Page 1

OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


initiatives aug-sept OCT-NOV 2015 2015 22 initiatives

Huntsville Hospital has been recognized for the second year in a row by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery®. Huntsville Hospital was the only hospital in Alabama to receive this distinction in 2015. Achievements include: · Spine Surgery Excellence Award for 2014 & 2015 · Top 5 percent in the nation for Spine Surgery for 2014 & 2015 · 5-star recipient for Spinal Fusion Surgery for 5 years in a row from 2011–2015

OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


welcome new chamber members Joined in July 2015 1st Impression Cleaning Service 5Linx AAMCO Transmission of Huntsville Alabama’s Mountains, Rivers & Valleys RC/WaterWorks Center for Enviro Education Arch Street Apartment Homes Balanced Tax & Accounting Beers and Associates, LLC Brown’s Wrecker Service, Inc. Chicken Salad Chick Containers Plus, Inc. Davidson Homes, LLC AFLAC - Charles Jobe Diva Deals Consignment Shop, LLC Amazing Lash Studio Heritage Square ( NV Lash, LLC ) Entrusted Tees Inc. AT HOME The Home Decor Superstore Five Guys Burgers and Fries - N. Parkway Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Fresh Juice Bar Bradley Hamner State Farm Harris Entities - Legal Shield CertaPro Painters - Kevin Messer Hooters Daylight Donuts Infinity Chiropractic Doublehead Realty & Property Management, LLC Jeff White Photography Easy Money - South Parkway Kaboom Crash Media Empire Fitness Keller Williams Realty - Jerry Bourrell General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. KEYW Corporation Haufe, Inc North Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association HomeFit (Home Fit Consulting, LLC) Pants Store - (Taylor Company, Inc. dba) Janice Phillips Perfectly Posh Independent Consultant - Heather Friedman Lee Lester Pinnacle International, LLC Mital World Wide Pure Water Technology of North Alabama Picture Perfect Portraits & Printing Center Rainbow Child Care Center Pinhook Provisions Street Food Park and Canteen Red Brick Strategies REC, LLC (Reed Enterprise Consulting LLC) Regenesis, Inc. Rick Sullivan Consulting LLC Robert English Leadership Roto-Rooter Plumbers State Farm Insurance - Meri Beth Mabry Simtech (Simulation Technologies, Inc.) SuperSlow Zone SMG Mortgage Suzy’s Gourmet Market Ice Pops South Huntsville Tiger-Rock Martial Arts The Lilly Company Starmark Partners, Inc The P.I.L.L. Method Trust, Inc. The Lodge at Johns Road

Joined in August 2015

The Villas at Nature Walk three Days TN Valley Business Network TRU Identity Warehouse Furniture (Marshall Industries, Inc. DBA) Winstead Properties, Inc.

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

initiatives OCT-NOV 2015


Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative Development Partner

Development Council

Chairman’s Council



Huntsville Hospital Madison County Commission Regions Bank Tennessee Valley Authority

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

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL BBVA Compass Lockheed Martin Corp.


Port of Huntsville


Crestwood Medical Center •

SES - Science and Engineering Services, LLC

CHAMBER TRUSTEES AEgis Technologies Group • Aerojet Rocketdyne • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama • Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Dynetics, Inc. • First Commercial Bank • Intuitive Research and Technology Corp. Jerry Damson, Inc. • L-3 Communications Corp. – Huntsville Operations • Landers McClarty Corporation Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. • Northrop Grumman Corp. • 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 Corp. • 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 Huntsville-Madison Co. 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 (Steak Out) SELEX Galileo Inc. • Turner • Vencore, Inc. • Woody Anderson Ford

PROGRESS INVESTORS 4SITE, Inc. • AECOM • Alpha Beta Technologies, Inc. • Amanda Howard Real Estate • Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong, PC • Aviagen, Inc. Averbuch Realty Co., Inc. – Scott Averbuch • BancorpSouth • Brown Precision, Inc. • Bryant Bank • CB&S Bank • Century Automotive • CFD Research Corp. Coast Personnel Services • deciBel Research • Decisive Analytics Corp. • 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. • The Lioce Group, Inc. National Bank of Commerce • North Alabama Multiple Listing Service • PALCO Telecom Service, Inc. • PeopleTec, Inc. • PHOENIX • PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Public Financial Management, Inc. • QTEC • Qualis Corp. • Renasant Bank • RJ Young • ServisFirst Bank • Sierra Lobo, Inc. Sigmatech, Inc. • Synapse Wireless, Inc. • Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. • West Huntsville Land Co., Inc. OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


Meet Our Huntsville Lending Team

Will Alexander Business Development

DeMarco McClain Vice President

Barry Bryan Senior Vice President

256-533-7834 | | Member FDIC 6

initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

Tim Singleton Madison County Area President

OCT-NOV 2015



A Country Road Less Traveled

20 12 18 25 11 22

biosciencebriefs economicdevelopmenthighlights educationupdate government&publicaffairs Smallbiztips

smallbusiness 4 5 8 10 11 26 28

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

editorial staff publisher

Chip Cherry, CCE executive editor

Carrie Rice editorial designer

Kristi Sherrard contributing writers

Julia Cherry Dauna Coulter Mike Ward contributing photographers

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

(additional contact information on page 26)

Jeff White Photography advertising sales

Eddie Graves email:

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). OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


Chamber of Commerce

Executive Committee and Board of Directors 2015 Executive Committee Rey Almodóvar, Chair, INTUITIVE Rose Allen, Chair-elect, Booz Allen Hamilton Robert Mayes, Imm. 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

A Message from

Chip Cherry

Jim Rogers, Vice Chair - Gov. & 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

Dear Chamber of Commerce Investors, Community Leaders and Friends: Congratulations to the nominees, contenders, and winners of our 2015 Small Business Awards! During the black-tie gala presentations on September 11, it was inspiring to hear the stories of the winners of how they became successful in our community and beyond. Equally impressive were the stories relating to the many challenges they faced and the mentors who helped them navigate through business obstacles. Several of the recipients commented that it took multiple tries before they won a Small Business Award and they used what they learned from the process to improve their companies. It also was an encouragement to those who did not win to continue, and an acknowledgement that what we learn from applying for an award is often as valuable as the award received. Small business represents a very special part of our community and we are proud to support them. Also in September, the Chamber hosted a Workforce Summit that brought together leaders from a seven county region to discuss best practices in workforce development and ideas for improving the effectiveness of workforce training. Our region has been very fortunate to have secured a number of expansions and new industry locations, and this growth in jobs will create job opportunities for residents of the region. The challenge we face is ensuring that our students and educators are aware of these opportunities and the skill sets required for success in career fields where jobs are being created. We have a wonderful opportunity to enhance our programing in this area and will share more in future issues of Initiatives. As we transition into fall we look forward to football games, cooler nights, and the approaching holidays. I am going to get a jump on my what I’m thankful for list by saluting our educators. Teachers and those who support them all deserve a very special thank you. You play a vital role in preparing our young people for life, and your impact on them is significant. Thank you for all you do for our young people. I hope to see you at a Chamber event soon!

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


initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

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, 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 Kevin Campbell, Northrop Grumman Corporation 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 Hank Isenberg, IronMountain Solutions Jeremiah Knight, JXC Consulting Group Janice Migliore, PALCO Telecom Service Johnny Van Osborne, J. Smith Lanier & Co. Jim Owens, FirstBank Alicia Ryan, LSINC Dr. Gurmej Sandhu, Sigmatech Charlie Sealy, Sealy Management Company 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 Ken Tucker, The Boeing Company Frank Williams, Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep

We understand how individual success depends on being an individual.

You didn’t get where you are by following the crowd. So why start now? At ServisFirst Bank, we offer a range of products that fits your needs and lets you manage your money your way. And should you ever require a loan, you can expect an immediate response. But then, you can always expect more from a bank that values you as a person.

Paula Renfroe • SVP Private Banking Officer 256.722.7834 office • 256.337.9666 cell • NMLS ID: 776285 Amanda Weaver • VP Private Banking Officer 256.722.7824 office • 256.701.7755 cell • NMLS ID: 780767 DeLynn Gower • AVP Private Banking Officer 256.722.7812 office • 256.701.0581 cell • NMLS ID: 1076567

401 Meridian Street, Suite 100 • Huntsville, AL 35801 • 256.722.7800 • Lobby Hours: M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender


OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


communityprofile Population

Madison City of County Huntsville

City of Huntsville Madison Metro Area

Top Ten Employers Redstone Arsenal* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31,500* 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 $79,504

$72,093 $110,880


Per Capita Income






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 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

MAXIMUM BENEFIT FOR YOUR BUSINESS’ INNOVATIONS Doesn’t your business deserve credit for your efforts to improve products and processes? We think so. Many businesses assume they don’t qualify for R&D credits. With over $10 billion in state and federal R&D credits claimed annually, if you have invested time and money in developing new techniques, improving processes or innovating in other ways, it’s worth checking to see if you’re eligible for the credit. To find out if your company qualifies, contact Jared Sharp at 256-713-2658.

R&D CREDITS Alabama l Florida l Georgia


initiatives OCT-NOV 2015


by Carrie Rice, Director of Marketing and Communications, Chamber of Commerce

Maximize Your Marketing Efforts D

oes your business use digital marketing? You do if you email customers by mass eblast or e-newsletter. Do you use social media as part of your business strategy? In today’s business climate it’s critically important to communicate through a variety of channels. No longer is it enough to just have a website, email promotional coupons, or send out a monthly newsletter. In today’s digital world, companies have a growing list of (nearly free) tools that can help take their business to the next level.

1. Where are your customers? Is Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook most popular with your customers/clients? Start by identifying the two social media channels where your customers are most active – just ask them – and then use those. Don’t spend valuable time posting to places your clients will never see. By understanding what’s important to them, you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach more of your target audience. And all of these are free tools!

2. Ask permission Before adding any names/emails to your email distribution list, please be sure to first get permission to add the email address – it’s against the law if you do not. This can be done by asking people to opt-in their email at every event you host, or, if a new customer comes in, ask them if they’d like to add their email to your promotions list. This then gives you your permission to send them emails. If someone clicks “unsubscribe” from your email list then you must remove them. There are many email marketing services out there like Constant Contact, Mailchimp and Emma that will automatically unsubscribe someone from your list when the subscriber requests it. These are great tools, and inexpensive! Bottom line, if you let them know the benefits of subscribing, such as insider

deals and free expert insight, they’re more likely to sign up and look forward to hearing from you.

3. Content Checks and Balances A good rule of thumb for social media content is that that 80 percent of your posts should focus on industry tips or ideas, sharing from other pages, and joining the conversation (engaging with your fans). Use the remaining 20 percent to promote your business directly (offers, promotions, coupons, services, etc.).

4. So Now What? Are people actually reading your emails? What links were most clicked in your recent eblast? Did you reply to a fans question or comment on your Facebook page? Did you jump into a Twitter conversation? The more you know what your customers/clients are talking about and clicking on, the more you will understand your audience and can tailor the messaging. This is VERY valuable information that if you track it and learn from it, the stronger your marketing results will be.

Bottom Line Creating a sustainable digital marketing strategy is pretty simple – but you get what you put into it. It does take a lot of work and time to make it effective, and you have to be consistent. Avoid starting a weekly blog or newsletter if in reality you can’t maintain it. Don’t start a Facebook page, build a good fan base, and then only post occasionally once every few weeks. When simple marketing is done right – wow – you will be amazed at what you get from something so simple. With these tips in mind – get out there and make things happen!

Best Places to Work® is one of our premier events that showcases the “best of the best” businesses in the Tennessee Valley area. These are employee-driven awards that build morale and instill a great sense of pride in your workforce. Nominate your company today!

OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


economicdevelopmenthighlights snap:

Congrats to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama team who produced its four millionth engine on September 14 – right here in Huntsville!

Perkins+Will to Lead CRP Master Plan Process The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County recently announced that it has selected Perkins+Will (P+W), a global design firm, as the consulting firm that will lead the CRP Master Plan process. “Perkins+Will really understood what we needed – they are a high quality team with very relevant and solid experience – and they are the right team at the right time for CRP,” said Erin Koshut, Director of Cummings Research Park. “They will immerse themselves in all things CRP to include data gathering, stakeholder interviews and focus groups, market research and positioning, master plan development and testing and ultimately will present us with a comprehensive master plan and guidelines for implementation.” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle also emphasized the importance of this community project. “Cummings Research Park has been a leading research park for more than 50 years. It has helped deliver the programs that make our nation safe, discover new insights into our universe and are now making possible cures and treatments for diseases we thought incurable,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “This project to update our master plan will enable the park to build upon this legacy of innovation while meeting the needs of the new workplace – a workplace the best and brightest have come to expect.” CRP was zoned a research park in 1962. With more than 300 companies and 29,000 employees, CRP is one of the top economic engines for Huntsville/Madison County. As one of our most important assets, it will continue to drive our economic future. •

Huntsville CVB Wins State Tourism Award Responsible for marketing our area as a visitor and meeting destination, the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was recently honored with two prestigious awards from the Alabama Tourism Department and the Alabama Travel Council. The CVB was awarded the “Best Alabama Themed Campaign” for its success in using social media to raise destination awareness with their iHeartHsv social media campaign. The campaign used the hashtag #iHeartHsv on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to encourage conversation about what social media users around the world appreciate most about Huntsville and Madison County. For a two week period, a winner was chosen daily to receive prizes ranging from hotel stays, dining gift certificates, attraction passes and more. The second award, the Alabama Travel Council’s “Award of Excellence,” was awarded to Huntsville/Madison County President/CEO Judy Ryals and Vice President of Tourism Jennifer Moore. This award is presented aims to recognize excellence in leadership and dedication to tourism and honors the best of the best in Alabama tourism. “It’s a wonderful honor to be recognized by our peers in the Alabama travel industry,” Huntsville/Madison County CVB President/CEO Judy Ryals said. “It gives us great assurance to be recognized by industry leaders and know we are on the right path in our efforts to share Huntsville/Madison County’s role as a great visitor and meeting destination with the world.”

Community Foundation Presents 2015 Community Philanthropy Awards The Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County presented their 2015 Community Philanthropy Awards to three exceptional philanthropists at their 6th Annual Summit on Philanthropy. Honorees were selected from dozens of individuals, families, and companies nominated who have made a positive, lasting impact on our community through their charitable giving and volunteer efforts. The 2015 awards were presented to Dorothy Davidson in the Individual Category; Lonnie and Helen McMillian in the Family Category; and The Boeing Company in the Corporate Category. “These honorees are familiar names in the Huntsville area, and they have each made an indelible imprint on the quality of life within our community. Their generosity is not limited to money alone, but even more importantly includes a strategic vision for the future of our community,” stated Stuart Obermann, CEO/President of the Community Foundation. For more information about the foundation and the awards, please visit •

Huntsville City Schools Designated as a National CyberPatriot Center of Excellence The Air Force Association recently selected Huntsville City Schools as a CyberPatriot Center of Excellence. The district is one of only seven school systems in the nation to be honored since 2011. Two cyber teams – Grissom High and New Century High – earned a spot in the 2015 CyberPatriot national finals earlier this year, with the Grissom team taking first place! In addition to this honor, Grissom coach Christine Sutton was named the National CyberPatriot Coach of the Year. Huntsville City Schools has been working with the Alabama State Department of Education to develop a four-year Cyber Security Curriculum and currently has more than 30 teams in the district – up from one team just five years ago. In addition, Huntsville City Schools partners with industries for internships with their CyberPatriot students. This program provides a vital link between academics and careers in the high demand for a Cyber workforce. CyberPatriot established the Centers of Excellence program in 2011 to recognize educational institutions that provide leadership and support to further the STEM experiences of their students. •


initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

compiled by Julia Cherry

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings named a Best Law Firm for Women Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has been named one of the 2015 Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers 50 Best Law Firms for Women. Honorees are selected and applauded for raising the bar through family-friendly policies, talent cultivation, business development initiatives and ultimately creating best practices that retain women by advancing them into the leadership pipeline. “We are extremely proud to be named to this year’s list as a best law firm for women,” said firm Chairman Beau Grenier. “Diversity and inclusion are of utmost priority, as they align with Bradley Arant’s core values and business strategies. We strategically focus on bolstering our ranks of female attorneys, and it’s an honor to be recognized for this and affiliated with like-minded firms and organizations.” Working Mother Media, an organization dedicated to serving as a champion of culture change, and international consulting firm Flex-Time Lawyers co-founded the 50 Best Law Firms for Women initiative in 2007 to celebrate the law firms that are most successful in retaining and promoting female attorneys. Their goal is also to provide law firms with data and benchmarking tools that will help them elevate the status of their female attorneys in the future. •

LEAN Frog Off-Shoots New Information Technology Business Chamber members Universal Solutions Initiative (USi), an expert technology and engineering solutions provider, and LEAN Frog Business Solutions, a leading continuous improvement solutions provider for public schools, have joined forces to enhance the information technology (IT) services offered K-12 public education clients.

“Working with school systems throughout the Southeast, we’ve often seen a gap between IT services and curriculum and instruction. We formed AcceleratED to bridge the gap between education, technology and assessments,” said co-founder Byron Headrick of LEAN Frog. AcceleratED provides infrastructure and ender-user device services for public schools. Utilizing an increased value/flexible cost approach AcceleratED offers flexible, year-round IT support based on the specific needs of each school system. “We understand the challenges school systems face and we tailor our support services to help systems accomplish their unique mission,” said USi co-founder Clayton Hinchman. “We can help school systems modernize their network infrastructure, reduce their service times and integrate curriculum-driven technology solutions.” •

Chamber’s Lucia Cape Promoted to Senior VP of Economic Development The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County has promoted Lucia Cape to Senior Vice President of Economic Development. Cape joined the Chamber in 2006 as Vice President of Workforce Development and later became the Vice President of Economic Development in 2013. “Lucia is a seasoned expert and a ‘natural’ in the economic development arena,” said Chamber Board Chair Rey Almodóvar in a statement. “Her technical and interpersonal abilities fit perfectly as the leading economic developer for the Chamber of Commerce.” Cape has been a leading force in the recruitment of several large-scale projects, including Remington Outdoor, Polaris, Cape

continued on page 19

Here is where one barber chair turned into four turned into a buzzcut empire. Being a master of clippers doesn’t make one a master of SBA loans and employee benefits. Which is why it’s good to have Synovus on your side. We’re right down the street with some pretty snazzy hairdos and everything a small business needs to grow into a big one.


256.551.3300 |

Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC. Divisions of Synovus Bank operate under multiple trade names across the Southeast.

OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


On the Cover: A Radio Frequency (RF) Hot Zone for the production of Silicon-Germanium Radiation Detectors; photo courtesy of Watring Technologies.

A Country Road Less Traveled Watring gets the job done

Credit: Glenn Baeske



initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

ale Watring is an intelligent, humble man from the hills of West Virginia. He attended the only high school in rural Tucker County, population 5,000. In his words, he later “somehow earned a PhD from MIT.” Watring also “somehow” ended up as Chief Technologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s Science Directorate. And he “somehow” founded a smashingly successful company with his wife. And they “somehow” were awarded the Chamber’s 2015 Small Business of the Year Award in Manufacturing, and earlier this year, the 2015 Manufacturer of the Year Award in the small business category from the Business Council of Alabama. Recipients of both awards are selected based on demonstrations of superior performance in customer focus, employee commitment, operating excellence, continuous improvement, profitable growth, and investment in training and retraining. Watring Technologies can provide a long list of examples showing how they meet those criteria. For starters, the company designs, builds, and installs stateof-the-art furnaces that produce highly pure crystals used in the semi-conductors basic to the operation of our computers, cell phones, and digital cameras. Watring Technologies also designs and builds customized furnaces and equipment for companies that make infrared detectors used in missiles and rockets. They even provide the specialized furnaces and equipment used by solar power companies, including companies that make solar panels for water pumps in third world countries. In fact, Watringmade furnaces are so efficient that they have helped those firms cut waste of the expensive materials required to produce silicon solar cells by almost 50%. And those are just a few of the successes. Watring Technologies is also involved in other advanced materials science endeavors. A

Credit: Glenn Baeske

particularly notable achievement was producing equipment that helped a company create a material approaching the theoretical limit of elasticity for metal. (Think ultimate slinky.) “The material has a constant spring force,” explains Watring. “A rock climbing rope has 6% elasticity. This metal alloy has 9%.” It has already been used to create exoskeletons for outfitting soldiers who have to jump from high places, such as rooftops in the Middle East. And it is being considered for space-based and medical applications. For example, it could be used to unwind a solar panel or solar sail or in traction devices and semi-casts. Watring Technologies has even dabbled in the automotive industry, developing and installing devices that automatically align the steering columns on cars going down the assembly line. Other equipment from the company aides in the production of the tracks used on military tanks – for example those used by King Hussein’s Royal Army in Jordan. Additionally, Watring provides support for NASA’s Space Launch System –America’s next great rocket. The list goes on and on. “We are recognized as the leading expert in advanced materials because we develop furnaces and techniques to allow these materials to be produced,” says Watring. But the company does make one product of its own: a device known as the “boot.” Its formal name is “vehicle immobilization device.” If you’ve ever seen the television show “Parking Wars,” you are familiar with the boot – which is installed so miscreant auto owners can’t drive away without paying their dues. When the contract to supply these devices for Washington, D.C. came up for bid, Watring went to D.C. without a demonstration sample. That’s because he had never made a boot. When he arrived in D.C. empty-handed, the customer asked,

by Dauna Coulter Opposite page: Dale Watring among many of his company’s inventive products. Above: A sample of the highly pure crystals produced at Watring Technologies used in semi-conductors. To understand the actual size of these crystals, look below Dale’s left hand in the photo on the opposite page.

“How many boots have you made?” “None,” answered Watring. As the customer looked at him in amazement, Watring continued. “Everyone else tells you what they think you need. We want you to tell us what you need, and we’ll create it.” He won the contract for producing the D.C. boots, built a prototype – just right to meet the customer’s needs – within 30 days, and produced five more of the same in another 30 days. The boots worked beautifully. Not a single rogue parker could remove one and drive away. “It’s the only thing I don’t put my name on,” says Watring with a smile. “I don’t want anyone calling me up and asking ‘why’d you put a boot on my car?’” Remarkably, Watring Technologies operates with a cadre of only 40 people.

continued on page 16 OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


A Country Road Less Traveled, from page 15

Watring’s “boot” or “vehicle immobilization device” designed for use in D.C.

“We have no bureaucracy,” says Watring. “We just get the job done.” One of those people is Watring’s wife Lisa, who is as interesting, intelligent, and talented as he is. Their company has been in business for 18 years and they’ve been married for 29 years, yet they still get along at work and at home. “We strive to keep a division between work and home,” she says. “When we’re in the office, business takes precedence over our personal relationship. We’re very fortunate that we work well together and are able to counter-balance one another. “ Lisa is the first to admit that she isn’t the technical wiz. She is, however, the person that ‘wears the most hats’ in the business. Her roles encompass Human Resources, Accounting, Public Relations, Administration, and whatever else needs to be addressed. “To use a football analogy, I’m like the ‘free safety’ for Watring Technologies,” she explains. “I tend to watch the day-to-business unfold and follow the hot issues that need to be dealt with immediately. In any given day, I work problems ranging from accounting and invoicing to HR and dealing with the ever-changing health care market.” The technical side of the business has presented its own chal- | 256-535-1100

Litigation | Businesses | Governments Individuals | Non-Profits

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Semiconductor Furnace 16

initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

Boot photos: Glenn Baeske

Metal Processing Furnace

Furance photos courtesy of Watring Technologies

lenges. The crystal growth industry is exacting and difficult. “When you mix the molten metals or the solutions to create crystals, they need to be uniform and well mixed,” explains Watring. “When crystals solidify, they can have different structures. But you want everything oriented the same way so uniform semiconductors can be produced from the as-grown ingots [chunks of material].” Some of the companies Watring serves require 460 kg (more than 1000 lb) pieces to make their crystals, so $100,000 to $150,000 worth of raw starting material is used. “We don’t want to mess it up. That’s why I don’t have any hair!” Watring Technologies is an original equipment manufacturer, which means they are producing equipment that has never been used before. “We sign up to say it will work – it will help a company grow the material in the right crystalline form and homogeneity. Or else we don’t get paid. That’s the game we’re in.” If past successes are any indication, anything with the name “Watring Technologies” on it – or not, in the case of the boot – will work, “somehow.” • Dauna Coulter

OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives



College & Career Fair T

he 2015 College & Career Fair is in the books! The event received high marks from both students and vendors. Nearly 6,000 high school juniors and seniors from Huntsville City Schools and Madison County Schools and seniors from Madison City Schools came together in the UAH gym on September 3 & 4 for this jam-packed informational offering. Dozens of companies, organizations, and universities enjoyed visiting with the students about their future plans, and with 16 career clusters represented, this was a valuable networking opportunity for all involved. Students received solid insight into careers as diverse as advanced manufacturing, government, science, non-profits, gaming and finance PUB/DATE: CI October, 2015 – and everything in-between. The employers 8.25 x and 5.45 The were coordinated by theSIZE: Chamber Schools Foundation, and this was$800.00 our largest caCOST: reer event yet. Thank youTOPIC: to all our great comCybersecurity panies for helping make this our most successful College & Career Fair to date! • Carrie Rice


PROTECT AND APPLIED SYSTEMS DEFEND YOUR ENGINEERING CERTIFICATE NETWORKS The need to safeguard and respond to cyber probing and cyber attacks has never been greater. When your networks are attacked, will you be prepared to respond quickly and efficiently? In hands on labs, learn to respond to incidents and recover in real time. Let us help you prepare for your upcoming certification exam, as well as a career in the cybersecurity arena.

Need a specialized course? We offer customized corporate training and volume discounts! Contact or call 256.824.4430.

UPCOMING CYBERSECURITY EXAM PREPS: • A+, Network+, and Security+ • Certified Authorization Professional (CAP®) NEW! • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) • Cloud+ and Linux+ NEW! • SANS ICS410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials NEW!

Classes Start Soon – Register Today!

Professional and Continuing Studies • 256.824.6015 • 18

initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

ED Highlights, continued from page 13

For Lease

Curse, Science and Engineering Services and Boeing Research and Technology. “I am honored by continued trust the Chamber has placed in me over the past nine years,” “Economic development is an exciting and fulfilling responsibility, and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the growth of our region,” said Lucia Cape on her recent promotion. •

Office Space in Huntsville, AL

Featured Listings

Inc. 5000 Ranked 19 Local Companies on 2015 List



The 2015 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies was released by Inc. Magazine and Huntsville/Madison County led the state with 19 ranked companies. Congratulations to these businesses! # 68

Trident Technologies

# 372

Thompson Gray

Operating Revenue: $15.1 million

# 683

Five Stones Research

Operating Revenue: $12.3 million

# 925

Appleton Learning

Operating Revenue: $12.1 million


Monte Sano Research

Operating Revenue: $4.6 million



Operating Revenue: $2.2 million


IronMountain Solutions

Operating Revenue: $8.3 million



Operating Revenue: $9.9 million


GATR Technologies

Operating Revenue: $30.6 million


Torch Technologies

Operating Revenue: $164.1 million


U.S. Diagnostics


Amanda Howard Real Estate


Manu. Technical Solutions



Operating Revenue: $53 million



Operating Revenue: $9.6 million



Operating Revenue: $14.6 million


Pinnacle Solutions

Operating Revenue: $14.2 million


Summit 7 Systems

Operating Revenue: $3.9 million



150 - 45,000

200 West Side Square

Operating Revenue: $16 million

Huntsville, Alabama 35801



1,742 - 9,800

The Tower

Huntsville, Alabama 35806


Operating Revenue: $19.5 million


Operating Revenue: $3 million Operating Revenue: $34.4 million


971 - 8,216

Corporate Park

Huntsville, Alabama 35805


Operating Revenue: $14.1 million


TriVector Names new Sr. Vice President of Civil Space Strategic Business Unit Marc Verhage has been named Sr. Vice President of the Civil Space Strategic Business Unit (SBU) for TriVector Services, Inc. This SBU provides key support in the form of project management, systems engineering and integration, modeling and simulation, guidance navigation and control, configuration and data management, avionics and software integration and system affordability to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and other projects. Verhage has seven years of executive experience and technical leadership in private industry along with 17 years of experience with the U.S. Government in key technical and strategic roles in the development and deployment of NASA’s International Space Station, Space Shuttle Block Upgrades, X-37 Autonomous Verhage Landing and Test Vehicle and Exploration Mission Directorate Launch Systems and ARES Upper Stage Element Office. He has supported efforts at all levels of NASA including chief engineer of the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle Upper Stage Element. “TriVector Services is dedicated to customer satisfaction, and Marc Verhage’s position as Sr. Vice President of the Civil Space Strategic Business Unit places a high-caliber leader with known experience and performance in a position to add great value to our Civil Space efforts including NASA’s Space Launch System,” said President of TriVector Services Joey Shelton. •


7,595-19,162 Bradford Office Center

Huntsville, Alabama 35805

NAI Global is the single, largest, most powerful global network of owner-operated commercial real estate brokerage firms.

For more information

tel 256 539 1686



OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


biosciencebriefs Avion Solutions Debuts New Technology

Avion Solutions Inc. has partnered with Hitachi, Ltd. to create a new biometric solution for blood providers utilizing the unique vein patterns in an individual’s finger as a positive identification tool. The vein reader, called the Biometric Identification Tool (BIT), is more secure than a card swipe system which allows businesses or organizations (such healthcare) to keep full control of the restricted areas of a building or access to information. For example, rather than showing an ID card, typing in a PIN, or filling out entry paperwork, the finger vein reader creates an image of the vein to code and store it in a database for future reference. The vein reader houses a near-infrared light, which illuminates the hemoglobin in the blood flowing through the user’s finger. Because of the encoding of the image, an individual or machine cannot steal the biometric information. BIT is a Software Development Kit that can easily integrate with most existing records management systems. •

compiled by Julia Cherry

HudsonAlpha Offers Free Breast and Ovarian Cancer Screenings HudsonAlpha will embark on a groundbreaking, community-wide women’s breast and ovarian cancer health initiative in October called Information is Power. The initiative will kick-off at HudsonAlpha’s annual breast and ovarian cancer fundraiser luncheon, “Tie the Ribbons,” on October 29 at the Von Braun Center. Over the next year, every woman residing in Madison County who is, or will be 30 years old between the kickoff event and October 28, 2016 will be eligible for a FREE genetic test that identifies gene variations that increase one’s risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The test, called the Praxis test, created by Huntsville personalized medicine information company Kailos Genetics, offers consumer screening for the well-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as 17 additional genes known to be linked to breast and ovarian cancers. “Information truly is power, and we have the power to provide valuable, potentially life-changing information to women right now,” said Richard Myers, PhD, President and Science Director of HudsonAlpha and one of the original scientists to decode the human genome. “Beyond making the very personal decision whether or not to do genetic testing, this also is an opportunity to launch important conversations between spouses, between mothers and daughters, and across generations.” In addition to the free genetic tests offered to women aged 30, Kailos Genetics also is making the tests available at greatly reduced cost to both women and men who are 18 years of age and older in Madison County and surrounding counties over the next year, beginning at the “Tie the Ribbons” event. Please visit info-is-power for more information. •

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 OCT-NOV 2015

Initiatives magazine.





Celebrating 30 Years of The Chamber has always believed it is important to recognize the impact of small businesses in our community. This is why the Chamber hosts the annual Small Business Awards Celebration. In September, the Chamber honored an incredible group of small businesses and individuals who make a tremendous impact in our community every day. This was the 30th anniversary of the awards and served as a special tribute to our small business innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders. This elegant “Black Tie Affair”, presented by Redstone Federal Credit Union, was dedicated to those who possess the talent, the drive, and the determination to succeed – and whose ideas and ideals inspired them to start a business, and inspired others to help make that business grow.

Top left: Jeff Gronberg, 2015 winner of the Executive Leadership Award Far left: Bart Justice, owner of Secure Destruction Service, winner of the 2015 Small Business of the Year, Business/Professional Services category At left: Brent Romine representing nou Systems, winner of the 2015 Small Business of the Year, Government ContractingTechnology category Below: (l-r) Eric Smith, Dale and Lisa Watring with Watring Technologies,

winner of the 2015 Small Business of the Year, Manufacturing category


initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

Small Business Awards At right: Larry and Kim Lewis, owners of PROJECTXYZ, winner of the 2015 Small Business of the Year, Businesses with 51-250 Employees category Far right: Trey Sharp, owner of Sharp Communication,

winner of the 2015 Small Business of the Year, Technology category

Left: Dr. Laurentis Barnett, 2015 Young Professional of the Year Right: Jonathan Hard, owner of H2L Solutions, 2015 Emerging Business of the Year Lower left: (l-r) Will Webb, Shannon Drake and Bill Koch with Still Serving Veterans, 2015 Nonprofit of the Year Lower right: Josh Olive, VP of BID Designs, winner of the 2015 Small Business of the Year, Government ContractingBusiness/Professional Services category

Photos by Jeff White Photography

OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives



TWO GREAT HOTELS. TWO GREAT HOTELS. ONE IDEAL LOCATION. ONE IDEAL LOCATION. Perfectly located in the Uptown Entertainment District at the BJCC, The Westin Birmingham and Sheraton Birmingham Hotel offer a combined 1,051 guestrooms and 385,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, including stylish and contemporary outdoor patios. Enjoy upscale amenities and services you won’t find anywhere else in the city, like plush signature beds, renowned Starwood service, hot spots like the iconic Todd English P.U.B. and all of the benefits that come from being a Starwood Preferred Guest® member. TO LEARN MORE VISIT WESTINBIRMINGHAM.COM OR SHERATONBIRMINGHAM.COM

©2014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Méridien, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.

©2014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Méridien, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.


initiatives OCT-NOV 2015


Rocket Trip Chamber plans SLS Engine Test and Fabrication Tour


he countdown clock is ticking toward the first launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) in 2018 and NASA is busy building and testing key components of the rocket today. The Chamber will organize a trip to the Stennis Space Center to witness a test of the engines that will carry the SLS into space and a tour of the adjacent Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to see the SLS production equipment. The SLS is the next step in our nation’s human exploration of deep space, carrying humans further into space than we have ever gone. SLS will be larger than the Saturn V rockets that carried U.S. astronauts to the Moon. The first launch is set for 2018, but development and testing is well underway. Continued support for the program is critical to NASA’s success. In order to help build awareness of the program’s achievements, the Chamber is arranging a tour of the Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including a test of the RS 25 engine that will provide propulsion for the core stage of the rocket, and a tour of the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the Core Stage of the SLS rocket will be manufactured. The overnight trip will include bus transportation from Huntsville, a reception in New Orleans, and meals. There will be a limit of 100 attendees. The registration price will be

$500 per person and sponsorships are available that will include registrations and publicity.

TENTATIVE AGENDA Tuesday, December 15 Noon-6 p.m. 6 p.m. 7-9 p.m.

Travel to New Orleans Check into hotel Reception & Dinner with key NASA officials and community leaders

Wednesday, December 16 8-9 a.m. 9-9:30 a.m. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Noon-1 p.m. 1-2 p.m. 2-3 p.m. 3-9 p.m.

Breakfast with NASA officials Check out of hotel Tour Michoud Assembly Facility Lunch with SLS leadership Travel to Stennis Space Center Engine Test and Stennis Tour Return to Huntsville •

Mike Ward

Support the missions of Redstone






Redstone Gateway is the premier location for defense contractors seeking immediate access to NASA and other customers on Redstone Arsenal. The new 468-acre, masterplanned business park is located just outside Gate 9 of Redstone, right off I-565 at Research Park Blvd. COPT’s expertise in building mission critical facilities that are operationally efficient will ensure your specialized needs are met in order to advance your mission at Redstone. Derrick Boegner SVP, Asset Management / Leasing Corporate Office Properties Trust 256.895.9820 |

Redstone Gateway is a joint venture development of COPT and Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC.

OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County


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 Erin Koshut, Cummings Research Park director Ken Smith, research & information services director Will West, economic development specialist | project manager Emma Williams, industry relations specialist Karessa Acosta, economic development assistant

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

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

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

Membership Wendy Kirk, vice president, member engagement Donna McCrary, membership retention manager Tiffany Jordan, membership representative Tina Blankenship, membership representative Kristy Drake, engagement specialist

Small Business & Events

100% Employee-Owned EOE/MF/V/D

Pammie Jimmar, director Alexandra Gonzalez, event coordinator Beverly Pike, small business coordinator

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

Thank you

Associated Organizations

Veterans for your Service to Our Country Lighting the Pathway to SuStain our nation’S Freedom


initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

Why do we


Because now is the time for every member of the Auburn Family to join together for the future of this institution. Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University is a $1 billion fundraising effort that will create thousands of new academic scholarships, more than 100 new endowed chairs and professorships, enhanced programs and research, and new facilities. There is tremendous power in every gift — and within everyone who supports this cause. Each gift tells a different story. Now is the time to tell yours.


OCT-NOV 2015 initiatives


PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #40


initiatives OCT-NOV 2015

Initiatives magazine, October 2015  

A Country Road Less Traveled Dale Watring is an intelligent, humble man from the hills of West Virginia. He attended the only high school i...

Initiatives magazine, October 2015  

A Country Road Less Traveled Dale Watring is an intelligent, humble man from the hills of West Virginia. He attended the only high school i...