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MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL VOLUME 11 ISSUE 2 / MARCH 2019

MBJ

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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PLUS

PRO PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS

MGM SPELLS

SUCCESS

FEATURING: LOCAL ELDERCARE INDUSTRY GET OUTSIDE AT ALABAMA NATURE CENTER


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CONTENTS MA R 2 0 1 9

THIS ISSUE: 10 32 36 38

Innovate MGM State of the City & County 2019 State Legislative Agenda Advance & Adapt Eldercare Changes

24 Powerhouse Q&A: N e d S he ffie ld 27 Member Profiles: D r. Porcia Love, Ju lia n Pe tt y, An it a C a r te r

50 GiveBack: Ce n t ra l Ala ba ma E a s te rs e a ls 56 Regional Impact: B ikin g in t he Re gion 58 #MyMGM: Ala ba ma N a t u re Ce n te r 62 Small Business Briefcase: Pr oje ct Ma n agement Tools

CHAMBER NEWS:

08 Events 64 Connect: Chamber News 70 Connect: Member FAQ 72 Connect: Past Events 75 Members on the Move 77 Members in the News 81 Business Buzz 88 Ribbon Cuttings 91 New Members 94 Intel


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MBJ

THE NUMBER ONE BUSINESS SOURCE FOR MONTGOMERY AND THE RIVER REGION

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT Randall L. George DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS Jina Miniard

exploreMedia PUBLISHER Pam Mashburn

MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer Stewart Kornegay

ART DIRECTOR Erika Rowe Tracy

DESIGN Heather Cooper, Shelby Berry Shubird

CONTRIBUTORS EDITORIAL M.J. Ellington, Jennifer Stewart Kornegay, Savanna Pruitt, Melissa Warnke Gene Crane, Jeremy Crider, Emily Jones PHOTOGRAPHERS Bryan Carter, Nick Drollette, Nancy Fields, Robert Fouts, Donna Wallace King, David Robertson Jr., Eric Salas ON THE COVER Photography by Stephen Poff ADVERTISING Christina Bennett and Kristina Boddie / 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 • mbj@montgomerychamber.com © Copyright 2019 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. Subscription rate is $30 annually. Periodicals Postage Paid at Montgomery, Alabama, 36119+9998, USPS NO. 025553. Volume 10, Issue3. POSTMASTER send address changes to Montgomery Business Journal, c/o Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 79, 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery, AL 36101, or email mbj@montgomerychamber.com. The Montgomery Business Journal welcomes story ideas from its readers. Email to: editor@montgomerychamber.com. Subscriptions are a part of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce dues structure. Subscriptions and bulk subscriptions can also be purchased per year at www.montgomerychamber.com/mbjsub.


CHAMBER NEWS

Events +

MA RK YO UR CALENDAR S FOR THE SE UP COMING C HAMB E R E V E NTS

Upcoming Workshops APR

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State of the State with Governor Ivey 7:30-8:30 am RSA Activity Center

Governor Kay Ivey will provide an update on Alabama’s major initiatives, key legislative projects and discuss challenges effecting our state government.

60 Minute Coffees & Business After Hours These popular networking events are the perfect place to exchange business cards and meet potential customers.

Presenting Sponsor: The Beasley Allen Law Firm

APR Conversations: Roundtable for Professional Women, 11 am-1 pm Wynlakes Golf & Country Club

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3/21 Business After Hours Sponsor & Location: Dream Field Farms

The Chamber’s “Conversations” is an opportu-

4/3

nity for professional women to connect, discuss

60 Minute Coffee Sponsor & Location: Brewbaker KIA

business and share best practices unique to women in the workforce. Grand Presenting Sponsor: Valley Bank

4/18 Business After Hours Sponsor & Location: Regions Bank Downtown

5/1 60 Minute Coffee Sponsor & Location: Capitol Hyundai

MAY

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Military Salute Riverwalk Stadium

Chamber and business leaders join the city’s elected officials to host military leaders at Riverwalk Stadium in recognition of the military’s vital role in our community. Discounted tickets are made available to more than 1,700 military members and their families during this annual Biscuits Baseball event.

MAY

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Resource Center

Grant Writing 2.0 March 7, 8:30 am-12 pm at the Chamber’s BRC Are you a nonprofit looking for specific grant money for a program? This proposal workshop is geared towards those who wish to strengthen their grant writing skills and learn how to master the techniques of preparing and writing winning proposals to various funding agencies. Women in Business Meet-Up March 12, 4:00 pm-6:00 pm at the Eat South Downtown Farm Increase your brand and connect one-on-one with women in business who are making an impact within the local business community. Business 101: Start it Up! March 19; April 16; May 21; 8:30-9:30 am Establish a strong foundation for your new or existing business. Topics covered include locating financing, writing a business plan and finding expert advice. Registration is not required, but there is a fee of $10. Please arrive to sign in by 8:15 am. Sponsor: River Bank & Trust

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Register online

Register online for Business Resource Center events and webinars at montgomerychamber.com/events

CHAMBER MEMBER ORIENTATION

Chamber Golf Classic Wynlakes Golf & Country Club

The Chamber Golf Classic is the River Region’s premier business golf tournament.

April 23, 8-9 am the Chamber’s BRC

Come network on a beautiful golf course with Chamber members, elected officials, community leaders and potential clients. The flights will sell out, so register early! Presenting Sponsor: Wynlakes Golf &

Presenting Sponsor: Serquest

BUSINESS

Country Club

Connect and engage with your Chamber, network with other member businesses and give a brief overview of your business, product or service. Sponsored By: exploreMedia

BizTalk MGM: BizTalk MGM - The Official Podcast for Small Business in MGM Every month, on the second Tuesday, at 6 pm on WVAS 90.7 FM, the Montgomery Chamber and host Tonya Scott Williams, connect with business experts on topics that are important to small businesses. Podcast Sponsor: MAX

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BY JENNIFER STEWART KORNEGAY

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INNOVATE

MGM

A LOOK AT THE INITIATIVE, ENTERPRISE, ENERGY AND VISION CURRENTLY ACTIVE IN THE CAPITAL CITY, PLUS LOCAL LEADERS’ EFFORTS TO INCREASE ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN OUR AREA.

INDEPENDENT. PROBLEM SOLVER. RISK TAKER. EASILY BORED. When these traits combine, they often create one of our economy’s most powerful forces: an entrepreneur. According to Scott Bell, founder and CEO of Bell Media, when you look at a group of these

Montgomery is built on an impressive lineup of “firsts” — the first electric streetcars, the first civilian flying school and more. The spirit of innovation here is both historic and ongoing, thriving today in many forms, including entrepreneurship. Learn how entrepreneurs positively affect local economies and how our city leadership is planting the strategies and resources needed to grow a bumper crop of homegrown talent.

business-building men and women, there are striking similarities; he sees them every time he attends a meeting of Auburn University’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. “I sit alongside some ‘serial’ entrepreneurs, people who have started and sold multiple businesses,” Bell said. “They all love identifying an opportunity or a problem and looking for a way to fix it. A second common thread is the need to always grow; they’re never really satisfied. And, they often keep moving, pretty quickly sometimes, on to something else, to the next big thing.” Bell could easily be depicting himself. He started Bell Media in 2008, but the company it is today really began in 2015, when Bell shifted the business’ focus in response to a void he saw in the digital advertising market. While these shared internal characteristics drive Bell and other entrepreneurs to do what they do, what exactly is that? A standard description of an entrepreneur is: “One who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” But this is just one definition of “entrepreneur;” they vary, depending on who you ask.

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VISION VITAL going, if successful.”

pins most interpretations of what an

trade with established Montgomery businesses, attract new residents,

entrepreneur is: Entrepreneurs start

It can be hard to fit the concept in one

bring new goods and services, expand

a new business; they don’t buy or

box. To Bert Morris, a Montgomery

competition to benefit consumers and

inherit an existing one. Andrea Rogers

entrepreneur who started Discover E

increase revenue returns, so the city

Mosley, SBDC Director, Alabama

Partners in 2009, entrepreneurship is

can better serve our residents.”

Small Business Development Center

personal. “It’s the ability to transform

Network, explained with further de-

my visions into reality and capture un-

Lisa McGinty, Executive Director of

tails. “Entrepreneurs seek new ways

limited opportunity to create my own

the Chamber Business Resource

to make impactful changes that help

value and define my brand,” he said.

Center, echoed Mayor Strange, touting

efficiently and resourcefully,” she said.

Regardless of the variables of what is

nomic impacts and the diversity of the

This may sound like it applies to any

(or is not) entrepreneurial, one con-

sector in our area. “Entrepreneurship/

small business owner (or any business

crete fact remains: Entrepreneurs ben-

small business is our largest payroll

owner for that matter), but entrepre-

efit their community in multiple ways.

producer and is the metaphorical ship

neurs have a different mindset and

It’s why Montgomery Mayor Todd

steadier of our economy during diffi-

different goals. “Both the entrepreneur

Strange wants to draw more of them

cult economic periods,” she said. “We

and small business owner are in busi-

here. “They are critical to the health

have an incredibly diversified portfolio

ness to make a profit,” said Mosley.

and longevity of our city,” he said.

of small businesses across a variety of

“However, the entrepreneur takes on

“When entrepreneurs start businesses

industries in our local economy.”

more than the normal risk. They are

in Montgomery, positive effects of that

game-changers. Entrepreneurs look

business ripple throughout the River

Mosley pointed to the symbiotic

to change, create and develop, where

Region and perpetuate progress in our

relationship between the progress of

small business owners are content and

community. They create good-paying

a community and the prosperity of its

happy with how things are currently

jobs, present new opportunities for

small businesses and entrepreneurial

economies grow and operate more

both entrepreneurship’s positive eco-

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There is one characteristic that under-

MGM

ENTREPRENEURSHIP TOOLBOX Area entrepreneurs can access a wide range of resources for every stage of their business, from start-up to development and growth. And most are free.

The Alabama Small Business Development Center at Alabama State University and its Procurement Technical Assistance Center offer one-on-one business advising and educational training to small businesses targeted for increasing employment, fostering growth, and improving financial stability and government contracting opportunities. 

12 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


“WHEN ENTREPRENEURS ARE SUCCESSFUL, THEY HELP OUR CITIES BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND RESOURCEFUL.” - Andrea Rogers Mosley, SBDC Director, Alabama Small Business Development Center Network

ventures. “Cities thrive on the success

and support them” Mayor Strange said.

of small businesses and entrepreneurs, and when they do well the economy

Bell stressed the image boost just one

does well,” she said. “According to the

entrepreneurial win can give an entire

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),

area. “Look at Birmingham. The sheer

small businesses represent 99.9 percent

entrepreneurial energy there is massive

of all U.S. businesses. When entrepre-

and due in large part to the fact that

neurs are successful, they help our cities

Shipt started there and has been shaping

become more efficient and resourceful.”

an industry,” he said. “That has brought

+ WHAT IS AN ENTREPRENEUR? “I read a statement once that described entrepreneurship as ‘Define, invest, build and repeat,’ and I like that.”

other people there and has created They bring intangible value too, including

this idea that Birmingham is now a tech

fresh perspectives. “Many entrepreneurs

marketplace. Sometimes, perception

‘disrupt’ antiquated systems through their

becomes reality.”

business solutions, like the Amazons of

– Dr. Rhea Ingram, Dean, College of Business, AUM

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the world, so you always want to listen

The Chamber has its Business Resource Center, which supports entrepreneurs through business counseling and mentoring, educational offerings and a full array of lifecycle entrepreneurial services that include coworking, start-up support, incubation and domestic soft-land-

A joint effort of the Chamber, Maxwell-Gunter

ing programs, as well as advanced mentoring through SCORE (the

AFB, the City of Montgomery and Montgom-

Service Corps of Resource Executives). The Chamber also offers

ery County, the capital city’s newest tech

multiple professional development training opportunities, as well as

resource, MGMWERX, is supporting tech- and

a calendar packed with its popular and productive networking events

cyber-leaning entrepreneurs by fostering

like 60 Minute Coffees, Business After Hours and more.

collaboration and innovation in that sector.

 

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STRIKE THE MATCH

tine business climate is at the heart of our mission.”

It may sometimes only take a single spark, but that tiny

The launch of Alabama’s first Internet exchange in

light has to have the proper fuel to fully ignite. That’s why city and county officials as well as the Chamber are putting considerable thought and effort into forming an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Montgomery, a place where groundbreaking ideas can catch fire. McGinty outlined the ways the Chamber is contrib-

Montgomery, MGMix, is playing a part too, putting the city on the map in terms of tech and cyber, the industries most often associated with entrepreneurship.

IF WE BUILD IT But are we doing enough to get and keep en-

uting to an entrepreneurial-friendly climate. “The

trepreneurs here? According to Morris, Mont-

Chamber has long been a forerunner in small

gomery boasts a great business environment

business economic development with its incubation program, co-working space and domestic soft-landing initiative, so we are always looking for ways to

with available resources for small businesses and start-ups, plus the right attitude. “The city government is progressive and welcoming. My

grow that part of our economy,” she said. “The Cham-

office is right across the street from city hall, and I can

ber counsels and trains more than 2,000 clients each

tell you that downtown is booming through the efforts

year. We are THE first stop for anyone looking to start

of Mayor Strange and people like Mac McLeod, Jerry

a business. We teach long- and short-form business

Kyser, the Foshees, Clay McInnis and companies like

planning as well as steps to business formation and

Marjam,” he said. “The Chamber is also helpful with

regulatory compliance.” The Chamber also provides

incubator programs, seminars and workshops to facili-

professional development training for business own-

tate small business growth.”

ers while advocating for pro-small business legislation and regulatory changes.

Montgomery was an easy choice for Morris when deciding where to base his business; he was born and

The city has several initiatives in partnership with the

raised here, has family here and, the market for his

private sector aimed at helping small businesses,

specific idea is huge here. “Montgomery is the home

which includes budding entrepreneurs. In 2015, it

of several top-notch law firms, and I saw the need for

introduced its Montgomery Small and Minority Owned

a well-run, locally owned litigation support company,”

Business Initiative, led by Mayoral Senior Advisor and

he said. “The loyalty of my customers and the quality

past Chamber Chairman Judge Charles Price, in an

of life in Montgomery is what keeps me here.”

effort to expand opportunities and increase participation of small and minority businesses in city and

It’s a similar situation for Bell, even though today a

county contracts, while encouraging the same in the

large portion of his team and his business is beyond

private sector. “Our goal is to do everything we can

the River Region. “Family has really played a big part

to prime the pump for success,” Mayor Strange said.

in bringing and keeping me here, and we have good

“From paving roads and negotiating with developers

customers here, so there are no plans to go else-

to lowering the costs of starting or doing business in

where,” he said. Bell says that the current resources

Montgomery by eliminating red tape, cultivating a pris-

in the capital city match the current need, but to grow,

14 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


ENTREPRENEURS: we might need to do more. “The biggest challenge I see is not that we don’t have the environment or support

W H Y W E WA N T T H E M

for more entrepreneurship, but that we don’t yet have a huge young, vibrant community, and that’s where most of the ideas come from, from folks right out of school, ready to take the real risks,” he said. Bell believes increased entrepreneurship and more

We asked local business leader David Allred, Agency Principal and Managing Director of Stamp, to outline how entrepreneurs benefit their communities and what they need to flourish here.

start-ups would be a natural byproduct of attracting more young people here. His advice to do that is simple: “They are looking for opportunity, energy, things to do,” he said. “And quality public schools eventually matter to many of them too.” Morris shared Bell’s sentiments on the importance of education and added a wish list of his own. “Our public schools need help, but the newly elected school board is a good first step in providing the leadership and accountability to improve at every level,” he said. “We could also use even more platforms like connectmgm, which is effective as a digital crossroads for young professionals and business owners to communicate about events, goods and services.”

How do entrepreneurs benefit an area? Major employers have many diverse needs, and when entrepreneurs seize those opportunities, it is very often a win-win-win overall for our local economy. By their very nature, entrepreneurs are more nimble and can bend their offerings to quickly meet the demands of the larger employers. This provides small businesses with work and allows larger employers to scale more rapidly and with greater efficiency than if these large employers had to (also) provide all of the functions they currently depend on an ecosystem of smaller specialized businesses to provide.

According to Mosley, local and state government have an important role too and can spur more entrepreneurship with low-interest loans or grants that serve as seed money for start-ups. “Local government can also offer tax incentives for locating and creating jobs in the city,” she said. Government entities willing to reduce red tape can also enhance an entrepreneurial atmosphere, as McGinty explained. “An annual survey asked 13,000 small business owners what they think makes a friendly business

What resources do they need? My experience has been that planning and budgeting are early-stage entrepreneurs’ biggest weaknesses. As a culture, we don’t even understand these concepts as individual consumers, so demonstrating their importance to entrepreneurs before it’s too late is a major challenge. However, efforts including the Chamber’s Business Resource Center and programs offered by local universities and non-profits are a big help.

environment,” she said. “This year, for the third year in a row, the report showed that they value three things above all others: a licensing system that is simple and makes compliance easy; a tax system that has clear rules and is easy to understand; and training and networking programs that help service professionals get their businesses up and running, comply with the local

– David Allred, Agency Principal and Managing Director of Stamp

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“ENTREPRENEURSHIP/ SMALL BUSINESS IS THE METAPHORICAL SHIP STEADIER OF OUR ECONOMY DURING DIFFICULT ECONOMIC PERIODS”

FUNDING THE

FUTURE

One thing every entrepreneur needs is money, but getting the capital necessary to bring new ideas to life can be tricky. Arthur DuCote, Montgomery Market Executive at Regions Bank, explained why and how his bank is assisting entrepreneurs.

- Lisa McGinty, Executive Director of the Chamber’s Business Resource Center

rules and meet other profession-

partners, like the Chamber, along

als in their industries.” The survey

with our friends at Maxwell-Gunt-

also showed that the biggest

er Air Force Base, to assess the

factor that a community can as-

needs of our community and

sist with is “providing training and

find out what it takes to be even

networking programs,” a charge

more successful,” Mayor Strange

the Chamber takes seriously. “We

said. “Additionally, we rely on

provide a continuum of profes-

communicating with established

sional development training to

businesses in Montgomery, while

help our business owners market

deepening relationships with

and grow their businesses as

new entrepreneurs and leverag-

well as maintain CEU credits for

ing our existing opportunities to

their respective professions,”

recruit new businesses.”

“Entrepreneurs drive commerce. Collectively, they employ more people and create more opportunities than large, mature businesses. It is not an ‘either or’ proposition. A successful community requires both. And 95 percent of the businesses in America are run by first-generation entrepreneurs. That’s who Regions does business with. Regions’ success is built around helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals in a way that is good for them and good for the bank, which is good for our communities. It is a true symbiotic relationship. We call that shared values in our company.”

McGinty said. “The Chamber also offers countless networking and

With the high level of engage-

relationship-building opportuni-

ment and commitment demon-

ties such as meet-up groups, 60

strated by the Chamber, the

Minute Coffees, our Ambassador

city, the county and the River

Program and Business After

Region’s private sector, the future

Hours events to name just a few.”

of entrepreneurship in our area is promising, and some of what’s needed is simply in our city’s

to do more and are noting the

DNA. “Montgomery has a great

results of national surveys and

natural inclination to a ‘grow-

research but are also listening

your-own’ oriented economic

to longstanding area businesses

development strategy as part of

to gain insight on the proper

its larger plan,” McGinty said. “It

path forward when it comes to

is Montgomery and its people

appealing to and supporting new

reinvesting in themselves for our

ventures. “Finding new ways to

shared future.”

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Local leaders say they’re ready

tweak and enhance our business ecosystem is a subject we continually explore by working with the county and private sector

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A TOAST TO OUR TOWN

GETTING SCHOOLED Eric Walker, Campus Director for Strayer University Montgomery, believes entrepreneurs are strong threads in the fabric of any community, and he outlined the non-traditional options Strayer University is offering the River Region when it comes to entrepreneurial education. “Strayer University offers a va-

+ WHAT IS AN ENTREPRENEUR?

riety of MBA programs, including an MBA that is specifically focused on digital entrepreneurship. It can be completed through mobile learning and live Facebook discussion boards, as opposed to lecture halls, so students can get the knowledge and tools to grow a business immediately, not years down the road,” he said.

“The entrepreneur is the one who creates a business from nothing, against most, if not all, odds. In business, they create, they disrupt, and they improve. They are the ones who believe that anything is possible and use every resource available to them to prove it. The entrepreneur is the artist of commerce.”

“Our Digital Entrepreneurship MBA students learn through videos shot by Cheddar, one of the most innovative companies in media, and watch lectures delivered by Cheddar Founder and CEO, Jon Steinberg, right from the NYSE trading floor.”

– Arthur DuCote, Montgomery Market Executive, Regions Bank

– Eric Walker, Campus Director for Strayer University Montgomery

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Owner of Goat Haus Biergarten James Weddle is using interest in craft beer to achieve multiple goals and shared his take on Montgomery’s current entrepreneurial scene. Why did you start Goat Haus Biergarten?    The No. 1 reason is craft beer is a growth market, particularly in the Southern United States. Additionally, the biergarten is our front porch to the rest of our commercial real estate development on Clay Street (art gallery, music venue, restaurant, business offices, lofts). And, I knew this type of development would make a difference in a town like Montgomery. This type of space/development helps showcase the talent that exists here. By showcasing it, you’re able to attract/retain additional talent.   What else could be done/should be done to encourage more entrepreneurship in our area? Resource-wise, I’d like to see more collaboration between many of us who are already in the start-up/business resource space. The challenge is, we’re all very busy. We also need to: 1) Actively recruit existing start-ups from hotspots like D.C., Austin, San Francisco and New York. We have much lower costs, better weather, great beaches, less traffic, cool history and an emerging food and craft beer scene. 2) Get more investors to get off their wallets and invest in start-ups. 3) Promotion. Promotion. Promotion. People all around the country know about Robert Trent Jones Trail. People all around the globe know about Martin Luther King. Collectively, we need to understand what start-ups/entrepreneurs need, put that into a protocol that we all follow, and let it rip.


M EM BER Spotlight

STRAYER UNIVERSITY Strayer University is a 127-year-old institution with a core purpose of educating busy working adults. In October 2018, Strayer added to its more than 70 U.S. locations by opening its third Alabama campus in Montgomery. NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN THE RIVER REGION: 5  WHAT IS STRAYER UNIVERSITY’S PRIMARY MISSION?  At Strayer, we pride ourselves on providing adult students affordable pathways to education. Our core tenets revolve around accessibility to quality education, affordability and completion. We design our classes around the working adult. That means classes are held when the student can attend; online coursework is designed so that the student can do it when it’s the best time for them; and time horizons to earning your degree are practical.   WHAT SETS STRAYER UNIVERSITY AND ITS OFFERINGS APART?  At the Montgomery campus, students can choose from a range of academic programs. Offering everything from associate’s to bachelor’s degrees, and even master’s degrees, there’s a program for everyone. Students can also take advantage of our MBA programs, including our Princeton Review-ranked Jack Welch Management Institute MBA and our Digital Entrepreneurship MBA in conjunction with Cheddar. Both are offered online only. Strayer University also has in-person MBA program options. Strayer believes that integrating online learning systems with the ability to connect in-person to staff and faculty members gives students the flexibility they need. HOW IS STRAYER MAKING COLLEGE AFFORDABLE? In addition to offering scholarships and participating in select federal financial aid programs, we also have our own program – The Strayer Graduation Fund – that can help bachelor’s degree students stay within their budget and increase rates of completion. Strayer’s Graduation Fund rewards achievement, encourages completion and persistence and can reduce the cost of a bachelor’s degree by up to 25 percent. WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR STRAYER UNIVERSITY IN MONTGOMERY? We are offering classes on campus in the spring. Our Montgomery campus is leaner and more efficient than our traditional campus, with more space for students to collaborate with their peers and faculty, network, study and unwind. We created this new campus model because we have found that although most of our students take some or all of their courses online, they benefit from having the on-ground support and collaboration of the campus. 79 COMMERCE STREET, SUITE C, MONTGOMERY, AL / 334-523-3648 / STRAYER.EDU 19 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


// LOCAL TALENT

ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101 Some are born with an entrepreneurial spirit; others develop it. But both groups can be taught how to hone and harness the potential of this specific mindset, and both higher education and other area programs are doing just that. “Entrepreneurs have a true hunger to make things better and a passion for continuous learning,” said Dr. Rhea Ingram, Dean of the College of Business at AUM. “This is the general idea in creating our undergraduate entrepreneurship major in the College of Business. It exposes students to curriculum that helps them understand the nature of entrepreneurship and innovation. Not only are we attempting to help create new business ventures, but we are also helping establish that entrepreneurial mindset in any position in an organization.”  

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Coursework for the major (which was first offered in fall 2017) includes classes like New Venture Creation, Creativity and Innovation, Small Business Planning and Entrepreneurial Finance, plus general business topics like Buyer Behavior and

ENTREPRENEURS ARE ECONOMIC ENGINES. THEY TURN THEIR RISK INTO WEALTH.

Human Resource Management. AUM chose to add the major in recognition of the valuable asset that entrepreneurship brings to a community. “Entrepreneurs are economic engines,” Ingram said. “They turn their risk into wealth, and they also possibly catch the eye of other related business too and interest them in coming to the community.” They also benefit the local workforce. “They stimulate new jobs, and they can change a way a community lives, works and plays,” Ingram said. “When successful, entrepreneurs can create a sense of creative thinking within a community that convinces leaders to invest more in that community, which in turn, can attract new residents.” And even more new ideas.

// BELL MEDIA For the first seven years of its existence, Bell Media, a Montgomery-based digital marketing agency and web development company, was an outdoor advertising company. But in 2015, CEO Scott Bell sold that part of the business to another company and took Bell Media in a brand new direction. “I, like most entrepreneurs, enjoy building things, so the timing was good for the sale of the billboard company,” he said. “I was ready for something new.” But what? The direction Bell chose to go was driven by an opportunity one of his billboard clients brought to his attention. “Our customers were always asking if we knew anything about internet and online marketing, so we knew a lot of people were interested in that service,” Bell said. Today, Bell Media helps small and midsize businesses develop digital marketing strategies to reach their growth goals. For the last four years, the company has been named to Inc. magazine’s “Inc. 5000”

Education and training are crucial resources for entrepreneurship, and AUM isn’t the only institution providing them. In the area’s K-12 system, Future Business Leaders of America chapters introduce kids to the concept of entrepreneurship. Troy University’s newly formed IDEA Bank is aimed at providing additional training for entrepreneurs and may soon be expanding to Troy’s Montgomery campus, as Charisse Stokes, Executive Director of TechMGM explained. “Our hopes are that we can have an extension of the IDEA Bank here to focus on tech and innovation,” she said.

20 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

list that recognizes the country’s fastest growing private companies. And last year, Bell Media acquired two companies and grew from 40 to 60 team members. “In 2019, we’ll continue to grow and evolve our product and service suite to meet the demands of our customers,” Bell said.


// WISE BROADBAND Joseph Woollard, founder of Wise Broadband, turned personal frustration into a business when he founded his company in 2010. “I had internet at my house from a local cable provider, and at peak times I would get very low speeds, under 2 Mbps,” he said. “I called and complained and was told that due to shared usage, there was nothing they could do to increase the speed. I thought to myself, ‘I could do better.’” He did; 45 days later he started Wise Broadband. Wise Broadband is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) that provides Internet to residential and business customers using towers to bounce signals to the house or business location. “It’s all wireless to the home or business, then we bring a wire inside that connects to your router. It’s as reliable as fiber, but without the high upfront cost,” Woollard said. It began in strictly rural areas but now has many clients in the city limits too. Soon the company will help boost Wi-Fi in

// DISCOVER E PARTNERS Started in 2009 by Bert Morris, Discover E Partners is a full-service litigation support company that takes documents attorneys have gathered in the discovery process and scans and organizes them as hardcopy and searchable digital files. Even though the company has not quite hit a decade, it’s the oldest litigation support firm in the capital city and is helping attorneys make their preparations for a trial more efficient and organized. Morris saw a need and filled it, and he and his team remain committed to staying on the leading edge. “Technology has significantly impacted this industry, and I am always looking for ways to adapt and transform with the evolving digital world,” he said.

Montgomery’s heart. “We are expanding the Wi-Fi downtown,” Woollard said. “It will stretch from the capitol to the end of Commerce Street. And it’s fast. I have gotten 250 Mbps on the connection. It should be one of the fastest free Wi-Fi spots in the country.” Wise Broadband is also starting satellite service for people in rural areas. “It has unlimited data and no contracts, making it a pretty good deal,” Woollard said.

21 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


BUILDING BUSINESS IN ALABAMA: A LOOK AT WHAT’S WORKING IN TUSCALOOSA BY DR. THERESA M. WELBOURNE, Executive Director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute

1

STEP 1: +

Finding ideas and entrepreneurs.

This step is not as easy as you might think. There are lots of people in our community with innovative business ideas who are interested in entrepreneurship, but those

recently hosted the second annual River Pitch event at the Tuscaloosa River Market. UA students and community members had opportunities to win one of eight different $1,000 prizes based on their three-minute pitch. We had over 150 people at the event, pitching, watching and sharing advice.

ideas don’t necessarily translate into an actual, sustainable business. It’s risky to

How does a community build and support a culture of entrepreneurship? This may seem like a daunting question, but many communities have tackled this challenge and provided us with examples and paths that we can adapt to fit our community’s unique needs.

Part of our work is hosting events to promote grassroots entrepreneurialism. We

talk about your ideas. It costs to move an idea to a business. It may cost you time with your family, friends and your hobbies. And you may risk financial security. Starting

2

STEP 2: +

Turning ideas into businesses.

your own business is hard work and can

A key component of our agenda at The

be scary. That’s something we can change,

EDGE is hosting regularly scheduled

and that is happening now in Tuscaloosa.

workshops and meetings with coaches and mentors who can help move ideas

In February 2019, we celebrated a grand

forward. If you have a good idea and don’t

opening for The EDGE, an incubator, accel-

necessarily want to build the business,

Growing a culture of entrepreneurship is like constructing a new building: There are some basic rules that one needs to follow (a building needs a foundation and a roof and to be code-compliant). And then there’s the creative aspect: You choose the style, colors and shape and decide whether you want to follow or innovate.

erator and workspace facility. Located in

we can help find a team to work with you.

an enterprise zone created as part of Tus-

Additionally, we can link you up to funding

caloosa’s recovery from the 2011 tornado

resources to help you find the money you

that devastated parts of the city, the brand

need to kick off your business idea.

What we are doing in Tuscaloosa is creating a hybrid approach that combines both familiar and innovative ways of supporting and growing new business ventures. How are we doing this? There are three key steps that we are taking:

The EDGE is a joint effort of the City of

that program and provide opportunities for

Tuscaloosa, the Chamber of Commerce of

students, faculty and community members

West Alabama and The University of Ala-

to get further involved.

new 27,000-square-foot building provides space for people to meet, learn, create and

Over the summer, we started our first pilot

work. We are utilizing The EDGE space

accelerator program. We worked with five

to invite people who want to be entre-

start-ups that were resident part-time or

preneurs to find ways to move their ideas

full-time businesses at The EDGE. They

forward into sustainable businesses while

were able to move their ideas forward with

assuming minimal risks.

the help of several people from our community. In 2019, we are planning to expand

bama. The University’s effort is managed by the Culverhouse College of Business’

We also have an excellent resource in our

Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, of

branch of the Small Business Development

which I am Executive Director. The EDGE

Center. Representatives from the center

has also been part of the fabric of the busi-

conducted a presentation called “Find the

ness community for several years, being

Funding” during Global Entrepreneurship

located in space generously provided to us

Week in mid-November 2018.

by Regions Bank.

22 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


3

STEP 3:

+ Growing

businesses.

Starting and growing a business is fun. However, starting a business is hard, and growing a business is even more challenging. Thus, if a community wants to support new business growth, then it must grow its entrepreneurs, leaders, workers and existing businesses. That is a key part of our work at The EDGE: We are bringing in CEOs of growth companies to meet and teach. Through a new initiative called the Growth and Innovation Leaders Forum, we are helping leaders in growth firms and utilizing their talent to build other businesses. Through the efforts of my team at the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and The EDGE, we are supporting the growth of both new and existing businesses throughout the entire West Alabama region. I encourage you to follow along by visiting us at the-edge.ua.edu.

DR. THERESA M. WELBOURNE is Executive Director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and The EDGE as well as the Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship at The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business. She has decades of experience in the areas of entrepreneurship, human capital management and strategic leadership.


VESTOR IN

PR

OFIL

PO WERHOUSE

Q&A

E

NED SHEFFIELD Ned Sheffield has been an accountant for more than 40 years, and he’s now serving as President and Managing Principal at Jackson Thornton. The firm is also a longstanding fixture of accounting in Montgomery, celebrating a century this year. While both are impressive numbers, it takes more than his profession’s facts and figures to add up and equal fulfillment for Sheffield. For him, it’s always been about people. Question? Answer. What drove you to choose a career in accounting?

The data that we are getting now is more digital-based, allowing

As I was evaluating life after high school, I thought about my

for more analysis. And that’s good because our clients want

older brother. He had a job with one of the “big four” account-

more advice from us than in the past. Accountants used to be

ing firms and seemed successful. I always looked up to him, so I

score keepers; today our clients want us to also be a coach. We

thought, “I want to do that.” It didn’t hurt that my dad, who was a

are moving into more of a consulting role now.

land surveyor, had drug me with him through swamps and briar patches and hornet nests growing up, which made me think,

What do you love about your job?

“There has got to be something better than this!”

I keep coming back to people, but that’s what I enjoy, the interaction with partners, staff and clients. I like that we have a lot of

How long have you been with Jackson Thornton?

young folks here. I like their energy and their fresh ideas.

I came here straight out of Auburn University in 1978.

What are your main roles in the firm?

What are your thoughts on the city’s current business climate?

I am in charge of all administrative functions for the firm, the

The Chamber and the City work extremely hard to give us the

strategic planning and the talent management, which means

best environment here to succeed. And the Chamber recently

making sure we have the right people. That’s really important

took such a good, strong stand on our public schools. Once

because if you have the right people, you can do anything.

again, it’s people. If we want the right people here, we have to create a great place to work but also a great place to live and

What does it mean to you to work for a company that’s been successful for 100 years?

play. I know the Chamber recognizes that, and that’s why there

Everyone here is very proud of our century of longevity. It’s diffi-

great leaders trying to make this place better for all businesses

cult to keep everything going so long with the multiple changes

and to enhance overall quality of life, and they are doing a good

and trends. You have to stay on top of that and handle the

job. When we have young recruits here, and we show them the

transitions between generations, and we’ve done that well.

city, we get positive feedback from what they see.

What sets Jackson Thornton apart?

Where do you hope your firm is in 10 years?

We try to emphasize the people side of things; I like to say we

We want to continue to expand our footprint, primarily in the

are in the people business. Your clients have to like you, and

Southeast, so I hope we just keep moving forward and keep

you have to know how to communicate well with them. Your

growing.

has been such emphasis put on public education. We have

to communicate well with them too. So again, it’s all about the

What are your interests outside of work?

people on your team and how that team works together. We are

I love Auburn sports and love spending time at Lake Martin. And

also focused on providing our staff with the tools they need to

I enjoy spending time with my family, including four grandkids.

be successful and do a great job for our clients, so we do a lot

My son, William, works here with me. My daughter and her

of continuing training.

family recently moved to Long Island, and that’s too far, so we miss them. And I like to stay involved in the community. That’s

What changes have you seen in your business?

important. I just rolled off the Chamber board and serve on the

Technology is really impacting us, but that’s like all businesses.

Committee of 100.

24 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT FOUTS

staff needs to like you and each other, and you need to be able


A Sizeable Impression Jackson Thornton is based in Montgomery but has six offices across the Southeast (and one in Kansas City), with more than 200 employees firmwide. It has approximately 135 employees in the Montgomery office, and when you add in Wetumpka and Prattville, the firm has approximately 150 employees in the River Region.

“If you have the right people, you can do anything.” 25 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


26 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER profile

DR. PORCIA LOVE Dr. Porcia Love finds gratification in the daily diversity of her work as a dermatologist (and in reminding people to always wear sunscreen), but what she really enjoys is seeing patients happy after she’s helped them resolve a skin concern.

Are you from Montgomery? I was born and raised in Montgomery. After completing my education and training, I moved back to Montgomery in 2013. I chose the River Region because of the shortage of dermatologists in the area, and I wanted to be closer to my family.

What motivated you to become a dermatologist? I love the variety of dermatology. I am able to diagnose various skin disorders and perform minor surgical, laser and cosmetic procedures — all in one specialty. Additionally, I am a visual person, and dermatology is a specialty that requires you to appreciate color, texture, shape and patterns to make an accurate diagnosis.

What’s something about skin health you think most people don’t know? I have to remind at least one patient every day that everyone, regardless of skin tone, can suffer the consequences of excessive sun exposure. This means that anyone can get skin cancer. We all should wear sunscreen or sun-protective clothing daily.

What sets River Region Dermatology & Laser apart? We treat general skin disorders, diagnose and surgically treat skin cancers and perform a wide variety of min-

Doctor of Distinction:

imally invasive cosmetic and laser procedures. We are the

Dr. Love was recently named a

only practice in the region that performs platelet-rich plasma

“Woman Who Shapes the State”

therapy for hair loss. This has revolutionized the treatment

by the Alabama Media Group.

for male and female pattern hair loss. Also, our practice was recently named a Skinceuticals Flagship Retail Center.

What are your interests outside of work? I volunteer with several local civic organizations (Junior League, American Cancer Society, Delta Sigma Theta, The Links, Incorporated). I also like to read, travel, dance and watch college football. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of? My beautiful children —Caroline (age 3), Catherine (age 2) and James (8 months). FOUNDED 2016 rrdermatologylaser.com

27 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


M E M BE R profile

JULIAN PETTY With his business LAF (Learn. Active. Fun.) Game Company, Julian Petty is proving that good times can be good business.

What are LAF’s primary offerings? We rent giant games like checkers, chess, Connect 4, Jenga, Twister, dominoes, Uno, our Imagination Playground (105 giant blue blocks in various shapes and sizes designed to encourage free play) and more for parties and events of all kinds. We deliver and set up the games and even have an option where you can keep one of our game assistants at your event to help reorganize, reset and encourage giant game play.

What does “LAF” stand for? Originally, LAF was created to provide “Large Amounts of Fun,” but with our mission to promote social, interactive, healthy lifestyles while combating bullying, discrimination, obesity and violence, we developed our Learn. Active. Fun. model. 

Are you from Montgomery? I am from Mobile and my wife Carla is from Eclectic. Currently, I am an active duty Army Cyber Operations Officer who was selected through the Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling Program to obtain my master’s degree. I chose AUM’s master’s in Cybersystems and Information Security program and will graduate in May of 2019.

What motivated you to open LAF? My single-parent mother raised my brother and me to be very outgoing. We loved sports and playing outside. And we played organized sports either through our schools, AAU or YMCA. But in Mobile, during hurricane season, we often found ourselves inside with no power playing board and card games, so LAF is kinda a combo.

Fun For All: “We do our best not to turn down a single customer like to see more of our games in the retirement and assisted living communities because we believe the games are perfect for the elderly. The games can also exercise the minds and the bodies of our disabled and physically limited communities.”

in the world’s greatest Army. I’m also the father of two beautiful children, and husband to my nurse practitioner wife. My family is my life. I enjoy working out, running, sports, Disney World and hunting (or at least attempting to hunt) and just being in the woods. ESTABLISHED 2018 lafgamco.com

28 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

or event. No event is too large or too small. We would

What are your interests outside of work? I am a fulltime graduate student, and I am an officer


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INDUSTRIAL


M EM BE R profile

ANITA CARTER Montgomery native Anita Carter loves her city and is continually rewarded by her work with homegrown company Jim Wilson & Associates and its residential developments New Park and Wynlakes, where her job is sharing what makes the communities special.

How long have you been with Jim Wilson & Associates? My real estate career spans 30 years with JWA, with the last 10 years focused on residential development and marketing for New Park and JWA.

What does your job entail? I’m responsible for the development, sales, marketing and daily operations of JWA residential properties, including New Park and Wynlakes. In addition, I manage JWA’s corporate marketing.

What, in your opinion, makes New Park a great place to live? New Park is a master-planned community located in the growth area in East Montgomery. Its family-friendly design includes sparkling lakes, a pool, splash pad, clubhouse, playground and a walking trail for all to enjoy. It is also conveniently located near schools, a vibrant YMCA facility and the best shopping, dining and entertainment in the city.

What’s your favorite thing about your job? It’s different every day. I could start my day reviewing construction drawings, then have a marketing meeting and end my day showing houses at New Park to potential residents. My goal is to be able to conquer each day with a smile on my face, and at the end of each day, be able to say I made someone else’s day better.

All-Around Involved “It has been an honor to serve my

What’s an accomplishment you are particularly proud of? I believe my greatest accom-

community as Past President for Child Protect

plishment is raising my children in this world today and

for two years, as well as serving currently as a

teaching them that hard work and honesty pay off and

Board Member for Bridge Builders of Alabama,

how important it is to give back to your community and others. My oldest, Delaney, graduated from Auburn Uni-

Montgomery Home Builders Association, the

versity in August with a degree in nursing. Harrison is a

Montgomery Area Association Multiple Listing

sophomore at Auburn University, and Wilson is a junior

Board and the Board of Trustees for the Alabama Council of Real Estate. I am also honored to be a member of the Chairman’s Circle for the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce.”

at Saint James School. FOUNDED 1975 jwamalls.com

30 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID ROBERTSON JR.

YMCA Advisory Board, the Greater


Y O U R H E A LT H OUR MISSION

F E W H O S P I TA L S A R E R E C O G N I Z E D F O R

E LEVAT ING T H E I R L E V E L O F H E A LT H C A R E

WITH TECHNOLOGY.

EVEN FEWER ARE THIS CLOSE TO YOU.

2018

BAPTIST HEALTH HAS RECENTLY BEEN NAMED AS ONE OF CHIME HEALTHCARE’S “MOST WIRED” HOSPITALS.

As one of only two hospital systems in the state to make this coveted list, Baptist Health is proud to be recognized for its continued commitment to digitally enabling the improvement of patient care. Over the past two years, we’ve invested more than $20 million in our generational infrastructure that is scalable enough to meet current and future technology needs. By remaining on the forefront of technology innovation, we’re equipping our staff to ensure the delivery of the highest quality healthcare, close to home.

L E A R N M O R E A B O U T O U R R E C O G N I T I O N AT

BAPTISTFIRST.ORG

31 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


TATE S

City& County of

A N N UA L E C O N O M I C U P DAT E

According to the leadership of both entities, 2018 was a good year for the City of Montgomery and Montgomery County, and the numbers back them up.

THE MAYOR’S TAKE

“Last year will prove monumental to the future success and development of our city. Tourism, defense, technology, infrastructure and quality

SAFE & SOUND

IMAGE BY ERIC SALAS

of life – all of the sectors that make for success

Montgomery was ranked by a national organization as 2018’s “Safest City in Alabama.” Data reported to state and federal agencies show violent and overall crime is down for the second consecutive year, and homicides were down more than 10 percent from 2017. “New and innovative law enforcement techniques and technologies are making a difference in Montgomery, and more will be done to ensure this trend continues,” Mayor Strange said.

in Montgomery – experienced exciting developments that will help our city reach new heights in the years to come. Serving this community alongside 2,400 of the hardest working municipal employees has been a true blessing. We’ve experienced our share of successes, but there are many more on the horizon. As I enter the last year of the greatest honor of my life, I pledge to continue to work collaboratively to move Montgomery forward. 2019 will prove to be another banner year in making Montgomery the best city it can be. We certainly have our challenges, but together we can address them and make great progress toward becoming that shining city on the hill we can all be proud to call home, the fulfillment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a ‘beloved community’ based on justice, equal opportunity and love of fellow human beings.” - M O N TG O M E RY M AYO R TO D D ST R A N G E

                                                                              

32 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


MGM ON THE MAP

A Very

IMAGE COURTESEY OF HUMAN PICTURES / EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE

Good Year LODGING TAX:

+ $2 MILLION FOR A TOTAL OF

$11.2 MILLION

Montgomery is now a destination city, thanks in no small part to The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which has drawn more than 300,000 visitors since May 2018. All those heads need beds. “Montgomery hotels continued to set statewide occupancy records, and we have seven new hotels under construction or in development,” Mayor Strange said.

IT ALL ADDS UP: +

2 0 1 8 FO R T H E C I TY END E D

W I T H SO M E N OTA B L E NUMBERS:

+

G ROWING SUCCESS

The city’s economy is growing, and

SALES TAX INCREASED MORE THAN

$2 MILLION

BRINGING THE CITY’S 2018 FISCAL YEAR TOTAL TO

$105.4M

AD VALOREM TAX:

$33.0 M

AN INCREASE OF MORE THAN $1 MILLION

704 NEW JOBS

Represents the highest employment and lowest unemployment rate in recent memory

30 NEW

A ND EX PANDI NG COMPANI ES

$547 MILLION IN C A P ITAL I NVESTMENTS FRO M I NDUSTR I ES

The largest investment number for Montgomery County since Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama located here

33 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

IMAGES BY CARTER PHOTO DESIGN

the numbers prove it.


SMOOTH LANDING Early in 2018, we began to prepare for the F-35 landing at the 187th Fighter Wing ANG at Dannelly Field. This success secured several thousand jobs and capital expenditures will total close to $100 million when completed. “Just as importantly, it forces us to drive technology in our schools through STEM programs and education at all levels for the 21st century job market,” Mayor Strange said. “Its ramifications will last long into the future, just as Hyundai’s presence has continued to drive employment and economic development here.”

ALMOST

20 MILES

OF PAVING ACROSS ALL CITY COUNCIL DISTRICTS

2018 COUNTY WINS Under the direction of Sheriff Derrick Cunningham, the Montgomery County Fleet Maintenance Shop opened in the fall of 2018. Montgomery County is partnering with Montgomery Job Corps to offer its students the opportunity to work at the shop and gain real-life experience in hopes of obtaining fulltime employment after completion of their

IMAGES BY ERIC SALAS

IMAGES BY HAL YEAGER

COMPLETED

+ M O N TG O M E RY CO U N T Y

BY THE NUMBERS 500

MOR E JOB S CR EATED COUNTY SALES TAX

$547 MILLION I N CAPI TAL I NVESTMENTS F R OM I NDUSTR I ES

internship. The Commission also recently purchased property in South Montgomery County to create the Montgomery County Activity Center, which will serve residents of all ages. In partnership with the YMCA, it will offer football and basketball as well as possible youth and adult softball and baseball leagues.

COLLECTI ON S:

$45.8 MILLION

( UP 2 PER CENT F R OM FY2017) AD VALOR EM TAX COLLECTION S:

COMING SOON

$20.8 MILLION

A new website for Montgomery

County is launching soon. The new

LODGI NG TAX

site will be more user-friendly and will

COLLECTI ON S:

allow residents to handle county business from the comfort of their laptop, tablet or phone.

34 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

$2.8 MILLION


The foundation of a successful government and a

successful society is a successful education system.

The last several years have been a challenge for our schools, but we have new leadership with a new

school board, new superintendent and new state superintendent. We are already seeing improvements within MPS. We must all realize that we cannot and we will not settle for anything less than the best school system possible. This is going to take hard work from all of us, but I believe it is achievable, and things will only continue to improve for our schools and, more importantly, for our young people. - Chair of The Montgomery County Commission, Commissioner Elton Dean

STRIVING FOR & SUPPORTING EXCELLENCE

T HE C IT Y WAS R ECENTLY AWAR DED

TWO SMART CITY AWARDS WHICH HONOR THE MOST

INNOVATI VE AND I NF LUENTI AL

While it has no official authority, The City of Montgomery was vocally supportive of residents and the business community in calling for and getting new leadership to improve Montgomery’s public schools. “Successes include balanced budgets, career tech education, accreditation on track and approval of conversion charter schools,” Mayor Strange said. “Progress has been made, but much is left to do. Student achievement is at the heart of our success.”

G LO BAL SMAR T CI TY PR OJECTS L AUNCHED I N THE PAST YEAR .

LOOKIN’ GOOD Recycling without the need for separation at the household level is back and is expected to extend the landfill lifecycle 35 to 50 years, while also saving millions of dollars on equipment maintenance and capital replacement costs. Blight and dilapidation removal is proceeding at a rapid pace.

35 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

TECH TRANSFORMATION Montgomery was recently ranked as one of the Top Ten Digital Cities in America. This recognition comes as a result of great work by the Chamber and the City/County IT organization to expand on the Internet Exchange and to make TechMGM a reality. “MGMWERX, which is part and parcel in our push to be a Smart City, was launched in 2018,” Mayor Strange said. “It will prove to be a boom for both our community and those who defend this nation at Maxwell-Gunter AFB by leveraging private sector and public sector agility and expertise to solve the ‘wicked problems.’” The establishment of a Smart City Living Laboratory with Alabama Power will bring efficiencies and better solutions to the community is another notable accomplishment. “All of this will pay tremendous dividends and position Montgomery as the hub for innovation, technology and good paying jobs,” Strange said.


On Watch State Legislative Agenda:

Each year, the Chamber compiles a legislative agenda listing specific issues that can affect our area’s business community. While the Alabama Legislature is in session this year, the Chamber will closely monitor bills and proposed regulations related to these issues and work to

INITIATIVES THAT MATTER

Military Initiatives that grow the military and defense missions within the River Region Initiatives that provide educational, employment and business opportunities for military families

ensure business interests are considered and concerns are heard by elected officials.

Education/Workforce Development

Business & Economic Development Technology/Innovation/Smart City initiatives

Workforce development efforts that align state workforce initiatives through the coordination of the regional workforce councils. The implementation of a State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Increased funding to Expand Career Coach Program

Continuation and enhancement of the Alabama Jobs Act

Funding to increase the number of quality Pre-K classes

Continuation and enhancement of the Grow Alabama Credit

The expansion of the Youth Apprenticeship Program

Research and Development income tax credit that parallels the federal R & D credit Streamlining sales tax collections

A set of academic college and career ready standards in math and English

Initiatives to enhance Montgomery’s tourism industry and historical significance

Continued funding for statewide STEM Education Outreach program

Small Business Initiatives that assist cyber and technology growth, small and minority business development

Find more details about the Chamber’s advocacy on behalf of your business and your community at

montgomerychamber.com/legislative-agenda.

36 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


who YOU know

Congressman Mike Rogers (R)

Laws and regulations affect your business, so you should make it your business to know who represents you in the Alabama Legislature and in Congress. Meet Montgomery’s delegation.

ALABAMA LEGISLATURE

Will Barfoot (R) Senator, District 25

David Burkette (D) Senator, District 26

Kelvin Lawrence (D) Representative, District 69

Dimitri Polizos (R) Representative, District 74

Reed Ingram (R) Representative, District 75

Thad McClammy (D) Representative, District 76

Tashina Morris (D) Representative, District 77

Kirk Hatcher (D) Representative, District 78

Chris Sells (R) Representative, District 90

37 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

U.S. CONGRESS

Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D)

Congressman Martha Roby (R)

Senator Richard Shelby (R)

Senator Doug Jones (D)


B U S I N E S S OF L I F E

EXPERT ADVICE

A D VA N C E &ADAPT ELDERCARE CHANGES Across the country, eldercare is changing. Here in the River Region, area eldercare businesses and

T H E N E W FA C E O F CA R E

organizations are shifting too, making many of their

In contrast to the nursing homes a decade ago, facili-

adjustments in response to growing demands. BY M . J . E L L I N G T O N

I

ties once thought to be for end-of-life care now provide options for patients who may need different care, some very short term, some for months or longer. “In many

n case you haven’t noticed, modern health facilities and programs that serve area senior citizens are not your father’s nursing home, rehabilitation program or specialty care facility either. Federal and insurer reg-

ulations, consumer demand and tight government budgets all play a part in how providers and local nonprofit programs adjust to meet demand for services.

ways, we are what the community hospital used to be,” Capitol Hill Administrator Sharon Baker said. Now, nurses trained to give intravenous medications and handle other medical devices are available 24 hours per day, she said. Capitol Hill holds dual certification, enabling the facility to adjust the 284-bed space for either nursing home or

The changes come partly as the result of federal Medicare and Medicaid requirements, health insurer rules and patient treatment innovations in a constantly changing world of care. “It is a different age; we have to be very diverse,” said Teri Sumbry, Communications Specialist with Turenne PharMedCo, a company owned by Turenne & Associates, the same company that owns Capitol Hill Healthcare and Rehab First in Montgomery. Bobby Stephenson concurred. He’s Corporate Administrator for Hillview Terrace and Rehab Select, a nursing home and rehabilitation facility. Both companies accept Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance patients, all drivers of health-care delivery regu-

short-term rehabilitation, depending on demand, and also has agreement from Veterans Affairs to accept veterans when state VA facilities do not have room. Turenne, a private for-profit Alabama corporation, also operates a pharmacy program for facility patients in Alabama and Tennessee and a subscription-only website for facilities nationwide that Sumbry said constantly updates federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) nursing home regulations. CMS food service and dietetic procedures alone exceed 700 pages, she said.

lations affecting how the businesses operate.

38 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


“IT IS A DIFFERENT AGE; W E H A V E T O B E V E R Y D I V E R S E .” - T E R I S U M B R Y, C O M M U N I C AT I O N S S P E C I A L I S T W I T H T U R E N N E C O R P.

O P T I O N S E X PA N D I N G The River Region will soon have a new

“CMS sets quality standards for nursing

corporation that owns both is a compa-

option for seniors looking for accommoda-

homes. Who you hire now is a person

ny owned by Patti Wallace and her son,

tions that are centered on them and their

who is very qualified,” Stephenson said.

Chris Schmidt. The company owns five

needs. With a price tag of $27 million,

The nursing facilities see much sick-

facilities, all in Alabama.

the facility will be built in Montgomery’s

er patients than in the past, with doctors and/or nurse practitioners on call

EastChase area and will include sections for independent living, assisted living and

seven days a week. Specialty provid-

S P E C I A L AT T E N T I O N

ers, including pulmonologists, cardiol-

A small, four-building specialty care

amenity offerings like a library, fitness

ogists and others make “house calls.”

provider, Angels for the Elderly cares

center, a physical therapy room, even a

for patients with dementia and Alz-

pub. Its close proximity to the retail and

Hillview has 93 nursing home beds

heimer’s disease, spokeswoman Kim

restaurants of east Montgomery adds to

and Rehab Select has 50 in a separate

Blackmon Wilson said. The facility has

its appeal. The facility is scheduled to be

space in the same building. The private

four “homelike” buildings, each

completed by late 2020.

39 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

memory care with multiple activity and


B E S T A G E T O S TA R T When individuals apply for long term care insurance:

G O O D T O K N O W

UNDER 54: 26.5% AGE 55-64: 54% AGE 65+: 19.5% Source: Kiplinger’s

What advice can you offer on choosing inpatient rehabilitation hospital care versus other options when it comes to seniors? “Knowing what to look for in a rehabilitation services pro-

“ I N M A N Y W AY S , W E A R E W H AT THE COMMUNITY H O S P I TA L U S E D T O B E ,” - SHARON BAKER, CAPITOL HILL

vider is important. You should “They do it to support Medicaid because Medicaid is the foundation of health care in the state and without it, the system would collapse for all of us,” Matson said. Eldercare also requires and supports a

A D M I N I S T R AT O R

large workforce. “In Montgomery County,

housing 16 residents with care, activities

employees whose work hours add up to

and surroundings for people with a partic-

a work week of 1,100 full-time-equivalent

ular stage of dementia.

employees,” Matson said.

Wilson said Angels is for people who need more than short-term rehabilitation but less care than a nursing home including daily activities, exercise and music for mental and physical stimulation. Unlike the Medicaid programs of some states, Alabama Medicaid does not pay for assisted living care. Private payment and some health insurance plans that include assisted living do pay.

CRUCIAL ROLE

nursing homes employ full- and part-time

N O N - P R O F I T S ' PA RT While eldercare is big business and always will be, area non-profit organizations provide essential services, too. The Montgomery Area Council on Aging (MACOA) pioneered senior services for the Montgomery area in 1972. The United Way agency’s services help senior citizens age in place, and its service area includes Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Tallapoosa and Coosa counties.

Alabama nursing homes pay a special tax

Services in Montgomery County include

on each patient bed to help the state fund

two senior centers, a travel group, month-

Medicaid services for poor and disabled

ly luncheons for active seniors, stretching

Alabamians. According to Alabama Nurs-

classes and computer training. MACOA

ing Home Association Spokesman John

is also home to the Retired and Senior

Matson, this tax generated $112 million

Volunteer Program that places seniors

statewide in 2018. Nursing homes in Mont-

in volunteer positions in five central Ala-

gomery County pay an additional bed tax

bama counties.

that generated $4.3 million for 2018.

continued on page 44

ask providers about expectations, the level of care and programs offered for patients recovering from your specific condition and learn about the staff who will be a part of the treatment team during their stay. Facility tours are also important. Be sure to take a look at the patient rooms and the therapy gym and ask about how much time the patient will spend in therapy each day. If the patient has additional medical needs, find out how those will be treated during the rehabilitation stay. Keep in mind that not all patients qualify for every care setting, but looking at all available options will help you see the difference and make you a better-educated decision maker.”

RAN DY TH O M PSO N, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER E N C O M P A S S H E A LT H

40 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


41 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


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M EM BER Spotlight

OAK GROVE INN Located in the peaceful community of Grove Park, conveniently located right off Vaughn Road, Oak Grove Inn has set a new standard of excellence in the River Region for senior living. NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 46 WHAT ARE OAK GROVE INN’S PRIMARY SERVICES? Independent living and assisted living. The independent living apartments come in your choice of one or two bedrooms and seven floor plans. Each apartment comes with a fully furnished kitchen, washer/dryer units and either a balcony or patio. Our assisted living options include studios and one- and twobedroom units with kitchenettes to suit your preference and needs. The assisted living area is staffed with personnel 24 hours a day to provide residents with the assistance and supervision needed. WHAT IS OAK GROVE INN’S PATIENT-CARE PHILOSOPHY? At Oak Grove Inn, your lifestyle and well-being are our commitment. We treat you like family because when you move here, you become part of the Oak Grove Inn family. WHAT SETS OAK GROVE INN APART? The variety of services we offer, along with personal attention is on a whole different level. Our on-site, full-time pharmacy is conveniently available to all of our residents. Our transportation and concierge services are such that you can remain independent longer whether you still drive or choose not to. You can easily develop your own lifestyle with a wide variety of floor plans available. Extensive activities to strengthen the body, mind and spirit are available too, along with special event catering for resident-hosted functions. And it’s all set amid the gorgeous landscaping and inviting English-style architecture that is reflected throughout the neighborhood. All of the residents have access to a private clubhouse, walking trails around two beautiful lakes and a farm where they can enjoy gardening and being active in nature. Above all, our staff is caring and attentive with longevity because they love working here just as much as our residents love living here. WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON AT OAK GROVE INN? In 2019, we will begin development on expanding our services to include specialty care apartments for individuals who have Alzheimer’s as well as some free-standing cottages with a garage.

3801 OAK GROVE DRIVE / 334-954-1966 / OAKGROVEINN.ORG 43 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

LONG-TERM CARE

BY T H E N U M B E RS

INSURANCE: THE INS & OUTS

20%

GOING UP

17%

Long-term care planning needs to adjust

12%

31%

for rising costs in the future.

C O S T S T O D AY:

20%

1 YEAR OF CARE $73,000 3 YEARS OF CARE $225,570

E S T I M AT E D Y E A R S O F LO N G -T E R M CARE NEEDED AFTER AGE 65

5 YEARS OF CARE $387,500

IN 10 YEARS: 1 YEAR OF CARE, $98,100 3 YEARS OF CARE $303,200 5 YEARS OF CARE $520,800

ZERO: 31% 1 YEAR OR LESS: 17%

1-2 YEARS: 12% 2-5 YEARS: 20% MORE THAN 5 YEARS: 20% Source: Kiplinger’s

IN 20 YEARS: 1 YEAR OF CARE $131,850 3 YEARS OF CARE $407,500 5 YEARS OF CARE $700,000

Bo Jinright, Owner and President of the The Jinright Group in Montgomery, weighed in on this important, but sometimes confusing, eldercare topic. What is long-term care insurance and why is it needed? Long-Term Care insurance (LTCi) typically covers a broad range of services including nursing home care, assisted living facilities, adult day care and/or home care. These types of custodial care are

MACOA’s 2018 GuideStar annual

Alabama Department of Senior

report showed the agency provided

Services, Alabama Medicaid Agency,

122,487 Meals on Wheels to 404

local governments, donations and oth-

homebound seniors per day and

er grant funding. “We help individuals

23,928 frozen meals. Of the agency’s

who are elderly or disabled who have

1,271 volunteers, 859 delivered Meals

challenges, medical and financial,

on Wheels.

with being able to perform daily tasks needed to remain in the communi-

Executive Director Donna Marietta

ty. Our services help them remain in

explained that even with an expanded

the community longer,” Susan Seg-

meals programs and frozen meals, the

rest, Executive Director, said.

agency always has a meals waiting list, now numbering more than 200.

Services in 2018 included 162,259

She said transportation for the pro-

home-delivered meals for 1,100 clients

gram is the greatest unmet need.

at a cost of over $606,000 and area senior centers that served 1,133

Central Alabama Aging Consortium

clients more than 99,200 meals at a

(CAAC) is the area agency on aging

cost of more than $3 million. CAAC

for Montgomery, Autauga and Elmore

ombudsmen did troubleshooting for

counties. It gets funding from the

189 clients who were at risk of or in

44 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

expensive and are generally needed for long periods. Without Long-Term Care insurance, these costs will fall to you or to Medicaid once finances become low enough to qualify. Medicare and health insurance do not cover most long-term care expenses.   

What advice/tips would you offer someone who’s looking to get longterm care insurance? Speak to an insurance or financial professional to answer your questions, weigh your options and ask for pricing. It’s always free to request this information. The sweet spot for planning is your 50s and 60s but don’t delay too long. LTCI must be medically underwritten to qualify, so a higher age can mean a higher premium.


M EM BER Spotlight

WESLEY GARDENS METHODIST HOME When it opened more than 32 years ago, Wesley Gardens was the first retirement community of its kind in the country. Today, it remains on the leading edge of comfortable, caring assisted living options. HISTORY: Wesley Gardens opened in the 1980s as Halcyon Terrace and at that time, it was the first free-standing domiciliary in the United States. In 1989, Wesley Gardens became part of the Methodist Homes Corporation, which operates a dozen communities in Alabama and Northwest Florida. NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 56 WHAT ARE WESLEY GARDENS’ PRIMARY SERVICES? Wesley Gardens welcomes a wide range of individuals aged 62 and older. Its assisted living arrangements provide just the right balance of independence and support. Nurses and care staff are available around the clock to assist with medications, grooming and other personal care services. In addition, a memory care section adds security features for those with mild to moderate dementia. Wesley Gardens also offers full service dining and provides three home-cooked meals a day in a well-appointed dining room. During mealtime, residents order from a daily menu and are served by a friendly wait staff.  WHAT IS WESLEY GARDENS’ PATIENT-CARE PHILOSOPHY? Wesley Gardens provides a warm and caring home for seniors who still enjoy an active life. The gathering places, mealtimes and events are filled with friendly faces and lively activities, and there’s always help nearby whenever it’s needed. Wesley Gardens fully incorporates its mission: “To enrich the lives of older adults and all those who serve them in faith-based communities where life is celebrated, relationships are valued, teamwork is embraced, service excellence is expected, and the touch of God’s love is ever-present and ageless.” WHAT SETS WESLEY GARDENS AND ITS SERVICES APART FROM OTHER RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES? The longevity of its staff. Wesley Gardens is blessed to have associates who have committed their career to serving our residents. A large majority of staff has served Wesley Gardens for more than 15 years. Administrator Randy Allen just completed 32 years of service. Also, Wesley Gardens’ Fountain of Love Fund was created to be an ever-flowing source of funds to help individuals in a Methodist Home whose own finances become exhausted. No resident has ever been asked to leave a Methodist Home due to their inability to pay. 1555 TAYLOR ROAD / 334-272-7917 / METHODISTHOMES.ORG 45 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


abusive situations and 417 clients who receive assistance to help pay for their share of prescription drug costs.

H OW ELD ERCA R E CA N A FFECT YO U R B U S I N ESS: Today, many who are hitting “advanced

employees. But that number is higher

Segrest also pointed to transportation as

senior status” are finding fewer of their

than it once was and continues to rise,

an issue, but from a different perspective,

adult children available to help

as employees make it clear that

noting that the

with their growing needs, creat-

eldercare is a priority and as

greatest unmet

ing a dilemma for countless

companies compute the dive

senior service

families. As a result, deciding

in productivity that balancing

need in the greater Montgomery area is affordable non-emergency transportation.

IN 2018, MACOA PROVIDED

122,487 MEALS ON WHEELS TO 404

She stressed the work she and

HOMEBOUND S E N I O R S P E R D AY

how to best allow for and even

O N LY

assist employees as they care for aging parents is a human resources issue that’s on the rise for most employers. If your company doesn’t currently have any official

12%

OF C O M PA N I E S OFFER CAREGIVER SUPPORT RESOURCES FOR THEIR E M P LOY E E S .

others do to help

eldercare policies in place,

senior citizens is important. “We are so

you’re not alone. According to

blessed to be able to come to work every

a recent Forbes article, only

day and just by doing our jobs, help make

12 percent of companies offer

somebody’s life a little better,” she said.

caregiver-support resources for their

46 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

caregiving and work can cause in employees. As more and more companies recognize how important elder care is to employees and how costly not being proactive can be, expanded leave periods are becoming more common as are efforts to defray expenses associated with elder care, making it a human resources trending

topic no business can afford to ignore.


Industry Leader | Eldercare

SYNERGY HomeCare When was your company founded? SYNERGY

require a minimum number of hours to start service. We customize

HomeCare was founded in 2001. My wife Lynn and I purchased

our care plans and the service schedule to our clients’ specific

our franchise territories in central and east Alabama and started

needs. We also use a service agreement, not a contract so our

service with our first client on February 1, 2015. We had been

clients are not locked into an arrangement. We look at our service

caring for our aging parents and saw the tremendous need for this

as a partnership with the families we serve. Our motto is: “No

type of service.

contracts, just care.”

How many employees do you have in the River Region? We currently have 50-plus employees in and

Recent Awards: During our first year of business, we re-

around the River Region, and we are adding more weekly.

cy in its first year. Then last year for our third year of business we

ceived the Rookie of The Year award as the fastest growing agenreceived a Top Tier Revenue Growth award in our franchise sys-

What are your primary services? SYNERGY

tem. We have also won the Best of HomeCare award for five years

HomeCare provides non-medical homecare to the elderly and

in a row from HomeCare Pulse, a third-party quality assurance firm,

people with disabilities of all ages to assist their activities of daily

and we won the Caring Stars award in 2018 from caring.com.

living. This primarily consists of companionship; transportation to appointments and running errands; meal preparation; light housekeeping; personal care such as bathing, toileting, transferring; and memory care. SYNERGY HomeCare owners and our management team have been certified as dementia care specialists.

What sets your company/business apart? The thing that sets us apart from our competition is that we do not

540 Clay Street 334-203-1850 synergyhomecare.com/Montgomery

47 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


B U S I N E S S OF L I F E

EXPERT ADVICE

We asked a few local businesses that deal with eldercare and eldercare issues to share advice on their area of expertise.

G O O D T O K N O W What advice can you

What advice can you offer on choosing the right retirement community? 

What advice can you give someone struggling to take care of themselves, but who’d like to stay at home? “There are resources available to help. Our Aging & Disability

Ask about the waiting list if there is one and what the community’s process is so you can give yourself options. I would also suggest touring communities

Resource Center will screen people

during meal time

for eligibility for services and bene-

or when there

fits, including homemaker, personal

are activities

care, companion, respite, adult day

going on. This

health and meals assistance.”

way you can meet and engage with those who already live there. And ask plenty of questions. Are services advertised included in the monthly rate you’re given? Is the community licensed by the health department? What’s the longevity of the staff? These are all things you want to know the

- SUSAN SEGREST,

answers to.

offer on choosing the right home care option for a parent or loved one? Do your due diligence. It is important to understand what home care services consist of. They are usually non-medical in nature and may be needed for only a few hours a week or up to 24 hours per day. The types of care that can be provided are broad. Second, research the agencies online and conduct in-home interviews with your top three choices. Get to know the potential agency owners and employees to better understand how they conduct business. Be prepared to ask: how the staff is trained and screened; what its plan of care is; if it offers 24-hour contact for questions; and more.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CENTRAL ALABAMA AGING CONSORTIUM

- AMANDA FRANK OAK GROVE INN

What advice can you offer on choosing the right retirement community?  “Our advice would be to look at many communities and drop by rather than making an appointment. An impromptu visit will give a more realistic picture of how the day-today looks. Also, look for longevity of staff and associate turn-over. This is something we are asked about by most families. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated staff, including our nursing administrator at 15-plus years.” - R A N D Y A L L E N , A D M I N I S T R A T O R  WESLEY GARDENS METHODIST HOME

48 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

- SCOTT S. SLOCUM, C EO, SY N ERGY HOMECARE OF CENTRAL AND EAST ALABAMA


49 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


GiveBack

EMPOWERING OTHERS

/ by MELISSA JOHNSON WARNKE

With its range of programs serving people of all ages with disabilities,

IMAGES COURTESY OF EASTER SEALS/BIG DREAMZ CREATIVE.

Central Alabama Easterseals is offering a “hand up” that ends up benefitting the entire community.

Easterseals Central Alabama is changing lives in a multitude of ways.

At Easterseals in Montgomery, everyone is eager to share a

Lynn, who has been with Easterseals for nearly 13 years,

story — a story about a young child struggling with a learning

leads the community rehabilitation program site in Montgom-

disability who’s now a successful

ery, one of eight sites throughout

college sophomore; a senior citizen

the state. Camp ASCCA, the world’s

who found herself living below the poverty line who’s now purposefully employed; or an adult with severe physical disabilities who’s now working at a hospital and receiving full benefits. These stories each represent a life changed through Easterseals. They

Building Lives “All their lives, they have been told what they cannot do. With our program, we show them what they can do.” - Debbie Lynn

provide a glimpse into how the or-

largest barrier-free recreational camp, is also a program of Easterseals. Each site has the same mission — to provide services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical and mental disabilities, and other special needs. However, programs vary by location. “Our programming is not cook-

ganization helps people with disabilities live, learn, work and

ie-cutter throughout the state,” said Easterseals Alabama

play in our community.

CEO Lynne Stokley. “Each location provides services for the unique needs of that particular community through therapy,

“This is very rewarding work,” said Debbie Lynn, the Exec-

training, education and support services.”

utive Director of Easterseals Central Alabama. “You get to know the families you serve, and you get to see the positive

“In Central Alabama, the bedrock of their work is in adult ed-

difference you’ve made in their lives.”

ucation — helping those living with a disability train and apply 50 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


Learn More: Easterseals is a national organization and is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical and mental disabilities, and other special needs. Easterseals Alabama was founded in 1926; its name then was the Alabama Society for Crippled Children. The national organization at that time was called the National Society for Crippled Children. The current name (both here and nationally) comes from the stamp-like seals that were first created in 1934 to raise money for the organization’s services. The name change came in 1967. Learn more about Easterseals Central Alabama at eastersealscentralalabama.org.

Easterseals Central Alabama is focused on helping people train for and find employment.

for jobs, but they also serve hundreds of

With our program, we show them what

children and senior citizens every year

they can do,” added Lynn.

through various programs,” added Stokley.

Delivering Inclusion & Empowerment In 2018, Easterseals Central Alabama served more than 2,000 children and adults in 31 Alabama counties. The staff also opened the doors to a brand new facility just behind its old building next to Baptist Medical Center South. While it isn’t as large as the previous building, its smaller footprint coincides with the changing approach of adult rehabilitation. Rather than sheltering their consumers to train inside Easterseals’ facilities, they integrate them into the community. “We want to help them navigate real life – not keep them separated from it,” said Lynn. “It is more of an empowerment model.” Local businesses like Chappy’s Deli, Koch Foods, Big Lots Distribution Center and Diversified Maintenance regularly hire employees referred by Easterseals. The jobs are sometimes the first opportunity these

Easterseals’ new building has also been a gamechanger for its children’s programs, filling a gap in services for autism and other developmental disabilities. “Particularly in Montgomery, there is just so little out there. We were finding that families were having to drive several hours away to get answers to their questions,” said Lynn. Today, the Easterseals facility offers a one-stop autism clinic where children can be diagnosed and treated in all three rehabilitation disciplines: occupational, speech and behavioral therapy. Easterseals also offers the CARE project, which helps people acquire no-cost medical equipment that has been refurbished, repaired and sanitized. Additionally, a Certified Nurses Aid (CNA) program and an American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting program are both available to the public.

Benefits to Business

Easterseals’ multiple programs provide obvious benefits for the many people they serve,

but they also offer an upside for local businesses. Easterseals’ Vocational Evaluation Department uses interviews and standardized vocational tests to assess vocational and academic skills, aptitudes and interests and then helps match individuals with an appropriate position. Its Employment Program assists employers with manpower needs, helping them find and place job-ready individuals in their open jobs. And Project Search Montgomery, held at host site Baptist Health, gives high-school students the chance

Strengthening the Easterseals Mission

to explore careers and develop job skills

adults have been given to independently thrive in their community. “All their lives,

The services and programs offered by Eas-

the opportunity to evaluate potential

they have been told what they cannot do.

terseals are costly, and the organization

employees.

51 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

and at the same time, allows Baptist


GiveBack

never turns anyone down. “When you have a consumer base of 72 to 73 percent Medicaid, the numbers just

GIVEBACK

BRIEFS

don’t work,” said Lynn. “Also, autism

Trustmark Celebrates Month of Thanks and Week of Giving

evaluation is very expensive.”

In December 2018, Trustmark celebrated its 129th anniversary with a

While Easterseals qualifies for some

Month of Thanks and Week of Giving

national and state funding, the orga-

initiative on its social media platforms.

nization also relies on local support.

Throughout the Month of Thanks,

The annual Autism Mudbug Ball, orga-

Trustmark shared posts of thanks for

nized entirely by a volunteer com-

their associates, customers and com-

mittee, is the group’s largest annual

munities throughout its marketplace.

fundraiser, and all the money raised

Trustmark created the Week of Giving

goes straight to autism-related ser-

initiative through which the compa-

vices. Easterseals is also a program of

ny donated $129,000 to nonprofit

the River Region United Way.

organizations across its footprint. Three community organizations in

Donations and grants from the

each of the five states where Trust-

business community are crucial, too.

mark is located shared in $25,000 based on the number of “likes” received via Trustmark’s social

Montgomery-based Shaw Technolo-

media platforms during the Week of Giving initiative. The organization with the most “likes” received

gy, one of Easterseals’ donors, started

$15,000, the second most “likes” received $7,500 and the third most “likes” received $2,500. The

out as the facility’s IT provider. After

remaining $4,000 was gifted to the organization having the most overall number of “likes” during

seeing the impact firsthand, Shaw’s

the campaign. In Alabama, Montgomery’s Valiant Cross Academy got the most “likes” and received

leaders decided to get involved.

$19,000.

“Everyone there is kind and courteincredibly positive impact on Central

Volunteers Impact Montgomery Zoo

Alabama. It’s been a pleasure to see

The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wild-

them flourish and impact the lives

life Learning Museum hosted its first

of so many children with special

Serve Day of 2019 on January 5. More

needs in our area, and we’re happy

than 30 volunteers from around the

to be a small part,” said Channing

River Region and as far away as Dothan

Allen, Shaw’s Director of Sales and

spent the day raking leaves and clean-

Marketing.

ing up the Zoo grounds. Serve Day is

ous, and it’s clear that they make an

held every other month and provides

couldn’t be more grateful for that

MAX Helps Local Non-Profit Bring Christmas Joy

support. When it comes to return

MAX, in conjunction with the MAX4Kids Founda-

through volunteer service. Volunteers

on investment, she says, giving to

tion, hosted a shopping trip benefitting local non-profit

play a vital role in the success of the

Easterseals is a no-brainer. “For every

Common Ground Montgomery’s 12th Annual Christmas

Montgomery Zoo. More than 1,000

dollar you spend on vocational reha-

Store. The store gives kids in the community the joy

people volunteered at the Montgom-

bilitation, you are putting $30 back

of receiving toys for Christmas, offering parents and

ery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning

into the community through wages,

guardians of these kids the opportunity to purchase

Museum in 2018, serving more than

consumers’ ability to purchase goods

toys at an affordable rate. The MAX4Kids Foundation

6,000 hours. “Volunteers expand our

and services and taxes paid. It just

donated $2,500 worth of toys and also donated bug-

ability to provide a quality attraction for

makes sense to be able to put people

gies to be used for a better shopping experience for

the thousands of guests who visit the

to work and to get them to a place

Common Ground’s 12th Annual Christmas Store. MAX

Zoo each year,” Melanie Golson, APR,

where they can contribute,” she said.

associates presented the staff at Common Ground with

Marketing and Public Relations Manag-

a $10,000 donation from the MAX4Kids Foundation.  

er, explained.

For Debbie Lynn and her staff, they

52 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

individuals and groups an opportunity to give back to the Zoo and community


53 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


54 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


GiveBack

RISING ABOVE

by SAVANNA PRUITT

IMAGES COURTESY OF SERQUEST

Valiant Cross Academy is building a supportive community for young men, one student at a time.

Founded in 2015 with the motto, “Rise above,” Valiant Cross Academy is an all-male, Christian-based school focused on

Proud Partners. #SerquestMBJ

increasing the literacy, attendance and graduation rates of each

Serquest, a local organization that provides

student. Though it currently serves only sixth through ninth grad-

media and software assistance to non-profits,

ers, there are plans to add a grade level each year through 2021.

is kicking off 2019 with a “Team Storytelling” campaign. Check out #SerquestMBJ on Facebook to get a behind-the-scenes look at

One of the largest overall missions of the school administration

Valiant Cross’s football team.

and faculty is cultivating an atmosphere of community. Savion German, eighth grade student and football team captain, shared his thoughts on the brotherhood and culture found at Valiant

We are all brothers, and we have a lot in common with each

Cross.

other. We tell each other every day that we have each other’s backs— that applies on and off the football field. Our coaches

What’s the best thing about attending Valiant Cross?

want us to be supportive of each other. They tell us we can

Valiant Cross has taught me how to be a leader and how to have

accomplish so much more if we work together as a team rather

respect for my teachers and coaches. I think my education here

than try to be superstars.

will help me become an engineer and leader in my community and the world. This school helps build my confidence and makes

How can you take what you’re learning at Valiant Cross and

me think about which college I want to attend and what career

apply it outside of class to make our community a better place?

I want to have as an adult. My favorite thing about Valiant Cross

Whether we are out on the football field or out on a field trip, we

Academy is going to the altar to pray every day. I can focus on

are representing our school, and we need to represent it well.

the day ahead and leave everything else behind.

We learn about leadership and community through our five core values: honor, discipline, integrity, excellence and love. We are

What’s your favorite part of being on, and leading, the football

taught to use those core values in the classroom and on the field,

team? My favorite part of being on the team is being part of a

but more importantly in our daily lives.

brotherhood. A lot of us started here together at Valiant Cross, and this is the first year we have had a football program. To me, being a team captain means that you are a good team player, and

P OW E R E D B Y

someone who the rest of the team can look up to. I like to approach every game with a positive attitude. In sports, you never know if you will win or lose, but it really comes down to how you approach and play the game. If we stay positive, we have a much better chance of staying focused. 55 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Regional Impact

BIKING BENEFITS CITIES & CITIZENS With multiple riding-route options for both road and mountain bikers, the River Region appeals to cyclists of all stripes, and recent and ongoing bike-friendly initiatives are boosting the area’s image.

SHARE CYCLE: This past summer, The Montgomery City Council voted to approve an ordinance with provisions that will allow bike-share vendors to locate in Montgomery. Bike shares make bicycles available for shared use to individuals on a short-term basis for a low price. Many systems allow people to borrow a bike from a dock and return it at another station in the same system. According to City officials, bike

xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx

IMAGES COURTESY OF MONTGOMERY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

sharing ideas are currently still being evaluated.

organization that creates opportunities for bikers at various levels to enjoy group rides. For example, the club offers a relaxed-pace ride on Sundays geared to the slowest and newest rider. The club also organizes an annual bicycle ride known as the Glassner Autumn Challenge. The 2019 ride, scheduled for

Biking has a lot to offer those seeking an

Rolling along, riders can take in the sights of

October 12, starts at Alabama State Univer-

afternoon of exercise. “It’s low-impact,” said

the countryside. “You can see more of your

sity and offers a variety of routes ranging

Robert Traphan, who serves as president of

surroundings. It’s a more enjoyable form of

from a 7-mile ride through historic sites in

the Montgomery Bike Club. “It doesn’t quite

exercise than some of the others that are

downtown Montgomery to the River Region

have the strain on the body like running

available,” Traphan added.

200K.

does.” Biking is also a practical form of exercise

The club educates its members on bike

If you’re looking for a place to bike, it’s easy

that can get you to work and back. “The

safety as well and takes an active role in ad-

to leave an urban setting and head for rural

bicycle can be a viable source of transporta-

vocating for bicycle-friendly transportation

roads in Montgomery County, such as Hope

tion,” Traphan said.

policies. These efforts include supporting

Hull and Pintlala or Pike Road and Cecil. Or you can opt for a public trail.

the work of the Montgomery Metropolitan The Montgomery Bike Club, which has

Planning Organization (MPO) and participat-

about 250 members of all ages, is an active

ing in the steering committee for Walk Bike

56 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


IMAGES COURTESY OF MONTGOMERY BIKE CLUB.

Get Started

If you’re just beginning as a biker, the first step is to find a bike that fits, Robert Traphan advised. Discount stores may have a good starter bike, though options Montgomery

may be limited for those who are taller

has received an

River Region. “Walk Bike River Region is the Montgomery Metropolitan

or shorter than average. In that case,

“Honorable Mention” as a Bicycle Friendly Community.

Planning Organiza-

going to a bike shop becomes the next The City also supports share-the-

option. “A bike shop fits you and mea-

road initiatives. “The most promi-

sures you,” Traphan said.

nent share-the-road project was a Bikes should also be appropriate for the

joint City of Montgomery-Montgom-

tion’s action-oriented Bicycle and Pedes-

ery County funded project where 148

type of riding – whether road riding on

trian Plan that plans for needed bicycle

miles of Bicycle Share the Road signage

paved roads, cross riding on dirt roads

and pedestrian improvements in the

was placed in east Montgomery and

or mountain bike riding on mountain

City and the three-county region,” said

various southeast Montgomery County

bike trails.

Robert Smith, Director of Planning for the

Roadways outside of the city limits,”

City of Montgomery. “The main goal is to

Smith said.

Helmets are required safety gear for riders 16 and under, though many adult

provide connectivity of existing bicycle facilities and desired destinations for

Other bike-friendly programs the City

riders choose to wear them as well.

bicycle travel citywide and regionwide.”

has put in place include the Hall Street

Cycling gloves help protect hands from

Bicycle Lanes project, which converted a

getting scrapes during an accident. In

The plan envisions 190 miles of biking

four-lane road into a two-lane, quar-

addition, blinking taillights and head-

facilities within the city limits and 422

ter-mile route that connects Centennial

lights are also used as safety features.

miles of planned biking facilities in the

Hill, Alabama State University and Oak

MPO area, which covers parts of Mont-

Park. And Maxwell Boulevard Bike Path,

If you’re looking for place to ride, public

gomery, Autauga and Elmore counties.

which connects Maxwell Air Force Base

trails in the area include:

“By improving biking capabilities for our

to Wright Brothers Park, Cottage Hill and

citizens, we can improve the environ-

downtown.

1

ment, health and well-being of our citizens,” Smith said.

Swayback Bridge Trail in Wetumpka is a 4.6 miles loop trail for mountain bike riding.

Thanks to these efforts, Montgomery has received an “Honorable Mention” as a

2

Lagoon Park Trail

One improvement in recent years is the

Bicycle Friendly Community, a designa-

addition of the Lagoon Park Trail. Bicycle

tion made by The League of American

enthusiast Will O’Connor was enlisted

Bicyclists, and bicycling enthusiasts like

to help build a 5.5-mile trail on 176 acres

Traphan would like to see this rating

of land owned by Lagoon Park. He and

improve. He believes the key is encour-

other volunteers built the trail in pieces

aging businesses to add their support by

for about four years. “This is the first trail

seeking this designation. If businesses

behind its campus.

of its kind in Montgomery,” O’Connor

want free advice in applying to become

.

said. “There is a similar project called

a bike-friendly business, visit mgmbike-

Swayback Bridge just north of Wetump-

club.org for more information.

in Montgomery offers 5.5 miles with single-track and double-track paths.

3

4

Auburn University at Montgomery offers 4 miles of easy off-road trails

Tuskegee National Forest in Macon County and

ka. Out at AUM’s campus there are some

Chewacla State Park in Auburn also

walking trails that are open to bikers.”

have mountain biking trails. 57 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


MyMGM

NATURAL TREASURE / by MELISSA JOHNSON WARNKE Established in 1935, The Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit citizen conservation organization and promotes conservation education, responsible stewardship of wildlife and natural resources, and Alabama’s hunting and angling heritage. Using the appeal of the outdoors and the Alabama Nature Center, the group is engaging the next generation of conservationists.

Discovery Hall is home to a variety of exhibits and animals, including Grouch the snapper turtle . IMAGES COURTESY OF ALABAMA WILDLIFE FEDERATION.

You won’t find someone more passionate

education should be elevated to priority

about his job than Alabama Wildlife Federa-

status. “In every one of our board meetings

tion (AWF) Executive Director Tim Gothard.

at the time, we would circle back to the

A lifelong outdoor enthusiast with a Forest

same conversation — that young people are

Management degree from Auburn Universi-

becoming increasingly disconnected from

ty, Gothard spends his days ensuring future

the land,” said Gothard. “We finally decided

generations get to enjoy the same things he

it was time to stop talking about it and do

did as a child, with AWF’s Alabama Nature

something.”

Center as a primary tool. Through the tireless work of AWF staff,

FRESH AIR FUN The weekends are packed with family-friendly activities year-round, including the annual Critter Crawl 5K and Yeti Dash on February 23, the ANC Scavenger Hunt on March 30, archery on May 11, and the Hydrangea Festival on June 1.

“The experiences these kids are having —

supporters and donors, AWF moved its

walking through creeks, hiking through the

headquarters from downtown Montgomery

outdoors, really connecting with nature —

to Lanark in Millbrook, Alabama, in March

In 2007, AWF opened Phase I of the Ala-

these are the things I did as a kid. It’s truly

of 2003. Isabell Hill and family, who’d heard

bama Nature Center, including 5 miles of

a vision come to life for me and everyone

about and believed in the group’s mission,

boardwalks and trails and Lanark Pavilion.

associated with AWF,” he said.

donated Lanark (which was their home) and

Phase II followed in 2015 with completion

its 358 acres. The land gave AWF the ability

of the NaturePlex, the 23,000-square-foot,

That vision, to develop a world-class out-

to be immersed in nature and through a

permanent Welcome and Education facility

door education facility, was formed around

$10 million fundraising campaign and two

for the Alabama Nature Center. The two fa-

a boardroom table in the late 1990s. Organi-

phases of construction, the idea sparked in

cilities, along with AWF’s headquarters and

zation leaders decided that conservation

that late-1990s boardroom became a reality.

Historic Lanark, make up the four distinct

58 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


DO & SEE ANC is Open Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm Admission is $5 per person/day; children 3 and under are free, and there is a $20 maximum rate for families. Season passes are available. Explore the Discovery Hall, watch

AWF’s Historic Home

nature-themed movies and hike 5 miles of boardwalks and trails. Plus, there are special programs and fishing every

The Lanark property is in Millbrook, just off exit 179 on I-65. The original Lanark home began

Saturday. There are also day camps in

as a cabin built by Peyton Bibb in 1827. According to AWF, the house passed to the Hall fam-

the summer. You can rent facilities for

ily, who continued to enlarge and expand the original building. In the late 1920s, Wiley Hill’s

birthday parties and other occasions,

grandfather purchased the house and property. Wiley and Isabel Hill moved to Lanark as

and an Early Explorers Pre-K Program

newlyweds in 1948, building their own home on the property and cultivating a beautiful 30-

for younger kids is held one

acre garden. Wiley Hill passed away in 1995, and Isabel continued to care for their home and

Thursday a month.

gardens until her death in 2001 when she left both houses, the gardens and the surrounding

Learn more at alabamawildlife.org.

300+ acres for the Alabama Wildlife Federation to create the Alabama Nature Center.

lion people have visited Lanark. Gothard

a 120-seat theater, a hands-on Discovery

estimates that the number of visitors is

Hall, classrooms, a community room for

accelerating so quickly, they’ll hit 500,000

meeting use and rentals and a gift shop. The

in just five years. “There are a lot of people

5-mile self-guided trail system is open for

who are passionate about the things that we

public use.

are — the outdoors and the state’s natural

The NaturePlex is a 23,000-square-foot, permanent Welcome and Education facility for the Alabama

resources. They place value in knowing that

AWF is currently constructing a new gopher

the next generation is going to be attuned

tortoise educational unit outside the Nature-

to those things, knowing how to enjoy them

Plex, near the recently built honey bee api-

while managing and protecting them,” said

ary. Gothard expects most future additions

Gothard.

to be similar in scope — a function of growth for the facility, rather than a multi-million-dol-

Nature Center.

More than 60 percent of all visitors to

lar project. When the NaturePlex was built, it

destinations inside Lanark. Once inside,

Lanark are youth and school groups, many

was constructed so that it would be easy to

visitors gladly trade in screen time for play

of them through Lanark Field Days, a full-day

accommodate small expansions as needed.

time to explore and learn about Alabama’s

field trip for Pre-K-12 students. There is also

great outdoors.

an Early Explorers Program for younger

“It’s amazing to step back and look around,”

children, homeschool and after-school pro-

said Gothard. “This vision has not only come

grams, camps, guided hikes, animal encoun-

to life, it is truly a treasure for this area and

ters and a variety of one-day activities for

the entire state of Alabama.”

Experiencing Nature With AWF Since 2007, more than a quarter of a mil-

families. In addition, the NaturePlex includes 59 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


60 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


We sometimes hear business owners say that

ing business debts and your organizational

approaching a bank for a loan is intimidating,

documents. A brief narrative of your business

time-consuming or that they don’t understand

is helpful. It should describe its background,

why their banker requests so much informa-

ownership structure, primary customer rela-

tion. There are steps that make the process

tionships, etc. Finally, if the loan need relates

faster, more streamlined and less stressful.

to expansion of your business, then a busi-

Outlined below are three to consider.

ness plan with a financial projection for the next year will help tell your story as well. Try to

H AV E A G O O D U N D E R S TA N D I N G O F YO U R B O R R OW I N G N E E D :

have these things available at the meeting.

Is it triggered by a short-term issue that is

Banks are eager to make loans as they repre-

causing the business to need cash for just

sent the primary source of our income. Loan

a few weeks or months, or has sustained

requests that are approved by banks have

growth in the business caused higher levels

common characteristics: identified cash flow

of inventory or accounts receivable? Are you

that is ample to repay the loan; good credit

in need of additional equipment, vehicles

history of the owner(s); a business that is

or modifications or additions to your office?

healthy and appropriately capitalized; and col-

These loan purposes are uniquely different,

lateral that is suitable for the loan. The more

will be structured differently and the amount

readily we can identify these traits, the more

of equity or down-payment expected from the

likely we can quickly say yes to your request.

borrower will vary as well.

AS K YO U R B A N K E R F O R A N A P P O I N T M E N T: Seeking a business

MEET THE EXPERT

loan is important to you, and it’s valuable to have your banker’s undivided attention when discussing your needs. Make sure he or she has set aside an hour to spend with you, and even consider asking the banker to come to your business. It gives a much clearer picture of your business’ story and can provide a valuable visual of your borrowing need.

B E P R E PA R E D F O R T H E M E E T I N G : This is important. We need a

Gene Crane has worked as a banker in

number of information items to arrive at a loan

Bank and Trust, a local community bank,

decision, and the loan process is smoother

where he is an Executive Vice President and a

and faster if the banker has everything nec-

member of the bank’s management team.

Montgomery for 31 years. In 2011, he joined River

essary to approve your loan. Your banker will need three years of financial statements or tax returns on the business, personal tax returns, a personal financial statement, a description of the proposed collateral, a listing of exist-

GENE CRANE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RIVER BANK AND TRUST

61 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

A N S W E R S TO CO M M O N BUSINESS QUESTIONS F R O M LO C A L S I N T H E K N OW

SMALL BUSINESS LENDING


Small Business Briefcase +

PACK ED WITH TIPS AN D TOOLS TO BEN EFIT YOUR BUSINESS

PROJECT MANAGEMENT MATTERS Local small business leaders share practical advice and tested techniques for your business Today’s project management apps can help you streamline your processes and boost your bottom line. Try out one of these inexpensive (or free!) cloud-based project management applications.

EXPERT PICKS FROM CHAMBER MEMBERS BASECAMP

VS

Basecamp is a great tool for

Trello is a very visual tool.

big and small projects. And

LOOK FOR MORE

it’s the perfect tool for special events and group projects. It allows for collaboration and accountability

More than

– all together. You simply

60%

set up a project, determine

of Chamber

who will participate in the project, assign a to-do list for the project, schedule

TRELLO

Jennifer Atkins, Vice President of The Waters

deadlines and communicate in one central location.

and Broker for New Waters Realty

member companies have

10

OR FEWER employees, meaning many

It uses boards to track the status of a project. It allows the project cards to be moved with a click and drag. You can attach files, checklists and create conversations. A nice Trello feature is its easy-to-use phone app that allows you and your team to view it in real time as status updates

Clay McInnis, Owner of Commerce Consulting and Executive Director for Angel Investor

are made.

Management Group

members are outsourcing

TOP THREE REASONS WE LIKE IT:

HR duties,

No text message reminders: The app’s “To Do List” allows you to assign specific task “to dos” to individ-

IT services, graphic design, marketing and

uals with due dates included. This takes the place of

more or handling

sticky notes and reminder text messages.

it within their organizations

No lost emails: The “Team” function allows you to group people together (through their email addresses)

as part-time functions. MBJ

for fast and easy communication. Messages are sent

wants to help, so

to the team and any replies are kept in the message

we’ve asked a

thread, so you don’t have to search your inbox for email responses.

No need for Dropbox: The “Files and Documents” section serves as cloud storage for important documents related to specific projects. This prevents the need for Dropbox and other such applications. Everything is in one place in Basecamp.

few small business successes for their tips and wisdom, and in future issues, we’ll pass it on to you.

62 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

FOUR REASONS TO GIVE TRELLO A TRY: Manage multiple projects: Emails have become a distraction to me, and this separates useful information and non-useful information.

Delegate: You can add your team on the Trello board and delegate tasks so that everyone doesn’t have to be included on everything, just the information that pertains to them.

Family fun: You can also plan grocery lists, family vacations, family reunions or just about anything on Trello. I promise it will make your activities more efficient and executable.

Get it done: I feel accomplished when moving tasks to the done column, just like striking something off my to do list.


CONVERSATIONS Roundtables for Professional Women

11AM - 1PM

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Wynlakes Golf & Country Club, 7900 Wynlakes Boulevard

Guest speaker: Barbara Larson

Topic: Shifting Leadership Skills in a Millennial World Enjoy great conversations and facilitated roundtable discussions, over lunch, with local businesswomen from around the River Region.

Registration deadline: Wednesday, April 10th, 5PM $25 - Chamber Member $30 - Nonmember Register: montgomerychamber.com/events or contact Bonnie Evans: 334-240-9299

Grand Presenting Sponsor

63 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Connect +

CHAMBER NEWS

T H E L AT EST H EADLIN ES , UPDATES AN D IN S IDER IN FO FROM YOUR CHAMBER

THE LATEST BUZZ: INNOVATION CENTER OPENS IN HEART OF THE CITY space to MGMWERX allows the Chamber the opportunity to diversify the regional economy and attract more technology talent to the area as well as preserve regional military programs already in place. The Chamber will also continue to improve the city’s quality of place, grow Montgomery’s image, and foster trust, communication and collaboration among elected leaderships throughout the River Region. “MGMWERX is the latest milestone in our technology and innovation strategy that is focused on connecting and

On January 29, MGMWERX, a

MGMWERX

leverage Montgomery’s unique

is the latest

technology related assets –

milestone in MGM’s technology and

new innovation

innovation

hub that brings

strategy.

military, academia, gov-

ration with Air

ceremony. “MGMWERX has

University (the

quickly flourished in supporting

leadership-development center for the Air Force), the City

Air University initiatives. This grand opening is our opportunity to expose a greater audience

ernment and industry together

of Montgomery, Montgomery

to the meaning and value of

to solve key issues facing the

County and the Chamber.

the WERX ecosystem, show

Air Force, opened in downtown

DEFENSEWERX has success-

the power of innovation when

Montgomery. This unprecedent-

fully deployed similar models

immersed in a collaborative

ed partnership between region-

in other areas, like SOFWERX,

environment, and inspire com-

al public and private entities is

with Special Operations Com-

munity involvement in champi-

part of a joint effort between

mand based in Tampa, Fla.; and

oning new ideas and solutions,”

industry leaders to provide

AFWERX, teaming with the Air

said Steve Werner, MGMWERX

businesses the opportunity to

Force out of Las Vegas.

Director.

forward as a city of innovation

As part of the grand opening,

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

and collaboration.

the center hosted an open

As part of this partnership, the

house for potential partners

Chamber has donated office

National nonprofit DEFENSE-

to expose interested people

space for MGMWERX in the

WERX operates the center,

to opportunities in working

Chamber’s current building at 41

which serves as an incubator

with MGMWERX to support Air

Commerce Street, in the heart

for broader innovation projects

Force challenges. The event

of downtown Montgomery and

as part of a unique collabo-

also featured a ribbon-cutting

near Air University. Offering the

grow and propel Montgomery

with IT talent being at the top,” said Lora McClendon, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Federal Affairs for the Chamber.” The hub will drive collaboration and innovation and will leverage talent from across sectors to come up with creative solutions.” The MGMWERX collaboration space uses the Montgomery Internet Exchange and boasts state-of-the-art technology and equipment surrounded by a highly modifiable environ-

64 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

ment designed to provoke the collision of ideas – harnessing the best industry, academia and non-traditional collaborators have to offer to answer some of the toughest issues facing our nation’s warfighter.


CHAMBER NEWS Connect A LO O K B AC K AT T H E FACES AN D PLACES OF RECEN T CHAMBER EVEN TS

CHAMBER ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP In early February, the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce announced President Randall L. George will retire effective April 1,

BIG CHAMBER NEWS

and Chamber Executive Vice President Anna B.

“Strong leader-

Buckalew has been elected

ship succession is

President & CEO, effective

critical to the health

April 2. “The Chamber has

of any organization. We

been richly blessed to have

were very fortunate that the

had Randy George leading

strongest candidate to suc-

this organization for the past

ceed George was already

30 years as president, and,

in place, and we will have a

prior to that, serving for 16

seamless transition.”

County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Alabama Power’s Southern Division Vice President Leslie Sanders, announced the creation of a Smart City Living Lab in downtown Montgomery. “Beginning with a ‘smart’ corridor from the Capitol to the riverfront, we are building a smart city from the ground up, using environment, while providing a platform for the deployment of

development,” said Board

Buckalew joined the

Chairman Willie Durham. “Af-

Chamber team in 1988 and

ter 46 years of leadership,

was named executive vice

Randy is known throughout

president in 2014. During

the country in chamber and

her time with the Chamber,

economic development

she’s led multiple major

circles as one of the best

Chamber divisions. As Chief

in the industry. He has led

of Staff and Executive Vice

the Chamber through some

President, Buckalew has

of the most transformative

been responsible for staff

years in our region’s history.”

direction, operations and strategic planning.

“Working with this Chamber for 46 years has been an

Buckalew shared her

honor and a privilege,” said

excitement about her new

George. “I have been truly

role and her appreciation

blessed to have worked

for the strong support. “I am

with incredible business and

honored to be named the

elected leadership and the

next President and CEO of

most talented and dedicated

the Chamber, and I want to

team of professionals any

thank Randy and the Board

organization could hope for.”

for the confidence they have placed in me to lead this

the Chamber’s next steps.

On January 16, the Chamber, along with Mayor Todd Strange,

fiber and connectivity to seamlessly integrate into the existing

years as head of economic

Durham further explained

MONTGOMERY LAUNCHES SMART CITY LIVING LAB

trusted organization.”

any number of smart city solutions,” said Willie Durham, Chairman of the Chamber. Montgomery leaders announced the smart corridor will be formalized through the creation of the Montgomery Smart Community Alliance, a public-private partnership focused on advancing smart city initiatives in the City of Montgomery, including several already underway: • The City of Montgomery launched its Open Data Portal in January 2017. • The Montgomery Internet Exchange (MGMix) is one of only four internet exchanges in the Southeast. • The Chamber launched Phase I of the free public Wi-Fi network called “MGMWiFi” earlier this month, with plans to expand. • Alabama Power is working to enhance energy infrastructure around the corridor and is also beginning the process of converting more than 22,000 street lights to LEDs to help improve public safety, increase uniformity and create more than $650,000 in savings over the next five years. Additional public safety and smart parking initiatives will follow.

65 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


CHAMBER NEWS Connect A LO O K B AC K AT T H E FACES AN D PLACES OF RECEN T CHAMBER EVEN TS

THE LATEST BUZZ: MEET THE CHAMBER’S 2019 AMBASSADORS The volunteers of the Chamber Ambassador program give their time and talents to the Chamber, participating in monthly events promoting the Chamber’s mission, representing their companies, who are also members of the Chamber, and supporting other area businesses.

Ambassador Chairman: Craig Snell Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC

John George Archer, Gilpin Givhan Shannon Baker, D.R. Horton Homes Cierra Belser, Onin Staffing Christina Bennett, exploreMedia Ronald Betts, Intrepid Kristina Boddie, exploreMedia Bernadette Bonner, Rooms To Go Renee Borg, Alabama Technology Foundation Sandy Boutwell, Troy Cablevision, Inc. Ray Brown, Homewood Suites by Hilton Paul E. Burkett, Hodges Commercial Real Estate Ronda Cherry-Smoke, Alabama Power Company Shawn Daley, Woodforest National Bank Cindy Davis, Cadence Bank Richard DeWeese, DeWeese & Bae, LLC Ebony Evans, Health Services, Inc. Brian Fells, Office Depot Shannon Ferrari, Addison Park Apartments Cathryn Greene, Alabama Technology Foundation Leticia Gregory, Stifel Barry Harp, Hancock Whitney Bank Denise T. Haviland, ARC Realty Amanda Hines, Aldridge Borden & Company, PC Melanie Hogan, Alabama State University Ricky Hollon, MAX Carson Howe, The Vance Law Firm, PC Sara Khanal, Renasant Bank Towanda Lawrence, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries Courtney Lowry, Addison Park Apartments Pam Mashburn, exploreMedia Marcil McClammy, Keller Williams Realty

Sellars McCurdy, Warren Averett, LLC Sam McLure, McLure Law FirmThe Adoption Law Firm Misty Mitchell, Sylvan Learning Center Mia Mothershed, Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc. Katelyn Nelson, Raymond James Financial, Inc. Lily Nizam, Alabama Surgical Arts Marie Ottinger, Faulkner University Nia Pagniacci, Valiant Cross Academy Daniel Paulk, BBVA Compass Craig Pavitt, Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa Patrick Perry, Gilpin Givhan Heather Phillips, Trustmark National Bank Gena D. Richardson, The Arc of Alabama, Inc. Janice Richbourg, Associated Business Services TaWanna Robbins, American Red Cross of Central Alabama

THE CHAMBER’S BRC NOW PROVIDES SHRM CREDITS As a result of its quality education programs, the Chamber is now a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) National CEU Training Certification Authority. This important designation means the Chamber is now able to award SHRM Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for programs it offers that relate to the SHRM Body of Competency and KnowledgeTM (BoCK).

2019 EDUCATION CHAMPIONS ANNOUNCED With The Montgomery County Board of Education’s new

Brenda Robertson Dennis, River Region United Way Rusty Salter, AKD Screenprinting & Embroidery George Sanders, Stay Bridge Suites Robert Shankland, Drury Hotels Jonathan E. Shoffner, Edward Jones Investments Latisha Simpson-Shelton, Woodforest National Bank Kris Stallworth, State Farm Insurance Tiffany R. Stinson, Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Inc. Jonathan Strange, XiRepair | Cell Phone Repair Lindsy Street, Wind Creek Hospitality Ivy Sweeney Ross, 187th Fighter Wing Brent Teel, Starke Agency, Inc Anitra Thomas, Elwood Staffing Heath Thomas, Strickland Companies Betty Washington, Starting Point, Inc. Hannah Weiss, Tile & More Warehouse Kathy Williams, Century 21 Brandt Wright Realty, Inc. Lisa Ann Williamson, New York Life Insurance Patrick Wilson, Hilton Garden Inn-EastChase

leadership and the State De-

Alicia Works, Workable Solutions Investigative & Protective Services

summer at various Mont-

Josie Young, Russell Construction of Alabama, Inc.

This year’s champions are

partment of Education’s intervention, Montgomery Public Schools have an unprecedented window of opportunity to transform our schools and therefore the lives of the students and families they serve. The Chamber’s 2019 Education Champions support the Chamber’s work to bring rapid improvement to the system with initiatives including conversion charter schools, expanded pre-K and reinforced learning activities in the areas of reading, math and science during the gomery Public School sites. Alabama State University, Faulkner University, HMMA; SABIC, Southern Homes & Gardens and Trenholm State Community College.

66 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


M EM BER Spotlight

UBS LONGLEAF WEALTH MANAGEMENT Longleaf Wealth Management has assembled a team that can handle all of the financial issues that individuals and families face. NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS: 4. Matthew Murphy, Rebecca Baker, Traci Segrest and Dustin Hatfield. WHAT ARE LONGLEAF WEALTH MANAGEMENT’S PRIMARY SERVICES? Our primary services include personal wealth management for individuals, their families and their businesses. This includes investment management, tax planning, estate planning, life insurance planning and reviews, debt management and more. WHO ARE THE TEAM’S PRIMARY CLIENTS? Ultra-high net worth individuals and families, current retirees or those facing retirement, and young individuals or families striving to eventually become high net worth clients. Traci Hall Segrest , Matthew B. Murphy, CFP® and Rebecca Hardwich Baker, CFP®

WHAT SETS LONGLEAF WEALTH MANAGEMENT AND ITS SERVICES APART? Three things: (1) Our office is strategically arranged so that we can easily communicate and work cohesively for our clients. We do not “assign” clients to people on our team. Instead we all work together because we believe this setup will create the best outcome for our clients. (2) Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” We use this quote as a reminder to always be willing to adapt or change. We want to ensure we are on the front end of that change to make sure we are providing our clients with the best resources available.

LONGLEAF WEALTH MANAGEMENT RECENT HONORS AND AWARDS: REBECCA BAKER : Certified Public Accountant

MATTHEW MURPHY: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ UBS Top 35 Under 35 (2018, 2019) Forbes Top Next Generation Retirement Plan Consultant Wealth Advisors (2018)

(3) We take great pride in having strong, personal relationships with our clients. We believe that when you really know your clients and have empathy for whatever their situation may be, you will do a better job for them. We are not simply thinking about numbers and analytics but about what’s best for that individual or family. WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR LONGLEAF WEALTH MANAGEMENT? Our business is growing, and we will continue to expand our team to meet those demands.

Forbes Best in State (2019) 4001 CARMICHAEL ROAD, SUITE 400, MONTGOMERY , AL / 334-260-3877 / UBS.COM/TEAM/LONGLEAF 67 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


68 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


P r o t e c t i n g Yo u r F i n a n c i a l D a t a from Ransomware and Cyberattacks More than 70 percent of cyberattacks are on

on backup frequency, location (on-site, off-site or

small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) with less

both) and retention periods.

60 percent go out of business within six months. less secure networks, making security breaches

N E X T G E N E R AT I O N F I R E WA L L A N D A N T I -V I R U S / A N T I - M A LWA R E P R OT E C T I O N – The new generation of

easier.

these products provides better protection than

Why SMBs? Smaller businesses typically have

earlier models. For several years, ransomware was the fastest growing malware. It works by gathering up and

M O B I L E D E V I C E M A N AG E M E N T –

blocking access to your information until a sum of

A good device management tool allows you to

money is paid. Even if the ransom is paid and you

wipe the data from employees’ personal devices,

get your data back, it is extremely likely that your

should the device be lost, stolen or if an employ-

data are still out there waiting to be sold.

ee leaves.

The use of cryptomining has increased and is

M U LT I FAC TO R AU T H E N T I C AT I O N –

becoming a popular choice for malware criminals.

This method of computer access control only

Unlike ransomware’s very noticeable lock-out

grants employee access after successfully

and single ransom, cryptomining is inconspicu-

presenting several pieces of identity verification.

ous and provides the criminal with a stable and potentially continuous flow of information that

When it comes to protecting your financial

results in multiple collectible funds from the

information, it’s imperative that you implement

victim. In the first half of 2018, cryptominers af-

strategies to prevent attacks before they happen.

fected 42 percent of organizations worldwide.

MEET THE EXPERT

It’s not IF one hits you, it’s WHEN. Are you ready? Here are the top things you should do to prepare:

T E C H N I C A L R I S K AS S E S S M E N T – This assessment reveals network vulnerabilities.

CYBERSECURITY TRAINING – Employees are the biggest risk and should receive proper training to eliminate accidental breaches.

CYBERSECURITY POLICY – Every business should have a cybersecurity policy, which must include enforcement of safe passwords.

R E L I A B L E B AC K U P S – Backups should be verified, and companies should have policies

Emily Jones serves as the Practice Leader and Director of Operations for Warren Averett Technology Group. Emily.Jones@warrenaverett.com / 334-260-2238

EMILY JONES, PMP, CABM, MCITP WARREN AVERETT 69 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

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 OW

than 100 employees. Of those SMB companies,


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 .

Q: How can I get my business published in the MBJ? A: It’s easy. There are multiple options, and most of the member news sections (some of the most-read pages in each issue) are FREE. With so many editorial and advertising opportunities, there are more ways than ever to get your business, company or organization in front of MBJ’s readers. The key is planning ahead, since the magazine has production deadlines months before an issue hits the streets.

LET’S HEAR IT!

HOW YOU CAN HELP CREATE CONTENT

Got a Great Idea to Share? Feel free to pitch your article idea to MBJ. We’re always on the lookout for stories that provide information to help area businesses, explain or uncover

OPTION 1: MEMBER NEWS SECTIONS

a trending business topic or that shine a positive light on our area’s strong business community.

$$$ FREE

Members on the Move:

PRO TIP: Send in photos.

In these sections, we share area businesses’ announcements.

Press releases and other information sent are more attention-grabbing if they are accompanied by great, high-resolution pictures. Remember to send complete caption and identification information for each photo.

Reports on new personnel hires and promotions. A highresolution headshot of the person being highlighted is required for this section.

Members in the News: Reports on awards, honors and mentions in local, regional and national media.

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL VOLUME 11 ISSUE 1 / JANUARY 2019

MBJ

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

FEATURING MGMWERX UPDATE

A HEART-WARMING RESPITE MINISTRY

ADDING UP + ACCOUNTING’S IMPACT

BIG PLANS

doesn’t fall into MOM or MIN.

March, May, July, September and November – and is

WHAT’S HIGH-RES? For photos to reproduce

2019 Submission Deadlines

Chamber Chairman Willie Durham

clear and crisp in a printed

May Issue: March 22

LEADING MGM FORWARD

magazine, they have to be

July Issue: May 31

12/14/18 10:27 AM

Business Buzz:

anything else newsworthy that

es six times a year – January,

members and businesses.

1 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

sions, additional services and

The Chamber’s MBJ publish-

distributed to 7,000 local

MBJ_JAN19_copy copy.indd 1

Reports on openings, expan-

Mark Your Calendar

“high-resolution,” which refers to the number or

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL VOLUME 10 ISSUE 6 / NOVEMBER 2018

pixels (or dots) of image

MBJ

September Issue: July 26 November Issue: September 27

information per inch.

MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

MBJ requires photos

MGM

to be 300 dpi (dots per

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

inch) resolution. If you’re

BETTER BY DESIGN

unsure how to check an

Giveback Briefs:

image’s resolution on your

Reports on the philanthropic

computer, just look at the

efforts and activities of our

Featuring:

business community.

MGM IMPACT MAKER FINALISTS

12

APPEALING ART STOPS

PROVEN PR TIPS

1 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

size of the photo/image file. A high-resolution photo should be close to 1MB in file size (and may

PROCESS // Simply email a press release to Jina Miniard, Director of Publications at jminiard@montgomerychamber.com by each issue’s submission deadline. If you don’t have a formal press release, that’s fine! Just send the pertinent information.

be a good bit bigger). If the photo is just 100KB (or less) or even 500KB, it’s probably low-resolution and won’t print properly.

70 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

YOUR CONTACT:

Jina Miniard, Director of Publications 334-261-1106 jminiard@montgomerychamber.com


OPTION 2: SPONSORED CONTENT .

$$$ COST VARIES MBJ currently offers three content sponsorship opportunities.

OPTION 3: TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING

Member Spotlights:

MBJ offers full-page and

A one-page Q&A article

half-page ad placement

that gives an overview of your business and its

ADVERTISING 101: VOCABULARY

offerings with two to three photos, plus contact infor-

Industry Leaders :

mation.

cific Q&A article that gives

Content Experts:

an overview of your busi-

A one-page article pre-

plus contact information. Industry Leaders pages are positioned in or around a feature article related to your business.

17 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

MBJ_NOV18_new copy.indd 17

10/23/18 2:12 PM

pared by a member of your team that speaks to

ing business debts and your organizational

a specific business topic

approaching a bank for a loan is intimidating,

documents. A brief narrative of your business

time-consuming or that they don’t understand

is helpful. It should describe its background,

faster, more streamlined and less stressful.

to expansion of your business, then a busi-

Outlined below are three to consider.

ness plan with a financial projection for the

or answers a specific busi-

H AV E A G O O D U N D E R S TA N D I N G O F YO U R B O R R O W I N G N E E D : Is

have these things available at the meeting.

it triggered by a short-term issue that is caus-

Banks are eager to make loans as they repre-

ing the business to need cash for just a few

sent the primary source of our income. Loan

ness question. Includes a headshot of the expert and contact information.

why their banker requests so much informa-

ownership structure, primary customer rela-

tion. There are steps that make the process

tionships, etc. Finally, if the loan need relates

next year will help tell your story as well. Try to

weeks or months, or has sustained growth in

requests that are approved by banks have

the business caused higher levels of inventory

common characteristics: identified cash flow

or accounts receivable? Are you in need of

that is ample to repay the loan; good credit

additional equipment, vehicles or modifica-

history of the owner(s); a business that is

tions or additions to your office? These loan

healthy and appropriately capitalized; and col-

purposes are uniquely different, will be struc-

lateral that is suitable for the loan. The more

tured differently and the amount of equity or

readily we can identify these traits, the more

down-payment expected from the borrower

likely we can quickly say yes to your request.

will vary as well.

A S K YO U R B A N K E R F O R A N A P P O I N T M E N T: Seeking a business

MEET THE EXPERT

loan is important to you, and it’s valuable to have your banker’s undivided attention when discussing your needs. Make sure he or she has set aside an hour to spend with you, and even consider asking the banker to come to your business. It gives a much clearer picture of your business’ story and can provide a valuable visual of your borrowing need.

number of information items to arrive at a loan decision, and the loan process is smoother and faster if the banker has everything nec-

Gene Crane has worked as a banker in Montgomery for 31 years. In 2011, he joined River Bank and Trust, a local community bank, where he is an Executive Vice President and a member of the bank’s management team.

essary to approve your loan. Your banker will need three years of financial statements or tax

christina@exploremedia.org to request a media kit and

returns on the business, personal tax return, a personal financial statement, a description of the proposed collateral, a listing of exist-

BY G E N E C R A N E , E X E C U T I V E V I C E P R E S I D E N T, RIVER BANK AND TRUST

Q&A WITH AN EXPERT

B E P R E PA R E D F O R T H E M E E T I N G : This is important. We need a

PROCESS // Contact Christina Bennett at

premium placement.

ads in a magazine are considered “premium placement” spots. Ads with guaranteed premium placement often cost a bit more.

Insertion Order: A contract that makes

SMALL BUSINESS LENDING

We sometimes hear business owners say that

A N S W E R S TO C O M M O N BIZ QUESTIONS FROM LO C A L S I N T H E K N O W

one photo and your logo,

with opportunities for

Premium placement: The “best” spots for

A one-page, industry-spe-

ness and its offerings with

$$$ COST VARIES

INDUST RY Leader | A rc h i t e c t u re & En g i n e e ri n g

39 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

your purchase of an ad official. Includes size and issue of your ad, placement instructions, the agreed upon ad price and your signature.

Tearsheet: A physical copy (actually cut from the magazine) of your ad, usually sent to you with the invoice for the ad.

PROCESS // Contact Christina Bennett at christina@exploremedia.org to request a media kit and more information.

more information.

71 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


CHAMBER NEWS Connect A LO O K B AC K AT T H E FACES AN D PLACES OF RECEN T CHAMBER EVEN TS

MEMBER EVENTS:

BIZTALK – JANUARY 8 Podcast Sponsor: MAX

The BizTalk radio show for January featured the 2019 Chamber Chairman, Willie Durham. He discussed his plan for the year and explained the Chamber’s role and initiatives for economic growth within the region.

DEC Business After Hours 13

JAN 60 Minute Coffee at

at Tile & More Warehouse Sponsor & Location: Tile & More Warehouse

09

Montgomery Antiques & Interiors Sponsor: AALOS

STATE OF THE CITY & COUNTY – JANUARY 17 at Embassy Suites Montgomery

JAN 24

Business After Hours at Wind Creek Montgomery

Sponsors: Guardian Credit Union and Wind Creek Montgomery

FEB 60 Minute Coffee at 07

RSA Activity Center

Sponsor: The Montgomery Rotary Club

Hotel & Conference Center Presenting Sponsor: Baptist Health

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean provided comprehensive updates on the state of the

CHAMBER AMBASSADOR ORIENTATION

City and Montgomery County. Highlights

JANUARY 30 at the Chamber’s BRC

included updates on revenues and

Sponsored By: Alabama Power

unemployment numbers; construction

A new year means new Ambassadors, and the

and renovation projects, including several

Chamber kicked off the 2019 program with an

hotels and infrastructure; the status of the

Ambassador Orientation. Members were able

city’s recycling program and facility; and

to network, introduce themselves and meet

news on MGM’s technology front and the

several key staff members. Craig Snell with

city’s smart city initiatives.

Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC serves as the 2019 Ambassador Chairman.

72 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


73 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


74 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


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

Balch & Bingham Has New Of Counsel

Katie Boyd Britt Named BCA President

Balch & Bingham recently welcomed Samarria Dunson to

The Business Council of Alabama has selected Alabama

the firm’s Montgomery office as of

native Katie Boyd Britt as the organization’s next president.

counsel in its Health Law Practice.

Britt was formerly Chief of Staff to United States Senator

Dunson has more than 15 years of

Richard C. Shelby and is the first female president of the

experience providing counsel on

BCA, a non-partisan, statewide business association repre-

all aspects of compliance with the

senting the interests and concerns of

Health Insurance Portability and

nearly 1 million working Alabamians

Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the

through its member companies and

Health Information Technology

its partnership with the Chamber of

for Economic and Clinical Health

Commerce Association of Alabama.

Act (HITECH) with a broad range of health care providers, including hospitals, freestanding health care providers and

Britt was born and raised in Enter-

individual physicians.

prise and attended The University of Alabama. Over the past decade, she has served in a number of senior positions for Senator Shel-

Jackson Thornton Names COO

by in Washington. She previously led state governmental

Jackson Thornton, a certified

affairs for the Butler Snow law firm in Montgomery and

public accounting and consulting

also practiced corporate law.

firm, has announced that the firm has hired Alan Alexander as its

MBJ asked Britt to share a bit about why she joined the

Chief Operating Officer. Alexander

BCA team and what she hopes to accomplish in her role.

comes to Jackson Thornton from RSM US where he was a Strategic

What motivated you to take your new position at BCA?

Project Director/Senior Manag-

I am a true believer in the Business Council of Alabama. It

er. He had served as the Chief Operating Officer for Sellers, Richardson, Holman & West prior to their acquisition by RSM US. Alexander is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama Birmingham and holds a Master of Accounting with a tax concentration.

is one of the leading voices in Montgomery with the ability to positively impact Alabama’s future for generations. As the mother of two young children, I want the Alabama they inherit to be a place where they can find good jobs and want to raise their families. What are your thoughts on being the first female in this position at BCA?  I am certainly proud of this milestone for

Reese Dismukes Joins Palomar Insurance Palomar is announced the addition of Reese Dismukes to its expanding sales team as an Account Executive, specializing in the trucking and construction

that said you don’t hear male CEOs described as being small part of helping shift that dynamic.

Dismukes served commercial cli-

ents in the trucking and construc-

What are your main longterm goals for BCA? I would like

tion industries for an insurance

to see the BCA focus on our membership and how we can

brokerage in Mobile. He graduat-

better meet their needs. The BCA has an incredibly diverse

ed from Auburn University, where

membership – businesses of all sizes, across all industry

he played football as a starting

sectors, and in every region of the state. We need to lever-

center and earned the Rimington Trophy along with consensus All-American status. Dismukes Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

en leading in the business world. I recently read an article male CEOs, only females. So, in this way, I am proud to be a

industries. Prior to joining Palomar,

also played NFL football for the Pittsburgh Steelers,

the BCA because it underscores the rising number of wom-

age the strength and diversity of our membership to build consensus and create conditions where businesses, both large and small, will flourish. If we can accomplish this, our state will flourish, too.

75 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


76 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

Achievements

Community General Ed Crowell is YMCA Man of the Year      General Ed Crowell was named the 2018 YMCA Man of the

Beasley Allen Attorneys Among 2018 Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

Year. The decorated serviceman and a celebrated business-

Beasley Allen is proud to announce 27 firm lawyers received

man served 35 years in the United States Air Force. He retired

special recognition by Super Lawyers rating service for 2018.

from the USAF in 2009 after serving as Commandant of the

Twenty lawyers were named to the 2018 Super Lawyers list,

Air War College and Vice Commander of Air University, both

including the firm’s Principal and Founder, Jere L. Beasley, as

located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. He has

well as Principals J. Greg Allen, Michael J. Crow, J. Cole Portis,

received the U.S. Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the

Daniel W. “Dee” Miles III, Andy D. Birchfield Jr., Rhon E. Jones,

third highest honor given by the

Benjamin E. Baker, Jr., David B. Byrne III, Kendall C. Dunson,

service branch, among many

R. Graham Esdale, Christopher D. Glover, Benjamin L. Locklar,

other awards.

Ted G. Meadows, P. Leigh O’Dell, W. Roger Smith III, C. Gibson Vance, Navan Ward Jr. and Frank Woodson. This marks the first

Crowell holds a B.S. in Business

year Benjamin L. Locklar and Frank Woodson were selected

Administration from Alabama

for inclusion and the 10th year J. Cole Portis, Daniel W. “Dee”

State University, an M.B.A.

Miles III and Andy D. Birchfield Jr. were selected.

from Troy State University, and during his military service, received degrees from the Squadron Officer School, the Air War College and the Air

MAN OF THE YEAR

Command and Staff College.

In addition, eight Beasley Allen attorneys were included on the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list, which recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys – those who are 40 years old or younger or who have been practicing 10 years or less. Beasley Allen’s Rising Stars are Andrew E. Brashier, Alison Douillard

Crowell has served on the YMCA of Greater Montgomery Met-

Hawthorne, Danielle Ward Mason, J. Parker Miller, and for the

ro Board for nine years and is currently active on the YMCA

first time, Jon Ryan Kral, Stephanie S. Monplaisir, Leslie Pescia

Executive Committee, YMCA Christian Emphasis Committee,

and Tiffany Roberts.

Chair of the Human Resources Committee, and most recently Co-chair of the Diversity Inclusion Global Committee. He is passionate about providing exceptional service to the youth of

Financial Advisor Receives Prestigious Designation Branch manager Robert Broach with Parsons Broach Financial

Montgomery through his YMCA work.

Services has received the pres-

He is a member and chairman of countless boards outside

Advisor (CPFA) designation. Broach,

tigious Certified Plan Fiduciary

of his YMCA work as well. including Troy University Board of Trustees (Trustee), State of Alabama Ethics Commission (Chairman), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama Board of Directors and United Way Annual Campaign (Chairman) to name just a few. For 67 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 the first Monday of December at Trinity Presbyterian Church. At the banquet, students pay tribute to the nominees, one of whom is selected as Man of the Year.

James Financial Services, received the CPFA designation after demonstrating the specialized knowledge required to act as a plan fiduciary or to help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities. The CPFA credential — developed by some of the nation’s leading retirement plan experts — shows the designee’s knowledge, expertise and commitment to working with retirement plans. “Due to the increasing complexity of regulations in the retirement planning world as well as expanded fiduciary

This year’s program, co-chaired by Quinn Lee of LAMP and James Tolbert of Montgomery Academy, featured 11 nominees and a guest speaker, Gen. Paul Hankins, YMCA of Greater Montgomery’s 2017 Man of the Year.

a financial advisor with Raymond

duties and laws that focus the spotlight on fiduciary responsibilities, I felt it important for me to continue to develop my skills and knowledge in order to help our clients maintain the most effective retirement plan possible,” Broach said.

77 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS Members in the News

Awards & Honors Beasley Allen Recognizes Firm’s Leading Lawyers In December, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., announced Chris Glover as the firm’s Litigator of the Year for 2018. The annual recognition is presented to the attorney who demonstrates exceptional professional skill throughout the course of the year and best represents the firm’s ideal of “helping those who need it most.” Glover is the Managing Attorney in the Atlanta office in addition to his practice in the firm’s Personal Injury and Products Liability Section. He handles complex product liability cases involving serious injury or death and has handled several cases against manufacturers of light and heavy trucks and automobiles. Glover’s work opening and managing the Atlanta office has led to tremendous growth over just a few short years. In addition to selecting the firm’s Litigator of the Year, Beasley Allen recognized excellence in its four sections, naming the Lawyer of the Year in each. Honorees for 2018 are Stephanie Monplaisir, Personal Injury and Products Liability Section Lawyer of the Year; Andrew Brashier, Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation Section Lawyer of the Year; Joseph VanZandt, Mass Torts Section Lawyer of the Year; and Ryan Kral, Toxic Torts Section Lawyer of the Year.

Alabama Power Earns EEI Emergency Recovery Award The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) recently presented Alabama Power with the association’s “Emergency Recovery Award” for its outstanding power restoration efforts after severe weather and tornadoes in March 2018 and a derecho wind event in June 2018. The Emergency Recovery Award is given to select EEI member companies to recognize their extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Alabama Power received the award during EEI’s Winter Board and Chief Executives Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida. An EF-3 tornado struck Alabama on March 19, with a damage path of 34.29 miles, and resulted in 31,071 service outages in Alabama Power’s territory. Due to their tireless work, Alabama Power’s crews restored service within two and a half days of the storm, dedicating 70,600 man- hours to the recovery. The June 28 derecho wind event featured complex thunderstorms that resulted in wind damage along a track nearly 400 miles long, resulting in 230,038 service outages in Alabama Power Company’s territory. Alabama Power’s crews restored service to 100 percent of customers three days after the storm, dedicating 86,016 man-hours to the recovery.


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

“The dedication of Alabama Power’s crews to restore service throughout Alabama after severe weather, tornadoes and a derecho wind event illustrates our industry’s commitment to customers,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Alabama Power’s crews worked tirelessly in hazardous conditions to quickly and safely restore power. They are truly deserving of these awards.”

Montgomery Nursing Home Wins Excellence Award Capitol Hill Healthcare has been recognized as a 2018 recipient of the Pathway to Performance Excellence Award for its commitment to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The distinction is the introductory level of three progressive award levels through the Alabama Performance Excellence Award Program. The program promotes quality and high performance for businesses and organizations in the state. Capitol Hill was one of

Chamber “Impact Makers” Honored

five recipients for this award. “The examiners and judges were very impressed with the commitment Capitol Hill has made to performance excellence,” wrote Linda Vincent, Executive Director of the Alabama Performance Excellence Program, in a letter announcing the honor. The award criteria are based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. This internationally recognized framework helps organizations across different business sectors improve organizational effectiveness and achieve strategy-driven performance.

Four Star’s Top Employees Recognized Beasley Allen was nominated and voted Large Business winner in the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s recent 2018 Impact Makers awards.

The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce announced the 2018 Impact Makers at the Chamber’s 146th Annual Meeting on December 11. The Impact Makers campaign was a way for the Chamber to honor and recognize member businesses within the community who are making an impact in the following areas: talent (education, workforce development, recruiting and maintaining young talent); economy (creating and preserving jobs, small business development, economic development and corporate recruitment); image (transforming Montgomery’s image and quality of place for locals, business owners and visitors); community (fostering collaboration among elected leadership, engaging business stakeholders and business owners to increase community capacity); and military (making Montgomery the “Best Hometown In The Air Force” by supporting military neighbors and families and helping develop new industry verticals that sustain Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and enrich the entire River Region). More than 50 nominations were made and over 70,000 votes were cast to determine the category winners, which are: • Beasley Allen, Large Business • Faulkner University Jones School of Law, Mid-Size Business • Fleet Feet Montgomery, Small Business • Family Sunshine Center, Non-Profit Winner • Kim Traff, RSVP Magazine, Individual

Four Star Freightliner, Inc. invited employees from all six of its locations to the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort to be recognized during the company’s annual Year End Employee Celebration in early December. For the second year in a row, Kenneth “Woofie” Woodruff, who works as a road technician out of the Tifton, Georgia, location, was named the top revenue-producing technician for 2018. A new award was added to the mix this year called the “Quick Draw Champs.” Four Star Freightliner wanted to recognize the parts department that had the shortest ring time and that was eager to answer the phone and help customers. This award went to the Montgomery parts department headed by its manager Judson Coburn.

79 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

River Region Businesses Among CCAA-BCA Winners The Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and the Business Council of Alabama recently announced the 12 “Alabama Small Business of the Year” and “Emerging Small Business of the Year” award winners during the CCAA-BCA annual meeting. Winners were awarded at three levels, Gold Award, Silver Award and Bronze Award in four different categories, Emerging, 1-10 employees, 11-50 employees and 51-100 employees. In the 1-10 employee category, the Gold Award recipient was Sandra Nickel Hat Team Realtors located in Montgomery. Brown Studio Architec-

Sandra Nickel Hat Team Realtors

ture located in Montgomery was recognized as the Silver Award recipient in the 11-50 employee category. In the 51-100 employee category, the Gold Award recipient was River Bank and Trust out of Prattville. ELSAJA, Montgomery was a finalist in the “Emerging Small Business of the Year” category (operating less than five years). Those recognized in the “Alabama’s Small Business of the Year” awards presented annually by the BCA and the CCAA are considered to be the state’s very best small businesses based on a variety of civic and professional standards. The Emerging Small Business of the Year award is the fourth award given each year.

Brown Studio Architecture

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

80 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS Business Buzz CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS

LE T’S CE LE BR ATE ! Dreamland Bar-B-Q Marks 10 Years Dreamland Bar-B-Q Managing Partner Bob Parker is planning to celebrate the restaurant’s 10th anniversary April 9-12. There will be food giveaways, gift cards and merchandise giveaways. A lot has changed during the past 10 years when Dreamland first opened its doors and was the only business at The Alley in downtown Montgomery. It was located down the street from Riverwalk Stadium. The opening night was the same day as the Biscuits’ home opener.

Beasley Allen Celebrates 40 Years County Commission Chairman Elton Dean,

by the Seventh Amendment to the United

Mayor Todd Strange, Chamber of Com-

States Constitution, and that is a principle

merce Executives, Beasley Allen attor-

that still holds true at Beasley Allen. The firm

neys, staff and other distinguished guests

has a national reputation for being at the

came together in January to celebrate the

forefront of Consumer Litigation, having se-

40th anniversary of the firm now known

cured more than $26 billion in verdicts and

as Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis

settlements for its clients as well as helping

& Miles, P.C. Chairman Dean and Mayor

improve workplace safety and the safety of

Strange read proclamations announcing

myriad products for consumers worldwide.

Jan. 7, 2019, as Beasley, Allen, Crow, Meth-

vin, Portis & Miles, P.C. Day and encouraged

What started as a one-lawyer firm has

residents to recognize the positive impact

grown to a firm of more than 85 lawyers and

of local and national service this firm and its

over 200 support staff in Montgomery and

founder, Jere L. Beasley, have provided for

Atlanta. Attorneys and support staff have

the last 40 years.

been an integral part of the community, providing hundreds of hours of pro bono

The firm was founded in 1979 by Jere

legal work, donating millions of dollars to

L. Beasley. The firm was established to

charitable organizations and committing

provide legal service to both individuals and

countless hours to community service as

businesses who have been wronged by

well as time and resources to revitalization

no act of their own, a protection provided

efforts in the city’s downtown area.

During the past 10 years, Dreamland had undergone multiple changes. Due to pit and chimney issues in its original location, it moved a block away in June 2017. It now has a brewery in its new location, has added two venues in the basement for private parties and has tweaked its menu. The one constant has been the employees, and Parker gives his 42 fulland part-time employees all the credit. “We have 224 years of Dreamland experience at this store,” Parker said. “Every manager here at some point started out as cook or server,” Parker said. “It’s the people who work here who have made us successful.” Today, when customers order takeout from the bar – and 25 percent of the business is takeout – there is a familiar face. There are a lot of familiar faces. The restaurant’s average employee has been

New Insurance Option

there for 5.6 years.

Guardian Credit Union recently announced the launch of Guardian Insurance Services, LLC, a

Parker also credits the Dreamland

wholly owned company that is a credit union service

experience for its 10 years in downtown

organization. It will offer property, casualty (home,

Montgomery. “Dreamland is a 60-year-

auto, boat, motorcycle, etc.) and life insurance beginning in March

old brand. It’s a 60-year-old tradition.

2019. It’s available to members and non-members throughout the

People know about Dreamland. I don’t

state of Alabama. Torey Hatfield will serve as the Vice President of

have to educate you about what Dream-

Insurance Services and is also a member of the 2019 Montgomery

land is,” he said. “It’s part of the culture in

Chamber Chairman’s Circle.

this state.” 81 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS Business Buzz CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS

Baptist Health Named One of the Only Most Wired Hospitals in Alabama Continuing the commitment to digitally

The Shoppes at EastChase recently

enabling the improvement of patient care, Baptist Health is among the top

GR E AT SUCCE SS

health systems in the country when it

OUR MISSION

F E W H O S P I TA L S A R E R E C O G N I Z E D F O R

E LEVATIN G

care Information Management Execu-

tives (CHIME) HealthCare’s Most Wired

T H E I R L E V E L O F H E A LT H C A R E

WITH TECHNOLOGY. According to The College of Healthcare ARE THIS CLOSE TO YOU.

(CHIME), the Most Wired list recognizes

in Alabama. The 3,200-square-foot space will seat more than 90 people between the inside area and patio.   The chain offers both meat-lover and vegetarian burgers like the VegeFi Burger with a veggie-based protein

are “at the forefront of using

patty. Meaty varieties are made with

healthcare IT to improve the

black angus beef free from ste-

delivery of care.” The most only adopt technology but apply

this location will be the fourth to open

with crispy quinoa or the Beyond

hospitals and health systems that

successful organizations not

a Florida-based concept with more than 100 locations nation-wide and

being named one of College of Health-

Information Management E V EExecutives N FEWER

met burger chain, is set to open its Shoppes this summer. BurgerFi is

Region’s largest healthcare organization

Y O U R H E A LT H

Hospitals.

announced that BurgerFi, a gourfirst Montgomery location at The

comes to using technology. The River recently received the distinct honor of

BurgerFi Opening at The Shoppes at EastChase

roids, antibiotics, growth hormones,

2018

“We are committed to BAPTIST HAS RECENTLY it strategically toHEALTH achieve greatBEEN NAMED AS ONE OF CHIME HEALTHCARE’S “MOST WIRED” HOSPITALS. delivering excellence and one of only two hospital systems in the state to make this coveted list, Baptist Health is proud to be recognized outcomes, As according to an analysis of for its continued commitment to digitally enabling the improvement compassion of patient care. Over the past two we’vepatients; toyears, our more Baptist than $20 million in our generational infrastructure that is scalable enough to meet current and future the survey invested results. Health leaders this includes using technology needs. By remaining on the forefront of technology innovation, we’re equipping our staff to ensure the have committed more than $10 million delivery of the highest quality healthcare, close to home. technology to enhance their each year for the past two years to patient experience.” BAPTISTFIRST.ORG provide a generational infrastructure that

chemicals and additives. Diners can also enjoy smothered hot dogs, freerange chicken sandwiches, onion rings and fries mashups, plus custard cups and shakes.

L E A R N M O R E A B O U T O U R R E C O G N I T I O N AT

is scalable to meet current and future technology needs. These needs change

the underlying technology foundation

and grow every year, but Baptist Health’s

is firm. Some of the advancements that

promise to its patients and team mem-

led to the CHIME Most Wired Recogni-

bers remains the same.

tion include MyHRNow, a project that

WANT YOUR NEWS IN THE MBJ?

digitally enabled the recruiting and Core “We are dedicated to equipping our

HR processes; Smart Square, which led

Submit information for

clinicians with the latest tools available

to improved management of the nursing

consideration to Jina Miniard at

to ensure the delivery of high-quality

workforce; SpaceLabs Patient Monitor-

care,” said W. Russell Tyner, CEO Baptist

ing & Waveform Integration, a project to

Please attach press releases

Health. “We are committed to delivering

improve patient monitoring capability;

as a Word document or a PDF

excellence and compassion to our pa-

and more.

tients; this includes using technology to enhance their patient experience.”

jminiard@montgomerychamber.com.

(Word documents preferred), and please include high-resolution (at

“We believe in the last 18 months, we have significantly enabled Baptist,

Healthcare is extremely information

through technology, clinical and business

intensive, which goes hand-in-hand with

innovation, to provide care and interoper-

the demanding work performed daily by

ability at a level comparable, or superior

Baptist Health’s team members. Baptist

to, those of the top healthcare organi-

Health leaders say they will continuously

zation in the nation,” said Steve Miller,

work to keep up with this demand, but

Baptist Health Chief Information Officer. 82 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

least 300 dpi) photos with your press release if possible.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES: MAY ISSUE: MARCH 22 JULY ISSUE: MAY 31


CHAMBER NEWS Business Buzz CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS

Caddell HR Director Adding to AGC Duties Matt Abele, Director of Human Resources at

contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms.

Local Media Company Expands exploreMedia recently announced

serve as the 2019-

Organizations Honor Care Partners

2020 President of

In November, Dementia Friendly Alabama

cused lifestyle magazine produced

the Montgomery

partnered with AARP and First United

by the Joy to Life Foundation.

Chapter of the

Methodist Church’s RESPITE Ministry for the

exploreMedia will be handling the

Alabama Asso-

second annual Celebrating Care Partners

advertising sales and distribution of

ciated General

Luncheon. Since caregivers deteriorate

the magazine, helping the publica-

Contractors (AGC).

75-percent faster than those they are caring

tion reach even more people with

Abele is already

for, the event is held to shed light on the

its engaging, informative content

serving a three-

importance of supporting caregivers.

and helping spread the message of

Caddell Construction, has been elected to

its partnership with Joy to Life magazine, a quarterly health-fo-

Joy to Life Foundation, a non-profit

year term at the national level as Chairman for AGC’s HR

Speaker Anne Elizabeth McGowin, an attor-

founded by Montgomerians Joy

Forum Steering Committee—AGC’s voice

ney at Senior Law Solutions, shared her sto-

and Dickie Blondheim to promote

for human resources issues, policies and

ry with more than 20 attendees and offered

breast cancer awareness and

practices. AGC of America is the leading

her humorous and heart-felt “10-Steps to

provide mammograms and other

association for the construction industry, rep-

Caregiver Sanity.” McGowin also elaborated

preventative screenings for unin-

resenting more than 26,000 firms, including

on why she feels driven to help the senior

sured (and underinsured) through-

over 6,500 of America’s premier general

population.

out Alabama.

83 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS Business Buzz CO M MUN ITY + COMMERCE N EWS

New Outpatient Dialysis Facility in Montgomery Physicians Choice Dialysis recently announced its new, state-of-the-art, free-standing outpatient dialysis clinic located at 8149 Decker Lane in Montgomery. The clinic is open to all qualified nephrologists who wish to refer their patients and will offer all modalities including hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Its offerings include onsite, full-time, local nephrologists; a full range of social work and dietitian

Charter Schools Approved

duties. However, MEF will manage the schools

Mayor Todd Strange recently joined state

and assume instructional delivery duties.

and local education officials to announce

School names will be retained, and the same

the Montgomery Education Foundation's

students zoned to attend these schools today

formal approval on December 19 by the State

will have a seat at these schools tomorrow.

Department of Education to create Alabama's

first conversion charter schools by fall 2019.

MEF plans to forge a formal partnership with the Alabama Department of Education,

services; and state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

SACSCOC Reaffirms AUM’s Accreditation Auburn University at Montgomery’s accreditation was recently reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The Montgomery County Board of Education

Montgomery Public Schools and the greater

and MEF must enter into a contract to drive

Montgomery community to provide new and

the development of the charter schools.

innovative learning environments, increased

Once formalized, Davis Elementary, E.D.

accountability, improved teacher support and

Nixon Elementary School, Bellingrath Middle

raised expectations in the proposed con-

School and Lanier High School will convert

version charter schools. Leading up to their

to charter schools over a four-year period,

launch, ongoing community listening, learning

while still remaining part of the Montgomery

and planning sessions will be conducted. As

Public Schools system. All schools will remain

of press time, the Montgomery County BOE

MPS property and the Board of Education will

had failed to vote on the contract with MEF,

still maintain many fiscal and administrative

putting the charter school plans on hold.

Self-Pour Beer Concept Coming

The card will allow guests to pour anywhere

University at Montgomery Chancellor

Montgomery will become home to the first

from 1 ounce to 16 ounce with each pour. After

Carl A. Stockton. “That is uncommon

self-pour beer concept in Alabama. Tower

the 32-ounce limit is reached, guests have

and speaks to the high quality of

Taproom, located in Montgomery’s Alley En-

the option to renew the card or settle their

Auburn University at Montgomery’s

tertainment District and occupying the former

balance. Tower Taproom will also be a dining

academic programs, faculty and staff.

Dreamland location at 101 Tallapoosa Street,

destination.

The reaffirmation of accreditation is

(SACSCOC) for the next 10 years. AUM is accredited by SACSCOC to award bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. AUM first earned accreditation from SACSCOC in 1973, earning reaffirmation in 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008. “We are quite pleased that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges did not return any recommendations,” said Auburn

will feature more than 40 beers, wines and

important for a variety of reasons. In

ciders allowing patrons to pour by the ounce

“The popularity of craft beer continues to

addition to reinforcing the value of

using an RFID card. Tower Taproom is set to

increase and has become a passion for many

an Auburn University at Montgomery

open first quarter 2019.

consumers. We are excited to bring the “pour-

degree, the process offers an oppor-

my-beer” self-pour technology to Alabama

tunity for self-study and examination of

Upon entrance, patrons wishing to enjoy the

and especially downtown Montgomery,” said

university standards, governance and

self-pour beer experience will be required

Jake Kyser, Owner of Kyser Property Manage-

finances, academic programs and stu-

to present a valid ID before being issued a

ment, LLC and Owner of Tower Taproom.

dent services. The results clearly show

unique custom tap card with a 32-ounce limit.

that we are on the right track.” 84 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


85 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


86 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


A N S W E R S TO CO M M O N BUSINESS QUESTIONS FROM LO C A L S I N T H E K N OW

W H E N YO U R M O S T VA L UA B L E ASSETS MAKE DAMAGING A L L E G AT I O N S , A R E YO U P R OT E C T E D ?

As a business owner, you consider your

ment of Labor. Third-party coverage extends

employees as one of your greatest assets.

coverage to apply to claims brought on by

The daily actions by you or your managers

a non-employee of the company. This could

influence your employees, things like hiring

include a vendor, a client or a member of the

and firing, deciding who gets the promotion or

public.

scheduling shifts. All these actions can be the basis of an ugly lawsuit that can be an emo-

When purchasing an EPL policy, it is also

tional and financial drain on any organization,

important to focus on and be aware of the

with the average cost to defend and settle

continuity date, the named insureds on the

such a lawsuit hitting $160,000. According to

policies and a shrinking limit provision.

Hiscox’s Guide to Employee Lawsuits, one in five businesses are drawn into a lawsuit by

Don’t let an EPL matter derail you. Whether

a current or former employee. The driving

you are guilty of an actual wrong act, or it is a

forces behind these claims can range from

false allegation stemming from retaliation, you

but are not limited to economic trends, poor

stand to spend thousands of dollars to defend

HR guidelines or more recently, the #MeToo

your case and possibly settle just to make it

movement.

go away.

DEFINING EPL INSURANCE AND W H AT I T C OV E R S

At Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, we are here to

Employment Practices Liability insurance is

to the risks you face before it is too late.

help you navigate through the many facets of this coverage and secure an insurance policy that will protect you appropriately according

designed to provide coverage for wrongful acts arising from the employment process. It also covers the cost associated with a lawsuit

MEET THE EXPERT

brought forth by an employee, including the cost to hire an attorney, administrative court fees, the cost to conduct investigations as it pertains to defending your case, as well as ed against you. The most frequent types of claims covered under this policy would include wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and other types of inappropriate workplace conduct. In addition to the above, Wage & Hour and Third-Party Coverage can be included in this policy. As the name suggests, Wage &

Jeremy Crider is a Commercial Property and Casualty Risk Advisor at Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc. 334-517-1825 / jcrider@hdbinsurance.com

Hour coverage deals with fair wages paid to employees. In the last five years, a total of $1.3 billion in back wages has been recovered by the Wage & Hour division of the U.S. Depart-

J E R E M Y C R I D E R , R I S K A DV I S O R H A R M O N D E N N I S B R A D S H AW

87 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM

Q&A WITH AN EXPERT

the settlement and any judgement award-


CHAMBER NEWS Ribbon Cuttings C EL EB R AT ING N EW & EXPAN DED BUS IN ESS ES

DIRECT AUTO & LIFE INSURANCE

THE F. SCOTT & ZELDA FITZGERALD MUSEUM

6540 Atlanta Highway, Suite 103, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-647-6520, www.directgeneral.com Cynthia Hartwig, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager Insurance Companies/Services

919 Felder Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106 334-264-4222, www.thefitzgeraldmuseum.org Kendra Doten, Interim Director, Museums

PANERA BREAD – EASTCHASE

WHARF CASUAL SEAFOOD – EASTCHASE

7224 EastChase Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-274-9170, www.panerabread.com Lasheeta Davis, General Manager Bakery, Catering Services, Restaurant

6945 EastChase Loop, Montgomery, AL 36117 334-593-1850, www.wharfcasualseafood.com Noah Griggs, Owner Catering Services, Restaurants, Restaurants-Seafood

PEPPER TREE STEAKS N’ WINE

BEASLEY ALLEN LAW

8101 A Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36116 334-271-6328, www.steaksnwine.com Kathy Holmes, Owner/President; Chantel Bass, General Manager, Foods-Specialized

218 Commerce Street, Montgomery, AL 36104 334-269-2343, www.beasleyallen.com Jere Beasley, Principal & Founder Legal Services-Attorneys 88 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS Ribbon Cuttings CE L E B R AT I N G NEW & EX PAND ED B U SI NESSES

THE ACADEMY OF EARLY LEARNING 4453 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL 36109 334-356-0016, www.theacademyofearlylearning.com Leigh Smith, Director Child Care Centers

MONTGOMERY ANTIQUES & INTERIORS-DOWNTOWN 25 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 334-313-3376, www.mgmantiques.com Andrew Thrash, Manager; Jere Beasley, Owner Antiques, Furniture, Gifts & Specialty-Retail

MGMWERX 41 Commerce Street, Montgomery, AL 36104 334-356-5563, www.mgmwerx.org Steve Werner, Business Center Manager Associations/Non-Profit, Consulting, Project Management 89 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


The Elms of Coosada You’re part of the family.

• Private venue with old south elegance • Fully restored historic plantation home • Events, Private Dinners, Board Meetings • Available for intimate gatherings or large events

• Tables, linens, and chairs provided • Outside catering welcome • Full service event management • Located 15 minutes from downtown Montgomery

360 Lindsey Road - Coosada, AL 36020 | 334-285-3567 | info@elmsevents.com | www.elmsevents.com 90 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


CHAMBER NEWS New Members W ELCO ME TO OUR N EWEST MEMBERS

CO M P U T E R S -T R A IN IN G

CodingSolutions LLC Taylor Peake 300 Water Street, Suite 200 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-262-2790 www.trainwithcodingsolutions.com

ADVERT ISING SPECI A LTI E S

Bama’s Best Products, LLC Adam Waites 110 East Bridge Street Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-478-5119 www.bamasbestproducts.com ADVERT ISING, WEB D E S I G N / W E B H OST ING

Thryv Bobby Hebson 423 River Oaks Drive Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-220-3131 www.thryv.com AN TIQUES, FURNIT UR E , G I F TS S P ECIALT Y-R ETAIL

Montgomery Antiques & InteriorsDowntown Andrew Thrash 25 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 334-313-3376 www.mgmantiques.com

CO N S U LT IN G S E RV IC E S

MARCH NEW MEMBERS AUTOM O BIL E D E A L E R S – U S E D

CarMax Jeff Curtis 5175 Woodmere Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36106 334-223-2038 www.carmax.com B A N KS

Trustmark National BankCarmichael Road John McFarlin 4290 Carmichael Road Montgomery, AL 36106 334-396-1000 www.trustmark.com

APAR TM ENTS, PUB L I C ATI ON S

Montgomery Apartment Guide Kim Mulkey 5410 Homberg Drive #8 Knoxville, AL 37919 334-312-6451 www.montgomeryapartmentguide.com

Trustmark National Bank-Taylor Road Cathy Duncan 951 Taylor Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-395-3500 www.trustmark.com COL L E G E S & U N IV E R S IT IE S

ASSOC IATIONS/N ON -P R OF I T

Shepherds Ministries, Inc. Brenda Cherry 600 South Court Street, Suite 314 Montgomery, AL 36104 352-257-3691

Central Alabama Community College Brandy Mitchell 2074 Highway 14 Prattville, AL 36066 334-380-9600 www.cacc.edu

91 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Rise Media Group, LLC Tonya Williams P.O. Box 231133 Montgomery, AL 36123 334-333-2092 www.tonyascottwilliams.com D E N T ISTS , D E N T ISTS - S P E C IA L IZE D

StoneCreek Dental Care-Mulberry Ann Miller 1901 Mulberry Street Montgomery, AL 36106 334-265-9202 www.stonecreekdentalcare.com StoneCreek Dental CareCentral Parkway Ann Miller 2415 Central Parkway Montgomery, AL 36106 334-277-2424 www.stonecreekdentalcare.com D IA LYS IS C L IN IC S , P H YS IC IA N S - S P E C IA L IZE D

Physicians Choice Dialysis James Kilcur 8149 Decker Lane Montgomery, AL 36117 610-495-8900 www.phychoice.com F IN A N C IA L P L A N N E R /A DV IS OR, F IN A N C IA L S E RV IC E S

Generational Wealth Strategies Eric Satcher P.O. Box 242284 Montgomery, AL 36124-2284 334-320-6915


CHAMBER NEWS New Members WELCOME TO OUR N EWEST MEMBERS

STATE OF THE STATE

H OT E L S /M OT E L S

PA R A L E G A L

Comfort Inn & Suites Shiv Patel 1201 Townplace Drive Montgomery, AL 36106 334-409-9999 www.choicehotels.com/al522

Contracted Paralegal Services Carlton Avery 980 Eastern Oaks Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 334-467-6276

L E G A L S E RV IC E S AT TO R N E YS

McLure Law FirmThe Adoption Law Firm Sam McLure 25 South Court Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-546-2009 www.mclurelaw.com Blackstone & Burke Center for Law & Liberty Allen Mendenhall 5345 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109 334-386-7495 blackstoneandburke.com

with GOVERNOR KAY IVEY Wednesday, April 10 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM RSA Activity Center 201 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104

P R O P E R T Y M A NAGEMEN T, R E A L E STAT E SA LES AN D D E V E LO P M E N T

Real Estate Southeast Louise Jennings P.O. Box 681955 Prattville, AL 36068 334-491-6201 www.realestatesoutheast.com R E C YC L IN G

RePower South Montgomery Scott Montgomery 1551 Louisville Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-356-5820 www.repowersouth.com

LO BBYIN G

Tucker Consulting, LLC Gina Tucker Dearborn 217 Country Club Park, PMB 302 Birmingham, AL 35213 334-391-4518 www.tuckerconsulting.org M A IN T E N A N C E /R E PA IR CO M PA N Y, H E AT IN G A IR CO N D IT IO N IN G S E RV IC E S

PRESENTING SPONSOR

IHS Services, Inc. Lee Toler 2603 Highland Avenue Montgomery, AL 36107 334-264-1217 www.ihsserviceal.com

REGISTER TODAY REGI www.montgomerychamber.com/events 92 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

R E STAU R A N TS

Urban Cookhouse Miguel Zacarias 7712 EastChase Parkway Montgomery, AL 36117 334-239-7801 www.urbancookhouse.com S E C U R IT Y SYST EMS, CO M M U N IC AT IO N S E Q U IP M E N T, T ELECOMM U N IC AT IO N S

Comtex Technologies, Inc. Ty Glassford 4121 Wall Street Montgomery, AL 36106 334-271-4000 www.comtextelecom.com


93 MONTGOMERYCHAMBER.COM


Numbers reflect 2018 over 2017.

Economic Intel TOURISM

MGM

67%

RECORD BREAKING!

LODGING TAX

LEADS ALL OTHER AL METRO CITIES FOR THE FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW

+ 7.5%

OCCUPANCY RATE

+ 22.42%

ROOM DEMAND

A 2018 TOTAL OF $11,732,337

107,441 MORE ROOMS SOLD IN 2018 OVER 2017

LARGEST LODGING TAX COLLECTION IN HISTORY!

HOUSING 2018

Source: Smith Travel Research Report, City of Montgomery

WINGS UP!

+ 6%

LOTS OF FULL SEATS! PASSENGERS

TOTAL HOME SALES

+ 16.6%

$169,598

26,892

TOTAL HOMES LISTED FOR SALE

4,666

OVER 2017

+

2,087

BE DIRECT: DIRECT SERVICE T0 DCA AND SFB

AVERAGE SALE PRICE

TOTAL HOME SALES Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate, Montgomery Area

Source: MGM (Montgomery Regional Airport)

EMPLOYMENT BY SECTOR

+ 1.5% CIVILIAN

+ 1.3% EMPLOYED

LABOR FORCE

LABOR FORCE

174,090

168,014

3.5% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area

SECTORS GOING UP

LABOR FORCE

LEISURE & HOSPITALITY

INFORMATION

EDUCATION & HEALTH SERVICES

+ 1.9%

MANUFACTURING

+ 1.6%

Source: Alabama Department of Labor, MGM Metro Area

94

+ 5.4% + 4.5%

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL


MBJ

MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Post Office Box 79 Montgomery, AL 36101

96 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal - March 2019  

Montgomery Business Journal - March 2019