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Superior Brokerage Services.

Dawn Casey

Norman Azar Paul Corwin

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Carter Burwell Neal Berney

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Amy Knudsen

David Potts Scott Harris


Commercial real estate solutions that work.


Management | Leasing | Marketing Brokerage | Development





February 2011


24 10 22

30 8 6

Chairman’s Column




Chamber News: Small Business Resource Center Lobby Renovation


Q&A with Rosemary Elebash


Montgomery Real Estate


Member Profile: Buffalo Rock


Airport Intermodal Project


The Deli at Alley Station


New AUM Entrance


Henig Furs


Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama


Business Council of Alabama Legislative Agenda


Business Buzz


Members on the Move


Ribbon Cuttings & Ground Breakings


New Members


Economic Intel

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Randall L. George Executive Editor

Tina McManama Managing Editor

David Zaslawsky Copy Editor

Brooke Thorington Design

Copperwing Design Photography

Jamie Martin On the cover:

Young Deuk Lim is president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC. Advertising:

Linda Drumheller 334-240-9494

Montgomery Business Journal c/o Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Post Office Box 79 41 Commerce Street Montgomery, Alabama 36101 Telephone: 334-834-5200 Fax: 334-265-4745 Email: The Montgomery Business Journal (USPS NO. 025553) And in the bottom paragraphs, insert ‌is published monthly except for the combined issues of June/July and November/December, by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery AL 36104, (334) 834-5200, Subscription rate is $30 annually. Periodicals Postage Paid at Montgomery Alabama, 36119+9998, USPS NO. 025553. Volume 3, Issue 2. POSTMASTER send address changes to Montgomery Business Journal, c/o Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 79, 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery AL 36101, or email The Montgomery Business Journal welcomes story ideas from its readers. Email to: Subscriptions are a part of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce dues structure. Subscriptions can also be purchased for $30 per year at

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal

Chairman’s Column This issue of the Montgomery Business Journal features Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s record-setting year. On behalf of the Chamber, I’d like to congratulate President Y.D. Lim and the HMMA Team for such an incredible year of success. I can’t help but notice that the Calendar to my right is full of events for Chamber Members. There are networking opportunities for businesses of all categories and sizes at monthly 60 Minute Coffees. If you are not a morning person, the Business After Hours may be a better fit for you. Both are designed to help you build your business. I plan on attending and hope you will join me. I look forward to meeting you there. Our Chamber staff can give you expert advice at the Chamber’s Business Planning Seminars. They are held twice a month at the Chamber’s Small Business Resource Center. On page 8 get a peek at the newly renovated Small Business Resource Center lobby. It has been redesigned to be client-friendly and high tech. Stop by and see it for yourself, and while you are there, check out the many small business development programs available. In March, the quarterly Chamber Orientation is held for new Members, or Members wanting a refresher on Member benefits. This is a free event, but please register – seating is limited. Information on the quarterly Chamber Orientation – including future dates, benefits and registration details - is available online at Remember, you can find all Chamber event information at 24/7. If you have any questions, ideas, comments on the Montgomery Business Journal, or your Membership in general, please send them to Please join me as we work to make Montgomery and the River Region a better place to live, work and raise our families. See you at the next event!

Larry D. Puckett, 2011 Chairman of the board Montgomery area chamber of commerce

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Calendar Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Events





Business Planning Seminar 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Fee: $10 Registration not required



60 Minute Coffee Sponsored by the Deli at Alley Station 8 AM @ The Deli at Alley Station 130 Commerce Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

21 24


Business Planning Seminar 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Fee: $10 Registration not required


Business After Hours Sponsored by Regions Bank 5 PM @ Regions Bank 201 Monroe Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members


Convention Calendar


Economic Development Association Of Alabama Winter Conference

10-12 14-17

Alabama Cattlemen Association Conference

21-23 28-3/2

Transportation And Engineering Conference

Home Builders Association Of Alabama Winter Board Meeting

School Superintendents Of Alabama Legislative Conference

Chamber Orientation 8 AM @ Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members Reservations required: Deborah Pope 60 Minute Coffee Sponsored by Alley Station 8 AM @ Alley Station 130 Commerce Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members Business Planning Seminar 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Fee: $10 Registration not required Minority Business Development Community Forum Presenting Sponsor: Capital City Club Montgomery. 8 AM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Contact: Heidi Ellis at 334-240-6863 or Registration: Business After Hours Sponsored by Holy Cross Episcopal School 5 PM @ Holy Cross Episcopal School 4400 Bell Road, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

compiled by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitor Bureau


Business Planning Seminar 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Fee: $10 Registration not required

MARCH 8-11

Family, Career And Community Leaders Of America State Leadership Conference    


Alabama Rural Water Association Technical Training Conference


Health Occupations Students Of America Convention


Omega Psi Phi 7th District Meeting

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal

Chamber News

Renovations give Small Business Resource Center lobby ‘high-tech’ feel by David Zaslawsky

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

The lobby in the Small Business Resource Center was not projecting the image that is desired in a business setting.

It will also help with recruiting new clients to the incubation program as will all the lobby improvements.

The counter in the receptionist’s area was so obtrusive that the people working behind the counter had to stand up to make eye contact and talk to visitors.

“When individuals come into an updated space vs. an outdated space, they feel the energy of it; they feel the excitement of it; and it helps them to visualize themselves being a part of it,” Jones said.

There were a couple of plain chairs and a glass-top table in a waiting area that was neither comfortable nor inviting. The lobby was unchanged since 1997 and as Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) Executive Director Douglas Jones Jr. said “it looked dated.” But that was then. Now, the lobby has had a facelift and the difference is dramatic. Jones, who is also vice president of business services for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, said that the lobby “is much more professional, more inviting and has more of a high-tech type of feel.” For one thing, the receptionist area no longer has the feel of a bunker. It is open and inviting. “Customers can come in and even sit at the desk and interact with the receptionist and learn about our incubation program and other activities inside the center,” Jones said. That waiting area now has comfortable couches and chairs as well as a plasma television to show videos about the SBRC – its services and clients. Thirteen of the center’s 20 clients are in the incubation program, which offers a wide range of services at reduced costs for start-ups and other young companies. The videos will also include a virtual tour of the 48,000-squarefoot facility. Another feature of the renovated lobby area will be a listing of current incubation program clients and graduates from the program in addition to a display case for current clients to show materials. “Somebody coming into the area will be able to see who has benefited from our incubation program and who is currently in our incubation program and the goods and services that they provide,” Jones said. “We want to give some visual appeal to (the area) so people will feel comfortable and it will look interesting so people will want to spend some time here.”

Three potential clients have been interviewed since the lobby renovation and the new look and features helped in recruiting. Jones said that clients and visitors alike “really like the change.” He said that barriers from the low ceilings were removed and many have commented about the center’s “new ceiling.” “I’ve had clients that have been in the building for two years come up to me and say, ‘I like your new ceiling.’ ” Jones insists that the ceiling is not new just altered and he’s heard talk about the lobby area looks larger. The four-month project cost about $54,000, according Jones, but he estimated the actual value “is probably twice that” because companies either donated products and services or charged reduced rates. The project was directed by the architectural firm of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, which donated their design services and project manager services. “They also used their relationships and influence to help get discounted goods and services,” Jones said. Russell Construction of Alabama Inc. worked for their cost, Jones said. Local artists and students from Montgomery Public Schools donated work that is being displayed in the lobby area, along a hallway and a back wall. That back wall area was also renovated and can now serve as a reception area for Auburn University at Montgomery, which has an office at the center.

Thank you to the following for their contributions to the Chamber’s SBRC Lobby: Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc; Russell Construction of Alabama, Inc.; Performa Technologies; Centiva; Shaw Industries Group, Inc.; Weiss Flooring, Inc.; Goggans, LLC; Hunter’s Trail Cabinets, LLC; Kimball International; Business Interiors, Inc.; Crossville Tile and Stone; Ashley Ledbetter of Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts; Amanda Roberson of AMR Art & Fine Paper; Amber Ivey Lane; Midstate Advertising & Signs; Auburn University Montgomery; Alabama Power Co.; Balch & Bingham LLP; TCU Consulting Services; and State Representative Thad McClammy.

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal

SPEAKING OUT Q&A with ROSEMARY ELEBASH Rosemary Elebash is state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. She was recently interviewed by Montgomery Business Journal Managing Editor David Zaslawsky Montgomery Business Journal: You are the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). How do you describe the NFIB?

Rosemary Elebash is state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, which has 10,000 members in Alabama.

Elebash: I describe the National Federation of Independent Business as the largest independent business organization in the United States. It was founded in 1943 and the unique thing about NFIB is that our members actually determine our public policy. MBJ: How do they determine the organization’s public policy? Elebash: We send out a ballot with questions about issues that NFIB members have brought to my attention. How the members vote is how I lobby. It’s not my opinion; it’s not a board’s opinion; it’s the members’ opinion. MBJ: Do you rank the responses in some fashion? Elebash: We have very specific questions and we ask: yes, no or undecided. You have to score 70 percent or above because we think that is a great benchmark for being able to say NFIB members are truly for or against an issue. I like to get to a much higher range (than 70 percent).

MBJ: What are your responsibilities as state director of the NFIB? Elebash: People think the only thing I do is lobby, but in fact what we try to do is be the resource for NFIB members. I want members to know that if they have a question or a concern they are having in their business then pick up the phone and call me first. I may be able to direct you and save you a whole lot of time and energy because you are an NFIB member. Some of the problems I get from members are very complex and some are very simple. Some of the biggest problems I’ve encountered from members, which is a sad commentary are embezzlement or theft from their own employees. I try to help them work through those problems. I want members to feel we are giving them a full range of opportunities that they can use to help their business; have a meeting with an elected official; or get to know their locally elected legislators. MBJ: How many members are there in the NFIB? Elebash: We have about 10,000 members in Alabama. MBJ: Definitions vary about what constitutes small business. How do you define small business and what percentage of your members are small business owners? Elebash: We represent independent business owners – somebody that is not publicly traded.

MBJ: How many issues a year would have 70 percent or more of your members concerned?

MBJ: What is the employee range for a small business?

Elebash: It’s a few from the standpoint of the ballot, but as we go through a legislative session because we can do background on other issues that we have scored over a five-year period, you have multiple issues that you are working on. Typically in a legislative session, we have 1,600 bills that are introduced and I will be watching, lobbying, amending on typically more than 100 pieces of legislation.

Elebash: The definition is typically 500 or less employees – that’s the SBA (Small Business Administration) definition. When people in Alabama think about small business … I’ll give you an example. The health insurance premium that we passed for employers and employees to be able to deduct 150 percent of the cost of their health insurance premium – we used the definition of 25 employees. In the original legislation it was 50 employees. We CONTINUED ON PAGE 12


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Representative Joe Hubbard 73rd District, Montgomery

“My roots run deep in Montgomery. My family has been here for seven generations, and I’ve realized my dream to return to Montgomery to build a family and future. As a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, I can give back to a city that has given me so much opportunity, and help make sure that our future generations have endless possibilities. For me, Montgomery is the Capital of Dreams. Make it the city for your success.”

d r e a m m o n t g o m e r y. c o m

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal



had to compromise so it was 25. I think there will be an effort with a more pro-business Legislature to move that number up to 50. Typically, most businesses you visit have less than 50 employees. MBJ: What percentage of the organization’s membership has 50 or fewer employees? Elebash: I would say at least 80 percent and that’s off the top of my head. MBJ: Do small business owners have different issues than some of your larger businesses? Elebash: The really small business owners – if you’re talking 25 or less – the issue they have is doing everything themselves. They don’t have an HR (human resources) manager. They don’t have a CFO (chief financial officer). They don’t have that attorney that is on retainer for them to call and ask questions. It’s that business owner trying to manage every single aspect or their business plus trying to make a living. They have a tough time – talk about people working 24/7. Those are the people working 24/7. MBJ: What are your members’ primary concerns heading into the 2011 legislative session?


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Elebash: I’ve got to tell you that we are so pleased with the election results and NFIB members endorsed in 80 legislative races and we won 95 percent of them. We’ve got several NFIB members that were elected. NFIB members stepped up to the plate. I see the opportunity here for our members back home to be actively involved on a very consistent basis on legislative issues that will be coming forth in the 2011 session. I think you will see a much friendlier pro-business Legislature that will stop and think about the impact of legislation to the job creators. We’ve gone so far to the other side with burdensome government regulations. Business owners are trying to make a bottom line and they are thinking about all laws and regulations that state agencies and federal government agencies are implementing. MBJ: What did your members tell you in the questionnaire? Elebash: They want to see reduction in taxes because money they are having to spend in taxes is not money that they are able to use in their business. MBJ: What are some other issues? Elebash: Twenty of the states’ attorney generals, including Alabama have filed

a lawsuit saying the health care (law) is unconstitutional. One of the pieces of legislation that I expect to see is that Alabama will say you can’t force us to participate in a federal health care law. MBJ: Do your members want to see an expansion of tax breaks for health care insurance premiums in Alabama? Elebash: Yes, they want to see the deduction raised from 150 percent to 200 percent. They would like to see an increase in the number of employees up to 50. MBJ: Are there other issues? Elebash: I know we will end up doing something with immigration. We don’t want the business owner penalized for (unknowingly) hiring an illegal immigrant. MBJ: Are your members looking for tax credits or tax breaks for hiring unemployed people? Elebash: We would like to see tax incentives and tax credits for independent business owners for (hiring the unemployed) or even for expansion. One of the things we would also like to see implemented is a system where business owners could actually borrow money at low-interest rates and pay the money back – creating some type of a

revolving loan program for existing Alabama business owners and quite frankly for farmers. Access to credit is a huge issue for business owners. MBJ: I read that you talk to small business owners daily. What are they saying about the economy and how does that compare to their comments from a year ago? Elebash: There is somewhat of a stabilization of the economy. They don’t see us coming out of where we are for several years. So many of them have lost so much money that they had in their retirement accounts. The value of their property and buildings are decreased because of the real estate downturn. The assets that they had are less than they were so they are looking at a very long term about keeping their doors open and also regaining some of what they lost. MBJ: Are the business owners more hopeful than they were a year ago? Elebash: Yes. There is a little bit more optimism than there has been. MBJ: What is the NFIB relationship with other business groups, chambers of commerce or trade associations?

Elebash: NFIB is a member of Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee, which is a group of associations and trade groups that have worked on tort reform issues for years. We are also a member of the Business Associations’ Tax Coalition, which is another trade association group where we’re looking at all types of tax implication issues.

way. That’s been a big victory because that’s $426 million annually and that money is used to continue to operate your business.

MBJ: Were there any surprises from your members’ ballots?

Elebash: This is going to be a totally different type of Legislature. We have 25 NFIB members in the Legislature. We had an increase of about three and those 25 are Democratic and Republican.

Elebash: No. Interestingly enough, members are well informed and I will give the media total credit for it. When you can get 24/7 news and by the time my members get home and get settled in they are watching the news channels and the financial channels. MBJ: What do you consider some of the organization’s biggest victories? Elebash: Health insurance was huge – employers and employees can deduct 150 percent on their state income tax (for health insurance premiums). Another big victory that our members have talked about for years is the repeal of the federal income tax deduction in connection with the sales tax removal on food. They are not opposed to the sales tax removal on food – they don’t want it done that

MBJ: In the past, I’ve heard that business organizations and trade associations play defense during the legislative session, trying to stop many bills. Are you planning on playing offense this session?

MBJ: Will it be different for you with so many new faces in the Legislature? Elebash: No, it’s not going to make a difference to us because our members got so intricately involved in this election that they already have a relationship back home with the newly elected legislator. When you talk about true grassroots, we are a perfect example. Our members are Main Street – they are the volunteers in the community. They know the newly elected officials by name. •

Joseph Ceravolo, M.D. | Michael B. Mull, O.D. Craig McNamara, O.D. | Lisa B. Daniel, O.D.

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February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Location, Location, Location Montgomery area real estate receives positive news by David Zaslawsky

The real estate sector was hit hard by the recession and most of the headlines have been about foreclosures and declining home values. Those declining prices will become less and less over the next two years, according to PMI Group Inc., a mortgageinsurance and research firm. The firm stated that its risk index shows more than 25 percent of the country’s nearly 400 metro areas have less than a 30 percent chance of declining values in 2013. The Montgomery area has a 13.1 percent risk of declining home prices in two years, according to PMI Group, which is the thirdlowest in the country behind Omaha, Neb. (3.1 percent) and Pittsburgh (12 percent). Those three were the only ones that had less than a 20 percent risk of a price decline in two years. Fourth on the list was Madison, Wis. (20.7 percent) followed by San Antonio (25.4 percent). “I’m just excited that someone else says we’re a good place to make an investment,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange told the Montgomery Advertiser. Two of the reasons for Montgomery’s rating were the success of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) and its suppliers in the region and the stable environment provided by Maxwell Air Force Base and the Gunter Annex, according to an article on MSN’s website.


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Keivan Deravi

The MSN article also featured prominent local economics professor Keivan Deravi, who is interim vice chancellor of academic affairs for Auburn University at Montgomery. He called the Montgomery area’s economy “boringly stable.” He also credits HMMA, which has a plant in Montgomery that produces the Sonata and Elantra, with creating 7,000 direct and indirect jobs in the River Region. He said that Hyundai’s manufacturing plant helped bring a 20 percent increase in wages for skilled factory workers. MSN wrote that unemployment was a key measure of a region’s real estate market and Montgomery’s jobless rate has been significantly less than the national rate. The state’s unemployment rate was 9.0 percent in November compared with the national average of 9.8 percent. In October, the state’s unemployment rate was 8.9 when the national rate was 9.6 percent. PMI Group’s risk index considers many factors including labor market statistics, PMI Affordability Index and House Price Index for its risk index. •


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February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Member Profile

Jimmy Lee is CEO of Buffalo Rock.

Mountain of Fizz Innovations keep Buffalo Rock going strong by Jennifer Kornegay

For almost 110 years, Buffalo Rock has helped millions of people enjoy the fizzy fun of soft drinks.


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Buffalo Rock Primary products/services

Pepsi products, Dr Pepper/Snapple Group products and vending services Number of employees

2,175 Today, the company has expanded from its initial offering of Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale to become one of the country’s largest privately owned Pepsi-Cola bottlers and includes Pepsi and Dr Pepper distributorships, full-line vending and even catering (in Birmingham). Yet for all its growth, the Birmingham-based company is still family owned and still holding onto its roots (it still makes that ginger ale), and CEO Jimmy Lee believes the multi-generational commitment to the people behind the company is the real secret ingredient when it comes to longevity and prosperity in business. “It’s an old cliché, but it’s so true,” Lee said. “You have to surround yourself with good people. We’ve been fortunate to have excellent, well-liked products to sell, but it is this combined with our good employees that make it all work. I just try to stay out of my employees’ way and let them do their job. So far, that’s been good a formula.” Lee should know by now what works and what does not. He grew up in the business, first going with his dad to work in the summers when he was 12 years old. After college, he went straight back to Buffalo Rock to work full time. “All told, I’ve got about 50 years in the business,” he said. “I always knew it was what I wanted to do.” The company began in the 1880s as a wholesale grocery company. It evolved into a beverage company in 1901, and that’s when the name changed to Buffalo Rock. In the century since, the changes to Buffalo Rock and the beverage industry itself have been immense. The firm’s headquarters and bottling facility occupy more than 410,000 square feet in seven buildings on 50 acres. “Our story has been very exciting,” Lee said. “It’s a dynamic industry, and we’ve got great company. Manufacturing has changed a lot just in my time. Compared to now, it was like the dark ages 40 years ago. Today, everything is faster.” Lee also pointed to other changes. “Packaging has changed so much; there are so many different materials and sizes,” he said. “Product options have increased, too.”

Recent awards

Buffalo Rock was named Pepsi Bottler of the Year in 2008, and Jimmy Lee’s father, James C. Lee Jr., is in the Beverage Hall of Fame Lee admitted the company is just not growing like he would have liked. “But we are doing OK, and we’re still here.” On top of a sluggish economic recovery, there are some entities currently working to label soft drinks “unhealthy” and drastically limit their consumption. Lee weighed in on the “Pepsi police.” “We’ve been hit with the obesity issue left and right,” he said. “We don’t think our products lead to obesity. It is instead a lifestyle that includes drinking our products, eating poorly and then not exercising. It’s about moderation.” And he stressed that Buffalo Rock also has products that fit the “good for you” label, things such as juice drinks, diet soft drinks and bottled water. With 14 distribution centers across the state and in Florida and West Georgia, including the Montgomery franchise that was added in the late 1990s, Buffalo Rock has a strong presence, and Lee commented on what the future holds. “We get new products all the time,” he said. “Pepsi and Dr Pepper come out with brand extensions and new items, usually every year. But we won’t be expanding at this time. We’re looking to maintain our current business.” Lee is pleased with where things are headed and is building on past successes to keep Buffalo Rock successful for the next 100 years. “Our company has been recognized as an innovator in the industry many times,” he said. “And we’ll keep that going.” •

With the multiple variables at play, logistics have become more and more complex as well. “We have lots of inventory now; how and when we deliver our products is more important to our business than ever before,” Lee said. Of course, also important are strong sales, and like almost every other company, Buffalo Rock has struggled with the economic slowdown. “Our whole industry has been hit by this economy,” Lee said. “We’re seeing less case sales of product, and we’ve had to adjust accordingly. The last three years have been difficult.”

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Montgomery Regional Airport makes positive first impression with improvements by David Zaslawsky

The president of the Montgomery Airport Authority Board of Directors fondly recalled a conversation with a friend. Chester Mallory said a friend was impressed by the Montgomery Regional Airport and asked, “Are you trying to be a big-city airport?” “I said, ‘We are a big city.” The latest project – the intermodal facility and parking system improvements were celebrated during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mallory called the airport “the gateway to Motgomery” and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange took it one step further. “It (the airport) is indeed the gateway to Montgomery, but more importantly it is the gateway to the entire state of Alabama. If you are going to do business with our state you come through this airport into Montgomery, Alabama.”


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce President Randall L. George called the airport “the economic gateway.” He said the airport “is not only a quality of life indicator for our community, but it’s extremely important in our efforts to attract new business to the area, help existing businesses and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities we have …” The centerpiece of the project is a facility with a sitting area, restrooms and break area for taxi, limousine, bus and delivery drivers. Other features are a cell phone lot and centralized area for all rental car companies as well as covered walkways from the airport terminal to the middle of the parking lot. The new features eliminated transportation congestion and improved access for pedestrians. “This phase of the Montgomery Regional Airport’s expansion has been a long awaited process for us and we know it will continue to make flying out of (Montgomery) a convenient, easy experience,” Phil Perry, executive director of the Montgomery Regional Airport, said in a statement. “We are very excited to celebrate the opening of this

facility along with the many improvements that have been added to the parking system.” Tammy Knight Fleming, chairwoman of the Montgomery Airport Authority Intermodal Committee, said, “This is a very, very special occasion for the Montgomery airport and this is an example of our local, state and national delegations all working together.” She also said the project would not have been completed without the Robert Smith Jr., a senior transportation planner/Transportation Planning Division Head with the Metropolitan Planning Organization. Fleming thanked the mayor for “allowing us to use the talent of Robert Smith.” The mayor said the Chamber conducted a survey of 500-plus residents and the airport received the highest favorable rating of all institutions. “We are all about selling Montgomery and a major feature of selling Montgomery is the impression people get today compared to what they got six years ago when it was so much different. We now have an airport of which we can be proud.” •






Recipe for Success The Deli at Alley Station vows to serve the best coffee, sandwiches and ice cream in downtown Montgomery by David Zaslawsky

The owners of The Deli at Alley Station have a simple menu for success. They want to be the place to go downtown for a cup of coffee. They want to be the place to go downtown for a sandwich. They want to be the place to go downtown for ice cream.

His name should sound familiar – Parker is one of the owners of Dreamland Bar-B-Que along with Richard Younger, whose day job is a manager at the downtown accounting firm of Aldridge, Borden & Co. Two other owners are Jere L. Beasley, founder shareholder of the downtown law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. and Greg Allen, a shareholder in the firm. Linda Blackman, who lives in a loft at Alley Station, which is located above Dreamland, is another deli owner. She will also oversee the dayto-day operations as general manager. The Deli at Alley Station, located across from SaZa Serious Italian Food, will also offer catering and some grocery items.

Bob Parker, Linda Blackman and Richard Younger.

It’s as simple as that. The Deli at Alley Station, which was scheduled to open in early February, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will be open very early for breakfast – perhaps as early as 6 a.m. and will close around 9 p.m. unless there are late-night events downtown such as concerts or baseball games at Riverwalk Stadium, where the Montgomery Biscuits play their home games. “Our focus is the downtown worker and visitor – whether that’s a baseball game or convention of whether it’s a concert or residents,” said Bob Parker, one of The Deli owners.


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

“We think there is enough critical mass of people working downtown, traveling to downtown Montgomery and we’re on right track with more people living downtown,” Younger said. There are 27,500 employees within a one-mile radius of downtown Montgomery, according to Claritas. That number more than doubles if you increase the radius to three miles.

75 inside and room for another 25 to 30 outside. The deli will employ about 25 people. “It was just a matter of time before someone who serves a sandwich is located in that site anyway,” Younger said. “We are not scared of the economy and we weren’t scared of the economy with Dreamland. If you deliver the right product at the right price with the right service and make the experience a good one, people will come back.” By stressing breakfast, coffee, soups and sandwiches, ice cream, catering and an extensive beer selection where a customer can build their own six-pack, the deli owners are confident of success. Blackmon said there will be a to-go menu for breakfast. Some of the breakfast items include a variety of biscuits and muffins. Of course, there is the coffee and The Deli will offer espresso and lattes. Parker said The Deli will have any type of coffee you find at a really good coffee shop, “This will be the place where people can meet for breakfast,” Younger said. “Some people may want to get something to go, but I envision a fair amount of eatin breakfast traffic with the attorneys, CPAs (certified public accountants) and downtown businesspeople that come to work early.” For lunch, Younger promises “the best sandwich in Montgomery” as well as “very high-quality soups and salads.”

“We are going to provide the best quality product and provide excellent service in all that we do and we’re easy to deal with,” Younger said. “We will be a very childfriendly restaurant.”

Parker said one of The Deli’s signature sandwiches will be the Reuben. He vows that will “the best sandwich on the menu.” Blackman said the menu will also feature healthy options.

The 2,200-square foot deli will feature outdoor seating in the front and along the side. There will be tables for about

The dinner menu will be the same as the lunch menu except for some special offerings.

In addition to dine-in eating and a to-go menu, The Deli has a full-scale catering kitchen, Younger said. “Catering will be a big, big part of our business,” Younger said. “We can cater anything from six people at the law office down the street to 1,000 people somewhere else. Our mantra with The Deli is similar to what we do at Dreamland – whatever you want we can handle. The answer is always yes.”

AUM Entrance Redesigned

Both The Deli and Dreamland have lots in the Hampstead Institute Downtown Farm and will have garden-to-the-table vegetables and herbs. The Deli will also stock some basic staples for residents with items ranging from peanut butter and bread to dog biscuits. Younger said the items will be limited. “This is not a grocery store and this is not a convenience store.” Blackman will ask fellow loft residents what items they need and those products will be stocked. Parker said they are planning to sell bottles of liquor. “We’ll have a nice, creative wine selection and we’ll have a ridiculous amount of beer.”

The new entrance to Auburn University at Montgomery was designed with three goals in mind: ease traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety and to be more attractive with new landscaping and a new entrance sign. The new entrance features a pear-shaped road that leads into a roundabout.

Younger: “We believe in downtown Montgomery; we believe in The Alley project; we believe in the city as a whole; and I think there is room for all of us (downtown).” •

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Henig Furs pushes discounts to weather economic storm by David Zaslawsky


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

(Editor’s note: This is one in an occasional series about how companies have dealt with difficult economic times)

Those three new store concepts have been so widely successful that Henig said he plans to open three or four more stores this year.

Consumers are accustomed to seeing buy one get one free offers while shopping at grocery stores such as Publix and Winn-Dixie.

It came at a price. Henig said he spent between $1 million and $2 million on upgrading the store locations, inventory and hiring between 50 and 60 people. He said those three locations are generating $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000 days and he expected that the combined sales for November and December will be close to $600,000. Henig is quick to point out that January and February are his two best months of the years because of the cold weather and clearance sales.

Even some national chains have advertised buy one dinner and get one free, but a furrier? Yes, Henig Furs, which is the Southeast’s largest furrier, does advertise buy one get one free specials on some coats, sweaters and other items. It’s all part of a master strategy of increasing store traffic, increasing its customer base and of course, increasing revenue and the bottom line. Aggressive discounts, a wide range of price points for all incomes and greatly expanding the types of products helped Henig Furs weather the economic downturn and an ensuing slow recovery. There were painful times for Mike Henig, president and CEO of Montgomery-based Henig Furs. Those rough times included laying off about 150 of his 250 employees and closing some locations as he struggled to survive. He was very much in survival mode, but at the same time he was looking to reinvent Henig Furs. Henig was looking to attract more customers and different types of customers. He wanted to branch out into the outerwear market. Well before the recession, Henig opened a leather outlet store in Montgomery next to Outback Steakhouse to get a feel for customer demand for a wide range of products. He said the company tweaked the concept and were ready to move forward when the recession hit. “We wanted to figure out what direction we wanted to go, how large the store had to be and try to find the right product mix,” Henig said. That new store concept was launched late last year with locations at The Shoppes at EastChase in Montgomery; in front of the Wynfrey Hotel at the Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham; and in Columbus, Ga. The stores range from 12,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet.

He is increasing revenue by a monster rise in volume. He said the average sale at the three new concept stores is between $59 and $79. “We have products that are less than a tank of gas,” Henig said. “We’re selling leather jackets out of our store for $39 and $49. What we’re trying to do is bring in new customers.” Henig said the company increased its product offering from 20,000 items to about 100,000 items. You name it – and Henig has it including $5 handbags that he said “are actual leather.” There are gloves, hats, jackets, leather accessories for motorcyclists, hunting jackets, ski jackets, children’s outerwear, leather belts, etc. For the holidays, Henig was selling a package of boot toppers, gloves with fur and a scarf with fur for $100 and selling they were.

difficult economic environment. He also notes that he was able to negotiate favorable leases and he was able to buy products at reduced prices. “You’ve had a lot of stores go out of business,” Henig said. “There is a lot of inventory (out there) – you just have to go out and hunt it.” He said the company will buy thousands of products and at their factory, which is housed at the corporate headquarters/store, fur trim is added. “We buy thousands of Chanel gloves and add fur trim,” he said. “We are redoing inventory all the time.” As quick as he is to praise the new store concept, the fur business is still very, very good to Henig. He said fur sales were up 19 percent in November and through midDecember were up another 22 percent. Henig does credit the weather for giving the fur business a nice boost, but he also said the product is less expensive than it was years ago. The company was heavily advertising a full-length mink coat for $999, which Henig said sold between $2,500 and $3,000 two years ago. “What we have is a niche,” Henig said. “There are not many furriers on every corner. There are not a lot of people who carry a tremendous amount of wools and cashmeres. That was the concept we decided we wanted to do.” •

For Henig, the previous clientele were middle-income and upper-income. As you can imagine with products selling for as little as $5, his customers now run the gamut from teenagers to young parents walking in with their children. The mother might be walking with their child to buy a ski jacket or a jacket to keep them warm,” Henig said. “Hopefully, they will come back every year and then they might start looking around the store and they see a leather jacket they like for $99. They might see a fur jacket they like for $299 and then all of a sudden they see something for their husband. “All I want them to do is walk in and look. If they walk in and look, I promise you they will walk out with something.”

Henig Furs President and CEO Mike Henig opened three new store concepts late last year, including one at The Shoppes at EastChase in Montgomery.

He acknowledges taking a chance – taking what he calls a “calculated risk” during a

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


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Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

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The chief designer for the 2011 Sonata and the 2011 Elantra visited the manufacturing facility where the vehicles are built and talked about his inspiration. Andre Hudson, design manager from Hyundai Design North America talked to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) executives and team members about his “fluidic sculpture” design. He said the design considers “the interplay of wind with rigid surfaces to create the illusion of constant motion,” recalled Rick Neal, vice president administration and general counsel. Hudson said that his inspiration was “being in the desert and seeing some curved rock formations or seeing the seashore and how it sculpts the sand into curved design elements.” Neal said the Hyundai team members “loved to hear the story” about Hudson’s inspiration.

It was Hudson’s first trip to the Montgomery plant and he thanked the employees for “how they have taken that whole concept and piece the car together in such a way that the consumer” has been impressed, said Robert Burns, manager public relations and sales for HMMA. Hudson thanked the Hyundai employees “for making my inspiration become even more of a reality and be successful in the marketplace,” Burns said. Burns pointed out that some design concepts do not translate into such successes as the Sonata and Elantra. “A model sits up on a credenza and it looks great, but when somebody has to get behind the wheel and have that driving experience they expect and have it be successful – has a lot to do with what our team members do day-in and dayout,” Burns said. The 2011 Elantra did look great on a credenza at the Los Angeles Auto Show and was treated to superstar status. “It was like a rock star coming on stage when they finally took the cover off,” Neal said, about the Elantra’s formal debut. “After the presentation, the photographers and reporters rushed the stage and were climbing all over themselves trying to get in and take pictures.” The vehicle has already received rave reviews. Richard Posluszny of U.S. News & World Report wrote “… there is a lot to like about the latest Hyundai.” Here are some other comments about the 2011 Elantra: “… refreshingly sporty-looking compact …” MNS Autos: “The new design and extra size give the Elantra a mid-size car’s interior space in a compact package …” A reader’s comment on MSN Autos: “I love the looks of this car and (it’s) so fuel efficient! … now (it’s) Hyundai’s time to shine!”

Automobile magazine: “Hyundai has cracked the code of the compact economy sedan. To its benefit, Hyundai seems to be the only player that understands how important styling is.” Motor Trend: “With less weight to carry around, the Elantra is quick and nimble in town, on the highway or even your favorite back road.” Autoblog: “With its 40 mpg highway rating, stylish exterior and excellent drivetrain, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra is set to put the rest of the segment on notice.” Cars Blog from Consumer “The Elantra has been our Top Pick small sedan for several years. It’s a solid car that offers plenty for the money.” Of course, HMMA management and team members are ecstatic about the 2011 Elantra, which will spark sales for the company this year. “Hyundai is on the fast track to success and 2011 promises to be another banner year,” said Young Deuk Lim, president and CEO of HMMA. “New challenges, opportunities and milestones lie ahead for our company. I am confident HMMA will continue to deliver quality products to customers which are critical to the long-term success of the Hyundai brand.” And the Hyundai brand has another winner in the 2011 Elantra. Burns and Neal showed off the legroom in the 2011 Elantra in the company’s showroom when the 6-foot-2-inch Burns sat in the driver’s seat and directly behind him was Neal, a 6-footer. Both had plenty of legroom not to mention enough space in the trunk for both of their golf bags. “The vehicle itself creates buzz for its roominess – it has more interior spade than CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


HMMA 2010 Production:


Sonata: 218,607 Santa Fe: 62,113 Elantra: 19,780 Total: 300,500

the Nissan Maxima,” Neal said. “Its fuel economy (creates a buzz) because every model of this vehicle gets 40 mpg highway with no extra cost associated with that mileage as some of our competitors have on their cars to get to 40 mpg.”

Source: HMMA

It costs an additional $2,765 to buy the Ford Fiesta model with the super economy package to get 40 mpg highway and there is an additional charge of $1,900 for the Chevrolet Cruze to reach 42 mpg highway. The Elantra is equipped with a new 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder, 148-horsepower Nu engine, which is about 75 pounds lighter than the previous engine, which helped increase the fuel economy. “And then there’s the price – the base price starts at less than $15,000 ($14,830),” Neal said. “If you go all the way up to the premiere edition with all the bells and whistles and navigation it’s just less than $22,000.”

Young Deuk Lim, president and CEO of HMMA.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said, “This car is going to sell extremely well.” From 2000 to 2004, the Elantra was the top-selling vehicle in the Hyundai lineup, averaging nearly 115,000 units a year. In 2000, when about 105,000 Elantras were sold it represented nearly 60 percent of all Hyundai vehicles purchased that year. The Elantra has been the South Korean automaker’s second-best selling vehicle – trailing the Sonata – in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Once again, Hyundai is facing some tough competition in the country’s No. 2 sedan market – compact sedans. The Elantra’s rivals – in addition to the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze – are Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra and Mazda 3.

For details, specs and features on 2011 Elantra, go to 26

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

The fifth-generation Elantra has some impressive features/options including heated rear seats, rear-view camera, 40 mpg on highway whether it’s an automatic or manual transmission, touch-screen navigation system with a 7-inch high-resolution screen and a hands-free phone system with voice recognition. Another feature is an industry-best 110.4 cubic feet of interior space, which in addition to having more room than the Maxima actually tops the Acura TSX and Volkswagen Passat CC. That roominess also includes best-in-class legroom for the driver and frontseat passenger. To prepare for the 2011 Elantra production, Hyundai invested $50 million in its Montgomery facility for tools and dyes. Some of Hyundai’s suppliers invested a combined $50 million, bringing the total investment in the 2011 Elantra at $100 million for the area. The first 2011 Elantra manufactured for sale was Nov. 1. •

To expand or not to expand production? That is the question by David Zaslawsky TThe dramatic and consistent success of Hyundai sales in the U.S. may trigger a “complex equation” for Hyundai Motor Co. The company’s manufacturing plant in Montgomery is operating at full capacity and has for many months. That “complex equation” is when does Hyundai Motor Co., the parent company of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), look at expanding the Montgomery plant. That’s the opinion of Rick Neal, vice president administration and general counsel for HMMA. “Fortunately for us, all those expansion decisions are within the sole purview of the executives at Hyundai Motor Co. in Seoul,” Neal said, “but obviously if you are maxed out in capacity here for a period of time and you couple that with increased overall sales in the U.S. – at some point somebody is going to do the math and decide whether or not it’s economically feasible to increase production in the United States.”

Full capacity at the Montgomery plant is 300,000 vehicles and HMMA reached that milestone for the first time in 2010, including a one-time month high of 31,500 vehicles in June. The plant produced 300,500 units last year in its fifth full year of operation. For those keeping track, the 300,000th vehicle came off the final inspection line at 7 p.m. Dec. 23. “The past year marked a significant milestone for our assembly plant,” HMMA President and CEO Young Deuk Lim said. “Thanks to the unwavering commitment of every HMMA team member, HMMA built over 300,500 vehicles in one calendar year. The successful launch of the redesigned 2011 Sonata was critical to reaching HMMA’s planned production capacity. Our team members consistently demonstrated their dedication to Hyundai’s high standards for quality and excellent workmanship throughout the year.” Sales of the 2011 Sonata have sparked the record production numbers and even if those record-setting numbers begin to moderate, there very well could be record-setting volume for the new 2011 Elantra, which is also manufactured in Montgomery. “The addition of the 2011 Elantra to HMMA’s production schedule will require the plant to run at full capacity again in 2011,” Lim said. “This is good news for our team members and the River Region. Not only will our team members be very busy, but every HMMA supplier’s employees will be working very hard to meet the strong demand for Hyundai’s two top-selling vehicles for the U.S. market.” Neal said that operating at maximum capacity “means continued overtime work for all team members and that puts additional dollars in their pockets to give them more spending power to buy more things and strengthen the local economy. That will continue certainly throughout 2011 and hopefully beyond.” All Sonata vehicles sold in the U.S. are manufactured in Montgomery, but some Elantras will be imported from South Korea to keep up with demand. Record sales and production may also impact Hyundai suppliers, according to Neal and Robert Burns, manager of public relations and sales for HMMA. Neal said that suppliers are “looking all the time” about setting up operations in the area.

shipping,” Burns said. He said that slightly more than 50 percent of the Sonata parts come from the U.S. “It’s all part of this complex equation of increased volume, which means you can support various levels of investment in your company and whether that is making the parts in Korea or moving over here and setting up shop,” Neal said. •

‘We just can’t build them fast enough’ by David Zaslawsky Hyundai announced an aggressive campaign to introduce seven new or redesigned vehicles in a 24-month period. One of those redesigned vehicles is the 2011 Sonata, which is produced in Montgomery at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s (HMMA) plant. Another of the seven is the 2011 Elantra, which is also manufactured in Montgomery. The 2011 Elantras just started coming off the assembly line in November and 192 units were sold that month and 13,096 more in December. For the year, the Sonata and Elantra were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Hyundai lineup. Sonata and its record-setting sales of 196,623 for 2010 helped push Hyundai past the 500,000 milestone for the first time since the South Korean automaker began selling vehicles in the U.S. 25 years ago. Hyundai sold 538,228 units last year, an increase of 24 percent from 2009. The company sold 100,000plus more vehicles in 2010 compared with 2009. “The popularity of the 2011 Sonata has been amazing and we are proud to say Alabamians played an important role in delivering one of the highest-quality family sedans on the road today,” said HMMA President and CEO Young Deuk Lim. “The Sonata placed in the top three for North American Car of the Year is an accomplishment we all can be proud of.

Robert Burns, manager of public relations and sales for HMMA.

This year (2010) has been a remarkable one in other ways as well. Our stamping shop was named the best in the entire world, while general assembly and engine were recognized as being among the best in their areas of expertise.” Hyundai sold its record 500,000th vehicle on Dec. 10 and it was truly a remarkable achievement and capped an incredible year. The company set one sales record after another in 2010. It was such a successful year that eight of the Sonata’s Top 10 selling months came in 2010. Hyundai also had five of its bestselling months ever last year. “Our future looks bright, largely due our product renaissance,” Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of national sales for Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement. CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

“A lot of the parts come from Korea and they (suppliers) need to decide if it makes sense to locate closer to the plant or continue

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Sonata’s top months


Dec 2007: 24,872 Aug 2010: 21,399 May 2010: 21,195 Dec 2005: 20,853 Sept 2010: 20,639 March 2010: 18,935 April 2010: 18,536 July 2010: 17,836 June 2010: 17,771 Oct 2010: 17,505

“Hyundai’s sales continue to climb as more consumers become aware of our great products, high quality, the industry’s best warranty and improving dealership experience. We expect our sales momentum to continue … into the New Year with models like the new Elantra, the first of four planned 40mpg Hyundai vehicles in our lineup, and our premium luxury sedan, Equus … starting to roll into showrooms.”

Elantra sales/ranking

2010: 132,246 (2) 2009: 103,269 (2) 2008: 94,720 (2) 2007: 85,724 (3) 2006: 98,853 (2) 2005: 116,336 (2) 2004: 112,892 (1) 2003: 120,858 (1) 2002: 120,638 (1) 2001: 111,293 (1) 2000: 104,099 (1) Source: Hyundai Motor America


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Hyundai’s top months

Aug. 2009: 60,467 July 2010: 54,106 Aug. 2010: 53,603 June 2010: 51,205 June 2008: 50,033 June 2007: 49,368 May 2010: 49,045 July 2006: 47,205 Sept 2010: 46,556 Dec 2007: 46,487 Hyundai’s annual U.S. sales

1997: 113,186 1998: 90,217 1999: 164,190 2000: 244,391 2001: 346,235 2002: 375,119 2003: 400,221 2004: 418,615 2005: 455,012 2006: 455,520 2007: 467,009 2008: 401,742 2009: 435,064 2010: 538,228

The redesigned Sonata saw sales soar from about 110,000 in 2009 to 200,000-plus in 2010 and that same scenario could be repeated in 2011 for the redesigned Elantra, which is drawing rave reviews. “The popularity of the Sonata has taken some of us by surprise,” said Robert Burns, manager public relations and sales for HMMA. “Clearly, it’s an outstanding-looking vehicle with the fluidic sculpture design elements that have been incorporated into it and also utilized in the Elantra. It’s caught the imagination of the buying public. We just can’t build them fast enough.” Rick Neal, vice president administration and general counsel for HMMA, said the Sonata has sparked the record-breaking year. The previous all-time sales record of 467,009 units sold in 2007 was actually broken with six weeks remaining in 2010. “It’s given us a quantum leap forward and has been the driving force for our increased market share,” Neal said about the 2011 Sonata. The company’s market share peaked last summer at 5.2 percent and is currently 4.7 percent. Hyundai’s market share combined with sister company Kia is 7.8 percent and ranks sixth in the world, beating out Nissan. Tucson is another of the redesigned models that saw its sales volume more than double from 15,411 units in 2009 to 39,594 units in 2010 and the company introduced a sporty three-door coupe called the Veloster in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. An all-new Accent will be released this year. “With Hyundai’s rapidly expanding lineup of fresh, fuel-efficient and high-quality products, we’re positioned right in the sweet spot for this recovery,” Zuchowski said in a statement. “Hyundai’s DNA is all about delivering best-inclass value, quality and fuel efficiency.” •

Sonata named finalist for elite honor After receiving award after award and gracing the covers of national magazines, the 2011 Sonata was being considered for one of the most prestigious honors in the automotive world. The 2011 Sonata was named one of three finalists for the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The other two selections – Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf – are battery-powered electric cars. The base price for the Sonata is $19,919 while the Volt is priced at $41,000 and the Leaf at $32,780. Both the Volt and Leaf are eligible for tax credits up to $7,500. The three finalists for 2011 North American Truck of the Year are Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee. A group of 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who work for magazines, radio, television and websites, selected the finalists and overall winner. The Volt was named the 2011 North American Car of the Year.

“It’s a breakthrough year in the automotive industry and it appears consumers and journalists alike see the 2011 Sonata as a breakthrough vehicle,” John Krafcik, president and CEO of Fountain Valley, Calif.-based Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement. “With more than 200,000 Sonatas finding homes in North American driveways (in 2010), it appears we’ve created a bit of a sea-change in the family car segment.” The Sonata was the first mid-sized car to offer only 4-cylinder engines. The base model, which has a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine, gets 35 mpg on the highway and features a top-of-the-class 198 horsepower. A 2.0-liter turbocharged model has 274 horsepower and gets 33 mpg. The company began selling a Sonata Hybrid in January, which delivers 40 mpg on the highway and 35 in the city. The Hybrid has two models – a well-equipped version for $25,795 and a premium package version for $30,795.

“The Sonata Hybrid offers something new to the mid-size sedan segment, with its segmentleading 40-mpg highway fuel economy rating, differentiated appearance and incredible value,” Krafcik said in a statement. “Like the 2.4-liter direct-injected Sonata and the 2.0-liter Sonata Turbo launched (in 2010), Sonata Hybrid demonstrates Hyundai’s unique approach melding innovative technologies and emotional design into products more and more people want to put in their driveways.” Other vehicles considered for finalists for the 2011 North American Car of the Year were Audi A8, Buick Regal, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta, Infiniti M37/56, Jaguar XJ, Kia Optima, Mazda2, Nissan Juke, Volkswagen Jetta and Volvo S60. The Hyundai Genesis was named the 2009 North American Car of the Year. - David Zaslawsky

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


‘A more friendly ear’ Business Council of Alabama looks forward to presenting its legislative agenda by David Zaslawsky

Although the Business Council of Alabama has high hopes as well as high expectations of seeing its legislative agenda embraced by the new Republican-dominated Legislature, the organization also a much more modest request – being heard. “There is a new group of individuals in the House and Senate who are going to be much more open to listen, which is a totally different paradigm,” said William J. Canary, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA). “We believe in this new paradigm of change – openness will take place and hearings will be held. Opportunities to exchange thinking will take place and that’s a dramatic change.” Canary said that the BCA, whose members combined employ more than 750,000 people, has strived for a level playing field. “Our belief working in the legislative process is that no one should win for showing up, but no one should lose for showing up. You need to win or lose on the balance of the equities.” Anita Archie, senior vice president for governmental affairs for BCA and the organization’s legal adviser, said, “We’re advocates and hopefully with this new Legislature we will be sitting and talking to them across the table and saying, ‘Here is our issue. This is what we like about it and this is what we think might be potential problems’ and they are listening and hearing. We’ve done this all along, but now we believe we have a more friendly ear.” Canary and Archie said the organization’s agenda will get that fair hearing and not be dismissed or ignored or have their ideas, suggestions and recommendations “dead on arrival.” The BCA does have an aggressive legislative agenda this year and Canary said there is a good reason. “At the end of the day, the business community contributes anywhere between $5.5 billion and $6.5 billion annually


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

William J. Canary, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), and Anita Archie, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the BCA.

into state and local government, which means that we believe we have a voice that needs to be heard.” With an overwhelmingly Republican Legislature, the BCA and its pro-business agenda will be heard – loud and clear. When you ask what the organization’s top priority is in this legislative session, you get a three-word response: Jobs, jobs, jobs. “Our basic simple premise of the business community is continually trying to find those opportunities where we as business can sign the front of a paycheck so that others can sign the back of the paycheck,” Canary said. “We talk about jobs. We talk about the ability of creating a free market with true economic development opportunities that allow an entrepreneurial spirit to exist, which allows the free flow of capital so that people can put people to work. We look to work with government as partners in creating that positive environment to create jobs and sustain jobs.”

There are five key goals for the BCA: > Fair and predictable tax policy. > Keeping Alabama a right-to-work state. > Support sound policy to promote public education. > Supporting meaningful health care reform. > Supporting environmental and energy legislation that is consistent with economic growth. The organization also supports among other things crafting state budgets on actual receipts instead of projections; integrating all agencies, organizations and entities involved in work force development and training; adopting a new definition for small business so those companies would be eligible for a wide variety of credits/incentives and the BCA is fervent about having a debate about charter schools.

“Right now we will have opportunities to educate the new members of the Legislature on what our agenda is,” Archie said. “We will say these are our priorities and they (lawmakers) will tell us what their priorities are.” For the BCA, that means education – a continued focus on pre-K programs, which according to Canary that for every $1 invested there is a return of $7. “There is a higher level of guarantee that that child who’s in the pre-K program – early childhood development – will be reading by the third grade, which is critical for educating our next generation’s work force.” He said passionately that investment in pre-K programs “should have a dramatic effect” on reducing the high school dropout rate. The BCA also is emphasizing post-secondary education. “Most individuals who are looking at this competitive international global work force structure suggest that in order for this generation to compete in this global economic environment … you need to have a minimum of a 13-grade education,” Canary said.

“Now a 13-grade education takes you one year beyond high school. In order to be there - you can’t get there with a 40 percent dropout rate. You have to do everything in your power to eradicate that and at the same time looking at the work force development training opportunities.” Canary said that business and education need to be partners. “I’ve often said that my dream of where we’re headed is creating a business-education alliance to deal with: Universal pre-K early childhood investment; a charter school discussion; diminishing of the dropout rate to the lowest possible number imaginable; and excelling and expanding the two-year system in work force development. “That’s a pro-business agenda because it’s a pro-Alabama agenda; it’s a pro-growth agenda; and it’s a pro-jobs agenda.” Archie said there are many good-paying, highskilled jobs that require some post-secondary certification or associate degree. She said there are work force development training dollars from federal and state governments

and “we want to make sure that those dollars continue to flow into those areas.” She would like to see a dialogue between the various agencies and entities involved in career technical programs, which includes colleges and universities. “Our job at the BCA besides job creation and job sustainability efforts is to educate and advocate,” Canary said. “We don’t perceive ourselves as much as lobbyists as educators and advocates for our legislative agenda, which goes through a very significant process. “We want them (lawmakers) to make informed decisions that are part of a general, common sense approach. “Remember, there are three things that matter whether you’re governor or a legislator that you need to equally pay attention to: The three legs of the stool are ethics, education and economic development. Successful governments get all three right and we believe that when you create that positive, healthy environment – good comes from that.” •

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


BCA welcomes ethics reforms, but worries about unintended consequences by David Zaslawsky

The new ethics reform laws will have no impact on the Business Council of Alabama’s lobbying efforts, according to two of the organization’s officials. Those reforms, which were passed during a special session of the Legislature last year and included strict guidelines on how much lobbyists and their organizations can spend to wine and dine lawmakers. “Our general practice has our own sense of abstinence from that practice,” said William J. Canary, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), whose members employee 750,000-plus. He said the final bill “had no effect on the Business Council or its activity in a lobbying context.” Anita Archie, senior vice president for governmental affairs and legal adviser for the BCA, said, “We really do not do any entertainment except when it’s in the context of our annual meeting or governmental affairs conference where you might see a large attendance of elected leaders.” There is, however, concern about unintended consequences of the legislation that may impact some BCA members. Canary and Archie worry about the definition of a lobbyist and fear that a broad interpretation would force some BCA members to register as lobbyists when they are not lobbying, but just working with governmental entities as part of their daily business operation.


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

The BCA had a group of attorneys reviewing the various ethics reform bills before the Legislature voted and they pointed out the possibility of penalizing some salespeople, who could get caught up in a wide sweeping definition of what a lobbyist is. Canary said he was concerned that a salesperson giving samples to a government entity or taking a client, who worked for a government entity, out for a meal to talk about a product may be considered a lobbyist. Because of the unintended consequences, the BCA put forth an amendment that as Canary said would clearly define what a lobbyist is. That amendment did pass – 98-0 – but because the House bill differed from the Senate bill – a new bill was worked out in a conference committee, but left out the BCA amendment. •

How to contact area lawmakers U.S. Senate Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) 326 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 -0104 (202) 224-4124 Montgomery Office 7550 Halcyon Summit Drive, Suite 150 Montgomery, Alabama 36117 (334) 244-7017

U.S. House of Representatives Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) 304 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-5744 Montgomery Office FMJ Federal Courthouse 15 Lee Street, Suite 208 Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 223-7303

Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) 414 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-2901 Montgomery Office 22 Monroe Street, Ste 1-B Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 277-9113

MIKE ROGERS (R-Anniston) 324 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-3261 Montgomery Office 7550 Halcyon Summit Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 277-4210

State Senate Dick Brewbaker (R-Elmore, Montgomery) Statehouse Office Rm 734 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7895

Jeremy Fielding (D-Elmore, Montgomery) Statehouse Office Rm 735 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7898

Quinton T. Ross Jr. (D-Montgomery)* Statehouse Office Rm 735 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7880 email: Business: P.O. Box 6183 Montgomery, AL 36106

Bryan Taylor (R-Autauga, Elmore) Statehouse Office Rm 733 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7883

State House of Representatives Paul Beckman (R-Autauga, Elmore) Statehouse Office 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7600 District:P.O. Box 680155 Prattville, AL 36068 (334) 323-5918

Jay Love (R-Montgomery)* Statehouse Office Rm 527-A 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7716 email: District: P.O. Box 3221 Montgomery, AL 36109 Business: 1020 Monticello Court Ste 205 Montgomery, AL 36117

Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) Statehouse Office Rm 525-A 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7706 District: P.O. Box 6064 Montgomery, AL 36106 (334) 264-7807

Barry Mask (R-Wetumpka) Statehouse Office Rm 527-C 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7732 District: 41 Brookland Court Wetumpka, AL 36093

Joe Hubbard (D-Montgomery) Statehouse Office 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7600 District P.O. Box 11034 Montgomery, AL 36111

Thad McClammy (D-Montgomery) Statehouse Office Rm 206 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7780 District: 858 W. South Blvd. Montgomery, AL 36105 (334) 224-7606

John Knight (D-Montgomery) Statehouse Office Rm 516-A 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7660 District: .O. Box 6300 Montgomery, AL 36106 (334) 229-4286

Greg Wren (R-Montgomery) Statehouse Office Rm 517-B 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7764 email: District: 4213 Carmichael Road Montgomery, AL 36106 (334) 396-4787

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Member News

BusinessBuzz Joseph’s Women’s Center in Tucson, Ariz.; HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, Houston; the Heart and Vascular Center at Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan; and the new Patient Tower at Bay Medical Center in Panama City, Fla. Steve Alby

GOODWYN, MILLS AND CAWOOD ADDS HEALTH CARE DIVISION AND DIRECTOR MONTGOMERY - Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood (GMC) announced that it is adding a health care architecture department to serve clients within the medical industry.

Alby is based in the firm’s Birmingham office. Regional services will be provided by resources in offices across the Southeast. The company’s corporate headquarters is in Montgomery.

The firm also announced that Steve Alby has been named the director of health care in the firm’s architecture division. “Having Steve join the firm allows GMC to expand our expertise in the health care design arena,” said Jeffrey Brewer, executive vice president of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood. “We look forward to providing the full range of architecture and engineering services to the health care community under Steve’s leadership.” Alby, who brings 20-plus years of experience to the firm, has worked on such projects as the new Woman & Infants Center at University of Alabama-Birmingham; St.


with nutritional, educational and employment services.


“The acquisition of Marshall Apartments reflects our continued confidence in Austin’s exceptional business climate and growth,” said Blake Brazeal, president of Montgomery-based Summit, owner and operator of multi-family properties in the Southeast and South Central United States.

MONTGOMERY – WSFA 12 News continues to grow as the local news preference for viewers.

“We are pleased that the City Council of Austin — one of the most progressive cities in the nation — has voted unanimously to contribute $2.5 million of city funds toward the redevelopment of Marshall,” Brazeal said. Summit announced that the property will undergo a rehab in excess of $20,000 per unit.

Blake Brazeal

SUMMIT HOUSING PARTNERS ACQUIRES TWO PROPERTIES MONTGOMERY - Summit Housing Partners, LLC, recently acquired multi-family properties in Texas and Oklahoma. The company has partnered with Caritas of Austin to acquire Marshall Apartments, a 100-unit multi-family property in Austin, Texas. Caritas, a non-profit organization founded in 1964, serves 20,000 area residents

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

The company has also purchased Woodrun Village Apartments, a 192-unit multi-family property in Yukon, Okla., a suburb of Oklahoma City. “We expect this acquisition to immediately contribute to earnings and intend to continue looking for additional opportunities in Oklahoma,” Brazeal said. Summit Housing Partners, LLC was founded in 1995 and is an owner and operator of 88 properties with about 14,000 units in nine states.

In the most recent ratings survey completed in late November, more viewers watched WSFA 12 News for all local newscasts than watched every other channel combined in those time periods as WSFA increased viewers at 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. At 6 p.m., WSFA averaged 90,000 viewers each night and the three other local network affiliates combined (WAKA - CBS, WNCF - ABC and WCOV - FOX) averaged 27,000. At 10 p.m., WSFA averaged 77,000 viewers each night while the other three local network affiliates combined to average 23,000. At 5 p.m., WSFA averaged 73,000 viewers each night and the other three local network affiliates combined to average 28,000. At 6 a.m., WSFA averaged 53,000 viewers each morning and the other network affiliates combined to average 14,000. During the month of November, also increased its page views to nearly 3 million with 500,000 unique users.   

LIFESOUTH COMMUNITY BLOOD CENTERS OFFER FIVE POINTS OF LIFE KIDS MARATHON MONTGOMERY - LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will be offering youngsters in the Montgomery area a fun way to get up and get moving at the April 9 Five Points of Life Kids Marathon. “This event offers great lessons on goal setting and is a real motivator for fitness,” said LifeSouth South Alabama District Director Judy Russell. “And when you see their excitement and the smiles on their faces when they get their medals at the finish line, you’ll see just how much these kids enjoy it.” The run is offered through LifeSouth’s Five Points of Life Program, which helps raise awareness about five ways to save lives through donation. Through the program children can learn the science behind donation, while also getting active. A marathon is 26.2 miles and the participants in kindergarten through eighth grade will run or walk that distance, a little bit at a time, keeping track of their mileage on log sheets as they go. The goal is to run 25 miles before the big day, then complete the final 1.2 miles in a community fun run that will be 9 a.m. April 9 at the YMCA Goodtimes Center at 2325 Mill Ridge in Montgomery. Registration is free at www. through March 1 and then it costs $5 until the day of the fun run. The cost to register at the YMCA on the day of the event is $10. All participants receive a Five Points of Life T-shirt and will receive a medal at the finish line. Log sheets to keep track of the mileage may be downloaded from the website or picked up at the Montgomery LifeSouth location by calling Melinda Hinds (334) 260-0803. For information, call LifeSouth at (888) 795-2707.

Birchfield, who joined the firm in 1996, was instrumental in developing the mass torts litigation section in 2000, of which he is now section head.

J. Greg Allen

Andy D. Birchfield Jr.

BEASLEY ALLEN NAMES ‘ATTORNEYS OF THE DECADE’ MONTGOMERY – The law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., announced that shareholders J. Greg Allen and Andy D. Birchfield Jr., have been named as the firm’s “Litigators of the Decade.” Beasley Allen annually recognizes its attorneys who demonstrate exceptional professional skill throughout the course of the year and who best represent the firm’s ideal of “helping those who need it most.” The “Litigator of the Decade” award was created in 2010 to recognize the attorney or attorneys who have demonstrated consistent excellence on behalf of their clients and the firm. “The two lawyers in our firm who were recognized for exceptional performances over the past 10 years are most deserving,” said the firm’s founding shareholder, Jere L. Beasley. Allen began working with Jere Beasley in 1979, serving as a law clerk while attending Jones School of Law in the evenings. He joined the firm after graduation and now practices in the area of personal injury and product liability.

Two lawyers were selected as the firm’s “Litigators of the Year for 2010: ” J. Cole Portis, head of the firm’s personal injury and product liability section; and C. Gibson Vance, who practices in the firm’s fraud section. In addition, Beasley Allen recognized excellence in each of its sections, naming the “Lawyer of the Year” in each. Honorees for 2010 are Richard D. Morrison, personal injury section; Roman A. Shaul, fraud section; Russell T. Abney, mass torts section; Benjamin C. Baker Jr., product liability section; and John E. Tomlinson, toxic torts section. ONLINE COMMERCE GROUP REPORTS 97 PERCENT INCREASE ON CYBER MONDAY MONTGOMERY – Online Commerce Group reported a 97 percent increase in Cyber Monday retail sales. The Montgomery-based company also had banner years in 2008 and 2009 with gains of more than 65 percent for each of those years. Cushion Source (www., the flagship of Online Commerce Group (OCG), had a 109 percent increase in 2010 Cyber Monday sales vs. 2009. Eastman Kodak, a new client for OCG in 2010, produced successful Cyber Monday sales at Kodak Outdoors ( The site, launched in August 2010 and managed by OCG, generated more than 5 percent of its total income for the year within one day. Consumers who shop online receive deep discounts on

Cyber Monday, similar to those offered on Black Friday.

Paul Hodges

HODGES ATTENDS EXIT REALTY’S INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION MONTGOMERY - Paul Hodges attended Exit Realty International Convention at Hyatt Regency in Dallas. “I cannot wait to go again next year,” said Hodges, who operates Exit Hodges Real Estate. “As a real estate professional, I was able to broaden my industry knowledge in a wide variety of issues. This is an exciting time to be a Realtor and to be part of the Exit Revolution.” The convention is an annual event that brings top real estate professionals together to interact and learn from each other. The convention is designed to promote discussions about issues and trends in the real estate market. EMERGE TORCHBEARERS LEADERSHIP CLASS II RECEIVES EASTER SEALS CLUB OF THE YEAR AWARD MONTGOMERY - The Montgomery Revealed Team from Emerge Montgomery Torchbearers Leadership Class II has helped revitalize Southern Boulevard. “Repainting Montgomery’s Canvas: One Business at a Time” is a partnership with local businesses to improve Southern Boulevard’s curb appeal. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 36)

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


BUSINESS BUZZ (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35) The goal of the project is to make Montgomery a more attractive city in which to live and support the city’s new branding campaign to improve the image of the Capital City. The first business to receive assistance through the new program was Easter Seals of Central Alabama. A team of 30-plus volunteers from Easter Seals, Baptist Health, Maxwell Air Force Base Medical Group and Volunteers in Action painted the awning and front entrance of the building, pressure washed the walkway and entrance, repainted the parking lot and performed other maintenance tasks that upgraded and enhanced the appearance of Easter Seals of Central Alabama’s facility. The work was done on Sept. 11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The Montgomery Revealed Team consisted of Chase Chambliss, Emily Dziedzic, J.R. Gaines, Stefanie Hicks, Cornelius Jones, Nakia Kyler, Meg Lewis and Tenaya Watson. Emerge Montgomery’s Torchbearers’ Leadership class provides young professionals the skills and connections to become a community leader. Emerge Montgomery is a program of Leadership Montgomery and is an initiative of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.

The company, working in conjunction with the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors, now offers thousands of listings from the multiple listings service, which includes property and homes for sale in the Montgomery, Elmore, Coosa, Chilton and surrounding county areas as well as Lake Martin. Home buyers can target their search to a neighborhood or zip code in the Montgomery area. They can view full-listing details and pictures and plot a driving tour of several properties. “In addition to bringing real-time news, sports, entertainment and other information to residents of Montgomery, is proud offer an online real estate resource to home buyers,” said Cindy Martin, president and CEO of Birmingham-based

AL.COM OFFERS MONTGOMERY REAL ESTATE LISTINGS BIRMINGHAM – has added Montgomery area real estate listings to its website.


care and women’s health in general,” said Tina Hodge, manager of breast imaging at Montgomery Breast Center. “We’re excited about the rest of the world seeing the kinds of results we see every day.”

The book will be available in paperback, eBook and audio book. For information, contact Clark at (504) 251-7943 or e-mail at

Montgomery Breast Center is a subsidiary of Montgomery Cancer Center.

Tina Hodge

MONTGOMERY – A highly advanced form of breast imaging first used in Montgomery is set to change the face of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment worldwide. Darian O. Clark


Clark, who operates the Smoothie-n-Things Café at 109 S. Court St., has written: The Gateway To Entrepreneurship: Motivational Strategies To Invest In Yourself. The book tackles issues such as “Doing things the right way the first time,” “Appearance and customer service” and “The ‘I’ in team.” Clark wrote, “Many

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

BRADLEY ARANT BOULT CUMMINGS NAMED TO PRESTIGIOUS LIST BIRMINGHAM – Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has been named to the prestigious BTI Client Service A-Team for 2011.


MONTGOMERY- Local business owner Darian O. Clark has written a book about strategies to become a successful entrepreneur.

Cindy Martin

times people say there is no ‘I’ in team, well there is an ‘I’. You’re the ‘I’ because you’re the manager, the employee, janitor, and anything else that needs to be done. The ‘I’ in team is the one who makes it happen.”

As the investigator of an FDA clinical trial, Montgomery Breast Center was the first in the country to install and use the GammaLoc lesion-localization system – the only FDA-approved device for gamma-guided, minimally invasive needle biopsy of suspicious lesions identified with Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI). Montgomery Breast Center now regularly uses two Dilon 6800 gamma cameras to reveal lesions independent of tissue density and discover early stage cancers that can be missed with other imaging methods. “We’re proud to be leaders in the field of breast imaging, and to be a part of something that is revolutionizing breast cancer

The firm is listed among “Client Service 30,” which are the top 30 law firms in the country as recognized for client service. Placement on the elite list is based on an independent survey of corporate counsel at companies across the country. The annual survey of nearly 300 corporate counsel found that Bradley Arant Boult Cummings delivers better client service than 95.4 percent of the law firms serving some of the world’s largest companies. The BTI Client Service 30 is the only law firm ranking based solely on direct, unprompted feedback from corporate counsel. The firm has offices throughout the Southeast, including two in Alabama – Birmingham and Montgomery. RONALD BLUE & CO. ADVISER HONORED FOR FINANCIAL COLUMN MONTGOMERY – A Ronald Blue & Co., LLC principal received a first-place award for his monthly financial column in Prime Montgomery. Alan Wallace, a financial adviser in the company’s Montgomery office, was recognized for his column called MoneyWise.

BUSINESS BUZZ Wells Distribution is one of the area’s largest ground-shipping companies while Wells Mailing is the only certified presort bureau located in Central Alabama and offers many other mailing and marketing services.

Alan Wallace

The award was announced at the Magazine North American Mature Publishers Association conference in Branson, Mo. Judges said Wallace’s column “... is written with a true authoritative voice ... topics are timely and relevant for the intended audience.” Prime Montgomery is a lifestyle magazine for those 50 and older.

“We have always sought to be the best at what we do, and our customers have made us the largest business of our type in the area,” said Irvin Wells, president and CEO of Wells Printing Co. “Now, with over 200,000 square feet of operating space among our printing, mailing and distribution enterprises, Wells can provide our clients with even more comprehensive service.”

Ronald Blue & Co., LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, manages about $5 billion in assets and employs a staff of more than 250 people.

Auburn University at Montgomery graduates officially move their tassels to the left side of their mortar boards as part of the commencement exercises at the Physical Education complex.

Irvin Wells

WELLS PRINTING EXPANDS MAILING, DISTRIBUTION MONTGOMERY - Wells Printing Co. announced the relocation of its mailing and distribution/ warehousing divisions into the Albany International building. Wells Mailing and Wells Distribution now operate in a 161,000-square-foot facility, which will enable Wells to consolidate resources, improve workflow and offer more services. The Albany building, which sits on 34 acres at the corner of Bell Road and Troy Highway, has room for future growth or commercial development.

THREE HUNDRED-PLUS GRADUATE FROM AUBURN UNIVERSITY AT MONTGOMERY MONTGOMERY – More than 300 students graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery during its fall commencement ceremony. Among those earning degrees are five graduates of one of the South’s few cytotechnology programs. Cytotechnology is a health care specialty that focuses on the microscopic evaluation of cell samples from the human body. These lab workers screen for pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions, infectious organisms and other diseases – detecting and reporting signs of cancer.


February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


BUSINESS BUZZ (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 37) “Cytotechnologists are integral to the health care field,” said Sonya Griffin, cytotechnology director at AUM and assistant professor of biology. “We solve medical puzzles, leading to early diagnosis and treatment – which saves lives.” AUM’s program is one of only two cytotechnology programs in Alabama. Most cytotechnology programs are found in the Northeast, where jobs are more plentiful.

When watching a television that has Clickable TV enabled, small icons called “Clickable Moments” appear on the viewer’s television screen. These Clickable Moments indicate that the viewer can press the “select” button on their remote control to forward more information about what they are viewing to their preferred e-mail address. Clickable TV is free of charge to viewers, requires no additional product installation and uses the existing remote control in viewer homes. “Clickable TV provides our viewers with a new, innovative way to interact with our programming and commercials,” said Ken Selvaggi, general manager of WSFA.

Daniel Hassan

David Woods, president of WCOV, said, “This is the beginning of interactive television. We are pleased to be on the leading edge of this new technology.”

BACKCHANNELMEDIA LAUNCHES CLICKABLE TV MONTGOMERY – BackChannelMedia announced that WSFA 12 News and WCOV Fox 20 have signed up to participate in the launch of Clickable TV to select Knology digital HD cable subscribers in the Montgomery area. Both stations were expected to participate in the product’s January launch, enabling portions of their live broadcasts and advertisements to be interactive - or “clickable.” “BackChannelMedia is excited to work together with WSFA, WCOV, Knology and other Montgomery broadcasters to provide TV viewers with this new interactive service,” said Daniel Hassan, chairman and CEO of BackChannelMedia. “Clickable TV connects viewers directly with the programming, brands and advertisers that they are interested in, according to their own preferences.”


“We are pleased with our performance in 2010 and are optimistic that 2011 will see stabilization in the financial marketplace and continued improvement in the economy. “We are grateful for the confidence our clients placed in our hands in 2010, and Merchant Capital looks forward to serving municipal and corporate customers across the Southeast in 2011 and beyond.” The firm’s 2010 bond issues included funding for a variety of municipal issues as well as industrial development and affordable housing. Since its inception in 1987, the firm has managed more than $33.4 billion in municipal, industrial and housing bonds. Thomson Reuters is an independent New York-based company that tracks bond issues and publishes annual rankings. BEASLEY ALLEN PRESENTS FINAL WINNER OF THE ‘WII GIVE BACK!’ CAMPAIGN

Thomas Ashley Harris

MERCHANT CAPITAL TOPS IN STATE FOR BOND ISSUES IN 2010 MONTGOMERY – Merchant Capital was ranked No. 1 in Alabama and 34th in the country in Thomson Reuters’ list of top managing underwriters for 2010. It is the 17th straight year that Merchant Capital has received the state’s top ranking. Merchant Capital, which has its corporate headquarters in Montgomery, served as senior-manager for 71 bond issues that totaled more than $1.2 billion. “This was another challenging year in the credit markets,” said Thomas Ashley Harris, chairman of Merchant Capital.

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

MONTGOMERY – The Beasley Allen Law Firm presented the 12th Wii gaming system in its year-long “Wii Give Back!” campaign to the United Methodist Children’s Home. The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMC) provides residential group homes for children, teens and young mothers; transitional homes for young adults; regular and therapeutic foster-care programs; family preservation and support services for families dealing with child abuse and neglect; adoption home studies; scholarships and family aid. The Wii was presented to the Headland Group Home, also called “The Settlement,” which serves up to eight teenage boys and also has a transitional living facility.

“We truly appreciate Beasley Allen’s generosity,” said Allen Sims, supervisor of Headland Group Home. “Our boys here at ‘The Settlement’ will really enjoy having this Wii system.” WSFA LAUNCHES NEWS AT NINE MONTGOMERY - WSFA 12 News began a daily 9 p.m. newscast: News At Nine on digital channel WSFA 12.2. News At Nine, anchored by Mark Bullock weekdays and Cody Holyoke weekends, features breaking news and comprehensive coverage of the day’s top stories, updated weather forecasts from Jeff Jumper and the Doppler 12 Storm Vision team and sports with Jeff Shearer and Derek Steyer. WSFA 12.2 can be found over the air by using a digital antenna. It can also be found on a viewer’s local cable provider: Charter channel 136, Knology channel 121, Bright House channel 213 or 228, Troy Cablevision channel 102, Time Warner channel 306, Opp Cable Vision channel 104 and on Andalusia Cable channel 92.1. WSFA 12.2 is a family friendly channel with a mix of nostalgic television shows from The Retro Television Network as well as local news, weather and public affairs programming.  The News at Nine will be followed by local programs Law Call with Kim Wanous on Monday, On the Job with Bobby Jon Drinkard on Tuesday, Shine the Light with Kim Hendrix on Wednesday, Newsmakers with Bob Howell on Thursday, Visions with Cedric Varner on Friday, and Newsmakers, Visions and Shine the Light on Saturday.  WSFA 12 News offers a rebroadcast of Alabama Live! at 6:30 p.m. weeknights on WSFA 12.2, and a rebroadcast of the 6 p.m. news nightly at 7:30 p.m.  

BUSINESS BUZZ WSFA 12 News General Manager Ken Selvaggi, called the News At Nine “a signature program for WSFA 12.2.” WSFA 12 News began producing a 9 p.m. newscast three years ago for River Region viewers and viewers of Raycom Media affiliate station WDFX in Dothan.  New Year’s Day was the first time it aired live on WSFA 12.2.     PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAPTER INSTALLS NEW OFFICERS MONTGOMERY- A Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts official has been installed as the president of the Montgomery Chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama. Lara Lewis, marketing and public relations director of the museum, will lead the public relations organization. Other officers include: President-Elect Diane Christy, communication director -Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants; Vice President of Programs - Meg Lewis, director of marketing and communications - Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Vice President of Membership - DiDi Henry, public affairs director - Montgomery County Commission; Vice President of Projects - Morgan Berney, marketing and events coordinator - Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce; Vice President of Education - Nia Johnson, communications coordinator - Lads to Leaders & Leaderettes; Vice President of Communications - Robert Burns, public relations and sales manager – Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; Secretary - Julie Joyner, director of communications and marketing - River Region United Way; Treasurer - Amy Odom, public relations supervisor - United Methodist Children’s; Historian - Kristi Gates, community relations specialist - Alabama Department of Mental Health; Student Liaison - Melody Ragland Kitchen, public

relations manager - Baptist Health; Past President and Ethics Chair - Carol Gunter, public relations administrator - City of Montgomery; Member-at-Large - Alison Ingle, communications manager - Alabama Housing Finance; and Board Adviser - Lori Moneyham, public information specialist - Alabama Real Estate Commission. The Public Relations Council of Alabama is the state’s longest operating and largest group of public relations practitioners. The Montgomery Chapter of PRCA is one of six chapters in Alabama that offers career development opportunities, mentors college students and works to improve the professionalism of public relations practice through its accreditation program.


really EARLY


CLEANING. for you overachievers.

The Montgomery PRCA chapter meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the Montgomery Country Club. For more information, visit THE FRAZER LANIER CO. RANKED NO. 1 PUBLIC FINANCE BANKING FIRM MONTGOMERY – The Frazer Lanier Co. has been ranked as the No. 1 public finance investment banking firm in the state of Alabama for 2010, according to financial information provider Thomson Financial. The Frazer Lanier Co., based in Montgomery, achieved the top ranking for the sixth consecutive year. The firm, which serves clients throughout the Southeast and across the country, is dedicated primarily to municipal and corporate finance. The firm’s clients include state, county and local governments, corporations, utilities, non-profit healthcare providers, higher education institutions, municipal airports and other issuers of taxexempt and taxable debt. •

Call now to receive a free, no-obligation estimate


Referred for a reason.

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Members on the Move ALFA INSURANCE NAMES SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT MONTGOMERY – Alfa Insurance Companies has promoted John Pace to senior vice John Pace president of nonstandard auto operations. “John joined Alfa in 2005 and has proven to be an exceptional leader for the Alfa Vision and Specialty Insurance Companies,” said Lee Ellis, executive vice president of operations. “Under his leadership, the Alfa Vision operation, headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., has consistently been one of the top-performing divisions within Alfa. We are confident John will bring the same enthusiasm for growth and outstanding customer service to his expanded role as head of our non-standard auto operations.” Prior to joining Alfa, Pace held a variety of positions over an 11-year period with Direct General Corp. in Nashville, Tenn. He is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Alfa as a senior vice president,” Pace said. “We have a unique company in its desire and drive to put customers first with both integrity and dignity. I look forward to my role in coming years in helping Alfa continue to grow and expand in our industry.”

Gene Cody


bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration. He received his Juris Doctorate from Jones School of Law in 2001.

MONTGOMERY – Real estate agent Gene Cody has joined Exit Realty in Montgomery.

Barnett joined the firm’s consumer fraud section as an associate in May 2007. His practice focuses primarily on the average wholesale price (AWP) litigation. He represents Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, Hawaii and Alaska in fraud actions filed against pharmaceutical companies.

“We’re excited to welcome Gene to Exit Realty,” said Paul Hodges, broker of Exit Hodges Real Estate. “Exit Realty is growing and attracting top-producing agents like Gene each and every day.” Cody brings four years of real estate experience in the River Region to Exit Realty. He was named “Sales Representative of the Year” while working at advertising department for the Montgomery Advertiser. “I am excited to turn my talents to helping people find the perfect place to call home,” Cody said. “My primary involvement will be in the residential division while also working in (the firm’s) commercial and industrial property divisions.”


John E. Tomlinson

MONTGOMERY – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., announced that John E. Tomlinson and H. Clay Barnett III are now shareholders.

Tomlinson has been an associate at Beasley Allen H. Clay Barnett III since May 2002. He worked in the firm’s consumer fraud section before moving to the environmental law/toxic torts section. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1995, where he received a


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1997, receiving a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2001.


Anthony Brown

MONTGOMERY - Ronald Blue & Co., LLC, recently named a new principal in its

Montgomery Office. Anthony Brown is a financial adviser with Ronald Blue & Co. and joined the firm in 1999. As a certified financial planner professional, he serves high-net worth and high-income clients with their financial and investment needs. Prior to joining Ronald Blue & Co., Brown worked as a national project manager for Bergen Brunswig (now AmerisourceBergen), an international drug company based in Orange, California. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University. Ronald Blue & Co., LLC, is a national financial, estate, and investment consulting firm based in Atlanta.

METLIFE FINANCIAL GROUP ADDS FINANCIAL SERVICES REP MONTGOMERY – MetLife Financial Group Jonathan Robertson of the South hired Jonathan Robertson as a financial services representative. Robertson, a graduate of the University of South Alabama, is a registered securities representative and licensed to sell life and health products in Alabama. MetLife Financial Group of the South, an office of MetLife, offers a broad array of financial products and services including life, disability income, long-term care insurance and annuities, mutual funds and investment products.

COPPERWING DESIGN NAMES DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR MONTGOMERY - Copperwing Design has announced the addition of Emory Emory Serviss Serviss as digital marketing director for the firm. Serviss will be responsible for the planning, development and implementation of online marketing strategies and initiatives for Copperwing client accounts. He will also audit, research and analyze the digital presence of clients, as well as manage all social media, e-mail marketing and mobile marketing initiatives, overseeing the activities of the firm’s content specialist. Serviss developed, executed and managed extensive eMarketing programs and campaigns. He previously served as the Web marketing manager for Birmingham’s PRADCO Outdoor Brands (a division of EBSCO Industries) and for several years as the eCommerce marketing manager for SouthTrust Bank.

An experienced market researcher and management information analyst, Serviss has developed and maintained customer databases for lead generation, tracked conversions and prepared sales performance analyses. He has defined a variety of search engine strategies and overseen website content development, overall design, functionality and usability to increase site visits and sales leads. Serviss received a master’s degree at the University of Alabama-Birmingham as well as a degree in marketing and management from Jacksonville State University. Montgomery-based Copperwing is a creative consultancy offering design, digital media and integrated brand management services. To submit your business news for publication, email a press release to Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Members only.

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal





Wells Fargo Bank Dalraida Branch 3949 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109 334-309-2098 Chris Dickert-Store Manager Banks

Henig Furs, Leather and Outerwear 7449 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-277-7610 Mike Henig-Owner Furs/Leather

Chick-fil-A 201 Monroe Street, Suite 162, Montgomery, AL 36104 334-293-4773 David Adger-General Manager Restaurants-Fast Food

Parks Pharmacy 4505-A Executive Park Drive Montgomery, AL 36116 334-799-1489 Dee Parks-Owner Pharmacies

Wells Fargo Bank Capitol Complex Office 800 Madison Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-309-2060 Jason Moorehouse-Store Manager Banks

Wells Fargo Bank Union Station Branch 210 Water Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-270-2340 Jenny Camp-Store Manager Banks

Wells Fargo Bank Bell Road Branch 6240 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-270-2370 Lina Bradley-Store Manager Banks

Wells Fargo Bank Wetumpka Branch 4950 US Highway 231 Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-567-7660 Bobby Taylor-Store Manager Banks

Great News Media, LLC 4353 Liztame Drive Montgomery, AL 36106 334-233-2208 Eddie Spangler-Owner Advertising-Social Media

ERP International, LLC 60 Commerce Street, Suite 1500 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-356-7740 Melvin Petty-Owner Information Technology Firm

Montgomery Regional Airport Intermodal Facility & Parking System 4445 Selma Highway Montgomey, AL 36108 334-281-5040 Phil Perry-Executive Director Airline

Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

New Members

Shawna Brannon 5728 Hitching Post Lane Montgomery, AL 36124116 334-213-7923

Computers-Software/ Hardware/Consulting

Flooring-Carpet/ Rugs/Tile

Cy3 Computing, LLC Ahmad Austin P.O. Box 231115 Montgomery, AL 36123 404-410-6869

Georgia Floors Direct Jeff Mallinson 1965 Eastern Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36117 334-244-7004

Tonya Williams P.O. Box 242386 Montgomery, AL 36124124 334-294-8489



Designer Smiles Dental Studio, PC Jennifer Richardson 11123 Chantilly Parkway, Suite I Pike Road, AL 36064 334-530-9906

Save-A-Lot Food Store Earl Johnson 2252 Mt. Meigs Road Montgomery, AL 36107 334-269-4901

Employment Agencies Montgomery Area Career Center Jim Ramsey 1060 East South Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36116-2338 334-286-1746

Individuals Dwight Toney 5717 Bangor Court Montgomery, AL 36124117 334-492-7364 Evelyn Morrow 57 Mt. Terrace Lane Wetumpka, AL 36093 334-478-3218

Information Technology Firms

Moving Transfer & Storage Pro Movers & Storage David Garner 871-B Plantation Way Montgomery, AL 36117 334-271-1100 Physicians-Surgery River Region General Surgery Reza Seirafi 7201 Copperfield Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

DMD Technology Solutions, Inc. Nicole Sloan 600 South Court Street, Suite 324 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-593-6509

Real Estate Sales and Development WPI SET REALTY Jimmy Harris 1785 Taliaferro Trail Montgomery, AL 36117 334-730-4177

Marketing/ Marketing Research Gouge Marketing Group Sandra S. Gouge 203 Palos Verdes Drive Troy, AL 36079 334-546-0827

Restaurants Village Kitchen Tiffany Bell 503 Cloverdale Road Montgomery, AL 36106 334-356-3814

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Economic Intel Unemployment Data Civilian Labor Force AREA

Unemployment Rate


OCTOBER r 2010



OCTOBER r 2010








Autauga County







Prattville City







Elmore County







Lowndes County







Montgomery County







Montgomery City







Birmingham-Hoover MA







Birmingham City



















Mobile MA







Mobile City



















Montgomery MA

Huntsville MA Huntsville City

Alabama United States

MA=Metropolitan Area. pPreliminary rRevised Estimates prepared by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations in Cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on 2009 benchmark

Montgomery Regional Airport DEC 2010

DEC 2009

Year over Year % Change

YTD 2010

YTD 2009

Year over Year % Change

Air Carrier Operations







Total Operations





















Total Passengers







Source: Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) Dannelly Field


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

Airline Fares

Hyundai Sales

Roundtrip airfare comparisons from Montgomery, Birmingham and Atlanta airports to key destinations.


DEC 2010

DEC 2009

YTD 2010

YTD 2009














Baltimore (BWI)









Boston (BOS)









Charlotte, NC (CLT)




Santa Fe





Chicago (ORD)









Cincinnati (CVG)









Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW)









Denver (DEN)









Detroit (DTW)









Houston (HOU)









Indianapolis (IND)









Las Vegas (LAS)




Los Angeles (LAX)




Memphis (MEM)




Miami (MIA)




Nashville (BNA)




New Orleans (MSY)




New York (JFK)




Orlando (MCO)




Philadelphia (PHL)




Pittsburgh (PIT)




St Louis (STL)




Seattle (SEA)







Tampa (TPA)




Washington DC (DCA)





Seoul, Korea (SEL)

Source: Hyundai Motor America

Date of travel: Feb. 15-20, 2011. Date of pricing: Jan. 9, 2010. Source:

Sales Tax Collections Year over Year % Change

Year over Year % Change

DEC 2010

DEC 2009

Montgomery County







City of Montgomery







Pike Road







Autauga County































Prattville Elmore County


YTD 2010

YTD 2009


Sources: Montgomery County Commission, City of Montgomery, City of Pike Road, Autauga County Commission, City of Prattville, Elmore County Commission, City of Wetumpka, City of Millbrook Note: YTD numbers are January 2010 thru current month. * Did not receive this months numbers.

February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal














Plans to open 40-50 drive-ins this year







International comparable store sales rose 14%







Tuxedo rental revenue increased 13%

Dollar General







Profit surged 68.4%








Repurchased $420M worth of stock








Number of prescriptions filled at storesopen at least 1 year declined 1.7%








Profit rose 19%; repurchased $510M worth of stock







Sales at stores open more than 1 year up 4.5%







Haverty Furniture







Ruby Tuesday







Profit jumped tenfold

Family Dollar







Revenue rose 10%

NAME Sonic Corp. Costco Men’s Wearhouse

Finish Line Bed, Bath & Beyond


Profit climbed 28% Sales for 2010 increased 5.5%

Source: PR Newswire and Charles Schwab wire services

Montogmery Building Starts Building Permits

Building Valuations

NOV 2010

OCT 2010

NOV 2009

NOV 2010

OCT 2010

NOV 2009

New Construction







Additions and Alterations





















Year/Year % Change

Statewide NOV 2010

Source: City of Montgomery Building Department

Montgomery Metro Market Home Sales NOV 2010

OCT 2010

Month/Month % Change

NOV 2009

Median Price







Average Price







Units Listed







Months of Supply







Total # Sales







Days on Market







Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), The University of Alabama


Montgomery Business Journal February 2011

7KH0RQWJRPHU\2IÀFH LVSOHDVHGWRZHOFRPH -RG\0F,QQHV Vice President Financial Advisor —Wealth Management Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is proud to welcome Jody McInnes and his valued clients and friends. As a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisor, Jody is now positioned to offer a powerful combination of resources to help meet the needs of his wealth management clients. Specific areas of experience include structured settlements, special needs trusts, land preservation trusts, endowments and foundations.


© 2010 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.


February 2011 Montgomery Business Journal


Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal – February 2011  

Montgomery Business Journal – February 2011