Page 1

FORECASTING A ROBUST HOUSING SECTOR PAGE 20

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE WORKFORCE PAGE 10

TOURISM MEANS BIG BUSINESS FOR MONTGOMERY PAGE 28

IN THE

SPOT LIGHT

RAY INGRAM AND FORREST MCCONNELL III WERE BOTH ON THE NATIONAL STAGE LAST YEAR


CONTENTS

SUMMER 2015

COVER STORY:

40

MEMBER NEWS 48 Chamber Notebook 56 Member Profile: Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design

CHAMBER NEWS 06 Calendar 34 Reporter’s Notebook 64 Business Buzz 72 Members on the Move 73 Ribbon Cuttings & Ground Breakings 74 New Members 75 Economic Intel

National spotlight shines on local car dealers Forrest McConnell (left) and Ray Ingram.

FEATURES 10 RAISING THE WORKFORCE SEVERAL DEGREES AUM College of Business prepares students for today’s jobs 20 Q&A WITH BARRY MASK Assessing the River Region housing sector 28 WOW FACTOR Tourism is big business in Montgomery 32 EYE ON MONTGOMERY Hotel groups consider building downtown facilities 50 BRANCHING OUT USAmeriBank places name on branches

52 LAUNCHING OPPORTUNITIES Conference attendees learn about NASA 58 RAISING HIS VOICE TO RAISE TAXES Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley promotes tax hikes for Alabama 60 HOT SPOTS New app contains vital information on where to go and what to do in Montgomery 62 CONFIDENT BUNCH Montgomery business executives remain the most upbeat in Alabama

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

3


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

Does your business need room to grow? Perimeter Park is the premier location for light industrial, office/warehouse and distribution centers, with lots ranging from 1/2 acre to 5 acres or more. The Park is located on U.S. 231 Highway South and provides quick and easy access to I-85 from Taylor Road.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Robert Fouts ON THE COVER

Local car dealers Ray Ingram (left) and Forrest McConnell were both in the national spotlight last year. ADVERTISING

Linda Drumheller 334-240-9494 mbjsales@montgomerychamber.com

Perimeter Park lots are for sale, buildings are for lease, or we will build to suit your needs. Call us today and give your business the green light!

Great Central Location! 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

For more information contact:

Grace Pugh

gpugh@kyser.com 1537 Jean Street Montgomery, AL 36107 office: 334-262-8859 fax: 334-262-6252 cell: 334-657-1695

4

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

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 7, Issue 6. 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.


Who knew the easiest part of building a home would be getting the loan.

Gina and Lee Ishman, River Bank & Trust Mortgage Loan Clients.

From securing the loan for our lot to converting it

to construction financing and then to our permanent mortgage, River Bank exceeded our expectations every step of the way. Fast, friendly and always looking out for us, they took all the stress out of the

financing process. So if you are looking for a bank that will make you feel right at home, call River Bank. S E R V I C E

U N S

D E E P

Don Clayton NMLS 441565

334.290.2646 RIVERBANKANDTRUST.COM MONTGOMERY Member FDIC NMLS 405629

Equal Housing Lender

P RAT T V I L L E

WETUMPKA

AL EXANDER CIT Y


July 1 > EGGS & ISSUES WITH SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS Presenting Sponsor: Troy University 7:30 AM @ RSA Activity Center 201 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery Registration: www.montgomerychamber.com/ Sessions

6 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

June 1 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR

CHAMBER NEWS

EVENTS

Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

10 > 60 MINUTE COFFEE Sponsored by Walker360 8 AM @ Walker360 2501 East Fifth Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

15 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

18 > MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY AT THE ZOO Presenting Sponsor: Guardian Credit Union @ Montgomery Zoo 2301 Coliseum Parkway, Montgomery Free with Military Identification

19 > EGGS & ISSUES WITH CONGRESSMAN MIKE ROGERS Presenting Sponsor: Troy University 7:30 @ RSA Activity Center 201 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery Registration: www.montgomerychamber.com/ Rogers

The Montgomery Chamber Event Calendar is at montgomerychamber.com/events

6

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

25 > BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by Alabama Wildlife Federation & PowerSouth Energy 5 PM @ Alabama Nature Center Lanark Pavillion 3050 Lanark Road, Millbrook Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

8 > 60 MINUTE COFFEE Sponsored by Troy University 8 AM @ Troy University 231 Montgomery Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

20 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

23 > BUSINESS TAXATION WORKSHOP Two Sessions: 11 AM & 3 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Free event, open to the public

23 > BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by Verizon Wireless 5 PM @ Reinhardt Lexus 911 Eastern Boulevard, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members


Dr. Steve Grice, Alumnus Business Professor. Father of four.

XBS S JPST !G J O E !V OM J N J UF E

PQQPSUV O J UZ J O ! M J N J UF E ! S FT J E F O DZ/

TROY makes it possible to balance your responsibilities and career goals. Earn a graduate degree in management, criminal justice or public administration in a limited residency format. Get to know your professors and classmates over a kick-off weekend, then work with them online until you meet again for a wrap-up weekend before graduation. Limited residency means unlimited opportunity. That’s the warrior spirit, and it’s alive and well at Troy University.

Feel it in Montgomery. troy.edu/workingwarrior 1-800-586-9771


August 3 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

CHAMBER NEWS

EVENTS

4 > ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITY Presenting Sponsor: Integrated Computer Solutions 6 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery Registration: www.montgomerychamber.com/EU

5 > CHAMBER ORIENTATION

9 > 60 MINUTE COFFEE

Sponsored by Charter HR 8 AM @ Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery Free, reservations required

Sponsored by Brantwood Children’s Home 8 AM @ Brantwood Children’s Home 1309 Upper Wetumpka Road, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

12 > 60 MINUTE COFFEE Sponsored by Capitol Chevrolet 8 AM @ Capitol Chevrolet 711 Eastern Boulevard, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

17 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

27 > BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by US Foods 5 PM @ US Foods 2850 Selma Highway, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

September 3 > EGGS & ISSUES WITH CONGRESSMAN MARTHA ROBY The Montgomery Chamber Event Calendar is at montgomerychamber.com/events

Presenting Sponsor: Troy University 7:30 AM @ RSA Activity Center 201 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery Registration: www.montgomerychamber.com/ Roby

7 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

8

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

21 > BUSINESS PLANNING SEMINAR Sponsored by BWS Technologies 4 PM @ Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center 600 South Court Street, Montgomery $10 at the door

24 > BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Sponsored by Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center 5 PM @ Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center 201 Tallapoosa Street, Montgomery Free event, exclusively for Chamber Members

29 > DIVERSITY SUMMIT Presenting Sponsor: Stivers Ford, Lincoln, Mazda 8 AM @ Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center 201 Tallapoosa Street, Montgomery Registration: www.montgomerychamber.com/ Diversity


We Know People. We’ve Got Connections. We’re Spherion®, Montgomery’s resident staffing experts. We’ve been serving the workforce needs of the River Region for more than a decade! Finding a unique candidate is not so daunting when you have a staffing partner who knows them personally. From accounting, engineering and office professionals, to all levels of management, including industrial, sales and technology, Spherion delivers a full range of skilled talent! In our business, it’s all about who you know.

©2015 Spherion Staffing Services LLC

Gain a local hiring advantage—call Spherion!

4001 Carmichael Rd., Suite 410 Montgomery, AL 36106

66B6SKHULRQ0RQWJRPHU\B[LQGG

334.260.0788

spherion.com

30


RAISING WORKFORCE SKILLS SEVERAL DEGREES AUM College of Business prepares students for today’s jobs by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

John G. Veres III is the chancellor of Auburn University at Montgomery.

10

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


A comprehensive strategy has been unleashed to greatly expand technical education in high school to develop the necessary skills for advanced manufacturing as well as careers in a wide range of industries.

“Business is an applied discipline and if you are going to graduate people with a bachelor of science in business, they ought to have the skills necessary to go to work immediately and contribute immediately,” Veres said.

That effort includes the state’s two-year college system, which has been partnering with the business community.

That approach was predicated on AUM officials talking with the business community and finding what they needed in graduates. That conversation, which is as basic as you can get, has transformed the university’s College of Business, which is destroying its “silos” and offering a new model of an integrated curriculum this fall.

What about the four-year colleges and universities? Do we dare think of those as (gasp) – a more sophisticated level of workforce development? If you said that years ago you would have been labeled a heretic. Students graduated without a thought about whether they had the skills to get a job or what jobs were even available in their chosen field. A college education was an end in itself and not a means to an end. Yet in today’s competitive landscape, thinking about a college degree as workforce development is not only a realistic approach, but a necessary one in the eyes of Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) Chancellor John G. Veres III.

“I think it’s an example of how we ought to do business and how we’re beginning to do business in a variety of different disciplines to understand that the four-year universities are also part of the workforce development effort.” There it is – attending college is akin to workforce development. “We need that higher level of collaboration to help them (businesses) be successful,” Veres said. “If we help them be successful – we’re going to be successful because Continued on page 12

Get there... start HERE!

www.primesouthbank.com 225 Emma Lane • Pike Road (334)387-1655 Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

11


Continued from page 11

they are going to want to hire our graduates. If our graduates are hired in large numbers, the word gets out and we’re going to have more students to turn into graduates. “It’s a win-win-win. The students win; the employers win; and we win. Ultimately, what’s good for Montgomery’s economy is going to be good for AUM. There is a clear level of understanding on the part of the College of Business about how to work more directly with businesses.” This new model has had a painstaking path over the past couple of years, said Rhea Ingram, dean of the College of Business. It began at strategic planning sessions when the College of Business faculty and staff grappled with: “Who do we think we are?” Ingram said the answer was a “small, private school, because what we really value ourselves on is the professorstudent interaction.” A finance professor complained about the silos in the College of Business and Ingram said there were no conversations across those silos of finance, marketing, economics, management, etc. Ingram visited business

constituents and asked about their business model. “What I found out was, they were talking about breaking down silos,” Ingram said. “They were talking about how their business needed to be integrated and they needed conversations across their units.” In addition to talking to businesspeople, AUM conducted some surveys, collected data and examined some best practices in higher education on integrated curricula. “We said, ‘why can’t we do this?’ ” Ingram said. Now, the College of Business will have graduates with the skills that local business said they were looking for. “They are going to get employees that have the skill sets that are more immediately useful when they come on the jobs,” Veres said. “If you have to hire people and then train them for six months to be useful – that’s time and money lost for the organization. “If you’re hiring new graduates who can immediately contribute to your organization because they possess the skills that the organizations themselves have said are the requisite skills – then that’s going to lower their costs to doing business. Whatever you can do to help Continued on page 14

Choosing the right mortgage partner means everything when buying or refinancing a home. • Simplified answers to complex questions… • Exploring all the mortgage options… • Finding the best possible product and rate… • An uncomplicated loan process… Morris A. Capouano

Trust our mortgage lending experience to deliver this and more with an unmatched level of personal service.

President NMLS # 88697

8415 Crossland Loop • Montgomery, AL 36117-8485 334-409-9300 • email: mtgmanext@equisouthmortgage.com

equisouthmortgage.com

12

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

Co NMLS # 76672


>L[OPURSPRLZTHSSI\ZPULZZ -$621:(//6 &3$$%9&))&9$0$)) =(3<(;065,?7,9; -DVRQRรทHUVFORVHO\KHOG EXVLQHVVRZQHUVH[SHUW DQDO\VLVWRGHWHUPLQH EXVLQHVVYDOXH7D[ SODQQLQJVDOHGLYHVWXUH DQGVXFFHVVLRQSODQQLQJ UHTXLUHDQH[SHULHQFHG DGYLVRUWRVXSSRUWGHFLVLRQV IRUWKHIXWXUH

'$1,(/7+203621 &3$ .96>;/4(5(.,9 $FFHVVLELOLW\H[SHUWLVHDQG LGHDVร†WKHVHDUHMXVWVRPH RIWKHUHDVRQVVPDOOEXVLQHVV RZQHUVWUXVW'DQLHOIRUWKHLU DFFRXQWLQJFRQVXOWLQJWD[ DQGFRPSOLDQFHSODQQLQJ

MONTGOMERY, AL

DOTHAN, AL

PRATTVILLE, AL

WETUMPKA, AL

NASHVILLE, TN

334.834.7660

www.jacksonthornton.com

3KRWRWDNHQRQORFDWLRQFRXUWHV\RI$ODEDPD3DLQW %RG\


“If you are going to graduate people with a bachelor of science in business, they ought to have the skills necessary to go to work immediately and contribute immediately,” - AUM Chancellor John G. Veres III

Continued from page 12

lower an organization’s cost is going to help them be more successful.” Companies may use that savings to expand or perhaps hire more people, Veres said. This integrated curriculum is once again a return to the past, as is a renewed emphasis on technical education, which decades ago was called vocational training and was popular until the push came that everybody had to go to college. The first business school at Harvard University actually used the integrated curriculum model, “where people learned all of these different aspects of doing business,” Veres said. Over time, as more business schools popped up at universities, “they started to look more like the School of Arts and Sciences,” Veres said. The silo model is not conducive to today’s real world, Veres said. AUM is reviving that Harvard model “so people understand how marketing interfaces with management,” he said. This is just the beginning for the College of Business integrated curriculum. “Even though we’re rolling out this new integrated curriculum, this is version 1.0,” Veres said. “Over time as needs change in the business community, this ongoing conversation will allow them to inform us, ‘We’re really seeing a need for this or that.’ That will allow us to begin to tailor the curriculum to meet their needs. “You want a short cycle time on retooling. It takes about four years to get through college and if you’re halfway through and businesses are saying that ‘we

14

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

really need these two additional skill sets,’ it will be good for us to be able to go ahead and build that in so we’re punching out people a year or two years later with a degree that has the skill sets rather than having a longer cycle time.” This is such a historic shift that when Veres talked about the integrated curriculum, he said it “is an example of how a modern university should function, in that the College of Business went out and talked to their customers – their secondary customers – the businesses that hire our graduates.” How many times has a university chancellor talked about their secondary customers? That is quite a reversal from traditional academia’s ivory tower. “Often times when we’re talking about an individual certificate it might be a very narrow set of skills,” Veres said. “A two-year degree is a somewhat broader set of skills and the (four-year degree) is an even broader set of skills, but also within that skill set, there are specific skills.” The business community is excited about the College of Business new integrated curriculum, Ingram said. An advisory board consisting of local business leaders heard the final update in late April. It was that advisory board that recommended a change in the College of Business mission statement to include ethics and social responsibility. “That’s when we added to where we say: “We prepare ethical business leaders,” Ingram said. “They gave us a lot of great feedback.” n


AUM LOOKS TO EXPAND NURSING PROGRAM by David Zaslawsky

The Auburn University at Montgomery College of Business is not the only discipline that sought input from the business community. The university’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences officials have been in talks with Baptist Health, asking what the region’s largest health care employer needs are with respect to AUM’s graduate programs. “There are two areas where the local employers are telling us they have trouble finding people,” AUM Chancellor John G. Veres III said. Those two areas are nursing informatics and nursing leadership. “They teach nurses how to take care of patients – somebody has to be in charge,” Veres said. “At the master’s level, we want to teach them how to lead a unit, because that’s what they do in the hospital. We need to do a better job of providing (students) that are going to be immediately useful to those hospital employers, so that our master’s level graduates can make a contribution.”

The university does offer a master’s degree in nurse practitioner. Nursing informatics is the “science and practice (that) integrates nursing, its information and knowledge, with management of information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families and communities worldwide,” according to the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA). Some of their responsibilities, according to IMIA, include evaluating electronic health records; using information systems to analyze and research clinical and administrative performance metrics; integrating information technology; addressing workflow needs; and making sure health care providers know about the latest developments.

“THEY TEACH NURSES HOW TO TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS – SOMEBODY HAS TO BE IN CHARGE.” - AUM Chancellor John G. Veres III

The average salary last year for a nurse informaticist was $100,000, according to a survey. n

© 2014 Alabama Power Company

Safe, affordable, reliable electricity is one form of power we provide, but not the only one. There’s also the power devoted to realizing the amazing potential of our state and its people. T hat’s power to propel business forward. That’s Power to Alabama.

www.amazingalabama.com 32:,)DVW0RYLQJ&RPSDQLHVB0%-LQGG

30

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

15


Rhea Ingram (left) is dean of the AUM College of Business and Venessa Funches is associate dean of undergraduate programs for AUM College of Business.

A BIGGER BUSINESS PICTURE AUBURN UNIVERSITY AT MONTGOMERY INTRODUCES NEW PATH by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

It may seem basic, but an integrated curriculum at Auburn University at Montgomery’s College of Business is a novel approach without another model in the state and perhaps just one or two in the Southeast. In August, AUM College of Business students will learn how one aspect of a company affects other aspects, and will eventually gain a broader understanding of business, problem solving and decision-making. There will be some new courses; fewer credit hours needed for an undergraduate degree; and new teaching methods; and it comes with a stamp of approval from the business community that told AUM officials what they need in graduates. One of those skill set gaps was proficiency in technology, and in particular, Excel and Access, a Microsoft database. “I think the problem was we

16

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

assumed that the younger crowd could use these software (applications), but there was a big gap in what employers expected …” said Rhea Ingram, dean of AUM College of Business. Being able to find data and analyze it was a concern voiced by the business community, according to Venessa Funches, associate dean of undergraduate programs for the AUM College of Business. The response is a Microsoft IT Academy in the fall. Businesses requested that graduates have better communication skills and professionalism skills. AUM is addressing those areas through its Office of Student Engagement and Success, which focuses on extracurricular activities of professional development and includes ethics training. It’s about turning out more polished graduates who know how to act in professional settings, and that includes luncheon etiquette. It’s about developing the whole person, and for Funches, that translates


into her stick-person analogy, with integrated knowledge being the brain area; ethics, the heart; community service, the arms; and professional development as the legs. “You want them to be effective, competent businesspeople, but you also want them to have a heart for how this affects other people,” Funches said. “Businesses now have to be concerned that customers are not just buying things they sell, but they are concerned about the social footprint.” There will be some new courses offered for the fall semester: managing systems and technology and data; managing organizations and people in a combined course; and moving business communication from the English department to the College of the Business. AUM is not only adding a few courses, but the delivery will also change beyond professors discussing more than one aspect of a business.

The newer classrooms have tables with five chairs around them and a video board at one end. Students will hook up their electronic devices and work in a group. “Whoever hits what they call the puck – the little switch in front of them – has the screen,” AUM Chancellor John. G. Veres III said. “They are swapping back and forth the screen and working collectively in a team to solve problems because that’s the way it happens in the real world. I’m very pleased with the approach we’re taking.” He said there could be half a dozen teams in a classroom, which “encourages collaboration.” Continued on page 18

“Businesses now have to be concerned that customers are not just buying things they sell, but they are concerned about the social footprint.” -Venessa Funches, associate dean of undergraduate programs for the AUM College of Business

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

17


Continued from page 17

The undergraduate degree has been streamlined, and that means savings for students, as well as joining the workforce perhaps a semester earlier. The requirements had ballooned to 129 credits and now will be a more manageable 121 credits. The university is also offering a business minor with six lowerdivision courses this fall. “Any non-business major can take the series of six courses and get a good, broad knowledge of terminologies to help them,” Ingram said. In an unusual move, the undergraduates will use case studies on one company – the behemoth retailer in Arkansas – Walmart. “We’re hoping by the end, students will have seen Walmart from every aspect,” Funches said. “They think they know it because they go in there and shop, but let’s talk about operations; let’s talk about accounting; let’s talk about (the different areas) so you can start to see how all those things fit together and how you can’t make a decision on the floor without thinking about how are we going to get the product here and what is the cost and what’s the profit margin?” She envisions students discussing marketing opportunities while considering return on investment. Students will be forced to consider multiple areas. “A real businessperson doesn’t get to separate those things,” Funches said. “They all come into play.” Of course the integrated curriculum impacts the faculty in the same manner and changes the way they are thinking. If a professor in a marketing class is unable to answer a finance question, a finance professor will be brought into that class. Why Walmart? Mostly because there are plenty of resources available. As Funches said: “There is a ton of information. There are a lot of different angles we could look at.” Because of that abundance of Walmart data, students will need to “synthesize and analyze” the data, Ingram said. She said that, historically, pulling the information has been a weakness. “You’re pulling it from multiple sources and being able to analyze the data and seeing the bigger picture and making those decisions …” she said. More than 245 million customers visit Walmart’s stores in 27 countries every week and use its website in another 11 countries. Net sales for fiscal 2015 reached nearly $500 billion and the company has 2.2 million employees worldwide. The new integrated curriculum is a focused approach to ensure that students see the big picture instead of hoping they put the pieces together. No more guessing, hoping or assuming. In the future, case studies could deal with local companies and students might shadow businesspeople, with Funches even talking about internship opportunities. n

18

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR IN D U STR Y, BU SI N ESS AN D LEG AL MAT TER S

WE COULDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;VE STOPPED AT A FEW ZILLION FINANCIAL REGULATIONS. INSTEAD, WE HAVE DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF ALL BAJILLION OF THEM. Our 250+ attorneys and lobbyists across 7 cities help heavily-regulated companies predictably move forward in less-than-predictable regulatory environments.

PHONE NUMBER

8 0 0 -7 6 2 -2 4 2 6

WEB ADDRESS

www.balch.com

Alabama

Flor ida

Geor gia

Mississippi

Washingt on , D C


Barry Mask

is the chief executive

officer of the Alabama Association of Realtors. He was recently interviewed by the Montgomery Business Journalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s David Zaslawsky.

Q&A TREMENDOUS CONFIDENCE IN THE HOUSING MARKET interview by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

Barry Mask is CEO of the Alabama Association of Realtors.

20

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


Montgomery Business Journal: What are your responsibilities as the CEO of the Alabama Association of Realtors? n Mask: I’m tasked with our governmental affairs; all of our legislative agenda; financial oversight; membership retention and growth; enforcing the Realtor code of ethics; board services – we have 29 local boards of Realtors.

How many members do you have? n

Right now, we are just over 12,000 members.

What are you hearing from your members about general concerns? I think our No. 1 challenge probably for the last three or four years in the real estate industry is the technology advances – competing with and/or utilizing correctly with Zillow and Trulia, and of course, now, our own realtor.com, which is the National Association of Realtors and has become very competitive with those two. n

Wouldn’t you still use a local Realtor for the listings on Zillow or Trulia? n Originally, Zillow and Trulia were aggregating all of these listings, but they were not showing the primary Realtor, who had signed up that listing. Now the fights and new agreements that we have nationally, require them to do that (show the listing agent). What we’ve done is empower our local MLS (multiple listing service) to negotiate that upfront and make that a requirement. At the end of the day, we’re inputting our data.

Who would show the house if not a local Realtor? That is another side to this. It has to be that Realtor who got that listing that needs to be the primary source.

You’re saying with the Realtor national website, what you see is accurate. Right. The representations of the photos have to be true. n

Are there other issues with technology? With that technology, people will start with a primary search and they shop by area. They know generally where they want to be. I think there is a misconception that Realtors guide the consumer. We do not. Here’s what has happened particularly in the last 18 months. The platform has gone from computer to laptop now to iPhone. We’re seeing more and more, particularly people 40 and under, using their iPhone to make their initial query, which requires us to format the MLS (for all devices). n

What else are you hearing from your members? n Probably the thing we’re stressing the most is continued focus on professionalism; adhering to our code of ethics; being that full service for the client. Their concerns are usually legislative or regulative of what’s coming out of Congress; what’s coming out of Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; anything that’s obtrusive or would affect a closing. Of course, they are real sensitive to the banking and mortgage industry with respect to rates. I just tweeted out today (early April) that we’re getting back down to a 3.66 interest rate.

n

Are there other challenges? Even with all the technological advances, you still need Realtors to take you into the property; talk about the neighborhood. As you and I know, you can touch up photos (of houses) all day long, but when you go see it … n

Is that a 30-year rate or 15? n

For a 30; 2.92 for a 15.

How do you characterize the outlook for Realtors? Are they upbeat? n Early last fall, particularly here in the Montgomery metro area, which is Montgomery, Elmore, Autauga – we could feel a turn, and of course, the statistics have begun to bear it out, according to the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE). We’re in our eighth consecutive month of month-over-month increases in sales. In Montgomery, we’re in our fifth month that began back in October. The average price in the Montgomery metro is also up.

Continued on page 22

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

21


Aronov Realty developed the Deer Creek subdivision in East Montgomery.

“Most Realtors, developers and homebuilders that I know – they see a healthy, steady incline from 2015 to 2018.”

Continued from page 21

You would say that the Realtors are much more optimistic? Upbeat and we’re very fortunate here in Central Alabama. We sort of have this protective bubble with Maxwell (Air Force Base) and state government. n

There were layoffs in state government, but it has stabilized. n There were layoffs. If you look at the height of membership here, in 2008 we had 17,000 members.

22

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

- Barry Mask , CEO of the Alabama Association of Realtors

Let’s get back to the Montgomery real estate market. Since 2011, sales have increased in the Montgomery metro area each January and February. Montgomery has had the highest percentage of home sale increases for three straight years and four out of five with Tuscaloosa being No. 1 that one year because of rebuilding after the tornado. Why is the Montgomery market so hot right now? n That points to that protective bubble, and then when you look at the diversification with Hyundai and other ancillary industries, you’re having further diversified our economy. Hyundai has had a big impact.


What do you attribute the uptick in the fall to? The interest rates were very low. Typically we see a lot of movement in the fall and we see a lot of movement in late spring. Most of the Realtors here in Montgomery see a very robust second quarter. n

A homebuilder I interviewed talked about building larger and more expensive homes to meet demand. Are you seeing that – and doesn’t that mean homeowners are moving up, which opens up the first-time homebuyer’s market? n Exactly. I tweeted today that with interest rates (as they are), you ought to be buying or you ought to be selling. In my neighborhood right behind Emerald Mountain, homes are in the mid-$300,000s. Since last fall, it has really taken off. It’s interesting to see that dynamic at that price point. The price points are beginning to come up because of those low interest rates. I think the interest rates are driving it. The

economy is trying to fight back. It’s what we call a slow grind. Lending is loosening up a little bit. The FICO scores, particularly for first-time homebuyers, are from 630 to 740. I read that the state’s new

construction inventory was up 5.6 percent in February vs. February 2014. That’s a very positive sign. n For the Montgomery area, building and development is a big part of this economy. That’s why when we had the downturn starting in the fall of ’08, people were hurting here. You had longtime developers and homebuilders (not building any houses). A home sold is like a 3.4 turnover rate with all the ancillary transactions it generates. It is huge.

Continued on page 24

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

23


Will the Montgomery metro area get back to pre-recession levels or were those levels unhealthy? The people that are in this business in the long run would rather see a real measured, steady growth. When you have that boon growth you know you’re riding that (wave). Most Realtors, developers and homebuilders that I know – they see a healthy, steady incline from 2015 to 2018. n

Continued from page 23

What is that 3.4 turnover rate you’re talking about? It’s the net effect on the local economy. The thing that probably helped us more than anything during the recession was of course the base, state government and with Hyundai ramping up. It gave us more of a bubble, but the problem was because of everything else, there was no confidence of where the economy was heading and people just hunkered down. They weren’t buying. They weren’t renovating. n

I’ve also heard that people in the industry are feeling more confident, and that makes a big difference. Hampstead is a 400-plus acre development in East Montgomery.

n I think there is tremendous confidence, particularly for ’15 and ’16 in the Montgomery metro markets both in homebuilding and existing home sales.

For the Montgomery area? Yes. You look at the numbers here in Montgomery and Autauga and Elmore – they are all coming up and it’s at all price points. n

The housing inventory level in the Montgomery metro area is 10 months. What is the ideal? n I think it’s healthy. An ideal (inventory) is eight months. That is elusive because it’s all about price points. If you broke that out, you may see only a four-month supply in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. What skews our market is that we have a lot of nice homes. We have a lot of high-end homes in the $400,000-and-up area. Those are going to take longer to sell.

Some developments offered some lowerpriced houses a few years ago and that seemed very effective. n That’s right. The subcontractors – they’re hungrier – so you’re getting some good pricing.

Is it becoming more of a seller’s market or a buyer’s market because of low interest rates? I think it’s pretty even. I think it’s a seller’s market and most of the sellers, because of the interest rates, are trying to move up. Then they’re selling to first-time homebuyers. There’s no quicker avenue to personal financial stability then property or home ownership. n

You’re saying that people living in houses in the mid $200,000s are moving up to $300,000-plus. n

A lot of moves up.

Continued on page 26

24

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


“I think there is tremendous confidence, particularly for ’15 and ’16 in the Montgomery metro markets both in homebuilding and existing Sturbridge Plantation is an Alfa Realty development.

home sales.” - Barry Mask , CEO of the Alabama Association of Realtors

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

25


heydays, but it’s definitely headed in the right direction, which instills confidence. It’s been headed in the right direction for five or six months.

Is there a new normal now for the real estate market? Probably this is the new normal for the immediate future, which if you take a slow, steady grind – and we have confidence that’s going to continue for a year or two – that is the new normal. I have no doubt we can return to some really good years, but there have been a lot of checks and balances put in place with lending so that we are not overextending credit to those who cannot handle it. n

Did you have some bills in this legislative session? One of our major bills that has been talked about for a long time is the right of redemption. Currently, if you have a foreclosure, Alabama is one of the longest states in the union – you have a year. Our bill, which passed in the Senate, cut that in half to six months. n

Six months for? n If you were foreclosed upon, you would have a year (to get it out of the foreclosure).

That would make it easier to move the property. It makes it more attractive to investors to buy it and get it back on the market. If you bought it, you knew you would be sitting on pins and needles for a year. They could get it (the property) back. n

Jim Wilson & Associates developed Wynlakes Golf & Country Club in East Montgomery.

Continued from page 24

On the ACRE website, there are lots of numbers for home sales, including days on the market, selling price, inventory, etc. Do all those numbers carry equal weight or are some more important than others? Selling price and days on the market are two things that our members pay a lot of attention to. n

What will happen to the real estate market when the Federal Reserve, as widely expected, raises interest rates this year – or are they so low it doesn’t matter? n

At what point do interest rates impact the real estate market? If you get them back above 6 percent, I think that would have a chilling effect. It’s all relevant to what else is going on in the economy. Until it gets to that point, these are still tremendous rates. It’s the best investment anybody can make. You can do all the technology and all the gizmos, but at the end of the day you need a Realtor to walk you through this transaction and deliver those professional services that we do and everything that they provide so you make the transaction right; look at your comps; and everything is done right. n

What do those numbers tell you right now? n We’re seeing the selling price, particularly in the Montgomery metro area, increasing steadily and the days on the market are decreasing, which points toward a robust market coming back. Again, not back to the

26

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

I think they are.


How is the residential real estate market for Realtors?

I don’t think universities offer courses in real estate.

It’s followed the market. It’s been slow growth with people coming back up with new licensees or people renewing their license. We hit 11,000 – our lowest zenith in 2012 and now we’re back to 12,000 today. It’s growing 3 percent a year. The average age in Alabama of a Realtor is 52.

No, but ACRE has been talking to the University of Alabama. They have some internships with ACRE.

n

That is close to the average age for physicians in the state. You got it. We’re doing a lot of recruitment efforts as well as a lot of the major brokers like Keller Williams and RealtySouth. There is a real push on to reach back down and try to get this new generation into real estate, which is why we have a good partnership with the University of Alabama and Auburn University. n

n

Is the goal offering some courses in

real estate? Yes, we would like to see a curriculum on real estate development. n

Maybe real estate development could be added to the courses in the Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies. Have you talked to Montgomery Public Schools? n

We haven’t, but we have talked about it internally. n

It would be great if universities and colleges offered real estate courses. n We’ve been laying the groundwork to get into these universities.

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

27


WOW FACTOR Montgomery County tourism is big business in the River Region, generating $723 million by David Zaslawsky

28

photography by Robert Fouts

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


Montgomery County saw a 9.4 percent increase in tourism dollars, which translated into a $62 million increase from 2014 and a $114 million increase from just two years ago, according to a report from the Alabama Department of Tourism.

“Tourism is very important to our economy,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange told the Montgomery Advertiser. When the average business traveler spends about $260 a day, that becomes a critical revenue stream.

Looking at the statewide figures, Alabama tourists spent about $11.8 billion last year, an increase of nearly $800,000 (7.3 percent) from the previous year. Just five years ago, travel-related expenditures were $9.1 billion, and back in 2005, were $7.5 billion.

“Every week there is something going on in downtown Montgomery. The hotel chains are beginning to see that and they need to come here and get in on the ground

More than just impressive numbers, travel-related spending means jobs – lots of jobs – about 13,600 direct and indirect jobs in the River Region, including nearly 11,300 in Montgomery County. Across the state almost 170,000 travel-related jobs account for 8.7 percent of the non-agricultural employment in Alabama. Montgomery County was the state’s only county with a 2014 hotel occupancy rate of 60 percent. That was up 6.1 percent from the previous year.

Continued on page 30

“WE’VE DONE SO MANY THINGS TO MOVE THAT NEEDLE FORWARD, AND PEOPLE NOW COME AND IT’S ALMOST A WOW FACTOR.” -Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

29


“EVERY WEEK THERE IS SOMETHING GOING ON IN DOWNTOWN MONTGOMERY. THE HOTEL CHAINS ARE BEGINNING TO SEE THAT AND THEY NEED TO COME HERE AND GET IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR WITH ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING AND ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE ABOUT TO HAPPEN IN MONTGOMERY.”

Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr.

The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church is one of the top attractions in Montgomery.

Continued from page 29

floor with all the things that are happening and all the things that are about to happen in Montgomery,” said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. With a major renovation to Cramton Bowl and the building of The Multiplex at Cramton Bowl and the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex, Montgomery has been attracting scores of youth and collegiate athletic events through the Central Alabama Sports Commission and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau. “All the sporting events are helping drive up tourism along with corporate meetings and family reunions this time of the year,” Dean said.

30

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

The city has 6,800-plus hotel rooms and draws thousands of visitors to such places as the Rosa Parks Library and Museum; The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the pastor; the First White House of the Confederacy; and other Civil Rights and Civil War sites. Montgomery was named the Best Historic City in an online poll conducted by USA Today. While those sites help attract travelers, Montgomery now has the infrastructure as well. The mayor likes to say something akin to, if you haven’t seen Montgomery in the last five to seven years, you don’t know Montgomery. “We’ve done so many things to move that needle forward, and people now come and it’s almost a wow factor,” Strange said.


That wow factor was first sparked by the downtown Riverwalk Stadium, the home of the Montgomery Biscuits baseball team; then the Riverwalk and Riverwalk Amphitheater. Then the City of Montgomery, along with the Retirement Systems of Alabama, transformed the Montgomery Civic Center into the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center, which not only features 100,000plus square feet of meeting space, but the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre and a full-service spa. Other hotels came on line, including Hampton Inn & Suites Montgomery-Downtown and DoubleTree by Hilton. Across from the Renaissance and a building or two away from Hampton Inn, The Alley draws visitors and residents alike with six restaurants and the Alley Bar and Aviator Bar. Visitors who stay at the hotels in East Montgomery not only have a wide variety of restaurants, but also some of the best shopping options in the region at the EastChase development. n

The Rosa Parks Library and Museum is a must-see on tour of civil rights venues in Montgomery.

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

31


HOTEL GROUPS INTERESTED IN DOWNTOWN MONTGOMERY It was not long ago â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about 15 years or so â&#x20AC;&#x201C; downtown Montgomery was filled with dilapidated buildings, flashing traffic lights and very, very few people â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no sounds and no smells. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said that the downtown and riverfront redevelopment â&#x20AC;&#x153;is almost like going from 0 to 50, rather than going from 50 to 100.â&#x20AC;? He said that â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a ghost town like it used to be.â&#x20AC;? Downtown has evolved from that ghost town to what the mayor said is â&#x20AC;&#x153;a mystique about what it is thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in Montgomery. Montgomery is a known commodity now. It used to not be a known commodity.â&#x20AC;? He can find agreement in his assessment from four hotel groups that are seriously looking at downtown Montgomery. Strange said that those four hotels represent 400 to 450 rooms and Montgomery is â&#x20AC;&#x153;highly

likelyâ&#x20AC;? to pick up two new downtown hotels, which would add 150 to 200 rooms. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just beginning. This is the tip of the iceberg. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in an ideal place. We want to encourage not just the ones (hotels) that are coming, but encourage more. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a lot of room for hotels,â&#x20AC;? Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. said. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big deal. Those additional rooms will enable the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau to compete for some larger conventions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3,000-plus people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We would like to step up to 4,000 or 5,000 (size convention),â&#x20AC;? Strange said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not everybody is going to stay downtown. They are going to stay all over.â&#x20AC;? What is driving the interest has been a downtown hotel occupancy rate around that magic 70 percent level, which catches the attention of hoteliers. He said that

*RLQJWRZRUN LQ0RQWJRPHU\ MXVWJRWEHWWHU. 5HJXVWKHOHDGHULQVKRUWWHUPZRUNVSDFHLVQRZ LQ0RQWJRPHU\ :KHQ\RXUEXVLQHVVQHHGVVSDFHEXWGRHVQpWQHHGWKHKDVVOH DQGH[SHQVHRIVHWWLQJLWXSFDOO :LWKRQHFDOO\RXFDQJHWIXUQLVKHGRIILFHVDQGVXSSRUWVWDII IRUKRZHYHUORQJ\RXQHHGWKHP

 :K\5HJXV" s0RUHDIIRUGDEOHWKDQVHWWLQJXSDQRIILFH RQ\RXURZQ s4XLFNDQGHDV\0RYHLQWKHQH[WGD\ s5HFHSWLRQLVW$GPLQDQG7HFKVXSSRUWSURYLGHG s5HQWDVPXFKRUDVOLWWOHVSDFHDV\RXQHHG s6KRUWWHUPORQJWHUPDOORQ\RXUWHUPV

32

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

&RPHRQE\DQGWDNHDWRXU. *HWD)5((RIILFHRUPHHWLQJURRPIRUDGD\ &DOO$PDQGD0RUULVRQ DW 56$%XLOGLQJ 'H[WHU$YH6XLWH 0RQWJRPHU\$/


the likely new hotels would come on line in about two years and both will be limited-service facilities – no restaurants. Those limited-service hotels are preferable for youths participating in sporting events in the area because they are less expensive, Strange said. He said those limited-service hotels need to be within walking distance or a short commute to one of downtown’s three full-service hotels: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center, DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites Montgomery – Hotel & Conference Center. With additional downtown hotels, that not only means the capacity for larger conventions, but also to have more meetings, seminars and youth sporting events going on simultaneously. The economic impact of a 200-person convention is about $250,000 and that swells to $650,000 when retail sales, food and beverage sales and gasoline, etc. are added. On average, a conventioneer spends about $250 a night. Strange said that hotel demand will continue to increase, “assuming the (economic) recovery keeps going on.”

He bragged about Montgomery beating out such cities as Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Charleston, S.C., as the country’s “Best Historic City” in an online contest by USA Today. Now add that the city has the highest-percentage increase in annual home sales the last three years; the highest hotel occupancy rate in the state; and all the sporting activities, including the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. “All of these things go together to make Montgomery an attractive place to come see and experience,” Strange said. “It’s all about energy.” n

MONTGOMERY COUNTY WAS THE STATE’S ONLY COUNTY WITH A 2014 HOTEL OCCUPANCY RATE OF 60 PERCENT. THAT WAS UP 6.1 PERCENT FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

33


REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK

REGIONS BANK CONTINUES LOAN POOL

HYUNDAI’S ECONOMIC IMPACT

Regions Bank will provide another $1.5 billion this year to the Alabama Economic Development Loan Pool program it launched in 2013.

Although already outdated because of the addition of a third crew, third shift of nearly 900 employees, a 2011 study concluded that Hyundai’s annual economic impact of its manufacturing plant in Montgomery and nationwide dealerships is $7 billion-plus. The figures were compiled by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

Haynes Ambulance of Alabama used money from Regions’ loan pool to bring back air ambulance service to Montgomery and 10 nearby counties. The funding enabled the company to buy a medical helicopter and hire 15 employees, including four pilots. “We fly an average of more than 40 patients a month,” Haynes Ambulance of Alabama CEO Kirk Barrett said in a statement. “Many of those patients wouldn’t have a chance without a service like this available.”

Hyundai generates 94,000 direct, indirect and spin-off jobs, according to CAR and $5.9 billion in annual wages. The majority of the direct jobs – 28,000 – are from Hyundai dealerships.

Companies may contact a Regions Bank branch for information.

34

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

by David Zaslawsky

Elantra Hits the Top 10 The Hyundai Elantra, which is produced at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Montgomery, was the eighth bestselling vehicle in March with 28,794 units. The top three vehicles were in order: Ford F-Series (67,706 units); Chevrolet Silverado (45,193 units); and Ram Pickup (41,595). Rounding out the Top 5 were Toyota Camry (40,800 units); and Toyota Corolla/Matrix (35,532 units).


Firm Raises New Vehicle Sales Forecast

BELK SEEKS BUYER

TrueCar increased its vehicle

Belk department store has hired Goldman Sachs and is looking at a possible sale. The Charlotte, N.C.-based chain may contact Macyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Nordstrom, according to Reuters. In a statement from the company, Belk wrote â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś that we have an obligation to consider whether there are alternatives to our current plans that would provide a better return for our stockholders.â&#x20AC;?

sales forecast by 100,000 units to 17.1 million for 2015 after a strong first quarter and bullish economic indicators. Firstquarter sales were the best since 2001 and revenue was a recordsetting $128 billion, an increase of 8.4 percent from the same period a year ago. At 17.1 million units, it would be the best year for new vehicle sales since 17.4 million in 2005 and the first time to reach 17 million since 2006.

$65 MILLION EXPANSION A 119-room hotel with eight suites, an event center, a salon and a new gaming floor with 2,100-plus electric bingo machines are all part of a $65 million expansion to Creek Casino Montgomery.

a 195-seat upscale restaurant. There will be nightly entertainment at BB Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Montgomeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hometown casino is about to get even better,â&#x20AC;? Jake Carlton, property manager for Creek Casino Montgomery, said in a statement.

The Poarch Creek Indian Gaming Authority also announced a partnership The project is scheduled with Beal Street Blues Co. to be completed early next year. Inc., which will include Lucilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant, a fast-casual eatery and Itta Bena Restaurant,

The company bought Parisian nearly 10 years ago.

3URXGO\VHUYLQJWKH5LYHU5HJLRQIRURYHU\HDUV )DPLO\RZQHGDQGRSHUDWHGE\ 0DYLV:DONHU %HWK:DONHU0F%ULGH &DOOXVIRUDOORI\RXUVWDIILQJQHHGV 3URIHVVLRQDOÂ&#x2021;2IILFH6XSSRUWÂ&#x2021;,QGXVWULDO 'LUHFW+LUHÂ&#x2021;7U\ +LUHÂ&#x2021;7HPSRUDU\Â&#x2021;3D\UROOLQJ   2IILFH3URIHVVLRQDO

$UED 6WUHHW 0RQWJRPHU\$ODEDPD

  ,QGXVWULDO

ZZZZDONHUZRUNIRUFHFRP

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

35


WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES Creating a one-stop shop for workforce development information and funding 44 K-12 career coaches were among the recommendations the Alabama Workforce Council submitted to Gov. Robert Bentley.

A DOZEN YEARS IN THE BOOKS

It may seem like it was a short time ago, but the Montgomery Biscuits opened their 12th season at Riverwalk Stadium in downtown Montgomery. It was also a recordsetting game for the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Biscuits, who defeated Chattanooga with a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, struck out 20 batters to eclipse the previous record of 18. The Biscuits, who drew 5,801 fans to their home opener, have been averaging around 250,000 fans a year for the past four years. Riverwalk Stadium is often cited as a catalyst for downtown redevelopment.

36

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

In its 64-page report, the workforce council also recommends creating a statewide career fair and trade show strategy; developing a best practices guide from public/private partnerships; establishing a statewide data system to provide businesses information about education and workforce trends; and establishing a more streamlined structure to coordinate and manage workforce development.


ALABAMA ECONOMY IMPROVES The state’s economy is now expected to grow 2.5 percent this year, up from an earlier forecast of 2.3 percent. The University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research in the

Alabama’s gross domestic product should increase by about $190 billion.

Culverhouse College of Commerce said the state’s gross domestic product should increase by about $190 billion. The employment picture is improving with an increase of 28,600 jobs from March 2014 to March 2015. The services sector, which includes professional and business services (8,400 jobs), leisure and hospitality (6,700 jobs)

and educational and health services (5,700 jobs) gained 27,300 of the jobs. There were gains in the public sector as well. The state added 600 jobs and local government entities gained 550 jobs. The federal government, however, had a decline of 200 jobs.

Cyber Risk Insurance Solutions Don’t wait until it’s too late. Any organization that uses technology to do business faces cyber risk. And as technology becomes more complex, so do the threats we face. Our agents can

Visit palomarins.com to find out more and

help you respond to a security or data breach incident.

to view our Cyber Liability Seminar.

Be prepared. Call us today to discuss your exposure.

(800) 489.0105 | cyber@palomarins.com

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

37


C-130S STAYING PUT The Air Force has decided to keep eight C-130 planes at Maxwell Air Force Base through 2020 after an analysis. The transport planes are part of the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell. “The Air Force’s report confirms

WEBBER BUILDING SELLS FOR $1

what we had suspected all along: Relocating Maxwell’s C-130s didn’t meet the Air Force’s cost-savings

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby

goals,” U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, said in a statement. “By requiring the Air Force to conduct and provide an actual costbenefit analysis, we were able to stop an arbitrary reshuffling of aircraft that would have disrupted the important mission there at Maxwell.” The Air Force had proposed relocating the C-130s at Maxwell a few years ago, but the Montgomery legislative delegation convinced the Air Force to leave the planes here. The report does recommend reducing the C-130 aircraft by 60 units over the next three years.

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT NAMES DIRECTOR The Alabama Department of Commerce has promoted Ted Clem to director of business development. “In his role as director of business development, Ted will lead the expansion and recruitment efforts of the division and will serve as a valued member of the senior management team for the state’s primary economic development agency,” Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said in a statement. Clem, who was hired in February 2014 as a senior project manager, was the acting director of business development.

38

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

The Montgomery Theater, now known as the Webber Building, was sold for $1 to ELSAJA Dexter 71. That firm owns the adjacent building as well as other buildings on Lower Dexter Avenue including One Court Square. The Webber Building was under renovation when it partially collapsed. ELSAJA will deconstruct the building and has agreed to use materials including timbers, cast iron and masonry in its other projects. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said during a City Council meeting that ELSAJA is investing $40 million to $50 million to renovate its downtown properties.


New school concept Although it’s in its infancy, educators along with Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange are discussing a full-service community school. An existing school would be transformed into a community school, but it would remain part of the Montgomery Public Schools district. It is not a charter school. The primary differences are having a community school coordinator and agency partners at the school that meet the needs of the students and parents in the community. There could be additional learning opportunities as well as in-school tutoring and enrichment. The school day and year could be expanded. There may be a health and wellness center at the school and a site for community meetings as well as various agencies.

IT’S A WASTE TO WASTE MONEY ON WASTE. No business can afford to waste money on waste. Sadly, many businesses don’t know what they’re actually paying, or who is even in charge of it. Someone signed a contract long ago, the bills keep coming and nobody worries about it. But most companies’ contracts have built in rate increases. So you may be paying a lot more than you should. At Alabama Dumpster Service, we have the dumpster or roll-off container that’s right for your business and your budget. Our customer service is unsurpassed and you can trust us for timely delivery and pick-up. So take a second look at your trash removal costs and call us. We’ll make sure you’re not wasting money on waste.

FRONT LOADS | ROLL-OFFS | COMPACTORS | PORTABLE RESTROOMS AlabamaDumpster.com | 334-288-1500 follow us on facebook

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

39


LOCAL DEALERSHIPS IN THE INGRAM AND MCCONNELL WERE BOTH ON THE NATIONAL STAGE LAST YEAR


Service-Driven Business COMMUNITY SERVICE IS PARAMOUNT AT JACK INGRAM MOTORS by Melissa George Bowman

JACK INGRAM MOTORS, INC. YEAR FOUNDED

1959 EMPLOYEES:

182 WEBSITE

JACKINGRAM.COM

photography by Robert Fouts

T

he array of shiny new cars on display in one of Jack Ingram Motors many showrooms is certainly eye-catching, but something even more impressive can be found upstairs in the hallway just outside company president Ray Ingram’s office: the portraits of his parents Jack and Lucille Ingram who started this family business more than 50 years ago. When Jack Ingram began his company in 1959, he might not have guessed his name would eventually occupy much of the property up and down the Eastern Boulevard. Today the company operates six franchises: Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo. Additionally, two used car dealerships and a full-service body shop make up the Jack Ingram Motors family of companies. And the company’s reach extends far beyond the Boulevard. Although the majority of its business is local, Jack Ingram Motors’ reputation has helped it earn clients from as far away as 400 miles. The company’s success can most likely be traced to the work ethic of its founder Jack Ingram. Ray Ingram, his son and the current president of Jack Ingram Motors, remembers as a child watching his father work and being impressed with what he saw.

“He taught me a lot about selling. He was an excellent salesman,” Ingram said. “He had so many customers that at times I saw as many as six or eight people sitting outside his office just waiting to see him to buy a car from him. Of course that doesn’t exist in modern times.” Prior to starting his own company, the elder Ingram worked at a Ford dealership where as the top salesperson his customer traffic was so high that a special office was built for him on the showroom floor. In 1959 when he decided to go into business for himself, he became a Studebaker-Packard dealer. It was only two short years before he acquired his second franchise – Mercedes-Benz. At the time, StudebakerPackard was the import distributor for Mercedes-Benz cars. While on a business trip in Jacksonville, Fla., Ingram got the opportunity to drive a Mercedes and there was no turning back. “He’d never driven a Mercedes before,” Ray Ingram said. “He drove the car for the weekend and he got back and couldn’t quit talking about how great that car was. He would not leave Studebaker-Packard alone until they gave him the franchise.” Established in 1961, Jack Ingram Motors’ MercedesBenz dealership is just two weeks shy of being the oldest in the Southeast. By only days a dealership in Coral Gables, Fla. holds the title of oldest. Over the years Jack Ingram Motors would add additional franchises and eventually need more space, but the company’s original location was on Bell Street in downtown Montgomery. A unique problem prompted its move to the Eastern Boulevard in 1975. At the time, a University of Alabama satellite campus was near the Bell Street dealership. At certain times of the day students would park in the lot leaving few spaces for Jack Ingram’s customers. What was initially a problem soon became a blessing for the growing company. “When we moved out here (Eastern Boulevard) our business just about tripled,” Ray Ingram said. “It was amazing the difference because people could drive in and park and look at our inventory.” Continued on page 44

42

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


Driving the Economy IMPACT OF AUTOMOTIVE DEALERS IS TAKEN FOR GRANTED by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

MCCONNELL HONDA/ACURA YEAR FOUNDED

1973 - HONDA 1987 - ACURA EMPLOYEES

76 WEBSITES

MCCONNELLHONDA.COM MCCONNELLACURA.COM

V

eteran automotive dealer Forrest McConnell III feels that his fellow dealers are a misunderstood group and perhaps an underappreciated group as well. He said that some “very powerful people in Washington don’t appreciate the business risks that small businesses take. I think some of the things they do are well-intentioned, but they’re not practical.” McConnell, who is president of the McConnell Honda/ Acura dealership in Montgomery, knows firsthand those powerful people in Washington, because for two years he was in leadership positions in the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). He was vice chairman in 2013 and chairman in 2014. He said the association, founded in 1917, is one of the most powerful in the country and even operates several businesses. The association is “incredibly well funded,” McConnell said. It has 325 employees. He not only testified at congressional hearings in Washington, but he traveled the globe, including China and Brazil. By the way, the Chinese government owns the association’s car dealerships. “Dealers are some of the last true entrepreneurs,” said McConnell, who began his automotive career while attending the University of Alabama. He started a rental car company and had three employees working about 100 miles away. He managed the enterprise by phone – a dial phone.

“We’re in every small town,” he said. “We’re in towns in South Dakota that you never knew existed.” He mentioned a Chevrolet dealership in Elba, a small town in Coffee County. Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz is a Mercedes-Benz dealer and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange was a partner in the Blount-Strange Automotive Group, which had Ford, Chrysler and Cadillac franchises. The company was sold to Sonic Automotive. “I lost him as a competitor, but I got him as my mayor,” McConnell said. McConnell said that the dealers “are the backbone of the economy.” They are one of the larger if not largest employer in some of those small towns. Dealers as a group are “very generous” with charitable donations, McConnell said. The association, which advocates on behalf of the dealers, was embroiled in a dispute with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which according to McConnell, was trying to restrict interest rates on car loans. “The problem we have is they want to take away the customer’s right to get a discount on an auto loan,” McConnell said. He said that 80 percent of car buyers finance a vehicle at the dealership because it usually “is a lot less expensive,” he said. Dealers have access to a wide net of financial institutions. Other issues facing dealers are complying with a wide swath of regulations and tax issues. There are at times some issues with manufacturers as well. “As franchisees we invest millions in the facility and land to represent the manufacturer,” said McConnell, who spent about $1.5 million in Continued on page 45

McConnell, who was on the road for 43 weeks last year, said that dealers nationwide employ 1 million people and generate 16 percent of all the sales tax in the country.

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

43


Continued from page 42

That was 40 years ago and the company has continued to grow ever since, gradually expanding its footprint on the Boulevard. “The franchises have grown since we acquired them,” he said. “That’s why we’ve had to have more and more space.” With all of the expansions and additions what has always remained constant for the company is the importance of family – in more than one sense. Literally, this is a family business. After working for his own father, Ray Ingram now has three sons and a son-in-law who work for him. But this family includes more than blood relatives. The company considers its employees part of the family and tries to “do little things to make it interesting” for them, Ingram said. There are often fun events and opportunities to participate in service projects at work. The camaraderie extends beyond the office as well. A company team represents Jack Ingram Motors at the annual dragon boat races, one of several community events in which employees participate.

“The franchises have grown since we acquired them,” he said. “That’s why we’ve had to have more and more space.” - Ray Ingram, president of Jack Ingram Motors

While a sense of family ranks high among company values, just as important is giving back to the community. Throughout its history, Jack Ingram Motors has supported numerous charities. This record of community service combined with the dealership’s reputation for excellent customer service recently earned Ray Ingram the prestigious TIME Dealer of the Year award for Alabama. “It was certainly an honor. A lot of it (the award) is based on the dealer’s reputation – how the public perceives them as a business. Are they good, ethical people to do business with? We insist on that here,” Ingram said. “But a big part of it is community service. We have always believed in giving back to the community because it’s the community that keeps us in business. We enjoy doing it.” It is no surprise that Ingram would be a good corporate citizen. He has not only given back to his community but also to his country. For 34 years he served the U.S. military and often while still working at Jack Ingram Motors. For 28 of those years he served as a helicopter pilot for the Alabama Army National Guard. Continued on page 46

44

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


Continued from page 43

renovating the Honda dealership a couple of years ago to enlarge both the customer waiting area and the showroom; install new flooring and fixtures; and upgrade everything, including the restrooms. He said that his Honda dealership, which he operates with his younger brother William, was the first in the Southeast to have the newer look. The McConnell Honda/Acura dealership, which generates about $75 million a year, sells about 210 vehicles annually, including 140 new ones. More than 40 percent of his 76 employees have been with the dealership for at least 10 years. He stressed that dealers are not employed by the manufacturers. “We pay for all the staff and we buy inventories – not on consignment. We’re like a grocery store with a very small margin. It’s a good deal for manufacturers and a good deal for consumers.”

“[Some] very powerful people in Washington don’t appreciate the business risks that small businesses take.” -Forrest McConnell III, president of McConnell Honda/Acura

The primary concern of dealers is manufacturers showing favoritism. McConnell also pointed out that the dealers are “face-to-face” with customers, unlike manufacturers. When dealers see a problem with a vehicle, they try to get the manufacturer to take care of it and some manufacturers are more receptive than others, McConnell said. “If the customer is not happy, we’re the ones that have to talk to him,” McConnell said. When asked if the franchise model is threatened by a manufacturer such as Tesla Motors that sells directly to customers, McConnell said the dealer network creates price competition “among ourselves for the customer. If the manufacturer sold direct, there would be zero price competition among dealers. It would be full sticker price for every car.” He said that dealers and consumers share the benefit of servicing a vehicle under warranty. The consumer doesn’t pay and the dealer is reimbursed. “The manufacturer looks at a warranty as an expense to them,” McConnell said. Dealers are also reimbursed for recall work and there were 64 million recalls last year and another 34 million in 2013. He did say the industry is safe going forward if billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s purchase of a large automotive dealership is any indication. “I would say probably the smartest guy in America would tell you that dealerships are (not going away),” said McConnell, who met Buffett earlier this year. “He (Buffett) is definitely a long-term investor and I’m talking long, long, long term.” n

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

45


7KHSHUIHFWYHQXHIRUDQ\HYHQW W K H % $ / / 52 2 0

Modern and vintage coexisting in perfect harmony.

W K H522)7237(55$&( Stunning sky and city views.

Rustic, elegant and unassuming.

 9,6,72851(:6,7(

$ / / ( < 6 7$7 , 2 1  &20     

46

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

giving back to the community because it’s the community that keeps us in business.

Photo Credit: Paula Davis Photography

We enjoy doing it.”

PhotoCredit: Credit:Kim KimBox BoxPhotography Photography Photo

PERFECT SPACE PERFECT PLACE

Photo Credit: Paula Davis Photography

We have always believed in

- Ray Ingram, president of Jack Ingram Motors

Continued from page 44

Community service is not the only area in which Jack Ingram Motors has been recognized. The company has also received numerous industry awards. DealerRater presented Jack Ingram Volkswagen a 2015 Consumer Satisfaction Award. In 2014 Jack Ingram Nissan was named the No. 1 volume dealer in Alabama, and the Mercedes and Porsche dealerships have both received top industry honors several times. Part of the reason the company has done so well may be its ability to adapt to change. For a business that is more than 50 years old, Jack Ingram Motors has no trouble keeping up with the times. One of the biggest changes Ray Ingram has seen is the development of modern technology. “That’s (the Internet) something that didn’t exist when this company was started,” he said. “We pride ourselves in keeping

up with the latest technology because a lot of people will buy a car and never come in here. They’ll just find what they want, and they’ll buy it right on the Internet.” Whether browsing the lot with a client in the more traditional way or helping them click their way to a new car online, Ray Ingram says offering the best possible customer service is a top priority for the company. Providing that kind of service is easy when you love what you do. According to Ingram, he and his staff are privileged to sell quality vehicles to their clients. “I love automobiles, so that puts me in the right place,” he said smiling. “I love the cars that we sell. You’ve got to be proud of what you sell.” n


IT ALL BEGAN WITH HUPMOBILES by David Zaslawsky

The McConnell family has been in the car business nearly 100 years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; OK, 96 years to be exact â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but it was an accident how they came to Montgomery. First, the grandfather and grand-uncle of Forrest McConnell III, who is president of the McConnell Honda/Acura dealership, looked at opening a dealership in Atlanta. The two had saved about $3,000 from selling cars in Atlanta, but couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to buy a dealership, Forrest McConnell said. Then questioning the pairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market research â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at least tonguein-cheek â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they drove south and hoped to open a dealership in Macon, Ga. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find an adequate facility there,â&#x20AC;? Forrest McConnell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head west.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;? Driving west took the two to downtown Montgomery and they rented the site of a former gas station. The year was 1919. At the time, they sold Hupmobile and Scripps-Booth vehicles, the latter being upscale cars. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They actually made it through the Depression, which is pretty unbelievable,â&#x20AC;? Forrest McConnell said. They were still in business through World War II. The two became a DeSoto distributor for Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, â&#x20AC;&#x153;which meant not a whole lot,â&#x20AC;? Forrest McConnell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It would have been better to be a Chevrolet distributor than it was with DeSoto.â&#x20AC;? The family has had a number of dealerships through the years. It was his father who acquired the Honda dealership in 1973. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pretty good at picking losers until we got Honda,â&#x20AC;? Forrest McConnell said. The timing could not have been better. The Honda dealership received cars in November and about 60 days later came the gas embargo. The domestic automakers lacked fuel-efficient vehicles at the time, unlike Honda. n

TJ Williford, Founder/Broker

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

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

47


CHAMBER NOTES DIVERSITY SUMMIT 2015 Joe Gerstandt, co-author of Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships, will be a speaker at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce eighth annual Diversity Summit. The Diversity Summit is scheduled for Sept. 29 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. More than 700 attended last year’s event.

WOMEN AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE Conversations: Roundtables for Professional Women introduced a new format at a recent gathering, with a brief talk about finances and investing for people in their 20s to their 70s. Casey Donovan, regional representative for John Hancock Investments, spoke to the group. The more structured program, as opposed to ice breakers, at the networking event could lead to similar discussions in future gatherings, according to Sheron Rose, Vice President, Community Strategies for the Montgomery Chamber.

ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY A group of ministers representing each of the Montgomery City Council districts recently met to hear about workforce development and the latest information about the Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies (MPACT). The ministers, meeting at the Chamber Business Resource Center on South Court Street, learned about how workforce development and the school district’s MPACT affect economic development and the community. Christopher Blair, chief academic officer for Montgomery Public Schools, talked to a group of ministers about the school district.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

SHOWING APPRECIATION

The Chamber celebrated Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s 10th year of production at its Montgomery facility with a dinner at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center.

It’s one thing to tell people how much you appreciate them, but hand-delivering plaques to 1,700-plus businesses takes it to the next level. That’s what the Montgomery Chamber did to show its appreciation to its membership. Staff and Chamber Ambassadors delivered the plaques.

The dinner was put on by The Committee of 100, an economic development advocacy group of the Chamber.

48

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


247570_14819 7.625 x 10 4c

Let’s get to work for your business

We’re here to help you reach your goals At Wells Fargo you’ll find all the products and resources you need to move your business forward, along with the support and guidance of a banker from your community. That’s what Wells Fargo Works for Small Businessƒ is all about. It’s our commitment to helping small business owners in more ways than ever before. Visit wellsfargoworks.com to: • Learn how Wells Fargo works for you and your business by providing innovative products, services, and programs that can meet your business needs. • Explore videos, articles, and other resources covering a wide range of business topics including credit, cash flow management, real estate, and marketing. Stop by or call and speak to a local banker today.

Deposit products are offered by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. © 2015 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. (1247570_14819)


Aliant Bank employees are now part of the USAmeriBank family

BRANCHING OUT USAMERIBANK PLACES NAME ON BRANCHES by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

It’s official now with the name change on the buildings – Aliant Bank has been fully absorbed into USAmeriBank. Aliant Bank, a 115-year-old firm based in Alexander City, had been a division of USAmeriBank since 2011. “Now being one bank can make for an efficient process,” said Caryn Hughes, senior vice president and Montgomery Area executive for USAmeriBank. “We can have one website; one online banking (site) to provide our customers with a higher level of service.” In a statement, Hughes said, “We want to assure our customers that nothing will change in how they do business with the bank.” She said that USAmeriBank has improved its website and, according to a press release, will “keep customers better informed of the bank’s latest products and services while offering them new ways to contact the bank with questions.”

USAmeriBank, based in Clearwater, Fla., has $3 billion in total assets and about $2.5 billion in deposits. There are 28 branches with 15 in Alabama and the remainder in Florida. Hughes oversees the credit administration in Alabama. She handles “anything involving credit,” she said in addition to portfolio management. Harlan Parrish, executive vice president and Alabama Area executive and retail banking director, oversees deposits, branches and different business lines for all the Alabama branches. The company has four branches in Montgomery, including its local headquarters on Zelda Road. There are single branches in Millbrook and Wetumpka. The Auburn branch is also part of the Montgomery area, which has about 70 employees, according to Hughes. She said that customers will not notice a change except the name change. They will have the same banker, but USAmeriBank can “provide all the products and services that a larger bank would offer,” Hughes said. She said the name change “just makes sense.” n

50

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


Buy YOUR next vehicle from the 2015 DealerRater GMC DEALER OF THE YEAR for Alabama!

This award recognizes auto dealerships across the U.S. and Canada that deliver outstanding customer service, based on consumer reviews written on DealerRater.com.

CLASSICMONTGOMERY.NET | 833 EASTERN BOULEVARD | 1.800.734.9917 LIKE US ON

/CLASSICMONTGOMERY


LAUNCHING OPPORTUNITIES CONFERENCE ATTENDEES LEARN ABOUT NASA by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

Those attending the 2015 Alabama-NASA MSFC Procurement Suppliers Conference learned about the U.S. agency and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. That’s always useful information for business owners, but they also learned how to meet the requirements to bid on contracts from NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). That’s information that can grow a company, and many of the local executives at the conference are not currently conducting business with NASA or MSFC. For local companies, any contracts that will be awarded mean new business. Many local firms are doing business with the Air Force, with Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex in Montgomery as well as the Department of Defense, which operates the Defense Information Systems Agency at Gunter. “Regardless of where you are and where NASA is, there are opportunities,” said Ron Simmons, vice president, business development, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, which organized the one-day conference. Continued on page 54

52

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


Attendees at the AlabamaNASA MSFC Procurement Suppliers Conference learned about how to conduct business with the U.S. agency and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

“Regardless of where you

Continued from page 52

there are opportunities.”

Those opportunities range from such basic business necessities as office supplies and office furniture to janitorial services and landscaping, Simmons said. Other areas include engineering, architecture, construction projects, information technology and consulting services.

-Ron Simmons, vice president, business development, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

“It’s not a small-business conference and it’s not a large-business conference,” he said.

are and where NASA is,

The government mandates that a specific percentage of its contracts are awarded to minority-owned companies.

54

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


The event at The Warehouse at Alley Station, featured speakers as well as a networking event. NASA billed the conference as an opportunity to: > Connect with NASA program representatives and prime contractors. > Explore business opportunities with MSFC > Learn about exciting programs featuring the Space Launch System Program Office. NASA brought some of its prime contractors to the conference, including Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Co., Aerojet Rocketdyne, Jacobs Engineering Group, Teledyne Brown Engineering and CH2M Hill, which had displays at the conference and whose representatives talked one-on-one with attendees. There were also a handful of people from MSFC, including the Space Launch System Program Office; Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications; Small Business Office; and Science & Technology. Participants learned about business opportunities in those areas.

> Launch your business procurement opportunities at this event. Simmons hopes that the event grows to 700 to 1,000 people and thus would move to the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. He was pleased with the inaugural event that drew 125 to 150 people. “For the first year it was amazing,” Simmons said. “I was very pleased. We were able to put this together in a month. The majority of the small businesses here have never done business with the federal government. Some are doing business with the federal government, but not with NASA.” n

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

55


Member Profile

CASUAL ELEGANCE

Giving best friends their space by David Zaslawsky

photography by Robert Fouts

Ashley Gilbreath is the owner of the Parish Shoppe and Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design.

56

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


It’s understandable that Ashley Gilbreath was feeling sorry for herself after losing twins. The owner of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design said one twin was stillborn at 31 weeks and the other lived for 30 minutes. It happened about six years ago and was the first pregnancy for her and her husband. “I had a little mental crisis,” Gilbreath said. “I had to get myself pulled together and get over my pity party and do something to get my mind off of this.” She said she needed a chore to occupy her mind and that chore became what is now called Parish Shoppe, which is in front of her interior design company in Old Cloverdale. Parish Shoppe is almost a mini-retail outlet for furniture and accessories, and instead of running around all over the city to find those cute, little accessories that help make the room, she now had them in stock. She called it a “little boutique shop.” “There was a need in the market, and a major need in my head and in my heart, to get my act together on something other than a pity party,” said Gilbreath, who founded her interior design company in 2007. That’s why the company has two names. The backside of the business is the interior design area. “The client that comes to us on this side (interior design) wants to have their own look for their own space,” Gilbreath said. “They don’t want to have what their neighbor has. They want it to suit them specifically.” For Gilbreath, the core of the business is getting to know the client so well that they “become our best friends.” She said, “You learn where a client drops their purse; where they plug in their phone; and where they take their shoes off.” It’s that personal to develop a connection and understanding between designer and client. The relationship relies on a huge dose of trust. Even though she insists on seeing images that a client likes, a client has to trust the designer. “We’re designing a space for you to enjoy,” said Gilbreath, who has had several locations in Old Cloverdale, but now owns the building on Graham Street. “I don’t know if we ever put something into a house that we don’t like.” On the company’s website, it describes her design philosophy as “casual elegance,” and for Gilbreath that

means a client “can get the look and live in it at the same time. We’re going to make it look good. It’s going to look very elegant.” She said she has an all-white sofa in her house and put a slip-cover on it. “I can’t justifiably convince a client to buy a piece of furniture if you can’t sit on it,” she said. There are three requirements for potential interior design clients: > List priorities of which room is most important and which is the least important. > Images to look at – or “I am not ever going to get it exactly like you like it.” > A budget. “We’re here to make sure that we don’t spend a penny more than we’re supposed to spend,” Gilbreath said. “We’re very honest – this is a totally doable budget or it’s really not. I treat everyone’s money like it’s mine and we don’t have a ton of money … We’re out for your best interests.” Projects range from one room to an entire house, and in one instance for a client in Rosemary Beach, Fla., it was an entire house, guest house and outside spaces. There is a comprehensive interview process at a client’s house where the designers take a detailed inventory and discuss what furniture a client wants to keep. It usually takes two meetings to work out the details. A designer may put new fabric on existing furniture and add other pieces. “That’s what gives it the personality,” Gilbreath said. “It has to be their house. It’s not my house. It has to be what makes you (client) happy.”

“WE’RE GOING TO MAKE IT LOOK GOOD. IT’S GOING TO LOOK VERY ELEGANT.” - Ashley Gilbreath, owner of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design and Parish Shoppe

Gilbreath has designed the interiors of some restaurants, including two that preceded True – Village Kitchen and Roux Restaurant. She also did the interior design for No. 16 at the Town of Hampstead. She then did renovations for Ham & High and City Grill at the same site. What she does insist on is finishing a room. “I don’t want someone to walk in a client’s house, where they could afford to do only half of it. Unless we can take a specific room from beginning to end, we say we’re going to hold off.” n

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

57


Raising His Voice to Raise Taxes BENTLEY PROMOTES TAX HIKES; DENOUNCES GAMBLING PROPOSAL by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley showed his frustration and anger in his continuing battle with the state Legislature over plugging what he called a $541 million budget deficit. The Republican governor, animated throughout his nearly 20-minute speech, threatened lawmakers with a Special Session starting the Fourth of July. He was sort of joking. He ridiculed, teased, cajoled and issued one stern warning after another if the Legislature moved forward with its gambling proposals, which the Senate did. He said he would veto the legislation. He said he would not accept any amount less than $541 million from the Legislature, which has Republican super majorities in both the House and Senate. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Either weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to solve it or weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to try to put more Band-Aids on it and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve actually run out of Band-Aids.â&#x20AC;?

)UHH (VWLPDWHV

0RQWJRPHU\



58

In fiery tones and using all his allotted time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; he did not take questions after his remarks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bentley lambasted lawmakers for using gambling to fund government. He said that there is a bill â&#x20AC;&#x153;being floated around the Senate that makes Alabama look like Las Vegas. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m telling you, it is one of the worst pieces of legislation I think I have ever seen.â&#x20AC;? He did say that he does not oppose a statewide vote on a lottery, which according to an economic impact report from Auburn University at Montgomery, would generate more than $300 million a year. The same AUM analysis concluded that introducing casino-style gambling to the four existing greyhound tracks would generate about $70 million annually and create 11,000 jobs.

7RZWR&KLFRÂśV :LOOLDP &KLFR )ORUHVRZQHU

2YHU<HDUV ([SHULHQFH :DUHV)HUU\5RDG 0RQWJRPHU\$/

Bentley dismissed those proposals, which include a state lottery and casino-style gambling at sites that currently have dog racing tracks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Really, there is only one proposal and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my proposal,â&#x20AC;? he said at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Alabama Update at Embassy Suites Montgomery â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hotel & Conference Center. His proposals are raising taxes on cigarettes, automobiles and rental cars as well as closing tax loopholes and transferring money from the Education Trust Fund to the General Fund. That money would be paid back as part of a $700 million package proposed by Bentley.

)D[ (PHUJHQF\ 3UDWWYLOOH

0F4XHHQ6PLWK5RDG 3UDWWYLOOH$/

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015



0LOOEURRN

&RRVDGD3NZ\ 0LOOEURRN$/



5HQWDO&DUV $YDLODEOH /RFDOO\2ZQHG 2SHUDWHG 8QLRQ6SULQJV

+LFNV,QGXVWULDO%OYG 8QLRQ6SULQJV$/




“That is not the answer,” Bentley said about a lottery solving the General Fund budget deficit. “The reason it’s not the answer is we will get nothing out of that Oct. 1 and I have to have $541 million by Oct. 1.” That’s the beginning of the fiscal year. A lottery and casino-style gaming would have to be approved by voters so any revenue would likely begin next year. “I have a solution,” Bentley told his audience of business executive and elected leaders. “I’m the only one who has presented a solution. Gambling is not a solution …” He said that “Alabama is better than to depend on gambling to fund its government. We are better people than that. We’re better than to take this gambling money and think that will solve our problem. To think that we have to depend on some of the most dependent people in our population to fund our government when corporations won’t even pay their fair share – now, we’re better than that.” Bentley, who likened the fiscal crisis to the deadly tornado outbreak in 2011 that killed 254 people and caused more than $1.5 billion in damage, said that 58 percent of 3,000 corporations in Alabama pay no state income tax. “You can’t tell me that’s fair,” he said “I don’t care if you are the most conservative Republican in the state of Alabama. All I’m asking for is fairness.”

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has offered the state $250 million to have exclusive gaming rights in Alabama. The governor said that only he can make a compact with the tribe and that could take years. The Legislature did support the governor entering into a compact with the tribe. He twice implored the attendees to contact their representatives and senators to support his tax increases. Bentley said he understands that it is difficult for a conservative Republican to support a tax increase. “There is nothing more conservative than paying your debts and getting your fiscal house and budgets in order,” said Bentley, who was re-elected in 2014.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley discussed his budget plans at the annual Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Alabama Update.

“There is nothing more conservative than that. So let’s be conservative and let’s get this state running the way it should run so it won’t be the same 70 years from now that it’s been the last 70 years. You cannot provide goods and services if you don’t have enough money to provide those goods and services.” n

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

59


SPOT ON NEW APP CONTAINS VITAL INFORMATION ON WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO IN MONTGOMERY

60

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

by David Zaslawsky photography by Robert Fouts


While promoting a 2015 calendar, Taujuanna Ware came across a family visiting Montgomery for the inaugural Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. The family asked Ware what visitors to a new city frequently want to know: What to do and where to go? They asked her to recommend a restaurant. She escorted them to Chris’ Hot Dogs, a Montgomery institution and one of the vendors in her 2015 calendar. The family enjoyed their meal and experience at Chris’ and were thankful for the inside information on where to eat. “They are more prone to listen to someone local,” Ware said. Now think about having information about what to do, where to go, where to eat at your fingertips – an app away. That app is called Hot Spots and is being launched by business partners Ware and Josh Bush. A marketing campaign for the downloadable app was scheduled for the city’s Second Saturday event in June. Bush, CEO and president of the information technology company Up and Running, said, “Right now, my wife and I sit around and try to figure out which restaurant to go to.” Getting information to people on where to go and what to do became a class project while he was in Leadership Montgomery. There should be an app or something that lets people know, “what is there to do this weekend in all genres,” he said. “All of these things are going on, but you have to go to different sources to get information. We’re trying to bring it to one central spot.” It will be a learning experience for Bush and Ware, who is executive director of Xquisite, LLC. Ware, who is experienced in marketing/promotions, came to Bush wanting to build this app. Bush said he had a similar idea.

WEBSITE

WWW.HOT-SPOTS.CITY Hot Spots will inform users not only what events are going on, but where the cool places are – the unique things. Users will learn where the locals go to eat and shop. The new app, which is free, is for both visitors and locals. There will be information about places; photos that show restaurants’ interior; and a menu option. The app will enable the user to even make dinner reservations in the future. “It’s not just going to be restaurants,” Bush said about Hot Spots. “It’s going to have different categories: the arts, events, sports, entertainment.” There will also be a website. Businesses will input their information, which will be instantly loaded to the app, Bush said. Businesses that pay a fee will be highlighted on the splash pages and app. The goal is 200 vendors, Ware said. To promote the app and website, Ware and Bush said they will advertise on social media, including YouTube. Montgomery is just the opening act for Hot Spots. The goal, according to Bush, is a national app and hopefully global. “I just landed in Seattle and I want to know what’s going on,” Bush said. “I want to catch a play. Where is that?” Now, Chris’ Hot Dogs “could be on par with the big boys and actually listed as a place to go” on the new app, Bush said. n

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

61


CONFIDENT BUNCH MONTGOMERY BUSINESS EXECUTIVES REMAIN MOST UPBEAT IN ALABAMA by David Zaslawsky

Montgomery business leaders being the most optimistic of the state’s metro areas is more than a trend – it’s becoming commonplace. For the fifth straight quarter and 12th time in the past 16 quarters, local business leaders have the highest overall Alabama Business Confidence Index vs. Mobile, Huntsville and Birmingham. Montgomery’s overall index increased 0.7 points from the first quarter and the Capital City still enjoys a full one-point lead over Mobile in the second-quarter survey by The University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research in the Culverhouse College of Commerce. Montgomery was the lone metro in the 60-point category overall – 60.1. Mobile was second at 59.1 with Huntsville third at 57.5 and Birmingham fourth at 53.8. Montgomery’s upbeat outlook was ranked first in four of the six individual components: national economy, Alabama economy, industry sales and industry profits. The city’s business leaders are most optimistic about sales with a 64.7 index. Three other metros – including Mobile and Huntsville – also have indexes of more than 60.0 for sales. Montgomery was third in the industry regarding hiring and capital expenditures components. “This tells us that people in Montgomery have a high degree of confidence in the future of our community and the good things that are happening in the River Region,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said in a statement. “People are more confident about business in Montgomery, and that fact alone could lead to greater investment, job creation and expansion of current businesses’ operations in our community.”

62

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

It is rare that Montgomery business leaders are slightly more optimistic about the national economy (61.5) than the state economy (60.9). Nearly half of Montgomery’s survey respondents expect the national economy to perform better in the second quarter and another 41 expect it to be the same as the first quarter. About 60 percent expect sales to improve in the second quarter compared with 10 percent expecting a decline. Almost half are forecasting an increase in second-quarter profits. When it comes to hiring, about 50 percent expect to see no change from the first quarter, but about 40 percent expect to see an increase. About 60 percent are forecasting no change in secondquarter capital expenditures, but another 30 percent are expecting an increase compared with 10 percent expecting a decline in spending. The second-quarter ABCI barely moved from the first quarter – inching up just 0.2 points to 57.6. The index, however, has not been at this level since the third quarter of 2006 and is 2.1 points more than the index one year ago. The following is a component-by-component breakdown of the second quarter ABCI: NATIONAL ECONOMY This category historically is one of the weakest and is ranked fifth out of six components, but the index is moving nicely into expansion mode at 56.5 points, up 0.1 points from the first quarter. It is the most upbeat outlook since the 2006 second quarter. The component was actually in contraction at 47.8 points for the 2014 first quarter. While 40 percent expect the second quarter will be the same as the previous quarter, more than twice as many expect an increase (42 percent) vs. a decline (18 percent). The most upbeat sectors are manufacturing, transportation, information, utilities and construction. The least optimistic sectors are wholesale trade, professional, scientific and technical services. ALABAMA ECONOMY This component increased the most from the first quarter – 1.0 points to an index of 58.4, which is second to industry sales. About 43 percent are forecasting an improved second quarter and another 45 percent expect it to match the first quarter. Only 11 percent expect a decline. INDUSTRY SALES The component increased 0.9 points to 61.5 with 50 percent expecting a moderate increase in second-quarter sales and 5 percent expecting a strong increase. Thirty percent are forecasting no change from the first quarter and just 13 percent see a decrease in second-quarter sales.


The most upbeat sectors are manufacturing, wholesale trade, health care, financial, insurance, real estate, transportation, information and utilities. INDUSTRY PROFITS The component was one of two (the other was capital expenditure) to decline from the first quarter, losing 1.0 points to a still healthy 56.8. About 45 percent are expecting profits to rise in the second quarter compared with 21 percent expecting a decline. About 35 percent are forecasting no change from the first quarter. Construction and retail trade are the least optimistic sectors. INDUSTRY HIRING The component increased 0.9 points to 57.1 One-third of the respondents expect a moderate increase in hiring with 3 percent expecting a strong increase, while 11 percent are forecasting a moderate decline in second-quarter hiring. About 52 percent expect no change from the previous quarter. Almost all sectors expect an increase in second-quarter hiring with the most upbeat being manufacturing, transportation, information and utilities.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURES The component declined 0.6 points to 55.4, the lowest index of the six components. More than 30 percent expect spending to increase in the second quarter vs. 12 percent who expect spending to decline. The majority – 55 percent – anticipate second-quarter capital expenditures will remain the same as the previous quarter. Manufacturing and transportation, information and utilities were the most upbeat sectors. The wholesale trade, professional, scientific and technical services sectors were the most pessimistic. n

ABCI QUARTER-BY-QUARTER BREAKDOWN ‘02 ‘03 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 ‘15 Q1

54

58

67

62

59

54

47

32

49

55

51

45

52

57

Q2

63

56

67

61

61

56

43

32

50

56

57

48

56

58

Q3

60

61

69

60

59

57

43

46

52

51

50

53

56

Q4

56

61

66

54

54

51

44

47

48

46

48

52

54

Source: Center for Business and Economic Research in the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

63


MEMBER NEWS

BUSINESS BUZZ NEW VISION INPATIENT MEDICAL STABILIZATION SERVICE BEGINS AT JACKSON HOSPITAL MONTGOMERY – An inpatient medical stabilization service for adults with drug, alcohol and related health issues is now at Jackson Hospital through New Vision. The service accepts adults, 18 or older, who are experiencing Joe Riley addiction and intoxication or are experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms from certain drugs or alcohol. The program consists of a medically supervised hospital stay for inpatient stabilization, which typically lasts three to five days. The inpatient stay includes the following aspects: crisis intervention, assessment, prescreening, admission, stabilization and appropriate discharge planning. “Jackson Hospital’s new inpatient medical stabilization program is an important service to offer to our community,” Jackson Hospital CEO Joe Riley said in a statement. “We believe our partnership with New Vision will help people take the first step toward breaking the addiction cycle.” New Vision has a treatment team, which includes a medical director and nursing personnel who utilize a multi-disciplinary team approach in the individualized treatment of each patient.

64

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

For information on the service, call New Vision at (334) 293-6774. The service accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most commercial insurance.

ALABAMA MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC AUTHORITY, MEMBERS GIVE $80,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS MONTGOMERY – Thirty-two high school seniors will enroll in a fouryear university or two-year college this year with help from the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) scholarship program.

MEDCONNECT, BAPTIST HEALTH PARTNER ON ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS MONTGOMERY – MedConnect Inc., in conjunction with Baptist Health, has announced the incorporation of a new interface into MedConnect’s electronic health record (EHR) product suite.

The new interface electronically transmits laboratory orders in realtime for providers and other health care professionals using the MedConnect EHR v2.3 platform. It eliminates the need to manually fill out paper Each of the 32 order requisitions and scholarship recipients significantly improves the will receive a $2,500 Fred Clark ability to track submitted orders scholarship for a total within the EHR application. of $80,000 awarded in this year’s Electronic results of transmitted program through AMEA and its orders are automatically routed to 11 members. AMEA, which has the health care provider for review. provided scholarship assistance since 1992, received 148 scholarship MedConnect and Baptist are also working to extend the interface to applications in the 2015 program. eventually allow electronic orders for To be eligible for the AMEA radiology services in the near future. scholarship or technical school “Baptist Health cares for tens of scholarship, a student’s family thousands of patients each year must receive electric service from in the Central Alabama area,” a member’s electric utility and the MedConnect President and CEO student must attend an Alabama Jimmy Chapman said in a statement. college or university. “The orders/results interface enables “We take our role as a good corporate health care practitioners that use citizen seriously,” AMEA President the MedConnect EHR in the region and CEO Fred D. Clark Jr. said in the opportunity to better serve their a statement. “That’s why we, along patients’ needs with greater efficiency with our members, support education while saving time, paperwork initiatives, like the AMEA scholarship and money.” program, that contribute to making our state economically competitive.”


INFORMATION TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD FROM CISCO

statement. “Our ability to provide first-class services would not be possible without their hard work and dedication.”

The Cisco Partner Summit awards are presented annually to partners providing bestin-class or exemplary service. ITS was selected as the top provider of SLED services among hundreds of Cisco South Area partners, which Quincy Minor includes Alabama, Arkansas, The SLED award is Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North presented to the regionally topCarolina, South Carolina, Tennessee performing firm servicing state and and Texas. local governments and educational institutions. ITS received this year’s “At ITS, we are committed to award at the 2015 Cisco Partner providing innovative solutions to Summit in Montreal. improve our communities and our MONTREAL – Cisco recently announced Information Transport Solutions (ITS) as the recipient of the 2015 South Area SLED Partner of the Year award.

“I could not be more proud of our team members for winning this prestigious award,” ITS President Quincy Minor said in a

0%-[B0D\LQGG

schools,” Minor said. “This award is only a small reflection of what we’ve been able to achieve over the course of the last year and what we hope to achieve again in the year to come.”

MONTGOMERY REMODELERS WIN STATE AWARDS MONTGOMERY – Two members of the Greater Montgomery Home Builders Association were big winners at the 2015 Alabama Remodeling Excellence Awards (AREA) Banquet. The 2015 AREA Best in Show Award went to WSC Distinctive Builders Inc. for Lake Martin Retreat, a project entered in the category of Whole House Remodel Over $500,000. WSC also won in the categories of Addition under $100,000 and Space Renovation. Chad Stearns Builder, LLC won the category of Whole House Remodel Under $250,000 for the Lake Martin Project. The project was also a finalist for the Best in Show Award. CONTINUED ON PAGE

66

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal 65 30


65

CONTINUED FROM PAGE

The Best in Show winner was selected from among the top five highest scoring entries in this year’s competition.

BEASLEY ALLEN ATTORNEY APPOINTED TO PLAINTIFFS STEERING COMMITTEE

The Alabama Remodeling Excellence Awards, presented by the Home Builders Association of Alabama, were given to remodelers, contractors, kitchen and bath designers and other building professionals who exhibited outstanding craftsmanship and attention to detail in projects throughout Alabama. A total of 105 entries representing more than $10 million worth of work was submitted by 33 companies across the state.

included patients’ names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers and, in some cases, telephone numbers and the names of employers or guarantors. An estimated 4.5 million individuals who obtained services from CHSaffiliated physicians in the last five years may have been affected.

MONTGOMERY – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., Principal Gibson Vance has been appointed to serve on the plaintiffs Gibson Vance “This is important litigation and steering committee for I am honored to be a part of the multidistrict litigation surrounding plaintiffs steering committee,” Vance a massive data breach affecting said in a statement. customers of Community Health Systems Inc. Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS), admitted data from its affiliated physician practices and clinics was breached in what it terms a “foreign-based cyber-attack” on its computer network. Data taken

Community Health Systems is the largest operator of acute-care hospitals in the United States. Its affiliates own, operate or lease 206 hospitals in 29 states with about 31,100 licensed beds.







   tŚĂƚ͛ƐzŽƵƌŚĂůůĞŶŐĞ͍

   





'ĞŶĞƌĂƚŝŶŐƋƵĂůŝĨŝĞĚůĞĂĚƐĨŽƌLJŽƵƌďƵƐŝŶĞƐƐ͍ ŽŶǀĞƌƚŝŶŐůĞĂĚƐŝŶƚŽĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƐ͍ dƵƌŶŝŶŐĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƐŝŶƚŽĐůŝĞŶƚƐ͍ /ŶĐƌĞĂƐŝŶŐƚŚĞǀĂůƵĞŽĨƚŚĞĐůŝĞŶƚƌĞůĂƚŝŽŶƐŚŝƉ͍ 



>Ğƚ͛ƐdĂůŬ^ƚƌĂƚĞŐŝĞƐΘ^ŽůƵƚŝŽŶƐ͗ ϭ͘ϯϯϰ͘Ϯϲϯ͘ϯϰϭϵ   ŝŶĨŽΛŐƌĂƉŚŝĐƐĂŶĚŵĂŝůŝŶŐ͘ĐŽŵ

 ǭ

66

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

'ƌĂƉŚŝĐƐΘDĂŝůŝŶŐ^ĞƌǀŝĐĞ͕/ŶĐ͘ ;'D^͕/ŶĐ͘ͿŽĨĨĞƌƐƐŽƵŶĚĂŶĚƉƌŽǀĞŶƐƚƌĂƚĞŐŝĞƐΘƐŽůƵƚŝŽŶƐ ĨŽƌĂůůLJŽƵƌĚŝƌĞĐƚŵĂƌŬĞƚŝŶŐĐŚĂůůĞŶŐĞƐ͘  tĞĐĂŶŚĞůƉLJŽƵĨŝŶĚŶĞǁĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƐ͕ǁŝŶŵŽƌĞƐĂůĞƐĂŶĚ ŵŽƚŝǀĂƚĞƌĞƉĞĂƚďƵƐŝŶĞƐƐĂŶĚƌĞĨĞƌƌĂůƐ͘dŚĞƌĞƐƵůƚŝƐŝŶĐƌĞĂƐĞĚ ĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƚƌĂŶƐĂĐƚŝŽŶĂůǀĂůƵĞĂŶĚƌĞůĂƚŝŽŶƐŚŝƉŐƌŽǁƚŚ͘  'D^͕/ŶĐ͘ƉƌŽǀŝĚĞƐƚƌĂĚŝƚŝŽŶĂůƉƌŝŶƚĂŶĚĚŝƌĞĐƚŵĂŝůƐƚƌĂƚĞŐŝĞƐ ĂůŽŶŐǁŝƚŚĞdžĐŝƚŝŶŐĚŝŐŝƚĂůƐŽůƵƚŝŽŶƐŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐƉĞƌƐŽŶĂůŝnjĞĚ ƉƌŝŶƚĂŶĚĞŵĂŝůĐĂŵƉĂŝŐŶƐ͘ 





 

dĞůůƵƐĂďŽƵƚLJŽƵƌĐŚĂůůĞŶŐĞƐƚŽĚĂLJ͊



'ƌĂƉŚŝĐƐΘDĂŝůŝŶŐ^ĞƌǀŝĐĞ͕/ŶĐ͘  ϮϬϮϲ>ŽĐƵƐƚ^ƚƌĞĞƚ DŽŶƚŐŽŵĞƌLJ͕>ϯϲϭϬϳ

ŝƌĞĐƚDĂƌŬĞƚŝŶŐ ^ƚƌĂƚĞŐŝĞƐΘ^ŽůƵƚŝŽŶƐ ϭ͘ϴϬϬ͘ϴϬϭ͘ϯϮϰϳ ǁǁǁ͘ŐƌĂƉŚŝĐƐĂŶĚŵĂŝůŝŶŐ͘ĐŽŵ 


MAX CREDIT UNION PROVIDES FINANCIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM MONTGOMERY – MAX Credit Union offers consumer education classes to customers as well as the public each quarter.

financial success. The eMagazine is sent directly to customers’ inboxes bi-monthly. MAX uses its social media outlets — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn — to share financial solutions as well.

As the need for financial education in the D.G. Markwell community becomes more MAX also provides financial evident, MAX employees education to customers often teach financial education through a variety of outlets. On seminars at local organizations. myMAX.com, consumers can access “At MAX, it’s our priority to prepare the MORE blog, which is updated our customers and our community weekly with financial articles. MAX’s for financial success,” D.G. Markwell, MORE eMagazine is a bi-monthly MAX senior vice president of digital publication that includes marketing, said in a statement. “It’s financial tips and ways to use MAX’s important for people of all ages to banking solutions to help achieve make good decisions now that will help maximize their financial future.

We will continue to be a source of education and solutions for the communities we serve.”

LOCAL FARMERS ELECTED TO ALABAMA AG CREDIT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MONTGOMERY – Alabama Ag Credit announced the election of two local farmers to its board of directors. The two are James L. Bassett of Downs and J. Carl Sanders of Brundidge. The 54-year-old Bassett has been a full-time farmer for 21 years. He is co-owner of Beck’s Turf Inc., a Macon County-based farming operation, where the primary CONTINUED ON PAGE

68

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

67


CONTINUED FROM PAGE

67

commodities are turf, timber and nursery stock. He is also part owner of Gold Kiwi Group, LLC and Southeast Kiwi Farming Cooperative Inc. Those two entities were organized for growing and selling kiwi fruit. Bassett is a graduate of the LSU Graduate School of Banking and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. Sanders, 60, is a graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in ag James L. Bassett science. He is a full-time farmer with an operation that includes brood cows, peanuts, cotton and corn. He is a director and president of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association; a director J. Carl Sanders of the American Peanut Council; and a member of the Peanut Standards Board. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Alfa Insurance. The board of directors is responsible for establishing policies, providing strategic direction, and overseeing all major institution functions. Alabama Ag Credit provides financing for farms, timber and forestry operations, agribusinesses, recreational land and other rural property in 40 counties in southern

Alabama. The financing co-op operates offices in Demopolis, Dothan, Enterprise, Gulf Coast, Montgomery, Monroeville, Opelika, Selma and Tuscaloosa.

RIBBON CUTTING HELD FOR JOHN & JOYCE CADDELL BUILDING AT GEORGIA TECH

SERVISFIRST BANK RECEIVES INVESTMENTGRADE RATINGS

The Caddells donated $2.5M to renovate and expand the 10,000-square-foot Architecture Annex Building on the campus. The building contains the School of Building Construction and Center for Geographical Information Systems and features technologically advanced classrooms, laboratories, and offices.

BIRMINGHAM – ServisFirst Bank announced that it earned investmentgrade ratings by the Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA).

KBRA assigned a senior unsecured debt rating of BBB+, a John Caddell, is founder subordinated debt and chairman of rating of BBB, a the board of Caddell short-term rating of K2 Construction Co., which and outlook as stable. has its headquarters ServisFirst Bank was in Montgomery. He is a Tom Broughton assigned a senior deposit Georgia Tech alumnus rating of A-, a short-term rating of K2 who was previously honored with and outlook as stable. Georgia Tech’s Alumni Career ServisFirst Bank President and CEO Tom Broughton said in a statement, “We attribute these investmentgrade ratings to our efficient business model, financial strength, and stability.” A KBRA press release stated, “The ratings are supported by ServisFirst Bank’s sound financial fundamentals as indicated by the Company’s established market share, experienced management team, exceptional cost culture, as well as positive asset quality and earnings metrics.” ServisFirst Bank, a subsidiary of ServisFirst Bancshares, is based in Birmingham with branches in Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile, Dothan, Pensacola, Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta and Charleston, S.C.

68

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

ATLANTA – A ribbon cutting was held for the John and Joyce Caddell Building at Georgia Tech.

Achievement Award. “Joyce and I have always felt a strong obligation to give back to our community,” John Caddell said in a statement. “I can’t think of a more worthy investment in our youth and the future of this country than supporting my alma mater in providing first-class educational facilities to these gifted students.”


HARTZELL ENGINE TECHNOLOGIES RECEIVES MANUFACTURER PARTS APPROVAL FOR ALTERNATORS MONTGOMERY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hartzell Engine Technologies LLC, announced that the company has received parts manufacturer approval (PMA) for its ASG series of alternators.

over 30 years old,â&#x20AC;? Hartzell Engine Technologies President Mike Disbrow said in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hartzell, along with other alternator shops have overhauled many of these units multiple times. This PMA will make moving up to our new ASG units a cost-effective alternative to overhauling current alternators.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;While these new ASG alternators are The company supplies direct form-and-fit the ASG series replacements for alternators for Cessna the old 24V Ford original equipment units (DOFF10300B manufacturer (OEM) and E3FF10300AA), production and the PMA there have been some Mike Disbrow also provides eligibility to improvements incorporated replace older Ford units on to their design and manufacturing.â&#x20AC;? a variety of Cessna single and twinengine aircraft. ASG series alternators He said that both the 95- and are 24 volt and are available with 6060-amp units have an improved or 95-amp output. rotor design with more wire turns,

improving low-speed performance. Both the units have improved â&#x20AC;&#x153;life enhancements,â&#x20AC;? he said. Another improvement Hartzell has made to the ASG series alternators has been the use of its resistance bond processing on every rotor.

LENDMARK FINANCIAL OPENS MONTGOMERY LOCATION MONTGOMERY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Lendmark Financial has opened a branch in Montgomery on Atlanta Highway. The company, which is based in Covington, Ga., has 150-plus branches in 12 states. Michael Gallagher is the branch manager of the Montgomery site located in the Walmart-anchored shopping center. CONTINUED ON PAGE

70

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Ford units found on many Cessnas built before 1986 are

We are where you are. Try IBERIABANKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mobile Banking*: s$EPOSITCHECKS s0AYBILLS s6IEWBALANCEINFORMATION s!NDMOREx

4141 Carmichael Road (334) 395-7900 3311 Malcolm Drive (334) 395-7950

www.iberiabank.com

0RELOHDQG7H[W%DQNLQJVHUYLFHVUHTXLUHHQUROOPHQWLQ,%(5,$%$1.2QOLQH%DQNLQJ0RELOHFDUULHU¡VWH[WPHVVDJLQJDQGZHEDFFHVVFKDUJHVPD\DSSO\0RELOH 'HSRVLW/LPLWDWLRQV&OLHQWVHQUROOHGLQ2QOLQH%DQNLQJJUHDWHUWKDQVL[PRQWKVGD\ XSWRLWHPV DQGPRQWK XSWRLWHPV &OLHQWVHQUROOHGLQ 2QOLQH%DQNLQJOHVVWKDQVL[PRQWKVGD\ XSWRLWHPV DQGPRQWK XSWRLWHPV 

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

69


CONTINUED FROM PAGE

69

Lendmark Financial provides personal loans, automotive loans, debt consolidation loans and merchant retails sales financial services. “We are really looking forward to getting to know the community and serving the financial needs of Montgomery and the surrounding area,” Patrick Jones, assistant vice president for Lendmark, said in a statement. “We truly appreciate the opportunity to bring our products and customer service to the area.”

AUBURN UNIVERSITY NAMES RIVER BANK & TRUST A ‘TOP TIGER’ AUBURN – River Bank & Trust was honored when Auburn University recognized the bank as one of 2015’s “Top Tiger” companies – the fastestJimmy Stubbs growing companies founded, owned or led by Auburn University alumni. The “Top Tiger” program is presented by Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business and Business Alabama magazine. River Bank & Trust was formed and is led by 1985 Auburn University graduate Jimmy Stubbs. The bank,

founded in 2006, has grown to be one of the top 20 state-chartered banks based on total assets. River Bank & Trust has offices in Alexander City, Montgomery, Prattville and Wetumpka. “Being named to the 2015 class of Auburn ‘Top Tigers’ is a proud moment for River Bank and is the result of a great team; a supportive board of directors; and a commitment to always putting our clients’ interests and our communities first,” Stubbs said in a statement. In addition to the Auburn University alumnus tie, “Top Tiger” candidates must be in business for at least five years; the company’s revenues must be at least $250,000 for the base year of the evaluation period; and the company must operate in a manner consistent with The Auburn Creed. Nominations are evaluated on the basis of year-over-year revenue growth during the program time period. Nearly 300 nominations were submitted for this year’s program.

PARADE OF HOMES SET FOR THREE JUNE WEEKENDS The Parade of Homes will be three weekends in June with 50-plus homes on display from 22 builders. The homes, which will be featured June 13-14, June 20-21 and June 27-28, include an All American Home in the Woodland Creek Development in Pike Road. That home was built by members of the Greater Montgomery Home Builders Association, which sponsors the event. The Parade of Homes will feature seven homes from five builders at the Central Site at New Park. The event also features Stone Park and The

70

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

Waters in Pike Road; Sturbridge, The Town of Hampstead, Deer Creek and Breckenridge in Montgomery and The Cove in Wetumpka. The event will be 1 p.m.-6 p.m. For information, call the Greater Montgomery Home Builders Association at (334) 277-7766.

TRUSTMARK RECEIVES AWARD FOR FINANCIAL LITERACY PROGRAM JACKSON, Miss. – Trustmark was honored with the Innovation in Financial Education Award presented by NASDAQ and EverFi. The award recognizes significant efforts to improve the financial capability of young Americans. Twenty-five financial institutions from across the nation were recognized with this distinction at NASDAQ’s headquarters in New York City. Honorees were selected based on a set of criteria that included the scale and reach of their financial education initiatives; the duration of their commitment; and unique employee volunteering activities that supplement their programs. “Trustmark believes it is our responsibility to promote sound, responsible financial management through financial literacy education programs in our schools,” Trustmark CEO Jerry Host said in a statement. “With our commitment to 125 high schools across Mississippi, we are able to achieve our vision of helping young people establish a strong foundation in financial education. We are honored to receive this recognition and are proud to be among the first recipients of this award.” Trustmark has partnered with EverFi to bring the web-based Trustmark financial scholars program to local students at no cost to schools or


taxpayers and has reached numerous students across Mississippi. The course offers six-plus hours of programming on a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings and 401ks. The platform tracks the progress and performance of every student.

MAC PAPERS REBRANDS ITSELF AFTER 50 YEARS JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mac Papers unveiled a new corporate brand, logo and tagline for the first time in 50 years. The family-owned company, one of the largest merchant distributors in the Southeast, features four lines of business: paper and print, packaging, facilities support and office products.

“This is an unprecedented time for Mac Papers,” Mac Papers Chairman and CEO Sutton McGehee said in a statement. “Mac Papers now serves its customers with innovative ideas across all four lines of business.” Don Hoffman is the general manager at the firm’s Montgomery office. The company has 22 locations and 18 retail stores in nine states.

JET MOBILE OIL CHANGE COMES TO ITS CUSTOMERS MONTGOMERY – Jet Mobile Oil Change provides a variety of automotive services at locations throughout the River Region.

and rotate tires as well as replace the starter and alternator. “We don’t just sell an oil change, we sell convenience because the customer’s time is valuable,” John E. Toney, owner and operations manager, said in a statement. “Appointments can be scheduled quickly and easily online or with a simple phone call.” For information, call (334) 300-1815 or visit the company’s website at Jetmobileoilchange.com. n

John E. Toney

The company, which opened in January 2012, will not only change oil and filter, but will perform brake work

The HCS Group team was responsible for the following design efforts: • Electrical Systems including all Essential Electrical System (Type 1 EES) • Low Voltage Structured Cable, Security, Nurse Call, Audio-Visual, Public Address, etc. • Fire Protection Sprinkler System and Fire Alarm and Detection Systems A special thanks to all HCS Group team members for making this possible!

8401 Crossland Loop Montgomery, AL 36117 334.277.6737 info@hcsgroupet.com

www.hcsgroupet.com

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

71


MEMBER NEWS

MEMBERS ON THE MOVE WALKER360 HIRES ACCOUNT EXEC, GRAPHIC DESIGNER MONTGOMERY – Haley Clement joined Walker360’s agency division as primary account executive and Jessica Pace has been hired as a graphic designer. Clement, a native of Montgomery, returned home after graduating Haley Clement from Auburn University and working in copy writing and client services. She has been involved in large projects at the firm for the State of Alabama, YMCA, City of Jessica Pace Tuscaloosa, Bush Hog and Troy University. “Advertising is about attitude and ideas, and Haley represents the best of both,” Walker360 Creative Director Victor Manzano said in a statement. “Great approach, clever, and always wanting to go beyond expectations: that’s what she delivers in each project she touches at the agency.” Pace has created 500-plus pieces of National Football League merchandise as well as worked for NASCAR and Old Pro. She has worked on Walker360 projects for Montgomery Country Club, Retirement Systems of Alabama, Auburn University and Momma Goldberg’s Deli.

72

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

“Jessica has brought new possibilities to the design team with her dynamic perspective in developing ideas and her positive attitude toward facing challenges,” Manzano said in a statement.

WSFA 12 NEWS NAMES JOHNSON CHIEF METEOROLOGIST MONTGOMERY – WSFA 12 News announced that Josh Johnson has been promoted to chief meteorologist after serving the past seven years as the meteorologist on the WSFA 12 News morning show “Today in Alabama.” Meteorologist Eric Snitil will move to the mornings to anchor “Today in Alabama” and WSFA 12 “News at Noon.” Johnson will anchor the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. He grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in geosciences with a concentration in broadcast meteorology. “Josh continues the tradition of amazing chief meteorologists at WSFA 12 News,” News Director Scott Duff said in a statement. “He is a native Alabamian, and his knowledge of the area, people and science are unmatched in the state, let alone Montgomery.” Vice President and General Manager Eric Duncan said in a statement that “Josh has

earned this position. His years of experience covering severe weather in Alabama; his expert knowledge of the technology we use; and his outstanding community outreach made this an easy decision for us.” Johnson said that he has always dreamed of being a chief meteorologist. “To have that dream come true in my home state; to have that dream come true at WSFA, a station with a long history of lifesaving weather coverage, makes me even more excited about this opportunity,” he said in a statement.

PARTNERS REALTY HIRES SALES ASSOCIATE MONTGOMERY – Neal Bright has Neal Bright brought his 10-plus years of real estate experience to Partners Realty as a sales associate. Bright, who was born and raised in Montgomery, has experience in real estate marketing, management and finance. He received a finance degree from Auburn University. He was vice president of Capstone Properties, a national development company. n


RIBBON CUTTINGS & GROUND BREAKINGS

CHAMBER NEWS

LENDMARK FINANCIAL SERVICES

DAIRY QUEEN

GOODWILL INDUSTRIES DONATION CENTER

6653 Atlanta Highway • Montgomery, AL 36117 334-833-1360 • www.lendmarkfinancial.com Michael Gallagher-Branch Manager • Financial Services

3160 Taylor Road • Montgomery, AL 36116 334-272-1818 • www.dairyqueen.com Fazul Momin-Owner • Restaurants-Fast Food

1661 Perry Hill Road • Montgomery, AL 36106 334-263-4633 • www.algoodwill.org Cecil Robins-President • Associations/Non-Profit

LITTLE MOUNTAIN NURSERY

MONTGOMERY BRIDGE CLUB

REINHARDT MOTORS, INC. – LEXUS

3072 McGehee Road • Montgomery, AL 36111 334-613-9798 Jeff Stabler-Owner • Plants/Flowers

1103 South Perry Street • Montgomery, AL 36104 334-265-2142 • www.montgomerybridgeclub.info Peggy Givhan-President • Associations/Non-Profit

911 Eastern Boulevard • Montgomery, AL 36117 334-272-7147 • www.reinhardtmotors.com Ed Reinhardt-President/General Manager Automobile Dealers & Services

REINHARDT MOTORS, INC. – TOYOTA

KRIS STALLWORTH STATE FARM

SYLVAN LEARNING CENTER

911 Eastern Boulevard • Montgomery, AL 36117 334-272-7147 • www.reinhardtmotors.com Ed Reinhardt-President/General Manager Automobile Dealers & Services

3460 Eastdale Circle • Montgomery, AL 36117 334-277-9789 • www.krisstallworth.com Kris Stallworth-Agent • Insurance Companies/Services

2640 Zelda Road • Montgomery, AL 36107 334-262-0043 • www.sylvanlearning.com/montgomery Tank Stewart-Owner • Tutoring Services

THAT’S MY DOG RESTAURANT & CUPCAKES 232 Jeff Davis Avenue • Montgomery, AL 36104 334-356-3040 Charles Lee-Owner • Restaurants

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

73


CHAMBER NEWS

NEW MEMBERS ADVERTISING AGENCIES

COUNSELING

PAPER DISTRIBUTORS

RESTAURANTS-FAST FOOD

SPLASH ADVERTIZING.COM

FITZPATRICK COUNSELING

MAC PAPERS

DAIRY QUEEN

Brent Markwell 4131 Carmichael Road, Suite 18 Montgomery, AL 36106 334-593-8295

Libby Fitzpatrick 4750 Woodmere Boulevard, Suite B Montgomery, AL 36106 334-676-3380

Don Hoffman 6020 Monticello Drive Montgomery, AL 36117-1907 334-244-8018

Fazul Momin 3160 Taylor Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-272-1818

AUTOMOBILE REPAIR SERVICES

DEPARTMENT STORES

PHOTOGRAPHERS

JENKINS TIRE & AUTOMOTIVE

WALMART SUPERCENTER

MICHAEL MOORER

SERVICES, LLC

PHOTOGRAPHY

Patricia Vaughn 530 Wildbrook Circle Montgomery, AL 36110 334-235-6430

Mike Jenkins 39 Madison Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-265-0792

Joel McKee 6495 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-272-0263

BANKS

FINANCIAL PLANNER/ADVISOR

RIVER BANK & TRUST

EDWARD JONES-

Dale Dellegar Downtown Prattville Office 612 South Memorial Drive Prattville, AL 36067 334-290-2720

TODD TAYLOR

BOOKS-RETAIL

JANITORIAL SERVICE/SUPPLIES

BOOKS-A-MILLION

CENTAUR BUILDING SERVICES

Randell Elton 7074 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-273-4679

SOUTHEAST, INC.

ACTS CDC

Lacey Miller 2776 Gunter Park Drive East, Unit Q Montgomery, AL 36109 334-260-0458

Bernard Lee 600 South Court Street, Suite 215 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-296-0447

LANDSCAPING/LAWN SERVICES

RESTAURANTS

TRUGREEN

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

Shawn Bradberry 801 Oliver Court Montgomery, AL 36117 334-279-6702

Vince Saele 1414 Taylor Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-272-5547

LEGAL SERVICES - ATTORNEYS

TWIN PEAKS MONTGOMERY

CONSULTING SERVICES

ADMIN ANALYSIS

Debbie Link 2804 Windsor Avenue Montogmery, AL 36109 334-524-7438

Anthony Taylor 28 Waterscapes Drive Montgomery, AL 36064 334-313-0353

BROOKS, HUBBARD & JAMES, P.C. Joseph L. Hubbard 418 Scott Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-832-1001

74

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015

Michael Moorer 12 W. Jefferson Street, Suite 260 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-782-5848 PRINTERS/COPY CENTERS

KWIK KOPY SHOP

Tommy P. Nichols 448 S. Lawrence Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-262-8000 REAL ESTATE-DEVELOPERS

Mark Shoaf 6814 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-513-1244

TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

PRONTO TRANSPORT

WEB DESIGN/WEB HOSTING

BASE3 CREATIVE

Ben Shoults 7707 Witherspoon Place Montgomery, AL 36117 334-202-2443 WEB DESIGN/WEB HOSTING

L.A. SOUTHERN

Web Design, LLC Daryl Woods 5772 Sweet Meadow Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 334-245-4227


ECONOMIC INTEL UNEMPLOYMENT

Civilian Labor Force APRIL P 2015

AREA

MARCH R 2015

Unemployment Rate APRIL R 2014

APRIL P 2015

MARCH R 2015

APRIL R 2014

Montgomery MA

171,000

168,675

170,796

5.20%

5.60%

6.10%

Autauga County

25,518

25,173

25,436

4.50%

4.90%

5.50%

Prattville City

16,680

16,453

16,550

4.30%

4.80%

4.90%

Elmore County

36,529

35,973

36,451

4.50%

4.90%

5.30%

3,860

3,852

3,857

10.30%

10.90%

11.90%

105,093

103,677

105,052

5.40%

5.80%

6.40%

92,619

91,384

92,411

5.50%

5.90%

6.30%

536,192

529,805

533,547

4.80%

5.10%

5.50%

92,832

91,988

93,007

6.20%

6.80%

7.40%

Huntsville MA

208,881

206,367

207,714

4.80%

5.30%

5.70%

Huntsville City

90,793

89,711

89,899

5.20%

5.70%

5.70%

Mobile MA

184,056

181,992

185,325

6.00%

6.50%

7.10%

Mobile City

86,060

85,115

87,006

6.10%

6.60%

7.50%

2,151,559

2,126,576

2,144,507

5.30%

5.80%

6.30%

156,554,000

156,318,000

154,845,000

5.10%

5.60%

5.90%

Lowndes County Montgomery County Montgomery City Birmingham-Hoover MA Birmingham City

Alabama United States

CHAMBER NEWS

SALES TAX

MA=Metropolitan Area. pPreliminary rRevised Estimates prepared by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations in Cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on 2014 benchmark.

APRIL 2015

APRIL 2014

Montgomery County

$3,764,835

$3,603,675

City of Montgomery

$9,206,421

YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

YTD 2015

YTD 2014

4.47%

$14,455,807

$13,780,714

4.90%

$8,617,241

6.84%

$34,620,412

$32,629,019

6.10%

$179,157

$137,675

30.13%

$696,338

$601,624

15.74%

Prattville

$1,872,888

$1,772,135

5.69%

$7,325,461

$6,833,590

7.20%

Millbrook

$502,115

$526,401

-4.61%

$2,025,295

$1,979,166

2.33%

Autauga County

$709,370

$617,604

14.86%

$2,769,574

$2,545,876

8.79%

Elmore County

$248,651

$230,515

7.87%

$940,349

$881,968

6.62%

Wetumpka

$481,243

$494,774

-2.73%

$1,836,413

$1,858,249

-1.18%

Pike Road

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 2015 thru current month.

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

75


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

MGM

BHM

ATL

DESTINATION

MGM

BHM

ATL

Baltimore (BWI)

$375

$273

$181

Miami (MIA)

$421

$337

$138

Boston (BOS)

$414

$413

$277

Nashville (BNA)

$498

$460

$389

Charlotte, NC (CLT)

$288

$170

$359

New Orleans (MSY)

$498

$198

$205

Chicago (ORD)

$455

$279

$218

New York (JFK)

$523

$343

$315

Cincinnati (CVG)

$370

$419

$88

Orlando (MCO)

$388

$237

$146

Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW)

$407

$311

$186

Philadelphia (PHL)

$355

$363

$136

Denver (DEN)

$431

$399

$239

Pittsburgh (PIT)

$390

$368

$273

Detroit (DTW)

$355

$413

$260

St Louis (STL)

$281

$248

$226

Houston (HOU)

$320

$316

$246

Seattle (SEA)

$654

$517

$408

Indianapolis (IND)

$335

$387

$88

Seoul (SEL)

$2,011

$1,887

$1,613

Las Vegas (LAS)

$602

$538

$286

Tampa (TPA)

$281

$225

$116

Los Angeles (LAX)

$451

$392

$301

Washington DC (DCA)

$375

$303

$256

Memphis (MEM)

$418

$460

$410

Date of travel: Aug. 11-16, 2015. Date of pricing: May 17, 2015. Source: travelocity.com

BUILDING PORTFOLIOS ISN’T THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE DO. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IS. ROBERT BROACH, CFP®

TODD PARSONS

Financial Advisor Branch Manager, Parsons Broach

Financial Advisor Partner, Parsons Broach

7050 Fain Park Drive, Suite 14 // Montgomery, AL 36117 O 334.481.6916 // parsonsbroach.com

©2015 Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC 15-BR8JO-0011 AL 1/15

76

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


MONTGOMERY REGIONAL AIRPORT STATS APRIL 2015 Air Carrier Operations

APRIL 2014

YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

YTD 2015

YTD 2014

YEAR OVER YEAR % CHANGE

778

889

-12.5%

2,997

3,285

-8.8%

4,737

5,144

-7.9%

18,588

20,936

-11.2%

Enplanements

14,979

13,145

13.9%

55,244

48,290

14.4%

Deplanements

14,707

13,275

10.8%

54,029

49,432

9.3%

Total Passengers

29,686

26,420

12.4%

109,273

97,722

11.8%

Total Operations

Source: Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) Dannelly Field

QUARTERLY REPORTS NAME

QUARTERLY REVENUES

NET INCOME

EARNINGS PER SHARE

EARNINGS ESTIMATE

YEAR-AGO REVENUES

YEAR-AGO NET INCOME

Haverty’s Furniture

$191.3M

$6.1M

$0.27

$0.26

$181.7M

$6.1M

Sales increased 5.3%

Papa John’s

$432.20

$22.2M

$0.55

$0.52

$401.4M

$19.3M

North American revenue up 7.7%

Wendy’s

$466.2M

$27.5M

$0.07

$0..05

$523.2M

$46.3M

Plans to sell 640 company-owned restaurants

CVS Health

$36.3B

$1.2B

$1.07

$1.08

$32.7B

$1.1B

Pharmacy benefits management revenue rose 18%

Wells Fargo

$21.3B

$5.8B

$1.04

$0.98

$21.4B

$5.9B

Revenue increased 3%

PNC Financial Services

$3.7B

$1B

$1.75

$1.71

$3.8B

$1.1B

Net interest income fell $123M

McDonald’s

$6B

$811.5M

$0.84

$1.05

$6.7B

$1.2B

Revenue declined 11%

Chipotle Mexican Grill

$1B

$122.6M

$3.88

$3.61

$904M

$83.1M

Profit surged 47.6%

ServisFirst Bancshares

$40.1M

$13.1M

$0.56

N/A

N/A

$11.8M

Profit jumped 21%

Yum Brands

$2.6B

$362M

$0.81

$0.72

$2.7B

$399M

KFC sales up 8%

Domino’s Pizza

$502M

$46.3M

$0.81

$0.80

$453.8M

$40.5M

U.S. same-store sales rose 14.5%

Dunkin Brands

$185.9M

$25.6M

$0.25

$0.36

$171.9M

$23M

Brinker International

$784.2M

$65.4M

$1.02

$0.93

$759.3M

$56.3M

Revenue rose 3.3%

O’Reilly Automotive

$1.9B

$213M

$2.06

$1.93

$1.7B

$174M

Profit rose 22%

Regions Financial

$1.3B

$234M

$0.16

$0.18

$1.3B

$315M

Non-interest income up 2.8% to $470M

Synovus Financial

$269.1M

$51.4M

$0.38

$0.36

$270.7M

$45.9M

Total average loans grew 5.1%

$2.3B

$488M

$0.68

$0.70

$2.3B

$496M

Completed acquisition of 41 branches in Texas

$648.5M

$31.9M

$1.41

$1.44

$605.3M

$42.4M

Will eliminate artificial ingredients

International Paper

$5.5B

$313M

$0.74

$0.77

$5.7B

(-$95M)

Industrial packaging sales fell 3.8% to $3.5B

Starbucks

$4.5B

$494M

$0.33

$0.33

$3.8B

$427M

Revenue jumped 17.8%

Southern Co.

$4.2B

$508M

$0.56

$0.57

$4.6B

$351M

Revenue declined 9.9%

Marriott International

$3.5B

$207M

$0.73

$0.70

$3.3B

$172M

Added 60 properties/10,148 rooms

$440.6M

$29.1M

$1.52

$1.66

$367.9M

$28.3M

Revenue up 19.8%

Office Depot

$3.9B

$45M

$0.08

$0.13

$4.4B

(-$109M)

Whole Foods

$3.7B

$158M

$0.43

$0.42

$3.3B

$142M

Steris Corp.

$501.6M

$41.4M

$0.69

$0.89

$465.3M

$39

J.C. Penney

$2.9B

(-$167M)

(-$0.55)

(-$0.79)

$2.8B

(-$352M)

Kohl’s

$4.1B

$127M

$0.63

$0.57

$4B

$125M

(Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut)

(Chili’s)

BB&T Panera Bread

(Alabama Power)

Buffalo Wild Wings

NOTABLE

Revenue increased 8.1%

Sales fell 11% Revenue up 9.8% Revenue increased 7.8% Cuts loss from $352M to $167M Comparable store sales rose 1.4%

Summer 2015 Montgomery Business Journal

77


BUILDING STARTS

Building Permits APRIL 2015

MARCH 2015

Building Valuations APRIL 2014

APRIL 2015

MARCH 2015

APRIL 2014

New Construction

51

74

29

$3,748,520

$14,894,000

$3,901,200

Additions and AlterationsÂ

87

86

81

$4,863,571

$5,167,649

$4,981,900

Others

45

39

27

$258,500

$1,888,080

$163,000

183

199

137

$8,870,591

$20,249,729

$9,046,100

Total

Source: City of Montgomery Building Department

MONTGOMERY METRO MARKET HOME SALES APRIL 2015

MARCH 2015

MONTH/MONTH % CHANGE

APRIL 2014

YEAR/YEAR % CHANGE

STATEWIDE APRIL 2015

Median Price

$132,000

$132,000

0.00%

$125,000

5.60%

$128,203

Average Price

$150,344

$145,246

3.51%

$142,329

5.63%

$157,473

2,969

2,899

2.41%

2,951

0.61%

32,887

Months of Supply

8.7

8.4

3.57%

9.9

-12.12%

7.6

Total # Sales

342

346

-1.16%

297

15.15%

4,324

Days on Market

112

133

-15.79%

144

-22.22%

160

Units Listed

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

HYUNDAI SALES VEHICLE

APR 2015

APR 2014

YTD 2015

YTD 2014

Accent

8,208

6,419

25,007

22,427

Sonata

17,914

20,495

62,604

60,748

Elantra

21,911

20,225

78,653

73,462

Santa Fe

10,054

8,997

36,460

32,437

915

701

2,872

2,819

Tucson

4,020

3,962

15,147

16,078

Veloster

1,650

2,759

6,887

9,445

Veracruz

0

0

0

1

Genesis

3,159

2,264

11,589

7,500

178

285

819

1,203

68,009

66,107

240,038

226,120

Azera

Equus Total Source: Hyundai Motor America

78

Montgomery Business Journal Summer 2015


125 years of making futures brighter, helping businesses grow, serving customers and communities, building strong relationships, giving sound advice, making life easier, earning your trust.

Back in 1889, we began a rich history of serving families, businesses and communities throughout the South. Today, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re as committed as ever to helping people achieve their dreams. Let us help you achieve yours. Come see us today.

trustmark.com

Member FDIC

TNB 20225 - 8 - 125 years ad - Montgomery Business Journal 7.625 x 10 ______Spell check _______Prod. Artist ______Art Dir. ______Copywriter


Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal – June July August 2015  

Montgomery Business Journal – June July August 2015