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oct-nov 2016 initiatives


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A Mixed-Use Office, R&D, Data and Retail Community RIDEOUT ROAD AT GATE 9 OF REDSTONE ARSENAL

BILL BARROLL 256.517.7023

FRIDGE WORTHY. As report cards go, we are proud of this one.

The employees at Huntsville Hospital, together with our physician partners earned U.S. News & World Report’s No. 2 spot in Alabama for Overall Excellence. And, along with the excellence ranking, Huntsville Hospital earned U.S. News & World Report magazine’s “High Performing” label in these important areas: Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Heart Bypass surgery

Colon cancer surgery

Heart failure

Knee replacement

Hip replacement

We are honored to be your local hospital.

Experience. The Difference.

oct-nov 2016 initiatives


welcome new chamber members Joined in August 2016 4SIGHT, INC. Aevum, Inc. Amazing Lash Studio of Huntsville Banner Defense, Inc. BIZFORCE Technologies Joined in July 2016 The BrickHouse Sports Cafe Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, Inc. Cintel, Inc. Blossomwood Foundation CRM Solutions Inc Confab Analytics,LLC CTS Excavations, LLC Current Electrical & Generator Services The Donut Hole, LLC Dalton Wholesale Floors dba Kemp’s Flooring Edgar’s Bakery Energy Alabama The Element Hotel Farmers Home Furniture Elitaire Boutique FDRC, Inc. Huntsville Apartment Company FLIR Systems, INC Huntsville High School Big Red Booster Club Global Business Solutions, Inc. (Gbsi) JESCO, Inc. Construction HigherEchelon,Inc KarmaBox Healthy Vending Inside Medicine KCD John H. Northrop & Associates, Inc. Let’s Eat Out dba Buffalo Wild Wings Kohler Co. Lithographics, Inc. LED-Orange MB Solutions Morningbird Media Corporation Methods Machine Tools, Inc Ogletree Deakins Ngenius Tutoring of Jones Valley PointAbove Consulting LLC Neopost Southeast District T.W. Frierson Contractor, Inc NXTSTEP Family Law Three Scoops, LLC Polaris Industries, Inc. Thrivent Financial Re/Max Alliance - Jan Camp, Realtor USHEALTH Advisors - Huntsville Redstone Harley-Davidson Yoshi Sushi Fusion Rock N’ Roll Sushi Huntsville Rocket City Chiropractic Ronin International SEI Group, Inc. Siemens PLM Software, Inc. SiP Southern Nannies Plus Inc. Straight to Ale Brands Unanet USHEALTH Advisors - Steven Conway, Licensed Agent Which Wich Superior Sandwich - Jones Valley Worxtime, LLC

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 2016








Huntsville Hospital

Port of Huntsville

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

Madison County Commission

Tennessee Valley Authority

Regions Bank


• •

Crestwood Medical Center SAIC

Lockheed Martin Corporation

SES - Science and Engineering Services, LLC

CHAMBER TRUSTEES AEgis Technologies Group • Aerojet Rocketdyne • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama • Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. DynCorp International • Dynetics, Inc. • First Commercial Bank • 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 • Bill Penney Toyota, Scion & Mitsubishi Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP • Coates Transportation Group • Colliers International • Connected Logistics • Consolidated Construction Co. Corporate Office Properties Trust • Davidson Technologies, Inc. • Google • Huntsville-Madison County Builders Association • iBERIABANK J. Smith Lanier & Co. • Keel Point, LLC • L-3 - Corporate Huntsville Operations • LEAN Frog Business Solutions, Inc. • LogiCore MTS, Inc. • Progress Bank • Radiance Technologies • Rosie’s Restaurants & Right Way Restaurants (dba Steak Out) SELEX Galileo Inc. • ServisFirst Bank • 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 Corp. Coast Personnel Services • deciBel Research • Decisive Analytics Corporation • DESE Research, Inc. • Digium, Inc. • Fite Building Company, Inc. Foreign Language Services • Fountain, Parker, Harbarger • Garver • General Atomics • HEMSI • Hiley Cars Huntsville • Huntsville Botanical Garden Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau • Huntsville Tractor & Equipment, Inc. • InterFuze Corporation • Investor’s Resource/Raymond James IronMountain Solutions • The Lioce Group, Inc. • Littlejohn Engineering Associates, Inc. • LSINC Corp. • MSB Analytics, Inc. • National Bank of Commerce North Alabama Multiple Listing Service • PALCO Telecom Service • PHOENIX • PROJECTXYZ, Inc. • Public Financial Management, Inc. • QTEC • Renasant Bank RJ Young • Sierra Lobo, Inc. • Sigmatech, Inc. • Systems Products and Solutions, Inc. • Technicolor • Venturi, Inc. • West Huntsville Land Co., Inc. oct-nov 2016 initiatives


Meet Our Huntsville Lending Team

DeMarco McClain Vice President

Barry Bryan Senior Vice President

Tim Singleton Madison County Area President

256-533-7834 | | Member FDIC


initiatives oct-nov 2016

oct-nov 2016



And the winner is... Celebrating the 2016 Small Business Awards

13 27 22 11 23 12 25 20

economicdevelopmenthighlights educationnews MEMBERSHIP MOVERS&SHAKERS rolemodel servingothers smallbizspotlight workforce 4 5 8 10 24 26

Welcome New Chamber Members HREGI Investors Message from the President | Board Listing Community Profile Attention: Existing Industries Chamber Staff | Associated Organizations

editorial staff publisher Chip Cherry, CCE executive editor

Carrie Rice editorial designer

Kristi Sherrard contributing writers

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)

Lyndsay Ferguson Hannah Powell Will West 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 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.

Tharon Honeycutt, Vice Chair, Member Engagement,

Dear Chamber of Commerce Investors, Community Leaders and Friends: Congratulations to the 2016 Small Business Award winners and contenders! The businesses and individuals highlighted in this issue are examples of excellence in their respective areas. They will tell you that they are successful because of the excellent teams they work with, the mentors who have helped them, and the families that encourage them. Our region is fortunate to have a vibrant small business sector which is a key driver of our economic success! As we enter the holiday shopping season, I encourage you to consider the impact that shopping has on our local economy. Local retailers hire your neighbors and provide many of our young people with their first work experience; they support local charities, and hire local firms to support their operations. Your purchase will flow through the local economy creating additional positive impacts on the region’s economy. An added benefit is that you will be able to see the product, learn more about it, and be able to work with a real person if you have a problem. The Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 26), our nation will celebrate Small Business Saturday, so get out and shop local – I bet you’ll like it! I am allocating the balance of my letter to thanking the educators in our community. Teachers entertain a very special place in our society – we trust them to instill knowledge, stimulate creativity, prompt students to question why we do what we do, and provide counsel as they face the many challenges of growing up. We don’t celebrate their value to our society nearly enough, nor do we thank them for the role they play helping our children develop. Thank you to all of our educators and those who support them! I look forward to seeing you at a Chamber event soon.

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


initiatives oct-nov 2016

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 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 David Fernandes, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc. Gene Goldman, Leidos Mike Gullion, SCI Technology – a Sanmina company John Gully, SAIC Jan Hess, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. Steve Hill, AEgis Technologies Group Lee Holland, Turner Construction 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 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

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oct-nov 2016 initiatives


communityprofile 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

2015 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.

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initiatives oct-nov 2016



Big Time Celebrating Inc. 5000 Ranking


he 2016 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies is out, and 25 Huntsville/Madison County companies made the list – an increase from 19 companies recognized in 2015. In all, Alabama has 55 companies on the Inc. 5000 list. All companies must be for-profit, privately held, and have a minimum revenue of $100,000 in 2012 and $2 million in 2015. Congratulations to the 25 Huntsville/Madison County companies on the Inc. 5000 list – listed with their 2015 Operating Revenue and three-year percentage growth: Rank


Operating Revenue % of Growth


Monte Sano Research

$7.4 million



MSB Analytics

$6.3 million



Trident Technologies

$33.4 million



IronMountain Solutions

$16.1 million




$22.9 million



Thompson Gray

$25.6 million



KTI Express Courier

$2.7 million



Big Spring Environmental

$4.6 million



GATR Technologies

$65.3 million




$11.5 million



Five Stones Research

$19 million




$24 million




$2.9 million



Manufacturing Technical Solutions

$40.9 million



Cornerstone Detention Services

Litigation I Businesses

$55.6 million



Keel Point

$13.8 million




Pinnacle Solutions

$22 million



Amanda Howard Real Estate

$4 million




$63 million



Torch Technologies

$232.9 million



Summit 7 Systems

$5.3 million




$21.3 million




$16.5 million



AvaLAN Wireless

$3.7 million




$11.1 million


Individuals I Non-Profits

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oct-nov 2016 initiatives



Pocket Change Sign Up to Round Up Program


he Schools Foundation (TSF) partners with Huntsville Utilities to make a big difference in our community. Sign Up to Round Up is a program designed so that your utility bill can be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The pocket change that is added to your bill will be used to help provide tools for education and supporting the success of our local students in their schools. Your contribution might be a penny, it might be 25 cents, it might be 99 cents. However, it is never more than $11.88 per year. It takes less than one minute to sign up for this program. All you have to do is provide your name, address, and phone number. Once you have signed up, you are in the program for life, or until you decide you no longer wish to participate. With more than 50,000 students in the three supported school systems – Madison City, Madison County, and Huntsville City – there are many things that could be done with this money. The funds collected through this program currently go to help professional development for teachers and administrators. As the funding grows, TSF will start a grant program to fund unique asks from the system to the school level. This funding will be paired with disbursements from The Schools Foundation endowment that was launched in 2016. The local districts and schools would have the opportunity to request funds that enhance student opportunities and focus on student achievement. There are more than 180,000 residential users of Huntsville Utilities that are eligible to participate. Think of the change that could be done if each user, or even half, signed up for this program. In addition to residential consumers, Huntsville Utilities is now letting commercial customers round up, too. If you own a commercial property, make sure to sign up to round up, as well! Elizabeth Fleming, Executive Director of The Fleming Schools Foundation, stated, “We are asking the community to round up their utility bill and support education with their neighbors. As more families round up, we are committed to expand the support we provide our schools. We estimate that if half of the residential users ‘rounded up’ we would generate approximately $500,000 a year to support our schools. We need everyone to round up!” To sign up, go to From there, go to the Sign Up to Round Up page, and fill out the form. It’s that easy! Your pocket change has never been so powerful! •


initiatives oct-nov 2016

Hannah Powell

economicdevelopmenthighlights RUAG Space Now in Huntsville

snap: ADTRAN, the Huntsville-based leading global provider of networking and communications equipment, celebrated their 30th birthday with more than just birthday cake and balloons. More than 100 people took a birthday ride on a 1,150 foot zip line across ADTRAN Lake! ADTRAN built a launch platform nine stories up on the company’s East Tower Penthouse Deck. Riders then descended across the lake (past the fountain) toward the South Tower.

RUAG Space USA, a subsidiary of RUAG Space, Europe’s leading provider of spaceflight hardware, has opened its doors in Huntsville. Established as the U.S. Headquarters for the Swiss-based company, the Huntsville office will benefit from the close proximity to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal, as well as the rich workforce that the city and surrounding areas have to offer.

Watch the cool zip-line video here:

“With its rich history in aerospace and innovation, Huntsville and the surrounding communities offer a prosperous environment for growth and future collaboration,” said Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space in Switzerland. Business operations at the Huntsville office will help support the various U.S. locations, such as the new large composite structures production facility for next generation launchers in nearby Decatur, Alabama. Additionally, this office will support company growth throughout the United States in the growing aerospace market. “While we intend to continue utilizing our company’s heritage and building upon the many years of continued successes from our parent company, this office,

continued on page 18

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initiatives oct-nov 2016

And the winner is... Celebrating 31 Years of Small Business Awards by Carrie Rice


he Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County held a 1960’s themed, black-tie gala at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration to announce the 2016 Small Business Award (SBA) winners across 14 categories. More than 950 people attended the gala to support our 130 contenders! Clearly, there is no shortage of outstanding small businesses in Huntsville and Madison County as the Chamber received more than 1,700 SBA nominations this year! We also added several new SBA cateGronberg gories (see asterisk categories). To determine the winners, the Vail Valley Partnership kindly provided a panel of judges. All applications were submitted directly to Vail Valley Partnership through a secure server and evaluated anonymously. Thanks to Presenting Sponsor S3 and all our additional sponsors and volunteers! Also, a very special thanks to our fab emcees for the evening, Jeff Gronberg, President and CEO of deciBel Research, who McLain also serves as the 2016 Chamber Vice Chair for Small Business and Events, and WHNT news anchor Clarissa McLain.

See winners on pages 16-17 oct-nov 2016 initiatives


And the winner is..., from page 15 *Brewery of the Year:

Straight To Ale LLC

*Medical Practice of the Year:

BrookeMD Primary Care *Culinary Business of the Year:

LawLers Barbecue

Business/Professional Services Business of the Year: Transcend LLC

Emerging Business of the Year: Cintel Strategies, Inc.

Young Professional of the Year Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award: Tim Thornton, nLogic, LLC 16

initiatives oct-nov 2016

Alana Parker Rocket City Drywall & Supply, Inc.

Small Business Awards Celebration photography by Kaboom Crash Media Government Contracting Technology Business of the Year: Avion Solutions, Inc.

2016 Chamber Board Chair Rose Allen presenting a plaque to James Barclay, President of S3, the event’s Presenting Sponsor.

Technology Business of the Year: AAL USA, Inc.

*Service Business of the Year: Southern Construction & Design Inc.

Government Contracting - Business/Professional Service Business of the Year: Media Fusion *Women-Owned Business of the Year: Kids to Love Foundation

*Retailer of the Year: Signs By Tomorrow Huntsville

Nonprofit of the Year: Neighborhood Concepts, Inc. (left); The Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County (above) oct-nov 2016 initiatives


Economic Development Highlights, continued from page 13

as well as all future U.S. facilities, will function independently as a U.S. business, staffed by 100% U.S. employees,” said Ernest Roybal, President of RUAG Space USA in Huntsville. RUAG Space USA currently has operations in four U.S. cities, including Huntsville, with plans for continued growth. “The Chamber is thrilled to welcome RUAG Space USA to Huntsville,” said Lucia Cape, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Chamber. “We are actively recruiting international companies to establish U.S. headquarters here, particularly in the aerospace industry, because of the proximity to customers, partnership opportunities and available skilled workforce. RUAG’s decision supports our strategy and helps build the case for more international growth in Huntsville.” ∏

Redstone Federal Donates Millions to Huntsville Library Redstone Federal Credit Union made a very generous $2.5 million donation to the Huntsville Library Foundation, the largest single donation the library system has ever received. The funds will be used for the library’s capital campaign to build and furnish three new libraries in North Huntsville, South Huntsville and Madison. Joe Newberry, RFCU President and CEO, said the donation further strengthens the ties Redstone has with the communities it has served over the past 65 years – and sets the tone for service over the next 65 years. “We search out those opportunities where Redstone can be a catalyst for positive change in the community,’’ Newberry said. “This is definitely such a project. Libraries encourage the adoption of technology and lifelong learning. Those goals are very much in line with our credit union’s goals.’’ The Huntsville Madison County Public Library’s Capital Campaign will build three new libraries in Madison County by 2020. The library board is conducting a

single capital campaign for all three constructions because their project timelines overlap. New libraries are to be built in North Huntsville, South Huntsville and Madison. ∏

Turner Construction & TEDAC Turner Construction’s Huntsville office has been selected to build three new facilities for the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) campus on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The project will be managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). TEDAC serves as a collaborative, multi-agency, single-point improvised explosive device (IED) analytical center, identifying actionable intelligence and making associations between devices. Turner will work with a design team from AECOM to build the new $28 million facilities, which include a 28,500-square-foot collaboration center, a 700-squarefoot visitor screening facility, and a 28,000-square-foot repository. The repository will be designed to store forensic evidence after it has been analyzed. It also will include space for file storage, offices and a café for campus employees. The collaboration center will be used primarily for administrative offices and will house an electronics lab, and a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF). The visitor screening facility will handle issuance of badges for campus access. The new facilities at Redstone Arsenal will join the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Center for Explosives Training and Research and the recently constructed TEDAC Lab. The company plans to complete the repository in November 2016, with the collaboration center and visitor screen facility slated for completion in February 2017. ∏

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initiatives oct-nov 2016

UAH / Chamber MOU

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to signify that they will join together to work toward building and nurturing a collaborative environment in which professionals, entrepreneurs and businesses can thrive.

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“Both organizations have strong ties to economic development in the region,” said UAH President Robert Altenkirch (right in photo). “We historically have worked in partnership to foster, attract and develop new businesses to continue to drive the economic and technological success story that is Huntsville and Madison County. This agreement strengthens our partnership with the Chamber of Commerce in these development efforts, which have produced results for our region in the past and will continue to do so in the future.” The agreement comes as UAH moves forward on an Innovation to Invention Center (I2C) that will house up to 40 startup businesses and provide them with office and laboratory space. Construction of the 45,000-square-foot incubator is expected

Initiatives magazine.

continued on page 21

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oct-nov 2016 initiatives



College & Career Fair Meeting Our Future Workforce, Today Thanks to Our Exhibitors


n partnership with The Schools Foundation and the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County hosted the College & Career Fair – a twoday event that served more than 6,000 high school juniors and seniors from across our three Madison County school districts (Huntsville City, Madison City and Madison County). The Fair was graciously presented by Lockheed Martin and held at the UAH Fitness Center. “One of our priorities is working to ensure that students understand the vast career opportunities available to them in our community, and the pathways to obtain them. This event allows companies to engage with students, teachers, and counsellors to help prepare students for the future,” said Lyndsay Ferguson, Director of Workforce at the Chamber. “Our business community understands the importance of that, and I’m excited by the vast array of career pathways represented here today.” An important, experiential education program aimed at promoting high-demand careers and their associated educational pathways, the College & Career Fair also introduces employers to their future workforce. The fair provides students with solid insight into local career opportunities across 16 different Career Clusters, ranging from advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, government, nonprofit, gaming, finance – and everything in-between. “The greater Huntsville area is a knowledge-driven economy and is powered by intellectual talent,” said UAH President Robert Altenkirch. “It’s crucial that every student be given the opportunity to develop their education beyond high school, and to pursue opportunities that will lead to supporting the corporations and federal agencies that are the foundation of our economy.” By partnering with local businesses, the College & Career Fair provided expanded perspective to students while giving businesses direct access to future employees. This event is truly the front line of employee recruitment and provides a way to attract and retain our students for a long-term future in the Tennessee Valley. •


initiatives oct-nov 2016

Lyndsay Ferguson

ABC of North Alabama, Inc. ACR SERVICE, INC. Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services Arts Huntsville AT&T Entertainment Group Avion Solutions BB&T The Boeing Company (gold sponsor) Calhoun Community College (silver sponsor) Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County Crestwood Medical Center Cumulus Media Deloitte LLP Dynetics, Inc. Energy Alabama Express Employment Professionals Federal Bureau of Investigation Huntsville Area Association of Realtors Huntsville City Schools Huntsville Electro-Optical Society Huntsville Hospital | The Orthopaedic Center Huntsville Utilities Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau Huntsville/Madison County Hospitality Association Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation Jerry Damson Honda Acura KTECH | Kids to Love Lockheed Martin Corporation (presenting sponsor) Madison County Commission Madison County District Attorney’s Office Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program NASA / Marshall Space Flight Center Polaris Industries, Inc. Redstone Federal Credit Union (gold sponsor) SAIC Schwarze Industries, Inc. SCI Technology, Inc. (silver sponsor) The Schools Foundation SES - Science and Engineering Service, Inc. Spherion Staffing of Huntsville (silver sponsor) Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center U.S. Space & Rocket Center Wyle CAS Group

ED Highlights continued

compiled by Carrie Rice

to begin in about a year and it should be completed in an additional two years. I2C will use university resources at UAH to bring technologies into the marketplace through identification and funding of entrepreneurs in a 15-county region and at UAH, and will provide a range of services to convert ideas, research and prototypes into viable commercial products. Startup companies that result will reside at the incubator for about three to five years before launching on their own. “A strong partnership between the business community and UAH has been and continues to be a vital part of the growth and development of our region’s economy. The agreement between the Chamber and UAH is an articulation of the collaborative relationship that has existed for many years,” said Chip Cherry, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. “We will continue to support the efforts of UAH as it expands its entrepreneurial and business start-up initiatives, as well as their expanding focus on research, development and other factors to produce a competitive workforce which feed the economy of our region. We are happy to partner with UAH on this MOA and look forward to further collaboration.” ∏

New President/CEO at CFDRC Sameer Singhal has been named president and CEO of CFD Research Corporation. Singhal succeeds Lt. Gen. (USA-Ret.) Cosumano who has served in this role for four years. Cosumanoa will remain on the Company’s Board of Directors. Singhal has been with the Company since 2008. He received his B.S. from Georgia Tech and M.S. from Stanford University both in Materials Science and Engineering. At CFDRC, he has Singhal managed the technical development and commercialization for a portfolio of technologies, developed in collaboration with DoD, DOE, NIH, and NASA agencies. ∏

GEO Huntsville GEOHuntsville, Inc. announced today that Jorge Garcia will succeed Chris Johnson as Executive Director. As Executive Director, Garcia will serve as GEOHuntsville’s senior leader in guiding continued economic growth for the region’s public and private institutions engaged in geospatial services and technologies. Garcia recently retired from the FBI as Assistant Director, responsible for the Directorate of Intelligence, which oversees the Bureau’s intelligence functions, including its geospatial capabilities. Prior to that Mr. Garcia was Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) in Quantico, VA. “Mr. Garcia has proven to be an outstanding member of the GEOHuntsville board of directors, and we look forward to his leadership as Executive Director,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “The entire GEOHuntsville team continues to amaze and impress, and their projects have caught the eyes of top leaders and companies across the globe.” GEOHuntsville is one of four initiatives launched by Mayor Battle to capitalize on Huntsville’s talented pool of technology workers. Other initiatives include Cyber Huntsville, Energy Huntsville and Bio Huntsville. ∏

Beason & Nalley Joins Warren Averett Warren Averett, LLC, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, announced that effective November 1, 2016, the CPA firm Beason & Nalley, Inc. will join the Warren Averett Huntsville office and operate under the name Warren Averett. This fusion of services expands resources and capabilities in the Huntsville market, and meets the needs of the growing government contracting segment not only in Huntsville, but across the Southeast. “The addition of Beason & Nalley allows us to offer our clients and our team even more opportunities and solutions,” said Ray White, CPA, Huntsville’s Managing Member. “We are excited to expand our leadership position in the Huntsville market, while creating a leading government contracting practice group.” ∏ oct-nov 2016 initiatives



Round of Applause A Big Thanks to Our ChamberON Volunteers


he Chamber has worked passionately for this community since 1894, making sure that Chamber members and the community have access to outstanding development and professional programs and training, business services, and events. With your support, we are able to provide many of these resources through membership dues and ChamberON – our annual sponsorship campaign. Increased member participation in Chamber activities such as ChamberON has helped us to prepare, develop, and promote our community for economic growth. By supporting the Chamber through ChamberON sponsorships, companies have had a direct impact into the growth and success of our entire community. As the ChamberON campaign season comes to a close, we extend a HUGE thank you to the dedicated ChamberON volunteers who gave their time and energy to help build a stronger and more effective Chamber. Volunteers sold nearly $900,000 in sponsorships – incredible! For more information about ChamberON, please contact Kristy Drake at 256-535-2036 or • Carrie Rice

Penny Billings BancorpSouth Chamber 2016 Vice Chair for Membership

Lisa Abbott Cadence Bank

Katie Bosarge Davidson Technologies, Inc.

Camille Gardner AEgis Technologies Group

Clint Kirkland

Leslie McGill

First Commercial Bank

Michelle Omenski Keller Williams Realty

Chris Russell Cadence Bank

Tiffany Taylor, CPA, CGMA

Progress Bank

Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure (Intergraph)

Joe Knoch

David Whitaker

Air Essentials, Inc.

Lee Lester Retired Banking Executive


Kristy Drake Chamber of Commerce

A financial planning and wealth management firm. 3800 Colonnade Parkway, Suite 300 Birmingham, Alabama 35243, Phone: (205) 208.8700 400 Meridian Street, Suite 200, Huntsville, Alabama 35801, Phone: (256) 970.6888 • Bridgeworth, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser.


initiatives oct-nov 2016 BW_Huntsville Initiatives_september2016.indd 2

9/7/16 4:03 PM


by Carrie Rice

Damson family and business: community philanthropists In 1961, Jerry Damson began his career in the automobile industry in Huntsville, and the landscape of our region was forever changed. Jerry and Butch Damson, and their family, and their family of employees, have helped shape our region through their personal work philosophy and philanthropic endeavors. For over five decades, the family-owned business has been an active community partner. They have supported local schools, charities, and many civic events – with their support of the arts especially visible. Huntsville’s vibrant arts scene would not be the same without the generous support of Butch and Jerry Damson and the Damson Automotive Group – they are everywhere. Not only do they give financially, but they give generously of their time. From leading fundraising efforts for Burritt on the Mountain, to bringing the Great White Way to Huntsville with their support of the Broadway Theatre League, to their tremendous support of the Huntsville Botanical Garden, the Damson Automotive Group supports a vast cross section of arts, society and culture. Their support of the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Huntsville Library Foundation and the Humane Society are legendary, and many more that would fill this page. One of the most beautiful attributes of Huntsville/Madison County is how generous individuals, families, organizations and companies give of their time and money to weave the fabric that blankets our region. Jerry and Butch Damson, PUB/DATE: CI October 2016 their children, and their grandchildren are incredible community partners – and SIZE: 8.25 x 5.45 we thank them. After 55 years in business, COST: the company is still family owned. The Damson $800.00 Automotive Group operates three automobile dealerships in North Alabama which TOPIC: AdultAcura Degree include: Jerry Damson Honda and Jerry Damson in Huntsville, and Honda of Decatur. Deke Damson, son of Jerry and Butch, currently runs the family business with his sister, Sarah Park, and her husband Bruce. Deke currently serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. •



We understand the importance of education in today’s world, but we also realize life can sometimes get in the way. The UAH Bachelor of Arts or Science in Professional Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to meet the needs of working professionals and adult students, balancing academic rigor with flexibility and value. Earn your UAH degree on your terms!


We are focused on your specific goals Program is structured to fit your busy schedule Personal support and encouragement UAH has a strong academic reputation Transfer up to 75% of previous credits

Contact us today to discuss your academic pathway!

AVAILABLE CONCENTRATIONS INCLUDE: • Organizational Studies • Leadership Strategies and Dynamics • Technology, Science and Society

College of Professional and Continuing Studies 256.824.6013 • •

Degree is pending SACSCOC approval. oct-nov 2016 initiatives


For qualifying companies that are looking to reinvest or expand their operations in the area, the State of Alabama passed new legislation that can help companies with their projects. This assistance can include:

• Sales & Use and Property Tax Abatements • Exemption from taxes for increased utility services • AIDT’s pre-employment screening and training services

Before planning an expansion, contact the Chamber first in order to take advantage of these benefits! For more information, please contact Will West at 256-535-2049 or

• Systems Engineering & Integration • Modeling and Simulation • Software Development • Information Assurance • Algorithm Development • Interoperability


• Test and Evaluation



initiatives oct-nov 2016

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


Rumble Seat Beer Project Straight To Ale + Whole Foods = Exclusive Brews


ot beer? Huntsville’s Straight To Ale Brewing has teamed up with Whole Foods Market South Region to introduce a new line of experimental brews called Rumble Seat Beer Project. The first iteration of Rumble Seat Beer Project includes an India Pale Ale, a Citrus Witte, and an Imperial Red. All three beers were brewed exclusively for Whole Foods Market by Straight To Ale, and hit the shelves Labor Day weekend across the Southeast in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Straight To Ale brought the idea of “gypsy brewing” to Whole Foods Market when the brewery expanded its operations in Huntsville’s latest entertainment district – Campus No. 805. Moving production of their flagship favorites to the new location gave Straight To Ale the flexibility to use the old facility for more experimentation with their popular barrel and sour programs. “Whole Foods is a brand champion for Straight To Ale and has played a large part in our growth and success. It was a natural fit for us to approach them once we added the new facility as they had the desire, insight, and reach within craft beer to help us establish this new line. After meeting with Whole Foods back in early March, the potential for what this could evolve into emerged, and it has now become a wonderful reality,” says Steve Mills, Sales Manager of Straight to Ale Brewing. In 2010, Straight To Ale commercially produced their first beer, Monkeynaut IPA. Today, the brewery continues to grow and amass recognition with their widely acclaimed brews. Celebrated awards include 2014 RateBeer Top Brewer in Alabama, 2015 RateBeer Best Beer in Alabama for Bourbon Barrel Aged Laika Russian Imperial Stout, and 2014 World Beer Championship Platinum for Bourbon Barrel Aged Laika Russian Imperial Stout. And, in 2016, Straight To Ale was awarded our first-ever Brewery of the Year Award at the Chamber’s annual Small Business Awards! Congrats to Straight To Ale for your new partnership with Whole Foods Market! All this leads to Straight To Ale accomplishing their goal of being a regional player in the crafter scene and covering the entire South East! •

Carrie Rice

oct-nov 2016 initiatives


Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

STA FF Executive Staff

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

Economic Development, Industry Relations & Workforce Lucia Cape, IOM, senior vice president Lyndsay Ferguson, workforce director Erin Koshut, Cummings Research Park director Ken Smith, research & information services director Will West, project manager Amy Tubb, 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 Robert Recker, senior vice president Donna McCrary, membership retention manager Tiffany Jordan, membership representative Tina Blankenship, membership representative Kristy Drake, engagement specialist | program manager

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

Finance & Administration Mary McNairy, director Jamie Gallien, IT manager Kim Savage, accounting specialist – receivables Lori Warner, accounting specialist – payables Joe Watson, facilities supervisor

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

Associated Organizations


initiatives oct-nov 2016


by Lyndsay Ferguson

Achieving Tomorrow U.S. Chamber Foundation Goes Viral with Voices


hen it comes to workforce development, preparing talent for the future starts in the classroom today. The Huntsville/Madison County community is fortunate to be a role model in this work and is receiving national attention with a video and photojournalistic series produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation called Voices. The series highlights the outstanding role the business community, educators, parents, and policymakers play in preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow. The Foundation’s goal for the Voices campaign is to emphasize the importance high standards play in K-12 education to prepare students for life after high school. We are grateful for the role of all these voices in our community and we’re excited to feature some of the Voices of Huntsville in Initiatives magazine! The Huntsville video can be found at, and more Voices of Huntsville testimonials can be found at

lege training programs. We want people who can solve problems and are open to different ways of doing things. They don’t have to worry so much about how to build a Toyota engine – we can teach them that. It’s more important that they have the right mindset and are willing to learn new things in a teamwork environment to be successful.

Jalen Roberts Alumna, Lee High School, Huntsville City Schools

Jim Bolte President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc.

Our Toyota plant doesn’t look anything like your grandfather’s automotive plant. We’ve got more than 100 different robots. We need people who can program and maintain those robots. Those technology skills are highly valued. We need people who are deep thinkers and problem solvers. Toyota has always supported education here in Alabama, specifically for workforce development. The stronger our workforce is, the better chance we’re going to have as a whole community. We talk a lot about getting involved in students’ lives early; we start from kindergarten to high school and go through college – we want to help build a really strong pipeline of potential Toyota employees. We want children to be curious. We want students to be deep thinkers. That’s why we engage high school students by providing engines to their tech schools, and why we invest in community col-

With welding, you get to leave your impression on the world in the smallest way. I’m not a superstar or anything, but I can go back and say to my grandkids, “Hey, there’s a satellite in the sky that I welded on. Just know your granny’s cool! My grandfather was a biology professor, and my Mom has a doctorate in food science. Science has always been a part of family life, but for me, I was different. I liked physically building things with my hands. I didn’t know what welding was until my junior year of high school when the tech department came and told us about their program. They had this neat little metal helicopter with the blades and everything; it was so cool. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t even know what it is, I just know I want to build that’. The tech program helped me to understand that I had a skill and that I was good at it. Now, I’ve got a good paying job in my field, and I’m continuing to gain experience while some of my friends are still searching for what they want to be. A lot of students aren’t encouraged to try new things. They are accustomed to what they see everybody else doing after high school. But, the rockets we send into space, the houses we live in, the cars we drive wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the welders who helped build them. We can’t be afraid to go outside the box. oct-nov 2016 initiatives


PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #40


initiatives oct-nov 2016

Initiatives magazine, October-November 2016  

And the Winner is...

Initiatives magazine, October-November 2016  

And the Winner is...