PLUS: MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL MARCH/APRIL 2020
MAYOR STEVEN REED
AUTO DEALER INDUSTRY RETAIN & INCENTIVIZE GREAT EMPLOYEES
CONTENTS MAR/APRIL 2020
THIS ISSUE: 10 32
Meet Mayor Steven Reed Driving Prosperity: Car Dealer Industry Overview
50 52 56
Census 2020 Opening Doors, Building Bridges Soaring High, Hand in Hand
16 Powerhouse Q&A: David Reed and Cedric Campbell 20 Member Profiles: Nia Pagniacci, George Sanders, Hannah Hawk 26 Military Profile: Col. Brian Vaughn 28 GiveBack: A Partner for the Fight 30 #myMGM: A Family Legacy Lives 62 Small Business Briefcase: Retain & Incentivize
08 Events 64 Connect: Chamber FAQ 72 Connect: Chamber News 78 Connect: Past Events 80 Members on the Move 82 Members in the News 89 Business Buzz 90 Ribbon Cuttings 94 New Members 98 Intel
S Invested in the River Region. And you. Clay Cook, Financial Advisor and Carole W. Duffey, Financial Advisor
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THE NUMBER ONE BUSINESS SOURCE FOR MONTGOMERY AND THE RIVER REGION
MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT Anna B. Buckalew CHIEF ENGAGEMENT OFFICER Jina Miniard
exploreMedia PUBLISHER Pam Mashburn
MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer Stewart Kornegay
ART DIRECTOR Erika Rowe Tracy
DESIGN Heather Cooper, Shelby Berry Shubird
CONTRIBUTORS EDITORIAL Jennifer Stewart Kornegay, Sharleen Smith, Melissa Warnke, Anne Ferrell Dalton, Sonnie Ellis, Tia Levanda and Travis Nuckles PHOTOGRAPHERS Bryan Carter, Nick Drollette, Robert Fouts, Donna Wallace King, David Robertson Jr., Sydney Foster ON THE COVER Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed Photography by Sydney Foster ADVERTISING & COMMUNICATIONS Christina Bennett, Kristina Boddie, Wendy Daehn and Racheal Lunn exploreMedia / 334-578-7810 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL c/o Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Post Office Box 79, Montgomery, Alabama 36101 Telephone: 334-834-5200 • email@example.com © Copyright 2020 exploreMedia and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MISSION STATEMENT
Committed to exceptional service, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce works to improve the economic well-being of the business community and enhance the quality of life of the area through the creation and preservation of jobs. The Montgomery Business Journal (USPS NO. 025553) is published bi-monthly by exploreMedia for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery AL 36104, (334) 834-5200, www.montgomerychamber.com. Periodicals Postage Paid at Montgomery, Alabama, 36119+9998, USPS NO. 025553. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The Montgomery Business Journal welcomes story ideas from its readers. Email to: email@example.com. Subscriptions are a part of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce dues structure. Subscriptions and bulk subscriptions can also be purchased per year at www.montgomerychamber.com/mbjsub.
MA RK YO UR CALENDAR S FOR THE SE UP COMING C HAMB E R E V E NTS
SEE YOU THERE.
Conversation on the Power of Leadership, 10-11:30 am, Work Together Studio The Chamber is excited to host Ms. Susan L. Taylor, Founder and CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emerita of Essence Magazine. She is also a best-selling author of four books and an editor of eight others and is a fourth-generation entrepreneur.
Chamber Golf Classic, 7 am-7 pm, Wynlakes Golf & Country Club Come network on a beautiful golf course with Chamber members, elected officials, community leaders and potential clients. The flights usually sell out, so register now!
Presenting Sponsor: Wynlakes Golf & Country Club
Chamber Member Orientation 8 am-9 am, Work Together Business Studio This informal orientation allows members to connect and engage with the Chamber, and give a brief overview of their business or service. It’s the perfect opportunity to get plugged into the community and involved in some of the Chamber’s initiatives that impact the local business climate.
Sponsored By: exploreMedia
60 Minute Coffees & Business After Hours These popular networking events are the perfect place to exchange business cards and meet potential customers.
3/26 Business After Hours Sponsor: Providence Partners, LLC Location: 7131 Fain Park Drive
4/8 60 Minute Coffee Sponsor & Location: Wynlakes Golf & Country Club
4/23 Business After Hours Sponsor & Location: Montgomery Biscuits at Riverwalk Stadium
5/6 Business After Hours Sponsor & Location: Jason’s Deli
Conversations & Connections: Empowering Women 11:30 am-12:45 pm ,
Wynlakes Golf and Country Club This engaging and impactful speaker series specifically targets women in business who wish to build a strong network of women. The April speaker will be the first female Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt) Bernadette M. Hollinger, Command Chief Master Sergeant of the 187th Fighter Wing, Dannelly Field, Alabama. Presenting Sponsor: Jim Massey's
Military Salute at Riverwalk Stadium Chamber and business leaders join the city’s elected officials to host military leaders at Riverwalk Stadium.
Presenting Sponsor: HCS Group
Save the Date: Join us as we celebrate Small Business Week, May 3-9 Monday, May 4 Small Business Week Block Party Tuesday, May 5 - Workshops Wednesday, May 6 – “Top 5” for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs Thursday, May 7 Small Business Success Summit Friday, May 8 – “Top 5” for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
8 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
PROGRAMMING & EVENTS Small Business Briefcase – March 31; May 12, 12 pm-1 pm Enjoy a live business tactics event centered on the Montgomery Business Journal’s content and featuring a panel of local business experts who dive deeper into the many tips and tools small businesses and entrepreneurs need to be more efficient, and ultimately, more successful. March’s topic will be How to Retain, Recruit and Incentivize Great Employees and will feature: • Sharleen Smith, Director, Troy University Continuing Education and Outreach • Michael Modozie, Hampton Inn EastChase and Homewood Suites, EastChase • Victoria Belton, STAMP • Margaret Nekic, Inspirien Small Business First Friday & Culture Builder – April 3; May 1 from 3:30 pm-5 pm Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners will have the opportunity to hear from makers, store owners and creators of regional and national brands who all have a story that’s uniquely their own and who have helped shaped the community in which we live. Empowering testimonials will be followed by a social that will feature wine tastings and tap takeovers. April sponsor: Stratice, LLC Small Business Boot Camp – April 21, 9 am-12 pm Each Boot Camp will feature a panel of small business experts, entrepreneurs and local place makers who will discuss real-life experiences, tools and tips and provide business and development education on a number of topics.
MAYOR STEVEN REED Last October, Steven Reed rose from a crowded field to become Montgomery’s mayor, and his election made history, giving the city its first black mayor. Sixty days after his inauguration, MBJ asked him to share who and what in his past have most influenced and shaped him, and in what direction he plans to drive Montgomery’s future.
MONTGOMERY’S NEW MAYOR – THE FIRST IN 10 YEARS – HAS BIG PLANS AND AN EXCITING VISION AS HE LEADS HIS HOMETOWN INTO THE NEXT DECADE.
BY JENNIFER STEWART KORNEGAY PHOTOGRAPHY BY SYDNEY FOSTER
10 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
I WANT TO BE A THERMOSTAT, NOT A THERMOMETER. I WANT TO SET THE TEMP, NOT TAKE IT. I FELT THAT I WAS THE PERSON BEST POSITIONED TO LEAD THE CITY.” - MAYOR STEVEN REED, on his decision to pursue the position of MGM mayor
Image courtesy of Montgomery Advertiser/JakeCrandall.
What motivated you to get into public service and to run for mayor? Growing up around it had an impact; my mother and father were both involved in public service. Being exposed to history makers and trail blazers through my parents’ service and seeing their leadership also played a role; however the dominant factor was this: I thought I was the best person for the job of leading the city where I think we need to go. I wanted to make a more impactful change. I decided to run for mayor because I saw the mayor’s office as the position in which I could most effectively impact the community, especially at this time. I was frustrated too. There were things I thought could be done that were not being done. I felt a more open mindset, one ready to examine new ideas, was needed.
Who are some of your most influential mentors? My parents Joe and Mollie Reed, the late Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson, President Obama, Andrew Young, Attorney Fred Gray, Dr. John Maupin, Lamar Higgins, William Blount, Judge Alan King, Attorney Milton Davis and Dr. Walter Massey. They all have been instrumental at various stages in helping with major decisions that have positively impacted my career goals, personal development and political perspective.
VITAL STATS HIGH SCHOOL: Graduate of Jefferson Davis High School, 1992
COLLEGE: Graduate of Morehouse College, BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management
What are your main goals as mayor?
with a Master’s in Business Administration
These are not in order of importance, but I want to see how we can support public education in a much more effective way. That is critical. It is critical that we work with our school board to build trust and have all understand that accountability comes with being a part of this system. It is critical that we seek partners for our schools, partners like think tanks or organizations or companies that are interested in investing in young people. It is also important to form strong ties with our higher education institutions. I want to also evaluate how we can improve our outlook in terms of safety and crime. What things can we implement in the short term that will have more impact on crime? Do we invest more in the STAR Watch program? Do we add additional shot spotters? I want to work on changing the outside perception of the city. It is rooted more in our past than in our future. I want people to see the MGM of today and tomorrow too, and that will take intentional and deliberate action on our part. It affects and is affected by how we position ourselves economically and culturally to our residents and others. How do we tell our story to the rest of the world? We need to raise the bar and measure ourselves against the communities that have transformed themselves into cities of tomorrow. And that is not just branding. That requires substantial things that draw talent and keep talent. One is to ensure we are providing great opportunities for all people regardless of community and ZIP code. If we can do that, we can change the narrative.
FAMILY: Wife: Tamika Children: Kyla, Joe Klein and Karsten
I want to strengthen our vital partnership with the military. I and my team will do everything we can to ensure the armed forces see us as a great partner and that they see us as an asset location. The economic future of this city and this region is a major priority for me. Becoming a more diversified economy is something we need to do to compete with other communities. In terms of economic development, I want to build on the momentum in the service and manufacturing sectors. I want to focus on healthcare and access too. I want this city to be known for innovation, for entrepreneurs and ground-breaking ideas from small businesses. I want to highlight and build our own ecosystem here that is invested in a more knowledge-based economy, one driven by collaboration with higher ed, military and state government. That is how we attract young talent and experienced talent: economic opportunities awaiting them here and our quality of place. And we are going to have to do a better job of empowering minority businesses, making them full-fledged partners in the community in very transformational ways.
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How do you think your age (being younger than previous mayors) will affect your position? Younger leaders aren’t wedded to broken traditions, anchored to ideas that may no longer be relevant. Younger leaders may be able to innovate in ways that get objectives met in a faster manner. In our society, you have to move, operate faster than before, so in my position, I think I can be more adaptable and see new ideas in terms of how government can better serve its citizens and the new roles we can play in our community. My administration is very ambitious. People should expect a different pace in terms of what we want to get done. The mindset is not fear of failure but fear only of not trying hard enough.
What have your first 60 days in office been like? Fast and frenetic, but this pace has allowed us to get a sense of all the various moving parts within city government and begin assessing what we need to do to improve the city’s services and its outlook for the future. For much of these first 60 days, I’ve been actively listening and learning. We’ve worked with our transition team, cabinet officials and city employees to identify the challenges and opportunities for Montgomery and this administration. It’s been a comprehensive process of seeing things from the inside that provided newfound clarity on how the City operates and what we can do to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of those internal operations and services. We garnered a lot of interest from external organizations and potential partners who share our vision and want to be a part of the New Montgomery. I have been humbled by all the support and the amount of resources offered. We are already starting to tap into some of these assets, which will help bring to fruition our vision for a Montgomery that works for everyone. Specifically, three graduate students from the Harvard Kennedy School for Government joined us for several weeks as part of a program to immerse future leaders in transition periods within local and state government. Montgomery is one of the first cities to take part in this program. Each student examined our community and city processes from an outsider’s point-of-view. Along with offering a fresh perspective on Montgomery, they met with our transition team, city staff and community leaders to assist in drafting recommendations for our community moving forward. As for another great opportunity, I was fortunate to be selected to participate in a Harvard seminar on transitions and best practices for newly elected mayors. Not only did I find it to be very rewarding and impactful from the information shared, but the relationships established with leaders across the country should prove to be invaluable.
What progress on your goals and priorities do you think you’ve made thus far? We made progress in grasping a better understanding and greater scope of some of our original goals. We are still in the process of prioritizing those that are essential to achieving our vision for Montgomery’s future. In the first 60 days, both in working with existing cabinet officials and staff as well as our transition team, we’ve been able
Mayor Steven Reed shares the stage with fellow Morehouse College fraternity members at his and the city council’s inauguration in November. Image courtesy of Montgomery Advertiser/Mickey Welsh.
to gain better clarity on which priorities should move to the forefront and which areas should be reevaluated. The process is ongoing, and the goals and priorities are coming into clearer focus as we move along in this transition period of the first 100 days.
Has the job presented any big surprises so far? The biggest surprises have been those dealing with time management— from both a personal and professional standpoint—due to the dayto-day demands of this office as well as the expectations I’ve set for myself to get off to a solid start and leave an indelible mark on this administration. For me, neither a day nor a week can be left to chance. It’s important to maximize all of the energy and efforts of the employees working in the city to improve the foundation that we already have and make sure we’re in a position to take advantage of some of the opportunities I’ve been afforded due to the historic nature of this election. I certainly have been surprised by being asked to meet with several presidential candidates who are interested in my leadership, our election and how we want to lead the city by creating a new narrative for Montgomery. Other surprises might be the amount of moving parts you deal with in the mayor’s office that you don’t understand until you’re in this seat.
Who are you outside of the mayor’s office? I love spending time with my family, and I’m active in church and in my fraternity. I love Little League football coaching (my oldest son plays), but I’m not sure how much I’ll get to do that in my new role. I like to stay in shape. I ride my bike on Saturdays or jog. I work out at the YMCA. I stay active. I’m a diehard sports fan and am interested in all major sports. I am a life-long Dallas Cowboys fan, always root for my alma mater Morehouse, and I’m an Alabama fan. I also love traveling, reading, laughing and socializing with friends, bar stool debates and funny stories of yesteryear.
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2019-2023 City Council Members
Richard Bollinger Engineer/Surveyor
C. C. Calhoun Education/Retired Military
Brantley Lyons Lawyer
Oronde Mitchell MPS Resource Officer
Tracy Larkin Audrey Graham Educator/Radio Personality County Court Administrator
Clay McInnis Businessman
Glenn Pruitt Businessman
Charles Jinright Businessman
DAVID REED & CEDRIC CAMPBELL At Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, the motto is “building communities,” and that begins right within its office walls. David Reed, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Governmental Affairs, of the Montgomery-based architecture and engineering firm, has long built up and supported other team members, helping them reach their full potential. Reed is now passing the local leadership torch to Campbell, who says he’s excited to step into his new role and honored to keepQuestion? Reed’s legacy of employee development alive. Answer. Share the details of the new titles and duties the two of you are taking on at GMC in Montgomery.
projects like HMMA. It’s been great to see the community grow
David: Cedric is now Executive Vice President of the
new people come here because of them. And I’ve thoroughly
Montgomery office, and that means he’s taking on the
enjoyed playing a part in building this company, assisting
leadership of this office, which includes west Alabama, up to
and mentoring the young engineers coming in here as they
Clanton, Auburn and down into the Wiregrass area. I will no
learn how to be a good engineer and develop good business
longer be handling the administrative functions; he will. But I’m
practices. GMC has grown about 700 percent in the last 20
not retiring. My title is now Executive Vice President, Business
years. That has been very rewarding.
and thrive due to the success of these projects and to see
Development and Governmental Affairs, and I’ll continue my community affairs duties, serving as a liaison with the city and
Cedric: I agree with David. The growth at GMC has been
county, staying active with the Chamber, helping with economic
amazing. We’ve gone from Mr. Goodwyn starting all this in 1965
development, and keeping a focus on the strategic growth of
by going to the unemployment office and asking two guys
if they wanted to learn land surveying to having almost 700 employees overall. I also love working with our clients. We are
Cedric: Of course, we’ll both still have our engineering work
the face of the company to them, so it is important for us to be
to handle too. For me that’s in property development and the
successful as individuals in that role, but it is great to have this
huge company support behind each of us too.
What do you love about what you do? Cedric: Seeing a project come to fruition and making a
What is your impression of Montgomery’s current heading?
difference in lives. There are some areas in our coverage that
Cedric: Like we have, the city has and is undergoing a
still don’t have palatable water. Bringing something as basic
transition. There is a lot of positive energy now, and I think we
as water to folks, that is near and dear to my heart. And then
are on the right path for 2020 and beyond. There seems to be
on the other side of the spectrum, you have a project like
more people coming and staying, and that was not always the
EastChase. That was just raw land, and now look at it. So, I
case. I’m excited to see Mayor Reed continue the success of
like both sides, helping underserved areas and seeing these
former Mayor Strange and build on it.
projects with huge growth. Good progress has already been made, but if we continue to
It’s in my blood. My family goes back multiple generations
improve our school system, we will be at the top of everything
in the same profession. My father was chief engineer at the
in the state. We can’t take a step back on that; it is a detail that
Department of Conservation, and I got to see many of our
matters in a major way.
state parks being built. I’ve just always loved seeing dirt moved, seeing pipes going in the ground. Today, I also really enjoy the economic development side of what we do: building
Why do you both support the Chamber so strongly?
neighborhoods and helping shopping centers go up,
David: The Chamber is the link between the growth of city
working closely with the Chamber and the community on
and the wellbeing of citizens; they link the city and county and
16 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT FOUTS
David: It is critical now that we continue moving ahead. David: I love being an engineer and also a land surveyor.
Rolling on the River GMC has been working with local officials on Montgomeryâ€™s new whitewater park and outdoor center, serving as the civil engineer and landscape architect for the project.
David Reed (left) and Cedric Campbell (right).
“There are three points to success: Take care of your clients; work like hell; and watch your bottom line. Everything else will take care of itself. It really is that simple.” -David Reed state. As long as the Chamber stays strong, I think Montgomery stays strong. Look at all the things happening with the Air Force and MGMWERX and all the smart city initiatives downtown. The Chamber is at the forefront of much of that; the Chamber was at the forefront of much of the downtown renaissance to make it an area we can all be proud of and actually use. And then there’s the F-35; we still haven’t grasped of all of its positive effects, and the Chamber was a huge part of that.
Cedric: I’m on the Chamber board and really happy to see how well the Chamber understands and supports Maxwell-Gunter AFB; the Chamber is focused on that relationship and that benefits everyone here.
You’re both Montgomery natives. Where do you hope to see your hometown in 10 years? David: I’d love for people looking to come to Montgomery to look at it as a city that has a real sense of place, a city that has an atmosphere and environment where they can say, “I want my kids to grow up here. We feel welcomed here. My kids can get a great education here and can come back here to live.”
Cedric: I’d like to see the perception of two things improved: education and public safety. That would entice more people and entities to come here. I don’t think things are actually as bad on either front as they sometimes seem. But we can’t get complacent; for more improvements, we need to get everyone involved and collaborating on these issues.
What are your interests outside of work? David: I love being on my farm. I’m trying to create a good quail habitat there, and I do a lot of plowing, planting and bush hogging. I like driving large equipment! I also work with bird dogs and love that. I love quail hunting and fly fishing. And I enjoy going to the lake and spending time with my family.
Cedric: I like being outdoors as well, and I like to hunt, but I like the social aspect more than the actual hunting. I have a strong passion for golf too.
M EMB E R profile
NIA PAGNIACCI When she learned about the work of Valiant Cross Academy at a job fair when she was a student at Troy Montgomery, Nia Pagniacci was inspired to volunteer. Her passion for the school’s purpose grew, and now, she works there full-time as its Business Manager and Assistant Athletic Director. But it’s not a job. According to Pagniacci, it’s a blessing.
How long have you worked with Valiant Cross Academy? I started volunteering at the Academy in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. Something I wanted to give my time to turned into a career.
What does your job involve? I simply serve where needed. I am the right hand of the Brock brothers, taking care of a variety of business matters that may involve the operations of the school at each campus, the financials, fundraising, assisting and directing our athletic department, working closely with our flight ground school that assists our scholars in aviation education and speaking to our scholars during leadership-building sessions.
What makes Valiant Cross special? Before I even volunteered at the school, I attended Morning Village a few times before work just to start my day, and what an amazing and inspiring feeling it was. I would walk away with hope, spiritual enlightenment and positive energy that was contagious. There is a great spirit in this place.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? Knowing that our scholars come wanting to do
Heart of the Matter Nia Pagniacci strives daily to live out her favorite quote from EJI’s Bryan Stevenson: “You don’t change the world with the ideas in your mind, but with the
program at school called the scholar assistant program, and since its inception, I have scholars coming right and left asking me, “Ms. P, how can I be a part of … ”. Seeing that ambition and push to excel is one of the best rewards.
What are your interests outside of work? I’m an avid runner and golfer. I am a military ambassador for international flight commanders and their families. I enjoy community outreach projects and revitalizing properties. And I’m also a radio personality and do voiceovers, plus I’m a dancer and model as well. valiantcross.org
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS BUSINESS JOURNAL JOURNAL 20MONTGOMERY 20
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.
conviction in your heart.”
more than what is expected. We implemented a new
22 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
M EM BER profile
GEORGE SANDERS As General Manager of the Staybridge Suites MontgomeryDowntown, George Sanders greets guests from all over the world. Hearing their stories and sharing the city’s story with them is a true “work perk” for him.
Are you from Montgomery? No. My dad was in the Air Force, so I have lived all over the world. God had everything to do with bringing my wife and I to Montgomery!
How long have you worked in hospitality/ hotels? 34 years How long have you been at Staybridge Suites? We opened July 30, 2019, and I was brought on board by PCH Hotels in November 2018.
What does your job involve? Leading by example. Being active in the community. Forecasting. Cost control. And ensuring we are welcoming our guests with hospitality!
What sets Staybridge Suites apart? It is the only extended stay hotel downtown. It has full kitchens in all suites. We serve up a complimentary breakfast buffet every day, with a variety of items including eggs, bacon, sausage, baked goods, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, coffee, juice and more. And on Monday through Wednesday evenings, we offer our fabulous evening social that includes hot hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer and wine.
A Warm Welcome
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? One of my go-to questions for my guests is “What
Staybridge Suites Montgomery-Downtown exceeds guests’ expectations, consistently
brings you to Montgomery?” and I love hearing all the
earning 90-plus percent guest satisfaction
varied responses. I also enjoy helping them explore our city. Our location at the corner of Bibb and Lee Streets is an easy walk from the Legacy Museum, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the Rosa Parks Museum, Hank Williams Museum, Alabama State Capitol, the Performing Arts Center, The Alley, the Riverfront and more. We are seeing visitors from all over the world. We had a recent tour PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.
group from Sweden who raved about the hospitality here.
What are your interests outside of work? Spending quality time with my bride and our two dogs and two cats. staybridgesuites.com/montgomerydwtn
M EMB E R profile
HANNAH HAWK As Manager of Public Affairs for the Montgomery County Commission, Hannah Hawk has a diverse range of duties—from social media management to helping area students on their career journey—but the common thread is a commitment to improving quality of life for residents.
Are you from Montgomery? No. I hail from the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, Cleveland to be exact. Huntingdon College originally brought me to the capital city. Upon graduation, I was hired by WSFA 12 News and worked there as a reporter and anchor. I fell in love with my husband, Caleb, who also worked at the news station, and together we fell in love with this wonderful place called Montgomery.
How long have you worked with The Montgomery County Commission? Since September 18, 2017.
What all does your job involve? I direct the county’s communications programs, increasing awareness and understanding of the Montgomery County Commission to the public and media. I’m the media liaison for the Commission, which means I organize press conferences, pitch stories, write press releases and schedule interviews. This past year, I developed the new county website and produced the new Montgomery County commercial. I also manage all social media accounts, coordinate the county’s co-op
County Connections “In the two years I’ve worked for the County Commission, I have grown our social media accounts and hopefully, have interacted even more with the public. I would love for everyone to get social with us. Follow and like our pages on Facebook and Instagram: @mccalabama.”
and student apprenticeship programs and handle any public affairs.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? Keeping residents informed with the latest happenings of the county and helping the public, whether it be aiding a young person in getting a job in the field of their interest, handling trash issues or providing even more opportunities and services for residents.
I have a two-year-old boy and another little one on the way. My husband and I love seeking out new adventures. For our first anniversary, we traveled the first leg of Route 66. We plan to go back and finish out the second half when our kids are older and can tag along. I love to dance, read and enjoy time with family and friends.
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS BUSINESS JOURNAL JOURNAL 24 MONTGOMERY 24
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.
What are your interests outside of work?
M I L I TA RY profile
in Close Air Support with our troops on the ground,
COL. BRIAN VAUGHN
but we can provide numerous different mission capabilities anywhere on the globe in a multi-domain
When you think about combat jets and fighter pilots,
engagement. Additionally, we provide combat
family might not be the first word that comes to mind,
communication for regular and special forces
but for Col. Brian Vaughn, Vice Commander of the
units, counter drug and domestic law enforcement,
Alabama Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing,
natural disaster response and rapid civil medical
“family” perfectly describes the close connection he
emergency response. Currently, we are providing
has with his team, and this bond is his favorite aspect
support for Homeland Defense with Operation Noble
of his job.
Eagle and support and protection of POTUS.
What first sparked your interest in aviation? My parents and sister comment all the
What are your primary duties as Vice Commander of the 187th Fighter Wing?
time that as a toddler, I was constantly looking and
As the Vice Wing Commander, I am privileged to
pointing at the sky and particularly aircraft. I had a
implement the vision and direction of our Wing
grandfather who flew B-17’s during WWII and had the
Commander, Col. Ed “Pinto” Casey. I try to focus on all
honor of attending some reunions with him where I
aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Wing and
met many heroes. Then the great aviation movies of the 1980s came along like “The Right Stuff,” “Top Gun” and “Iron Eagle,” and I knew that I would not be happy unless I was a fighter pilot. After graduating from
team to allow him to be the visionary and strategic leader he is called to be. Col. Casey’s desire to be a Commander that trusts and empowers each of his
Auburn in 1996 in Aviation Management, my family
leaders is a rare commodity in leadership, so working
and I were on active duty where I earned my wings
with him and for our Airmen is truly a dream job.
and flew F-16’s for the Air Force until 2007.
What’s your favorite thing about your work with the Wing? It is defined by an often
Why did you choose to serve in the Alabama Air National Guard? After seven
over-used word, but it is the underlying foundation
moves and multiple deployments, it was time for
of the unit: “family.” When you are on active duty,
my family to settle down. I joined the Alabama Air
especially as a pilot, you move just about every two
National Guard and the 187th Fighter Wing in 2007
years. My family and I are starting our 13th year with
as a Traditional (part-time) guardsman. In 2008, I
the Red Tails, and we plan to retire here. That amount
received a full-time position, and in addition to flying the Viper (F-16), I began working on classified avionics programs and integrating our current F-16 with next
of time spent with the same great Americans, means that you get to truly invest in each other’s lives, see them grow and sometimes watch each other’s
generation fighters such as the F-22 and F-35. In
kids grow up. Additionally, you get the privilege
2011, I became the 187th Maintenance Squadron Commander and the Maintenance Group Commander
of watching young leaders bloom into great senior leaders and see the fruit of good mentorship.
What are your interests outside of work?
What is the role/purpose of the 187th Fighter Wing? To “… deliver combat ready
I love to be outside on our farm or can be found in
Airmen and aircraft for rapid deployment anytime,
We are also very active in our church that we love,
anywhere.” We train every day to prepare our 1,400plus Airmen to answer the call of the president or the governor within hours of notification. Primarily, we are a multi-role F-16 combat unit that specializes
the woods deer, turkey or duck hunting and fishing. Journey Church of the River Region and helping with a ministry called PursueGod.org. 187fw.ang.af.mil
26 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT FOUTS
interact with our great full-time and traditional guard
Badges of Honor “Everyone knows about the amazing honor of becoming one of the first F-35 units in the Air Force and the immense positive impact it will have on the River Region. However, there are other honors too. In 2017, we rapidly changed our deployment location into a combat zone to replace a Navy unit and to finish off the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Also, we have had two ‘Outstanding’ ratings during Air Force Operational Readiness Inspections. But the greatest honor came in 2007 when the Air Force renamed our fighter squadron to the 100th Fighter Squadron and brought the legendary Red Tail squadron home, just a few miles down the road from its birthplace. To someone in love with flying and the legacy of aviation pioneers PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.
such as the Tuskegee Airmen, it doesn’t get much better than that. To be the home of ‘The Red Tails’ and to even attempt to carry on the Red Tail legacy is a wonderful but sobering honor.”
A PARTNER FOR THE FIGHT
/ by MELISSA WARNKE
The Cancer Wellness Foundation supports local cancer patients, arming them with information, resources and more
IMAGES COURTESY OF RIVER REGION UNITED WAY
Image courtesy of The Cancer Wellness Foundation.
to help them overcome some of the many challenges they face in the fight to beat the disease.
The Cancer Wellness Foundation has an active and supportive board of directors to help it accomplish its good work.
Everyone has been touched by a cancer story, whether
Gunter said. “We remove those burdens for them.”
it’s a personal journey or one of a family member, friend or
Last year alone, the small, four-person staff (previously led
coworker. For Carol Gunter, her cancer stories walk through
by Executive Director Wendy Anzalone) connected patients
the doors of her office building every day.
with $12 million in medications that the patients wouldn’t have
“Seeing the determination of our patients and how badly they want to live – that’s what keeps me invigorated. We are working every day to get them to the other side of that diagnosis,” she said. Gunter is the new Executive Director of the Cancer Wellness Foundation, a Montgomery nonprofit dedicated to helping local cancer patients after a diagnosis has been made. The organization fills a gap
Helping at Home “Every dollar contributed to the Cancer Wellness Foundation is used in the Montgomery and Central Alabama area.” - Carol Gunter
that no other group does, ensuring patients
been able to afford otherwise because they are uninsured, the medication isn’t covered by insurance or the numerous copays are impossible to fit within a budget. “We apply for grants for those patients and facilitate all the paperwork on their behalf. The patients could do it themselves, but it is an extensive process. The work we do allows the patient to focus on getting better,” Gunter said. To solve the transportation issue, the Cancer Wellness Foundation partners with
have transportation to get to life-saving treatments while
several Central Alabama gas stations. Patients are given a
advocating to secure the medications critical to their care.
voucher to use at those gas stations, which covers the fuel
“You have folks that have just been diagnosed with cancer,
needed to get to and from their appointments. “The gas
and they are trying to make a decision about how they are
stations essentially allow us to purchase gas on a credit, and
going to afford to pay for medicines they need, how to put
we reimburse them when they mail back the vouchers. It is an
gas in their car or how to take that much time off of work,”
incredibly important relationship,” Gunter said. In the event a
28 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Montgomery Zoo Collected Supplies for the Needy During Christmas Lights Festival The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum partnered with the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless The Cancer Wellness Foundation staff is always out and about, working hard to deliver vital services to cancer patients in need.
(MACH) to collect socks, gloves and blankets for those without shelter last December.
patient doesn’t have the means to drive or be
Awareness month, the Cancer Wellness
driven to an appointment, the team can also
Foundation will host its second annual Women
provide a ride to and from treatments.
in Blue campaign. Colon cancer is the second leading cancer-killer among men and women,
For several days during the annual Christmas Lights Festival, guests received $1 off admission with the donation of a new pair/
Funding the Gap in Patient Services
but it is one of the most treatable cancers if
The Cancer Wellness Foundation was founded
package of socks, pair of gloves
radiologists. While its offices are housed free-
All month long, more than a dozen local
were delivered to MACH for
of-charge inside Baptist Health’s Montgomery
women leaders will wear blue every day and
Cancer Center, the organization operates
use their respective voices and networks to
independently from the hospital. It is supported
educate the community on the campaign’s
solely by the efforts and contributions of
mission and meet their personal fundraising
businesses, organizations and individuals. “At
goals. Each Woman in Blue has her own online
this cancer center, there are 40 new patients
fundraising page and is encouraged to use
diagnosed with cancer every week. When
social media to point friends and family to that
I would go out and fundraise, I had a really
page while also spreading awareness. The
special story to tell. Every dollar contributed to
goal is to get women talking to their doctors,
the foundation is used in the Montgomery and
learning their family history and finding out the
Central Alabama area,” Anzalone said.
best prevention methods for them personally.
the Zoo said. “The River Region is
“The fact that 100 percent of our donations
Last year’s campaign far surpassed their
were so happy to be a collection
stay local is huge for us,” said Janet Roberts,
expectations. The 2019 Women in Blue raised
Relationship Manager for River Bank and Trust.
more than $75,000, well above its $30,000
“A cancer diagnosis can be catastrophic, and
goal, and they’re hoping 2020 yields an even
we are proud to support the Cancer Wellness
overjoyed when the Zoo reached
and their families.” Roberts, who also serves
Gunter and her team are excited about the
begin to tell you how wonderful
on the board of directors for the foundation,
growth possibilities the campaign provides.
added, “I have loved the opportunity to see
The foundation’s future is strong, she believes,
firsthand how our donations are impacting
and it empowers them to continue the fight to
lives here in our community.”
give help and hope right here at home.
22 years ago by a group of oncologists and
Foundation’s work to support those patients
or a blanket. All items collected distribution throughout the River Region. “We were excited to partner with the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless to help provide needed items for citizens who find themselves without shelter,” Melanie Golson, APR, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for such a caring community, and we point for this worthy organization.” Lydia Pickett with MACH was out to plan this event. “I cannot it is that the City of Montgomery Zoo stepped up to help meet the needs of those less fortunate,” she said. “This is a critical time of year for us with the winter weather, so we are in desperate
Feeling Blue for the Cancer Wellness Foundation
need for additional supplies.”
During the month of March, Colorectal Cancer 29 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM
A FAMILY LEGACY LIVES
/ by MELISSA WARNKE
Promoting historic preservation is in Collier Neeley’s blood, and he’s excited to follow in the footsteps of his grandmother, noted historian Mary Ann Neeley, with his service to and support of Montgomery’s Landmarks Foundation.
Landmarks Foundation has preserved multiple historic structures in Montgomery. Image courtesey of Becca Beers.
“Being at Landmarks Foundation is one of my earliest memories,”
only preserving and enriching a community’s identity, but also
said Collier Neeley. “As kids, we were up here all the time, so
fostering a place that is worthwhile and a place where people
this work has always been ingrained in who I am.” That work—
can be proud to live,” Neeley said. “I love having friends from out
historic preservation—is a family affair for Neeley, who served as
of town visit, and they are surprised at the cool things going on
the interim director of Landmarks Foundation from September
2019 until this past January. He’s the grandson of the late Mary Ann Neeley, a beloved Montgomery historian and author, making
Neeley feels strongly about his continued connection with
the role particularly meaningful for him. Mary Ann spent nearly
Landmarks. “This place is a part of me; it’s a part of my identity. I
25 years at the helm of Landmarks, developing many of its
will always do everything I can to support it,” he said.
programs and principles that remain today.
The History of Landmarks Foundation “There were actually a handful of times that she and I talked
The Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery was founded in 1967
about me doing this job. When the board of directors asked me
to lead the city’s historic preservation movement. With early
to do this, I said, ‘Of course.’ I know she’d be excited that I am
leaders like businessman Jimmy Loeb and Milo Howard, a former
doing this work,” Neeley said.
director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the small group of local visionaries wanted to ensure that historic
Today, Neeley is fresh into a new role as Executive Director
buildings in the city were saved, rather than torn down in the
of Landmarks. The job offers him the chance to continue
rush to spruce up Montgomery’s downtown.
his life’s calling while remaining in and contributing to his hometown of Montgomery. “I have always loved the community
In 1967, Landmarks made its first purchase: the Ordeman House
development aspect of the work I do. I love the idea we are not
at the corner of Hull Street and Jefferson Street. It began a
30 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
THE FUTURE OF LANDMARKS FOUNDATION The conversation surrounding revitalization and business growth has, perhaps, never been louder in Montgomery. With significant Image courtesey of Old Alabama Town.
changes happening throughout the city, Landmarks Foundation is just as relevant today as it was when it was founded. Public and private investments have again brought life and commerce to once-boarded up buildings in Montgomery’s downtown. Also, the idea of making the old new again is trendy.
Old Alabama Town downtown contains some of the most visible and visited pieces of Landmarks
Neeley said, “Part of our work in historic
preservation is understanding what makes your community unique. In Montgomery, our history is probably one of our biggest
unique partnership with the city of
assets. It’s one of the things we market
Montgomery that has resulted in
quite heavily. In the same strain, our
the preservation of 50 authentically
physical structures are part of that history,
restored 19th and early 20th century
and understanding that even if a building
structures stretching six blocks through
is built for a certain purpose, it can be used
for something else, and something very profitable, is important. We have seen some
Many of these structures are clustered together in Old Alabama Town, which is open for public tours complete with actors and immersive learning experiences. More than 30,000 fourthgraders from all over the state visit Old Alabama Town every year in addition to adult tour groups and tourists. “The school groups are our lifeblood; it is truly astounding how many kids come through here. It is fun to see them
great examples of that in recent years.”
“I love the idea we are not only preserving and enriching a community’s identity, but also fostering a place that is worthwhile and a place where people can be proud to live.” - Collier Neeley
experience 19th-century life. They have
Neighborhoods in Montgomery have also transformed, as young families have moved into and renovated old homes. In fact, Landmarks is also behind the wildly popular Renovators Open House, which allows neighbors and old-house lovers the ability to tour historic homes during the construction process. “We are standing on the shoulders of
to process the thought of not having
all these people who have created this
electricity and having to walk outside to
memberships and private donations
place for us. I learned that firsthand from
get water,” Neeley said.
my grandmother in all of those years of
The other buildings owned by
The organization is unique among
visiting Civil War battlegrounds and
Landmarks are income properties,
its peers in that it’s focused on both
watching her pour over history books. It’s
rented out to other nonprofits or
interpreting history and preserving
our responsibility to be good stewards of
businesses needing office space. The
it. That duality provides a dynamic
what we’ve been given,” said Neeley. “To
rent covers much of the expenses
foundation for its continued growth.
me, preservation is not just clinging to our
traveling with her to speaking engagements,
of running Old Alabama Town;
past. It is an important part of our future.”
CAR DEALERS FUEL OUR LOCAL ECONOMY BY JENNIFER STEWART KORNEGAY
DRIVING PROSPERITY In both tangible and intangible ways, the River Region’s car dealerships and multiple associated services are steering the area’s economy in the right direction.
thousand good-paying jobs, do an average of $1 billion in annual sales and pay millions in state, county and city sales taxes. Their owners, leaders and employees also donate time and money to local causes and nonprofit groups. And offering myriad
For a good stretch of Montgomery’s Eastern
options of make, model, style, color and
Boulevard, both sides of the street are lined
more, they help folks find the right new car
with lots packed full of shiny new cars sitting
for them right here — keeping those dollars
under the signs of some legacy names in
in our tax coffers — and then help put them
the industry. But unless you’re currently in
behind the wheel, keeping River Region
the market for a new car, you may not pay
residents rolling along our streets, getting
them much attention. You should: The River
to and from their jobs, to shops, restaurants,
Region’s new car dealers account for several
schools and more.
32 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Industry Overview: CAR DEALERS
MGMCHAMBER #ATWORK “The Chamber is very important to our city because it builds relationships, hosts many networking events, and I think being a part of the Chamber increases our local visibility. Our long association with the Chamber also builds credibility for our business. I’ve always enjoyed my involvement with the Chamber, and I hope to see it continue to grow stronger and continue to build this city up.” - Ray Ingram, President of Jack Ingram Motors
CAR BUYING 2020 Ray Ingram, President of Jack Ingram Motors, Inc., has been selling cars since 1961, beginning by working summers at his dad’s Montgomery Mercedes Benz dealership when he was 18 years old and jumping in full time after serving in the military and finishing college. Ingram stressed how he and his colleagues contribute to the area. “All of the local auto dealers employ many people, so we’re creating jobs,” he said. The Jack Ingram dealerships combined (Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo) employ a total of 185 people. “We also pay the city and county a lot of taxes. We provide a necessary service for people here, so our residents don’t have to travel elsewhere to do their car-buying business,” he said. “And we’ve all made substantial investments here and remain committed to doing business here.” These investments keep paying off in both boom and lean times, according to Ingram. “We enjoyed a big uptick right after the recession in 2011 and 2012. There was a real pent-up demand at that point,” he said. The average age of cars on the road at that time was 10 years, so as the economy got better, many people were more than ready for a new car. In the last few years though, the brakes have been pumped on those accelerated sales. “Things have now leveled off,” Ingram said. “But there are always ups and downs and various things influence the swing: fuel prices, interest rates, the overall economy.” Despite this slowdown in previously speedy sales, he deemed the current state of the industry “stable.” Mike Reinhardt, Vice President/General Manager at Reinhardt Motors, Inc. agreed, but noted that Montgomery’s economy doesn’t seem to be traveling at the same pace as coastal parts of the state or areas in north Alabama. Still, his dealership employs 189 people at four locations and saw a 2018 revenue of $122 million.
Industry Overview: CAR DEALERS LOCAL MATTERS “Every retailer wants to sell to the customers in their market because convenience will often win when they’re making decisions on buying the follow-up services.”
THE EXPERIENCE While multiple events influencing car sales are out of any dealership’s hands, there is an aspect they can control, and it’s a powerful part of success or failure: the experience. Today, just as it is in sectors from home building to banking, technology is having a major effect. During
A KEY TO SUCCESS “A good customer experience is paramount. It is the key to success in our industry today. Seventy-five percent of the time, they make the decision to buy a certain car online, but they don’t buy it there. They come to us, and then they are active online again, leaving reviews and posting on social media about the purchase and process, either good or bad.”
President of Jack Ingram Motors
his six decades in the industry, Ingram has witnessed a multitude of changes, but a big one is customers’ use of the
internet. Tire kickers are becoming a thing
Vice President/General Manager at Reinhardt Motors, Inc.
of the past. “We know from JD Powers information that now, most consumers do most of their car-buying research online,” Ingram said. “Some spend up to 14 hours online before ever going to a dealership.”
Knowing how strongly these comments can influence others and how valuable
By giving a dealership’s sales team less
return customers are, particularly in a
time with a car shopper, this trend makes
smaller market like Montgomery, Ingram
the experience increasingly important, as
and his team work hard to earn praise
Reinhardt stressed. “Every customer now
over pans and keep customers happy. “We
demands the best customer experience
don’t want to turn off future customers,
and wants it in a convenient, modern
and we want to keep that current
location,” he said. That’s one reason
customer in our base,” he said. “We want
Reinhardt built sleek, updated dealership
to sell them another car, and we want
spaces that opened in 2015.
them to service their car here.”
Ingram echoed Reinhardt. “A good
Keeping them coming back is crucial to
customer experience is paramount. It is
a dealership’s bottom line. “Every retailer
the key to success in our industry today,”
wants to sell to the customers in their
he said. “Seventy-five percent of the time,
market because convenience will often
they make the decision to buy a certain
win when they’re making decisions on
car online, but they don’t buy it there.
buying the follow-up services,” Reinhardt
They come to us, and then they are active
online again, leaving reviews and posting on social media about the purchase and
That’s why continuing the service after
process, either good or bad.”
the sale is as imperative as the service provided during the initial purchase.
34 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
RIVER REGION CAR DEALERS
BY THE NUMBERS
NUMBER OF NEW-CAR DEALERSHIPS IN THE RIVER REGION:
(counting dealerships owned by the same entity as one)
TOTAL ANNUAL SALES:
AVERAGE EMPLOYEES PER DEALERSHIP TOTAL ANNUAL PAYROLL:
Source: Alabama Automobile Dealers Association; numbers from 2018 activity
Industry Overview: CAR DEALERS
Once a customer buys and then visits
buying transaction, including an appraisal
the dealership again for maintenance or
of a trade-in vehicle. “We also offer The
repairs, they expect to be treated well, an
Lexus Saturday Morning Test Drive every
expectation a good dealership works hard
Saturday from 9-11 a.m.,” Knotts said. “We
to meet. “We are supported by Toyota
do not ask for names or even approach
and Lexus with classes to improve every
them. It’s just them and our technology
way we serve our clients,” Reinhardt said.
specialist, letting them asking questions
Ingram added, “When it comes to the
and learn why Lexus is the top brand here
service department, we try to take care of
in our market.”
How important is “customer experience” to the auto dealer industry today and how are you enhancing customer experience? “The 'customer experience' is more important now than it ever
customers as promptly and efficiently as we can. We are fortunate to have some
Of course, price still matters, a fact all car
has been. Customers have more
really great technicians. Our goal is to
dealers understand. “A lot of shoppers
choices now than they have
service that customer’s car in the most
tell us that they are not gauging the
ever had before, and a dealer
perfect way we can.”
experience until they find the price, so we
must make sure that they have a
try to deliver both,” Reinhardt said.
pleasurable buying experience
In many instances, technology can
from beginning to end. It starts
help dealers achieve all of these goals.
well before a customer actually
“Computers and technology make us
makes it to our dealerships. It
faster, more accurate, more informative
starts the first moment a potential
and help us serve our customers better,”
buyer starts looking for their next
vehicle, and it’s up to the dealer
Other ways dealers are enhancing the experience include things like Reinhardt
GREEN LIGHT ON GOOD DEEDS
to make sure they have access to the necessary information to make an informed decision. It’s
While providing good customer service
also more important than ever
transparency while adding to customers’
is essential, area car dealers provide the
to be as transparent as possible
convenience and saving them time,
region with additional benefits too, in the
when providing this information
according to Dan Knotts, General Sales
form of philanthropy. “We support multiple
and make the purchase process as
Manager. “The Lexus client enjoys a host
community partners because they serve
easy and hassle-free as possible.
of privileges like loaner vehicles waiting on
our community, our customers and make
Our industry is changing daily, and
them when they arrive for their scheduled
our community better,” Reinhardt said.
the dealerships that find ways to
Lexus’ efforts, aimed to increase
continue to improve a customer’s
maintenance, and the porters there to assist them with their transfer,” he said.
Ingram spoke to his dealerships’
shopping experience will be the
“We have a New Owners Breakfast every
commitment to their hometown and noted
ones that win in the long run.”
quarter on a Saturday morning to show
that community involvement seems to
appreciation. We detail their vehicle while
be an industry-wide priority. “We have
they enjoy breakfast and share some news
long supported our community and given
about Lexus and the technology in their
back in various ways and to various
organizations,” Ingram said. “I think all auto dealers here do. Really, most of the new
The dealership also has two delivery
car dealers, we all have the same goals
specialists who travel the state (and
and problems, and we all strive to do the
beyond) to offer in-home delivery. And if
best for our customers and our community.
local clients show interest in a Lexus on
We’re very lucky to have so many good
the lot, a member of the dealership team
dealerships in this market.”
will bring it to them, at their home or office, for a look or even to complete the entire
36 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
- Jason Wilson,
General Manager. Capitol Chevrolet
I ND U ST RY Leader | Auto Dealers
Reinhardt Lexus When was your company/business founded?
experience: you. As a family business itself, Reinhardt Lexus not
only understands your focus, we share it.Â Â
How many employees do you have in the River Region? 189
Milestones/awards/accomplishments: We have
What are your primary products and services? Lexus vehicles sales and service
earned numerous customer satisfaction awards and had a record 2019.
What sets your company apart? The ease of doing business with us and our attention to detail when it comes to customer service and servicing your Lexus. Reinhardt Lexus offers a car-buying experience like no other. For more than 75 years and over four generations, the Reinhardt family has dedicated itself to the most important aspect of the automotive shopping
911 Eastern Blvd 855-932-0522 reinhardtlexus.com
I N D USTRY Leader | Auto Dealers
Stivers Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram When was your company/business founded?
government sales business like its sister Ford store in Montgomery.
The Stivers family started in the car business in 1924 in Iowa
Stivers is the only dealer in Alabama that can provide in-house
and acquired its first dealership in the River Region, Stivers Ford
body, ladder and rack conversions for the business community.
Lincoln, in 2009.
And, Stivers CDJR will be undertaking a physical expansion this spring to more than double the available technician bays to serve
Stivers has steadily expanded its Alabama holdings with related
its River Region customers.
businesses and has now expanded again by purchasing the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership in Prattville in
Milestones/awards/accomplishments: Stivers is
the winner of many prestigious national awards from automotive manufacturers, including The President’s Award for Customer
What are your primary products and services? Stivers has quadrupled the in-stock inventory of
Satisfaction, Ford’s Top Volume Award and Top 25 Government Dealers designation.
new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles to provide shoppers what they have come to expect from Stivers, the region’s largest inventory.
What sets your company apart? Stivers, already the River Region’s largest new car dealer, is excited to expand its local offerings to include Ram, the fastest growing full-size truck brand and Jeep, the world’s most prolific 4x4 brand. Stivers Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram is also expanding into the commercial and
2209 Cobbs Ford Road, Prattville 334-491-0701 / stiverscdjr.com
38 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
PRICE SELLS CARS AND TRUCKS It made Stivers the biggest dealership in Montgomery and it will make Stivers the biggest Dealership in Prattville! 2209 COBBS FORD RD | PRATTVILLE, AL 36066 | 334-491-0701 WWW.STIVERSCDJR.COM 39 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM
Industry Overview: CAR DEALERS
TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES For businesses related to car dealers, including car repair shops, technology
2020 Santa Fe and Palisade. The Santa Fe is
THE NEW FRONTIER OF SAFETY
made at HMMA, and the 2020 Sonata (also
Lots of the new tech in cars is basically bells
Ultrasonic ROA feature available as an option.
manufactured at HMMA) will feature standard door-logic ROA. The 2019 Santa Fe has the
and whistles: gadgets, devices or applications that make driving more convenient, more
Scott Margason, Director, Product Planning,
comfortable and more fun. But technology has
Hyundai Motor America, said this about the
also greatly improved car safety, bringing us
company’s continuing commitment to increase
things like airbags, analog braking systems and
the safety of its vehicles: “Hyundai and its
back-up cameras. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing
engineering team continue to make vehicles
Alabama highlighted some of the latest and
even safer with the addition of active standard
greatest safety features being built into Hyundai
safety features, prioritizing cutting-edge safety
vehicles thanks to technology, and one— the
at the forefront of the driving experience,” he
Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)—is aimed specifically
said. “With Hyundai SmartSense features like
at preventing the tragic heatstroke deaths of
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Driver
children when they’re accidentally left in a hot
Attention Warning, Blind-Spot Collision Warning,
Lane Keeping Assist and more, our latest vehicles deliver a sophisticated network of tools
Hyundai recently announced it will voluntarily
to ensure greater peace of mind.”
make its ROA door-logic system standard on
most of its new vehicles by 2022. It will also
The 2020 Santa Fe will also include these
make its optional Ultrasonic Rear Occupant
Alert, or a similar sensor-based system,
• Newly developed Blind-View Monitor standard
available on more of its models in the future.
on Limited models • Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
Two Hyundai models are available today with door-logic ROA as standard equipment: the
• Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
is having an impact and in some cases, presenting challenges. “I’ve been told there is now more code in many cars than in a 747 jet,” said Traweek Dickson, CEO of Montgomerybased Joe Hudson Collison Center. “Cars are just computers on wheels now.” That means his company has to buy, maintain and teach staff to use a host of sophisticated (and expensive) tools. “There is a whole lot more equipment and training required to work on cars now,” he said. “Calibrating all their sensors, especially after an accident, can be quite the feat. And advances are moving so fast, we are constantly investing the time and money needed to ensure we keep up.”
Is increased technology in cars making them harder to insure? “Increased technology in vehicles offers consumers numerous benefits, with safety topping the list. As a husband and father, I’m absolutely an advocate for the safety of my loved ones, and safer vehicles are certainly a priority for us. However, those features do come at a price. Increased features and tools increase the overall value and worth of the vehicle — affecting you when you purchase the vehicle, as well as when you insure it. While backup cameras, sensors and other tools affect repair and replacement costs of vehicles, they may also reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident. Ultimately, the
- Judson Vaughan
better your driving history, the better your rates will be.”
Alfa Insurance Agent 40 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
I ND U ST RY Leader | Auto Dealers
Capitol Chevrolet When was your company founded? Originally in 1919
How many employees do you have? 80 What are your primary products and services? New/used vehicle sales and service and parts
What sets your company apart? Our staff is dedicated to customer service, and it is one of the reasons our customers come back to our dealership for all of their automotive needs. Be it service, parts, tires or accessories, you name it ,and we have it all. Our financial experts will also help you find the best way to purchase your dream vehicle with the utmost ease.
Milestones/awards/accomplishments: Capitol Chevrolet has been the “House of Courtesy” since 1919. We celebrated our 100-year anniversary last year.
711 Eastern Blvd 334-272-8700 capitolchevrolet.com
Industry Overview: CAR DEALERS
PICKING UP SPEED: LOCAL BIZ GROWS FAST
insurance companies. From its beginning,
In just 30 years, Montgomery-based Joe
Collision Center works hard to consistently
repair shop industry has seen
Hudson Collision Center has grown from
perform to high standards. “We know how
major consolidation, changing
one shop here in the capital city to 108
the insurance company wants the claim
from being predominantly
shops in 11 states. The Montgomery location
adjusted, and we also know how the car
“mom and pop” shops to large
alone employs close to 100 people.
owner/customer wants the process to go
companies owning multiple
Traweek Dickson, the company’s CEO,
and the repairs to be when done. We meet
locations, like Montgomery-
bought into original owner Joe Hudson’s
both needs well,” Dickson said.
the company has made the insurance industry’s direct repair model (DRP) a priority. “That’s where insurance companies refer customers to shops they’d prefer they
go to,” Dickson said. That preference is based on performance, and Joe Hudson
In the last two decades, the car
the company as it is today. While Hudson
He corrected a common misconception
has been a close friend and valued partner
when it comes to DRP. “Some folks think
based Joe Hudson Collision Center. With its 108 stores, it is the fourth largest company of its kind
for three decades and is still involved in the
insurance companies refer to us because
in the country, but several of
business, Dickson runs operations.
we give them a discount on the work, but
those ahead of it on that list
that’s not true,” he said. “It is because we
own 1,000 stores.
single Collision Center in 1989, and formed
Dickson explained how the company has
provide quality work and good service to
built its success on a foundation of quality
the car owner. Insurance companies know
they have when they have to get repairs,
work and service; it’s quality sought after
that their ability to get customers to renew
so they know it behooves them to send
by customers, but more importantly, by car
policies is heavily based on the experience
customers to a good shop."
42 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
I ND U ST RY Leader | Auto Dealers
Jack Ingram Motors When was your company/business founded?
Jack Ingram Motors was founded in 1959 with our first store
We have received numerous awards over the years including
located downtown on Bell Street. We moved to the current
Montgomery Advertiserâ€™s Best of the Best for both New and Used
location on Eastern Boulevard in 1975.
Franchise Dealer as well as the Time Magazine Dealer of the
How many employees do you have in the River Region? We currently have 185 employees between all of our stores.
year for Alabama. Jack Ingram Motors was the 2019 winner for the Montgomery Area Committee for the Arts award in the large business category.
What are your primary products and services? We are the local Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo dealer. In addition we operate Jack Ingram Signature Used Cars and Jack Ingram Value Cars.
What sets your company apart? We offer a dynamic blend of luxury and volume vehicles, allowing us to offer all customers excellent service and value.
227 Eastern Boulevard, Montgomery 334-277-5700 / jackingram.com
How important is “customer experience” to the auto dealer industry today and how are you enhancing customer experience?
REPORT AUTO SERVICES WORKFORCE With its automotive and transportation programs, Trenholm State Community
the students to obtain their education and graduate debt free while simultaneously earning a wage with their employer. This is a win-win for the students, Trenholm State and local employers.
College is providing the workforce training needed for today’s careers in the automotive sector. Danny Perry, Dean of
Comparatively, vehicles of all
Workforce Development and Career and
What programs and classes in
manufacturers are well built. In an
Technical Education, outlined some of the
automotive and transportation are
era where up-front discounting
offerings and some thoughts on the future
currently offered by Trenholm?
and price transparency is
of this part of the job market.
How are the job opportunities for
dealerships. Customers want a
students who complete Trenholm’s
• Automotive Service • Diesel Mechanics • Automotive Collision Repair • Truck Driving
quick, convenient and transparent
automotive and transportation
experience when buying and
servicing their automobile. Stivers
Job opportunities vary based on the
prides itself by offering the lowest
area of training. Because of the need,
up-front price that is consistently
100 percent of our truck driving students
How many students are in these
displayed on our dealership
are able to obtain employment shortly
website and the various inventory
after completing the program. Despite
aggregators like Autotrader
the aforementioned data, the vast
and CarGurus. We are capable
majority of our graduates from the other
of providing a virtual buying
training programs are also able to obtain
experience to include a virtual
employment within three months following
trade valuation that does not
graduation, and many of them obtain
require the customer to physically
employment prior to graduation.
bring the trade to the dealership.
Stivers has built both an on-site
Why does Trenholm include these
five-bay Quick Lane tire and auto
programs as part of its offerings and
facility and a 10-bay off-site Quick
how do these offerings enhance
Lane to provide a quick and
convenient service experience.
All of these programs are very important
And, Stivers is launching a mobile
to the River Region to assist local
service option for commercial and
companies in meeting their employment
needs. Furthermore, they provide
the norm, only the customer
students the opportunities to obtain training for employment in high wage occupations. An example of this are the apprenticeship opportunities we have within our Automotive Service program. Through this apprenticeship, students obtain employment at local auto repair shops/dealerships wherein they are
- Eddie Stivers,
Owner/Dealer Principal, Stivers Ford Montgomery
able to obtain training at Trenholm State Community College and apply those skills
• Automotive Service - 100 • Diesel Mechanics - 32 • Automotive Collision Repair - 24 • Truck Driving - 180
Have you seen an increase or decrease in the demand for this segment of training? Demand for training within the noted programs has remained fairly neutral for the past two to three years, with the exception of truck driving, which has increased dramatically over this timeframe. Employment data* shows the following:
Automotive Service Decrease of 6% (-51 jobs) Diesel Mechanics No change Automotive Collision Repair Decrease of 7% (-12 jobs) Truck Driving Increase of 13% (296 jobs)
learned in the real-world environment. The students’ employer pays for their education while employed, which allows
44 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
*Data based on period from 2015-2019 for the Montgomery Service Area
e f i L + o t u A
. r e v o l o o r d y l e v i t i s w a p l l â€™ u o y s t n u o c s Di
AlfaInsurance.com 45 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM
M EMBE R Spotlight
STIVERS FORD COMMERCIAL AND GOVERNMENT SALES AND ALABAMA UPFITTERS The largest new car dealer in the River Region is growing again, now also putting its extensive resources and expertise to work to provide sales, service and commercial conversions for the areaâ€™s business and government clients.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 118 WHAT ARE YOUR PRIMARY SERVICES? Stivers Ford and Alabama Upfitters together provide business and government clients the only one-stop shop for commercial and police vehicles. Stivers is a top 25 government sales dealership in the United States, and Stivers is also the only dealer in the southeast United States to offer in-house commercial body, ladder and rack upfitting of commercial vehicles, as well as in-house upfitting of police emergency vehicles. WHAT SETS STIVERS AND ITS SERVICES APART? Because Stivers and Alabama Upfitters have more than 50 wholesale distributorships of key components and commercial bodies, we are capable of delivering a completed commercial conversion at a wholesale price, faster than any other dealer in the state. Itâ€™s this simple: We have cut out the middleman and the outside vendor, bringing the upfitter in-house. We do it cheaper and faster. Also, Stivers Ford and Alabama Upfitters has a dedicated sales and finance staff of six that is solely dedicated to the sale of commercial, government and police vehicles. Additionally, Alabama Upfitters has a dedicated facility with independent management and six technicians solely dedicated to upfitting commercial, government and police vehicles. Plus, with Stivers recent acquisition of Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands, in addition to its Ford franchise, the company is capable of providing all of the major domestic commercial branded vehicles for its commercial and government customers. The dedication to our clients does not stop at the sale. Stivers Ford has partnered with its two Quicklane Tire and Auto locations to provide fleet service to its many clients too.
ANY RECENT NEWS OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS? Stivers is never afraid to take the commercial customer experience to the next level. On March 1, Stivers Ford introduced a River Region exclusive with the first mobile service unit to make offsite scheduled service available to its fleet and commercial customers both during and after normal business hours. This specially equipped, $100,000 mobile service unit will be staffed by two qualified technicians capable of performing maintenance, light repair and some recall services for fleets offsite. This mobile service is unique to Stivers and a first for the River Region.
4000 EASTERN BOULEVARD / 334-613-5000 / STIVERSFORDOFMONTGOMERY.COM
46 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
M EMBE R Spotlight
PIGG ENTERPRISES In business since 2001, Pigg Enterprises, Inc. is a family (and military) owned and operated, independent, pre-owned auto dealership that has grown from carrying only a handful of cars at a time to now stocking one of the largest pre-owned inventories in the state.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 10 WHAT ARE PIGG ENTERPRISES’ PRIMARY SERVICES? Our primary focus is offering top quality, pre-owned vehicles with fair and honest pricing. WHAT IS PIGG ENTERPRISES’ BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY? We believe in providing a hassle-free, stress-free, simple and enjoyable vehicle-buying experience for every customer, each and every time they choose to do business with us. WHAT SETS PIGG ENTERPRISES AND ITS SERVICES APART? The entire idea behind starting Pigg Enterprises was to provide a vehicle-buying solution that was completely different from what people had become accustomed to. When we say we are hasslefree, we truly are hassle-free. We strive to provide an experience that is efficient, seamless and one where our customers feel like they truly are a part of our family. Transparency and honesty are top priorities for us, and that is why shoppers will find prices and history reports disclosed on every vehicle. In 2019, we launched the Pigg Certified Warranty Program as a way to provide added confidence for buyers. Every vehicle we sell is backed by the Pigg Certified Warranty, providing additional peace of mind for three months/3,000 miles. We also want our customers to know that they can enjoy the convenience of shopping online, while still receiving the level of personal expertise that they deserve by visiting piggent.com from the comfort of their couch. They’ll find 30-plus photos of each vehicle posted, as well as Car Fax History Reports. WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR PIGG ENTERPRISES? Our sister company, Pigg Buys, has just recently launched, offering individuals an alternative to selling their vehicles “by owner.” Over the past two decades in retail automotive sales, we have seen the struggle individuals face when trying to sell their vehicle on their own. We saw the need and have worked tirelessly to provide an alternative solution where we will purchase their vehicle with the same hassle-free experience and fair money they have come to trust over the years when purchasing vehicles from Pigg Enterprises.
1183 S. MEMORIAL DRIVE (HIGHWAY 31) PRATTVILLE/ 334-491-PIGG (7444) / PIGGENT.COM 48 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Life is stressful enough. Vehicle buying doesn't have to be! Over 100 Quality, Pre-owned Vehicles Fair & Honest Pricing Apply Online & Drive Away in Minutes Family/Military Owned & Operated for almost 20 years
www.PIGGENT.com 334.491.PIGG (7444) 49 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM
1183 S. Memorial Drive Prattville, Alabama
CENSUS Think the census is just a bunch of boring paperwork?
Think again. Our country’s census is about more than counting heads. Conducted by the federal government every 10 years, the U.S. Census provides the government with important population information, data that is then used to influence the distribution of funding and vital resources as well as ensure areas around the United States have proper and adequate representation on Capitol Hill.
said. “If participation is low, and the census does not reflect Alabama’s true population, our representation, and thus the ability to advocate for our state, could suffer.”
And McClendon stressed that this, in turn, could greatly stifle our currently booming economy, including Montgomery’s local economy. “Some public spending is formulaic, meaning that whatever the That’s why it’s truly key data is regarding for everyone to be a population and part of the upcoming demographics, a 2020 Census, as certain amount of Lora McClendon, funding will directly the Chamber’s Chief result from those Lora McClendon, the of Staff, explained. numbers. Other Chamber’s Chief of Staff “Participation is types of public important to ensure that decisionspending have certain demographic makers have accurate data upon requirements, like population which to base their decisions. density or socioeconomic levels. It is also important to ensure Many people do not fully realize the that Alabama residents have an impact that federal funding has on accurately proportional amount of our communities.” representation in Congress,” she
“Participation is important to ensure that decision-makers have accurate data upon which to base their decisions." -
April 1 is Census Day.
Late April 2020: Reminder postcards are sent.
May 2020: U.S. Census Bureau will follow up with households who haven’t responded.
$13 billion of federal money on the line for Alabama, and these funds are affected by the Census. These are just a few of the programs made possible by this money:
• Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) • Medicare Part B (supplemental medical insurance) • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) • Head Start • Title I grants to local education agencies • Pell Grants and student loans • Section 8 housing assistance payments and housing choice vouchers • Highway planning and construction • Community development block grants
What Do Federal Dollars Do? “Federal funding plays a role in education, infrastructure, defense, community service and many other areas critical to our economy. Our state competes every day for these dollars against every other state in the nation. Without adequate participation in the census and an accurate depiction of our current population, Alabama could be put in a losing position against states showing full participation.”
Visit MontgomeryCounts.com to find details on how to participate. 50 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
- Lora McClendon, Chamber's Chief of Staff
2020 ADD UP
BY THE NUMBERS: MARCH
Source: Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Counts 2020 Census Committee
12 Date the U.S. Census starts
Number of questions in the Census
Time it takes to answer the Census’ 10 simple questions.
Get Counted: It Counts! The U.S. Census begins in March 2020, when The U.S. Census Bureau sends every household an invitation to respond to the census.
Average number of people represented by members of the U.S. House of Representatives. States with higher populations have more representation – a bigger voice – in Congress.
$13 Billion Amount of federal money on the line for Alabama and affected by the Census.
74% MGM’s response rate in 2010
easy ways to respond:
Online using a computer, smart phone or tablet.
Call a toll-free number and give responses over the phone.
Call and request a traditional paper form.
BIG DEAL “With proper participation, the Census will directly provide $13 billion in funding to our state. This money is used to help improve programs that make cities like Montgomery more prominent and that enhance city economies. For example, businesses are directly impacted by this money in the form of training and job development programs that provide better human resources to the market. This money also affects Montgomery’s roads and bridges — vital resources to its distribution capabilities. But above all, this money works to improve the quality of Montgomery as a whole — which is a key element in attracting new businesses to the city.” - Kenneth Boswell, Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and Chairman of the Alabama Counts 2020 Census Committee
O P P O R T U N I T Y ZO N E P R O G R A M
Opening Doors, Building Bridges Montgomery leaders are taking smart advantage of the federal Opportunity Zone law to bring new investment to the city and bolster renewal in often-overlooked, low-income areas.
Like most other cities around our country, Montgomery has neighborhoods and areas in dire need of revitalization. But elected officials, the Chamber and other civic leaders are not sitting idly by while these spots continue to deteriorate. The city is working hard — and working smart — to pump new life into them, partnering with Opportunity Alabama and using The Opportunity Zone Program to harness the power of the federal Opportunity Zone tax policy and make transformative and lasting economic impacts while improving quality of life. MBJ asked Shelby Stringfellow, the Chamber’s Director of Corporate Development, to outline how the program works and how it benefits the city overall. What is The Opportunity Zone Program? Opportunity Zones are low-income areas that have been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as eligible for tax incentives intended to drive private investment to these lowincome areas through the deferral and reduction of capital gains tax. An Opportunity Zone designation is required to become eligible for the incentives, and The Opportunity Zone Program is what allows businesses and individuals to defer paying tax on recognized gains if that gain is invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF). They can receive a 10- to 15-percent reduction in their capital gains tax obligation if they commit to a long-term investment of a minimum of five years. Holding the investment for 10 years or more will allow the investor to avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation of the new investment. A QOF can be anything from partnership interests in businesses that operate in an Opportunity Zone and stock ownership in businesses that conduct most or all their operations within an Opportunity Zone to property such as real estate located within an Opportunity Zone. 52 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
O P P O R T U N I T Y ZO N E P R O G R A M
REQUIREMENTS: • Gains must be invested in a QOF within 180 days
Nuts & Bolts of The Opportunity Zone Program
• QOF must invest in Qualified Opportunity Fund Property
• Investments held for 5 years receive a 10% reduction in capital gains tax obligation.
(Qualified Opportunity Fund Property):
• Investments held for 7 years receive a 15% reduction in capital gains tax obligation. • Investments held for 10 years will not be subject to capital gains on the appreciation.
• Partnership interests in businesses that operate in a qualified Opportunity Zone. • Stock ownership in businesses that conduct most or all their operations within a qualified Opportunity Zone. • Property such as real estate located within a qualified Opportunity Zone.
Developers and businesses looking to take advantage of this program can either: invest capital gains in their own projects or own businesses (and receive all the benefits described above) or seek local or national capital from new and existing Opportunity Funds. Those Opportunity Funds are typically looking for strong potential returns over the course of their 10-year holding periods and may be able to provide additional investment capital to help projects get done and businesses get funded. How are Opportunity Zones selected? The low-income census tracts that have been designated as Opportunity Zones were nominated by the chief executive of each state, so in Alabama’s case, Governor Kay Ivey. Congress empowered states to nominate up to 25 percent of their low-income census tracts, which allowed only 158 of Alabama’s 629 qualified census tracts to be considered. The Governor’s Office, along with ADECA and the City of Montgomery, evaluated these census tracts based on where the program would be most effective. The Governor submitted her recommendations to the U.S Department of Treasury on March 20, 2018. How is the Chamber involved? The Chamber is working with an organization called Opportunity Alabama to compile a clearinghouse of eligible projects here in Montgomery that it can plug into its network of investors. I serve as the point of contact here as the OZ Project Manager and point of contact for Montgomery. Our department (Corporate Development) has coordinated with the City, County, utility partners and local stakeholders to prepare a prospectus that highlights the investment that has already taken place in Montgomery as well as identifies the assets and infrastructure that make Montgomery a smart choice for further investment.
How does the Opportunity Zone Program benefit the entire city? The prospectus is designed to allow us to hand it to someone who has never been to, seen or considered Montgomery, and in less than five minutes, have them coming to us or Opportunity Alabama for more information on our community. Once it is finalized, we’ll be ready to reach out to investors and Opportunity Zone Funds and bring that money here and put it to great use in areas that need a shot of prosperity.
MGM Opportunity Zones DOWNTOWN CORRIDOR
Increased Investment Pays Off for All
The positives resulting from investment INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR
in an Opportunity Zone can be powerful, and they don’t stay confined to that area’s borders. Multiple
has been invested in the last 5 years, including public spaces, mixed-use retail and residential options
good things have come from past investments in the capital city.
Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base
Need an example?
Look downtown. In the early 2000s, public funding kickstarted the downtown revitalization, which
encouraged private investors to jump
Walking and Biking trail connections from Maxwell Boulevard to downtown
in and led to a host of new attractions
and amenities for visitors and residents, which, in turn, drove up tourism and associated tax revenues. It also pushed
$18.6 million, 164-unit apartment community
up property values in the city’s center.
Site is fully served
From February 2017 to May 2019,
values increased by 21 percent.
Opportunity Alabama Based in Birmingham, Opportunity Alabama is a nonprofit organization that uses a data-driven approach to connect Opportunity Zone communities, investors, entrepreneurs, businesses and educational institutions to provide positive returns for investors while bringing vitality back to areas in need.
In December of last year, Opportunity Alabama’s effective and transparent work earned it a coveted spot on the Forbes OZ/20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts List, alongside similar organizations in Atlanta, Baltimore and others.
54 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
SO A HIG RIN G H
BY JENNIFER STEWART KORNEGAY
56 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
SAVE DATE THE
2020 MAXWELL-GUNTER AIR SHOW // APRIL 18 - 19 WWW. MAXWELLAIRSHOW.COM
With its Air Show coming this April, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base commemorates and celebrates the powerful partnership between the military and the River Region, a continuing collaboration that works to make all involved stronger and better able to reach lofty goals.
This spring, a spectacular array of aerial acrobatics and speed
significant STEM-related technical services to the Department
will be on display in the skies above Montgomery. Headlined
of Defense both here in Montgomery and across the state,” he
by the Air Force’s fighter demonstration squadron, the
said. “There will be robotics demonstrations and other activities
Thunderbirds, the 2020 Beyond the Horizon Air & Space Show
associated with technical areas that will either occur the week
at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base will thrill thousands.
prior to the Air Show or during the Air Show.”
But while all the energy and excitement will
These three objectives underscore this
no doubt entertain, the event also serves
year’s event, but there are many other
several more meaningful purposes, the first being to showcase our state’s multiple and significant contributions to aviation and aerospace with a focus on “Made in
HITTING NEW HEIGHTS
Alabama.” According to the Chamber’s Vice President of Military and Innovation Strategies Joe Greene, our state is home to a large aerospace and aviation industrial base, including 300 companies that manufacture and produce goods in almost every segment of the sector, industry giants like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, GE Aviation, Raytheon, Airbus and GKN Aerospace. “Aerospace manufacturing alone accounts for around 13,200 jobs in Alabama, and the state also ranks among the Top 5 states for aerospace engineers,” he said. “The Air Show will provide an opportunity to display those industrial capabilities to the general public and show the world that defense systems made in Alabama play a large role in our national defense.” The theme also highlights the area’s longstanding and highly successful relationship with Maxwell-Gunter, according
benefits too, positives the event delivers for both the River Region and the base. Greene pointed to the show’s ability to point tourism numbers skyward. “Everyone loves an Air Show and this one will
The last Air Show at Maxwell-Gunter AFB, held in 2017, generated more than $10 million in local revenue and brought
MORE THAN 160,000 VISITORS to the event. This event was also awarded the Dick Schram award for
“BEST MILITARY AIRSHOW” IN 2017 by the International Council of Airshows, the industry standard for all airshows. Source: Lt. Col. Mendoza
be no different. It is expected to draw approximately 200,000 visitors locally and across the state and region,” he said. This is anticipated to result in an economic impact of more than $25 million. Mendoza echoed Greene, noting the boost the Air Force’s image receives from events like air shows. “The Air Force hosts open house events like these to enhance the public awareness of Air Force preparedness, demonstrate modern weapon systems and capabilities, strengthen community and international relations, and to showcase our Airmen and our mission to 'Fly, Fight, and Win in Air, Space and Cyberspace,' ” he said. And it shines a spotlight on MaxwellGunter’s powerful legacy, its current role and its bright future while inspiring the next generation. “The Air Show provides a great
to Lt. Col. Daniel Mendoza, Maxwell-Gunter Air and Space Show
opportunity for the community to learn more about the missions
Director. “One of the reasons Maxwell-Gunter is truly one of
on Maxwell-Gunter AFB and across the River Region,” Greene
the best ‘Hometowns in the Air Force’ is because of the strong
said. “These shows also help get young people excited about
partnerships we have throughout the River Region and the
supporting our nation’s defense by either joining the military or
wonderful state of Alabama,” he said. “Our great partnerships
looking at the multiple opportunities that exist within our defense
with the local community, government and industry enable
our airmen to execute their mission and enhance our national defense.”
Mendoza again agreed with Greene. “Our primary goal is to inspire and educate the next generation of air and space power
Another purpose of the Air Show is to stress the importance of
leaders, enthusiasts and visionaries,” he said. “As an all-volunteer
STEM and highlight the River Region’s offerings in that arena,
force, we depend upon the strength of the bonds with our
as Greene explained. “Alabama and the River Region provide
communities and their support.”
58 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE THE
B E YO N D
H O R ZO N A I R & S PAC E S H OW
GATES OPEN AT 8AM • FREE ADMISSION
PREMIUM SEATING AVAILABLE
BUY TICKETS ONLINE AT WWW.MAXWELLAIRSHOW.COM
• • • • • •
• “In & out” access throughout the day • Front-line seating in exclusive viewing area of the Thunderbirds ground show • VIP parking passes • Shaded area for meals/relaxing • Continental breakfast & afternoon snacks • Lunch catered by Dreamland BBQ • Unlimited water & drinks throughout the day BECOME AN AIR SHOW INSIDER • Private “Premium” restrooms Sign up with your email address at • Private cash bar www.maxwellairshow.com 59 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM • Ages 3 & under admitted free (lap sit only). to start receiving news & updates today!
“In & out” access throughout the day Exclusive viewing area Flight-line open air seating Shaded eating area Restroom facilities Ages 3 & under admitted free (lap sit only)
BECOME AN AIR SHOW INSIDER
HOST WITH THE MOST
In addition to the Thunderbirds, the 2020 Air Show commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and will feature a variety of military and
Montgomery and Maxwell-Gunter
civilian air acts and more than 30 different military,
Air Force base have always been
civilian and warbird aircraft, including World War II and
close partners, and the capital
other historic aircraft, as well as STEM displays.
city is proud to have a military
Lt. Col. Daniel Mendoza explained why the crowds
institution of such stature as
come. “There is nothing more exciting to see than a
part of its community. In 2015,
military Air Show, especially with the Thunderbirds and other exciting aerial demonstration teams taking to
the warm welcome and strong support that Montgomery has
the skies. It makes you proud to be an American just hearing the sound of freedom roaring past and seeing
consistently provided to all who
the amazing skills that our military aviators possess,”
live and work at Maxwell-Gunter
he said. “I think others love them too because it builds a strong sense of patriotism and pride in our country and our military who protect the
earned the city a prestigious national award, the Altus Trophy.
freedoms we all enjoy. It also connects them
The city has also been named
to something unique and primal and is a positive
“The Best Hometown in the Air
experience that brings people together, no matter what
age or demographic. It is a family-friendly event that has something for everyone.”
60 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Youâ€™re in the right place. First Friday The Montgomery Chamberâ€™s Small Business First Friday is an event created for aspiring entrepreneurs and the MGM community to hear from business owners and creatives who have helped shape the communities in which we live. Come enjoy presentations from local place makers, along with beer & wine tastings, and tap takeovers. Friday, March 6 | SPONSORED BY: Goat Haus Biergarton Friday, April 3 | SPONSORED BY: Stratice, LLC Friday, May 1 Work Together Business Studio 600 S Court Street 3:30pm - 5pm
Boot Camp Join the Chamber and a panel of small business experts, entrepreneurs and local place makers at the NEW Small Business Boot Camp. Come hear real-life experiences, tools, tips, and get business development education on topics including: Funding & Access to Capital, Recruiting, Start Up Process & Procedures, Marketing and Data, Talent Recruitment/Workforce & Team Building. Tuesday, April 21 Work Together Business Studio 600 S Court Street 9:00am - Noon *Food Trucks will be available for lunch*
$25 Members | $30 Nonmembers
Small Business Briefcase +
PACK ED WITH TIPS AN D TOOLS TO BEN EFIT YOUR BUSINESS
RECRUIT, RETAIN & INCENTIVIZE Employees are the lifeblood of any business or organization. Follow this expert advice to find, keep and motivate good ones, and you’ll nail an essential element of business success.
Proper use of discipline systems, lower unemployment rates, younger
which means consistent use of discipline
Getting the best out of your employees is
generations choosing to work in
for those employees who exhibit poor work
key, but first, you’ve got to recruit them.
Montgomery and Generation Z’s love of
habits or continued low performance.
Satisfying the expectations of job seekers
entrepreneurship. Some individuals have
has been and will continue to be essential in
their pick of jobs or the opportunity to start
the quest to attract top talent. And providing
their own company. Some are ready to
the basics is still step one, including offering
accept your job and then leave in a few
employee benefits like:
months when a better benefit and salary package comes along. For all of these
• Vacation and sick leave
reasons, going the extra mile to keep
• A retirement fund (IRA, 401K,
employees happy and create loyalty is crucial.
pension, etc.) option • A health insurance program (employee cost, benefit
Incentives have changed greatly over
plan, flexible spending, etc.)
time but are always dependent on the
• Competitive salaries, including fair market
employees’ perception of worth and what
value, raises/bonuses, performance-
they consider valuable. In part, generational
based bonuses, etc.
aspects continue to play a role in what works (and what doesn’t) in incentive
STEP #2 Once you make a great hire, you can’t stop
programs. Some well-known incentivization options that continue to work well include: Rewards and recognition programs
there. Next up is retaining them and then
like always having the newest equipment,
incentivizing them to produce more and
T-shirts, potluck lunches, pizza parties,
hit higher achievements in their work.
casual Fridays, etc. (These still work but must be given immediately following the
We are in a city with expanding industries,
desired performance or goal reached.)
Consistent and fair application of policies and procedures. Good managers and supervisors who care about employees.
GOOD GOES AROUND Ensuring you’ve got good managers and supervisors on your team is key for recruiting, retaining and incentivizing employees. Those who are knowledgeable, hardworking, pleasant, positive, empowering and truly care about employees are a must. Don’t know who those are in your business? Ask your current employees. They know.
MEET THE EXPERT
PRO TO KNOW
Sharleen Smith is the Director of Continuing Education and Outreach at Troy University. She has more than 30 years of experience in organizational consulting and training, including the development of human resource policies and procedures, strategic planning, performance management systems, classification and pay systems, interviewing and onboarding processes, change management, talent management and more. Her training includes more than 250 topics, and she has presented to more than 300,000 people at 15,000 conferences, workshops and seminars.
62 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
NEXT GEN IDEAS
• True and intentional
Now let’s look at some newer
methods being used by more
• Goal accomplishment
While these have often been
avoided by more traditional
• All-employee social times
and highly structured
• Reduction in the authority-
businesses and by upper
driven and hierarchal nature
management filled with those
of traditional organization
of the “Boomer” generation, they’re proving popular and
charts • Fun work environments
productive. Examples include: This list is not exhaustive • Flexible schedules
but is a good place to start.
• Telecommuting from afar
However, there is an additional
or from home • Use of employee committees
way to inspire and motivate a workforce: Create a positive
to make decisions and
culture with engagement and
determine everything from
collaboration. The culture
leave policies to company
must be one of complete trust
where upper management
• Company alignment and
and supervisors trust
engagement with community
employees and vice versa.
and social causes
When there is a trust-filled
• Challenging work
environment, fear and distrust
• Distinct career pathing
cannot exist. When fear and
programs • Autonomy in work
distrust are present, trust will not exist.
Conveniently situated at the I-65 and I-85 interchange to allow for easy navigation around the city.
WANT TO LEARN MORE? Join the MBJ and this
Within steps of historic and entertainment district, this location is ready to help all travelers experience the Capital City.
panel of local experts to get more useful and practical
ON SITE AMENITIES:
advice at the next
• Complimentary High Speed Wi-Fi
Briefcase Live event on March 31.
Staybridge Suites Montgomery - Downtown offers the amenities of an extended stay in the heart of Downtown. All suites offer fully-equipped kitchenettes and living spaces that will certainly make you feel at home whether you’re traveling for work or leisure.
Victoria Belton, STAMP
• Business Center with on-Site Boardroom • Evening Socials on Mondays-Wednesdays • State-of-the-Art Fitness Center • Complimentary Breakfast Buffet • Guest Laundry Facilities Staybridge Suites Montgomery-Downtown is ready to be your home away from home!
Margaret Nekic, Inspirien
Michael Modozie, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites
275 Lee St, Montgomery, AL 36104
CHAMBER NEWS Member FAQs D ISCOV ER W H AT YO U R C H AMBER CAN DO FOR YOU AN D YOUR BUS IN ESS .
How can I maximize my Chamber membership?
The Chamber’s mission is to create
Chamber Ambassador Program:
and preserve jobs throughout the River
Chamber Ambassadors are an exclusive
Region, and because of your continued
group of volunteers who support their
support and investment in us, we are able
community and advocate for the Chamber.
to do just that. Your partnership helps fuel economic growth for the region
Total Resource Campaign: Every year,
and allows us to Imagine A Greater
members get exclusive members-only
Montgomery for all by:
pricing on sponsorships and marketing opportunities for Chamber events and
• Recruiting major industry
• Selling Montgomery as a destination • Fueling small and minority business growth • Partnering with new leadership to transform education • Protecting and growing military missions at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base • Connecting, innovating and
NEW Work Together Business Studio and Co-Space: This new space downtown offers co-working and meeting spaces and aims to serve as a “downtown
meeting – and use of this is all part of your
studio and co-space
dynamic, new programming and events.
• Advocating for issues and infrastructure
Montgomery action points affect our
officials. As a member, you get access to
Chamber also offers benefits to each and every member, benefits you should be taking full advantage of. Here’s how to plug into everything your annual dues get
MEMBER-TO-MEMBER DEALS AND PROMOTIONS Post exclusive member discounts and promotions.
YOUR CONTACTS: GET MORE INVOLVED!
Our engagement team can help!
exclusive sponsorship opportunities, plus member pricing and discounted rates for registration. MBJ (Montgomery Business Journal):
Networking Events: The dates for these
member news and announcements so
Jina Miniard, Chief Engagement Officer 334-261-1106 firstname.lastname@example.org
publication, we continually share good you can get the word out about your activities and accomplishments and know
Business After Hours on your calendar.
what’s up with other area businesses.
TIPS Club: This is great for sharing news,
your brand, grow your audience and
ideas and tips with other small business
NON-PROFIT CALENDAR Post fundraisers and events.
military leaders and local elected
In the pages of the Chamber’s flagship
put each month’s 60 Minute Coffee and
Post events and sales promotions.
Chamber staff, community stakeholders,
are announced months in advance, so
Eggs & Issues and more allow you to
A: Exclusive Member Benefits region in powerfully positive ways, the
JOB BOARD List your job openings.
Chamber Events: Annual events like mix and mingle with other members,
While all of the Imagine A Greater
you and your business in the digital space.
to work, connect to Wi-Fi or host a membership. The Studio is also hosting
Check out all the ways the Chamber can help
satellite office” when you need a place
empowering through the business
• Building a strong and competitive
There are multiple ways for you to sell expand your reach.
64 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Sandra Kelley, Senior Manager Engagement 334-240-9298 email@example.com
66 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Tax Season is in full swing, and with it, come
studies help you claim the maximum amount of
questions about how to better prepare for next
depreciation possible, and most accountants can
year. Now is the time to implement strategies
help with this.
to minimize your tax liability for the 2020 filing season. It’s also not too late to understand the
Also available is Section 179 Expensing For
ever-changing tax landscape as the fallout of the
2020. The expensing limit is $1,040,000.
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continues to settle, and businesses and individuals continue to make
The Research & Development (R&D) Credit is
adjustments to their tax strategies.
another opportunity for businesses to reduce tax liability. Companies from a wide range of
W H AT R E C E N T U P D AT E S H AV E B E E N M A D E TO T H E TA X C U T S A N D J O B S AC T O F 2 0 1 7 ?
industries and sizes can qualify for federal and
The SECURE Act, a part of the Further
• Developing new products or processes
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, was signed into law on December 20, 2019. Some highlights of this new legislation include the following: • The change of the required minimum distribution (RMD) from age 70 ½ to 72. • “Qualified birth” distributions allow participants to withdraw up to $5,000 penalty-free for
state tax savings. A few of the activities that could qualify for the R&D Credit are: • Enhancing existing products and processes • Developing or improving existing prototypes and software Your tax professional should be able to answer any questions you have regarding these programs and your specific situation.
qualified expenses associated with the birth or adoption of a child after December 31, 2019. • Changes to the minimum distribution rules for
MEET THE EXPERT
beneficiaries • Distributions from Section 529 plans can be used for qualified apprenticeship programs. • Starting in 2020, the kiddie tax will revert to the marginal rate of their parents and not the estate/ trust tax rate.
H OW C A N I R E D U C E M Y TA X A B L E I N CO M E ? The bonus depreciation on qualifying property, property with a class life of 20 years or less, remains at 100 percent for 2019 and 2020.
Tia Levanda, CPA, is a member of Warren
Because a technical correction was never
Averett’s Tax Group specializing in multi-state tax
released, qualified improvement property
returns and tax research and planning for clients
does not qualify for the 100 percent bonus
in the retail, real estate and manufacturing
depreciation, leading to the resurgence of
industries. Reach her at 334-260-2308
cost segregation studies. Cost segregation
A LO O K AT T H I S Y E A R ’ S TA X S E A S O N A N D H OW YO U C A N P L A N F O R N E X T Y E A R BY T I A L E VA N DA , C PA
E X P E R T I S E A N D A N S W E R S TO C O M M O N B U S I N E S S Q U E S T I O N S F R O M LO C A L S I N T H E K N O W
TAXES IN 2020:
68 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
BY: A N N E F E R R E L L DA LTO N
By 2030, 66 percent of America’s wealth will be
documents. Assemble a binder with important
held by women, according to The Washington
paperwork, user IDs and passwords. Have a
Post. Today’s women are adding real value
contact list with all of your advisors, such as your
when it comes to molding the financial future for
Wealth Advisor, insurance agent, lawyer and tax
themselves and their families. At Regions, we
specialist, and the best way to reach them. You
want to educate, equip and empower women
can tell a trusted family member where to find
to have the confidence to take control of their
this information in an emergency and keep it in a
financial situations, even if they have previously
safe deposit box. The more prepared you are, the
not been involved. It is crucial that women take
better you and your family can move forward.
an active role in their financial planning since
If you find yourself facing a difficult situation,
many Baby Boomer wives can expect to outlive
give yourself time before making major financial
their husbands, inherit the couple’s assets and
decisions. Equipped with more knowledge, you’ll
often live another 15 to 20 years, according to
know that you can handle it. How you emerge
the U.S. Administration on Aging.
from tough times — especially when you’re the one in charge — depends on being prepared,
If the unthinkable happens, it can be
taking responsibility and knowing enough to trust
overwhelming trying to catch up at a difficult
emotional time. I suggest women get up to speed financially by following The Three Ps®:
At Regions, our Private Wealth Advisors are with you every step of the way. Our associates are
BE PROACTIVE. Become informed — before
available to offer advice, guidance and education
things happen. Educate yourself on the
whenever it is convenient to you.
basic elements of personal finance, such as retirement plans, budgets and different types of investments. It’s not hard to learn; the important thing is to get started. Visit HerVision HerLegacy at regions.com/wealthinsights, where you’ll find important information for the unique financial perspective of women ranging from saving for
Investment, Insurance and Annuity Products: Are Not FDICInsured | Are Not Bank Guaranteed | May Lose Value | Are Not Deposits | Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency | Are Not a Condition of Any Banking Activity.
MEET THE EXPERT
retirement to combining finances.
BE PRESENT. It’s important to stay actively involved in and be aware of your family’s finances and long-term plans. That means having honest family financial discussions in which you talk about where things stand right now and where you want to go. Participate in conversations and meetings with your Private Wealth Advisor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
BE PREPARED. When you’re dealing with a crisis, the last thing you need to do is search for
Anne Ferrell Dalton is a Wealth Advisor with Regions Private Wealth Management. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
E X P E R T I S E A N D A N S W E R S TO C O M M O N B U S I N E S S Q U E S T I O N S F R O M LO C A L S I N T H E K N O W
WOMEN & FINANCES: THE THREE PS
A LOOK INSIDE:
70 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
BY T R AV I S N U C K L E S A N D S O N N I E E L L I S
Logistics issues come in myriad forms, and to
recipient via email and SMS with a message that
ensure you don’t unnecessarily lose time and
the package has been delayed, but also with
money, your business or organization needs
the assurance that Uni Logistics will resolve the
to arm itself with an up-to-date logistics plan
issue as soon as possible.
that details the steps to take and processes to follow to reclaim mission-critical packages or
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT: BACKUP
equipment quickly and easily.
CLA houses the data in the cloud, therefore orders are held for five years or more before
WHAT IS CLOUD LOGISTICS?
moving to the archive folder. All high critical
In the IT space, cloud logistics brings the newest
incidents are highlighted in red with the solution
generation of logistics solutions to the global
response. This tool also performs automated
supply chain market. It makes the complexities
backups using AWS (Amazon Web Services).
of order collaboration, communication and
This AWS Backup is a fully managed backup
transportation management simple, so that
service that makes it easy to centralize and
companies of any size benefit from our unique
automate the back up of data across AWS
configurable architecture. Our community
services in the cloud, as well as on premises
tool for small or large business, called Cloud
using the AWS Storage Gateway.
Logistics Activity (CLA), allows each person involved with an order or shipment the ability
With this mobile platform solution and cloud
to attach documents, photos, videos and SMS
computing, CLA provides shippers opportunities
notification during the transaction within a
to achieve substantive advances in supply chain
private secure community.
Accessible from your smartphone, CLA is available any time you need to search for an
MEET THE EXPERTS
important order or find a shipment status. It even allows you to see its location on a map. Offering our customers configurable process workflows, user experiences, alerts and dashboard widgets, we make it possible to deliver software as a self-service (SaaSS) completely within our cloudbased network. Uni Logistics is on a mission to deliver the most innovative logistics solutions for any community.
A PACKAGE HAS BEEN LOST. NOW WHAT?
Travis Nuckles (left) is Owner and President of Uni
If a package is lost, it’s time to begin your
Logistics (UNI). Sonnie Ellis is Vice President and
incident response, which should include
Chief Operations Officer at Uni Logistics.
assessing the situation (knowing what’s in the package, where was it going, who was supposed to receive it, when it was supposed to arrive, etc. CLA recovery systems notify the
Sponsored by Certified Technical Experts.
ENSURE BUSINESS CONTINUITY I N T H E WA K E O F LO G I S T I C S I S S U E S
EXPERTISE AND ANSWERS TO CO M M O N B U S I N E S S QUESTIONS FROM LO C A L S I N T H E K N OW
T H E L AT EST HEADLIN ES , UPDATES AN D IN S IDER IN FO FROM YOUR CHAMBER
NEWS & UPDATES: YOUR CHAMBER AT WORK
ROAD SCHOLAR HOSTS INAUGURAL CIVIL RIGHTS CONFERENCE IN ALABAMA In February, Road Scholar, a not-for-profit
concluded with a farewell dinner at the
educational travel organization for adults
Alabama Activity Center.
over 50, launched its inaugural civil rights conference in Montgomery. More
“As an educational organization, we
than 200 participants from across the
knew we couldn’t accurately tell the
country gathered to learn more about
story of the civil rights movement in
the history of the civil rights movement
America without coming to Montgomery,
from historians, professors and civil
known worldwide as the birthplace
The Chamber has made it easier than ever before to
of the movement,” said Stacie Fasola,
get plugged in and involved, offering a year packed
Senior Director of Public Relations for
with opportunities for education and engagement and
The multi-racial group of people ranging
Road Scholar. “We enlisted learned
getting the word out with its new and improved 2020
in age from 33 to 93, traveled to Selma,
scholars, survivors and local experts
Chamber Event Calendar online. Be sure to check
Montgomery and Birmingham, visiting
to share their stories and educate
the calendar on the Chamber’s website regularly. It’s
historic churches and museums. The
our participants on the history of the
updated frequently to include date changes and new
eight-day conference began with a
movement. The conference was so
events. And sign up for the Chamber’s e-News to get
keynote by Equal Justice Initiative
successful that we’ve announced a
event info and updates delivered right to your inbox.
Founder Bryan Stevenson and
second conference in October 2020.”
Find the calendar at montgomerychamber.com/events.
WHY MONTGOMERY? Are you in the business of recruiting talent to Montgomery or do you work for a company that is
Remember to proudly
always on the hunt for great employees? The Chamber
display your exclusive 2020
has developed a few promo pieces to help by
Membership Decals and
answering the question, “Why Montgomery?” Feel free
Placards at your business and
to use these in your recruitment strategy, and make
publicly show your support of
sure your business and your employees know you’re
The Chamber. If you’ve not yet
a critical piece in Montgomery’s success, and most
received yours, please contact
importantly, our Montgomery story. Contact jminiard@
Sandra Kelley at The Chamber.
montgomerychamber.com for more information.
72 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
CHAMBER NEWS Connect T H E L AT EST H EAD L INES, U P DATES AN D IN S IDER IN FO FROM YOUR CHAMBER
TECH UPDATE: PEO AWARDS $13.4B SBEAS CONTRACT The Air Force Program Executive Office for Business Enterprise Systems
DESTINATION MGM UPDATE
(PEO-BES) located at Maxwell-Gunter AFB awarded a major Air Force-
The Chamber was recently the recipient of one Gold and
wide Small Business Enterprise Applications Solutions (SBEAS) Contract
one Silver Adrian Award, presented by the Hospitality Sales
to 20 small businesses. The contract scope is for up to $13.4 billion of
& Marketing Association International (HSMAI) at the Adrian
work to be performed over a 15-year period if all contract option years
Awards Dinner Reception and Gala held on January 21,
2020. Montgomery’s tourism team, Destination MGM, was honored for its work in conjunction with the grand opening
Montgomery-based company Tri-ESA was one of the 20 awardees, and
of the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI) National Memorial for
14 of the companies are located in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan
Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum as well as its efforts
Area. Based on the contract vehicle SBEAS replaced, some of these
promoting the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum and
companies are likely to establish a local presence in Montgomery to
allow them to better understand and serve PEO-BES requirements. As a result, the growing demand for IT skills in the River Region will continue.
Destination MGM was recognized as a Gold Winner of the 2019 Adrian Awards for its strategic planning that generated positive press and adequately portrayed the city and the new
MGM PRAISED IN FEARLESS’ 2019 “YEAR IN BUSINESS” REVIEW
memorial and museum as a meaningful place where people can gather, reflect, remember and honor those who suffered racial inequality.
The Chamber continues to aggressively market and attract
Destination MGM was also distinguished as a Silver Winner
tech and innovation companies for
for its Zelda Suite campaign, which secured national
the Montgomery community. As
recognition for the city’s brand-new Fitzgerald-themed
it continues to augment its efforts
Airbnb, located in the former home of the literary couple.
in expanding the tech ecosystem in our city, it’s imperative that its
MGM EDUCATION UPDATE:
investments in infrastructure and advancements in education are highlighted to better develop our
The 2020 Niche Standout Schools list recognizes public
talent and grow entrepreneurs.
where the community has come
Fearless, a Baltimore-based tech
compel a change and help move
company that has expanded into Montgomery, touted the city’s welcome and its positive business environment in its 2019 “Year in Business” Review, which was distributed in a recent
together to make a stand (or sit) to the nation forward,” said Fearless founder and CEO Delali Dzirasa
Montgomery has been a place
NO. 1 STANDOUT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – NO. 3 STANDOUT MIDDLE SCHOOL –
Fearless with open arms, and
Baldwin Arts & Academics Magnet
we look forward to doing our
NO. 4 STANDOUT MIDDLE SCHOOL –
we work with the US Air Force,
Rights Movement. For decades,
Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School
that Montgomery has welcomed
“Montgomery has such a complex
well as the birthplace of the Civil
NO. 1 STANDOUT HIGH SCHOOL –
Forest Ave Elementary School
part to continue the legacy of
birthplace of the Confederacy, as
all of MGM’s magnet schools were among the top 10.
in the review. “We are so honored
and rich history. It is both the
schools that are making a difference in their community, and
change and transformation as local Chamber of Commerce, and the community at large. Fearless couldn’t have picked a more impactful and important place for expansion.”
Floyd Middle School NO. 5 STANDOUT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – Bear Exploration Center NO. 5 STANDOUT HIGH SCHOOL – Booker T. Washington Magnet High School NO. 8 STANDOUT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – Macmillan International Academy
74 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Y O U R H E A LT H OUR MISSION
“So much competence and compassion.” Virginia, Baptist South Hip Surgery Patient When an accident left Virginia with a broken hip, she chose Baptist. “From my highly-skilled surgeon to the warm, healing smiles of the nurses to my amazing rehabilitation team—I was blessed to have that kind of care and caring right here at home.” Virginia now enjoys a full recovery and has resumed her very active life. “There’s an old saying that ‘there are angels among us’—and I know now that they are all on call at Baptist.”
Learn more about our COMPASSIONATE CARE at
CHAMBER NEWS Connect T H E L AT EST H EAD L INES, U P DATES AN D IN S IDER IN FO FROM YOUR CHAMBER
NEWS & UPDATES: YOUR CHAMBER AT WORK MEET THE 2020 CHAMBER AMBASSADORS Jeff Kimball, Matted Memories & More LLC Hannah Lehman, Tile & More Warehouse Tori Levy, VIVA Health Monique Lokey, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Electia Love, Bealoaks Property Management, LLC Courtney Lowry, Addison Park Apartments Jowanda Mark, Fortis College Acquanetta McCants-Pinkard, Alabama State University Marcil McClammy, Keller Williams Realty Ambassador Chairman:
Sellars McCurdy, Warren Averett, LLC
Heather Phillips, Trustmark National Bank
Brian McDowall, Spectrum Reach Mia Mothershed, Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc.
John George Archer, Gilpin Givhan
Katelyn Nelson, Raymond James at Halcyon Pointe
Luke Ates, Huntingdon College
Marie Ottinger, Faulkner University
Christina Bennett, exploreMedia
Nia Pagniacci, Valiant Cross Academy
Erica Blowe, Fortis College
Daniel Paulk, First Command Financial Services
Bernadette Bonner, Rooms To Go
Tamiko Portis, Checker & Deluxe Cab Company
Renee Borg, Alabama Technology Foundation
Kat Raiford, Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc
Sandy Boutwell, Troy Cablevision, Inc.
Phelps Reid, Davis & Copeland Realtors, Inc.
Ray Brown, Homewood Suites by Hilton
Debbie Richardson, Family Sunshine Center
Ronda Cherry-Smoke, Alabama Power Company
Janice Richbourg, Associated Business Services
Lindsay Crosby, BB&T
TaWanna Robbins, American Red Cross
Vanessa Cunningham, Kelly Realty, LLC
Rusty Salter, AKD Screenprinting & Embroidery
Shawn Daley, Woodforest National Bank
George Sanders, Staybridge Suites
Kenneth Davis, Renasant Bank
Tasha Scott, Maximized Growth, LLC
Anna Dees, Davis & Copeland Realtors, Inc.
Jonathan Shoffner, Edward Jones
Brenda Robertson Dennis, River Region United Way
Tisha Simpson-Shelton, Woodforest National Bank
Ebony Evans, Health Services, Inc.
Cornelius Smith, Adam Delivery Service
Steve Frazer, Synovus
Craig Snell, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
Jennifer Friday, Whitfield Foods, Inc.
Michael Spencer, Boosters, Inc.
Hunter Groce, Morgan Stanley
Kris Stallworth, State Farm Insurance
Barry Harp, Hancock Whitney
Anitra Thomas, Mashburn Outdoor, LLC
Avery Harrison, Associated Business Services
Heath Thomas, Strickland Companies
Denise Haviland, ARC Realty
Jamal Thomas, Gumptown Magazine
Allison Hendricks, Auburn University at
Briggette Wagner, Chosen Realty, LLC
Yolanda Walker, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
Melanie Hogan, Alabama State University
Betty Washington, Starting Point, Inc.
Ricky Hollon, MAX
Shannon Webster, River Bank & Trust
Carson Howe, The Vance Law Firm
Kathy Williams, Century 21 Brandt Wright Realty, Inc.
Charles Hudgens, Montgomery Aviation
Keith Williams, Spherion
Corporation Joel Hughes, Troy University
Dawn Young, Hilton Garden Inn Sherri Young, Peppertree Apartments, LLC
Lisa Perkins Jackson, Titanium Music Productions Group Nicole Johnson, OurTown Realty 76 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE The Chamber announced its 2020 Chairman’s Circle in MBJ’s January issue. The Chamber is excited to welcome a few additions to this group of avid supporters, Mac McBride, STERIS Corporation and Marshall Taggart Jr., The Montgomery Regional Airport. The Chairman’s Circle is an elite group of executives and business owners in Montgomery and the River Region looking for connections on a high and influential level. Members receive increased exposure to the business community, invitations to exclusive functions, receive toplevel briefings by key leaders and government officials and receive targeted information regarding the Chamber’s initiatives and strategic priorities.
CHAMBER NEWS Connect A LO O K B AC K AT T H E FACES AN D PLACES OF RECEN T CHAMBER EVEN TS
FEELING LEFT OUT? Don’t miss another Chamber event. Check the new online event calendar often and make plans to get involved.
CHECK OUT MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM/EVENTS
JAN 15 1
NEWK’S EATERY Sponsor: Newk’s Eatery
3 1. Payroll Tax Update December 12 at the Renaissance In Partnership with Jackson Thornton
2. Eggs & Issues with Mrs. Katie Britt, President & CEO, Business Council of Alabama, December 18 at the RSA Activity Center Gold Sponsor: Balch & Bingham LLP
3. Small Business Briefcase January 21 at the Work Together Business Studio Presented By the Montgomery Business Journal
4. Grant Writing 2.0, February 4 at the Small Business Resource Center In Partnership with the River Region United Way
78 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
STAYBRIDGE SUITES MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Sponsor: Staybridge Suites Montgomery Downtown
CHAMBER NEWS Members on the Move K EEP U P W I T H O U R M EM B ER S W ELCOMIN G N EW HIRES AN D ACCEPTIN G N EW POS ITION S
John Allen Nichols Joins Federation Staff
Beasley Allen Names New Principals And Associate
The Alabama Farmers Federation recently welcomed John Allen Nichols to its External Affairs Department. Nichols, who interned with the Federation since May 2017, serves as agriculture counsel. In his new role, he will provide legal advice and service to the Federation; draft legislation; monitor and review regulations to ensure compliance; draft, review and
Beasley Allen has named Elizabeth (Liz) Eiland, Jennifer Emmel
negotiate contracts; and research
and Leon Hampton Jr. as new Principals. Eiland joined the
firm’s Mass Torts Section in 2012. She is currently handling cases for individuals harmed by opioids, including infant clients born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and other
Thornton Farish Inc. Adds to Its Team
opioid-related complications. Emmel joined the firm in 2013 and primarily focuses on cases consolidated in multidistrict
Alex Jackson and Sarah Russell have
litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court involving the link
joined the investment banking firm
between talcum powder and ovarian cancer as a member of
Thornton Farish Inc. Founded in 1919 in
the firm’s Mass Torts Section. Hampton first joined Beasley
Montgomery, it operates as the state’s
Allen while in law school, working as a law clerk. He returned
oldest private investment banking
to the firm’s Consumer Fraud Section in August 2017 and
firm and provides underwriting and
is currently working on class action, employment and
financial advisory bond services to
whistleblower claims. Additionally, Beasley Allen named Tyner
entities across the Southeast as well
Helms (Consumer Fraud) as a new Associate.
as national corporate bond services for manufacturing, solid-waste and agri-business sectors. Jackson joins the
Montgomery Pharmacy Welcomes New Leadership
firm as an Associate, and Russell joins
Turenne PharMedCo has named a new member of its
Thornton Farish as its Treasurer.
leadership team. The long-term care pharmacy and medical supply business has chosen James K. Littlejohn to be general manager of its Montgomery
Jackson Thornton Names New Principals
pharmacy operations. In addition to management of the general operations of the Montgomery pharmacy, the pharmacy professional with more than 30 years of experience will support a number of initiatives aimed at increasing efficiency and enhancing customer service.
Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, recently announced the firms newest principals: Christine Cook, William Sheffield and Eden Thornton. Cook, a Certified Public Accountant since 1993, is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office. Sheffield, a Certified Public Accountant since 2006, is a principal in the firm’s Opelika office. Thornton, a Certified Public Accountant since 1993, is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office.
New Waters Realty Grows Again Jennifer Atkins, Qualifying Broker and Vice President for New Waters Realty Company recently announced the addition of Realtor® Emily Blossom to the team at New Waters Realty and to The Waters New Home Community Sales Team.
80 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Harmon Dennis Bradshaw Adds Commercial Property & Casualty Risk Advisor Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc. (HDB) announced the addition of Forrest Burch as a Commercial Property & Casualty Risk Advisor. The Moulton, Alabama, native and Auburn
Let us improve the performance of your IT networks.
University graduate first joined HDB in 2018 as Account Manager before being promoted to Commercial P&C Risk Advisor.
Davis Named Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President Renasant Bank has named Kenneth Davis Branch Manager and Assistant
The Value of Managed IT Services • Better financial planning • Our team is your team 24/7 • Your systems stay optimized • Faster problem resolution
Vice President. Davis brings with him more than 15 years of banking experience and will manage the Mitylene Park Drive location in Montgomery. Davis is a graduate of Alabama State University.
Hope Inspired Ministries Names Executive Director Montgomery native John Bowman is Hope Inspired Ministries (HIM) new Executive Director. Bowman recently retired from 26 years serving with the Montgomery Police Department. He has been an active volunteer with HIM for many years.
Total IT Care • Maintain 24/7 watch over your entire environment • Identify and analyze server “events” for potential problems • Remediate processes or services that fail • Ensure security patches, services packs, and antivirus definitions are up to date • Ensure that data back-ups are complete
AEGIS-Michaud Properties, Inc. Adds Agent Debra Hawk has joined the team of real estate professionals at AEGISMichaud Properties, Inc. Hawk is a native of the Montgomery area and has seen firsthand the area’s growth. Her background in property
334-874-8324 managedIT@cdns-tech.com www.cdns-tech.com
management, customer service and sales has provided her with skills that will serve her well in the real estate industry.
445 Dexter Ave Suite 4050 Montgomery, AL 36104
CHAMBER NEWS Members in the News A Q U IC K LO O K AT O U R M EM B ER S’ MAN Y ACCOMPLIS HMEN TS , AWARDS AN D HON ORS
be future camp counselors. Although he is no longer a YMCA
employee, he still assists the YMCA with training lifeguards, CPR and first-aid training.
For 68 years, teens of the Montgomery Student YMCAs have shown their appreciation to the men and women dedicated to serving youth in the community by planning and executing the YMCA’s Man of the Year annual program held in December at Trinity Presbyterian Church. At the banquet, students pay tribute to the nominees, one of whom is selected as Man of the Year. This year’s program was co-chaired by Sofie Behr of Montgomery Academy and Anna Sadie of Montgomery Catholic and featured guest speaker General Ed Crowell, YMCA of Greater Montgomery’s 2018 Man of the Year.
Biscuits’ DiBella in International Boxing Hall of Fame L to R: Tom Methvin, Managing Attorney, Beasley Allen Law Firm; Bolling “Bo” P. Starke, Jr., Former Owner, Starke Agency; Jere Beasley, Founding Attorney, Beasley Allen Law Firm;
The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum has announced the 2020 class of inductees including Montgomery
Lanny Crane, Principal Emeritus, Jackson Thornton; Ned Sheffield, President and Managing
Biscuits CEO and Managing Partner Lou DiBella. “We are
Principal, Jackson Thornton; Bolling P. “Trey” Starke, III, President, Starke Agency.
extremely proud and excited for our great leader and close friend
Three neighboring Montgomery businesses – all located on Lower Commerce Street downtown -- enjoyed milestone anniversaries in 2019. Jackson Thornton marked 100 years of service as a certified public accounting and consulting firm. Starke Agency hit 90 years of providing insurance and risk management to people and businesses. And Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles, PC, celebrated 40 years as a plaintiffs law firm.
to be receiving this honor,” said Biscuits President Todd “Parney” Parnell. Recognized for his great contributions to the sport of boxing, DiBella was Vice President in Charge of Programming at HBO from 1989-2000 and was the creative force behind the “Boxing After Dark” series as well as “KO Nation.” Following his time at HBO, DiBella established DiBella Entertainment, promoting boxing stars including Bernard Hopkins, Sergio Martinez, Jermain
YMCA Names Man of the Year Justin Castanza was named the 2019 YMCA Man of the Year. A youth minister at St. Bede and Holy Spirit Catholic Church and principal of Montgomery Catholic Middle/High School, Castanza has served as a dedicated
Taylor and Alabama native Deontay Wilder.
Achievements Troy University’s Online Programs Among Nation’s Best
YMCA member for many
Several of Troy University’s online degree programs have been
years. He is currently active
recognized by U.S. News and World Report in its “2020 Best
on the East YMCA Board of
Online Programs” rankings. TROY was ranked 52nd out of 353
Directors, was the East YMCA
universities in the “Best Online Bachelor's Programs” overall
Volunteer of the Year, and is a
category and was ranked in the top 35 institutions in terms of
member of the YMCA Jimmy
“Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans.”
Hitchcock Committee. He is passionate about service
TROY was also included in the rankings for Best Online MBA,
to the youth of Montgomery
Best Online MBA for Veterans, Best Online Master's Business/
through his YMCA work.
Non-MBA, Best Online Master's Business/Non-MBA for Veterans, Best Online Master's in Criminal Justice, Best Online Master's in
As the former Director of
Criminal Justice for Veterans, Best Online Master's in Education,
YMCA Camp Chandler, he brought a Christian Leadership Conference to camp and started other programs such as “Adopt A Child” and the SWAT (Servants Working All Together) program, which trains young leaders to
Best Online Master's in Education for Veterans, Best Online Master's in Nursing and Best Online Master's in Nursing for Veterans.
82 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
POWER OF MAGA ZINES
When more than 1,400 U.S. advertisers were asked which medium offers the highest ROI, which was on top?
What % of U.S. adults said they’ve read magazine media in the last 6 months?
$3.94 RETURN FOR EVERY $1 SPENT
THE HIGHEST OF ALL TIME This includes 93% of those under 35 and 95% of those under 25.
50% higher than the $2.63 ROI from digital display and more than double the $1.52 from digital video
(GfK MRI, Fall 2015)
(Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Multi-Media Sales Effect Studies from 2004 - 2015.)
POP UPS 25% (Marketing Sherpa, 2017)
(Digital First Content Marketing: the Return of Print - CMO by Adobe, 2016)
Number of times medium ranks #1 among affluent influential consumers across 60 product categories (GfK MRI, Spring 2017)
PR I NT I S M E M OR A BLE . Print creates an emotional connection. Print builds relationships. Physical material is more “real” to the brain, involves more emotional processing, and is better connected to memory, with greater internalization of ads—all important for brand associations. (FORBES)
For advertising information, call Christina Bennett at 334-221-4619 or email email@example.com 84 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
in reaching influential consumers.
T H E AV E R AG E T I M E S PE N T R E A D I N G A M AG A Z I N E I S
MAGA ZINES LE AD
The average time spent on a website is 2 minutes.
Of all media, which do U.S. internet users say they TRUST THE MOST?
CHAMBER NEWS Members in the News A Q U IC K LO O K AT O U R M EM B ER S’ MAN Y ACCOMPLIS HMEN TS , AWARDS AN D HON ORS
AEGIS-Michaud Properties, Inc. Remains a Top Montgomery Realtor®
Awards & Honors
AEGIS-Michaud Properties, Inc. is once again in the top 5 percent of real estate companies in the Montgomery area and had the top two producing Realtors® for existing home sales in Montgomery
Beasley Allen Selects Chad Stewart Award Recipient
County for 2019, Ann Michaud and Anna Kate Bowen. Additionally,
Beasley Allen has recognized Soo Seok Yang as the 2019 Chad
the company has been selected as an award winner for The
Stewart Award winner. This honor was created in memory of Beasley
Montgomery Advertiser’s Best of the Best list for the past several
Allen lawyer Chad Stewart, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014
years, and Ann Michaud is rated in the Top Three Agents in
at the very young age of 41. The award was created to recognize
Montgomery on ThreeBestRated.com and a Neighborhood Favorite
the lawyer who best exemplifies Chad’s spirit of service to God, his
family and the practice of law in the task of “helping those who need it most.”
Four Star Freightliner Recognizes Top Technician Four Star Freightliner, Inc. announced its top diesel technician during the company’s annual
“Soo Seok embodies the spirit of the Chad Stewart award through his own dedication to clients and his involvement and leadership
Year End Employee
in the community,” said Tom Methvin, Beasley Allen’s Managing
Celebration at the
Attorney. “We are thankful for Soo Seok’s compassion, which is
Sandestin Golf & Beach
equally matched with his leadership and knowledge.”
Resort on December 7.
Josh Nichols, who works
An attorney in the firm’s Mass Torts section, Yang has handled cases
from the Montgomery,
involving defective drug and medical device multidistrict litigations
Alabama, location, was
(MDLs) for Fosamax, metal-on-metal hip implant and transvaginal
named the top revenue-
mesh cases. For the past few years, he has been focusing on a
producing technician for
national MDL involving injuries related to blood thinners.
2019. The announcement
Four Star Freightliner’s top technician Josh Nichols
was made in front of
pictured with Jerry Kocan, Four Star’s Dealer Principal
his new wife Hayley, his
“I feel utterly inadequate, knowing the life that Chad lived and the stellar example that he set, and the giant footsteps of the Beasley
parents and more than 200 employees and their guests.
Allen attorneys who have received this award and their unmatchable
“To be named the company’s No. 1 technician might not be a big accomplishment to some people, but it is to me,” said Nichols. “It means a lot because of where I started and what I have become in the past nine years of being at Four Star. I think it’s great that the company recognizes the technicians in this way to show their appreciation and for that I am thankful.”
love and excellence for the Lord, family and work,” said Yang. “So, I interpret this award as a chastisement rather than a compliment on anything that I’ve done – a loving encouragement for me to do better in serving the Lord, family and work.”
Montgomery Nursing Home Wins Second Excellence Award Capitol Hill Healthcare has been recognized as a 2019 recipient of the Commitment to Performance Excellence Award for its dedication
85 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
CHAMBER NEWS Members in the News A Q U IC K LO O K AT O U R M EM B ER S’ MAN Y ACCOMPLIS HMEN TS , AWARDS AN D HON ORS
to improving the lives of residents through quality care.
gone, but Hill Hill Carter has remained a strong, mid-sized
The distinction is the first tier of three progressive award
firm dedicated to excellence and the highest professional
levels through the Alabama Performance Excellence Award
standards of practice and conduct.”
Program (ALPEX). The program promotes quality and high performance for businesses and organizations in the
The firm has expanded from one office location to four to
state. Capitol Hill, a 284-bed long-term healthcare center
include offices in Fairhope and Birmingham, Alabama, as
in Montgomery, was one of four recipients for this award.
well as Louisville, Kentucky. Over the years, the firm has also
Last year, ALPEX named Capitol Hill as a winner of the 2018
broadened its areas of practice to include commercial and
Pathway to Performance Excellence award.
complex litigation, health care cost recovery, and education, along with its existing practice areas of insurance defense,
Montgomery Law Firm Marks Milestone Montgomery-based law firm Hill Hill Carter recently celebrated its 95th anniversary. In 1924, Thomas B. Hill Jr.,
employment litigation and workers’ compensation.
began his practice in a building with no air conditioning.
HCS Group Earns 2019 Society of American Military Engineers Award
In 1931 his brother, William Inge Hill, joined the practice,
In December, Montgomery area engineering firm HCS
setting the wheels in motion for what would become one of
Group was named the 2019 Outstanding Sustaining Member
Montgomery’s most highly regarded legal institutions.
of the Year in the Small Business Category by the Society
of American Military Engineers (SAME) Mobile Post. HCS
“Hill Hill Carter has proudly served Alabama and the
Group has been awarded additional contracts this past year
southeast for 95 years,” said Managing Shareholder David
working with U.S. military worldwide and supporting the
W. Henderson. “During that time, the legal industry has
SAME organization by sponsoring, exhibiting and attending
changed considerably, and many firms have come and
SAME events on local, regional and national levels.
86 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
www.gotscrap.com 334-272-0767 430 Air Base Blvd. Montgomery, AL 36108
Our recycling services include: ✓ Manufacturing Scrap Services ✓ Appliance Recycling ✓ Automobile Recycling ✓ Certified Destruction ✓ Demolition Scrap
87 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
88 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
CHAMBER NEWS Business Buzz CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS
GR OW I N G B USI N E SS E S River Bank & Trust Adds Agricultural Division River Bank & Trust Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Stubbs announced that River Bank & Trust has created a new agricultural division. The division will help foster strong, long-term relationships with agricultural producers and provide them with loans for operating and real estate as well as depository products and services. Seasoned agricultural lenders Vice President Ben Bendinger and Assistant Vice President Holden Fleming recently joined the division to meet the agricultural financial needs of Dothan, Enterprise and the Wiregrass region. “River Bank & Trust has always had a strong commitment to agriculture, an industry that
Huntingdon students and staff volunteered to help the work of nonprofit Rise Against Hunger.
plays a vital role in our local economies and communities. With the creation of our
Huntingdon Students Give Back
agricultural division and the addition of Ben
Huntingdon College partnered with the nonprofit Rise Against Hunger and its Feeding the
Bendinger and Holden Fleming, we will
Dream initiative for the College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January
provide a higher level of ag banking expertise
20. For the service project, students assembled meal kits for distribution to the world’s most
and more lending opportunities to growers
vulnerable populations. College volunteers worked in two shifts to package 12,096 meals.
and producers,” said Stubbs.
Beasley Allen Attorney Named Montgomery County Bar Association President
Palomar Insurance Expands
Montgomery-based Palomar Insurance, one of the nation’s leading insurance agencies, announced the opening of its new location
Beasley Allen lawyer Larry Golston was
in the heart of downtown Chattanooga,
recently sworn in as the newest president
Tennessee. Palomar began delivering
of the Montgomery County Bar Association
effective, tailored insurance programs to
(MCBA) during the group’s annual meeting.
local businesses in Chattanooga and the
Golston joins other Beasley Allen lawyers
surrounding areas beginning on January 1.
who have helped lead the MCBA, including the firm’s managing attorney, Tom Methvin,
President and CEO Tony Craft said, “For 65
as well as Kendall Dunson. Golston is
years, Palomar Insurance has partnered with
the organization’s 91st president and the
local businesses throughout the Southeast to
second African American to hold the office.
design custom insurance solutions tailored
“It is an honor to serve the Montgomery
Golston is a principal and trial attorney
County Bar Association and my colleagues
in the firm’s Fraud Section, where he has
in this role,” Golston said. “The MCBA has
devoted his career to seeking justice on
a long tradition of serving area attorneys
behalf of those who have been negligently
and the community and I look forward to
or intentionally harmed.
building on these traditions.” 89 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
to their diverse needs. We’re excited to bring our expertise to Chattanooga and serve the local business community with insurance products and risk management services that supplement their success and help them achieve their goals.”
CHAMBER NEWS Ribbon Cuttings C EL EB R AT I NG N EW & EXPAN DED BUS IN ESS ES
7781 EastChase Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-777-2209 • pandaexpress.com Recep Yildirim, Area Coach of Operations Catering Services, Restaurants, Restaurants-Japanese
5415 B Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL 36109 334-272-8449 • oninstaffing.com/ Barbara Martinez, Branch Manager Employment Agencies
JACK INGRAM VOLVO SHOWROOM
JACKSON HOSPITAL AND CLINIC – FACIAL PLASTICS
267 Eastern Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-277-5700 • jackingramvolvocars.com Ray Ingram, President Automobile Dealers/Services
1758 Park Place, Suite 103, Montgomery, AL 36106 334-270-2003 • riverregionfacialplastics.com Joe Riley, President & CEO Hospitals/Clinics, Facial Cosmetic Surgery
PHYSICIANS CHOICE DIALYSIS OF MONTGOMERY
ALABAMA SURGICAL ARTS
2201 East South Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-694-7920 • phychoice.com Jim Kilcur, Project Manager Dialysis Clinics
4590 Woodmere Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36106 334-271-2002 • alabamasurgicalarts.com Dr. Sami Nizam, Owner/Physician Physicians, Physicians-Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
91 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Industry Features 2020 MAY/JUN
Commercial Real Estate & Builders
Employment & HR Services Women in Business & Nonprofits
Energy & Utilities
Contact Christina Bennett for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org and 334.221.4619 92 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
CHAMBER NEWS Ribbon Cuttings C EL EB R AT I NG N EW & EXPAN DED BUS IN ESS ES
CAMP BOW WOW
4519 Woodruff Road, Suite 4, Columbus, GA 31904 706-888-5243 • www.facebook.com/thetalkintables Brian Andujar, Owner Consulting Services, Internet Services, Marketing Research
3712 Malcolm Drive, Montgomery, AL 36116 (334) 401-CAMP • campbowwow.com/montgomery/ Lauren Gold, Owner Pet Boarding/Grooming/Daycare
TOTALLY A CLEANING SERVICE, LLC
DIRECT AUTO INSURANCE
2921 Marti Lane, Suite 1A, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-593-4009 Annie Thomas, Owner Janitorial Service/Supplies
3801 Eastern Boulevard (Inside Walmart), Montgomery, AL 36116 (334) 625-7783 • .directauto.com Edith McCary, Area Marketing Manager Insurance Companies/Services, Insurance – Auto, Insurance – Life
ALABAMA FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE – DR. RYAN MCWHORTER, M.D.
STATE FARM INSURANCE, MARANDA HIETT, AGENT
7040 Sydney Curve, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-819-8190 • alabamafunctionalmedicine.com Dr. Ryan McWhorter, M.D. , Owner / Physicians – Specialized
3574 Quad Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36116 (334) 819-1777 • anagentforyou.com/ Maranda Hiett, Agent Insurance Companies/Services, Insurance – Auto, Insurance
93 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
CHAMBER NEWS New Members W ELCO ME TO OUR N EWEST MEMBERS
ACUPUNCT UR IST
BA R S - S P E C IA L IZE D
Moon’s Acupuncture Moon Choi 1759 Eastern Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36117 334-593-7544
Taste Too! Clint Hahn 79-E Commerce Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-523-8703 tastemgm.com
ADVERT ISING C AT E R IN G S E RV IC E S
Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc Kat Raiford 548 Cherokee Road Alexander City, AL 35010 256-234-4281 tpidigital.com APAR TM ENTS
Peppertree Apartments, LLC Kari Sweeney 8201 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-694-3009 peppertreemontgomery.com Verandas at Mitylene Stacy Gibby 8850 Crosswind Circle Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-8010 liveatmitylene.com ASSOC IATIONS/ NON-PR OFIT
Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc. Lynn Bius 450 S. Union Street, Suite 2000 Montgomery, AL 36124 334-546-5257 alabamacacs.org Alabama State Bar Phillip McCallum 415 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-269-1515 alabar.org Central Alabama Community Foundation Burton Crenshaw 114 Church Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-264-6223 cacfinfo.org
MARCH 2020 NEW MEMBERS
GiGi’s Fabulous Foods, LLC Jean Higdon 2029 East 2nd Street Montgomery, AL 36106 334-799-9390 gigisfabfoods.com
Montgomery CARES-100 Black Men Connection Edward Brown 320 Arrowhead Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 334-224-9643
Happy Times Food Nicole Smith 19 South Ripley Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-521-8285 ilikehappytimes.com
Sun Belt Conference Herbert Carter 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive New Orleans, LA 70112 504-299-9066 sunbeltsports.org
Madea’s Catering Shameikka Woods 34096 County Road 2 Shorter, AL 36075 334-991-0714
The King’s Canvas Kevin King 1413 Oak Street Montgomery, AL 36108 334-657-7049 thekingscanvas.org
C H U R C H E S /M IN IST R IE S
AUTOM O BIL E D E A L E R S & S E RV IC E S
Capitol Chevrolet Jason Wilson 711 Eastern Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36117 888-311-4644 capitolchevrolet.com
Landmark Church of Christ Buddy Bell 1800 Halcyon Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36117-3436 334-277-5800 landmarkchurch.net Northview Christian Church Safe Harbor James Miller 500 Eastdale Loop Montgomery, AL 36117 334-260-0404 nccfamily.org CO M M U N IT Y S E RV IC E S /AG E N CI ES
B A N KS
Woodforest National Bank Coty Hall 3801 Eastern Blvd Montgomery, AL 36116 334-288-6506 Woodforest.com 94 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Village Creed Kermit Farmer 216 8th Street South Opelika, AL 36801 334-321-7215 villagecreed.com
CHAMBER NEWS New Members W ELCO ME TO OUR N EWEST MEMBERS
Stone Equipment Company, Inc. Doug Stone 210 West Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36108 334-625-6585 stoneequipmentco.com
ThinkBLUE Solutions LLC Celeste Dryjanski 8637 Vintage Way Montgomery, AL 36116 334-235-6163 thinkbluesolutions.org E M P LOY M E N T AG E N CIE S
CONS U LTING
Michael Baker International, Inc. Bobby Odom 11 N. Water Street, Suite 14290 Mobile, AL 36602 251-380-0898 mbakerintl.com Alabama Industrial Development Training Ed Castile One Technology Court Montgomery, AL 36116-4158 334-280-4400 aidt.edu
Job Konnections, LLC Alex Castanza 55 North Burbank Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-9536 Telamon Corporation James Martin 7010 Fulton Court Montgomery, AL 36117 205-625-4592 telamon.org
E N T E R TA IN M E N T & R E C R E AT IO N
Board and Brush Montgomery Brandie Jeffries 7236 Halcyon Park Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 334-202-4632 boardandbrush/ montgomery.com
F IR E /WAT E R DAMAGE
Protek Restoration Jody Lankford 5669 Elmore Road Elmore, AL 36025 334-514-2282 Protekems.com F IT N E SS C E N T E R/ GYM
Titanium Music Productions Group Lisa Jackson 20 Sandy Springs Drive Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-213-3034 FA M ILY S E RV IC E S
Pure Barre of MontgomeryPeppertree Tiffany Bell 8103 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-5154 purebarre.com/location/eastmontgomery-al
Seraaj Family Homes Felicia Strowder 400 Cotton Gin Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-271-2402 seraajfh.com
Mission Fitness and Performance Keith Boddie 1000 Eastdale Mall Montgomery, AL 36117 334-318-3639 missionfit.com
95 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
CHAMBER NEWS New Members W ELCO ME TO OUR N EWEST MEMBERS
HOM E STAGING & R EDESIGN
CCI Consultants, LLC dba CCI Premier ReDesign & Staging Cassandra Crosby 37 E. Railroad Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-669-2719 ccipremierdesign.com HOT ELS/M OTELS
La Quinta Inn and Suites Shawn Patel 10095 Chantilly Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-277-4142 wyndhamhotels.com/laquinta/ INDIVIDUALS
Alabama Credit Union Administration Greg McClellan 100 N. Union Street, Suite 650 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-353-5770 acua.alabama.gov INFORM AT ION TECHNOLOGY FI R M S
Clarity Innovations Wes Daniels 6700 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 115 Columbia, MD 21046 410-394-9600 clarityinnovates.com Fearless Paul Jackson 8 Market Place, #304 Baltimore, MD 21202 443-314-4188 fearless.tech Innovation At Work, Inc. Keith Ellis 445 Dexter Avenue, Suite 4050 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-557-7020 iaw-inc.com
Skylight Digital LLC Chris Cairns 3 Briar Bridge Lane Chapel Hill, NC 27516 267-228-1390 skylight.digital
Yardmasters Landscaping & Irrigation Eugene James 5009 Virginia Loop Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-590-5050
Sparrow Technology Solutions, LLC Brad Hill 3015 McGehee Road Montgomery, AL 36111 334-721-3858 sparrowtechnologysolutions.com
L E G A L S E RV IC E S â€“ AT TO R N EYS
I N S UR A N C E CO M PA N IE S /S E RV IC E S
Pro Player Insurance Group Evan-Christina Williams 2030 W. First Street, Suite C Fort Myers, FL 33901 239-672-8194 ProPlayerIG.com Starr Insurance Group LLC Pamela Mitchell 1736 West 2nd Street Montgomery, AL 36106 334-356-2500 starrgroupllc.com State Farm Insurance, Jessica Majors-Agent Jessica Majors 1311 Tin Barn Lane Montgomery, AL 36117 334-279-1288 majorsinsurance.com State Farm Insurance, Maranda Hiett-Agent Maranda Hiett 3574 Quad Parkway Montgomery, AL 36116 334-819-1777 anagentforyou.com L A N D SC A P IN G /L AW N S E RV IC E S
Straw Source, LLC Bill Gunter 11040 Highway 80 East Mt. Meigs, AL 36117 334-451-1035
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Davis & Hatcher, LLC Terry Davis 4183 Carmichael Road, Suite B Montgomery, AL 36106 334-270-0592 Shahid & Hosea, LLC Lakesha Shahid 1709 Taliaferro Montgomery, AL 36117 334-279-5399 shahidhosea.com M AC H IN E RY- M F R .
Neptune Technology Group Inc. Don Deemer 1600 Alabama Hwy 229 Tallassee, AL 36078 334-283-6555 neptunetg.com N U R S IN G H O M E S / ASS IST E D L IV IN G
The Belmont Assisted Living Facility Sherry White 7295 Copperfield Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 334-273-0110 belmontassistedliving.com O R T H O D O N T IC S /S L E E P A P N EA
Dr. Michael Irwin, DMD, Orthodontics/ Sleep Apnea Michael Irwin 4162 Lomac Street Montgomery, AL 36106 334-279-6910 drirwinqualitysleep.com
CHAMBER NEWS New Members W ELCO ME TO OUR N EWEST MEMBERS
P H YS ICIANS-SPECIAL I Z E D
River Region Cardiology Associates, PC Misty Love 185 Mitylene Park Lane Montgomery, AL 36117 334-387-0948 rrcamd.com RE AL ESTATE SALES AN D D E V E LOP M E N T
Trinity Real Estate Group, LLC Mary Charles Rampy 12575 Wares Ferry Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-551-1000 RE AL ESTATE-BROKER
Jay Tidwell & Associates, LLC Jay Tidwell 4021 Wares Ferry Montgomery, AL 36109 334-322-3497 jaytidwell.com
Nancy’s Italian Ice Dorie Autrey 7976 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116 334-356-1403 nancysice.com Rock N Roll Sushi Gerard Saurage 1470 Taylor Road, Suite 108 Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-3641 rnrsushi.com Kobe Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Mr. Kim 7760 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-694-7700 kobemgm.com Sol Restaurante Mexicano & Taqueria Al Luna 3962 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109 334-593-8250 solrestaurante.com
TA X I/C A B S E RV IC E
Checker & Deluxe Cab Company, Inc. Will Wright 4334 Longleaf Drive Montgomery, AL 36108 334-301-3649 checker&deluxecabcompany.com T R A N S P O R TAT IO N S E RV IC E S
Careavan Mark Porterfield 4183 Carmichael Road, Suite A Montgomery, AL 36106 334-758-6480 careavan.care Shoreline Transportation Ashley McLean 100 Pleasant Hill Court Greenville, AL 36037 334-371-4450 shoreline-al.com T R AS H /G A R BAG E S E RV IC E
SA Recycling Adam Phipps 430 Airbase Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36108 334-272-0767 sarecycling.com RE STAURANTS
Walk On’s Bistreaux & Bar Ryan Ambrose 7801 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-9128 walk-ons.com Full Moon Bar-B-Que Chris Woodward 7660 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-676-5999 fullmoonbbq.com
S E C UR I TY SYST E M S
Creative Security Systems Shelton Magnum 581 George Todd Drive, Suite E Montgomery, AL 36117 334-593-8958 creativesecsys.com R E TA I L S H O P S /D IST R IBU T IO N
Best Buy of Montgomery Brent Sweat 7701 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-272-1552 bestbuy.com Bottle Paradise Krupesh Patel 8743 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-356-8740 Leap Dancewear LLC Christelle Louis 6152 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-593-9835 leapdancewear.com 97 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM
JB Waste Scott Dansby 802 County Road 4 East Prattville, AL 30367 334-296-5827 T R AV E L AG E N C IE S /S E RV IC E S
Pate Travel Group Jason Pate 8121 Mossy Oak Drive Montgomery, AL 36101 334-868-3490 patetravel.com W IN E RY
Lake Point Vineyard and Winery Rita Lewis 674 Lake Point Drive Mathews, AL 36052 334-517-8334 lakepointvineyard.org
Numbers reflect November 2019 over November 2018.NEWS CHAMBER
CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS
Economic Intel TOURISM
YTD JAN-NOVEMBER INCREASE
OCCUPANCY RATE NOVEMBER 2019
26,087 more hotel rooms have been sold YTD 2019 than YTD 2018
LODGING TAX COLLECTIONS YTD JANUARY - NOVEMBER 2019
Source: Smith Travel Research Report, City of Montgomery
+ 8.1% OVER NOVEMBER 2018
+ BE DIRECT:
DIRECT SAME-DAY SERVICE T0 DCA
Source: MGM (Montgomery Regional Airport)
370 TOTAL HOME SALES
$186,921 AVERAGE SALE PRICE
TOTAL HOMES LISTED FOR SALE
101 AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate, Montgomery Area
SECTORS GOING UP
EMPLOYMENT BY SECTOR PROFESSIONAL & BUSINESS SERVICES
LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
THAT'S 23,200 JOBS.
+ 7.9% + 2.4
TRADE, TRANSPORTATION, WAREHOUSING AND UTILITIES
MINING, LOGGING AND CONSTRUCTION
2.5% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
+ 2.3% CIVILIAN
+ 3.2% EMPLOYED
Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area
98 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
99 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101
100MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL
March/April 2020 issue of the Montgomery Business Journal is packed full of exciting articles and information: Meet Montgomery Mayor Steven...
Published on Feb 26, 2020
March/April 2020 issue of the Montgomery Business Journal is packed full of exciting articles and information: Meet Montgomery Mayor Steven...