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Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce






Cheers for

Sports! City Unveils

eMobile Online

Tax Payment

Trade Program


15 Years

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Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Vol. XLIII, No. 6


July 2012


News You Can Use – Positive updates for area and state businesses


Small Business of the Month: BNI, Business Networking International


15 years of accomplishments for the Chamber’s trade division A Big Hit! How sports impact Mobile’s economy



The Copeland-Cox Mobile Tennis Center recently hosted the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Tennis National Championships. Included in the tournament were players from Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky. (pictured) and other schools such as Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, Calif., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Brenau University in Gainsville, Ga. See story on page 15.


Cover photo by Ashley Horn.


SCORE Column: Get to know your numbers


Washington County economic developer hired

22 23


27 the business VIEW is published monthly,

except for the combined issue of December/January, by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce 451 Government Street, Mobile, AL 36602 (251) 433-6951 ©2012 Publisher.....................................Winthrop M. Hallett III Executive Editor................................Leigh Perry-Herndon Managing Editor....................................... Jennifer Jenkins Copy Editor............................................Michelle Matthews

Additional Writers and Editors Shayla Jones Beaco, Ashley Horn, Toni Kemper, Susan Rak-Blanchard, Danette Richards, Christina Stimpson and Carolyn Wilson

Printing Services.. .......... Interstate Printing/Direct Mail Graphic Design . ......................... Wise Design Inc. Advertising Account Executive.. .............. René Eiland 431-8635


Board of Advisors: Richard T. McCreary and David F. Sweet

26 27

28 30 31-34 35 35

Investor Focus: LLB&B Inc. Real Estate

CEO Profile: John Valentine, Dauphin Island Sea Lab

24-25 26

Ambassador of the Month: Trish Banker Business Spotlight of the Month: Neal’s Electronics Economic Indicators Calendar Member News Anniversaries New Members

The Mobile Area Chamber was awarded a five-star rating by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the highest designation given. Of the 6,936 chambers in the U.S., only 301 are accredited, and of those only 43 have achieved five-star distinction. The Mobile Area Chamber has been accredited by the U.S. Chamber since the designation’s inception more than 40 years ago.

The Business View | JULY 2012


City of Mobile Unveils eMobile Automated Tax Filing System


ired of sacrificing valuable time away from important business matters in order to process and fulfill cumbersome tax obligations required by local government? Thanks to a new Internet application recently launched by the city of Mobile, local sales tax payments for both the city and county can now be conveniently processed online with the simple click of a mouse. The innovative system is designed to give businesses an easy and more convenient way of filing sales tax payments. All businesses owing taxes to the city and county are now able to access the new web-based application, eMobile. Developed by the city’s municipal information technology department, eMobile provides an intuitive, step-by-step process allowing businesses to file and pay sales taxes online, eliminating the need for time-consuming preparation of paper tax forms and inconvenient trips to Mobile Government Plaza. With eMobile, businesses pay taxes using an electronic check. Once a business submits a payment, the information

is routed to a third-party payment processing company. With this streamlined approach, collecting and processing tax information and payments is quicker and more efficient, and reduces the city’s costs.

“Efficiency and easy accessibility are the reasons why we designed an automated payment system for businesses,” said Mobile Mayor Sam Jones. “This process should be as user-friendly as possible. The new eMobile system accomplishes that goal.” As more and more businesses become familiar with the system, Jones added, “We’ll look at other areas where technology can make it easier and convenient to do business with the city.” The system is available to all active accounts but will require taxpayers to register to obtain access to the system through a unique username/password combination. Customers can still submit payments by mail or in person. The city’s website provides links and instructions for accessing the new application. Visit or contact the city’s revenue department at 208-7462 for more information.

Partners for Growth

Kicks Off Phase III

The Mobile Area Chamber officially kicked off its Partners for Growth campaign. With a $10 million goal, the effort will support the Chamber’s economic development initiatives for the next five years. Pictured at left are: (from left to right) Joe Lawrence, Lawrence & Lawrence; Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood; and Johnnie Robinson, Industrial Development Board. Pictured above are: (from left to right) Bo Mattei, Thames Batré Mattei Beville & Ison; Preston Bolt, Hand Arendall; Daniel Dennis, Roberts Brothers Inc.; Mike Saxon, Alabama Power; Cedric Hatcher, PNC Bank; Bill Daniels, Burr & Forman LLP: Kenny Crow, Crow Shields & Bailey PC; and David Hannan, Johnstone Adams.


JULY 2012 | The Business View

A new sign and a 24-hour manned security building make up a new entrance to the University of Mobile. The university is investing millions of dollars to update, renovate and add buildings to its campus.

University of Mobile

Enhances Campus The University of Mobile is adding another new residence hall, the third with apartment-style living for upperclassmen. UMobile, as the university is rebranding itself, is investing more than $8.71 million in capital investments in 2012 alone, and over an eight-year period will spend more than $24 million to increase campus housing and renovate and improve the grounds. More than half the monies spent were to construct new residence halls that will house close to 350 additional students – Samford Hall in 2004, Karlene Farmer Faulkner Hall in 2006 and the currently unnamed apartments in 2012. The newest hall measures 39,918 square feet. The building will be completed in two phases, with one side finished in time for the fall semester and the other no later than November.

The University of Mobile is adding new residence halls to meet demand. Pictured above is the lobby of Faulkner Hall.

What’s driving the growth? Three things, say university officials: the increasing enrollment, changing needs of students and the intent to “broaden its reach,” says President Dr. Mark Foley. With more than 40 programs of study attracting students across the board, the university’s Center for Performing Arts, comprising 21 performing ensembles, is a big draw, Foley adds. Last September, the university started the school year with an enrollment of 1,800 – the fourth consecutive year of growth. The student population represents 33 states and 30 countries, with Mobile and Baldwin County residents adding up a little more than half. The highest percentage of students from outside the United States comes to UMobile from Brazil, Australia, Canada, Venezuela, Congo, Ghana and Jamaica.

“We’re seeing more local students who want to live on campus to participate in activities, from service projects to sports, to a weekly Bible study, to performances and practices,” explains Kathy Dean, the university’s director of media relations. In addition to student housing, the university expanded Ram Hall, its auditorium and cafeteria; added a security gatehouse serving as the new entrance to the grounds; renovated its library; added nursing lab equipment; and constructed a softball field house, to name a few of the 17 recent projects. “We have the programs that attract students. We now have the facilities that attract students. And we have the environment that integrates learning, faith and leadership in a unique way that attracts students,” says Dean.

Springhill Medical Center Offers

New Weapon in Fighting Pancreatic Cancer N

ew technology at Springhill Medical Center is helping doctors yield much more accurate diagnoses when it comes to pancreatic cancer – the fourth leading killer of all cancers in the United States. Traditionally, tissue samples are gathered by brushing or biopsying the pancreas. The SpyGlass Direct Visualization System is a minimally invasive approach available only in Mobile at Springhill.

With SpyGlass, fiber optics pass through a special thin tube, known as the SpyScope, offering a three-dimensional view of what doctors want to biopsy. “We are persistently trying to find new ways to better care for our patients, and we are proud to be the first in Mobile to use SpyGlass,” says Jeff St. Clair, president and chief executive officer of Springhill Hospital. “This technology is a remarkable addition to Springhill.” One of the main uses of SpyGlass is to determine whether blockage in the biliary or pancreatic ducts is malignant or benign – and, with this new, visually directed technology,

the accuracy of tissue sampling increases to 80 to 90 percent, says St. Clair. “As with many cancers, the earlier you diagnose it, the more likely the chances are for a cure.” In addition, SpyGlass can be steered to a precise location to better find the tumor, treat benign conditions and remove bile duct stones. The Business View | JULY 2012


A Career That Will Take Off ST Aerospace Training Prepares the Next Generation of Employees


Aerospace Mobile (STA Mobile) is ramping up its recruitment and training process, a move to both meet its workload and prepare the next generation of employees.

In an alliance with Alabama Aviation Center of Mobile, students work in the classroom toward a two-year associate degree in airframe and power plant (A&P) aircraft certification. While they’re studying, they work a paid internship at ST Aerospace Mobile, between 20 and 40 hours a week. Once they finish, students are practically guaranteed a job, explains Art Lopez, the company’s aircraft maintenance training program administrator. STA Mobile is offering up to 100 percent financial assistance for the costs of pursuing the A&P degree and licensing for those who qualify. Other financial assistance for the program, and for the avionics program, is available through the Bedsole Foundation, Pell grants and Mobile Works Inc. To further ensure success, each student is now assigned an experienced mechanic as a mentor who provides onthe-job training, according to Lopez. Four students recently graduated from the program,

ST Aerospace Mobile mentor Antonia Cruz works with Adam Chinrock (left) and Dylan Jones (above).

and 24 more are currently enrolled – and there’s room for more. Lopez says the goal is to recruit 25 students each fall and spring semester. He adds that approximately 85 percent of those who start the program complete both training and their two-year commitment to STA Mobile. “The average age of our workforce is pushing 50, and we’re seeing the demographics of our company change,” Lopez says. “We’re trying to get ahead of that by drawing students into the program.” Company representatives are visiting high schools in a 150-mile radius to talk to students about a future career in aviation. But Lopez is also seeing interest from veterans and men and women pursuing a second career. Many

already have a mechanical background working on cars or farm equipment, or even in construction, and some are college-bound, he says. “To attract more aerospace companies to our area, we need more A&P mechanics, and it’s a skill that transfers to anywhere in the world,” says Dr. Leida Javier-Ferrell, director of the Mobile Area Chamber’s Center for Workforce Development. “But if they’re just looking for a job, we won’t take them,” says Lopez. “This is a career that won’t go away. An aircraft mechanic will not be replaced by a robot.” For more information, visit or contact Lopez at 438-8888.

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small business of the month

Business Networking International’s South Alabama and Northwest Florida Chapter has 850 members. Pictured third from right is franchise owner Janice Malone with a group of chapter officers.

Referral-Based Growth Works for BNI The name BNI stands for Business Networking International. But what you probably don’t know, says Janice Malone, executive director and Mobile franchise owner, is that BNI is about more than networking. “Our program is about coaching, training and building your business through referral-based growth,” she says. BNI Business Resource Center is the Mobile Area Chamber’s Small Business of the Month. Malone’s first introduction to BNI was a book. Intrigued, when she got to the end she picked up the phone and dialed the 1-800 number to learn more. From there, she was hired to develop the area of south Alabama and the Florida panhandle, working as an independent contractor. 8

Two years after Malone became involved, the organization changed its business model and she bought the franchise. With three full-time employees and three contract employees, BNI Mobile has grown to 850 members in 30 different chapters. The global organization has a presence in 44 countries and all 50 states and 138,000 members. Its mission is to help members build their business through a structured, strategic, positive and professional “word-ofmouth” program. Here’s how it works, explains Malone: Groups of 15 to 70 members form a chapter and meet weekly. Only one person representing an industry specialty is accepted into the chapter. Each member brings referrals and optimally receives referrals, often with

JULY 2012 | The Business View

personal insight on what the potential client is looking for and the best way to approach him or her, avoiding cold calls. What makes it successful? “Accountability,” says Malone. Leads are tracked, particularly those that turn into business. Attendance is mandatory 52 weeks a year, although members can have substitutes take their place. “We want farmers in BNI,” she adds, further explaining that members plant the seeds for others to grow and nurture. “It’s not right for everyone, but we’re seeing remarkable improvement.” The benefit, she says, really lies in the training – companies often use BNI to coach and train new employees. A few of the typical professional development sessions include presentation and leadership, along with a plethora of workshops, trade

shows and conferences. Other advantages include increased exposure, building business relationships and credibility, all adding to a member’s bottom line. Recently BNI enhanced its online resources offerings so members can connect with BNI members in other chapters. There is a fee to join, as well as an annual fee. For more information about the local BNI, visit or call 438-7050.

Go to to submit a Small Business of the Month nomination, or contact Danette Richards at 431-8652 or

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10 JULY 2012 | The Business View

The Mobile Chamber’s Trade Division

Celebrates 15 Years


ocal companies participating in the Mobile Area Chamber’s trade program created nearly 3,000 jobs and beefed up international sales by $143.5 million – and that’s just in the last five years.

The program, initiated in 1997 by a group of business owners, the Chamber and the city of Mobile, celebrates 15 years of impacting local companies by introducing their products and services to the international marketplace. Chamber President Win Hallett was among that group and played a major role in the development of the program. “We met with various trade organizations that were already established across the state,” said Hallett. “We knew with all the international business Mobile would see with the Port of Mobile, the development of the container terminal and the general growth in international business interest, we had to have a program in place to assist the area’s trade needs.” These meetings helped shape the program’s objectives and create the primary goals: to further develop the Mobile area as a center for international trade and transportation; to enhance the foreign sales of area products and services; and to assist

The exposure on the world stage that our international trade efforts afford is invaluable. The ability for local companies to not only learn about trade opportunities, but to meet and conduct business face to face across the globe gives Mobile’s economic development program an unrivaled advantage. Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

in Mobile’s emergence as a hub for international transportation. Along with developing Mobile as a center for international trade and transportation, Hallett said, companies needed help promoting their products and services in the international marketplace. “We noticed that no one was focusing on bringing Alabama companies overseas for trade missions, which can play a very important role in establishing a successful international business relationship,” said Hallett. Over the past 15 years, the trade division, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Commerce (formerly Alabama Development Office), has led or co-led more than 50 trade missions to destinations around the world. (See information box on page 13.) The Chamber will co-lead a mission to Panama and Colombia this fall. For more information on trade missions, contact Christina Stimpson, the Chamber’s trade program manager, at 431-8648. Along with trade missions, the program also has a major focus on education and this month will partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Chamber’s small business development department to host “A Beginner’s Guide to Exporting” on Tuesday, July 10, from 8:30

Without this program Alabama Gulf Coast companies would be without a great source of exporting information. Not only do(es) (the Chamber) provide general export assistance and host a variety of export seminars, but their lead on trade missions has helped promote trade across all of Alabama. These missions produce contacts and sales for the companies that in turn provide more jobs for Alabama. Nekda Segars, director, U.S. Department of Commerce, Birmingham Export Assistance

Trade Mission to China: The Mobile Area Chamber helped coordinate

a trade mission to China in 2008. There were 41 participating organizations and the result was $23 million in sales.

to 11 a.m. (See page 30 for details.) “Educating business executives and the public on the exportation process and the importance of trade is extremely important,” said Tony van Aken, director of the Chamber’s trade division. “A lot of companies don’t know how much help is out there to assist them in going global.” Hired at the inception of the program, van Aken attributes part of the trade

program’s success to collaborating with other international trade agencies. “Through the years, our involvement with the Export Alabama Alliance, as well as the U.S. Chamber and the American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (ACCLA), has been beneficial in increasing the number of companies we are able to assist in the exportation process,” said Continued on page 12 van Aken.

The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce has always had a proactive and aggressive approach in helping companies export. Their program has been recognized both nationally and internationally and the work they have done is immeasurable to the overall benefit of Alabama exports. The Chamber has provided leadership and innovation in the area of export promotion and development not just for their area but for the entire state.

Over the years, Quality Valve Inc. has sent representatives on numerous trade missions coordinated by the Chamber and through the state trade office. In most every case, we have come home with a new customer. The personal relationships we have made on these missions have allowed a level of trust in foreign companies we would not have enjoyed otherwise.

Hilda Lockhart, director, International Trade, Alabama Department of Commerce

Raymond McCaffrey, president, Quality Valve Inc.

The Business View | JULY 2012


The Mobile Chamber’s Trade Division Celebrates 15 Years Continued from page 11 The Chamber is a founding member of the Export Alabama Alliance, a seamless network of international trade agencies in Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile formed to help Alabama companies grow their business internationally. Formed of local, state and federal organizations, the alliance works to develop and coordinate programs to facilitate the export of Alabama’s goods and services overseas. “In 15 years, Mobile continues to accomplish what many cities and states across the country dream of – building an excellent international trade program that crosses county and state barriers,” said Hallett. The Chamber is a recipient of the Governor’s Trade Excellence Award and the President’s “E” Award for significant contributions in its efforts to increase exports for Alabama and the United States. The Chamber is also the 2011 recipient of the American Chamber of Commerce Executive’s ACCE “Going International” Award recognizing the achievements of the Chamber’s international trade program.

Trade Mission to Australia: In 2009, the Mobile Area Chamber helped coordinate a trip for 11 companies to Australia. The Chamber set up 42 appointments and the participating representatives gained $4.5 million in sales.

The Export Alabama Alliance is a seamless network of

Commerce, Alabama Department of Agriculture, Alabama International Trade Center, Alabama State Port Authority, Alabama World Trade Association, Birmingham Business Alliance, Madison County Commission International Trade

international trade agencies formed to help Alabama companies grow their business internationally. Members include: Alabama Department of

Development Center, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, North Alabama International Trade Association, Port of Huntsville, U.S. Department of Commerce, Birmingham Export Assistance Center, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Facts About Trade Missions In just the past five years, trade mission participants have reported and projected export sales of $163 Million, supporting the creation of 2,941 jobs.






Export Sales from Trade Missions $22.6 M

$37.3 M

$26.1 M

$40.4 M

$37.1 M

Jobs Created from Trade Missions Trade Mission to Turkey: The Mobile Area Chamber coordinated a trip to Turkey in 2008. The Chamber secured 58 appointments for eight local companies, resulting in $1.4 million local sales.


Countries Visited to Explore Export Sales Since 1997 Argentina Australia Brazil Canada Chile China Colombia

Costa Rica Cuba Czech Republic Dominican Republic El Salvador France Germany

Great Britain Guatemala Honduras Hong Kong Hungary India Ireland





(some multiple times) Italy Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Panama Poland Russia

South Africa Spain Thailand Turkey United Arab Emirates Venezuela Vietnam

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The Business View | JULY 2012




WWW.IFLYMO.COM Get the information you need faster at our redesigned website. The new IFLYMO.COM offers fast and easy navigation and immediate access to flight schedules—ideal for people who want to go in comfort, style and ease. It’s one of many ways we are making Mobile Regional Airport your most appealing travel choice— whether for pleasure or for business. And that keeps our economy going strong. Because the more you FLY MO, the more our entire community will soar.


14 JULY 2012 | The Business View

A Big Hit! How Sports Impact Mobile’s Economy M

obile is known for Southern hospitality, deep-rooted history and an enviable location on the water. And now, people are beginning to take note of the city as a thriving sports destination. Mobile hosts a variety of sporting events that have a positive impact on the community. The temperate climate, affordable accommodations and family-friendly attractions provide an ideal location for players and fans alike, resulting in multi-million dollar business for Mobile.

Sports = Business

The economic impact of sports is usually looked at in terms of how much spending it generates. Events like the Senior Bowl, Bowl and Mobile Bay LPGA Classic bring in hundreds of thousands of people to the city annually. In addition to the direct impact on the economy of spending in Mobile by out-of-town visitors, there is an indirect impact as the money spent is re-circulated in the local economy by local businesses. The Bowl is played every January at a historically slow time for the hotel business. The University of South Alabama’s (USA) study of the 2010 game showed an economic impact range from $18.2 to $19.9 million. The Senior Bowl, featuring the country’s best senior college football players and top NFL prospects on teams representing the North and South, is also played in January. A 2007 USA study estimated the economic impact range between $14 million and $19 million. “Our first quarter is our biggest every year because of the Bowl and the Senior Bowl,” said Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza General Manager Kent Blackinton. But even these numbers don’t tell the whole story. These organizations host events leading up to the big day. From parades to charity events to practices, runs and banquets, the economic impact is undeniable. Continued on page 16

The Business View | JULY 2012


A Big Hit!

Continued from page 15

A Sleeping Giant

Even as a program in its infancy, the USA Jaguars football team can command a game audience of 20,000. In three years since it was established, the football program has quadrupled gross advertising dollars surrounding athletics. The university is in a growth phase, with enrollment reaching 15,000 – and athletics is a big part of that. Gary Saunders of IMG Marketing, the group that handles advertisers for the athletics program, is excited about the future. “As we move into Division 1 and face bigger opponents, we will see attendance increase,” he said. “Larger schools bring booster clubs, fans and alumni groups. Games will be nationally televised. It puts USA on the map with sports fans on a national scale. More national advertisers will spend money that goes back into the school and the community.”

More Than Football

While Alabama certainly loves football, Mobile has much more to offer. With 60 courts at the Copeland-Cox Center, plus another 15 at additional locations, the Mobile Tennis Center is the largest public tennis facility in the nation and makes an enormous contribution to the region’s economy. For fiscal year 2012, the tennis center already accounts for 6,836 room nights, and that number doesn’t account for thousands more who attend tournaments. In total, the tennis center brings an estimated

26,000 people to the area annually. According to a USA report, the economic impact increased from $9 million in 2004 to $60.8 million in 2011. “This is a growth of $51 million in seven years,” said Scott Novak, tournament director. “We are proud of our increasing impact in regards to tennis tournaments in Mobile. We continue to add more each year.” The Mobile Sports Authority (MSA), one of 110 freestanding sports commissions around the nation,

focuses on bringing competitions to the area. They have already hosted 20 tennis tournaments this year averaging 40 teams each. “A big part of our business is youth sports,” said MSA President Danny Corte. “The growth of that industry over the past 15 years has been phenomenal. And youth sports are 80 percent recession proof. When a child plays sports, usually the whole family comes. More visitors means more money.”



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Competition for Visitors

For example, the U.S. Junior Boxing National Championships; held in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Trials last July; brought hundreds of young boxers to Mobile, where they fought for the title of Junior National Champions. The event returned to Mobile last month and will come back again in 2013. Corte estimates the event has between a $2.5 and $3 million impact on the city. Magnolia Grove is one of 11 championship golf courses on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, played at Magnolia Grove, brought close to 2,000 visitors in 2011 with an estimated economic impact of $9.5 million. Hank Aaron Stadium is home to the 2011 Southern League Champions, the Mobile BayBears, the AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team averages 200,000 in attendance annually and boosts the local economy with more than 1,000 hotel rooms per season. It isn’t just coaches and people cheering on the team, either. The BayBears bring in the home team staff, the players, the major league affiliate, visiting Southern League teams, Southern League umpires and major league/ professional scouts that use products and services while visiting. The Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum is also on stadium grounds, attracting visitors from 45 of the 50 states. Opened in 2010, the museum is the only one of its kind in the nation. More than 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators visit Dauphin Island every July for the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the oldest and largest multi-species saltwater tournament in the country (recently included in the Guinness Book of World Records). “The rodeo certainly has a big economic impact on the community, and it’s also


Economic Impact

is Determined

a lot of fun,” said Gene Fox, vice president of publicity for the tournament. “It’s one of those things that makes Mobile a great place to live.” And bass fishermen are taking note: the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta was just added to the Alabama Bass Trail, a collection of 11 of the state’s best bass fishing areas. Just one bass-fishing tournament can bring in more than $2 million, according to the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.

economics professor and author of the Senior Bowl study, there is no denying that sports equal money for a city. “What we really need to look at, though, is the diversity of what Mobile has to offer,” he said. “The community benefits in so many ways. Sports can build active communities and empowered citizens, instill a sense of pride and create excitement, and represent an investment in well-being and quality of life.”

Race to the Finish

Events by the Numbers

Mobile International Speedway holds 18 races a year. The largest, an Automobile Racing Club of America race, brought more than 10,000 spectators and booked 2,000 room nights earlier this year. This one race had an economic impact of $1.2 million for the city of Mobile. Cars aren’t the only things racing in Mobile – the city is home to more than 80 running events annually. The largest, the Azalea Trail Run, celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, with more than 6,000 participants from 29 states and seven countries. A study done several years ago estimated that the race represents more than $4 million to the city. Much of this is direct spending with the city for police, barricades and emergency personnel. Racing is an important sport for the city of Mobile not just economically, but also for charitable organizations. Many races work hand-in-hand with local nonprofits raising money for important causes. Peggy Olive of Red Hen Productions, which produces the Azalea Trail Run and some 50 other races throughout the year, says one reason running is so attractive is the social aspect. “Running is a social sport. It’s something groups and families can do together and actively participate,” she said. According to Dr. Christopher Keshock, USA

The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), the visitor industry standard, uses a formula with the number of participants and estimated visitors. Per DMAI, the average expenditure is based on accommodations, food,

Sport tourism is the fastest-growing sector in the global travel industry and equates to $600 billion a year. Locally, Mobile’s sports facilities and locations play host to multimillion-dollar events. It’s not just large events that play a role. Countless tournaments and competitions throughout the year support the economy. They don’t just bring in players; they bring coaches, trainers, family members and spectators. This means more people staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, shopping in local stores and visiting attractions. Sports act as an economic driver. It’s an industry that supports jobs, creates revenue and increases tourism. While looking at economic impact numbers is impressive, the media exposure and word-of-mouth generated on behalf of these events has just as large an impact. According to the Bowl, the fact that the game is the only one to air the night before the National Championship guarantees the results will be mentioned on every television sports segment in the country. Additionally, the game’s outcome is reported in every U.S. newspaper the next day. “This is exposure for Mobile that money couldn’t buy,” said Bowl President Jerry Silverstein. Continued on page 18

retail, fuel and miscellaneous totaling $250 per day. The Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau then uses a standard of 2.5 as the number of dollar turns.

Number of visitors per night x number of nights = total number of room nights Total number of room nights x $250 = total spending x 2.5 = total estimated economic impact The Business View | JULY 2012



Money is Respent

A family of four visiting for a sporting event eats dinner at a downtown restaurant. The bill is $80, generating a direct economic impact. The restaurant uses part of that money to pay the waitress; the waitress spends some of the money for

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groceries; the grocery store uses some of the money to pay its cashier; the cashier then spends some for the utility bill; and so on. The subsequent rounds of spending are the indirect economic impacts.

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Get to Know

Your Numbers

Anyone who longs for the “good old days” probably doesn’t own a small business. Given the variety of powerful, easy-to-use accounting software products available today, it’s difficult to imagine wanting to keep records and prepare financial statements by hand. But while technology has eliminated the need for stubby pencils and green eyeshades, it’s still up to small business owners to understand and analyze the meaning of their financials in order to make wise decisions. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule for reviewing financial data, most experts recommend a minimum of monthly or quarterly evaluations. Otherwise, by the time you find a serious problem, it could be too late to take corrective action. Cash flow is a key indicator to watch. This is the revenue coming into your business balanced against expenses such

as rent, payroll, supplies, etc. Projecting cash flow into the future will help alert you to potential bottlenecks in meeting payment obligations, and whether or not you need to make changes in your collection strategy or operating budget. Several financial ratios can also help a small business owner gauge a company’s health and progress. Because these ratios fluctuate over time, tracking them will help you better spot trends that could evolve into opportunities or problems. Liquidity ratios measure the firm’s ability to meet short-term commitments from its liquid assets. The current ratio (current assets/current liabilities) is a simple measure of a firm’s ability to meet short-term obligations. Similarly, the quick ratio (current assets-inventory/current liabilities) measures the firm’s ability to meet short-term obligations from its most liquid assets. The ideal average for both

20 JULY 2012 | The Business View

varies from one industry to another. Leverage ratios indicate the company’s ability to meet both long- and short-term obligations, making them particularly important to bankers and investors. The most frequently used indicator is the debt ratio (total debt/total assets). Generally, lenders want this ratio to be as low as possible. Profitability ratios measure how well a company earns a net return on sales or investments. Gross profit (gross profits/net sales) measures the margin on sales – essentially the overall effectiveness of the business. Net profitability (net income/net sales) shows the effectiveness of management in controlling costs. Then there are activity ratios, which show how well a company uses its assets to generate sales. Small businesses that manufacture or sell products should monitor inventory turnover (cost of goods

sold/average inventory), while businesses of all types should watch their average collection period (average accounts receivable/average credit sales per day) to determine if they are being paid promptly. The Mobile Area Chamber offers workshops throughout the year to help business owners read financial statements and, beyond that, how to interpret the data for better management decisions. Need more help navigating your small business’s financial numbers? For a free and confidential one-on-one counseling session, contact the Mobile SCORE chapter, housed at the Mobile Area Chamber, by calling 431-8614, or visiting online at

Washington County

Economic Developer Hired degree offered to students The Washington County that earn and maintain a Economic Development certain grade point average. Initiative (WCEDI) and the The program helps students Mobile Area Chamber earn a master’s degree named Austin Monk as quicker than the traditional the director of economic route, allowing them to development. Since 2004, count approved courses WCEDI and the Chamber towards their bachelor’s have partnered in a regional and master’s degrees. effort, and last year the city of Monk’s education Jackson joined the alliance. Monk includes a master’s and Ready to dive into his bachelor’s degree responsibilities, Monk was in public administration with a minor in contacting site selectors in industry and retail economic and community development; as soon as he was offered the job, even prior and an associate’s degree from Wallace to his actual start date. “I want to get State Community College. involved in this community, lock arms and Recently he worked with the Economic & continue to build economic development Community Development Institute at Auburn activities with our stakeholders,” he said. University and Alabama Cooperative A native of Cullman, Ala., north of Extension System. Birmingham, Monk was drawn to the Chatom Mayor Harold Crouch, who Washington County area because it is similar to where he’s from with a larger city close by. leads the WCEDI, said: “Austin’s great work He is a recent graduate of Auburn ethic and youthful enthusiasm will benefit University, and the first candidate to us greatly. He’s willing to go anywhere and achieve an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s do anything. I don’t feel like we could have

He has a remarkable talent for networking made a better choice.” and valuable experience with economic Jackson Mayor Richard Long said he development related grant work.” is “excited that Austin Monk has accepted In his role, Monk this important position will work to recruit that supports the new industry, assist economic programs of “Austin’s great work existing industries Washington County with expansions and and the City of Jackson. ethic and youthful manage programs and Austin’s education and enthusiasm will benefit activities aimed at experience will be a us greatly. He’s willing enhancing the area’s tremendous asset to marketability, the members of our to go anywhere and do including workforce partnership.” anything. I don’t feel like development, Troy Wayman, infrastructure and the Mobile Area we could have made a industrial parks. Chamber’s vice better choice.” Monk replaces Jesse president of economic Quillen, who is now development, said, Harold Crouch director of economic “Austin’s enthusiasm Mayor of Chatom development at the and excellent work and leader of the ,Columbia County ethic combined with his Wasington County Economic Florida Board of education will be an Development Initiative Commissioners in enormous asset for the Lake City, Fla. ongoing economic development efforts of the Washington County Economic Development Initiative.

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investor focus

LLB&B Inc. Real Estate

Front row (from left to right) Lee Holman, Julie Minto, Ruth Austill and Allison Huddle; second row (from left to right) Perrye Lewis and Skeeter Diehl; third row (from left to right) Kim Brennan, Abby McCall, Kathy Webster, Shirley Lane and Melissa Morrissette; fourth row (from left to right) Louise Houston, Robbie Lynn Irvine, Libba Latham, Kathy Sherer, Stella Jackson, Ashley Garstecki and Margaret Sue Browning. Company officials: Julie Minto and Melissa Morrissette, owners and officers Years in business: 26 Brief company description:

Partners for Growth (PFG) is the Mobile Area Chamber’s long-term economic and community development program. For more information, contact Shelly Mattingly, the Chamber’s investor relations coordinator, at 431-8655 or

LLB&B Inc. Real Estate is a full-service real estate company specializing in listing and selling property, along with property management, in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Why are you located in Mobile?

The company was originally founded in Mobile in 1986 as Lane, Lyons, Burton and Bullock Real Estate. Minto and Morrissette purchased the company in 2003 and began doing business as LLB&B. As a locally owned residential real estate agency in Mobile, the company helps customers find homes of all sizes and all types.

22 JULY 2012 | The Business View

Why do you support the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s Partners for Growth initiative?

“The Mobile Area Chamber is the driving force for economic development for our geography,” said Morrissette. “LLB&B strongly endorses the Chamber’s effort to bring new businesses to Mobile and to support existing businesses. We believe a thriving economy leads to a strong community. LLB&B has confidence in Partners for Growth as an impetus to grow Mobile to its full potential.” What do you see as Mobile’s greatest potential? “Mobile has so

many attributes, from the sheer natural beauty of the area to the many local, regional and international businesses located in Mobile, to the exceptional people

who reside here, to the quality of life that one finds, to the proximity to the water, and to a climate that allows us to be out and enjoying everything that our location has to offer,” said Morrissette. “Mobile is a great place to live. Mobile is poised to leverage all of these qualities to continue to grow and prosper. LLB&B Real Estate looks forward to being there with Mobile as it continues to grow and plans on meeting the future real estate needs of this community.” Length of continuous Chamber membership: 26 years

CEO profile

Dr. John Valentine Company: Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) Title: Executive director Hometown: Burlington, N.C. Education: Valentine received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Dallas and a doctorate in marine benthic ecology from The University of Alabama First job: Valentine worked for Ecological Services, a subdivision of Texas Instruments in Dallas, conducting environmental impact assessments at nuclear power plants throughout the country. During that time, he was involved in continental shelf characterizations for the Bureau of Land Management. Previous experience: As a University of South Alabama marine sciences professor, he served as associate director for university programs at DISL. Accomplishments: Valentine was instrumental in preparing Mobile Bay’s nomination to the National Estuary Program and has led the work on the role of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta as it relates to the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Most recently, he managed the distribution of the $5 million grant from BP to the consortium for rapid response examination of impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He has authored more than 50 papers published in marine journals. Secret to success: “Persistence, constant re-evaluation of my work, and continuing to study new developments and innovations within my field,” he said. “And, perhaps most importantly, listening.” Brief company description: Founded in 1971 by the state Legislature, DISL is Alabama’s marine science education and research laboratory, with programs ranging from biogeochemistry and oceanography to systems ecology. DISL primarily serves the 22 four-year colleges and universities of Alabama through its college summer courses and graduate programs. Its educational mission also includes Discovery Hall programs, encompassing K-12 field programs, teacher-training and public outreach, as well as the Estuarium, its public aquarium, focusing on the Mobile-Tensaw estuary system.

The Business View | JULY 2012


Impact Alabama Meets in Mobile

Chamber@work Committee Learns About AIDT The Mobile Area Chamber’s Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) committee, chaired by Joe Rella with Austal, set its goals of targeting issues and current challenges affecting the manufacturing industry sector. Ed Castile, director of AIDT, provided the April committee meeting attendees with insight on AIDT’s employer workforce recruitment, screening and training services for established companies. More than 75 Chamber member businesses participate in the BRE committee.

The Chamber hosted Impact Alabama in Mobile May 10-11. The program included a Port of Alabama tour and discussion on the positive impact of trade on Alabama. Impact Alabama is a program intended to give Alabama’s economic development leadership a forum for productive and focused dialogue on key issues affecting the state’s economic growth. Pictured back row (from left to right): Win Hallett, Mobile Area Chamber; Steve Sewell, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama; Chip Cherry, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber; Hilda Lockhart, Alabama Dept. of Commerce; Bill Taylor, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama; Mike Lee, Page & Jones; Warren McCullars, Alabama Gas Corp.; Tate Godfrey, North Alabama Industrial Development Assn. Front row (from left to right): Brian Hilson, Birmingham Business Alliance; Greg Barker, Alabama Power; Dr. Joe Sumners, Auburn University; Don Hopper, Calhoun County Economic Development Council; Horace Horn, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Greg Canfield, Alabama Department of Commerce; and Seth Hammett, PowerSouth.

Chamber Names New Ambassadors Rob Hanner, Edward Jones Investments; Lillian Stanley, Advantage Staffing; and Allie Tucker, Mary Kay Cosmetics, were named new Chamber ambassadors. Ambassadors are a group of volunteer members who assist the Chamber with a variety of projects, including event registration and member visits, and attend ribbon cuttings. To learn more about this group, contact Dawn Rencher at 431-8649 or

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Chamber@work Promoting Oil and Gas Exploration Steve Russell, the Chamber’s director of business retention and expansion, made a presentation to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management at a hearing held in April in Spanish Fort. Speaking on behalf of the Chamber’s oil and gas initiative,, Russell advocated for opening up new areas for exploration in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to boost economic growth and sustain the Mobile economy. Member Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings Papa John’s Schillinger Road, WellNow Inc., Quality Filters, Toni Rials Photography, Mobile Hearing Center and Animal Rescue Foundation recently held grand openings and ribbon cuttings. If your business is a member and you would like assistance with planning a grand opening or ribbon-cutting event, contact Dawn Rencher at 431-8649 or

Chamber Hosts Delegation from Honduras The Chamber’s trade division cosponsored a community business lunch with the Alabama State Port Authority for a Honduran delegation visiting Mobile with the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. Honduran mid-level government and private business executives met with local port, trade and private company representatives about trade opportunities. Presents at Offshore Technology Conference In April, the Chamber’s oil and gas initiative,, coexhibited in a booth with Apex FCC, Gulf Coast Air & Hydraulics, Horizon Shipbuilding and Page & Jones at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston. This year’s conference was the largest in OTC history, with more than 70,000 attendees. As offshore drilling continues to expand, interest remains high in the Gulf Coast region. Exhibiting gave the Chamber and partners an opportunity to network, promote the Mobile area’s capabilities and learn about new industry technologies.

Chamber Chase, the Mobile Area Chamber’s annual total resource development campaign, kicked off in May with a volunteer breakfast. During the event, board members and past Chamber Chase chairs encouraged and challenged volunteers to help reach the $1.5 million goal. Recognized as top volunteers at the breakfast were (from left to right) Dawn Bush, Alabama Power; Terri Owler, Arkema; Harris Oswalt, Mobile Gas; Trish Banker, Regions Bank (retired); Mark Spivey, Regions Bank; Linda Faulkner, Evonik Degussa; and Kay Williams, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.


The Business View | JULY 2012


Chamber@work Richard T. McCreary is vice president

and general manager of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards. He has worked for the company since early 2011. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer of Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wis., where he was actively engaged in the sale of McCreary the company. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss. As president of Halter Marine, he helped with the sale of the firm to VT Systems in 2002. McCreary earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a member of several marine organizations including the Navy League, Society of Naval Engineers, the American Bureau of Shipping and the United States Coast Guard Foundation.

David F. Sweet is regional vice president of Fresenius Medical Care, a major provider of kidney dialysis services and renal care products. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of South Alabama and holds certification in wound ostomy and Sweet continence nurse education from Emory University. The University of South Alabama recognized him with the Nursing Leadership Award. Sweet also served in the U.S. Navy as a mechanical operator aboard a nuclear submarine, where he earned eight letters of commendation. He has worked in the medical field since 1993, leading organizations involved in home-health care and hospice. He is a member of the Alabama Kidney Foundation Board and is an active alumnus and supporter of the University of South Alabama.

For more information about the Chamber’s board of advisors, contact Katrina Dewrell at 431-8611 or

Ambassador of the Month

Photo by Jeff Tesney Photography

Board of Advisors


Trish Banker Trish Banker refuses to slow down. “I love being a volunteer. It keeps me active and in touch with the community,” said Banker, the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Month. A retired Regions Bank vice president, Banker also continues to support the Chamber actively through Chamber Chase, the organization’s annual total resource and membership drive campaign, and the Chairman’s Circle. She is a 24-year veteran of the ambassador program (formerly known as diplomats), and was named Diplomat of the Year in 1994.

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Chamber@work Business Spotlight of the Month: Neal’s Electronics

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award is given annually to members of Congress for key floor votes established as priorities by the Chamber. Senators and House members who support the Chamber’s pro-business positions on at least 70 percent of designated votes receive the award. The award signifies the Chamber’s appreciation of those members as strong supporters of free enterprise in America. Sen. Jeff Sessions was presented with a 2011 “Spirit of Enterprise” at the Mobile Chamber’s Forum Alabama breakfast on April 30, based on his votes during the first session of the 112th Congress. Pictured at the event are (left to right) Nancy Wall Hewston, Business Council of Alabama; Moore Hallmark, southeastern regional director, U.S. Chamber; Sen. Sessions; Bob Chappelle, executive vice-president, Mobile Area Chamber, and Ginny Russell, vice-president of governmental affairs, Mobile Area Chamber. This is the 22nd year the U.S. Chamber has formally honored the accomplishments of this select group of members of Congress. For the 2011 Congressional calendar, both of Alabama’s senators received the award as well as U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner.

Operating for more than 23 years, Neal’s Electronics specializes in television and home theater and DirecTV custom installations and prewires for new construction. The store offers Sony, Samsung and Mitsubishi products at its two locations, 8125 Jim McNeil Loop Rd. E. in Grand Bay and 907-J Hillcrest Rd. in Mobile. Pictured is owner Neal Bailey (back row, center) with his family, from left to right, daughter Cynthia Bailey, wife Virginia Bailey and son Jeff Bailey in front of their family-owned electronic sales and service business.

The Business Spotlight of the Month is selected at random from a business card drawing at the Chamber’s monthly Business After Hours event.


Specializing in Tanks, Pipes, Heavy Equipment and Machinery, and Over-Dimensional Boats Serving 48 States and Canada.

The Chamber’s Oil and Gas Task Force presented two scholarships to Mitchell College of Business students for researching and preparing the task force’s communication and marketing plan. University of South Alabama students receiving scholarships are Ronnie Blue and Melanie Lorenz. Representing the Oil and Gas Task Force are Tom Damson with Long’s Human Resource Services and Steve Russell with the Mobile Area Chamber.

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The Business View | JULY 2012



Economic Indicators The Mobile Area Chamber’s research division collects a variety of statistics each month.

April 2012 vs April 2011


Homes Sold⌦

Mobile/Baldwin counties

252,189 2012 247,077 2011

Unemployment Rates 7.1% 2012 9.5% 2011

Business Licenses

Building Permits

Mobile County

City of Mobile

City of Mobile

204 2012

298 2012 292 2011

237 2012 213 2011

223 2011

Average Selling Price Mobile County

Value of Building Permits

Air Passengers From Mobile Area

$127,043 2012 $130,830 2011

$10,485,721 2012

24,950 2012

$12,564,414 2011

23,869 2011

Great Expect at ions a free mother-to-be event Sunday, July 15 Thomas Hospital • Lobby 1-4 p.m.

Sunday, July 29 Mobile Infirmary • Atrium 1-4 p.m.

• Door prizes • Physician and educational booths • Retail displays

• Maternity fashions • Birth center tours • Car seat installations (Mobile Infirmary event)

Infirmary Health hosts Great Expectations, a free mother-to-be event in both Mobile and Baldwin counties. For more information, call 251-435-3500. Infirmary Health

28 JULY 2012 | The Business View

Expect a more personal connection. At Regions, we’re committed to getting to know you and providing the practical financial solutions you and your business need to thrive. Whether you’re opening your first business checking account or planning for long-term financing, our banking experts are dedicated to understanding your goals and concerns and developing a plan that meets your needs. Here in Mobile, John Thornley exemplifies that dedication. Since 1973, he has been committed to serving his Regions customers and his community. As Senior Vice President for Business Banking, John puts his years of leadership experience and understanding of the business community to work for you every day. Call John or his business banking team at 251-694-1475 or stop by today to discover everything we have to offer. We’re not just bankers, we’re trusted friends.

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Vist a branch, call 1.800.regions or go to today.

© 2012 Regions Bank. All Regions accounts are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Regions Deposit Agreement. Fees may apply. All loans and lines subject to credit approval.

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The Business View | JULY 2012


July Calendar of Events 4 10

Chamber Closed - Independence Day


A Beginner’s Guide to Exporting International trade is increasingly important in today’s economic market, and Mobile is a prime location for major exports out of the ever-expanding Port of Mobile. Learn how your business can get in on the action with “A Beginner’s Guide to Exporting” on Tuesday, July 10, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Mobile Area Chamber, 451 Government St. Topics will include logistics, international banking, global websites and government assistance. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required and can be made by contacting Brenda Rembert at 431-6807 or brembert@mobile


*Members Only

Make 40-plus business contacts in 90 minutes at Networking@Noon on Wednesday, July 11, at Spot of Tea, 310 Dauphin St., from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sponsored by C-Spire, this bi-monthly event is for Mobile Area Chamber members and limited to one representative per company. The cost is $10 and includes lunch. Reservations are required no later than July 9, and can be made by contacting Dawn Rencher at 431-8649 or drencher@mobilechamber. com. Reservations not cancelled by July 9 must be honored to cover the cost of lunch.

For information on Chamber events, visit


Executive Roundtable

*Members Only

Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson will outline county developments at this month’s Executive Roundtable, a monthly forum exclusively for Chamber member small business owners and managers. The group will meet Tuesday, July 17, from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Mobile Area Chamber’s Board Room. There is no charge to attend, but seating is limited. For reservations contact Brenda Rembert at 431-8607 or



Business After Hours/ Contacts and Contracts Combining with the Chamber’s Contacts and Contracts event, this month’s Business After Hours provides an even greater opportunity to introduce your company and make new contacts while networking with other small and minority business owners and entrepreneurs. Mark your calendar for Thursday, July 19, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Blue Rents, 1601 E. I-65 Service Rd. S. The cost to attend is $5 for members and $10 for potential members. Reservations are not needed.

Eagle Award Application Deadline

The Mobile Area Chamber is accepting applications for its Annual Eagle Awards and Minority Business Advocate (MBA) Award through Friday, July 27. Eligibility information and the application can be found on the chamber’s website, www. and may be submitted online or you may call 431-8607 for an application form and return it to the chamber’s Small Business Development department. The awards will be presented at the Minority Business Week Luncheon and Awards Ceremony held October 18, 2012.

30 JULY 2012 | The Business View

Member News Who’s New Dr. Stephanie D. Grosz joined Citrin, Rihner & Gupta Cardiology PC. Grosz is a board-certified electrophysiologist and clinical Grosz cardiologist with more than 16 years of experience treating patients with heart rhythm disturbances. She earned a medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Duke University. X William Bender joined the Principal Financial Group as a financial representative assisting businesses and individuals with Bender investments, retirement and insurance. Bender graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in political science.



Spring Hill College named Jeffrey A. Hilperts as vice president for advancement and Margaret G. Massey as chief information officer. Hilperts has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Spring Hill College and a master’s degree in human services management from Franklin University. Massey earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Auburn University, a master’s degree in international business and higher education leadership from Florida International University, and a doctorate in social work from Norfolk State University. X Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS welcomed agent Lisa McLeod to the Mobile office. McLeod



Providence Hospital named William Mitchell environmental services director and Bob Thompson facilities management director. Mitchell previously served in environmental services leadership at East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, S.C., and at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Thompson brings 25 years of experience in facilities leadership to his new position. He previously served as director of engineering services at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, Calif., and supervised facilities and plant operations at St. John’s Regional Hospital in Springfield, Mo. X The University of South Alabama College (USA) of Medicine appointed Dr. David Gremse professor and chair of pediatrics. He received a bachelor’s degree

in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned a medical degree from the USA College of Medicine. He was the first boardGremse certified pediatric gastroenterologist in Mobile and is the first USA College of Medicine alumnus to be appointed chair of an academic department at the medical school. In other news, Dr. Mike Lin was appointed assistant professor in the department of physiology at the USA College of Medicine. Lin Lin earned a master’s of science and a doctorate in physiology from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif. X Mona Cooper joined Prudential Cooper & Co. as an associate in its main office. Cooper

The Business View | JULY 2012


Wilkins Miller Hieronymus LLC accounting and advisory firm hired Michael Benson CPA to the firm’s Mobile office as an accountant Benson with a concentration in audit and tax. Benson graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration with a major in accounting and a master’s degree in tax accounting.  X Phil Savage, a Mobile native and the former general manager of the Cleveland Browns, was named executive director of the Senior Savage Bowl. He is also currently an analyst for The University of Alabama football broadcasts on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, a role that he will continue to hold. Savage attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and earned a master’s degree in physical education from The University of Alabama.

Ann Sirmon was named development director for Distinguished Young Women. Sirmon previously was owner of PAF Sirmon Management, where she assisted corporations and nonprofit organizations with event and conference management. She is a former president of the Junior League of Mobile and a graduate of Leadership Mobile.

Business Endeavors Sunrise Dermatology’s Med Spa is open at 70 Midtown Park E. in Mobile. The phone number is 289-1786. X JMF Solutions, a leading fixed wireless provider for more than 2,400 locations nationwide, upgraded and expanded its WaveFly fixed wireless technology in the Daphne, downtown Mobile and west Mobile locations to support the growing residential and business demands for Internet access. For more information, visit or call 877-WAVEFLY. X Valor Steel Buildings acquired Ace Construction & Steel Buildings of Daphne

Cartridge World of Mobile, an ink and toner retailer, added printers to its eco-friendly product line of ink and toner printer cartridges.

Well Done Harrietta Eaton, chief executive officer of CorroMetrics, was elected to serve as vice-chair of public affairs for the National Association of Eaton Corrosion Engineers (NACE). Eaton earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Montevallo and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Alabama. She is currently the chair of NACE’s Mobile Section and the only Alabamian serving on the committee. X John G. Walton, president/owner of John G. Walton Construction Co. Inc., was named the Alabama Associated General Contractors (ACG) 2012 president. Mike Tew, president/owner of S. J. & L. Inc. in Mobile, was elected vice president. In addition, Alabama AGC’s Mobile Section recognized the following Chamber members for maintaining an excellent safety

record throughout 2011 in the building division: White-Spunner Construction Inc.; Ben M. Radcliff Contractor Inc.; J. C. Duke & Associates Inc.; Case Construction Co. ; J. F. Pate & Associates Contractors Inc.; and S. J. & L. Inc. X Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) recently announced Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction Inc. received a Gold Level STEP (Safety Training and Evaluation Process) award for excellence in safety practice. ABC established the STEP program to recognize members who consistently excel in the field of safety. X VIP Nails and Spa was featured in the May issue of U.S. Nails Magazine for the “Blue Minx” nail design by Hanh Lisa Nguyen. X The $300 million APM Terminal (Mobile Container Terminals) was recently inducted into the 2012 Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. The state-ofthe-art, deepwater marine terminal offers containerized cargo shippers a costeffective alternative to accessing global networks covering all possible trade routes to and from the port.

EVERY GREAT BUSINESS NEEDS A GREAT BANK. COMMUNITY BANK IS HERE TO BE YOUR PARTNER IN BUSINESS. The best way to start building that partnership is with our Free Business Checking account specially designed for small businesses that keep low balances and make fewer transactions each month. With your Free Business Checking account, you get all this: · No minimum balance requirement · Free first 200 items per month, 25¢ each additional item · Free basic online banking with the option to add bill pay or cash management*

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32 JULY 2012 | The Business View

®2012 Community Bank | Member FDIC









Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS honored the company’s top producing agents at its 2012 Annual Awards Celebration. Top producers in 2011 were Nickie Olson, Barbara Frazier, Angela Perry, Barbara Rogers and Angela Golfos of the Daphne office and Kyla Gaston of the Mobile office. Coldwell Banker National Designation recipients were Angela Golfos and Eva Klemann of the Daphne office. Kyla Gaston and Rameh Dickens of Mobile were named to the Society International Sterling, or top 20 percent of Coldwell Banker sales associates worldwide. Recognized in the Top 15 percent of all Coldwell Banker sales associates worldwide and named to the International Diamond Society were Nickie Olson and Barbara Rogers of the Daphne office. X Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) awarded Dr. Sharee Broussard APR, assistant professor of communication arts at Spring Hill Broussard College, the Philip R. Forrest Professional Achievement Award at its annual state conference earlier this year. The award is the highest honor bestowed by PRCA to an outstanding single practitioner in the field of public relations.



Springdale Travel counselors Debra Smith and Marty Harris were recognized by American Express Travel. Smith was named an American Express Travel Insider for Student Group Travel. She has more than seven years of experience with Springdale Travel leading the student groups department, in addition to more than 25 years of teaching experience with Mobile County Public School System. Harris was named an American Express Travel Insider for Cruise Groups. He has been active in the travel community for more than 17 years. X Sandy Stimpson, chief financial officer of Scotch Gulf Lumber and former Chairman of the Business Council of Alabama, was elected to serve as the chairman of Alabama Policy Institute’s (API) board of directors. X Bill Trufant, president of B&B Pet Stop, Inc. was elected to serve on the World Pet Association board of directors

Red Square Agency was selected as a 2012 Webby Award honoree for its mobile website design work on behalf of its client, Full Sail University of Orlando, Fla., in the Mobile Web: Education and Reference category. The Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet. X Two attorneys at Jones Walker Mobile office were listed in the 2012 edition of Alabama Super Lawyers. They are Kenneth S. Steely and Jason R. (“Jay”) Watkins. X Dean N. Parker Jr., founder and chief executive officer of Callis Communications, was selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Parker Year Award 2012, Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee region. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

The Business View | JULY 2012


Burr & Forman LLP announced 44 attorneys in the firm’s Alabama offices are included on this year’s Alabama Super Lawyers list, with two attorneys in the state’s Top 50 Super Lawyers list and two attorneys in the state’s Top 25 Women Super Lawyers list. An additional 25 attorneys were recognized on the Alabama Rising Stars 2012 list, bringing the total number of Burr & Forman attorneys recognized in Alabama to 69. X Two Masland Contract/Masland Carpet designs, Emblem and Torque Modular, were recognized at the Antron Design Awards for their innovative design and versatility. X VERGE, a full-service advertising and marketing boutique won awards from the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA). The firm received a Gold ADDY from AAF Mobile Bay for the logo created for Cadence120 Bicycles and two awards from PRCA, a Medallion Award for USA Mitchell Cancer Institute’s Celebrate Hope and received an Award of Merit for Compassionate Hearts for Ichihara. In addition, Laura Burton, principal at VERGE, was awarded the Harry Hoile Former Governor’s Award, from AAF.

Community News Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the local tourism and hospitality industry helped employ 15,000 people and host 2.4 million visitors, according to the latest statistics available.

In addition, travel-related spending totaled $850 million, and lodging taxes collected garnered $3 million for the city of Mobile and $1.8 million for Mobile County. X Airbus Corporate Foundation gave the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center a second $50,000 grant to expand its first-year youth mentoring and aeronautics pilot program designed to inspire disadvantaged children and young adults through aviation. X According to United Way of Southwest Alabama, more than 400 volunteers from area businesses and organizations gave an estimated 3,500 hours to the communities of Mobile, Washington and Clarke counties during its annual Day of Caring. X Mobile United received a $15,000 social impact initiative grant from The Community Foundation of South Alabama for “Mobile in Black & White: Race Relations in the 21st Century,” a program designed to address issues of structural and institutional racism through a series of conversations and meetings.

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Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) awarded its 2012 PEP Community Partner Award to Project CATE (Conservative Action through Education) Foundation in recognition of its 20 plus years of providing award-winning environmental conservation educational materials. PEP also awarded its eighth annual PEP Environmental Stewardship awards to six member companies and a community partner at its annual membership meeting. Chamber member companies are Alabama Power, Plant Barry, BASF, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, SSAB, Volkert Inc. and White-Spunner Construction. X The University of South Alabama student health center was recently granted a 3-year accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). The student health center is the only AAAHC-accredited center in Southern Alabama and one of only two in Alabama.



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34 JULY 2012 | The Business View

The Business View – an easy and economical way to get your company in front of the Mobile area business community.

New Members

If you know of a company interested in benefitting from Chamber membership, contact Tricia Bradley at 431-8642 or Rebecca Milam at 431-8647. View the complete membership directory at Advanced Disposal Radley Detamore 6225 Rangeline Rd. Theodore, AL 36582 251-443-8555 Waste Management Alabama Central Credit Union Kyle McAdams 797 Downtowner Blvd. Mobile, AL 36609 251-343-1692 Credit Unions Alebamon Marine Services LLC Adam Hargrove 1901 Alabama State Docks Blvd., Bldg 50, Ste. 105 Mobile, AL 36652 251-442-6405 Marine Services

Barton & Shumer Engineering LLC Russell S. Barton PE 6304 Piccadilly Sq. Dr., Ste. 3 Mobile, AL 36609 251-219-4942 Engineers-Professional-Structure WFBD-DT48 Blab TV Harold McGaha P.O. Box 12836 Pensacola, FL 32591 850-432-8982 Television Programs Producers Courtyard by Marriott Shane Aldridge 1000 W. I-65 Service Rd. S. Mobile, AL 36609 251-344-5200 Hotels Dauphin Island Sea Lab John Valentine 101 Bienville Blvd Dauphin Island, AL 36528 251-861-2141 Educational Programs

AM Laundromat Al Boice 235 Center Church Rd. Grove City, PA 16127 724-372-3987 Laundry-Commercial

Deep Down Inc. Neil Stuckey 6065 Rangeline Rd., Ste. A Theodore, AL 36582 281-862-2201 Oil Field Service Koby Subaru Monica Koby 1431 E. I-65 Service Rd. S. Mobile, AL 36606 251-478-5000 Automobile Dealers-New & Used Cars Master Marine Inc. Brett S. Dungan 14284 Shell Belt Rd. Bayou La Batre, AL 36509 251-824-4151 Ship Builders W.R. Mitchell Contractor Inc. Greg Haggard P.O. Box 180637 Mobile, AL 36618 251-456-6576 Utility Contractors

1 Source Power & Equipment LLC Russell P. Miles 3240 Moffett Rd. Mobile, AL 36607 251-380-7800 Construction Equipment-Sales & Rentals Progressive Business Solutions Rudolfo Frescas, MBA, ACHE 5920 Grelot Road, Suite GB Mobile, AL 36695 228-235-1404 Business Consultants

State Farm-Mobile Agency Field Office Scott Cantrell 1070 Downtowner Blvd. Mobile, AL 36609 251-414-4584 Insurance & Financial Services

Shireman Building Contractors Mark Shireman 21 Wilson Ave. Thomasville, AL 36784 812-968-0556 Contractors-General

Technical & Scientific Application Mary Tashman 3821 Lorna Rd., Ste. 100 Hoover, AL 35244 205-421-4927 Technology Business Solutions


Brownell Travel Grandbridge Real Estate Capital LLC


MBI LLC South Alabama Utilities


PNC Bank Remedial Services Inc. Rockwell and Kaufman LLC Rubber & Specialties Inc. Security Engineers Inc. Slaton Moving & Warehouse Technical Specialties Inc. Williams Scotsman Inc.


360clean Academics Unlimited Aerotek American Family Care - Saraland YEARS Best Rate Insurance Mobile Housing Board Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Generations YEARS Biehl & Co. LP Miracle Landscaping and Blastech Mobile LLC Construction Inc. Bluegill Restaurant Inc. Storage Max - University Brasfield & Gorrie LLC Storage Max - Midtown Briggs Equipment Camellia Trophy and Specialties YEARS Community Enterprise The Appraisal & Consultant Group Investments Inc. Filters for Industry Inc. Copy Products Co. Graybar Cummings Architecture Corp. Heffernan & Associates Inc. DeLashmet and Marchand PC Mosley’s Meat Market Inc. Duct Doctor of South Alabama Alabama Institute for Deaf & Blind




elg HANIEL Emma’s Harvest Home The Ezell House F & S Equipment and Supplies Inc. Firehouse Subs Fortis College School of Cosmetology Glusman Vision Center Grieg Star Shipping (USA) Inc. Gulf Coast Dermatology & Skin Care Centre PLLC Hampton Inn & Suites Mobile Downtown/Historic District Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach Hilton Garden Inn - Mobile West Hoffman Furniture Co. Inc. Homewood Suites by Hilton Mobile East Bay Daphne Wm. F. Horne & Co. PLLC Howell and Associates Insurance Agency/Farmers Insurance iBERIABANK JJPR Littler Mendelson PC Mamun - REMAX Partners Manufacturer’s Packaging Services Marspec Technical Products

TIG Stephanie Smith 1509 Government St., Ste. 105 Mobile, AL 36602 251-445-0665, Ext. 204 Computer-Networking Town of Mt. Vernon Bonnie Byrd 1565 Boyles Ave. Mt. Vernon, AL 36560 251-829-6633 Government Offices & Agencies Tropical Smoothie Cafe Crystal Staggers 9 Du Rhu Dr., #100 Mobile, AL 36608 251-378-5648 Restaurants United HealthCare Patricia Mayhall 1110 Montlimar Dr., Ste. 250 Mobile, AL 36609 251-461-5222 Insurance As of 4/30/12


Members Are Our Greatest Asset! Please show your support through the patronage of these businesses.


Southern Bullion Coin & Jewelry Teresa Broach 3698-B Airport Blvd. Mobile, AL 36608 251-287-6565 Jewelry

McPherson Oil Co. Mobile Bay Coins Nudraulix Inc. P & G Machine & Supply Co. Inc. Pen Air Federal Credit Union Phoenix Restoration Services Inc. Point Logistics LLC Rainmaker LLC Regent Aerospace Richardson Stevedoring & Logistics Signal International LLC Signal Ship Repair LLC Signature Real Estate LLC Southern Oil Exploration Inc. Staggers Properties LLC Stirling Properties LLC Syn-Fab Inc. Talascend LLC Tecnico Corp. The University of Alabama United Rentals VFP Fire Systems Inc. VIP Nails & Tan Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market #4657 Meegie Wheat Dr. Sonya White

Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic PC......................18 Alabama Power...................................................21 BankTrust........................................................... 16 BB&T......................................................................9 Blue Haven Pools................................................. 6 Coast Safe and Lock..........................................30 Community Bank..............................................32 FLC Living........................................................... 19 Gwin’s Printing..................................................33 Harris Business Machines.................................20 Hancock Bank....................................................12 Infirmary Health...............................................28 Interstate Printing & Graphics Inc...................31 Jaguar IMG Sports Marketing...........................18 Lagniappe...........................................................33 MCG Business Solutions....................................24 Mercedes-Benz of Mobile..................................29 Mobile Airport Authority.................................... 14 Mobile County Health Department..................26 Padgett Business Services of Mobile.................13 PNC Bank...........................................................10 Premier Medical Management........................ 25 Regions Bank.....................................................29 Safety Source........................................................ 6 The University of Alabama................................. 7 USA Real Estate Summit.....................................9 Wonderland Express.......................................... 27 The Business View | JULY 2012


believe in mobile belong to the chamber backed by more than 175 years of business advice The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce has been around for more than 175 years, so we’ve had time to build a reputation as the area’s most trusted source of business information. National studies have shown businesses and consumers are much more likely to think favorably of a company that belongs to a chamber of commerce and 63 percent more likely to buy goods and services from chamber members. Chamber membership does more than add credibility and boost your image in the community, it shows you believe in Mobile and are working to build a stronger future for our area. Belong to the Chamber – because it’s good for business and good for Mobile.

The Business View - July 2012  

The Business View is a monthly publications of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.