review online. Recently I got a chance to take an in-depth look at the process for creating the wafer-level optics used in telecommunications, fabricating computer chips, and in medical applications. During a tour of the sophisticated facilities in a local Jenoptik plant, I was able to get a better understanding of the production of micro lenses used in various optical systems. This advanced manufacturing facility contained two clean rooms that feature all of the elements for the processing of wafers. The in-depth process for creating these wafers includes the patterning of micro-optical structures into the silicon or glass wafer materials – using both

wet and dry etching, shaping and patterning – and finally modifying a wafer to have the proper optical properties. These processes allow Jenoptik to create lenses at a lower cost to manufacture and with extremely high precision. A similar process can be used to fabricate the wafer-level optics cameras, where the typical camera lens can be scaled down into several small, precisely etched discs that are stacked and aligned to create the compact camera devices. While the applications for this technology extend from medical to micro-chips to data transfer to defense applications, I am excited to think that every time I snap a photo of family and friends I am benefiting from this innovative product. For more information, visit •


perating systems are part of our everyday lives, but many people don’t know that a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) was created right here in Huntsville by On-Line Applications Research (OAR) Corporation. I recently sat down with Mark Johannes and Ron O’Guin, two of the original authors, along with Joel Sherrill, to discuss Real-time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems (RTEMS), and they shared how the system was developed. RTEMS began development in 1988 at the request of the U.S. Army Missile Command which needed an open source RTOS that was royalty free for use in embedded systems. The first application was in weapons systems, but it soon branched out beyond military use. This advanced operating system is now used throughout various industries including automotive, space, military and electronics. RTEMS has been used to control instruments on NASA’s Curiosity (the Mars rover, pictured left), Dawn, Herschel, Planck and many other space missions. The operating system is also used to control elements of the geosynchronous satellites used to study space weather and solar flares. RTEMS can be found in instruments on particle accelerators, telescopes, and other large scientific experiments around the world. While RTEMS may not be known to laymen, OAR Corporation and RTEMS have received recognition from some of the leading names in technology and software, including NASA and the European Space Agency. Google even selected the RTEMS project for participation in the Summer of Code program from 2008 through 2015, sponsoring university students to contribute to the RTEMS program. For more information, visit or •


initiatives feb-march 2016

by Emma Williams

Service Steel, Inc. H

untsville and North Alabama have seen a lot of commercial development in the past 50 years, and one company that has contributed to all of these construction projects is Service Steel, Inc. Matthew Taylor, Vice President of Service Steel, told me that the company produces beams, handrails, bar joist distributions, decking distribution, stairs, and rebar that support large scale construction projects. With business throughout North Alabama, it is safe to say that you have most likely been in a building at some point that contains their product. However, the most unexpected and impressive aspects about Service Steel is their conscious focus on energy efficiency. This South Huntsville manufacturing facility is housed in three buildings totaling 90,000 square feet and boosts a net zero solar system. Taylor explained that after evaluating the costs and benefits, solar was a natural choice for them. It was a decision that came down to “dollars and cents.” They worked with Ace Solar to install a 1.49 kilowatt system on the roofs of their production facilities. Based on current electricity rates, Taylor expects Service Steel to see a return on the investment in solar in about 10 years. However, when calculating for probable electricity rate increases, that return could come as early as eight years. Considering the large volume of electricity used in the process of welding and different metal fabrication, this is a huge achievement that will benefit the manufacturer for many years to come. For more information, visit •




initiatives feb-march 2016

Copyright Š Sierra Nevada Corporation

Field of Dreams To Infinity and Beyond - Next stop, Huntsville?


he Rocket City has been at the epicenter of groundbreaking space exploration technology since the 1950s, and our community continues to be a progressive leader in technology and aerospace – looking for new ways to partner with creative companies. Last summer, our community announced that a coalition of community leadership – including the City of Huntsville, Madison County, City of Madison, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Teledyne Brown Engineering, the State of Alabama, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority – would initiate a series of preliminary studies to assess the feasibility of landing Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser® spacecraft at Huntsville International Airport. But let’s fast forward to January 2016: NASA awarded SNC a Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract to provide a minimum of six cargo delivery, pressurized and unpressurized return and disposal services to and from the International Space Station (ISS) utilizing the reusable Dream Chaser® Cargo System through 2024. What does this all mean for our area? “This is exciting news for NASA, Sierra Nevada, and Huntsville. It is also the next key step in our goal of certifying Huntsville International Airport as a landing site for Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser® for federal and commercial missions,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “This (NASA) announcement further acts as a catalyst in our work toward engineering and manufacturing space vehicles in the great Huntsville area.” continued on page 16

by Carrie Rice Opposite page: CG rendering of SNC’s Dream Chaser® atop ULA Atlas V Rocket on Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Above: CG rendering of SNC’s DreamChaser® docked at the International Space Station. Below: CG rendering of SNC’s Dream Chaser® with NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis

feb-march 2016 initiatives


Field of Dreams, from page 15

cargo missions from Florida on an Atlas V. While SNC says most NASA cargo missions will land back in Florida, the Huntsville team will be making a business case for landing and processing payload from NASA and other missions locally. The team will also be working with industry and academic partners to raise awareness of the types of missions possible on Dream Chaser® and the value of landing here. Results in December from Phase 1 of the feasibility study were positive – giving us good solid ground to move forward. “Huntsville International Airport is pleased to report an initial phase of successful testing,” said Rick Tucker, Executive Director for Huntsville Madison County Airport Authority. “No airport related issues were discovered in this phase of testing that would prevent the Dream Chaser® landing in Huntsville from becoming a reality. We are eager to move forward with our partners to keep Huntsville at the forefront of the space program.” The preliminary study examined the compatibility of SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft with the existing runway and taxiway environments at Huntsville International Airport, a public use airport. This phase of the study assessed environmental factors such as airspace, traffic flow, potential impacts to commercial air traffic and the compatibility of SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft. The Dream Chaser® uses a front skid in place of a front wheel for landing, and in October, Morell Engineering of Athens, Alabama successfully conducted static and dynamic tests to determine

Credit: Juergen Beck, Freedom Light Productions

Significantly smaller than the Space Shuttle, one of the coolest features of the Dream Chaser® is its ability to launch on top of an Atlas V rocket (built right here in Decatur) and then land on any runway that can accommodate a Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 class aircraft. For additional safety, the use of non-toxic propellants combined with an innovative concept of operations allows almost immediate access to payloads and crew upon landing. So, in addition to their contracted NASA cargo missions, SNC also plans to operate the spacecraft for other missions – tailored to a variety of U.S. and international customers – and this is where the Huntsville International Airport feasibility study comes in. “The technical and economic benefits of landing the Dream Chaser® spacecraft here in Huntsville are significant,” said Dr. John Horack, Vice President of the International Astronautical Federation. “Imagine being able to bring back critical or fragile payloads from space, and having them in a laboratory at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Redstone Arsenal, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, or elsewhere, within mere minutes of touch-down. No other vehicle and no other region are so well-suited for each other, to accomplish new and great things in tomorrow’s commercial space economy.” The Dream Chaser® spacecraft operates similarly to the shuttle in that it launches vertically atop a rocket and lands horizontally on a runway. It is the only reusable, lifting-body spacecraft with a commercial runway landing capability, anywhere in the world. Because of these capabilities, SNC plans to launch their NASA


initiatives feb-march 2016

Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

Credit: Juergen Beck, Freedom Light Productions

Phase 1 of the feasibility study: testing the existing runway and taxiway environments at the Huntsville International Airport.

Dream Chaser® cannot do all that the original shuttle did, but it can perform the shuttle’s single most important task of transporting cargo to the ISS and returning it with a safe and dry landing on a runway in full view of the public.

For Lease whether the spacecraft’s deployed front skid plate could potentially cause damage to the asphalt runway. Results from the tests demonstrate that runway impacts would be negligible. In parallel to the skid tests, Reynolds, Smith and Hill (RS&H) of Jacksonville, Florida carried out airspace and sonic boom tests. Having the Dream Chaser® spacecraft touch down at the Huntsville International Airport after a cargo mission to space would be a fitting new chapter in that ongoing story into space. “We are very excited about the results from the initial phase of the study,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “Our historic leadership in space combined with our great partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation makes Huntsville a logical choice to land the Dream Chaser®, and we look forward to conducting additional studies.” The Phase 2 project team, which includes Huntsville City, Madison City, Madison County, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, the Huntsville Airport Authority, and Teledyne Brown Engineering, has begun the process to secure funding to conduct Phase 2 studies in 2016. This also will include submitting an application for a commercial landing license to the Federal Aviation Administration to land the Dream Chaser® spacecraft in Huntsville. Working with Sierra Nevada, the local team is planning an industry day in March to share more information about business opportunities for local companies in support of Dream Chaser® missions. “Landing the Dream Chaser® at Huntsville International Airport would be an exciting next step for the Rocket City,” said Lucia Cape, senior vice president of economic development for the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. “In addition to having the required infrastructure for landing the vehicle, we have the expertise and assets for payload integration, operation and processing for Dream Chaser® customers, and we have great collaboration among our airport authority, elected officials and local businesses.” If successful, the Huntsville International Airport would be the first commercial service airport to acquire the permission and ability to accommodate Dream Chaser® spacecraft landings. And, the world is watching: The “Huntsville” Dream Chaser® feasibility study announcement garnered local, statewide, industry and national media attention including several, 3-minute segments on Fox News by reporter Jonathan Serrie – an audience of more than 5 million viewers – for a total advertising value of over $2.4 million. And something extra that you just can’t put a price tag on is what the Fox News anchor Jon Scott said of the Dream Chaser® Huntsville story, “I love Huntsville and I love this story.” We congratulate Sierra Nevada on their NASA cargo contract, and we look forward to Phase 2. The Chamber will continue to provide updates as the Dream Chaser® flies to the ultimate frontier and back again in the nottoo-distant future (perhaps landing at a nearby runway)! For more information about the Dream Chaser® spacecraft and the Huntsville International Airport Landing Site Study Phase 1 Results, please visit •

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Carrie Rice feb-march 2016 initiatives


economicdevelopmenthighlights snap:

Amanda Howard Real Estate held a grand opening in December for their new headquarters in Huntsville. In 2015, the firm ranked No. 3,252 on the INC. 5000 list, and the real estate team was ranked 42nd in the nation by The Wall Street Journal.

advanced propulsion systems. UAH’s research contribution will be conducted through the university’s Propulsion Research Center (PRC), which focuses principal investigators and student researchers from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Chemistry, Industrial Engineering and other relevant components of the university into research teams to perform propulsion and energy research and development. “UAH’s membership on this team with ORBITEC strengthens the impact our researchers will have on NASA being able to achieve their exploration goals,” PRC Director Dr. Robert Frederick Frederick said. “UAH’s expertise in advanced space propulsion technologies such as Rocket-Based Combined Cycle modeling and simulation, mass-gauging technologies for liquid rockets and combustion instability research are also expertise that ORBITEC sought when inviting us on their team.” •

Big News for Huntsville’s GATR Technologies

Toyota Alabama Announces Manufacturing Executive Changes Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama announced several executive changes for its Huntsville plant. The appointments reflect Toyota’s ongoing efforts to enhance operations and better meet customer needs. The changes include: • Emily Lauder, General Manager of Administration, Toyota Alabama, has been promoted to General Manager of Human Resources Strategic Partnering – Manufacturing, Toyota Motor North America. (Plano, TX) • Mike Clark, Quality Manager, Toyota Alabama, was promoted to General Manager of Manufacturing Support. (Huntsville) • David Fernandes, Powertrain Department General Manager, Toyota Kentucky, was named Vice President at Toyota Alabama. The Huntsville plant, which employs approximately 1,300, has distinguished itself in the Toyota family – not just Fernandes in the U.S., but worldwide. It is the only Toyota plant globally to produce the 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engine under one roof, making it among the largest Toyota engine plants globally. Also, it is one of only two designated “model sustainable plants” in North America, which results in other Toyota facilities benchmarking for its environmental achievements. •

UAH Propulsion Research Center part of $50 million NASA contract The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is part of a team that has been awarded a five-year NASA research contract valued at up to $50 million to develop, demonstrate and verify an advanced propulsion system. The competitive indefinitely delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded to Sierra Nevada Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC), under the Research and Technologies for Aerospace Propulsion Systems 2 (RTAPS2) program for NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The contract focuses on propulsion system design and trade studies, including liquid engine systems, propellant systems, electric propulsion, rocket-based combined cycle propulsion systems and


initiatives feb-march 2016

The San Diego-based Cubic Corporation announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Huntsville’s GATR Technologies for $232.5 million. The price includes $7.5 million of contingent consideration and is subject to pre- and post-close adjustments. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and should close in the second fiscal quarter of 2016.

“The acquisition of TeraLogics and GATR represents powerful next steps in achieving our Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) growth strategy as they expand our footprint in the C4ISR and SATCOM markets,” said Bradley H. Feldmann, president and chief executive officer of Cubic Corporation. GATR manufactures next-generation deployable satellite communication terminal solutions. The 11-year-old telecommunications company landed at No. 1,935 this year on the INC. 5000 fastest-growing business list with $30.6 million in 2014 revenue and 204 percent three-year growth. •

INTUITIVE Ranked #1 Great Place to Work by FORTUNE Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation (INTUITIVE) has once again been named #1 Best Medium Workplace in the nation by FORTUNE magazine on the annual “Great Place to Work®” list. This is the second year in a row that INTUITIVE was selected for this award. INTUITIVE President Harold Brewer stated, “We are proud to be recognized again this year as the Nation’s Greatest Medium-Sized Workplace. At INTUITIVE, productivity levels and work environment are equally important. The success of our company is directly driven by employee performance, which is why our com-

compiled by Carrie Rice pany culture is focused on putting employees first. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: If it’s good for employees, it’s good for business.” INTUITIVE was selected among hundreds of companies vying for a place on this year’s list. Applicant companies participate in a rigorous selection process, which includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about benefits programs and company practices. Great Place to Work® then evaluates each application using its unique methodology based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. After considering hundreds of companies across the country, INTUITIVE was announced the Best Workplace in the nation in the Medium Workplaces category. •

ADTRAN Hires New CFO ADTRAN has named Roger D. Shannon as its senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer (CFO). In this role, Shannon will oversee finance, investor relations, accounting, legal affairs and contracts. He will report directly to the company’s CEO. “Roger’s experience creating financial strength at large, multi-national companies will be beneficial as ADTRAN looks to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in broadband services in markets around the world,” said Thomas R. Stanton, chief executive officer and chairman of the board for ADTRAN. Shannon “As ADTRAN has shifted its focus as a software company and expanded our sales, research, product development and support teams around the world, Roger will play a key role in ensuring we create shareholder value as we help our customers deploy the future network state. “Shannon brings strong experience in leading financial organizations at large multi-national public companies. His proven leadership skills, strong strategic and analytical capabilities, and collaborative, hands-on management style will be a welcome addition to the company’s leadership team,” Stanton said. “ADTRAN is poised for a fundamental expansion of its business, both globally and through the innovative software-driven service creation solutions it has developed. I look forward to supporting the company through this process in an effort to maximize its opportunities for financial success,” Shannon said. “These business transformations present exciting challenges and opportunities, and I believe my skills and experience can help expand the company’s growth trajectory and create more value for all of its shareholders and other stakeholders.” •

Scheuermann Joins Geocent in Huntsville Former NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director Patrick Scheuermann has joined Geocent as its new Executive Vice-President for Aerospace and Defense, and Chief Development Officer for the corporation. On November 13, he retired from NASA, after three years as Center Director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Scheuermann has served in various NASA executive leadership positions helping the U.S. Government to diversify, partner, and transform the way it accomplished the mission at each location he served. At Geocent, he will continue to look for partnerships with tenants of Redstone Arsenal, Stennis Space Center, and the Michoud Assembly Facility. At Geocent, Scheuermann will provide oversight, leadership, and strategic focus to the execution and growth of Geocent’s Aerospace and Engineering activities across the country and around the world. “It has been an honor for Geocent and for me personally to work with Patrick for many years, where we were able to both watch and support him in solving problems and sucScheuermann cessfully implementing programs that many people would have seen as being too difficult,” said Dr. Robert A. “Bobby” Savoie, Chairman and CEO of Geocent. “We are fortunate to have someone of Patrick’s caliber choose to continue his success as a part of the Geocent team.” •

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CRP: Where innovation is launched daily


n December, several Cummings Research Park (CRP) organizations showcased their modeling and simulation capabilities on the international stage. Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Camber Corporation and AEgis Technologies were all featured at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) – the world’s largest modeling simulation and training conference. With 50-60 countries represented, I/ITSEC annually attracts nearly 20,000 attendees, and boasts nearly 500 exhibitors. I/ITSEC is not a new venue to AEgis or Camber, but it was to HudsonAlpha. HudsonAlpha, backed by an NIH Science Education Partnership grant, teamed with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Lockheed Martin to develop a web-based activity called Touching Triton. This project was built on an understanding of common complex disease risk, influenced by factors from family history, environment and genomic data. Players synthesize data from these sources to inform lifestyle choices and medical intervention strategies in the setting of a long-duration space flight mission.

“Touching Triton aims to build student understanding of the complexity of common complex diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer while challenging students with analysis of large datasets of information,” said Dr. Adam Hott, Digital Applications Lead at HudsonAlpha. Touching Triton was one of 10 finalists in the business category for the 2015 Serious Games Showcase and Challenge at this year’s I/ITSEC. The Serious Games Showcase and Challenge (SGSC) recognizes outstanding examples of games that are both entertaining and educational. “Attending the I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase and Challenge as a finalist put our game in front of leaders in education, business and the armed forces that all recognized the value of Touching Triton as a learning tool,” Hott added. “Being a finalist was a wonderful reward for the five years of work that the team at HudsonAlpha has put into the creation of the game.” For the third straight year, the SGSC attracted the technological capabilities of another CRP company, Camber Corporation. Camber is a long-time I/ITSEC member and this year, their mobile app

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was featured in two categories of citement at this year’s conference. the SGSC. “We unveiled our new VisuCamber’s MUM-T Strikeforce is al-Eyes app at I/ITSEC this year a mobile learning application that to highlight the use of low cost is used as an immersive trainer technology like Google Cardboard for Manned-Unmanned Teaming for virtual reality simulation and (MUM-T) and provides training training applications,” said Steve to unmanned aircraft systems Hill, CEO, AEgis Technologies. operators and Apache helicop“With constrained DoD budgets, ter pilots. It also allows aviators it is increasingly important to proaround the world to play against vide cost effective training solueach other, regardless of location AEgis’ Visual-Eyes app makes a splash at I/ITSEC. tions for our war fighters.” or device. The objectives of the game include the use of MUM-T Demonstrating Visual-Eyes was a great way to draw people to tactics to defend ambushed troops and secure convoys, all culmithe I/ITSEC booth while also getting the chance to showcase their nating in an air assault operation with MUM-T support to liberate 3D modeling capabilities and commercial applications. Hill said a captured U.S. military facility. they gave out more than 900 Google Cardboards and ran out with“We are honored to be recognized at I/ITSEC by the serious in the first 3 days of the show! gaming community,” said Camber President and Chief Operating AEgis is no stranger to I/ITSEC, having been at the table early Officer Jim Brabston. “MUM-T Strikeforce is a significant accomon in I/ITSEC’s development. AEgis co-founder, Bill Waite, was a plishment in developing an engaging, immersive training game to pioneer in the modeling and simulation industry. In recognition of support our military.” Bill’s significant and meaningful contributions to the industry, he Camber and MUMT-Strikeforce won in both “Best Government was posthumously awarded the Modeling & Simulation Lifetime Game” and the “People’s Choice” award. Achievement award by the National Training and Simulation AsWhile CRP was well represented in this year’s SGSC, it was ansociation during this year’s conference. other CRP company that had I/ITSEC attendees all abuzz this year. What is clear from this year’s I/ITSEC conference is that CRP comAEgis Technologies rolled out a new and exciting way to showcase panies continue to elevate their modeling and simulation resources their modeling and simulation capabilities with the Visual Eyes app. and continue to lead the world in innovative and creative solutions. While the app is a unique way to highlight the simulation technol• Erin Koshut ogy, it’s the inexpensive “vehicle” the app uses that added to the ex-

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Brothers Grimm: A lesson for successful Economic Development strategies


ast November I had the chance to visit a place I really love, the “Free and Hanseatic City” of Bremen, Germany. The trip was taken in conjunction with a North Alabama regional economic development initiative, as part of the 2015 Space Tech Expo. In many ways, Bremen is to Germany as Huntsville is to the United States: A historical and modern-day center of exceptional aerospace technology and capability, with spaceflight hardware development and operations heritage, condensed into a smaller, livable, and human-friendly city. Of course for many of us, our first encounter with Bremen is not through spaceflight, or economic or business development. It is instead through the famous Brothers Grimm fairy tale, “The Town Musicians of Bremen.” For those who haven’t had the chance to read the story, or are a bit rusty on what they remember from the age of 5 or 6, the story is a simple one; about a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster. Each of the four animals finds themselves in need of change for survival. They each seek to find their future by setting out on the road to freedom, seeking to become a town-musician in Bremen. After a journey of some time and distance, they eventually come to a house with a lighted window. Inside, they see a group of robbers, enjoying a warm house. Cold, tired, and needing some rest, they decide to make a collective cacophony – their only real ‘music’ – to scare away the robbers. The robbers run for their lives, and the animals enjoy the warmth of the house, and a good, hot meal. The story doesn’t end there. One of the robbers returns to investigate the phenomenon which scared them all away. The robber sees the eyes of the cat, thinking they are embers from the fire, and attempts to light a candle. In rapid-fire, he is scratched by the cat, bitten by the dog, stomped by the donkey, and screeched-away from the place by the rooster. The robber reports back to his comrades that the house is beset by a witch who scratched him, a knife-wielding ogre who cut him, an evil giant with a huge club who beat him, and a judge who called him to account. Fearing never to tread in the house again, the robbers abandon it to the four animals, who live happily ever after. For me, this is a story not about music, and decidedly not about Bremen. It is a story primarily about teamwork with each individual playing their unique roles, and finding collective success. Driven by a common need and objective, they are improvisational, collaborative, and build on their mutually-recognized strengths, talents, and capabilities. Aside from Bremen – which notably the “Bremen Town Musicians” never reached – what does this have to do with our economic and business development trip? In some way, we are all in a position where we need to continue to journey to find the future. The present may be wonderful, and

may be successful, but is hardly permanent. We seek to grow business, not simply maintain business, or take pride in a well-managed decline. We cannot succeed, we cannot move forward, and we cannot grow without movement, change, and a journey. In Bremen, the trip was about finding new opportunity, new growth, and new partners. While we may be happy and content with our economic development situation today, tomorrow will be full of new challenges. But we are also not alone on this journey. On this trip, we were the musicians: the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Morgan County Economic Development Association, the Alabama State Government (Sen. Arthur Orr), and the representative of companies which helped sponsor the visit. Coming from different areas of expertise, different parts of our region, managing for different (but hopefully harmonious) outcomes, and needing/seeking change and growth.

Our success together is a function of how we integrate, how we operate, and how we leverage each other’s strengths. None of us alone can build a brighter economic future for our city, region, or state. But if we put ourselves together properly, and coherently, with each playing our unique but collaborative role, we may find more abundant and diverse successes than we could have imagined. Time will tell if we were successful on this trip. Our outcomes do not arrive as quickly as the end of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. We need a bit more strategic patience, and sustained effort to really grow a healthy economic ecosystem for the future, based on our strengths, our valence, and our collaboration. Early indications are positive. Research collaborations were discussed and pursued. Cultural understanding enhanced. Bridges built. Looking at the headlines, the slower-than-we’d-like economic recovery, and many of the challenges facing the world, one might say the future is grim. However, after our trip to Space Tech Expo in Bremen, I’m optimistic that it’s better described as “Grimm.” Here’s to making fairy tales come to life, in 2016 and beyond. •

Dr. John Horack

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Economic Development Highlights, continued from page 19

Crestwood earns “Top Performer” distinction from the Joint Commission Crestwood Medical Center announced today that it has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. Crestwood Medical Center was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report, “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, and immunization. Crestwood Medical Center is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction. “We understand that what matters most to patients is the quality and safety of the care they receive. That is why we have made it a top priority to improve positive patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes,” said Dr. Pam Hudson, CEO, Crestwood Medical Center. “Crestwood is proud to be named a Top Performer as it recognizes the knowledge, teamwork and dedication of our entire hospital staff.” The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. The performance measures included in the recognition Hudson program including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco treatment and substance use. This is the fourth consecutive year Crestwood Medical Center has been

recognized as a Top Performer. Crestwood was recognized in previous years for its performance on accountability measure data for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. To be a 2014 Top Performer, the hospital had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data. •

Huntsville Hospital Ranked as a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital Huntsville Hospital has been named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics. Huntsville Hospital was the only hospital in Alabama to be included for 2016. Truven Health’s study, now in its 17th year, singled out 50 hospitals that achieved superior clinical outcomes in the critical area of hospital care. As is the case with the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® study, the rigorous processes used to calculate and measure hospital service lines leverage industry-leading, risk-adjusted methodologies developed and maintained by Truven Health scientists over many years. The Truven Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study measures performance in key areas: risk-adjusted mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures, percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost. David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital Health System, said, “Our inclusion in Truven Health’s Top 50 hospitals for cardiovascular care is one of the most significant recognitions that Huntsville Hospital has ever received. The hospitals on this list are the best of the best when it comes to quality of care,” he said. “Credit for

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this recognition goes to our outstanding cardiovascular team of physicians, nurses and other cardiac professionals who deliver such great care to our patients. We are very proud of them.” For the study, Truven Health researchers analyzed 2013 and 2014 Medicare data, 2014 Medicare cost reports, and 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data. •

Redstone Federal Credit Union wins “Cool Business” Award Redstone Federal Credit Union has won Gartner Inc.’s first ever 2015 Gartner Financial Services Cool Business Award for Most Innovative Digital Customer Service Enhancement for financial services in the Americas. The credit union won for its Electronic Lobby Management Application (ELMO). Gartner’s new Cool Business Awards recognize innovative use of technology to highlight ‘best in class’ initiatives in the financial services industry and to offer insight as to developments in digital innovation. ELMO is a multiple screen DNA app that allows financial institutions to streamline member or customer branch visits. It electronically monitors members’ wait times, identifies services sought, and tracks staff workloads. No more paper log-in sheets needed! Liz Ponder, vice president for Retail Delivery at RFCU said ELMO has decreased the wait time at its busier branches from 20 minutes to 5 minutes. “Our service level has improved. Staff morale has increased; and we offer better member service with ELMO,” Ponder said. Redstone’s in-house software team developed the application. •

HAUFE wows global HR Conference with knockout punch! Haufe US, a next-generation San Francisco-based Talent Management/HR company, enables companies to attract, engage, and retain the top talent they need to be leaders in their industries. The company recently opened its doors here in Huntsville. Haufe offers Success as a Service (SXaaS), starting from the fundamental philosophy “employees run companies”. Haufe custom-tailors combinations of consulting, software, and service-related offerings to enable clients to meet their strategic business goals. Haufe recently created a big splash at the HR Technology conference in Las Vegas (the biggest HR conference in the world) with their boxing ring booth, fun swag items and their amazing team of intrapreneurs. It was clear that their innovative ideas along with their company culture really stood out from the competitors. They were very successful in getting the Haufe name out there and sharing their unique ideas with the HR community. •

feb-march 2016 initiatives


Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

STA FF Executive Staff

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

Economic Development, Industry Relations & Workforce Lucia Cape, senior vice president Lyndsay Ferguson, workforce director Erin Koshut, Cummings Research Park director Ken Smith, research & information services director Will West, economic development specialist | project manager Karessa Acosta Lee, economic development assistant

Government & Public Affairs Mike Ward, senior vice president Tina Leopold, assistant

Marketing & Communications Carrie Rice, director Kristi Sherrard, graphic designer Hiroko Sedensky, web designer

Investor Relations Donna McCrary, membership retention manager Tiffany Jordan, membership representative Tina Blankenship, membership representative Kristy Drake, engagement specialist | program manager

Small Business & Events Pammie Jimmar, director Emma Williams, specialist

Finance & Administration Christy Nalley, director Jamie Gallien, IT manager Mary McNairy, accounting specialist | human resources Lori Warner, accounting specialist Joe Watson, facilities supervisor | 256-535-1100

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

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Washington Update with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby


s a tireless advocate in the U.S. Senate for strong national defense and space exploration programs impacting our region, Senator Richard Shelby has been our champion in the D.C. arena for the past 30 years. He has been diligently defending our state – and especially Huntsville – from those who would cut funding and weaken our national defense and our position of world leadership. This past year, he singlehandedly was able to restore critical funding for the Space Launch System, our next exploration class rocket that will allow our nation to return to the moon and explore Mars and preserve our leadership in space exploration. The Omnibus bill funded NASA at $19.285 billion, which is ~$1.3 billion higher than the enacted FY 2015 funding and significantly higher than the earlier House and Senate bills. Highlights include $2.0 billion for SLS ($300 million above 2015), with at least $85 billion within that total going for Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) and $1.27 billion for Orion. Shelby also was able to lift the ban on future Altas rocket launches. Those rockets, made just across the river in Decatur, are essential elements in our national launch architecture and banning their use was poor policy. He leads the way in the efforts to grow and diversify Redstone to maximize its value to the U.S. government – including making Redstone the explosives research and training capital of the world. The omnibus funding agreement for 2016 included funding for several Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) programs at Redstone. “The work that is done at Redstone Arsenal plays a critical role in safeguarding our nation,” Sen. Shelby said at his Washington Update luncheon in January. “During this time of increased uncertainty at home and abroad, we must prioritize funding for law enforcement and national security. These important provisions, which I fought to include in the omnibus, ensure that Redstone will continue to play a key role in helping us adapt to the evolving threats facing our nation.” The funding bill provides support for the following activities at Redstone Arsenal: • Provides no less than $77 million for the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC): Maintains $25 million for TEDAC operations; rejects the Administration’s requested cut of $9.8 million for operations. Adds $52 million in construction for more laboratory and training facilities. • Provides no less than $21.4 million for the FBI’s Hazardous

Devices School (HDS) including: $3 million for operations to pay for personnel and rejects proposed cuts for operations; $3 million for training equipment and vehicles; $700,000 for collocating the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction with HDS training at Redstone; $1.7 million to create joint duty assignments between DoD and the FBI at Redstone; $8 million for explosives range improvements at Redstone that will benefit both HDS and TEDAC. • ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR): Directs that the U.S. Bomb Data Center move from Washington, D.C., to Redstone; maintains the restart of advanced arson investigator training courses and additional training courses in advanced bomb disposal techniques; and directs ATF to provide a report on what it would take to move ATF’s canine training division to Redstone. At a time when our national security is constantly threatened by terrorists and their bombs, he was able to secure critical funding for the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center and the Hazardous Devices School and ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research – all of which are located on Redstone Arsenal.

Shelby chairs the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committees, and he also serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Committee on Rules and Administration. He is the fifth most senior Republican member of the Senate. We are safer, thanks to Senator Shelby’s efforts, and the Chamber greatly appreciates his effort to keep our nation secure and for positioning our community at the forefront of those efforts. •

Mike Ward

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Initiatives magazine, February 2016  

Field of Dreams

Initiatives magazine, February 2016  

Field of Dreams