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4001 CARMICHAEL ROAD | MONTGOMERY, AL 36116 This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed by agent. All information is subject to change.









Investor Profile: Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama


State of the City and State of the County


Baptist East ranked in Top 100 for the second year in a row


Q&A with Ray White


Young professional of the year


Students attend Camp iMade it


Alfa Insurance Companies returns to basics


The BB&T Bank Bus spreads the word on financial education


Reporter’s Notebook


Economic Development takes a team


Member Profile: Integrated Computer Solutions


Southeast Cherokee Construction builds on government contracts


Business Buzz


Members on the Move


New Members


Ribbon Cuttings & Ground Breakings


Economic Intel

24 28

APRIL 2013

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal



Randall L. George Executive Editor


Tina McManama

“Inspirations for Designing Your Personal Entertaining Tablescape�

Lashanda Gaines

You will find great ideas for designing your own tablescape by adding items to your pattern that add a modern twist.


Managing Editor

David Zaslawsky COPY EDITOR


Copperwing Design Photographer

Robert Fouts On the cover:

Jimmy Parnell is the president, CEO and chairman of the board for Alfa Insurance Companies.

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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:

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Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

The Montgomery Business Journal (USPS NO. 025553) is published monthly except for the combined issues of June/July/August 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 5, Issue 4 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

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Calendar Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Events


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CHAMBER ORIENTATION Sponsored by Charter HR 8 AM @ Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery Contact Deborah Pope or 334-240-9298 EGGS & ISSUES WITH SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS 7:30 AM @ RSA Activity Center, 201 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery. Details and registration: 60 MINUTE COFFEE Sponsored by Jenkins Brick & Tile 8 AM @ Jenkins Brick & Tile 10200 Highway 80 East, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

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BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by Granville Home Furnishings 5 PM @ Granville Home Furnishings 3490 Wetumpka Highway, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members CONVERSATIONS – ROUNDTABLES FOR PROFESSIONAL WOMEN Presenting Sponsor: Southeast Cherokee Construction, Inc. 8 AM @ Wynlakes Golf & Country Club 7900 Wynlakes Boulevard, Montgomery Register: BUSINESS TAXATION WORKSHOP Two Sessions: 3 PM & 6 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Free event, open to the public

BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door


2 6 8 6

CHAMBER OPEN 11:30 AM @ Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill 2600 Constitution Avenue, Prattville Chamber Member: $155 per player Nonmember: $175 per player Registration: BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door 60 MINUTE COFFEE Sponsored by AALOS 8 AM @ Montgomery Antiques & Interiors 1955 East South Boulevard, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

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BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by Montgomery Colonial Property 5 PM @ Capitol Commerce Center 100 Capitol Commerce Boulevard, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members




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Investor Profile Rick Neal is senior vice president of administration & advisory general counsel for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

accelerating at

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama grows at torrid pace by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama It was just two short years ago that Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama announced its annual economic impact on Montgomery County and the State of Alabama. That annual economic impact was $1.5 billion in the county and $2.8 billion in the state, and that was for 2010. Since that time, HMMA, which produces the Sonata and Elantra, has added nearly 1,100 jobs and a capital investment of more than $200 million. The company, which opened in 2005 with about 2,000 employees and a $1 billion investment, has experienced phenomenal growth – 3,100-plus employees today and a capital investment of about $1.7 billion. “I think the fact that we’ve had such a significant overall economic impact in the state validates the actions of not only the State of Alabama, but the city, county and the efforts of the Chamber (Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce) to attract Hyundai here in the first place,” said Rick Neal, senior vice president of administration & advisory general counsel for HMMA. “I think we have exceeded all of their expectations and we’ve certainly exceeded most of our own with the success that we’ve had, and we continue to enjoy excellent cooperation from all those entities. It’s really a partnership that has benefited all parties.” How has HMMA managed that growth? How do you go from producing 250,000 vehicles in 2007 to this year’s goal of 388,000 units? The Montgomery plant is one of the top automotive production sites in the country for output. “Our use of ergonomic devices and our increased use of robotics; our use of advanced manufacturing techniques and technologies enables us to produce more vehicles generally with less team members than comparable older facilities,” he said. “It is one of the most highly automated manufacturing facilities in the world even to this day.” Neal said that dramatic growth follows increased demand. “Designers of our vehicles have created products that have resonated with the public, which has resulted in increased sales and a need for us to produce more vehicles.” That increased demand led to adding employees such as the 877 who were hired for the company’s third crew/third shift last year. “All of our team members and especially all of our management team members have the job of ensuring we produce a higher number of high-quality vehicles – all are committed to the success of the company,” Neal said. “We experienced that last year when we went to our three crew/three shift production model. We were given a very short time in which to recruit, hire, train and put to work 877 new workers. We did it in three months and that’s because everybody is conditioned to moving at Hyundai speed. That intensity, focus and drive comes all the way from headquarters.” There was a snag, however, that with all the new workers in production, quality declined, and according to Neal, “suffering a diminution in quality is not acceptable at Hyundai.” He said they were ordered to restore the quality to Hyundai standards. “Everybody had their assigned roles and responsibilities and we all worked together and pulled in the same direction as a team.”


Montgomery Number of employees


Vehicles produced at the plant

Elantra and sonata

Number of vehicles produced in 2012


It took two months, but HMMA was back at the quality targets set by headquarters in Seoul, Korea. Neal said the company achieved a 95 percent first-time through ratio. “We have a very structured hierarchical management chain. The objective starts at the top and gets filtered down through all the levels of management and it goes all the way down to the production team member level, where you basically have to train individuals on how to properly do their job and complete their process in the necessary time without causing any in-system damage to the vehicle. With a concentrated effort campus-wide we achieve results.” Hyundai stresses the team concept. “We look at every shop and every process has its own customer and that customer is an internal customer here at HMMA,” Neal said. “The process starts at stamping and stamping has to do their job properly so that they can give their customer, which is body and weld – what body and weld needs. And body and weld has to do what they need to do in order to give the paint shop what it needs to do its job. And so forth it goes down the line so we’re all very interconnected.” Back in January 2005, then-HMMA President M.H. Lee addressed the employees and said a new plant and new products will not make Hyundai great – it’s the employees that can make Hyundai great. “I want to say how proud I am of all our team members,” Neal said. “They work incredibly hard. They are dedicated to the company. They put in the overtime when it’s required for us to meet the demands of our customers. “And last year their generosity of spirit and actual monetary contributions to causes like the United Way, Toys for Tots, Montgomery Area Food Bank and others – completely blew me away. I was concerned how our new three crew/three shift team members would respond, but they also came through in a big way. We enjoyed our largest drives for all of those charitable organizations.” The employees donated $238,000 to United Way and with the corporate donation, HMMA gave $300,000 and gave 442 bicycles to Toys for Tots compared with 283 the previous year. “That’s extremely gratifying,” Neal said. •

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Right: Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange Below: Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr.

The City of Montgomery and Montgomery County Commission bring new jobs and businesses to the River Region. by David Zaslawsky

Dynamic 10

Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

“You don’t get it done by yourself,” said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, who leans on his close partner – Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. The two are so close that during her introductions, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman-Elect Leslie Sanders said that Strange and Dean are “what I call hydrogen and oxygen.” She left it up to the audience at the State of the City and County presentations to decide who hydrogen is and who oxygen is. Together, Strange and Dean are what Sanders called “a dynamic partnership.” Strange said, “We cannot be great unless we’re all together.” And the city and county could not be any closer. Strange and Dean have been working together on economic development projects for years. The two split incentive money – the city contributes 60 percent and the county pays 40 percent.


Leslie Sanders, vice president of Alabama Power Co. Southern Division

“We are proud to partner with the City and Chamber to bring new jobs and business expansions to our county,” Dean said. Sanders, the vice president of Alabama Power Co. Southern Division, said, “Whether it is an economic development prospect in town or Fortune 500 CEOs at the Diversity Summit, they are blown away by the spirit of cooperation and trust between the mayor and commission chairman and extraordinary leadership they see in Montgomery, Alabama.” She said that the cooperation between Strange and Dean is “not common in the country. The leadership in Montgomery is unique and it’s special and it is sincere. There is a tide of excitement and progress in Montgomery right now and it is built around an incredible team of leaders working in partnership to make things happen. “The city, the county, the state legislative delegation, the congressional delegation, the Chamber (are) all working as a team around common goals.” •








April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


‘County is strong and getting stronger’ by David Zaslawsky

During his State of the County address, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. talked about “challenging times” and “volatile times.” Because of those challenging and volatile times, the county has adopted new approaches. “We are in an economy that requires us to think in different ways with strategic budget reductions,” Dean said at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s State of the City and County breakfast at the RSA Activity Center. The county is coping with a hiring freeze, “but … we remain focused on our principles of efficient, effective government, and our goals reflect our intentions to keep a longterm perspective,” Dean said. “As we look to the challenges facing us in coming years, it’s clear to us what our priorities need to be. Even in our current economic environment, our county is still growing. We must continue to develop our work force and provide for our services while prioritizing our resources to meet the needs of a growing county.” Sales tax revenues, which account for about 40 percent of the county’s nearly $95 million budget, were up 2.7 percent in 2012. That was an increase of more than $1 million. The county enjoyed positive sales tax figures in 11 of the 12 months. The county is still $3.5 million from its pre-recession sales tax revenue and that’s a 9 percent difference. Montgomery County received $500,000plus from the federal government to house federal inmates at the county’s detention center. There has been a monthly average of 100 federal inmates. Dean said that the county commission’s primary focus will be recruiting industries and helping existing industries expand.


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

He hopes that 2013 could resemble last year, when 26 new and existing industries announced a combined 2,224 jobs, the most since 2002, when Hyundai Motor Co. announced it was building a manufacturing plant in Montgomery. Those 26 companies represent $167.5 million in capital investment. “We believe that collaboration is about bringing people together and sharing ideas for the most effective results, and it is working in Montgomery County,” Dean said. The county’s health program has been so successful that the City of Montgomery and the Water Board now use the same three clinics. Dean said that the county has saved more than $5 million in 4½ years by having employees, retirees and dependents use the clinics. More than 1,200 have visited

the clinics since the program started and the three clinics handled more 5,500 appointments in 2012. The chairman pointed out that the county’s engineering department, with 30 fewer employees, is ranked second in the state. The department maintains 560 miles of paved roads and another 22 miles of unpaved roads as well as 208 bridges. The county has 845 employees. There are plans to renovate county buildings and moving some services to more convenient locations. “There is a lot happening in Montgomery and it is all positive,” Dean said. “So we all need to stay positive as we move forward. The county is strong and getting stronger.” •

“We believe that collaboration is about bringing people together and sharing ideas for the most effective results, and it is working in Montgomery County.” Elton N. Dean Sr, chairman of the Montgomery County Commission

More Activity, More Revenue by David Zaslawsky

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said the increased activity throughout the city means more revenue and more revenue means an improving public education system and an improving quality of life. The activity ranges from EastChase to downtown to midtown and West Montgomery. There are significant plans for upscale apartments and an extended-stay hotel on Maxwell Boulevard and sporting events have been announced for the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl and the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex in East Montgomery. The sporting events draw visitors and dollars to the region. Other projects include the Madison Avenue Gateway and perhaps a new hotel; Wright Brothers Park on Maxwell Boulevard and redevelopment of the old Montgomery Mall with a new fire station; police presence; the Montgomery Technical Education Center; and some county offices and possibly a health care facility. “We’ve worked every week this year and most weekends this year working with four different companies to bring jobs to Montgomery, Alabama,” Strange said. He said that the city’s unemployment rate has declined to 6.6 percent or 6.7 percent and that means the number of people working in the city has increased 2,619. That’s impressive, but there are still 9,000 people unemployed, Strange said. The City of Montgomery has 2,624 employees. The Alabama unemployment rate is 7.1 and the country has a 7.8 percent unemployment rate. The city’s revenue streams have been growing $4 million to $5 million a year – about 4 percent to 5 percent increases, according to Strange. The $226 million current budget is the same as 2009 and that is not a good sign, but the city’s reserves are now $15 million more than they were three years ago. “Montgomery – from a financial standpoint – is really in a good position,” Strange said at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s State of the City and County breakfast at RSA Activity Center. Yet, he warned about the sequester, saying “all of a sudden we find ourselves looking at a train coming at us in the tunnel.” He said he planned to meet with the City Council to plan the third quarter. Strange also encouraged the audience members to call their lawmakers to stop the sequester. “It’s one thing to sit in Washington … and play chicken with the American economy, but it’s another thing when it comes right down here where the rubber meets the road.” One economic indicator that Strange was impressed by was Montgomery’s top ranking in the state for residential job growth – a 12.1 percent increase. The city is ranked second in population to Birmingham, but only trails by about 4,200 and the trend favors Montgomery, which added 2,400 the past two years while Birmingham gained just 175 people. In a 2012 survey, about two-thirds of the respondents said that the city was moving in the right direction; two-thirds said the city was doing a good job of fighting crime; and two-thirds said that officials were doing a good job of attracting industry. An even greater number – three-fourths of the respondents – said that the city had a great quality of life and would recommend it to their friends. •

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Top Class of the

Peter Selman is CEO of Baptist Medical Center East.

Baptist Medical Center East ranked in Top 100 for two straight years by David Zaslawsky

Baptist Medical Center East did not outline a plan to be one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals back in 2010.

The hospital, which is part of the Baptist Health system, did strive to reduce mortality, reduce complications, enhance patient safety, reduce average length of stay and improve patients’ perception of their care. Those are some of the performance indicators used to determine which hospitals are named to the Top 100 list by Truven Health Analytics. Other areas were expenses; profitability; heart failure; and pneumonia.

“I was as shocked as anybody when we won it,” said Baptist Medical Center East CEO Peter Selman, who joined the company in the summer of 2009. “We stepped back and asked ourselves: ‘Are we going to be a onehit wonder?’ When we didn’t win it the next year, we thought, maybe we are.” Selman said the hospital has what he calls a “harsh” mantra of “it’s up or out.” The goal is to lift the low performers, the medium performers and those who have high-performing potential, but aren’t living up to it. “When everybody understands what the expectations are you have a better chance of delivering a consistent product,” Selman said.

Baptist Medical Center East has a culture “of hard work, dedication … a not-so-small dose of humility,” Selman said. “People who are humble are always striving to do better. That


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

culture of performance improvement – saying we can always do better – just cascades from the top perhaps, but it really pervades every nook and cranny and every aspect of our organization.” That culture, according to Selman, has to be created. He said there was a “good culture” at Baptist East when he arrived there, but since then that culture has been enhanced. He said communication is the key. The company has 1,000-plus employees and they understand the hospital’s goals and objectives and how to get there. He also said it was vital to have metrics and being transparent about measuring “the good, the bad and the ugly.” It all has resulted in Baptist Medical Center East being named to the country’s 100 Top Hospitals list for 2012 and 2013 – that’s three time in four years. “We share this honor with our patients, their families, our entire staff, and the community we serve,” Selman said in a statement. “It is a testament to the quality and dedication of our caregivers and the care they provide.” Being named one of the country’s top 100 hospitals three times in four years is not lost on Selman, who called himself a “rabid”

University of Alabama football fan. After all, Alabama won national championship games in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He also shares Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban’s 24-hour rule for celebrating victories.

emergency department may have treated 10 to 15 people and “not one of them really cares about an award we won last year,” he said. “They only care about the care their mom; their loved one; their grandfather is going to receive right here today.”

“We will do our victory Don’t get Selman wrong lap,” Selman said. There Russell Tyner, president – awards do have their will be some celebrating at a and CEO of Baptist Health place and do provide leadership development retreat, some validation. which was scheduled before the news of being named to the top 100 list. “We’ll “It’s been fabulous to win it back-to-back,” celebrate a little bit and then we’re going to he said. “We’re real excited. We were the only get back to work. That’s what we’re all about.” hospital in Alabama to win the award the past two years. That’s pretty special. It’s a unique Russell Tyner, president and CEO of Baptist thing and a special thing for the River Region. Health, said, “This recognition is a true For Montgomery to have the only hospital reflection of the hard work of our quality, in the state (ranked in the top 100) the last caring staff, physicians and volunteers. The couple of years is something that we all can Top 100 designation, our third of the last be proud of in this community.” four years, demonstrates the continuing dedication of this team in providing for the Truven Health evaluated nearly 3,000 nonwellness of our patients and community.” federal hospitals for its comprehensive study, which has been conducted for the past Selman pointed out that during a one-hour 20 years. • new employees’ orientation, the hospital’s

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Fouts Commercial Photography

Ray White is vice chancellor of Troy University’s Montgomery campus. He is the chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Higher Education Task Force. He was recently interviewed by Montgomery Business Journal Managing Editor David Zaslawsky Montgomery Business Journal: Which colleges/ universities are members of the Chamber’s Higher Education Task Force? White: AUM (Auburn University at Montgomery); Alabama State University; Troy; Trenholm, the only technical school; Huntingdon; Faulkner; South University; and Tuskegee. MBJ: How many people are on the task force?

Ray White is the chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Higher Education Task Force.

engaging Young Talent Q & A with Ray white

White: Twelve. There are eight members and when the chairman of the Chamber asked me to chair this, I expressed some concern. I said nothing like this had ever been done in the history of Montgomery, where you pull together presidents of competing colleges and universities because we all compete with each other for students. I said I’ll do it with an understanding that we’re going to be working toward improving Montgomery and Montgomery Public Schools as opposed to talking about programmatic-type things. The second thing I did was call the two major public universities in the city – besides Troy is AUM and Alabama State University. I talked to AUM Chancellor John Veres and ASU President Bill Harris and first asked if either of them would like to chair (the task force). They said no. I was more concerned with getting eight busy college presidents and chancellors together working toward a common purpose. MBJ: Who else is on the task force? White: Because of what we are working on we also have the superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools – Barbara Thompson is a member. Cheryl Carter, head of Leadership Montgomery, is a member, as well as the president of EMERGE. The other is the president of the Alabama Association for Independent Colleges and Universities – Paul Hankins. MBJ: How did that first meeting go?


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

White: We had unanimous attendance at our first meeting. We got good support from all the college presidents and chancellors. MBJ: When was that meeting? White: It was early in 2012. We met and established some programmatic-type things. MBJ: Why was the task force formed? White: The reality is that Montgomery is a town with colleges and universities, but what we’re wanting to do is convert it from a town of colleges and universities to a university town. MBJ: What does that mean? White: It means that a college student and college faculty and staff do their own thing and they do support downtown Montgomery and things in Montgomery, but individually and kind of disjointed. The whole idea of many college towns is where you have college students meandering, walking and working downtown; taking courses downtown; they are doing activities as groups. You see the school colors throughout the town and all these activities and that is not really happening

in Montgomery. That’s the purpose of the higher education task force – is to engage the young talent in the colleges and universities, specifically the students – to work special projects that will make this community better. And more importantly, to retain them (college students). Goal one of Chamber’s Imagine II strategy says: “Champion education and develop competitive regional talent.” Our goal is to use our students in all of our colleges and do things that we think are important: Develop (high school students); help them make the transition from secondary education to postsecondary education. MBJ: That is a huge jump to take. It can be very intimidating. White: Many of these high school students have never set foot on a college campus. They don’t know what the university experience means. One of the things that we should be doing as colleges is to do our part to retain that competitive talent because often times college students graduate and then head off to the big cities. We are trying to show our students that there is plenty to do in Montgomery and there are job opportunities.

MBJ: Getting back to that first meeting. What else did you accomplish? White: We established some specific objectives. One of those objectives is to help high school students transition from secondary education into colleges and the biggest hurdle most people have is to maneuver through this thing called financial aid. A lot of people can’t afford to go to college without financial aid: the loans and the grants and scholarships. MBJ: How are you helping those students? White: We picked a pilot school – Jeff Davis High School and 409 seniors, and we decided to work on one pilot group at a time. MBJ: What steps have you taken? White: We surveyed them first of all, and less than 10 percent of the students knew what FAFSA (free application for student aid) was or how to get to it and how to do anything with it because you are supposed to fill this thing out before you ever go to college. Continued on page 18

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Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

White: The second step was to do “Financial Aid Fridays” as we called it. The Financial Aid Fridays are geared to – we’ve already taught nearly-seniors and some of their parents – how to complete this FAFSA form. We are doing follow-up with them for additional information they may need from the Department of Education or the banks. MBJ: What else has the task force been working on? White: Then we worked with the Montgomery Public Schools system. We also found out that many of these high school students didn’t really know anything about the colleges, so we did campus tours with all our university buses from all the eight schools that I talked about. We gave the students a choice: Pick two colleges and universities that you would like to visit and then we as the higher education task force will pick the third one because we wanted to make sure that all eight were visited. We brought them to the different campuses and gave them some literature; had some briefings; talked about the unique things and the unique programs that that particular university or college had to offer. The idea is to keep focus on the purpose of why we exist and that is to get more high school students to go to college and help them do that and stay out of trouble. Often times, students leave colleges and universities strapped with huge debts and not even a marketable degree. MBJ: Is the new big picture that it’s more important for local students to attend an area college than which local college? White: It depends if I’m wearing my Troy hat or my higher education task force hat. The goal is to make it easier and a simpler process for high school

students to try to get more of them to go to college. MBJ: Isn’t the bottom line that the more students attend local colleges and universities all the schools benefit? White: Yes. Obviously, if all of us grow that brings the prestige of this college town being the place to get your college education. As the old saying goes: “A rising tide floats all boats.” And keep them here after they graduate. Then our goal is to get them graduated and a job. If you can’t get them a job, that’s why they are going to Atlanta or Chicago or Texas or wherever. We don’t just want to get a bunch more students in college, but to get them successfully through that experience and keep them in Montgomery when they graduate. MBJ: H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College is a two-year school, so how does that fit into the task force’s goals? White: Some students know that they want to go down the technical route. They want to be an automobile mechanic or a hair stylist or a heating and air conditioning technician. Others will not have the admission standards – the grade-point average or the ACT score – to get into a four-year school right away. Some of the students pick Trenholm as the first college they want to visit for that reason. MBJ: What role if any do current college students have to support the task force’s efforts with high school seniors? White: We want to use our current college students to improve the City of Montgomery – what the city has to offer. MBJ: I reviewed some of the goals and I read about a gap analysis. What is that? White: You’ve heard the term “town and gown.” That means getting colleges engaged with the town so people ask what kind of

town and gown relationship do you have in this city. We want the strongest possible town and gown relationship between (the) Montgomery area and (universities), then take the college students and engage them in the process and tap into their talent and fresh ideas and use that to make the city better. The analysis was done with the help of Leadership Montgomery leadership class. They developed a survey that I sent out to the other seven college presidents and chancellors, and asked them to ask their students to do the survey. It was a six- or sevenminute survey and it asked the students what they think about the city; the types of things the city doesn’t have that they would like to see; and try to find out where the gaps are from the minds of college students. MBJ: How many students responded? White: So far, 897 students took the survey. MBJ: Then you can take the results to the city, county, Chamber and business community and try to eliminate those gaps so the students are more likely to stay here. White: Yes, that’s the bottom line, but it also can get the students engaged to do some of those things. The students have already come up with a project out of that survey that they are going to do on April 6 in Cloverdale. It’s called Showdown in College Town. It’s going to be a film festival at Capri Theatre and students made the films. MBJ: I read about the Student Leader Forum. What is that forum? White: We wanted some of our sharpest college students to take a leadership role and engage the rest of the student body at their campuses. So each president or chancellor selected three top students for a total of

24 to engage personally with their president or chancellor. That’s our connection to the student body through other students. We’ve had several meetings – planning meetings and ice-breaker meetings – at the Chamber boardroom with these 24 student leaders. By the way, almost 100 percent attendance at every one of the meetings.


MBJ: Those types of students will likely join EMERGE Montgomery in the future. White: That is an excellent lead-in to that. As I said, the president of EMERGE is part of our higher education task force. At the ice-breaker, we brought together the 24 college students and the EMERGE professionals. Showing these young people that one day you can get involved with EMERGE and become a member, you can really help make this town better. These 24 college students are loving working with EMERGE. That EMERGE group is a great networking group for a college students to help get into the job market.


MBJ: What is the Coursework2Careers SharePoint site? White: The big gap oftentimes is when people get through college, they can’t find jobs or while they are in college, they have intern requirements in some of their course work. They have to work and get experience as part of their course credit, but they don’t know where to go – where anybody has intern needs out there. The same problems exist with businesses and corporations. They have intern needs, but they don’t know where to get the interns. We developed this software through a company, which provided us free services to develop this for the higher education task force. We’ve already had career service officers at our campuses test the software and work out




Continued on page 20

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Continued from page 19

the glitches. We also brought in businesses and industry and let them play with it. It is to help them find a placement for interns and for businesses and industries to find college students that they want for interns. It allows students at the different colleges and universities to go into the career placement office and they will provide their information with a resume attached in the system. Businesses can select by college; by career; by degree program; or whatever they are looking for. The students can’t get into the system. They just provide the information. Career placement officers can get into the system. If a business or industry likes that student, they shoot an email to the career placement officer at that particular college. The career placement officer contacts the student. MBJ: Is there similar software to connect students graduating from college with businesses and industries? White: The next step is to take this software to another level for the senior students and

would flag all the companies looking for specific (skills, etc.). MBJ: Will this task force break through the silos of the local colleges and universities? White: I think it already has. We’ve all had good relationships even before the task force met. So far, we are all working toward common purposes and that’s to improve the City of Montgomery or the Montgomery/TriCounty area. MBJ: Is there a possibility years down the road of the colleges and universities collaborating on course studies and programs to adapt to the area’s business and industry needs? White: That’s a great question. We already have a program like that and it is a program to identify cyber security needs for the Montgomery area, including Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex and the Air Guard and the Army Guard. Everybody wants to protect their Internet. This same group is working in another Chamber task force.

MBJ: Talk about the impact of the higher education task force on the local colleges and universities. White: It opens many doors for future partnerships. The city will get stronger if the colleges and universities work together because there is so much we can provide. The more we’re working together, the more we can share our strengths with each other. My view has always been, there are plenty of students to go around. Students have different interests and we have different programs. If we work together on these common goals to get things that the city needs, then we’re going to find other ways we can work together. The specific task that we’ve come up with in just one year – we’ve already accomplished most of it. It’s time to identify the next five or six objectives that we’re going to address. MBJ: You’ve been working with the one high school. What about other high schools? White: The whole idea is the sky is the limit. Continued on page 22


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

Mr. Victor K. Biebighauser,

Along with Troy University at Montgomery, these Montgomery area colleges and universities are participating in the Chamber’s Higher Education Task Force.

President, South University

Dr. William H. Harris,

Dr. John G. Veres, III,

Interim President, Alabama State University

Mr. Samuel Munnerlyn,

President, Trenholm State Technical College

Dr. Billy D. Hilyer,

Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon,

Mr. J. Cameron West,

President, Faulkner University

President, Tuskegee University


Chancellor, Auburn University at Montgomery

President, Huntingdon College

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April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


We want to use our current college students to improve the City of Montgomery. Continued from page 20

MBJ: When will you add a second high school? White: We’ll measure what we’re doing to make sure we are not wasting time. We are going to measure when these students

graduate from Jeff Davis High School this year and see how many went to college and where they went to college. We know in previous years how many seniors from Jeff Davis went to college and it’s less than 15 percent.

MBJ: What does success look like – 20 to 25 percent of the seniors going to college? White: Success for me is you make a significant improvement in what the students have done in the past. If it’s 15 percent the previous year and we jump to 25 percent or 30 percent – that’s a noticeable difference. I would hope it would be even greater. We think we have done a good job of motivating these young people. The point of this is to establish a system in conjunction with colleges and universities, where we can help high school students transition from secondary education to colleges and universities. We can do that through helping them with financial aid; we can do that by helping them get familiar with the colleges and universities; we can go into the schools and do mentoring programs; we can teach kids what kind of courses they should take; and even provide more opportunities for dual enrollment, where kids get college credit while they are in high school. That’s the best of all worlds because a lot of kids can come out of high school and be a sophomore in college. It’s a great opportunity. •


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Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

Chamber News Seay, Seay & Litchfield principal R. Platt Boyd IV was one of five finalists for the 2013 Young Professional of the Year Award. He was confident he was not going to win because surely the winner would have been notified in advance to prepare a short speech. He saw another sign: Boyd noticed that one of the finalists’ names was on a small slip of paper and it wasn’t his. Just imagine his shock when his name was introduced as the Young Professional of the Year during a lunch ceremony at the Capital City Club. It was the third annual event conducted by EMERGE Montgomery, a young professionals’ organization, which is a program of Leadership Montgomery in partnership with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.


Young Professional of the R. Platt Boyd, a principal at Seay, Seay & Litchfield, wins prestigious award by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

Boyd, an architect with Seay, Seay & Litchfield, had no prepared speech and may have forgotten to thank everybody. “We’re all given a lot in this life and (it’s about) a desire to use the gifts to the best of our ability and give back as much as we can,” he said. “If you have been given something it’s something to be shared.” And he has shared a lot with a lot of people. He was instrumental in the development of Athletes in Action/Campus Outreach at Huntingdon College. Boyd said that he helped students make all the transitions from high school to college and the transitions of college to the real world. He was an adjunct professor at the Auburn University School of Architecture and taught a course for two years called “Professional Practice.” He said, “The course covers everything from the history of the profession to what your career might look like to legal aspects to financial aspects of running the firm to project management to contracts to marketing.” Boyd is active in the firm’s Intern Development Program and said that senior principals Jim Seay Jr. and Frank Litchfield were his mentors “and father figures” since he came to the firm 14 years ago. He credits the senior principals for his growth and development as an architect. Boyd enjoys working with interns. “You’re training the next generation of architects and trying to help them learn the profession; learn Continued on page 26


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Young Professional of the Year

LeNetta Banks, president, The LeNetta Banks Group

Chantel Hartman, health educator intern, Alabama Department of Public Health

Todd Mote, area executive, PrimeSouth Bank

Ashley Taylor, certified public accountant, Jackson Thornton

Continued from page 24

how to be an architect; what to look for; what not to do; how to act with clients; how to do the drawings; and quality control,” said Boyd, who helps direct of staff of 20 along with four others in leadership positions. In winning the award, Boyd said that “makes it more of a priority to give back and to be more of a leader in EMERGE Montgomery.” He is encouraging Seay, Seay & Litchfield employees to join EMERGE and Boyd is hoping to be member of this year’s EMERGE Torchbearers class. He has been involved with numerous organizations and projects. The firm did additions and renovations to the Alabama Department of Archives & History building. Boyd talked about “creating projects that help to improve the lives of everybody that comes into them through design.” There are concerts on the lawn of the archives building. “Every fourth-grade student in the State of Alabama goes to the building and they have their initiation into the history of Alabama,” Boyd said. •







Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

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More than 200 eight-graders from the Montgomery Public Schools district attended Camp iMade it.

When students graduate from the Montgomery Public Schools district’s Advanced Manufacturing Career Academy they will have sufficient training and education for entry-level jobs with STERIS Corp. and Industrial Specialty Co. Inc. Those entry-level positions are not minimumwage jobs. Starting pay for machinists at STERIS, which manufactures surgical equipment, is between $16 and $18 an hour, according to Ken Thomas, director of human resources for the firm. By the way, STERIS has been hiring a lot of machinists, Thomas said.

AREERS Students from the Montgomery Public Schools District attend Camp iMade it by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

If a student takes welding classes as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Career Academy, then they would take a welding test, Thomas said. If a student received fabrication training, they would interview with the fabrication team at STERIS and that team would determine the student’s skill level, which determines the starting pay. “Machinery and fabrication skills are sorely needed in Montgomery,” Thomas said. That’s why the company supports the Advanced Manufacturing Career Academy at George Washington Carver High School. Thomas said that starting pay in the shipping and receiving department is $11.53 an hour and beginning pay in the paint department is $12.22 an hour. Meanwhile, the federal minimum-wage rate is $7.25 an hour. At Industrial Specialty, which makes a wide variety of products including Can-Am Spyder custom-designed accessories and creates parts for the Department of Defense, starting pay for machinists is $15 to $16 an hour, said company president Darrell Dapprich. He said it takes additional education to set up the machine – understanding geometry and the software program. Continued on page 31

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Camp iMade it can help get you thinking about what you want to do in your future, and they should take advantage of that.â&#x20AC;? Krista Hawkins, community relations specialist/public relations department representative for HMMA.


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

as Alabama Power, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), SABIC, an innovative plastics business unit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.; Hager Companies and PHA Body Systems. Trenholm and AIDT also had stations, and there was a mobile unit from the Robotics Technology Park in Tanner. The 200-plus students, who attended the camp for the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advanced Manufacturing Career Academy, had shown an aptitude for this field. If they meet the grade requirements, the students can attend the academy in the fall when they will be ninth-graders.

Continued from page 29

Eighth-graders from the school district learned a lot about manufacturing jobs during Camp iMade it, a half-day session at H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College and the Alabama Industrial Development Training center. Students visited more than a dozen stations to hear from representatives from a wide variety of companies such



â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ninth grade is a good time to think about where you want to go and start planning now and working towards that goal,â&#x20AC;? said Krista Hawkins, a community relations specialist/ public relations department representative for HMMA. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They need to start thinking about what type of job they are looking for. Camp iMade it can help get you thinking about what you want to do in your future, and they should take advantage of that.â&#x20AC;? She told the students about the importance of making eye contact, shaking hands and

saying hello during a job interview. She also stressed the importance of being on time, as well as teamwork, which is critical for HMMA to build 1,500 vehicles a day. Of course, the students want to hear about the money, and starting pay on the assembly line is $14 to $15 an hour and tops out at $25 an hour, Hawkins said. Students learned firsthand about installing a speaker in a door panel at PHA Body Systemsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; station. Actually, they had a hands-on opportunity to use a screw gun to tighten four screws. At PHA, assembly line workers have 30 seconds to scan the speakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s code to make sure itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the correct one; install the speaker in the door panel and tighten those four screws. Starting pay is $25,000 to $30,000, but the company does prefer job candidates to have experience at a manufacturer. At SABICâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s station, students learned about vibrations and thermograpy and saw the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finished product, pellets used in various products. One of those products on display was bullet-proof glass with a bullet in it. â&#x20AC;˘







April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Back to

basics Alfa Insurance CEO embraces companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s past to move forward by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

The script called for Alfa Insurance Companies President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Jimmy Parnell to sit on stage, give a speech and talk with the firm’s customer service representatives. Parnell threw away that script, saying that being on a stage and giving a speech “is not me.” He elected to sit in the audience and spoke for just five minutes or so and then answered questions, which ran the gamut of janitorial services to Christmas work schedule to how to better serve the company’s policyholders. He doesn’t recall how long the question-andanswer period lasted, but it was long enough for the CEO of a firm with 2,600 employees to be reminded when the session was over.

Alfa Insurance Companies Employees Total number of policies

2,600 1 million-plus Number of employees at Total amount of life Montgomery corporate insurance in force headquarters

billion-plus 900 $27 Number of states

Number of agents that Alfa operates in in Alabama



Number of property Number of agents and casualty companies in the River Region

32 8State ranking for

Number of service centers ordinary life insurance

233 1

(at least one in each of Alabama’s 67 counties)

Number of service centers in the River Region


State rankings for automobile and homeowners insurance

2 Source: Alfa Insurance Companies

“That’s the kind of thing I like,” said Parnell, who insists on being called Jimmy. “I heard what was on their mind. I knew their issues. I think I can fix problems if I listen to them. If I sat here in this office all day, I wouldn’t know what was going on.” He does have an ambitious plan this year of visiting with agents and customer service representatives in each of the state’s 67 counties as well as county board members in the Alabama Farmers Federation. Parnell, who was named president, CEO and chairman of the board in early December, knows that it is a major commitment, but talking with employees is an important aspect of his management style. “I haven’t found anyone that I couldn’t learn something from,” Parnell said. “I’m interested in my people and their opinions. I’m not in some ivory-castle mentality. We’re going to all work together and I don’t care what your job is here – I care about your opinion. “I think that most folks that know me know that I’m a direct person. If you need to know something from me you’re going to get a straight answer and I think Alfa has that reputation.” There are no pretenses with Parnell. “I put my pants on just like everybody else – one leg at a time,” he said. He embraces a simple and basic approach and that is what Parnell has brought to Alfa, which has 1 million-plus policies. It’s all about getting back to basics and that means good, old fashioned relationships between insurance agents and their clients – those critically important face-to-face meetings – the type that Parnell enjoys. He will talk about walking in the halls at Alfa’s corporate headquarters on the Southern bypass and stop to chat with employees. He said those talks sometimes turn into business meetings, but often “it starts out checking on them as an individual,” he said. continued on page 36

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That is the key for Alfa moving forward and is Parnell’s focus – the personal relationship between Alfa employees and their customers. That’s his formula for growing the company, which sells insurance in 11 states.

ALFA HQ Still Stands Strong by David Zaslawsky

For more than a quarter century, Alfa Insurance Companies’ corporate headquarters has been located off the Southern bypass. The 350,000-square-foot facility was built in 1959 and there were additions in 1968, 1972, 1986 and 1992. A 500-plus foot pedestrian bridge connects the main building with the Business Processing Center, which took close to two years to build and opened in July 2006. About 22,000 tons of concrete and 775 tons of reinforced steel were used in the construction. The 134,000-square-foot facility can withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 155 mph. It was built to withstand an EF3 tornado, which has winds from 136 mph to 165 mph. The facility’s side walls and windows can withstand 130 mph projectiles. The building houses the company’s mainframe operating system and the mail distribution facility that sends out an average of 113,000 pieces of mail weekly. There are 30 miles of electrical wiring and 11.5 miles of data cables. To ensure its operations, the Business Processing Center features enough generators to run for one week without power. •

“My blueprint for where I want to go is our footprint of the past,” Parnell said. “Most of the things that we’ve done over the majority of the history of this company are the right things and that’s what we want to do again. Refocus on the good things of treating our people (fairly) and taking good care of our customers. “My goal is to get the system right. Right now – I say this a lot – I don’t feel like we’re running. I don’t feel like we’re walking, but I think we’re crawling in the right direction of getting the system right and getting our customers to understand that we’re the Alfa they have dealt with their lifetime. We want to be that company that cares about them and that they’re comfortable with.” Before he took over, Parnell actually had a claim with Alfa after a tornado damaged his farm in Chilton County last year. He recalled that Alfa employees showed up within an hour or so, “trying to see what we needed and begin the process of settling a claim.” The same year, he experienced the company’s handling of damaging storms from the CEO’s chair. Parnell said he received emails from employees midday on Christmas about what they were planning to do to help their customers deal with storms. “By dark that day, I was getting emails about what they were doing,” he said. “Our people were thinking about their customers on Christmas Day.” Those personal relationships set Alfa apart and it’s those personal relationships between Alfa employees and customers that Parnell is concentrating on. “We want to make sure that we have a good relationship with them (our customers),” Parnell said. “We’re not trying to sell individuals a policy. We want a relationship with them so we can sell them all of their policies and provide for their insurance needs. We want to be the guy or lady that every individual thinks about when they think about insurance. “I believe life is about people. I believe business is about people. I particularly


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

believe that Alfa is about people. That’s the thing that makes us different. The No. 1 thing that we do well – that is service and that sets us apart.” It’s important to Parnell that when a customer walks into an Alfa office, employees know the policyholder’s name. “That allows us to be able to service that individual’s needs better than some Internet company that’s somewhere else,” Parnell said. A customer may know his Alfa agent from church or Little League because they are members of the community, where they work. Parnell said, “It’s a brand that you wear with you every day.” Yet, that doesn’t mean that Alfa’s business practices are rigid or locked in some type of time warp. The company constantly works to provide new and improved products, according to Parnell, and offers online tools for those who prefer those options. By using the alfatogo app, customers can pay a bill online or report a claim. “We’re not wanting to be prehistoric in our concept, so we have to embrace some technology,” Parnell said. The company began offering rapid-issued life insurance last year, which eliminated the underwriting process and speeds up the time it takes to get the policy. Alfa also diversified by offering automobile insurance for higher-risk customers. Parnell traces the company’s reputation back to its beginning as an organization created in 1946 by farmers who couldn’t get insurance. “Most of them grew up on farms and got into the insurance business,” Parnell said. “They had an ag background. They knew about hard work. They knew about common sense. Family values – all those things that Alfa is – our founders started that. They hired people with the same kind of values.” That legacy has continued, Parnell said. “We’ve been very conservative. We have conservative values. We promote conservative values in the Legislature because we live conservative values. I think that’s why we have the reputation we’ve got.” •

An employee-focused company by David Zaslawsky

One of the mantras of Alfa Insurance Companies’ top executive is treating the firm’s employees fairly. Jimmy Parnell, president, CEO and chairman of the board, said, “The Alfa culture is somewhat like a big family.” That’s a large family of 2,600 people, but the employees truly are the face of the company because those are the people who interact with their customers. Those are the people, who according to Parnell, “are an integral part of each community.” The best advertisement for the company is the employees, Parnell said. It should come as no surprise that Alfa has been taking care of its employees for years. A 10,000-squarefoot daycare center was built in 1991 and is licensed for 125 children. “There’s a comfort level to a parent to know that their child is 100 yards or 200 yards from

where you’re working,” Parnell said, “and that you can go out there during a break or you can go out there during lunch and check on your child. It’s inside our security system and there are hurdles (in place) to protect your child.” Jeff Helms, director of public relations and communications, said that the daycare center “is just one small piece of a bigger picture. It’s a real employee-focused company.” There is an extensive cafeteria at the corporate headquarters on the Southern bypass with a sandwich line, hot food line and a grill line. The facility was remodeled in 2006. In addition, there is an exercise room. “I believe in treating people right and that means treating people fairly,” Parnell said. •

Alfa Insurance Companies President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Jimmy Parnell oversees 2,600 employees.

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Rolling Out Financial Education BB&Tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s state-of-the-art mobile financial training unit hits the road. by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

With more than 1,800 branches in 12 states and the District of Columbia, the BB&T Bank Bus is on the road constantly visiting those locations.

The bus, which was in Montgomery in February and parked in front of the bank’s downtown regional headquarters at the RSA Dexter Avenue Building, is a well-traveled information center. A full-sized commercial bus, it has been converted into a state-of-theart mobile training unit. Account holders and non-account holders can walk inside and learn about financial education, home buying education and credit education, said Heidi Schoonover, vice president, community development specialist for BB&T. She said the bus can also be used in disaster areas. There is an ATM on the side. Inside the bus are 11 Internet-ready computer terminals and typically two or three BB&T staffers, although there have been as many as 10 when the bus is parked at a large festival and a lot of foot traffic is expected. “We pull credit reports,” Schoonover said. “At a minimum we will be able to pull credit reports and do credit education with them and we always have the ability to discuss BB&T products and services.”

She conducts Credit 101 sessions as well as financial educational sessions with students, and that ranges from elementary to middle school to high school and college. “BB&T believes that financial education and literacy has never before had such a priority for everyone,” said BB&T Regional President Jodie Hughes. “At BB&T, we have built a foundation on sharing knowledge for a brighter direction and providing financial education is an important part of this.” Schoonover said that she shows people various websites to access financial information to help people learn budgeting skills and learn about home ownership.

BB&T, which has 13 branches and nearly 160 employees in five Central Alabama counties, has a Learn & Plan category on its website offering financial information. The bus is not solely used for informational purposes. It also serves as a marketing tool, especially in some of the company’s newer markets, Schoonover said. “We’re looking to get our name out there. It is used as a marketing tool in our new markets.” The bus is parked at a wide range of events, including festivals and fairs as well as events at schools and even large companies. •

If you would like a visit from the BB&T Bank Bus, contact a local branch office or call Vice President Heidi Schoonover at (205) 445-2211.

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Humming along

Reporter’s Notebook by David Zaslawsky

Looking for solutions Probate Judge Steven Reed is trying to deal with what he calls a “revolving door” when it comes to involuntary mental health commitments. A number of facilities have closed, reducing the number of available beds. He said most of the stays are for less than three weeks. Other problems cited were people not taking medications after being


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

released or not having the money to buy their medication. Reed said he is looking for funding from national non-profits, foundations and grants. Rep. Joe Hubbard, D-Montgomery, said: “We are really at a crossroads as a state to find the right balance between fiscal responsibility and our obligations for our citizens. We have some difficult choices ahead.”

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) has produced nearly 9,000 more units in the first two months of 2013 compared with 2012. The production numbers have increased because of the 877 hired last year to add a third crew/third shift at Hyundai’s manufacturing plant in Montgomery. The Korean automaker set a February sales record of 52,311 units and a Hyundai Motor America executive cited “much improved inventory levels.” The production goal this year is 388,000 units, which would shatter last year’s record of 361,348 units. HMMA produces the Sonata and Elantra in Montgomery. The company’s business plan calls for 15 production Saturdays and two of those Saturdays were moved up from the second half of the year to the first half to meet

expected rising demand, according to Rick Neal, senior vice president of administration & advisory general counsel for HMMA. Do not expect the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production to slow down. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We fully expect to keep growing,â&#x20AC;? Neal said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have room to grow.â&#x20AC;? He pointed out that last year for the first time more than 200,000 Sonatas and 200,000 Elantras were sold â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about 430,000 vehicles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why the company still has to import Elantras from Korea. Another 50,000 to 60,000 vehicles manufactured here last year were exported to Canada. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can see that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still not able to provide the U.S. market with all the Sonatas and Elantras,â&#x20AC;? Neal said.

Top rankings The Sonata, which is produced in Montgomery by HMMA, was ranked No. 1 in the J.D. Power dependability study in the mid-sized category. The J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study measured problems that original owners of 2010 vehicles had in the past 12 months.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something that we strive for with each of the models that we produce,â&#x20AC;? Neal said. â&#x20AC;?Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indicative of the effort we put in trying to manufacture quality products first and foremost, and to be named No. 1 in your segment is an outstanding achievement.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, the Elantra, which is also produced in Montgomery, was named a Top Pick in the budget category by Consumer Reports. The 2013 Elantra was described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;more refined than a typical subcompactâ&#x20AC;? and had â&#x20AC;&#x153;nimble handling.â&#x20AC;? The magazine also stated that the Elantra â&#x20AC;&#x153;delivers a lot for the money.â&#x20AC;?



April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Park being developed The William P. Screws Armory Army Reserve Center on Atlanta Highway will become a park and there will be a small shopping center there that city officials hope will face the park. A road is being planned for the shopping center that would also provide much improved access to the nearby baseball fields, according to City Councilman Richard Bollinger.

A potential new tenant Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said he has been talking to Alabama State University officials about leasing some space at One Dexter Plaza, which will eventually be the home of the $22 million Questplex. Strange said there is about 75,000 to 80,000 square feet to lease that will help pay for the citycounty library and The Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum of Alabama, which will be housed at Questplex.



Montgomery Business Journal April 2013


Chipotle coming to Montgomery Chipotle Mexican Grill, which has four locations in Alabama, will open its first site in Montgomery on April 9, 2013 at EastChase, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. The national restaurant chain has two locations in Birmingham and one each in Auburn and Tuscaloosa. Chipotle, which opened 183 restaurants in 2012, has announced plans to open between 165 and 180 restaurants this year. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s revenue in 2012 topped $2.7 billion.

New restaurant coming to town Firebirds restaurant is coming to The Shoppes at EastChase. The wood-fired grill restaurant is expected to open in the summer, according to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company has plans to open six restaurants this year: Montgomery, Kansas, South Carolina, North Carolina and its first two in New Jersey. Firebirds is currently in nine states.

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


The Top of the Economic Development Game It may be a stretch to compare economic development to sports, but two elements are comparable: team concept and winning. It takes a team for economic development to be successful and the Montgomery team has been quite successful. That team includes elected leaders, utilities, engineers, business community and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “The team truly makes Alabama and this community stand out,” Chamber President Randall L. George said. “What it takes is an incredible amount of trust among the elected officials at the state level and local level to make this work. That is not token praise – it’s a fact,” he said at an elected leaders’ breakfast at the Chamber. “It makes all the difference in the world to have that kind of relationship with elected officials.”


international company,” said Ellen McNair, Chamber senior vice president, Corporate Development. “They know they need a team when they select a community. They want to be sure that the boots on the ground are going to be there through the construction process; through the start-up process.” McNair told the attendees at the breakfast to imagine moving to Ulsan, Korea, and struggling with the language, rules and regulations and investing $100 million. Then it’s all about results. “There is no second-place prize, unfortunately,” McNair said. “If you’re eliminated in the first round with 100 communities you’re in the same situation as if you’re eliminated in the finals.”

That team concept is vital to foreign companies looking to build an overseas facility and it’s quite likely that it’s their first in North America.

Montgomery was a recent finalist in three projects with a combined 1,000-plus jobs. One of the projects was a back-office operation; and another was a warehouse operation. McNair said that three companies are expected to choose a location in April.

“Having to build a $100 million facility across the world in 12 months is a very daunting experience for a big,

McNair said that competing with 100 other communities and being one of two or three finalists “says a lot about our team.”

Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

by David Zaslawsky

Now that intense competition of recruiting companies means that communities need sites and buildings and that is beginning to be an issue in Montgomery. “We are really getting to the point where our site inventory and our building inventory are getting tight,” McNair said. We are working now with landowners and engineering companies to identify key locations,” McNair said. “You’ve got to have these sites prepared and ready to go.” It typically takes about one year from a request for proposal to a site selection announcement, McNair said. Deadlines on the responses to proposals vary, McNair said. Communities do need to pounce on a request for proposal. McNair recalled a project that required an incredibly quick turnaround during a holiday weekend. The Chamber received a request for proposal the day before Thanksgiving and the deadline was the following Monday. Montgomery met that deadline, but 30 of the 115 communities did not. •

LENDING A HAND – IT’S HOW REGIONS GIVES BACK. Rachel Rivers and her parents made a habit of sending her brother,

Thomas, care packages while he was serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. In turn, Thomas would share his treats with his buddies – a gesture that always lifted their spirits. So when Thomas was killed in action in 2010, his family decided to keep sending the packages that meant so much to so many. That small gesture has today blossomed into Support Our Soldiers Alabama, a Regions nonprofit business customer that collects goods and ships them to all branches of the military serving overseas.

“With the help of Regions and the huge fund drive they led, we have an enormous amount of supplies right now.” Regions is about more than just banking. So when the opportunity to help Support Our Soldiers Alabama presented itself, our associates answered the call. They started a fund drive that netted hundreds of pounds of goods to help make our troops’ lives a little more pleasant. To learn more about how we’ve helped Support Our Soldiers Alabama, visit

© 2013 Regions Bank. All loans and lines subject to credit approval.


Steve Goldsby (right) is president and CEO of Integrated Computer Solutions and Chip Schueman is the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief financial officer.

Networked for Success Integrated Computer Solutions company sprouts from humble beginnings to global reach by Jennifer Kornegay

photography by Robert Fouts

Integrated Computer Solutions Inc. (ICS) is located in downtown Montgomery, but its impact extends far beyond the River Region.

Integrated Computer Solutions Inc. Year founded


Number of employees

77 In just 16 years, the security-focused IT solutions company has grown from operating out of the home of its founder, Steve Goldsby, to employing 75 people (55 of them in the local area) and providing support on a massive scale all across the globe to a diverse range of clients. One notable example is ICS’ work with the Department of Defense’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). With this one contract alone, ICS supports DISA’s largest data center — the Systems Management Center in Montgomery — that includes more than four million users, 600,000 email users, 18,000 circuits, 3,800 sites, 34 mainframes, 9.5 petabytes of storage and much more. DISA is only one of ICS’s clients, and while ICS does a large amount of government work, it also provides business-minded security and IT solutions to companies and organizations in the private sector. Goldsby, the company president/CEO, explained his vision when he began ICS in 1997. “I was in the Air Force and stationed here in Montgomery, working for the Standard Systems Group,” he said. “After the Air Force, I started working for a local IT company, but a year into that I realized I wanted to be my own boss, so I started my own business.” In the beginning, Goldsby’s business was pretty basic. He built networks and fixed IT problems, but gradually it expanded. “I have a degree in math, not business, so I had to feel my way around a bit when I started,” he said. Soon, he had 10 employees and was working out of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Resource Center. More growth led the company to to graduate from the Small Business Resource Center Incubation Program and build its own building on Carmichael Road. In 2003, ICS was honored with the Small Business Association’s Small Business of the Year award. Still more growth led ICS to its current location, downtown on Commerce Street, which has been a great fit. “We came downtown right when the renaissance was under way,” Goldsby said. “We love it down here.” Today, ICS’ business is split primarily between managing Department of Defense data centers and providing information security systems and crisis response to commercial clients and information security for several states’ boards of education. The State of Florida is one of ICS’ major clients.

Primary services

technical security; business continuity and disaster recovery; risk assessment; incident response and forensics; solutions management; and staff support and augmentation. Website The company’s CFO, Chip Schueman, outlined how and why ICS keeps getting bigger and better. “We have prime contracts with federal and state governments. All of our DOD contracts have gotten exceptional ratings,” he said. “We’ve doubled our state business as a result of long-term, high-quality service that we deliver in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina. And ICS has consistently given back to the community in many ways: an endowment to AUM, equipment donations to local colleges and universities, and just giving back to our employees through creative compensation packages.” Schueman stressed that ICS’ focus is on its customers and clients, and its “secret to success” is “doing the right thing every day.” Goldsby echoed Schueman. “We have done well because we don’t cut corners, and it may sound trite, but we engrain in all our employees to always deliver more than you promise. When you apply these ideas consistently, they work.” Despite its global reach and some members of its impressive client list expressing surprise at ICS’ address, the company is quite happy here in Montgomery and has no plans to leave. Goldsby highlighted the many positives of being headquartered in the River Region. “People in other places, some of our clients, are surprised we are here, but the cost of living is reasonable and the quality of life is high, so it is really a great place to live and work,” he said. “The many recent positive changes in the city keep making it even easier for us to attract new hires. Plus, our costs to run our business here are lower, and we pass those savings along. We could not do that if we were based in somewhere like Atlanta.” •

Going from a start-up to where it is today has not always been a smooth ride. The economic slowdown was a serious threat to ICS’ future, but one that Goldsby and his team met head on. “It was tough, but it drove a lot of positive change. We adapted, and we now run a lot leaner than we used to. We can do more with less and take better care of our clients than our competitors,” he said. “We are going after much larger projects and finding we compete very well against major, multi-million dollar corporations because the clients we are going after are much more value-conscious today. That is bringing us a lot of opportunities.”

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


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While working as a subcontractor on a runway expansion project at Maxwell Air Force Base, Lynn Carter received some lifealtering advice. Carter, president of Southeast Cherokee Construction, was at the job site when area/ resident engineer Jerry Abernathy asked if she was an 8(a) contractor. “I said, ‘I don’t know what that is.’ ” Carter said that Abernathy told her she needed to be an 8(a) contractor and brought her some information the following day. She still remembers what he told her about 15 years ago: “You’re the perfect fit. You’re woman-owned (company) and a minority. You need to apply for this program because you’re the real deal.” That program opened the door for her company. Actually, it was the same year that Carter formed a vertical division, and the change has been dramatic. About three years after the awarding of government contracts, Carter said the company’s revenue was split about 70 percent with the horizontal division and 30 percent with the vertical division. The horizontal division includes various types of site work from grading to underground utilities, water and sewers. There have been a number of projects with the Alabama Department of Transportation, including a nearly $8.8 million project to widen Maxwell Boulevard, which entailed grading, drainage, pavement, signals and lighting. The vertical division is buildings and today the company’s revenue is about 85 percent vertical and 15 percent horizontal. And the military contracts have paved the way. Carter said the company would be very different if not for all the Maxwell Air Force Base contracts to renovate buildings, including an $11.1 million project for renovations and new construction for the Air University Library at Maxwell. There were other renovation projects at Maxwell: $5.9 million and $4.2 million to renovate buildings as well as a $3.7 million new construction project at the Gunter Annex. The largest project – $14.5 million – was renovating a three-story housing building; dining/fitness center renovation; administrative building renovations; and hanger facility renovations all at Duke Field in Florida.

administrative staff; our estimating team; our superintendents; quality control; all the field personnel. “We are evaluated on all those aspects when we complete a job. You can be exceptional, outstanding, above average, average or below average. You don’t want to be average. We don’t want to be an average contractor. We want to be an outstanding contractor.” The company has quite a reputation. When NASA had 60 contractors bid on a contract, Southeast Cherokee was one of 10 that received a contract. Even more impressive is that out of 77 bids for a Fort Rucker contract, Southeast Cherokee was the lone bid selected. “We were very excited about that,” Carter said. She said the government shared its review with the company and stated its “confidence in our company and abilities; knew that we understood the program; knew that we understood the process; timely response and turnaround for pricing.” Carter, who is a Native American (Cherokee), said her company is hoping to renovate a couple more buildings at Maxwell, but military construction/renovation is on hold because of sequestration. Her company has grown from less than $500,000 in revenue and 13 employees to 55 employees, including 40 full-time workers. Southeast Cherokee also enjoyed its best year in 2012 with revenue of $28 million. To remain a small business, the company’s revenue cannot exceed an average of $33.5 million over a three-year period.

to make it run. Everyone has a key role in this company.” Southeast Cherokee has certainly come a long way from its founding in 1983 and the humble beginnings of a subcontractor working on contracts in the low six figures. Her company was doing grading, but wanted to expand. It was difficult breaking into the private sector, but eventually Carter hired a general superintendent with a lot of contacts and Southeast Cherokee is working on subdivision projects and retail projects. She recently talked to an engineer who asked if she was ready to work on some subdivisions and another engineering firm asked her about doing grading, streets, etc. for an existing subdivision on Ray Thorington Drive. The future is also bright on the government side with numerous buildings in need of renovations. She said the public “would be appalled” at the condition of buildings at military installations. It is that type of diversity – private sector and public sector – that has helped her stay in business for 30 years through all the economic ups and downs. As a young company, Carter recalled wearing a lot of hats. “The struggles were limited resources and trying to do it yourself as much as you could – bookkeeper, marketing and estimating – whatever it took,” she said. That was a lifetime ago. Now, Southeast Cherokee is looking to expand its work in the Southeast after performing jobs in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.

“The success of this company is attributed to my team,” Carter said. “It takes us all

“The success of this company is attributed to my team. It takes us all to make it run.”

The government evaluates a company’s work and Southeast Cherokee has received high marks. “The complete Southeast team has done such a great job,” Carter said, “and when I say team, that’s our

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


BusinessBuzz Jimmy Stubbs

RIVER BANK & TRUST OPENS DOWNTOWN MONTGOMERY BRANCH MONTGOMERY – River Bank & Trust announced the opening of its newest full-service location in downtown Montgomery. The new banking center, located at 309 Maxwell Boulevard., was designed in the style of the other River Bank & Trust locations and includes a living room complete with features such as a flat-screen television, gourmet coffee and cookies. The bank’s customer service professionals are located in desk settings and stand-up windows are available for faster transactions. “We believe downtown is the heartbeat of Montgomery, where


a lot of business is happening,” said Jimmy Stubbs, president and CEO of River Bank & Trust. “We are excited to make our unique style of personal banking service even more convenient to downtown businesses.”

partner with the Alabama Commerce Department to identify projects that could be candidates for financing and will also work directly with the businesses community to identify eligible projects.

The 4,000-square-foot location has safe deposit boxes, two drive-thru lanes available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., an ATM and a night depository. The new downtown location is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

“I’m excited that Regions Financial is a partner in economic development,” Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said in a statement. “This loan pool will help us build on our job creation efforts. And most importantly, it will help put more people back to work.”

River Bank & Trust has nearly $400 million in assets. REGIONS BANK CREATES $1 BILLION LOAN POOL BIRMINGHAM – Regions Bank announced the creation of a $1 billion loan pool to provide economic development capital and spur business growth in Alabama. The $1 billion Regions Economic Development Loan Pool is earmarked for assisting companies that are growing or expanding in Alabama in 2013. Regions Bank will

Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

Regions Financial President and Chief Executive Officer Grayson Hall said, “As Alabama’s largest bank, we are committed to helping other local companies thrive and succeed. Access to capital is critical for business development, and Regions is committed to making that capital available.” Regions provided more than $56 billion last year in new and renewed loans to businesses and consumers throughout the 16 states the bank serves.

Drew Linn

MONTGOMERY TRUCK DEALER RECEIVES TOP AWARD ORLANDO – Drew Linn of Southland International Trucks Inc. has been named the 2013 Truck Dealer of the Year. The national award, which is co-sponsored by the American Truck Dealers and Heavy Duty Trucking magazine, focuses on excellence in dealership performance, as well as industry and community leadership. Linn, who has a dealership on Maxwell Boulevard, began his career with International Harvester, now known as Navistar, in 1965. “If you treat a customer the way you would want to be treated, then you will have a customer

for life,” Linn said. “At Southland International Trucks, customer service isn’t just a saying; it’s a way of life. We focus on making sure that all of our customers’ business needs are met.” Southland International customer Chris Hornady, president of Hornady Transportation, praised Linn. “Drew has always been in tune with our needs,” Hornady said. “From instituting weekend shifts to making himself personally available, Drew makes sure that we have access to service whenever we need it because our business runs seven days a week.” As a member and former chairman of the Alabama Trucking Association, Linn also worked to expand member services for dealers throughout Alabama. He was instrumental in establishing one of the first truck driving schools in the state along

with an accompanying technical training institute, helping to meet the needs of growing fleets. Linn credited his employees during his acceptance speech. “It’s an accomplishment made possible by our 200 dealership employees.” The American Truck Dealers represents about 2,000 mediumand heavy-duty truck dealers. KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY BOASTS MOST AGENTS DALLAS – Keller Williams Realty Inc. announced that it is the largest real estate franchise company by agent count in the United States with about 80,000 associates. In recent years, Keller Williams Realty has posted record growth numbers, surpassing RE/MAX, Century 21, and now Coldwell

Banker to secure the industry’s top position. The ranking was announced to 10,000-plus Keller Williams associates during the company’s annual convention in Dallas. A record 91 percent of the company’s offices were profitable in 2012; closed volume increased 31 percent; and gross commission income rose 28 percent. Keller Williams Realty has an office in Montgomery. SERVPRO INDUSTRIES RETAINS NO. 1 RANKING MONTGOMERY – Servpro Industries has been named No. 1 in the cleanup and restoration industry for the 10th consecutive year. The company also placed in the Top 10 overall of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 rankings for the third year in a row.

“Everyone at Servpro of Montgomery South is proud to be associated with a brand that consistently tops the rankings in our industry,” said owner Brian Bowen. “We know that our local team is part of a larger team of franchise professionals who consistently and professionally – across the board – deliver worldclass service to our customers.” In addition to providing fire and water cleanup, restoration and repair services, Servpro of Montgomery South also offers large loss, national storm response, mold remediation and other property maintenance and restoration services to both home and business owners in the Montgomery area. “The goal of every Servpro franchisee is to help our clients (Continued on page 52)

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal




return their homes, businesses and lives to normal as quickly as possible with as little stress as possible,” Bowen said. “This year’s recognition proves again, the Servpro franchise system is delivering on that promise.”

The primary potential benefits of Single-Site da Vinci Surgery can include: minimal scarring; minimal pain; low blood loss; lower infection risk; faster recovery; and short hospital stay.

personal interest in health and fitness to LEAN. She will be assisted by Jennifer Kornegay, LEAN’s editorial consultant, who is the former editor of Montgomery Living magazine and now works as a freelance writer and editor. Joy to Life created JTL Publishing to produce LEAN magazine. Copies of LEAN magazine are available inside CVS Pharmacy stores throughout Central Alabama and are mailed directly to approximately 15,000 homes.

Joy and Dickie Blondheim Brian Gary

JACKSON HOSPITAL SURGEON PERFORMS AREA’S FIRST ROBOTIC SINGLE SITE SURGERY MONTGOMERY – Dr. Brian C. Gary recently performed the first single-site gallbladder removal surgery in the River Region using the da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System. Gary, a general surgeon with the Jackson Clinic, was able to perform the procedure using state-of-the-art precision instruments. “The single-site procedure allows for a great cosmetic result and a scar that is virtually invisible,” Gary said. “Using the robot allows for much greater precision than when using manual laparoscopy and is a terrific option for many patients.” The Single-Site da Vinci Surgery enables surgeons to reduce the traditional number of incisions from four to one incision through the belly button that is less than an inch in length, and is a virtually scarless procedure. “We are pleased to be able to offer these surgical advancements and techniques to the River Region,” he said.


JOY TO LIFE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES LEAN MAGAZINE MONTGOMERY – The Joy to Life Foundation announced the premiere issue of LEAN magazine with a focus on overall well-being for all ages by balancing health and fitness in an active lifestyle. Each issue of LEAN will contain in-depth features and articles covering a wide range of nutrition, health, fitness, active travel and sustainable lifestyle topics written by certified health professionals and professional writers. As an Alabama-based publication, LEAN highlights the state’s recreational opportunities that provide ways to live actively as well as the resources for eating healthy while supporting the state’s agricultural heritage. In addition to the magazine, will feature fresh, unique content each month and a twice-monthly e-newsletter spreads the word about area health, fitness and sustainable lifestyle events. Joy to Life founders Joy and Dickie Blondheim are LEAN’s publishers and Jenny Stubbs is the editor. Stubbs brings years of magazine experience and a

Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

mission of enhancing the quality of life for the people of rural Alabama.” With this year’s payment, Alabama Ag Credit has returned about $49 million in cash to its borrowers since 1996. Alabama Ag Credit, a rurallending cooperative serving South Alabama, is owned by its borrowers/stockholders. When the co-op performs well, it shares its earnings with the stockholders. Alabama Ag Credit, which has an office in Montgomery, provides financing for farms, timber and forestry operations, agribusinesses, recreational land and rural homes in 40 counties.

W. Thomas Dozier III

ALABAMA AG CREDIT DECLARES RECORD PATRONAGE TO STOCKHOLDERS MONTGOMERY – Alabama Ag Credit recently declared a record $5.6 million cash patronage to its customers. The amount was based on the co-op’s strong 2012 financial results and was approved by the Alabama Ag Credit Board of Directors. Net income for Alabama Ag Credit grew 15 percent to a record level of $15.1 million. Outstanding loan volume climbed to $695 million. “This is a significant financial return to our borrowers,” said W. Thomas Dozier III, chairman of the co-op’s member-elected board of directors. “This patronage program is evidence that the cooperative system works and demonstrates our commitment to meeting the

Camille Leonard

Jim Leonard

LWT WINS 29 ADDY AWARDS MONTGOMERY – LWT won 29 ADDY Awards - more than any other firm - in the American Advertising Federation/ Montgomery 2012-2013 American Advertising Awards. For the eighth time in nine years, LWT’s Camille Leonard was awarded Art Director of the Year.

LWT’s Jim Leonard was awarded Copywriter of the Year. LWT won nine Gold ADDY Awards and 15 Silver ADDY Awards. The firm was honored with three Best of Show awards including the Best of Show Print, Best of Show Interactive and Public Service Award. LWT, which is celebrating its 54th year, is a marketing, media and interactive firm.

health care consulting group and also assists with firm recruiting. The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy supervises the practice of public accountancy by certified public accountants and public accountants in the State of Alabama. The board conducts examinations in public accounting and issues certificates to successful applicants as certified public accountants. STANDARD ROOFING CO. RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS MONTGOMERY – Standard Roofing Co. received the 2013 Firestone Master Contractor Award.

Steve Barranco

WARREN AVERETT EMPLOYEE APPOINTED TO STATE ORGANIZATION MONTGOMERY – The regional certified public accounting firm of Warren Averett, LLC announced the appointment of Steven M. Barranco to the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy. Barranco’s appointment was made by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and confirmed by the Alabama Senate. As a member of the board, Barranco will represent certified public accountants and serve a fouryear term. Barranco, a certified public accountant, joined the firm in 1989 and is a member of Warren Averett in Montgomery. He has more than 23 years of public accounting experience and focuses his practice in the areas of hospitals, physician group practices and other health care-related companies. He is a member of Warren Averett’s

It is the third time that Standard Roofing has received the award, which is based on total square footage installed and points received for outstanding inspection ratings during the past year. Standard Roofing received the Firestone Inner Circle of Quality Award for the second time. That award is given to companies that have installed a minimum of four Firestone roofs in each of the last five years; maintained at least 2 million square feet of Firestone roofs under warranty; and achieved an annual quality rating of 2.0 or less. “On behalf of Firestone, I congratulate Standard Roofing Co. on these remarkable accomplishments,” Tim Dunn, president of Firestone Building Products, wrote in a letter.

JACKSON HOSPITAL PHYSICIAN NAMED FELLOW OF GASTROENTEROLOGICAL GROUP MONTGOMERY – Jackson Hospital recently announced that medical staff physician Dr. Randy Brinson has been named Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Through the fellowship program, the AGA honors superior professional achievement in clinical private or academic practice and in basic or clinical research. Fellowships are awarded to AGA members whose accomplishments and contributions demonstrate personal commitment to the field of gastroenterology. “I am greatly honored to be recognized by my peers across the United States in both academic and clinical gastroenterology practices,” Brinson said. “I want to thank the American Gastroenterology Association and all of my colleagues and the dedicated endoscopy nurses, technicians and our support staff here at Jackson Hospital for making this possible.” The mission of the AGA is to promote the science and practice of gastroenterology through the support of research, education, advocacy and practice. The association is the country’s oldest medical society dedicated to disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

ELWOOD STAFFING BUYS SOS EMPLOYMENT GROUP COLUMBUS, Ind. – Elwood Staffing is purchasing SOS Employment Group to form a top 20 U.S. staffing company. The two combined have more than $750 million in annual revenue. With the completion of the transaction, the combined company’s staff will total nearly 1,000 employees and serve more than 6,000 clients. Additionally, the company will employ 27,000 temporary workers daily. The firm will expand to 170-plus offices with an additional 50-plus vendor-on-premise locations. The new company will operate in 33 states and Canada. The new company brings together two of the nation’s leading, privately-held employment services providers in the areas of traditional staffing, skilled trades staffing, professional/executive search and outplacement services. “This transaction combines the service capabilities, technologies, geographic reach and best practices of two successful companies,” Elwood Staffing CEO Mark Elwood said in a statement. Elwood Staffing has an office in Montgomery. • To submit your business news for publication, email a press release to Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Members only.

Members on the Move

Kim Jackson

MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC NAMES CONTROLLER MONTGOMERY – Kim Jackson, who worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, was named the controller at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School. A native of central Ohio, Jackson is a certified public accountant and received an accounting degree from Ohio University.

“Mr. Jackson is a godsend – having had two children that graduated from Montgomery Catholic, he knows the culture of our school,” said school president Anne Ceasar. “We are blessed by his past experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers, but even more blessed he has come out of retirement to join the MCPS team.” Jackson moved to Montgomery in 1987 to open the local office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. After 34 years, Jackson, an audit partner, retired from the firm in 2010. “I have always felt a great connection with Montgomery Catholic,” Jackson said. “There has been such positive growth and development at Montgomery Catholic. I am glad to be a part of it.”

the New York Times regional newspapers in Alabama from January 1990 until the TimesDaily was sold in March 2009. He continued as bureau chief for the remaining two newspapers after their sale to the Halifax Media Group in January 2012.

Dana Beyerle

“Dana is one of a kind when it comes to his background in journalism and institutional knowledge of Alabama history,” BCA President and CEO William J. Canary said. “As we continue our fight for the private sector and education reform, Dana is the perfect fit to help convey that message while expanding our communications content platform on behalf of the business community.”

BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALABAMA HIRES AWARDWINNING JOURNALIST MONTGOMERY – The Business Council of Alabama has announced that veteran Alabama newspaper reporter Dana Beyerle has joined the organization as manager of communications. Beyerle was chief of the capital bureau for the Gadsden Times, the TimesDaily in Florence, and the Tuscaloosa News, and

From 1985 to 1990, Beyerle was bureau chief for the United Press



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Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

International offices in Huntsville, covering the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster investigation at the Marshall Space Flight Center and in Montgomery. He covered Alabama and Auburn football and was a reporter for the Decatur Daily from 1979 to 1985. In the 1970s, Beyerle worked at the Tampa (Florida) Tribune and Plant City (Florida) Courier. For 22 years, he was a regular guest on Alabama Public Television’s “For The Record” weekly journalism roundtable show and appeared on its successor, “Capitol Journal.” Beyerle was on the staff of and contributed to the Tuscaloosa News’ news coverage of the April 27, 2011, tornadoes that struck Alabama. The stories resulted in a Pulitzer Prize awarded the Tuscaloosa News staff in 2012. Beyerle received seven Chairman Awards, the highest award in the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group from the New York Times Co. chairman, and

other awards, and was a paid stringer for the New York Times. Beyerle, who grew up in California and Huntsville, is a 1978 mass communications graduate of the University of South Florida.

Edward Billingslea

MONTGOMERY ACADEMY ANNOUNCES UPPER SCHOOL DIRECTOR MONTGOMERY – The Montgomery Academy announced the appointment of Edward Billingslea as the new upper school director effective July 1.

Billingslea, who was selected after a nationwide search, has significant academic and leadership experience, having spent the past 13 years as a teacher, coach, guidance counselor and dean of students at The Lovett School in Atlanta. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in counseling from Alabama State University and completed an educational leadership program at the University of Georgia. “Ed Billingslea’s stalwart leadership at The Lovett School, his commitment to honor, and his devotion to his students inspired our faculty and students,” said Head of School Dave Farace. “We are delighted to welcome Ed and his family to our school community.” Billingslea said he was excited about his new role at The Montgomery Academy. “My role is to nurture our students academically, artistically,

athletically and emotionally. I feel blessed and prepared for this opportunity to serve The Montgomery Academy.” The Montgomery Academy, founded in 1959, is a kindergarten through grade 12 independent, non-profit, college preparatory day school with more than 850 students.

Dana Beyerle

ALABAMA POWER BOARD ELECTS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT The Alabama Power board of directors has elected Jim Heilbron senior vice president Continued on page 56

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Continued from page 55

and senior production officer for Alabama Power. Heilbron will have responsibility over the company’s generation functions, including Alabama Power’s fossil and hydro plants. He comes to Alabama Power from sister company Southern Power, where he serves as senior vice president and senior production officer. He succeeds Ted McCullough, who will become executive vice president of Southern Co. engineering and construction services. “Jim’s experience in numerous generation-related roles and his focus on safety and reliability make him a strong addition to Alabama Power’s leadership team,” said Charles McCrary, president and CEO of Alabama Power. At Southern Power, Heilbron has overseen the operation of natural gas, solar and biomass facilities

Chancellor, who was born and raised in Montgomery, graduated from Montgomery Academy and is a 2006 graduate of Birmingham-Southern College. She has six years of experience in real estate sales.

that serve the wholesale market. He joined Georgia Power in 1998 as a plant engineer and was named plant manager at Georgia Power’s Plant Wansley in 2006. He also has served as plant manager of Southern Power’s Plant Franklin in East Alabama. Previously, Heilbron worked at a number of facilities in various roles, including maintenance, operations and large project management. Prior to joining Southern Co., Heilbron worked for Milliken & Co. as a production manager.

“We are excited to have Ashley as a member of our team,” said TJ Williford, broker/owner of Partners Realty.

Ashley Harris Chancellor

Head has 17 years of sales experience. He is a lifelong Montgomery resident, alumnus of Saint James School and a graduate of Auburn University.

A Florida native, Heilbron is a graduate of Auburn University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in civil/ environmental engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering. He completed a master’s in business administration at Emory University in 2001.

“Jason’s 17 years of sales experience and solid reputation are a good fit with our company’s vision and commitment to customer service,” Williford said. •

Jason Head

PARTNERS REALTY ANNOUNCES TWO HIRES MONTGOMERY – Ashley Harris Chancellor and Jason Head have joined Partners Realty.




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New Members AccountingCertified Public

Entertainment & Recreation

Music/Musical Instruments

Bruce A. Moore, CPA, LLC Bruce A. Moore 1809 Station Drive, Suite A Prattville, AL 36066 334-358-6972

Alliance Casino Events & Game Rentals Zac Stowe 8153 Cedar Mountain Road Birmingham, AL 35126 205-951-0410

Elite Music Sales, LLC Brian Hinton 12 West Jefferson Street Suite 150 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-215-0215

Tulotoma Outdoor Cedric Beumer 104 A Main Street Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-312-3214

Real Estate-Agents

Banks BB&T Janna Davenport Judicial Centre Branch 445 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-833-3880

Cellular/Wireless Phone Services Verizon Wireless Mike Simmons 6825 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-277-2222

Collection Agencies Challenger, LLC Dustin Redden 7125 University Court Montgomery, AL 36117 334-386-9903

ComputersSoftware/Hardware/ Consulting G.T. Key Company, Inc. Debbie Petranka P.O. Box 871 Montgomery, AL 36101-0871 334-262-0584

Dance Born To Dance Dance & Fitness Studio Stacie Ford 1356 Mendel Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-309-6552

Facility Maintenance/ Services Kemco Facilities Services Melissa Murray 4170 Troy Highway Montgomery, AL 36116 334-356-2005

Gifts & Specialty-Retail Two Blessings Gift Boutique Donnie Sasser 8127 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116

Home Health Services ResCare HomeCare Cathy Jones 2421 Presidents Drive, Suite B-10 Montgomery, AL 36116 334-277-7800

Individual Andy Pears

Statewide Realty, LLC Scot Escaravage P.O. Box 4636 Montgomery, AL 36103-4636 334-834-2747

Real Estate-Broker Cynthia & Dan AtkinsonRe/Max Tri-Star Cynthia Atkinson 1322 Old Oak Place Montgomery, AL 36117 334-207-7357

Real EstateDevelopers Halstead, LLC Foy H. Tatum P.O. Box 230817 Montgomery, AL 36123-0817 334-288-2330

Restaurants Guthrie’s Brad Farmer 5376 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109 334-396-8300 Odessa’s Blessings Calvin Dunning 726 Forest Avenue Montgomery, AL 36106 334-265-7726

Scott Street Deli Henry Sanders 412 Scott Street Montgomery, AL 36104-4308 334-264-9415

RestaurantsFast Food Tenda Chick Brian Moore 5951 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-260-8547

Service Stations Mapco Mart and My Deli Store #7516 Mark Campbell 7670 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-244-2092 Mapco Mart and My Deli Store #7517 Mark Campbell 5550 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-277-8201

Television Stations Blab TV Montgomery Mike Harding P.O. Box 2056 Panama City, FL 32402 850-615-5900 Ext 111

Tractor/Trailer Sales & Repair Coblentz Equipment & Parts Co., Inc. Craig A. Coblentz P.O. Box 250447 Montgomery, AL 36125-0447 334-286-9999

Restaurants-Deli Firehouse Subs Douglas Sherrod 2890 Zelda Road Montgomery, AL 36106 334-277-6614

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal




Kumon Math & Reading Center of Montgomery-Southeast 8125 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-649-1178 Dipti Patel-Instructor Tutoring Services

The Irish Bred Pub Montgomery 78 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-868-3159 Luis Rubio-Owner Yudy Riano-Owner Restaurants-Bar/Grill

The Butcher Shop 9559 Vaughn Road Pike Road, AL 36064 334-649-4415 Shane Williams-Owner Amy Williams-Owner Foods-Specialized

Airtec Service Station 3562 Day Street Montgomery, AL 36108 334-239-9847 Pradip Patel-Owner Service Stations

Cupcakes by Tish 7276 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-5292 Lekisha Leonard-Owner Bakery

Beeman Enterprises, LLC P.O. Box 640573 Pike Road, AL 36064 334-315-1357 Martin Beeman-President/Owner Architecture/Engineering Design Support

CaraVita Village 4000 Fieldcrest Drive Montgomery, AL 36111-3103 334-284-0370 Tonya Allen-Executive Director Retirement Communities

We Finance Auto Sales 2510 East South Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36116 334-819-8776 Tony Richards-President/Owner Automobile Dealers-Used

River Bank & Trust 309 Maxwell Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36104 334-386-8700 Leah Cox-Branch Manager Banks

Melaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Boutique 2015 Mulberry Street Montgomery, AL 36106 334-239-9999 Laura Tanveer-Owner Clothing & Accessories-Retail


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

Economic Intel

Unemployment Data Civilian Labor Force January p 2013

Area Montgomery MA

December r 2012

Unemployment Rate January r 2012

January p 2013

December r 2012

January r 2012







Autauga County







Prattville City







Elmore County









































































Lowndes County Montgomery County Montgomery City Birmingham-Hoover MA Birmingham City Huntsville MA Huntsville City Mobile MA Mobile 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 2012 benchmark.â&#x20AC;?

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Montgomery Regional Airport FEBRUARY 2013






Year over Year % Change

Year over Year % Change

YTD 2013

YTD 2012























Total Passengers







Air Carrier Operations Total Operations

Source: Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) Dannelly Field

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

Hyundai Sales



Baltimore (BWI)




Boston (BOS)




Charlotte, NC (CLT)




Chicago (ORD)




Cincinnati (CVG)




Dallas/Ft Worth (QDF)




Denver (DEN)




Detroit (DTW)




Houston (HOU)




Indianapolis (IND)




Las Vegas (LAS)




Los Angeles (LAX)




Memphis (MEM)




Miami (MIA)





FEB 2013

FEB 2012

YTD 2013

YTD 2012






Nashville (BNA)









New Orleans (MSY)









New York (JFK)








Orlando (MCO)








Philadelphia (PHL)









Pittsburgh (PIT)









St Louis (STL)








Seattle (SEA)








Seoul, Korea (SEL)








Tampa (TPA)








Washington DC (DCA)




Santa Fe Azera

Veracruz Genesis Equus Total

Source: Hyundai Motor America



Montgomery Business Journal April 2013

Date of travel: April 16-21, 2013. Date of pricing: March 10, 2013. Source:

Montgomery Metro Market Home Sales JANUARY 2013


Month/Month % Change


Year/Year % Change

Statewide JANUARY 2013

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

Building Starts Building Permits JANUARY 2013


Building Valuations JANUARY 2012




New Construction







Additions and AlterationsÂ




















Total Source: City of Montgomery Building Department

April 2013 Montgomery Business Journal


Sales Tax Collections FEBRUARY 2013


Year over Year % Change

YTD 2013

YTD 2012

Montgomery County







City of Montgomery







Pike Road







Autauga County













Elmore County















Year over Year % Change

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 2013 thru current month. * Did not receive this months numbers.







Burger King







Quarterly profit nearly doubled








Raised divided 18% to $1.88 a share

Marriott International







Added 17,000 rooms worldwide in the quarter

JC Penney







Comparable store sales declined 32%

Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works)







Sales rose 10%

Dollar Tree







Sales increased 15.4%








Comparable store sales fell 7%








Announced $5B stock repurchase program

Abercrombie & Fitch







Internet sales jumped 34%

Best Buy







Online sales rose 11.2% to $1.3B

Sears Holdings







Cut debt by $400M

Domino’s Pizza







76 straight quarters of international same-store sales increases







Profit climbed 61%

Chico’s FAS







Profit increased 26%















Sales up 6.8%

Home Depot







Increased dividend 34% to 39 cents a share

TJX Companies (T.J. Maxx)







Sales jumped 15%

Foot Locker







Revenue rose 14%








Profit surged 31%







Loft sales up 7% tom $352.7M

Big Lots







Revenue increased 5%

American Eagle Outfitters







Profit soared 85%


Gap (Old Navy, Banana Republic)

Ann (Ann Taylor, Loft)


Montgomery Business Journal April 2013


Franchise sales declined 0.8% to $76M









Yum UP & SO S &

PUDD I NGâ&#x20AC;?






rom distinctive breakfast, lunch and dinner experiences to dramatic on-site cooking, unique event venues or delivery to your home or office, we create experiences unlike any other in Montgomery. Choose your style and cuisine

(or weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll create a unique mix from all three concepts) and let Montgomeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier catering partners entertain you with an authentic taste of Montgomery!

{ Custom catering menus for each concept, or we will customize a combination for a unique taste of Montgomery

{ On-site event catering { On-site preparation


Event space available in the hip new Railyard Tavern for up to 100


Event space available in the new Multiplex for up to 5,000


Evening event space available in The Deli for up to 100


Deli-cious Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (334)263-2922

Legendary BBQ and Ribs Lunch and Dinner (334)273-RIBS


Fr e s h




S AY â&#x20AC;&#x153; B A N A










Craft Beer and Gourmet Burgers Lunch and Dinner (334)262-0080

Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101

BankTrust customers:

Welcome to Trustmark, one of America’s Best Banks. Ranked as one of the Best Banks in America 2013 by Forbes

Now that BankTrust is officially Trustmark Bank, we want to welcome all BankTrust customers to the Trustmark family. Trustmark has been serving communities like yours since 1889. We started out as a community bank, and we remain true to our community bank roots. As a Trustmark customer, you’ll be able to enjoy more services and greater convenience than ever. With mobile banking. Our iPad® app. And more than 220 locations throughout the South. So come see us. We look forward to serving you soon. For more information about Trustmark, contact your local branch, call 1-800-CHECK-24 (1-800-243-2524) or visit

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From, December 18, 2012 © 2012 All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited.

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal – April 2013  

Montgomery Business Journal – April 2013