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YOUTH MOVEMENT EMERGE MONTGOMERY FOCUSES ON ATTRACTING, RETAINING YOUNG TALENT HIGHER PROFILE SOUTHEAST ALABAMA GAS DISTRICT MAKING A BIG SPLASH IN DOWNTOWN MONTGOMERY

GAINING MOMENTUM ALABAMA ECONOMY FORECAST TO GROW 2.4% THIS YEAR AND 3.1% IN 2015 NONTRADITIONAL PARK CROSSING HIGH SCHOOL IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY


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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


MARCH 2014

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Contents

6 Calendar

13 16

8

Reporter’s Notebook

13

The Chamber’s Ellen McNair receives Department of Commerce Award

14

The Central Alabama Sports Commission receives the MAX Community Achievement Award

16

Investor Profile: Southeast Alabama Gas District

18

Q&A with Emerge Montgomery President Zillah Fluker

24

Member Profile: Berney Office Solutions

26

Retail Pop-ups will return

28

Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex work with partners on development plan

32

The Alabama economy is poised for growth

45

Park Crossing High School builds on momentum

48

Business Buzz

50

New Members

51

Members on the Move

55

Ribbon Cuttings & Ground Breakings

56

Economic Intel

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

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THE NUMBER ONE BUSINESS SOURCE FOR MONTGOMERY AND THE RIVER REGION PUBLISHER

Randall L. George EDITORIAL

Tina McManama David Zaslawsky Lashanda Gaines Melissa Bowman DESIGN

Copperwing Design PHOTOGRAPHER

Robert Fouts ON THE COVER:

Sam Addy is director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and associate dean for Research and Outreach in the Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama.

ADVERTISING:

Linda Drumheller 334-240-9494 mbjsales@montgomerychamber.com 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: mbj@montgomerychamber.com www.montgomerychamber.com/mbj 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, www.montgomerychamber.com. Subscription rate is $30 annually. Periodicals Postage Paid at Montgomery Alabama, 36119+9998, USPS NO. 025553. Volume 6, Issue 3 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 mbj@montgomerychamber.com. The Montgomery Business Journal welcomes story ideas from its readers. Email to: editor@montgomerychamber.com. Subscriptions are a part of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce dues structure. Subscriptions can also be purchased for $30 per year at www.montgomerychamber.com/mbjsub.

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


Superior Real Estate Services.

Norman Azar

Steve Wallace Zach Rolen Frank Potts

Amy Knudsen

Mickey Griffin Gary Jones

Dawn Casey

Leslie Zeanah

David Potts

Jamie Golomb

Scott Harris

Robin Raiford

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Management | Leasing | Marketing Brokerage | Development

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3500 Eastern Boulevard | Montgomery, Alabama 36116 aronovcommercial.com

334.277.1000 March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

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Calendar Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Events

MARCH

12

60 MINUTE COFFEE Sponsored by Montgomery Area Council on Aging 8 AM @ Montgomery Area Council on Aging 115 Jefferson Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members SCORE FOCUS WORKSHOP Business Basics Presenting Sponsor BWS Technologies 12 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Details and registration: montgomerychamber.com/score2

19

EGGS & ISSUES WITH SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS Presenting Sponsor: Troy University 7:30 AM @ RSA Activity Center 201 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery Details and registration: montgomerychamber.com/sessions

25 27

*

SCORE FOCUS WORKSHOP Business Basics Presenting Sponsor BWS Technologies 12 PM @ Small Business Resource Center, 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Details and registration: montgomerychamber.com/score3 BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by US Foods 5 PM @ 2850 Selma Highway, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Business Basics Presenting Sponsor BWS Technologies March 3rd & 17th 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

APRIL

1 3 9 14 6

CHAMBER ORIENTATION Sponsored by Charter HR 8 AM @ Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery RESERVATION IS REQUIRED Contact Sandra Kelley skelley@montgomerychamber.com or 334-240-9298 MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY FORUM Presenting Sponsor: City of St. Jude 7:30 AM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Suite 460, Montgomery Free event, registration required 60 MINUTE COFFEE Sponsored by Walker360 8 AM @ Walker360 2501 East 5th Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by Infinitus Energy 5 PM @ Infinitus Energy 1551 Louisville Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

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*

CONVERSATIONS: ROUNTABLES FOR PROFESSIONAL WOMEN Presenting Sponsor: Southeast Cherokee Construction, Inc. 10 AM @ Wynlakes Golf & Country Club 7900 Wynlakes Boulevard, Montgomery Details and registration: montgomerychamber.com/2014conversations BUSINESS TAXATION WORKSHOP Business Basics Presenting Sponsor BWS Technologies Two Sessions: 3 PM & 6 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Free event, open to the public BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Business Basics Presenting Sponsor BWS Technologies April 7th & 21st 4 PM @ Small Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door


Reporter’s Notebook by David Zaslawsky

JANUARY SALES RECORD Hyundai Motor America announced an all-time January sales record with 44,005 units. Sales of the Montgomeryproduced Elantra were up 26 percent (15,326) vs.

MONTGOMERY LEADS THE STATE IN TOURISM INCOME Montgomery easily surpassed the state’s other three metros last year in hotel occupancy rate and room demand, according to Smith Travel Research. For the year, Montgomery’s occupancy rate was up 4.9 percent. The No. 2 metro was Mobile at 1.5 percent while the other two had negative occupancy rates – Birmingham (-0.4 percent); and Huntsville (-5.8 percent). Montgomery had an impressive 8.1 percent increase in room demand last year. Mobile was second at 1.5 percent; followed by Birmingham (1.0 percent); and Huntsville (-0.5 percent).

January 2013 (12,174). “Even with our Alabama plant shutting down production of Elantra and Sonata for a couple of days due to a winter storm

MAKING A POINT When Todd Strange became Montgomery mayor in 2009, he received an invitation from Wiley Steen, the city’s director of leisure services, to tour Cramton Bowl. Although Strange had been in Montgomery since 1977, he had never been to Cramton Bowl, which opened in 1922. He went on the tour and when Steen asked if the mayor wanted to see the press box, Strange asked where is the elevator? There isn’t one. They walked 65 steps or so and then had to climb on a ladder to reach the second and third levels of the press box. “It didn’t take me long to get the message. We need to renovate this. We need to make it something that we can be proud of.” After the major renovation, the 25,000seat Cramton Bowl was the host to a college football all-star game and now is the site the 2014 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in December.

that crippled Montgomery, our dealers are well stocked with a full lineup of vehicles ready

NEW SPONSOR

to support customer demand,”

Yokohama Tire Corp. has signed a threeyear agreement to be the title sponsor for the LPGA tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in Prattville. The 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic will be Sept. 18-21 on the Senator Course.

Bob Pradzinski, vice president of national sales for HMA, said in a statement. The Sonata and Elantra are produced by Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s plant in Montgomery.

“The River Region and RTJ Trail are fantastic hosts and now together with Yokohama, we’re excited to bring the world’s best female golfers back to Prattville,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement. The previous LPGA tournaments in Prattville had an estimated economic impact of $7 million.

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


“On a farm, every season is a TURNING POINT. The right partner is the difference between surviving and thriving.”

Teddy Schneider

Schneider Farming Partnership

Get the whole story at regions.com/turningpoints

As a fourth-generation farmer, Teddy Schneider knew that occasional ups and downs in production just came with the territory. Having a banker stand by him during the hard times – now that was a turning point. Regions Banker Tripp Shepherd understands the unique needs of Teddy’s business, so Tripp is constantly bringing him solutions that help him move forward. Like when he introduced Teddy to Regions’ commodity hedging product. Being able to book the price for crops 24 months in advance was another turning point for Schneider Farming Partnership, one that not only reduced Teddy’s overall risk and stress, but also helped him to streamline, optimize and, most importantly, continue to move forward. To see how we can help your business move forward when it’s at a turning point, turn to Regions. Chip Gentry is the vice president of air service development for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery Airport Authority.

Loans | Treasury Management | Can-Do Attitude © 2014 Regions Bank. All loans and lines subject to credit approval.


CONNECTING WITH YOUTHS

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Montgomery County Commission Vice Chairman Dan Harris talked about reviving now-shuttered community centers that provided organized activities for youths. “Young people have not learned how to resolve disputes without resorting to violence,” he said. Harris said that the Cleveland Avenue YMCA “saved” his life growing up. He also praised some Montgomery Public Schools district’s programs, including Second Chance, which enables students who have been kicked out of a school a second chance to graduate. Harris said the program, which is limited to 30 students, needs to be expanded.

The director of Public Safety for the City of Montgomery said that the community needs to get engaged to stop crime. Although the overall crime rate fell about 7 percent last year, the 50 homicides was one of the highest totals ever.

Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, said that the YMCA and boys and girls clubs are beneficial for youths. He would like to see a plan in place “that’s realistic and has accountability” to help youths.

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

“What we need is this community to be angry about crimes – aggravated assaults; behaviors; but it’s not a police problem, it’s not the Legislature’s problem,” Chris Murphy said. “It is the community’s problem. The results and the solutions are community solutions.”

RISKY AND NON-RISKY BEHAVIORS Montgomery Police Chief Kevin J. Murphy said certain behaviors lead to someone being more likely to be a crime victim: dealing or using drugs; carrying stolen weapon(s); gambling; unemployment; prostitution; abusing alcohol and frequenting bars; having a low education level; and having multiple sexual partners. Chances are extremely slight of being a crime victim if someone is employed; married or monogamous; high-school educated or higher; drug-free; a homeowner; and a moderate drinker.

“Law enforcement does what I feel is a good job – a great job – of treating the symptoms, but law enforcement can’t treat the illness,” Murphy said. The Montgomery Violent Crime Commission was created and features a wide-ranging group to tackle crime from numerous angles. The Police Department has formed an intelligence unit, which among many other things monitors social media.


MONTGOMERY REAL ESTATE MARKET IS HOT For the second straight year, Montgomery area residential sales were No. 1 for the state’s metro areas with an increase of 14.6 percent last year. Montgomery ranked first in 2012 with a 12.1 percent increase in residential sales. The Mobile area had a 13.5 percent increase in 2013; Birmingham area was up 10.3 percent; and the Huntsville area had an 8.3 percent increase. Residential sales last year in the Montgomery area topped the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s forecast of 6.7 percent with 3,565 actual closings. The housing supply fell nearly a full month in 2013 to 10.1 months. The housing supply inventory last December was 2.7 percent more than 2012, but about 18 percent less than the high in December 2007.

DRAINAGE ISSUE

NEW CLINIC OPENS

Residents of the 45-year-old Hope Hull subdivision called Lagos del Sol have been asking the Montgomery County Commission to help with drainage problems. It will cost $1 million-plus, according to Montgomery County Administrator Donnie Mims. Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood has agreed to examine the drainage problem at no cost.

The 3,200-square-foot Jackson Clinic Family Medicine Center opened in Pike Road. There are six exam rooms, an onsite lab and X-ray at the clinic on Chantilly Parkway. It is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. The clinic is led by Dr. Christopher Waguespack, who most recently worked at Maxwell Air Force Base.

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

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SAGE ADVICE

WELLNESS CENTER HONORED

“If we only have $1 to spend – spend it on education and not on health,” said State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson. “If you educate the population, health will improve. If you spend it on health, you will not educate the population.”

The Auburn University at Montgomery’s Wellness Center was recognized as a facility of merit by AthleticBusiness magazine.

He said that poor health, including higher mortality rates and higher infant mortality rates, is linked to poverty. “Education is the gateway to better income and it’s the gateway to better health,” he said. Williamson, who oversees the state’s Medicaid program, said that the state has “the most miserly Medicaid program in America.” He said the state covers the minimum number of people with the minimum amount of services. He said the number of people on the state’s Medicaid program increased by 200,000 because of the recession. “The only way you’re going to reduce the cost of Medicaid in Alabama is by having fewer people go on the program and since we don’t cover anybody we don’t have to cover – you’re not going to be able to do it (reduce the number) by changing eligibility. You’ve got to have fewer people that need it.”

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

The $16 million-plus, 70,000 square-foot center opened in 2012. It has a climbing wall, indoor track, pool, exercise studios,

weight room as well as classrooms, lab and multipurpose rooms. One judge wrote that the center had an “intriguing plan concept.” Two other judges wrote that the use of wood adds warmth to the facility.

NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK Multifamily construction, which has increased 48 percent in 2012 and 38 percent last year, is forecast to rise another 29 percent this year while construction of single-family houses is expected to grow 18 percent this year, according to management consulting firm FMI. The single-family housing market is expected to grow 17 percent in 2015; 14 percent in 2016; and 12 percent in 2017, while the multi-family projects are expected to slow to a 12 percent increase in 2015; 10 percent increase in 2016; and 6 percent increase in 2017.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based company is also forecasting strong growth in lodging construction – 10 percent this year and next, although the overwhelming majority of the projects will be upscale and upper midscale. Nearly 600 hotels and 65,000plus rooms are expected to open this year, according to Lodging Econometrics. Manufacturing construction is forecast to increase 6 percent this year and 7 percent in 2015, 2016 and 2017. FMI is forecasting the overall construction industry to increase 7 percent this year.


The David R. Echols Distinguished Service Award in Economic Development recognizes the qualities of the longtime senior project manager of the Alabama Development Office. “David’s attributes were passion, honesty, integrity, preparation and accuracy,” said Gary Faulkner, who worked with Echols at the Alabama Development Office, which has been merged into the Alabama Department of Commerce. Faulkner is the director of business development for the Commerce Department. Echols died in 2010 and the Commerce Department established an award in his honor. That award is not the “best economic developer of the year,” Faulkner said, but someone who shares Echols’ attributes, and for 2014 that someone is Ellen McNair, senior vice president, corporate development for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. The award, which is selected by the Commerce Department, was announced at the winter conference of the Economic Development Association of Alabama in Birmingham. “It is an especially meaningful award because the recipient is selected by the professional economic staff at the Alabama Department of Commerce, the primary group with whom local communities team to attract new and expanding industry,” Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce President Randall L. George said. McNair and Echols worked on many projects together, Faulkner said. “They were close.” The most significant project the two worked on together was Hyundai Motor Co. coming to Montgomery and building its first manufacturing plant in North America – Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. “I am very proud of Ellen,” George said. “I sincerely believe she epitomizes the ideals set forth by this award given in memory of David Echols. There is no economic development professional more dedicated, ethical, hardworking, passionate and attentive to detail than Ellen McNair.” Faulkner called McNair and the other three recipients of the award “professional first class.” He said, “It’s quite an honor for us to honor David and you couldn’t think of a better individual than Ellen. She is quite deserving to say the least.”

McNair Receives Prestigious Commerce Department Award by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

“I would like to thank the Alabama Department of Commerce for establishing this award which honors the great legacy of David Echols, and his impact in the development of our state,” McNair said. “I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of the past recipients: Greg Barker – Alabama Power, Mike McCain – Gadsden/ Etowah County and Phillip Dunlap – City of Auburn. I greatly admire these men for their unselfish spirit and their willingness to share their knowledge with other economic development professionals around the state. These men have raised the bar of economic development professionalism in Alabama. I am honored to have been selected to receive this meaningful award.”

Ellen McNair is the senior vice president of corporate development for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.

McNair was the first female project manager at ADO; she was the first female president of the Economic Development Association of Alabama; and the first female to attain a CEcD (Certified Economic Developer program). “Montgomery is truly very fortunate to have her leading our corporate development efforts,” George said. “I am very lucky to have her as a member of the Chamber’s team and as a personal friend.” •

The award will be given for only 10 years, which makes the award even more significant, Faulkner said. March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

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Max Credit Union President and CEO Greg McClelland (right) presents the 2014 MAX Community Achievement Award to Ken Blankenship (center), executive director of the Central Alabama Sports Commission and Karl Stegall, chairman of the Central Alabama Sports Commission.

Bowl. That charge for the changes to Cramton Bowl and the multiplex facility was led by the Central Alabama Sports Commission, which also recommended a massive makeover of the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex in East Montgomery.

Coming of Age The Central Alabama Sports Commission is named recipient of the MAX Community Achievement Award by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

The Central Alabama Sports Commission along with its partners – the City of Montgomery and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce – were wooing ESPN Regional Television to stage a 2014 college football bowl game in Montgomery. The Montgomery contingent had to overcome a major obstacle – a deal breaker – and that was that Paul Derzis, senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Regional Television, had not been to Montgomery since 1976. He did not have a favorable perception, but that was a long, long time ago. Derzis came to Montgomery and stayed at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. He toured downtown. “He was in awe,” recalled Ken Blankenship, executive director of the Central Alabama Sports Commission. “He said: ‘You are No. 1 on my list.’ ” Now Derzis had to convince two conference commissioners that Montgomery is an ideal site for a college bowl game. Those conference commissioners from the Sun Belt and Mid-American said they wanted to see Montgomery before making a decision. They met with a lot of officials, Blankenship said. “They bought in immediately. They were excited about it.” That’s the genesis for the 2014 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl at Cramton Bowl. What helped seal the deal was the $25 million or so invested in a major renovation to Cramton Bowl and the new, adjacent 90,000-square-foot Multiplex at Cramton

Blankenship began his tenure at the commission by taking an inventory of Montgomery’s sports facilities and made recommendations on how the city could become a key player in the lucrative business of attracting athletic and recreational events to the Capital City. Back in the summer of 2010, Blankenship said the multiplex “makes us unique. We will have a facility that other cities our size do not have.” He was so right. Those new facilities have attracted hundreds of events – everything from boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball, archery, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, cheerleading and wrestling. A horseshoe tournament with 2,000 participants is being recruited. That is the mission of the Central Alabama Sports Commission, whose goals are, according to its website: “To attract, develop, and facilitate sports events and sports related conventions in the central Alabama region; thereby, creating a positive economic impact which will contribute to the area’s quality of life and enhance its public image.” The Central Alabama Sports Commission, which was formed a little less than five years ago, was the recipient of the 2014 MAX Community Achievement from MAX Credit Union. The annual award recognizes “those who have made a significant difference in our quality of life,” said D.G. Markwell, senior vice president of marketing/business development for MAX Credit Union. MAX Credit Union President and CEO Greg McClellan presented Blankenship a $2,500 check for the Central Alabama Sports Commission. McClellan noted that the sports commission not only brings events and people to town, “but also serves to promote Montgomery to the rest of the state; the rest of the Southeast; and rest of the nation – enhances our image.” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said the 2013 difference in hotel occupancy rates and room demand between Montgomery (No. 1)

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and the state’s other metros – Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville – “is the sports (events) that come to Montgomery, Alabama, that were not there a year ago; that were not there two years ago. And all of those lead us to get the economic impact; to get the tax revenue to be able to service that bond.” He was referring to the bond to fund the sports venue projects and the mayor has some new projects in mind: > $1.8 million for Paterson Field. > $10 million for a tennis complex. > $5 million to $6 million for a track and field facility. Attracting sports events is big business – it’s a multi-billion dollar industry nationwide. The Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) reported that sporting event bookings were up 18 percent last year and the room nights with those bookings jumped 51 percent. The CVB is negotiating with 52 sports planners for events this year that would result in 56,000 room nights and an economic impact of $15 million. “There are a lot of things that we’ve been able to do … that the facilities have attracted,” Blankenship said. “Without the multiplex, we

would be back to ground zero and be like everybody else, but with the multiplex we are different. It sets us apart.” Although he credits the facilities for a large role of the sports commission’s success, Blankenship also praises all the activities in the city as well as the hospitality venues. Montgomery’s powerful weapon in recruiting events is what Blankenship calls “a threeprong organization” – Central Alabama Sports Commission, City of Montgomery Parks and Recreation Department and the Chamber’s CVB. The sports commission and CVB both attract events to Montgomery. The city’s Parks & Recreation Department puts on the events and the CVB offers a wide range of services, including hotel arrangements and activities for the participants in the events. “That gives us a huge advantage over most cities that just have a sports commission,” Blankenship said. Personnel in those three entities have relationships and that helps attract events, Blankenship said. Of course, the events held here must be successful because word-of-mouth spreads quickly. “That’s why it’s so important (that) when people come

to your community, they better be happy,” Blankenship said. Blankenship said that a national gymnastics event may be held this year or next year in Montgomery and he is hopeful that some semifinal high school football games will be at Cramton Bowl in 2015. The MAX Community Achievement Award is “proof that we are achieving our goals and mission,” he said. The award “will give us a push as a sports commission to create a bigger vision and do more.” He thanked MAX Credit Union for the award and said, “We do greatly appreciate this trust that this organization (MAX Credit Union) has put in us.” McClellan congratulated the sports commission “on a great beginning because that’s what this is – the beginning – and it’s going to be greater in the future.” On the Central Alabama Sports Commission website it states: “Sports Capital of Alabama.” Well, that’s not good enough for Strange. He wants corporations and the community to support the sports venue projects to elevate Montgomery to the “Sports Capital of the Southeast." •

© 2014 Alabama Power Company

Every day thousands of men and women come together to bring you the wonder that is electricity, affordably and reliably, and with a belief that, in the right hands, this energy can do a whole lot more than make the lights come on. It can make an entire state shine.

32:,3RZHU7R$ODEDPDB0%-LQGG

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal 15 30


Investor Profile

The Southeast Alabama Gas District is taking on a higher profile, from hiring an economic development expert to opening a fifth-floor office at the RSA Dexter Avenue Building.

Wiley Lott is the director of external affairs and economic development for Southeast Alabama Gas District.

MAKING A

BIG IMPRESSION Southeast Alabama Gas District seeks higher profile by David Zaslawsky

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

photography by Robert Fouts


N

SOUTHEAST ALABAMA GAS DISTRICT YEAR FOUNDED

1952

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

187 That’s only part of the story for the Andalusia-based firm that was founded in 1952 with 14 municipalities. The company has become a sustaining-level investor in the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s five-year strategic plan – Imagine A Greater Montgomery II. “The foundation of economic development is the local economic developers,” said Wiley Lott, director of external affairs and economic development for Southeast Alabama Gas District (SAGD). “There is no finer group than the Montgomery Chamber. They have a great team. We believe in supporting the local foundation – the local economic developers – with our time, money, talent and resources.” The company is so serious about economic development that SAGD decided to create its own department instead of relying on consultants, and Lott was brought in last year to run the economic development program. “I’m laying the foundation,” Lott said. He said the firm “has a special emphasis on being a part of the Alabama economic development team and to work to bring industry and jobs to our state. Also, work with our communities to help strengthen and help grow them and help our existing businesses grow and expand; and bring new industry in to create jobs.” He stressed that team concept in economic development and the importance of partnerships and relationships. “The whole idea of economic development is jobs,” said Lott, who developed and ran three departments for Wal-Mart: real estate/distribution center; state government relations; and economic development. “We need to all work together as a team in order to help our businesses grow and create an environment where businesses can grow and prosper and also work to bring industry into the state. That’s the reason why this position was created. “If we can all work together as part of this Alabama team, then we can magnify (results) and leverage our assets; leverage our relationships; leverage our talents … That’s what it’s all about.”

NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS

30,000 RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL SERVICE TERRITORY

COVERS MORE THAN 14,000 SQUARE MILES AND 34 COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING MONTGOMERY COUNTY, ELMORE COUNTY, PIKE ROAD AND OPELIKA CITIES THAT OWN EQUAL SHARE OF THE GAS DISTRICT

ANDALUSIA, ABBEVILLE, BRUNDIDGE, DOTHAN, ELBA, ENTERPRISE, EUFAULA, FORT DEPOSIT, GREENVILLE, HEADLAND, LUVERNE, OPP, OZARK AND TROY MILES OF TRANSMISSION LINES

600

close proximity to a number of leading economic development organizations, including the Montgomery Chamber. We want to be part of the (economic development) team. We want to be in Montgomery because that’s the state capital … so that we will have a seat at the table and working to help create an environment that is conducive to business.” He will work with the Legislature in an informational capacity, Lott said – not as a lobbyist. He will be joined in his office with consultant Billy Joe Camp and there is space for a receptionist. The company also has a consultant in Korea, identifying companies that would be a good fit for Montgomery. Lott said he was grateful for help from the Retirement Systems of Alabama in locating his office. Lott credits the employees for SAGD’s success. “It is the people – the hard-working, dedicated professionals. They are from here. Their heart and passion is helping our people (in Alabama).” •

The company services 35 communities, including Montgomery County, Elmore County and Pike Road. Lott said that SAGD has a large presence in East Montgomery and South Montgomery. “We really appreciate the opportunities that we have here and look forward to continue growing as Montgomery prospers,” Lott said. “We look forward to being a part of that growth.” SAGD has about 3,300 customers in the River Region. The gas company does not have “a territory per se,” according to Lott, but competes for customers whether it’s a new subdivision or industry. “We can serve where we have the ability,” he said. Lott said the move to the downtown Montgomery office shows the company’s commitment to Montgomery. “My office is located in

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

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THE ‘COOL’ IN CAPITAL COOL Q & A WITH ZILLAH FLUKER

Zillah M. Fluker is president of Emerge Montgomery, an organization of young professionals that is a program of Leadership Montgomery in partnership with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Fluker was recently interviewed by the Montgomery Business Journal’s David Zaslawsky Montgomery Business Journal: What are your responsibilities as president of Emerge Montgomery?

Zillah M. Fluker is an associate vice president for the Office of Development at Alabama State University. She is also the president of Emerge Montgomery

Fluker: My responsibilities are to have oversight of Emerge Montgomery. My job is to make sure we stay focused on the mission and the goals of Emerge and make sure that we integrate them to the broader goals and objectives of Leadership Montgomery and therefore the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. My job is to inspire and motivate volunteers because we are all volunteers to really step up to the plate and fulfill the objectives we’ve identified as the means to reach our goals. MBJ: What are the goals of Emerge? Fluker: We use the words connect, grow, voice and interact – making sure that we are networking; we are serving as a tool to help recruit and retain young professional talent into Montgomery, but also making

sure the perspective of that population is heard by not only the business leadership, but also the political leadership. Then, more importantly that there is constant activity that supports the growth of this young professional population both as individuals, but also as a group. MBJ: Are you being heard? Fluker: We are absolutely being heard. We have seen a lot of our ideas taken by the business community as well as by the political community and implemented into real programs and initiatives. MBJ: Would you please give some examples? Fluker: One of the best examples is probably the participation in Mayor Todd Strange’s mayoral council, where he meets with us once a month. We have breakfast and we just talk about what is going on in Montgomery. There are numerous instances where we have shared ideas there and he has then implemented. One is a perfect example of what Montgomery now does as a New Year’s Eve celebration. That was born from discussions at that mayoral council. MBJ: There was a huge crowd downtown this past New Year’s. Fluker: This was our second year. There are other examples of input in things that were already along the way. MBJ: How long have you been a member of the organization? CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


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Fluker: This will be my third year. MBJ: What other positions have you held in the organization? Fluker: I came on board and immediately was elected the member-at-large and then I was elected last year vice president. The way our structure works, the vice president with a vote of confidence transitions to the president after serving the year term as vice president. I got the vote of confidence back in November and assumed presidency on Jan. 1. Prior to that, I was a graduate of the Torchbearers leadership class, which is an extension of Leadership Montgomery and that is what introduced me to Emerge. MBJ: What have you learned about Emerge and what have you learned about Montgomery during your time with Emerge? Fluker: I moved back to Montgomery about three years ago. (She has a bachelor’s degree in history from Alabama State University.) I’m originally from Zimbabwe, Africa. I grew up in London, England. MBJ: What have you learned about Emerge? Fluker: I’ve learned a lot about Montgomery, but what I learned about the group is that we have a large eager and thirsty group of young professionals, who are diverse and have interests in really seeing Montgomery continue to progress and figure ways how they can have input in that progression. There is a very large number and we cut across from the private and the public sectors. We’re educators; we’re business professionals and there’s a desire to do more and to have a more significant role. MBJ: and what have you learned about Montgomery during your time with Emerge? Fluker: What I’ve learned about Montgomery is that Montgomery is a lot more open to new ideas than our history and tradition may suggest. When you look at the mayor wanting to have conversations with 22-, 24- and 30-year-olds to get a perspective on how to

do his job. When you look at the business leaders and the Chamber sitting down and having luncheons with us and telling us about what they do and how they do what they’re doing as seasoned professionals. That’s really indicative of a much more progressive Montgomery or as we call it a Montgomery 2.0 than what people perceive Montgomery to be. We have to do a better job of telling the story though. MBJ: What are the organization’s goals for 2014? Fluker: We have some really special goals for this year. Our population is primarily black and white – from a race perspective and Montgomery has a growing Asian community. One of our primary goals is to recruit more Asian young professionals to be a part of Emerge Montgomery. We will be reaching out to Hyundai as a source, but also the academic communities have good representation of people of Asian background. That gives us a chance to expand our diversity – diversity is one. The other one is also in the spirit of diversity. We are a population from age 22 to 40, which means we have everything from recent graduates of college to singles to people who are engaged; married; and with children. When you look at a lot of our programming, it is really focused more on everyone except for the families. We are looking at making sure that we do more activities to include young professionals who may already have a family. We will continue to offer them a chance to network. MBJ: Will Emerge have special events for members with families? Fluker: Yes. We did do one event that was family-oriented. We would like to target that audience this year on a quarterly basis. The third and most important goal is that Montgomery is a large, college town. With all the colleges and universities represented in Montgomery, we have a unique opportunity to help retain that talent in Montgomery and Emerge is the leader and the best organization positioned to attract that group. For this last year, LEAD Summit, which is our biggest conference, we targeted students from Huntingdon, AUM (Auburn University at Montgomery), Troy and Alabama State University to participate. Of that population, 31 of them will be coming on as members. They are juniors and seniors that are 22 CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


Fluker: That’s always been in existence and we will continue that. That’s the one I mentioned to you when we bring in mid- to senior-level executives to come in and talk about what they do; what kind of challenges they are facing; and also share with us how we could map our careers to where they’ve reached in their success.

and actually helping us put on some of this programming. That way, we can incorporate those diverse ideas. Having members who have been a part of Emerge in the past, come back because we lost a lot of our membership to people’s lives becoming busier – so we would love to see a reclamation of our membership. I think we have lost a lot of our members, quite frankly to families and if we (add family-oriented events) we can bring them back. The third thing for me would be successful programming, particularly with the LEAD Summit, where we are shaping it now to cater more to this collegiate population - a successful LEAD Summit. I cannot close without saying, identifying resources and funds to make sure that we have the capital to put on the program that we have.

MBJ: What does a successful year look like for you leading the organization?

MBJ: How many members does Emerge have and how large is the database?

Fluker: To me, a successful year looks like you have an active membership – having good and consistent participation levels. We have a lot of people who join Emerge, but as far as participation and events – while we have good turnouts, we would love to see more members involved in our committees

Fluker: The database is well over 1,000. Our membership is 200 to 250 and our active members are 50 to 75.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20

years old or older. Just to have that stronger relationship and to also give them examples of what it is like to be a young professional living in Montgomery post-graduation from college. MBJ: Please talk about The Executive 2 EMERGE speaker series. How long has it been a program of Emerge?

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

MBJ: Are there concrete goals for membership? Fluker: I would love to see 300 paid members before year end.

MBJ: “The mission of Emerge is to provide an environment for young professionals to network, develop professionally and socially, and participate in partnerships in order to attract, retain and improve quality of life for young professionals in the city of Montgomery,” according to the organization’s website. How has the organization done the past five years? Fluker: Overall, we’ve done well. Looking at those different pieces of the mission, we have been successful in networking and the professional development and of course the social component. I do think we could do a little bit more and my goals are really focused on the retention piece and the attraction piece. We have a lot of room for growth. We’re looking for new ideas. We’re looking for new people. We love it when people come in from different cities and they have experienced life differently. I would argue that one of the things that my constituents were drawn to and placed me in this position (associate vice president for the Office of Development at Alabama State University) was because I was from the outside and came in with a different perspective and saw things through a different lens. Sometimes


when you are really close to something, you don’t appreciate it as much as an outsider who is experiencing it for a first time does. MBJ: What does Emerge look like in four years when the organization is 10 years old? Fluker: In the 10th anniversary, Emerge is certainly more diverse and is linked to other young professional organizations throughout the region. And Emerge is viewed as a premier sort of benchmark for how young professional organizations should be structured and what type of programming they should actually have. MBJ: Why is Emerge an important organization? Fluker: Emerge is important to the future of Montgomery because when you look at an aging population, this is going to be a support source for the identification of talent; the professional development of talent; and most importantly, the retention of talent. I’m not just talking about retention in the jobs, companies and organizations that we’re in, or retention in the region to make sure that we a have talent base. When you look at one of the No. 1 driving factors of a company deciding to set up shop here in Montgomery – one of

Emerge is important to the future of Montgomery. the things they look at is what’s the available talent pool? There is value in being able to have that source of talent. MBJ: Please talk about the role Emerge has played in helping Montgomery become a more attractive city to young professionals? Fluker: I will boldly say this and that is we often talk about Montgomery being ‘capital cool.’ The mayor uses that term. I don’t think many people would argue with me and say that the cool piece is Emerge. When you look at what is going on in The Alley, you run into groups often at different restaurants and bars. You have a lot of Emerge members who are supporting that so that’s a key relevant piece in terms of supporting that nightlife and that social activity. The other thing is there is a

brain trust. I think there is a set of creative thinkers that you see that business leaders like Jerry Kyser leverage and hire into their organizations. There are very few restaurants – in fact, I can’t think of any restaurants that have opened in Montgomery in the time that I’ve been here – where we were not invited as the first set of individuals to give a perspective. It’s beyond that when MercedesBenz launched its new under $30,000 (model), we were the first group contacted by Jack Ingram to host an event at Jack Ingram in order to have that population exposed to that new vehicle given that we represent that demographic. I think we are the cool in capital cool. •

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

23


Investor Member Profile Profile BUSINESS BUZZ (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 63)

(Left to Right) Brad Enns, President; David Washington, Vice President of Sales; Ben Blankenship, CFO

Keep on Growing Berney Office Solutions increases revenue, work force by Jennifer Kornegay

photography by Robert Fouts

Ask anyone what’s going on over at Berney Office Solutions, and they’ll answer, “Growth.”

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


BERNEY OFFICE SOLUTIONS TOTAL EMPLOYEES

200 Headquartered in Montgomery, the company that was founded with one location in the Capital City more than 50 years ago now boasts seven branches, six in Alabama and one in Pensacola. Berney Office Solutions President Brad Enns summed it up this way: “We are growing and will continue to do so, continue to grow in people and in revenues,” he said. “We have actually grown during and since the recession and now have a recruiter helping us hire new people. I don’t see his job ending any time soon.” Berney provides its clients with a wide range of office solutions, including the hardware and software needed as well as expert consulting and advice. “We are a part of the Global Imaging Systems Family, a Xerox Co., so the main brand we represent is Xerox, and that includes everything from printers that fit in your lap to ones that fill a room,” Enns said, “as well as Xerox’s complete suite of software solutions.” Berney also offers managed print services, which mean they help clients manage and maintain their fleet of printers, including providing supplies and repairs, regardless of the brand. “We saved one of our largest customers 23 percent by managing their print feet,” said David Washington, vice president of sales for Berney. The Berney 360 program, as its name implies, covers the entire spectrum of solutions the company specializes in, measuring the seven core business areas required for its clients to achieve optimization. “It begins with an assessment that shows them their technology fleet and what they have, what they need, how their current process is working and recommendations for improvement to increase efficiency and decrease expenses,” Washington said. “It really is a cost-cutting solution for our clients.” And those clients are diverse. “We serve clients in almost all sectors: health care, including some of the large medical facilities in the state, all but one of the auto manufacturers in the state, universities, the two largest law firms in the state and K-12 institutions,” Enns said. At 16,000 customers strong, Berney is the largest company of its kind in the state, and it keeps getting bigger. Enns offered his thoughts on why. “We are still a local company, yet we have the backing and resources of a large company, Xerox, which is the leader in the technology of our industry,” he said. “Our billing is local, supplies are local, our help desk and technicians are here. That is what makes us different.” Enns, Washington and Berney’s Chief Financial Officer Ben Blankenship all attribute the company’s success and growth to stellar customer service. “We do what is right and do it quickly,” Enns said. “We have same-day service, and being local helps us do that – helps us stand out,” Washington said. “And we save our customers money; they need to do more with less, and we help them do that,” Blankenship added.

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(334) 271-4750 equipment; we are selling software and a document management solution. We show them how much they can do with the equipment and how that can benefit the efficiency of their operation. The key is aligning with clients’ goals and needs. Our people do that.” Enns also praised Berney’s employees. “I find it incredible how many dedicated people we have, and I so enjoy leading our people who are committed to our customer base and to making our company great. We stay on the cutting edge of the technology we sell and service thanks to our IT guys, who are always on top of things,” he said. “We are always looking for the best people and best talent and have a leadership development program that will help ensure our future.” Retaining customers and gaining new ones has led the company to run out of space in several areas and resulted in some recent and coming expansions. “We’re moving into a new facility in Huntsville in May and just expanded last December in Birmingham where we almost doubled our space,” Enns said. “The Pensacola office has outgrown its facility, too, and is moving to a new one in March.” Enns outlined a new avenue the company is using to give back, a technology makeover program for a chosen charity. After a nomination process and community voting, Berney will give that charity $15,000 worth of consulting and technology equipment and services. “We will do this in two branches, and we’re not sure which ones yet,” he said. “We may do a statewide one as well. It will be very exciting, and we’re happy to do it, to help people and groups who do so much to help others.” No doubt as Berney Office Solutions grows, so too will its positive impact on the communities and clients it serves. “We will continue to expand next year,” Enns said. “We keep on growing, and in 2014, we plan to move into other markets in Alabama and in the Southeast.” •

Washington stressed that their customer service wouldn’t be what it is without good people. “Our solutions guys, the IT professionals, and our sale reps are great,” he said. “We are not just selling March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

25


Melanie Golson is outreach coordinator for the City of Montgomery’s Development Department.

Temporary Locations

Retail pop-up shops coming to downtown by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

Although plans are still being finalized, expect to see some retail pop-up shops in downtown Montgomery this summer or early fall at possibly three downtown locations. One of those potential sites is the former Subway store on lower Dexter Avenue, said Melanie Golson, outreach coordinator for the City of Montgomery’s Development Department. She said the former Subway site could be used for a doughnut or sandwich pop-up shop and cited window space for a retail display. Golson said there is another building

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

“with great window display space,” but there are flooring issues that the property owner would have to repair. The pop-up shop program enables would-be entrepreneurs and business owners a site to try out a product or add a second location. “It is meant to bring life to an empty space to help the property owner better market it because an active space markets better than something that has been empty for a long time,” Golson said. That’s why the fledging program is a win-win for property owners and business owners


business for less than three weeks, but what a three weeks it was for the 33 artists selling goods from a week before Christmas to a little after New Year’s.

– both benefit. The business owner who leases space for a pop-up shop receives a rent reduction; spends very little to adapt the space with temporary displays; and gets the opportunity to test a product. “If they become a successful retailer and they see it’s a profitable location for them, they could possibly get a long-term lease from the property owner,� Golson said. For the property owner, they would be making the necessary improvements to the building to attract a retailer and as Golson said, it’s much easier to lease a building that has a tenant vs. an empty storefront. Golson said that pop-up shops are geared to last from a minimum of 30 days to a maximum of six months. “We hope to expand it (pop-up shop program) out of downtown,� Golson said. She said other potential locations are Fairview Avenue and Centennial Hill – “areas of town that need an infusion of retail business,� she said. The pilot pop-up shop – Tallapoosa Street Goods – lasted less than the desired minimum of 30 days. That site was in

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The group had hoped to gross about $5,000, which was the break-even point, Golson said. Sales totaled $11,000. The business owners â&#x20AC;&#x153;were pleasantly surprised,â&#x20AC;? Golson said. She said that leaders from the all-volunteer groups of Better Block Montgomery and Helicity asked city officials about renting the space formerly occupied by Arts Gone Wild on Tallapoosa Street. Arts Gone Wild promoted the city attractions of the Montgomery Zoo, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in an extremely high-visibility location across from the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center and Embassy Suites Montgomery-Hotel & Conference Center â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-largest hotels. Golson described Better Block Montgomery as an artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; community and Helicity as more of a musical and theatrical interest organization. The Arts Gone Wild site had been empty. The space is only about 700 square feet

with limited room for inventory. A deal was reached on the rent, which is $1,000 to $1,200 a month. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our plan for this pilot pop-up was literally just to see how it would work â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? Golson said. Interest in the pop-up shop grew immediately from an expected 12 to 15 artists to sell goods to 33. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They showed there is a market for locally made dĂŠcor items,â&#x20AC;? Golson said. There were paintings and pictures for sale as well as jewelry, homemade soaps and handwoven scarves â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the type of products that would make for great gifts as well as home dĂŠcor items. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were wonderfully surprised at how successful it was and I think the artists, Helicity and Better Block Montgomery were, too,â&#x20AC;? Golson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We hope that for at least those two volunteer groups they have something they can do a couple times a year, but for sure we want to bring them back for the next holiday season.â&#x20AC;? Tallapoosa Street Goods catered to locals with evening hours and weekend hours rather than tourists and conventioneers. â&#x20AC;˘

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March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

27


Soaring Ahead Maxwell Air Force Base, partners prepare for the future by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

Col. Trent Edwards

If Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex receive the makeover that installation officials envision over 15 years, it will not resemble the current facility. That 15-year plan will undergo countless revisions; priorities will change; new missions or expanded missions will require adjustments; and all the proposals must go up the chain for approval while competing with all the other installations in the Air Force and all the bases in the military. Maxwell along with Jacobs Engineering Group and the Montgomery architectural firm of Seay, Seay, Litchfield are finalizing that 15year installation development plan. “You can’t get money for a project until you have a plan for it,” said Greg Luebbers, senior site planner and landscape architect for St. Louis-based Jacobs Engineering Group. “It’s a first step in identifying requirements for facilities; planning for them so they can raise those to the Pentagon to get funded.”

When the process is finalized, which is expected in the summer, the result will be a capital improvements list. That working list includes the following: > $9.5 million for a new air traffic control tower. > $16 million for a new fitness center at Gunter Annex. > $3.9 million for a new commercial vehicle inspection gate. > $19 million for a new Officer Training School dorm. > $16 million for an addition to the Judge Advocate General (JAG) building. > $19.5 million for a new enterprise operations facility. > $3.3 million for an aerial port training facility. > $13.2 million for an aircraft parking apron. > $5.4 million for a squadron operations facility. > $4.7 million for a logistics group complex. > $12 million for a new assault strip. > $68 million for a new Air Force historical research agency facility.

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


“Those who fail to plan essentially plan to fail,” Col. Trent Edwards, commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing, said at a Maxwell vision session featuring 14 speakers. “As we look forward to the future, we have got to make sure that we synchronize each one of our missions and integrate them into this development plan. That’s how we move forward in a very successful way.” Moving forward means making better use of the installation and reaching the Department of Defense’s mandate to reduce overhead and infrastructure 20 percent by 2020. The base is working on demolishing 1.1 million square feet, Edwards said, and includes six projects this year that will cost a combined $500,000. The underutilized movie theater is on the demolition list and non-privatized housing units will be demolished. The Falcon’s Nest Lounge at Gunter will also be demolished. “We manage space,” said Edwards, who oversees Maxwell and Gunter Annex. “As the host installation, our responsibility is to care … for tenants and partners at Maxwell Air Force Base.” The base has 15,000-plus personnel and handles another 14,500-plus

retirees and about 850 inmates for a total population of 41,500. The base is also looking at demolishing its Post Office to provide a “huge, wide-open space” near the main Maxwell Boulevard entrance to move the Base Exchange, commissary, library and bowling center to create what Edwards called a “community commons.” That area would be located nearby the River Region Freedom Park. Edwards said the list of capital improvements is not a wish list. “We have a process by which we identify requirements,” he said. “We have identified a requirement for a new control tower; for a new fitness center at Gunter as well as a new entry control point.” The current air traffic control tower was built in 1955 and is the oldest, active tower in the Air Force. It contains lead-based paint, asbestos, mold and leaks and has obstructed views. The nearly 20,000-square-foot fitness center at Gunter was originally an aircraft maintenance hangar. The proposed fitness center is more than 60,000 square feet.

The current commercial vehicle inspection and entry control facility is a 1940s gate with some upgrades and guard shack from the 1970s and is located close to the Base Exchange and commissary. The new facility is at a different location and would provide the required security. The proposed Officer Training School dorm expands capacity to meet the current demands. The three-story facility would have 120 rooms. The proposed commissary for Gunter is 46,144 square feet. The existing building was constructed as an aircraft hanger in 1943 and then converted to a commissary in 1974. The proposed JAG addition is a two-story, 40,000-plus square foot facility with a 125seat auditorium; six rooms for seminars; and two large classrooms. In addition to those large capital improvement projects are hundreds of small projects – 14 pages worth – renovating and maintaining the 297 buildings and the more than 6.5 million square feet at Maxwell and Gunter as well as CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

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“Those who fail to plan essentially plan to fail.” - Col. Trent Edwards is commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29

41 miles of paved roads. Those projects range from heating and air conditioning work to roof repairs, floor repairs, painting, replacing fire alarms, duct work, elevator work, relocating signs, installing electric meters, replacing seats, replacing lights, refurbishing building interiors, expanding a youth playground, constructing a recreation center, upgrading a generator system, road work and fence work. All of those projects would cost $110 million-plus.

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

That’s a lot of money, but you have to consider the size of the base – 2,866 acres owned and another 217 acres leased; two runways; 36-hole golf course; two bowling centers; two fitness centers; two child development centers; two libraries; coffee shop; sushi bar; four restaurants; a school and an auto hobby shop. The estimated replacement value for all the installation’s assets: $5.4 billion. “The great thing about this process is an opportunity for Seay, Seay, Litchfield and Jacobs Engineering to hear about the requirements; hear about the growth so they can integrate all those requirements into the long-term installation development,” Edwards said. The installation development plan “is a tool for strategic-based planning,” Luebbers said. It focuses on the big picture and provides a “strategic link to the mission and future development plan.” He said the installation development plan “is a new planning product that the Air Force is using to depict and define Air Base development visions.” •


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Alabamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy is gaining momentum by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

Sam Addy is director of The University of Alabamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center for Business and Economic Research and associate dean for Research and Outreach in the Culverhouse College of Commerce at UA. Cover and centerspread photos were taken at Smith Industries, Inc./Jay R. Smith Manufacturing Company.

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


The director of The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research said he is accused of being overly optimistic in his assessments of the state. Sam Addy, who is associate dean for research and outlook in the Culverhouse College of Commerce at UA, said he does not look at the short term, but prefers what he calls “go long,” or look at the big picture. “Alabama has done well; is doing well; and Alabama will continue to do well,” he said at the university’s 2014 Economic Outlook Conference at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

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CONTINUED FROM 33

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alabama has challenges, but we also do really well,â&#x20AC;? he said. Alabama has made incredible progress from being about 45 percent of the U.S. per capita income in 1929 to 83 percent in 2012. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This tells the story of how well weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done over time,â&#x20AC;? Addy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think this deserves applause for ourselves and our state.â&#x20AC;? The stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy (gross domestic product) is projected to grow 2.4 percent this year and an even stronger 3.1 percent in 2015 after increasing 1.9 percent increase in 2013 and just 1.3 percent in 2012. The range of the 2014 forecast is from a low of 2.0 percent to a high of 3.2 percent and the range for 2015 is a low of 2.5 percent to a high of 4.0 percent. Total tax revenue forecasts show steady 4.0-plus percent increases for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, reaching $11 billion in 2017. Sales tax revenues are projected to grow 1.8 percent this year; 2.0 percent in 2015; 2.5 percent in 2016; and 2.2 percent in 2017. The bulk of the projected increases in tax revenue is coming from individuals with 5.0-plus percent increases through 2017, including a high of 5.9 percent in 2016.

Employment is projected to increase a modest 1.3 percent this year, but that means 24,300 jobs. The majority of those jobs will be in services with other strong sectors including transportation equipment manufacturers. That 1.3 percent growth in employment is a full 1 percent more than 2013 (0.3 percent) and tops the 0.7 percent growth in 2012. The employment forecast has a range of 0.5 percent to 1.8 percent. Montgomery topped the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three other metro areas for job growth from October 2012 to October 2013. That increase was 1,600 jobs (1.0 percent), but Mobile gained only 600 jobs during that time span (0.3 percent) while Birmingham-Hoover lost 2,600 jobs (-0.5 percent) and Huntsville lost 2,500 jobs (-1.2 percent). Nearly all of Montgomeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job gains were in service-providing industries of retail trade; professional and business services; education and health; and leisure and hospitality. Montgomery is ranked second to Huntsville ($71,500) in median family income at $61,500 and much more than the state ($53,600). Birmingham is third among the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s metros at $57,100 and Mobile is fourth with a median family income of $52,400.

While the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s General Fund is projected for increases of 1.0 percent to 1.3 percent this year, the Education Trust Fund is forecast to grow a range of 2.8 percent to 5.6 percent, including 3.7 percent for 2014. Manufacturing is driving the Center for Business and Economic Researchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forecasts and that sectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s GDP is expected to grow 4.6 percent this year, which includes a 13 percent increase in motor vehicle and parts production. An expected 6.6 percent increase in U.S. automotive sales this year bodes well for Alabama with its Hyundai, Honda and Mercedes Benz manufacturing plants as well as a Toyota engine plant. The state enjoyed an all-time vehicle production record of 915,000-plus last year. The stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aerospace industry is another key catalyst for economic growth, Addy said. Exports for aircraft, spacecraft and parts has surged from less than $200 million in 1996 to nearly $680 million in 2012. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of our hottest growing areas for exports is aerospace,â&#x20AC;? Addy said. Those figures are expected to increase considering the following:

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


> Boeing adding up to 400 engineering jobs at a new research center in Huntsville.

Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor told the Montgomery Advertiser.

> Lockheed Martin’s new, $3.9 billion missile contract and an expected 100 additional employees at the company’s facility in Troy.

Aerospace is one of the areas “for advancing our economy and making life better for people,” Addy said. The state’s economic development program – Accelerate Alabama – focuses on advanced manufacturing, technology, logistics and distribution and corporate headquarters.

> A new GE Aviation factory in Auburn that will have up to 400 employees by 2020. > The new $600 million Airbus facility in Mobile with up 1,000 employees at the firm’s final assembly plant for the A320 planes. Delivery will begin in 2016 and it is expected that it would produce 40 to 50 planes a year. Addy said that the aerospace industry “pays very well” and indeed it does. “That manufacturing component pays better than manufacturing in general – so aerospace is a good target,” Addy said. It pays an average of $1,500 a week while the average weekly pay for manufacturing is $969. The average annual pay difference in the aerospace industry compared with all industries has more than doubled from 2001 to 2012. Montgomery is “probably the most logical, closest and most capable community” outside of Mobile to land Airbus suppliers,

Those jobs require highly skilled workers and Addy said that Alabama is moving in the right direction. He praised Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley for creating the College and Career Ready Task Force. “If you want to increase our income all we have to do is address education,” Addy said. He said that higher educational attainment leads to higher salaries. He said there is no economic development without education. “The elephant in the room is very clear – we have to address education and its funding,” Addy said. “You cannot address education funding without talking about taxes and tax reform in this state.” He said that every study has concluded the same thing about the tax structure: it is inadequate, inefficient and unfair.

Addy warned that the state will be facing labor shortages – 113,000 in 2020 and 307,000 in 2030, according to projections, but there is an available labor pool of 600,000-plus who are underemployed or unemployed. “There is great job growth potential in this state,” Addy said. “We have a lot of available labor. That’s why I am so gung-ho about Alabama’s chances. “We do have work force potential and many educational programs – we are doing well.” The top issues facing companies, according to a poll conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research are: > Government – uncertainty, taxes and regulations. > Company finances and development – customer concerns, cash flow, credit availability, profitability, business opportunities and competition. > Economy – demand, consumer confidence, housing market and economic growth > Health care – cost and Affordable Care Act. > Work force – Lack of skilled labor and employment development. •

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

35


FEDERAL RESERVE OFFICIAL ‘MODESTLY OPTIMISTIC’ by David Zaslawsky David Altig

The U.S. economy is really improving – really – and when a Federal Reserve official uses words such as “gangbusters,” “a lot of good news,” “pretty darn good second half” and “very, very positive sign,” all add up to a growth story this year and in 2015. The median of 19 forecasts from the Fed – a tight range of forecasts – calls for a gross domestic product (GDP) increase of 3.0 percent this year; 3.1 percent next year; and 2.9 percent in 2016. “There is enough positive news to at least be comfortably, modestly optimistic,” David Altig, executive vice president and director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said at the 2014 Economic Outlook Conference. He said the 2014 forecast “is much, much better than what we’ve seen all through the recovery with the exception of the beginning from the very depth of the recession.” Although the projected GDP increase seems sluggish compared with previous recoveries, Altig said that “it takes many, many years to recover from a crisis that is fundamentally about a breakdown of the financial system.” He said that a couple of economists concluded that it takes 10 years to recover from a financial crisis, but the U.S. is on pace to recover in five to eight years. The GDP recovery “has been much more rapid than you would expect from looking at historical (equivalents),” Altig said. “It’s a long, painful recovery period – not the type we’re used to.”

The Fed forecast of 3.0 percent growth this year is more upbeat than the 2.6 percent GDP increase this year from IHS Global Insight, one of the country’s foremost forecasting firms. IHS is also forecasting GDP growth of 3.1 percent in 2015. Other 2014 forecasts from IHS Global Insight: > Consumer spending will increase 2.5 percent. > Residential investment will jump 14.8 percent. > Exports will rise 4.5 percent. > Industrial production will increase 2.9 percent. > State and local government will increase 0.2 percent. > Commercial and health care structures will increase 6.9 percent. All of those indicators are increases from 2013 and most are forecast to increase in 2015, with commercial and health structures projected to grow 18.5 percent; exports rising 5.6 percent; and residential investment jumping 16.2 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting global GDP growth of 3.6 percent in 2014, which is a big jump from 2.9 percent in 2012. The IMF is projecting Mexico’s GDP to increase 3.0 percent from 1.2 percent in 2013 and for a 1.0 percent GDP growth in the Euro area after GDP was -0.4 percent in 2013. Those GDP increases are important because they are the country’s largest export destinations, according to Altig. The World Bank has upgraded its global forecast to 3.2 percent in 2014 and that’s important because the organization pointed to the U.S. “We drive the world economy, and the world economy being driven rebounds to us in a positive way,” Altig said.

36

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

Other reasons for the Fed’s positive economic outlook include the expectation that fiscal drag won’t be a factor – less uncertainty in Washington. The economic policy uncertainty index is back to pre-recession levels. Policy uncertainty “is not gone, but it is significantly diminished …” Altig said. The indicator for new orders, a forwardlooking metric for business investment spending “has been quite robust,” according to Altig, and topping 60 percent when 50 means expansion. The increased housing values and stock prices are supporting consumer spending. Household net worth has recaptured all the money lost during the Great Recession and now stands at an all-time high of nearly $80 trillion. Of course, there are some concerns, including personal income, which is forecast to lag consumer spending. Another area is the falling labor participation rate because of demographics. Close to half of the 12 million people who dropped out of the labor force since 2007 retired because of the aging work force and “it’s not going to reverse itself,” Altig said. He said the country historically imports labor when there is a shortage. The Fed is very concerned about the low inflation rate. The Fed target rate is 2.0 percent and the IHS Global Insight forecast is an inflation rate of just 1.5 percent this year and 1.6 percent in 2015. The inflation rate was 1.5 percent last year. Altig said he expects the inflation rate to remain low “for some time.” That coupled with “sketchy” labor market conditions means the Fed will continue to stimulate the economy with lowinterest rates. He called the second half of 2013 “pretty spectacular” and expected the final GDP for 2013 to be near 3 percent. The fourth quarter GDP should be about 4.0 percent, Altig said. It was such a strong quarter that Macroeconomic Advisors adjusted its fourthquarter forecast from 1.5 percent GDP to 3.9 percent. •


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ALABAMA BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX STAYS POSITIVE by David Zaslawsky

Alabama business executives are forecasting a slightly weakening first quarter in 2014, but do predict an increase in profits and capital expenditures. The overall Alabama Business Confidence Index (ABCI) declined 0.7 points from the fourth quarter of 2013 to 51.2. An index above 50 indicates growth and first-quarter outlooks for the state’s economy, sales and profits remain positive. The capital expenditures component is neutral at 49.9 as is industry hiring at 49.6. The lone component with a negative outlook is the national economy at 47.8. The retail trade and construction sectors are the most optimistic in the quarterly survey, which is conducted by The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research in the Culverhouse College of Commerce at UA. Although the retail trade panelists are forecasting a slightly down quarter with an index of 48.6, that is a strong 7.3-point increase from the fourth of quarter of 2013. The construction sector index rose 5.7 points for a first-quarter 2014 index of 59.0, which tops all sectors, while the manufacturing sector is No. 2 with a 54.9 index. The finance, insurance and real estate sectors are third at 54.4. The most pessimistic sectors are transportation, information and utilities, which fell 7.5 points from the fourth quarter last year to a negative outlook of 45.8. The health care sector has the lowest first-quarter index of 42.3 after falling 5.3 points from the 2013 fourth quarter. Montgomery trailed Mobile for the third straight quarter, but the gap has narrowed from a 3.7-point difference in the fourth

38

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

quarter of 2013 to a 0.8-point difference for the first quarter of 2014. Montgomery’s index rose 1.1 points from the fourth quarter to 55.4 while Mobile’s index declined 1.8 points to 56.2. The following is a component-by-component breakdown of the first quarter ABCI: NATIONAL ECONOMY – The index dropped below the 50-point threshold, declining 2.6 points from the fourth quarter to 47.8. That was the largest decline of the six components in the index. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents expect the first quarter to be better or the same as the 2013 fourth quarter. The most optimistic sectors are construction and financial while the health care, professional, scientific, technical services, wholesale trade sectors are the most pessimistic.

vs. 22.9 percent). About 35 percent expect no change. Construction, manufacturing, and financial sectors are the most upbeat. INDUSTRY PROFITS – The component had the second-highest increase from the 2013 fourth quarter, gaining 0.8 points for an index of 52.3. Close to 40 percent of the participants expect first-quarter profits to increase compared with 25 percent who expect profits to decline. Once again, the construction, manufacturing, and financial sectors are the most optimistic. The health care, transportation, information and utilities sectors are the most pessimistic. INDUSTRY HIRING – The component fell just less than 50 (49.6) after dropping 1.2 points from the fourth quarter of 2013. About half of the panelists (54 percent) expect no change from the fourth quarter to the first quarter

ABCI QUARTERLY BREAKDOWN 02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

Q1

54

58

67

62

59

54

47

32

49

55

51

45

51

Q2

63

56

67

61

61

56

43

32

50

56

57

48

Q3

60

61

69

60

59

57

43

46

52

51

50

53

Q4

56

61

66

54

54

51

44

47

48

46

48

52

Source: University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research

ALABAMA ECONOMY – The index fell from 56.0 to 53.8, but is the second-highest index. About 35 percent of the respondents expect an improved first quarter and another 44 percent expect the quarter to remain the same as the fourth quarter. Just 20 percent are calling for a worse quarter. INDUSTRY SALES – With an index of 54.1, this component is ranked No. 1 and declined only slightly (0.2 points) from the fourth quarter of 2013. Survey participants are more upbeat than those expecting a decline in the quarter by an almost 2-to-1 margin (40.5 percent

of 2014 while an almost equal number (22 percent) expect the quarter to be better or worse. The majority of job growth is expected to be in the construction and manufacturing sectors with modest hiring in the retail trade and financial sectors. Health care, wholesale trade, transportation, information and utilities sectors have a negative outlook about firstquarter hiring. CAPITAL EXPENDITURES – The index is neutral at 49.9, but it improved 1.5 points from the fourth quarter – the largest gain of the six components. A majority of panelists (53 percent) expect no change in first-quarter spending while nearly one-quarter anticipate an increase and another 22 percent are forecasting a decline. •


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MONTGOMERY BUSINESS EXECUTIVES EXPECT A STRONG FIRST QUARTER by David Zaslawsky

Montgomery business executives expect a much improved national economy in the first quarter this year. With a component index of 56.1, Montgomery is the only large metro area with a positive national economy outlook in the Alabama Business Confidence Index (ABCI). The quarterly survey is conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama. Birmingham was second at 48.2 with Mobile third at 48.6 and Huntsville fourth at 42.3. It was a 2.0-point improvement for Montgomery from the fourth quarter. The Montgomery survey participants were also ranked first in the capital expenditures component with an index of 56.8 and a surge from the fourth-quarter index of 50.6. A number above 50 signals growth. Huntsville was last at 38.8, an 18-point difference compared with Montgomery. Montgomery was No. 2 in the Alabama economy index at 56.8 (Mobile was first at 61.1) and was second in industry hiring index at 53.0 (Mobile was first at 54.2). All of the Montgomery components were higher than the overall individual ABCI components. The greatest point difference was the national economy where the ABCI index was 47.8. Montgomery’s overall index was 55.4 compared to the overall ABCI index of 51.2, a significant difference of 4.2 points. Montgomery was the only metro that had an overall increase from the fourth quarter (1.1 points) to the first quarter of 2014. Nearly half of Montgomery’s survey respondents expect the national economy to improve and just 21 percent expect a decline. About 45 percent of Montgomery’s participants anticipate the state economy to improve in the first quarter vs. 12 percent expecting it to decline. Local business executives are most upbeat about first-quarter sales with 51 percent expecting an increase compared with 21 percent expecting a decline. About 24 percent are anticipating declines in profits compared with 45 percent forecasting an increase. The numbers are similar in the hiring component with 24 percent expecting a decline and 42 percent expecting an increase. Both the profits and hiring components are up slightly for Montgomery, 1.5 and 1.3 points, respectively. Another 45 percent are optimistic about first-quarter capital expenditures while 18 percent are expecting a decrease in spending. •

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. (left) and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange spoke jointly at the 31st annual Economic Summit.

DEAN AND STRANGE LOOK FOR A PRODUCTIVE YEAR by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said many of the 2013 city projects will continue this year while Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. said that “with us all working together, 2014 is going to be the year of reaching our greatest potential.” Strange said that there is a signed agreement for Birminghambased StoneRiver Co. to build 150 units on Maxwell Boulevard and that Retail Specialists Inc. out of Birmingham was expected to break ground in February on a multi-use project on a Commerce Street parking lot. The $15 million project will include 50 to 60 living units and restaurants. The renovation of the historic, 152-year-old Webber Building is continuing and will have loft units, office space and restaurants in a $3 million downtown project. Momma Goldberg’s Deli is expected to be on the first floor and Payne Lee & Associates Architects will also be located there. City officials are looking to develop the former site of the State House Inn, which was demolished in a $750,000 project near the renovated Cramton Bowl and the new Multiplex at Cramton Bowl. “We have seen a surge in downtown loft living,” Strange said at the annual State of the City/State of the County update at the RSA Activity Center. He said that 300 to 400 units are being built, including Foshee Management’s project of converting a former bank building into 28 loft units at the 40 Four Building. The building will also contain office space.

The value of construction permits surged from $91 million in 2012 to $191 million last year. “That’s good news for the next 12 to 15 months because it takes that long to get these projects going,” Strange said. Another ongoing project is the $6.7 million Dexter Avenue streetscape, which has been 10 years in the making, according to Strange. It took five-plus years to bring new development to the old Montgomery Mall, which closed its doors when the last tenant – Steve & Barry’s – shut down in September 2008. The city moved Fire Station No. 9 from a nearby doublewide trailer to its new, 18,000-square-foot home in the old mall. It is the first new fire station in 15 years. The city also placed a full police precinct in the old mall with 142 officers. The fire station and police precinct, part of the $5 million Department of Public Safety South Central, opened in January. “It’s a new day,” Strange declared. Dean said economic growth starts with public safety and education. “To provide children with safe, adult-supervised activities, our County Parks and Recreation Department offers numerous sporting opportunities, tutoring programs, after-school and summer activities in locations throughout the county,” Dean said. “We will continue to grow these programs – nothing else we do is as important as this.” The county pledged $1.1 million to relocate Montgomery Technical Education Center (MTEC) to the old mall and Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School to the old mall. The Montgomery Public Schools district has decided to put that project on hold. The county currently designates a 1 percent sales tax to fund the Montgomery Public Schools system and that resulted in a $26 million contribution last year. The county has donated nearly $285 million to the school district since the inception of the additional 1 percent sales tax in 2001. CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

The city is expected to break ground in April on a $4.5 million to $5 million new justice center on Madison Avenue, giving Montgomery its first-ever full-time municipal judge.

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

41


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

Dean said the county will continue to look for ways to save money. He said the county saved $800,000 last year by refinancing bonds and secured four grants, which totaled more than $1 million. He pointed out that Montgomery County has “valuable assets,” including the Alabama River, being a state capital, birthplace of the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement; low cost of living; and “reliable” city and county services. “Montgomery County has great potential for growth as we go into 2014,” Dean said. Strange said that new retail is coming to downtown and to EastChase, Eastdale Mall and Fairview Avenue, where Hibbett Sports is building a store. Meanwhile, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau is working to attract numerous events to the city with the potential of 105,000 room nights and an economic impact of $28 million. The city’s sales tax revenue is climbing back to pre-recession levels and now is about $4 million shy of the high mark of $98 million in 2008, while the city’s reserve fund has grown from $3 million to $15 million. “Our financing has continued to pay dividends to give us some stability that we need,” Strange said. The city cut its budget 2 percent to $225.5 million because of sequestration and the federal government shutdown last year. The county has a $96.2 million budget and Dean praised his fellow commissioners and department heads “for their continued efforts of being good stewards of your tax dollars” and doing more with less. “To get to where we want to be – to realize our community’s full potential, we all need to raise our game by working together, focusing on our long-term goals and by taking action,” Dean said. Strange: “We want Montgomery to be that shining city on the hill so it’s a beacon of light that all want to come to – that we all can be proud to call Montgomery, Alabama, our home.” •

“With us all working together, 2014 is going to be the year of reaching our greatest potential.” - Elton N. Dean Sr., Montgomery County Commission Chairman

42

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


SERVISFIRST CEO PRAISES ALABAMA BANKING SYSTEM by David Zaslawsky

ServisFirst Bank President and CEO Thomas A. Broughton III declared the Alabama banking industry healthy during a presentation at the 2014 Economic Outlook Conference. He credits regulators as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in Atlanta with being “extremely responsive.” Broughton, the conference keynote speaker, said that “we are far superior to other states.” Alabama banks performed quite well during 2007-2013 when there were 501 bank failures with combined assets of $3.9 trillion. “Ground zero was Georgia and Florida,” Broughton said, referring to 88 bank failures in Georgia and 70 in Florida. There were seven bank failures in Alabama during that time span. In many critical indicators, Alabama banks are performing better than the regional banks, which include Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Alabama banks are also

outperforming the national averages. Yet, the banks in Alabama are weaker than the national average for the important return on average equity indicator. Alabama trails both the regional and national averages for total assets to average employees – trailing the national average by 40 percent. The state now has 136 banks compared to highs of 150 to 155, with Birmingham leading the way with 49 financial institutions and $30 billion in deposits. Montgomery is the No. 2 market with combined deposits of $7.8 billion at 23 financial institutions. Broughton said that overall Alabama banks are “overcapitalized” and that loan demand is low in the state’s rural areas, but he exclaimed that banks not wanting to make loans “is the furthest thing from the truth. We want to make loans. We all want to make loans.” Meanwhile, Birmingham-based ServisFirst Bank, which has branches in Montgomery, Dothan, Mobile, Huntsville, Pensacola, Fla. CONTINUED ON PAGE 44

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“We are far superior to other states.” - Thomas A. Broughton III, President and CEO, ServisFirst Bank CONTINUED FROM PAGE 43

and Nashville, Tenn., has grown to $3.4 billion in assets in less than nine years. Assets have grown every year from $278 million in 2005. ServisFirst was founded in May 2005. The company does not believe in acquisitions and in a lot of branches, according to Broughton. ServisFirst has 13 branches and he said that a bank this size would typically have 50 to 70 branches. He pointed out that while the number of banks has fallen dramatically from 16,000 in 1984 to 6,112 in 2012 and a projected 3,500 by 2020, the number of branches has dramatically increased. There were 43,000-plus branches in 1985 and the average number of branches per financial institutions was about three. In 2012, there

were about 6,000 financial institutions with more than 83,000 branches – 13.7 branches per institution. Broughton wondered with all the technology today why banks are building branches. He said that bank executives acknowledge a glut of branches, but that their bank needs more – “we’re the exception to the rule.” The eastern United States has an overabundant supply of branches, Broughton said while “California is the most under-banked area of the United States.” Earnings for ServisFirst have grown from $4.1 million in 2006 to $41.2 million in 2013 with a 21.2 percent increase from 2012. Deposits increased 202.2 percent year-over-year (2012 to 2013) and loans rose 21 percent year over year. •

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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


Spreading its Wings Park Crossing High School principal relishes role of hand-picking teachers by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

Park Crossing High School Principal Robert “Rocky” Smith will have another hectic summer, hiring more staff as the Montgomery Public Schools system’s new high school will add juniors in the fall.Smith said he is planning to hire at least 15 additional teachers for the fall 2014 semester, when the school will first utilize its second wing. Park Crossing currently uses one wing for its ninth- and 10th-graders. He is looking forward to interviewing candidates for those teaching positions. “That will be another way to attract teaching talent to Montgomery and bring in some new ideas,” Smith said. “It will be a big, exciting work in progress next year.” He will not only be hand-picking the teachers, but the support personnel as well, including secretaries, aides and custodians. Park Crossing will add a guidance counselor and will share an assistant principal with another school. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

Park Crossing High School opened with 9thand 10th-graders.

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

45


for the faculty, not just the students. “It’s something we’re continuing to perfect,” Smith said. “It’s a process, but we’ve had some great projects and innovative ideas …” Dawkins said she hopes that style of learning will be adopted by other district high schools. “We want it to be successful, but again, when you create a brand new culture you can try things that can be more receptive than putting something of this nature in an already existing culture,” Dawkins said.

Robert “Rocky” Smith is principal at Park Crossing High School and Eleanor Dawkins is president of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45

Smith said he will probably hire a similar number of teachers and support staff in the summer of 2015, based on state ratios. That fall will mark the first time that the school will have ninth-12th grades. He spent a very busy summer in 2013, interviewing teacher candidates for eight hours a day. He said he talked to hundreds of job candidates and called selecting his staff “the most important part of the process.” While he was selecting teachers for the district’s first non-replacement school in more than four decades, Smith was also conducting interviews for operational roles and other positions as well. “It was a fun summer,” he said. “When you’re picking teachers you want to try to get a feel if they have a vision or thoughts that are congruent with our vision for the school. One thing I can say about

our teachers – we were attracted to all of them because they really, really care about kids and they care about helping the kids be successful; not giving up on the kids; and encouraging the kids.” He said the majority of the 25 teachers have three years or less experience and most were from out-of-town. Smith said he sought teachers who were passionate. “We would spend four or five hours interviewing English teachers and at the end of the day we get to pick one or two people that we really, really like – it’s like Christmas,” Smith said. “We get to bring this great person to our school. We know that they are going to do great things with our kids.” That’s the luxury of starting a new school, which Montgomery County Board of Education President Eleanor Dawkins said, “allowed us to do what I think most educators dream of doing and that’s creating a brand new entity; creating history; creating firsts.” One of those firsts is a new style of teaching – inquiry-based learning – and a key component is project-based learning. And guess what? There is a learning curve

46

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

“There has been a need for a high school in the eastern part of the county for many years, Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Margaret Allen said. “Park Crossing was worth the wait. The structure is beautiful and was designed to complement both the geography and the existing homes and businesses in the area. The best part is what is happening inside the building. The administration, faculty and staff are committed to providing the best possible learning environment and programs to our students. It is a great place for students to learn and grow.” Park Crossing is not a traditional high school. There is no mistaking that. The college-campus like atmosphere is conducive to students interacting and working together on projects. The layout is open and airy – only the principal has a door to his office. The stairways have no walls along the sides. The art studios are at the front lobby of the $34 million school and enclosed in glass. The library/media center and cyber café are great gathering spots and students are encouraged to collaborate – it is not meant to be a quiet area. Even the cafeteria with its design of tabletops and bar stools as well as the more traditional tables and chairs enables students to interact. Two of the school’s classrooms feature stadium-seating for 100 students. “What Park Crossing High School is – is still being defined,” Smith said. “What we don’t want is to be your ordinary, average, regular, traditional public high school. You start from the facility and the uniqueness and innovation here. That gives us a good start, but it’s really what goes on inside that makes us believe that we can do special things and be special in the long run.”


One of those special things is producing a product at the school in what Smith called “our own business endeavor. We want to make stuff and have our own little production area. It’s going to be significant.” He did not want to reveal what it was, but said that the program will include marketing, customer service, and management, and students will take corresponding courses in those areas. The school will have an Agri-science Career Academy, according to Smith. It will focus on animal sciences and plant sciences with a goal of growing hybrid and genetically engineered plants. With four large career tech areas, there is plenty of room for additional career academies. Smith is expecting fall 2014 enrollment to swell to around 800 students. The school, which opened last fall, has a capacity of 1,000 to 1,110 students. There are plans in place to add a third wing or pod that would boost student capacity to 1,600 to 1,700. At the rate the student population is growing, the school may need that third wing with an estimated $13 million price tag for the fall of 2016. A key factor in the growth is students enrolling at Park Crossing from private schools. The

expected fall 2013 enrollment was 350 to 375 students, who were living in the area and attending existing public high schools. When school started, the enrollment surged to 516 and in early February it had climbed to 546 as students were coming to Park Crossing from outside Alabama. “One of the things that was thought of was the idea that a new school could possibly bring in new students,” Dawkins said. “We had no way of knowing that it would or would not. There are many reasons why people chose to put their children in private schools. The fact that some students came back to the district was a very, very positive statement and an indication of maybe some minor perception changes.” Smith said that he has heard from some parents of private school students now enrolled at Park Crossing. “I think we’re getting the reputation that you can come here and do lots of things. You can be successful in athletics. You can have advanced courses. You can be a well-rounded student with music or art and it’s a safe place to come and learn where a lot of people care about you. And people are going to take advantage of that.” •

Margaret Allen

“It is a great place for students to learn and grow.” - Montgomery Public Schoools Superintendent Margaret Allen

Palomar insurance

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

47


Member News

BUSINESS BUZZ MAX CREDIT UNION BREAKS GROUND ON AUBURN BRANCH

will be the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second branch in Lee County.

MONTGOMERY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Max Credit Union broke ground on an Auburn regional branch which will serve customers in Lee County.

AUM FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH LURLEEN B. WALLACE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

The branch, which will have both lobby and drive-thru service, will have a concierge greet customers and direct them to kiosks, staffed by employees. The branch will also have a refreshment center that contains coffee and bottled water and a business center. It

MONTGOMERY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Auburn University at Montgomery signed an agreement with Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, formalizing a partnership aimed at better supporting students interested in transferring to AUM. Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor John G. Veres III and LBWCC President Herbert H.J. Riedel agreed to:

> Work closely together on student advisement, creating a pathway for students who want to earn a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree to easily transfer into AUM. > Allow LBWCC students to â&#x20AC;&#x153;reverse transferâ&#x20AC;? credits back to LBWCC and receive an associateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree while completing a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at AUM. > Provide scholarships to incoming AUM students. Beginning in fall 2014, all LBWCC students transferring to AUM with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average will be provided a $1,000 to $2,500 scholarship. The top LBWCC student transferring to AUM, as selected by the LBWCC administration, will receive tuition and fees for two years.

With campuses in Andalusia, Greenville, Luverne and Opp, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College serves Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Coffee and Geneva counties as well as parts of the Florida Panhandle. LBWCC offers career-oriented certificates and associate degrees.

BEASLEY ALLEN SHAREHOLDERS NAMED TO PRESTIGIOUS LIST MONTGOMERY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., shareholders W. Daniel â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deeâ&#x20AC;? Miles III and Rhon E. Jones have been included in the 2013-2014 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. Recipients of this honor are determined by a process of submissions from law firms,

ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL 6ROLGUHODWLRQVKLSV²EXVLQHVVDQGSHUVRQDO² DUHWKHIRXQGDWLRQRI:DUUHQ$YHUHWW%H\RQG WKHEXVLQHVVIXQGDPHQWDOVZHKDYHD GHHSLQWHUHVWLQXQGHUVWDQGLQJWKHSHUVRQDO G\QDPLFVEHKLQG\RXUEXVLQHVVDQG\RXU WHDP:KHWKHU\RXDUHDOUHDG\VXFFHVVIXORU ORRNLQJWRDFKLHYHPRUHZHOHDUQZK\$QG WKHQJLYHDOOZHKDYHWRKHOS\RXFRPSHWHDW KLJKHUOHYHOV/HWœVWKULYHWRJHWKHU 2XUYDOXHVKDYHQœWFKDQJHGEXWRXUORJRKDV 9LVLWWKH1(:ZZZZDUUHQDYHUHWWFRP

SOLID RELATIONSHIPS $ODEDPDO)ORULGDO*HRUJLD

48

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


“The management and shareholders of GMC Inc. are pleased to welcome Kemp & Seagle Consulting Engineers Inc. into our firm,” Executive Vice President David Reed said in a statement. “The experience and professionalism of principals Bobby Kemp and Doug Seagle will serve as the basis for the much anticipated growth and expansion of our transportation division.”

independent editorial research and vetting by peers. Miles, who joined Beasley Allen in 1991, manages the firm’s consumer fraud/commercial litigation section. He received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Jones has devoted his practice to the BP oil spill, serving as class counsel for plaintiffs in the private economic and property class settlement against BP and representing the State of Alabama against BP. He received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and a law degree from The University of Alabama. Jones joined Beasley Allen in 1994 and now manages the firm’s environmental cases.

David Reed

GOODWYN, MILLS & CAWOOD ACQUIRES KEMP & SEAGLE CONSULTING ENGINEERS MONTGOMERY – Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood Inc. has acquired Kemp & Seagle Consulting Engineers Inc. KSCE is a civil engineering company that specializes in transportation design, civil site development and construction engineering inspection.

KSCE principals have more than 50 years of combined experience providing design, development, construction and management of civil and transportation engineering projects for clients in the state, county, municipal and private sectors. Kemp has 25-plus years experience and his areas of expertise include geometric

design, drainage design, erosion control plan development, traffic control plan development, utility relocation, right of way documentation and acquisition, as well as project management and construction inspection of large roadway and bridge projects. Seagle, who has more than 26 years in the field, has expertise in geometric and drainage design, erosion control and traffic control plan development and project management. •

To submit your business news for publication, email a press release to editor@montgomerychamber. com. Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Members only.

WIIFM What’s In It For Me

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Jennifer Taylor, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs jtaylor5@aum.edu • 334-244-3587

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

49


NEW MEMBERS Appliances-Sales/Service

Engineers-Civil

Hotels/Motels

BADCOCK HOME FURNITURE & MORE Julia Kovacs 4075 Eastern Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36116 334-286-8163

ITNOA ENGINEERS & GENERAL CONTRACTORS Horatio R. Lee P. O. Box 9096 Montgomery, AL 36108 334-356-0824

SPRINGHILL SUITES BY MARRIOTT MONTGOMERY Tegan Arrington 1201 Town Place Drive Montgomery, AL 36106 334-409-9999

Entertainment & Recreation

Insurance Companies/ Services

BARRA Joshua Cobb 1408 Madison Avenue Montgomery, AL 36107 334-557-1757

NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE Michael Hardin 4121 Carmichael Road, Suite 501 Montgomery, AL 36106 334-244-1696

Event Planner

Machinery-Mfr.

RSVP MONTGOMERY, INC. Kim Traff 5251 Hampstead High Street, Unit 202 Montgomery, AL 36116 334-356-4598

JONES BROTHERS ENTERPRISES, LLC Robert Jones 3250 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109 334-551-1155

Furniture

Outdoor Supplies/Apparel

BADCOCK HOME FURNITURE & MORE Julia Kovacs 4075 Eastern Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36116 334-286-8163

ALABAMA OUTDOORS Scott McCrory 7917 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-277-3234

Government Agency

Telecommunications

STATE OF ALABAMA PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT Jackie Graham 64 North Union Street 300 Folsom Administrative Building Montgomery, AL 36130-4100 334-242-3711

EARTHLINK BUSINESS Kevin Cummings 1430 I-85 Parkway, Suite 400 Montgomery, AL 36106 334-387-4706

Associations/Non-Profit 100 BLACK MEN OF GREATER MONTGOMERY AREA, INC. Jameal Brown P.O. Box 241713 Montgomery, AL 36124-1713 334-322-6831 MONTGOMERY CIVITAN CLUB Chuck Rice P.O. Box 3155 Montgomery, AL 36109 334-430-6647

Computers-Software/ Hardware/Consulting ABS TECHNOLOGY, LLC Michael Lange 3201 Bell Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-244-2929

Credit Cards/Services PAYSCAPE ADVISORS Sheri Rape 100 41st Street South Birmingham, AL 35222 205-591-0981

Credit Union ENERGEN CREDIT UNION Rick Miller 2914 Chestnut Street Montgomery, AL 36107 334-263-7077

50

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

Home Health Services RIVER REGION ASSISTED CARE, LLC Michelle Swain 3838 Llyde Lane Montgomery, AL 36106 334-530-0488


Member News

MEMBERS ON THE MOVE

Amanda Granger

FOUR STAR FREIGHTLINER ADDS MANAGER MONTGOMERY – Amanda Granger has been hired as marketing and social media manager for Four Star Freightliner. She will be responsible for showcasing the Montgomerybased company’s wide array of services, vehicles, parts and resources. Granger will also lead the company’s community service efforts in the five locations and communities it operates in. “We are very excited about adding someone to our team with Amanda’s background and skills,” Dealer Principal Jerry Kocan said in a statement. “This should make us closer and better connected to our customers. Granger spent several years as a digital media manager at the Savannah Morning News and Montgomery Advertiser. She also worked as a news producer at several television stations including WTVY in Dothan, WHNT in Huntsville, WSFA in Montgomery and WCNC in Charlotte, N.C.

“I am excited about taking everything I’ve learned in the media industry and putting it to work at Four Star Freightliner,” Granger said in a statement. “My goal is to make everyone aware of the unique services that we have to offer. I plan to use all resources available to me including various social media channels, communication with the media, trade publications and face-to-face meetings with our customers.” Four Star Freightliner operates dealerships and service centers in Montgomery, Dothan, Tifton and Valdosta, Ga., and Tallahassee, Fla.

Trustmark Corp. is a financial services company with about 220 offices in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

most recent role as director of customer services. “Jonathan’s wealth of knowledge and broad experience in the company have prepared him for this opportunity,” Alabama Power President and CEO Charles McCrary said in a statement. “His work in customer services, ensuring our customers are satisfied, should serve him well in his new role.” Porter graduated from Tuskegee University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Jonathan Porter

ALABAMA POWER BOARD ELECTS VICE PRESIDENT BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Power Co. board of directors has elected Jonathan Porter vice president of human resources and ethics.

Melissa Britton

TRUSTMARK BANK ANNOUNCES PROMOTION MONTGOMERY – Trustmark Bank has promoted Melissa M. Britton to assistant vice president and branch manager II. Since joining Trustmark Bank in 2006, Britton has provided banking sales and service to clients in Montgomery. She continues to lead the Taylor Road branch and is responsible for client service, sales and operations.

Porter will be responsible for labor relations, wellness, safety, health and disability management functions as well as delivery of human resource products and services to Alabama Power employees throughout the state. He succeeds Donna Dearman Smith, who retired. Porter has held various positions at Alabama Power, including senior corporate recruiter; senior human resources business representative; customer service supervisor; assistant business office manager; lead human resources business consultant; assistant to the executive vice president of external affairs; Birmingham division area manager; and his

Brent Slay

WALKER360 ADDS ACCOUNT MANAGER MONTGOMERY – Walker360 hired Brent Slay as an account manager, who will primarily focus on marketing analytics and advertising in the company’s banking and ministry sectors. Slay, a Tampa native, has 20plus years’ experience in client relationship management in financial services, marketing (CONTINUED ON PAGE 52)

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

51


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 51)

and commercial printing. He is a graduate of Auburn University. Walker360 is an advertising and printing company with offices in Montgomery and Atlanta.

primarily on commercial litigation and first-party insurance defense as well as aviation and gaming law.

Tim Smitherman

Scott Lee

ACCOUNTING FIRM ANNOUNCES PROMOTION MONTGOMERY – Scott Lee has been promoted to manager in the certified public accounting firm of Richard, Harris, Ingram and Bozeman, P.C. Lee, who joined the firm in 2006, practices in the firm’s tax and audit sectors with emphasis in audits of local city school boards, not-for-profit tax and audit, and tax services to small businesses and individuals. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Auburn University at Montgomery and is a certified public accountant. The firm has been providing tax, audit, accounting, consulting and financial planning services to individuals, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and governments for 65-plus years.

LAW FIRM ANNOUNCES NEW SHAREHOLDER MONTGOMERY – Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C. announced the admission of Royal C. Dumas as a shareholder. Dumas joined the firm six years ago and his practice focuses

52

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

GOODWYN, MILLS & CAWOOD NAMES ELECTRICAL PROJECT MANAGER MONTGOMERY – Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood Inc. announced the addition of Tim Smitherman to the electrical engineering department. As an electrical project manager, his primary focus will be electrical design for GMC’s architecture projects, including lighting, power and auxiliary. “I’ve known Tim for many years and am excited to have him on our team,” Electrical Engineering Department Head John Averrett said in a statement. “Not only will he play a major role in solidifying the architecture side of our department, but he also represents a huge step in our quest to keep all electrical work in-house.” Smitherman has more than 25 years of electrical design experience working on projects throughout the Southeast. “My goal is always to create a unique design for each client and to consider the design’s overall impact on the environment, all the while staying within budget,” he said in a statement. His project portfolio features everything from single-family residences to multi-building


complexes. Some of the projects include Guntersville State Park Lodge and Hotel Renovations; Park Crossing High School; Johnnie Carr Middle School; Ozark’s Carroll High School; Joe Wheeler State Park cabins; First Baptist Church sanctuary; First Baptist Church youth building in Eufaula; Knoxville’s Faith Promise Church additions and alterations; and Capitol Hill Plaza. Smitherman attended Troy University and John M. Patterson State Technical College.

Brady Williams

BISCUITS ANNOUNCE NEW MANAGER MONTGOMERY – The Tampa Bay Rays have announced that for the first time in eight years, a new manager will lead the Biscuits. Brady Williams will serve as Biscuits skipper in 2014 and become the third manager in Biscuits’ history. Ozzie Timmons and R.C. Lichtenstein return as hitting and pitching coach, respectively, with Kris Russell also returning to Montgomery as the athletic trainer. Williams replaces Billy Gardner Jr., who was the longesttenured manager in the Southern League as well as being the all-time winningest manager in Biscuits’ history. Williams, 34, received a promotion to Double-A after spending the 2013 season as

the manager of the Rays High-A affiliate, the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Under the direction of Williams, the Stone Crabs finished last season 67-65, won the second-half championship and made a trip to the Florida State League Championship Series before being defeated by the Daytona Cubs. Williams enters 2014 with 14 years of professional baseball experience and eight in a managing or coaching capacity. The Rays first hired Williams in 2006. He served for three seasons as a coach in the lower ranks of the system. Williams first became a manager in 2009 when he guided the Rays’ short-season team, the Hudson Valley Renegades. The following season, the Rays promoted Williams to manage the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Low-A). In his third season with the Hot Rods, Baseball America selected Williams as the 2012 Best Managerial Prospect in the Midwest League after leading Bowling Green to an 80-60 finish. Williams has spent eight seasons in the Rays system entering 2014. The Biscuits will open their season 7:05 p.m. Thursday, April 3, against the Birmingham Barons at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.

BUSINESS INTERIORS NAMES SALES REP

Coming this May to Alley Station A uniquely renovated space for events up to 450 guests.

All Business a l l d ay

Alley Station has it all. Chic, modern

décor in a beautifully restored historical building. Business luncheons or client presentations have never been more impressive. Downtown old Montgomery on the brand-new alley. Old-fashioned service with state-of-the-art technology and fresh approaches to style. Show your off your flair for excellence at your next meeting.  Beautiful Rooftop Terrace  Stunning Ballroom (Holds up to 350)

MONTGOMERY – Business Interiors has hired Samantha Evans as a sales representative for the company’s Montgomery office. Evans, a 2001 graduate of Auburn University who majored in interior design, has 12 years (CONTINUED ON PAGE 54)

 Freedom in choosing your own vendors  Expert help throughout planning process

7OV[VI`/VSSHUK>PSSPHTZ

334 277 1077

a l l e y s tat i o n . c o m

m a n a g e d b y pa r t n e r s r e a lt y

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

53


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 53)

of extensive knowledge in the field of architecture and design. In her new role at Business Interiors, she will be marketing and selling contract furniture in Central Alabama, focusing on corporate, health care, government and higher education markets.

coordinator for the Office of Primary Care and Rural Health. Sellers received a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree from the College of Charleston and a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

MONTGOMERY AREA COUNCIL ON AGING HIRES DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR MONTGOMERY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Karen Allen Green has joined the Montgomery Area Council on Aging (MACOA) as director of development.

Britney Sellers

ENVISION 2020 ANNOUNCES M.D. CONNECTION PROGRAM DIRECTOR MONTGOMERY, AL â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Britney Sellers has joined Envision 2020 as the program director for M.D. Connection.

TJ Williford, Founder/Broker

Properly marketing and managing Real Estate in the River Region  :HVW-HIIHUVRQ6WUHHW_0RQWJRPHU\$/

54

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

Her focus will be attracting physicians to the River Region; retaining them; and developing future physicians by working with students in high school, college and medical school. She will work with physician recruiters at area hospitals as well as with the Montgomery Family Medicine Residency Program at Baptist South and the UAB Montgomery Internal Medicine Residency Program. Sellers will direct 11th- and 12th-graders at Camp MDme, which is a week-long, hands-on experience for 20 students who have the aptitude and grades to become physicians. She previously worked for the Alabama Department of Public Health as the physician retention

With more than 17 years of marketing, sales and operations management experience, Green brings expertise in fundraising, special events and public relations. Prior to joining MACOA, Green worked in both the corporate and the nonprofit sectors. Among her previous positions, she served as the special events coordinator for a local nonprofit, and as a circulation manager and sales and marketing manager in the print media industry. She is a certified facilitator and a motivational speaker. Originally from Mobile, Green has lived in Montgomery for 10 years. She received a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in management from Troy University and a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in business administration from LeTourneau University.â&#x20AC;˘

To submit your business news for publication, email a press release to editor@montgomerychamber. com. Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Members only.


Ribbon Cuttings & Ground Breakings

JIMMY JOHN’S GOURMET SANDWICHES 1756 Carter Hill Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 334-652-4414 www.jimmyjohns.com James Howard-President & CEO Restaurants-Fast Food

JACKSON CLINIC FAMILY MEDICINE-PIKE ROAD 11123 Chantilly Parkway, Pike Road, AL 36064 334-832-2301 www.jackson.org Dr. Christopher Waguespack-Physician Andy Patchel-Physician Assistant Hospitals/Clinics

ENERGEN CREDIT UNION 2914 Chestnut Street, Montgomery, AL 36107 334-263-7077 www.energencu.com Rick Miller-CEO Credit Union

ZOES KITCHEN 2960-C Zelda Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 334-395-4698 www.zoeskitchen.com Jessica New-General Manager Restaurants

HERE WE GROW AGAIN

,QHYHUPHWDIU\ ZLWKNHWFKXS ,GLGQÖWORYHRUZHDU Same Day Dry Cleaning & Laundry

262.8852 JIMMASSEY.COM

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

55


ECONOMIC INTEL

56

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


Unemployment Data Civilian Labor Force

Unemployment Rate

AREA

DECEMBER p 2013

NOVEMBER r 2013

DECEMBER r 2012

Montgomery MA

165,988

168,071

168,280

5.90%

5.80%

6.70%

25,169

25,474

25,514

5.00%

4.90%

5.80%

Autauga County

DECEMBER p 2013

NOVEMBER r 2013

DECEMBER r 2012

Prattville City

15,882

16,097

16,157

4.00%

4.00%

5.20%

Elmore County

34,684

35,101

35,186

5.40%

5.20%

6.20%

3,919

3,971

4,027

9.60%

9.50%

11.50%

102,216

103,525

103,555

6.20%

6.10%

6.90%

91,988

93,165

93,234

6.10%

6.00%

6.80%

519,082

525,492

529,474

5.00%

4.90%

5.70%

Lowndes County Montgomery County Montgomery City Birmingham-Hoover MA Birmingham City Huntsville MA Huntsville City Mobile MA Mobile City Alabama United States

87,913

89,055

89,655

6.70%

6.70%

7.40%

205,600

208,700

211,330

4.90%

4.80%

5.60%

88,011

89,371

90,433

5.00%

4.90%

5.50%

182,040

184,721

186,112

6.50%

6.50%

7.30%

84,990

86,278

86,819

6.90%

6.80%

7.60%

2,110,725

2,137,023

2,149,837

5.70%

5.60%

6.50%

154,408,000

155,046,000

154,904,000

6.50%

6.60%

7.60%

MA=Metropolitan Area. pPreliminary rRevised Estimates prepared by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations in Cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on 2013 benchmark.

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(334) 213-0803 • www.suacademy.com • SACS/AdvanceED Accredited • Openings in K4 - 12th

March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

57


Hyundai Sales VEHICLE

JAN 2014

JAN 2013

YTD 2014

YTD 2013

Accent

4,240

3,495

4,240

3,495

Sonata

9,815

13,247

9,815

13,247

Elantra

15,326

12,174

15,326

12,174

6,721

5,991

6,721

5,991

762

797

762

797

Tucson

3,533

3,493

3,533

3,493

Veloster

1,821

1,759

1,821

1,759

1

32

1

32

1,459

2,472

1,459

2,472

327

253

327

253

44,005

43,713

44,005

43,713

Santa Fe Azera

Veracruz Genesis Equus Total

Source: Hyundai Motor America

58

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


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

DESTINATION

MONTGOMERY BIRMINGHAM

ATLANTA

Baltimore (BWI)

$345

$273

$266

Boston (BOS)

$378

$370

$297

Charlotte, NC (CLT)

$259

$210

$274

Chicago (ORD)

$356

$268

$264

Cincinnati (CVG)

$316

$317

$234

Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW)

$310

$290

$203

Denver (DEN)

$460

$398

$308

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Detroit (DTW)

$361

$324

$280

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Houston (HOU)

$275

$307

$303

Indianapolis (IND)

$421

$414

$240

Las Vegas (LAS)

$581

$515

$450

Los Angeles (LAX)

$463

$450

$364

Memphis (MEM)

$372

$372

$296

Miami (MIA)

$248

$301

$228

Nashville (BNA)

$375

$375

$308

New Orleans (MSY)

$419

$296

$257

New York (JFK)

$313

$295

$278

Orlando (MCO)

$320

$260

$218

Philadelphia (PHL)

$373

$242

$334

Pittsburgh (PIT)

$356

$333

$238

St Louis (STL)

$347

$240

$278

Seattle (SEA)

$559

$479

$378

$1,564

$1,298

$1,266

Tampa (TPA)

$362

$271

$230

Washington DC (DCA)

$356

$247

$246

Seoul (SEL)

CALL THE MAIDS AND GET THE

spotless cleaning

Call now to receive your free, no-obligation estimate

334-277-7749 www.MAIDS.com Scan with your smartphone QR code app to like us on Facebook.

Date of travel: March 18-23, 2014. Date of pricing: Feb. 9, 2014. Source: travelocity.com

Referred for a reason. March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal

59


Montgomery Regional Airport JANUARY 2014 Air Carrier Operations

JANUARY 2013

YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

YTD 2014

YTD 2013

YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

817

828

-1.3%

817

828

-1.3%

4,940

3,848

28.4%

4,940

3,848

28.4%

Enplanements

10,428

12,668

-17.7%

10,428

12,668

-17.7%

Deplanements

11,415

13,418

-14.9%

11,415

13,418

-14.9%

Total Passengers

21,843

26,086

-16.3%

21,843

26,086

-16.3%

YTD 2014

YTD 2013

YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

Total Operations

Source: Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) Dannelly Field

Sales Tax Collections YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

JANUARY 2014

JANUARY 2013

Montgomery County

$3,858,396

$3,919,183

-1.55%

$3,858,396

$3,919,183

-1.55%

City of Montgomery

$8,986,016

$9,170,689

-2.01%

$8,986,016

$9,170,689

-2.01%

Pike Road

$165,034

$154,280

6.97%

$165,034

$154,280

6.97%

Millbrook

$558,455

$552,902

1.00%

$558,455

$552,902

1.00%

Autauga County Prattville Wetumpka

$728,003

$712,093

2.23%

$728,003

$712,093

2.23%

$2,136,020

$2,169,883

-1.56%

$2,136,020

$2,169,883

-1.56%

$517,714

$570,058

-9.18%

$517,714

$570,058

-9.18%

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.







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Montgomery Business Journal March 2014

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Building Starts Building Permits

Building Valuations

JANUARY 2014

DECEMBER 2013

JANUARY 2013

JANUARY 2014

DECEMBER 2013

JANUARY 2014

New Construction

15

24

32

$11,635,000

$3,116,000

$7,000,600

Additions and Alterations

47

65

34

$3,985,700

$3,654,400

$6,141,200

Others

10

28

35

$37,200

$226,500

$461,200

Total

72

117

101

$15,657,900

$6,996,900

$13,603,000

Source: City of Montgomery Building Department

Montgomery Metro Market Home Sales DECEMBER 2013

NOVEMBER 2013

MONTH/MONTH % CHANGE

DECEMBER 2012

YEAR/YEAR % CHANGE

STATEWIDE DECEMBER 2013*

Median Price

$135,000

$119,750

12.73%

$140,000

-3.57%

$129,226

Average Price

$153,420

$142,363

7.77%

$159,820

-4.00%

$153,972

Units Listed

2,690

2,823

-4.71%

2,620

2.67%

31,441

Months of Supply

10.1

10.4

-2.88%

11

-8.18%

9.7

Total # Sales

267

272

-1.84%

239

11.72%

3,234

Days on Market

128

117

9.40%

112

14.29%

144

Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), The University of Alabama *November 2013 not available at press time.

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61


Quarterly Reports QUARTERLY REVENUES

NET INCOME

EARNINGS PER SHARE

EARNINGS ESTIMATE

YEAR-AGO REVENUES

YEAR-AGO NET INCOME

$234.5M

$34.7M

$0.55

$0.56

N/A

N/A

BB&T

$2.4B

$537M

$0.75

$0.72

N/A

$506M

Profit up 6.1%

Southern Co.

$3.9B

$414M

$0.48

$0.46

$3.7B

$383M

Named new CEO

CVS Caremark

$32.8B

$1.3B

$1.05

N/A

N/A

$1.1B

Pharmacy revenue rose 6.8% at stores open at least 1 year

Advance Auto Parts

$1.4B

$68.7M

$0.94

$0.78

$1.3B

$65.1M

Wells Fargo

$20.7B

$5.4B

$1.00

$0.98

$1.3B

$4.9B

Profit up 11%

McDonald’s

$7.1B

$1.4B

$1.40

N/A

$6.9B

$1.4B

U.S. comparable sales fell 1.4%

N/A

$28M

$0.42

N/A

N/A

N/A

$4.2B

$540.7M

$0.71

$0.69

$3.8B

$432.2M

$4B

$1.1B

$1.85

$1.64

N/A

$719M

Profit jumped 53%

$1.6B

$103M

N/A

N/A

$1.5B

$68.8M

Profit surged 50%

NAME

Hancock Holding Co. (Hancock Bank)

(Alabama Power)

Trustmark Corp. Starbucks PNC Financial Dow Corning

Total loans increased 6.4%

Revenue increased 6%

Merger, lawsuit costs reduce profit by $8.3M Comparable China and Asia Pacific sales rose 8%

O’Reilly Automotive

$1.6B

$152M

$1.40

$1.32

$1.5B

$133M

Revenue increased 9%

Yum! Brands

$4.2B

$321M

$0.86

$0.80

$4.2B

$337M

Same-store sales in China declined 13%

International Paper

$7.2B

$436M

$0.98

$0.87

$7B

$235M

Industrial packaging sales up 9.9% to $3.7B

$707.1M

$5M

$0.17

$0.29

$800M

$17.4M

Comparable store sales fell 11.2%

(KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut)

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NOTABLE

Montgomery Business Journal March 2014


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Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal – March 2014  

Montgomery Business Journal – March 2014